Enormous Unprecedented Corruption

Update: After reading today’s article, read the comment HERE.
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This June, on and off TV, Joe Biden has unwittingly helped to expose the utter failure of the Obama “stimulus” scam along with Obama’s unceasing protection of corruption.

Appearing on the anniversary of the death of Hillary Clinton hater Tim Russert the Biden appearance on “Meet The Hypocrites” was doubly entertaining.

Biden did his best on “Meet The Hypocrites” to explain the utter failure of the Obama “stimulus” scam. Americans were told the Obama “stimulus” scam was necessary and if passed unemployment would not rise above 8 percent. In May, months after the “stimulus” scam – unemployment rose to 9.4 percent with a bullet (as our friends at Billboard Magazine describe music releases climbing the charts).

But the real damage at the moment is Biden’s continuing acknowledgment that he too is an utter failure when it comes to his job to prevent waste and fraud: “We know some of this money is going to be wasted.”

Barack Obama placed Biden in charge of supervising implementation of the stimulus to underscore his promise of strict oversight of the package, which is aimed at creating or saving 3 million to 4 million jobs.

Biden said transparency and accountability are key to the program’s success.

“There are going to be mistakes made,” said Biden. “Some people are being scammed already.”

“Our credibility depends on transparency” for how taxpayers dollars are used, he added.

Remember when Obama said “Nobody messes with Joe”?



Obama also said of his “stimulus” scam: “With a plan of this scale comes enormous responsibility to get it right.” That is why, Obama said, he was appointing Biden to “lead a tough unprecedented oversight effort” – because, ha ha, nobody, ha ha, messes, ha ha, with, ha ha, Joe.

But Joe and his unprecedented enormous incompetence is not the issue. The issue is Obama’s enormous unprecedented corruption.

Obama will protect the corrupt from exposure:

The White House’s decision to fire AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin came amid politically-charged tensions inside the Corporation for National and Community Service, the organization that runs AmeriCorps. Top executives at the Corporation, Walpin explained in an hour-long interview Saturday, were unhappy with his investigation into the misuse of AmeriCorps funds by Kevin Johnson, the former NBA star who is now mayor of Sacramento, California and a prominent supporter of President Obama. Walpin’s investigation also sparked conflict with the acting U.S. attorney in Sacramento amid fears that the probe — which could have resulted in Johnson being barred from ever winning another federal grant — might stand in the way of the city receiving its part of billions of dollars in federal stimulus money. After weeks of standoff, Walpin, whose position as inspector general is supposed to be protected from influence by political appointees and the White House, was fired.

Walpin learned his fate Wednesday night. He was driving to an event in upstate New York when he received a call from Norman Eisen, the Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform. “He said, ‘Mr. Walpin, the president wants me to tell you that he really appreciates your service, but it’s time to move on,'” Walpin recalls. “Eisen said, ‘You can either resign, or I’ll tell you that we’ll have to terminate you.'”

At that moment, Walpin says, he had finished not only a report on the Sacramento probe but also an investigation into extensive misuse of AmeriCorps money by the City University of New York, which is AmeriCorps’ biggest program. Walpin says he told Eisen that, given those two investigations, neither of which was well-received by top Corporation management, the timing of his firing seemed “very interesting.” According to Walpin, Eisen said it was “pure coincidence.” When Walpin asked for some time to consider what to do, Eisen gave him one hour. “Then he called back in 45 minutes and asked for my response,” Walpin recalls.

The method of Walpin’s firing could be a violation of the 2008 Inspectors General Reform Act, which requires the president to give Congress 30 days’ notice, plus an explanation of cause, before firing an inspector general. Then-Sen. Barack Obama was a co-sponsor of that legislation. In the case of Walpin, Eisen’s efforts to force Walpin to resign could be seen as an effort to push Walpin out of his job so that the White House would not have to go through the 30-day process or give a reason for its action. When Walpin refused to quit, the White House informed Congress and began the 30-day countdown.

Where is the transparency? Where is Joe? Why isn’t Joe Biden fighting the corruption and the waste and the fraud? Corruption waste and fraud are clearly present Joe:

Eisen’s phone call came after months of increasing conflict inside the Corporation for National and Community Service. “We issued two reports that the management of the Corporation and the board of directors didn’t like, because they criticized what the board was doing,” Walpin recalls. There is no question that Walpin discovered misuse of federal money in Kevin Johnson’s program, known as St. HOPE, and at City University of New York. But as a result of those investigations, relations between Walpin and top executives became frosty, and he says they cut him out of Corporation business that should normally include the inspector general.

The heart of the matter is a dispute that began last year over Walpin’s recommendation that Johnson and St. HOPE be barred from receiving and using federal grant money. The process is known as “suspension and debarment,” meaning that Johnson would be suspended from receiving federal funds under any current arrangement and might ultimately be barred from receiving any such funds in the future. “The whole purpose of suspension and debarment,” Walpin says, “is to say that somebody who was involved in the misuse of government funds in the past should not be trusted with federal funds in the future.”

In the course of his investigation, Walpin found Johnson and St. HOPE had failed to use the federal money they received for the purposes specified in the grant and had also used federally-funded AmeriCorps staff for, among other things, “driving [Johnson] to personal appointments, washing his car, and running personal errands.” Walpin came to the conclusion that Johnson and St. HOPE should be subject to suspension and debarment. But it was not Walpin’s decision to make; there is another official at the Corporation whose job it is to make that call. In September 2008, after reviewing Walpin’s evidence, the official decided to order a suspension, with the distinct possibility that it would lead to a permanent debarment.

That was during the Sacramento mayoral campaign, and the suspension quickly became a matter of controversy. Johnson’s critics raised the possibility that, as mayor, the suspension would mean the city could not receive federal funds. Johnson dismissed the matter. “That’s absurd,” he told the Sacramento Bee. “As mayor, I’m going to go out there and shake down as many resources as I can for Sacramento.”

Say it ain’s so, Joe:

But the issue did not go away after Johnson defeated the incumbent mayor and took office. It became far more pressing in late January, when Congress passed the $787 billion stimulus bill and Sacramento officials hoped that millions of federal dollars would soon arrive. Johnson’s suspension seemed like an insurmountable obstacle to getting all that money. On March 21, the Sacramento Bee reported that, “The city of Sacramento likely is barred from getting federal money — including tens of millions the city is expecting from the new stimulus package — because Mayor Kevin Johnson is on a list of individuals forbidden from receiving federal funds, according to a leading attorney the city commissioned to look into the issue.” The issue was explosive. What if there were all that federal money raining down and Sacramento couldn’t get any because its mayor had been found to have misused federal money in the past?

Lawrence Brown, a prosecutor, did not pursue criminal charges against Mayor Johnson. There were settlement talks.

Settlement talks would normally cover the issue of whether Johnson would be required to give the misused federal funds back to the government. But amid the frenzy surrounding the possible denial of federal stimulus funds, Brown wanted to negotiate not only some sort of repayment scheme but also an end to Johnson’s suspension. Walpin learned about that during a March telephone conversation with Brown. “He said he wanted to settle,” Walpin recalls, “and he said that lifting the suspension had to be part of it because that was the 800-pound gorilla in the way of a settlement.”

Walpin was adamantly opposed to a lifting of the suspension; after all, he had recommended that Johnson not only be suspended but be barred for receiving future federal funds. Walpin says that after that, he was cut out of the settlement talks; Brown worked directly with top officials of the Corporation, who seemed eager to work out a deal in a case involving a high-profile Obama supporter and lots of stimulus money. (The Corporation is now headed by Alan Solomont, a philanthropist and Democratic fundraiser appointed by President Obama.)

Together, Brown and the top Corporation brass negotiated a deal. Johnson and St. HOPE would pay back about half of the $850,000 in AmeriCorps grant money it had received, and the suspension against Johnson would be lifted.

Something stinks of B.O.

Walpin was very unhappy. First of all, he said it was a terrible deal for the U.S. government, because St. HOPE was essentially insolvent and would never pay the money back. Second, he felt lifting Johnson’s suspension would dilute the effectiveness of future investigations; why should grant recipients worry about their misconduct if any sanctions can be so easily lifted? In the end, Johnson was not suspended, not debarred, and was probably not going to pay the vast majority of the money back.

Republican Senator Grassley is fighting for transparency and against the Obama Dimocratic Culture Of Corruption (and “cold” and “ungrateful” Michelle Obama, taking time off from pulling sleeves from dresses and circling the wagons is involved in this too):

Describing Walpin’s work as “legitimate” and “meritorious,” Grassley expressed concern that Walpin was fired in part for complaining to Congress about interference in the St. HOPE probe by the top management of the Corporation. “I am very concerned about the appearance that the IG’s communication with my office about this matter may have contributed to his removal,” Grassley wrote to Solomont. “Inspectors General have a statutory duty to report to Congress. Intimidation or retaliation against those who freely communicate their concerns to Members of the House and Senate cannot be tolerated. This is especially true when such concerns are as legitimate and meritorious as Mr. Walpin’s appear to be.”

Dear Mr. Solomont:

As a senior member of the United States Senate and as the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Finance (Committee), it is my duty under the Constitution to conduct oversight into the actions of the executive branch, including the activities of the Corporation for National and Community Service (Corporation). In this capacity, I must ensure that the Corporation properly fulfills its mission of addressing a critical community need as the nation’s largest grantor supporting service and volunteering organization, as well as maintaining adequate accountability of millions of dollars in Federal funds.

An issue was recently brought to my attention by the Office of Inspector General (OIG), which concerns the misuse of Federal grant funding by St. HOPE Academy, a grantee of the Corporation. The investigation conducted by the OIG found evidence of the misuse of $850,000 of Federal grant funds provided to St. HOPE Academy from 2004 to 2007. It was reported that this particular investigation was contentious. Furthermore, according to some recent reports this investigation may have been a contributing factor in the decision to remove Inspector General Gerald Walpin. I am very concerned about the appearance that the IG’s communication with my office about this matter may have contributed to his removal. Inspectors General have a statutory duty to report to Congress. Intimidation or retaliation against those who freely communicate their concerns to Members of the House and Senate cannot be tolerated. This is especially true when such concerns are as legitimate and meritorious as Mr. Walpin’s appear to be.

In September 2008, after reviewing the facts that the OIG investigation presented, the Corporation’s Debarment and Suspension Official (Official) determined that the grantee’s two principals, Kevin Johnson and Dana Gonzalez were responsible for six acts of diverting grant funds to non-grant purposes, and found that “immediate action is necessary to protect the public interest.” In total about $850,000 was misused.

As a result, the OIG requested that the Official suspend all future Federal grant funding to both St. HOPE Academy and Kevin Johnson and Dana Gonzales individually. The Official ultimately suspended St. HOPE Academy and its principals “from participating in Federal procurement and non procurement programs and activities.” None of the respondents exercised their right to submit facts objecting to the suspension.

On April 9, 2009, a settlement lifting the suspension was executed by the Corporation’s General Counsel (GC), the designated Corporation Official, and the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California (USAO). For reasons that I do not yet understand, the OIG was excluded from this proceeding and the settlement lifting the suspension, was done in complete disregard of the OIG’s findings, as well as the previous determination of wrong doing identified in the Notice of Suspension. Perhaps the settlement agreement was reached without any input from the OIG, because less than half of what was misused by the Corporation grantees is being returned to the taxpayer and the OIG would not have agreed to this arrangement. In fact, an argument can be made that not even half of the misused funds is being returned, because the settlement does not require that payment in full be made. Rather the settlement places the grantees on a type of payment plan that will occur over a decade; to date less than 10% of the misused money has been recovered.

Not only did the evidence demonstrate that Johnson, Gonzalez, and St. HOPE misused about $850,000 in Federal grant funds, but they also acknowledged that they did not document the expenditures as required. And yet, Mr. Johnson continues to have access to Federal funds through the city of Sacramento, primarily because the settlement agreement ignored the Suspension and Debarment procedures {(2C.F.R §§180.700(b), 180.800 (a)(4),(b)} that the Federal Government put into place in order to prevent such grant misuse. These procedures are intended to protect Federal agencies by making the grantee’s accountable for the misuse of Federal funds under their control. Based upon the documents in my possession, it seems that the facts of this investigation were substantially disregarded and the blatant waste of federal taxpayer dollars were handled with little more than a slap on the wrist. [snip]

Moreover, according to documents in my possession, St. HOPE Board members ignored a Federal subpoena and erased Mr. Johnson’s emails during the course of investigation. This was discovered after Mr. Johnson’s replacement as Executive Director of St. HOPE, Rick Maya, resigned on the same date of the Settlement Agreement because of various improprieties and potential obstruction of justice issues by St. HOPE Board Members.

In light of the removal of the Inspector General, it is vital that Congress obtain a full understanding of the role that you and your colleagues at CNCS played in these matters. Accordingly, please provide any and all records, email, memoranda, documents, communications, or other information, whether in draft or final form, related to:

1) the performance of Gerald Walpin as Inspector General;
2) the removal of Gerald Walpin as the Inspector General;
3) contacts with the United States Attorney’s Office;
4) contacts with officials in the Executive Office of the President;
5) contacts with officials in the Office of the First Lady;
6) St. HOPE Academy;
7) Kevin Johnson;
8 ) or CUNY.

No records related to these matters shall be destroyed or otherwise made inaccessible to Congress. Subsequent to the production of the documents requested above, I request that you provide a detailed briefing to my staff regarding what steps you are taking to ensure that funds are not similarly misused in the future.

Chicago. Enormous Unprecedented Corruption. Anyone surprised?

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132 thoughts on “Enormous Unprecedented Corruption

  1. OMG Obam Health Care Reform Remember Hillary said if ya like your doctor anf health care you can keep it..well BIG Fraud Obama uses everything she says Scroo HIM,,tired of this LIAR and LIES and now gonna Campaign again for prime TV.,….He does not know nothing on health CARE NADDA NADDA>>>BE very scared of Health care reform he will leave out more than 15 MILLION>>>>That is Proof from way back when he came from being a community organizer who shuts downs people Heat in winter time…he better resign now or be impeached
    because he gets in deeper and deeper and his senior advisor AXELROD in the WHITE House its OUR white HOUSE…we need to take it back
    I think this Obabambi is gonna be lIKE HITLER..get your street corner picked out thats where we are heading to LIVE everyone..do not believe this MAN ever Obama he is very much a LIAR>>

  2. I was pointing this related information out on another blog, namely that the mayoral race in Sac was very reminiscent of that between Hill and Barky- Johnson ran against a well-liked, liberal, middle-aged female incumbent and won with no more experience than his exemplary basketball career and his status with St. Hope. He rode in on Bambi’s coattails only to ask the previous mayor to help him out with her vast experience.

    I believe this flare-up with Walpin could very well be a deal breaker for this administartion. If Grassley keeps on keeping on, it could be significant. The IG was designed to be above politics, we will see.

  3. An too i believe lotts of that stimlulus money is Hidden and geitner and obama and all the frauds in the white house will get some of it..
    watch his bank account when he starts to rule us like Hitler which he already has started..all of the white house Gibbs axelrod jarrett The whole lot Obama adminstration .. when need to see there bank accounts too,,,then ya know money and power..who has it will rule..
    and Hillary is not in the white house thank god..not this time she won fair he won cheating.

  4. Admin: I spoke to a Wall Street broker who is one of the top hundred in the country according to a recent survey. I mention that only to emphasize his credibility. He told me this morning that the real unemployment rate, which includes those who have simply given up looking for a job, is roughly 16%. Tragically, it appears to be climbing. Meanwhile, Bambi is still on the 19th hole, playing liars poker with Shak.

  5. I believe this flare-up with Walpin could very well be a deal breaker for this administartion. If Grassley keeps on keeping on, it could be significant…Boy I hope so lililam..im sick of seeing him on the tv and on pages of yahoo and the internet every damn web page has obama wants mothers to go back to school I wish he just goes and resigns and quit telling people what to do.

  6. http://www.thrfeed.com/2009/06/letterman-readdresses-palin.html

    David Letterman re-addressed the controversy surrounding his jokes about Sarah Palin’s family during the taping of CBS’ “Late Show” on Monday.

    Letterman said he had no idea Palin was at the Yankees game with her 14-year-old daughter, Willow, when he joked about her getting “knocked up” by player Alex Rodriguez last week.

    “I had, honestly, no idea that the 14-year-old girl, I had no idea that anybody was at the ball game except the governor, and I was told at the time she was there with Rudy Giuliani,” Letterman said. “It’s not your fault that it was misunderstood, it’s my fault. … So I would like to apologize, especially to the two daughters involved, Bristol and Willow, and also to the governor and her family and everybody else who was outraged by the joke.”

    The comedian’s jokes about Palin’s family have caused an uproar, with Palin doing several interviews last week criticizing the talk show host. One CBS advertiser reportedly pulled its ads in response to the protests, some of which have demanded that CBS fire Letterman. The network is on the verge of giving Letterman a two-year contract extension that will keep him on the air through 2012.

    “I understand, of course, why people are upset; I would be upset myself,” Letterman said. “I’m sorry about it and I’ll try to do better in the future.”

    Below is the full text of Letterman’s latest comments which will be telecast on “The Late Show” tonight.

    “All right, here – I’ve been thinking about this situation with Governor Palin and her family now for about a week – it was a week ago tonight, and maybe you know about it, maybe you don’t know about it. But there was a joke that I told, and I thought I was telling it about the older daughter being at Yankee Stadium. And it was kind of a coarse joke. There’s no getting around it, but I never thought it was anybody other than the older daughter, and before the show, I checked to make sure in fact that she is of legal age, 18. Yeah. But the joke really, in and of itself, can’t be defended. The next day, people are outraged. They’re angry at me because they said, ‘How could you make a lousy joke like that about the 14-year-old girl who was at the ball game?’ And I had, honestly, no idea that the 14-year-old girl, I had no idea that anybody was at the ball game except the governor and I was told at the time she was there with Rudy Giuliani … and I really should have made the joke about Rudy …” (audience applauds) “But I didn’t, and now people are getting angry and they’re saying, ‘Well, how can you say something like that about a 14-year-old girl, and does that make you feel good to make those horrible jokes about a kid who’s completely innocent, minding her own business,’ and, turns out, she was at the ball game. I had no idea she was there. So she’s now at the ball game, and people think that I made the joke about her. And, but still, I’m wondering, ‘Well, what can I do to help people understand that I would never make a joke like this?’ I’ve never made jokes like this as long as we’ve been on the air, 30 long years, and you can’t really be doing jokes like that. And I understand, of course, why people are upset. I would be upset myself.

    “And then I was watching the Jim Lehrer ‘Newshour’ – this commentator, the columnist Mark Shields, was talking about how I had made this indefensible joke about the 14-year-old girl, and I thought, ‘Oh, boy, now I’m beginning to understand what the problem is here. It’s the perception rather than the intent.’ It doesn’t make any difference what my intent was, it’s the perception. And, as they say about jokes, if you have to explain the joke, it’s not a very good joke. And I’m certainly – ” (audience applause) “– thank you. Well, my responsibility – I take full blame for that. I told a bad joke. I told a joke that was beyond flawed, and my intent is completely meaningless compared to the perception. And since it was a joke I told, I feel that I need to do the right thing here and apologize for having told that joke. It’s not your fault that it was misunderstood, it’s my fault. That it was misunderstood.” (audience applauds) “Thank you. So I would like to apologize, especially to the two daughters involved, Bristol and Willow, and also to the governor and her family and everybody else who was outraged by the joke. I’m sorry about it and I’ll try to do better in the future. Thank you very much.” (audience applause).

  7. Norman Eisen, the Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform
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    Admin: we have our new Gordon Liddy don’t we? His name is Norman Eisen. Except for one thing. I don’t think this guy has got the stones that Liddy did, and I am sure he would not go to jail to protect Obama or his cronies. The tip off that he is soft? He could not even wait a full hour to call back.

  8. “There are going to be mistakes made,” said Biden. “Some people are being scammed already.”

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    No truer words were ever spoken.

  9. Dear Letterman,

    We are underwhelmed by your response. You claim that you did not understand what you said when you said it? You suggest that you were stupid? You tender an apology amid thunderous applause–and you think that ends it???

    David, if this were an isolated case it would be one thing. But for you this is a pattern and practice. It is sexism and abuse disguised as sarcasm and humor. It may titillate your stoned audience and your butboy bandleader Paul, but for the rest of us it is no sale.

    Just so you know, we are not ones to hold a grudge-funnyman. And we do not need an apology. We want your head. We want the network to do to your what they did to Imus. Stupidity is no defense.

  10. An earlier comment from JanH had a link to an ABC News story about Michelle Obama’s involvement in this business.

    Early this month we published an article about Michelle Obama circling the wagons to protect corruption from an investigation requested by Bobby Rush.

    We quoted:

    The move puts Rush at odds with several people in President Obama’s inner circle. First lady Michelle Obama, as an executive at the U. of C. Hospitals, helped create the program. White House adviser Valerie Jarrett signed off on the program when she was the hospital board’s chairwoman. White House senior adviser David Axelrod was hired to promote the program. And Obama’s buddy Dr. Eric Whitaker currently runs the program.

    In February, the American College of Emergency Physicians said it was concerned that the policy was “dangerously close to patient dumping” and “reflected an effort to ‘cherry pick’ wealthy patients over poor.”

    Our story was in reference to Michelle Obama plucking a longtime henchwoman from the Chicago hospital and making her the NEW Chief of Staff. Michelle Obama’s OLD Chief of Staff was Jackie Norris. The shakeup in Michelle Obama’s staff was very surprising and many questions were asked which we speculated about in our article. Now, Jackie Norris’ new job brings up more eyebrows.

    The Walpin story JanH posted from ABC mentions Jackie Norris:

    In his Friday email and fax, Grassley told Solomont, who backed Walpin’s termination, that he wanted to see all materials related to Walpin’s performance as Inspector General, his removal, any contacts CNCS had with the United States Attorney’s Office, St. HOPE Academy, Mayor Johnson, the White House, or the First Lady’s office.

    This appears to be related to a report in Youth Today, an independent, nationally distributed newspaper for professionals in the youth service field, which reported that “Some decisions about CNCS are being made by First Lady Michelle Obama, according to service advocates (who asked not to be named). Last week, Mrs. Obama announced that her chief of staff, Jackie Norris, would move to CNCS as a senior adviser. Officials said yesterday that Norris is scheduled to arrive on June 22.”

    The White House has not yet reacted to this letter; we will add their response when they do so.

    UPDATE: Josh Earnest, Deputy White House Press Secretary, says: “The anonymous source quoted by Youth Today suggesting that the First Lady was somehow involved in the decision to replace Mr. Walpin is false and uninformed. Mrs. Obama is an energetic advocate for the mission of the Corporation for National and Community Service, but is not involved in the day-to-day management of the agency.”

    No mention of Jackie Norris, just the nonsense about Michelle Obama not being involved in “day-to-day management of the agency”. The point is that Jackie Norris is the day-to-day, hour-to-hour management.

  11. How unremarkable an anniversary of fat heads death. I couldn’t stand him and his “gotcha” questions to Hillary. Goodbye and good riddance to a overrated legend in his own mind.

  12. The method of Walpin’s firing could be a violation of the 2008 Inspectors General Reform Act
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    2008? Can we assume, then, that Bambi was a member of the Senate when this bill was passed? Can we further assume that he voted on it? And can we assume he voted in favor of it? If so then this is yet another example of him reversing himself.

  13. wbboei/admin; Great article about Joe telling us the money we gave them is lost and is going to be and is being scamed. On the heels of the article I just on the previous thread about the dollar receiving its last rites at some meeting of the heads of China and Russia and others is just what I wanted to hear. I have been planning since I read wbboei’s article on the previous thread to start buying rice, beans and flour and basics in case our dollar is suddenly gone.
    It pisses me off to no end that they could fuck off our money irresponsibly knowing what is coming down the pike.
    If this happens I think we the american people should do what they are doing in Iran (revolt) and throw those idiots out of office. I mean go to washington and fire the whole bunch of them.

  14. OT..Obama caves into the Iranians and removes Dennis Ross because…da..da..The Iranians objected to having a Jew as an envoy.

    “Washington insiders speculate that a number of reasons moved the administration to reassign Ross. One possibility is Iran’s persistent refusal to accept Ross as a U.S. emissary given the diplomat’s Jewish background as well as his purported pro-Israel leanings.”

    ww.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1093058.html

  15. That is a very good letter by Grassleys office. I think I would want to put the US Attorney for the Eastern District of California under the microscope. On the odds he got his marching orders on this one from Eric Holder. As a matter of fact, I would be willing to make book on it.

  16. OT..Obama caves into the Iranians and removes Dennis Ross because…da..da..The Iranians objected to having a Jew as an envoy.
    ——————————————————
    What a terrible decision. I don’t know if you have ever seen Dennis Ross talk about the middle east, but the man is brilliant. Futhermore he is far more than a talker, he is a doer. That is a big loss to forward momentum. With each passing day, Bambi looks more and more like Neville Chamberlain holding up a piece of paper signed by Hitler saying what I have hear in peace in our time. Not too long afterwards, Hitler invaded Poland and World War II began.

  17. Lililam, thanks for the information about the Sacramento mayoral race and the Johnson opponent. Play basketball, appear in Terminator movies and you can get elected. Work hard but you’re a women – you get attacked.

  18. , but the man is brilliant.
    ***********
    He is…Now the US President is giving foreign governmen right of refusal for envoys.

  19. I have been planning since I read wbboei’s article on the previous thread to start buying rice, beans and flour and basics in case our dollar is suddenly gone.
    ——————————————
    Confloyd: I am not sure Hedges is right. But is a serious thinker, he has contacts who tell him things, and he tells us things that big media does not want us to know. It is clear that they are meeting and it is equally clear that we were not invited. But that is not surprising if we are the primary subject of discussion. I wish Paul Volker was more involved, because he would be doing the exact opposite of what bambi pelosi and geithner are doing now. But much depends on what they come back with after they meet. And even then there is alot of time and distance between now and some of this 1-2 years. For me, it is the same lament as before. If only we had a strong smart leader as president. And to think that but for big media we could have had Hillary.

  20. This whole thing is just so depressing, is there any good news??? It seems we never hear anything good going on, for the exception of Hillary doing her best to keep us afloat. The MSM has a near blackout on anything she does and when they do let something out its to attack her.
    This world is going to hell in a hand basket and it seems as the other countries we have helped all these years is ready to seal our coffin. I think it would be easier if we could just trust our C I C, but no we don’t even know who or where the idiot came from. I think he was hatched somewhere on earth. Thats as close as we can get.

  21. Thanks, admin. I thought I just said that, but it didn’t go through, so if this is a duplicate, please excuse.

  22. I guess that is why I have been gravitated to the revolution in Iran, at least those folks who have sat on their thumbs for 30 years are taking the bull by the horns and saying “enough of this shit”. Its scary but uplifting. Here we are just sitting ducks waiting for our dollar to be replaced, our jobs gone, retirement and social security and of coarse not knowing what kind of country we will have left once the vultures have taken what they want. Its really horrible when you can’t and dare not trust your government to keep your best interest in mind while running the business of the govt. Instead what is on the govt. mind is how they can fill the pockets of all the politicians and their friends while screwing us out of every red cent they can.

  23. Here is Obama’s diabolical Health Care Plan crafted by Sen Jay Rockefeller winding it’s way through the House:

    The one he will be promoting on an NBC Special w/Brian Williams on the 24th.

    Rockefeller patterns a healthcare ‘reform’ bill on the Federal Reserve

    It’s all here at: h… pumasunleashed.wordpress.com

  24. Admin: ( another welcome crack in the imposter’s presidency. thanks for posting..)

    “In the case of Walpin, Eisen’s efforts to force Walpin to resign could be seen as an effort to push Walpin out of his job so that the White House would not have to go through the 30-day process or give a reason for its action. When Walpin refused to quit, the White House informed Congress and began the 30-day countdown.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Yes- And apparently Walpin is well aware of the Rules of Engagement and played his cards flawlessly! Bravo- (1) for the US
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    “There is no question that Walpin discovered misuse of federal money in Kevin Johnson’s program, known as St. HOPE, and at City University of New York. But as a result of those investigations, relations between Walpin and top executives became frosty, and he says they cut him out of Corporation business that should normally include the inspector general.”

    Now that Walpin has pried open the door and has stuck his foot in-between the door and the door jam, the alarm has been sounded for the appointment of a Special Prosecutor. This may be just the tip of the iceberg, now that under Walpin’s watch, City University of NY has been flagged for serious irregularities/violations in the dispersal of Federal Grants.

  25. Letterman just apologized again to Sarah Palin, apparently this time he seemed like he meant it.
    *********
    Sorry..if he meant it he would quit. There is something seriously wrong with a person who said what he did and it’s not curable.

  26. His apology was sincere and I think we have bigger issues like a Nuclear War with Korea. Iran, our economy, etc.

  27. I have a friend who has been unemployed in San Diego for 2 years. He was trying to renegotiate a new mortgage he could live with. Evidently, the bank, without notifying him, sold the property to someone within the Bank.

    Our stimulus money at work, not going to the homeowner, but instead to someone within the bank. He now has a lawyer to challenge what went on here. So, I wonder how many homeowners in default have similar stories.

    I would think the bank person would have insider information, and took advantage of that. What I would really like to know if he got a mortgage with the new stimulus money.

    Amazing.

  28. MOSCOW, June 15 (RIA Novosti) -Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will arrive in Russia on Tuesday for a regional summit that began on Monday, a source at Iran’s embassy in Moscow said./en.rian.ru/russia/20090615/155256183.html

    /en.rian.ru/russia/20090615/155256183.html

    That is rather strange..

  29. SHV, someone just tweeted that Ahmendinejob, had left Iran, I guess to go to this summit to devalue our dollar with the rest of the superpowers. We weren’t invited.
    Had this country not indulged in a global economy we would not be in this shape. HW Bush wanted this crap and no doubt he won’t miss a meal or have quit jumping out of airplanes for his birthday parties.

  30. Admin: What about RAT? You know the “Recovery, Accountability & Transparency” clause that was added to the bail out bill? This is outrageous and just goes along with the title of this post. Mary Todd stinks as much as BO.

  31. I think Letterman apologized because apparently one of the sponsors of his show, Embassy Suites I think, pulled their advertising.

    To me, the apology sounded like he was apologizing because people didn’t understand the joke, not that it was an inappropriate joke in the first place.

    I agree with jbstonesfan that there are other things in the news that need more attention these days although we all know the media isn’t likely to delve into those serious issues anytime soon. IMO, the Letterman joke and it’s aftermath is a symptom of larger things that are going on politically and domestically right now..

  32. Letterman just apologized again to Sarah Palin, apparently this time he seemed like he meant it.
    *********
    Sorry..if he meant it he would quit. There is something seriously wrong with a person who said what he did and it’s not curable.
    ————-
    I think Letterman apologized because apparently one of the sponsors of his show, Embassy Suites I think, pulled their advertising.
    ————–
    Think back for a moment of what we have been through. This kind of sexism in the media will not stop until somebody loses their scalp. I think Letterman is a perfect target. He is a pretty mean spirited guy, he knew exactly what he was doing, it was a partisan hit job. I agree with SHV that there will come a time when he does it again. I agree with American Gal that his motivation is not remorse but loss of sponsors. I agree with Jbstonesfan that we have bigger issues to deal with like Iran, North Korea, the economy and all that. However, I think we can multi task for a good cause. If he lost his job over this it would send a message and could make it a little easier for female candidates to get a fair hearing. Call it what it is–the Imus Rule.

  33. wbboei
    I agree there are much bigger fish to fry, but I think the Embassy Suites pull-out is a very big deal. I, for one, have felt like it was all feckless and I see this as a glimmer of better things to come(can’t use the H word). Funny that the AP ran a story a few days ago about how the controversy would be a boon for letterman’s ratings!!!

  34. Confloyd: American elites lost stature last fall when Lehman Brothers failed and other banks were on the verge. It is reasonable to blame bush for that. However, I think the primary reason why countries like China, Russia, Brazil et al are moving for an international currency to replace the dollar is because Obama has shown himself to be a spendthrift in the middle of an economic contraction, and they do not want to be stuck with dollars when the dollar is devalued by the Fed to compensate for it. The first thing he should have done is not do a stimulus bill. The second thing is he should have no guaranteed 16 trillion in debt. The third thing he should not have done is increase our commitment if Afghanistan. The fourth thing he should have don is postponed the heath care debate until we are more solvent. The fifth thing he should have done if fire the White House Budget Director for severely understating the depth and duration of this recession, and the cataclysmic revenue shortfall against which these massive cost increases will be charged. If Obama was serious about maintaining the sanctity of our leadership and the primacy of the dollar this is what he would have done.

  35. wbboei
    I agree there are much bigger fish to fry, but I think the Embassy Suites pull-out is a very big deal. I, for one, have felt like it was all feckless and I see this as a glimmer of better things to come(can’t use the H word). Funny that the AP ran a story a few days ago about how the controversy would be a boon for letterman’s ratings!!!
    —————————————————–
    Henry: I agree with you. Let us hope the ratings increase is because people want to see him eat crow. In the meantime, I think Count Dracule had the right idea: his head at the end of a stick. A Letterman popsicle.

  36. I blocked his program. Don’t know if comcast reports to the networks on blocked shows but I figure it couldn’t hurt.

  37. Letterman just apologized again to Sarah Palin, apparently this time he seemed like he meant it.
    *********
    Anyone who thinks rape is a joke, especially sexual assault of a child, is a piece of garbage. If that sorry sack of sh*t had any remorse he would volunteer in a NYC emergency room see what his “joke” really means. Letterman needs to go.

  38. I doubt there was any sincerity to the apology. I’m sure he made the crack or his writers construed it in order to embrace the bo generation in a lame attempt to still be relevant against the younger quirkier O’Brian.

  39. Puma-SF, the RAT board has been given the authority to stop investigations. It is another facet of the corruption which is the “stimulus” bill.

  40. Confloyd: here is part of the bio on Hedges, which you may find interesting. Note that although he the mideast bureau chief for the New York Times, he gave a college address againt the war critical of the Iraq War and NYT gave him a formal reprimand for and “public remarks that could undermine public trust in the paper’s impartiality.” (A non-sequitir). Hedges left the paper not long after this incident.
    ————————————-
    Hedges, who speaks Arabic and spent seven years in the Middle East, most of them as the Middle East Bureau Chief for The New York Times, was an early and vocal critic of the plan to invade and occupy Iraq. He questioned the rationale for war by the Bush administration and was often critical of the early press coverage, calling it “shameful cheerleading.” Hedges delivered a 2003 Commencement address at Rockford College in Rockford, Ill. shortly after President Bush landed with great fanfare on an aircraft carrier in which he told the graduating class “we are embarking on an occupation that, if history is any guide, will be as damaging to our souls as it will be to our prestige, power and security.” He added: “This is a war of liberation in Iraq, but it is a war of liberation by Iraqis from American occupation.” Hedges raised the ire of several hundred members of the audience who booed and jeered his talk. His microphone was cut twice and two young men rushed the stage to try and prevent him from speaking. Hedges had to cut short his address and was escorted off campus by security officials before the ceremony was over. His address made national news and saw numerous attacks against him by right-wing pundits including an editorial in The Wall Street Journal denouncing Hedges for his anti-war stance. The New York Times issued Hedges a formal reprimand after the address for “public remarks that could undermine public trust in the paper’s impartiality.” Hedges left the paper not long after this incident to write books and teach.

    Hedges, who is not a pacifist and supports humanitarian interventions, such as those in Bosnia and Kosovo designed to stop campaigns of genocide, nevertheless describes war as “the most potent narcotic invented by humankind.” He argues that violence has a dark fascination, something the Bible calls “the lust of the eye.” He writes that war is the pornography of violence, that “it has a dark beauty, filled with the monstrous and the grotesque.” “War,” he writes, “gives us a distorted sense of self. It gives us meaning. It creates a feeling of comradeship that obliterates our alienation and makes us feel, for perhaps the first time in our lives, that we belong.” War, Hedges wrote, exposes the capacity for evil that lurks not far below the surface within all of us. We are all culpable. War is about worshipping the death instinct, which Hedges, quoting Freud, refers to as Thanatos, the Greek God of death. War, he argues, starts out looking and feling like love, the chief emotion war destroys, leads to the annihilation of the other and finally to self-annihilation. War, he writes, is as close as we come to attaining a state of almost pure sin with its goals of hatred and destruction. His book draws heavily from his own experience and the literature of combat from Homer to Michael Herr.

    Hedges, strongly influenced by writers such as George Orwell, Samuel Johnson, Karl Popper, Hannah Arendt, Elias Canetti and the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, began his career reporting on the conflict in El Salvador in 1983. He went to Latin America, ruled at the time by a series of despotic military regimes, following seminary because, as he said, “it was as close as my generation could come to fighting fascism.” Following six years in Latin America he took time off to study Arabic and then went to Jerusalem and later Cairo. He left the Middle East in 1995 for Sarajevo to cover the war in Bosnia and Kosovo and later joined the investigative team of The New York Times where he was based in Paris.

    “War and conflict have marked most of adult life,” he writes in “War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning.” “I began covering insurgencies in El Salvador, where I spent five years, then on to Guatemala and Nicaragua and Colombia, through the first intifada in the West Bank and Gaza, the civil war in the Sudan and Yemen, the uprisings in Algeria and the Punjab, the fall of the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, the Gulf War, the Kurdish rebellion in southeast Turkey and northern Iraq, the war in Bosnia, and finally Kosovo. I have been in ambushes on desolate stretches of Central American roads, shot at in the marshes of southern Iraq, imprisoned in the Sudan, beaten by Saudi military police, deported from Libya and Iran, captured and held for a week by the Iraqi Republican Guard during the Shiite rebellion following the Gulf War, strafed by Russian Mig-21s in Bosnia, fired upon by Serb snipers, and shelled for days in Sarajevo with deafening rounds of heavy artillery that threw out thousands of deadly bits of iron fragments. I have seen too much of violent death. I have tasted too much of my own fear. I have painful memories that lie buried and untouched most of the time. It is never easy when they surface.”

    Hedges, the son of a Presbyterian minister, has a B.A. in English Literature from Colgate University and a Master of Divinity from Harvard University. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard during the academic year of 1998-1999. He has a strong grounding in the classics and knows Greek and Latin, as well as Arabic, French and Spanish. In addition to writing an original weekly column for Truthdig, he currently writes for numerous publications including Foreign Affairs, Harper’s magazine, The New York Review of Books, Granta and Mother Jones. (From Wikipedia)

  41. Anyone who thinks rape is a joke, especially sexual assault of a child, is a piece of garbage. If that sorry sack of sh*t had any remorse he would volunteer in a NYC emergency room see what his “joke” really means. Letterman needs to go.
    —————————–
    Very well said. I have been to the Emergency Room at Bellevue Hospital in New York City and I have witnessed what you are talking about and other things no one could easily forget. Nothing there to laugh about. He should spend a week as a medical volunteer in that facility since he does not seem to understand the meaning of his words.

  42. White House’s Online Silence on Iranian Elections Is Gaining Notice

    By Jose Antonio Vargas

    The blog on the White House’s official Web site does not allow comments. But the online masses can comment on the White House’s Facebook fan page. And some people are using that outlet to urge President Obama to address a news story that has dominated Web discussion: Friday’s elections in Iran and the protests that have erupted since the government announced a winner.

    “Iran is in full-scale revolution at this moment. Although the media is barely covering it, the participants are tweeting out what is happening and it is epic,” Scott Auld wrote on the White House’s Facebook page at 4:52 p.m.

    Meanwhile, the White House’s official blog, which at this writing has posted not a word about the Iranian elections, was focusing on the debut of first lady Michelle Obama’s music series focusing on jazz.

    Just a few minutes before Auld, Traci Marie Smith wrote on the White House Facebook page: “…the white house should be streaming about iran.”

    A powerful meme is making its way online, where people in their own time, on their own social networks, are engaging with news about the election and the protests in the streets of Iran’s capital: “Tiananmen + Twitter = Tehran.” Or, to be more specific, it’s “Tiananmen + social Web = Tehran.”

    In Iran, a country where 70 percent of the population is under 30 years old, text messaging is a norm. Blogging is in vogue. According to an online video called “Iran: A Nation of Bloggers,” created by students at Vancouver Film School last year, Iran is the third largest country of bloggers. (For more on the Arabic and Persian blogosphere, check out these studies from the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.) There were more than 700,000 blogs in Iran in 2005, according to the Vancouver video, and about 100,000 of them are actively maintained, with bloggers discussing such “forbidden topics” as politics and romance. The video was featured on Digg and Boing Boing when it first came out a few months ago and, with interest in Iran and its politics as a peak, the video is now being passed around, from blog to blog, from Twitter to Facebook to YouTube. Other videos, too, are making the rounds. Months before the election, supporters of opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi created a YouTube channel to upload videos from Iran. Journalists are prohibited from filming the ongoing protests over the victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but Mousavi supporters are uploading raw and gritty videos of their demonstrations. Earlier today, the channel uploaded a 47-second video of a bleeding protestor being taken away.

    A comment on the video read: “The world is watching and praying for you, Brave Iranians!”

    Now the world that went online to follow every twist and turn of the 2008 presidential race — and was fascinated by Obama’s effective use of the Web to communicate his message and attract supporters — awaits what the American president says and does about Iran.

    washingtonpost.com/44/2009/06/15/white_houses_online_silence_on.html?wprss=44

    ——————————

    And while the rest of the world burns, bambi golfs.

  43. Stimulus program fraught with waste, report says

    A Republican senator’s office says stimulus funds are going toward dubious projects, such as a $3.4-million tunnel for turtles. Obama aides say the report is flawed.

    By Peter Nicholas
    June 15, 2009

    Reporting from Washington — A report due to be released today by a Republican senator contends the Obama administration’s stimulus program is fraught with waste and incompetence — evidenced by a turtle crossing in northern Florida that will cost more than $3 million and a snafu in which thousands of Social Security checks went out to people who had died.

    Modeled after a release from the White House describing 100 stimulus projects that were in the works, the report put out by Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma looks at the same number of projects but reaches starkly different conclusions. The title is “A Second Opinion on the Stimulus.” “Will these projects make real improvements in the lives of taxpayers and communities or are they simply pet projects of politicians and lobbyists that never got off the ground because they are a low priority?” the report says.

    Coburn’s staff spent about a month interviewing federal officials, reviewing data and compiling news clippings in a continuing examination of the $787-billion stimulus package.

    Millions of dollars are going toward bicycle lockers, bike paths, walking trails and a skate park, Coburn said. One town in North Carolina is using stimulus funds to hire an administrator whose job will be to procure more stimulus funds, according to the report.

    The White House pushed back, trying to debunk the report before its official release. Poring over a draft of the report, aides to President Obama said Monday that the senator’s research was flawed and in some cases driven by ideological differences. The White House pointed out that certain projects highlighted by Coburn have been stopped. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers put out a statement Monday that it would drop plans to spend $1.1 million to repair a guardrail near a dry man-made lake in the Oklahoma panhandle — project No. 7 in Coburn’s report.

    Ed DeSeve, a senior aide to Obama, said in a prepared statement: “With 20,000 projects approved, there are bound to be some mistakes — when we find them, we have been transparent about it, and worked on a bipartisan basis to shut them down immediately. Sen. Coburn’s report, however, is filled with inaccuracies, including criticisms of projects that have already been stopped, projects that never were approved, and some projects that are working quite well.”

    A theme of Coburn’s work is that money is going toward dubious projects that will leave little imprint. One project mentioned is the $3.4-million construction of a 13-foot tunnel near Tallahassee, Fla., that will allow turtles and other wildlife to safely cross U.S. Highway 27. The report said the area “has the highest road-kill mortality rate for turtles in the world.” But it also suggests other uses for the money, and mentions Florida State University’s plans to lay off 200 faculty and staff members in hopes of saving millions of dollars.

    Officials at the Florida Department of Transportation defended the project as one that not only would save turtles but also protect motorists. “A lot of these turtles are quite large. They get hit by a car, and they turn into flying objects,” said Josh Boan, the department’s natural resources manager.
    Construction on the tunnel is to begin in September. State officials could not estimate how many jobs would be created.

    Raising questions about the government’s ability to manage the stimulus money, Coburn’s report also focuses on more than 8,000 Social Security checks that have been mailed to people who are dead. A spokesman for the Social Security system said the checks were mailed based on erroneous records. In most cases, the Postal Service returns the checks directly to the government. One $250 check went to the home of Antonietta Santopadre, a 74-year-old retired hairdresser living in New York. The check was made out to her father, who died 35 years ago. In an interview Monday, Santopadre said: “I was infuriated. Where’s our money going? Our country is in such trouble right now.”

    latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-stimulus16-2009jun16,0,7085006.story

  44. This headline is from Drudge put I just had to pot it because it totally unnerves me. No details as yet..

    “ABC TURNS PROGRAMMING OVER TO OBAMA; NEWS TO BE ANCHORED FROM INSIDE WHITE HOUSE”

  45. Just on twitter, the Army is moving against the protesters. They closed off the streets and moved in.

  46. AmericanGal,

    bambi and teletubby are trying to sell the health care fiasco to everyone and ABC is helping them. In other words, a star is born! He is going primetime again.

  47. Drudge has the gory details now. O isn’t even trying to hide his partnership with the MSM anymore. Will the general public ever catch on and protest?

  48. Wasn’t Obama preaching about wanting to reinstitute the fairness doctrine awhile ago?? Has that now changed?

  49. amricangal,

    This is un-friggin-beleivable! The Repubs sent a letter of protest to ABC saying since their POV is being banned, this is a political event and the DNC should foot the bill.

    Everyday the country sounds more and more like 1984.

  50. americangal,

    “Will teh Americans ever catch on and protest?”

    Sadly, it seems the answer is no. The Iranian protestors are far more noble and aware of what democracy is supposed to mean than the US sheeple.

    For the first time in my adult life I’m almost ashamed of the country.

  51. White House’s Online Silence on Iranian Elections Is Gaining Notice
    ————————————————-
    Yes, black jesus has been pretty quiet alright. I suspect the reason is because he has considered the possibility that he may do the same thing here IF there is social unrest due to economic dislocation due to a meltdown in the economy. In other words, IF he decides,for reasons sufficient to himself, to call out the armed forces against the American People at some future time, then he does not want mainstream media to have to defend him against charges of hypocracy or worse, or to limit his options in advance by condemning their actions to suppress democracy. Normally, I would qualify such a statement as that, but with a sociopath like him it is a likely sort of response if those circumstances materialize.

  52. More on the ABC coverage–there is more planned than just the town hall. This article also says the following:

    “According to a release from ABC News, the President will “answer questions from an audience made up of Americans selected by ABC News who have divergent opinions in this historic debate”

    So evidently only ABC screened folk with “divergent” opinions will be allowed to participate.

    w w w .bizjournals.com/albuquerque/stories/2009/06/15/daily16.html

  53. I would not have the least interest in watching Bambi read a speech on health care. Do you think a huge number of people will tune in? Granted, the subject matter is important, especially if you or someone you are about needs major medical treatment. But what is the use of listening to his The Sky Is Falling In meme and citing misleading figures to bolster his case. I cannot get excited about a bad vaudeville act. And he will change his position twenty times in the process. But somebody does need to tune in to keep track of the lies, and how he is contributing to the economic demise of our country through massive spending programs at a time of economic contraction when as a matter of simple common sense we should be watching our money. It is a trainwreck waiting to happen. So what does Warren Buffet say about all this?

  54. “According to a release from ABC News, the President will “answer questions from an audience made up of Americans selected by ABC News who have divergent opinions in this historic debate”

    So evidently only ABC screened folk with “divergent” opinions will be allowed to participate
    =================
    Potemkin Village

  55. Thanks, AmericanGal- yesterday I posted Obama’s Health Care reform would be on NBC.. Actually, the Health Care Reform segment will be on the 24th w/ABC..

    Here is a preview from h…pumasunleashed.wordpress.com

    “Jay Rockefeller patterns Health Care Reform after Federal Reserve”

    “Behind this is a new bill submitted on May 20 by Senator John D. “Jay” Rockefeller IV (D, W.VA.), chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care. It authorizes the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC, created in 1997) to go even further and set lists of approved treatment standards and actually have enforcement powers over methods of healthcare delivery and reimbursement. You just think about that for a minute.

    This time “The MedPAC Reform Act” is calling for MedPAC to be made up of “independent experts” as an “executive agency modeled after the Federal Reserve.” Is that because the Fed has done such an incredibly super job of throwing our money after banks and other dinosauric corporations like AIG?

    Do we need still another shark tank of “experts” with vested interests and little transparency over their actions, spending your money as they will, and as fast as they print it. Yes, just as the Federal Reserve serves private financial interests, so too the new health care reimbursement agency will serve the HMOs, demanding their (your) blood money. This is the opposite of what Obama promised in his “Change” campaign.

    But then, politicians as we all know will and do say anything to get elected. Reality is another thing. And Rockefeller claims that an enhanced, empowered MedPAC would not be, and get this, subject to the “whims of Congress.” Excuse me? Jay said this and more about his bill in a recent interview with Washington Post healthcare writer, Ceci Connolly. He added, “To truly achieve transformative health care reform, we need to separate the special interests from the decision makers.” Think about that for a while.

    He added “We must take Congress out of its current role [representing the people?] . . . It is inefficient and ineffective; we are not health-care experts, and being a deliberative body means that we cannot keep pace with the rapidly transforming health-care marketplace.” Congress is not made up of all arms experts yet they appropriate billions every year to the Department of Defense. When we leave it to the generals to do on their own buying pell-mell, we end up with them in bed with big defense corporations, creating multi-billion dollar white elephants that don’t fly, i.e, incredible waste.

    In fact, in the true tradition of the Rockefeller family and their treasonous involvement and leadership in the Bilderberg Group, Jay Rockefeller is trying to circumvent the duly elected legislative body of the people to make side deals with private corporations, utilizing MedPAC’s “experts,” and hence have more money to pour down the corporations’ ever dollar-hungry gullets, not to mention the bankrupt banks’ maws.

    The very idea of setting up an “independent” national commission to declare what doctors and hospitals can and cannot do is odious — a step totally in the wrong direction for both the right and left sides of the Obama/Baucus health-care “reform” discussion. It is made to order to keep the money flowing right down the drain of the financial cadre behind the HMOs.

    Until now, the very idea of this flagrantly “special interest” bill has not been permitted in the United States. Unfortunately, the model for it comes express-direct from Britain and is called the “National Institute for Clinical Excellence,” or NICE, more appropriately “Nazi-Inspired Citizen Eradication”. NICE was set up 11 years ago and passes on what medications, treatments, and services cannot be allowed to be given in the health-care system. It can easily become the “euthanasia express,” with its “Kevorkians,” excuse me, “experts” deciding who lives and who dies and when.

    There is a distinctly inhuman, illegal feeling about this bill. But then Rockefeller’s latest bill is one of dozens that have been filed recently in Congress, each with various slants, but all consistent with the un-American, Nazi-medicine edge.

    They will all be detailed soon in Obama/Baucus/Grassley’s “comprehensive health care reform” act in June. For instance, a version that was filed last week in the Senate called the “Advance Planning and Compassionate Care Act,” was to help citizens decide when to reduce expensive treatments in their “end-of-life” experiences. Can you believe it? It is again sponsored by Jay Rockefeller, Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), and others. This is not science fiction, folks. These geeks (vultures/saboteurs- my emphassis) are for real. They just sound like they’re from another planet.

    In fact, Rockefeller personally desires backing the principle of providing health care for all, especially kids, so they can practice these little tricks on everyone. He would also like to have Medicare open to enrolling people 55 years old and up, to get the “experts” hands on them earlier. But the caveat, my dears, is that he wants his NICE agency patterned on Britain’s model to “service them.”

    NICE will decide when and how to cut care for the enrollees so that the HMO systems get their pound of flesh, yours or mine, and more. My advice, beloved fellow citizens, old, middle-aged and young, is to be careful of this Rockefeller, this elitist playing Democratic senator and his bunch. And be careful of all who offer your healthcare up as a honey-pot for the healthcare and Big Pharma bears — just like the Federal Reserve does with taxpayer money for the banks.

    As to Obama, he couldn’t care less. He just wants to cut a couple of trillion from his first term expenditures, the monies he’s already given away to the banks, so that he has more to spend next time around. Stay tuned. More to come!

  56. Chinese Official Blames US for ‘Initiating’ Global Financial Crisis

    By Stephanie Ho
    Beijing
    16 June 2009

    A Chinese spokesman has leveled some of his government’s harshest criticism against the United States for “initiating” the global financial crisis that has worsened conditions for workers around the world. At Tuesday’s regular briefing, a reporter from the Bloomberg News Agency asked the Chinese Foreign Ministry to respond to a U.S. State Department statement saying China could use the global financial crisis as a pretext to weaken labor rights.

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang says his government firmly opposes what he describes as an “accusation” by the American side.

    Innocent victims?

    Instead, he says the United States initiated the global financial crisis, which has led to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, worldwide. Qin says he has spoken with people from different countries who all complain that many of their workers have lost their jobs because of the crisis. He calls workers the “innocent victims” of the economic downturn and says he wonders what a U.S. spokesperson would say to them.

    Pointing fingers

    The Chinese official was asked if he feels the United States owes an apology to the workers of the world. Qin says people have different views on opinions about and reasons for the issue. But he says if a country makes mistakes, it should “at least stop pointing fingers at others.”

    The Chinese spokesman was also asked to comment on why China trimmed its holdings of U.S. Treasury debt, in April. He gave no details, but repeated previous comments that China decides how much American debt to buy based on three principles: security, liquidity and good value.

    voanews.com/english/2009-06-16-voa8.cfm

  57. JUNE 16, 2009

    Gay Group Slams Policies of President

    By LAURA MECKLER

    WASHINGTON — A prominent gay-rights organization, long supportive of President Barack Obama, sent him a scathing letter Monday to protest the administration’s recent legal backing of the Defense of Marriage Act. The frustration, expressed in an emotional letter by the president of the Human Rights Campaign, also stems from Mr. Obama’s reluctance to move on other issues on its agenda, such as allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military.

    As a candidate for president, Mr. Obama said he would try to repeal the law known as DOMA. It prevents same-sex couples married in states where gay unions are legal from benefiting from federal benefits of marriage, such as Social Security spousal benefits. But on Friday, the Obama administration filed a brief seeking to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer, a California couple married during the brief period when gay marriage was legal in the state, who are challenging the 1996 federal act.

    The letter Monday from Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese included a detailed critique of the administration’s filing. “This brief would not have seen the light of day if someone in your administration who truly recognized our humanity and equality had weighed in with you,” he wrote.

    A Justice Department spokeswoman said in a statement that the department was following routine in the filing, and wasn’t making a policy statement. “As it generally does with existing statutes, the Justice Department is defending the law on the books in court,” said Tracy Schmaler. “Until Congress passes legislation repealing the law, the administration will continue to defend the statute when it is challenged in the justice system.”

    In a statement, White House spokesman Shin Inouye said it has already begun working to help gay and lesbian Americans achieve equal rights. “The president remains strongly committed to signing a legislative repeal of DOMA into law,” he said.

    online.wsj.com/article/SB124511150294217147.html

  58. I don’t think bambi’s plan to make friends with the rest of the world and change the U.S.’s reputation is working too well.

    Or maybe I’m wrong. Let’s see. He’s antagonized the British more times than not since he assumed his role as pied piper. China isn’t thrilled. Israel thinks he’s abandoned them, North Korea and Iran are ready to start a nuclear war and Russia is waiting for the U.S. to de-nuke before they even lift a finger to do the same.

    Then again, the Muslims are having a love affair with him. I guess he got what he wanted after all.

  59. Jan–my sense is he is making friends with our enemies, but not with our friends and allies. If he were making friends with them, why is it that we were not invited to that monetary conference seeking a reserve currency. US interests are being challenged all over the world and he is in retreat. His failure to speak out early and forcefully on the Iran situation, and his craven removal of Ross as envoy to placate them hearkens back once again to Chamberlain. I think he has changed our reputation in the world from being a nation that understands balance of power, means business, and occasionally screws up, to one that is weak, tentative and does not stand up for its principles. If Hillary had a free hand it would be different I am sure. In the absence of credible US leadership one wonders where the world will drift. I would rather have theme need us but not like us, than like us but not need us. That is precisely where we are headed, by his refusal to act decisively.

  60. “In the absence of credible US leadership one wonders where the world will drift.”

    ——————————-

    With China and Russia in the mix, downgrading the U.S. to no longer being a leading power could very well be a sign of the future. I never thought this would ever happen but then again I never thought the world could be in an even worse mess than when Bush was in power.

  61. I think the man has created such a bureacracy that sound decision making in real time is becoming well nigh impossible. The turf wars have got to be something. And 20 czars–nuts. Meanwhile his inner circle is little more than a den of thieves. His backers? My sense if they are international capitalists and financial institutions, who have lost credibility in this economic meltdown. The man is not an organizational leader as I understand the term.

  62. Melanie Phillips has a good round up of Obama’s lack of response to Iran’s situation. {Though I want to sound a caution about Phillips — since in one of her posts she defended Intelligent Design, I have cooled off on her. But she gives a good historical perspective on Israel, is pro-India, and right on Obama.}

  63. Just got this in email from Team Sarah.

    Imo Letterman may be a small fish but he is a fish that we CAN influence. Whether we need him fired or need him repentant is another question.

    A message to all members of Team Sarah

    Dear Friends,

    Last night David Letterman again addressed the distasteful “jokes” he made at the expense of Governor Sarah Palin and her teenage daughter on June 8. Governor Palin issued a statement accepting last night’s apology:

    “Of course it’s accepted on behalf of young women, like my daughters, who hope men who ‘joke’ about public displays of sexual exploitation of girls will soon evolve. Letterman certainly has the right to ‘joke’ about whatever he wants to, and thankfully we have the right to express our reaction. And this is all thanks to our U.S. military women and men putting their lives on the line for us to secure America’s right to free speech – in this case, may that right be used to promote equality and respect.”

    The controversy over Letterman’s “jokes” has already cost CBS at least one advertiser: Embassy Suites. Company spokeswoman Kendra Walker told TVGuide.com, “We received lots of e-mails from concerned guests and we assessed that the statement that he made was offensive enough to our guests and prospective guests that we elected to take the ads down.”

    Governor Palin has very graciously accepted Letterman’s apology, and her hope that men who make jokes of this nature will “evolve” certainly resonates with the public. It is OUR hope that David Letterman has seen first hand how the laughter ends when comedy routines become nothing more than thinly-disguised ideological grandstanding designed around the humiliation of others for cheap laughs.

    THANK YOU to all of the Team Sarah members who have contacted CBS and their sponsors to express their views on this latest controversy. We are truly touched by all of the supportive comments and emails we have received.

  64. pm317

    There are some days when I think those commentators email each other the night before to determine who is going to be good guy, bad guy.

  65. North Korea and Iran are ready to start a nuclear war

    ===========

    Will someone pls hack in and aim their missiles at each other?

  66. wbboei Says:

    June 15th, 2009 at 10:55 pm
    I have been planning since I read wbboei’s article on the previous thread to start buying rice, beans and flour and basics in case our dollar is suddenly gone.
    ——————————————
    Confloyd: I am not sure Hedges is right. But is a serious thinker, he has contacts who tell him things, and he tells us things that big media does not want us to know. It is clear that they are meeting and it is equally clear that we were not invited. But that is not surprising if we are the primary subject of discussion. I wish Paul Volker was more involved, because he would be doing the exact opposite of what bambi pelosi and geithner are doing now. But much depends on what they come back with after they meet. And even then there is alot of time and distance between now and some of this 1-2 years. For me, it is the same lament as before. If only we had a strong smart leader as president. And to think that but for big media we could have had Hillary.

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

    I happened to catch canada’s prime minister, stephen harper, on cavuto…and while he was diplomatic and trying to be ‘kind’ towards O, he basically said the essence of what Hedges is saying…in that the USA is in much worse finanicial condition than not only Canada, but many other countries and the US has a big hole to climb out of…the world leaders know what is going on…and yet O talks like he has an open checkbook for whatever…all his lecturing and bravado (with teleprompter)…what reality is he living in?

    hedges says:

    Barack Obama, and the criminal class on Wall Street, aided by a corporate media that continues to peddle fatuous gossip and trash talk as news while we endure the greatest economic crisis in our history, may have fooled us, but the rest of the world knows we are bankrupt. And these nations are damned if they are going to continue to prop up an inflated dollar and sustain the massive federal budget deficits, swollen to over $2 trillion, which fund America’s imperial expansion in Eurasia and our system of casino capitalism. They have us by the throat. They are about to squeeze.

    …Obama, endowed by many with the qualities of a savior, will suddenly look pitiful, inept and weak

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

    as for letterman’s apology, saw a clip on utube, imho, he was forced to confront the outrage that was surfacing…as has been said, embassy pulled their adverts, a rally is planned for today and his sponsors and CBS have been deluged with complaints…pressure was/is mounting…

    frankly, trying to rationalize that the “perception” of his joke was misunderstood because his real ‘intent’ was the 18 year old daughter, not the 14 year old daughter just makes the whole thing worse…and makes him look like a bigger idiot…

    ***********

    I think there are other so called liberals that are beginning to realize defending the indefensible and the remarks of a 62 year old man at the expense of young girls is not worth it…those political points might just backfire…

    i think the women of the view, namely Joy Behar, may be starting to get the message…she is getting a new tv show on headline news…she probably does not want to get cancelled before she even gets started…and hiding behind ‘comedy’ is not going to cut it…so-called liberal women better wake up and smell the coffee, attacking palin and conservative women just for the hell of it is not ok…claiming to care more about women in Iran while sexually exploiting and attacking daughters of political female opponents here is frankly not what feminism is about…it is called hypocrisy …

  67. Ann Lewis, Honored

    June 16, 2009

    Bill Clinton is making the rounds in DC tonight, showing the love for some of the people who made it all possible.

    One is retiring Democratic Leadership Council CEO Al From, whom Clinton will sing the praises of at an event open to the press.

    But he’s also doing a closed event that is at least as significant for Clinton loyalists.

    The former President will chair a dinner honoring Ann Lewis, who worked in his white House, but also was one of Hillary Clinton’s best and most loyal advisers. She’s now running her own progressive advocacy shop, NoLimits.org, with its name taken from a Hillary quote.

    Lewis, who led Clinton’s 2008 outreach to women and Jewish voters, is winning the National Jewish Democratic Council’s Belle Moskowitz award, aptly named after another behind-the-scenes woman who helped guide Al Smith’s rise to prominence in the 1920s.

    nydailynews.com/blogs/dc/2009/06/ann-lewis-honored.html#ixzz0IcMjNeEm&D

  68. BRICs Agree to Boost Global Clout at ‘Historic’ Russian Summit

    By Lyubov Pronina, Lucian Kim and Alex Nicholson

    June 16 (Bloomberg) — The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China agreed to push for more clout in global financial institutions at an “historic” first summit, without announcing a common policy on how to flex their $2.8 trillion in reserves. The heads of the so-called BRIC states called for emerging economies to have a “greater voice and representation in international financial institutions” and for a “more diversified” global monetary system. The comments were made in a joint statement released to reporters after the meeting today.

    Before the meeting in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg, Arkady Dvorkovich, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s top economic adviser, said the four leaders would discuss measures to promote regional currencies, including by investing part of their reserves in each other’s bonds, to lessen dependence on the dollar. The statement didn’t mention this possibility.

    The BRIC summit, which Medvedev hailed as an “historic event,” comes after Brazil, China and Russia announced plans to shift some foreign reserves into International Monetary Fund bonds, driving Treasuries and the dollar lower. Investors watched the meeting for clues as to how the countries, which are among the biggest holders of U.S. Treasuries, will manage their reserves. “This is not something for the immediate future, but rather a direction of movement,” Stanislav Ponomarenko, a fixed-income analyst at ING Groep NV in Moscow, said of Dvorkovich’s comments on BRIC bonds.

    BRIC Bonds

    “I don’t think more than a few percent of reserves could be reinvested into BRIC bonds,” Ponomarenko said. “What we’re seeing is a continuation of discussions to find an alternative to the dollar, yet nobody is going fundamentally to alter anything yet.”

    The next BRIC summit will be held in Brazil in 2010, according to the statement issued by Medvedev, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Medvedev said the leaders had agreed to continue talks on reforming the global financial system. “We have instructed our finance ministers, our central bank chairmen and other interested structures to meet and prepare proposals to this end,” he told reporters after the summit.

    Among such proposals, the leaders’ joint statement mentioned that the “heads and senior leadership” of international financial institutions “should be appointed through an open, transparent, and merit-based selection process.”

    Supranational Currency

    Medvedev hosted back-to-back summits of developing economies today as he seeks to carve out a bigger role for developing nations in the global financial system. At a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which includes China and the four former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the Russian leader reiterated his intention to push for the creation of a “supranational currency” to challenge the dollar. He called on other Shanghai group members to use each other’s currencies for trade. “There can be no successful global currency system if the financial instruments that are used are denominated in only one currency,” Medvedev said. “Today this is the case and the currency is the dollar.”

    Chinese Pledge

    Hu pledged $10 billion to help the Shanghai group’s Central Asian members weather the global recession, joining Russia in seeking greater influence in the region through aid. Medvedev in February said Russia would contribute $7.5 billion to a regional fund created by the Eurasian Economic Community, which also includes Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

    Today’s meetings “show a very strong desire of developing countries to play a bigger role in world finance, especially given the growing insecurity related to the current crisis,” said Masha Lipman, a political analyst at the Carnegie Center in Moscow, in an interview with Bloomberg Television today.

    bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601091&sid=a8ek.ffcimwU#

  69. June 16, 2009

    White House blocks access to visitor list

    In a move that puts a cloud over transparency, the Obama White House is trying to block access to the lists of the names of visitors to the White House. The practice, carried over from the Bush administration, argues the public does not need to know who comes calling at the Executive mansion, even if it’s for policy purposes.

    “We are deeply disappointed,” said CREW spokeswoman Anne Weismann. “The President, who has committed his administration to transparency and accountability, now takes the position of the Bush administration that the public is not entitled to know who visits the White House. These are not the actions of a pro-transparency administration.”

    The request for the records, made by CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) through a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) was denied by the Secret Service. CREW was requesting a list with logs of executives from coal companies. MSNBC was also denied a FOIA request asking for a list of every White House visitor from January 20 until present. CREW received a letter from Secret Service saying they were unable to provide the records due to litigation pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The letter goes on to say, “It is the government’s position that the vast majority, if not all, of the records that would have to be searched to determine whether any records responsive to your request exist are not agency records subject to FOIA.”

    For its part, the Obama administration says the policy is still under review. “We are reviewing our policy on access to visitor logs and related litigation involving the previous administration to determine how we can ensure that policymaking in this administration happens in an open and transparent way,” said White House Spokesman Ben LaBolt.

    Groups like CREW argue it’s important to know the names of White House visitors because the people visiting could have a huge impact on all sorts of policy matters. The logs have been released before, in isolated cases, including the records of the visits of Jack Abramoff to the Bush White House and those involved in “filegate” in the Clinton White House.

    whitehouse.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/06/16/white-house-blocks-access-to-visitor-list/

  70. Calif. Aid Request Spurned By U.S.
    Officials Push State To Repair Budget

    By David Cho, Brady Dennis and Karl Vick
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    The Obama administration has turned back pleas for emergency aid from one of the biggest remaining threats to the economy — the state of California. Top state officials have gone hat in hand to the administration, armed with dire warnings of a fast-approaching “fiscal meltdown” caused by a budget shortfall. Concern has grown inside the White House in recent weeks as California’s fiscal condition has worsened, leading to high-level administration meetings. But federal officials are worried that a bailout of California would set off a cascade of demands from other states. With an economy larger than Canada’s or Brazil’s, the state is too big to fail, California officials urge.

    “This matters for the U.S., not just for California,” said U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who chairs the state’s Democratic congressional delegation. “I can’t speak for the president, but when you’ve got the 8th biggest economy in the world sitting as one of your 50 states, it’s hard to see how the country recovers if that state does not.”

    The administration is worried that California will enact massive cuts to close its deficit, estimated at $24 billion for the fiscal year that begins July 1, aggravating the state’s recession and further dragging down the national economy.

    After a series of meetings, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, top White House economists Lawrence Summers and Christina Romer, and other senior officials have decided that California could hold on a little longer and should get its budget in order rather than rely on a federal bailout. These policymakers continue to watch the situation closely and do not rule out helping the state if its condition significantly deteriorates, a senior administration official said. But in that case, federal help would carry conditions to protect taxpayers and make similar requests for aid unattractive to other states, the official said. The official did not detail those conditions.

    California is among several states that have asked for a bailout from the Treasury Department. A few have gotten some traction, notably Michigan, whose economy is among the country’s weakest and is struggling to deal with the fallout from the bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler. To stave off mass layoffs, Treasury officials are considering helping the state’s auto suppliers stay afloat and convert their businesses to support other industries. California Controller John Chiang, a Democrat, warned last week that the state was “less than 50 days away from a meltdown of state government.”

    While its fiscal crisis is severe, experts say the state is unlikely to default on what it owes, even if it runs out of cash. It can raise money through taxes and other means to assure repayment of its debt. Most likely are massive cuts in public services. “After June 15th, every day of inaction jeopardizes our state’s solvency and our ability to pay schools and teachers and to keep hospitals and ERs open,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) said Friday. Problems unique to California have made it hard for the state to find a way out of its crisis.

    The state entered the downturn burdened with an inflexible budgeting apparatus, constrained by a state ballot initiative approved by voters in 1978 that severely limited property taxes in California. The signature example of “ballot box budgeting” left the Golden State inordinately reliant on the personal income tax, which accounts for half of revenue to Sacramento. California’s budget is also heavily dependent on taxes paid on capital gains and stock options, which have been clobbered during the meltdown of financial markets. State budget analysts made their annual estimate of revenue a month before the crisis spiked in the fall and have been backpedaling ever since. “Those revenue projections turned out to be wildly optimistic, but nobody was predicting the October collapse of the financial markets,” said Michael Cohen, deputy analyst in the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

    Consider capital gains — income from sales of stocks or other assets. In California, that income dropped to $52 billion in 2008 from $130 billion a year earlier. It is estimated to be $36 billion this year. By February, the shortfall was projected at $42 billion over two years. Lawmakers stared at the figure for weeks, stymied by the state constitution’s requirement that the budget pass with two-thirds of the legislative vote and their own profound partisanship. The deadlock broke when a moderate Republican defied his caucus’s pledge against any tax hike, but it didn’t end there. In April, budget analysts revised revenue projections downward by another $12 billion. And in May, voters overwhelmingly rejected the portions of the February deal that legally had to be put before them, taking $6 billion off the table.

    To close an annual gap now put at $24 billion, Schwarzenegger and leaders of the legislature’s Democratic majority have put aside talk of tax increases to concentrate on cuts. Most dramatically, Schwarzenegger would eliminate the state’s basic welfare program, which serves 1.3 million. Facing gridlock and few options other than severe cuts, California began to look to Washington for help. State Treasurer Bill Lockyer sent a letter to Geithner in mid-May, urging him to consider helping cash-strapped municipalities. “A fiscal meltdown by California or any other large state or municipality would surely destabilize the U.S., if not worldwide, financial markets,” Lockyer wrote. If the state were to default, it could shake bond markets and undermine investor confidence in a still-fragile financial system. Tom Dresslar, a spokesman for Lockyer, said California will not default on its general obligation debts. But by late July, the state conceivably could run out of money to operate, as revenue continues to deteriorate while costs keep mounting. “The problem is getting worse, certainly not getting better,” he said.

    In testimony before Congress, Geithner did not rule out aiding California. But he was far from enthusiastic about such a proposal, instead suggesting that Congress was better positioned to help the states — and that states should balance their budgets.
    “A lot of the burden,” Geithner said, “is going to be on them to lay out a path that gets their deficits down to the point where they’re going to be able to fund themselves comfortably.”

    Most members of California’s congressional delegation have also been ambivalent about whether to press for federal help. State officials are “not expecting any help from the federal government,” Dresslar said. “At this point, we’re on our own.”

    washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/15/AR2009061503249_pf.html

  71. June 16, 2009

    BRIC countries seek more clout at summit

    By Nick Godt, MarketWatch

    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Brazil, Russia, India and China, the so-called BRIC countries, met on Tuesday for their first-ever economic summit, in a concerted effort to assert their weight on the global economic and financial arena. With the global economy and financial system still on the mend after nearly collapsing over the past year and a half, the meeting aimed to outline the common interests between BRIC countries, notably on the subject of currencies. Concerns have mounted that the dollar might resume a multi-year slide and hurt foreign-held dollar assets.

    A draft communique from the meeting calls for a “diversified, stable and predictable currency” system, but makes no direct challenge to the dollar as the world’s global reserve currency, Reuters reported.

    BRIC countries are also reportedly considering buying each other’s government debt to reduce their reliance on the dollar, according to Bloomberg. The draft also reportedly calls for emerging economies to play a bigger role in international financial institutions. The official communique is expected to be released later on Tuesday.

    “They are threading the needle between their long run desire to diversify and their short run interests not to roil the U.S. market — thus their cautious statements,” said Rich Tang, an analyst at RBS Securities. “For us, the main event is not what they said, but that they met at all.” The summit comes right on the heels of the Group of Eight leading countries meeting over the weekend, where the Group of Seven most industrialized countries plus Russia agreed to support the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. European and other exporting countries have an interest in keeping the dollar strong, which helps cheapen their exports.

    But with the U.S. government printing massive amounts of dollars to stimulate the economy, concerns that the dollar might resume a multiyear slide and hit dollar assets have led some countries to call for an alternative international reserve currency.

    China, which has converted much of its export-produced dollars into U.S. government debt, is the largest holder of Treasurys in the world. Along with Russia, Brazil and India, BRIC countries hold nearly one third of U.S. overseas debt.

    With the dollar weakening and the price of U.S. Treasurys falling over the past three months, those foreign holdings have lost value. At the same time, however, a weaker U.S. currency has helped lift the price of commodities, such as crude oil, which trade in dollars. BRIC countries are both heavy producers and consumers of commodities.
    They also do have a vital interest in a rebound of the U.S. economy, which still consumes much of the world’s production.

    The IMF route

    Russia and Brazil have already announced plans to buy bonds from the International Monetary Fund, and India might also follow the same course. These holdings would be valued in the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), an international reserve asset.
    But providing funding for the IMF also has political implications. “The leading emerging market countries are seeking a stronger voice in international financial institutions such as the IMF to reflect their increasing economic and financial clout in the global economy,” said Jan Randolph, head of sovereign risk analysis at IHS Global Insight, in a note. Along with the World Bank, the power structures of the IMF date back to the end of World War II, Randolph said. “The respective heads of the IMF and World Bank are shared between the U.S. and Europe, with the U.S. having an effective veto while the combined European voting share is considered disproportionately large,” he said.

    The IMF and World Bank determine which countries are eligible for financial and economic aid, depending on whether certain criteria are met

    marketwatch.com/story/bric-countries-seek-more-clout-at-summit

  72. wbb-

    Here is what is happening as duly noted by Obama’s latest actions and non-actions-

    First of all- we’ve technically joined the European Union thanks to Brown and Soros and are presenting a United Global Union against the rest of the World. Next, THE UNINVITED- China, India, Russia, Iran, Muslim Empires etc. aka our enemies.

    Their plan is to thwart the Global Financial Union is the devaluation of the US Dollar, and the British Pound thereby bringing the US, UK IMF, CFR, Central Bank to heel if NOT to their knees.

  73. The Arbitrator just got back from Idaho this morning, fresh from a wrestling match with a 40 pound raccoon. I had coffee with him. He was over there for a funeral, and brought his dog with him. The dog cornered the raccoon, the raccoon counterattacked the dog and had it down on the ground. The arbitrator ran into the street, jumped on the raccon, pulled it off the dog, and hurled the raccon across the road. The raccon took off figuring it had finally found a critter more ornery than it was. It did not bit him but it scratched him and he bruised a rib. They took the dog to the vet. The arbitrator is 80 years old, he was a brawler in his youth, and was a paratrooper in the Korean War, saw action and received two silver stars, which is very rare.

    I showed him the Hedges article and it alarmed him. He remembered Hedges name because I had given him the Brand Obama article he wrote a few weeks ago. I told him that there was also the article by McKensie which discusses the same problem albeit in less apolcolyptic terms. If you read those two documents together you conclude that the situation Bambi inherited was indeed serious and there is no denying that. But it is what he has done since taking office that has done the real harm. In a contracting economy it is madness to add trillions of dollars in cost. When he raises taxes and inflates the dollar to cover those new obligations the impact will be problematic. Also, the American elites have lost their credibility in the eyes of the world as evidenced by pressure to move away from the dollar. Finally, the propaganda emanating from corporate media has no credibility.

    I told him there are three scenarios, as there are in any field, from law, to medicine, to the economy: best case, likely, worst case. The problem is, as the evidence cumulates the likely scenario and the worst case sceario are seeming to merge, even as he screams words like hope and change from the roof tops. His mistake is to double down of so many Bush policies and to create so many new ones of his own which add cost, and involve massive corruption. The IG situation is merely the tip of the iceberg. My native American friend has been meditating over all this and sees a bleak scenario ahead–surprisingly close to what Hedges is saying. And I swear to you, the day he was elected she envisioned that he and his Chicago thugs would loot the treasury precisely as they have done.

  74. wbb-

    “But it is what he has done since taking office that has done the real harm.”

    Yes, Bush setup the policies to be implemented before he left office and Obama is the designated bomb thrower. Theres your reason for the relative SILENCE from Republicans, except from the very few outliner Repubs telling it like it is-

    Confucius say: “HOPE is the enemy of Peace of Mind.”

  75. You just gotta laugh at this insanity. Imagine Fox News setting up their offices in the White White, selecting the questions, and calling it “fair and balanced”. The left would be on him like white on rice. The unmitigated suck job that MSM has given Obama is unprecedented. They don’t even try to hide it anymore…I even read an article on RCP how Obama and company desperately are trying to get the NYT in their corner…I found that odd, because despite their so called “endorsement” of Hillary, the paper has been his single biggest ally along with the major networks…

  76. This is my question, why are they giving him and “unmitigated suck job”, when we can see what is happening with BRIC, Soros, NK, IRan, and host of other things WHY are they so behind him, aren’t they worried what will happen when the dollar is a worthless piece of paper?? THey all have families, house payments, car payments and etc., so WHY???

  77. Mrs. Smith: if you think back to the days of Perishstoyka, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the End Of History hypothesis that the future belonged to markets, the loss of manufacturing in the name of an information based economy, the subsequent loss of information work based on the internet, forcing China into WTO, faux prosperity based on the automation of the eighties and the productivity gains in productivity gains in Asia a decade later, the faustian pact with China consisting of low mortagage rates in exchange for job loss and shoddy products, the overextension of our military, and other dead end policies it becomes obvious that the American elites have failed and why we are in the position we are in today. For nearly a generation they have been trying to create a seamless world economic market, and now with the rise of the Eurasian block (Russia, China, Iraq, India and Pakistan) and their repudiation of US economic leadership that dream is falling apart. We are moving back into a bi polar world with competing spheres of influnence within them. They want us out of Eurasia. The Anglo American block joined to Europe has to be worried. So they try desperately to control the message and bamboozle the masses through their wholly subsidiary corporate media.

  78. Not sure Confloyd, but certainly the dangerous cabal of powerful people backing him are calling the shots. BO is many things, but a leader is not one of them.

  79. “why are they giving him and “unmitigated suck job’

    ——————————–

    desperation…for a ratings grabber…perks…next level up of the media’s lovefest with this clown…take your pick.

    I just hope absolutely no one watches this circus. They pick the people. They pick the questions. Teletubby is at it’s finest.

  80. Jan–most people I know have a viceral reaction to this joker and to his big media shills now. Familiarity breeds contempt.

  81. Mrs. Smith,

    Interesting. Bilderburgers?

    ‘Yes, Bush setup the policies to be implemented before he left office and Obama is the designated bomb thrower.’

  82. OT,

    Anyone else read about 3 of Letterman’s sponsors pulling out even tho Palin accepted the apology?

    If true, it’s encouraging.
    From ahillbuzz poster;

    ‘There is only one reason for this “apology.” Three sponsors, reportedly, have now pulled out. Embassy Suites, Hellmanns and Olive Garden.’

  83. Wolff at Vanity Fair is disingenuous. He is a typical member of the delusional left who favor a two state solution just so they can say we reached an agreement–with no regard for whether the people involved favor it, or whether whatever they would agree to would have any stability going forward. He claims Bambi will prevail over Bibi and American Jews support Bambi. It is good to see that there are powerful people in this country who have reservations about Obama in this and many other respects.

    Jews ‘Very Concerned’ About Obama, Leader of Jewish Organizations Says

    Sunday, June 14, 2009 6:23 PM

    By: Ronald Kessler Article Font Size
    President Obama’s strongest supporters among Jewish leaders are deeply troubled by his recent Middle East initiatives, and some are questioning what he really believes, Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview.

    Though Hoenlein says he is only offering his personal views, the conference he represents is a political powerhouse that includes 50 major Jewish groups. Among them are the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), B’nai B’rith International, the American Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee, the Zionist Organization of America, Hadassah, and the Anti-Defamation League. Hoenlein has been the professional head of the conference since 1986, overseeing its day-to-day activities as the coordinating body for American Jews on issues of concern in the U.S. and globally.

    Jewish leaders “are expressing concern about what was said [in Obama’s Cairo speech],” Hoenlein says. “I’ve heard it from some of his strongest supporters. It’s expected from his detractors. Even people close to him have said to us that there were parts of the speech that bothered them.”

    Obama’s speech to a Muslim audience in Cairo in early June was his second effort early in his administration to re-define America’s posture toward the Arab world. In April, Obama traveled to Ankara, Turkey, to offer a similar outreach to the Muslim world.

    But many in the Jewish community, including some of Obama’s most ardent supporters, are troubled by his comments in the Middle East, especially his remarks to his Cairo audience. Others are concerned that, facing a multitude of problems on the domestic front, Obama has traveled twice to the Middle East without visiting Israel, America’s stalwart ally in the region for more than a half-century.

    “There’s a lot of questioning going on about what he really believes and what does he really stand for,” Hoenlein says of Obama’s outreach.

    Reaction to Obama’s speech has drawn a range of reaction from many Jewish leaders. On the right, some have condemned it as a revision of the long and close relationship between the U.S. and Israel. But many on the left who backed Obama were also surprised and dismayed over Obama’s speech. Such reactions from major Jewish leaders have largely remained beneath the surface, exchanged privately among them.

    Hoenlein’s comments to Newsmax are his first detailed appraisal of Obama’s speech and represent the first time a major Jewish leader has spoken openly about the erosion of Jewish support for Obama.

    According to the exit poll conducted by major press organizations during the 2008 election, Obama captured overwhelming support from American Jews, winning 78 percent of their vote. Despite the fact that Republicans are stronger on national security and the war on terror, Obama also won support from Jewish leaders who have been champions of Israel’s security, such as the former Democratic mayor of New York, Edward I. Koch. Koch crossed party lines in 2004 to back George W. Bush.

    Reacting to Obama’s Cairo speech, Hoenlein tells Newsmax, “I have no problem with addressing the Muslim world. I’m in fact in favor of outreach, and we here at the conference have done it for about 12 or 15 years, visiting Muslim countries in Central Asia and the Middle East. But the question is, what is the message they get? It’s not so much what he says, but how do they perceive what he says?”

    On the one hand, Hoenlein says, “His reference to Israel and the special relationship being unbreakable is important, and references to persecution and Holocaust denial were important, and some of his references to some human rights issues also were important.”

    But Hoenlein notes the speech included a number of troubling references and comparisons. He cites the fact that Obama claimed America has seven million Muslims. That is a figure “Arab propagandists have put out,” he says. “In fact, they say only six million, when in fact there’s no study that shows even half of that.”

    In 2007, the Pew Research Center estimated the Muslim American population at 2.35 million.

    Hoenlein is disturbed that Obama did not mention the Jewish people’s ancient connection with the land of Israel.

    “There was no reference to the 3,000 years of Jewish connection to this land,” Hoenlein says. “And that is again one of the propaganda lines that the Arabs have used: that the Jews are interlopers, that the two temples never existed, that there was never any Jewish history in the land of Israel. Even Yasser Arafat and others have used that argument because they’re trying to deny the legitimacy of the Jewish state. I don’t believe that was the president’s intent, but not making those references I think is troubling.”

    Jews have claimed a connection to the land of their forefathers since 1400 B.C. Even after the Roman destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D. and the dispersal of many Jews throughout the Roman Empire, many Jews continued to reside in Jerusalem through the centuries, surviving various invasions. An Ottoman census of Jerusalem conducted in 1845 showed Jews outnumbered Muslim Arabs by almost to 2 to 1 and were the dominant ethnic group in the region.

    Hoenlein believes that the most troubling aspect of Obama’s comments in his Cairo speech was his effort to equate the Nazi killing of more than six million Jews during the Holocaust with Israel’s struggle with the Palestinians over six decades and the suffering caused by the displacement of the Palestinians.

    “There’s no comparison between the Holocaust, even if it was an indirect one, and what happened to Palestinians,” Hoenlein declares.

    In his speech, President Obama addressed the issue of the Holocaust head-on, saying “Six million Jews were killed — more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today.”

    But he quickly changed the subject, comparing Hitler’s genocide of the Jews to the Palestinian struggle.

    “On the other hand,” Obama said, as he transitioned from the Holocaust to the modern Middle East, “it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people — Muslims and Christians — have suffered in pursuit of a homeland.”

    Hoenlein doesn’t buy Obama’s line of reasoning.

    “The Palestinian refugee problem, or dislocation as he said, didn’t come about because of the creation of the Jewish state,” Hoenlein says. “It came about because the Arab states declared war on Israel and warned the Arabs that they would suffer the same fate as the Jews if they didn’t get out. And then they kept them as political pawns.”

    Obama made no reference to the fact that “the reason the Palestinians don’t have a state is because their leaders rejected every offer for peace,” Hoenlein says. “Whether it was in 1937 or 1947 or 1967, or later on, up until Ehud Olmert’s offer and Ehud Barak’s offer, they rejected everything, even when they were getting virtually everything they had asked for.”

    That is because, “The problem really is not what Israel does, it’s that Israel is,” Hoenlein says. “And they’re not ready to accept the existence of the Jewish state.”

    In discussing the Palestinian refugee problem, Obama failed to mention the other refugee problem involving nearly a million Jews, Hoenlein says. At the time of the creation of the modern state of Israel in 1948, Jews populated all of the major Arab cities from Baghdad in the East to Casablanca in the West.

    Hoenlein notes that after modern Israel saw its rebirth, Jews “were driven out of Arab countries penniless, and some of their families had lived there for a thousand years, and yet there was no reference to them.” He adds, “This is not a question of tit for tat. It’s a question of the realities that are communicated to a vast audience in the Arab Muslim world.”

    As troubling as Obama’s references to Israel and the Palestinians were, Hoenlein found the president’s failure to mention the radical regime now running Tehran equally disturbing.

    “What concerned us, concerned many people, was the message to Iran that we didn’t hear,” Hoenlein says.

    Iran, controlled by powerful Shia Mullahs, is set to acquire a nuclear device. Many Sunni Muslim states, including Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and Morocco, are concerned about this prospect.

    Hoenlein says these Arab states also wanted to hear “an absolute assurance about the U.S. commitment not to allow Iran to be nuclear, not to allow it to continue to support terrorism, not to allow it to continue being the major state sponsor of terror around the world.”

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who declared himself the winner in the election in Iran this past weekend, has repeatedly called for Israel’s destruction. In 2005, he declared that he is a devout follower of Iran’s late ruler Ayatollah Khomeini. He has vowed to fulfill the Ayatollah’s dream that the “occupying regime [Israel] must be wiped off the map.”

    Asked if he sees Obama’s perceived tilt toward the Palestinians as reflecting some of the views of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr., Obama’s former pastor who accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and “terrorism,” Hoenlein says American Jews are concerned about Obama’s policies today.

    “That issue has been discussed and debated, and I don’t know that it’s a relevant concern for right now,” he says. “I do feel strongly about what the [current] policy will be.”

    Hoenlein says flatly, “People [Jews] are genuinely very concerned…about President Obama.”

  84. Obama has traveled twice to the Middle East without visiting Israel, America’s stalwart ally in the region for more than a half-century.

    ———————-

    wwoebi,

    Thank you for that excellent article. There are so many lines that I could have re-pasted here but suffice to say that my views coincide 100% with this writer.

    I have been reading today how many countries are saying the demilitarization aspect is a non-starter. I’m wondering why no one has suggested that these terrorists lay down their arms in favor of an international peace force taking care of law enforcement for side by side states. The reason of course is that it would be a nonstarter as well. They want it all. They want Israel and it’s people gone.

  85. The evidence cumulates that main stream media is not telling us the truth. This is in line with what Hedges said. This article appears in the Financial Times and it is by an American economics professor. This is one of the things msn is running scared of–the fall-out.
    ——————————————
    Washington is unable to call all the shots
    By Michael Hudson

    Published: June 15 2009 03:00 | Last updated: June 15 2009 03:00

    Challenging the American empire will be the focus of meetings in Yekaterinburg, Russia, today and tomorrow for Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and other leaders of the six-nation Shanghai Co-operation Organisation. The alliance comprises Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajiki-stan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, with observer status for Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia.

    The attendees (who will be joined on Tuesday by Brazil for trade discussions) have assured American diplomats that dismantling the US financial and military hegemony is not their aim. They simply want to discuss mutual aid – but in a way that has no role for the US or for the dollar as a vehicle for trade among these countries.

    The meeting is an opportunity for China, Russia and India to “build an increasingly multipolar world order”, as Mr Medvedev put it in a St Petersburg speech this month. What he meant was this: we have reached our limit in subsidising the US military encirclement of Eurasia while also allowing the US to appropriate our exports, companies and real estate in exchange for paper money of questionable worth.

    An “artificially maintained unipolar system”, Mr Medvedev said, was based on “one big centre of consumption, financed by a growing deficit, and thus growing debts, one formerly strong reserve currency, and one dominant system of assessing assets and risks”.

    Keen observers of America, if not effective managers of their own economies, these countries argue that the root of the global financial crisis is that the US makes too little and spends too much. Especially upsetting is US military expenditure – such as military aid to Georgia or the presence in the oil-rich Middle East and central Asia – using money that foreign central banks recycle.

    Overconsumption by US citizens, US buy-outs of foreign companies and dollars the Pentagon spends abroad all end up in foreign central banks. These governments face a hard choice: either recycle the dollars back to America by buying US Treasury bonds or let the “free market” force up their currencies relative to the dollar – thereby pricing their exports out of world markets, creating domestic unemployment and business failures. US-style free markets hook them into a system that forces them to accept unlimited dollars. Now they want out.

    This means creating an alternative. Rather than making merely “cosmetic changes as some countries and perhaps the international financial organisations themselves might want”, Mr Medvedev concluded his St Petersburg speech: “What we need are financial institutions of a completely new type, where particular political issues and motives, and particular countries, will not dominate.”

    For starters, the six countries intend to trade in their own currencies so as to get the benefit of mutual credit, rather than give it to the US. In recent months China has struck bilateral deals with Brazil and Malaysia to trade in renminbi rather than the dollar, sterling or euros.

    Many foreigners see the US as a lawless nation. How else to characterise a country that holds out a set of laws for others – on war, debt repayment and the treatment of prisoners – but ignores them itself?

    The US is the world’s largest debtor, yet has avoided the pain of “structural adjustments” imposed on other debtor nations. US interest rate and tax reductions in the face of exploding trade and budget deficits are seen as the height of hypocrisy in view of the austerity programmes that the “Washington consensus” has forced on other countries via the International Monetary Fund and other vehicles. The US tells debtor economies to sell off their public utilities and natural resources, raise their interest rates and increase taxes while gutting their social safety nets to squeeze out money to pay creditors.

    It is no mystery to other countries how the US remains above the law. Foreigners see a financial system backed by American aircraft carriers and military bases encircling the globe. The IMF, World Bank, World Trade Organisation and other Washington surrogates are seen as vestiges of a lost American empire no longer able to rule by economic strength, left only with military domination.

    The countries that are gathering today are convinced that this hegemony cannot continue without adequate revenues and are attempting to hasten the bankruptcy of the US financial-military world order. If China, Russia and their allies have their way, the US will no longer live off the savings of others, nor have the money for unlimited military spending.

    US officials wanted to attend Yekaterinburg as observers. They were told no. It is a word that Americans will hear much more in the future.

    The writer is professor of economics at the University of Missouri

  86. Their position is hypocritrical. If they say we have overconsumed then I say fine we have, but you have used our consumer economy to build up your own economies and send us cheap defective goods. The point is the honors are about equal. They have taken their que from Obama, which is to blame America first. No wonder they did not want Hillary–she was on the side of the American People, not the captalists, and all you needed to do was to note her comment in Ohio that she would review treaties to make sure American workers were protected vs Obama me too statement following which he dispatched his man Goolsby to reassure the Canadian minister that he was not serious, it was just politics and he had in effect lied to the American people. That little vignette told me all we needed to know about where he is coming from.

  87. But many on the left who backed Obama were also surprised and dismayed over Obama’s speech.
    **********
    Ya..think!!!!!!!! The anti-Israel dog whistle in that speech was so loud, a person would have to be deaf or in terminal stages of Kool-aid overdose not to hear it.

  88. You know folks I think we are blaming the wrong President for the current problem with our money. Bush I and I believe it went back as far as Reagan that they wanted a global economy. Well, what has happened as all good 3rd world nations they forget who brought them where they are today. They want complete bankruptsy of the US abcause they hate us. They want to see us suffer, they blame us for all their woes.
    I blame Bush I and II and of coarse Bambi, because they hired him to usher in the NEw World Order, little did they know that the other govt. would rub our noses in it. I could have and you could have told them, but they all have this world view that if we help the struggling nations they will love us, BULL SHIT, they hate us even more.

  89. Confloyd, I don’t quite fully understand your comment but your blanket statement about the 3rd world nations is plain BS with my interpretation of your incoherent comment. Speaking for India which I know best, they live in terror of Pakistan and its nukes and even as we speak, US is pumping billions to Pakistan and most of what Bush pumped in to that wretched place went into their army against India. Brazil and India and others are now trying to get a foothold after being crippled by colonization and they are doing it using their ingenuity and hardwork not because of some help from US. If anything it is the other way around — US has done enough harm even as recently as the Bush admin.

  90. It’s not a matter of pointing blame at Bush or anyone anymore. What matters, in my humble opinion, is that bambi is making things worse and not better. He is weakening U.S. standing to the point that China and Russia want to sweep in and take advantage in whatever way they can.

    It is the beginning of Cold War II.

  91. June 17, 2009

    Brazil, Russia, India and China form bloc to challenge US dominance

    Tony Halpin in Yekaterinburg

    With public hugs and backslaps among its leaders, a new political bloc was formed yesterday to challenge the global dominance of the United States. The first summit of heads of state of the BRIC countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China — ended with a declaration calling for a “multipolar world order”, diplomatic code for a rejection of America’s position as the sole global superpower.

    President Medvedev of Russia went further in a statement with his fellow leaders after the summit, saying that the BRIC countries wanted to “create the conditions for a fairer world order”. He described the meeting with President Lula da Silva of Brazil, the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and the Chinese President, Hu Jintao, as “an historic event”.

    The BRIC bloc brings together four of the world’s largest emerging economies, representing 40 per cent of the world’s population and 15 per cent of global GDP. The leaders set out plans to co-operate on policies for tackling the global economic crisis at the next G20 summit in the US in September. “We are committed to advance the reform of international financial institutions so as to reflect changes in the world economy. The emerging and developing economies must have a greater voice,” they said.

    The BRIC states also pledged to work together on political and economic issues such as energy and food security. Co-operation in science and education would promote “fundamental research and the development of advanced techologies”. The declaration also satisfied a key Kremlin demand by calling for a “more diversified international monetary system”. President Medvedev is seeking to break the dominance of the US dollar in financial markets as the world’s leading reserve currency.

    He favours the establishment of more regional reserve currencies, including the Russian rouble and the Chinese yuan, to prevent economic shocks. Mr Medvedev said: “The existing set of reserve currencies, including the US dollar, have failed to perform their functions.”

    The declaration made no specific mention of the dollar, an indication of China’s reservations about the Russian idea. Beijing holds almost $2 trillion in foreign currency reserves and a large portion of US debt. The BRIC summit coincided with a two-day meeting of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) in Yekaterinburg, which further underlined the determination of Moscow and Beijing to assert themselves against the West.

    The SCO comprises Russia, China and the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Iran, Pakistan, India and Mongolia have observer status and President Karzai of Afghanistan attended the summit as a guest. Iran’s embattled President, Mahmoud Amadinejad, defied protests at home to attend the conference, where he hit out at the US and declared that the “international capitalist order is retreating”. But he beat a swift retreat from the summit just hours after arriving, cancelling a planned press conference to return to the crisis in his country.

    China pledged $10 billion in loans to Central Asian countries struggling in the economic crisis, adding financial muscle to its leading role in the SCO. Russia and China regard the organisation as a means to restrict US influence in their Central Asian “back yard”.

    Mr Medvedev held separate meetings about the situation in Afganistan with President Karzai and President Zardari of Pakistan, a clear signal to President Obama not to ignore Russian interests as he presses US policy in the region in the fight against the Taleban.

    timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6514737.ece

  92. What on Earth is this all about?

    w w w.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/WEQ001111.htm

    Reuters alert: OBAMA PLAN TO CALL FOR SUPERVISION OF GLOBAL FINANCIAL FIRMS THROUGH SUPERVISORY COLLEGES–OFFICIAL

  93. JanH… I agree- when Obama should be circling the wagons and strengthening relations with our allys, instead he stands mute refusing to interact or suggest solutions for tempering unrest.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    # wbboei Says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Mrs. Smith: if you think back to the days of Perishstoyka, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the End Of History hypothesis that the future belonged to markets, the loss of manufacturing in the name of an information based economy, the subsequent loss of information work based on the internet, forcing China into WTO, faux prosperity based on the automation of the eighties and the productivity gains in productivity gains in Asia a decade later, the faustian pact with China consisting of low mortagage rates in exchange for job loss and shoddy products, the overextension of our military, and other dead end policies it becomes obvious that the American elites have failed and why we are in the position we are in today. For nearly a generation they have been trying to create a seamless world economic market, and now with the rise of the Eurasian block (Russia, China, Iraq, India and Pakistan) and their repudiation of US economic leadership that dream is falling apart. We are moving back into a bi polar world with competing spheres of influnence within them. They want us out of Eurasia. The Anglo American block joined to Europe has to be worried. So they try desperately to control the message and bamboozle the masses through their wholly subsidiary corporate media.

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

    Yes- their premise of a New World Order embraced by all corners of the globe was and still is deeply flawed. To the Neocons, it was seen as an idea brought to fruition with the GWB presidency. Is it any wonder why they Hate Bill Clinton with a capital “H””A””T””E:…He interferred with their plans and time frame that should have gone forward with the re-election of GHWB but didn’t..

    The Neocons have done all the shredding necessary to our Constitution and Bill of Rights trying to fit it within euro paradigms, all in the name of worker’s universal global non-rights to promotion and pay-upgrades keeping the worker enslaved to the corporate deitys.

    The un-invited aren’t having any of it and have chosen a much simpler way of skinning the Global Union alive… make their money worthless because they can!

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

    Yes, basil… the whole lot, Bilderbergers and all! Now that our enemies are joined at the hip… who’s going to stop them? The Ameri/European Union is in a state of financial collapse and our Leader is spending money faster than Grant took Richmond with no intention of stopping because he is the sleeper Muslim, just doing his job, as was predicted by Bin Laden’s lasting words: “America will be destroyed within”… and there it is in a nutshell!

  94. bambi’s greed for money for his faulty stimulus plan played right into his enemies hands. China and Russia want to be dominant and will stop at nothing to become so.

    In the meantime, bambi has bankrupted the country to the extent that it will be a long time before debts are paid off…if they ever are.

  95. So they try desperately to control the message and bamboozle the masses through their wholly subsidiary corporate media.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    They feel time is on their side. Obama needs to endure for at least a year before someone gets the bright idea Obama is part of America’s problem and his removal from office is paramount to our survival.

  96. They feel time is on their side. Obama needs to endure for at least a year before someone gets the bright idea Obama is part of America’s problem and his removal from office is paramount to our survival.
    ———————————————-
    Or maybe the opposite. With a competing power source arising on the other side of the word challenging US global dominance they may feel time is not at all on their side.

  97. Or maybe the opposite. With a competing power source arising on the other side of the word challenging US global dominance they may feel time is not at all on their side.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    They are holding a TRUMP Card for Obama, his Birth Certificate! They know he is NOT a Natural Born Citizen and will play it if they need to, and play it they will, IF there is a consensus of opinion they’ve gone as far as they can with Obama implementing their plan but suddenly they are faced with the inimitable “X” Factor… the retaliation from the other side they never gave a moment’s thought to.. send in Puppet #2, Joe.

  98. Analysis: Why was PA reaction to Netanyahu’s speech so harsh?

    Jun. 16, 2009
    Khaled Abu Toameh , THE JERUSALEM POST

    The Palestinian Authority leadership’s hysterical, hasty and clearly miscalculated response to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech at Bar-Ilan University on Sunday night is likely to boomerang because it makes the Palestinians appear as “peace rejectionists.” The PA, perhaps, has every right to be angry with Netanyahu’s statements. However, its leaders should have been more careful in choosing the right words to express their sentiments.

    Even before he completed his speech, several PA officials and spokesmen used every available platform to declare their total rejection of Netanyahu’s ideas, especially with regards to the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state and recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Some went as far as hurling personal insults at Netanyahu, branding him a liar, a fraud and a swindler. Others hinted at the possibility that, in the wake of his strategy, the Palestinians would now have to resort to another intifada. PA representatives are now saying that Netanyahu “cannot even dream of finding one Palestinian to talk to.”

    One senior official in Ramallah announced shortly after the prime minister finished his address that the Palestinians won’t resume peace talks with Israel for at least a thousand years.

    The harsh response of the PA is the direct result of high hopes that its leaders have pinned on the administration of US President Barack Obama.Reports about a looming crisis between the administration and Netanyahu over the future of the Middle East peace process, combined with Obama’s conciliatory approach toward the Arab and Muslim worlds, created the impression in Ramallah that the Israeli government had no choice but to accept all the Palestinian demands.

    Briefing reporters on the eve of Netanyahu’s speech, some of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s top aides predicted that, in the wake of increased US pressure, Netanyahu would be forced to give in, freezing settlement construction and accepting the two-state solution. That’s why most of these aides expressed surprise when they heard the prime minister’s uncompromising position on most of the sticking issues.

    By completely rejecting Netanyahu’s offer of a demilitarized state and his demand to recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, the PA leadership has climbed a high tree from which it will find it difficult to climb down. As in previous cases, this leadership has chosen to look at the empty half of the glass.

    The fact that Netanyahu is even prepared to talk about a Palestinian state is in itself a major achievement. And so what if the future state of Palestine doesn’t have an army and an air force? Why would Palestine need tanks and warplanes? Don’t the Palestinians already have enough security forces and armed militias? Don’t they already have enough ammunition and rockets?

    The future state of Palestine will have to invest in government institutions and infrastructure instead of weapons. The Palestinians need jobs and good government more than they need an army and tanks.

    True, Netanyahu’s speech does not fulfill the entire aspirations of the Palestinians. But it would have been wiser for the PA leadership to also look at some of the positive elements in the speech, such as Netanyahu’s acceptance of the idea of a Palestinian state. Whether Palestine would be demilitarized or not is an issue that the two sides could always continue to discuss through negotiations. But the PA leadership has chosen to say no to this idea, thus playing into the hands of those who have long been arguing that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

    When Yasser Arafat back accepted the “Gaza-Jericho First” formula, he knew that he would subsequently receive more territory in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip through negotiations.

    Netanyahu has outsmarted the PA leaders in Ramallah by dragging them into the debate over Israel’s Jewish character – a demand that the Palestinians have also totally and vehemently rejected. If anyone has reason to be worried about Israel’s desire to be a Jewish state, it’s the 1.4 million Arab citizens of the state. But this is an issue that should be solved through dialogue between the Israeli establishment and the Arab citizens. The Palestinians, after all, are fighting for separation from Israel, while the Israeli Arabs are fighting for integration.

    It’s also unclear why PA representatives are surprised to hear about the demilitarized state and Israel’s Jewish character. Former US president Bill Clinton also mentioned the idea of creating a demilitarized state for the Palestinians, as did all of Netanyahu’s predecessors. And the demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state is also not new. Had the PA leadership responded positively to any of Netanyahu’s offers, or at least used a less harsh tone in rejecting the entire speech, it’s highly likely that they would have triggered a political crisis in Israel – one that would have even threatened the prime minister’s coalition. PA leaders and officials should have taken into account the fact that a majority of Israelis – according to recent public opinion polls – favor the two-state solution, regardless of Netanyahu’s stance on the issue.

    jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1244371107342&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

  99. White House: IG canned because he was ‘disruptive’

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democratic senator on Tuesday joined several Republicans in questioning President Barack Obama’s firing of the internal watchdog for the federal AmeriCorps program.

    Gerald Walpin, the national service agency’s inspector general, was dismissed over his handling of an investigation of the mayor of Sacramento, Calif., Kevin Johnson.
    Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said the president failed to follow a law she sponsored, which requires that he give Congress 30 days advance notice of an inspector general’s dismissal, along with the cause for the firing. Obama merely said he lost confidence in Walpin. “Loss of confidence is not a sufficient reason,” McCaskill said. “I’m hopeful the White House will provide a more substantive rationale, in writing, as quickly as possible.”
    Last week, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, asked for information on any role first lady Michelle Obama’s office may have played in the decision. Grassley requested “any and all records, e-mail, memoranda, documents, communications or other information” related to contacts with officials in the first lady’s office.

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Mrs. Obama played no role in the president’s decision to remove Walpin.
    Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff, Jackie Norris, is expected to join the Corporation for National and Community Service as senior adviser on June 22.

    White House counsel Gregory Craig, in a letter to Grassley, cited criticism of Walpin’s investigation of Johnson, a former all-star point guard for the Phoenix Suns professional basketball team and a supporter of Obama’s presidential campaign.
    Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., also asked the White House for documents on the firing.
    “Despite the requirement to notify Congress in advance of firing … the White House moved swiftly to sack an investigator who uncovered wrongdoing and abuse by a political ally of the president,” said Issa, senior Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

    In September 2008, Walpin’s office found misuse of federal grants by Johnson and the St. HOPE Academy, a nonprofit education program he founded. Johnson and St. HOPE ultimately agreed to repay half of $847,000 in grants they had received from AmeriCorps between 2004 and 2007.

    google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hR-c9qK-DfN8zbpd-kWamzFIZU-wD98S4KN00

  100. We needed an extremely savvy politician+leader but we got a Rodney King who is corrupt and vengeful. Who knows what he will do when he is cornered? But mostly we are lucky if he does not shoot US in the foot.

    Recommend this article — it came out in Jan 2008 and when it was first linked on other boards, the discussion was that 0bama would be too overwhelmed for this new world order. All things are pointing to just that outcome. This BRIC summit going on now is the first step. America is on its knees and why would the other countries not take advantage of it or leave it in the dust? World business is not a charity.

    w w w.paragkhanna.com/2008/01/waving_goodbye_to_hegemony.html

  101. We needed an extremely savvy politician+leader but we got a Rodney King who is corrupt and vengeful. Who knows what he will do when he is cornered? But mostly we are lucky if he does not shoot US in the foot.

    Recommend this article — it came out in Jan 2008 and when it was first linked on other boards, the discussion was that 0bama would be too overwhelmed for this new world order. All things are pointing to just that outcome. This BRIC summit going on now is the first step. America is on its knees and why would the other countries not take advantage of it or leave it in the dust? World business is not a charity.

    [http and www].paragkhanna.com/2008/01/waving_goodbye_to_hegemony.html

  102. If you and I were sitting around faculty lounge at Sloane School of Business Massachusetts Insitute of Technology shooting the shit with ex dean Lestor Thurow right now, he would be making some solemn pronouncement to the effect the Anglo American concept of capitalism which is free market oriented is now under attack by a competing form of capitalism which is state guaranteed and state sponsored. He would say that thanks to the internet and other devices which have broken down national barriers and are now competing with all other nations. He would point out that capital can flow freely around the globe and will make its way into the cheapest venues. He would say that we have only 350 billion people and we are competing against 3 billion people in Eurasia, who have a vastly lower standard of living. He would probably advocate stepping back from world trade and moving to a regionalized concept. He would probably advocate merging our economy into that of Latin America and Europe where with the additon of eastern Europe there are perhaps a billio and a billion and a half. That is what we have been doing thorugh NAFTA, CAFTA, etc. But Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia now stand in the way, which is why the outreach to them. That combined market would be primary and the world market would be secondary. It wouild be roughly equivalent in size to the Eurasian block and the educational standards would have to improve. People worry where Japan would go in that case and Thurow would predict they would swing to Asia as a result of Chinese pressure. The pivotal player in that group would be India, which is why apart from our common British heritage we have gone out of our way to cater to them on nuclear power. The alliance between Iran, Russia and Pakistan is a natural one. The mix of India in that group especially with China is unnatual and quite possibly unsustainable.

  103. Obama White House putting muscle behind Chicago 2016 Olympic bid

    By Lynn Sweeton June 16, 2009

    WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama announced the formation of the White House Office of Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport. This permanent White House office will promote the values of the Olympic Movement and encourage increased youth participation in athletics. The primary function of the Office will be to enhance awareness of the Olympic Movement through promotion of its fundamental principles at the federal level.

    President Obama said, “It is an important goal of my administration to give our nation’s children every possible tool they need to grow, learn and succeed in life. A key part of this is increasing access to healthy, constructive activities like sports for our nation’s children. Too many American kids – particularly those in urban areas – have no access to organized sporting activities. Sports are an important way to instill values, judgment and teamwork in our nation’s kids, and this new office reflects our commitment to giving all our children a chance to thrive. As the International Olympic Committee moves forward with their selection process we hope that this new office can serve as a model for youth involvement worldwide.”

    The White House Office of Olympic, Paralympic and Youth Sport will:

    * Recommend federal policies and programs to the President to enhance opportunities and access for youth participation in sport, with particular focus on youth in urban areas
    * Foster and encourage youth sporting, educational and cultural events involving Olympic values-based programs and the participation of U.S. Olympians and Paralympians

    The Office will also work in coordination with appropriate executive departments and agencies, including the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, to:

    * Engage in outreach to state and local government officials, nonprofit organizations and the private sector
    * Coordinate federal resources, and act as liaison to, any organizing committee for an Olympic and Paralympic Games hosted in the United States
    * And work closely with the United States Olympic Committee and national sport governing bodies to increase access and opportunities for youth to participate in sports.

    suntimes.com/sports/olympics/1624839,sweet-white-house-chicago-2016.article#

    ————————

    Yep it’s important if it is Chicago.

  104. There was a time when I liked Chicago. Lakeshore Drive, the Miracle Mile, the Old Water Tower, the Sears Tower, University of Chicago, Northwestern and what I used to regard as a pretty good bunch of people. That was pure illusion. It took this Obama debacle to convince me that it is the most corrupt city in America and perhaps even the hemisphere. It is the town where the Tammany Hall concept of governance survives to this day, whereas in most big cities that kind of machine is no longer the driving force. I think it would set a terrible example to the world to hold the 2016 Olympics there. Just as it was bad to set the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. I hope this changes.

  105. The alliance between Iran, Russia and Pakistan is a natural one. The mix of India in that group especially with China is unnatual and quite possibly unsustainable.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I agree with the Russia’s superiority to Iran and Pakistan. They are Russia’s best clients. It would be easy for China and Russia to share power dividing up the spoils of Africa between them while the US languishes in one financial crisis after another thanks to the sustained undermining by Obama and his minions.

  106. I think it would set a terrible example to the world to hold the 2016 Olympics there. Just as it was bad to set the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. I hope this changes.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Obama has dropped back 50 yrds and is attempting to punt. He’s caught up in the his own dynamic. He needs to change the topic of conversation to lighter things like the Olympics hoping the public will forget his pumped up promises of Hope and Change, fixing the economy, universal health-care.. a Chicken (in his case, a vulture) in every pot. He doesn’t have an exit strategy. Someone does… who is going to drop the hammer on him, remains to be seen. The Olympics.. heh.. as Rome burns.

  107. The alliance between Iran, Russia and Pakistan is a natural one. The mix of India in that group especially with China is unnatual and quite possibly unsustainable.
    ———–

    I would actually argue that Pakistan is the unnatural in the group with Iran, Russia, and India. In fact, I read recently somewhere that Iran, Russia and India are talking about going after Taliban if Pakistan does not do anything. At the summit that is going on now, that was the first blunt statement Singh made to Zardari to stop terrorism targeting India and I am sure Russia would have said the same thing to Pakistan. China needs India. One would think Russia and China are also incompatible partners but again China needs Russia.

  108. We needed an extremely knowledgeable, smart, savvy politician+leader (in other words Hillary) but we got a Rodney King who is corrupt and vengeful. Who knows what he will do when he is cornered? But mostly we are lucky if he does not shoot US in the foot.

    Recommend this article — it came out in Jan 2008 and when it was first linked on other boards, the discussion was that 0bama would be too overwhelmed for this new world order. All things are pointing to just that outcome. This BRIC summit going on now is the first step. America is on its knees and why would the other countries not take advantage of it or leave it in the dust? World business is not a charity.

    [tried posting this with a link to an article but won’t post — try google with “Parag Khanna + Waving Goodbye to Hegemony”]

  109. Well the Medical Insurance companies can rest easy…Obama plans to protect their obscene profits forever:

    Sebelius on NPR today on the Obama Plan:

    Asked if the administration’s program will be drafted specifically to prevent it from evolving into a single-payer plan, Sebelius says: “I think that’s very much the case, and again, if you want anybody to convince people of that, talk to the single-payer proponents who are furious that the single-payer idea is not part of the discussion.”

    ww.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=105442888

  110. “0bama would be too overwhelmed for this new world order.”
    ~~~~~~

    Obama is the water bearer for implementing the New World Order. It’s pretty obvious the reason he reads from a teleprompter is because those words and the thoughts behind those words are not his own. When his teleprompter malfunctions, he’s totally lost.

    Obama is too lazy to play the role as they thought he might. I think he’s become a solid disappointment and a tremendous liability to their plans leaving them shaking their heads wondering what they should do next. For now, they are instructing the media and polls to keep him happy with happy times and happy thoughts.. until they can come up with a viable plan B.

    The irony of this real life drama is Obama is the only one who really believes he is the “president”… How Nixonian of him!

  111. Here is the link pm317. Great article, thanks for mentioning it.

    h…and w’s..nytimes.com/2008/01/27/magazine/27world-t.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

    Enough time has gone by since that article was published. The 3 candidates mentioned in Parag Khanna’s piece, Obama, Hillary and McCain; the only candidate left standing that has proven herself capable of the position of President IS Hillary Clinton.

    But then, Hillary was not on their radar as president because they knew she would never compromise the welfare of the People for the Greed of Wall St (Paulson, Bernache, Soros, Rockefeller, the Bush/Cheney Gang) and the Bankers.

    I only wish the outrage and write in campaign for Letterman’s and Imus’s slanderous remarks was as vocal and moving directed at the people RAPING our country before our very eyes.

  112. Oops, I linked pm317 NY Time article.. and it slipped into the spam filter.

    wbb- after watching Hillary’s video, my post and your video are on the same page.

  113. Hillary laid out the strategy she would pursue to DETER Iran from attacking Israel, by making it very clear that she would engage in massive retaliation. (Note: the media intimated that this was warmongering and the kooks swallowed it hook line and sinker. However, this is strategy we successfully deployed against the Soviet Union, and it prevented World War III.

    Pray tell what is Obama’s strategy to DETER Iran from attacking Israel? Maintaining a respectful silence while they quash the a pro democracy movement ? Acceding to their demand that he remove Dennis Ross because he is Jewish? Would he make the same investment in deterrence Hillary would have? Evidentally not.

    But even if he did, what would it mean. The man is pathological.

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