Happy Stonewall Jackson Day, Gay-Americans

Today is the 40th anniversary of the “birth of the gay liberation movement” at the Stonewall Inn in New York.

Instead of celebrating, Gay Americans must contend with the fact that Gay-bashing Barack Obama is the Confederate Stonewall Jackson they must fight. To borrow from Confederate General Bernard E. Bee “There is Obama, standing like a stone wall” against gay rights.

Even the Obama-loving PINO New York Times has been forced to editorialize against Obama’s Stonewall Jackson insults to Gay-Americans:

The Obama administration, which came to office promising to protect gay rights but so far has not done much, actually struck a blow for the other side last week. It submitted a disturbing brief in support of the Defense of Marriage Act, which is the law that protects the right of states to not recognize same-sex marriages and denies same-sex married couples federal benefits. The administration needs a new direction on gay rights. [snip]

The brief insists it is reasonable for states to favor heterosexual marriages because they are the “traditional and universally recognized form of marriage.” In arguing that other states do not have to recognize same-sex marriages under the Constitution’s “full faith and credit” clause, the Justice Department cites decades-old cases ruling that states do not have to recognize marriages between cousins or an uncle and a niece.

Obama loving Andrew Sullivan, who thought Americans should vote for Obama because of his skin color agrees with us that Gay-Americans and supporters should not give money to the Obama Dimocrats:

One way to get the Obama administration’s attention on civil rights is for gay people to stop funding the Democrats. That’s all these people care about anyway when it comes to gays: our money. If the Democrats refuse to support us, refuse to support them. This is a start. But we need to get more creative. We need actions to highlight the administration’s betrayals, postponements and boilerplate. We need to start confronting the president at his events. We need civil disobedience. We need to tell him we do not want another fricking speech where he tells us he is a fierce advocate for our rights, when that is quite plainly at this point not true. We will not tolerate another Clinton. No invites to these people for dinners or fundraisers. No cheering him at events while he does nothing to follow up on his explicit promises. Of course these things can be done. If anyone high up in the Obama administration or the Pelosi-Reid Congress gave a damn, much would have been done.

We need to swamp Pelosi with phone-calls.

We need to target Reid for his inaction. We have to pressure Barney Frank and Tammy Baldwin not to excuse the disdain that the Obama administration is showing toward gay equality, and their cynical use of our votes, money and passion to enforce real and potent discrimination against us and our families. And we have to refuse to attend White House signing ceremonies like yesterday’s farce. Really: until they are serious, we should not be coopted and placated with pathetic sops. I am not a Clintonite. I worked my ass off to get this man to power. On many issues, I support him and will continue to do so.

Andrew Sullivan is a Clinton hating Republican who many Democrats listened to when he advised voting for the black man on the basis of skin color. Andrew Sullivan hates Bill Clinton for trying to make life better for Gay-Americans and defeating Republicans when doing such perilous work. Andrew Sullivan will not acknowledge that it was Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton who supported Gay-Americans when it was difficult to do so. Andrew Sullivan will not acknowledge that it was Obama supporters like Colin Powell and Sam Nunn who attacked Bill Clinton’s enlightened policies regarding Gay-Americans. Andrew Sullivan will not accept the fact that Obama, who has NEVER marched in a Gay Pride parade, has made a fool of Gay-Americans for their votes.

Gay-Americans have been betrayed by Gay “leaders” too. The latest treachery came at last week’s Thursday night “Gay Fundraiser”.

While the grass-roots demand accountability and action from gay-bashing Barack Obama, Gay “leaders” provide Obama with money and more money. Last week’s hated gay fundraiser actually raised more money ($1 million) for Obama’s Dimocrats than last year’s gay fundraiser for Obama’s Dimocrats ($750,000). Gay “leaders” and fundraisers betray Gay-Americans.


Fraud

The Advocate on Gay Uncle Toms:

“Attendees of the 10th annual LGBT Leadership Council fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee Thursday were greeted by protesters carrying signs that read ‘Gay Uncle Toms’ and ‘265 Discharged Since January 20, 2009.’ When Wisconsin Rep. Tammy Baldwin arrived, she chatted with the spirited flock of about 25 and then pivoted to enter the Mandarin Oriental Hotel as cries of ‘Don’t go in, Tammy!’ and ‘Shame on you!’ followed her. ‘I think it’s so important that as gay and lesbian people who are denied equal rights, we do feel an impatience and a frustration and it’s really important that that be expressed both outside and inside,’ she said.”

Gay-Americans at the grassroots level, but not Gay “leaders” are awake to Obama’s treacheries.

He’s a coward, a bigot and a pathological liar,” Pietrangelo said in an interview with TIME shortly after the high court declined to hear his appeal. “This is a guy who spent more time picking out his dog, Bo, and playing with him on the White House lawn than he has working for equality for gay people,”

Today gay-bashing Barack Obama will meet with quisling Gay “leaders” at the White House for more speeches and high-fives. After the Gay “leaders” leave Obama will laugh at those fools. George W. Bush treated his Gay Male prostitute with much more respect.

Gay-Americans are learning that Obama cannot be trusted.

Obama simply cannot be trusted. Obama cannot be trusted on any issue. Obama cannot be trusted by his friends. Obama cannot be trusted by his enemies. Obama cannot be trusted.

Big Pink readers will recall we have always recoiled at any ugly suggestion that Barack Obama is in any way one-millionth of the man Dr. Martin Luther King was.

To those of us with a knowledge of history Barack Obama is a pretentious flim-flam man and graffiti “artist”, who scratches and defaces the memorials built to honor truly great men. Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King (today is Martin Luther King day) were not pretenders, they were great men worthy of the honors and respect paid to them.

Gay-American can take heart, even with the betrayals by Gay “leaders”, even with the gay-bashing Barack Obama stonewalling freedom and equality, that the day of respect and equality will arrive.

Here is a real civil rights leader from another time, answering the question ‘How long will it take to end the prejudice?’:



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61 thoughts on “Happy Stonewall Jackson Day, Gay-Americans

  1. The most popular explanations for the “DOMA brief”, by the Kool-Aid intoxicated, are: It’s 11th dimensional chess on Pluto for Gay Civil Rights and two, the brief was the product of a “rogue” Republican holdover. As far a “brilliant” political move for Gay Civil Rights, the DOMA brief, rather than arguing a lack of standing for the plaintiffs, systematically argues against every legal position advanced for more than 30 years in support gay rights. A Republican “holder over” did write the brief but the lead atty. is Obama’s hand picked head of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, Tony West. I find it hard to believe that the lead atty. didn’t read the brief and I suspect that Eric Holder and Tony West specifically picked Scott Simpson to write the brief, knowing full well what the final product would be.

  2. The increased fundraising number, unfortunately, speaks vols. He will continue with his behavior because it pays off, and does not seem to bother his fund raising. Why should he behave any different. Too bad.

  3. You betcha John Edwards wishes he was gay today (and Elizabeth wishes she and “John” had not attacked Bill and Hillary Clinton as morally inferior and unhappy):

    http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2009/06/28/2009-06-28_aides_tale_of_john_edwards_sex_tape.html

    Former presidential candidate John Edwards is out of luck if he hoped that the extramarital affairs of Gov. Mark Sanford and Sen. John Ensign would take people’s minds off his own cheating scandal.

    Former Edwards aide Andrew Young says the ex-senator and his former mistress, Rielle Hunter, once made a sex tape, according to someone who has seen Young’s book proposal.

    St. Martin’s Press just inked a deal with Young, who also says in his proposal that, contrary to his public statement last year, he is not the father of Hunter’s infant daughter — Edwards is. Edwards has denied that. [snip]

    While he was unpacking, Young discovered a videocassette, according to the book pitch. Hunter had been hired by the Edwards campaign to videotape the candidate’s movements, but this one is said to have shown him taking positions that weren’t on his official platform.

    The purported sex tape confirmed to Hunter that Edwards was even more reckless than he thought.

    According to our source, Hunter confided to Young that she and Edwards talked about getting married should the candidate’s cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth, pass away, even discussing what music they’d play at their wedding. [snip]

    Young’s proposal, which one editor said “was impossible to put down,” also contends that Sen. Edwards frequently clashed with running mate John Kerry during their 2004 race for the White House. And before Edwards owned up to his affair with Hunter, Young says he told him that Barack Obama had promised he’d make him attorney general if he didn’t pick him as his 2008 running mate.

  4. According to our source, Hunter confided to Young that she and Edwards talked about getting married should the candidate’s cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth, pass away, even discussing what music they’d play at their wedding.
    *********************************

    What a piece of Shit!

    I have a suggestion for the music selection…

    “Here comes the Clowns”

  5. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/06/29/cnn-poll-two-thirds-think-firefighters-were-discrimated/

    A new national poll suggests that nearly two-thirds of Americans think white firefighters in New Haven, Connecticut where discriminated against when the city tossed out the results of a promotion exam after too few minorities scored high enough on the test.

    Monday the Supreme Court, in a five to four vote, ruled in favor of the white firefighters.

    A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national survey released Monday morning, as the Supreme Court handed down it’s ruling, indicates that 65 percent of those questioned say the firefighters were victims of discrimination and should get promotions based on the test results, with 31 percent feeling that the city should a new test to make sure minority firefighters were not victims of discrimination.

    “Not surprisingly, most Republicans think that the firefighters were victims of discrimination, but a majority of Democrats join in that view,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Fifty-seven percent of Democrats say the white firefighters were discriminated against. Two-thirds of Independents and three-quarters of Republicans agree.”

  6. Excellent article, Admin!

    John Edwards is getting exactly what he deserves. Makes you wonder just how many coverups and lies exist within this political mess and not just with Edwards.

  7. Hillary Clinton and Gordon Brown condemned Iran’s detention of embassy workers

    Hillary Clinton and Gordon Brown have condemned Iran’s detention of four British embassy workers as the regime said they faced further questioning over their role in recent protests.

    by Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent
    29 Jun 2009

    Iranian officials said the detained staff members would undergo interrogation for participating in mass demonstrations and collecting information for the embassy.

    A Foreign Office spokesman said Britain was “worried” about the welfare of the detained. “We are deeply disappointed that Iran has detained some of Britain’s staff in Iran,” said Mr Brown after a meeting with the EU president, José Manuel Barroso. “Some of them have now been released, but we must now see that the others are set free to resume their work. “Iran’s actions, first the expulsion of two diplomats, and now the arrest of a number of our locally engaged staff, is unacceptable, unjustified, and without foundation. “And we with our international partners will continue to make this clear to the Iranian regime.”

    Mrs Clinton, the US Secretary of State, said Iran’s harassment of the arrested staff was “deplorable”. “We are following the situation with great concern,” she said. “We find that the harassment of embassy staff is deplorable and we will continue to support the [United Kingdom] in calling for their release.”

    Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, warned that a forthcoming G8 summit could impose sanctions on Iran.

    Iran expelled two British diplomats last week and Whitehall responded by throwing out officials from the embassy in London. The Iranians have kept up a barrage of abuse over British-inspired meddling in its internal affairs.

    Nine embassy staff were arrested on Saturday accused of playing a significant role in the protests but the release of five was confirmed. However a spokesman for Tehran’s foreign ministry backed away from threats to downgrade relations with London. “Shutting down of any embassy or downgrading of diplomatic ties with any country is not on Iran’s agenda at the moment,” said Hassan Qashqavi. “The Islamic Republic has no plans for lowering its ties with any European state, including Britain.”

    Meanwhile, a partial recount of ballots that was offered after objections from the other candidates was carried out yesterday but uncovered few problems. The Guardian Council, which ran the election, said it had endorsed the count granting a landslide victory to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. “The secretary of the Guardian Council in a letter to the interior minister announced the final decision of the Council and declares the approval of the accuracy of the results of the presidential election,” the state news agency, IRIB said.

    Candidates defeated in the election had objected to the recount as much as the outcome of the election. Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the leading challenger to Mr Ahmadinejad, has refused to succumb to pressure to accept the outcome but has admitted he can’t prove his allegations of manipulation in the election. The council said it had accepted new objections logged by Mr Mousavi but said a meeting with the candidate was “not positive”.

    Scenes from the recount were shown on regime controlled television. The 10 per cent of ballot boxes opened in at least one Tehran district gave Mr Ahmadinejad an even greater proportion of the votes than the declaration following the election on June 12.
    The recount supervisor said: “The results were positive, no irregularities in the results announced.”

    The authorities reinstated security measures to prevent demonstrations ahead of the announcement, suspending text messaging services and ordering massive police deployments in Tehran.

    telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/5688972/Hillary-Clinton-and-Gordon-Brown-condemned-Irans-detention-of-embassy-workers.html

  8. Ahmadinejad: Neda’s death is ‘suspicious’

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad call’s Neda’s death “suspicious”

    President urges country’s authorities to identify those responsible for it

    Death has come to symbolize Iranian resistance to official election results

    TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday called the death of Neda Agha-Soltan “suspicious” and urged the country’s authorities to identify those responsible for it, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported Monday.

    Neda Agha-Soltan has come to symbolize Iranian resistance to official election results.
    The 26-year-old’s death has come to symbolize Iranian resistance to the government’s official election results since it was captured on amateur video. Within hours of its being posted online June 20, she had become the iconic victim of the Iranian government crackdown.

    But Iran has been pushing back against eyewitness reports that she was shot by pro-government Basij militiamen perched on a rooftop near a demonstration.

    Ahmadinejad told the head of Iran’s judiciary, Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi, to probe the incident and make the results of his investigations public, Fars reported Monday, nine days after Agha-Soltan was killed. See gallery of Neda and the affect of her life »

    “The massive propaganda of the foreign media, as well as other evidence, proves the interference of the enemies of the Iranian nation who want to take political advantage and darken the pure face of the Islamic republic,” he said in a letter to Shahroudi, according to the news agency.

    The letter comes a day after Iran’s government-backed Press TV said Agha-Soltan did not die the way the opposition claims.

    Two people told Press TV there were no security forces in the area when she was killed. iReport.com: Iranians share view from the streets

    And the network said the type of bullet that killed her is not used by Iranian security forces.

    A man who told the network that he had helped take her to a hospital said, “There were no security forces or any member of the Basij” paramilitary present when she was killed.

    Press TV did not name the man, who spoke Farsi and was subtitled in English on the broadcast.

    CNN has not identified him and cannot confirm his account.

    “I didn’t see who shot who,” he said. “The whole scene looked suspicious to me.”

    A second man, whom Press TV identified as Agha-Soltan’s music teacher, told the station there were “no security forces in this street” when he was with her during the shooting.

    Press TV did not name the man, who had a gray mustache and ponytail. He also spoke Farsi and was subtitled in English as he walked and pointed at what Press TV said was the scene of the shooting in central Tehran.

    Agha-Soltan was with a family friend who is a music teacher when she was killed. He appears to be the man who spoke to Press TV.

    “There was no sign of a protest,” he said. “We crossed the street to the other side to get a cab. … When we reached this spot, a gunshot was heard. There was no shooting here. … There were no security forces in this street. There were around 20, 30 people in this street. One shot was heard, and that bullet hit Neda.”

    “The bullet was apparently fired from a small-caliber pistol that’s not used by Iranian security forces,” the Press TV anchor said.

    Iran has strict gun-control laws that bar private citizens from carrying firearms.

    U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he had seen the video of Agha-Soltan’s death and called it “heartbreaking.”

    “And I think anyone who sees it knows there’s something fundamentally unjust about it,” he said.

    The shaky video of her death — probably made on a cell phone — shows her walking with a man near an anti-government demonstration.

    After being stuck in traffic for more than an hour inside a subcompact car with a poorly working air conditioner, Agha-Soltan and the friend decided to get out of the car for some fresh air, a friend of Agha-Soltan’s told CNN after her death.

    The two were near where protesters were chanting in opposition to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    Agha-Soltan, wearing a baseball cap over a black scarf, a black shirt, blue jeans and tennis shoes, did not appear to be chanting and seemed to be observing the demonstration.

    Suddenly, Agha-Soltan was on the ground — felled by a gunshot wound to the chest. Several men knelt by her side and put pressure on her chest in an attempt to stop the bleeding.

    “She has been shot! Someone, come and take her!” shouted one man.

    By then, Agha-Soltan’s eyes had rolled to her right; her body was limp.

    Blood streamed from her mouth, then from her nose. For a second, her face was hidden from view as the camera went behind one of the men. When Agha-Soltan’s face came back into view, it was covered with blood.

    Iran’s ambassador to Mexico — one of few Iranian officials who has spoken to CNN since the disputed June 12 presidential election — suggested that U.S. intelligence services could be responsible for her death.

    “This death of Neda is very suspicious,” Ambassador Mohammad Hassan Ghadiri said. “My question is, how is it that this Miss Neda is shot from behind, got shot in front of several cameras, and is shot in an area where no significant demonstration was behind held?

    “Well, if the CIA wants to kill some people and attribute that to the government elements, then choosing women is an appropriate choice, because the death of a woman draws more sympathy,” Ghadiri said.

    CIA spokesman George Little responded, “Any suggestion that the CIA was responsible for the death of this young woman is wrong, absurd and offensive.”

  9. Clinton says Honduras has “evolved into a coup”Buzz up!

    Monday June 29 2009

    WASHINGTON (AP) Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday the United States believes the unrest in Honduras “has evolved into a coup,” but the U.S. is not demanding that deposed President Manuel Zelaya be restored to office. She also said the military coup has not triggered an automatic cutoff of U.S. aid to Honduras.

    Clinton told reporters at the State Department that a delegation from the Organization of American States will be heading to Honduras as early as Tuesday “to begin working with the parties” on the restoration of constitutional order. She stopped short of saying the Obama administration would demand the return to power of the deposed president, who was forcibly removed from the country on Sunday morning by the Honduran military.

    A reporter asked whether the administration would insist that Zelaya be restored to power.

    “We haven’t laid out any demands that we’re insisting on, because we’re working with others on behalf of our ultimate objectives, which are shared broadly,” Clinton replied. “So we think that the arrest and expulsion of a president is certainly cause for concern that has to be addressed. And it’s not just with respect to whether our aid continues, but whether democracy in Honduras continues.”

    Clinton cited a “fast-moving set of circumstances” in Honduras that require close monitoring. “Our immediate priority is to restore full democratic and constitutional order in that country,” Clinton said at her first news conference since breaking her right elbow in a fall at the State Department June 17. “As we move forward, all parties have a responsibility to address the underlying problems that led to yesterday’s events in a way that enhances democracy and the rule of law in Honduras,” she added.

    While stating that circumstances in Honduras had “evolved into a coup,” Clinton added that it was a fast-moving situation with an uncertain outcome. “So we are withholding any formal legal determination. But I think the reality is that having expelled the president, we have a lot of work to do to try to help the Hondurans get back on the democratic path that they’ve been on for a number of years now,” Clinton said.

    She said the United States is looking at its aid program for the country and considering the implications of the forced removal of Zelaya for continued American assistance.

    guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/8583189

  10. “But Iran has been pushing back against eyewitness reports that she was shot by pro-government Basij militiamen perched on a rooftop near a demonstration.”

    ————————-

    What a surprise…NOT.

  11. It will be a hard and long fight to even the playing field. Minorities like the extra protection and considerations they get now, women, as John Lennon so appropiately wrote “Are the Niggers of the World”…

    It will really get interesting in the next 10 years as the White population becomes the minority.

  12. Edwards makes you almost feel sorry for sanford who seems to have simply fallen in love with another person. Edwards actions are despicable and he may very well have cost Hillary votes needed in the early primaries.

  13. “has evolved into a coup,”
    ********
    I am confused by what is being reported. I sounds like the former President tried to subvert the Constitution by having a referendum to allow him to avoid term limits. The Supreme court ruled that the referendum was unconstitutional and the Congress, apparently acting constitutionally, voted him out of office. The former President refused to abide by the rulings and the court ordered the military to remove him.

  14. Looks like the Hondurans follow their constitution, unlike the United States allowing a foreign born man to occupy the highest office in the land.

    I don’t know, guess it depends on who takes over???

  15. Is the direction the U.S. and Hillary taken coming from a misguided and inexperienced obama? It would make sense then.

    After his comment that it didn’t matter do him how much blood was drawn in Iran, that he would still negotiate, nothing would surprise me.

  16. JUNE 29, 2009,

    Abandonment of Democracy

    If democracy and human rights are high values, then all societies are not morally equal. This thought cuts sharply against Obama’s multicultural sensibilities.

    BY JOSHUA MURAVCHIK

    The most surprising thing about the first half-year of Barack Obama’s presidency, at least in the realm of foreign policy, has been its indifference to the issues of human rights and democracy. No administration has ever made these its primary, much less its exclusive, goals overseas. But ever since Jimmy Carter spoke about human rights in his 1977 inaugural address and created a new infrastructure to give bureaucratic meaning to his words, the advancement of human rights has been one of the consistent objectives of America’s diplomats and an occasional one of its soldiers.

    This tradition has been ruptured by the Obama administration. The new president signaled his intent on the eve of his inauguration, when he told editors of the Washington Post that democracy was less important than “freedom from want and freedom from fear. If people aren’t secure, if people are starving, then elections may or may not address those issues, but they are not a perfect overlay.”

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton followed suit, in opening testimony at her Senate confirmation hearings. As summed up by the Post’s Fred Hiatt, Clinton “invoked just about every conceivable goal but democracy promotion. Building alliances, fighting terror, stopping disease, promoting women’s rights, nurturing prosperity—but hardly a peep about elections, human rights, freedom, liberty or self-rule.”

    A few days after being sworn in, President Obama pointedly gave his first foreign press interview to the Saudi-owned Arabic-language satellite network, Al-Arabiya. The interview was devoted entirely to U.S. relations with the Middle East and the broader Muslim world, and through it all Obama never mentioned democracy or human rights.

    A month later, announcing his plan and timetable for the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq, the president said he sought the “achievable goal” of “an Iraq that is sovereign, stable, and self-reliant,” and he spoke of “a more peaceful and prosperous Iraq.” On democracy, one of the prime goals of America’s invasion of Iraq, and one toward which impressive progress had been demonstrated, he was again silent.
    While drawing down in Iraq, Obama ordered more troops sent to Afghanistan, where America was fighting a war he had long characterized as more necessary and justifiable than the one in Iraq. But at the same time, he spoke of the need to “refocus on Al Qaeda” in Afghanistan, at least implying that this meant washing our hands of the project of democratization there. The Washington Post reported that “suggestions by senior administration officials . . . that the United States should set aside the goal of democracy in Afghanistan” had prompted that country’s foreign minister to make “an impassioned appeal for continued U.S. support for an elected government.”

    In early April, former New York Times correspondent Joel Brinkley summed up the administration’s initial performance:
    Neither President Obama nor Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has even uttered the word democracy in a manner related to democracy promotion since taking office more than two months ago. The State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor has put out 30 public releases, so far, and not one of them has discussed democracy promotion. Democracy, it seems, is banished from the Obama administration’s public vocabulary.

    At a glance, Obama’s motives seemed readily apparent. Former State Department official J. Scott Carpenter observed that it was “obvious and understandable” that “the Obama administration wanted to distance itself from the tone and perceived baggage of the Bush administration.” But there were two reasons why this explanation did not satisfy.

    For one, Obama might have put his own stamp on the issue without turning so sharply away from the goals of human rights and democracy. In 1981, Ronald Reagan came to the presidency with a mandate analogous to Obama’s, namely, to undo the works of an unpopular predecessor. At first, Reagan was inclined to eschew human rights as just another part of Jimmy Carter’s wooly-minded liberalism. In an early interview, Secretary of State Alexander Haig announced that the Reagan administration would promote human rights mostly by combating terrorism. But soon Reagan had second thoughts: instead of jettisoning the issue, he put his own distinctive spin on it by shifting the rhetoric and the program to focus more on fostering democracy.

    In a similar vein, Obama could have faulted the Bush administration for its ineffectiveness in promoting democracy and promised that his own team would do it better. Indeed, Michael McFaul, who handled democracy issues in the Obama campaign, declared after the election that the new administration would “talk less and do more” about democratization than Bush had done. But when McFaul was appointed to the National Security Council staff, he was given the Russia portfolio rather than the job of overseeing democracy promotion. The latter task, which had been entrusted to senior staff during the Bush years, was given to no one.

    The other reason why Obama’s tack cannot be understood merely by his impulse to be unlike Bush is that his disinterest in democracy and human rights is global. The idea of promoting these values did not originate with Bush but with Carter and Reagan, reinforced by Bill Clinton. Bush’s innovation was to apply this to the Middle East, which heretofore largely had been exempted. Repealing Bush’s legacy would have meant turning the clock back on America’s Middle East policy. But Obama scaled back democracy efforts not only there; he did it everywhere.

    Thus for example, Clinton, on a first state visit to China, told reporters she would not say much about human rights or Tibet because “our pressing on those issues can’t interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis.” Amnesty International declared it was “shocked and extremely disappointed” by her words. Unfazed, Clinton moved on to Russia, where she glibly presented its dictator, Vladimir Putin, with a toy “reset button” even while the string of unsolved murders of independent journalists that has marked his reign continued to lengthen.

    To be sure, China and Russia are powerful countries with which Washington must do business across a range of issues, and because of their importance, all U.S. administrations have been guilty of unevenness in lobbying them to respect human rights. However, the Obama administration has downplayed human rights not only with the likes of Beijing and Moscow but also with weak countries whose governments have no leverage over America. For example, Clinton ordered a review of U.S. sanctions against the military dictatorship of Burma because they haven’t “influenced the Burmese government.” This softening may have emboldened that junta to place opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on trial in May after having been content to keep her under house arrest most of the last eighteen years. The government of Sudan is even weaker and more of an international pariah than Burma’s, but the Obama administration also let it be known that it was considering easing Bush-era sanctions applied against Khartoum in response to the campaign of murder and rape in Darfur. According to the Washington Post: Many human rights activists have been shocked at the administration’s apparent willingness to consider easing sanctions on Burma and Sudan. The Obama presidential campaign was scornful of Bush’s handling of the killings in Sudan’s Darfur region, which Bush labeled as genocide, but since taking office, the administration has been caught flat-footed by Sudan’s recent ousting of international humanitarian organizations.

    While it is hard to see any diplomatic benefit in soft-pedaling human rights in Burma and Sudan, neither has Obama anything to gain politically by easing up on regimes that are reviled by Americans from Left to Right. Even so ardent an admirer of the President as columnist E. J. Dionne, the first to discern an “Obama Doctrine” in foreign policy, confesses to “qualms” about “the relatively short shrift” this doctrine “has so far given to concerns over human rights and democracy.”

    Whether or not there is something as distinct and important as to warrant the label “doctrine,” the consistency with which the new administration has left aside democracy and human rights suggests this is an approach the president has thought through. Following his meeting with the Organization of American states in April, Obama told a press conference: “What we showed here is that we can make progress when we’re willing to break free from some of the stale debates and old ideologies that have dominated and distorted the debate in this hemisphere for far too long.” His secretary of state echoed the thought: “Let’s put ideology aside,” she said. “That is so yesterday.”

    This begs the question of exactly which ideologies are passé or whether all are equally so. Communism, which so roiled the twentieth century, is certainly on its deathbed. Democracy, on the other hand, has flourished and spread in recent decades as never before, to the point where more than sixty percent of the world’s governments are chosen in bona fide elections. To lump together these “ideologies” is gratuitously to belittle democracy. Obama seems to believe that democracy is overrated, or at least overvalued. When asked about the subject in his pre-inaugural interview with the Washington Post, Obama said that he is more concerned with “actually delivering a better life for people on the ground and less obsessed with form, more concerned with substance.” He elaborated on this thought during his April visit to Strasbourg, France: We spend so much time talking about democracy—and obviously we should be promoting democracy everywhere we can. But democracy, a well-functioning society that promotes liberty and equality and fraternity, does not just depend on going to the ballot box. It also means that you’re not going to be shaken down by police because the police aren’t getting properly paid. It also means that if you want to start a business, you don’t have to pay a bribe. I mean, there are a whole host of other factors that people need . . . to recognize in building a civil society that allows a country to be successful. Whether or not the President was aware of it, he was echoing a theme first propounded long ago by Soviet propagandists and later sung in many variations by all manner of Third World dictators, Left to Right. It has long since been discredited by a welter of research showing that democracies perform better in fostering economic and social well being, keeping the peace, and averting catastrophes. Never mind that it is untoward for a President of the United States to speak of democracy as a mere “form,” less important than substance.

    The trend of downgrading democracy and human rights has already been evident in some important actions abroad. When Venezuela’s would-be dictator, Hugo Chavez, held a referendum to set aside the country’s long tradition of presidential term limits, the U.S. government went out of its way to endorse the process. The Associated Press reported: The Obama administration says the referendum that cleared the way for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to run for re-election was democratic. It was rare praise for a U.S. antagonist after years of criticism from the Bush administration. U.S State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid noted “troubling reports of intimidation.” But he added Tuesday that “for the most part this was a process that was fully consistent with democratic process.” While focusing on lack of irregularities in the polling, this response studiously ignored the larger issue. Term limits have been a pillar of democracy across Latin America, where there is a lamentable history of elected leaders holding onto office by unscrupulous means. However punctilious the procedure, this constitutional maneuver on the part Chavez, who makes no secret of his ambition to serve as president for life, posed a dire threat to the preservation of democracy in that country.

    Perhaps the clearest shift in U.S. policy has been toward Egypt. By far the largest of the Arab states, and the most influential intellectually, Egypt has also been the closest to Washington. Thus, the Bush administration’s willingness to pressure the government of Hosni Mubarak was an earnest sign of its seriousness about democracy promotion.
    For their part, Egyptian reformers urged the U.S. to make its aid to Egypt conditional on reforms. The Bush administration never took this step, but the idea had support in Congress, and it hung like a sword over the head of Mubarak’s government. Obama has removed the threat. As the Associated Press reported: “Egypt’s ambassador to the U.S., Sameh Shukri, said last week that ties are on the mend and that Washington has dropped conditions for better relations, including demands for ‘human rights, democracy and religious and general freedoms.'”
    “Conditionality” with Egypt “is not our policy,” Secretary of State Clinton said in an interview with Egyptian TV earlier this month. “We also want to take our relationship to the next level.” While promising unimpeded assistance to the regime, the Obama administration backed away from aiding independent groups, something the Bush administration had insisted on doing despite objections from the authorities. Announcing the elimination of programs directly supporting Egyptian civil-society organizations, the U.S. ambassador, Margaret Scobey, explained that this would “facilitate” smoother relations with the Egyptian government. The New York Times summarized the Obama administration’s steps: The White House has accommodated President Mubarak by eliminating American funding for civil society organizations that the state refuses to recognize, and by stating publicly that neither military nor civilian funding will be conditioned on reform. This has provoked alarm from liberals, from scholarly experts and from activists in the region.

    As the popular young Egyptian blogger, “Sandmonkey,” irrepressibly irreverent and scatological, put it: “Let’s face it, [Obama] ain’t going to push on human rights and democracy. That era is gone. We are all about diplomacy and friendship now, and that’s what the American people want, even if the price is that the democracy activists in Egypt get f—ed.” This formed the backdrop to the president’s much-anticipated speech to the Muslim world delivered in Cairo on June 4. Of the many thorny issues he was expected to address, the setting necessitated that he spell out his views on democracy and human rights in Middle East more explicitly than before. In the New York Times, James Traub formulated the question this way: Egypt was the central target of President Bush’s Freedom Agenda . . . . But when an opposition Islamist party did well at the polls, Egypt’s security apparatus cracked down. The Bush administration, concerned about pushing a key ally too far, responded meekly. . . . President Obama’s words in Cairo are presumably being framed in the context of that episode. Should Mr. Bush have pushed harder for democratic reform in Egypt and with other allies? Should his administration have spoken more softly, less publicly? Should he, like his father, have devoted less attention to the way regimes treat their citizens, and more to winning cooperation on America’s national security objectives?

    In the speech, Obama tackled the issue head-on, making “democracy,” “religious freedom,” and “women’s rights” three of the seven “specific issues” that he said “we must finally confront together.” On democracy, he spoke with eloquence:
    All people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. These are not just American ideas; they are human rights. And that is why we will support them everywhere.
    Strong as this was, its ultimate import remained elusive. Obama followed these words immediately with the caveat that “there is no straight line to realize this promise.” And while he asserted his belief in “governments that reflect the will of the people,” he added, “Each nation gives life to this principle in its own way, grounded in the traditions of its own people. America does not presume to know what is best for everyone.”

    This, alas, is very much the claim advanced by many authoritarian regimes, including the absolute monarchy of Saudi Arabia, which Obama had visited the day before. Nowhere did the president make the critical point that elections are the only known way to determine the will of the people. That, apparently, would have been “presumptuous.” When he turned to women’s rights, Obama’s strongest words were that women should be educated and free to choose whether or not to live in a traditional manner. Here, too, he was at pains to avoid sounding as if America had a worthier record than the nations he was addressing or had something to teach them. To the contrary: “Women’s equality [is] by no means simply an issue for Islam. In Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, we’ve seen Muslim-majority countries elect a woman to lead. Meanwhile, the struggle for women’s equality continues in many aspects of American life, and in countries around the world.” At three different points in the speech, Obama defended a woman’s right to wear the hijab, apparently as against the restrictions in French public schools or Turkish government offices or perhaps in the U.S. military, which insists on uniform headgear. But he said not a word about the right not to wear head covering, although the number of women forced to wear religious garments must be tens of thousands of times greater than the number deprived of that opportunity. This was all the more strange since he had just arrived from Saudi Arabia, where abbayas—head-to-toe cloaks put on over regular clothes—are mandatory for women whenever they go out. During Obama’s stop in Riyadh the balmy spring temperature was 104 degrees; in the months ahead it will be twenty or thirty degrees hotter. The abbayas must be black, while the men all go around in white which, they explain, better repels the heat. Nor did Obama mention either directly or indirectly that all Saudi women are required to have male “guardians,” who may be a father, husband, uncle or brother or even a son, without whose written permission it is impossible to work, enroll in school or travel, or that they may be forced into marriage at the age of nine. Speaking on women’s rights in Egypt, he might—but did not—also have found something, even elliptical, to say about genital mutilation, which is practiced more in that country than almost anywhere else.

    On religious freedom, Obama invoked Islam’s “proud tradition of tolerance.” In one of his more prodding passages, he declared that “the richness of religious diversity must be upheld—whether it is for Maronites in Lebanon or the Copts in Egypt.” One of the two institutions co-hosting his speech was Al-Azhar University, which Obama saluted in his opening paragraph as “a beacon of Islamic learning.” This may be so, but Al-Azhar admits only Muslims. Foreign as well as native adherents to the message of the Prophet may attend, but Egyptian Christians are excluded. Perhaps this could be understood if it were only a school of Islamic learning (although, even then, why?), but today Al-Azhar offers degrees in medicine, engineering, and a panoply of subjects. Its tens of thousands of students are subsidized by state funds provided by Egyptian taxpayers, ten percent of whom are Copts, barred from Al-Azhar.
    In these passages, as throughout the speech, Obama’s method was to induce his audience to swallow a few perhaps-unwelcome truths by slathering them over with a thick sauce of soothing half-truths, distortions, omissions and false parallels. Thus, the Cairo oration was a culmination of the themes of Obama’s early months. He had blamed America for the world financial crisis, global warming, Mexico’s drug wars, for “failure to appreciate Europe’s role in the world,” and in general for “all too often” trying “to dictate our terms.” He had reinforced all this by dispatching his Secretary of State on what the New York Times dubbed a “contrition tour” of Asia and Latin America. Now he added apologies for overthrowing the government of Iran in 1953, and for treating the Muslim countries as “proxies” in the Cold War “without regard to their own aspirations.”

    Toward what end all these mea culpas? Perhaps it is a strategy designed, as he puts it, to “restor[e] America’s standing in the world.” Or perhaps he genuinely believes, as do many Muslims and Europeans, among others, that a great share of the world’s ills may be laid at the doorstep of the United States. Either way, he seems to hope that such self-criticism will open the way to talking through our frictions with Iran, Syria, China, Russia, Burma, Sudan, Cuba, Venezuela, and the “moderate” side of the Taliban. This strategy might be called peace through moral equivalence, and it finally makes fully intelligible Obama’s resistance to advocating human rights and democracy. For as long as those issues are highlighted, the cultural relativism that laced his Cairo speech and similar pronouncements in other places is revealed to be absurd. Straining to find a deficiency of religious freedom in America, Obama came up with the claim that “in the United States, rules on charitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation.” He was referring, apparently, to the fact that donations to foreign entities are not tax deductible. This has, of course, nothing to do with religious freedom but with assuring that tax deductions are given only to legitimate charities and not, say, to “violent extremists,” as Obama calls them (eschewing the word “terrorist”).

    Consider this alleged peccadillo of America’s in comparison to the state of religious freedom in Egypt, where Christians may not build, renovate or repair a church without written authorization from the President of the country or a provincial governor (and where Jews no longer find it safe to reside). Or compare it to the practices at the previous stop on Obama’s itinerary, Saudi Arabia, where no church may stand, where Jews were for a time not allowed to set foot, and where even Muslims of non-Sunni varieties are constrained from building places of worship. In short, while it may be possible to identify derogations from democracy and human rights in America, those that are ubiquitous in the Muslim world are greater by many orders of magnitude. If democracy and human rights are held as high values, then all societies are not morally equal. This is a thought that cuts sharply against Obama’s multicultural sensibilities.

    America not only embodies these values, it is also more responsible than any other country for their spread. Many peoples today enjoy the blessings of liberty thanks to the influence of the United States, thanks to its aid, its example, and its leading role in bringing down the Axis powers, the Soviet Union and European colonialism. Moreover, the advancement of human rights and democracy requires the exercise of American influence and in turn may serve to strengthen that influence—neither of these, it seems, processes to be welcomed by apostles of national self-abnegation.

    In Cairo, once again, President Obama criticized the Bush administration for having acted “contrary to our ideals” when it infringed rules of due process in the course of the war against terror and authorized “enhanced interrogation techniques” that many believe are tantamount to torture. At worst, these infringements were bad answers to questions to which there were no good ones. Some of these practices may have been wrong, but there has not been a single serious allegation that any official employed them for any ulterior purpose, that is, for anything other than the goal of protecting our country in a time of war and national peril. To dwell on this subject, as Obama has done, is to place great emphasis on humane values. How odd, then, to remove human rights and democracy from the agenda of our foreign policy. This is not the place to enter the debate about torture, but even if Khaled Sheikh Mohammed—the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks who was the main victim of waterboarding—and others were abused, there is little doubt that they were up to evil. It is hard to understand vociferating over their treatment even while silencing America’s voice on behalf of such brave liberals as Ayman Nour and Sa’ad Edin Ibrahim, persecuted by the government that hosted Obama in Cairo for the peaceful advocacy of democracy. In this can be found neither strategic nor moral coherence.

    Joshua Muravchik is a fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. His new book, The Next Founders: Voices of Democracy in the Middle East, has just been released by Encounter.

    online.wsj.com/article/SB124631424805570521.html

    ————————–

    While agreeing on his bambi points, I just wonder when these wannabe intellectual writers are going to realize that Hillary “didn’t” win the election. She is following bambi’s edicts and not necessarily her own. And it’s a sure thing that things would be a lot different if he hadn’t stolen the election from her.

  17. Let me suggest a change in nomenclature which will clarify what these polls are measuring.

    When we measure say that Bambi is popular all we are saying is that the multinational corporation who use their wholly owned media have made him into a celebrity. Ergo if his popularity is 60% see him as a celebrity and they like celebrities the same way Pavolvs dog salivated when the bell rang.

    When we measure his programs what we are really meauring is his preformance as president. That number is the pain index and those who dont see it and cant feel it still give him a high rating or else they lie to themselves as to why none of this is his fault. Those people are floridly delusional.

  18. The foreign policy is really an extension of Bambi. He would no more question the bona fides of the Supreme Leader than he would question the bona fides of Rezko. What they do the hurt people is not his concern. What they will do for him if he plays ball with them is all that counts. That presents an irreconcliable conflict for someone like Hillary who is a woman of principle. If she leaves this administration that will be the cause.

  19. In the law of corporations they talk about something called piercing the corporate veil to get at the people who are using the corporation as a shell to insulate themselves from liability.

    Someone needs to pierce the hope and change veil and show he is merely the latest puppet deployed by corporations to bamboozle the masses while they pursue their own interests through him to the profound detriment of the American People.

    An effective way to portray this would be to have him go through the same mask removal exercise that he did previously, but once he has removed the last mask and is still him, remove that final mask only to find Jeff Immelt is underneathe with the GE logo in the background.

    Then post it on u-tube.

  20. Someone stated above John Edwards caused Hillary to lose the nomination.

    John Edwards got punked. I beleive someone from the O’s camp set him up.

    Admin.

    Off topic, i just heard on Nancy Grace while surfing the channel the Enquier was holding up a magazine from six months ago stating Michael Jackson had 6 months to live. Is there anyway to confirm this?

    I wished they had been wrong. How are they getting this information?

    He had such a sad life. He is at Peace Now.

    Are the so called rag magazines becoming more reliable than the so called reliable newspapers?

  21. John Edwards got punked. I beleive someone from the O’s camp set him up.
    ————————————–
    That is in fact the inside story. It says he was in the way, and that the goal was to clear the path for Holder–an AA with no conscience and no moral scruples. Similar to someone else like that whose name escapes me at the present time, who blathers about hope and change.

    Assuming arguendo that story is true, it is simply impossible for me at least to have any sympathy for Edwards et ux. Maybe it is experiece, maybe it is just a feeling you have, or maybe it is ESP but all my instincts such as they are knew he was a hypocrite and a liar. And those instincts are seldom wrong, whether I like it or not.

    Those same instrinct such as they are tell me that the Bambi GE reign of terror will not end well, for them or anyone else. Already, it has made a mockery of our foreign policy, and made allies question who we are and what we really stand for. Those doubts about us cross over into our claim to leadership which is now shaky at best.

  22. The nations of the world will not follow the self serving madates of an egomaniacal coward who is a global celebrity and nothing more. The Iran episode was his Waterloo. Big media is trying hard to put the matter behind and hide what is still going on. Every day the story drags on is a continuing indictment of his leadership and there is no living with it. He has made the kind of faustian pact with evil that has always been his stock in trade from the days of Rezko. Barack Huessin Obama: the dog that didnt bark.

  23. I am beginning to believe the whole purpose of Bambis foreign policy is to prop up Bambi, and to serve GE, rather than doing what is right for this country. Is there perchance a word for that? Seems like it starts with the letter “t” and ends with the letter “r”.

  24. That instinct of mine is telling me Hillary needs to get out of this Administration. I see disaster ahead and I do not want her to be in the middle of it, forced to defend an indefensible position and tarnished in the process. I do not think he is taking her advice, because he is incapable of acting in Americas best interests.

    If I recall her initial remarks correctly, she condemned this coups. That initial judgement was based of disinformation from the Bambi camp. She has since recovered and is not calling for a return of the President who we discover is a friend of Chavez and a violator of the Constitition.

    Bambi is more interested with siding with Chavez than defending democracy. This coups was not in violation of the Honduran Constitution but in service thereof. Once again Bambi is on the wrong side of history. I do not want Hillary to be in that position too. That is why my advice would be to leave this ship of fools.

    Honduras Tells Chavez and Obama But Out

  25. “While agreeing on his bambi points, I just wonder when these wannabe intellectual writers are going to realize that Hillary “didn’t” win the election. She is following bambi’s edicts and not necessarily her own. And it’s a sure thing that things would be a lot different if he hadn’t stolen the election from her.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    They do realize it. We need to ask the right questions to get the right answers.

    Muravchick’s article is a sterling example of what I spoke of the other day, Triangulation (squared). Muravchick is a Right Winger supported by Soros’s Center for American Progress organization.

    h….w… americanprogress.org/issues/2006/06/b1763037.html

    The point of Muravchick’s article is juxtaposting Hillary to Obama’s policies. When in fact, Hillary’s policies are as different as day and night to Obama’s. By objectifying Hillary’s attention to Human Rights and Democracy via the author’s own erroneous opinion is a subtle attempt at eroding the public’s confidence in Hillary. Her popularity has grown in leaps and bounds since she has taken the position of SOS. The fact is Hillary is a natural at diplomacy and people are recognizing her not only as the face of America but an Iconic symbol of our values. This is signaling her becoming a beloved and strong leader of the US.

    The lies about her in this article are in response to the fear coming from the Obama camp that Hillary is becoming too popular.

    Done in a way they beg the question:

    **”I just wonder when these wannabe intellectual writers are going to realize that Hillary “didn’t” win the election.”**

    (and I mean no disrespect using your response as an example)

    This is what I meant the other day when I said they are using Triangulation ² as their means of propaganda. A Soros owned neoconservative using subversion to sabotage the truth.

  26. This coups was not in violation of the Honduran Constitution but in service thereof.
    *********
    I am not sure that what happened in Honduras can be called a coup d’etat. The military removed a president, who was trying to violate the constitution, at the request of the courts and congress. The President was replaced by the person who was in the constitutional line of succession. I think that you are right, the WH foreign policy goons gave Hillary her marching orders.

  27. wbb-

    “Someone needs to pierce the hope and change veil and show he is merely the latest puppet deployed by corporations to bamboozle the masses while they pursue their own interests through him to the profound detriment of the American People.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The word came to me today while I was loading the dishwasher.

    Obama is a PIMP! A corporate PIMP!

  28. I must remember to get the name of Ashley’s habadasher

    More on the dog that didn’t bark—Barack Hussein Obama

    http://video.newsmax.com/?bcpid=20972460001&bclid=22770166001&bctid=27980617001&s=al&promo_code=8272-1

    ——————————————————

    Michael Ledeen: Obama Must ‘Bring Down Iranian Regime’

    Monday, June 29, 2009 2:48 PM

    By: Jim Meyers Article Font Size

    Foreign policy expert and author Michael Ledeen tells Newsmax that President Barack Obama “hasn’t done anything” to help the Iranian people as resistance to the country’s repressive regime continues.

    Ledeen also says that the talks Obama seeks with the current regime will go nowhere, charges that Iranians “have been killing Americans all over the world,” and warns that as soon as the Islamic Republic acquires a nuclear weapon, it will “test” it on Israel.

    But he also believes the current regime is unlikely to survive. Israel will certainly attack Iran if the West fails to stop the ayatollahs from completing a nuclear weapon, Ledeen said.

    “They’ve said as soon as they get a nuclear weapon they’re going to test it on Israel, so that’s a pretty big threat,” Ledeen said, adding, “I expect the Israelis to eventually attack the Iranian nuclear facilities if the rest of the world doesn’t find some other way to do it. Whether they will bomb it or not, I can’t tell. There are a lot of ways to do it.”

    See Video: Michael Ledeen discusses the Obama administration’s failure to confront Iran – Click Here Now

    Ledeen holds the Freedom Scholar chair at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He is a former consultant to the U.S. National Security Council and the Departments of State and Defense, and is a contributing editor to National Review.

    Iranian authorities say 17 protesters and eight members of the volunteer Basij militia have been killed in two weeks of unrest, and that hundreds of people have been arrested.

    But Iranian authorities have barred journalists for international news organizations from reporting on the streets and ordered them to stay in their offices. Ledeen claims that in fact, the death toll in Iran runs in the hundreds, and thousands of people have been arrested.

    Riot police clashed with up to 3,000 protesters in Tehran on Sunday. Newsmax.TV’s Ashley Martella asked Ledeen where he sees the conflict headed.

    “Nobody knows,” said Ledeen, whose books include “The Iranian Time Bomb” and “The War Against the Terror Masters.”

    “They’ve killed hundreds by now, and thousands of people are in prison. It does seem like the people are so furious, so angry, both with the electoral fraud and now with the repression, that it’s hard to imagine this going away any time in the near future.

    “Whether there will be big demonstrations, whether there will be small-scale demonstrations or protests or strikes or general strikes, nobody really can tell.”

    Martella asked if Iran will continue to operate as a police state or will change come to the oil-rich nation.

    “Historically you have to say that it is possible to keep on operating a repressive police state if you’re willing to kill everybody that gets in your way,” Ledeen responded.

    “In Iran the numbers are violently against the regime, because out of 65 or 70 million Iranians there are probably 50 or 55 [million] that don’t like the regime. And they’ve shown in the last couple of week that they’re actually going to take the chance and put their lives on the line.

    “Under those circumstances it’s unlikely that the regime will survive. It’s really a contest of will at this point.”

    As for the talks Obama says are still possible with Iran over its nuclear ambitions, Ledeen declared: “We’re never going to get a deal with Iran. Every president from Jimmy Carter through George W. Bush and now to Obama has tried to strike some kind of bargain with Iran, and they’ve all failed.

    “So I don’t see why anybody would imagine that they could succeed now.”

    Iran has rebuffed widespread claims of fraud in the presidential election and officially declared that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was re-elected, beating Mir Hossein Mousavi. Martella asked if that makes a difference, considering that “Iran is a brutal theocracy ruled by mullahs.”

    Ledeen answered: “Yes, because Mousavi has made it clear that he wants to dismantle that brutal theocracy.”

    And that regime is a “huge threat” to the U.S., Ledeen told Newsmax.

    “Iran’s been at war with the United States for 30 years, and Iranians have been killing Americans all over the world all that time,” he said. “They are killing Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere as we speak.

    “So it’s a big threat. It’s declared itself a threat. It has said it wants to destroy us.”

    Martella asked: “If you were giving Obama advice about Iran, what would you tell him?”

    Said Ledeen: “Support the Iranian people. Say publicly that all these people have not died in vain and that Iran must be free, and then support them. Bring down the Iranian regime.”

    Martella: “Do you think he’s not done enough so far?”

    Ledeen: “He hasn’t done anything to help the Iranian people. He’s been dragged kicking and screaming to the point where he’s finally condemned the repression, but that’s it.”

    See Video: Michael Ledeen discusses the Obama administration’s failure to confront Iran – Click Here Now

  29. Here is Larry Johnsons take on the Honduras situation. He speaks with some personal experience. The title of the article is Honduras tells Chavez and Obama To Butt Out. Obama+Chavez= The Goldust Twins.

  30. By now most of you have heard of the “coup” in Honduras. The media, ever ignorant, is going with the story line that the military has ousted a democratic leader. Here’s the AP view:

    Police and soldiers clashed with thousands of protesters outside Honduras’ national palace Monday as world leaders from Barack Obama to Hugo Chavez demanded the return of a president ousted in a military coup.

    Leftist leaders pulled their ambassadors from Honduras and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called for Hondurans to rise up against those who toppled his ally, Manuel Zelaya.

    “We’re ready to support the rebellion of the Honduran people,” Chavez said, though he did not say what kind of support he was offering.

    But there is a lot more to this story then most of the press is reporting.
    For starters the ousted President, Zelaya, had become close buddies with Chavez of Venezuela and was pushing to over turn the Honduran Constitution that limited Presidents to one term. This was not your typical military coup. This had the backing of the legislature and the judiciary. But Zelaya is doing a good job of playing the victim and we have seen a decided leftward tilt throughout Central and South America. Besides Chavez you have the leaders in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Bolivia with bona fide ties to the radical left.

    This was an ultimate fuck you to the United States by the Hondurans. They did not look to the United States for protection or advice. They acted on their own. In the past the United States has had success working behind the scenes to keep the military out of government. It is now clear that the Honduran power structure does not care what Washington thinks and is going to protect itself from falling under the influence of Venezuela’s Chavez.

    The irony here is that the President Zelaya was trying to thwart the law in Honduras and was seeking a Chavez type solution, and yet he is now playing the victim with some success. The WSJ Online adds this snippet:

    That Mr. Zelaya acted as if he were above the law, there is no doubt. While Honduran law allows for a constitutional rewrite, the power to open that door does not lie with the president. A constituent assembly can only be called through a national referendum approved by its Congress.

    But Mr. Zelaya declared the vote on his own and had Mr. Chávez ship him the necessary ballots from Venezuela. The Supreme Court ruled his referendum unconstitutional, and it instructed the military not to carry out the logistics of the vote as it normally would do.

    The top military commander, Gen. Romeo Vásquez Velásquez, told the president that he would have to comply. Mr. Zelaya promptly fired him. The Supreme Court ordered him reinstated. Mr. Zelaya refused.

    Calculating that some critical mass of Hondurans would take his side, the president decided he would run the referendum himself. So on Thursday he led a mob that broke into the military installation where the ballots from Venezuela were being stored and then had his supporters distribute them in defiance of the Supreme Court’s order.

    The attorney general had already made clear that the referendum was illegal, and he further announced that he would prosecute anyone involved in carrying it out. Yesterday, Mr. Zelaya was arrested by the military and is now in exile in Costa Rica.

    What should the US do? I think Hillary’s cautious comments (in contrast to pretty harsh comments last night) this afternoon strike the right tone in contrast to Barack’s condemnation of the Hondurans. Although we normally want to discourage military intervention in politics this time it was justified. The Honduran President decided to usurp the Honduran Constitution. It is important to note that the However, the military move was not motivated by a desire to protect a parochial military issue. A majority of the legislature and the judiciary back what the military did.

    The U.S. needs to get engaged. If we let the gang led by Chavez, Castro, Ortega take the lead then we are ceding the people of Honduras to the thuggery of Venezuela’s Chavez.

    Here’s my full disclosure. I was the Honduran analyst at the CIA from 1986 thru 1989. I also lived in Honduras running a community development in the campo back in 1978. Honduras is not Guatemala, where you had a government that embarked on a policy of exterminating the Mayan culture. In Honduras the military has been one of the middle class roads for upward mobility. The Honduran military is not a tool of some landed elite. Their intervention sends a pretty strong message that they are not going to sit by idly and let their nation go the way of Venezuela.

  31. You should know that Michael Ledeen is a neocon and favored the Iraq War. That does not make him wrong in this instance, but it may make a difference to you in evaluating his assessment. It seems to me that in this case, his judgment about Obama is unassailable.

  32. http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/06/28

    I want my money back.

    I gave $20 a week for seven months, plus $60 every once in a while for a t-shirt and sticker. I gave of my modest purse joyfully. Once I add that all up, it makes a grand total of… $106 billion?! Wait a minute, I thought I was supporting change I could believe in, not more of the same bloodshed and war!

    Betrayal is a part of life. After awhile, you just come to expect it. Yet, the initial shock always hits you as a surprise. Alas, the nature of betrayal. Humans are vulnerable to being betrayed because underneath our husky shells, our pain and hardened hearts, we are soft and trustful creatures. We want to believe in people.

    I’m not that young, so I possess some cynicism. But I’m not that old either, so I manage some idealism. Sure, I am used to being betrayed by my government. But I thought my days of calling the White House in tears were over. To think that Barack Obama preyed on this naive hope in me and millions like me is unforgivable.

    I expect the Republicans to throw money at the Military Industrial Complex. Yet, from the Democrats, I was promised a different direction (like OUT of the Middle East). Regrettably, there has been miniscule change. There is still nothing to believe in.

    It is against my religion to say the Pledge of Allegiance. (I am a Christian so I pledge allegiance only to God.) I did, however, pledge my time and treasure to Barack Obama. On November 4, 2008, I danced in the streets waving the American Flag, feeling proud to be an American. I was pathetically close to bustin’ out some Toby Keith ditties.

    It’s not just the $106 billion that makes me feel betrayed. It’s not just the fact that Gitmo probably won’t be shut down after all. It is not even the president’s assurance to Republicans that he will not release the photos of detainee abuse.

    It is the rumors of intimidation and strong-arming that are, to me, the greatest betrayal.

    That President Barack Obama sent Rahm Emanuel and Nancy Pelosi to bully anti-war Democrats into voting for the supplemental (and threatening to withdraw the leadership’s support for their re-elections if they didn’t) is a shameful misuse of power. Where’s the humanity I once saw in Barack? It’s just more of the same and I can’t stomach it.

    I knew I was naïve; yet like millions of Americans, I had no choice but to believe. Our hearts were desperate for hope. We saw Barack Obama as an oasis in the desert. To think that he may be just a mirage is heartbreaking.

  33. Hello all!

    Been away for a while trying to recover from last year. Well we all have to thank the Dallas/Fort Worth Police department because they have now given the Gay Rights Movement the kick in the ass that we may have needed. In their infinite wisdom they performed an early morning raid on a gay bar in Fort Worth and get this they did it on the 40th anniversary of “Stonewall”.
    They made several arrests and a patron hospitalized. naturally the police are saying that some patrons put the moves on them…

    This issue is going to come back and bite the Obama/Biden adminstration in the ass. Saying one thing in the primaries and another after January 20th. Our generation may now have it’s “Stonewall” and I just hope we do not waste it…

    By ANGELA K. BROWN, Associated Press Writer Angela K. Brown, Associated Press Writer – Mon Jun 29, 10:15 pm ET
    FORT WORTH, Texas – Two city officials are seeking an investigation into a police raid at a gay nightclub that ended with the arrests of several patrons and the hospitalization of a man with a head injury.

    “I’ve asked for as thorough a report as possible … to reassure folks that the police are not singling out any group,” Councilman Joel Burns said Monday.

    He said he was particularly disappointed that the raid occurred on the 40th anniversary of New York City police raid on the Stonewall Inn. That 1969 raid touched off a riot and subsequent demonstrations that fueled the gay rights movement in the U.S.

    Burns said Fort Worth police were unaware of the anniversary.

    Mayor Pro Tem Kathleen Hicks, also calling for an investigation, said she was “very concerned” after hearing from patrons and others in the community about the early Sunday morning raid at the Rainbow Lounge.

    More than 100 people gathered outside the Tarrant County Courthouse on Sunday evening to protest what they said was police harassment and abuse.

    One of those arrested during the raid, Chad Gibson, 26, remains hospitalized with bleeding on the brain, his sister Kristy Morgan said.

    Gibson is not violent, and “for anyone to come back and say he did something to provoke this is ludicrous,” she told Dallas-Fort Worth television station KDFW.

    Fort Worth police went to the Rainbow Lounge with Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission agents early Sunday as part of routine alcoholic beverage code inspections, said police Sgt. Chad Mahaffey. They first went to two other bars, where 10 people were arrested, he said.

    Officers then went to the Rainbow Lounge, which had opened about a week ago. They encountered two drunk people who made “sexually explicit movements” toward officers and another who grabbed a TABC agent’s groin, according to the police report.

    No one was arrested for assault but about half a dozen people were arrested on charges of public intoxication, according to police records.

    Police Chief Jeff Halstead said Gibson was the patron who grabbed at the agent’s groin. Gibson was so drunk he was vomiting and struck his head when he fell, the chief said. Gibson was arrested, but was taken to the hospital instead of jail.

    Halstead said he did not have additional details about how Gibson was injured.

    The department has started an internal investigation into the raid, he said.

    The TABC is waiting on a report from the Fort Worth office, but “given the concerns that have been raised, it would not be unusual” for an internal investigation to be done, said agency spokeswoman Carolyn Beck.

    George Armstrong, 41, said he had been at the Rainbow Lounge about 30 minutes when officers stormed inside. He smiled and flashed a peace sign at one officer, but was then grabbed and tackled to the floor with his arm twisted behind his back, he said.

    “He was yelling at me to stop resisting arrest, but I wasn’t doing anything. It was horrible. I really thought he had broken my shoulder,” Armstrong said Monday. “I’ve never been so embarrassed and humiliated. I didn’t do anything to him.”

    Armstrong, who was arrested, said he noticed that other people who were arrested were injured or said they had been tackled by police.

    Armstrong said he was released from jail the next day and went to a hospital, where his arm was put in a sling after X-rays determined his shoulder and back were severely bruised and strained.

    Armstrong said he didn’t see anyone inside the Rainbow Lounge make lewd gestures or grab the officers.

    “To me, it seemed like they were trying to make a point,” he said of the police.

  34. Obamas default on Iran is not merely a strategic failure; it is a moral failure. And that is significant because he pretended to be the harbinger of a new morality. His is the morality of immorality.

  35. “Obamas default on Iran is not merely a strategic failure; it is a moral failure.”

    ———————

    These “moral failures” are certainly adding up.

  36. DAVID BROOKS: A “WEAK EXECUTIVE BRANCH”

    DB says that Clinton embodied a muscular president, and by contrast, Obama is an effete executive, not willing to get involved in the infighting, not willing to take a leadership position, valuing his reputation more than his accomplishments.

    He uses as his apples to apples comparison the direction from the WH under Clinton vs. Obama. It’s not a pretty comparison.

    The money quotes come at the end:

    “The great paradox of the age is that Barack Obama, the most riveting of recent presidents, is leading us into an era of Congressional dominance. And Congressional governance is a haven for special interest pleading and venal logrolling.”

    “When the executive branch is dominant you often get coherent proposals that may not pass. When Congress is dominant, as now, you get politically viable mishmashes that don’t necessarily make sense.”

    nytimes.com/2009/06/30/opinion/30brooks.html?_r=1

    Vince Lombardi Politics
    ===============

    Freud said we’re forever changed by the traumas of our youth, and so it is with the Democrats and Clintoncare. Even as you watch the leading Democrats today in their moment of glory, you can still see wounds caused by the defeat of the Clinton health care initiative. You see the psychic reactions and the scars and the lessons they have taken away so that sort of debacle never happens again.

    The first lesson they have learned is that domestic policy making should never be dictated from the White House. The Clinton health initiative was hatched in the executive branch and unleashed on Congress. So the Obama administration is doing the opposite, handing Congress working control of every major piece of legislation.

    Congress wrote the stimulus package. Congress wrote the cap-and-trade bill. Congress is writing the health care bill. The House and Senate chairmen make more decisions on these issues than anybody on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Second, Democrats learned never to go to war against the combined forces of corporate America. Today, whether it is on the stimulus, on health care or any other issue, the Obama administration and the Congressional leadership go out of their way to court corporate interests, to win corporate support and to at least divide corporate opposition.

    Third, the Clintoncare collapse and the ensuing decade in the wilderness drove home the costs of failure. This has produced a Vince Lombardi attitude toward winning. There are limits, of course, but leaders in Congress and in the administration seem open to nearly any idea so long as it will lead to passing legislation. On health care, the administration would like a strong public plan, but it is evidently open to a weak one. It is on record against taxing health benefits, but it is clearly willing to tax them. It will do what it takes to pass a bill.

    All of this has produced a ruthlessly pragmatic victory machine. Last week Democrats were able to pass a politically treacherous cap-and-trade bill out of the House. The Democratic leaders were able to let 44 members vote no and still bribe/bully/cajole enough of their colleagues to get a win. This was an impressive achievement, and a harbinger for health care and other battles to come.

    But the new approach comes with its own shortcomings. To understand them, we have to distinguish between two types of pragmatism. There is legislative pragmatism — writing bills that can pass. Then there is policy pragmatism — creating programs that work. These two pragmatisms are in tension, and in their current frame of mind, Democrats often put the former before the latter.

    On the stimulus bill, the Democratic committee chairmen wrote a sprawling bill that incorporated the diverse wishes of hundreds of members and interest groups. But as they did so, the bill had less and less to do with stimulus. Only about 40 percent of the money in the bill was truly stimulative, and that money was not designed to be spent quickly. For example, according to the Congressional Budget Office, only 11 percent of the discretionary spending in the stimulus will be disbursed by the end of the fiscal year. The bill passed, but it is not doing much to create jobs this year and it will not do nearly as much as it could to create jobs in 2010.

    On cap and trade, the House chairmen took a relatively clean though politically difficult idea — auctioning off pollution permits — and they transformed it into a morass of corporate giveaways that make the stimulus bill look parsimonious. Permits would now be given to well-connected companies. Utilities and agribusiness would be rolling in government-generated profits. Thousands of goodies were thrown into the 1,201-page bill to win votes.

    The bill passed the House, but would it actually reduce emissions? It’s impossible to know. It contains so many complex market interventions that only a fantasist could confidently predict its effects. A few years ago the European Union passed a cap-and-trade system, but because it was so shot through with special interest caveats, emissions actually rose.

    On health care, too, the complicated job of getting a bill that can pass is taking priority over the complicated task of creating a program that can work. Dozens of different ideas are being added, watered down or merged together in order to cobble together a majority. But will the logrolling produce a sustainable health system that controls costs and actually hangs together?

    The great paradox of the age is that Barack Obama, the most riveting of recent presidents, is leading us into an era of Congressional dominance. And Congressional governance is a haven for special interest pleading and venal logrolling.

    When the executive branch is dominant you often get coherent proposals that may not pass. When Congress is dominant, as now, you get politically viable mishmashes that don’t necessarily make sense.

  37. The great paradox of the age is that Barack Obama, the most riveting of recent presidents, is leading us into an era of Congressional dominance. And Congressional governance is a haven for special interest pleading and venal logrolling.
    —————————
    Paradox? only to fools like you Brook who ignored the objective evidence and succumbed to the corporate hype.

    Riveting? only to fools like you Brooks who think with your glands.

    So here’s the deals Brooks: if you do not like the fraud that you and your colleagues perpetrated on the country then now hear this:

    You broke it. Now fix it asshole.

  38. DB says that Clinton embodied a muscular president, and by contrast, Obama is an effete executive, not willing to get involved in the infighting, not willing to take a leadership position, valuing his reputation more than his accomplishments.

    He uses as his apples to apples comparison the direction from the WH under Clinton vs. Obama. It’s not a pretty comparison.
    —————————————————-
    RGB: brilliant analysis-yours. Not Brooks. Brooks is a complete asshole. A day late and a dollar short. An enabler until he took a long hard look in the mirror. I think all the self serving comparisons bambi trades in now such as we are not going to make this Clinton mistake or that one will lapse as they come to realize that a general comparison between the two administrations shows Obama for the weak suck he really is. This article is devastating to the image he has sought to invent of a messiah as opposed to a weak executive. We are seeing now what Mark Twain meant when he said no man is safe when Congress is in session. To which I would add every American is at grave risk to his or her physical security and financial welfare when Bambi is occupying the White House.

  39. Good Morning all

    ADMIN everytime I refresh that newsmax interview keeps activating without me doing anything. Can you turn it OFF.

    Thanks.

  40. GET READY TO LAUGH:

    Obama shucks and jives, and his puppets play as if everything is just hunky dory. Suckas.

    salon.com/news/feature/2009/06/30/obama_lgbt/

    Obama woos LGBT leaders
    ===================
    The president welcomes 300 prominent gays to the White House. But when will his rhetoric translate into action?

    By Mike Madden

    June 30, 2009 | WASHINGTON — The last time the president of the United States marked gay pride month with anything official at the White House, it was June 2006. George W. Bush decided to throw the weight of his office behind a proposal to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage. After all, the fate of Western civilization hung in the balance. “Our policies should aim to strengthen families, not undermine them,” Bush said at the time. “And changing the definition of marriage would undermine the family structure.”

    On Monday, 40 years and a day after the Stonewall riots began to bring the gay rights movement into the mainstream, Barack Obama took a slightly different tack. The administration brought nearly 300 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered guests — and, in some cases, their partners or children — to the East Room for an open bar and some hors d’ouevres. “Welcome to your White House,” the president said. “We have made progress and we will make more. And I want you to know that I expect and hope to be judged not by words, not by promises I’ve made, but by the promises that my administration keeps. We’ve been in office six months now. I suspect that by the time this administration is over, I think you guys will have pretty good feelings about the Obama administration.”

    Of course, part of the reason he hosted the event at all is that it was starting to become clear that the gay and lesbian community may not have had such good feelings about the Obama administration so far. After winning broad support from gay voters last year, Obama had promised to push Congress to overturn the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which makes it possible for states to refuse to recognize gay marriages performed in the increasing number of places that allow them. He’d sworn he would end the Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which has forced more than 13,000 people out of the military since 1993. But he followed up by inviting the Rev. Rick Warren — a prominent supporter of California’s ban on gay marriage — to speak at his inauguration. And then his Justice Department filed a brief defending the DOMA, using language that some activists read as lumping homosexuality in with incest and child marriage (though that point has also been disputed). By Monday, Obama had some damage to repair.

    “I know that many in this room don’t believe that progress has come fast enough, and I understand that,” he said. “It’s not for me to tell you to be patient, any more than it was for others to counsel patience to African-Americans who were petitioning for equal rights a half century ago.”

    That may have helped buy him some, well, patience. “He acknowledged the sense of frustration and disappointment and disillusionment that many in our community have been expressing — very justifiably so,” said Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, who attended the event with her 13-year-old son. By making clear he knew he had disappointed many supporters, Obama won a chance to persuade them that he’d follow through with action. The administration has also been more open to hearing from gay and lesbian activists in recent weeks, Kendell said. “He acknowledged without condescension, without defensiveness, the fact that there was a sense that we had expected and been hoping for more … I do believe, and feel comforted, that part of his value system includes full equality for LGBT Americans.”

    Like every event it puts on, the White House carefully managed the stagecraft at the LGBT reception. Invitations went out about a week ago, shortly after aides began to realize the grumbling among gay activists was teetering on the edge of becoming a real political problem — the reception was the second move to ease concerns, after an order Obama issued two weeks ago to give some domestic-partner benefits to some gay and lesbian employees of some federal agencies. Media access to the event was limited; a small group of reporters and a camera crew were allowed in, but officials directed attendees to leave through the White House’s East Wing, which meant there was little danger they would wander past the press workspace attached to the West Wing on the other side of the building. Perhaps as a result, the media’s interest was also limited — cable networks didn’t bother carrying Obama’s full remarks live.

    Still, Obama struck a sympathetic tone, frequently comparing the struggle for gay rights to the 1960s civil rights era. Before the reception, the president met privately with two men who were part of the Stonewall protests, and he mentioned them several times in his remarks. “When these folks protested at Stonewall 40 years ago, no one could have imagined that you — or, for that matter, I — would be standing here today,” he said. “So we are all witnesses to monumental changes in this country. That should give us hope, but we cannot rest.”

    Whether that rhetoric translates into any meaningful change soon, of course, remains to be seen. Obama said he’d asked Pentagon officials to begin planning for how to end “don’t ask, don’t tell,” but 77 House members have already asked him to eliminate the policy faster. Likewise, there’s been no real movement on overturning DOMA, even though Obama says he wants it repealed.

    And while those who were at the reception seemed mollified, other critics were still blasting away. The Servicemen’s Legal Defense Network, which represents gay and lesbian troops, held a protest outside the White House over the weekend to urge faster action on “don’t ask, don’t tell.” “We keep hearing that the noble people who are going on Monday are planning to talk about issues and really let the White House know we’ve got problems,” wrote Joe Sudbay on AmericaBlog. “That’s BS. Many of them had a chance two weeks ago in the Oval Office to tell the president what they thought, and how many of those groups let him have it?”

    Still, the message Obama was trying to convey — relax, I’m with you — seemed to sink in. “He’s been in office six months, and in six months, not much has happened to help us,” said Jerry Hoose, one of the two Stonewall veterans who met Obama privately before the meeting, and a founder of the Gay Liberation Front in New York not long after Stonewall. “But again, six months. I mean, what do you expect? The man is president, not a miracle worker.” If nothing has changed a few years from now, keeping gay and lesbian supporters in Obama’s corner may indeed take a political miracle. For now, though, the White House is hoping some kind words will do.

  41. We can honestly say now that bambi’s bipartisan promises were a joke. So were his promises to the Gay Community. So were his promises of international diplomacy. So were his promises of balancing the economy.

    On the positive side though, we can say that obama’s apologist attitude, on behalf of the United States is alive and well. One gets the opinion from listening to his empty rhetoric that the U.S. is now taking the blame for everything from the black plague to World War II.

  42. ALL HAIL OBAMA, “THE PEACE MAKER”

    news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090630/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iraq

    a) Yahoo happily reports that the US has “completely withdrawn from Iraqi cities”,
    b) except for the part where we are still just outside the cities, and can be called back into the danger zones at a moment’s notice:

    a)
    “BAGHDAD – Four U.S. soldiers were killed in combat shortly before the American military completed a withdrawal from Iraq’s cities, and the prime minister assured Iraqis that government forces taking control of urban areas on Tuesday were more than capable of protecting the country.”

    b)
    Some U.S. troops will remain in the cities to train and advise Iraqi forces. U.S. combat troops will return to the cities only if asked. The U.S. military will continue combat operations in rural areas and near the border, but only with the Iraqi government’s permission.

    The U.S. has not said how many troops will be in the cities in advisory roles, but the vast majority of the more than 130,000 U.S. forces remaining in the country will be in large bases scattered outside cities.

  43. The Brooks article is yet another example of a fervent admirer who believed Obama was the second coming only to discover that he is the direct opposite of what he believed him to be–no bold leader–just a weak executive. Iran has proven to his Katrina moment in the eyes of the world. Big media is now censoring further coverage so as not to embarrass him, but the world knows different. In his Rezko ladelled mind the public be dammed and democracy be damned–show me the money–Immelt.

  44. RACHEL ALEXANDRA UPDATE:

    We here at Big Pink don’t forget our friends, and we value talent… On that note:

    What a great horsie!

    sports.yahoo.com/rah/news;_ylt=AnYMJksHiQrPmzkSPJ397W0X47kF?slug=ap-mothergoose&prov=ap&type=lgns

    Rachel Alexandra romps to victory in Mother Goose
    ====================================

    By DAVE SKRETTA, AP Sports Writer
    Jun 27, 7:20 pm EDT

    NEW YORK (AP)—Sheer intimidation may have kept most of Rachel Alexandra’s competition away, and a couple of late scratches made the Mother Goose Stakes a three-horse race.

    The Preakness winner might as well have been running alone.

    Rachel Alexandra romped to a 19-length victory Saturday, making a dazzling move on the far turn at Belmont Park and pulling away from Malibu Prayer and Flashing to finish the 1 1/8-mile race in a stakes record 1:46.33.

    “Believe me, she’s not normal,” jockey Calvin Borel said. “She’s unbelievable.”

    Rachel Alexandra hardly looked like she broke a sweat, strutting through the winner’s circle just as she had the paddock. The first filly to win the Preakness since 1924 was the overwhelming 1-9 favorite, and did absolutely nothing to dispute it, paying $2.10 to win.

    She’s captured seven straight races dating to last year, including her rousing victory against Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird at Pimlico. Malibu Prayer finished second and Flashing was third, although there was no place or show wagering due to the short field.

    [snip]

    Rachel Alexandra looked calm and regal as she pranced toward the track, Borel giving her two pats on the neck. She broke cleanly from the third post and remained about four lengths off the pace along the backstretch at Big Sandy, where it sure didn’t look like she was running for the first time.

    Chewing up the deep racing surface, Rachel Alexandra split her only challengers around the final bend and surged down the front straightaway. Borel never needed to urge her, settling back as one of the most dominant fillies to come along in years proved her brilliance once more.

    “You don’t know where the bottom is yet. He didn’t ask her to run,” Jackson said. “He was just sitting there. I’m amazed at her beauty combined with her speed.”

    [snip]

  45. ninthjustice.nationaljournal.com/2009/06/justices-reject-sotomayor-posi.php

    Justices Reject Sotomayor Position 9-0 — But Bigger Battles Loom
    ==============================================

    Stuart Taylor Jr.
    Monday, June 29, 2009

    The Supreme Court’s predictable 5-4 vote to reverse the decision by Judge Sonia Sotomayor and two federal appeals court colleagues against 17 white (and one Hispanic) plaintiffs in the now-famous New Haven, Conn., firefighters decision does not by itself prove that the Sotomayor position was unreasonable.

    After all, it was hardly to be expected that the five more conservative justices — who held that the city had violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act by refusing to promote the firefighters with the highest scores on a job-related promotional exam because none were black — would endorse an Obama nominee’s ruling to the contrary.

    What’s more striking is that the court was unanimous in rejecting the Sotomayor panel’s specific holding. Her holding was that New Haven’s decision to spurn the test results must be upheld based solely on the fact that highly disproportionate numbers of blacks had done badly on the exam and might file a “disparate-impact” lawsuit — regardless of whether the exam was valid or the lawsuit could succeed.

    This position is so hard to defend, in my view, that I hazarded a prediction in my June 13 column: “Whichever way the Supreme Court rules in the case later this month, I will be surprised if a single justice explicitly approves the specific, quota-friendly logic of the Sotomayor-endorsed… opinion” by U.S. District Judge Janet Arterton.

    Unlike some of my predictions, this one proved out. In fact, even Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 39-page dissent for the four more liberal justices quietly but unmistakably rejected the Sotomayor-endorsed position that disparate racial results alone justified New Haven’s decision to dump the promotional exam without even inquiring into whether it was fair and job-related.

    Justice Ginsburg also suggested clearly — as did the Obama Justice Department, in a friend-of-the-court brief — that the Sotomayor panel erred in upholding summary judgment for the city. Ginsburg said that the lower courts should have ordered a jury trial to weigh the evidence that the city’s claimed motive — fear of losing a disparate impact suit by low-scoring black firefighters if it proceeded with the promotions — was a pretext. The jury’s job would have been to consider evidence that the city’s main motive had been to placate black political leaders who were part of Mayor John DeStefano’s political base.

    Disparate-impact law, as codified by Congress in 1991, specifies that an employer whose qualifying exam or other selection criterion produces racially disparate results can be held liable for unintentional discrimination only if (1) the test is not “job-related… and consistent with business necessity,” or (2) the employer is presented with and refuses to adopt another, similarly job-related test with less disparate impact.

    Contrary to the Sotomayor-endorsed opinion, the Ginsburg dissent states (on page 19) that an employer’s decision to jettison a promotional test under circumstances like this case would be legal only if the employer had “good cause to believe the [test] would not withstand examination for business necessity.”

    Ginsburg added (on page 26 and page 33) that “ordinarily, a remand for fresh consideration” would be proper because the lower courts (including Judge Sotomayor) had not carefully considered the evidence of “pretext” and racial politics.

    To be sure, Justice Ginsburg also found (against the clear weight of the evidence, in my view) that New Haven did have good cause to believe that the test was invalid. She also said that if ether party was to be granted summary judgment, it should have been the city, and that the Supreme Court majority had erred in awarding summary judgment to the high-scoring plaintiffs.

    But as a matter of law, the difference between the Sotomayor position and the Supreme Court dissenters’ position is nonetheless important and revealing.

    Both, in my view, would risk converting disparate-impact law into an engine of overt discrimination against high-scoring groups across the country and allow racial politics and racial quotas to masquerade as voluntary compliance with the law.

    But while Ginsburg at least required the city to produce some evidence that the test was invalid, the Sotomayor panel required no such evidence at all. Its logic would thus provide irresistible incentives for employers to abandon any and all tests on which disproportionate numbers of protected minorities have low scores.

    And racially disparate scores on virtually all objective tests are unfortunately the norm, not the exception. It’s not hard to understand why: Studies have long showed that because of unequal educational opportunities and cultural differences, the average black high-school senior has learned no more than the average white eighth-grader — and considerably less than the average white senior.

    Of course, this would be no justification for basing promotions on test scores that have little relationship to the requirements of the job. But the New Haven exam was clearly job-related and carefully developed to insure race-neutrality, as the majority opinion of Justice Anthony Kennedy detailed.

    To be sure, as Ginsburg argued, alleged imperfections in the New Haven test were attacked by black firefighters, city officials, and others after the fact. But every written and oral objective test ever devised can be similarly attacked as imperfect. If the law were as Judge Sotomayor ruled, no employer could ever safely proceed with promotions based on any test on which minorities fared badly.

    The broader questions lying behind the New Haven case are whether this nation will ever get beyond racial preferences and quotas such as those encouraged by both the Sotomayor and the Ginsburg positions, and whether it will ever realize Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream of a nation where people are judged not by the color of their skins, but by the content of their characters.

    Justice Ginsburg’s prediction that the New Haven decision “will not have staying power” seems to reflect a conviction that the nondiscrimination ideal articulated by Dr. King should be put on hold for the indefinite future, if not forever. Judge Sotomayor’s position in the case, and some of her off-the-bench pronouncements, suggest the same even more strongly.

    President Obama’s campaign rhetoric about getting away from identity politics and racial spoils seemed to promise something rather different.

  46. THE OBAMA “LET’S TRY SOMETHING ELSE” APPROACH

    Unable to lead Congress, or workwith them, he tried getting the “little people” (Organizing for America) to help him carry the water. Seeing that they could only do so much with their petitions and phone calls (and that they are getting tired of trying to help him do what he should be doing), he’s now trying to enlist the governors for help.

    What will he try after that fails?

    nytimes.com/2009/06/30/health/policy/30health.html?ref=politics

    Obama Steers Health Debate Out of Capital
    ===============================

    By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG
    Published: June 29, 2009

    WASHINGTON — With Democrats deeply divided over health legislation, President Obama is trying to enlist the nation’s governors and his own army of grass-roots supporters in a bid to increase pressure on lawmakers without getting himself mired in the messy battle playing out on Capitol Hill

    In a meeting last week with five governors — including Republicans who may be more sympathetic to health legislation than those on Capitol Hill — Mr. Obama privately urged them to serve as his emissaries to Congress. He even coached them on the language they should use with lawmakers, two of the governors said, advising them to avoid terms like “rationing” and “managed care,” which evoke bitter memories of the Clintons’ ill-fated health initiative.

    The hourlong session in the Roosevelt Room was part of an intensifying but potentially risky White House strategy to shift the health care debate away from Washington and to the states. On Wednesday, Mr. Obama will travel to Virginia to hold a town-hall-style meeting on health care — his second in two weeks — that will include questions from online communities like Facebook and Twitter.

    With members of Congress back in their districts for the Fourth of July recess, Mr. Obama’s political group, Organizing for America, has recruited thousands of supporters to participate in blood drives, raise money for medical research and volunteer at community health clinics this week, all with the intent of sending reminders to lawmakers that the public wants action on health care.

    “The main thing,” David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, said, “is to involve as many people as possible and demonstrate in a variety of ways the level and degree of intensity of support that this has.” Of Mr. Obama’s supporters, Mr. Axelrod said, “There’s no issue that motivates them more than health care.”

    While this outside-the-Beltway strategy lets Mr. Obama stay out of Democrats’ internal fights — for now at least — there are risks. If Mr. Obama waits too long to exert his presidential muscle to forge consensus on Capitol Hill, his moment of opportunity could pass. He could also lose control of the final outcome if lawmakers cut backroom deals he dislikes, for example, by deciding to pay for the expansion by taxing employee health benefits, a move that worries Mr. Obama’s political advisers because it could cause the president to break a campaign promise.

    Some Democrats are privately pushing the president to do more to bring his party in line. When Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, went to Capitol Hill last week, the majority leader, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, pressed for the president to intervene more directly to settle Democrats’ disputes over Mr. Obama’s call for a government-run insurance plan to compete with the private sector, two people familiar with the session said.

    Mr. Emanuel, in an e-mail message, acknowledged that some Democrats “wanted more direct and specific involvement,” but said others were happy with the president’s level of engagement, adding, “We received a lot of advice.”

    Over the last several weeks, Mr. Obama has steadily increased his contact with lawmakers on health care, even as he steers clear of specific policy disputes. He met privately with Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, and telephoned Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee to check on their progress and urge them to stick to his timetable for a final bill to reach his desk in October.

    John D. Podesta, who ran Mr. Obama’s transition to the presidency and consults closely with the administration on the health bill, predicted that the White House would resist the urge to “knock heads and hammer consensus” at least until after the Finance Committee produced a bill, sometime after the Fourth of July holiday.

    But if the panel, widely regarded as Mr. Obama’s best hope for a bipartisan measure, gets stuck or further delayed, Mr. Podesta and other Democrats say, Mr. Obama will have to step in to broker a deal.

    “He’s the president of the United States; he does have to lead and he will,” said Senator Kent Conrad, Democrat of North Dakota. “But he’s got to pick his spots.”

    As lawmakers struggle to work out their differences, Mr. Obama is courting the governors, an effort that one White House official, speaking anonymously to discuss strategy, said began with last week’s meeting. In interviews, two governors — a Democrat, Christine Gregoire of Washington, and a Republican, Michael Rounds of South Dakota — both said Mr. Obama asked them to talk to members of Congress about their own innovative approaches to health reform. Both said he urged them to be careful about their language.

    “I think he said what we have to do is not call it rationing, because clearly there is from H.M.O. days a concern about rationing,” Mr. Rounds said, adding that he sensed Mr. Obama was hoping to have “a bipartisan group of governors working directly with lawmakers to perhaps break a stalemate.”

    Ms. Gregoire said the president reminded the governors that “Congress has a bad taste in its mouth from previous experience with managed care,” and suggested they avoid the term. Instead, he spoke of “evidence-based care,” the practice of using research to guide medical decisions. She said the president told them, “I need you to stick with me.”

    Governors are deeply concerned about the rising price of Medicaid, the government insurance program for the poor, which makes them natural allies of the president, who has made driving down health costs a centerpiece of his effort.

    But some of the proposals under consideration in Washington would expand Medicaid, a prospect that the governors find worrisome. They also fear that any legislation passed by Congress would undermine their own efforts at health reform, and said they used last week’s meeting to tell Mr. Obama so.

    In reaching out to the governors, Mr. Obama is reprising a strategy that worked for him during the debate over his economic stimulus package, when he found far more support among Republican governors than among Republican lawmakers.

    Whether Mr. Obama can have a more bipartisan outcome with health care remains unclear. He has invested so much political capital in a health care bill that not to have legislation would be politically disastrous for him. If that means passing a bill without Republican support, some Democrats say, Mr. Obama will do it.

    “His instinct is to try, if he can, to find an honorable compromise with Republicans,” Mr. Podesta said. “But ultimately what he cares about at the end of the day is sitting there, pen in hand, signing a bill that’s a good bill, and that he believes in. When all is said and done, that’s what I think they will drive toward.”

  47. Clinton questions Iran election recount

    June 29, 2009

    Washington, 29 June (WashingtonTV)—US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday questioned the utility of the partial recount by Iran’s election oversight body.

    Earlier today, the Guardian Council certified the results of the disputed 12 June presidential election, after completing a random recount of 10 percent of the ballots. The body confirmed the previously declared landslide victory for incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    “They have a huge credibility gap with their own people as to the election process. And I don’t think that’s going to disappear by any finding of a limited review of a relatively small number of votes,” Clinton told reporters in Washington on Monday, according to the Associated Press.

    Asked if Washington would recognize Ahmadinejad as Iran’s legitimate president, Clinton replied: “We’re going to take this a day at a time.”

    Defeated presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have said that the election was marred by “fraud” and have called for a new election. Guardian Council Secretary Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said that the recount had shown “no irregularities”, the state-run Press TV network reports.

    Meanwhile, Clinton also decried Iran’s “deplorable” treatment of British embassy staff arrested yesterday on accusations of stoking post-election unrest.
    “We find that the harassment of embassy staff is deplorable and we will continue to support the (United Kingdom) in calling for their release,” she said, according to AFP.

    Britain confirmed today that five of the nine staff arrested yesterday had been released, but demanded the release of the four remaining staff members.

    televisionwashington.com/floater_article1.aspx?lang=en&t=3&id=11689

  48. Reverse discrimination ruling leaves confusion

    By DAVE COLLINS

    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Supreme Court ruling in favor of white New Haven firefighters who said they were victims of reverse discrimination will probably leave employers confused, civil rights advocates and labor attorneys say. The court ruled 5-4 Monday that the white firefighters were denied promotions unfairly because of their race, reversing a decision that high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as a federal appeals court judge.

    The majority of justices said the city was wrong to scrap a promotion exam because no African-Americans and only two Hispanic firefighters were likely to be made lieutenants or captains based on the results. The city said it had acted to avoid a lawsuit from minorities.

    While the court upheld that employers still have an obligation under civil rights laws to avoid discrimination in hiring, promoting and compensating workers, the ruling creates confusing standards on how to meet that obligation, said Wade Henderson, president and chief executive of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. “Employers will now face a convoluted minefield when attempting to protect workers from discrimination,” Henderson said. “Employers are looking for bright lines … they’re looking for clear directives to help them better understand how they can engage in nondiscriminatory decisions.” The ruling is confusing, Henderson said, because the high court seemed to say that while New Haven officials tried to avoid discrimination, throwing out the test was discriminatory. “It puts employers in a real quandary,” he said.

    The Obama administration should direct the government’s civil rights agencies to offer guidance on the ruling, said Shirley Wilcher, executive director of the American Association for Affirmative Action. “In the meantime, we’re scratching our heads,” she said. “We’re concerned about the impact on employers who want to comply with the law and do not want to discriminate … and it’s not clear how to do that.”

    Bernard Jacques, a Hartford-based labor and employment attorney, also believes the ruling will stump many employers. The court ruled that test results alone are not enough to prove discrimination, that a “strong basis in evidence” is needed, but justices didn’t define that phrase, Jacques said.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy said in the ruling, “Fear of litigation alone cannot justify an employer’s reliance on race to the detriment of individuals who passed the examinations and qualified for promotions.” He was joined in the majority by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

    In dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the white firefighters “understandably attract this court’s sympathy. But they had no vested right to promotion. Nor have other persons received promotions in preference to them.”

    Justices David Souter, Stephen Breyer and John Paul Stevens signed onto Ginsburg’s dissent, which she read aloud in court Monday. Speaking dismissively of the majority opinion, she predicted the court’s ruling “will not have staying power.” The ruling is “a sign that individual achievement should not take a back seat to race or ethnicity,” said Karen Torre, the firefighters’ attorney. “I think the import of the decision is that cities cannot bow to politics and pressure and lobbying by special interest groups or act to achieve racial quotas.”

    At a news conference on the steps of city hall in New Haven, firefighter Frank Ricci, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, said the ruling showed that “if you work hard, you can succeed in America.” New Haven, trying to fill senior fire department vacancies, gave a test to 77 candidates for lieutenant and 41 candidates for captain. Fifty-six firefighters passed the exams, including 41 whites, nine blacks and six Hispanics. But of those, only 17 whites and two Hispanics could expect promotion. The city eventually decided not to use the exam to determine promotions. It said it acted because it might have been vulnerable to claims that the exam had a “disparate impact” on minorities in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    The white firefighters said the decision violated the same law’s prohibition on intentional discrimination. Twenty white plaintiffs sued. The city declined to validate the test after it was given, a step that could have identified flaws or determined that there were no serious problems with it. In addition, city officials could not say what was wrong with the test, other than the racially skewed results.

    “The city could be liable for disparate-impact discrimination only if the examinations were not job related” or the city failed to use a less discriminatory alternative, Kennedy said. “We conclude that there is no strong basis in evidence to establish that the test was deficient in either of these respects.”

    But Ginsburg said the court should have assessed “the starkly disparate results” of the exams against the backdrop of historical and ongoing inequality in the New Haven fire department. As of 2003, she said, only one of the city’s 21 fire captains was African-American.

    google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hdV4k6q8whNn7fJ_JhZb5tdIy4ZwD994RJ0G0

  49. Another foreign policy SNAFU by the “rivetting” Obama. This time the subject is Honduras. I understand why Castro wannabe Hugo Chavez is siding with the president who is his marxist protogee. But it is more of a mystery why the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania avenue would side with Hugo and this thug, and against the mandates of the Constitution. On the other hand, it makes perfect sense when you stop and realize Obama is a schmoozer not a leader, and gravitates toward do re me relationships with wealthy thugs. It is reminicent of the old childrens rhyme:

    Obama and Chavez
    Sitting in a tree
    K-I-S-S-I-N-G
    First comes love
    Then comes marriage
    Then comes Bambi
    Under Hugos carriage

    See how well Litle nails it. Let Obama be known by the company he keeps–Hugo, Castro and Bambi, LLC. The modern variant of Dewey Cheatem and Howe, LLC.
    ______________________________________________

    Taipan Daily: Honduran Coup Pits Democracy Against Rule of Law
    by Justice Litle, Editorial Director, Taipan Publishing Group

    On Sunday morning, the president of Honduras awoke before dawn to the sound of yelling guards and shots fired. Soldiers burst in, rousting him from his bed at gunpoint. He was then escorted out of his home, still in pajamas, and dropped off in Costa Rica via military transport plane.

    It was a “kidnapping,” President Manuel Zelaya said. Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital, saw power cuts, media blackouts and fighter jets screaming through the skies. The news wires called it Central America’s first military coup since the Cold War.

    Western observers were not pleased. The United States, the European Union, and the Organization of American States (OAS) all condemned the uprising. The U.N. General Assembly called an emergency meeting to discuss what to do.

    Hugo Chávez, the fiery leftist president of Venezuela, was also outraged. “I have put the armed forces of Venezuela on alert,” Chávez said. If the Venezuelan ambassador were harmed or troops entered the Venezuelan embassy, Chávez theatrically fumed, it would be considered “a de facto state of war.” As of this writing, Chávez is adamant that Zelaya be reinstated. So, too, is the Castro regime in Cuba, the Correa administration in Ecuador, and others of like mind.

    You don’t often see the likes of Chávez and Castro on the same side of an issue as the United States. At the same time, the Honduran Supreme Court and Congress – both which backed the military predawn raid – claim they are defending Honduran civil society, not subverting it.

    So what’s going on?

    Honduras, formerly known as Spanish Honduras, is a small Central American country of roughly 8 million people. The country’s primary exports, per The Wall Street Journal, are “bananas, shrimp, coffee, apparel and remittances from Hondurans in the U.S.”

    Honduras is also well within range of the Chávez-Castro sphere of influence.

    That is to say, Hugo Chávez fancies himself as the next Fidel Castro… and a growing number of Latin American leaders consider themselves chavistas, i.e., budding proteges of Hugo. Manuel Zelaya, the deposed Honduran president, is one of those who fell under the chavista spell.

    The constitution of Honduras limits the president to a single four-year term. Having been elected in 2006, Zelaya’s term was set to end in 2010. So Zelaya, embracing the spirit of his buddy and role model, Chávez, decided to try and get the rules changed. Zelaya’s plan was to amend the Honduran constitution, no doubt with an eye for becoming leader for life… or at least for a very long time.

    Zelaya wanted a referendum to gage popular support for his plan. The Honduran Supreme Court resisted this, citing the constitutional ban on such votes within six months of an election. When the military refused to distribute ballots (as was the custom), Zelaya sacked the army chief and pressed ahead anyway. He used ballots shipped from Venezuela and had them passed out by supporters in open defiance of the Supreme Court.

    On the surface of things, calling in the military looks extreme. “If holding a poll provokes a coup, the abduction of the president and expulsion from his country, then what kind of democracy are we living in?” Zelaya asked.

    It’s a fair question. But it’s also true that Zelaya’s motives and methods were thuggish from the start… that he directly defied both the Honduran Supreme Court and Honduran constitutional law… and that his military arrest and removal is defensible under these grounds.

    The Serpent’s Egg

    No one comes out looking good in this whole mess.

    President Zelaya showed himself to be a power-hungry lawbreaker, escalating his strong-arm tactics as the end of his term (and the limit to his power) drew near. At the same time, the Honduran Supreme Court and Congress were technically within the bounds of written law… but removing a political leader at gunpoint seems a bit excessive in the eyes of the world. And the United States and European Union did themselves no favors siding with the likes of Chávez and Castro so readily. Is it really so cut and dry what should have happened here?

    The only real winner in all this seems to be Hugo Chávez. If Zelaya is returned to his post, then Chávez can declare moral victory (and draw a supplicant Zelaya even deeper into his sphere of influence).

    If Zelaya is not returned to power, however, then Chávez can rant and rave over this new travesty, and use Honduras as a rallying point to further consolidate Latin American support.

    So why did the Honduran Supreme Court and Congress act so forcefully in deploying the military against Zelaya? Why didn’t they just try to stop the referendum from being carried out… or declare the vote count null and void… or take some other legal-themed course of action not so, well, melodramatic as a full-on coup?

    A quote from Shakespeare’s Brutus in Act 2 of Julius Caesar comes to mind:

    And therefore think him as a serpent’s egg,
    Which, hatch’d, would as his kind grow mischievous,
    And kill him in the shell.

    Long before the referendum showdown, tension had been building as Zelaya moved ever more aggressively leftward. Perhaps the Honduran courts and Congress saw Zelaya for what he was – a budding dictator –and sought to “kill him in the shell.”

    Sadly, it might also be that Zelaya’s good-intentioned enemies feared the will of the populace.

    After all, what if the constitutionally outlawed poll had given overwhelming support to the President’s bid for another term? What if the people’s voice had rung out, under illegal circumstance or no… and that voice had said “Zelaya forever?”

    This possibility was not a trivial one. A keen sense of support (likely brought about, Chávez style, via populist rhetoric and economic bribes) is why the president wanted to hold the illegal referendum in the first place. After the coup, Zelaya also received moral support in the form of some 2,000 angry protesters burning tires in front of the presidential palace.

    The Ugly Truth About Democracy

    And so we come to the ugly truth about democracy. In the West we practically worship democracy, and the idea of democracy itself, as the highest of political ideals.

    But democracy is not an unalloyed good. In fact, democracy can be downright dangerous – especially to the rule of law. With the will of the people behind him, a sufficiently charismatic leader can willfully trample the rule of law right into the dirt… and he can do so with loud cheers from his fervent supporters. (NOTE: I WONDER IF HE WAS THINKING OF BAMBI WHEN HE WROTE THAT PARAGRAPH.)

    Perhaps this is why H.L. Mencken once said, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want – and deserve to get it good and hard.”

    The foreign affairs bigwigs of the United States and Europe also appear to know just what they want – a Latin America that gives every appearance of stability on the surface, regardless of what brews underneath. Hence their desire to see a Chávez protégé immediately returned to his perch, with no thought as to the stability of Honduran institutions or the longer-term dangers of undermining the rule of law.

    But then, it’s not as if the U.S. (or Europe) can really take a principled stand for rule of law these days anyway, given all that’s happened since the financial crisis began… (AGAIN, I WONDER IF HE WAS THINKING OF BAMBI WHEN HE WROTE THIS PARAGRAPH).

    Warm Regards,

    JL

  50. Good morning everyone!
    I was wondering this morning that it is almost the 4th of July and the day that NK has promised BO retaliation, it doesn’t look like he did anything about the ship that is carrying weapons either. So here we sit waiting to see what they do to us.
    This man is weak! We may not of needed Bush’s cowboy diplomacy, but we do need something more than wus diplomacy.

  51. Guardian Council Secretary Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said that the recount had shown “no irregularities”, the state-run Press TV network reports.
    ——————————
    This is the message of the Administration Mr. Obama supports for the sake of GE and to the detriment of our strategic interests. It is reminicent of something Stalin said: it matters not who votes. What matters is who counts the votes. When and if it gets rough in this country it is reasonable to assume that Obama and his band of thugs will attempt to deploy equally brutal methods to suppress the will of the people. Let us hope it never comes to that. But you can be sure he is studying their methods for future application if circumstances warrant.

  52. In dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the white firefighters “understandably attract this court’s sympathy. But they had no vested right to promotion. Nor have other persons received promotions in preference to them.”
    ———————
    Spare me your sympathy. Give me some logic. No vested right to promotion if they are more qualified? WTF.

  53. “democracy can be downright dangerous”

    ——————————

    Definitely in obama’s world.

  54. wbb-

    “But they had no vested right to promotion. Nor have other persons received promotions in preference to them.”

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

    It has been predicted Caucasians will soon be a minority, if they haven’t arrived at that point already. I have nothing against other races. We’ve been listening to the drum-beat screaming minority for so long, Ginsburg may eat her words when the next census report is published listing Caucasians as the current minority.

  55. June 30, 2009

    Conservative Ire Rains on 8 Republicans Who Voted for House Climate Bill

    By ALEX KAPLUN of Greenwire

    In the wake of last week’s landmark passage of the House climate bill, conservatives have focused their fury on the handful of Republicans who voted in favor of the sweeping legislation. Conservative commentators are blasting the eight Republican “aye” votes as betrayers of GOP principles and, perhaps more important, holding them accountable for the bill’s seven-vote margin of passage, 219-212.

    The eight Republicans are Mark Kirk of Illinois; Mike Castle of Delaware; Mary Bono Mack of California; Dave Reichert of Washington; John McHugh of New York; and Frank LoBiondo, Leonard Lance and Chris Smith of New Jersey.

    “I don’t think one can minimize why this was a truly hideous vote for those eight folks,” a commentator on the conservative blog the “Next Right” wrote. “Here we had a chance to derail the Obama socialism train and restore the Republican party to policy relevance, and these guys bailed out so they could get a nice mention in the NY Times.”

    Rush Limbaugh on his radio show yesterday accused the eight of voting for the bill sponsored by Democrats Henry Waxman of California and Edward Markey of Massachusetts because of Wall Street’s influence and argued that they should be voted out in 2010 along with Democrats who supported the legislation. “You’ve got these northeastern Republicans — New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, it’s all the same — who are tied to Wall Street,” Limbaugh said. He added, “This is an outrage. This is something that everybody who voted for this thing needs to be sent packing because it wasn’t even written.”

    For many conservatives, the vote on the comprehensive energy and climate bill vote was one of the two test votes of party loyalty in the Obama administration’s early days. The other was the vote in February on the economic stimulus plan. On that vote, no House Republican broke with party leadership. So some conservatives are calling for the National Republican Congressional Committee to withhold funds from the eight lawmakers and for the active recruitment of primary opponents by party leadership.

    “My question is, what message did House Whip Eric Cantor and Minority Leader John Boehner deliver to the eight Republican strays?” wrote Paul Chesser, head of the conservative Climate Strategies Watch, on the Web site of the American Spectator. “This was a vote that demanded principle and unanimity for a party that claims the mantle of lower taxes and limited government, and once again, it failed.”
    Chesser said GOP leaders should have threatened the eight with withholding campaign funds and primary opposition and should now remove them from any leadership posts. Those calls were picked up by several conservative bloggers and commentators.

    The NRCC has heavily gone on the offensive against the potentially vulnerable Democrats who voted in favor of the climate bill, sending a series of press releases to their districts accusing them of betraying their constituents and vowing that the vote will have dire consequences come the 2010 election (Greenwire, June 29). But thus far, neither the NRCC nor any member of the House Republican leadership has lobbed any direct criticism at the eight lawmakers who broke ranks.

    The NRCC did not comment as of press time.

    Strategy questions

    Some conservative commentators have argued that withholding NRCC funds may not be the right move. In the big picture, they say, Republican leaders have done a good job of using their relatively small numbers in the House to build opposition to the legislation. “Some of the names on that list hurt to see, and a couple are exercises in teeth-grinding; but perfect is the enemy of the good, and Congressional Republicans have done a good job in using our lopsidedly minority status to the best effect possible,” wrote one commentator on the popular Web site RedState.com. “Nobody’s pretending that this was passed with bipartisan support. Nobody’s even trying.”

    But those conservatives also argue Republicans should focus their energies on helping other members of their party who are in political danger yet voted against the bill. The eight GOP supporters of the climate bill, they say, should make amends by vocally opposing White House plans on health care and other major legislative priorities.

    The eight House Republicans who voted in favor of the bill generally represent the remains of the party’s moderate wing and some have to deal with political circumstances that are unique in the GOP caucus. Both Kirk of Illinois and Castle of Delaware are reportedly exploring Senate candidacies in 2010. The two would be running in states where President Obama won overwhelmingly in 2008, the home states of Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, respectively. Many of the rest are potential Democratic targets in 2010, in no small part because they represent Democratic-leaning states where Republicans have shed a number of seats in recent years.

    Bono Mack of California, who was also the only Republican to vote for the bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee, already has a 2010 challenger who has started to campaign on bringing green jobs to her Southern California district. Reichert of Washington state has won each of his three congressional campaigns by narrow margins in a district and a state that places a premium on environmental issues.

    Three of the other four — McHugh, LoBiondo and Lance — also represent districts where Obama prevailed in 2008.

    nytimes.com/gwire/2009/06/30/30greenwire-conservative-ire-rains-on-8-republicans-who-vo-37491.html

  56. Fellow Hillary supporters:

    We need to march on Washington DC NOW! It’s going to have to be us. Glenn Beck and Senator Jim DeMint are telling people to get out in the streets and do civil disobedience. I don’t like how Glenn Beck last year called Hillary a b… but he has changed his tune somewhat and he said Hillary would’ve been the best president out of those who ran. We have to stop Obama’s cap and trade and healthcare bills. Glenn Beck told the conservatives today on his radio show that they complain but are lazy and do nothing. We have gone up against Obama and his thugs. We have to stop Obama now before we end up a communist country. Let’s do visibility on our street corners, marches, sit-ins, etc. Tell everyone to do this. Who’s with me?

  57. Wbboei and others, I found this interview on twitterfall. Its an interview of Bzezinski by Rose. Its so freaking scary in what it appears to be saying.
    After viewing this rather long video, I have decided to ditch the democratic party for good. The view of this Dr. Utopia(Bzeznski) is just chock full in the dumbass. If this and his menions are running this country, OMG, we are in big, big trouble.
    How in the world has this country fell into the hands of these people??
    He more or less aid that SOS role is weakened by Holbrook and the other (can’t remember his name), but the national security advisor was still very strong. So there you have it folks, we are not seeing Hillary’s ideas go thru with Iran, Honduras, CHina, NK, its the likes of Dr Utopia and Henry freaking Kissinger.
    OUR ASSES ARE SUNK!
    h t t p: // w w w .ch arlie rose. com/ view /interview /10425

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