The Missing Link

The elaborate hype announcement of the day (barring some Supreme Court news) is the unveiling of a 47 million year old fossil dubbed “the missing link“.

We thought we would provide our own missing links too.

The somewhat simian Blagojevich is our nominee for political missing link today. Chicago Magazine published a long story which has been effectively ignored by just about everyone. Guess why the story is being ignored? We won’t ignore this missing link:

The arrest of Governor Rod Blagojevich in December cast a shadowy light on the relationships among four leading players in the Illinois Democratic Party—Blagojevich, Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel, and David Axelrod. The new president and his two aides would like to minimize their dealings with the disgraced ex-governor. But the record tells a more complex story.

Blagojevich will be on trial soon and as the story notes during his impeachment “trial” he wanted to call as witnesses Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett, among other Chicago Obama pals. The article derides that witness wish list as “delight in sullying the veneer of President-elect Barack Obama and his Chicago team headed for the White House.”

Although the article is protective of Obama, there are some glimmers of hope truth:

At this writing, U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald had said nothing to implicate Obama or his aides in wrongdoing. Still, with at least 40 references to Obama and his associates in the original 76-page criminal complaint, the scandal has cast a shadowy light on the connections between Blagojevich, Obama, and Emanuel, whose careers often overlapped, and who all drew on the skills of David Axelrod, the architect of Obama’s Senate and presidential campaigns and now a White House senior adviser.

Understandably, the Obama camp has tried to downplay the connections, most notably with a report by the future White House counsel Greg Craig asserting that no one on the president-elect’s staff, including Obama, had “inappropriate discussions” with the governor about deals for the Senate seat. But the Craig report focused exclusively on Blagojevich’s alleged wheeling and dealing around the seat, and beyond that time frame, the interplay of Blagojevich, Obama, Emanuel, and Axelrod goes deep into the recent history of Illinois politics.

“I come out of the alleys of Chicago politics. That’s a tough place. The politics there is not motivated by idealism or high purpose.” Blagojevich is quoted as saying. Blagojevich almost sounds like Obama’s mentor of 20 years, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, when he derided Obama as just another pol. For those wanting additional “missing link” information on the dirty little rats from Chicago, the article chains a lot of links.

The article describes Axelrod trying to intimidate newspapers, and outlines his connections to the Daleys and as “indispensable” to Blagojevich, as well as how Blagojevich got Rahm Emanuel to run for congress. We hear again about father-in-law “Mell” as well as the Emanuel/Blagojevich alliance on prescription drugs. John Wyma, the lobbyist for AT&T, Harrah’s and Kraft, who turned informer is also described. We are offered this appetizer: “The relationship between Emanuel and Wyma could turn out to be a crucial missing link to knowing the full extent of Emanuel’s role in Blago-gate.”

We also meet Obama as he decides to stop being the “brother from Hawaii”, as Bobby Rush derisively described him, and supports Roland Burris for governor in 2002. It was Obama once again caring more about skin color as a political imperative: “Endorsing one of Burris’s white opponents, Paul Vallas or Blagojevich, would have ended Obama’s political career.”

More fun: Obama’s Palinesque “You betcha” when asked in 2002 if he was supporting “Hot Rod” and Emanuel giving credit for the election of Blagojevich to himself and “Barack”. Also, how Obama got “the skinny guy with a funny name” line from a guy named Blagojevich.

But the most important lesson Barack got from Hot Rod was fundraising. Blagojevich, we are reminded collected the still astonishing figure of $58.3 million during his governor runs with a third of that amount coming from 435 donors. On his election eve Blagojevich declares “Tonight, Illinois has voted for change” and we laugh along with the joke.

Obama’s alliances with Emil Jones Jr. in order to become a U.S. Senator with faked accomplishments is briefly touched upon as is his rivalry with Blagojevich for the claim to be “progressive”.

The yet to sing Rezko makes an appearance of course. The crucial money to Barack is recounted as is the hiring of friends. But once again the Rezko financed house is not even mentioned and excuses come pouring forth:

Rezko remains the most troubling common tie between the president and the disgraced former governor. Obama has repeatedly insisted that Rezko never sought anything except small favors here or there, such as an internship for the son of a business associate. Assuming that’s true, why did Rezko act like a crook with Blagojevich and not with Obama? One veteran political operative offered this explanation: “Rezko was, basically, forming political sleeper cells. He didn’t know which ones would be useful. He was right about Barack’s promise, not about his usefulness.”

And was Obama simply naïve about Rezko? “Maybe so,” says John Kupper, who worked on Obama’s U.S. Senate and presidential campaigns. “But the fact is: He never asked Barack for anything in return.”

Blagojevich, however, was infuriated that he—and not Obama—was taking most of the political heat for Rezko. Recalls a fourth former Blagojevich aide: “A lot of Rod’s resentment was—‘How come I wear the jacket for Tony?’”

A question which never comes up is whether David Axelrod, who worked for John Edwards in 2004 but not in 2008 knew about the Edwards affair with the now mother of his (probable) child. There is a story making the rounds that former Edwards advisers knew Edwards was cheating on Elizabeth and they wanted no part of the 2008 campaign. Did Axelrod know about the Edwards affair and did he tell Obama (who in every election amazingly and coincidentally has a sex scandal interrupt his opponent’s campaign)?

By the way, Blagojevich also eyed going to Iowa to spread Chicago corruption and label it as “change“:

By then, Blagojevich had set his sights on higher office. “It wasn’t long after he got elected governor that he said, ‘Well, maybe I should go out to Iowa,’” recalls Giangreco. Several sources say Blagojevich had sketched out a plan, of sorts, to run for president in 2008. Mell explained it to me during a 2007 interview: “He would’ve been able to make a great case of this Kennedyesque, dynamic leader coming into the fifth-largest state and sweeping Republicans out of office after 26 years, then being this charismatic, idealistic governor cleaning up the state. Iowa’s right next door, and when he’s running for reelection, he sends all of his commercials out of the Quad Cities right past Des Moines. He would’ve been a known factor before he’d even start [campaigning in the Iowa caucuses]. That’s the way he envisioned it.”

* * * * *

On May Day we were too full of love and joy to discuss credit card interest rate caps. We did rouse ourselves sufficiently to recall the Obama hypocrisy and lies on capping interest rates on credit cards by recalling the debate on January 22, 2008 (the Rezko mentioned debate) “and Obama’s laughable response to why he voted AGAINST a cap on credit card interest rates of very high 30%.

Hypocrite John Edwards exposed hypocrite Barack Obama with the mocking reply to Obama’s mendacious claim:

EDWARDS: You voted against it because the limit was too high, is that what you just said?

OBAMA: That is exactly what I just said, John, because…

EDWARDS: So there’s no limit at all.

There is a sort of warning/missing link today to this credit card story (and even unrelated issues like can and trade) which if it wasn’t so sad, would be funny:

Credit cards have long been a very good deal for people who pay their bills on time and in full. Even as card companies imposed punitive fees and penalties on those late with their payments, the best customers racked up cash-back rewards, frequent-flier miles and other perks in recent years.

Now Congress is moving to limit the penalties on riskier borrowers, who have become a prime source of billions of dollars in fee revenue for the industry. And to make up for lost income, the card companies are going after those people with sterling credit.

Banks are expected to look at reviving annual fees, curtailing cash-back and other rewards programs and charging interest immediately on a purchase instead of allowing a grace period of weeks, according to bank officials and trade groups.

In other words, if you pay your bills (like your mortgage) on time, you will be punished in the age of Obama. The missing link here is that responsibility, in the age of Obama, is for idiots.

* * * * *

We did not know there were similar thoughts presented earlier to Governor Sarah Palin when we wrote The Republican Secret Weapon – Hillary Clinton

While discussing the Miss California issue we suggested that Republicans should “utilize the history of the 2008 primaries and what was done to Hillary Clinton to expose the intolerant bullies who pose as progressives.” We also warned:

Sean Hannity in particular constantly attacks Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton in ugly, gratuitous ways. Hannity is living in the 1990s. Even the biggest Bill and Hillary haters, such as Richard Mellon Scaife, now recognize they were fools drunk with destructive Clinton hate. Hannity would make a stronger case against Barack Obama if he would invoke the nastiness of the Obama campaign against Hillary and stop the nastiness against Hillary himself.

Some Republicans will fan the flames of Hillary hatred. These are Republicans who are afraid of Sarah Palin and do not want to do anything that might help women, such as attack sexism and misogyny.

Apparently we are not the only ones who see opportunity for Republicans by using their most formidable weapon – Hillary.

In an unusual attempt to forge an alliance between two of the most prominent families in American politics, John Coale, a Washington-area Democratic donor and onetime adviser to Sarah Palin, urged the conservative Alaska governor to use her political action committee to help retire the presidential campaign debt of Hillary Clinton.

Coale, a wealthy trial attorney and the husband of Fox News talk show host Greta Van Susteren, approached Palin with the improbable plan in February while in Alaska with his wife, who was taping an interview with the former Republican vice presidential nominee.

An outspoken Clinton supporter during the Democratic primary who switched his allegiance to the GOP ticket for the general election, Coale made his case to Palin at the Iron Dog snowmachine competition in Fairbanks, where Todd Palin was competing over Valentine’s Day weekend. His broader aim, say Palin camp insiders, was to help Palin develop a relationship with the former first family that he thought could bolster the polarizing governor’s standing with Democrats and independents.

As “improbable” as the plan seemed (and we do think actual fundraising for Hillary might be too drastic a step for Republicans to contemplate) it would be wise for Sarah Palin to listen to such type of advice. Governor Palin like Hillary was subjected to the ugliest sorts of sexism and misogyny during the campaign. Even the hypocrite Howard Dean acknowledges the sexism and misogyny directed against Hillary AND Governor Palin (of course he only said that well after the elections).

Governor Palin appears to share our view of the situation:

Palin was amenable to getting acquainted with the Clintons but was skeptical of using her PAC to help the former first lady.

There is a great deal of logic to Governor Palin talking things over with Hillary and Bill and John Coale is a smart and courageous man for making such a case to both Palin and the Clintons, even if Republicans and Dimocrats are “dumbfounded“:

“He thought the Clintons could rein in some of the Democratic firepower aimed at her,” said a dumbfounded Republican privy to the discussion who advocated fiercely against the idea.

A former Clinton aide hadn’t heard of the plan but deemed it “not rooted in anything that would touch on reality.”

No this is not a fantasy game, this actually happened and hooray and hoorah for Mr. Coale who actually thinks instead of ignoring possibilities:

Coale conceded that he urged Palin and her advisers to consider helping Clinton, but he said it was part of a larger campaign to align the Alaska governor with prominent women in politics, including Republicans Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, both of whom are prospects for elective office in California.

It was a women thing and not a Hillary thing,” said Coale, who was angered at what he saw as sexism aimed at Clinton during last year’s campaign and who has long taken an interest in promoting female politicians.

He sought to minimize just how much Palin could have done, noting that the PAC could give only $5,000 to help with Clinton’s debt — a modest sum, given the former first lady’s $2 million-plus campaign debt.

But Coale is candid about his efforts to create an unlikely bond between the ultimate Democratic power couple and the Alaska duo that so many liberals revile, noting that he had pushed the Clintons to get to know the Palins.

No, this is not a fantasy, not dumb, and reality based – as a certain former President appears to agree:

Former President Bill Clinton placed a friendly call to Palin after the election, and Coale sought to use that as an opportunity to play matchmaker.

He said he tried to set up a visit between Bill Clinton and Palin in Alaska earlier this year when the former president traveled to Asia, but Clinton wound up traveling there through Europe.

Bill Clinton is no fool. Bill Clinton is a real, not pretend, uniter – not a divider.

Coale is a smart man and is therefore derided for his original and smart thinking.

“With these people from the opposite side, I’m trying to turn down the volume a bit on the attacks,” Coale said. “The more people meet each other and actually talk to each other, the volume will come down.”

Governor Palin is now constantly under attack and at times overwhelmed. She could use some good advice on how to organize politically from a far away state. Governor Palin could use a lot of good advice.

Who better than Bill and Hillary?

For Bill and Hillary, now is the time to truly triangulate.

Triangulation – the missing link.

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162 thoughts on “The Missing Link

  1. Confloyd and wbbore: Just one last word on ICC:
    (then on to The Missing Link – admin you are inexhaustible in leaving no stone unturned!)

    In order to critique the ICC one must understand what it is and what it proposes. ICC has nothing to do with the governing of individual nations. The purpose of the ICC is to bring international criminals and perpetrators of crimes against humanity to justice. Different cultures work together all the time in learning to understand one another and that is why a standard of accountability in such a court is necessary if we are to set international rules regarding criminal behavior.

    Are we “giving anything away” in re the ICC? or are we working together for the common good? It can turn out to be a very bad bargain or a very good bargain. The answer is in the details. I agree with Bill Clinton’s reasons for signing. In every treaty ever signed there are always compromises. What I’m saying is that we need to understand how the thing works and, more importantly, be part of how it works. If we try to help make it work and find it definitely doesn’t suit us, we can always sign off on it as Bush II did. Bottom line, I don’t see the ICC as a scary monster and I think it’s really interesting.

  2. Oh, der, please forgive, I did not mean to type wbbore for wbboei — wbboei is NEVER NEVER boring!!

  3. So, you’re proposing some kind of genuinely bi-partisan action as opposed to the wolf-in-sheepskin bi-partisanship that we have now. Interesting.

    I’m glad to hear Bill called Palin after the election. I hope he conveyed our apologies for the grotesque misogyny that was directed her way by our fellow Democrats.

  4. CHICAGO-STRAIGHT ARTICLE HIGHLIGHT: AXLEGREASE, THE TALENT SCOUT

    Lots of interesting insights and quotes in the article at the top:

    Of Blagojevich’s shortcomings, retail campaigning was certainly not one of them. He was a natural—always smiling, upbeat, and eager to hit the el stops, to shake hands and kiss babies. “Nobody could work a room like Rod—nobody,” says Jan Schakowsky, the Democratic congresswoman who served with Blagojevich in Springfield and Washington.

    That talent didn’t escape Axelrod’s practiced eye. A master image-maker, he mines a candidate’s biography for compelling details and then builds a supporting narrative that resonates with the concerns of average voters. With Blagojevich, Axelrod spun a yarn highlighting the rise from an immigrant family’s blue-collar roots—the storybook American Dream. One memorable Axelrod spot showed various lunch-bucket locals bungling Blagojevich’s tongue-twisting Serbian name, ending with a down-home waitress advising, “Just call him Rod.”

  5. I haven’t read the new post just yet but noticed someone is mucking around with the html code on this site. Better contact the wordPress gurus to straighten it out from their side.

  6. Oh, der, please forgive, I did not mean to type wbbore for wbboei — wbboei is NEVER NEVER boring!!
    —————————–
    Ha ha ha. No grape–I know a freudian slip when I see one. As a matter of fact, I may use that name on other blogs. wbbore–I love it.

  7. MORE PARALLELS BETWEEN BLAGO AND OBAMA

    In my 2:13pm post, please note the similarities in Axelrod’s role in selling Blago for Gov, and Axelrod selling Obama for prez.

    Now, from the same “Chicago-Straight” article, more similarities between Blago and Obo:

    &&&&
    To some colleagues, Blagojevich seemed bored on Capitol Hill. Schakowsky recalls that he regularly blew off caucus meetings and subcommittee hearings, and behind closed doors he would often complain about the congressional leadership.[snip]

    Shortly after Blagojevich was reelected for his third congressional term in November 2000, he and Mell started eyeing a run for the governor’s office in 2002. Until then, Axelrod had remained an indispensable adviser but he had misgivings about a gubernatorial run and advised Blagojevich not to fritter away a good thing—he could be Congressman for Life. Blagojevich wanted no part of that. He saw Congress as a backwater.

    Axelrod also had serious doubts about Blagojevich’s readiness to be governor—his ethics, his maturity. “At one point, David asked Rod, ‘Why do you want to be governor?’” says Forrest Claypool, the Cook County commissioner and a longtime friend of Axelrod’s. “And the best that Blagojevich could come up with was, ‘It’ll be fun.’ There was no mission, no principles. It was just, sort of, a game to him.”
    &&&&&&&&

    Any of that sound like obama???

  8. JUST TOO GOOD…BACK TO THE WELL

    …same Chicago-Straight:

    &&&&&&&
    Shomon says Obama also took note of Blagojevich’s extraordinary fundraising prowess—he collected a jaw-dropping $58.3 million during his two gubernatorial campaigns, more than a third of which came from 435 donors who gave $25,000 or more, according to the nonprofit group the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. “I think Barack learned from that,” Shomon says. “I think it gave Barack a certain confidence, because nobody had done that in Illinois before Rod.”

    Shomon, now a lobbyist based in Chicago, recalls observing Blagojevich in action: “One guy—I’m not gonna say who—was having a fundraiser, and Rod said, ‘I want you to raise me 40 [thousand].’ Rod calls him about a week before the fundraiser and says, ‘How’re you doing on that fundraiser?’ The guy said, ‘I’m gonna make it, I’m gonna make 40.’ And Rod said, ‘That’s not enough. You can do 70. Get me 70.’”

    Over time, Shomon says, he saw a similar aggressiveness in Obama: “If somebody said, ‘Barack, I can do five’ [as in, $5,000]. He’d say, ‘I want you to feel a little pain and do ten.’ He’d actually use those words.”

  9. The purpose of the ICC is to bring international criminals and perpetrators of crimes against humanity to justice

    1. do we want to make American the lives and liberties of American citizens subject to the jurisdiction of an international court?

    2. do we want our soldiers in the field to be subject to that jurisdiction for acts committed in combat?

    3. the American Criminal Court system found Lt William Cauley guilty. The Israeli Court system found Adolph Eichman guilty. In essence sovereign court systems worked.

    4. would the US Supreme Court be bound by its judgments?

    5. would indictments against US citizens or agents be brought by hostile nations for political purposes?

    6. would guilt and punishment be determined in ways that are inconsistent with common law?

    7. is this whole thing the handiwork of Mr. Justice Jessup of the World Court, who saw no borders on his jurisdiction?

  10. Admin,

    Another excellent expose!

    I can’t imagine that anyone close to Edwards at the time didn’t know about his “extracurricular activities.” Not wanting to be paranoid or anything, but is it at all possible that the bigger picture really was to push him out when the time was right, kill Hillary’s chances, a little blackmail, money changing hands, and presto we have an idiot lobotomy for president!

  11. admin and lil ole grape,
    Great article, Greta’s husband has vision to try and connect the two women, I hope they’ve met and become friends. Wouldn’t that be a fantastic third party ticket!!!

    Lil ole grape, thankyou for your insight, I was having trouble with the article because the thought of BC signing off on it was mind boggling, but the proof is in the pudding. If it was strictly regulated, maybe it would be OK. I haven’t read it, only a story about it and that story could have very well been written by a Clinton hater. I saw a video the other day that was billed as an assault on Obama’s ties to the Bilderbergs, but in essence when you actually watch it a couple of times it really is an assault on Hillary’s ties. I just wish I knew who actually made the film, my guess Axelass.

  12. 1. do we want to make American the lives and liberties of American citizens subject to the jurisdiction of an international court?
    2. do we want our soldiers in the field to be subject to that jurisdiction for acts committed in combat?
    ************
    No..and that was the second reason for the US War Crimes Act of 1996..US Code Title18,2441…the first reason was to “enable” the Geneva and other Conventions into US law. The two Senators that introduced the legislation to the Senate were James Inholf and Jesse Helms, neither if who I would characterize as “hankie twisting” liberals. This is what Sen Helms said:
    Mr HELMS. Mr. President, this bill will help to close a major gap in our Federal criminal law by permitting American servicemen and nationals, who are victims of war crimes, to see the criminal brought to justice in the United States.
    (snip)
    The bill would also allow an American, who is charged with a war crime, to be tried in an American court and to receive all of the procedural protections afforded by our American justice system.

    US law is perfectly capable of dealing with War Crimes…It just requires the Obama/Holder DoJ to do its damn job.

  13. lil ole grape, I just read your post to me on the previous thread. I did not realize that the bill was about internation criminal court. The article I read about it did not state what it was about other than the Bilderburg meeting last week was about this and that the elitests want this treaty enacted pronto. It also gave the reader the distinct feeling that Bill Clinton approved and that he was the culprit in wanting the New World Order to take place.
    I suspect now that this article I read was just another hit on the Clinton’s, most probable by Axelrod. I don’t think they like the fact that she is more popular than our American Idol Prez.
    As I have said in previous posts you have to really research every article before setting an opinion because nowadays what is up is really down. What is the truth is really a lie. We now live in a world that is so fake we don’t know what to think.
    I do so worry about my grandchildren and what they will have as a govt. by the time they come of age. So sad!

  14. I posted the following comment at the Foreign Policy website where the Richter article is posted–the one that alleges that Hillary is being too outspoken. It incorporates some of what I said earlier:
    —————————————————-
    This article raises serious doubts about the writer and the content of his article.

    1. first, the author himself is not objective. He attacked Hillary in the campaign. He continues to do so now, through stupid articles like this. He forgets the fact that she supported his man Obama at the convention, in the general election and in the administration.

    2. second, his premise is faulty. He contends that she should speak obliquely to a government which has failed to act when action is required. Abdication is the right word. Given the urgency of the situation, i.e. the Taliban within 60 miles of the capital, and 60 nuclear weapons in the surrounding area, and the Pakistani army far away on the Indian border, direct talk is required. Yet Richter worries not about that but whether she is too outspoken. Amazing.

    3. third, here are some questions for the benighted Richter:

    a. is this not a crisis? (nukes, capital, etc.)

    b. does inaction in these circumstances not equate to abdication? (military failure to respond to this threat)

    c. is it wrong to call it what it is, if prior warnings were not heeded? (political reality vs results)

    d. has the declaration not spurred the government into action?

    e. have they not re-deployed troops in response to same?

    f. has the march of enemy troops to the capital not been halted?

    g. has Mr. Obama not acknowleded that he approved the statement? (all the author says is he has not objected)

    h. was Condi an effective Secretary of State?

    i. if not, what gives her the wisdom and stature to criticize?

    j. is it customary for former sos to publicly criticize her successor?

    h. why should we listen Brian Katulis– a think tank staffie? (he is a little over the top himself)

    i. has he served in a line foreign relations capacity or is he merely a man with an opinion?

    j. does he understand that the new doctrine of smart power requires stating blunt truths, so that there is no room for misinterpetation?

    h. or does he prefer soft words and gunboat diplomacy as we saw under Condi?

    i. if this is the best he can do, then with all the layoffs at Chicago Tribune, why is Richter still employed?

  15. wbboei Says:

    May 19th, 2009 at 5:07 pm
    ———————–

    Excellent response to this sorry excuse for a journalist.

  16. I suspect half of what is imputed to Axlerod is speculation as opposed to fact. If it were otherwise then someone would have cut his nuts off by now. I hope they can sweep him up with the rest of the dirt in the bloggaovich trial and the surrounding grand jury probe. I wish I were on that grand jury. I know I could be impartial.

  17. US law is perfectly capable of dealing with War Crimes…It just requires the Obama/Holder DoJ to do its damn job.
    —————————————
    Amen.

  18. Quick question– my knowledge of the ICC is extremely limited and I have attempted to do a little research, but I would love a link which is more comprehensive than what I have been able to locate. Any search for ICC controversy or like words gives me results for a cricket committee.

    If I were a Republican in a state that has the death penalty I’d be screaming that the ICC may have the authority to take that power away–I am against the death penalty but I don’t believe the rest of the world should dictate our policies especially when billions of US dollars have supplied aid to numerous countries. How are these persons to be elected/appointed? I just don’t get it. An international Judge?
    Chosen by whom elected by whom

  19. I confess that I am completely addled by the issue of the ICC. I looked at the breakdown for the finances and as it stands now Europe is paying for atrocious crimes committed by tyrants in Africa. Heinous unthinkable crimes, but is the price our own soveirnty to stop them? I get a little more conspiracy theory leaning everyday. Pirates unpunished- Americans held hostage- almost now seems like an orchastrated movement to accommodate an international tribunal.
    What really baffles me is how will the judges and everyone else within the ICC be chosen?

  20. Henry, btw, thanks for the heads up for legal aid for my daughter.

    In answer to your question go to wikipedia. There is already a President, judge and it is already trying cases and even has a prison in the haug. They are now building an office to have the trials there. Gee, I wonder if Bush could be tried there for his war crimes??

  21. # basement angel Says:
    May 19th, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    I’m glad to hear Bill called Palin after the election. I hope he conveyed our apologies for the grotesque misogyny that was directed her way by our fellow Democrats.

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

    If anyone could understand Palin’s epic deriding by the media vultures; it’s Bill. I’m sure he told her to cheer up, it is what it is..and prepare yourself for more of the same for the next 20yrs.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    # wbboei Says:
    May 19th, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    I have gone back and forth in my head about this Haiti thing.

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

    After Bill puts in a few years in Haiti radicaly changing the landscape as they’ve known it, improving their quailty of life and empowering the Haitians to sustain themselves. The Chicago crowd will be hard pressed calling him a “racist”, ever again. Bill is deeply wounded over this- can’t you tell? After all he did for the revitalization of Harlem, locating an ex-president’s office in the heart of the Harlem neighborhood– just isn’t done. Then- the community welcomed him with open arms.

    Those same arms linked together and supported Obama because he was thought to be an AA American. One of their own.
    I think we agree, Obama is neither. Raised by white people, he hasn’t a clue what the AA black experience is all about, nor can he identify with the American way of life. His knowledge of the history of US presidents could fill a teacup. I doubt he could name 20 past presidents. (out of sequence) Obama wouldn’t even know who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb unless the answer was on the teleprompter! No, I believe, Bill was deeply wounded over the racism comments and is going about fixing it.

    If Hillary decides to run in 012 anyone daring branding him a “racist”… Bill will be LHAO.. telling them to take a hike. They’re as dumb as a box of rocks while handing them a phone number beginnging with the area code 509.

    Being the generous person he is– Do you think if he offered Obama his Harlem Office when his term is over, Obama would accept it?

  22. Sensitive data missing from National Archives

    google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5isz-JszmIiUrCRSRQVym01EVOdYAD989KQVO0

  23. Is this broken promise 501 or 703????

    I really don’t know what to say about this…after he threw 100’s billions of dollars down a rat hole of crooked banks and worthless CDSs.

    “Key pledges to boost money for Aids funds, education programmes and poverty-reduction schemes have all been missed, the Global Aids Alliance (GAA) said.

    The Washington-based organisation said that figures from Mr Obama’s May 7 budget request to the US Congress set the administration on a path to breaking its campaign promises to the people of Africa.

    A pledge to spend £4.3 billion on bilateral Aids programmes under the Mr Obama’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) has been shaved back to £3.3 billion.

    Mr Obama had also promised to contribute about £1.8 billion on the Global Fund to fight Aids, tuberculosis and malaria, but his budget request fell short by £1.2 billion, the GAA said.

    It calculated that this meant that one million people will not receive treatment for HIV, and 2.9 million women will miss out on services to help prevent passing the virus to their unborn children.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/5344290/Barack-Obama-breaks-four-aid-pledges-for-Africa.html

  24. United Nations chief names Bill Clinton as Haiti envoy

    google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jU8vjqlts5payiVFTGRj2EchuagAD989H4QG0

  25. Hey guys if you want to really get pissed off read this article I am about to post. I have noticed some of the pro-hillary blogs have sort of turned conservative and there are people on them that are Clinton haters. This article is one. Read the comments too, oh boy, they will get your dander up.h t t p: //w w w .am er ican thin ker.com /2009/ 05/slick_barry.html

  26. 100% correct Mrs. Smith. AA’s should be ashamed of the way the treated a family that walked the walk, unlike Obama who was in grade school when Bill and Hillary were fighting for AA’s. This was pure racism at it’s ugliest , yet, portrayed as “pride” by the MSM.

  27. Re-post telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/5344290/Barack-Obama-breaks-four-aid-pledges-for-Africa.html

    Is this broken promise 501 or 703????

    I really don’t know what to say about this…after he threw 100’s billions of dollars down a rat hole of crooked banks and worthless CDSs.

    “Key pledges to boost money for Aids funds, education programmes and poverty-reduction schemes have all been missed, the Global Aids Alliance (GAA) said.

    The Washington-based organisation said that figures from Mr Obama’s May 7 budget request to the US Congress set the administration on a path to breaking its campaign promises to the people of Africa.

    A pledge to spend £4.3 billion on bilateral Aids programmes under the Mr Obama’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) has been shaved back to £3.3 billion.

    Mr Obama had also promised to contribute about £1.8 billion on the Global Fund to fight Aids, tuberculosis and malaria, but his budget request fell short by £1.2 billion, the GAA said.

    It calculated that this meant that one million people will not receive treatment for HIV, and 2.9 million women will miss out on services to help prevent passing the virus to their unborn children.

  28. confloyd:

    American Thinker is a RW Blog. I’ve NEVER heard anyone of a moderate/liberal bent think there is a comparable between Obama and Bill Clinton.. NEVER! The apt comparison is what has been repeated over and over again here: OBAMA IS BUSH3

    All the author’s rehash proves is his diatribe is nothing more than a lame attempt to put as much distance as possible between Obama and George W. Bush.

    Many of the 39 comments posted give evidence people are beginning to wake up to the treachery of Obama. Here is a snip of one of them who is ahead of the pack:

    “Clinton advanced the Liberal agenda, but sort of inside the normal processes. Obama is a totally different animal – he understands his talent for rhetoric, but he has a very clear agenda that goes beyond simple socialism. He is using deception to create an “instant bloodless revolution” that overturns the Constitution and substitutes an authoritarian state. Private property has been effectively ended (as we knew it) in six months. Contract law is no longer functional in just six months. US Manufacturing and Financial companies no longer chart their own destiny – they report to Washington DC. In six months.

    This is more than could be achieved by some “permanent adolescent” who simply let his rhetorical skills run wild. This is clearly a revolutionary operation. We should not let Barry’s slickness cause us to underestimate his actual destructive intent. And it is intent, not whim, that is driving him.”

  29. Mrs. Smith, I agree, he is Bush III and the Bushites wanted him in to do just what he is doing. BushI has always wanted the One World Govt with the United Nations as the supreme ruling authority. This has been an ongoing conspiracy since Reagan’s time.

    Its proof positive that the RW is deathly afraid of Hillary not because she is a socialist, it because she can get us to follow her. She and Bill puts them out of power.

  30. I dont know how many of you read the late fiction series “Left Behind”, but California is having tremors, the antichrist is threatening Israel to make peace and Israeli bombers are bombing Gaza again for tunnels it has found. LOL!!!

  31. That is such crap…the only thing socialist about Obama is using trillions of tax dollars to pay off his banker friends….
    Broken promise #??? This one is sort of like letting Rezko steal the housing money and letting his AA constituents freeze in the Chicago winter. PROMISES, PROMISES: Obama and black farmers
    By BEN EVANS – Apr 21, 2009

    WASHINGTON (AP) — As a senator, Barack Obama led the charge last year to pass a bill allowing black farmers to seek new discrimination claims against the Agriculture Department. Now he is president, and his administration so far is acting like it wants the potentially budget-busting lawsuits to go away.
    The change isn’t sitting well with black farmers who thought they’d get a friendlier reception from Obama after years of resistance from President George W. Bush.”
    .google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hTyNjxLD4WoFQoyJoU3PMMblaJRQD97MN1100

    Basically the discrimination was that Black farmers in the South couldn’t get crop loans or other farm aid because they were Black….this went on for decades.

  32. # jbstonesfan Says:
    May 19th, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    100% correct Mrs. Smith. AA’s should be ashamed of the way they treated a family that walked the walk, unlike Obama who was in grade school when Bill and Hillary were fighting for AA’s. This was pure racism at it’s ugliest , yet, portrayed as “pride” by the MSM.

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

    Agreed, Obama Lied, Cheated and Stole the election from Hillary.. He used every trick in his bag to win. He had plenty of help too- And he’s paying them back one by one for their good and loyal service.

    Last night, there was a new documentary on tv focused on the roots of the Kennedy Clan… the focus was on Joe Kennedy Sr. He was slammed at every turn shown to be an overly ambitious ruthless man who made no secret of his aspirations to the presidency. The overview of this documentary perspective of the Camelotians, portraying the Patriarch of this political dynasty as an avaricious
    power hungry man achieving what he could not do for himself through his own sons.

    Ted was portrayed as a damaged lackadaisical kid at 26yrs of age overwhelmed by the evisceration of half of his family, turning to booze as his only solace. I don’t care how much good he’s done for the State of MA. Politically, he’s a dead man walking. When he goes so goes the dynasty.

    The Kennedys are in Obama’s crosshairs for that infamous one way Bus Trip we’ve seen oh so often. Theres no way Viki or Caroline will be seated in Ted’s seat when he floats up or downward at his end. Ted’s Senate seat has been earmarked with someone else’s name on it and it isn’t a Kennedy.

  33. treachery of Obama
    ——————–
    Well put, Mrs Smith. The treachery of Obama. It is the perfect description of what he does. He is serpentine.

  34. From BP

    WASHINGTON (AFP) – A vast majority of US senators on Tuesday urged President Barack Obama to mind the “risks” to Israel in any Middle East peace accord as he presses for a two-state solution to the six-decade conflict.
    “As we work closely with our democratic ally, Israel, we must take into account the risks it will face in any peace agreement,” 76 of the 100 senators wrote Obama in a letter released to reporters.
    “Without a doubt, our two governments will agree on some issues and disagree on others, but the United States friendship with Israel requires that we work closely together as we recommit ourselves to our historic role of a trusted friend and active mediator,” they wrote.
    Democratic Senators Christopher Dodd and Arlen Specter as well as Republican Senators Johnny Isakson and John Thune were the lead authors of the letter, which came one day after Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
    “While the obstacles are formidable, we agree with you that every effort should be made to realize that peace,” the lawmakers wrote Obama.
    “We must also continue to insist on the absolute Palestinian commitment to ending terrorist violence and to building the institutions necessary for a viable Palestinian state living side-by-side, in peace with the Jewish state of Israel,” they said.
    “The more capable and responsible Palestinian forces become, the more they demonstrate the ability to govern and to maintain security, the easier it will be for them to reach an accord with Israel,” they said, urging Obama to sustain programs of US security assistance and training for the Palestinians.
    The senators also urged Obama to “promote far greater involvement and participation by the Arab states both in moving toward normal ties with Israel and in encouraging moderate Palestinian elements.”
    “Everyone in the region has a stake in the success of these negotiations and should contribute to a lasting and comprehensive resolution,” they wrote.”

  35. Ted’s Senate seat has been earmarked with someone else’s name on it and it isn’t a Kennedy.
    ***********
    It’s going to be a real dog and cat fight for someone to win that special election.

  36. “Clinton advanced the Liberal agenda, but sort of inside the normal processes. Obama is a totally different animal – he understands his talent for rhetoric, but he has a very clear agenda that goes beyond simple socialism. He is using deception to create an “instant bloodless revolution” that overturns the Constitution and substitutes an authoritarian state. Private property has been effectively ended (as we knew it) in six months. Contract law is no longer functional in just six months. US Manufacturing and Financial companies no longer chart their own destiny – they report to Washington DC. In six months.
    —————————————————
    I do not disagree. That is certainly the direction he is taking. Paul Gigot had an excellent panel discussion with Wall Street Journal writers on this very subject at FOX on Sunday. It is worth embedding here Admin if you can find it. I will look as well. In the absense of effective Republican opposition Bambi will overreach. This will threaten the wrong people. And then we shall see what happens.

  37. confloyed:

    “Its proof positive that the RW is deathly afraid of Hillary not because she is a socialist, it because she can get us to follow her. She and Bill puts them out of power.”

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

    There may be an element of truth in what you say… but the main theme of the Am Thinker’s article which (is btw a Republican trait)… is shoring up Bush’s losing image.. distracting people from the obvious. (a ‘look over there’ meme) Attempting to lash Obama to Bill Clinton instead of his maker, Bush.

    Obama is going further into a dictatorship further than even Bush dared to take us after creating all those Executive signings. Obama won’t hesitate using them against us when he is told to-

    Obama is a treacherous individual more dangerous than Bush.

    Bill and Hillary are standing in stark contrast to the pain and suffering coming from the WH. They are the only ones actually doing something to help people trying to create a stable, fertile environment for the good of the World.

  38. SHV:

    “It’s going to be a real dog and cat fight for someone to win that special election.”

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

    John Kerry must be really smarting from the lack of public attention coming from the media. His latest foray championing the Newpapers is just so sick in light of the hardship and suffering endured by so many within his own constituency.

    I wonder if they will throw the poor dog a bone and let him choose Teddy’s successor.

  39. Sean Hannity interviewed a very smart journalist who has found the key to Obama in the teachings of Alinsky. The program aired last night on FOX and it is entited the Alinsky Administration.

    I attempted to link the video, but since it was the fourth in the series it may not work. The preceding videos are not very interesting. I do not know if it will work until I post it.

    Admin. is there any way to embed this video. I think it is very revealing. It tells us what we are up against and how bill maher, john stewart and others are part of his goon squad.

    http://www.foxnews.com/video2/video08.html?maven_referralObject=5153148&maven_referralPlaylistId=&sRevUrl=http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,520667,00.html

  40. Mrs. Smith, you got that right. They and many others are definitely trying to lash Hillary and Bill to Obama. It is becoming more apparent daily what the republicans had in mind when they helped get him elected/selected, they knew they would have much ammunition to fire back with.

  41. I wonder if they will throw the poor dog a bone and let him choose Teddy’s successor.
    ***********
    Unlike most States, Mass has a special election to fill a Senate Seat. Since there hasn’t been a competitive election for a Mass Senate seat in 25 years, it should be an interesting situation.

  42. Admin: can you embed the Alinksy Administration video. It is buried 20 minutes into the above link.

    The video of the O’Reilly attack on NYT may also be worth embedding as well, if it can be done.

  43. HillBuzz’s thoughts on the Richter article
    ***********************************

    Is the White House using the Chicago Tribune to attack Hillary Clinton?

    Paul Richter, propaganda machine, Rahm Emanuel mouthpiece, read between the lines |

    We have it on very good authority here in Chicago that Chicago Tribune columnist Paul Richter gets his talking points directly from the current administration, and most likely from Rahm Emanuel himself. Richter, and the Tribune as a whole, is a propaganda tool of the current president, and has been since Dr. Utopia was just a candidate for said office.

    Today, a very sharp friend of ours very familiar with both Richter and Chicago-style politics asked us to read this article in the Tribune that most people would miss entirely if they weren’t looking for it.

    It’s called “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: What Will She Say Next?”

    In it, Richter tries his best to make Clinton look crazy — but, of course, the problem is the article is not about Joe Biden who, in fact, actually might just be crazy and who truly deserves the question “What will he say next?”.

    Richter does what the British often do when giving left-handed compliments: he starts off saying Clinton’s approach to being Secretary of State is full of candor, and that she has the guts to speak the truth and say what everyone in Washington is thinking, but what no one before her had the nerve to say.

    So far, so good.

    But, then Richter tries to make Clinton seem erratic, like she’s going off the reservation and making things up as she goes along, which is something Biden most certainly does, and what Dr. Utopia does when this teleprompter fails, but something Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton has never, ever done.

    This woman is the most studious, prepared, resolute, and overly cautious person we have ever met.

    We WISH she veered off the reservation during the primaries and was erratic and spontaneous, because we might have pulled out a win in places like Wisconsin, Missouri, or one of the other caucus states and Dr. Utopia wouldn’t be president today.

    For the last 17 years, the MSM has driven the point deep into all of us that Hillary Clinton is the most calculating, methodical, and relentless plotters and schemers the world has ever known. It’s an unfair caricature, but one that’s actually rooted in her reserved, careful, studious nature.

    And that does not jive with what Richter is suddenly trying to pull, painting her as an erratic woman off running her mouth without thinking.

    No, that would be JOE BIDEN. The grown man who needs Cabinet-level officials to have weekly breakfasts with him to mitigate his chances for doing anything stupid that day (like revealing the top-secret secure and undisclosed location of the Vice President’s bunker…WHOOPS! Oh, that Joe Biden, he’s done it again!).

    Read the article and then come back and post what you think about it, and about what Richter’s motivations are.

    We’ve said this to you before, and have told you we think this is speculative and a little crazy, but our very good friend Wess says he hears a lot of chatter that Hillary Clinton will ultimately leave her position as Secretary of State to run for political office — and that she would leave in 2010 or 2011 or so. That might be for Governor of New York, or it might be for President in 2012 if Dr. Utopia indeed pulls an LBJ and claims he has health reasons (such as Parkinson’s) that prevent him from seeking a second term.

    Maybe Richter’s hit piece on Clinton is somehow Pelosi-related, since the CIA is going to release more to embarrass Madame Speaker this week, so maybe Emanuel is doing Nancy a solid by encouraging Richter and the Tribune to take a whack at Clinton to start some sort of distraction to take the heat off Pelosi.

    These machinations, or perceived machinations, and speculations have the potential to drive you crazy if you spend all day thinking about this stuff. So, we urge caution with the speculations.

    But, the article IS WEIRD.

    The person who clued us in on the weirdness is smart and well-connected, and knows what she is talking about (and only emails us this stuff when it is really, really important).

    And it does fit with the chatter people like Wess are hearing that Clinton will have new projects in the political realm before we all know it..and that coincides nicely with a recently revamped http://www.NoLimits.org that’s mighty impressive, and seems to be running off a Facebook-like engine that will make a marvelous organizing tool for another Clinton run for higher office.

    Read between the lines on this kind of stuff, but never get too carried away. You know how much we love Hillary Clinton, so we too enjoy fantasy world where she gets another crack at President in 2012, but we freely acknowledge the dangers of going off on that path.

    HOWEVER, there is something fishy going on with articles like this…and we don’t believe Dr. Utopia will run in 2012 if he’s certain he will lose — because he will certainly think it is best to retire if he cannot beat his opponent. That’s totally keeping with his narcissistic MO, and an ideal setup for great and eternal sympathy because of whatever medical condition he uses as his excuse for retirement.

    Can’t wait to see what comments look like on this one.

    ——————————————————————————–

  44. Carter vs Obama (Taipan: Justice Litle)

    As I read Greider’s book, my conviction is strengthened that the 1970s could be a powerful historical analog. And I am openly beginning to wonder… could Barack Obama turn out to be the next Jimmy Carter?

    The parallels here are deeper than just the men. They also relate to the deeper philosophies that the Carter and Obama administrations bring to the table, and the type of problems both administrations were forced (or will be forced) to deal with.

    It is perhaps a further irony that, at exactly the same time America is faced with the twilight of fiscal hegemony in the eyes of the world, the country now seems poised and determined to heap even more spending on the pile than has ever been witnessed before.

    This is not an endorsement of President Obama’s Republican opposition (or of any political party anywhere). It is merely a reflection on what may be coming next. What’s more, this observation is not just political in nature – or political for its own sake – but could have a very powerful effect on what happens to your money. Because if the 1970s rhyme holds true, we are going to enter an era in which fiscal policy is weak, debt burdens are high, and growth is lax for years and years to come. And that means serious inflation.

    We obviously have no clear bead on what 2012 will look like. But I suspect the brainy, idealistic and breathtakingly accommodative (dare I say Carteresque?) policies of the Obama administration will eventually lead to a loss of fiscal control… in turn leading to a backlash so strong that Obama could be forced to find his own Volcker. (Assuming the genuine article isn’t up for a rematch.)

    Tomorrow we’ll dig deeper into the Obama/Carter parallels, and make a more detailed case for the similarities between then (the 1970s) and now. And then, as always, I’ll ask you what you think…

    Warm Regards,

    JL

  45. Some good news from one of our friends, former bloggers and Neil Cavuto. She is now EVP of the Maryland chapter of the National Organization for Women. This will be of interest to those of you who are members of NOW.
    ————————–
    Hi All-

    Please let me know by return email if you are a member of National Organization of Women (NOW)

    As you may know, the national convention is coming up in Indianapolis (6/19-6/21), and we need to fill some delegate slots
    We may possibly be able to assist with finances (make sure you tell me what state you’re from)—at very least we can coordinate room and transportation sharing

    Thanks-
    Paulie

    P.S.
    I’m now Executive Vice President-Maryland NOW

  46. gonzotx Says:

    May 19th, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    ————————

    All I can say, is it is about time they spoke out.

  47. A vast majority of US senators on Tuesday urged President Barack Obama to mind the “risks” to Israel in any Middle East peace accord as he presses for a two-state solution to the six-decade conflict.
    ————————————————————
    At least they have spoken out finally. Now they need to stay on Obama like stink on shit. As we know, Obama is a sociopath, He will betray any person, any group, any party and any country including his own to advance his own self interest. He is Alinsky ( supra 11:56). He operates under the cover of a crisis Every fool in the country fell for it.

    As one writer observed: they say power corrupts. They are wrong. The truth is “power attracts corrupt people”. Case in point: Barack Hussein Obama. Those who continue to support him in the face of mounting evidence that he is not what he pretents to be are either corrupt themselves, i.e. NYT, WashPo, HuffPo, Politico, NBC, MSNBC, CNN., or else they are perfectly content to ingnore evidence and live a lie. They are rubes, and in time they will inherit the dirt.

  48. Well now that they (Iran) successfully lauched a missible that can hit not only Israel, but Europe, Obama may be forced to actually think about a military option. Then again, Europe is pretty much lost to the Muslims, so he will view it as still only a threat to Israel and give it a pass.

  49. The Richter piece in the Chicago Tribune, “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: What will she say next?”, had some snappy comments in response. I thought a couple were worth sharing:

    1.
    Teresa D
    San Diego, CA

    I suspect the motives of the Chicago Tribune in this “hit piece.” Trying to ensure that Hillary does not continue to surpass Obama in popularity ratings?

    I find it particularly ironic that the Tribune would fault Clinton for being honest, suggesting that it may damage our relations with other nations, when Obama himself has apologized for America’s arrogance and announced on the world stage that the USA is an equal to all other countries, yet then Obama sends messages to Israel telling them how to behave.
    Which style is more harmful to international relations?

    Chicago Tribune: we’re onto you. You are just a mouthpiece for the Thugs in the White House. Seriously, who are the sources for these smears against Clinton? Who did you interview for this article, besides Rahm Emanuel?*crickets*

    2.
    antifish
    Atlanta, GA

    Thank God we have a Secretary of State who is not afraid to tell the hard truths. To demean her by suggesting that she is somehow damaging our relations in the world by not whitewashing reality reflects poorly on the author and leads one to question whether this reflects some hidden agenda coming from the Chicago White House.

    Anyone who has followed Hillary Clinton through the years knows full well that she does not do or say anything without having thoroughly analyzed the outcome.

    …And John Bolten? John Bolten commenting on human rights? Really?

    3.
    jbjd

    You wrote an article about Secretary Clinton with the titillating headline, “What will she say next,” apparently intending to undermine her credibility as head of the State Department but then, brought us smoke despite teasing you would bring fire. Judging by readers’ comments, I am not the only person you have let down. May I suggest a way you can make this up to us? How about writing an article questioning President Obama’s Constitutional eligibility to be POTUS? You could start by countering the claims he made on his web site, “Fight the Smears,” that the photocopy of the Certification of Live Birth (“COLB”) he posted proves he is a “native” citizen, explaining to your readers that under HI law, the mother of a child born outside of the United States can obtain a COLB for her child just by swearing she resided in HI for a year before he was born?(Hawaiian Revised Statutes

    4.

    Sammy
    Los Angeles, CA

    Go Hillary! Ironically, you’re the only one with balls!

  50. Wednesday, May 20, 2009

    Clinton warns Iran against starting arms race in Mideast

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday predicted an “arms race in the Middle East” if Iran succeeds in building an atomic weapon and said the U.S. strategy is to persuade Tehran that it will be “less secure” with such a weapon.

    Mrs. Clinton’s comments, made during a budget hearing before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee, came hours after Iran staged an apparently successful missile test. “A nuclear-armed Iran with a deliverable weapons system is going to spark an arms race in the Middle East and the greater region,” she said. “That is not going to be in the interest of Iranian security, and we believe that we have a very strong case to make for that.”

    The goal of diplomatic efforts by the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China “is to persuade the Iranian regime that they will actually be less secure if they proceed with their nuclear weapons program,” Mrs. Clinton said.

    Last week, the Obama administration’s chief envoy for the region said that Iran’s nuclear program and its increased regional influence have replaced the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the main concern of governments in the Middle East.

    Jeffrey D. Feltman, acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his confirmation hearing that the fears about Iran have become “the key development in the region.” “When you traveled around the [Middle East] five, six, seven years ago, almost everywhere you went, the first thing that came up was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Mr. Feltman said. “When you travel around today, what you are going to hear about is Iran.”

    President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced Wednesday that Iran test-fired a new missile with a range capable of reaching Israel and U.S. bases in the Middle East. The solid-fuel Sajjil-2 surface-to-surface missile is believed to have a range of about 1,200 miles. It is a new version of the Sajjil missile tested late last year. Analysts say such missiles are more accurate than liquid-fuel missiles of similar range, such as Iran’s Shahab-3.

    washingtontimes.com/news/2009/may/20/clinton-warns-iran-against-starting-arms-race-mide/

  51. If Europe, the United States and Israel did not exist, the mullahs in Iran would still have a mortal enemy–Saudi Arabia. In some respects, Saudi Arabia resembles Iran under the Shaw. Yes, I know there are other countries like Egypt that are important. But the bottom line is Saudi Arabia is the fulcrom for strategic progress within the region. The implications of this to me are rather clear. It is not in Saudi Arabia’s interests let Iran control the region. This would diminish their stature and could ultimately disable their own nation–given Irans known proclivity to fund terrorist groups.

    If this is true, then the implications are as follows:

    1. first, Saudi Arabia has a vested interest in the survival of Israel because Israel is a check and balance on revolutionary forces within the region that could ultimately consume them. However, they cannot openly acknowledge this.

    2. second, Saudi Arabia has a vested interest in preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. When and if Iran acquires such a weapon, it will acquire supreme status within the region, and will be part of the elite club of nations that boasts that capability.

    3. third, Saudi Arabia has lots of money. That money could be used to support a Middle East settlement which recognizes not only recognition of Israel, but reciprocity of rights for Jew living in Palestine, and security for Jews living in Israel as a pre-conditions to any serious talks about a two state solution.

    Yes, I know, this is very basic stuff.

    2. second, If Iran acquires a nuclear weapon, that would trump the influence of Saudi Arabia. They have a lot of money and a clear incentive to disarm Iran. They even have an incentive to de-stabilize Iran, before Iran de-stabilizes them.

  52. Clinton: Nuclear Iran would ‘spark Mideast arms race’: US experts confirm launching of Iranian long-range missile, say working on details describing weapon

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that if Iran managed to produce a nuclear weapon it would “spark an arms race” in the Middle East.

    Rocking the World

    Iran says launches missile with 2,000 km range

    Official news agency quotes President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying new surface-to-surface ‘Sejil 2 missile, which has an advanced technology, landed exactly on the target’. Range of 2,000 km could reach Israel, US bases in Gulf

    Iran test-fired a new missile Wednesday it claimed had a range capable of reaching Israel and US bases in the Middle East. A US government official confirmed there was an Iranian launch and said Washington was working to determine details such as the missile’s range and trajectory.

    Speaking at a Senate hearing, Clinton did not refer directly to the launching of the Sajjil-2 missile but rather a range of threats posed by Iran. She stressed that President Barack Obama’s administration was thoroughly opposed to Iran’s production of a nuclear weapon and that Washington was relying on diplomatic efforts to prevent it. The secretary of state added that Washington was still unclear on the time frame in which the Islamic Republic would succeed in developing the weapon, and that some experts were currently of the opinion that the US had more time than had been previously thought.

    Clinton described Iranian nuclear capability as an “extraordinary threat”, and said the US was aiming “to persuade the Iranian regime that they will actually be less secure if they proceed with their nuclear weapons program”.

    Analysts said Iran’s missile launch was likely intended for domestic consumption ahead of the June 12 elections, rather than a message to the US, which has criticized Iran’s past missile launches as stoking instability in the Middle East.

    ynetnews.com/Ext/Comp/ArticleLayout/CdaArticlePrintPreview/1,2506,L-3719045,00.html

    ———————

    I agree with jbstonesfan’s analysis.

  53. SORRY–THIS IS WHAT I INTENDED TO SAY:

    If Europe, the United States and Israel did not exist, the mullahs in Iran would still have a mortal enemy–Saudi Arabia. In some respects, Saudi Arabia resembles Iran under the Shaw. Yes, I know there are other countries like Egypt that are important. But the bottom line is Saudi Arabia is the fulcrom for strategic progress within the region. The implications of this to me are rather clear.

    If this is true, then the implications are as follows:

    1. first, Saudi Arabia has a vested interest in the survival of Israel because Israel is a check and balance on revolutionary forces within the region that could ultimately consume them. However, they cannot openly acknowledge this.

    2. second, Saudi Arabia has a vested interest in preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. When and if Iran acquires such a weapon, it will acquire supreme status within the region, and will be part of the elite club of nations that boasts that capability.

    3. third, Saudi Arabia has lots of money. That money could be used to support a Middle East settlement which recognizes not only recognition of Israel, but reciprocity of rights for Jew living in Palestine, and security for Jews living in Israel as a pre-conditions to any serious talks about a two state solution.

    Yes, I know, this is very basic stuff.

  54. Admin: thanks for posting those videos above. And thank you for posting that clip from The Seven Days In May. It has been years since I saw it. It never hit home with me fully until now.

  55. I favor a military strike to eliminate Irans nuclear capability. I am sure this puts me somewhere to the right of Nero in Bambi’s Age of Aquarius, but I doubt Alinsky dealt with this subject in his teachings so Bambi is improvising.

    Question: would it be that immoral if we turned Paul Richter over to the Taliban. The world would not miss him. And we might get something useful in return, even if it was only a thank you.

  56. EVERYONE’S TURNING INTO DEMOCRATS?

    realclearpolitics.com/horseraceblog/2009/05/on_the_bouncing_pid.html

    May 19, 2009

    On the Bouncing Party ID Numbers

    Gallup put out its latest numbers on party identification, and the results might have surprised some.

    (interesting chart and graphs showing lots of independents, and that the whole world is NOT suddenly obama-supportin’ Dims.)

    “First, I think it’s a sign that the conventional wisdom that the GOP has shrunk dramatically since Election Day has been oversold. Of course, I thought that before I saw these numbers. Pundits pushing that story line were inclined to cite the AP, Pew, or CBS/NYT poll – even though Rasmussen, Survey USA and Fox News had shown insubstantial drop-offs in party identification relative to the 2008 exit poll. “

  57. CLARENCE PAGE SEES OBAMA TRIVIALIZING DIFFERENCES OF OPINION

    Page starting to see that obama is willing to be ineffectual, rather than risk tarninshing his popularity and image as a non-confrontationalist.

    realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/05/20/obama_skips_thorny_abortion_details_96572.html

    Obama Skips Thorny Abortion Details
    ==========================

    By Clarence Page
    May 20, 2009

    As I considered the controversy surrounding President Barack Obama’s commencement speech at Notre Dame University, I recalled a late Irish Catholic friend whose civil rights activism I admired, even if we didn’t agree on everything.

    One day a word in my column disturbed him so much that he had to call me on it. I had decried the “yahoos” who wanted to ban the right of women to choose abortion. Calmly but firmly, he let me know that he happened to oppose abortion and he didn’t think of himself as a yahoo.

    I agreed that he was not, by any means. I apologized for any offense he might have taken and promised to avoid such sweeping generalities. We agreed to disagree on abortion and didn’t let it get in the way of the many issues on which we agreed.

    In today’s media age of talk show ideologues poking one another as “socialists,” “fascists,” “pinheads” or “world’s worst persons,” talk of civility and comity — the ability of adversaries to work together on mutual interests — sounds downright quaint.

    Yet that was the theme Obama promoted, appropriately, in his commencement speech — which had itself drawn controversy at the major Catholic university because of his pro-choice views on abortion.

    He set up his theme with an episode like my own, drawn from his second book, “The Audacity of Hope.” During his U.S. Senate campaign, a self-described “pro-life” Christian doctor e-mailed Obama’s Web site to complain about a posted entry. It said Obama would fight “right-wing ideologues who want to take away a woman’s right to choose.”

    “I do not ask at this point that you oppose abortion,” the doctor wrote, “only that you speak about this issue in fair-minded words.”

    Obama wrote back, he said, and thanked the doctor. “I didn’t change my underlying position, but I did tell my staff to change the words on my Web site,” he said. He also vowed to extend the same presumption of good faith to others, regardless of their agreement with him, “because … that’s when we discover at least the possibility of common ground.”

    The speech was classic Obama the pragmatist: Look past ideology, try to ignore disagreements and work together on mutual interests.

    “So let us work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions,” he said, sparking rolling applause. “Let’s reduce unintended pregnancies. Let’s make adoption more available. Let’s provide care and support for women who do carry their children to term. Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded not only in sound science, but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women.”

    Each of those points acknowledged the moral tragedy of abortion and was greeted with enthusiastic applause. This, too, was classic Obama. His eloquent come-together oratory enabled him to leave like a hero, even though he glossed over the thorny specifics that drive wedges between people of good will when words are hammered into law.

    For example, Obama’s call for a “sensible conscience clause” rankles “pro-life” and “pro-choice” advocates who have very different definitions of “sensible.” The current federal law permits doctors, pharmacists and other health care workers to refuse to provide medical services for reasons of religion or conscience. Obama’s administration has taken steps to replace provisions added under President George W. Bush, charging that the Bush rules unfairly reduce access to abortions for women in rural or otherwise underserved areas.

    Also unmentioned in Obama’s speech were late-term (also known as “partial-birth”) abortions, parental notification of abortions for teen-aged girls and the proposed Freedom of Choice Act, which would codify the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade abortion legalization decision. That law would be “the first thing I’d do as president,” he promised Planned Parenthood in 2007. But in a recent news conference he said the bill is “not my highest legislative priority.”

    As Obama said of the abortion issue, “at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable.” That’s because Americans hold no values more dear than “life” and “choice.” In the abortion debate, those values clash head-on.

    Obama also plans to convene a series of discussions with people on both sides of the debate and draft a set of policy recommendations by late summer.

    For now, by focusing on civility, the president apparently hopes to defuse the abortion powder keg long enough to address his higher priorities. The economy, national security and health care are going to be tough fights. But they’re probably not as “irreconcilable” as today’s culture war between “life” and “choice.”

  58. confloyd Says:
    BushI has always wanted the One World Govt with the United Nations as the supreme ruling authority. This has been an ongoing conspiracy since Reagan’s time.

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

    Huh?

  59. This is more than could be achieved by some “permanent adolescent” who simply let his rhetorical skills run wild. This is clearly a revolutionary operation. We should not let Barry’s slickness cause us to underestimate his actual destructive intent. And it is intent, not whim, that is driving him.”

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

    Well put. But might not the destructive intent also be a symptom of his basic sickness?

  60. woops. They said Barry’s slickness and I read it Barry’s sickness.

    In slips veritas.

  61. thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-05-19/did-obama-get-suckered/

    Did Obama Get Suckered?
    ==================

    by Martin Indyk

    Far from taking risks for peace, like freezing settlements, the Israeli prime minister just laid down new preconditions. Martin Indyk, former ambassador to Israel and director of the Saban Center at Brookings on what Obama didn’t get from Netanyahu.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s press availability with President Obama at the White House on Monday conjures up memories of a time 16 years ago, when a young new president, committed to achieving Middle East peace, stood next to a newly elected Israeli prime minister and inaugurated a partnership in peacemaking.

    Then, as on Monday, they had just concluded an extensive private meeting in which Yitzhak Rabin had told Bill Clinton he was willing to make a full withdrawal from the Golan Heights to achieve peace with Syria. Reflecting the tone but not the content of that secret conversation, Clinton told the assembled press that Rabin had expressed a willingness to take risks for peace and that he had responded to the Israeli leader, “If you do that, my role is to minimize those risks.”

    Netanyahu was completely silent on the settlements freeze in public; in private, I’m told, he said it would be difficult to do.

    Whatever else happened in the private Netanyahu-Obama meeting, this Israeli prime minister certainly didn’t sound like he was willing to take any risks for peace. Reflecting his fear of antagonizing his right-wing supporters, Netanyahu avoided publicly committing himself to accepting an independent Palestinian state as the outcome of peace negotiations. Instead, he spoke of “self-government” for the Palestinians and laid down what sounded like a new precondition: The Palestinians would have to “allow Israel the means to defend itself.”

    What Netanyahu apparently means by that is a Palestinian state minus the means to defend itself, or to control its airspace, or its international passageways. Not unreasonable concerns given Israel’s experience with Gaza, but to put forward such requirements at the outset looks more like a well-practiced Netanyahu negotiating tactic: Raise the bar as high as possible and require the United States to lift the Palestinians over it before he has to make any concessions.

    So too with the new potential for Arab state involvement in the peace process: Netanyahu correctly identifies the shared concern of the U.S., Israel, and the Arab states about Iran’s hegemonic regional ambitions and its aggressive nuclear program. In Obama’s view, working with Arab leaders to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could help counter Iran. But Netanyahu appears to have tasked Obama with the challenge of bringing these Arab leaders to the peace party without indicating what he will do either to get them there or to reward them for the risk of coming. That’s an invitation they will easily refuse. And if they do, will Netanyahu then have the explanation he needs for taking no risks himself?

    There’s one Israeli action that might help move things forward, and Obama was not shy in bringing it up at the press conference—Israel’s roadmap obligation to stop settlements. A real settlements freeze would give Palestinians renewed hope in negotiations and boost the failing fortunes of their president, Mahmoud Abbas. And if Netanyahu were willing to live up to that commitment, Obama might be able to persuade the Saudis and other Gulf Arabs to reciprocate by normalizing relations with Israel—through diplomatic engagement, direct flights, phone communications, etc. Such confidence-building steps could in turn give Israelis greater faith in the potential of peace with the Arab world. Not exactly a breakthrough, but some baby steps in the right direction. Only trouble is Netanyahu was completely silent on the settlements freeze in public; in private, I’m told, he said it would be difficult to do.

    Netanyahu’s approach is understandable if all he plans to do with his second term as Israel’s prime minister is to maintain his unruly coalition. Perhaps it was in the hope that he is made of more Rabin-like qualities that Obama suggested in their press conference that he might rise to this historic occasion. But Bibi didn’t respond to the enticement of potential statesmanship, either.

    Perhaps Netanyahu is governed by fear of Iran’s existential threat to Israel. He certainly makes the case to American interlocutors that unless Iran is prevented from acquiring nukes, any Israeli territorial concessions will only bring Iran’s rejectionist proxies closer to Israel’s borders. That’s because, in his view, faced with Iranian nuclear power, all the Arabs will scurry to seek protection in its cat’s paw. But in this regard, Netanyahu received two gifts from Obama. First, in a Newsweek interview published the day the Israeli PM arrived in Washington, the president said that “all options are on the table,” meaning that he did not rule out using force to deal with Iran’s nuclear program. At their joint press conference, the president went a step further, detailing a deadline of the end of this year for assessing progress for his effort at diplomatic engagement with Iran. That should have been music to Bibi’s ears, but it too failed to evoke a response.

    The last time Bibi was prime minister, in the 1990s, he made much of the argument that he was no sucker; that he would not give without getting. Unless Obama heard something different from Netanyahu in their private meeting, this time our president might end up being the sucker. That’s no way to start a new American-Israeli partnership.

    &&&&
    Martin Indyk is director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and author of the recently published Innocent Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East

  62. Barack Obama, Dick Cheney plan dueling speeches
    ===================================

    President Barack Obama will attempt to regain control of a boiling debate over anti-terrorism policy with a major speech on Thursday — an address that comes on the same day that former Vice President Dick Cheney will be weighing in with his own speech on the same theme.

    The dueling speeches amount to the most direct engagement so far between Obama and his conservative critics in the volatile argument over what tactics are justified in detaining and interrogating suspected enemy combatants.

    The national security debate — egged on by frequent charges from Cheney that Obama is leaving the country more vulnerable to attack — is the only subject on which many Republicans believe they have been able to gain traction against a popular president and the Democratic majority that now dominate Washington.

    But, as described by administration sources, Obama’s speech is also intended to quiet the ire aimed at him from the political left. Some activists are furious over his recent decisions on continuing military commissions rather than civilian trials for suspected terrorists, and his about-face in deciding to fight a court order releasing photos of detainees undergoing abuse.

    Obama advisers are comparing Thursday’s speech to his big-picture Georgetown University speech on the economy last month — not intended necessarily to produce “hard news” but a sustained effort to describe and defend his policies and the political and intellectual assumptions behind them.

    A centerpiece of the president’s speech will be his plans for dispersing the detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Senate Democrats, running from the White House as never before this year, moved Tuesday to withhold $80 million he had requested to close the prison by early next year. In response, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs promised “a more detailed plan.”

    Cheney will be speaking at 10:45 a.m. on “Keeping America Safe: An Address by Dick Cheney” during a 45-minute appearance at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. Cheney will take questions during his open-press appearance, which was scheduled several weeks ago.

    The White House and Democrats have been thrown off balance for three weeks running on a debate Republicans believe has made their opponents look weak and disingenuous on national security policy. The broader terrorism debate has produced the most embarrassing chapter of the reign of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and the more specific one on Gitmo has produced a rare Democratic slap at an Obama policy.

  63. President Barack Obama will attempt to regain control of a boiling debate over anti-terrorism policy with a major speech on Thursday
    *********
    He is weak and pathetic…Obama has been defending and in some cases expanding the Bush/Cheney Police State and he lets another sociopath set the agenda

  64. politico.com/news/stories/0509/22743.html

    Barack Obama’s biggest critic: Charles Krauthammer
    ====================================

    The dinner guest that night at George Will’s house in Chevy Chase was intellectually nimble, personally formidable and completely baffling, recalled columnist Charles Krauthammer — who was getting his first up-close look at President-elect Barack Obama.

    “We sat around and said, ‘Does anybody really know who he is and what he wants to do, now that we’ve had this?'” Krauthammer recalled of Obama’s January sit-down with conservative columnists. “And the answer was no. We don’t know.”

    “I didn’t understand what he was up to until he just unveiled it openly, boldly, unapologetically and very clearly within two weeks of his Inauguration,” Krauthammer told POLITICO in an interview in his corner office off Dupont Circle. “That’s what was so stunning.”

    Since then, Krauthammer has emerged in the Age of Obama as a central conservative voice, the kind of leader of the opposition that that economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman represented for the left during the Bush years: a coherent, sophisticated and implacable critic of the new president.

    Obama, he has written in his syndicated Washington Post column, is committed to “radical health care, energy and education reforms,” central to a “social democratic agenda” that promises deep — and ominous — transformations to American life. The columnist has offered, in five installments, a “unified theory of Obamaism.”

    At a moment when the right is decimated and divided, and unsure what to think of the new administration, Krauthammer’s confidence is much in demand. His columns circulate widely on conservative e-mail lists and blogs, and even his utterances on Fox News are received as gospel: National Review Online’s group blog, The Corner, posts long transcripts of his remarks without comment, under the heading, “Krauthammer’s Take.”

    “He’s the most important conservative columnist right now,” said Times columnist David Brooks.

    Yet even as he lays out the case for Obama’s radicalism, Krauthammer holds another view — respect, even admiration, for the “formidable” new president’s raw ability to accomplish his agenda. Right now, says Krauthammer, his side is fighting a losing battle against Obama’s attempt to Europeanize the American economy.

    Krauthammer has not always spoken for the right or the Republican Party as a whole. He has fought running battles with critics who loathe his defense of torture, and he parted bitterly with old allies among Republican foreign policy realists who tired of his defense of President George W. Bush’s intervention in the Middle East.

    But the key to Krauthammer’s appeal is the clarity of his opposition to Obama, which began soon after a December 2006 column in which he urged Obama to run for president and guaranteed that he would lose.

    The campaign began, and Krauthammer didn’t believe the hype. Where others were moved by Obama’s mass appeal, Krauthammer found his campaign “cultlike.” His broad statements of purpose made him a cipher on the specifics. The famous race speech was, Krauthammer’s headline declared, a “brilliant fraud.” His friendships with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers showed his “cynicism and ruthlessness.”

    “Obama is a man of first-class intellect and first-class temperament. But his character remains highly suspect,” Krauthammer wrote last October, summing up his critique.

    Krauthammer, 59, is well-prepared for a term or two in opposition. A Harvard-trained psychiatrist who handed out leaflets for the presidential campaign of Henry “Scoop” Jackson in 1976, he left practice to work for Jimmy Carter and then write speeches for Walter Mondale. But he was impressed with Ronald Reagan’s Cold War policies and became one of the key voices of what would become thought of as neoconservative foreign policy.

    He has spent the past decade as a reliable, if not automatic, ally of the Bush administration, particularly on matters of foreign policy — though not limited to it. One Krauthammer column provided a road map the administration seemed to follow to the letter on the withdrawal of Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers. Later, Krauthammer’s call on presidential candidates to put Israel under the American nuclear umbrella found its way almost verbatim into speeches by candidate Hillary Clinton.

    [snip…go to link for referenced links, and for the rest on the second page]

  65. “this Israeli prime minister certainly didn’t sound like he was willing to take any risks for peace.”

    —————————-

    What the hell??? Okay this statement alone makes me furious. Who the hell does he think has taken all the risks and lost millions of lives to prove it if not the Jews and Israel? Who has lived amidst terrorist idiots who have demanded their total annihilation if not the Jews and Israel?

    Enough with Israel having to be the one to take all the risks. It’s about time that Arab countries, Hamas, and every single modern day Nazi be held accountable for their crimes just as Israel is. This double standard is horrendous!

    I apologize for the language here but this just angers me no end.

  66. PASS THE ALKASELTZER…

    Note the reference to Alinski.

    online.wsj.com/article/SB124277581459836917.html

    Obama at the Auto Buffet
    With no resistance, he ate the whole thing.
    ==============================

    By HOLMAN W. JENKINS, JR.

    With his latest installment of ever-higher fuel mileage requirements for the auto industry, Barack Obama embraces a momentary, crisis-spawned expansion of the art of the possible, unleavened by any art of the rationally desirable.

    Detroit is dependent on Washington loans for survival. The industry’s lobbyists and its congressional allies have collapsed in a heap, offering no resistance. So why not go for broke? If you’re alone in front of the shrimp buffet, why not eat all the shrimp — even if it makes you barf later?

    Defenders of the Obama administration’s Chrysler bankruptcy finagle misguidedly argue that, if not for taxpayer money, the company’s secured creditors would have gotten as little or less than they did in the imposed settlement.

    They miss the point. Anyone can always imagine an outcome more “fair” than the outcome provided by people duly exercising — and the legal process duly upholding — their rights. Fairness in a law-abiding society is due process. In the Chrysler bankruptcy, the administration hijacked the legal forms for a political end that it could have delivered honestly by the government buying Chrysler out of liquidation and handing it to the UAW.

    But then Mr. Obama’s purposes would have been exposed a little too nakedly for public consumption.

    Already, of course, the swim of events has moved on, into deeper and more chaotic waters. The union will own 55% of Chrysler, and it would be quite rational to prefer an additional dollar of wages and benefits to 55 cents of earnings (55 cents being the union’s share of a dollar of earnings).

    Even this overstates the union’s incentive to concern itself with the auto maker’s profitability. The Chrysler stake would actually be owned not for the benefit of current workers but for retirees, since its ostensible purpose is to fund retiree health care. Yet power would still rest with a union chief elected exclusively by active members.

    The administration at least understands the conflict it has set in motion. Under a reported new Chrysler contract dictated by the White House, the union surrenders its right to strike for the next six years. A redolent fact, though, is that Ron Bloom, the administration’s real acting car czar in this case, was a principal in the now-defunct investment banking firm of Keilin & Bloom, which secured the 55% stake for the unions in United Airlines in the mid-1990s.

    United’s pilots did not strike in pursuit of what eventually became the richest contract in the industry. They did engage in work slowdowns that led to thousands of canceled and delayed flights and ferocious anger among the airline’s customers. Pilot leader Rick Dubinsky told management in 2000: “We don’t want to kill the golden goose. We just want to choke it by the neck until it gives us every last egg.” United filed for bankruptcy two years later.

    So far, the Obama administration has yet to lay out its magical thinking on how the homegrown auto makers are to become “viable” when required to subordinate every auto attribute that consumers find desirable in favor of achieving a passenger-car average of 39 miles per gallon by 2016. Nonetheless the answer has quietly seeped out: Taxpayers will write $5,000 or $7,000 rebate checks to other taxpayers to bribe them to buy hybrids and plug-ins at a price that lets Detroit claim it’s earning a “profit” on its Obamamobiles.

    Mr. Obama was supposed to be smart. His administration was supposed to be a smart administration. But the policy coming out has not been smart. It has been a brute shifting of power to the president’s political allies, justified by the shibboleths of copybook liberalism (though Mr. Obama is clever enough to know that nothing he’s done will have a meaningful effect on atmospheric carbon or climate change or the country’s need for oil imports).

    With no overarching philosophy in evidence, the art of the possible has come to define the Obama administration. One thing that has proved possible is an untrammeled power grab over the auto industry. Yet it all seems mainly to testify to the limitations of Saul Alinsky as a political philosopher. The doyen of community organizing, his views profoundly influenced Mr. Obama. The late Alinsky was unsentimental about power, and about accumulating it in order to extract from “the system” benefits for his constituents.

    But a president also has to represent the system. He has to care about whether the setup is sustainable and ultimately meets a nation’s needs and reflects its values. In delivering unlimited sway over the domestic auto makers to the greens and labor, Mr. Obama is creating a catastrophically unbalanced “system” with no effective pushback on behalf of profits (aka “viability”) — that is, except from consumers, who ultimately will doom his attempt. How so? By declining to pay enough for the forthcoming Obamamobiles to cover the cost of designing and building them.

  67. In the broadest sense the stategy of the Obama campaign in the general election and now in governing is in three parts:

    1. charismatic leader

    2. looming crisis

    3. no credible alternative

    The charismatic leader component is achieved by making a celebrity of of this asshole, parading his image every day, trumpting his name in every headline, promoting the cult, and controlling the media message through 12 emails a day, and making the putative watchdogs heel.

    The looming crisis objective is achieved by hyping the crisis and using the emotional reaction as cover to assume dictatorial power. That power can then used to weaken intermediate institutions which stand between goverment and the people, i.e. state government, business, media, the family, to make the citizen dependent of government.

    The no credible alternative objective achieved by demonizing political opponents through coodinated media attacks, ridiculing grass roots opposition (tea parties), playing the race card, keeping the Bush story alive, presuming to define what an acceptable Republican is, recruiting Republicans who are willing to play by the rules of the Illionois Combine and betray the country, i.e. Crist, Spectre et al., trashing media figures who oppose them, through designated surrogates like Mahr, Stewart etc. while worshiping Obama.

    There is a historical antecedent to this. It applies to Mr. Crist, who is seeking the blessing of big media as an acceptable Republican.

    After the Soviet Revolution, White Russians fled to other countries, and hoped that one day the Bolsheviks would be overthrown and they could return to their country. An organization was formed to provide a home for these Russian ex patriates. It was called The Trust. Those White Russians, some royalists and some supporters of democracy met on a routine basis and they discussed possible strategies for reclaiming their homeland. Unbeknownst to them them, the Trust was a Boshevik construct–a shell organization created to monitor the activities of so called counter revolutionaries. It was the brainchild of Felix Dzerginsky who was head of CHEKA–forerunner to the KGB. The CHEKA does not judge–it strikes as the saying goes. Nightmare in Red.

  68. wbboei Says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 12:25 pm
    I favor a military strike to eliminate Irans nuclear capability.
    *************
    Probably too late…

  69. MODO ADMITS IT: OBAMA IS THE THIRD BUSH TERM

    Maybe Dowd is now “researching” at this web site?

    Just like with W., Cheney again is pulling the puppet strings.

    Cheney Grabs a Third Term
    ===================

    By MAUREEN DOWD
    Published: May 19, 2009

    Dick and Rummy are at Cafe Milano in Georgetown, holding court. The maître d’ fawns. Waiters hover. Tourists snap pics on their digital cameras. Cable chatterers stop by to ingratiate themselves.

    It isn’t so much that Dick and Rummy are back. It’s that they never left.

    They had no intention of turning America’s national security over to the Boy Wonder. The two best infighters in Washington history weren’t yielding turf to a bunch of peach-fuzz pinkos who side with terrorists.

    Let W. work out at the S.M.U. gym in Dallas, waiting for history to redeem him; Dick and Rummy are leaning forward into history, as they always do. Cheney is tawny with TV makeup; there’s no point taking it off. The gigs are nonstop, and he has a big Obama-bashing speech Thursday at the American Enterprise Institute.

    “That was funny when you were on Fox and Neil Cavuto called you Obama’s ‘ball and Cheney,’ ” Rummy grins, taking a gulp of his brunello.

    Dick grunts, raising a fork of his Risotto Gucci with roasted free-range quail.

    “The punks thought they could roll over us,” Vice mutters. “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

    Eyeing the quail, Rummy shakes his head. “Can you believe the nerve of that dadburn whippersnapper at the press dinner, saying your memoir would be called ‘How to Shoot Friends and Interrogate People?’ Whatever happened to the great White House tradition of giving respect to your predecessors?”

    Dick is looking over at himself on the TV behind the bar, where Fox is doing a segment about how Republicans on the Sunday talk shows praised him for his shock-and-awe campaign against Obama.

    “I can’t believe how easy it was to bring Obama into line,” Rummy says, gnawing on Gorgonzola. “We wouldn’t have needed waterboarding if everybody cracked like a peanut. It was even easier than getting the bit into Junior’s mouth. Way simpler than if we’d had to contend with McCain. In the end, the right guy won.”

    Dick is surprised, too, but who can tell?

    “You’re running national security now and everyone knows it,” Rummy says. “You got Obama to do an about-face on the torture photos. He’s using our old line about how it would endanger the troops. He’s keeping our military tribunals. His Justice Department invoked our state secrets privilege to try to get that lawsuit on torture and rendition dismissed. He’s trying to stop any sort of truth commission, thank goodness. He’s got his own surge going in Afghanistan. He’s withdrawing from Iraq more slowly. He’s extended our secret incursions over the Afghan border into Pakistan.”

    Dick smiles on one side of his face.

    “Transparency bites,” he snarls.

    “By golly, yes,” Rummy says. “We controlled Junior by playing on his fear of looking like a wimp just as his dad did. And now we’re controlling Boy Wonder by playing on his eagerness to show that the Democrats are tough on national security. He’s a sucker for four-star generals, can’t resist anyone in uniform. Petraeus and Odierno speak and he jumps. If we want to roll him, we just send in the military brass flashing their medals.”

    Rummy knocks back some more brunello, and shoos away some Japanese tourists after confiscating their cameras.

    “I hear Poppy Bush is furious at you,” he says. “He’s telling folks he put Junior in your care and you stole his presidency and destroyed the Bush name and derailed Jeb’s chances to ever be president, and P.S., you wrecked the country and the Atlantic alliance to boot. He has it in for Lynne, too. Thinks she spun you up, like she did in high school with her flaming batons. He thinks you got loopy from all the heart procedures. And Colin’s mad at you.”

    “He can go to yoga with Pelosi for all I care,” Dick growls.

    The two old connivers clink glasses. “So,” Rummy muses, “what do we make our new White House boy toy do next?”

    “Well,” Dick says. “He’s got to keep Gitmo open. It’s rich that his own party won’t give him the money to close it. The NIMBY factor works every time — no terrorists in my backyard. He’s got to stop this pansy diplomacy with Muslim nations. He’s got to let Bibi take out those Iranian centrifuges. He’s got to stop his Kodak moments and Commie book club with Hugo Chávez. He’s got to release those C.I.A. memos proving that we were right to rip up the Constitution. And, of course, he’s got to pardon Scooter.”

    “Can we get him to do all that, Dick?”

    Dick twinkles. “Yes, we can.”

  70. IF HRC WERE PRESIDENT…

    they’d be calling for her impeachment. For obama? (*crickets*)

    nytimes.com/2009/05/20/world/asia/20ammo.html?hp

    Arms Sent by U.S. May Be Falling Into Taliban Hands
    =====================================

    By C. J. CHIVERS
    Published: May 19, 2009

    KABUL — Insurgents in Afghanistan, fighting from some of the poorest and most remote regions on earth, have managed for years to maintain an intensive guerrilla war against materially superior American and Afghan forces.

    Arms and ordnance collected from dead insurgents hint at one possible reason: Of 30 rifle magazines recently taken from insurgents’ corpses, at least 17 contained cartridges, or rounds, identical to ammunition the United States had provided to Afghan government forces, according to an examination of ammunition markings by The New York Times and interviews with American officers and arms dealers.

    The presence of this ammunition among the dead in the Korangal Valley, an area of often fierce fighting near Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan, strongly suggests that munitions procured by the Pentagon have leaked from Afghan forces for use against American troops.

    The scope of that diversion remains unknown, and the 30 magazines represented a single sampling of fewer than 1,000 cartridges. But military officials, arms analysts and dealers say it points to a worrisome possibility: With only spotty American and Afghan controls on the vast inventory of weapons and ammunition sent into Afghanistan during an eight-year conflict, poor discipline and outright corruption among Afghan forces may have helped insurgents stay supplied.

    Arms and ordnance collected from dead insurgents hint at one possible reason: Of 30 rifle magazines recently taken from insurgents’ corpses, at least 17 contained cartridges, or rounds, identical to ammunition the United States had provided to Afghan government forces, according to an examination of ammunition markings by The New York Times and interviews with American officers and arms dealers.

    The presence of this ammunition among the dead in the Korangal Valley, an area of often fierce fighting near Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan, strongly suggests that munitions procured by the Pentagon have leaked from Afghan forces for use against American troops.

    The scope of that diversion remains unknown, and the 30 magazines represented a single sampling of fewer than 1,000 cartridges. But military officials, arms analysts and dealers say it points to a worrisome possibility: With only spotty American and Afghan controls on the vast inventory of weapons and ammunition sent into Afghanistan during an eight-year conflict, poor discipline and outright corruption among Afghan forces may have helped insurgents stay supplied.

  71. strongly suggests that munitions procured by the Pentagon have leaked from Afghan forces for use against American troops.
    ************
    Leak?????? I suspect it a flood.

  72. There are now four (4) types of Republicans:

    1. business republicans (neo-cons)

    2. small government republicans (Goldwater)

    3. the religious right republicans (Rove’s army)

    4. combine republicans (Crist types who promote Obama)

  73. So tell me RGB: where do you think MODO plagerized that article from? That is a question we must always ask whenever this petty, vindictive bat from transylvania picks up a quill.

  74. politico.com/news/stories/0509/22743.html

    Barack Obama’s biggest critic: Charles Krauthammer
    ————————————————
    Politico, internet version of WashPo (for whom CK is a syndicated columist) is not in a position to define Krauthammer. His own words speak for themselves. The main purpose of this article is to promote the meme that the Republicans are losing, and are therefore not a credible alternative to the dictator they adore. Point 3 above.

  75. oh yes, and to say that bambi has a first rate mind and a first rate intellect. They neglect to mention the undeniable fact that he is a sociopath, that he has broken every promise he has made, and thrown every constituency who supported him under the bus. The whole motive here is to say Obamas most credible critic adores him. We got to watch these propagandists.

  76. WASHINGTON (CNN) — The U.S. Senate passed a measure Wednesday that would prevent detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, from being transferred to the United States.
    The Guantanamo facility houses terror suspects, and lawmakers don’t want them in the U.S.

    The Guantanamo facility houses terror suspects, and lawmakers don’t want them in the U.S.

    The measure passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in a 90-6 vote. A similar amendment has already passed the House. It was attached to a supplemental war funding bill.
    ***********
    If they wanted to solve the problem of what to do with these prisoners, they would transfer them to the General Prison population at a US max facility. They might survive a week.

  77. I think that the Krautmeister has to pretend to play nice (air kisses, dahlink) in his crowd, so go after obama’s policies, but avoid coming off too heavy handed lest he be labeled a racist.

    With W., too, there was a little too much credit given. He was “incurious”, but “smarter than people give him credit for”.

    To me, he was a blithering idiot. His pops was much smarter, and actually had a real resume on which to run.

    And yet, W.’s term and a half as governor carried more weight than the current president’s flyweight resume.

    As for MoDo, I think she’s starting to realize that in order to be seen as original, she’ll have to plagiarize from multiple sources, and then put them into the Cuisineart. I doubt she visits here (often), lest her ego be bruised. But perhaps she’s heard of us…

  78. DEMS NOT LISTENING TO THE “CAPTAIN”. CAINE MUTINY, ANYONE?

    Obama: “We’ll have to do a thorough recount of the strawberries. We’ll stay up all night and figure out what happened to the missing strawberries”.

    Senate votes to block funds for Guantanamo closure
    =====================================

    By ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writer Andrew Taylor, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 1 min ago
    WASHINGTON – In a major rebuke to President Barack Obama, the Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to block the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the United States and denied the administration the millions it sought to close the prison.

    The 90-6 Senate vote — paired with similar House action last week — was a clear sign to Obama that he faces a tough fight getting the Democratic-controlled Congress to agree with his plans to shut down the detention center and move the 240 detainees.

    The vote came as FBI Director Robert Mueller told Congress that bringing Guantanamo detainees to the United States could pose a number of risks, even if they were kept in maximum-security prisons. Mueller’s testimony to a House panel put him at odds with the president and undercut the administration’s arguments for shuttering the facility.

    “The concerns we have about individuals who may support terrorism being in the United States run from concerns about providing financing, radicalizing others,” Mueller said, as well as “the potential for individuals undertaking attacks in the United States.”

    Last month, Obama asked for $80 million for the Pentagon and the Justice Department to close the facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by January. In the eyes of the world, the prison has come to exemplify harsh U.S. anti-terror tactics and detention without trial for almost all of its inmates, most of whom were captured in Afghanistan.

    The administration put its Democratic allies in a difficult spot by requesting the Guantanamo closure money before developing a plan for what to do with its detainees.

    Obama is scheduled to give a major address Thursday outlining in more detail his plans for Guantanamo, but it’s already clear that many in Congress have little appetite for bringing detainees to U.S. soil, even if the inmates would be held in maximum-security prisons.

    White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs indicated Wednesday that Obama’s plan is still evolving.

    “The president hasn’t decided where some of the detainees will be transferred. Those are decisions that the task forces are working on and that the president will lay out and discuss tomorrow,” Gibbs told reporters.

    In recent weeks, Republicans have called for keeping Guantanamo open, saying abuses at the facility are a thing of the past and describing it as a state-of-the-art prison that’s nicer than some U.S. prisons. And they warn that terrorists who can’t be convicted might be set free in the United States.

    “The American people don’t want these men walking the streets of America’s neighborhoods,” Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said Wednesday. “The American people don’t want these detainees held at a military base or federal prison in their backyard, either.”

    In another development Wednesday, a federal judge said the United States can continue to hold some prisoners at Guantanamo indefinitely without any charges.

    Obama’s new Pentagon policy chief, Michele Flournoy, said it’s unrealistic to think that no detainees will come to the United States, and that the government can’t ask allies to take detainees while refusing to take on the same burden.

    “When we are asking allies to do their fair share in dealing with this challenge we need to do our fair share,” Flournoy told reporters.

    Obama ally Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., pointed out that not a single prisoner has ever escaped from a federal “supermax” prison and that 347 convicted terrorists are already being held in U.S. prisons.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, among the few Republicans joining former GOP presidential nominee John McCain of Arizona in calling for Guantanamo to be closed, scoffed at the idea that the government can’t find a way to hold Guantanamo prisoners in the United States. Graham noted that 400,000 German and Japanese prisoners were held during World War II.

    “The idea that we cannot find a place to securely house 250-plus detainees within the United States is not rational. We have done this before,” Graham said. “But it is my belief that you need a plan before you close Gitmo.”

    While allies such as Durbin have cast the development as a delay of only a few months, other Democrats have made it plain they don’t want any of Guantanamo’s detainees sent to the United States to stand trial or serve prison sentences.

    Despite the setback, some Democrats said Obama should not be underestimated.

    “The president’s very capable of putting together a plan that I think will win the approval of a majority of members of Congress,” said moderate Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson. “I can’t imagine that he won’t.”

  79. One of the Rabis who lives in my building was an avid Obama supporter. We did not know eachother well, but that was enough to preclude the possibility of friendship–for both of us. He believed Obama would be good for Israel as well as America. I believed he was delusional on both counts. That’s where it has stood since the primary.

    Today, I ran into him in the elevator. I asked him whether he believed Mr Obam would achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East. He said it was a “long shot’.

    He got away from me before I could ask him the next question which is whether he still believed Obama is good for Israel. If he had said yes, then I would have asked him why then was it necessary for “a vast majority of US senators on Tuesday urged President Barack Obama to mind the “risks” to Israel in any Middle East peace accord as he presses for a two-state solution to the six-decade conflict”?

    I do give my neighbor credit for recognizing the difficulty in reaching any settlement. As the following article about Reality Based Diplomacy by Tony Blankley (Newt’s former assistant) makes clear, the people outside the region (United States, Europe) are overwhelmingly optimistic whereas the people inside the region (the ones directly affected, who must agree before there is any agreement) are pessimistic about the prospects. I am not talking about the leaders, I am talking about the constituents and their opinion is critical. For that reason it is all the more important that Israel bargain tough in order to protect its future. In the final analysis, the forces in play here are a threat to the civilized world as well as Israel. And it does Israel and the civilized world no good to accept a Neville Chamberlain accord.

    ———————————————————–

    In the lead-up to the current round of meetings between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama, the constantly repeated background theme has been that now is the vital moment to actually bring into being an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. As I discussed in this space last week, President Obama is being put under extraordinary pressure — both by Arab leaders and commentators and by his own White House staff — to be personally responsible for the success or failure of these talks.

    And in turn, Prime Minister Netanyahu is coming under even greater pressure to comply with the United States’ proposed path to a “peace accord,” the foundation of which is a two-state solution, that is to say, two sovereign nations side by side: Israel and a Palestinian state.

    The Arab states never have been more united in preparing the diplomatic groundwork for these talks. In advance of this week’s Washington talks, the Arab states have let it be known that they will “reward” Israel with “confidence-building measures” — as Nader Dahabi, Jordan’s prime minister, said last weekend at a World Economic Forum in Jordan — should Israel cooperate in the negotiations.

    But the premise of Arab cooperation includes adherence to the key provisions of the Saudi-sponsored plan: giving Palestinian refugees the right to return to Israel and having the Israeli borders return to how they were before the 1967 war.

    Now comes reality onto the stage to darken the dreams of would-be peacemakers. As shrewd old Talleyrand also once said, “I know where there is more wisdom than is found in Napoleon, Voltaire, or all the ministers present and to come — in public opinion.”

    So consider this dismal data from the authoritative polling of the 2007 Pew Global Attitudes Project. The report tabulated the response to this key question: “Which statement comes closest to your opinion? 1) A way can be found for the state of Israel to exist so that the rights and needs of the Palestinian people are taken care of OR, 2) the rights and needs of the Palestinian people cannot be taken care of as long as the state of Israel exists?”

    The specific percentages are as follows, with the key results being, by 77 to 16 percent, Palestinians don’t believe they can live side by side with Israel, while, by 61 to 31 percent, Israelis do believe they can live side by side with a Palestinian state. Note that all the Arab states are very negative and all the Western states (plus Israel) are quite positive for a two-state solution.

    –United States: 1) 67 percent, 2) 12 percent.
    –France: 1) 82 percent, 2) 16 percent.
    –Germany: 1) 80 percent, 2) 11 percent.
    –Sweden: 1) 65 percent, 2) 12 percent.
    –Britain: 1) 60 percent, 2) 12 percent.
    –Israel: 1) 61 percent, 2) 31 percent.
    –Morocco: 1) 23 percent, 2) 47 percent.
    –Kuwait: 1) 21 percent, 2) 73 percent.
    –Egypt: 1) 18 percent, 2) 80 percent.
    –Jordan: 1) 17 percent, 2) 78 percent.
    –Palestinian territories: 1) 16 percent, 2) 77 percent.

    Keep in mind, also, that after Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed a Sinai peace treaty with Israel, in October 1981 he was assassinated during a military parade in Cairo. A fatwa authorizing the assassination had been issued by Omar Abdel-Rahman, a cleric later convicted in the U.S. for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

    It would take an unusually courageous leader to sign a peace treaty and his own death warrant in one document. And lest there be any doubt as to the acceptability of a peace treaty that doesn’t include refugees’ being given the right to return (which would turn Israel into a Muslim-majority, rather than Jewish-majority, state), consider the writing this week in the Los Angeles Times of Mustafa Barghouthi, a member of the Palestinian Parliament, a candidate for president in 2005, and currently secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative:

    “Palestinians in the occupied territories have no standing to sign away the rights of the Palestinian citizens of Israel in order to get Israel to the negotiating table. To tell the truth, we don’t believe that Israel can be a true democracy and an exclusivist Jewish state at the same time.”

    As long as fewer than 2 in 10 Arabs, both Palestinian and all others, believe in Israel’s right to exist as a nation with a Jewish majority, there can be no successful peace based on a two-state solution. That is the reality that no diplomacy can change.

  80. Jan- the above will have to suffice as my answer to the question you raised the other day. I have not studied the Saudi Plan, and am not privy to the back channel discussions. So my perspective is limited.

  81. We’ll stay up all night and figure out what happened to the missing strawberries”.
    —————————–
    The mess cook ate them. The mess cook is the Chicago crew. The tax revolt has started.

  82. Hi all

    Hope everyone has been ok.

    Just returned from Ca visiting the family. I felt the first tremor in Ca the other day. It was weired.

    I have to catch up on whats been going on here.

  83. Obama’s new Pentagon policy chief, Michele Flournoy, said it’s unrealistic to think that no detainees will come to the United States, and that the government can’t ask allies to take detainees while refusing to take on the same burden.

    “When we are asking allies to do their fair share in dealing with this challenge we need to do our fair share,” Flournoy told reporters.

    Obama ally Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., pointed out that not a single prisoner has ever escaped from a federal “supermax” prison and that 347 convicted terrorists are already being held in U.S. prisons.
    ———————————————————–
    Leave them where they are–you idiot. Forget about the phoney symboloism. Improve the conditions, red cross suprervision, reinforce the rules. I will agree to take all 347 of them if the are moved into Durbins home, with barbed wire and machine gun towers around it–Durbin to be the warden, trustee and guard.

  84. Taipan Daily: Is Barack Obama the Next Jimmy Carter? (Part Two)
    by Justice Litle, Editorial Director, Taipan Publishing Group

    If a historian examined the data on prices across the entire sweep of American history, an obvious pattern was visible. What caused inflation? The recurring experience of inflationary spirals strongly suggested that the underlying source of these traumas lay not in economics but in politics – the choices made by government or, more precisely, the choices government refused to make.

    – Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country, by William Greider

    Previously, we laid the groundwork for a 1970s return and the Barack Obama/Jimmy Carter connection. Today we’ll take a closer look at that connection – and then you can weigh in.

    To begin, consider a quick rundown of the similarities of the two presidents in question:

    Like Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter was a virtual unknown at the time of throwing his hat into the ring, with national name recognition of just 2%. Also like Obama, Carter “made his bones” in 1976 by winning the Iowa caucuses… and was seen as a breath of fresh air after the disgraceful stewardship of Tricky Dick Nixon.

    President Obama is exceptionally intelligent, as was President Carter. As campaigners on the trail, both men had a clear gift for presenting themselves as thoughtful, pragmatic outsiders. The modest peanut farmer from Plains, Ga., shared a number of grass-roots-style traits with the community organizer from Chicago.

    As further result of their intelligence and idealism, both men share a tendency to focus on ambitious (some might say grandiose) plans in areas they care deeply about, like energy, healthcare and the environment, while leaving critically important areas of the economy (like the financial system) to be run by technocrats with dubious bona fides.

    One of President Carter’s great failings came in matters of monetary policy – a subject he showed no great interest in that turned out to be of vital concern to the country. By outsourcing his views to captive creatures of Wall Street (Geithner, Summers, Blackrock, Pimco et al.), President Obama suffers from the same blind spot – and takes the same gamble.

    On the matter of monetary problems, the Carter administration “inherited” an awful mess, just as the Obama administration did. Nixon (and LBJ before him) got the bad ball rolling for Carter, much as George W. Bush and Alan Greenspan handed off a booby-trapped baton to Obama and Bernanke. But it was the Carter administration that developed an unshakeable reputation for being listless and ineffectual when it came to tackling the problem.

    Near the end of his term, Carter found himself hapless and adrift. Weakened to the core by years of overweening distractions and myopic decision-making, engulfed by “malaise” and an entrenched inflationary mindset, Carter was forced to hand the Federal Reserve reins to a cultural and political outsider. The new Fed chairman, Paul Volcker, all but promised Carter he might have to throw the economy into recession – killing Carter’s re-election hopes – in order to solve the inflation problem once and for all. Whether in 2012 or 2016, it is not hard to imagine a similar endgame for the Obama presidency.

    Proximate Causes

    In Secrets of the Temple, Greider seeks to pinpoint the main causes of the great 1970s inflation – the beast whose back Volcker was called in to break. What many do not realize is just how persistent this inflation was, and how early it got started. Greider writes:

    The Consumer Price Index was calculated as 100 with 1967 prices. By 1970, the price index was 116. By 1975, it was 161. Four years later, it was 217. During the Civil War, prices doubled in only a few years, but Lincoln was fighting a war. This time, the price level nearly tripled in less than twenty years. And the nation was at peace.

    What were the causes behind this nominal price run-up for the ages? Greider offers up a few culprits, briefly summarized as follows:

    Newly independent (i.e. “poor”) nations had the ability to leverage their terms of trade for the first time, leading to a long-term price rise in all sorts of raw materials – from copper to coffee to crude oil. (The “most spectacular” rise, Greider notes, was in the price of crude.)

    Memories of the Great Depression were “still fresh” in the ‘60s and ‘70s, with “neither political party [wanting] to risk repeating the misery of the 1930s.” This mindset thus “pushed policy makers in the opposite direction – pursuing economic expansion and accepting the risk of inflation.”

    Government defense spending, boosted by the Cold War with the Soviet Union, “absorbed a permanent share of the economy’s output, boosting employment and incomes but also competing with other desires.”

    Again remember, Greider put pen to paper back in 1987. I find it remarkable how closely his assessment of inflationary causes, recorded more than two decades ago, hews to today’s environment.

    As for the then-versus-now match-up: We already know about raw materials and crude oil… in addition to the slow (or perhaps not so slow) demise of the U.S. dollar, we are now contending with the phenomena of peak oil, peak soil, 3 billion new capitalists, and a voracious China bidding up every industrial inflation hedge in sight.

    We are also aware – all too aware – of the return of Great Depression fears and their electrifying effect on politics. The mindset Greider speaks of has been translated directly into stated policy these days – straight from the mouth of the Fed Chairman himself.

    As for the third point, some would argue there is no new “Cold War” brewing, at least for now… or is there? When one considers the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, the building threats in nuclear-armed hotspots like Pakistan (and possibly Iran), and the growing need for a counterbalance to China’s might in the East – not to mention the still-growling Russian bear – one could say that the multiple mini-sized “cold wars” of today more than equate to the old mega-sized one.

    Four Breathtaking Blowouts

    In Secrets of the Temple, Greider notes at least one other very important thing. The half dozen or so major inflationary episodes that swept through U.S. history all shared at least one common factor – explosive government spending.

    Past instances of government spending blowouts were usually linked to war. Today we also have literal war – recall Iraq and Afghanistan – but we also have four other candidates for prodigious spending on a scale never before seen. Those four candidates are:

    Healthcare, Social Security and Medicare. The cost to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system, and to shore up the failing Social Security and Medicare programs, will be off the charts. In addition to hundreds of billions to trillions in official Washington-sanctioned expenditures, there will be trillions more in hidden costs, liabilities and inefficiencies to deal with before all is said and done. The party line is that this massively ambitious revamp will be paid for through innovative savings and cost-cutting measures… and that those savings will come sooner rather than later. Yeah, right.

    Environmental Regulations. The “cap and trade” program designed to lower greenhouse gas emissions will function as a hidden tax on industry that could wind up costing trillions. New auto regulations – not to mention direct marching orders issued to the quasi-government-owned car companies to start churning out “green” cars – will also have indirect, yet massive, tax-and-spend type consequences.

    The Ongoing Bank Bailouts. The frightening thing about the hundreds of billions to trillions thrown at America’s flailing banks is that, by some measures, the crisis is not even halfway done. The illusory “profits” shown thus far are mostly the result of insane government largesse, and the supposed “stress tests” look all too rosy compared to what’s ahead. Thanks to an upcoming wave of mortgage resets, credit card defaults and widespread commercial real estate failures, some gloomy analysts are predicting the banks could remain in “crisis mode” for another four years at least, into the year 2013. This means more potential bailouts, of both the front-door and back-door variety…. and further trillions down the drain.

    Nationwide Union Buyouts. The upper hand given to the unions in the Chrysler reorganization (in a blatant violation of creditor contract law, according to some) shows the great lengths to which the Obama administration is willing to go in order to keep the unions placated. The knock-on effect of a White House willing to put union demands above free market principles – to publicly “stand with them” against the greedy capitalist class, as President Obama flatly stated – is an open invitation for ever-bolder union gambits, as we are already seeing with the Hart Marx/Wells Fargo flap in Chicago. These populist, pro-union policies will also wind up costing hundreds of billions to trillions, both in direct federal subsidies and indirect losses born of wary investors pulling back from dealings with an unpredictable White House.

    As the pièce de résistance to all the above, consider the global backdrop. This tidal wave of rampant spending will come at a time of unprecedented indebtedness and general economic weakness, for both U.S. consumers and the country at large, with the rest of the globe looking on as the world’s reserve currency is turned into confetti.

    Is it any wonder, then, that some of the biggest and most successful hedge fund managers in the world – the ones who made a killing in the subprime crisis and called the tune correctly from the start – have been in the news of late for plowing a substantial portion of their assets under management into gold?

    And finally, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Is the Obama-Carter comparison a fair one? Or is it an unjustified slight… and if so, to which man? Do you see any way we can avoid a repeat of the 1970s – and we’re talking inflation here, not fashion – given the historic parallels and the mind-blowing tsunami of unchecked spending ahead? Looking forward to your feedback: justice@taipandaily.com.

    Warm Regards,

    JL

  85. US also responsible for current situation in Pakistan: Clinton

    Even as she came out strongly against the Pakistani establishment for lagging willingness to take head on the terrorists, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday said that the US was also partly responsible for the present mess as it virtually abandoned Pakistan after the Soviets left Afghanistan.

    “There is a very strong argument, which is: It wasn’t a bad investment to end the Soviet Union, but let’s be careful what we sow, because we will harvest. So we then left Pakistan. We said, okay, fine, you deal with the Stingers that we’ve left all over your country. You deal with the mines that are along the border. And by the way, we don’t want to have anything to do with you,” Clinton said testifying before a Congressional committee.

    After the downfall of the Soviet Union, Clinton said the US stopped dealing with the Pakistani military and with the ISI.

    “We can point fingers at the Pakistanis, which is — you know, I did some yesterday, frankly. And it’s merited, because we’re wondering why they don’t just get out there and deal with these people. But the problems we face now, to some extent, we have to take responsibility for having contributed to,” she said.

    Clinton said the US has a history of moving in and out of Pakistan. “I mean, let’s remember here, the people we are fighting today we funded 20 years ago. We did it because we were locked in this struggle with the Soviet Union. They invaded Afghanistan, and we did not want to see them control Central Asia, and we went to work,” she said.

    “It was President (Ronald) Reagan, in partnership with the Congress, led by Democrats, who said, you know what? Sounds like a pretty good idea. Let’s deal with the ISI and the Pakistani military, and let’s go recruit these mujahidin. And great, let’s get some to come from Saudi Arabia and other places, importing their Wahhabi brand of Islam, so that we can go beat the Soviet Union. And guess what? They retreated. They lost billions of dollars, and it led to the collapse of the Soviet Union,” Clinton said.

    And what is happening in Pakistan today is a result of that policy, she acknowledged, so the US should also take a part of the responsibility.

  86. Gail Collins and David Brooks blogged today, like the old 60 minutes back and forth Point / Counterpoint with Shana Alexander and I forget who the guy was. The one Dan Akroyd on SNL would spoof, “Jane, you ignorant slut..”

    Gail’s point is that despite obama’s multiple counts of reneging on his campaign promises and stabbing his supporters in the back, that he’s really doing quite dandy, thank you very much.

    Brooks too is fairly happy, but then goes on to point out one minor peeve he’s got, you know, about that exploding deficit thingie.

    But at the bottom are reader comments. Check out this one:

    Gail Collins, as she often does, spoke my mind, and far more effectively than I could have. But I just read that the President is expected to sign the bill allowing concealed and loaded weapons in national parks, and I devastated. At 75, I have now had 14 presidents, and this one has pleased me so much I even disagreed with the ACLU (on the torture photos issue) to support him; that’s a first for me. I must part company if he doesn’t stand against the NRA. Truly, I am grieving. I can only hope the pundits are wrong on this.
    &&&&&

    Can anyone substantiate the loaded guns in national parks bill?

  87. Why Pelosi Must Go
    By Dick Morris

    It’s obvious that either Leon Panetta, Obama’s head of the CIA, or Nancy Pelosi, his party’s Speaker of the House, has to go. No administration can tolerate a permanent, public civil war between two such high-ranking officials.

    Especially when their disagreement stems not from issues of policy but from matters of veracity and credibility, the battle must end in one of their resignations. You cannot have the head of the nation’s first line of defense against terrorism calling the Speaker of the House a liar and being attacked by her in turn.

    Obviously, Obama cannot fire Panetta. First of all, he just appointed him. And second, to cave in to Pelosi (D-Calif.) would earn him the massive disrespect and disapproval of the very operatives on whom he must depend to keep the nation safe.

    Already skeptical of his leftist credentials, the analysts at the CIA would regard it as a massive vote of no confidence if their chief were fired for believing in them.

    Like Clinton – whose draft-dodging made his relationship with the military problematic – Obama takes office amid reservations about him on the part of the intelligence community. He has taken pains to reach out to both the uniformed and white-collar intelligence officials to smooth his way and win their trust.

    Panetta took over as CIA chief under the cloud of his agency’s distrust of the man who appointed him. Now he is standing firm for his agency and winning its loyalty and support.

    Obama cannot pull the rug out from under him without incurring the agency’s permanent animosity. Before Sept. 11, 2001, that may have been an acceptable risk. Now it is not.

    But Pelosi is expendable. The job of a Democratic Speaker is to pass the program of the Democratic president. Her ability and track record is measured on a scale of effectiveness. If she is ineffective, she’s not up to the job.

    There is no way that Nancy Pelosi can be effective while she is engaged in a war of words with the Democratic head of the CIA.

    House members have a shark’s instinct for blood in the water and know full well that satisfying Pelosi is likely to be an unrewarding occupation.

    With House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) waiting in the wings, few congressmen would be willing to treat the IOUs from Pelosi they get for casting difficult votes as worth much more than Confederate currency.

    Remember that Pelosi won by only 118-95 in her election as Speaker. Her support was not overwhelming to begin with. She is a movement liberal. Her political antecedents come from the McGovern wing of the party. She is a leftist/reformer. An insurgent.

    But Hoyer is a regular Democrat. Representing a district in the D.C. suburbs of Maryland, he is almost a civil servant himself. He is no radical.

    While he can be counted on to pass Obama’s programs like a good Democrat, he is not the kind of guy who will get out in front of the president to upstage or pressure him.

    He will fit right in, unobtrusively backing the president. (Full disclosure: He’s a former client. Very former.)

    Above all, Obama cannot allow the distraction and disruption of a feud between Speaker and CIA head to sow the image of an administration at war with itself.

    The Speaker is the hired help. She exists to serve her president. And, right now, he needs this fight like he needs a hole in the head.

    Morris, a former political adviser to Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and President Bill Clinton, is the author of “Outrage.” To get all of Dick Morris’s and Eileen McGann’s columns for free by email, go to http://www.dickmorris.com.

  88. Leave them where they are–you idiot. Forget about the phoney symboloism. Improve the conditions, red cross suprervision, reinforce the rules. I will agree to take all 347 of them if the are moved into Durbins home, with barbed wire and machine gun towers around it–Durbin to be the warden, trustee and guard.
    ************
    That is exactly right…It’s more Obama symbolism and the prisoners will be the worse off because of it. What will happen is, if Obama tries to get political points for closing Gitmo, the prisoners will be transferred to Bagram, AFB. The conditions at Bagram make Gitmo look like a five star on the Riviera.

  89. HuffPoster Henry Blodget, Obama supporter, shares concern with conservative economist that Obama may be driving us off the cliff, debt-wise:

    huffingtonpost.com/henry-blodget/obama-is-leading-us-down_b_205803.html

    Obama Is Leading Us Down the Road to Economic Hell
    ======================================

    A conservative economist named Woody Brock has written a long, persuasive analysis that the Obama administration is taking us down a dangerous path on the economy. Brock’s primary thesis is this:

    The fact that the U.S. is temporarily taking on truckloads of debt to fight this crisis is actually not as big a concern as many people think. The debt is fine if we put policies in place to reduce it going forward. Unfortunately, in Brock’s opinion, we’re not doing that.

    What would the right policies be?

    1. Policies that encourage growth, including less regulation, more immigration, and more infrastructure spending to drive future productivity gains;

    2. Reduced government spending as the economy improves.

    Brock observes that Obama’s current agenda is almost the opposite — slow growth, more regulation, permanent spending increases, and the wrong kind of spending (on entitlements and social programs, not infrastructure). He thinks this could eventually lead to disaster.

    I voted for Obama, and I think he’s mostly doing a great job. I also don’t agree with everything Brock says (obviously, we need to tighten some regulation). I must admit, however, that I find the hear of his argument persuasive.

    &&&&&&&&&

    Go to

    businessinsider.com/henry-blodget-obama-is-leading-us-down-the-road-to-hell-economically-speaking-2009-5

    …for the full length article to which he refers (whoa, quite long and detailed, with graphs and charts, TONS of info.)

    The End Game Draws Nigh – The Future Evolution of the Debt-to-GDP Ratio
    ====================================================

    By Horace “Woody” Brock, Ph.D.

    Preface: In this new report, we link together three quite different concepts that have been discussed in these publications during recent years. First, the problems posed for classical fiscal and monetary policy when extremely large deficits must be financed; second, the critical importance of the rate of economic growth as primus inter pares of all economic variables; and third, the all-important concept of “incentive-structure-compatibility” introduced by Leonid Hurwicz in the 1960s, and recognized in the award to him in 2007 of the Nobel Memorial Prize.

    We weave these three concepts together so as to make possible an extension and generalization of “macroeconomic policy” as normally understood. Central to this extension is the need for policies that drive down the nation’s Debt-to-GDP Ratio over time. Accordingly, we identify 15 policies that jointly reduce the growth of federal debt and increase the growth of GDP over time.

    [snip]

  90. wbboei Says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    US also responsible for current situation in Pakistan: Clinton
    ************
    She is exactly right..read Charlie Wilson’s War….The Russians got the boot and Charlie Wilson lost the next “war” because of the stupidity that Hillary talks about.

  91. “As long as fewer than 2 in 10 Arabs, both Palestinian and all others, believe in Israel’s right to exist as a nation with a Jewish majority, there can be no successful peace based on a two-state solution. That is the reality that no diplomacy can change.”

    —————————

    Thank you! Well said!

    Also that rabbi you spoke of, I just can’t imagine why on earth he thought obama would be better for the nation than Hillary, and why he would be good for Israel.

  92. QUID PRO QUO????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 20, 2009
    Obama may earn Millions from Schools in Book Deal
    By Richard Henry Lee

    Obama may earn millions from taxpayer-funded schools in his new book deal.

    Five days before taking the oath of office, President-elect Barack Obama signed a book deal with Crown Publishing Group to publish a version of his best-selling book, “Dreams from My Father”, aimed at middle school and young adult age groups. Obama would receive a $500,000 advance payment against royalties, plus ongoing royalty payments. Some in the media have questioned the propriety of this deal from the angle that the President might be unduly influenced by Bertelsmann AG, the German based media publishing empire which owns Random House, which is the parent company of Crown Publishing.

    But there is a far larger dynamic at work. Random House and Crown are interested in selling books. And most middle and high school students do not buy lots of books, but the schools they attend do. So we presume that Crown Publishing will primarily pitch the book to schools along with libraries.

    The real issue then becomes the tremendous influence that President Obama now enjoys over the spending plans of thousands of school districts which just received $44.5 Billion from the Stimulus Bill plus additional billions in the Omnibus Spending Bill, both of which Obama signed.

    When Random House marketing professionals call on school districts and the state-level education departments to place the book, they will more likely be treated as purveyors of hope than annoying salespersons.

    In addition, the teacher unions, such as the National Education Association, supported Obama overwhelmingly during the past election as they did the Democratic candidates for House and Senate seats, and the additional federal dollars the schools received in a time of need will not be forgotten.

    The current version of Obama’s book is already targeted for use by high school students according to the Random House website, and the abridged, easy-to-read version should be an even easier sell. Students will also appreciate the shorter version as they write their book reports.

    President George W. Bush placed his assets in a blind trust when he became President to avoid any appearance of impropriety, but President Obama has not followed suit. Instead, he signed on to this business venture just before becoming President despite his campaign promise that there would be change in the way business is conducted in Washington.

    The editorial pages have been silent on this aspect of the book deal. But when one considers that the ranks of the Fourth Estate are filled with book authors and would be book authors, it is no surprise that neither reporters nor editorial writers find fault with Obama’s book deal. Writing books is considered to be a noble profession so perhaps they cannot attach the stigma of “influence peddling” to it.

    continue reading: americanthinker.com/2009/05/obama_may_earn_millions_from_s.html

  93. wbboei Says:
    May 20th, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    US also responsible for current situation in Pakistan: Clinton
    ************
    She is exactly right..read Charlie Wilson’s War….The Russians got the boot and Charlie Wilson lost the next “war” because of the stupidity that Hillary talks about.
    ***********************************

    That’s pretty simplistic in my mind. I did see the movie and f/u on it. We could have pumped billions of dollars in that country and region and in reality, I am not convinced it would have changed enough to prevent the Taliban take over. That part of the world has been functioning on the level it is for thousands of years and money, and education is only part of the puzzle.

    I don’t think it is in Hillary’s or America’s interest to keep bad mouthing this Country. We have made mistakes, many, but in my mind we don’t need a Prez and SOS going around the world disrespecting this Country. She could have easily said, we had an opportunity but did not take advantage of it to help this region further, or something like that.

    Her enemies will have a field day with this. She must really be planning on never running for office again…

  94. Clinton plays down more U.S. sanctions on Iran now

    Wed May 20, 2009

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday played down the chances of more U.S. sanctions on Iran for now and suggested that if diplomatic efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions fail, multilateral sanctions may be better.

    The United States accuses Iran of seeking to develop a nuclear weapon and hopes to persuade Tehran to rein in its nuclear ambitions. Iran says its nuclear program is to produce electricity so it can export more of its valuable oil and gas, but it prompted more concern on Wednesday by testing a missile which defense analysts said could reach Israel and U.S. bases in the Gulf.

    On Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama for the first time set a rough timetable for his diplomatic outreach to Iran, saying that by the end of this year the United States should have a sense of whether the effort was making progress.

    “Until we have tested, within the time period set forth by the president, where we think this engagement is going, I am not sure that adding new unilateral sanctions is really that helpful,” Clinton told lawmakers when asked about the utility of the U.S. Congress imposing more sanctions on Iran. “At some point it might very well be,” she added. Clinton said part of the Obama administration’s rationale for pursuing engagement with Iran was to increase the chances that its partners, notably China and Russia, may be willing to impose additional economic sanctions if the talks fail. “We already have a lot of sanctions on the books but the most effective ones are the ones that we have been able to persuade a lot of our partners to pursue as well,” she added.
    “So, it’s a little bit of a chicken and an egg issue. How we proceed with sanctions depends upon on how the engagement works,” she said. “The fact that we do have some sanctions and that they express the will of the international community is a powerful tool in our toolbox.”

    Obama on Monday said he hoped to begin negotiations with Tehran soon, after Iran holds elections next month. Iran’s leaders have so far largely rebuffed his efforts to reach out to them and toughened their rhetoric.

    reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE54J77820090520

  95. I don’t think it is in Hillary’s or America’s interest to keep bad mouthing this Country.
    ************
    That makes about as much sense as saying surgeons shouldn’t discuss and publish papers about their bad out comes and how to do better in the future. I don’t consider analysis, discussion and opinions about poor outcomes, bad mouthing. But maybe I am wrong.

  96. I don’t think it is in Hillary’s or America’s interest to keep bad mouthing this Country.
    ——————————-
    Gonzo–I know what you mean, but keep in mind what Hillary is trying to do here. She is trying to put our diplomacy on a problemsolving level and move beyond the adversarial positions that have defined those relationships in the past. I think it is possible to acknowledge that particular policies have not worked and need to change without badmouthing the country. That is particularly important when you are asking the other side to re examine its own historical positions, assess what has and has not worked and move in your direction. I have done this thing so often in my career that it does not seem like a big deal, and I started to put a comment at the beginning complimenting her for this. It moves the process beyond recriminations, and power politics and leads to a discussion of what are we both going to do different. But this also means there must be some degree of trust, and when you are dealing with ideological adversaries who see reasonableness as weakness, then its like my dad used to say: trust all men but cut the cards.

  97. Gonzo: diplomacy is like any other type of negotiation. There are three types of issues: i) distributive issues (win-lose), ii) integrative (mutual gain), and iii) non-negotiables (don’t blink). When you are dealing with distributive issue–more for me means less for you, you have no incentive to agree unless I agree to something you want. In other words you resolve distributive issue through trade-offs. When you are dealing with integrative issues, you resolve them through compromise, or simple agreement. And when you are dealing with non-negotiables the speech is no today, no tommorrow, no next year, never. I think Hillary can do that in her sleep. The problem comes in when your constiutents do not want an agreement because they do not trust the other side to live up to it. That is the situation we have today in the Middle East. There are people who are willing to spread money but money alone will not do it. And sometimes no agreement is better than a bad agreement.

  98. The reason I said sometimes rather than always is because as Justice Brandeis once said there are also times when it is more important that an issue be resolved than that it be resolved correctly. That is not the case in the Middle East however.

  99. She knows where to draw the line even if Bambi does not.
    ——————————————————-
    Clinton says Cuba not ready for OAS
    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday that Cuba shouldn’t be allowed to rejoin the Organization of American States until it makes political reforms, releases political prisoners and respects human rights.

    WASHINGTON —
    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday that Cuba shouldn’t be allowed to rejoin the Organization of American States until it makes political reforms, releases political prisoners and respects human rights.

    Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Clinton said the charter of the Western Hemisphere bloc of nations requires members to adhere to democratic standards that the communist government of Cuba does not yet meet.

    “Any effort to admit Cuba into the OAS is really in Cuba’s hands,” she said. “They have to be willing to take the concrete steps necessary to meet those principles.”

    “If Cuba is not willing to abide by (the charter’s) terms then I cannot foresee how Cuba can be a part of the OAS and I certainly would not be supporting in any way such an effort to admit it,” said Clinton, who plans to attend the organization’s annual general assembly on June 2 in Honduras.

    At that meeting, some countries want the organization to annul a resolution that suspended Cuba’s membership. Cuba was expelled from the OAS in 1962 after the communist revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power.

    “We’re hoping that the members of the OAS will abide by their own charter,” Clinton said.

    The Obama administration has said it wants to engage with Cuba and eased some sanctions but has called on Cuba’s government, now led by Fidel Castro’s brother Raul, to reciprocate with reforms before moving ahead. Clinton said those steps would include moving toward democracy, releasing political prisoners and respecting “fundamental freedoms.”

  100. One of the real problems you have in Washington is the damned staff people of these congressmen and senators. Tin gods before they are 30. I am talking about the Chief of staff, the Legislative Directors, aids, schedulers, the whole crew. The problem with them is when their boss–like Daschelle if canned by the voters, instead of doing the right thing and just fading away, they get jobs in other offices. I recall heaing that when Honest Tom drove his 1970 gas guzzler out of Washinton for the last time (only to return as a limosened lobbyist) his loyal subordinates were hired by Kennedy et al. Which means the system does not clean itself out, and the stench remains. I must admit there are some good staff people in Washington, but this kind of thugocracy is self perpetuating. These people would oppose Hillary even though their boss bit the dust, or decided to take up an acting career.

  101. Wbb,

    I think it is possible to acknowledge that particular policies have not worked and need to change without badmouthing the country
    **********************************

    Exactly

  102. Gonzo,

    I understand where you are coming from and respect your views. But the problem I see here is again one of damned if you do and damned if you don’t. No matter what Hillary says, the media and her critics are going to try and make mincemeat out of every single word, look, movement. She can’t win for trying.

    So she might was well go out with a bang! Do the best she can! Follow her instincts. She is a brilliant strategist and I just have to trust that she knows what she is doing.

  103. Is the Obama-Carter comparison a fair one? Or is it an unjustified slight… and if so, to which man?

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

    Unjustified slight to Carter, imo.

    Obama is a phoney, a crook, a fraud. Sfaik Carter was none of these. At worst inept, but imo overpowered by his enemies and the mess that Nixon had left the country in.

  104. wbb said:
    Leave them where they are–you idiot. Forget about the phoney symboloism. Improve the conditions, red cross suprervision, reinforce the rules.

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

    Right. If it’s too dangerous to release them to their own home countries, just improve the conditions of their imprisonment. Stop the torture, give them fair trials.

    Don’t substitute symbolism for reality! Give them real help, even if it means staying in a reformed Gitmo.

    Otho, if keeping the Gitmo building in use, means the current staff would be kept or phased out so slowly that the culture of cruely would infect new staff — then it might be better to make a fresh start elsewhere.

  105. Secretary of State Clinton promises benefits

    May 20th, 2009

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has promised to provide equal benefits to partners of gays and lesbians in the U.S. diplomatic corps stationed overseas, according to Congressman Howard Berman, D-Calif.

    Berman, head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Wednesday during a hearing on funding for the Foreign Services that he would be dropping his legislative efforts to force the State Department to offer benefits because “it is my expectation, based on very recent conversations, that the Secretary of State will move forward with implementing all of the benefits provided in that provision in the very near future.”

    Berman’s guest at the hearing was Michael Guest, gay former U.S. ambassador to Romania who left the Foreign Service in 2007 because he was tired of seeing his partner treated unfairly compared to the spouses of his hetero counterparts.

    Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, ranking Republican on the committee, has supported Berman’s efforts. But New Jersey Republican Christopher Smith has opposed the move, saying Berman’s bill could force some members of the diplomatic corps to promote policies that violate their religious beliefs. Smith was referring to a separate section of the legislation that would call on diplomats to encourage anti-gay governments to lift restrictions on the freedoms of gay and lesbian individuals and organizations.

    dallasvoice.com/instant-tea/2009/05/20/secretary-of-state-clinton-promises-benefits/

  106. Tired, reading comments from the bottom up.

    “The scope of that diversion remains unknown, and the 30 magazines represented”

    So they raided a cave in Afganistan and found People, Oprah, Time, Newsweek….

  107. Democrats’ Assault On the CIA

    By Michael Gerson
    May 20, 2009

    In a little over 100 days, the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress have delivered a series of blows to the pride and morale of the Central Intelligence Agency.

    It began with the release of the Justice Department memos — a move opposed by CIA Director Leon Panetta along with four previous directors. Then, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. did not rule out Justice Department cooperation with foreign lawsuits against American intelligence operatives. Then, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the CIA of lying to her in 2002 about waterboarding, which she admitted learning about five months later anyway but did nothing to oppose because her real job was to “change the leadership in Congress and in the White House.”

    To stanch the CIA’s bleeding morale, Democrats have tried reassurance. President Obama, speaking at CIA headquarters, took the Fred Rogers approach: “Don’t be discouraged that we have to acknowledge potentially we’ve made some mistakes. That’s how we learn.” Yes, children, hypocritical congressional investigations and foreign kangaroo courts are really our friends. House intelligence committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes sent a sympathy note to Langley: “In recent days, as the public debate regarding CIA’s interrogation practices has raged, you have been very much in my thoughts.” There should be a section at Hallmark for intelligence operatives unfairly accused of war crimes.

    The only effective reassurance came from Panetta, who pointed out to Pelosi and others that the CIA actually keeps records of its congressional briefings. “Our contemporaneous records from September 2002,” Panetta wrote, “indicate that CIA officers briefed truthfully on the interrogation of Abu Zubaida, describing ‘the enhanced techniques that had been employed.’ ” A primary advocate of the “truth commission” has apparently misplaced her own supply.

    Is there any precedent for a speaker of the House of Representatives seeking political shelter by blaming national security professionals? Or for a commander in chief exposing intelligence methods at the urging of the American Civil Liberties Union? Actually, such treatment has precedents. In 1975, the Church Committee nearly destroyed the human intelligence capabilities of the CIA. In the early 1990s, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan urged closing the agency entirely. The Clinton administration imposed massive budget cuts, leaving behind a demoralized institution.

    And now Obama has described the post-Sept. 11 period as “a dark and painful chapter in our history.” In fact, whatever your view of waterboarding, the response of intelligence professionals following Sept. 11 was impressive. Within days, the CIA had linked up with the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan and begun preparations to remove the Taliban. The counterterrorism center run of out CIA headquarters was the war on terror in the months after the attacks, making daily progress in capturing high-value targets. Now the president and his party have done much to tarnish those accomplishments. So much for the thanks of a grateful nation.

    Contrast this affront to Obama’s treatment of the military. When Gen. Ray Odierno argued that the release of military abuse photos would put American troops at risk, Obama quickly backed down. By one account, Odierno told the president, “Thanks. That must have been a hard decision.” Obama replied: “No, it wasn’t at all.” Obama has deferred to his military commanders on the timing and strategy of American withdrawals from Iraq. And he has proposed an escalating military commitment in Afghanistan and Pakistan — leading 51 House Democrats last week to vote against a military funding bill.

    Defense writer Tom Ricks claims that Obama is being “rolled” by the military. Perhaps it is just an appropriate respect by the commander in chief for the troops at his command.

    This obvious difference in treatment between military and intelligence is both paradoxical and hypocritical. Traveling recently in Iraq, Pelosi noted, “If we’re going to have a diminished military presence, we’ll have to have an increased intelligence presence.” This has been the main Democratic argument against the whole idea of the war on terror — that guns and bombs are no substitute for timely information. “This war on terror is far less of a military operation and far more of an intelligence-gathering, law-enforcement operation,” Sen. John Kerry once claimed.

    But this object of praise — intelligence-gathering — is again the object of liberal assault. “To put the matter at its simplest,” writes Gabriel Schoenfeld, “American elites have become increasingly discomfited over the last decades by the very existence of a clandestine intelligence service in a democratic society.”

    But our democratic society still depends on intelligence officers — just as surely as it depends on our men and women in uniform.

    washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/19/AR2009051902838_pf.html

  108. By Mark Preston and Lauren Kornreich
    May 20, 2009

    A Kennedy expected to seek Obama’s Senate seat

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — Chris Kennedy, the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, is taking steps to run for Senate and could announce his candidacy as early as next week, a source close to the Kennedy family told CNN Wednesday.

    “He is building an organization and telling family and friends that he is in fact going to be a candidate for the Senate from Illinois,” said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity this person was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

    A spokeswoman for Chris Kennedy, an Illinois businessman, would not go as far as to say he is in the race, but acknowledged that he is “seriously considering” a Senate bid. “He has conducted polling which indicates a strong interest,” said Kasey Madden, Kennedy’s spokeswoman. “But there is no timeline for a decision or an announcement.”

    But a second source, an Illinois Democrat also speaking on the condition of anonymity, told CNN that Kennedy’s political allies are telling state Democrats that he will indeed seek the Democratic nomination for the seat once held by President Obama.

    Sen. Roland Burris, a Democrat and former state attorney general, was appointed to fill Obama’s unexpired term by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. But Burris never received the backing of state and national Democratic leaders because of his ties to Blagojevich, who has since been impeached. Should Burris seek to run for his own six-year term next year, he would likely face additional primary opposition as a handful of state and congressional Democratic lawmakers are also said to be eyeing the race.

    If elected, Chris Kennedy would follow in the footsteps of his father, Robert, who represented New York in the Senate before being assassinated in
    1968. If he were to win the seat, Chris would not be the only Kennedy on Capitol Hill. His cousin is Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-Rhode Island; his uncle is Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts.

    Another cousin, former President John F. Kennedy’s daughter Caroline, unsuccessfully lobbied New York Gov. David Paterson this year to be appointed to Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat, which she gave up when she joined the Obama administration as Secretary of State. Caroline Kennedy withdrew her name from consideration before Paterson chose Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand for the vacancy.

    Chris Kennedy’s brother, Joe, served as a Massachusetts congressman for several terms before retiring in 1998.

    Chris Kennedy is currently the president of Merchandise Mart in Chicago.

    politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/05/20/update-a-kennedy-expected-to-seek-obamas-senate-seat/

  109. Way off topic but I found it interesting:

    A few days ago there were tons of articles on the internet describing the American Idol finale as a “red state blue state” showdown with the conservative Chris Allen from Arkansas taking on the flamboyant, punk rocker Adam Lambert of California.

    foxforum.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/05/20/stewart_american_idol/

    w w w.nydailynews.com/entertainment/americanidol/2009/05/19/2009-05-19_lambert_vs_allen_american_idol_finale.html

    An excerpt:

    “Veteran political consultants say the 2008 presidential election is a useful prism through which to view this high-profile faceoff.”

    “The profiles of Adam and Kris suggest that this is really a red state versus blue state showdown,” suggested Chris Lehane, a California-based political consultant who worked on the presidential campaigns of Al Gore and John Kerry.

    Well, tonight, aftere 100 million votes cast, the conservative Chris Allen won. I don’t know if this has any actual meaning related to politics but for those of us watching it was a genuine surprise as the judges fawned over Lambert who was constantly given praise and was considered a shoe-in. Wonder how those political consultants will spin it tomorrow….

  110. Jan- the gerson article is excellent. It pins the tail on the right jack asses–the brilliant flake Obama, and the Sherherazad of the House Nannie Poopie–or is it Poopie Nanny.

  111. One of the things big media is doing to defend bambis blunders is to keep the memory of Bush alive. They know from their focus studies that where the public is concerned the name bush bleeds red. My initial inclination was to tell then Bush is no longer President and Bambi has put us in a deeper hole than we were in when Bambi took office. The problem with that argument is it is hard for alot of people to tell when the Bush mistakes end and the Bambi mistakes begin. A better approach is to concede that Bush screwed up, but Bambi made it worse. That way we can take all the venom which big media is stirring up about Bush and channel it directly at Bambic Bambi by saying Obama= Bush III. It is like Judo–using opponents (the media’s) momentum against him.

  112. Force them to argue against the weight of the evidence that Bambi is not Bush III, just as Nixon once argued I am not a crook.

  113. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. did not rule out Justice Department cooperation with foreign lawsuits against American intelligence operatives.
    ————————
    Is Holder playing with a full deck? The guy is tone deaf and dumber than a sack of rocks. Holder=Gonzoles II. Like Bambi vs Bush, the dim is more glib, but his judgement is really no better.

  114. May 20, 2009

    New Business Group Forms to Promote Obama Agenda

    By John Harwood

    Business executives aligned with President Obama have formed a new coalition to support his agenda as Congress moves ahead with legislation on energy, health care, financial regulation and other hot-button issues.

    The coalition, calling itself Business Forward, plans to announce its formation on Thursday. Organizers said the group, whose initial members include AT&T, Facebook, Hilton, IBM, Microsoft, Pfizer and Time Warner, will engage in public advocacy but will not lobby administration officials or members of Congress.

    “When it comes to health care, education, and other critical issues, business leaders are among America’s strongest advocates for reform,” said Jim Doyle, the new organization’s executive director. “They can make the case for taking a long-term view in a way that few others can.”

    The Obama administration has already conducted extensive outreach to business groups, with mixed results. The health insurance industry, for example, has expressed willingness to negotiate on a plan to overhaul the health care system, in contrast to its full-throated opposition to President Bill Clinton’s health care initiative during the early 1990s.

    Auto companies — with limited freedom to maneuver considering their reliance on federal bailout aid — joined environmentalists alongside Mr. Obama as he announced higher fuel efficiency requirements this week. At the same time, firms benefitting from tax breaks for offshore income have complained about the administration’s plan to curb those breaks. And the president’s plans for increasing regulation of the financial industry are certain to spark opposition from some affected companies.

    But the coalition, which plans to recruit small businesses as members, too, aims to provide more consistent support for the priorities of the president and the Democratic Congress. Valerie Jarrett, a top presidential aide who has met with founders of the group, welcomed the formation of a business organization “interested in supporting public service” on issues from energy to education.

    “Any involvement by the business community in the political process is welcome,” said Bruce Josten, an executive at the United States Chamber of Commerce, which supported the Obama administration’s push for economic stimulus legislation earlier this year. “We’ve long worked in coordination with our allies towards common causes.”

    thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/20/new-business-group-forms-to-promote-obama-agenda/

  115. Good morning.

    Going through the articles posted, I noticed several about Israel. One thing we know about Netanyahu – he will do whatever it takes to stand up for his country. He will never accept a two-state solution which will further degrade Israel’s security – and he’s already on record saying that if the U.S. is not going to stop Iran from going nuclear, then Israel will.

    Interesting that Iran fires a test missile – with enough range to hit Israel – two days after the Obama-Netanyahu meeting. It just seems that momentum is heading toward the inevitable – that Israel might eventually strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.

    I fear that Bush-Obama might be different in the area of support for Israel, so I wonder what Obama’s response might be if Israel takes that action. Do you think Obama would support Israel in the U.N. if sanctions are sought?

  116. JanH Says:

    May 20th, 2009 at 11:30 pm
    By Mark Preston and Lauren Kornreich
    May 20, 2009

    A Kennedy expected to seek Obama’s Senate seat

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — Chris Kennedy, the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, is taking steps to run for Senate and could announce his candidacy as early as next week, a source close to the Kennedy family told CNN Wednesday.
    &&&&&&&&&

    Not again!!!

    Can’t these people just play on their yachts?

  117. “I fear that Bush-Obama might be different in the area of support for Israel, so I wonder what Obama’s response might be if Israel takes that action. Do you think Obama would support Israel in the U.N. if sanctions are sought?”

    ——————————–

    Independent Ben,

    In my humble opinion, if Obama withdraws his support for Israel, unless for the most extreme reasons, then Israel might as well just give up everything and play dead. Without a “major world player” to back the Israelis, their enemies will swarm and anihilate…

  118. ROVE AND MODO AGREE? YES, BUSH III INDEED

    online.wsj.com/article/SB124286200693341141.html

    One of the money quotes found below:

    In both cases, though, we have learned something about Mr. Obama. What animated him during the campaign is what historian Forrest McDonald once called “the projection of appealing images.” All politicians want to project an appealing image. What Mr. McDonald warned against is focusing on this so much that an appealing image “becomes a self-sustaining end unto itself.”

    Flip-Flops and Governance
    Our president isn’t quite as advertised.
    ============================

    By KARL ROVE
    Barack Obama inherited a set of national-security policies that he rejected during the campaign but now embraces as president. This is a stunning and welcome about-face.

    For example, President Obama kept George W. Bush’s military tribunals for terror detainees after calling them an “enormous failure” and a “legal black hole.” His campaign claimed last summer that “court systems . . . are capable of convicting terrorists.” Upon entering office, he found out they aren’t.

    He insisted in an interview with NBC in 2007 that Congress mandate “consequences” for “a failure to meet various benchmarks and milestones” on aid to Iraq. Earlier this month he fought off legislatively mandated benchmarks in the $97 billion funding bill for Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Mr. Obama agreed on April 23 to American Civil Liberties Union demands to release investigative photos of detainee abuse. Now’s he reversed himself. Pentagon officials apparently convinced him that releasing the photos would increase the risk to U.S. troops and civilian personnel.

    Throughout his presidential campaign, Mr. Obama excoriated Mr. Bush’s counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq, insisting it could not succeed. Earlier this year, facing increasing violence in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama rejected warnings of a “quagmire” and ordered more troops to that country. He isn’t calling it a “surge” but that’s what it is. He is applying in Afghanistan the counterinsurgency strategy Mr. Bush used in Iraq.

    As a candidate, Mr. Obama promised to end the Iraq war by withdrawing all troops by March 2009. As president, he set a slower pace of drawdown. He has also said he will leave as many as 50,000 Americans troops there.

    These reversals are both praiseworthy and evidence that, when it comes to national security, being briefed on terror threats as president is a lot different than placating MoveOn.org and Code Pink activists as a candidate. The realities of governing trump the realities of campaigning.

    We are also seeing Mr. Obama reverse himself on the domestic front, but this time in a manner that will do more harm than good.

    Mr. Obama campaigned on “responsible fiscal policies,” arguing in a speech on the Senate floor in 2006 that the “rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy.” In his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, he pledged to “go through the federal budget line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work.” Even now, he says he’ll “cut the deficit . . . by half by the end of his first term in office” and is “rooting out waste and abuse” in the budget.

    However, Mr. Obama’s fiscally conservative words are betrayed by his liberal actions. He offers an orgy of spending and a bacchanal of debt. His budget plans a 25% increase in the federal government’s share of the GDP, a doubling of the national debt in five years, and a near tripling of it in 10 years.

    On health care, Mr. Obama’s election ads decried “government-run health care” as “extreme,” saying it would lead to “higher costs.” Now he is promoting a plan that would result in a de facto government-run health-care system. Even the Washington Post questions it, saying, “It is difficult to imagine . . . benefits from a government-run system.”

    Making adjustments in office is one thing. Constantly governing in direct opposition to what you said as a candidate is something else. Mr. Obama’s flip-flops on national security have been wise; on the domestic front, they have been harmful.

    In both cases, though, we have learned something about Mr. Obama. What animated him during the campaign is what historian Forrest McDonald once called “the projection of appealing images.” All politicians want to project an appealing image. What Mr. McDonald warned against is focusing on this so much that an appealing image “becomes a self-sustaining end unto itself.” Such an approach can work in a campaign, as Mr. Obama discovered. But it can also complicate life once elected, as he is finding out.

    Mr. Obama’s appealing campaign images turned out to have been fleeting. He ran hard to the left on national security to win the nomination, only to discover the campaign commitments he made were shallow and at odds with America’s security interests.

    Mr. Obama ran hard to the center on economic issues to win the general election. He has since discovered his campaign commitments were obstacles to ramming through the most ideologically liberal economic agenda since the Great Society.

    Mr. Obama either had very little grasp of what governing would involve or, if he did, he used words meant to mislead the public. Neither option is particularly encouraging. America now has a president quite different from the person who advertised himself for the job last year. Over time, those things can catch up to a politician.

  119. Israel would fit several times between Palm Springs and Vegas. Safest place would be Kansas or north of there. For turnkey soverign nationality, talk to some Indian tribes who have independent nations within the US.

    Jewish culture is very important to the world and I’d like to see a safer homeland, where y’all could turn your energy to something other than fighting.

  120. Israel will survive with or without USA help. They have over 200 nuclear weapons and will vaporize and imminent threat. It won’t be a pretty 8 yrs under Obama, but Israel will get through it. As far as “relocating” it is the Jews land and always has been. If anything, the Palestinians should go to Jordan and Egypt, but those governments through them out a while ago.

  121. jbstonesfan,

    I believe that Israel will fight to the bitter end for what rightfully and historically should belong to them. I don’t know what the outcome will be, but I pray that survival and triumph is in their future.

    As far as “relocating” is concerned, I totally agree. Traditionally, historically, biblically, and legally (according the the U.N. vote post-WWII) Israel is the land of the Jews. Jerusalem is the national capital. And no one should have the right to push them out. It is the holy land. Any other claims to it are bogus and far less truthful.

  122. And as far as the Palestinians are concerned, Jordan, Egypt, have long dumped their continued existence at the feet of the Israelis. And yes they pushed them out a long time ago after coralling them into festid internment camps for many years. I still believe that Israel should not be the only one to give up land. It should be all of them.

    As far as Jerusalem goes, it belongs wholly to Israel as it should. There is no way that East Jerusalem should land in the hands of Hamas or the Palestinians or anyone else.

  123. HEY, I THOUGHT “THE REPUBS ARE ON THE RUN”, “OBAMA TO USHER IN ‘CHANGE’ AND ‘HOPE’ “…

    Guess not…

    news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090521/ap_on_re_us/us_centrist_america

    Survey: Country in midst of centrist era
    ============================

    By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer Liz Sidoti, Associated Press Writer – Thu May 21, 10:01 am ET

    WASHINGTON – Barack Obama’s presidency has ushered in an era of centrism, with the country experiencing such a boost in independent voters that they now make up the largest proportion of the electorate in 70 years.

    This fickle group doesn’t have uniform opinions, so its dominance carries potential risks for emboldened Democrats and opportunities for out-of-power Republicans.

    A new, expansive Pew Research Center survey that contained those details also found that the nation’s values haven’t fundamentally changed. The country hasn’t become more ideologically liberal or conservative despite sweeping Democratic victories at all levels of government last fall and shrinking GOP ranks.

    Broadly, the findings indicate that it’s politically dangerous for the new president and his fellow Democrats who control Congress to move too far to the left on domestic and foreign issues, lest they turn off middle-of-the-road voters whose support was critical in 2008 and will be important in upcoming elections.

    [snip]

  124. ROVE AND MODO AGREE?? ABOUT ANYTHING?? YES, OBAMA = BUSH III

    Funny, Rove complains about obama flip-flops. Didn’t W. run against Gore, that he’d be isolationist (at Iraq??? heavens no!), a uniter (puh-lease), bring his CEO “business smarts” (is that what you call the handling of Katrina), and less partisan (guffaw…)?

    Still, that doesn’t make his points about obama invalid. It just exposes him to be a hypocrite.

    online.wsj.com/article/SB124286200693341141.html

    Flip-Flops and Governance
    Our president isn’t quite as advertised.
    ============================

    By KARL ROVE
    Barack Obama inherited a set of national-security policies that he rejected during the campaign but now embraces as president. This is a stunning and welcome about-face.

    For example, President Obama kept George W. Bush’s military tribunals for terror detainees after calling them an “enormous failure” and a “legal black hole.” His campaign claimed last summer that “court systems . . . are capable of convicting terrorists.” Upon entering office, he found out they aren’t.

    He insisted in an interview with NBC in 2007 that Congress mandate “consequences” for “a failure to meet various benchmarks and milestones” on aid to Iraq. Earlier this month he fought off legislatively mandated benchmarks in the $97 billion funding bill for Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Mr. Obama agreed on April 23 to American Civil Liberties Union demands to release investigative photos of detainee abuse. Now’s he reversed himself. Pentagon officials apparently convinced him that releasing the photos would increase the risk to U.S. troops and civilian personnel.

    Throughout his presidential campaign, Mr. Obama excoriated Mr. Bush’s counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq, insisting it could not succeed. Earlier this year, facing increasing violence in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama rejected warnings of a “quagmire” and ordered more troops to that country. He isn’t calling it a “surge” but that’s what it is. He is applying in Afghanistan the counterinsurgency strategy Mr. Bush used in Iraq.

    As a candidate, Mr. Obama promised to end the Iraq war by withdrawing all troops by March 2009. As president, he set a slower pace of drawdown. He has also said he will leave as many as 50,000 Americans troops there.

    These reversals are both praiseworthy and evidence that, when it comes to national security, being briefed on terror threats as president is a lot different than placating MoveOn.org and Code Pink activists as a candidate. The realities of governing trump the realities of campaigning.

    We are also seeing Mr. Obama reverse himself on the domestic front, but this time in a manner that will do more harm than good.

    Mr. Obama campaigned on “responsible fiscal policies,” arguing in a speech on the Senate floor in 2006 that the “rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy.” In his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, he pledged to “go through the federal budget line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work.” Even now, he says he’ll “cut the deficit . . . by half by the end of his first term in office” and is “rooting out waste and abuse” in the budget.

    However, Mr. Obama’s fiscally conservative words are betrayed by his liberal actions. He offers an orgy of spending and a bacchanal of debt. His budget plans a 25% increase in the federal government’s share of the GDP, a doubling of the national debt in five years, and a near tripling of it in 10 years.

    On health care, Mr. Obama’s election ads decried “government-run health care” as “extreme,” saying it would lead to “higher costs.” Now he is promoting a plan that would result in a de facto government-run health-care system. Even the Washington Post questions it, saying, “It is difficult to imagine . . . benefits from a government-run system.”

    Making adjustments in office is one thing. Constantly governing in direct opposition to what you said as a candidate is something else. Mr. Obama’s flip-flops on national security have been wise; on the domestic front, they have been harmful.

    In both cases, though, we have learned something about Mr. Obama. What animated him during the campaign is what historian Forrest McDonald once called “the projection of appealing images.” All politicians want to project an appealing image. What Mr. McDonald warned against is focusing on this so much that an appealing image “becomes a self-sustaining end unto itself.” Such an approach can work in a campaign, as Mr. Obama discovered. But it can also complicate life once elected, as he is finding out.

    Mr. Obama’s appealing campaign images turned out to have been fleeting. He ran hard to the left on national security to win the nomination, only to discover the campaign commitments he made were shallow and at odds with America’s security interests.

    Mr. Obama ran hard to the center on economic issues to win the general election. He has since discovered his campaign commitments were obstacles to ramming through the most ideologically liberal economic agenda since the Great Society.

    Mr. Obama either had very little grasp of what governing would involve or, if he did, he used words meant to mislead the public. Neither option is particularly encouraging. America now has a president quite different from the person who advertised himself for the job last year. Over time, those things can catch up to a politician.

  125. ROVE AND MODO AGREE?? OBAMA = BUSH III

    By KARL ROVE

    Barack Obama inherited a set of national-security policies that he rejected during the campaign but now embraces as president. This is a stunning and welcome about-face.

    For example, President Obama kept George W. Bush’s military tribunals for terror detainees after calling them an “enormous failure” and a “legal black hole.” His campaign claimed last summer that “court systems . . . are capable of convicting terrorists.” Upon entering office, he found out they aren’t.

    He insisted in an interview with NBC in 2007 that Congress mandate “consequences” for “a failure to meet various benchmarks and milestones” on aid to Iraq. Earlier this month he fought off legislatively mandated benchmarks in the $97 billion funding bill for Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Mr. Obama agreed on April 23 to American Civil Liberties Union demands to release investigative photos of detainee abuse. Now’s he reversed himself. Pentagon officials apparently convinced him that releasing the photos would increase the risk to U.S. troops and civilian personnel.

    Throughout his presidential campaign, Mr. Obama excoriated Mr. Bush’s counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq, insisting it could not succeed. Earlier this year, facing increasing violence in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama rejected warnings of a “quagmire” and ordered more troops to that country. He isn’t calling it a “surge” but that’s what it is. He is applying in Afghanistan the counterinsurgency strategy Mr. Bush used in Iraq.

    As a candidate, Mr. Obama promised to end the Iraq war by withdrawing all troops by March 2009. As president, he set a slower pace of drawdown. He has also said he will leave as many as 50,000 Americans troops there.

    These reversals are both praiseworthy and evidence that, when it comes to national security, being briefed on terror threats as president is a lot different than placating MoveOn.org and Code Pink activists as a candidate. The realities of governing trump the realities of campaigning.

    We are also seeing Mr. Obama reverse himself on the domestic front, but this time in a manner that will do more harm than good.

    Mr. Obama campaigned on “responsible fiscal policies,” arguing in a speech on the Senate floor in 2006 that the “rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy.” In his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, he pledged to “go through the federal budget line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work.” Even now, he says he’ll “cut the deficit . . . by half by the end of his first term in office” and is “rooting out waste and abuse” in the budget.

    However, Mr. Obama’s fiscally conservative words are betrayed by his liberal actions. He offers an orgy of spending and a bacchanal of debt. His budget plans a 25% increase in the federal government’s share of the GDP, a doubling of the national debt in five years, and a near tripling of it in 10 years.

    On health care, Mr. Obama’s election ads decried “government-run health care” as “extreme,” saying it would lead to “higher costs.” Now he is promoting a plan that would result in a de facto government-run health-care system. Even the Washington Post questions it, saying, “It is difficult to imagine . . . benefits from a government-run system.”

    Making adjustments in office is one thing. Constantly governing in direct opposition to what you said as a candidate is something else. Mr. Obama’s flip-flops on national security have been wise; on the domestic front, they have been harmful.

    In both cases, though, we have learned something about Mr. Obama. What animated him during the campaign is what historian Forrest McDonald once called “the projection of appealing images.” All politicians want to project an appealing image. What Mr. McDonald warned against is focusing on this so much that an appealing image “becomes a self-sustaining end unto itself.” Such an approach can work in a campaign, as Mr. Obama discovered. But it can also complicate life once elected, as he is finding out.

    Mr. Obama’s appealing campaign images turned out to have been fleeting. He ran hard to the left on national security to win the nomination, only to discover the campaign commitments he made were shallow and at odds with America’s security interests.

    Mr. Obama ran hard to the center on economic issues to win the general election. He has since discovered his campaign commitments were obstacles to ramming through the most ideologically liberal economic agenda since the Great Society.

    Mr. Obama either had very little grasp of what governing would involve or, if he did, he used words meant to mislead the public. Neither option is particularly encouraging. America now has a president quite different from the person who advertised himself for the job last year. Over time, those things can catch up to a politician.

  126. I’m having lots of trouble posting today, stuff getting lost, even refreshing the page is a pain in the …

  127. “WEAK” OBAMA SEEKS TO BURNISH CREDS BY BURNING HIS SUPPORTERS

    Yet another knife in the back to his dewy-eyed optimistic supporters.
    Yet another confirmation that he’s the third Bush term.

    Great quote:

    “Human rights advocates are growing deeply uneasy with Mr. Obama’s stance on these issues…”

    “We’ve known this is on the horizon for many years, but we were able to hold it off with George Bush. The idea that we might find ourselves fighting with the Obama administration over these powers is really stunning.”

    nytimes.com/2009/05/21/us/politics/21obama.html

    Obama Is Said to Consider Preventive Detention Plan
    ======================================

    By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG
    Published: May 20, 2009

    WASHINGTON — President Obama told human rights advocates at the White House on Wednesday that he was mulling the need for a “preventive detention” system that would establish a legal basis for the United States to incarcerate terrorism suspects who are deemed a threat to national security but cannot be tried, two participants in the private session said.

    The discussion, in a 90-minute meeting in the Cabinet Room that included Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and other top administration officials, came on the eve of a much-anticipated speech Mr. Obama is to give Thursday on a number of thorny national security matters, including his promise to close the detention center at the naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

    Human rights advocates are growing deeply uneasy with Mr. Obama’s stance on these issues, especially his recent move to block the release of photographs showing abuse of detainees, and his announcement that he is willing to try terrorism suspects in military commissions — a concept he criticized bitterly as a presidential candidate.

    The two participants, outsiders who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the session was intended to be off the record, said they left the meeting dismayed.

    They said Mr. Obama told them he was thinking about “the long game” — how to establish a legal system that would endure for future presidents. He raised the issue of preventive detention himself, but made clear that he had not made a decision on it. Several senior White House officials did not respond to requests for comment on the outsiders’ accounts.

    “He was almost ruminating over the need for statutory change to the laws so that we can deal with individuals who we can’t charge and detain,” one participant said. “We’ve known this is on the horizon for many years, but we were able to hold it off with George Bush. The idea that we might find ourselves fighting with the Obama administration over these powers is really stunning.”

    The other participant said Mr. Obama did not seem to be thinking about preventive detention for terrorism suspects now held at Guantánamo Bay, but rather for those captured in the future, in settings other than a legitimate battlefield like Afghanistan. “The issue is,” the participant said, “What are the options left open to a future president?”

    Mr. Obama did not specify how he intended to deal with Guantánamo detainees who posed a threat and could not be tried, nor did he share the contents of Thursday’s speech, the participants said.

    He will deliver the speech at a site laden with symbolism — the National Archives, home to the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Across town, his biggest Republican critic, former Vice President Dick Cheney, will deliver a speech at the American Enterprise Institute.

    Mr. Cheney and other hawkish critics have sought to portray Mr. Obama as weak on terror, and their argument seems to be catching on with the public. On Tuesday, Senate Democrats, in a clear rebuke to the White House, blocked the $80 million Mr. Obama had requested in financing to close the Guantánamo prison.

    The lawmakers say they want a detailed plan before releasing the money; there is deep opposition on Capitol Hill to housing terrorism suspects inside the United States.

    “He needs to convince people that he’s got a game plan that will protect us as well as be fair to the detainees,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, who agrees with Mr. Obama that the prison should be closed. “If he can do that, then we’re back on track. But if he doesn’t make that case, then we’ve lost control of this debate.”

    But Mr. Obama will not use the speech to provide the details lawmakers want.

    “What it’s not going to be is a prescriptive speech,” said David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s senior adviser. “The president wants to take some time and put this whole issue in perspective to identify what the challenges are and how he will approach dealing with them.”

  128. YEAH, IRAQ PULLOUT…TIMELINES…DECISIVENESS….NOT!!!!

    On NPR yesterday, Iraq getting worse again…pullout timelines endangered.

    Whodathunkit?

    huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/21/baghdad-roadside-bomb-kil_n_206173.html

    Baghdad Roadside Bomb Kills 3 US Soldiers
    ==============================

    BAGHDAD — Bombers struck in Baghdad and a northern city Thursday, killing three American soldiers and nearly two dozen Iraqis in a new spasm of violence that has taken at least 66 lives in two days.

    A spate of attacks since April seems aimed at stoking sectarian tension and undermining public confidence only weeks before U.S. combat troops are due to leave Baghdad and other cities, handing security responsibility to Iraq’s security forces.
    [snip]

  129. MORE ON OBAMA TURNING ON HIS SUPPORTERS

    huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/21/civil-libertarian-rips-ob_n_206343.html

    Civil Libertarian Rips Obama’s Speech: All Bells And Whistles
    ==========================================

    Obama’s lengthy and detailed national security address was designed, in part, to tamp down criticism that his administration was abandoning core promises and constitutional principles. But while early reviews of the president’s speech among members of the press were adulatory, the people Obama most needed to placate were decidedly unimpressed.

    “Obviously, he is a very effective speaker, but of course we have major problems with what he is doing,” said Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. “He wraps himself in the Constitution, talks about American values and then proceeds to violate them.”

    In an interview with the Huffington Post shortly after Obama concluded his remarks at the National Archives, Ratner expressed disappointment and even a tinge of anger at the approach the president had outlined on detainee policy, military tribunals, and even accountability.

    He praised Obama for wanting to close Guantanamo Bay, but called his overall position on detaining and trying suspected terrorists “a road to perdition,” primarily because of the use of military commissions. “Military commissions are used when you want an easy way to convict people,” he said. “You write up new rules after the fact. That’s what military commissions represent. His history was just flawed. They were not used very often. They are used on the battlefield or shortly thereafter in a real war. ”

    Even more troubling for Ratner, however, was the notion of preventive detention — which he called “the real road to hell,” and compared to something from the movie Minority Report. “[Obama] said some people are just too dangerous to let go and that we have to keep them,” said Ratner. “Though we’d do it differently then Bush. We will set up rules. Well no matter how you repackage Guantanamo, with all kinds of rules on top of it — that is what he is doing, he is re-wrapping a preventive detention scheme and giving it some more due process. In the end, it still comes down to holding people — much like Minority Report or pre-crime stuff — for being dangerous, and that is not something that I think is constitutional or this country should be engaged in.”

    On Obama’s oft-repeated preference to not set up an investigative commission to look at the authorization of torture, Ratner was equally biting. “We think a future without torture is one in which those who engage in torture are held accountable,” he said. “And what [Obama] has said so far on this issue and what he said today was, ‘Well, the Justice Department will do what it needs to.’ We need a special prosecutor, there is no issue about it. When Cheney can get on the air and say, ‘I waterboarded and would do it again,’ you know you have a problem because the next administration can go back to what Cheney did.”

    Similarly, on the Obama administration’s decision to oppose the release of photos showing detainee abuse, Ratner called the president to task for undermining his own claim to transparency: “I always believe that democracy dies behind closed doors, and the fact that these photos are being hidden right now — if anything, it makes people think that there is a lot being hidden right now and that there is much more to this.”

    Overall, it was not the type of review that Obama wanted following his nearly hour-long speech. The president addressed all of the aforementioned topics, framing them in a way that positioned his administration as dually committed to security and the rule of law. Unlike his predecessor, Obama proclaimed, he wanted to set up a framework that satisfied both principles and concerns. For Ratner, however, the speech was mostly bells and whistles, designed to cover up policies that only moderately improve upon those of the Bush years.

    “What is unfortunately effective about Obama is that he is able to use a setting like the National Archives, talk about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and all that, get people to sincerely believe he is [committed to these principles] and then go ahead and in my view undercut the core aspects of those documents,” he said.

    [SNIP]

  130. ROVE AGREES W/ MODO?? OBAMA = BUSH III

    By KARL ROVE
    Barack Obama inherited a set of national-security policies that he rejected during the campaign but now embraces as president. This is a stunning and welcome about-face.

    For example, President Obama kept George W. Bush’s military tribunals for terror detainees after calling them an “enormous failure” and a “legal black hole.” His campaign claimed last summer that “court systems . . . are capable of convicting terrorists.” Upon entering office, he found out they aren’t.

    He insisted in an interview with NBC in 2007 that Congress mandate “consequences” for “a failure to meet various benchmarks and milestones” on aid to Iraq. Earlier this month he fought off legislatively mandated benchmarks in the $97 billion funding bill for Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Mr. Obama agreed on April 23 to American Civil Liberties Union demands to release investigative photos of detainee abuse. Now’s he reversed himself. Pentagon officials apparently convinced him that releasing the photos would increase the risk to U.S. troops and civilian personnel.

    Throughout his presidential campaign, Mr. Obama excoriated Mr. Bush’s counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq, insisting it could not succeed. Earlier this year, facing increasing violence in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama rejected warnings of a “quagmire” and ordered more troops to that country. He isn’t calling it a “surge” but that’s what it is. He is applying in Afghanistan the counterinsurgency strategy Mr. Bush used in Iraq.

    As a candidate, Mr. Obama promised to end the Iraq war by withdrawing all troops by March 2009. As president, he set a slower pace of drawdown. He has also said he will leave as many as 50,000 Americans troops there.

    These reversals are both praiseworthy and evidence that, when it comes to national security, being briefed on terror threats as president is a lot different than placating MoveOn.org and Code Pink activists as a candidate. The realities of governing trump the realities of campaigning.

    We are also seeing Mr. Obama reverse himself on the domestic front, but this time in a manner that will do more harm than good.

    Mr. Obama campaigned on “responsible fiscal policies,” arguing in a speech on the Senate floor in 2006 that the “rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy.” In his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, he pledged to “go through the federal budget line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work.” Even now, he says he’ll “cut the deficit . . . by half by the end of his first term in office” and is “rooting out waste and abuse” in the budget.

    However, Mr. Obama’s fiscally conservative words are betrayed by his liberal actions. He offers an orgy of spending and a bacchanal of debt. His budget plans a 25% increase in the federal government’s share of the GDP, a doubling of the national debt in five years, and a near tripling of it in 10 years.

    On health care, Mr. Obama’s election ads decried “government-run health care” as “extreme,” saying it would lead to “higher costs.” Now he is promoting a plan that would result in a de facto government-run health-care system. Even the Washington Post questions it, saying, “It is difficult to imagine . . . benefits from a government-run system.”

    Making adjustments in office is one thing. Constantly governing in direct opposition to what you said as a candidate is something else. Mr. Obama’s flip-flops on national security have been wise; on the domestic front, they have been harmful.

    In both cases, though, we have learned something about Mr. Obama. What animated him during the campaign is what historian Forrest McDonald once called “the projection of appealing images.” All politicians want to project an appealing image. What Mr. McDonald warned against is focusing on this so much that an appealing image “becomes a self-sustaining end unto itself.” Such an approach can work in a campaign, as Mr. Obama discovered. But it can also complicate life once elected, as he is finding out.

    Mr. Obama’s appealing campaign images turned out to have been fleeting. He ran hard to the left on national security to win the nomination, only to discover the campaign commitments he made were shallow and at odds with America’s security interests.

    Mr. Obama ran hard to the center on economic issues to win the general election. He has since discovered his campaign commitments were obstacles to ramming through the most ideologically liberal economic agenda since the Great Society.

    Mr. Obama either had very little grasp of what governing would involve or, if he did, he used words meant to mislead the public. Neither option is particularly encouraging. America now has a president quite different from the person who advertised himself for the job last year. Over time, those things can catch up to a politician.

  131. “What is unfortunately effective about Obama is that he is able to use a setting like the National Archives, talk about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and all that, get people to sincerely believe he is [committed to these principles] and then go ahead and in my view undercut the core aspects of those documents,” he said.

    ——————–

    Bravo! Better late than never!

  132. Democrats Block Bid for Probe of Pelosi’s CIA Claims

    By James Rowley

    May 21 (Bloomberg) — House Democrats blocked a Republican push for a bipartisan investigation of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s claim that the Central Intelligence Agency misled her in 2002 about interrogation tactics used on suspected terrorists. Democrats voted down a Republican resolution seeking to start an investigation.

    “The speaker made a very serious charge that the CIA had lied to her and had repeatedly misled the Congress,” House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio told reporters today in Washington. “This needs to be cleared up.”

    Pelosi’s knowledge of what harsh interrogation techniques the CIA used has become a focus of partisan debate since the release last month of Justice Department memos that authorized waterboarding during former President George W. Bush’s administration. Pelosi insists the CIA never told her that waterboarding, or simulated drowning, was used on suspected terrorists. She accused the CIA last week of misleading Congress and giving her “incomplete and inaccurate” information. CIA Director Leon Panetta on May 15 disputed her claim, saying officers of the spy agency “briefed truthfully” in 2002.

    Pelosi, of California, said she learned from an aide — months after the 2002 CIA briefing — that terrorism suspects were being subjected to waterboarding.

    Outside Commission

    Pelosi is among Democrats in Congress who support creation of an outside commission to investigate the CIA’s interrogation of suspected terrorists during the Bush administration.

    Boehner said Pelosi should either produce documents to support her claim that the CIA misled her or retract it.

    House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, said the Republicans are “pursuing a policy of distraction.” He said he would favor an investigation of Bush administration interrogation policies, which would likely determine whether the CIA misled Congress about waterboarding.

    Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank said the controversy over Pelosi’s charge has not hurt her “in the slightest” and that the Republican call for an investigation was orchestrated for partisan gain. “Mr. Boehner is an unsuccessful, weak leader, worried about keeping his job, and he is flailing about,” Frank told reporters. Asked about Boehner’s demand the speaker produce evidence to support her charge, Frank said Pelosi is hamstrung by security rules. “If she took notes and kept them, that would be a violation,” he said.

    bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a8h4nKuCilN8&refer=home#

  133. Lets call it what it is-patent hypocrisy. Both dems and republicans knew the deal and truthfully, they did the right thing. Pelosi should have simply shut up but her ego would not allow her to do so. Now , they vote not to have an inquiry and in the end, Cheney (yes) was correct.

  134. CIA agents lose bid to halt trial over rendition

    Maria de Cristofaro in Milan
    May 22, 2009

    The landmark trial of American and Italian spies accused of abducting an Egyptian cleric in Milan will continue, a judge has ruled, rejecting a defence bid to end the proceedings. The ruling was a victory for prosecutors in the first trial to examine the “rendition” process, in which the CIA allegedly abducted suspects abroad and sent them to other countries for harsh interrogation. It benefits two former Italian spy chiefs by upholding a Constitutional Court judgment in March excluding evidence on state secrecy grounds.

    “The most important thing is the fact that the trial goes on, but it’s clear that the court ruling has imposed some surgical cuts,” the lead prosecutor, Armando Spataro, said. “We will have to see … which part of the interrogations we will be able to use.” Judge Oscar Magi ruled on Wednesday that state secrecy laws limit the use of evidence about contacts between the CIA and the Italian spy agency, then known as the SISMI. He also cited state secrecy in rejecting requests for testimony from the Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, and his predecessor, whose governments have tried to scuttle the prosecution.

    The American defendants include 25 known or suspected CIA operatives, among them former chiefs in Italy, and an air force colonel. CIA officials allegedly enlisted the eight Italian defendants to help abduct an imam known as Abu Omar in 2003. Allegedly flown by private jet to Egypt, he suffered electric shocks and sexual abuse while held for months in a rat-infested cell.

    The two-year trial has given rare, detailed views into intelligence work. Witnesses have alleged rogue conduct and feuds that pitted US and Italian field supervisors opposed to the abduction against bosses who allegedly punished dissenters.

    Meanwhile a defendant, a former US diplomat, has gone public to assert her innocence. Sabrina De Sousa sued the State Department and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, demanding that officials defend her and assert diplomatic immunity to protect her from arrest overseas.

    smh.com.au/world/cia-agents-lose-bid-to-halt-trial-over-rendition-20090521-bh86.html

  135. JanH Says:

    May 21st, 2009 at 5:47 pm
    ************************************

    Ah, the New World Order….

  136. Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank said the controversy over Pelosi’s charge has not hurt her “in the slightest” and that the Republican call for an investigation was orchestrated for partisan gain. “Mr. Boehner is an unsuccessful, weak leader, worried about keeping his job, and he is flailing about,” Frank told reporters.
    ***********************************

    Did he say that with a lisp…this man is EVIL

  137. “We think a future without torture is one in which those who engage in torture are held accountable,” RATner said…
    ***********************************8

    I wonder if beheading falls in this category?

    My thoughts on what constitutes torture have changed since 9/11…

  138. Rgb44hrc, gremlins are being a pain today, blocking comments, etc. It seems everytime Microsoft tweaks its system or sends updates, the gremlins come out of the woodwork.

  139. turndownobama-com Says:

    May 21st, 2009 at 1:20 pm
    Israel would fit several times between Palm Springs and Vegas. Safest place would be Kansas or north of there. For turnkey soverign nationality, talk to some Indian tribes who have independent nations within the US.

    Jewish culture is very important to the world and I’d like to see a safer homeland, where y’all could turn your energy to something other than fighting.
    ***********************************8

    Really? Wow, give up the holy land? Never going to happen. Never

  140. The Battle of the Titans has begun! The Republicans are going to defend their Prez and VP

    The players: Bush, Cheney, Gonzales vs Obama and his Chicago Thugs

    Obama backs Gitmo plan, Cheney defends Bush policy

    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama fought Thursday to retake command of the emotional debate over closing Guantanamo, denouncing “fear-mongering” by political opponents and insisting that maximum-security prisons in the U.S. can safely house dangerous terror suspects transferred from Cuba. In a unique bit of Washington theater, former Vice President Dick Cheney delivered his own address just one minute later, defending the Bush administration’s creation of the prison camp as vigorously as Obama denounced it.

    Obama, appearing at the National Archives with its immensely symbolic backdrop of the nation’s founding documents, said shutting down Guantanamo would “enlist our values” to make America safer. Speaking a day after an overwhelming congressional rebuke to his pledge to close the prison, he forcefully declared the camp a hindrance — not a help — to preventing future terrorist attacks. He contends that the prison, which has held hundreds of detainees for years without charges or trials, motivates U.S. enemies overseas.

    The president promised to work with lawmakers to develop “an appropriate legal regime” for those who can’t be tried and are too dangerous to be released. Still, he did not provide the level of detail about his plans that lawmakers, including Democrats, demanded in a 90-6 Senate vote denying money for the shutdown on Wednesday.

    Cheney, in his own speech, denounced some of Obama’s actions since taking office as “unwise in the extreme” and “recklessness cloaked in righteousness,” repeating his contention from a series of headline-grabbing appearances recently that the new president is endangering the country by turning aside Bush-era policies. The former vice president, a primary architect of the Bush approach, accused Obama of looking for “a political strategy, not a national security strategy.”

    However, neither Cheney nor Obama brought significant new information to bear on the debate that has roiled Washington for weeks. Instead, each presented what amounted to lengthy — and dueling — summations of entrenched positions. Reaction afterward followed well-tilled ground as well, with no sign that Obama was winning the votes he will need to close the prison.

    As Obama has made one decision after another on Bush-era terror-fighting tools, liberals have expressed dismay at what they view as a Democratic president acting much like his Republican predecessor.

    They cite Obama’s moves to reverse himself and fight the court-ordered release of prisoner-abuse photos, to revive military tribunals for some terror suspects (although he is revamping how they would work), to oppose a truth commission to investigate past detainee treatment and to continue using in some cases Bush’s “state secrets” doctrine that claims unchecked presidential power to prevent information disclosure in court.

    In his speech, Obama backed down from none of these positions, and defended them all. Human rights and civil liberties groups, given a personal preview of the speech by the president a day earlier, were not assuaged.

    “The president wrapped himself in the Constitution and then proceeded to violate it,” said Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, a human rights group.

    On the other side, Obama has invited conservative criticism for banning harsh “enhanced” methods of interrogating terrorist suspects, for releasing memos detailing the techniques and the Bush administration’s legal justification for them, and for promising to close the Guantanamo Bay facility by next January.

    Shutting down the Caribbean island prison, which has left the U.S. open to global condemnation since its inception and still holds 240 prisoners, is the most fraught — both logistically and politically.

    Obama wants to release some of the prisoners to their home countries, send some who can’t be let go to other nations for detention, and try some either through military tribunals or in regular federal courts. He called a fifth category, an unspecified number who can neither be tried nor released, “the toughest issue we will face.”

    Actually, each category poses significant problems.

    Abroad, U.S. officials are having very minimal success persuading allies to take those deemed suitable for release, some 50 of the 240 by Obama’s count.

    At home, politicians from both parties are balking at the idea of terror suspects — either those convicted in a judicial proceeding or those to be held indefinitely — being housed in their communities.

    This has handed Republicans a rare point-scoring opportunity. They were even helped this week when FBI Director Robert Mueller said it would be risky to relocate Guantanamo prisoners to U.S. facilities. As a result, both the House and Senate now are on record against Obama’s request for $81 million to close Guantanamo without a detailed accounting of where the detainees will go.

    The White House announced Thursday’s speech last week shortly after news surfaced that Cheney was planning his. Aides scheduled it for the hour just before the former vice president’s planned appearance at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think thank.

    The aim was to rebut Cheney’s campaign with all the power of the presidency — not only Obama’s singular rhetorical skills but also the ability of any White House to apply nearly unlimited resources to event-staging.

    But it also had the effect of elevating Cheney even more, to equal billing in television shows, Webcasts and newspapers.

    In deliberate tones that echoed off the museum rotunda’s high walls and marble floors for over 45 minutes, Obama said he was doing away with the “poorly planned, haphazard approach” under the Bush administration that has seen a portion of the 525 detainees released from Guantanamo return to the battlefield. To do so, his administration was studying each Guantanamo case one-by-one — “quite simply, a mess,” he said.

    But, the president added, “If we refuse to deal with these issues today, then I guarantee you that they will be an albatross around our efforts to combat terrorism in the future.”

    Republicans were not impressed.

    “With all due respect to the president, what we need here is not a speech but a plan,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

    Obama acknowledged directly for the first time that some Guantanamo prisoners will end up in the U.S. under his plan. He argued it would be done safely. “Nobody has ever escaped from one of our `supermax’ prisons which hold hundreds of convicted terrorists,” he said.

    Afterward, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. softened his opposition to bringing Guantanamo prisoners to the U.S., saying he is willing to work on a compromise.

    Obama chastised what he called “absolutist” critics on both sides who he said are more interested in scoring political points than finding solutions.

    Some on the left, he said, “would almost never put national security over transparency.” Some on the right, meanwhile, are an “anything goes” crowd. “I’ve heard words that frankly are calculated to scare people rather than educate them,” Obama said.

    “We will be ill-served by the fear-mongering that emerges whenever we discuss this issue,” he declared.

    Yet the president himself repeatedly criticized Bush, who he said “failed to use our values as a compass” in devising an anti-terror strategy.

    “Too often, our government made decisions based upon fear rather than foresight and all too often trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions,” he said.

    Cheney, meanwhile, praised Obama for two “wise” decisions — his handling of the war in Afghanistan and his decision on the prisoner-abuse photos. But he forcefully defended the Bush administration’s interrogation program and other policies enacted in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

    “Seven-and-a-half years without a repeat is not a record to be rebuked and scorned,” Cheney said.

  141. Interesting comment i found on another blog
    ******************************************

    Jesse Jackson has said & done enough stuff to piss folks off for many generations. But sometimes (too rare for my taste) he makes sense. The other day on tv he said we won’t turn the corner as a country until the leaders understand that you build from the bottom up, not from the top down.
    He said the money that has been spent on bailouts if put in comunnities across this country would have seen an instant positive effect.
    He questioned any revitalization plan that doesn’t include everyday Americans. He said it’s an insult to spend taxpayers money on companies who you know beforehand are going to send that money overseas. He spoke about people being asked to make sacrifices to keep companies afloat, then are told they are without a job themselves. He says it’s an insanity based on greed & arrogance.
    He said Obama was selling out while at the same time asking Americans to buy in.
    No one picked up the speech. He said he would cover it at PUSH’s convention at the end of June. Betcha it won’t be covered then either.

  142. The White House announced Thursday’s speech last week shortly after news surfaced that Cheney was planning his.
    ******************************************8

    I hear Cheney wiped the floor with the fraud

  143. Another comment I found @ BP, it relates to the above torture question and the “speech’s”
    ********************************************

    This dueling “terrorist speech” thing today was pretty weird…..
    teh one blah blahs about whatever it is that we can’t call “terrorism” anymore…but why on earth didn’t he mention those 4 assholes that the FBI nabbed yesterday who tried to blow up a synagogue in Riverdale yesterday….what do we call them? What if they had succeeded?
    And why is everyone’s knickers in such a royal twist over “waterboarding” under the Uber Nemesis George Bush, and not really mentioning OR committing to stop “rendition flights” that were okay’d by Bill Clinton where icky messy people we no longer call terrorists are tidily flown to Egypt where they undergo treatment a lot more extreme than waterboarding, but I guess it’s okay because we don’t get our hands dirty.
    I have never been a fan of Bush/Cheney but I don’t care about Dem/Republican labels anymore…what I cannot bear is this screaming brand of Excr0 Hypocrisy…….standing in front of the Constitution today as he is systematically raping it…
    it’s like his cafe standards BS as he is driven about in his monstrous gas guzzling pimp mobile.

  144. gonzotx Says:

    May 21st, 2009 at 9:08 pm
    ***********************************************

    Of course Bill Clinton was so successful because that is exactly what he did, he put money into the system from the bottom up thereby creating jobs and growing the economy…but then Sweet Jesse, you backed the fraud mule train….Wonder if he ever got to slice and dice the crown jewels?

  145. Yup, Cheney beat the Crap out of the little twit. Obama began his speech wrapped in the Flag- the usual tear jerker spun by the biggest Jerk of All.

    Read the lambasting dished out by Cheney here:

    h…pumasunleashed.wordpress.com

  146. Well-sourced story, thoughtful comments.

    h…./
    swampland.blogs.time.com/2009/05/20/pelosis-probably-right/

  147. The collection of billionaires in NYC
    I guess they have a right to get together but can Bloomberg while holding office sit on a board which whether benevolent or not has an agenda without it being open to the public? He took the job of mayor and as such he is responsible to the legal residents of New York. Any and all conversations must touch upon immigration and as such all moments from the meeting should be made public!!!!

  148. h…../
    emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2009/05/21/gallup-polls-public-approval-on-innocent-bystanders-but-not-torturers/

  149. Obama in Bush Clothing

    By Charles Krauthammer
    Friday, May 22, 2009

    “We were able to hold it off with George Bush. The idea that we might find ourselves fighting with the Obama administration over these powers is really stunning.” — Unnamed and dismayed human rights advocate, on legalizing indefinite detention of alleged terrorists. (the New York Times, May 21)

    …If hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue, then the flip-flops on previously denounced anti-terror measures are the homage that Barack Obama pays to George Bush. Within 125 days, Obama has adopted with only minor modifications huge swaths of the entire, allegedly lawless Bush program.

    The latest flip-flop is the restoration of military tribunals. During the 2008 campaign, Obama denounced them repeatedly, calling them an “enormous failure.” Obama suspended them upon his swearing-in. Now they’re back. Of course, Obama will never admit in word what he’s doing in deed. As in his rhetorically brilliant national-security speech yesterday claiming to have undone Bush’s moral travesties, the military commissions flip-flop is accompanied by the usual Obama three-step: (a) excoriate the Bush policy, (b) ostentatiously unveil cosmetic changes, (c) adopt the Bush policy.

    Cosmetic changes such as Obama’s declaration that “we will give detainees greater latitude in selecting their own counsel.” Laughable. High-toned liberal law firms are climbing over each other for the frisson of representing these miscreants in court.

    What about disallowing evidence received under coercive interrogation? Hardly new, notes former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy. Under the existing rules, military judges have that authority, and they exercised it under the Bush administration to dismiss charges against al-Qaeda operative Mohammed al-Qahtani on precisely those grounds.

    On Guantanamo, it’s Obama’s fellow Democrats who have suddenly discovered the wisdom of Bush’s choice. In open rebellion against Obama’s pledge to shut it down, the Senate voted 90 to 6 to reject appropriating a single penny until the president explains where he intends to put the inmates. Sen. James Webb, the de facto Democratic authority on national defense, wants the closing to be put on hold. And on Tuesday, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, no Gitmo inmates on American soil — not even in American jails. That doesn’t leave a lot of places. The home countries won’t take them. Europe is recalcitrant. Saint Helena needs refurbishing. Elba didn’t work out too well the first time. And Devil’s Island is now a tourist destination. Gitmo is starting to look good again.

    Observers of all political stripes are stunned by how much of the Bush national security agenda is being adopted by this new Democratic government. Victor Davis Hanson (National Review) offers a partial list: “The Patriot Act, wiretaps, e-mail intercepts, military tribunals, Predator drone attacks, Iraq (i.e., slowing the withdrawal), Afghanistan (i.e., the surge) — and now Guantanamo.”

    Jack Goldsmith (The New Republic) adds: rendition — turning over terrorists seized abroad to foreign countries; state secrets — claiming them in court to quash legal proceedings on rendition and other erstwhile barbarisms; and the denial of habeas corpus — to detainees in Afghanistan’s Bagram prison, indistinguishable logically and morally from Guantanamo.

    What does it all mean? Democratic hypocrisy and demagoguery? Sure, but in Washington, opportunism and cynicism are hardly news.

    There is something much larger at play — an undeniable, irresistible national interest that, in the end, beyond the cheap politics, asserts itself. The urgencies and necessities of the actual post-9/11 world, as opposed to the fanciful world of the opposition politician, present a rather narrow range of acceptable alternatives. Among them: reviving the tradition of military tribunals, used historically by George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Winfield Scott, Abraham Lincoln, Arthur MacArthur and Franklin Roosevelt. And inventing Guantanamo — accessible, secure, offshore and nicely symbolic (the tradition of island exile for those outside the pale of civilization is a venerable one) — a quite brilliant choice for the placement of terrorists, some of whom, the Bush administration immediately understood, would have to be detained without trial in a war that could be endless.

    The genius of democracy is that the rotation of power forces the opposition to come to its senses when it takes over. When the new guys, brought to power by popular will, then adopt the policies of the old guys, a national consensus is forged and a new legitimacy established. That’s happening before our eyes. The Bush policies in the war on terror won’t have to await vindication by historians. Obama is doing it day by day. His denials mean nothing. Look at his deeds.

    washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/21/AR2009052103680.html

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