After The Obama Press Conference: Are We Wrong About Barack Obama?

Barack Obama held a press conference today. Obama answered questions today and so we ask a question of ourselves: Are We Wrong About Barack Obama? Are our criticisms fair or unfair?

Our criticisms since April 2007 are that Obama cannot be trusted by friend nor foe, that Obama is a race-baiter and a gay-basher and a sexist and misogynist, and that Obama does not have the worldview necessary nor the experience nor the qualifications to be president. We said from the beginning that Obama’s friends are of low character just like Obama is of low character. We said from the beginning that Obama was all fake talk, no action, no history of action – just a lot of words which lie. Obama is the Third Bush term.

Are We Wrong About Barack Obama?

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It is disgusting to watch those that attacked Hillary and Hillary supporters, because we will fight for democracy and not let the (continuing) race-baiting and gay-bashing and sexism and misogyny by Obama be forgotten, as they now moan and groan about events in Iran.

“Get over it” these hypocrites said when it came to American democracy. But when it comes to other countries, these hypocrites do the Bush thing – criticize other countries instead of addressing the problems in our own democracy.

These hypocrites mourn the murdered Neda, but slash at Hillary. These hypocrites attacked Hillary when she was a candidate and in Iranian Mullah fashion screamed for her to get out of the race – but then these hypocrites demanded her wishes be respected when Hillary decided to back the candidate gifted the nomination by party bosses.

These hypocrites, both male and female, cry for Neda and the stolen election in Iran, but not a tear for the disenfranchised voters of America. Like Hillary we want democracy and the genuine public will in Iran and America.

We wish the Obama Hopium addled hypocrites would engage in some self-reflection -either on their websites or in their lives. But these hypocrites will never self-reflect. These hypocrites refuse to assess their behavior and the damage they have done.

Which brings us to the necessity that we too have to reflect and ponder the question: Are We Wrong About Obama? Are our criticisms just? Are we attacking Obama because we are “bitter” and clingy? Or our criticisms just and fair and necessary.

For instance, unlike Obama supporters and Hopium eaters, we are not hypocrites when we align ourselves with the women of Iran and those who fight at risk to their lives (not just Changy Wish and Hope) for democracy. We fight for justice and democracy and fair elections in the United States and in Iran. The Obama hypocrites whine for democracy in other countries, but do not denounce their own behavior in gifting a nomination by threats and thuggery and misogyny and race-baiting and gay-bashing.

Iranians have an ugly “nomination” process which “filters” out candidates not acceptable to the rulers – but at least everyone knows about the skewed nomination filter. In the United States the nomination process is supposed to be fair and determined by the voters – but in 2008 the nomination was gifted – delegates and votes were stolen by the Rules and Bylaws Committee from the candidate that won votes and gifted to a candidate that was, in one instance, not even on the ballot.

Iranians, like Americans in 2000 and possibly 2004 experienced a stolen general election. Americans, thanks to Big Media Mullahs witnessed a gifted nomination in 2008. Unlike Iranians, Americans were cowed and remained silent at the blatant attack on the genuine public will. Both the travesties in Iran and America were wrong and we condemn both. We are not hypocrites on this issue as are Obama supporters and the American Basij Hopium addicts.

We are not hypocrites, like the Obama Hopium eaters, but yet we reflect. “The unexamined life is not worth living“. Are We Wrong About Obama?

Are We Wrong About Barack Obama?

* * * * *

Let’s look at recent history. Let’s not look at what we have written, let’s look at what others are saying. Let’s look at what Obama enablers and worshipers are now saying.

One of the biggest Obama Hopium addicts and Hopium pushers was Bob Herbert of the New York Times. What is good ol’ Bob saying now:

Policies that were wrong under George W. Bush are no less wrong because Barack Obama is in the White House.

One of the most disappointing aspects of the early months of the Obama administration has been its unwillingness to end many of the mind-numbing abuses linked to the so-called war on terror and to establish a legal and moral framework designed to prevent those abuses from ever occurring again.

Now Bob Herbert sounds like us when we say Obama is the Third Bush Term. Herbert “recoils” against Obama policies on “preventive detention, imprisoning people indefinitely, for years and perhaps for life, without charge and without giving them an opportunity to demonstrate their innocence.”

Says Obama worshiper Bob:

Human rights? Ha-ha. That’s a good one.

Also distressing is the curtain of secrecy the Obama administration has kept drawn over shameful abuses that should be brought into the light of day. [snip]

The president’s argument for trying to block the court-ordered release of the photos is a demoralizing echo of the embarrassingly empty rhetoric of the Bush years: [snip]

The Obama administration is also continuing the Bush administration’s abuse of the state-secrets privilege. [snip]

as did lawyers from the Bush administration before them…

“Obama is the Third Bush Term” Bob seems to say:

It was thought by many that a President Obama would put a stop to the madness, put an end to the Bush administration’s nightmarish approach to national security. But Mr. Obama has shown no inclination to bring even the worst offenders of the Bush years to account, and seems perfectly willing to move ahead in lockstep with the excessive secrecy and some of the most egregious activities of the Bush era.

John R. MacArthur of Harpers Magazine, like us, calls Obama A LIAR – an eloquent LIAR:

And yet, broadly speaking, Obama has been lying on a pretty impressive scale. You just have to get past his grandiloquent rhetoric — usually empty of substance — to get a handle on it. I offer a short, incomplete list, which I’m sure others could easily enlarge.

• Obama portrayed himself as the peace candidate, or at least the anti-war candidate. He is not a peace president, nor is he stopping any wars. [snip] The way things are going, Pakistan could become the new Cambodia and Obama the new Nixon.

In Iraq, Obama has promised to withdraw all the troops . . . unless, which means that we’re not leaving. [snip]

• Obama said he wanted to reform Washington and “fix” its “broken” system of corrupt lobbying. But Obama is neither a reformer nor a skilled legislative mechanic. Hatched from the Daley Machine in one-party Chicago, Obama wouldn’t be president today if he rocked boats. Witness the appointment of Roland Burris by the corrupt former Gov. Rod Blagojevich to fill Obama’s Senate seat: not a word of public protest from the new administration because Burris is a made man in the Chicago Democratic organization. [snip]

As for pork-barrel politics, Obama named one of its greatest champions, Chicago’s own Rahm Emanuel, as his chief of staff, and the new budget (as well as the “stimulus” package) is loaded with pork. Meanwhile, have you heard anything serious about campaign-finance reform from Obama? [snip] …Obama’s naming of former Raytheon lobbyist William Lynn III as deputy secretary of defense… the president’s alleged crusade against special interests and the “revolving door” between private business and government. He has also “sold” ambassadorships to campaign donors. [snip]

• Obama, with his Arabic middle name and his big Cairo speech, wants people to think that he is the Muslim world’s new best friend. [snip] The Saudi royal family hates the idea of representative government for ordinary Muslims and is cruelly indifferent to the fate of the Palestinians. [snip] Meanwhile, the Saudi elite continues to play its double game, paying protection money to extremist Islam and granting pensions to the relatives of suicide bombers. It’s just politics, say Barack and Rahm, grinning ear-to-ear with their sleazy new friends from Riyahd. Just keep the oil pumping around election time and all will be well.

•  Obama makes like he’s a friend of organized labor, at least he did during the Ohio primary when he needed to beat Hillary Clinton. [snip] In a debate with Clinton on Feb. 26, 2008, he said, “I will make sure that we renegotiate [NAFTA] in the same way that Senator Clinton talked about” and “use the hammer of a potential opt-out as leverage” to get “labor and environmental standards that are enforced.”

But two months ago, U.S. Trade Rep. Ron Kirk said such a blunt instrument was no longer necessary and that the leaders of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico were now “of the mind that we should be looking for opportunities to strengthen [the North American Free Trade Agreement].” [snip]

Yes, of course it’s nice to have a president who speaks in complete sentences. But that they’re coherent doesn’t make them honest.

Those are not our words, though they sure sound like what we have written months and years ago.

Joseph Galloway, once beloved by Dimocrats, is a Big Pink echo too but does not understand that Obama is a Chicago flim-flam man who cannot be trusted by friend nor foe, and never meant what he said to his not-too-bright Hopium addled fanclub:

Who stole our change?

Who hijacked a popular uprising that was going to put a stop to business as usual in Washington, D.C.?

What happened to Barack Obama on his way to the White House? [snip]

What a difference a year can make. A year ago Barack Obama was on the campaign trail, promising an American electorate disheartened and disgusted by eight years of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney that he was going to change everything if he was elected President.

He would be the new broom, sweeping out the dirt, collecting the trash, and fixing everything that was broken and tarnished and perverted in our government, in our nation’s capital, in our White House.

He swept into office on a high tide of good will and anticipation. He was going to fix Wall Street. He was going to end the war in Iraq. He was going to bring a new era of transparency to government. He was going to stimulate a faltering economy and give new hope to a shrinking, frightened middle class. He was going to close the prison at Guantanamo and end the torture policies of his predecessors. There was even a hope that we would investigate how we went wrong and who ordered it.

He came to town on a white horse, riding a staggering wave of popular approval in the polls, a golden leader in a golden moment with a golden opportunity, and then he did what? Nothing much. Nothing different.

Those were the Obama flowery word promises, now the Galloway action verdict:

Oh, he can still talk the talk and he does that incessantly. But he seemingly can’t walk the walk. He may still sound like a revolutionary but more and more he looks and acts like George W. Bush, albeit a George W. Bush who can speak a complete sentence in the English language.

Obama’s approval ratings are beginning to unwind and begin a long downward spiral among those who had believed in the promises of change. There was a golden moment when change was possible, but it is gone now.

The golden moment for change was Hillary Clinton. Obama, we wrote, was all talk, no action, a liar. Obama is the Third Bush Term.

There was one thing Obama absolutely had to do, even before tackling an economic meltdown and the Wall Street and big bank rip-offs:

He had to reassure Americans that we all live under the rule of law; that no one by virtue of holding the highest offices in the land, or having the biggest bank account, is above the law.

It was incumbent on new President Obama to step back and let justice be done. Let the investigators do their job, Not only to let justice be done but let justice be seen to be done.

But no. He said he wanted to focus on the future, not revisit the past. He needed to get moving on stimulating a floundering economy. And he screwed that up, too, reaching out to the very pirates who had looted their stockholders, their own companies, their own country to find someone to appoint as Treasury Secretary, thus reassuring Wall Street that he wasn’t going to turn over any apple carts.

Galloway adds to the “short” MacArthur list of Obama lies which merit reading in full. “His promises of transparency in government weren’t worth a pitcher of warm spit.”

Galloway bought the Obama flim-flam and now he is whining: “And bit-by-bit the possibility of change disappeared; bit-by-bit the hope of a renewed and reinvigorated American democracy and way of government faded away. Those who had held a dream in their hand closed their hand and crushed it.”

Are We Wrong About Obama? Creative class schoolboy Kevin Drum plays the roll:

From McClatchy:

President Barack Obama is morphing into George W. Bush, as administration attorneys repeatedly adopt the executive-authority and national-security rationales that their Republican predecessors preferred.

In courtroom battles and freedom-of-information fights from Washington, D.C., to California, Obama’s legal arguments repeatedly mirror Bush’s: White House turf is to be protected, secrets must be retained and dire warnings are wielded as weapons.

From the Associated Press:

Gay rights groups expressed dismay with the Obama administration Friday over its championing of the Defense of Marriage Act, a law the president pledged to try to repeal while on the campaign trail.

The government filed a motion late Thursday to dismiss the case of Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer, who are challenging the 1996 federal act….It repeated several arguments made under Bush, including the argument that a union between a man and a woman is “the traditional, and universally recognized, version of marriage.”

From the Los Angeles Times:

As a candidate for president, Barack Obama wooed environmentalists with a promise to “support and defend” pristine national forest land from road building and other development that had been pushed by the George W. Bush administration.

But five months into Obama’s presidency, the new administration is actively opposing those protections on about 60 million acres of federal woodlands in a case being considered by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

….Whatever the strategy, the result has been a series of cases in which President Obama appears to be taking positions in court that run counter to his stated goals….The Interior Department this spring, for example, defended a Bush plan to lease western Colorado’s picturesque Roan Plateau for oil and gas drilling….Administration lawyers have also fought environmentalists in court over a coal mining technique known as mountaintop removal.

Hope and change, baby, hope and change.

Are We Wrong About Obama?

Increasingly, from others, the verdict is No. We have and are correct in our assessments of Obama.

Are We Wrong About Obama? No.

We were right on target:

Our criticisms since April 2007 are that Obama cannot be trusted by friend nor foe, that Obama is a race-baiter and a gay-basher and a sexist and misogynist, and that Obama does not have the worldview necessary nor the experience nor the qualifications to be president. We said from the beginning that Obama’s friends are of low character just like Obama is of low character. We said from the beginning that Obama was all fake talk, no action, no history of action – just a lot of words which lie. Obama is the Third Bush term.

We have been exactly correct about Obama? Obama simply can’t be trusted.


103 thoughts on “After The Obama Press Conference: Are We Wrong About Barack Obama?

  1. I just want to carry over what I said on the bottom of the last thread because I think it is important:

    Much as I’d like that to be true i think the fact that the crisis is occurring on another continent in another country doesn’t (in the eyes of his worshippers) compare to katrina, a disaster involving US citizens on our shores.
    But Basil, the images are in our living room. Look, I will agree with you to this extent. We do not need to worry whether this is THE Katrina moment of his presidency. Why not? Because by the time we do the post game wrap up to determine why we lost there will be many more Katrina moments of his presidency to choose from. Why? Because we have intractible problems, a deeply flawed leader and a dishonest media that denies us accurate feedback from reality.

    To Bambi I would simply reiterate the words of Demosthenes before the Athenian Senate when the democacy from which ours sprung was forced to confront the threat posed to its survival posed by the autocratic Phillip of Macedon–father of Alexander:

    “You take your marching orders from the enemy (not interdicting the North Korean ship, etc.); you have never formed any plan of campaign for yourself (his uncoodinated stabs on the economy); never forseen any event until someone tells you it has happened (the pro democracy rebellion in Iran). . .

    Our business is not to speculate on what the future may bring but to be sure it will bring disaster, unless you face the facts and consent to do your duty.”

  2. Big Media is still working overtly with Obama. It’s all a fake even from those like Nico Pitney who pretend they are not fake:

    In what appeared to be a coordinated exchange, President Obama called on the Huffington Post’s Nico Pitney near the start of his press conference and requested a question directly about Iran.

    “Nico, I know you and all across the Internet, we’ve been seeing a lot of reports coming out of Iran,” Obama said, addressing Pitney. “I know there may actually be questions from people in Iran who are communicating through the Internet. Do you have a question?”

    Pitney, as if ignoring what Obama had just said, said: “I wanted to use this opportunity to ask you a question directly from an Iranian.”

    He then noted that the site had solicited questions from people in the country “who were still courageous enough to be communicating online.”

    “Under which conditions would you accept the election of Ahmadinejad, and if you do accept it without any significant changes in the conditions there, isn’t that a betrayal of the — of what the demonstrators there are working towards?”

    Reporters typically don’t coordinate their questions for the president before press conferences, so it seemed odd that Obama might have an idea what the question would be. Also, it was a departure from White House protocol by calling on The Huffington Post second, in between the AP and Reuters.

    CBS Radio’s Mark Knoller, a veteran White House correspondent, said over Twitter it was “very unusual that Obama called on Huffington Post second, appearing to know the issue the reporter would ask about.”

    According to POLITICO’s Carol Lee, The Huffington Post reporter was brought out of lower press by deputy press secretary Josh Earnest and placed just inside the barricade for reporters a few minutes before the start of the press conference.

    It’s all a fake masquerade.

  3. More on Iran:

    “Mousavi, Celebrated in Iranian Protests, Was the Butcher of Beirut”

    “He may yet turn out to be the avatar of Iranian democracy, but three decades ago Mir-Hossein Mousavi was waging a terrorist war on the United States that included bloody attacks on the U.S. embassy and Marine Corps barracks in Beirut.

    Mousavi, prime minister for most of the 1980s, personally selected his point man for the Beirut terror campaign, Ali Akbar Mohtashemi-pur, and dispatched him to Damascus as Iran’s ambassador, according to former CIA and military officials.
    The ambassador in turn hosted several meetings of the cell that would carry out the Beirut attacks, which were overheard by the National Security Agency.

    “We had a tap on the Iranian ambassador to Lebanon,” retired Navy Admiral James “Ace” Lyons related by telephone Monday. In 1983 Lyons was deputy chief of Naval Operations, and deeply involved in the events in Lebanon.

    “The Iranian ambassador received instructions from the foreign minister to have various groups target U.S. personnel in Lebanon, but in particular to carry out a ‘spectacular action’ against the Marines,” said Lyons.



  4. The fact they are writing that the press conference was “contentious” shows you how ridiculous the press has become. He had a hand fed question from his new favorite, Puff-n-Stuff, and that come over like a Led Zeppelin imo.

  5. From the earlier comment, now 2 updates. Looks like someone is not telling the truth:

    UPDATE: Deputy press secretary Bill Burton responds: “We did reach out to him prior to press conference to tell him that we had been paying attention to what he had been doing on Iran and there was a chance that he’d be called on. And, he ended up asking the toughest question that the President took on Iran. In the absence of an Iranian press corps in Washington, it was an innovative way to get a question directly from an Iranian.”

    UPDATE 2: Knoller, again via Twitter: “Huffington Post’s Nico Pitney says the WH called him this morning and invited him to ask his Iran questions at the news conference.”

  6. They do everything they can to feed him the answers and they call it “contentious?” You have to be kidding me. This reminds me of the times during the primary when they gave bambi those nonsensical questions and hit Hillary and everyone else with the hard ones.

  7. Brilliant, Admin.

    “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

    Wish that wise proverb would reach out and bite BOBO.

    The excerpts you provide look like they were stolen by people who have been prowling Big Pink for material and perspective. They can’t hold a candle to you!
    And the point and the hypocrisy of Bo being a ‘selected’ candidate like Ahmadinijad is almost too cruel to comprehend but oh so

  8. Obama wouldn’t be president today if he rocked boats. Witness the appointment of Roland Burris by the corrupt former Gov. Rod Blagojevich to fill Obama’s Senate seat: not a word of public protest from the new administration because Burris is a made man in the Chicago Democratic organization. [snip]

    BURRIS IS A “affirmative action MADE” AFRICAN AMERICAN who was appointed to the senate by the corrupt Chicago thugs!!!

  9. It’s all a fake masquerade.
    Yes Admin. And it is a great day for the Irish when the media rats start turning on eachother. Politico catches Huffington trying to pull a media stunt to bamboozle the American People. You have to wonder what this world is coming to when there is no longer any honor among thieves.

  10. Admin: if I had to guess who the liar was I would put my money on that smirking piece of shit Bill Burton. There is a lady on FOX. I think her name is Megan Kelly. On the rare occasions he has gone to her shop to spread the gospel of Obama she has slammed him like a handball against a brick wall time after time as he proffers one lie after another. It is a real combat sport to watch that ignoramus get the intellectual daylights knocked out of him, but he never loses that smirk. The only thing I can figure is he is a mascochist.

  11. “Mousavi, Celebrated in Iranian Protests, Was the Butcher of Beirut”
    That right there is the problem with Mr Obama. The lack of curiosity and imagination. It comes from a man who confuses the messenger with the message. Obama bloviates about change but he fails to understand the power of an idea whose time has come, and how that idea furthers the strategic interests of America. For all his sound and fury Mr Obama is nothing more than a tool of a dead ended establishment which has outlived its usefulness and has turned its fangs on he American People.

  12. Wbboei, there is a reason for Big Media Obama supporters (Politico) exposing Big Media supporters (Huff n’ Puff). The pool of Obama supporters is shrinking and the fight is on for audience share.

    Did you see this on the shrinking audience for the Obama News broadcasts (note how the networks are coming up with excuses for why their audience is shrinking without stating the obvious one that their “news” is not “news” and not worth watching)?:

    Breaking: TVNewser has learned the CBS Evening News has once again set an all-time low last week with 4.89 million Total Viewers and 1.42 million A25-54 viewers. But it was also the lowest (since records began in the 1991-’92 season) for ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson. The Gibson program drew 6.42 million Total Viewers and 1.77 million A25-54 viewers.

    Both CBS’s Katie Couric and ABC’s Charlie Gibson were off last week.

    More details to come…

    > Update: Insiders tell us at least one network is looking into the continued impact of the digital TV transition which occurred June 12.

    > Update (2): NBC averaged 7.75m Total Viewers Mon-Wed but on Thursday and Friday gave their program a different Nielsen code — “Nitely News.” (The correct spelling is “Nightly News”). This is despite the fact that the network had regular coverage on those days. We’re trying to determine if the U.S. Open Golf Championship had something to do with the coding change. Had Thursday and Friday been included, the average would have been lower. On Friday “Nightly” averaged 6.29m Total Viewers.

    > Update (3): An NBC insider tells us, even though the broadcast had full national coverage, the U.S. Open tends to affect viewership so the Thursday and Friday shows were not in the average. NBC says this is normal procedure.

  13. “We had a tap on the Iranian ambassador to Lebanon,” retired Navy Admiral James “Ace” Lyons related by telephone Monday. In 1983 Lyons was deputy chief of Naval Operations, and deeply involved in the events in Lebanon.

    “The Iranian ambassador received instructions from the foreign minister to have various groups target U.S. personnel in Lebanon, but in particular to carry out a ’spectacular action’ against the Marines,” said Lyons.
    I am not sure he is the “Ace” he claims to be. However, I am willing to concede the possibility that the opposition leader was “deeply involved”. However, Ace does not tell us exactly how he was involved, and what he was listening to was clearly hearsay. To me at least, this is raw intelligence, and it is inconclusive. If you had any idea how much raw information a US Attorneys Office compiles on suspects, which turns out to be wrong you would not put too much faith in what the Ace is telling us now nearly three decades later. You might even wonder whether he worked for GE or one of its affiliates. If he was a submariner it is not unlikely that he had ties to The Electric Boat Company, which was Rickovers contractor of choice. GE owns them.

    But let us assume Ace is the place, what he is telling us is true and the man has not changed in three decades and his wife is not the Iranian Hillary, and the martyr whose name means hope, and there are not seismic forces at work in the Iranian power structure which could break in our direction or against it what difference does it make. Dont confuse the messenger with the message.

  14. Time to Ground President Obama

    Tuesday, June 23, 2009
    By Greg Gutfeld

    Saturday morning I came across that infamous photo of Tony Hawk skateboarding down the White House corridors and instantly I turned from my normal, happy-go-lucky self into a raging old coot — waving my garden hose at kids pulling wheelies on my front lawn.

    Now, am I right to be pissed that some jackass is skateboarding through the White House while all this Iranian crap is going down?

    I mean, have we as a nation finally succumbed to the idiocy of the MTV/Mountain Dew/”Road Rules,” backward hat and baggy short culture? Did I miss something or is the White House the setting for the next “Real World”? Where are the wallet chains? Is Hot Topic handling our foreign policy?

    President Obama should be grounded for at least a week for letting Tony Hawk play in our house. Where in hell are the adults?

    Look: Tony Hawk is in his mid-forties. He’s wildly successful and a very nice guy. But he’s a grown man and he skateboards…. in the White House.

    Could you imagine anyone who lived during World War II treating a man who skateboards with anything less than disdain?

    While people risk their lives for the glimmer of freedom, Tony Hawk is in the White House tweeting about Frosted Flakes.

    Someone please dig up Reagan. I’d take a dead leader with balls over a living camp counselor who wants all the cool kids to like him.

    And if you disagree with me, then you sir are worse than Hitler.,2933,528443,00.html

  15. Shakespeare said the madman and the lover are blind. In Bob Herbert you had both where Obama is concerned.

  16. Greg Gutfeld makes an excellent point that I was thinking about as well. By idolizing Obama as they have they have put their impramtuer on flash rather than substance, youth vs experience, skating though life rather than hard work, and hype as oppoes to accountability. He does profound damage to our culture. It hearkens back to something I said a couple years ago which I probably stole fromm someone else. If we are to have a first african american president, let us at least be sure that he is qualified, competent and a man of character. In Obama you have none of these attributes. Only a man who loves himself and hates America. As Shakepeare said nothing will come of nothing.

  17. Did you see this on the shrinking audience for the Obama News broadcasts (note how the networks are coming up with excuses for why their audience is shrinking without stating the obvious one that their “news” is not “news” and not worth watching)?:
    No Admin. I did not. Thanks for the heads up.

    Here is my view on why this is happening. When big media fell in love with Obama, they abandoned their role as journalists. They became propagandists. And once that happened the truth no longer mattered. What mattered was the narrative. Facts would be censored, twisted and invented to fit that narrative. But as with every propagandist, when the narrative they had concocted could no longer explain what is happening in peoples lives they stopped listening to it. This is the game ruins nations. Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia and now Big Media. Their narrative no longer rings true. As a result people are abandoning them because can no longer provide people with what they need to know in order to understand their world and survive when there is darkness and the media tells them it is noon.

  18. Approval Ratings for Pelosi Hit a New Low

    Tuesday, June 23, 2009

    A month after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s showdown with the CIA over interrogation techniques, just 38 percent of Americans approve of her job performance, while 45 percent disapprove, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released yesterday. That’s the lowest approval rating she has received in the poll.

    One clear trend line has emerged in the California Democrat’s 2 1/2 -year reign as speaker, and that’s a slow but steady rise in unpopularity. Shortly after she became the first woman to serve as House speaker, just 25 percent of voters disapproved of her, according to a Post-ABC poll in January 2007. Now, almost twice as many people disapprove of her performance.

    Republicans heightened their attacks on Pelosi after she charged the CIA with lying to her in a September 2002 briefing about which methods they were using against detained terrorism suspects. CIA documents appeared to show that she was fully informed that agency interrogators were using waterboarding and other harsh methods, while Pelosi countered that agency officials did not provide that information in an intentional effort to mislead her.

    Pelosi can take heart in the findings among self-identified moderates — the voters who frequently decide close elections. Among that group, 43 percent approve of Pelosi’s job performance, with 40 percent not approving.

    When those centrists’ responses are broken down by party identification, a clear line emerges: Moderate Democrats overwhelmingly approve of Pelosi’s performance (63 percent approval, 22 percent disapproval), while moderate Republicans have developed an outright hostility toward her (17 percent approval, 63 percent disapproval).


    With any luck, all of obama’s henchmen will drown in rating collapses sooner rather than later.

  19. He may still sound like a revolutionary but more and more he looks and acts like George W. Bush, albeit a George W. Bush who can speak a complete sentence in the English language.
    Does that (i.e. the ability to conjugate a verb) really matter?

  20. Little wonder his poll numbers are flaccid – Obama will not only travel to Africa to attend the World Cup games, Obama will also annoy Americans by throwing the bull, er ball, at the All-Star baseball game. Obama should stay in D.C. to save money and to do his job.

  21. Are we really paying for him to go to the World Cup games?? This is worse than Bush playing golf during 911.
    I am appalled, maybe they just want him out of the WH.

  22. And just how much taxpayer money will he spend to go on this little world jaunt? And how many terrorists will he secretly meet while he is there?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  23. Well he has signed the no smoking bill, yet he is very evasive about whether he has stopped smoking (his staff is also). As I remember, that was another campaign promise.

    I really have to wonder about his medical reports. The smoking and stress has to be taking its toil, yet he gets a perfect bill of health. One has to wonder.

  24. Since I also lived with someone who stopped smoking and used the nicorette gum, I think there is a strong warning not to do both (it is like a double dose). If he is smoking and chewing, which his press secretary alluded to he was, you really have to worry.

  25. Justice Frankfurter once said we should not despair when wisdom comes late because too often it never comes at all. In this case I am not sure I agree with him. The harm is done. Nevertheless more voices on the hard left are starting to rise up against Mr. General Electric in all his glory. (P.S. It is not a turn to the right however. He stands where he always has– squarely on the side of the big guy against the little guy but he gets away with it because corporate controlled big media is cut from the same cloth.)

    Obama’s Right Turn
    by William Fisher

    NEW YORK – Human rights and open government advocates were heartened by President Barack Obama’s pledge during his first week in office to create “an unprecedented level of openness in government” and “establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration”.

    Vice President Joe Biden listens to U.S. President Barack Obama during a signing ceremony for the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington June 22, 2009. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)But now, well into Obama’s second 100 days in office, many are expressing outrage and disappointment that many of the president’s decisions have followed the path of his predecessor, President George W. Bush.

    The Obama administration has invoked the “state secrets” privilege several times to prevent lawsuits dealing with “extraordinary renditions” and warrantless wiretapping from ever being heard in court. Justice Department lawyers have argued that detainees at Bagram Air Force base in Afghanistan have no right to challenge their detention.

    The government has also caved to Democrats and Republicans in Congress to keep any of the Guantanamo Bay detainees from ever entering the U.S., even though the Defense Department has cleared these men for release and declared that they present no threat to U.S. national security.

    Reliable reports suggest that Obama is considering “indefinite detention” for GITMO detainees who cannot be tried in U.S. courts because the evidence against them was obtained through torture.

    The government has gone to court to appeal a court ruling ordering the release of a 2004 report from the Inspector General of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) describing the harsh treatment of prisoners in the agency’s secret prisons. And the new president has refused to make public photographs reportedly depicting abusive interrogations at these and other government detention centers.

    Obama recently rejected a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for Secret Service logs showing the identities of coal executives who had visited the White House to discuss Obama’s “clean coal” policies because the disclosure of such records might impinge on privileged “presidential communications”.

    On the issue of electronic surveillance, the new president has not repudiated the Bush-era executive orders supporting warrantless wiretapping and the legal opinions used to support them. Obama has resisted a “truth commission” to investigate former officials who allegedly broke the law and committed crimes, saying he would rather look forward than back.

    Government lawyers asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought on behalf of a couple who were placed on a terrorist watch list.

    And when watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Justice Department seeking records related to former vice president Dick Cheney’s interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the “outing” of CIA operative Valerie Plame, the Justice Department declined to turn over the records.

    IPS interviews with human rights and open-government advocates produced few explanations of the president’s actions, beyond calls for him to live up to his promises.

    But some have offered insights as to the “why” of what they see as Obama’s u-turn.

    Among them is Professor Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois law school. He told IPS, “After winning the Democratic Party against Senator Clinton by appealing to its progressive wing, Obama immediately veered far to the right and co-opted all of the Clinton people into his campaign and then administration. So what we are seeing now is a third Clinton term with a continuation of many of the same foreign and domestic policies pursued by the Bush Jr. administration.”

    He added, “This has little to do with personnel and personalities. It has to do structurally with the preservation and further extension of the American empire abroad that necessarily requires the further consolidation of an American police state at home,” he said.

    “Hence the Obama administration has continued to ratify the illegal and unconstitutional policies of the Bush administration in court cases across the board, while escalating the Bush admistration’s imperialist intervention into Afghanistan and now expanding it into Pakistan.”

    Another explanation came from Michael Ratner, president of the Centre for Constitutional Rights, which has mobilised dozens of pro-bono lawyers to represent Guantanamo prisoners.

    “Why did Obama make promises about less secrecy, transparency and a narrowed state secrets privilege and proceed to have his administration assert positions and back legislation that was directly contrary to those promises?” he asked rhetorically in response to an IPS question.

    “In the U.S., we complain about Chile hiding the crimes of the Pinochet regime, or Germany hiding the Nazi crimes or Russia the crimes of the KGB, yet where is the screaming when President Obama hides the war crimes of the Bush administration?”

    His answer: “In part, the recent blatant assertions of secrecy are to hide crimes of former and some current officials. That is why President Obama is keeping the torture photos hidden. That is why he is continuing to assert broad state secret claims to try and hide the rendition program.”

    “That is why the 2004 CIA report on the secret site interrogations will be released with heavy redactions. Not only would the photos and documents implicate the Bushies, but remember some of those abuses were apparently committed by units under the command of the recently appointed commander in Afghanistan, General (Stanley) McChrystal,” Ratner noted.

    “Some of the crimes were allegedly approved or committed by the current deputy director of the CIA, Stephen Kappes, who is keeping his job,” he added. Chip Pitts of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee offers another perspective. He told IPS, “There are undoubtedly elements of truth in each of the theories – or excuses – I’ve imagined or heard for the president’s broken January promise.”

    “But the hedging and retaining litigation and other exceptions, instead of restoring the full presumption of transparency and openness in interpreting FOIA, are as disappointing as the hedging and retaining exceptions on other core planks of the rule of law, such as the prohibition on torture, military commissions, preventive detention, and maintaining ubiquitous surveillance.”

    He added, “The free information flows and social networking technologies in the Iranian protests are only the latest indication of transparency’s new historical power. Obama himself recognized in that context the new meaning for Martin Luther King’s injunction that ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, but bends toward justice’.”

    “Obama would be better advised to be on the right side of that history than on the side of darkness and cover-up,” he said.

    A more hopeful note comes from Peter M Shane, a law professor at Ohio State University. He notes that the Bush administration “had the most ambitious view of executive power in history. Bush sympathizers see little difference in the Obama administration. Bush’s detractors, in some respects, agree.”

    But the truth, he says, is probably closer to the Obama administration casting aside some of the Bush administration’s more audacious claims while “still struggling to find a consistent stance with regard to its philosophy of executive power.”

    How the new administration will ultimately resolve its conflicts between secrecy and open government remains to be seen. But, as President Obama said over the weekend in relation to the current Iranian conflict, “the world is watching”.

  26. To: The Hard Left

    Fr. Your Friends Who Are Old Enough To Remember What You Forgot

    Re: The Bells Are Ringing (1956)–in re Telebama

    The party’s over
    It’s time to call it a day
    They’ve burst your pretty balloon
    And taken the moon away
    It’s time to wind up the masquerade
    Just make your mind up the piper must be paid

    The party’s over
    The candles flicker and dim
    You danced and dreamed through the night
    It seemed to be right just being with him
    Now you must wake up, all dreams must end
    Take off your makeup, the party’s over
    It’s all over, my friend

  27. It’s no coincidence imo that as Obama’s ratings begin to dip, a couple of nasty Hillary articles come out today about her being irrelevant….I am sure Rahm worked his media friends to try and distract attention away from BO’s incompetence and have them go off on Hillary’s failing at SOS…….Emanuel can never be trusted by a Clinton.

  28. When the party is all over for this jackass, only one worthy person will be left standing with grace and dignity: the wonderfully amazing Hillary Clinton.

    So let them trash her if they want. Let them be juvenile little boys and girls.

  29. Most Americans think Palestinians must recognize Israel’s right to exist

    By Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz Correspondent, and Haaretz Service

    Eighty-one percent of American voters agree that Palestinian leaders must recognize Israel’s right to exist as part of a Middle East peace agreement, according to a new survey by U.S. polling company Rasmussen Reports published Tuesday.

    The national telephone survey found that just seven percent disagree that recognition of Israel should be a requirement for peace, while 12 percent are not sure.

    But only 27 percent believe it is somewhat likely that Palestinian leaders will agree to recognize Israel’s right to exist, the poll found.

    There is less support from American voters for requiring Israel to accept the creation of a Palestinian state. Fifty-seven percent of voters say Israel should be required to do so as part of a regional peace agreement, and 20 percent oppose such a requirement.

    Forty-eight percent of respondents to the Rasmussen poll said U.S. President Barack Obama’s Middle Eastern policy is about right, but 35% said he is not supportive enough of Israel and 10% said he is too supportive.

    Obama has called on Israel and the Palestinians to acknowledge each other’s existence, while also pushing Israel to freeze settlement construction in the West Bank.

    Following Obama’s June 4 speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, 32% of American voters now think that relationship will improve in the next year, while 28% believe it will get worse, according to the poll.

    Forty-nine percent of respondents said the United States should help Israel if it decides to attack Iran over the latter’s nuclear weapon facilities.

  30. I’m sorry but I just must comment on Sean Hannity. Although he has and continues to “tell it” about Barack Obama as compared to the creepy and whimy Bill O, Hannity has almost as much Clinton hate as Dickie Morris.

    Tonight he is verbally imitating Bill Clinton and mocking him on the vile LIBERAL TRANSLATION segment.

    Hannity tries to rewrite history and whines and cries when anyone attacks the “wonderful” Bush Jr.

    Sean Hannity is an @ss as if all of ya’ll didn’t know it already…but I feel better now.

  31. Almost Two Million Vanish from Obama’s Estimate of U.S. Muslims

    June 22, 2009

    Almost two million people have inexplicably disappeared from the estimates of the U.S. Muslim population that President Barack Obama has given recently. In his speech to the Muslim world in Cairo on June 4, he spoke about “nearly seven million American Muslims in our country today.” On Sunday, the Karachi daily Dawn published an interview with him where he said “we have five million Muslims.”

    There was no explanation for the change, but his reason for citing the figure seemed to be the same. Shortly before his Cairo speech, Obama told the French television channel Canal Plus that “one of the points I want to make is, is that if you actually took the number of Muslim Americans, we’d be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world.” He cited no figure there but mentioned seven million in Cairo three days later.

    Many blogs, FaithWorld included, questioned that figure and noted that estimates of the U.S. Muslim population range from 1.8 to 7-8 million. The U.S. Census Bureau cannot ask about religion on a mandatory basis but refers on its website to a Pew Forum study pegging Muslims at 0.6% of the population. The CIA World Factbook uses the same percentage figure. It translates into about 1.8 million.

    Speaking to Dawn, Obama lowered his estimate but made his original point again. He said: “We have Muslim Americans who are doing extraordinary things. In fact, their educational attainment and income is generally above the average here in the United States. We have Muslim members of Congress. And, in fact, we have 5 million Muslims, which would make us larger than many other countries that consider themselves Muslim countries.”

    The downsizing puts the U.S. even lower on the this Wikipedia list of countries according to the size of their Muslim population, from 32nd place (after Kazakhstan and before the current #32 Tajikistan) to 38th (between Chad and Turkmenistan).

    In the interview, Obama also spoke a bit about his visit to Pakistan as a student in 1981 that caused some confusion and speculation in the end phase of the 2008 campaign. Dawn’s Washington correspondent Anwar Iqbal asked Obama if he planned to visit Pakistan soon and the president responded: ‘I would love to visit. As you know, I had Pakistani roommates in college who were very close friends of mine. I went to visit them when I was still in college; was in Karachi and went to Hyderabad. Their mothers taught me to cook,’ said Mr Obama.

    ‘What can you cook?’

    ‘Oh, keema … daal … You name it, I can cook it. And so I have a great affinity for Pakistani culture and the great Urdu poets.’

    ‘You read Urdu poetry?’

    ‘Absolutely. So my hope is that I’m going to have an opportunity at some point to visit Pakistan,’ said Mr Obama.

  32. Obama is trying to cram in as much as possible as there will never be an opportunity for him, with control of both houses, and still relatively high public approval to get his radical agenda implemented into law. He stands a relatively good chance imo as he still has the votes and msm on his side. I think the Iran/Korean thing took him by surprise, but tomorrow he will have ABC promoting his agenda to an audience of tens of millions.

  33. Admin, I am so right there with you. This post sings to me…

    So what’s up my sister’s and brother’s, been on vac for 2 weeks in the mountains of CA whitewater rafting, laying on the beaches in San Deigo, seeing “Wicked’ in San Fran.

    Looks like the World has gone insane.

    So tell me, who is this guy Mousavi and is it true that Woman’s groups in Iran are spear heading this protest?

  34. Hannity along with Morrison are dogs. Oops, I like dogs so maybe they are snakes. They are horrible, I detest listening to them. They really give republicans a bad name.

    I really don’t think Obama looks like he is under pressure or working hard. He looked worse during the campaign. Hillary on the hand looks as if she is working her ass off.

  35. Thinking about all the infomercials on health care, it made me wonder…doesn’t the president have to have a serious health exam each year. Seems like I remember when we heard about past presidents’ polps, skin cancers, high colestrol, blood pressure and other health concerns.

    When will BO have to have his exam and will we hear about any health “situations” he has or will that all be buried as well?
    Oh, silly me, I forgot. BO is a perfect “specimen” and of course he has never had nor will he have any health problems.

    Shooting all those hoops with the pros and celebs must be the ticket to perfect health. If only we had that opportunity, we boomers would not have to worry about BO’s health care plan.

  36. # JanH Says:
    June 23rd, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    How many want to bet that bambi had his questions pre-fed and pre-answered for him?

    I wondered the same thing, Jan- His answers were smooth un co-opted with the long ahhh- pauses he gives us when he is struggling for a plausible answer. Notice the teleprompter was absent from the press conference. However, he kept looking down at his crib sheet sitting on the podium correlating press person/question/answer… already laid out.

    “the absence of an Iranian press corps in Washington, it was an innovative way to get a question directly from an Iranian.”

    UPDATE 2: Knoller, again via Twitter: “Huffington Post’s Nico Pitney says the WH called him this morning and invited him to ask his Iran questions at the news conference.”

    That pretty well cinches my observations. Generally speaking- prior to the Press Conference, Obama had knowledge of the questions which were already answered by staff members and read beforehand by Obama for ease in referencing a satisfactory answer that is in line with his static, do nothing agenda.

  37. Hey Gonzo,

    Welcome back! As far as Mousavi goes, in his own way he is just as much a monster as the incumbent who stole the election.

    I think if you check the last thread, there is at least one article about Mousavi and his violent history.

    Yes women are spearheading this but so are many others.

  38. This is what I don’t get about Mousavi, his wife is the idol of all women in Iran. She is spearheading the women’s rights issues. She herself has more rights with Mousavi.
    I know he was evil 30 years ago, but how does a guy like that have a wife like he has?? She made her own campaign video reaching out to women. It doesn’t fit.
    He apparently get a lot of flack about his wife from the supreme leader. Its probably the reason the Supreme Leader doesn’t like him.

  39. We have elected a pseudo American President who forgets to salute during the National Anthem, requests that Christian Crosses be covered during his visits to college campuses, and bows his head before Arabic Royalty.

  40. What horrible bullshit!

    Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois law school. He told IPS, “After winning the Democratic Party against Senator Clinton by appealing to its progressive wing, Obama immediately veered far to the right and co-opted all of the Clinton people into his campaign and then administration. So what we are seeing now is a third Clinton term with a continuation of many of the same foreign and domestic policies pursued by the Bush Jr. administration.”

  41. TurnDownObama, they just don’t want to admit they have been had and that Obama is the Third Bush Term.

  42. Obama is trying to cram in as much as possible as there will never be an opportunity for him, with control of both houses, and still relatively high public approval to get his radical agenda implemented into law. He stands a relatively good chance imo as he still has the votes and msm on his side. I think the Iran/Korean thing took him by surprise, but tomorrow he will have ABC promoting his agenda to an audience of tens of millions.
    Honestly, I doubt this will happen. I do not plan to be watching. I think the program is cost prohibitive at this point. I think it will be shredded. That will hand him a major defeat. The credibility of msm has been seriously diminished in recent days.

  43. Good Morning All,

    Remember when the newspapers and TV use to hold politicians accontable for their campaign promises? Now, the only ones holding them accountable is the internet.

    As a result, the internet advertising and sales are sky rocketing, and the newpapers and TV are losing advertising. You don’t survive without advertising.

    Guess What, the American People actual thing that the Government, which includes the Presdient actually works for them, and they expect them to be held accountable. The only one giving them everything are the blogs and the twitters.

    I really think it is too late to turn around the newspapers and TV. Once people feel that you are not leveling with them, they do not trust you again.

  44. Personnelly, I trust the Rag sheets more than I trust the other medias. In fact when I see the wild headlines I usually say to myself, that story might be blown out of proportion, but something there is true. They uncovered Edwards. I just don’t know why they did not find more on O.

  45. Goodmorning everyone! Its going to be another very hot day here in East Texas.
    I just got up and walked past the television and Obama was on again. Of coarse, it was ABC, my dad favorite news channel.
    I guess it was fairly calm in Iran yesterday, I heard there is a strike scheduled for Thursday???

  46. Mrs. Smith Says:

    June 24th, 2009 at 1:11 am
    We have elected a pseudo American President who forgets to salute during the National Anthem, requests that Christian Crosses be covered during his visits to college campuses, and bows his head before Arabic Royalty.


    But don’t you dare call him a Muslim. You’ll be labelled a racist.

    Makes me sick!

  47. Obama to dispatch ambassador to Syria

    Wed, 24 Jun 2009

    US President Barack Obama moves Washington closer toward his pledged reconciliation with the Muslim world by declaring a decision to send a US ambassador to Syria.

    The acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, informed Syria’s ambassador to Washington, Imad Mustafa, on Tuesday on Obama’s intention, Washington Post quoted a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    The return of the US envoy to Damascus after an absence of more than four years is viewed as a significant step toward mending of the ties between the two states, seriously troubled under former President George W. Bush.

    The Bush administration withdrew its ambassador in February 2005 amid allegations blaming the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri on Syria — claims that Damascus has vehemently rejected.

    The senior administration official told the Post that, “It did not make any sense to us not to be able to speak with an authoritative voice in Damascus,” and that “total disengagement” has further risked US interests in the region.

    The new US administration earlier sent high-level military and diplomatic delegations along on a series of visits to the Arab country, including a trip there earlier this month by Obama’s Middle East envoy George Mitchell.

    Syria is of notable significance to Washington for its critical position in the Middle East — neighboring Iraq. Meanwhile, its Golan Heights occupied by Israel makes it central to the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. “We’re determined to engage in a comprehensive way in the region,” the official said. “This is an important step we are taking as part of that strategy.”


    He’s circling the wagons and tightening the noose.

  48. There is an AOL lead banner saying “Obama Talks Tougher about Iran”.

    Well would not take much, since he has bearly talked about it.

  49. There were Oh so many waysto write that lead like

    Finally O talks a little tough with Iran
    Or they could have said he talks tough with Iran, which give a more powerful perception

    But maybe that was a compromise. I have begun to think leader headlines are more important than the articles, as many people don’t read the article.

    He is probably having a side bar saying Fellows can you teach me how to turn off the blogging and the twitter stuff?

  50. OK, I had to have some humor. I am off for the day, and will read the stream when I return.

  51. Read this! It discusses how Obama is thought of in Iran by the Mullahs.
    h t t p:/ /w w w .for /2008 /10 /26/obama-iran- ahmadinejad- oped-cx_at_1 026taheri.html

  52. confloyd,

    And why wouldn’t they see him as their savior? Given his bizarre actions, that is how I see him.

  53. JanH, Exactly! That article scared the crap out of me. I had no idea that the Torah says a tall black man will come out to save them before the end of time.
    Of coarse, our govt. might know this and wanted to utilize this in order to get more cooperation from the muslim govts.
    Who knows??
    I also read another scary article last pm on Cannonfire blog about Obama’s family connection to the CIA. They say this is the reason we know nothing about this man.

  54. June 23, 2009

    DOJ: Clinton, Salazar Constitutionally Eligible to Serve

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Interior Department Secretary Kenneth Salazar are not constitutionally disqualified to serve in executive offices, the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel said in an opinion released this month.

    President Barack Obama’s appointment of Clinton and Salazar, former U.S. senators, did not violate the constitution’s Ineligibility Clause, which bans a member of Congress from profiting from appointment to an executive office.

    Legislation that rolls back the executive office’s salary prior to appointment of the member of Congress is enough to comply with the clause, according the OLC opinion. David Barron, acting assistant attorney general, wrote the opinion, which is dated May 20.

    The OLC opinion was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on May 20, the same day Justice lawyers filed a motion to dismiss a suit that alleges Clinton is ineligible to serve as secretary of state despite the salary rollback legislation in December. The opinion (.pdf) was posted on the OLC home page earlier this month and marks the first published publicly under Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.

    Barron wrote that “the practice of the political branches, over more than a century and after serious deliberation, supports the effectiveness of rollback legislation to achieve compliance with the Ineligibility Clause.” In the 14-page opinion, Barron noted that an unpublished opinion written in 1987 by the Office of Legal Counsel took a counter position than the one the Justice Department is presenting in the latest opinion.

    The older opinion, written by then-Assistant Attorney General Charles Cooper, argued, among other things, that rolled back salary is insufficient because Congress could restore the earlier salary the day after the appointment. “Thus, permitting this device to circumvent the Ineligibility Clause would largely render it a nullity,” Cooper wrote.

    Barron explores two interpretations of the Ineligibility Clause—the “snapshot” view and the “on net” construction. Under the “snap shot” perspective, a member of Congress is banned from appointment to an executive office if the office’s salary has ever been increased during the time the appointee was in Congress. A salary rollback isn’t good enough to satisfy the constitutional ban because the salary of the executive office still “increased” during the time the appointee was a member of Congress. The “on net” view says that a member of Congress cannot be appointed to an executive post if the salary of the executive office is higher than at the start of the member’s term. “The ‘on net’ construction presents an entirely natural interpretation of the language,” Barron wrote.

    The secretary of state’s salary jumped from $186,600 to $191,300 during Clinton’s second term as New York’s junior senator. Clinton got the lower compensation.

    Barron argues that salary rollback legislation “advances the purposes of the Ineligibility Clause.” Members of Congress, he notes, cannot profit from salaries that were increased during the time for which the person was elected to serve. At the end of the opinion, Barron lists seven occasions since the Civil War where Congress has rolled back the salary of an executive office to allow the appointment of a member of Congress. Clinton and Salazar are included on the list.

    The conservative watchdog Judicial Watch filed suit in January in federal district court in Washington against Clinton and the State Department. Judge Reggie Walton has not ruled on the government’s motion to dismiss the suit.

  55. A chilling description from a woman in Tehran after escaping a major crackdown today. She was asking for help. Good luck getting this idiot to help the women in Tehran. She said the women were getting shot and beaten to death today.
    The reporter should have said “look lady we have our own Mullah here in the US to worry about, you need to just get over it” because that is what is going to happen=nothing!

  56. Jun 24, 2009

    Candidly Speaking: Obama and Israel

    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was in an unenviable position when he delivered his first major foreign policy address. He was facing tough demands from a highly popular new American president who gives the impression that he seeks to draw the United States closer to the Arab world by distancing it from Israel. Obama reversed the policy of his predecessor, which he described as “simply dictating solutions,” and expressed his intention of “engaging” with adversaries. Yet ironically Israel, until now regarded as an American ally, has been confronted with diktats from Obama, culminating with the tough demands contained in the otherwise affable address delivered in Cairo to a global Muslim audience.

    At the same time, Netanyahu was confronted by hard-line nationalists in his own government, seemingly unable to appreciate that Israel does not have the capacity to stand alone against the entire world, who urged him to summarily dismiss the US demands. Without groveling or conceding on issues related to Israel’s security, Netanyahu skillfully adopted a conciliatory position and averted a major breach in US- Israel relations. He demonstrated that the new Netanyahu has matured and acquired qualities of statesmanship and courage that are crucial for an Israeli leader in these difficult times. The enthusiastic public support he received after the speech demonstrated that his policies also reflected the Israeli consensus.

    Some (myself included) maintained that Netanyahu should have endorsed a conditional Palestinian state from day one and avoided the considerable damage inflicted on Israel’s public image. Yet in retrospect, the delay in articulating Israel’s position until after the US President delivered his Cairo speech enabled Netanyahu to provide a number of concessions to Obama without compromising central issues.

    It is to be regretted that in his brilliantly sculptured address to the Muslim world, Obama applied moral equivalency when referring to the Holocaust and Arab refugees. He also effectively endorsed the Arab narrative when implying that the creation of a Jewish state represented a restitution for the Holocaust which inflicted suffering on innocent Palestinians.

    Netanyahu forcefully but diplomatically repudiated this false narrative, underlining the 3,500 years of profound Jewish connection to the Holy Land which preceded the Holocaust and politely highlighting facts which demonstrate that the suffering of the Palestinians all along has been largely self-inflicted.

    The most sensitive component of Netanyahu’s address was the formal endorsement of a Palestinian state subject to acceptance of the following four caveats: (i) recognition of Israel as a Jewish state; (ii) demilitarization, endorsed by international guarantees to prevent the formation of another Hamastan or an Iranian enclave; (iii) an end to the obscene anti-Semitic incitement, which to this day permeates every sector of Palestinian society; and (iv) recognition that descendants of Palestinian refugees would not be repatriated to Israel.

    GIVEN THE HISTORY of the Arab-Israel conflict, if the White House is unable to concede that Israel’s demands are eminently reasonable, then alas there may be substance in the fears previously expressed, suggesting that Obama may be willing to sacrifice Israel in a vain effort to appease the Islamic world. It would also revive dark memories of Chamberlain’s betrayal of Czechoslovakia in the course of his futile effort to appease the Nazis.

    In an effort to demonstrate goodwill and avoid frontal confrontation, Netanyahu undertook to impose a freeze in relation to creating new settlements. However he insisted that settlers be enabled to lead “normal lives,” signaling approval of natural growth in the major settlement blocs. He also expressed the commitment of his government to an undivided Jerusalem, guaranteeing freedom of worship to all religions.

    The initial response from the Palestinians was hardly encouraging. The PA renewed threats to revert to armed conflict and terror, and Saeb Erekat declared that “Netanyahu will have to wait 1,000 years to find a single Palestinian who will co-operate with him on the basis of this speech.”

    If the Palestinians refuse to consider Netanyahu’s proposals, they will be replicating the intransigent behavior of Arafat and Abbas, both of whom rejected offers from Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert for 97% of territory over the Green Line. This would reaffirm that ironically it is the Palestinians not Israelis who are the barrier to a Palestinian state, because their overriding motivation remains to obliterate Jewish sovereignty in the area.

    Obama’s initial response to Netanyahu’s speech was that “what we are seeing is at least the possibility that we can restart serious talks.” The White House also stated that Netanyahu’s address was “an important step forward.”

    But we must not delude ourselves. To date the Obama administration’s actions display a consistent determination to distance the United States from Israel in order to curry favor with the Arabs. We are already being pressured for additional concessions without reciprocity. The suggestion that Israel return to the indefensible 1948 “Auschwitz borders” shocked the nation, as did heartless demand that Israel make unilateral concessions to Hamas without regard to the release of Gilad Schalit.
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and White House spokesmen have reiterated that the Administration rejects and denies undertakings that the Bush Administration supported: the Israeli retention of regions such as Gush Etzion, Ma’ale Adumim and settlements adjacent to Jerusalem. The Obama administration also demands that Jews be denied the right to establish homes in these areas. No Israeli government could agree to impose limitations on the right of Jews to reside in Jerusalem – the city from which their religious and national civilization originated.

    UNDER THESE circumstances we desperately need a unity government. The Prime Minister has expressed a policy which enjoys the support of an overwhelming majority of the nation. Today, there is nothing of substance differentiating the policies of Kadima from those of Likud. For Tzipi Livni to continue subordinating the national interest at such a critical time merely to promote her personal ambition is simply unconscionable.

    It is also now critical that we encourage American Jews to actively support us. With 80% of them having voted for Obama after his guarantee that he would never forsake Israel, their moral support would have a major impact. Besides, they should also stress that pressuring Israel and appeasing the Arabs will not only undermine Israel but will ultimately rebound against the United States. Should Obama, despite protestations to the contrary, continue applying pressure on Israel while appeasing the Arabs, there would be serious grounds for questioning the commitment of the president to the security of the Jewish state. Hopefully the need to pose such a painful question will never arise.

    Netanyahu has displayed courage in presenting a principled position which is supported by the vast majority of Israelis. He has reiterated that Israelis are willing to make real sacrifices to achieve a genuine peace. But until such time as our neighbors demonstrate reciprocity and genuine commitment to peaceful relations, we can no longer be expected to make further unilateral concessions but must unite and stand firm against pressures to force us to do otherwise.


    I am not trying to inundate the site with articles on this topic, but I thought that this one was a good summary.

  57. Was Obama question on Iran a plant? White House says no.

    WASHINGTON (AP) — White House officials phoned a blogger from a popular left-leaning Web site on Monday evening to tell him that President Barack Obama had been impressed with his online reporting about Iran. Could the writer pass along a question from an Iranian during the president’s news conference on Tuesday?

    Of course. The next day, The Huffington Post’s Nico Pitney, the Web site’s national editor, got a prime location in the White House Briefing Room and was the second reporter Obama picked for a question.

    “Nico, I know that you — and all across the Internet — we’ve been seeing a lot of reports coming directly out of Iran,” Obama said without trying to hide that he knew the crux of the question. “I know that there may actually be questions from people in Iran who are communicating through the Internet. Do you have a question?”

    According to Pitney, what Obama got was a way to answer an Iranian’s question without allegations that he was directly trying to influence a tense situation.

    That logic, however, seemed to fracture later in the day when the White House posted a transcript of Obama’s remarks in Farsi on its Twitter page and an Arabic and Farsi version at

    White House officials and Pitney dismissed suggestions that the question was a plant. Obama didn’t know the question Pitney was prepared to ask, they say, and officials didn’t approve the question beforehand.

    Pitney asked Obama what he described as a question from one of the people “still courageous enough to be communicating online” about whether Obama would recognized Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election, or if such a move would be a betrayal of protesters.

    “Ultimately, the most important thing for the Iranian government to consider is legitimacy in the eyes of its own people, not in the eyes of the United States,” Obama said, repeating a familiar refrain. “And that’s why I’ve been very clear: Ultimately, this is up to the Iranian people to decide who their leadership is going to be and the structure of their government.”

    White House officials say they wanted to highlight the role of the Internet in the protests that followed Iran’s elections as well as reach out directly to Iranians.
    “Given his substantive contacts and reporting in Iran, answering Pitney’s question seemed like the best way to communicate to the Iranian people since there’s not an Iranian press corps here in Washington,” said deputy press secretary Josh Earnest, who escorted Pitney to the news conference and told other reporters to make room for him.

    Grumblings about favored reporters are not unique to the Obama White House. There were suspicions — never proved — that President George W. Bush’s press operations often planted friendly questions in his news conferences.

    Obama called on a political writer from the Huffington Post during his first news conference. And given the Web’s influence in organizing and reporting on the postelection dispute in Iran, Pitney’s selection made sense, officials said.

    Pitney’s work at the Web site combined other news agencies’ reporting and his own conversation with people in Iran via social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. It quickly became a one-stop source for minute-by-minute news coming from Iran, compiled from uploaded photos and 140-character blogs.

    The White House similarly used social media sites to reinforce Obama’s speech to the Muslim world in Cairo. The tech-savvy administration distributed a transcript of that speech in 13 languages other than English.



  58. Obama becomes very angry , very quickly, when the questioner challenges him. He shows his real temperament is not at all as “cool” as portrayed by MSM.

  59. I had dinner with the Cuban banker last night and he had a number of insights you may find interesting. They involved such things as i) the reserve currency fight, ii) the bank bail out, iii) the nature of evil, iv) the Obama plan, v) how to effectively fight it, and v) the breaking of the social compact by the hard left. Here are the things he said that I can recall a day later after too much demon rum.

    1. Reserve Currency Fight: “whoever controls world currency can export its inflation to the world”.

    It is no secret that have been living beyond our means. This has been true for years. Even at the time of the Marshall Plan, there were too many dollars floating around Europe. But then at least we were constrained by the gold standard, which Nixon abandoned in 1972. We have been printing paper money with abandon ever since with wreckless abandon to cover our political promises. And those ever inflating dollars are all over the world especially now.

    This is not the first time other nations have tried to resist create an alternative to the dollar. Several years ago something happened that managed to escape the vigilant and unbiased attention of corrupt, corrupted and corruptible big media. Iran acquired an island off its coast with the specific intention of building an financial exchange for the world which would trade in petroleum, and compete against the dollar. There were underwater internet cables connecting which would connect that facility to the mainland and to other Arab countries in the middle east. Those cables were destroyed with explosives by person or persons unkonown.

    Today, we have a powerful group of nations meeting in the death place of the czars for the singular purpose of seeking an international currency beyond the control of any nation which they say is compatible with the needs of a multi-polar world. Iran is one of the players. Short of achieving that objective, they are in agreement that they will cease dealing in dollars and trade in eachothers currencies as we are seeing today in Brazil. The handwriting is on the wall, and that is why Mr. Obama plans to sell off American real estate to prevent default.

    have been living within our means for years, and printing more money to cover it. Those are the ingredients of inflation. But as long as the dollar remains the world reserve currency we can spread that inflation throughout the world and get other nations to help pay for it. This is precisely what the contrarian group of nations wants to end. know it and so does the contrarian group of nation states that seek to move away from the dollar and into a reserve world currency under the excusive contol of no nation.

    2. Bank Bail-out: he asked me whether I knew what really happened here and then he told me what he believes. He said the root cause of this problem was the erroneous pricing of mortagage properties. The bankers assumed a rate of default which was artifically low compared to historical factors. They failed to realize that the low rate of default during the past twenty years was a function of demogaphics, a large group of willing buyers and an economic incentive to protect what has been until recently an ever appeciating asset. The reversal of that trend caused a weakening of demand. Next, the politicians got into the act. They forced the bankers to lower the rates further to attract minority home buyers. That caused the defaut rate to go even higher.

    While this was going on, Wall Street was bundling these mortages into security instruments with an artifically high rate of return. These were then passed off to the world. But there came a point where the world stopped buying. At that point the same bankers told themselves a lie. Instead of admitting their error, they succumbed to their own hype and began buying this paper themselves.

    When that paper became worthless, the net worth of the banks themselves began to plummet. And that is why they came running to Uncle Sam. But it isnt just the banks, it is all this worthless paper floating around the world that must be dealt with. Part of the plan is to convert these securities into mortage instruments at further cost to the taxpayer. That is part of Obamas plan (infra.)

    3. The Nature of Evil: he mentioned that movie critic Roger Ebert was talking one time about how evil is wrongly portayed in the movies. Hollywood, he claims, depicts the the villain as someone who wastes time telling you exactly what he is going to do, taking perverse delight in it and by the time he gets around to doing it the rescuers have arrived. Ebert says it does not work that way. My banker friend says that is exactly how it works because that is the psychology of evil, indeed the essence of it. Simply put, evil telegraphs it moves. And, evil overreaches. Case in point: Barack Hussein Obama (infra.) That is also evil’s Achilles heel.

    4. The Obama Plan: my friend believes there are two competing groups of elites who are competing with eachother to control the United States and ultimaely the world. One group is content to stay behind the scenes and operate subtley through the existing institutions and processes. Its goal is financial in nature. The other group seeks both money and power. It believes it can run the world. And politican who rises to stature in this country is owned one of those two groups.

    Obama is definitely owned by the second group–the one who seeks power uber alles. And their game is much larger than the United States. They seek to dominate the world. Their weapon of choice is not gunboat diplomacy but indoctrination and mind control thorugh the media. Their plan is to coodinate the efforts of big media in the united states with its european counterparts to present a seemless message to the great unwashed which will effectively asesthesize them to what is really going on, and how it will ultimately affect them. Over time, they will also build a network of interconnected institutions which will ensure that their message penetrates to the core of each society, and renders it people both docile and manipulable.

    Raum Emanuel once said that the Obama people must never let a crisis go to waste. But no one, certainly not our gullible big media, bothered to ask him what exactly he had in mind. Clearly, it is nothing short of a power grab against the American People and the Constitution, the likes of which we have never seen before. Obama is the architect of none of this. He is merely a cut out. But he is fundamentally evil, or to use the more clinical term a socio-path, it is in his nature to telegraph his moves, to overreach and to delight in this:

    a. party take-over: as we have seen–no Penn. primary

    b. government take-over: as we have seen–fire whistle blowers

    c. business take-over: as we have seen–banks, detroit etc

    d. health care take-over: as he is now attempting

    e. looting treasury: to reward insiders

    f. creation of a crushing debt load

    g. corruption of election process (fundraising, voter intimidation)

    h. corruption of the census process (invasive info–ACORN control)

    i. funding and empowerent of ACORN (charges if 17 states)

    j. raising a vast civilian army (his comments last summer).

    i. destroying our economic freedom (through crushing debt)

    k. control of media (they print whatever he feeds them)

    l. control of education system and message (Ayers)

    g. mindless chants to an all knowing leader

    h. radical immigration reform (to change the electorate)

    Comment: this is the totalitarian model plain and simple. And it is right there in front of us. He has telegraphed his moves.

    5. Counter-strategy: focus on ACORN. They are the key to this thing. They are a replica of what Castro set up right after the Revolution in Cuba. It was called The Committee For The Defense Of The Revolution. They have their block watch captains who monitor the activities of ordinary people and report back to the central authority. In this case, Obama has put them in charge of collecting census information, and when a prominent house member said she would not provide that information, big media immediately raised the threat of prosecution. ACORN is not neutral, and cannot be trusted. Someone needs to do to them what the FBI did to the Mafia at the time of Joe Valachi–show the organizational chart, the background and ties of the leaders, photos, and radical philosophies. His comments about creating a civilian army equal in size to the US militiary to protect civil order, which were taped. The history of the 2008 primary which illustrates how the election process was corrupted. Thus, the gravaman of the complaint would be less about the state of the economy, about which people will draw their own conclusions, but rather about this unmitigated power grab by forces unknown to a denoument which substitutes totalitarian control for democracy.

  60. h. radical immigration reform (to change the electorate)


    While they all scare me, this is the one that worries me the most.

  61. wbboei, oh brother! Two competing groups and no doubt neither one gives one hoot about the middle class or the American people.

    I was just listening to CNN, they had Christianne Amapour on and Tony asked her if the reason for the revolution was because of the Presidents Cairo speech. She seemed irritated at the question and said NO she would not say that, she said I am just reporting what is going on right now in Iran. He moved on rather quickly. THey love to give the US mullah all the credit.

  62. Looks like its worse today in Iran, the Banji are chopping ppl with axes in their chests. Blood is everywhere, Mousavi is arrested! All this per Persiankiwi. One of his group has been taken and he says they will torture and get the names of the others and he now has to move fast.

    What is our glorious leader doing today???

  63. confloyd,

    Who asked the question? Seems like bambi is rubbing off on his media sheep. They all get testy when asked pertinent questions. God forbid that any word coming out of his mouth could cause world chaos.

  64. According to Persiankiwi, Mousavi and Karoubi have been arrested. They are saying now that will bring a national strike from now on. This is what Mousavi has told them to do.
    This may come to a head soon! A national strike brought down the govt. in 79′. In 79′ I don’t think they had outside mercenaries doing their dirty work either!


    Mr Obama speaks out only after the tide has turned. He shrinks from difficult decisions, and abdicates a leadership role. He is a disgrace to America and a disappointment to freedom seekers in the world. If you believe in the principle of freedom then there is no living with this.


    Top story: Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, vowed yesterday that his government “will yield to pressure at any cost” amid signs that the resistance movement that grew in response to the disputed election of June 12 is beginning to fade. Mohsen Rezaee, the conservative candidate who came in fourth in the elections, has withdrawn his complaints over the results. Street protests have also become smaller and more sporadic and police and Basij militia crack down on public demonstrations.

    Opposition leaders, including Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri have called for a public day of mourning on Thursday for those killed in the demonstrations, including Neda Agha-Sultan, the young woman whose filmed death has become an emblem for the opposition. “Resisting the people’s demand is religiously prohibited,” said Montazeri on his Website. Footage showing clerics participating in protests may indicate growing divisions in Iran’s religious elite.

    Iran has reportedly arrested a number of foreign nationals, including those with British passports, in connection with the demonstrations. Britain yesterday expelled two Iranian diplomats in response to the expulsion of two British diplomats from Tehran.

    Yesterday, U.S. President Barack Obama also made his strongest condemnation of Iran’s government since the protests began, saying he is “appalled and outraged by the threats, beatings and imprisonments of the past few days.” The Washington Times reports that prior to this month’s elections, Obama had written a letter to Khamenei seeking to deepen diplomatic ties. Khamenei refered to this overture derisively in his sermon last week.

    Under the radar: The U.S. says China’s plan to equip all personal computers with Web filtering software is a violation of its WTO obligations.

  66. These communist regimes want to track all things on the computers, cell phones to keep the power. How disgusting!
    According to Gergen, where’s the UN and whats holding them up to say something about the itrosities going on in Iran?
    Gergen says the UN can go in, so why aren’t they loading up right now???

  67. I think the inside joke in the media is that this meganogmanic would claim credit for this rebellion. I am willing to give him that credit, provided he is willing to accept the responsibility the consequences, i.e. the death of those who responded while he stood speechless, even after those engaged in the stuggle begged him to say something on their behalf. It would be hard to imagine a more pitiful and cowardly excuse for a leader that Obama.

  68. I hope they get UHC thru, I can’t even stand to watch it. The insurance and physician lobbies are out in full force spreading B.S., just like in the 90’s.
    Most of you know that my business failed and I closed it, but you don’t know that I have had to quit my job to take care of my husband. He has M.S. and it is affecting his mind. He almost set the kitchen on fire twice while I was on vacation in the middle of the night. I could not bring myself to go back to work due to the fear of him hurting himself and my 87 y.o. father. I knew it was going to happen I was just hoping I could make it until I was 62 y.o., but it is just too dangerous.
    I just hope to get UHC so I can get some kind of medical coverage.

  69. I’m beginning to think the only thing this idiot will be remember for is for being a dollar short and a day late. No leadership, no heroic steps in the face of adversity, no nothing, and with lasting and horrific damage.

  70. I think the inside joke in the media is that this meganogmanic would claim credit for the rebellion. That is obvious from the dismissive response by CA on whether his Cairo speech was the catalyst as he claims. For the record, I am perfectly willing to give him credit for that miracle since he wants it so badly that he lies about it. The only thing I would ask from him in return is an honest acknowledgement that if he wants to credit for starting it then he must per force accept the resposibility for its consequences which will be seen as a Bay of Pigs.

    In that case, let us say he issued the call, people rebelled in response to same, they begged for his help, he stood speechless and thereby abandoned them to the thugs and the revolutionary courts.

    Truth to tell, it would be hard to imagine a more pitiful and cowardly excuse for a leader than Obama. A dangerous incompetent.

  71. The Sanford press conference has started. This was a totally uninteresting story to us, but apparently there is something to it.

  72. Sanford admits to a relationship with a friend from Argentina.

    This is a big loss for Republicans. He is resigning from Republican Governors Association chairmanship.

  73. Taipan Daily: Are China and Russia Attacking the Dollar Too Soon?
    by Justice Litle, Editorial Director, Taipan Publishing Group

    The man most credited for creating the China miracle is Deng Xiaoping. In 1961, Deng broke ranks with Chairman Mao and hinted at the capitalist pragmatism that would follow Mao’s death: “It doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice.”

    With that idea in mind, Deng allowed China to slowly outgrow the shackles of communism, experimenting at the edges until the country transformed itself.

    The Venerated Deng (his nickname in China) said something else quite useful too. “Keep a cool head and maintain a low profile. Never take the lead – but aim to do something big.”

    If Deng were around today, I wonder what he would think about the open aggression China and Russia have shown against the U.S. dollar. He would no doubt agree with the ultimate aim of doing something big. But in the great game of currency markets, the “low profile” part of his advice may have been shed too soon.

    Don’t Go Berserk

    Chess strategy is defined by concepts like time, space, force and pawn structure. A critical variable is how much of the board one controls. Another key variable is how effectively one’s forces are deployed.

    A common mistake of amateur chess players is taking the “berserker” approach. A typical berserker play would be sending out a knight and bishop to start a fight, seeing one of them get captured, and sending out another lone piece to continue the attack.

    The error in the berserker approach is failing to marshal one’s forces – a process that takes time. A well-coordinated assault involves multiple pieces working together. Strong chess players wage full-scale campaigns, rather than stringing troops out for lone attacks.

    The value in keeping a cool head and a low profile, as Deng suggested, is that a low profile buys time. It gives the strategist peace of mind and room to maneuver, both needed in coordinating a full-scale campaign. A cool head also counters the hot-blooded temptation of a hasty, ill-advised move.

    Medvedev Stirs the Pot

    In recent weeks Taipan Daily has talked about China’s stealth abandonment of the dollar, correctly anticipating many of the moves now being made. Your humble editor has also noted, with raised eyebrow, how stealth has turned into blatantly open maneuvering. Russia’s president, Dmitry Medvedev, took all of this a step further this week.

    Leaders of the four BRIC nations – Brazil, Russia, India and China – met in Yekaterinburg, Russia on Tuesday. Medvedev played proud host. During the high-profile get-together, he shared some very blunt views on the greenback.

    “There can be no successful global currency system if the financial instruments that are used are denominated in only one currency,” Medvedev opined. “Today this is the case and the currency is the dollar.”

    In the long run, Medvedev is right. But in the short run, one has to wonder if this counts as a berserker attack.

    A Premature Spotlight?

    Real action is being taken behind the scenes, as we have repeatedly noted. The latest is a tentative plan for Brazil, Russia, India and China to start trading bonds and currencies more actively. This would be another step towards cutting the dollar out of the loop.

    But it’s still early days, and some activities are better suited to the shadows than the spotlight. By definition, early actions will be tentative and small. That is how most things begin.

    Normally, you don’t mount a direct verbal offensive until you have something to show (other than a slick set of plans). By talking up plans to abandon the dollar now, before a multi-pronged assault has been well and truly coordinated, Medvedev and company risk looking like the leaders who cried wolf.

    The reality on the ground, for now, is that the ruble and the yuan are not quite yet ready for prime time. Russia and China are still too heavy-handed in the management of their respective currencies. This causes liquidity issues, and makes yuan- and ruble-denominated trade less attractive than it could be.

    “For all the criticism of the U.S. currency by leaders of the so-called BRIC nations,” Bloomberg reports, “dollar bonds sold by the largest emerging-market countries are outperforming debt traded in reais, rubles and yuan.”

    Russia also has serious financial woes. A report issued by Standard & Poor’s this week estimates “troubled assets” in Russian banks at a whopping $213 billion. In result, S&P analyst Scott Bugie estimates, Russian banks could be forced to write off as much as $80 billion – 14% of all loans outstanding – in the next few years.

    Why the Big Words?

    Russia’s motives in trashing the buck are somewhat understandable. Russia has nowhere near the total dollar exposure that China does, and Russia badly needs a high and rising oil price to help keep the Kremlin out of a jam. (“Praying for High Oil Prices” was a recent headline in The Moscow Times.)

    So it may be that Medvedev is simply watching the strong inverse correlation between oil and the dollar, and hoping to jawbone in favor of his own short-term cause a little bit.

    China’s spate of loud belligerence, though, is a little more puzzling. In the long run, we are wholly on board with the logic of the “stealth” dollar abandonment plan as previously noted. Working such a plan would seem to favor the cool head and low profile Deng espoused.

    J. Paul Getty’s Secret of Great Wealth

    Outside of inheritance and the lottery, luck has very little to do with becoming fabulously rich. Yet what most of us don’t understand is that great wealth is almost always preceded by a particular mindset.

    If you don’t have it, won’t achieve it. That’s why nationally-renowned investment analyst and bestselling author Alexander Green is revealing it now…

    But in the short run, a stronger greenback is to China’s benefit. A firmer dollar helps China export more goods at a time when the bamboo shoots (China’s version of green shoots) are most in need of help. It also helps China stockpile hard assets at lower prices – a benefit while the dragon is still buying with both hands – and get better prices for the dollar-denominated assets China quietly seeks to unload.

    So for China to beat the anti-dollar drum alongside Russia now, rather than quietly preparing behind the scenes for the day when a real challenge can be mounted… that’s a head-scratcher.

    End Game Versus Middle Game

    The dollar’s downfall will happen in due time. In fact, the pieces are already coming together as to what the world’s next reserve currency will look like.

    But sticking with the chess analogy, right now we are still in the middle game, rather than the end game. That reality will make for some temporary power shifts that could surprise people – especially given the hidden rottenness of the euro, the world’s erstwhile number two. Mixed in with the big trend could be some powerful (and lucrative) countertrends.

    In chess, uncertainty is a prime characteristic of the middle game, when there are still a fair number of pieces on the board. At this stage, strategic complexity creates opportunities for surprising shifts in tempo. Only when the pieces have been reduced to the inevitable final few, does the end game truly begin.

    Warm Regards,


  74. wbboei Says:

    June 23rd, 2009 at 6:17 pm
    “Mousavi, Celebrated in Iranian Protests, Was the Butcher of Beirut”

    …who served only the finest cuts of meat, and had discounts on Wednesdays.

  75. confloyd Says:
    June 24th, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    I was just listening to CNN, they had Christianne Amapour on and Tony asked her if the reason for the revolution was because of the Presidents Cairo speech.

    If anything positive event happens in the next year, CNN and MSM will try to credit “Obama’s history making Cairo speech where he reached out to the Muslim world”.

    Anything bad happens, and they’ll say, “and this is the messy aftermath of the Bush administration that Obama is still trying to clean up”.

    Obama and crew are trying to say that his actions and words over the past week are responsible for any positive trends toward democracy…but he was completely reactive, too paralyzed to act.

  76. rgb44hrc, While they are taking credit for the beginnings of the revolution in Iran, what can they say about his inactivity towards the bloodbath??
    He should be at the UN everyday trying to get them off their asses!

  77. h. radical immigration reform (to change the electorate)


    More efficient to just register them and count their votes, as with dead people and cartoon characters. If you bring in the real people, they might do something embarassing.


    Obama Turns to Grass Roots to Push Health Reform

    By Peter Slevin
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, June 24, 2009

    CHICAGO. June 23 — Daniel in Pueblo, Colo., considers doctors a luxury he cannot afford. Darlene in Marion, Ind., divorced her husband to qualify for treatment for hepatitis C. Mary in East Bend, N.C., says her family can manage only insurance that carries a $10,000 deductible.

    Through thousands of personal stories like these posted online, President Obama is setting out to humanize the health-care debate and push Congress to pass serious reform. He aims to ensure, in the words of one White House adviser, “that we don’t get sucked in by the Washington discussion.”

    The Washington discussion, focused on the high costs and uncertain results of competing proposals, is not going Obama’s way. In search of momentum, the president and his troops are preparing for a prime-time broadcast Wednesday night and a weekend of grass-roots projects from canvasses to blood drives.

    Turning increasingly to the tactics that carried him into the White House, Obama is entering what his supporters say will be the largest-ever issues campaign. He recently asked millions of campaign supporters for donations to help in the effort, as the Democratic National Committee deployed dozens of staff members and hundreds of volunteers to 31 states to gather personal stories and build support.

  79. from previous post: “He recently asked millions of campaign supporters for donations to help in the effort,”

    He does not care about health care.

    He wants retain and tighten control over those who supported him in the past…but will they continue supporting a man that has broken almost every promise he made to them? and support someone who instead of leading the fight, asks others to step up to counter his ineffectiveness?

  80. There are alot of people who supported bambi in the election who feel abandoned right now. Peer group pressure may affect some, but others will not rise to his call. Many others will rise against him however based on the sheer cost of this boondoggle. It will break the country when it is added on top of everyhting else, while job losses continue to hemmorage.

  81. LOL..Ensign and Sanford!!! Hypocrites, all of them. Bill must be laughing and smoking a bif cigar about now.


    Wednesday, June 24, 2009
    Obama’s (non) response

    by Dick Polman
    11:03 AM

    President Obama’s sales pitch for major health care reform will not be easy. A key exchange at his press conference yesterday underscored the challenge.

    Notwithstanding his general popularity (the latest New York Times-CBS poll puts his job approval rating at 63 percent), and notwithstanding strong majority support for the concept of a government-administered health insurance plan that would compete with private insurers (nicknamed the “public option”), Americans are generally wary of expanding government’s role. National surveys, during the past week, report that only 34 percent think Washington should do more to tackle national problems, while, in response to a separate question, 69 percent voice “quite a bit” or “a great deal” of concern about an enhanced government role on issues such as health care.

    Those stats came to mind as I watched Obama pitch the public option during the press conference. Here’s how he framed it early in the hour: “Now, the public plan, I think, is an important tool to discipline insurance companies. What we’ve said is, under our proposal, let’s have a system, the same way that federal employees do, same way that members of Congress do, where we call it an ‘exchange,’ but you can call it a ‘marketplace,’ where, essentially, you’ve got a whole bunch of different plans. If you like your plan and you like your doctor, you won’t have to do a thing. You keep your plan; you keep your doctor. If your employer is providing you good health insurance, terrific. We’re not going to mess with it.”

    But later in the hour, Jake Tapper of ABC News spotted the potential flaw in Obama’s pitch. What happens, he asked, if an employer who provides good health insurance decides instead to dump that coverage and go with the public option – even if the workers like their private plan and want to keep it?

    Tapper told Obama: “It does seem logical to a lot of people that if the government is offering a cheaper health care plan, then lots of employers will want to have their employees covered by that cheaper plan, which will not have to be for-profit, unlike private plans – and may, possibly, benefit from some government subsidies, who knows. And then their employees would be signed up for this public plan, which would violate what you’re promising the American people, that they will not have to change health care plans if they like the plan they have.”

    They bantered for a few moments, sparking much faux laughter in the room, as reporters sought to lighten the vibes, because Obama did seem particularly testy yesterday. Then Obama tried a general response. Which was actually a non-response:

    “We are still early in this process. So, you know, we have not drawn lines in the sand, other than that reform has to control costs and that it has to provide relief to people who don’t have health insurance or are under-insured. You know, those are the broad parameters that we’ve discussed. There are a whole host of other issues where ultimately I may have a strong opinion, and I will express those to members of Congress as this is shaping up. It’s too early to say that. Right now, I will say that our position is that a public plan makes sense.”

    His filibuster continued: “Now, let me go to the – the broader question you made about the public plan. As I said before, I think that there is a legitimate concern, if the public plan was simply eating off the taxpayer trough, that it would be hard for private insurers to compete. If, on the other hand, the public plan is structured in such a way where they’ve got to collect premiums and they’ve got to provide good services, then, if what the insurance companies are saying is true, that they’re doing their best to serve their customers, that they’re in the business of keeping people well and giving them security when they get sick, they should be able to compete. Now, if it turns out that the public plan, for example, is able to reduce administrative costs significantly, then you know what, I’d like the insurance companies to take note and say, hey, if the public plan can do that, why can’t we? And that’s good for everybody in the system. And I don’t think there should be any objection to that.”

    The president kept going – I’ll spare you the next 300 words – yet he never addressed Tapper’s specific concern. The reporter’s question was, what if employers dumped a private health plan that the workers liked and wanted to keep?

    When Obama finally stopped talking, Tapper sought to follow up: “I’m sorry, but what about keeping your promise to the American people that they won’t have to change plans even if employers – ”

    Obama interrupted with another lengthy non-response: “Well, all right – when I say if you have your plan and you like it, and your doctor has a plan – or you have a doctor and you like your doctor, that you don’t have to change plans, what I’m saying is the government is not going to make you change plans under health reform. Now, are there going to be employers right now, assuming we don’t do anything – let’s say that we take the advice of some folks who are out there and say, ‘Oh, this is not the time to do health care. We can’t afford it. It’s too complicated. Let’s take our time,’ et cetera. So let’s assume that nothing happened. I can guarantee you that there’s the possibility for a whole lot of Americans out there that they’re not going to end up having the same health care they have. Because what’s going to happen is, as costs keep on going up, employers are going to start making decisions. ‘We’ve got to raise premiums on our employees. In some cases, we can’t provide health insurance at all.’ And so there are going to be a whole set of changes out there. That’s exactly why health reform is so important.”

    Note how, in the first sentence, Obama declared that “the government is not going to make you change plans under health reform.” Again, that’s not what Tapper was asking about. The question was whether the private employer would compel you to change plans. Again, Obama didn’t address it.

    Obama went on to make a few decent points – under our burdensome status quo, there’s nothing to prevent employers from switching private plans with even greater frequency, and thereby messing with coverage that their workers like – but he never addressed the core concern raised by Tapper: That if the federal government gets involved, it might screw things up and compound the health coverage woes we already have.

    Obama’s core theme, gleaned from his second long reply, is that the status quo can no longer be tolerated and that government-driven reform would surely be an improvement. But, as I noted earlier, there is considerable public nervousness about an expanded government role – in the latest Washington Post-ABC News survey, 61 percent of swing-voting independents favor a smaller government with fewer services, rather than a larger government with more services – and Obama will likely need to leverage every percentage point of his personal popularity to calm those public qualms. Assuming that he can. His signature domestic proposal may well depend on it.

  83. Why bother with press conferences if he feeds them the questions, and when they ask him questions he has not solicited which are not softballs he never answers them. It is one way communication and the white house press corps have become potted plants. It is a good thing that Tapper pushed back on this rare occasion. Not only did he hit on the flaw, he hit on the Achilles heel. The employer will always seek the cheapest (most cost effective) deal out there. And that is where obamacare ceases to be populist.

  84. Why aren’t the health insurers competing with each other more effectively? And for that matter, the oil companies and the supermarkets and the credit card companies?

  85. Another one bites the dust! Sanford having an affair. I have never heard of so many getting caught. It kind of makes you wonder who is investigating them?? My guess Axelrod/Obama. Thats how he is retaining power. He has something on everyone.

  86. “friend”???

    admin Says:
    June 24th, 2009 at 2:33 pm
    Sanford admits to a relationship with a friend

    “Sometimes we’d play chess, or talk about old movies, or share recipes, or…wind up at a motel”.

  87. per twitterfall, twitter is worried about Persiankiwi. His last post was that the Benji got one of his group and he had to hurry and change places. No one has heard from for hours now.

  88. Another one bites the dust! Sanford having an affair. I have never heard of so many getting caught. It kind of makes you wonder who is investigating them??
    I have a better explanation. I can remember when the Republican Party had people of different opinions and offered debate in a true two party system. After Reagan launched his Presidential campaign in Philadelphia Mississippi, the wing-nuts and religionists have systematically purged the Party of dissenting voices. What’s left are the dregs.


    A Weak American President

    Anne Bayefsky, 06.23.09, 07:38 PM EDT
    Behold Obama on Iran.

    President Obama has staked his reputation on being a human rights guru to people around the world. But his remarks at Tuesday’s news conference and behavior since taking office have instead exposed a different persona–that of human rights charlatan.

    On June 15, three days after the phony Iranian elections and the same day that seven Iranian demonstrators were murdered, Obama’s UN Ambassador, Susan Rice, made a speech in Vienna promoting the Saint Obama vision: “The responsibility to protect is a duty that I feel deeply. … We must prepare for the likelihood that we will again face the worst impulses of human nature run riot, perhaps as soon as in days to come. And we must be ready. … We all know the greatest obstacle to swift action in the face of sudden atrocity is, ultimately, political will. … It requires above all the courage and compassion to act. Together, let us all help one other to have and to act upon the courage of our convictions.”

    A week later there were multiple casualties, injuries and threats, and 46 million voters wrenched away from that doorway to freedom that had opened–if only a crack. But when the president was asked Tuesday: “Is there any red line that your administration won’t cross where that offer [to talk to Iran’s leaders] will be shut off?” He answered: “We’re still waiting to see how it plays itself out.”

    And when asked again, “If you do accept the election of Ahmadinejad … without any significant changes in the conditions there, isn’t that a betrayal of what the demonstrators there are working to achieve?” He answered: “We can’t say definitively what exactly happened at polling places.”

    And asked again: “Why won’t you spell out the consequences that the Iranian people…” He answered: “Because I think that we don’t know yet how this thing is going to play out.”

    And yet again: “Shouldn’t the present regime know that there are consequences?” He answered: “We don’t yet know how this is going to play out.”

    This is a man who embodies the opposite of the courage to act. His appalling ignorance of history prompted him to claim at his press conference that “the Iranian people … aren’t paying a lot of attention to what’s being said … here.” On the contrary, from their jail cells in the Gulag, Soviet dissidents took heart from what was being said here–as all dissidents dream that the leader of the free world will be prepared to speak and act in their defense.

    The president’s storyline that we don’t know what has transpired in Iran is an insult to the intelligence of both Americans and Iranians. Our absence from the polling booths doesn’t mean the results are a mystery. The rules of the election were quite clear. Candidates for president must be approved by the 12-member Council of Guardians. As reported by the BBC, more than 450 Iranians registered as prospective candidates while four contenders were accepted. All 42 women who attempted to run were rejected. So exactly what part of rigged does President Obama not understand?

    Instead of denouncing the fake election, President Obama now tells Iranians who are dying for the real thing “the United States respects the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Whose sovereignty is that? The Hobbesian sovereign thugs running the place? Sovereignty to do what? To deny rights and freedoms to their own people? In a state so bereft of minimal protections for human dignity, why should the sovereignty of such a government be paramount?

    But President Obama didn’t want to dwell on the daily reality of sovereign Iran: A criminal code that permits stoning women to death for alleged adultery and hanging homosexuals for the crime of existing. Instead, he repeatedly invoked “respect” for “their traditions and their culture.”

    This is the same mantra he espoused to the Islamic world in Cairo when three times he spoke of the “rights” of Muslim women to cover up their bodies. Knowing full well that women in the Muslim world face the contrary problem of surviving after refusing to cover up their bodies, he never once dared to mention that this was also a human right. What part of cultural relativism and traditional oppression does President Obama not know how it plays out?

    In his scripted remarks, the president gave the impression of talking tough: “The Iranian government … must respect those rights [to assembly and free speech]. … It must govern through consent and not coercion.” But with the “or else” pointedly missing from his lines, he made it plain that he continues to have high hopes of partnering with this current Iranian theocracy. “I think it is not too late for the Iranian government to recognize that there is a peaceful path that will lead to stability and legitimacy and prosperity for the Iranian people.”

    This Iranian government has told us in deeds, as well as in words, exactly what path it has chosen. President Obama has told us his path also: pandering to Islamic radicals and empty posturing. Ironically, the rest of the world claimed they wanted a weak American president whose foreign policy would read “apologize, capitulate and stand down.” Now that they have what they asked for, real human rights victims are being forced to pay the piper.

    Anne Bayefsky is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and professor and director of the Touro College Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust in New York.

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