The Obama Disasters Increase

Imagine the disordered clanging today in what passes for Barack Obama’s mind:

(1) Michael Jackson’s circus death reminds Obama that even celebrities die;

(2) Governor Sarah Palin, mocked and derided for a news conference on the Friday before the July 4th holiday, continues to dominate the news and commentary and recalls the Hollywood adage that all publicity is good publicity, as long as they spell your name right;

(3) Robert S. McNamara, once one of the glorified and praised “best and the brightest” dies an ignominious death haunted by all the harm the cerebral “best and the brightest” did to the nation – “Barack Obama might take a close look at McNamara’s obituaries and note that he, too, is the whiz kid of his day.”;

(4)Obama insulted Vladimir Putin regarding the Cold War and yesterday Vladimir Putin rejected the silly frat boy “charms” of silly Obama and proceeded to lecture Obama for an hour on the Cold War. The Russians are aware of Obama’s increasing weakness and, in their words, that “Obama now acutely needs a visible and tangible foreign policy success” so they will mock Obama to his face and run him over by “combine harvesters“, while getting what they want and giving Obama very little other than his craved for publicity stunts and signings.

But it is the economy, the economy that will not respond to Obama’s flim-flam charms, and publicity stunt lies, and the spend spend spend wastrel politics, that rattles Obama’s “mind” the most.

Woe to Americans.

* * * * *

In a little noticed article from the past few days we learn about a little noticed study from several months ago:

Nonetheless, a little-noticed study the Labor Department released several months ago found that the benefits of the biggest federal job training program were “small or nonexistent” for laid-off workers. It showed little difference in earnings and the chances of being rehired between laid-off people who had been retrained and those who had not.

Unemployed Americans continue to be flim-flammed with the notion that job training programs will overcome the disaster which is the Obama economic “plan” and “stimulus” scam. In anecdote after anecdote the unemployed are fed false hopes as the economic waters rise above nose level:

The industry where Mr. Hutchins worked for 25 years has shriveled. The courses in computer-aided design that he finished last year in his initial effort at retraining failed to lead to employment. “I’m looking for a job that will give me some type of a future,” he said.

Tens of thousands of laid-off workers like Mr. Hutchins have turned to retraining as a lifeline. Yet for all the popularity of these government-financed programs, there are questions about whether they actually work, even as President Obama’s stimulus plan directs $1.4 billion more to retraining and other services for people who have lost their jobs.

In Michigan, where the unemployment rate in May was 14.1 percent, the nation’s highest, 78,000 people are enrolled in the state’s No Worker Left Behind program and 7,800 are on the waiting list. At the Michigan Works job center here, where Mr. Hutchins applied for retraining money, the wait to attend an orientation session is up to two months.

Obama’s “No Worker Left Behind” is less successful than the failure which was George W. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind”.

Americans are facing what James Pinkerton calls “Obama’s Katrina”:

Unemployment is 9.5 percent and rising fast, certain to go higher than 10 percent. And what is the federal government doing about it? Not much. And so House Republican Leader John Boehner makes a good point when he asks, “Where are the jobs?”



Obama will spend, spend, spend to little effect other than his glorification.

To be sure, Obama’s federal government will spend a lot of money. The feds are asking for $3.5 trillion for fiscal year 2010, and that’s not counting the $787 billion “stimulus” package, as well as trillions in funny-money income transfers to big banks–including such improbable “banks” as General Electric, parent company to NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC–through shadowy organizations, such as the Federal Reserve Bank and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Hillary hater and Obama lover Frank Rich continues to praise Obama but the dense Rich does not follow the logic of his own argument that Obama is a disaster. Rich writes about the “grand backdrop of business-as-usual at the top of the pyramid that we learned at week’s end that the speed of job losses is accelerating again.” Rich continues to praise Obama and ignoring reality with such sentences like: The Obama administration’s response to the economic crisis is rapidly facing its own stress tests. And Frank Rich sounds like a very old Big Pink article indeed when he finally writes:

Should we have a jobless recovery or, worse, a second-wave recession like the one that blindsided F.D.R. in 1937, it will be as catastrophic for the Democrats as it will be for the country.

Pinkerton echoes Rich’s echoes of Big Pink and the continuing disaster which is Obama:

On May 27, more than three months after President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law, USA Today reported that a grand total of $2 million of stimulus money had spent in Michigan, the hard-hit state with the nation’s highest unemployment rate. That works out to 21 cents per Michigander. How much stimulus is that?

And just this morning, The Big Money reports that only $55 billion of the $400 billion in non-tax-break stimulus money has been spent. Jobless Americans might ask: What are you waiting for? Indeed, every American might ask the same question. Because all Americans would benefit from new roads, new train tracks, new windmills–anything at all.

Pinkerton is confused about why so little “stimulus” money has been spent. We wrote before it happened that the “stimulus” scam was not related to the economy but rather all that “stimulus” money was in reality a huge slush fund to benefit Dimocrats in the 2010 elections. The unemployed will be damned.

Franklin Roosevelt and FDR Democrats knew the value of jobs. Not so the new fangled Obama Dimocrats.

By contrast, today’s Democrats are not really interested in building things. They are demonstrably more interested in bailing out banks, and keeping environmentalists happy. Bankers, of course, deal in intangibles; they make money without regard to where physical goods are manufactured–although bankers know that goods are likely to be cheaper in China, so that’s their preference. [snip]

And if that’s the goal, so what if unemployment rises? So what if the real economy contracts? That’s a small price to pay for elite Democrats, who hold those other, non-productive green objectives closer to their hearts.

Thus the “cap-and-trade” legislation, which passed two weeks ago in the House of Representatives, is a perfect exemplar of the modern Democratic mindset: The green environmentalists are happy, because carbon-based energy production is restricted, and greenback-minded Wall Streeters are happy, too, because traders will make billions trading trillions’ worth of funny-money carbon contracts.

But there is a catch: People don’t have jobs now, and they won’t get them in the future if Obama spends money that doesn’t stimulate--and then seeks to choke what remains of the productive economy through environmental regulation.

And that, surely, is that a misreading of what the American people will vote for in 2010 and 2012.

This is Obama’s Katrina.

The unemployed will continue to suffer as the Obama disasters increase.

Americans will continue to suffer as the Obama disasters increase.

And the Obama disasters will continue to increase. Increase they will.

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203 thoughts on “The Obama Disasters Increase

  1. Like Hillary, Sarah Faces Media Sexism
    By Marie Cocco

    WASHINGTON — As Donald Rumsfeld might put it, there is only one known known in the tsunami of speculation touched off by Sarah Palin’s announcement that she’s stepping down as governor of Alaska: The media will almost certainly have Palin to kick around some more.

    Her forthcoming book is going to be fodder for who-knows-how-much dissection, and her obvious earnings potential on the conservative talking-head circuit means that even should she eschew a future run for public office, she’s very likely to remain in the public eye.

    And it is equally likely that the media will continue to subject Palin to the unapologetic sexism that has been directed at her since the very first hours after John McCain announced that she was his pick to be the Republican vice presidential nominee — and which continued to animate coverage of her, right up through a lengthy political profile in the current issue of Vanity Fair.

    Almost as certain, my colleagues will seek to defend the indefensible as something Palin brought upon herself — by being too ignorant, too unpredictable, too touchy, too hypocritical, too loose with facts, too inept at governing, too flirty, even too obviously fertile.

    Yes, this is one of the assertions made in the Vanity Fair profile. It declares that Palin is “the first indisputably fertile female to dare to dance with the big dogs,” and notes that some McCain campaign aides (unnamed, of course) speculated that Palin’s erratic performance last fall might have been due to post-partum depression she could have been suffering a few months after her son Trig’s birth.

    Not to be outdone, CNN’s Rick Sanchez, anchoring the network’s coverage of Palin’s resignation announcement, asked, “Hey, could she be pregnant again?” A stammering Candy Crowley could only reply: “Well, I, I certainly don’t know the answer to that last thought.”

    At this point, I will provide the requisite disclaimers: I disagree emphatically with Palin’s ideology and with her policy prescriptions on just about every issue. I, too, find her intellectual emptiness to be frightening in a public official, and her demonstrably poor judgment disqualifying.

    None of this excuses the sexist cant that Palin, like Hillary Clinton before her, has been subjected to since she burst onto the national scene.

    Immediately after McCain’s choice of Palin was announced — knowing just about nothing about Palin’s governing track record, having no inkling that she was unprepared for national office and ill-suited to the rigors of a national campaign — mainstream media figures asked aloud if she could possibly run for vice president and be mother to five children, too.

    The sexist hazing became a leitmotif many weeks before Palin disintegrated under Katie Couric’s questioning in those pivotal — and, it must be noted, entirely professional — CBS News interviews.

    Almost as soon as she’d finished her breakthrough speech at the Republican National Convention, one columnist for the liberal online magazine Salon called Palin a “dominatrix” and a “pinup queen,” referred to her “babaliciousness” — and described her convention address as having been charged with enough sexual energy to give the partisan crowd a “collective woody.” Another Salon columnist described Palin as a “Christian Stepford wife in a ‘sexy librarian’ costume” who was, for the most ideological Republicans, a “hard-core pornographic centerfold spread.”

    Palin early on was called “Stepford Barbie” and “Caribou Barbie” — terms used even by highbrow commentators, who find it acceptable to liken Palin to the impossibly proportioned fashion doll. The Barbie epithet marked Palin as an object of sexualized fashion fascination well before it came to light that the vice presidential nominee had used Republican Party funds to buy an expensive campaign wardrobe.

    When did such a savage strain of sexism become acceptable public discourse?

    Why does the same combination of bemused condescension and uninhibited vitriol that the media of a century ago showed toward the suffragists persist today?

    Palin most likely will fade away as a meaningful political figure to all but her admirers on the far right. It is more relevant to ask not what she will do next, but how the political media will treat the next Sarah Palin or Hillary Clinton — who, you may recall, was subjected to a Washington Post analysis of a bare hint of cleavage that showed beneath a business suit. It appeared months before the first Democratic primary vote was cast.

    More than 100 years of sexist media treatment of women political leaders is, for me, quite enough. Whether it is for anyone else remains to be seen.

    mariecocco@washpost.com

    Copyright 2009, Washington Post Writers Group
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    July 6, 2009

  2. “We wrote before it happened that the “stimulus” scam was not related to the economy but rather all that “stimulus” money was in reality a huge slush fund to benefit Dimocrats in the 2010 elections.”

    Right as usual, Admin. It’s like a kids birthday party when one of the kids has to leave early and asks for a slice of cake but then takes all but a few thin wedges ‘to eat later, leaving the other kids to squzbble over crumbs.

    IT’S OBSCENE!!!!!!. What’s even more obscene is that he’s getting away with it.”

  3. “Why does the same combination of bemused condescension and uninhibited vitriol that the media of a century ago showed toward the suffragists persist today?” — Marie Cocco, Washington Post Writers Group
    Tuesday, July 7, 2009 posted by Jan
    ————————————————————–

    Maybe because the average “adult” male is still a twelve year old boy, fearful of girls and insecure in his maleness, and the average “adult” female still has not figured out how to be a herself in a male-dominated society.

    Our whole civilization is at war with human nature – we are always fearful of not being something or other and always making phony rules about correct behavior. We value “be yourself” but have little tolerance for honest individualism.

    The one thing women have never done is band together against men the way men band together against women in business and politics. Until that happens, the boys’ club will continue to regard the female as inferior.

    As for Palin, she is thoroughly herself. She refuses to be told what a woman is or how a woman should behave. She genuinely does her own thing – that’s a threat to every phony. And phonies abound in the media. Palin is grounded and real – even when she hesitates or fumbles. She is authentic; it’s her strength. She makes them feel their shallowness – the weaker they are, the more they rage against her.

  4. In regard to: “Why does the same combination of bemused condescension and uninhibited vitriol that the media of a century ago showed toward the suffragists persist today?” — Marie Cocco, Washington Post Writers Group
    Tuesday, July 7, 2009
    ————————————————————–

    Maybe because the average “adult” male is still a twelve year old boy, fearful of girls and insecure in his maleness, and the average “adult” female still has not figured out how to be a herself in a male-dominated society.

    Our whole civilization is at war with human nature – we are always fearful of not being something or other and always making phony rules about correct behavior. We value “be yourself” but have little tolerance for honest individualism.

    The one thing women have never done is band together against men the way men band together against women in business and politics. Until that happens, the boys’ club will continue to regard the female as inferior.

    As for Palin, she is thoroughly herself. She refuses to be told what a woman is or how a woman should behave. She genuinely does her own thing – that’s a threat to every phony. And phonies abound in the media. Palin is grounded and real – even when she hesitates or fumbles. She is authentic; it’s her strength. She makes them feel their shallowness – the weaker they are, the more they rage against her.

  5. Ohio is beginning to wake up.

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0709/A_drop_in_Ohio.html?showall

    Obama’s political operation always cared more about state numbers than national polls, and with good reason; so this has to be slightly alarming:

    President Barack Obama gets a lackluster 49 – 44 percent approval rating in Ohio, considered by many to be the most important swing state in a presidential election, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. This is President Obama’s lowest approval rating in any national or statewide Quinnipiac University poll since he was inaugurated and is down from 62 – 31 percent in a May 6 survey.

  6. There was a time when I honestly believed that the U.S. was Israel’s partner in peace. Thanks to the idiot in the oval office, I now believe that the U.S. is now on the other side… And I’m still waiting for the other side to give up something. The argument that Israel should give up land won fairly in wars and land that also provides a security shield for them is ridiculous. That would mean that the Palestinians who occupied Israel long after the Israelis were pushed out, should give up their demands for any part of what consists of Israeli land…

    ‘The problem is that there’s no real Israeli partner for peace’

    Jul. 7, 2009

    Syrian President Bashar Assad said Tuesday that there is no “real partner” in Israel to make peace, stressing that a halt to settlements is essential in order to restart peace talks. Syria has said it is willing to resume indirect peace talks mediated by Turkey as long as they focus on a complete Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights.

    But Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said he is not willing to cede the territory.
    “What Syria is proposing for peace is not conditions but rather they are rights that cannot be negotiated or abandoned,” Syria’s official news agency SANA quoted Assad as saying. “The problem is that there is no real Israeli partner to make peace.”

    Speaking during a meeting in Damascus with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Assad stressed that the lifting of Israel’s siege of the Gaza Strip and a halt to building settlements in the West Bank were “first steps to discuss peace.”

    Also Tuesday, a day after President Shimon Peres said Syria could not expect to receive the Golan Heights from Israel on a silver platter, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said the country actually wanted the territory back on a “gold platter.”
    “Let’s face it – it’s our land and our right to have it back is the most normal thing in the world,” he added after a meeting Tuesday with Steinmeier, which was also attended by Assad, according to AFP.

    On Monday, Peres had asked Steinmeier to make it clear that Assad must understand he could not expect to receive the Golan on a silver platter while he continued to strengthen Hizbullah and maintain contact with Iran.

    Moallem said his country wanted to resume Turkish-mediated indirect peace talks with Israel before initiating direct negotiations. But he questioned Israel’s willingness for peace. “Regarding resuming direct talks [with Israel], we still believe that resuming indirect talks through Turkey is the best way to move toward direct talks that can lead to results. But beforehand we want to be sure [if] there is a political decision in Israel to achieve peace,” Moallem told reporters.

    In response to Moallem’s remarks, Minister-without-Portfolio Yossi Peled stated that “it’s ludicrous for Syria to demand a prior agreement for a withdrawal from the Golan Heights, without any preconditions.” “Setting preconditions, as Moallem has, empties the negotiations of all their contents and turns them into a joke,” he continued. “In my presence, the prime minister made a commitment that a government headed by him will not pull out of the Golan, and I believe he will keep his promise.”

    Meanwhile, Steinmeier urged Syria to play a role in moving the Middle East peace process forward. “I appeal to Syria to make its contribution to the success of the [peace] process,” Steinmeier said. Opportunities “must be used this year, otherwise the window will close again,” he added. Steinmeier said that there are signals from all concerned parties to move the peace process forward in “a positive atmosphere” after the Obama administration showed interest in Middle East peace. He called on Syria, which supports terrorist groups such as Hizbullah and Hamas, to rein in groups that try to block the peace process. Steinmeier said he discussed with Assad the conditions for achieving peace and pushing these conditions forward.

    “The impressions I had in Israel is that there is readiness to advance forward in this regard [peace],” he said. “Assad heard this and reiterated that there needs to be preparation of positions for the new start.”

    jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1246443744038&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

  7. Just curious did Marie Cocco use her position to express this viewpoint during the primaries or general. She is part of the big media and if she was silent it makes her just as culpable.

  8. Marie Cocco spoke out during the primary and campaign, and I wrote to her several times thanking her. I just received a reply from my e-mail to her this am, and she advised that this article was getting tremendous response.

  9. A statement by General Storm’in Norman on how we should deal with terrorists who perpetrate acts of violence against Americans, as in 9/11. This is strong stuff. It is not the turn the other cheek response that Barack Obama is famous for. Therefore, it may offend the delicate sensibilities of Obama supporters, who believe that Rodney King was the voice of wisdom when he was carted off to jail yet again for committing a violent crime, called the victims racist and offered this piece of wisdom: why can’t we all just get along? We must make sure that smelling salts are available for these little darlings who deplore the site of blood unless it is American blood, and have no problem with the crime of rape if General Electric is the perpetrator.
    —————————————————-
    In a recent interview,

    General Norman Schwarzkopf

    was asked if he thought

    there was room for forgiveness

    toward the people who have harboured

    and abetted the terrorists who perpetrated

    the 9/11 attacks on America.

    His answer was classic Schwarzkopf.

    The General said,

    “I believe that forgiving them is God’s function.

    OUR job is to arrange the meeting.”

  10. Jan, make no mistake, this administration is anti-Israel period. It is the most hostile administration towards Israel since it’s creation, and would prefer Israel to simply “go away” which they think will somehow appease the Muslim/Arab fanatics. Obama and his self-loathing Jews are doing to Israel what the Arabs army’s never could….defeating her without a single shot fired. MSM is also playing a vital role portraying Gazza as thr most horrific thing since the holocaust…it is a wide spread , well organized, and well funded mission to silence Israel once and for all. The difference this time, is Obama has millions of liberal Jews on his side who could care less about Israel.

  11. admin Says:

    July 7th, 2009 at 12:48 pm
    Rgb44Hrc, you might want to post that comment in the new article.
    &&&&&&&

    Which one, the Roger Simon thing on Palin? or the Obama’s “To Russia with Love” piece from the NY POst?

  12. From previous thread:

    GIVING AWAY THE FAMILY HEIRLOOMS

    I mentioned that my hunch was that Obama wanted a photo-op in Russia, and that he’d be willing to play Let’s Make a Deal for that prvilege. Guess you’d have to say, “That’s some pretty fancy guessin’, rgb”.

    nypost.com/seven/07072009/postopinion/opedcolumnists/desperate_deal_177977.htm?page=0

    DESPERATE DEAL
    OBAMA’S MOSCOW GIVEAWAY
    =====================

    by Ralph Peters

    Last updated: 3:32 am
    July 7, 2009
    Posted: 2:53 am
    July 7, 2009

    PRESIDENT Obama went to Moscow desperate for the appearance of a foreign-policy success. He got that illusion — at a substantial cost to America’s security.

    The series of signing ceremonies in a grand Kremlin hall and the litany of agreements, accords and frameworks implied that the United States benefited from all the fuss. We didn’t.

    We got nothing of real importance. But the government of puppet-master Vladimir Putin (nominally just prime minister) got virtually all it wanted. In Moscow, this was Christmas in July.

    Ignore the agenda-padding public-health memorandum and the meaningless “framework document on military cooperation” (we’ve had such agreements before; the Russians always just stiff us). The main course in Moscow was arms control.

    President Obama’s ideological bias against nuclear weapons dates back to his undergraduate years. Yet those weapons kept the peace between the world’s great powers for 64 years. A few remarks about deterrence notwithstanding, Obama just doesn’t get it.

    He agreed to trim our nuclear-warhead arsenal by one-third and — even more dangerously — to cut the systems that deliver the nuclear payloads. In fact, the Russians don’t care much about our warhead numbers (which will be chopped to a figure “between 1,500 and 1,675″). What they really wanted — and got — was a US cave-in regarding limits on our nuclear-capable bombers, submarines and missiles that could leave us with as few as 500 such systems, if the Russians continue to get their way as the final details are negotiated.

    Moscow knows we aren’t going to start a nuclear war with Russia. Putin (forget poor “President” Dmitry Medvedev) wants to gut our conventional capabilities to stage globe-spanning military operations. He wants to cut us down to Russia’s size.

    Our problem is that many nuclear-delivery systems — such as bombers or subs — are “dual-use”: A B-2 bomber can launch nukes, but it’s employed more frequently to deliver conventional ordnance.

    Putin sought to cripple our ability to respond to international crises. Obama, meanwhile, was out for “deliverables” — deals that could be signed in front of the cameras. Each man got what he wanted.

    President Obama even expressed an interest in further nuclear-weapons cuts. Peace in our time, ladies and gentlemen, peace in our time . . .

    We just agreed to the disarmament position of the American Communist Party of the 1950s.

    The Russians also enjoyed our president’s empathy for their position on missile defense. Apparently, Eastern Europe really does belong to the Kremlin’s sphere of influence.

    Not least, Obama fell for the sucker offer of the year: The Russians will generously allow us to fly our troops and weapons through their airspace to Afghanistan.

    This ploy is utterly transparent: Putin intends to lull us into dependency on a trans-Russia supply route — giving him a free hand in Georgia, Ukraine and elsewhere.

    By Putin’s calculus, we’ll complain about further aggression on Russia’s frontiers, but take no action that would jeopardize our new supply line. Meanwhile, we serve as the Kremlin’s proxies, protecting its sphere of influence in Central Asia against Islamist influence from the south and working on the Russians’ Afghan heroin problem.

    What did our president get in return? Russia will import more American meat products (which Russia needs). And we can re-open our Moscow office investigating the cases of POWs and MIAs from yesteryear’s wars. Well, I served in that office 16 years ago. Even during the Yeltsin-era “thaw,” the Russians stonewalled us. And Putin’s no Boris Yeltsin.

    Our president also got some generalizations about North Korea and Iran, but no hard commitments. Russia — which designed many of Iran’s nuclear facilities — wouldn’t even promise to permanently deny Iran the sophisticated air-defense systems that would make it harder to hit Tehran’s nuke sites.

    And you could read something else in President Medvedev’s imperious bearing behind his podium yesterday: Moscow longs for the world to view Russia and the United States as equals again, as joint arbiters of a global condominium, reviving the Kremlin’s Cold-War status (for which Russians feel passionate nostalgia).

    They got that, too. And we got nothing, nothing, nothing. Unless you think trading our military superiority for hamburger sales is a winner.

    There’s been a debate in the Obama administration between veterans who learned the hard way not to trust the Russians and the new, unblooded idealists. Now we know who won.

    Great news for the Russian Federation. Bad news for America. Until an adoring media spins it, of course.

  13. Marie Cocco spoke out during the primary and campaign, and I wrote to her several times thanking her. I just received a reply from my e-mail to her this am, and she advised that this article was getting tremendous response.
    ————————
    Amen. Marie is an object lesson to her colleagues in what journalism should be. There is clarity and insight in what she writes. And her comments are not circumscribed by the herd mentality of the WashPo crowd. She has been and continues to be a truthteller.

  14. also from previous thread:

    SIMON SAYS…

    The title of his piece might mislead one into thinking it’s a hit piece on Palin, but it is precisely the opposite. Read on:

    politico.com/news/stories/0709/24606.html

    The sins of Sarah Palin
    ================

    By ROGER SIMON
    7/7/09 4:58 AM EDT

    Sarah Palin is a sinner. She has violated several commandments and thoroughly deserves the savage beating that she is now getting from political mandarins and media elites.

    If it were not for one simple fact, I would say she was through in politics. And that fact is that if the Republicans were picking a nominee today, they would pick Sarah Palin.

    No? Don’t believe me? Who would beat her? Tim Pawlenty? Bobby Jindal? Haley Barbour? Mike Huckabee? Mitt Romney?

    All of these men might build credible, attractive, even powerful political operations by 2012. But right now? Today? Today, Sarah Palin would be the winner, because more than anyone else, she has won over the hearts and minds of the Republican rank and file. (And tell me that a Sarah Palin-Newt Gingrich ticket would not set conservative hearts aflutter.)

    She has done this by sinning, however. Let us list just some of the political commandments she has recently violated:

    1. Thou shalt not surprise the media.

    Palin announces she is quitting her job as governor of Alaska, and she catches everybody by surprise. What is up with that?

    Where were the leaks and the trial balloons? Why weren’t the media alerted so they could have predicted it?

    When you do what the media have predicted, you are “savvy.” You are a “skilled” and “adept” politician.

    If you surprise the media, however, you are “out of control” and “bizarre” and even “egotistical.” (Though I have always believed that accusing politicians of being egotistical is like accusing ballerinas of dancing on their toes.)

    How badly do some in the media take to surprise? Here is CNN’s Rick Sanchez on Palin’s announcement that she was leaving office prematurely. “Is there anything going on with her that perhaps may lead her to want to make this decision, and the one thing that’s still left out there is, hey, could she be pregnant again?” Sanchez asked.

    Could be, Rick. Or maybe it was just her time of month, because, hey, that’s why woman politicians make the decisions they do, right?

    But you can see why some in the media were shocked and dismayed. Imagine abandoning your office! Imagine quitting and deserting the voters who elected you!

    Though this is what Bob Dole did in 1996, didn’t he? Dole resigned his Senate seat to run for president. I remember it. I was standing right there when he did it. And I don’t recall anybody accusing him of being a quitter. Or of being pregnant.

    2. Thou shalt not upset the pooh-bahs.

    The Republican Party likes to nominate the next guy in line. John McCain in 2008, George W. Bush in 2000 and Bob Dole in 1996 were all the next guys in line. They had “earned” their place in the party hierarchy. (Or, in the case of George W. Bush, his father had earned it for him.)

    Today, it is hard to see who the next guy in line is, but the party mandarins, the pooh-bahs, are agreed on one thing: Sarah Palin ain’t it.

    She is a dumb hick, a nobody from nowhere. She hunts moose with a chainsaw from the back of a snowmobile or something. Just listen to her resignation speech. It was not slick or polished or written by somebody else. She appeared to deliver it off the top of her head as if she were a real person. What a doofus!

    Doesn’t she know that the highest form of political communication today is to exactly regurgitate a speech written for you by a speechwriter who has crafted, vetted and polled every phrase, line and word?

    But listen to Palin. Listen to how “rambling” and “disjointed” she is. Once upon a time in American politics, this was known as being “plain-spoken,” but that time has gone. An entire industry of political consultants has grown up to make sure politicians are never plain-spoken.

    Sarah Palin does not get this. Which is to say she is not very bright. (Or else she is pregnant, in which case, I apologize.)

    3. Thou shalt pander to the few, not speak to the many.

    John Weaver, a former McCain aide, told Adam Nagourney of The New York Times that Sarah Palin now has little chance of ever becoming the party’s presidential nominee.

    “Somebody has to explain to Republicans how this woman is going to expand her support base,” Weaver said. “Yes, she is the darling of a certain element of our party. But it remains to be seen — in fact, it remains rather doubtful she can grow beyond that.”

    She is the “darling of a certain element” of Republicans? It seems to me that with the party collapsing to its most conservative core, that “certain element” could also be called the majority of the Republican Party.

    But maybe that is not enough. It is only a “certain element” of the party that finds her energizing, fresh, tough and willing to stand up to the mandarins and the media. Clearly, Palin must “grow” beyond that base to win over … whom? The McCain wing of the Republican Party? Find it, and maybe she can win it over.

    Having said all this, I do not think Palin is being crazy like a fox. I don’t think she has planned out what she will do in 2012. I think she has quit her job, is doing what she wants to do and is reserving judgment about her future.

    In doing so, she has made herself an outcast to the mandarins, the pooh-bahs and the elites.

    So how can she go wrong?

    &&&&
    Roger Simon is POLITICO’s chief political columnist.

  15. Henry, we quoted Marie Cocco repeatedly:

    http://www.hillaryis44.org/2008/05/16/voting-for-barack-obama-part-ii/

    Most of all, I will not miss the silence.

    I will not miss the deafening, depressing silence of Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean or other leading Democrats, who to my knowledge (with the exception of Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland) haven’t publicly uttered a word of outrage at the unrelenting, sex-based hate that has been hurled at a former first lady and two-term senator from New York. Among those holding their tongues are hundreds of Democrats for whom Clinton has campaigned and raised millions of dollars. Don Imus endured more public ire from the political class when he insulted the Rutgers University women’s basketball team.

    Would the silence prevail if Obama’s likeness were put on a tap-dancing doll that was sold at airports? Would the media figures who dole out precious face time to these politicians be such pals if they’d compared Obama with a character in a blaxploitation film? And how would crude references to Obama’s sex organs play?

    http://www.hillaryis44.org/2008/11/28/the-shame-of-the-democratic-left-part-ii/

    http://www.hillaryis44.org/2008/07/16/barack-obama-vs-hillary-clinton-supporters-the-obama-insults-to-women-continue/

  16. Obama donor and supporter forces cancellation of Atlanta tea party

    July 6, 9:36 PM · James Hyde – Political Buzz Examiner

    Obama donor and supporter forces cancellation of Atlanta tea party. There are four things President Obama cannot do without: Teleprompters, his PDA, Air Force One and being liked. In response to the April 15 TEA (Taxed Enough Already) parties, he engaged in infantile and cynical mimicry. By so doing, he demonstrated visceral behavior affirming his obsession with being liked by mocking those who don’t like his policies. There he stood at yet another well-scripted town meeting, the champion of “openly debating the issues.” He was slightly hunched over, his thumb and forefinger clenched as if he were holding a teabag. The act was not only childish, but bitter and acidic for any politician.

    What happened?

    Just prior to July 4th the locations of planned TEA parties comprised so many red dots on a Google map of the U.S., it looks like a World Health Organization “flu contagion progression chart.”

    But the red dot and plans for the Atlanta TEA party, which attracted 20,000 on April 15, no longer appear on that map. In the eyes of Obama supporters a TEA party that’s gaining momentum is dangerous. They may have believed that this year’s gathering would attract many more people than did the April 15th rally. So, a philanthropist to left wing candidates (Obama) and causes (Obama’s inauguration) managed to deprive the group of its planned venue only days before the protest was to take place. That left the group unable to find a new site in time to protest in union with other TEA parties. And the way he did it is what gave birth to scandal.

    The TEA party group’s plan had been to hold the event at the Gwinnett Place Mall in Duluth, GA, in front of an old Macy’s building, and planning for it had been on going since March. The group strategized openly and without objection from anyone—until the last minute. At their site, Atlantateaparty.net, the Atlanta group posted the following press release.

    “The Atlanta Tea Party was forced to cancel its Independence Day celebration in Gwinnett, after losing it’s location due to the objection of Gwinnett Place Mall (a Simon company.) The Tea Party had been scheduled to take place in the parking lot of the old Macy’s building at Gwinnett Place since March.” Said Julianne Thompson, event co-organizer, “The old Macy’s building is on private property, and not owned by Simon Malls, however the mall manager asked the property owner and I to come in the office on Thursday of this week [June 25], and told us Simon does not want political events on it’s property. They were also concerned about the fact we were using the term ‘protest.’ Although the event was on private property, the mall was able to assert authority on the matter due to reciprocal property easement agreements.”

    Woah, woah, woah. Hold on a second. There are some glaring ownership discrepancies in the above that are as obvious as a cold front slamming into a warm front. But no one sees the purple thunderheads rising. The opening paragraph states that the Simon Company owns Gwinnett, but in Ms. Thompson’s statement, she says that Simon does not own the mall. Nonetheless, the Simon Company managed to engage in subterfuge by invoking “reciprocal property easement agreements” prohibiting such gatherings. They did not deny access because the company owns the property and objects to the protest.

    I decided some good old investigative reporting was necessary so I checked the listing of malls the company does own. Sure enough, I found that the Simon Company does indeed own Gwinnett Place Mall. So, if Simon owns the mall, who’s “the [mystery] owner” called into the mall manager’s office with Ms. Thompson?

    What’s been missed here is that no one (Web sites, blogs or news outlets) has picked up the discrepancy and its significance. Instead of claiming ownership of the mall as the reason for refusing to allow the TEA party to take place, Simon cleverly told the mall manager to use “reciprocal property easement agreements” as the excuse. We don’t know what the easement agreement says, although it could provide that no large demonstrations can take place on mall property. Had he used ownership rights and trespassing as his objection, Martin Simon would have created a conflict of interest that could have involved Obama if Simon’s company took stimulus money. There is no indication that it has or will, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.
    If you own the property, you have every right to bar anyone from using it for any reason. But by doing so as late as he did and in the manner he did, he was obviously pandering to Obama’s best interests, but not in his capacity as owner.

    While the Atlanta group’s unification of protest with other TEA parties held on the 4th was denied, in the press release, Thompson announced new plans. “The Atlanta Tea Party” she says, “has a great team and is already planning for the July 17th Tea Party Patriots Protests at Congressional offices all across Georgia over nationalized healthcare.” In the end, this may be the silver lining in the gathering clouds mentioned above. Support for Obama’s healthcare plan is a leaning, shrinking tower according to a number of polls. The reason most cited for pulling support is the inability to pay for it. That makes it an ideal TEA party issue.

    That aside, WorldNetDaily pinned the blame directly on the Simon company in more specific ways by giving us a snapshot of what and who Simon is and what he supports.

    1. Gwinnett Place Mall shut down the Atlanta Tea Party.

    2. Simon Property Group owns Gwinnett Place Mall.

    3. Melvin Simon (a Forbes 400 billionaire) is Co-chairman of Simon Property Group, Inc.

    4. Melvin Simon has provided large political contributions to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Al Franken, John Edwards, the DNC and many other Democrats and Democrat organizations.

    5. Melvin Simon was a major contributor to Barack Obama’s inaugural committee and has given at least $1 million to the William J. Clinton foundation.

    6. Melvin’s wife, Bren, personally donated almost $100,000 to various political candidates, was a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, and contributed to President Obama’s inaugural committee.”

    Except for item 1, there’s nothing reprehensible, illegal or even suspicious about the company’s or the Simons’ political philanthropy. But what the list does establish is proof that a financial relationship with Obama’s campaign and his inauguration existed.

    Most politicians are scared to death of anything a contributor does that even hints at a scandal. They’re afraid they could be sucked into a conflict of interest by association. Stand-up politicians either return the money or find a way to distance themselves from the donor. No sign of either is happening now.

    That begs two questions: 1. Did Obama have anything to do with this? There’s no smoke anywhere on the Net. Besides, he’s way too smart to have been involved. 2. Did he know about it? That may be another matter entirely. People who give candidates money are always willing to boast to their beneficiaries about anything in which they engaged on behalf of the candidate or office holder. The hope is to gain some extra payback leverage when needed. It’s classically Mafiaesque. “I do a favor for you, and when I need it, you do a favor for me.” A favor done + favor to be done=conflict of interest by using the influence of the president to get something the donor may need or want. That’s why I for one will be watching what the Simon Company may need or want, especially if they get any Stimulus money. If they do, it should appear in their annual report, unless they try to bury it, but that’s hard to do under the rules governing accounting practices.

    What is known is that Obama can’t tolerate the idea of any kind of dissent, and he engaged in a misstep a few days ago that mortified him. As a result, he doesn’t need anything that even implies dirty tricks or a conflict of interest right now. His mistake gives a full tank of gas to the TEA party movement. He engaged in some surprising Bushonian “Mission Accomplished” theatre. The president strode proudly to his usual perch, a podium with 12 teleprompters, and announced that his Stimulus package “was working.” Everybody got giddy until the following day.

    It was then that any semblance of truth about his statement was shattered into 100,000 pieces. The jobless rate shot up by 100,000 more jobs than the previous month. The rate had been declining month-after-month. This was the first increase, and it was substantial. It pushed unemployment up to 9.5% and its highest levels in 26 years. Inexperience or faulty strategy caused the embarrassment. Before declaring his plan efficacious, he should have waited a day to see what the jobless rate would do. Or, he could have known the latest number and tried to mitigate it with a rosy declaration. In either case, it was a mistake. This is what the tea parties are keeping an eye on.

    But presidential issues are a constant, and the day after the unemployment news came out, a White House press briefing descended into angry mayhem. It looks as if the president is no longer the media darling he has been. White House press corps dean, Helen Thomas, and other reporters leaned on Press Secretary Robert Gibbs about how staged the president’s endless town hall meetings are and asked whether or not the questions are handed out to participants ahead of the charades. Gibbs tried to deny it, but questions clearly pent up until that press conference came tumbling out. Thomas angrily pointed out that Obama’s is the only administration in U.S. history that calls reporters the night before a press conference and tells them they’ll be called on the following day. What Thomas is also clearly furious about, and pointed to with indignation, was her perception (seconded by others) that the administration is both controlling and manipulating the press. That’s a very damning charge seldom made, but when it is, if you’re president, you’ve got a huge problem. It’s a signal that you’re losing and may already have lost press credibility, and it takes a long time to get it back. She also tore into the hypocrisy of Obama’s main campaign promise: “My administration will be open and transparent.” So far, it’s been neither, and she was very spirited in her comments about that. Press Secretary Gibbs then made the unforgivable mistake of trying to laugh off her tirade. Everybody who deals with the White House press corps can tell you that you don’t laugh at Helen Thomas—ever. She and other reporters were clearly agitated by Gibb’s embarrassed, gulping grin.

    I bring this up because the White House press corps may now start studying Obama as they should have been from the first day. It’s important too because the TEA parties may start getting more press attention.

    The TEA party groups are beginning to focus on Obama’s catastrophic healthcare plan. Everyone in Congress seems to agree that the administration still hasn’t come up with a plan to pay for it. Unless Obama prints more money—and risks sending us into hyperinflation—the only other option is to increase taxes on everybody.

    Obama swore during the campaign that anyone making less than $250,000 would not pay “one thin dime in new taxes,” (does “Read my lips” sound familiar?). He realized, once he spent some time in the Oval Office, that that promise would be thrown on the broken-promise heap with his other fractured pledges.

    Fortunately, the TEA party movement is alive, well and growing. What makes it unique and successful is the lack of political homogeneity. It is strictly a grass roots movement of which no one political group can claim ownership. Its membership comprises people from the left and right, conservative and liberal, with healthy representation by Independents who provide the swing vote in presidential elections. They, in particular have backed away from Obama according to polls cited by Dick Morris and others.

    What is homogeneous is the Jeananne Garofalo crowd, who deliberately skew the intent of TEA party attendees. Her radical blinders won’t allow here to admit that there are people out there who honestly and rightly disagree with Obama’s policies. Instead, she paints activists as people who object to Obama’s skin color. It’s the old and tired Liberal standby argument when all else fails: play the race card with a broad brush. But it’s become clear that she’s been minimized as nothing more than a Liberal demagogue who demonizes anyone who disagrees with her or Obama, and does so with little or no evidence to support her accusations. She sees a TEA party sign or two she thinks is racist and she then paints the whole movement prejudiced with her broad brush of self-indulgent outrage.

    I think the ride is about to get bumpy for Barak Hussein Obama. The growing TEA party movement can help stop the march to Socialism and he knows it. But the movement needs to coalesce in Washington, not just in the cities and towns in which they now take place. TEA party organizers should schedule a massive march on Washington. If millions show up, there’s no way the press can turn a blind eye to the protest. The movement must take its valid complaints to the seat of power. It worked for the advancement of civil rights and to end the Vietnam War. It can also help stop insane and out-of-control spending.

    And the responsible press needs to look hard at the reasons why the Atlanta TEA party was sabotaged. It would have appeared as 300-point-type headlines on the front pages of most newspapers had it been an act committed by a Bush backer. It’s time to end the hypocrisy now and re-establish journalistic integrity.

    As for the mall’s owner in the Atlanta case, FaultLineUSA has started a boycott of the goods sold in Simon-owned malls, of which there are many. Boycotts are enormously powerful. The threat of one makes shop owners very nervous. You can view the list of malls at the company’s site. FaultLineUSA also provides a draft letter you can send to the Simon Company here.

    Obama’s economic policies are becoming exponentially more disastrous for this country. There are and will continue to be those who try to still the chorus of dissent. They need to be confronted, so I urge you to send Simon either your own message or that provided by FaultLineUSA. Those who voted for Obama got sold a bill of goods, not at all what they expected. The TEA parties are only the beginning of many protests to come.

    examiner.com/x-10496-Political-Buzz-Examiner~y2009m7d6-Obama-donor-and-supporter-forces-cancellation-of-Atlanta-tea-party

  17. HoldThemAccountable, here is the link:

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 33% of the nation’s voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-six percent (36%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of –3. Those figures reflect the highest level of strong disapproval measured to date and the lowest level recorded for the overall Approval Index (see trends).

    It remains to be seen whether this decline in the President’s numbers is a temporary aberration, statistical noise, or something more significant. Tomorrow (Wednesday) will be the first update based entirely upon interviews conducted since last week’s report showing higher than expected job losses in June.

    Just 27% of voters nationwide favor passage of a second economic stimulus package. Sixty percent (60%) are opposed.

    Fifty-four percent (54%) say the average Democrat in Congress is more liberal than they are, while 36% believe the average Republican congressman is more conservative.

  18. What they really wanted — and got — was a US cave-in regarding limits on our nuclear-capable bombers, submarines and missiles that could leave us with as few as 500 such systems, if the Russians continue to get their way as the final details are negotiated.
    ———————————————————
    Yes, but this is what drives every bargain. Each party wants something from the other. And each party places a different value on what it wants and is prepared to give up. Putin wanted to limit the ability of America to respond to the type of crises which are likely to occur in the twenty first century. Obama wanted a photo op which he could use to futher the continuing campaign which substitutes for the very different discipline of governance. Each man got what they wanted from the other. Obama is truly a man for the ages, and the proffered comparisons between him and Neville Chamberlain are telling.

  19. Color me surprised that bambi thought a trip to Russia was actually more important than his attendance at MJ’s funeral.

  20. Wow
    I am very very impressed with Marie Cocco
    Sent a very brief message simply stating that it was not only the far right which is intrigued by Palin. Maybe 45 minutes minutes ago and she replied. Again Wow!

  21. I’ve e-mailed Marie Cocco, too, after her excellent columns about Hillary, and have always gotten a prompt and gracious response. She really is a breath of fresh air.

  22. I guess I am just a voice in the wilderness, but I will keep saying it until someone I respect tells me to shut up. These tea parties should continue to promote the taxation issue, since that is where Obamaeconomics will take us. However, and it is a big however, the issue de jour is job loss, and as those numbers grow under Obamaeconmics those displaced persons are a natural constiutuency for the tea parties. The central argument is that this stimulus plan is a job killer, a tax driver and a political slush fund. Their inclusion is equally important at the tactical level. Years ago I was chairman of a Republican fundraiser in Sun Valley. My friend was targeted by radical environmentalists, one of whom walked up to her with a tub full of salmon guts and threw it in her face. He was arrested and the Capitol Hill police took over after that. I expected those same people to crash our fundraiser, so I made arrangements for police protection which the local authorities were glad to offer. I also expected the left wingnuts would turn this into a media circus, so what I did do was bring in three laid off mill workers for the press to interview to provide the contrarian view point. For whatever reason, the protestors did not show up, but if they had we were prepared. When CNN shows up with its cameras, these are the people they should put forward to talk about impact. Coincidentally, my friend was a great admirer of Hillary and hoped to serve in the Senate with her when Hillary was elected. That never happened for various reasons. But the point is people who love their country do not let partisan differences stand in their way, whereas people like Barack who think only of themsleves, and hate their country subliminally, think only of themselves.

  23. Big Media continues to cover up for Obama on things big and small. Why doesn’t Josh Gerstein simply state the obvious: Obama lied. If it was Hillary not getting something like this right, it would have been headlines about how Hillary lied. Does anyone believe Obama misremembered or was he playing to an University audience and got caught in a lie? Instead, Big Media turns the Obama lie into “he’s mortal”:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/24625.html

    Husbands of the world rejoice!

    President Barack Obama, who has seemed to set an impossibly high bar for many men when it comes to dealing with their wives, has finally stumbled — and in a very public way.

    “I don’t know if anybody else will meet their future wife or husband in class like I did, but I’m sure that you’re all going to have wonderful careers,” he said as he warmed up the audience before delivering a commencement speech at an economics school in Moscow Tuesday.

    Obama seemed to be playing off an introduction that referred to him meeting his future wife, Michelle Robinson, while he was a student. But the truth is that the couple met not “in class” but at a law firm in Chicago, Sidley Austin, in 1989. Obama was a summer associate (essentially a legal intern) there and Robinson was an attorney completing her first year at the firm. Both attended Harvard Law School, but Michelle graduated in the spring of 1988, while Barack Obama did not arrive at the Cambridge, Mass., campus until that fall.

    It was unclear what prompted Obama’s confusion or lapse of memory, though he does have the excuse of jet lag. It was about 4 a.m. in Washington as he spoke.

    The episode is sure to generate some schadenfreude, since Obama’s “date nights” taking Michelle to a Broadway show and to a fancy Paris restaurant led to feelings of inadequacy on the part of many husbands.

    Unfortunately for the big guy, Michelle Obama is along for the trip and was on hand for the speech, so the president is almost certain to get an earful.

    May I suggest flowers, Mr. President?

  24. basil9 Says:

    July 7th, 2009 at 11:56 am
    “We wrote before it happened that the “stimulus” scam was not related to the economy but rather all that “stimulus” money was in reality a huge slush fund to benefit Dimocrats in the 2010 elections.”

    Right as usual, Admin. It’s like a kids birthday party when one of the kids has to leave early and asks for a slice of cake but then takes all but a few thin wedges ‘to eat later, leaving the other kids to squzbble over crumbs.

    IT’S OBSCENE!!!!!!. What’s even more obscene is that he’s getting away with it.”

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

    what is even more OBSCENE is the admin and dems are trial ballooning the need for a SECOND STIMULUS…they are determined to bankrupt us and turn us into a third world service country (they have not spent the first borrowed stimulus, but they are ready to grab a second helping)

    one of a ‘few’ of these articles ‘popping up’ to ram this theft into our collective consciousness…get us really down and out for the count and then go in for the final blow…

    blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2009/07/dem-senator-second-stimulus-probably-needed.html

  25. btw…had a thought this morning that if Sarah Palin does decide to fun for elective office again in the future she may very well decide to run as an INDEPENDENT…it would not surprise me at all…

  26. meant to say run for elective office…but maybe ‘fun’ is part of her motivation in changing and mixing up the way establishment politics are done by both parties…

    …in the clips i saw of her this morning…she looks liberated and like she is taking back control of her own life…and both parties be damned if they don’t like it…

  27. What they really wanted — and got — was a US cave-in regarding limits on our nuclear-capable bombers, submarines and missiles that could leave us with as few as 500 such systems, if the Russians continue to get their way as the final details are negotiated
    ————————————————–
    If you were SOS, would you want to accompany Obama to Russia, and be a party to that deal??????????? St. Elbow to the rescue.

  28. Where is the money for a second stimulus going to come from? China again? Are they going to own America before they are done?

  29. [from the Politico article] Husbands of the world rejoice!

    President Barack Obama, who has seemed to set an impossibly high bar for many men when it comes to dealing with their wives, has finally stumbled — and in a very public way.
    ——————–
    Admin, puff pieces like this make me sick.

    I am afraid that most people will know that he is a disaster by 2012 but for lack of a credible alternative will vote for him again (also watch out for all the thievery that will go on with the voting machines and others).

    BTW, if anybody is interested, Reclusive Left has two fabulous threads on Palin and great comments as well.

  30. Just to show you how far Morris twists the facts, he wrote a couple articles on how Obama has marginalized the Clintons, and to make his case he claims that Obama has relegated Bill to the the remote outpost of Haiti. Obama had nothing whatsover to do with Bill taking taking this assignment. Nothing as in zero, nada. The appointment came through the United Nations, and I believe it sets the stage for a global iniative to aid Africa, to dispel the racist charge, and to move up in the UN organization, which means he will always be two steps ahead of Obama, since that is the next logical step for Bambi, after he is run out of Washington with pitchforks for wrecking the economy.

  31. I am afraid that most people will know that he is a disaster by 2012 but for lack of a credible alternative will vote for him again (also watch out for all the thievery that will go on with the voting machines and others).
    ————————————————-
    Do you really think they will double down on a losing bet?

  32. “But the movement needs to coalesce in Washington, not just in the cities and towns in which they now take place. TEA party organizers should schedule a massive march on Washington. If millions show up, there’s no way the press can turn a blind eye to the protest. The movement must take its valid complaints to the seat of power. It worked for the advancement of civil rights and to end the Vietnam War. It can also help stop insane and out-of-control spending.”
    ——————————————–
    I am hearing many people say this – we need to go to Wash in the millions — cover the mall, the Capitol steps, surround the White House and camp there — let them know we won’t let up till they get the message and the media covers the action.

    This is my 76th birthday – although I marched against the Vwar and I marched for Civil Rights, I’m not fond of the pressure in a crowd – I know from experience that huge demonstrations can be frightening and dangerous – but it must be done, and I’m ready to go again.

    ————————————–
    “But the truth is that the couple met not “in class” but at a law firm in Chicago, Sidley Austin, in 1989.”

    Congenital liars just can’t help themselves. Can you imagine the mess in this guy’s mind – how does he ever know what really happened or what he made up? This is not a real person.

  33. wbboei, I wanted to tell you I liked your analysis of the Harper’s article on the last thread. And to think people were actually calling Obama the next Roosevelt. Talk about sacrilege. As for the stimulus, I recall many sources pointing out that too much of the money wasn’t going to be spent in the short term, and now we’re discovering that’s exactly what’s happened.

    It’s clear when the stimulus was passed, it was just an example of Congress and the WH wanting to be seen as doing about the economy, when they had no earthly idea if it would work. And what an expensive mistake we’re going to be paying for for decades to come.

  34. lil ole grape,

    Happy Birthday to you! I hope you are having a great day.

    I agree about the Tea Parties. If they come in enormous numbers then I defy bambi and the media to go into their usual ridiculing/bully mode.

  35. Paula,

    Actually wasn’t it bambi who gave himself such lofty comparisons…and of the course media lapped it up.

  36. Anyone who needs a laugh, check this Caption contest for the pic of Medvedev and DL on Drudge.

    Some of the responses are hysterical.

    hotair dot com/archives/2009/07/07/caption-contest/

  37. Jan, have you read Melanie Phillips on Dershowitz? It begins:
    “The American lawyer Alan Dershowitz is one of the most prolific, high-profile and indefatiguable defenders of Israel and the Jewish people against the tidal wave of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish feeling currently coursing through the west. So a piece by him in the Wall Street Journal giving expression to the rising anxiety being felt about Obama by American Jews naturally arouses great interest.
    But just like the majority of American Jews, getting on for 80 per cent of whom voted for Obama, he is a Democrat supporter who is incapable of acknowledging the truth about this President. For most American Jews, the horror of even entertaining the hypothetical possibility that they might ever in a million years have to vote for a Republican is so great they simply cannot see what is staring them in the face — that this Democratic President is lethal for both Israel and the free world. And in this article Dershowitz shows that he too is just as blind.” etc.
    spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/3736806/he-doesnt-get-it.thtml

  38. wbboei, yes.. they did with Bush in 2004. What we the people need is a credible alternative to develop in the next year or less and with the Big media firmly in his corner and the Repubs in disarray as they are now, it seems doubtful every passing day. We are in the thick of it and we see it but John or Jane Doe on the street will never know the truth and even if they do get vague inklings, they will rationalize that he is the known devil or that he had it too hard and needs a second term to fix everything. Two things have to happen: a credible alternative challenging him and the media develops in the next year or Big media turns on him and a credible alternative challenging him develops in the next year. Then again, what do I know.

  39. At least we know why Hillary didnt want any part of this trip to Russia with Obama, she knew it would be a disaster and quite smart to stay as far away as possible.

  40. lil ole grape Says:

    July 7th, 2009 at 2:21 pm
    Jan, have you read Melanie Phillips on Dershowitz

    ————————————-

    Thank you so much for the link. I have read her articles before and have to say this is one of her best. Dershowitz on the other hand is so in love with bambi that he’s lost all credibility with me.

    “Obama thus inverts aggressor and victim, denying Israel’s six-decade long victimisation and airbrushing out Arab aggression. The question remains: why has Obama chosen to pick a fight with Israel while soft-soaping Iran which is threatening it with genocide? The answer is obvious: Israel is to be used to buy off Iran just as Czechoslovakia was used at Munich.”

    —Just one of the very important impressions that Phillips draws upon and I am very much in agreement with.

  41. moon, Hillary couldn’t go because of her elbow. It wasn’t as if she backed out. She’s not allowed to travel yet.

  42. wbboei, yes.. they did with Bush in 2004. What we the people need is a credible alternative to develop in the next year or less and with the Big media firmly in his corner and the Repubs in disarray as they are now, it seems doubtful every passing day. We are in the thick of it and we see it but John or Jane Doe on the street will never know the truth and even if they do get vague inklings, they will rationalize that he is the known devil or that he had it too hard and needs a second term to fix everything. Two things have to happen: a credible alternative challenging him and the media develops in the next year or Big media turns on him and a credible alternative challenging him develops in the next year. Then again, what do I know.
    ——————————
    Then there is really no hope for us is there.

  43. But the movement needs to coalesce in Washington, not just in the cities and towns in which they now take place. TEA party organizers should schedule a massive march on Washington. If millions show up, there’s no way the press can turn a blind eye to the protest. The movement must take its valid complaints to the seat of power. It worked for the advancement of civil rights and to end the Vietnam War. It can also help stop insane and out-of-control spending.”
    ——————————————–
    Correct. Also, they must anticipate the media attacks.

    1. this is veiled racism: the countertactic would be to have african americans and young people who cant find jobs speak out. Do not let the media characterize this as a redneck event.

    2. these people are deranged: given the tendency of big media to look for the weakest link, they will be inclined to interview someone who appears to be a wack job. Get someone to play that role and then suck them in to a well organized counterattack.

    3. edit the interview: keep the big media reporters under constant video surveillace, record the entire interview, post on u-tube what they edited out if it undermines their story line under the heading Untrustworthy. Do comprensive bios of these reporters, including personal information so the public has the complete picuture of who they are and what interests they serve.

  44. bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601068&sid=ajQbZ.WrAVwQ

    Obama Adviser Says U.S. Should Mull Second Stimulus (Update2)
    Share | Email | Print | A A A

    By Shamim Adam

    July 7 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. should consider drafting a second stimulus package focusing on infrastructure projects because the $787 billion approved in February was “a bit too small,” said Laura Tyson, an outside adviser to President Barack Obama.

    The current plan “will have a positive effect, but the real economy is a sicker patient,” Tyson said in a speech in Singapore today. The package will have a more pronounced impact in the third and fourth quarters, she added, stressing that she was speaking for herself and not the administration.

    Tyson’s comments contrast with remarks made two days ago by Vice President Joe Biden and fellow Obama adviser Austan Goolsbee, who said it was premature to discuss crafting another stimulus because the current measures have yet to fully take effect. The government is facing criticism that the first package was rolled out too slowly and failed to stop unemployment from soaring to the highest in almost 26 years.

    Obama said last month that a second package isn’t needed yet, though he expects the jobless rate will exceed 10 percent this year. When Obama signed the first stimulus bill in February, his chief economic advisers forecast it would help hold the rate below 8 percent.

    Unemployment increased to 9.5 percent in June, the highest since August 1983. The world’s largest economy has lost about 6.5 million jobs since December 2007.

    Worse Than Forecast

    “The economy is worse than we forecast on which the stimulus program was based,” Tyson, who is a member of Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory board, told the Nomura Equity Forum. “We probably have already 2.5 million more job losses than anticipated.”

    Republicans, including House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, seized on the latest labor numbers to attack the Obama administration’s handling of the economy.

    Even Democrats have bemoaned the pace of the package’s implementation. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, said on “Fox News Sunday” June 5 that congressional Democrats are “disappointed” stimulus funds weren’t distributed faster.

    “The money is just really starting to come out in more significant amounts now,” Tyson said. “The stimulus is performing close to expectations but not in timing.”

    Package Affordable

    Tyson, 62, later told reporters that the U.S. can afford to pay for a second package, even as the fiscal deficit soars. She said the budget shortfall is “likely to be worse” than the equivalent of 12 percent of gross domestic product that the administration forecast for 2009 and the 8 percent to 9 percent it projected for next year.

    The professor at the University of California’s Walter A. Haas School of Business downplayed worries from China and other countries with dollar reserves that the U.S. will let inflation soar as the deficit expands.

    “The concern is that the U.S. will have to inflate away its debt. I do not think that is a valid concern,” she said. “The Federal Reserve is not going to let the U.S. government inflate away its debt.”

    The U.S. needs to communicate its determination to reduce the annual shortfall once the economy recovers, she said.

    While unemployment is worsening, other data have shown the economy is improving. U.S. manufacturing shrank last month at the slowest rate since August, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s factory index, and a measure of pending home sales advanced in May for a fourth month.

    Tyson said the U.S. should shift away from its dependence on consumption to grow, and promote expansion through investment and exports. The dollar will need to weaken in the longer term to promote export-led growth, she said.

    To contact the reporter on this story: Shamim Adam in Singapore at sadam2@bloomberg.net

    Last Updated: July 7, 2009 04:45 EDT

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

    get ready the gravy train is warming up…

  45. From admin’s link at the top, was this snippet:

    The White House remains hopeful that the “Obama Effect” can be put to work in Russia. [snip]

    Aides to the President hope younger Russians especially will be wooed when they hear Mr Obama’s speech, billed as one of a series of four addresses to a global audience that began in Prague and continued in Egypt.

    The fourth comes in Ghana.
    &&&&&&&&&&&

    They are believing their own hype, “The Obama Effect”. Dangerous when you have to fool yourself.

    And what is this “miracle” Obama effect? Fake post-partisan, fake populism, fake world peace?

  46. Laura Tyson is trustworthy. She echoes what Krugman has been saying. If we are going to spend money, then by God do it the way FDR did, for the benefit of the country and get big business like GE off the sugar tit. Why in the world should the cap and trade bill be a boon to GE, or Goldman. Somebody needs to figure out how to plow these windfall profits into the economy, rather than lining the pockets of their executives and shareholders.

  47. The “obama effect???” Give me a break! Okay so are they going to change the U.S.A. to obamaland too?

    Bored minds want to know…

  48. They are believing their own hype, “The Obama Effect”. Dangerous when you have to fool yourself.

    And what is this “miracle” Obama effect? Fake post-partisan, fake populism, fake world peace?
    ____________________________
    RGB: I think Putin is shrewd enough to recognize a Potemkin Village when he sees one. After all they have a long history of such things dating back to the days of the Tsar.

    The Obama Effect is a known medical condition. The symptoms are an uncontrollable urge to laugh and puke at the same time.

  49. SHORT BUT SWEET

    How doth Obamanus lie to us,
    Let me count the ways.

    pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/s_632488.html

    Obama’s mythography: An Orwellian disaster
    ===============================

    Tuesday, July 7, 2009

    President Barack Obama’s Orwellian rhetoric has become absolutely pathological. And it’s become so blatant that you can almost guarantee that the truth is the exact opposite of what he says. To wit:

    The president insisted he had no intention of taking over Chrysler and General Motors.

    He did.

    The president calls “cap-and-trade” environmental legislation a “market-based” approach, based on “sound science.”

    It is not.

    The president claims his health care reform plan is not “socialized medicine.”

    It is.

    He claims it won’t harm private insurance.

    It will.

    He claims service won’t be rationed.

    But to control costs as he proposes, it must be. (Even top aides concede the point.)

    Mr. Obama says he supports “democracy” in Latin America.

    How can he? He also supports the Marxist ways of Manuel Zelaya, legally removed from Honduras’ presidency by the constitutional actions of the legislative and judicial branches.

    And the examples of this president’s mythography go on and on.

    Some will dismiss Barack Obama’s pronouncements merely as “rhetoric” and “posturing.” “Everybody does it,” they’ll say. “It’s politics.”

    But this is different and decidedly more dangerous: The president of the United States says one thing and does another and claims things that cannot possibly be.

    Whether by delusion or by design, Barack Obama is being dishonest with the American people. And that is a harbinger of national disaster.

  50. Right wing Neal Boortz sums up the economic situation quite well, even managing to make us laugh a bit:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/07/07/hows_the_stimulus_working_for_you_so_far_97318.html

    Well now. Our economy is really lunging forward, isn’t it? What a ride! Are you holding on?

    We’re billions of dollars further in debt (trillions?) and the economy is still stagnant. TARP, the stimulus bill, massive debts our children and grandchildren will have to pay .. and what has this all brought us? Banks aren’t lending, businesses aren’t hiring – let along expanding – and consumers aren’t buying. Oh, to be sure, the malls are crowded. Turn up the thermostats and see how long that lasts. Those aren’t shoppers, they’re just your neighbors trying to stay cool while watching the latest absurd teen fashion and freak shows.

  51. “It leaves us in a situation where the people in power, the people who make the rules and decide how our economy is going to be fixed, are going to worry first about preserving and expanding their power and secondly (if they have time) about putting us back on a track to prosperity.”

    —————————————-

    Boy! Does Boortz ever tell it like it is! Amen!

  52. “The economy is worse than we forecast on which the stimulus program was based,” Tyson, who is a member of Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory board, told the Nomura Equity Forum
    ——————————————
    Stay on that point for a minute. By “we” she means Orszag, Obamas White House Budget Director. Not Wall Street or others–they were right. It was the Administation who was wrong. But this is not just a reading of the tea leaves–our ability to afford the stimulus plan was also predicated on this fatally flawed projection. As a result, what you have is a phony budget, as Jack Welch has described it. He writes about how when he was CEO of GE profit centers in the organization tried to pull the same stuff on him, and he took them to the mat on it. He would slash their erroneous projection and force them to work (which is to say spend) within the restraints of a realistic budget. Bambi trumpets his judment to the world. Then why did he fail to protect the country in a similar manner?

  53. The “obama effect???”
    *******
    There are so many possibilities of which “effect” will be his legacy; probably the Obama Depression but Afghanistan is also in the running. This will be Obama’s war and the chance for anything but a bad outcome is small. With the latest push, the Taliban is melting away but still killing US and NATO troops at record levels. The latest objective:

    ““The operation in Nawa is going to be very effective,” said Helmand Gov. Gulab Mangal. “The security forces will build bases to provide security for the local people so that they can carry out every activity with this favourable background, and take their lives forward in peace.”

    Ah..”Secure Villages’..where have I heard that before?? The death of McNamara reminded me of the “secure village” program in Vietnam and how well that worked out.

  54. Clinton Says Arias Will Mediate Honduras Standoff

    By Janine Zacharia

    July 7 (Bloomberg) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced today that Costa Rican President Oscar Arias will mediate the standoff between the new regime in Honduras and deposed Honduran president Manuel Zelaya.

    Clinton, after meeting with Zelaya at the State Department in Washington, said the ousted leader agreed to participate in the negotiations, to be held imminently in Costa Rica, rather than try to return to Honduras again.

    “President Zelaya agreed with this,” Clinton said. “I believe that it is a better route for him to follow at this time than to attempt to return in the face of the implacable opposition of the de facto regime. And so, instead of another confrontation that might result in loss of life, let’s try the dialogue process and see where that leads.”

    Clinton said she spoke with Arias, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and that he said he would be willing to begin negotiations “immediately.” She said the U.S. also received word that interim Honduran President Roberto Micheletti agreed to the negotiations.

    “I don’t want to prejudge what the parties themselves will agree to,” Clinton told reporters. “We hope at the end of this mediation there will be a return of democratic constitutional order that is agreed to by all concerned.”

    Zelaya, speaking separately to reporters outside the State Department, said he plans to leave tomorrow for Costa Rica. “I already spoke with President Arias,” he said. “I go to be present in what will really be the restoration of democratic government” in Honduras.

    Kevin Casas Zamora, a former vice president under Arias, said, “Zelaya respects Arias a great deal and Arias has been very strong in condemning the coup.”

    The Costa Rican president is not “eager” to step into the middle of the current conflict but will do what is necessary, Casas Zamora, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, said in a phone interview today.

    bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=a_tu4yAmijQg

  55. OT but the news channels are still obsessed with the Jackson memorial. Obama sure was unlucky with the timing of the Russia trip if he hoped to get any publicity from it.

    I thought the Jackson memorial was tasteful and well done–it was probably the most normal event of Jacksons entire life. It’s just too bad that the Michael Jackson everyone saluted wasn’t the man that was in the public eye. I can’t imagine his legacy ever being spit from his odd behavior.

    One a side note: Rev. Sharpton feels Jackson is the reason Oprah and Obama were able to be successful.

  56. AmericanGal, a sure bet that Michelle Obama will be furious that her “outfits” are not getting attention. She’s lucky that few saw what she has been wearing while in Moscow.

  57. Then again maybe his lack of publicity is a blessing in disguise for him. He bombed out with the Russian youth i.e. the obama effect. If body language is anything to go by, his host thinks he’s a toad.

  58. Jan, make no mistake, this administration is anti-Israel period. It is the most hostile administration towards Israel since it’s creation, and would prefer Israel to simply “go away” which they think will somehow appease the Muslim/Arab fanatics. Obama and his self-loathing Jews are doing to Israel what the Arabs army’s never could….defeating her without a single shot fired. MSM is also playing a vital role portraying Gazza as thr most horrific thing since the holocaust…it is a wide spread , well organized, and well funded mission to silence Israel once and for all. The difference this time, is Obama has millions of liberal Jews on his side who could care less about Israel.

    As a 4th genertion American Jew, I must say I am stunned by how many Jews who were Hillary supporters are now on board with Obama……including most of my family.

    These are jews who care deeply about Israel. At some level, it reminds me of Nazi germany, when Jews just could not believe how far things would go. My relatives are such loyal Democrats and so anti the Republican agenda that they feel that since he is a democrat he can’t be that bad. Of course, I disagree.

    And there are liberal jews who don’t care about Israel, but that is only part of the problem

  59. American Gal: Obama sure was unlucky with the timing of the Russia trip if he hoped to get any publicity from it.
    —————————
    Yes, and the DJIA closed down almost 170 and the Russians are not particularly impressed…

    …”Who is Mr. Obama? Where did he come from?” asked Nikita Ivanov, 21, a law student. “How did he get to power? He says he will make a change, but already he is showing very aggressive policies in Afghanistan.” As the president’s motorcade made its way from the airport Monday, curious onlookers appeared intermittently along the route. A few flashed peace signs, but most watched in silence. The scenes were similar as the presidential convoy made its way through the city, shuttling Obama from his luxury hotel near Red Square to meetings.
    3w dot washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/07/AR2009070702321.html

  60. And more Russian discontent with O. Found this on another another board..don’t know if this has already been posted…

    “Putin Praises Bush Hospitality During Obama Visit”

    w w w.reuters.com/article/reutersComService_2_MOLT/idUSTRE5661Q520090707

  61. In accordance with the theme of the day (memorials) check out this actual recent obituary from an Ohio Democrat. It’s very amusing (well, at least I thought it was). The last line makes me wonder if she was an Obamabot who saw the light before the end…

    (NANCY) LEE HIXSON of Danville, Ohio died at sunrise on June 30, 2009… In addition to being a teetotaling mother and an indifferent housekeeper, she was a board certified naturopath specializing in poisonous and medicinal plants; but she would like to point out, posthumously, that although it did occur to her, she never spiked anyone’s tea.

    She often volunteered as an ombudsman to help disadvantaged teens find college funding and early opened her home to many children of poverty, raising several of them to successful, if unwilling, adulthood. She also enjoyed a long life of unmentionable adventures and confessed she had been a rebellious teen-aged library clerk, an untalented college student on scholarship, a run-away Hippie, a stoic Sunday School teacher, a Brownie leader, a Grange lecturer, an expert rifleman, a waitress, a wife once or twice, a welder, an artist, and a writer…

    She lived the last twenty-three years at Winter Spring Farm near Danville where she built a private Stonehenge, and planted and helped save from extinction nearly 50 varieties of antique apple trees… Her homemade cider and wine were reputed to cause sudden stupor. She befriended countless stray dogs, cats, horses, and the occasional goat. She was a nemesis to hunters, and an activist of unpopular, but just, causes. In short, she did all things enthusiastically, but nothing well.

    After moving to Danville, she bravely suffered with a severe and disabling disorder and a ten-year battle with lymphoma that ultimately took her life. She was often confined to the home where she continued to tirelessly volunteer and donate her limited resources to needy teens in the area, always cheered by their small and large achievements. Sympathy and big donations may be extended at this time.

    She was predeceased by her father Dwight Edward Wood of the Ohio pioneer Wood family of Byhalia, who died in the Columbus Jail having been accused of a dreadful crime, and by her second father Ted A. Cznadel of Danville who adopted her, loved her and raised her despite it all. She is survived by her dearly beloved son, her heart and soul and every breath, Christopher Daniel Hixson of Akron, (a sterling citizen who rose above his murky childhood with a scandalous mother), and by his loving partner Mitchell Kahan. She is also survived by her mother, the opinionated and stubborn Ann Gall Cznadel… and the other half of her heart, her patient friend and backstairs lover of thirty years, David Paul Bleifus who resides at the farm.

    Ms. Hixson traced her lineage directly through eleven generations to Governor William Bradford of the ship Mayflower and the Plimouth Colony, and was in the process of membership to The Mayflower Society. She was a long-time card carrying member of the ACLU, the Democratic Party, and of MENSA… Interment is in the family plot at Brinkhaven Hilltop Cemetery in Brinkhaven, Ohio, where she will await an eventual and probable slide down the cliff to the Mohican River below. In lieu of flowers, please pray for the Constitution of the United States.

    h t t p://obits.cleveland.com/obituaries/cleveland/obituary.aspx?n=nancy-lee-hixson&pid=129179739

  62. Clinton Urges Chinese, Uighur Restraint in Xinjiang

    By David Gollust
    State Department
    07 July 2009

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Tuesday renewed the U.S. call on all parties in China’s troubled Xinjiang region to exercise restraint after ethnic unrest. More than 150 people have been reported killed in clashes mainly between Chinese security forces and Muslim Uighurs.

    Clinton’s call for restraint, at a State Department press event, was the highest-level U.S. appeal thus far on the unrest in Xinjiang, which erupted Sunday with rioting in the regional capital of Urumqi.

    In the unrest, the worst reported outbreak of ethnic violence in China in decades, thousands of Uighurs – who have complained of discriminatory treatment by Beijing authorities – clashed with police and troops.

    Trouble reportedly flared again Tuesday when crowds of Han Chinese took to the streets of Urumqi calling for revenge against Uighurs.

    The official Chinese news media have reported at least 156 deaths and more than a thousand injuries but Uighur exile groups say the toll was probably higher. China also reported more than 1,400 arrests.

    Secretary Clinton, who begins a trip next week to South and East Asia, said the United States is deeply concerned by the casualty reports. “We are trying to sort out, as best we can the facts and circumstances from the region,” said Hillary Clinton. “And we’re calling on all sides to exercise restraint. We know there’s a long history of tension and discontent, but the most immediate matter is to bring the violence to a conclusion.”

    The State Department says U.S. diplomats have expressed concern about the situation with Chinese officials in Beijing, and that the matter was raised in Washington Monday with visiting Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Wu Dawei

    Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi attributed the violence to harsh policies in Xinjiang and said it is long past time for Chinese leaders to pursue dialogue and understanding with the Muslims in western China and respect minority rights.

    Several Chinese officials have accused U.S.-based Uighur exile Rebiya Kadeer of masterminding the rioting. State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly Tuesday declined comment on the charges. Kadeer herself has told reporters she advocates self-determination for China’s Muslim minority but has done nothing to foment unrest.

    voanews.com/english/2009-07-07-voa79.cfm

  63. US, India seeking unprecedented cooperation: Clinton

    WASHINGTON (AFP) — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, preparing to travel to India next week, said Tuesday that Washington and New Delhi intend to cooperate on an unprecedented range of issues.

    “We are working hard with our Indian counterparts to create a very deep and broad strategic engagement,” Clinton told reporters in Washington before her first visit to India as secretary of state.
    “And it is my hope that we’ll be able to announce our intentions when I’m in India, and that we will be cooperating and working together across the broadest range of concerns that our two governments have ever engaged on,” she said.

    “I am very hopeful that the relationship between the United States and India, which has improved considerably over the last 15 years, continues on the path that we’re on,” the chief US diplomat said. “India is an emerging global power,” she said.

    She said she found the new Indian government “committed to pursuing a very activist domestic agenda” in order to reduce poverty, promote development and create jobs. Clinton announced she would travel to India when she addressed business leaders in Washington last month and pledged to work for a “dramatic expansion” in ties between the world’s two largest democracies.

    She said at the time that the United States sensed an opportunity after Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, an advocate of free markets and closer US ties, won a convincing new election mandate. She listed climate change, Afghanistan and science as areas for new US-India cooperation. She also said the United States hoped to start negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty with India.

    Some Indian commentators had griped that President Barack Obama ignored India early in his term, despite high-profile diplomacy with fellow Asian giant China and a new focus on stabilizing India’s historic adversary Pakistan.

    google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jQtcBFCYalw_62ECcE-WtRW1FcvQ

  64. Hargett Calls Voter Confidence Act a ‘Catch-22,’ Seeks Delay

    Jackson Baker
    Tue, Jul 7, 2009

    Tre Hargett, the former Bartlett state representative who now serves as Tennessee’s secretary of state, issued a press release Tuesday calling the Tennessee Voter Confidence Act, approved by the General Assembly in 2008 and scheduled for statewide implementation next year, a “Catch-22.”

    Hargett, who figured in an embarrassing episode two weeks ago involving the dispatching of two Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents to the farm of a voting rights activist who had lobbied for the act, said in Tuesday’s release that meeting the November 2010 deadline for implementing the act would be “difficult, if not impossible.”

    Said Hargett: “I fully support the goal of the Voter Confidence Act, which passed both houses of the General Assembly with broad bipartisan support. However, after researching the law, I believe it is unlikely that counties will be able to implement it before the November 2010 elections. In fact, the act as it was adopted creates a Catch-22 for county governments. Whether counties acquire new equipment or not, they will still not be in compliance with the act.”

    As Hargett explained in the press release, he had preferred a version of the legislation that delayed statewide requirements for approved optical-scan voting equipment until 2012. That bill passed the state House and failed narrowly in the Senate.

    The imbroglio of two weeks ago occurred when Hargett, acting from what spokesperson Blake Fontenay later called “an abundance of caution,” inferred a disturbing meaning from a blog comment by Bernie Ellis of Maury County. Ellis, an advocate for the Voter Confidence Act, had commented regarding opponents’ delaying tactics in the legislature that another “Battle of Athens” might be n order. The term referred to a 1947 armed insurrection of returning servicemen in McMinn County against a county political machine accused of suppressing honest vote-counting. Two TBI agents responded to an alert from Hargett by visiting Ellis at his farm but found no cause for alarm beyond rhetorical excess.

    memphisflyer.com/JacksonBaker/archives/2009/07/07/hargett-calls-voter-confidence-act-a-catch-22-seeks-delay

  65. Beijing’s Fad of US Dollar Bashing

    ByXu Yisheng, Beijing,Published:July 07,2009

    China has become the world’s main battlefield in the challenge to the dominance of the US dollar. At a recent global think tank summit held in Beijing by the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, China’s official think tank, voices for “international currency”, and “global supervision” sounded frequently, and some scholars proposed a special global currency meeting during the World Expo in 2010.

    “The world’s economic organizations are globalized, while political organizations are regional, or at state level,” stated the almost 90-year-old former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, pointing out a basic world contradiction at the meeting.

    Robert Mundell, known as the “father of euro,” said there was no doubt that all needed a single world currency.

    A world currency would be the same as a super-sovereign currency. Zhou Xiaochun, governor of China’s central bank raised the idea of super-sovereign currency in March this year, a direct challenge to the dominance of USD as the world’s reserve currency.

    Mundell said global politicians were constantly discussing a single-currency mechanism, and the time was coming to realize a globalized monetary system. Mundell has long advocated a world currency.

    Many Chinese decision makers and economists think the current international monetary system dominated by the USD is the root of the crisis and needs a reform, a position that has some international consensus. People think differently, however, about how it should be reformed. Some think the international monetary system should be more diversified and more currencies should be involved in the system, while others say a global currency or super-sovereign currency should be established, issued and managed by the IMF or a newly established global central bank.

    Vice-Chancellor Lawrence Lau of the Chinese University of Hong Kong contemplated the difference: “Shall we establish a single international reserve currency, or establish a diversified international reserve currency? Can we establish a super-sovereign currency?”
    Lau analyzed several possible candidates for a super-sovereign reserve currency. Although many people prefer gold, Lau said the gold reserve is too low to satisfy a developing currency demand. As reserve currencies, the USD and euro are comparatively stable, and some think they can be combined into one currency. Whether this idea is feasible is an unknown.

    Mundell once suggested combining the USD, euro, and yen into a “DEY,” and making that a global currency. Recently he has said the RMB and pound would have to be added into the mix.

    As for Zhou Xiaochuan’s idea to develop the IMF’s SDR into a super-sovereign currency, Lau said while the euro was also a super-sovereign currency, and European taxes were calculated in euros, we couldn’t pay tax or buy a hamburger with SDR, for SDR was only a currency concept, and could not be used in daily life. “It is a new problem whether there should even be a international currency. Which international organization should issue and supervise this currency?” he said.

    Former US Senator Adlai Stevenson suggested the establishment of a new IMF to supervise the global monetary market.

    Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, said to solve the crisis, we need to reform the international monetary system and the USD should no longer be the world’s only reserve currency.

    Xiao Geng, a professor with Tsinghua University, thinks the root of global systemic risk comes from the lack of supervision over central banks. “We should learn from the WTO. It has been successful because it has restrained the rights of its members to formulate disparate trade policies. If a country wants to cut tariffs charged to one country, it has to cut it for all countries. This has guaranteed a stable global free trade environment.” Xiao Geng said all countries should be required to transfer some of their rights in monetary management to an international organization.

    Marc Uzan, Executive Director of the Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee, said “I think we should rebuild a new Bretton Woods system. Professor Mundell supports my idea. We’re going to organize a global currency meeting, which is to lay a foundation for a global currency, during the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.

    Even while challenging the USD, however, Chinese decision makers are still uncertain whether the establishment of a global currency will meet China’s interests. Zhou Xiaochuan’s idea to establish a super-sovereign currency is fashionable, but in China the answer to the problem has not been cornered.

    chinastakes.com/2009/7/beijings-fad-of-us-dollar-bashing.html

  66. lol. Hillary’s sling has the State Dept. seal on it. I love it!

    news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/photo//090707/photos_pl_afp/bbd1be9c8c923465c72e972c0c8e6beb/

  67. To Jan and Carol. one can almost forgive the younger Jewish voters who like all young people tend to be more idealistic and liberal(we all were). But shame on people like my Mom, an 80 yr old child of the depression whose 5 brothers served in WW2 and one of whom was shot down over Germany and held in a concentration camp barely making it until the camps were liberated. During the primary, our district here in Palm Beach County voted overwhelmingly for Hillary despite capo Wexler who is beloved and treated like every Jewish Mother’s son in our district. I will never forget Bill at a fundraise at St. Andrews Country club responding to a question on Obama ‘s position on Israel and he stated very plainly to the effect”Obama is not an anti-semiote, but I would be very concerned as an American Jew on his views regarding the middle east”.
    At the time, we all still thought Hillary would win as she needed to win Tx, PA, and Ohio, per Bill and she would “probably” get the nomination. Well, we sawe what happened and see the results.
    During the general election, there was nothing I could do or say to convince the majority of my fellow Jews that this was no friend to the Jews or, quiter frankly, to the affluenmt.
    We were assured and promised over and over again by our rabbis that Obam was vrery friendly. He spoke at aanother congregation down here and did that stupid one liner “some call me Baruch” Obama”…Well, wwe see the first thing he did upon entering office is change 60 yrs of more or less favorable status for Israel into a blatantly hostile position. Bibi is stuck as you can’t tell your supposedly strongest ally, who gives you 4 billion a yr, to f off when they tell you yopu may not bomb Iran…and to boot, you better stop having children and get off your land.
    Yet, instead oif fighting back, like inGermany, the Jews are towing the democratic party line and former stalwart supporters oof Israel keep telling us it’s OK, he’s with us. The reality is Iran will get it’s bomb, and Israel will give back more land, and nothing else will change…except for the fact that the next war in the middle east could very well go nuclear ….great job Obama, and even greater kudos to my fellow Jews who never fail to allow their guilt tweigh ahread of their po9litical and economical interests..

  68. jbstonesfan,

    Do you see any signs, even minute ones that some of bambi’s Jewish supporters are having second thoughts?

  69. No………..if anything, they are making more and more excuses and alibis for him. I am viewed as an extremist and racist among some of my peers. I hope, god willing, once my kids are done with college, to move to Israel . This is no longer the America I grew up in.

  70. Sorry I haven’t posted for so long but I had to contribute something that I just came across today.

    RealClearPolitics HorseRaceBlog
    By Jay Cost

    July 08, 2009
    Obama’s Strategic Mistake

    Presidential mandates are inherently political, as Sean Trende and I argued in January: “Though they are cloaked in the language of democratic theory, they are more a matter of what adroit politicians can claim for themselves in the face of the opposition…”

    In a few instances instances, politicians can feasibly claim a mandate to implement a particular policy. The election of 1896 revolved around a clear policy debate, thus implying a policy mandate for McKinley (at least on gold). More often, mandates cannot be linked to actual policies, but to problems like recession. The election of 1932 is an example of this. That’s where politics can play a big role. Of course, many elections imply no mandate whatsoever. The election of 1988 is a good example. The vote that year was more an endorsement of the past eight than an indication of what should happen next.

    Last year seems to fall into that middle range. There was no crucial policy choice made – nothing like gold over silver – but President Obama can feasibly claim some kind of mandate to get the economy out of recession. I’d base this conclusion on a few data points. The first is the trajectory of the horse race. Gallup showed a dead heat when the Democratic National Convention began – and after the Republican National Convention, McCain jumped out to a modest lead. Then the financial market began to crumble, and that was essentially the end of the campaign:
    RCP Average for September.jpg

    There was very little change after this. The exit poll indicated that the economy was the decisive factor. A comparison of 2004 to 2008 is instructive.
    Top Issues, 2004 and 2008.gif

    There was no single issue that dominated in 2004. Voter concerns were distributed evenly around Iraq, terrorism, the economy, and moral values. Additionally, those issues cut in opposite directions: two favored Kerry, two favored Bush. The election of 2008 was different. Voters’ concerns centered on the economy – and they broke to Obama by the same rate as the whole country did.

    The 2008 election is a typical American response to economic woes. The country has been voting for out-parties during economic slowdowns since 1840, when it tossed Martin van Buren out on his duff. The United States votes for prosperity. It always has. It always will.

    That’s why I have been so perplexed by the Obama administration’s legislative strategy this year. The contrast between the stimulus bill and the health care debate is especially peculiar. It’s a strange sight to watch continued gloomy numbers trickle out from the economic pulse-takers on the one hand, and Congress debating a “public option” and fretting over CBO scores on the other.

    The following is Keith Hennessy’s analysis of the stimulus bill:

    The President’s mistake was in largely deferring to Congress on the composition of the stimulus bill. Rather than allowing Congress to pump hundreds of billions of dollars through slow-spending and inefficient bureaucracies, the President should have insisted that Congress instead send all the funds directly to the American people and let them spend it quickly and efficiently. Given his policy preferences, he could have directed a large share of those funds to poor people who don’t pay income taxes…

    The final 2009 stimulus law broke down like this:

    10-yr total

    % of total

    Discretionary spending (highways, mass transit, energy efficiency, broadband, education, state aid)

    $308 B

    39%

    Entitlements (food stamps, unemployment, Medicaid, refundable tax credits)

    $267 B

    34%

    Tax cuts

    $212 B

    27%

    Total

    $787 B

    100%

    The problem is that only 11% of the first line (discretionary spending) will be spent by October 1 of this year. In contrast, 31-32% of the entitlement and tax cuts lines will be out the door by that time. (I have questions about the speed of the entitlement part. The bulk of that is Medicaid spending, and it’s not clear to me that a Federal payment to a State means the cash is immediately flowing into the private economy.)

    If we extend our window to October 1, 2010, then less than half the discretionary spending will be out the door, while almost 3/4 of the entitlement spending and all of the tax cuts will be out the door and affecting the economy. The largest part of the stimulus law is therefore also the slowest spending part. This is fine if you’re trying to increase GDP growth over the next 2-4 years. If you’re going for short-term GDP growth, it makes no sense.

    What’s odd is that when the stimulus bill was under consideration, the President said there was no time for a real debate. Why the need for speed if the bill wouldn’t begin to take effect for months? This seemed like a rhetorical trick designed to deflect criticism from what was a questionable bill.

    Relatedly, Republican concerns were brushed aside, with the implicit claim that they were rooted in bad faith. The problem with this argument is that the Republican House caucus was unanimously opposed to the bill. Members like Bono Mack, Castle, Kirk, Lance, LoBiondo, McHugh, Reichert, and Smith all voted nay. That’s significant. These members voted in favor of Waxman-Markey, so minimally we can conclude that they are open to Democratic ideas. Additionally, Obama tapped McHugh to be Secretary of the Army, so he can’t be a Republican hack. There are certainly fewer moderates in the Republican House caucus now than there were in 2005 – but some are still in the lower chamber. The fact that they were unanimously opposed to the bill suggests that perhaps there was something wrong with it.

    All in all, the process that produced the stimulus bill was not a good one. Rather than use his enormous political capital to construct a bill designed to confront the economic crisis head-on, the President left its construction mostly up to Congress, which is inclined to particularism and waste. It was then rushed through the legislature without a full review. The opposition to it was painted as politically motivated. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the final product was a bill that will not produce much effect until some time in the future – and now some are calling for a second stimulus.

    Meanwhile, the President and Congress are moving forward carefully and deliberately on health care. There’s a robust debate that includes congressional committees across both chambers, the President, members of both parties, and the public. The President has clearly indicated that this is his top legislative priority, and he intends to do what is necessary to get a good bill that he can sign into law. Over the next few months, Washington’s focus will squarely be on health care, even though it sits well below the economy on lists of public concerns.

    This seems backwards to me. It’s as if the economy was a secondary concern that had to be dealt with quickly so attention could shift to the rest of the President’s domestic agenda. Why so much focus on health care and so little focus on the economy? Perhaps it’s because Obama – like many Democratic Presidents before him – wants to be the next Franklin Roosevelt. For whatever reason, they seem to dream of getting themselves into the pantheon of leaders who expand the federal government’s role in the provision of social welfare. And health care is the white whale of the Democratic Party’s social welfare agenda. The President who finally delivers is guaranteed the spot next to the Squire of Hyde Park.

    I understand why President Obama might feel this temptation. Democrats see themselves as members of the progressive party, and their leaders are expected to make progress on issues of social welfare. Their overwhelming numbers in the legislature augur well for a bill – so shouldn’t Obama and company give it a try? Yet, there are other factors to consider. FDR guided Social Security through Congress in 1935, after he had already dedicated the government to massive relief and recovery efforts, after GDP had stabilized, and after the public had validated his initial efforts in the 1934 midterm. LBJ pushed for the Great Society in the mid-60s, a time of immense prosperity. Expanding social welfare requires a meeting of the man and the moment, which helps explain why some well regarded presidents (Truman and Clinton) failed in their attempts.

    This moment is calling for a focus on the economy. That’s why Barack Obama has the top job. It’s not because of cap-and-trade, not because of health care, not because of his magnetic presence on the campaign trail – but because the economy was shrinking at a 6.1% annualized rate by Election Day. Americans were voting against recession by voting for him. This gives him a claim to a mandate, which not every President enjoys. He now has an opportunity to put his stamp on the country’s economic policy in the name of recovery. Yet he’s not doing that. He encouraged the Congress to rush through a poorly designed stimulus package that he had little involvement in; now he has focused the legislature’s time and attention on health care, which is a secondary concern right now.

    I think this is a strategic mistake. My scan of the history of American politics does not indicate that we’ve been governed so much by “alignments” – the systems of 1860, 1896, 1932, 1968, and so on. Instead, I see a country that votes for growth. That’s the true American ideology. Left, right, or middle – the average American wants prosperity. When the majority party fails to deliver growth after having been elected to do so – the electoral consequences can be significant.

    Posted by Jay Cost at 12:00 AM | Send to a Friend | Print | Permalink
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  71. jbstonesfan Says:

    July 8th, 2009 at 12:51 am

    ———————–

    It’s very disheartening.

  72. “The President’s mistake was in largely deferring to Congress on the composition of the stimulus bill.”

    ——————————-

    I’m not willing to cut this guy any slack. His biggest mistakes are an ego that never quits, a skewered idea of democracy, a slew of race-baiting terrorist friends…I could go on and on…

  73. Clinton Warns Iran of Stricter Sanctions If Engagement Spurned

    By Ali Sheikholeslami

    July 8 (Bloomberg) — Iran’s crackdown on dissent over the June 12 election suggests the leadership may be unwilling to consider curbing its nuclear ambitions, a position that would prompt the U.S. to call for tougher international sanctions, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

    “Even though we are cautiously pursuing a policy of engagement, we are doing it with our eyes open,” Clinton said in an interview with Venezuela’s Globovision network.“We understand that, given the problems Iran has just demonstrated, it may not be possible — in which case we would ask the world to join us in imposing even stricter sanctions on Iran to try to change the behavior of the regime.”

    Hundreds of thousands of opponents of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took to the streets to protest his re-election, alleging last month’s vote was rigged. Authorities used force to quell the rallies, arresting hundreds of activists, many of them supporters of the main election challenger, former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi. As many as 20 people were killed, according to state-run media, while Le Figaro yesterday cited hospital staff members in Tehran as saying at least 92 died.

    Ahmadinejad has increased tensions with the West since taking office in August 2005, pursuing a nuclear program that the U.S. and several major allies say is a cover for weapons development. Iran says the work is peaceful and intended to generate electricity. The country is under three sets of United Nations Security Council sanctions for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment.

    U.S. ‘Concerned’

    “We obviously are concerned about Iran’s regime, the pursuit of nuclear weapons, which would be very destabilizing in the Middle East and beyond, the support for terrorism that Iran still pursues,” Clinton said in the interview, which was televised in Venezuela late yesterday.

    The violent suppression of election protests shows that “Iran has not respected its own democracy,” she said.

    Iran’s diplomatic ties have been further strained since the crackdown, jeopardizing the prospect of talks with the West on the nuclear program. Nine Iranian employees of the U.K. Embassy in Tehran were arrested after being accused of fomenting post- election unrest for Britain. The 27-member European Union summoned Iranian ambassadors after a senior cleric said on July 3 that some of the workers would be tried.

    The nuclear program has been portrayed by Ahmadinejad’s administration as a source of national pride and a necessity for Iran’s progress. Strategic decisions on the undertaking are ultimately the responsibility of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who said on July 6 that meddling over the election result by Western countries will have a negative impact on their future relations with Iran.

    ‘Interference’

    Ahmadinejad hit out at world powers in a televised speech late yesterday, railing against their “interference and childish acts” and promising that Iran “will not back down in seeking its deserved position and rights,” the state-run Fars news agency reported.

    The EU has sent envoys to talk with Iran about its nuclear program. The U.S. severed diplomatic relations with Iran in 1980, after the Islamic Revolution that brought Shiite Muslim clerics to power.

    President Barack Obama urged Iran in a March 20 video message to opt for peace over “terror or arms” and forge diplomatic ties with the world. Obama acknowledged there are “serious differences” between the U.S. and Iran, and said his administration wants to engage in diplomacy that addresses the “full range of issues” between the nations.

    bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=a_AnSxDuWGHM

  74. Obama Approval Drops by Double Digits in Ohio Poll

    By Kate Andersen

    July 7 (Bloomberg) — A new poll found that President Barack Obama’s approval rating has dropped by 13 percentage points from two months ago in Ohio, traditionally a critical swing state in presidential elections.

    The survey by Quinnipiac University released today showed 49 percent of Ohio voters approved of Obama’s job performance, down from 62 percent in a May 6 poll. The disapproval figure for Obama in the new poll was 44 percent, up from 31 percent in the May survey.

    The pollsters termed Obama’s ratings “lackluster” in a release, and said the numbers were his lowest marks “in any national or statewide Quinnipiac University poll since he was inaugurated.”

    The White House announced late today that Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Cincinnati on July 9, where he will tout progress being made by the $787 billion economic stimulus Measure passed in February.

    “The economy in Ohio is as bad as anywhere in America,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. The poll numbers “indicate that for the first time voters have decided that President Barack Obama bears some responsibility for their problems.”

    Split Over Economy

    In the poll, 48 percent said they disapproved of Obama’s handling of the economy, while 46 percent approved. In the May survey, 57 percent approved of the president’s efforts on the economic front, while 36 percent disapproved.

    The independent survey of 1,259 Ohio voters was conducted between June 26 and July 1 and has an error margin of plus-or- minus 2.8 percentage points.

    Brown said the new poll suggests Ohio voters “might be taking out their frustration on President Obama, possibly deciding that the change he promised has not come as quickly as they expected.”

    The poll found that 66 percent of Ohio voters are “very dissatisfied” or “somewhat dissatisfied” with the way things are going in the state, while 31 percent are “somewhat satisfied” and 2 percent are “very satisfied.”

    Brown said Ohio “historically has been the prototypical swing state” in presidential elections. Obama carried its 20 electoral votes with 52 percent of the vote in November’s election. George W. Bush carried it with 50 percent of the vote in 2000 and 51 percent in 2004 on his way to winning those two presidential elections.

    Open Senate Seat

    Ohio will feature a race for an open U.S. Senate seat in 2010, and the new poll found former U.S. House member Rob Portman leading for the Republican nomination while two Democrats are in a close contest for their party’s nod.

    Portman, who also served as U.S. trade representative and then director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Bush, led car dealer Tom Ganley among Republican voters, 33 percent to 10 percent.

    Among Democrats, Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher led Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, 36 percent to 30 percent.

    The candidates are vying to replace retiring Senator George Voinovich, a Republican.

    bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aZMUgRYN_PlE

  75. I was Amazing that Ohio voted for him, but then they were losing jobs like crazy.

    Successful leaders lead and delegate when appropriate. O wants to delegate everthing, which was so apparent in the primary debates. I guess neighborhood organizer does not teach economic theory, budget control, and how to be a successful leader.

    Good Morning All.

  76. Reading too many AOL headlines again. O children take Russian by storm, Michael shares her interests. I guess there are no Teleprompter speeches, or overwhelming policy changes to report. Anything to keep the eyes off of the latest figures on the economy.

    Too bad MJ took the focus off of the really King. Did anyone hear the interview of Glades Knight. She said that Michael was a child of God’s first, An American second, and an AA third. I wonder why she felt the need to say that. Of course the Reverand got up there and said that MJ had gotten O elected President.

    I usually don’t watch those event, but I wanted to enjoyed the music. I also felt that MJ had paid a horrible price for fame and money. I was never quite sure if MJ was guilty or just misunderstood. But the fact that he was born and came out of where he did to develop into the musical talent that he was was truely a miracle. I felt this young boy truely paid a price for many others to come in the future.

  77. jbstonesfan Says:

    July 8th, 2009 at 12:51 am
    No………..if anything, they are making more and more excuses and alibis for him. I am viewed as an extremist and racist among some of my peers. I hope, god willing, once my kids are done with college, to move to Israel . This is no longer the America I grew up in.

    My mother to is a Jew and she to makes excuses for Obama, says the US will never turn there backs on Israel. I repeadly tell her to wake up and smell the coffee they already have.

    On a better note she no longer gives money to KFPA (Amy Goodmans) talk radio, when they call she tells them not one penny ever again you turned your backs on Hillary and shoved Obama on us. They arent raising money like they used to in Calif.. She know listens to NPR only.

  78. RECESSION TAKING THE WIND OUT OF THE WIND-POWER

    I guess obama’s Stimu-bucks didn’t get the electrical infrastructure in place to do the “right” (environmental) thing.

    news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090707/ap_on_bi_ge/us_pickens_wind_energy

    Pickens calls off massive wind farm in Texas
    ================================

    By JOHN PORRETTO, AP Energy Writer John Porretto, Ap Energy Writer – Tue Jul 7, 5:29 pm ET
    HOUSTON – Plans for the world’s largest wind farm in the Texas Panhandle have been scrapped, energy baron T. Boone Pickens said Tuesday, and he’s looking for a home for 687 giant wind turbines.

    Pickens has already ordered the turbines, which can stand 400 feet tall — taller than most 30-story buildings.

    “When I start receiving those turbines, I’ve got to … like I said, my garage won’t hold them,” the legendary Texas oilman said. “They’ve got to go someplace.”

    Pickens’ company Mesa Power ordered the turbines from General Electric Co. — a $2 billion investment — a little more than a year ago. Pickens said he has leases on about 200,000 acres in Texas that were planned for the project, and he might place some of the turbines there, but he’s also looking for smaller wind projects to participate in. He said he’s looking at potential sites in the Midwest and Canada.

    In Texas, the problem lies in getting power from the proposed site in the Panhandle to a distribution system, Pickens said in an interview with The Associated Press in New York. He’d hoped to build his own transmission lines but he said there were technical problems.

    Wind power is a big part of the “Pickens Plan,” which was announced a year ago Wednesday. Pickens has spent $60 million crisscrossing the country and buying advertising in an effort to reduce the nation’s reliance on foreign oil.

    “It doesn’t mean that wind is dead,” said Pickens, who runs the Dallas-based energy investment fund BP Capital. “It just means we got a little bit too quick off the blocks.”

    Pickens announced in 2007 plans to install the turbines in parts of four Texas Panhandle counties.

    He had hoped to complete the four-phase project in 2014 and eventually have 4,000 megawatts of capacity, enough to power more than one million homes. The total cost was expected to approach $12 billion.

    Renewable energy provides a small fraction of electricity used today, but the wind and solar sectors are the fastest growing in the U.S. In 2008, the U.S. became the world’s leading provider of wind power.

    Like most industries around the world, the recession has hurt wind turbine manufacturers and wind farm developers. Companies have shelved development plans and laid off workers.

  79. Much interesting stuff going on with the court case against the Russian IT guy who stole Goldman Sachs proprietary trading code.

    GS is arguing in open court that he should be held without bail, because of the risk that the code could be used to unfairly manipulate the markets (their words). Which of course makes one question why it is okay for THEM to have that type of code, if it can be used in such a way. Financial blog Zero Hedge has been following it closely, lots of posts the last week.

    zerohedge.blogspot.com

    Also, several commenters on Zerohedge in the past week have pointed out evidence that GS was very involved in manipulating (in their opinion) the price of crude to astronomical heights last year.

    Which brings me back to Hillary’s bold public statement just before the WV primary that she believed the oil market HAD been manipulated, and that she would, as president, have that thoroughly investigated by her DOJ and the SEC.

    Then BOOM – the DNC and the media ramp up the “get her out of the race at all costs” pressure. I still say that that one little statement in a mostly-ignored speech was the main reason why they went all-out on destroying her.

  80. Judicial Watch Asks Court to Declare Hillary Clinton Constitutionally Ineligible to Serve as Secretary of State: Files New Motion in Lawsuit on Behalf of State Department Foreign Service Officer

    By: Marketwire
    Jul. 8, 2009

    WASHINGTON, DC — (Marketwire) — 07/08/09 — Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that on July 2 it filed a motion with a special panel of three federal judges in the District of Columbia asking the court to declare Hillary Clinton ineligible to serve as Secretary of State. The Judicial Watch lawsuit, filed on behalf of a U.S. Foreign Service Officer and State Department employee David C. Rodearmel, maintains that the “emoluments clause” of the U.S. Constitution prohibits Mrs. Clinton from serving as Secretary of State until January 2013, and that Mr. Rodearmel cannot be forced to serve under the former U.S. Senator, as it would violate the oath he took as a Foreign Service Officer in 1991 to “support and defend” and “bear true faith and allegiance” to the Constitution of the United States (Rodearmel v. Clinton, et al., (D. District of Columbia)).

    Government lawyers had previously filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Judicial Watch filed an opposition to the motion to dismiss, as well as a “cross motion for summary judgment.”

    According to Article I, Section 6 of the U.S. Constitution: “No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time.” The text of the provision is an absolute prohibition and does not allow for any exceptions. However, as noted in the motion, “the ‘compensation and other emoluments’ of the office of the U.S. Secretary of State increased during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure in the U.S. Senate, including as many as three times during the second, six-year term to which she was elected.”

    Congress attempted to circumvent this constitutional provision by “rolling back” compensation for the position of Secretary of State to the level in effect on January 1, 2007, when Mrs. Clinton’s second term in the Senate began. The motion maintains: “This [fix] does not and cannot change the historical fact that the ‘compensation and other emoluments’ of the office of the U.S. Secretary of State increased during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure in the U.S. Senate.” Judicial Watch also notes that throughout the nation’s history, “the Ineligibility Clause was readily understood and applied consistent with its plain language.” Only relatively recently have government officials attempted to get around this constitutional provision through legislative quick fixes.

    “Congress must not be allowed to do an end run around the U.S. Constitution,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Hillary Clinton is ineligible to serve as Secretary of State until 2013. The Constitution is crystal clear on this point. We hope the court puts a stop to this naked attempt to circumvent the Constitution in the name of political expediency.”

    au.sys-con.com/node/1028761

  81. White House among targets of sweeping cyber attack

    By LOLITA C. BALDOR

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The powerful attack that overwhelmed computers at U.S. and South Korean government agencies for days was even broader than initially realized, also targeting the White House, the Pentagon and the New York Stock Exchange.
    Other targets of the attack included the National Security Agency, Homeland Security Department, State Department, the Nasdaq stock market and The Washington Post, according to an early analysis of the malicious software used in the attacks. Many of the organizations appeared to successfully blunt the sustained computer assaults.

    The Associated Press obtained the target list from security experts analyzing the attacks. It was not immediately clear who might be responsible or what their motives were. South Korean intelligence officials believe the attacks were carried out by North Korea or pro-Pyongyang forces. The attack was remarkably successful in limiting public access to victim Web sites, but internal e-mail systems are typically unaffected in such attacks. Some government Web sites — such as the Treasury Department, Federal Trade Commission and Secret Service — were still reporting problems days after the attack started during the July 4 holiday. South Korean Internet sites began experiencing problems Tuesday.

    South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, the nation’s principal spy agency, told a group of South Korean lawmakers Wednesday it believes that North Korea or North Korean sympathizers in the South were behind the attacks, according to an aide to one of the lawmakers briefed on the information. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the information. The National Intelligence Service — South Korea’s main spy agency — said it couldn’t immediately confirm the report, but it said it was cooperating with American authorities.

    The attacks will be difficult to trace, said Professor Peter Sommer, an expert on cyberterrorism at the London School of Economics. “Even if you are right about the fact of being attacked, initial diagnoses are often wrong,” he said Wednesday.

    Amy Kudwa, spokeswoman for the Homeland Security Department, said the agency’s U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team issued a notice to federal departments and other partner organizations about the problems and “advised them of steps to take to help mitigate against such attacks.”

    New York Stock Exchange spokesman Ray Pellecchia could not confirm the attack, saying the company does not comment on security issues.

    Attacks on federal computer networks are common, ranging from nuisance hacking to more serious assaults, sometimes blamed on China. U.S. security officials also worry about cyber attacks from al-Qaida or other terrorists. This time, two government officials acknowledged that the Treasury and Secret Service sites were brought down, and said the agencies were working with their Internet service provider to resolve the problem. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter.

    Ben Rushlo, director of Internet technologies at Keynote Systems, said problems with the Transportation Department site began Saturday and continued until Monday, while the FTC site was down Sunday and Monday. Keynote Systems is a mobile and Web site monitoring company based in San Mateo, Calif. The company publishes data detailing outages on Web sites, including 40 government sites it watches. According to Rushlo, the Transportation Web site was “100 percent down” for two days, so that no Internet users could get through to it. The FTC site, meanwhile, started to come back online late Sunday, but even on Tuesday Internet users still were unable to get to the site 70 percent of the time.

    Web sites of major South Korean government agencies, including the presidential Blue House and the Defense Ministry, and some banking sites were paralyzed Tuesday. An initial investigation found that many personal computers were infected with a virus ordering them to visit major official Web sites in South Korea and the U.S. at the same time, Korea Information Security Agency official Shin Hwa-su said.

    google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iaaWwzg–SOmIz9Qjdju4UYFB5GgD99ABC700

  82. In the NYT article, I loved this quote from a student:

    “We don’t really understand why Obama is such a star,” said Kirill Zagorodnov, 25, one of the graduates. “It’s a question of trust, how he behaves, how he positions himself, that typical charisma, which in Russia is often parodied. Russians really are not accustomed to it. It is like he is trying to manipulate the public.”

    Ya THINK??? Be very afraid, USA, about competing on the global stage in the coming years. Evidently Russia is actually teaching critical thinking to their college students, as opposed to hopium bong hit technique. I predict they’ll surpass us in the next 2 decades.

  83. Obama’s approval rating is dropping by the day, Rassmussens daily index has him -5 today, where it was -3 yesterday, -1 the day before.

    Yup seems the american now think the economy is all his. Dumbo is on his own now.

    The Ohio numbers are even scarier for him. They woke up even faster to his crap.

  84. moon, many of us predicted that at around the 6 month mark, this economy would start becoming HIS, and all the “Bus left me a mess” bullcrap would wear thin. It’s been 6 months.

    It’s beginning. From here on out, he OWNS this clusterf**k.

  85. “Be very afraid, USA, about competing on the global stage in the coming years.”

    —————————————

    You got that right! It’s like sending a 5 year old out to do the job. Bambi wants to build America’s reputation up. Instead people all over the world are shaking their heads that anyone would vote this amateur into the White House in the first place. And it’s only going to get worse. If Hillary abandons him, he has nothing.

  86. Yup H4T and the best thing is, the ass knew it and still has done nothing in 6 months, he really thinks he can ride out 4 years on a unicorn over the rainbow.

    He forgets the old saying ” as quickly as idols get built, they get tore down just as quick” except when they tear them down, they tear them down faster. Take note Obama, the change thing has worn thin and people aint seeing a lot of change except the face.

    Nb : to all those suckers who we warned, don’t come crying to us when he fails miserably, we all warned you, you didnt listen, so take your medicine like the rest of us.

  87. JULY 8, 2009 Does Obama Want to Own the Airlines? Welcome to government for the benefit of government officials and their hangers-on.

    By HOLMAN W. JENKINS, JR.

    Only luck and falling oil prices saved Washington from having to face mass bankruptcy of the airline industry last year. Now the specter is rising again. Fuel prices are up. Traffic continues to plummet amid a global recession. United Airlines last week mortgaged its spare-parts inventory to raise cash at a usurious 17% interest rate.

    Yet the Obama Justice Department has come out of the blocks trying to scuttle a promising experiment to stabilize the chronically unprofitable U.S. airline sector. The new administration seemingly won’t let companies fail, and won’t let them succeed either.

    The airline industry’s self-help solution has been an evolving trio of international alliances, partly blessed with “antitrust immunity” by the U.S. Department of Transportation. One, the Star Alliance led by United and Lufthansa, is currently poaching Continental from a rival alliance, SkyTeam. DOT was set to approve their application last week when Justice belatedly intervened with a 58-page complaint about why the pact should be restructured.

    To anyone drilled in the antitrust mindset, Justice’s argument won’t seem outlandish. It frets about reduced competition on this or that international route, and sees little chance of competitive entry by new carriers despite fat profits that presumably would be on offer. It argues, in a fashion typical of antitrust these days, that nonstop flights are a market unto themselves, so connecting flights on the same routes don’t count.
    But the real fulcrum is Justice’s insistence, or plea, that DOT should set a high bar for antitrust immunity, because antitrust enforcement has been such a gosh-darn boon to consumers.

    Justice offers no supporting evidence for this proposition, which has resisted academic verification. And in dismissing the “putative” benefits of immunized airline alliances, Justice fails even to acknowledge the one benefit that Obama Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has emphasized: “These alliances are life savers for airlines. That is the premise from which we start. We believe it. The airlines believe it.”

    In part, such alliances are substitutes for international airline mergers (which are prohibited under U.S. law), but are more interesting than mergers, thanks to the flexibility with which carriers can enter and exit cooperative agreements with each other. The antitrust mindset naturally sees such cooperation as always harmful, inflating prices and gouging consumers. But then why does organized labor oppose the deals? Shouldn’t workers favor alliances if they reduce competitive pressure on wages? Yet Justice’s intervention came after United’s pilots ran a full-page ad in Roll Call attacking the company’s own deal.

    And why do carriers lobby against each other’s pacts? Shouldn’t they favor anything that leads to oligopoly pricing? And what to make of Continental’s decision to jilt SkyTeam and jump to Star, shifting the competitive balance on the North Atlantic?
    Obama antitrust chief Christine Varney doesn’t have much good to say about her Bush predecessors. But she praises their record of cartel-busting. She might examine that record for what it actually says about the incentive to collude. It shows, for one thing, that companies are inclined to snuggle up mainly to share losses and preserve capacity in a downturn or to curb the free-riding of powerful customers. When profits are available, on the other hand, they quickly go back to competing to maximize their respective shares rather than colluding to limit their individual upsides. These incentives would very likely prevail in the highly flexible airline alliances. Such alliances are no miracle cure for what ails the domestic carriers, but they would open a window to let us see beyond antitrust’s indiscriminate prejudice against cooperative acts by competitors.

    Of course, this would fly in the face of Ms. Varney’s agenda, which is to expand the bailiwick of the Washington antitrust bar. Even now, she has turned her attention from airlines to the mobile-phone business on the theory that any industry that hasn’t collapsed into government receivership must be doing something wrong.

    Mr. Obama blabs about the evils of lobbying, but his administration is fast becoming the greatest fillip to lobbying ever seen. Ms. Varney has now horned in on the DOT’s action, forcing the airline business and all its camp followers to come and pay tribute. Her choice of targets is obviously designed for political effect. Airlines and mobile-phone operators both touch the public in ways that leave the public frequently annoyed.

    What we’re seeing here and elsewhere from the new administration is not some rebirth of thoughtful liberalism, but a spastic descent into machine liberalism — government for the benefit of government officials and their hangers-on. Mr. Obama, however, may not be so pleased with the result if it means he must soon add the airlines to the collection of failed industries being run out of the White House.

    online.wsj.com/article/SB124701148185808655.html

  88. Yup, moon. He keeps buying time, and seems to think he can do that indefinitely, but he can’t.

    A good example is the housing market. They did a foreclosure moratorium, and that can be a good thing, but the POINT of that is to “buy time” until a solution can be implemented (like more jobs, increasing income from a recovering economy, allow mortgage cramdowns of principle in bankruptcy, etc.) That’s what Hill wanted to use it for – a breathing space to implement true solutions.

    Obama used that “bought” time to do absolutely nothing but bail out his banker friends. There was just another 90-day moratorium on foreclosures in CA. You can’t keep kicking that can down the road. The point of moratoriums is to freeze things while you figure out some true relief, and Obama has done BUPKUS in that regard.

  89. MoonOnPluto, here’s the link:

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that 32% of the nation’s voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-seven percent (37%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of –5.

    The number who strongly disapprove inched up another point to the highest level measured to date and the overall Approval Index is at the lowest level yet for Obama (see trends).

    In the wake of last week’s disappointing report on job loss, consumer confidence has fallen to the lowest level in two months. The Rasmussen Investor Index shows investor confidence falling to the lowest level in three months. The number of investors who say the economy is getting worse jumped from 43% before the jobs report to 51% today. [snip]

    Overall, 52% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President’s performance so far. Yesterday and today are the first time that the number of voters who approve of the President’s performance has slipped below the 53% share of the vote he won last November. Forty-eight percent (48%) now disapprove.

  90. Thanks Admin, i never post links anymore because they just get held up for moderation, thanks for that.

  91. Well what i actually find more devestating for Dems is this trend for the last few weeks, that has not been seen in years and if it continues will have devestating effects in 2010.

    I genuinely think Americans like checks and balances and i think they think the Dems have too much power now. I think people may do in 2010 what they did in 94 and 96.

    Republican candidates lead Democrats for the second straight week in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot.

    A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 41% would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate while 38% would choose the Democratic candidate.

    Support for the GOP remains unchanged this week – at its highest level over the past year, but support for Democrats dropped one point to tie its lowest level in the same time period.

    Men prefer Republicans by a 44% to 36% margin. Women are more evenly divided this week, favoring Democrats 40% to 37%.

    Voters not affiliated with either party like GOP candidates by a 37% to 21% margin, showing little change since last week.

    Fifty-four percent (54%) of all voters say the average congressional Democrat is more liberal than they are, while 36% believe the average Republican congressman is more conservative in comparison to themselves. Forty-four percent (44%) say their own representative in Congress is about the same as them ideologically.

    Forty-five percent (45%) of voters say it’s better for the country if the White House and Congress are each run by a different political party.

  92. With his ratings dropping like hotcakes, I predict a change the message massive state teleprompter tour in the offing. That way he won’t be tempted to start crying that nobody loves him and his dummy bots can worship at his feet.

  93. I an shocked:

    “The New York Stock Exchange quietly announced last week that it would end its practice of requiring companies to report all their program trading — a move that helps shield large investment banks, particularly Goldman Sachs, from public scrutiny.

    The new rule means the public will no longer be able to tell if large investment banks are manipulating the stock market for their own gain, says Matt Taibbi, the journalist whose Rolling Stone article on Goldman Sachs’ role in asset bubbles over the past century has rocked the financial world.”

    ww.alternet.org/workplace/141106/taibbi%3A_new_secrecy_rule_lets_goldman_sachs_control_stock_prices_unmolested_by_public_scrutiny/

    Who thinks that the NYSE didn’t clear this with the Obama WH first? Maybe Goldman is setting up the “stage” so that the “Cap and Trade” derivatives can be manipulated without any public over-sight.

  94. Remember when Matt Taibbi rightfully said that Tom Daschle would “suck of a corpse for a cheeseburger?” Well, who will Matt Taibbi suck off for a pat on the head from Obama? Taibbi played a role in Obama getting to the White House and I’m not sure he understands how involved Obama is in the Wall Street things Taibbi is now writing about.

  95. DYB, Taibbi is a scum, but he is doing VERY good reporting on the Goldman-Sachs stuff, that is being verified all over the place.

    I despise Dickie Morris as well, but on some topics he’s smart as hell, and truthful. I’m not going to ignore the tornado bearing down because I know the weatherman is a slimeball.

  96. No………..if anything, they are making more and more excuses and alibis for him. I am viewed as an extremist and racist among some of my peers. I hope, god willing, once my kids are done with college, to move to Israel . This is no longer the America I grew up in.
    ————————————————
    Which can only mean they are digging in, rather than adjusting their position in light of new evidence. Interestingly, Israeli people were much more favorably disposed toward Bush than American Jews were. It is easy to run from the truth when it is not exploding on your doorstep. Also, it is hard for them to repudiate Obama because he is black, and their past service to the cause of racial equality blinds them to the realities of what is occurring. Magic thinking is no substitute for reality. Obama calls to mind the saying that power does not corrupt, but power attracts corrupt people.

  97. The solution to all this requires a proper identification of the dialectic that is at work in our political system today, and articulating a new set of criteria for a credible alternative. This is the problem that the Repubilican party had not thought through. Fundamentally, Obama is leading us off one cliff, just as Bush led us off ahother one. We cannot reasonably ask people who were deeply committed to Obama, and are now seeing his fatally flaws to reject him in toto without offering a credible alternative. The alternative is not to go back to Bush. Instead of focusing on who that alternative is, we must focus on a set of principles. It is like the old business saying build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. In many ways that has been the message Admin has stressed from the beginning. Obama is bad because Obama is a categorical rejection of first prinicples but the celebrity penumbra they have created around him blinds people to the truth. I will need to sign off for awhile to fully develop this line of argument, but it is the magnet that can overcome the seductive pull of his candidacy, more so than anything else.

  98. Clinton: U.S. Wants to “Lower the Temperature” with Venezuela

    CARACAS — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the United States is “trying to lower the temperature” in its complicated relations with Venezuela, a key U.S. oil supplier. “But we’re trying to lower the temperature. We want to make it clear that there are ways for us to have a conversation with people we don’t agree with on many issues,” she said in an interview aired Tuesday night on Venezuela’s Globovision network, a fierce opponent of President Hugo Chavez.

    Caracas and Washington last week returned their ambassadors to each other’s capital after expelling the envoys last fall amid an ongoing diplomatic crisis stemming from the different political and economic visions of Chavez’s socialist Venezuela and U.S.-style capitalism.

    Responding to a question, Clinton said that President Barack Obama’s administration wants “to be able to discuss what we view as concerns, and one of them is the legal order for doing business in Venezuela.” “We think that Venezuela, like many countries, can benefit, as we do in our own country, from foreign investment, from people bringing in capital to improve business and the climate for business,” she said.

    Venezuela is the fifth-largest exporter of crude oil in the world and the fourth most important supplier to the United States, to whom it sells as much as half of the 3 million barrels per day the Andean nation produces.

    In the political realm, Clinton said that what the White House hopes to see “over the next months in Venezuela is a recognition that you can be a very strong leader and have very strong opinions without trying to take on too much power and trying to silence all your critics.”

    “So I think there are ways that the current government in Venezuela could maintain a very strong presence without, in any way, raising questions about the commitment to democracy,” the secretary said.

    The Globovision interviewer then raised the issue of “a new challenge” in Latin America: “because we have a president elected by their people trying to change their law in order to stay in power.”

    “Well, as a general principle, I agree that anyone who stays in power for too long, even if they are initially elected in a free and democratic election, runs the risk of taking on too much power. That is not good for a democracy,” Clinton replied.

    Chavez, first elected in 1998 and since re-elected twice by large majorities, is free to run again as many terms as he wishes thanks to a constitutional amendment approved by voters in a referendum earlier this year.

    The United States and Venezuela reestablished full diplomatic relations last week with an agreement for the return of their respective ambassadors to each other’s capitals. Chavez expelled the U.S. ambassador to Venezuela last September in solidarity with Bolivian President Evo Morales’ expulsion of Washington’s envoy in La Paz, whom he accused of meddling in his country’s internal affairs. The U.S. government responded by booting out the Bolivian and Venezuelan ambassadors in Washington.

    Chavez and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton briefly discussed the restoration of full diplomatic relations in April at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago.

    Under the Bush administration, Washington repeatedly denounced Chavez as a would-be dictator and a destabilizing force in Latin America, while the Venezuelan leader missed few opportunities to denounce U.S. “imperialism.”

    laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=338767&CategoryId=10717

  99. OBAMA’S KATRINA: MONEY ALLOCATED, NOT SPENT

    The Un-stimulus package. Going to the link has additional hypertext links embedded.

    businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/jul2009/db2009077_697070.htm

    Stimulus: Where’s the $787 Billion?
    ==========================
    Administration officials insist that it takes time to dole out money properly, which explains why so little has been spent so far

    By Theo Francis and Elise Craig

    Call it the $787 billion question: Where is all that government stimulus money, and why hasn’t it stemmed the heart-stopping slide in U.S. employment?

    The stimulus plan was all about jobs, after all. Key Obama Administration officials pledged to save or create between 3 million and 4 million jobs with the measure. But the federal government’s employment figures on July 2 clocked in worse that expected, with job losses lurching to 467,000 in June and the unemployment rate reaching its worst showing since 1983, at 9.5%; many expect it to rise further still. Public confidence in the stimulus plan is slipping and over the weekend, Vice-President Joe Biden suggested another stimulus plan is possible, something of a shift from Obama’s position just two weeks ago that more spending isn’t yet called for.

    Yet analysts and federal contracting experts say that, in many ways, stimulus spending is going about as quickly as expected. Dispensing billions of dollars, it turns out, simply takes time, particularly given government contracting rules and the fact that much of federal spending is funneled through the states. Moreover, some spending was intentionally spread out over several years, and other projects are fundamentally more long-term in nature. “There are real constraints—physical, legal, and then just the process of how fast you can commit funds,” says George Guess, co-director of the Center for Public Finance Research at American University’s School of Public Affairs. “It’s the way it works in a decentralized democracy, and that’s what we’re stuck with.”

    Certainly, based on key numbers, it looks as if the five-month-old spending legislation has been slow to unfold. Onvia (ONVI), a Seattle company that tracks federal spending, estimates that some $65 billion of the $420 billion that was in the stimulus package for contract and infrastructure spending has gone out the door. Federal officials offer similar numbers, saying $60 billion of the $499 billion in total stimulus spending has been disbursed. (The remaining $288 billion consisted of tax cuts.)

    “Right on Target”
    —————–

    But those numbers mask a lot of activity, analysts and government officials say. Onvia has identified some 18,500 specific projects covered under the legislation, and while just under 1,800 of them have had contracts awarded, another 5,000 or so have been put out to bid. For the remainder, funds have been allocated but not spent, says Michael Balsam, the company’s chief solutions officer.

    Ed DeSeve, senior adviser to the President for recovery and reinvestment, tells BusinessWeek that $157.7 billion has been “obligated” for projects of various kinds, roughly a third of total stimulus spending, and $43.3 billion has been distributed in tax breaks. “We think we’re right on target,” DeSeve says.

    He also argues that it makes more sense to count funds allocated to specific projects than dollars actually spent. “When do you buy something—when you use your American Express, or when you pay your bill?” DeSeve says. “You buy it when you use your American Express.” Critics of the stimulus rollout argue that what matters most is when the dollars reach the economy—the equivalent of when American Express pays the merchant.

    States Slow the Process
    ———————

    The U.S. Transportation Dept. recently stressed that it routinely reimburses states for payments to contractors on federal infrastructure jobs, meaning work can be under way for some time before states pay contractors and seek reimbursement from the feds. Doing otherwise risks wasting federal funds by overpaying up front, the agency said on an Administration blog.

    Still, some basic facts of federal contracting slow the process, analysts say. Funneling federal funds through state agencies can prove slower than awarding contracts directly. Seeking competitive bids—a process that’s designed to ensure the government doesn’t overpay or favor select contractors—also takes time. “It’s really not going all that slowly when you take into consideration just the process to spend federal money,” says Clint Currie, a transportation analyst for Concept Capital’s Washington Research Group.

    Similarly, funds allocated to help states with Medicaid and school costs began flowing pretty quickly, says Nick Johnson, director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ state fiscal project. But there, some of the spending was explicitly earmarked for 2010 and even 2011. The Administration has said it hopes to meet Congressional Budget Office estimates that 70% of stimulus funds will be spent by fall 2010. “Everyone knew the recession wasn’t going to end in a blink,” Johnson says.

    Bids Lower Than Expected
    ————————-

    Other projects will take time by their very nature—as is the case with funds intended to foster what the Administration calls long-term, sustainable growth in industries supporting public transit or renewable energy. Transit funds that go toward replacing light-rail or subway cars could take years to spend, and building a new light-rail system could take a decade or more, as did Charlotte’s 18-month-old light-rail system, says Guess, the American University researcher. Plus, state and local agencies must determine which projects actually qualify for federal funds under rules set by Congress.

    One bright spot: Bids for many projects are coming in under expectations, sometimes by as much as 20% to 30% in the case of some transportation contracts, analysts and government officials say. Depressed demand for materials has lowered prices, while contractors are willing to work more cheaply than when construction was booming, notes Currie, the transportation analyst.

    There are other, less obvious impediments as well. In a few cases, lawmakers have sought to reject federal funds, as in South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s failed effort. Other programs that would have qualified for federal matching dollars under the stimulus plan have been cut as states face their own budget woes. As the unemployment rate rises across the country, some states are forgoing stimulus dollars specifically designated to help the unemployed. As of July 2, little more than half of the money had been claimed, and four states rejected it altogether, according to ProPublica, a nonprofit news organization. In some cases, states worried that accepting the money would require them to sweeten the benefits they offered laid-off workers at a prohibitive cost to the state.

    More Reporting Ahead
    ——————–

    If simply tracking stimulus spending has proven complex, determining how many jobs have actually been created or saved is even more daunting. Most Administration estimates come down to a fairly straightforward but indirect calculation: Each $1 million of government spending creates 10.9 jobs, or about $92,000 a year for each job, including benefits, administrative costs, and other overhead. Using that ratio, for example, a $1.6 billion contract to demolish and remediate a Washington state nuclear facility could generate 17,740 jobs, but whether it ultimately does, only time will tell.

    Starting Oct. 10, stimulus-fund recipients must begin reporting more concrete details on jobs and spending at http://www.federalreporting.gov, and federal budget officials have made it clear that they plan to refine reporting requirements as time goes on, says Craig Jennings, a senior policy analyst with OMB Watch, a nonprofit group that focuses on budget issues. “It’s not hopeless,” Jennings says. The federal Office of Management and Budget “has been very clear on the fact that their approach is iterative. They’re not going to get it right the first time.”

    But even then, it won’t be easy to square whatever job gains are claimed with rising unemployment. Few economists expect the jobs picture to improve this year, and many predict the national unemployment rate will rise to 10% or beyond. Ultimately, stimulus supporters argue that, without it, job losses would be even worse.

  100. Bill Clinton draws crowds as UN envoy to Haiti

    By JONATHAN M. KATZ

    GONAIVES, Haiti (AP) — Bill Clinton on Tuesday took his Haiti relief effort to this battered seaside city that was nearly destroyed last year by a series of tropical storms, finding a mud-caked maze of partially rebuilt homes and shops. Clinton, the new special U.N. envoy to Haiti, viewed river control projects and visited a hospital that served as an emergency shelter during the two storms that ravaged the town. Four storms hit Haiti in all, killing nearly 800 people nationwide and causing $1 billion in damage to irrigation, bridges and roads.

    The former president praised reconstruction efforts but said much more work needed to be done. He said Haiti needs more money and better coordination among aid groups and the government to rebuild and spur development. “I’m just trying to organize this process and drive it faster,” Clinton said during a break in the tour, standing in the blazing midday sun alongside a smiling President Rene Preval.

    Aid has poured into the Gonaives region but many homes and shops remain damaged and the area remains vulnerable to flooding because the surrounding hills have been stripped of trees to create farm fields and make charcoal for cooking.

    It was Clinton’s first trip to Gonaives, but he was greeted like a returning hero. Shrieking girls clamored to have their photo taken with the former president and men pushed their elderly mothers through the crowd for a chance to shake his hand.
    People stood on piles of rubble to catch a glimpse of Clinton’s motorcade as it wove through the rocky streets of Gonaives, one of the poorest cities in a chronically troubled country considered the poorest in the Western Hemisphere.

    Clinton said the Haitian government and its international backers hope to create 150,000 to 200,000 jobs nationwide over the next two years. Many of those jobs will come from projects to rebuild roads and shore up erosion-prone hillsides. “It will be hard, but I think it’s important,” Clinton said later after returning to the capital, Port-au-Prince. “I want to try and speed up the aid and make sure to direct it toward the priorities of the Haitian people.”

    He also visited a Venezuela-financed project where at least a dozen yellow backhoes and bulldozers dredged the La Quinte River, which inundated Gonaives last September like a backed-up septic tank. He examined an erosion-control terracing project that U.N. directors said was still only 10 percent financed. But Gonaives has been disappointed by aid promises before. More than $70 million in aid poured in after Tropical Storm Jeanne killed an estimated 2,000 people in 2004, but most went to immediate relief and did nothing to prevent last year’s floods.

    On Tuesday, Clinton and Preval laid flowers at a stone memorial to the victims of last year’s Tropical Storm Hanna and Hurricane Ike as a priest flung holy water and a saxophonist played “Taps.”

    Clinton’s three-day visit, which ends Wednesday, is the former president’s second trip to Haiti this year. He accompanied U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to Port-au-Prince in March, two months before being named to a special U.N. envoy.

    google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jU8vjqlts5payiVFTGRj2EchuagAD999VKD00

  101. On a related note, if you go back to the time of the American Revolution you realize that buffonery in Congress is nothing new. The Congress of that era was more interested in wearing military uniforms, playing armchair general, and fighting among themselves then doing what they were there for which was to raise money. In the first year of the war, Washington wrote 900 letters to deal with these and other issues in addition to fighting the British. The failures of Congress led to two mutinies by troops from Philadelphia, and later New Jersey during the war, and then that chilling episode in Newberg New York when Congress renegged on its promise of land in the west. At that moment in history Washington supplied the first principles that held the nation together. And he had to overcome his own biases, including his bias as a southerner toward northerners. The two generals who were with him through the entire war–Greene and Knox were Yankees. He called the revolution “almost a miracle”. We need a new leader to emerge from the Obama Bush dialectic who adheres to first priciples, as Washington did. They offered him a crown and he rejected it. Is there any crown Obama would not accept whether or not it was offered?

  102. While my previous comment about the unstimulus is in moderation, here’s another on that topic:

    politico.com/news/stories/0709/24661.html

    Democrats stuck in stimulus jam
    ========================

    President Barack Obama says there’s “nothing” he “would have done differently” about his economic stimulus plan, but one of his top outside economic advisers says the plan was “a bit too small.”

    Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri says the idea of a second stimulus is a “non-starter,” but Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island says it “should be on the table.”

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says there’s “no showing that a second stimulus is needed,” but House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) says Congress needs to be “open to whether we need additional action.”

    Democrats are all over the map on the stimulus and the possibility of a sequel, and it’s not hard to see why: When it comes to a second stimulus, they may be damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

    “Right now, every headline across the board is the stimulus isn’t enough, states are in bankruptcy, states aren’t paying their bills,” says Wendy Schiller, a Brown University political scientist. “This is really deadly for the Democratic Party, because what it suggests is the Democratic Party cannot run the country.”

    At the same time, however, polls show that voters have little appetite for a second stimulus, and Democrats fear that any attempt to pass one will provide Republicans too much ammunition to argue that Democrats are profligate spenders who can’t reverse the job-loss trend.

    McCaskill says there’s no way to go back to the well.

    “If we are trying to move anything on health care and we’re trying to move anything on climate change, then putting another stimulus on top of that is a backbreaker,” she told POLITICO. “It is a political backbreaker — for people from states like mine anyway.”

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) says that Congress has already pumped “trillions” into the economy and that she’s “not sure there’s any magic thing” it can do now “other than what we’ve done before.”

    But other Democrats say the economy may need another jolt, regardless of the political risks.

    “The thing we have to consider is the risk to not doing it,” said Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.).

    With unemployment in his home state of Rhode Island at 12 percent, Whitehouse told POLITICO that it’s too soon to “rule out” another stimulus — a point his Democratic colleague, Sen. Jack Reed, echoed on MSNBC on Tuesday.

    Whitehouse rejected the argument already being made by Republicans that passing a second stimulus — or a third, if you count the package signed by President George W. Bush — would be tantamount to admitting the first $700-plus billion package just plain didn’t work.

    “It’s like putting out the first half of the fire in the house. If it flares back up again, the firemen … go back and put more water on it,” he said.

    The White House is working to get the money that’s already been approved out the door and into the economy faster. For instance, Vice President Joe Biden’s office launched several weeks ago a 10-part “Roadmap to Recovery” initiative designed to create four times as many jobs in the second 100 days of the stimulus than in the first.

    Some economists, including Nobel Prize laureate and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, say the need for additional stimulus measures is already clear.

    “To my mind it’s pretty obvious we need another stimulus package, probably a lot bigger than the last one,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the left-leaning Center for Economic and Policy Research. “It’s horrible that you have all of these people suffering because you have people in Washington with rocks in their head.”

    Still others agree with those Democrats who prefer a wait-and-see approach.

    “I think it’s premature to conclude that a third stimulus would be needed. The maximum benefit from the current stimulus will occur this summer and fall, and in terms of jobs, not until very late this year,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist with Moody’s Economy.com.

    “Now if we get into late this year and the economy is not continuing to improve — and it is improving, it’s still in recession but it’s improving — and if we don’t make further progress through the end of the year, then I think it would be reasonable to consider another stimulus.”

    But Republicans aren’t waiting to go on the attack.

    They’re slamming the White House for predicting that unemployment wouldn’t go above 8 percent if Congress passed the stimulus, pointing out that it has now hit a 26-year high of 9.5 percent.

    They’re seizing on Democrats’ own statements — such as Biden’s acknowledgment over the weekend that the administration “misread” how bad the economy would get — to make their point.

    And they’re already mocking Democrats for even considering a second stimulus, previewing the arguments they’re sure to fire up should Democrats choose that path.

    “Down home, we used to say there’s no education in the second kick of a mule,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday. “Now, why in the world there would be any conclusion reached after looking at the results of the first stimulus that the way to deal with that is to pass yet another one — [it] is mind-boggling.”

    The office of House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has called talk of a second stimulus “a collective acknowledgement that Washington Democrats’ spending binge — which was supposed to create jobs “immediately” — isn’t working.”

    Some observers suggest that Congress can take stimulus-esque steps without actually having to pass a politically painful stimulus package. Zandi suggested providing aid to cash-strapped states, delaying tax increases set for 2011 and expanding the housing tax credit.

    But Democrats may find themselves limited even on stimulus-lite approaches as Republicans argue that government spending hasn’t worked and won’t do anything but drive up the federal deficit.

    “This offers us an opportunity to realign ourselves with middle-class economic anxieties,” said Kevin Madden, who led Mitt Romney’s communication operation for the 2008 presidential campaign. “We have to make a very clear and convincing case to everyday Americans that we’ve tried it the Democrats’ way by pumping money into the public sector, and it hasn’t worked.”

  103. I love the response Bill Clinton always gets when he travels internationally. Poor bambi will never catch up.

  104. Maybe it’s just me but I’m about to get pissed off at Hillary’s ass kissing of these dicators and the ilk. Get out Hillary, the policies of this administration are toxic assets.

    OTOH, I’m gleeful that the big ass fcuking stimulus penis is coming back to be shoved up the arses of the stupid arse Dimwits.

    I am not in a good mood today.

  105. “We need a new leader to emerge from the Obama Bush dialectic who adheres to first priciples, as Washington did.”

    ——————————-

    Well, yes. But evil attracts evil so I hope that at the same time more ethical and unselfish politicians rise up.

  106. Jan–as I was running through a mental list of first principles the separation of powers came to mind for two reasons: first, it is the check on evil which you refer to; second, it has a profound double meaning, if you capitalize the “P” and eliminate the s. There are no virgins in the whorehouse of polictics. The most we can hope for is a system which checks excesses of ambition. That was what DeMonstequieu believed, and it is embedded in the Constitition Obama wants to throw out for the exact same reason.

  107. Great to see Bill in spotlight again. He is universally loved by all except African Americans and Obamabots.

  108. He called the revolution “almost a miracle”.
    **********
    And I can’t think of any other person of his time who had the right proportion of personality +’s and -‘s who could have pulled off the “Miracle”. Americans have had an underlying belief that the leadership will rise to the occasion; when the sh*t is hitting the fan. Washington, Lincoln, FDR…well Obama has killed that American myth.

  109. Maybe it’s just me but I’m about to get pissed off at Hillary’s ass kissing of these dicators and the ilk. Get out Hillary, the policies of this administration are toxic assets.
    ——————————-
    It is not just you dot. On the one hand, it is the job of Secretrary of State to negotiate with and develop some relationship with hostile nations, consistent with Churchills observation that jaw jaw jaw is better than war war war. The problem for Hillary is the one you put your finger on and that is she is part of an Administration that is anti American in the eyes of many people and more as time goes on. To make the overtures she is making to Chavez, to mediate the Honduras situation, while are entirely legitimate actions for a Secretrary of State to take in the abstract will be viewed by many as part of an anti American agenda. They are made worse by the fact that she did not demand a recount of votes, campaigned vigorously for Obama etc. People like me will say she did this for the party. Others will say she put party above country. BTW that is another core principle–country over party. The solution to this conundrum is what you say. A graceful exit so she can live to fight another day. I defer to her decision on this, I hope it is the right one because I want her as President in 2012 and I honestly believe that is the path.

  110. by a recount of votes, I meant an investigation of the 2000 complaints made to the DNC over fraud, intimidation and abuse in the primaries. She was a victim of that, but so were her supporters.

  111. There is an interesting online Esquire interview with Jeb Bush by Tucker Carlson if anyone is interested. I’m not a Carlson fan, but Bush’s comments are worth a look at.

    esquire.com/features/jeb-bush-interview-0809#ixzz0Kg4CkOPZ&C

  112. And I can’t think of any other person of his time who had the right proportion of personality +’s and -’s who could have pulled off the “Miracle”. Americans have had an underlying belief that the leadership will rise to the occasion; when the sh*t is hitting the fan. Washington, Lincoln, FDR…well Obama has killed that American myth.
    ——————————————
    It is in the nature of this country to always lose the first battle, regroup and eventually prevail if we do not lose our nerve. Bull Run (Manassas) did not decide the Civil War, anymore than the devastation of Peal Harbor and the subsequent loss of the Phillipines mattered when the stars and striped were struck over Tokyo Bay. Somehow, we find he right leaders eventually. The problem de jour is the media has blinded the American People to the criteria that will save us. That problem must be eliminated root and branch if we are to survive as a nation. Their serial corruption must be universally condemned and defunded.

  113. There is an interesting online Esquire interview with Jeb Bush by Tucker Carlson if anyone is interested. I’m not a Carlson fan, but Bush’s comments are worth a look at.
    —————————-
    You are a better man than I Gunga Din.

  114. “You are a better man than I Gunga Din.”

    —————————–

    LOL…when you make comments like that I have to make sure I’m not holding a cup of tea at the time.

  115. slate.com/id/2222406/

    Going Public, Quietly
    ===============
    Why Obama wants to be as vague as possible about health care reform.

    By John Dickerson
    Posted Tuesday, July 7, 2009, at 7:37 PM ET

    President Obama is in Russia, but he’s still holding hands in Washington. Advocates of a public option as a part of health care reform got spooked he was going to abandon them, so between press releases heralding the U.S./Russian agreement on reducing strategic weapons, the White House released an out-of-the-blue two-sentence statement reiterating Obama’s pledge to seek a public option as a part of health care reform. “As I’ve said before,” it read, “one of the best ways to bring down costs, provide more choices, and assure quality is a public option that will force the insurance companies to compete and keep them honest.”

    Why does the president have to issue a statement from several time zones away reiterating something he’s already said? Because his supporters worry that in order to achieve comprehensive health care reform, and to win support from some Republicans, Obama will trade away his support for a public option. Alternatively, they worry that he will redefine public option beyond recognition.

    The irony is that this most recent statement is unlikely to make anyone less nervous: It merely reflects the strategic ambiguity Obama has been trying to achieve throughout this process. Yes, he’s for a public plan—but he’s not specific, which means his support can mean all things to all people. This ambiguity gives the president room to make deals, and it doesn’t impinge on Congress’ prerogatives. But it also creates explosive moments of confusion.

    Because of strategic ambiguity, any drop of specificity from the White House rings like a foghorn signal. That’s what happened this time. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was quoted expressing flexibility on the details of a public plan in the Wall Street Journal. “The goal is to have a means and a mechanism to keep the private insurers honest,” he said in an interview. “The goal is non-negotiable; the path is [negotiable].”

    So far, so ambiguous. But Emanuel went further. He said one of several ways to meet Obama’s goals could be a mechanism that implements a public plan only if the current insurance marketplace fails to provide sufficient competition. Because the White House has stayed away from details, this was interpreted as an endorsement for the idea of a “trigger.”

    Advocates of a public plan don’t like the idea of a “trigger,” because it makes a public plan conditional. On Tuesday, Sen. Charles Schumer, emerging from the lunch where Democratic senators welcomed Al Franken (with three standing ovations), said Emanuel’s remarks were a surprise. “I had never heard that they were for the trigger. That came as a surprise to me,” he said. “Maybe in year three there might be a public plan? Not good enough.” Moveon.org e-mailed its members Tuesday asking them to tell the White House they’re “disappointed in Chief of Staff Emanuel’s comments.”

    This Obama/Emanuel two-step is not new. During discussions over whether to prosecute Bush administration Justice Department lawyers for condoning torture, Emanuel said there should be no prosecutions—only to have Obama say shortly thereafter that there might be. In this case, Emanuel’s comments confirm the worst fears of public-option advocates: that the administration is prepared to compromise on their issue. A comment from a Democratic aide in the Senate—”We’ll take anything called a public plan as long as it gets us [bi-partisan] agreement”—didn’t help much, either.

    But Schumer has been working to bridge the gap between those who want a pure public option (a Medicare-for-all-type plan that would be separate from Medicare) and those who support a patient-owned cooperative that would be free from government control. A cooperative, favored by Republican senators like Chuck Grassley and conservative Democratic senators like Ben Nelson, could meet the criteria the president laid out. But true believers in a public plan say a co-op would be too weak to lower costs or compete with private insurance companies.

    Schumer has declared the idea dead previously but sounded more positive Tuesday. “If we can come to some kind of compromise on some kind of co-op situation that really keeps the insurance companies honest, I’m open to it. It can’t be two little co-ops in two little places.” Schumer even seemed to have compromised on a key sticking point in his negotiations with conservative Democrats. He had previously advocated that the co-op board be linked to the government. Now he says that while “there would be a role for the federal government in setting it up, then it would become independent.”

    Liberal Democrats and their allies were concerned enough about Emanuel’s remarks to seek clarification from the White House. But the president’s statement, while aimed at reiterating his commitment, doesn’t actually contradict anything Emanuel said. If, in the end, Obama decides that a trigger or a cooperative plan keeps insurance companies honest, then he will say he’s kept his word on the goals of the public option. So Obama’s statement today can be read as both a walk-back of Emanuel’s remarks and support of them. When I pointed this out to a White House adviser, the response was succinct: “Mission accomplished.”

  116. Opposition Leader Returns to Lead Protests in Iran

    Wednesday, July 8, 2009 2:30 PM

    By: Kenneth R. Timmerman Article Font Size

    A key leader of the 1999 student uprising that shook the Islamist regime in Iran returned to Iran clandestinely this week, and plans to lead a nationwide protest on Thursday.

    Roozbeh Farahanipour, 37, was jailed for several months in 1999 for his role in the protests and was tortured extensively. But that hasn’t deterred him from going to back to his homeland.

    “These are momentous times,” he told Newsmax shortly before leaving the U.S. for his secret journey to Iran. “After 10 years, I am fulfilling my dream.”

    The postelection protests of the past several weeks “have already succeeded in crippling half of the regime,” he said. “They can no longer work together, no longer trust each other. Our job is to help cripple the other half as well.”

    If Farahanipour can successfully elude Iran’s secret police, Thursday’s protests will be the first time that a political figure who has gone into exile has ever returned to lead a demonstration against the Islamic regime.

    Farahanipour, who founded the Marze Por Gohar (Glorious Frontiers Party) in 1998, wants to see a secular, democratic government emerge from the current turmoil in Iran.

    “This Thursday is my demonstration,” he said. “It is not Mousavi’s event. It is the 10th anniversary of the 1999 student uprising.”

    Presidential candidate (and former prime minister) Mir Hossein Mousavi is calling on his supporters to hold protests on Thursday, but has been careful to insist that they show support for the Islamic regime and to limit their protests to calls for a new election.

    Farahanipour says the time for any pretense of reforming the regime is over. “People are shouting, ‘Death to the Dictator,’” he said. “The regime lost all international credibility. Only 15 countries have sent messages of congratulations to Ahmadinejad after the elections. The first to support him were Hamas and Hezbollah.”

    Now is not the time to reassure the regime, but to confront it, he believes.

    Already, regime intelligence agents been on the lookout for Farahanipour, and scoured the area near Busheir, where Iran’s nuclear power plant is located, when rumors circulated that he was in the vicinity earlier this week.

    Iran’s government is using the huge dust storm sweeping across Southwestern Iran as a pretext to shut down government offices and close businesses in Tehran, calling on people to remain in their homes because of health reasons on Thursday, the day of the 10th anniversary of the student uprising.

    But while they have declared a public health emergency in Tehran, government radio bulletins hardly mention the storm where it is actually raging, in Khuzestan province.

    Protests to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Tehran University uprising will be held throughout the world as well as inside Iran and can be tracked at http://protests.sharearchy.com/.

    The 1999 uprising was the first time since the revolution against the Shah 20 years earlier that demonstrations against the regime erupted simultaneously all across the country.

    At the time, Farahanipour, who was in Tehran, didn’t know that similar uprisings were occurring in 18 other cities, because the opposition lacked any form of secure communications.

    Ten years later, the regime has cracked down on Facebook, Twitter, and cell phones, and is using sophisticated technology purchased from Nokia Siemens Networks in Germany to track dissidents.

    But Farahanipour and his supporters believe they have found ways around the system, and told Newsmax they are planning to coordinate protests on Thursday in several cities at once.

    “We believe there are hundreds of thousands of people who have taken part in demonstrations in recent weeks who are not Mousavi supporters,” Farahanipour said.

    His MPG Party is calling for internationally supervised elections, with candidates allowed to stand without approval of Islamic authorities, and a dismantling of the religious government.

    MPG members in the United States said they expected to have live video footage from some of the rallies on Thursday.

    Earlier this year, MPG released an explosive report with damning excerpts from classified Iranian government documents showing that the supreme leader had ordered death squads to murder political dissidents more than a decade ago.

  117. http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/07/08/lunch_with_the_secretary

    At noon today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was set to dine privately with a dozen of the nation’s top foreign-policy wise men and women. Among them: State Department Policy Planning chief and former Princeton Woodrow Wilson dean Anne-Marie Slaughter, top speech writer Lissa Muscatine, former national security advisors Zbigniew Brzezinski, Gen. Brent Scowcroft, and Samuel “Sandy” Berger,” The End of History and the Last Man author Francis Fukuyama, former National Security Council official and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace president Jessica Mathews, the original “smart power” auteur, Human Rights Watch COO and former Holbrooke aide Suzanne Nossel, Harvard Kennedy School dean emeritusand National Intelligence Council chairman Joseph S. Nye, Clinton advisor and former North Korea hand Wendy Sherman, and former Clinton administration Russia hand and Brookings Institution president Strobe Talbott.

    What’s on the menu? Among other things, discussion and guidance for a major foreign-policy speech Clinton plans to give next week. (More on that to come.)

    Nursing a broken elbow that has kept her from two overseas trips, Clinton is keeping busy, meeting with Honduras’s ousted President Manuel Zelaya Tuesday, as well as having breakfast with Vice President Joseph Biden, and preparing for the speech, as well as a trip later next week to India and the ASEAN summit in Thailand. While she was being represented in Moscow this week by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Bill Burns (a former U.S. ambassador to Moscow who was one of the few aides invited to sit in on Obama’s private meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, a source on the trip said) and U.S. ambassador to Russia John Beyrle, Clinton was named by Obama as cochair and coordinator of the U.S.-Russia Commission this week. Her Russian counterpart will be Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (with whom Clinton famously “reset” relations with a toy button that was ever-so-slightly mistranslated). A previous iteration of the important commission was run at the vice-presidential level (Gore-Chernomyrdin), but there was a desire in Washington, Russia hands said, to find a construct that would avoid having Putin be the counterpart. Smart power, indeed.

  118. They are made worse by the fact that she did not demand a recount of votes, campaigned vigorously for Obama etc. People like me will say she did this for the party. Others will say she put party above country.

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

    And still others will say, she retreated from a fight she could not win. Better to live to fight another day when you’ve had time to regroup challenging from a point of strength rather than weakness.

    Further, while Obama’s poll numbers are spiring down, Hillary’s are doing just the opposite and climbing.

    Hillary has hit her stride and so has her popularity. No one I know associates Hillary with Obama, especially in foreign policy issues. Obama is as dumb as a door-nob when it comes to foreign policy while Hillary shines and is well received by foreign countries abroad. Hillary is the face of America.. Obama is considered nothing more than a caricature of himself.

  119. but but but i thought they all hated her…lol. Jesus if she’s picking up this much support now and she aint even decided to run yet. 3/4s of GOP, 44% of indies and 17% of Dems, she’s doing alright so far, i think. No wonder the dems and msm are shitting themselves.

    Palin’s Support Rises

    Sarah Palin’s decision to resign as governor of Alaska lifted her standing among Republicans, according to a USA Today/Gallup Poll.

    A USA Today story about the poll says, “Republicans are somewhat inclined to see her more favorably” in light of her announcement Friday. But neither that story nor one on Gallup’s web site gives precise numbers.

    Seven out 10 respondents in the poll, conducted Monday, say their views about Palin weren’t influenced by her departure as governor.

    Of those who were affected by the move, Democrats view Palin less favorably by a 4-to-1 margin and independents by a 2-to-1 ratio.

    Two-thirds of Republicans support the idea of Palin as a major national political figure in the future, the poll says. Three-fourths of Democrats oppose that idea, as do 55 percent of independents.

    As for a possible presidential campaign, 72 percent of Republicans say they would likely vote for her, compared to 44 percent of independents and 17 percent of Democrats.(continued)

  120. JanH Says:

    July 8th, 2009 at 2:38 pm
    Bill Clinton draws crowds as UN envoy to Haiti

    By JONATHAN M. KATZ

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

    nice article on Bill – A true Man of the People…

    funny, I never hear the Left giving him credit for all the good he does…

  121. moononpluto Says:

    July 8th, 2009 at 6:20 pm
    ********************************************

    moononpluto…happened to catch Palin on tv this morning and she sounds more and more like an independent to me…she stated plainly that the repub establishment has just as many problems as the dem establishment…she sounds fed up with the whole established political system and the usual BS

    she will probably campaign for repubs but if the mood in the country continues to grow I can honestly see her declaring herself as an independent…

    especially as the democrats grow more unsatisfied with O as the next few years go by and repubs continue to stall…

  122. I think if she becomes and I there is trouble for both camps. It will be interesting. She has guts and courage.

  123. And still others will say, she retreated from a fight she could not win. Better to live to fight another day when you’ve had time to regroup challenging from a point of strength rather than weakness.

    Further, while Obama’s poll numbers are spiring down, Hillary’s are doing just the opposite and climbing.

    Hillary has hit her stride and so has her popularity. No one I know associates Hillary with Obama, especially in foreign policy issues. Obama is as dumb as a door-nob when it comes to foreign policy while Hillary shines and is well received by foreign countries abroad. Hillary is the face of America.. Obama is considered nothing more than a caricature of himself
    ————————————-
    1. paragraph 1: my feeling at the time was she could not stand in the way of a sumumai. They set up the charge of racism, the party was threatening her supporters and big media was waging a propaganda war against her that was overwhelming. Under those conditions it was not a winning fight. But that does not answer the void that was left in the hearts of her supporters. I think the Amy Suskind posting yesterday was a reflection of that.

    2. paragraph 2: the poll numbers were encouraging. But since then this marginalization meme has taken hold. That may have some adverse impact. As far as Obamas numbers I see a drop, but not the freefall. Perhaps the health care issue, or some other issue will be the catalyst. It needs to happen, regardless. The sooner the better.

    3. paragraph 3: I do not know that the world sees what you and I do. If the reports are to be believed, then the foreign leaders perceive two different messages and are confused. The leak about the efforts by Hillary and Biden to persuade the O man to take a more assertive position vis a vis Iran are responsive to that concern. I believe in time they will see the shortcomings of Obama. But at that point, I want her to be the one the country turns to rather than the other party.

  124. wbboei says:

    1. paragraph 1: my feeling at the time was she could not stand in the way of a sumumai. They set up the charge of racism, the party was threatening her supporters and big media was waging a propaganda war against her that was overwhelming. Under those conditions it was not a winning fight. But that does not answer the void that was left in the hearts of her supporters. I think the Amy Suskind posting yesterday was a reflection of that.

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

    as we have discussed the democratic party sold her out…don’t forget we were also threatened with riots if she dared win…the woman was basically forced out…

    …they wanted her out before she even got started and it all started the night of the NH primary…with even Dennis Kucinch asking for a recount…

    …this is not the democratic party we knew…this is a corporate group ruling with chicago hardball tactics…O is trying to bypass Congress and really create an Imperial Presidency way beyond what Bush was attempting

    huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/08/white-house-threatens-vet_n_228206

    In particular, the administration opposed a provision of the bill that would give Congress greater authority to decide which members are briefed on covert actions. The Intelligence Authorization Act proposed restructuring the “Gang of Eight” briefings, which are currently provided to the House and Senate leaders from both parties and the chairs and ranking minority members of the House and Senate intelligence panels. The House legislation, backed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (a former intelligence chair herself), would give the intelligence committees, not the president, the authority to determine which members were briefed.

    why does he need congress or a cabinet when he can have his czars and their insider control of everything with no accountability to anyone?

    btw…I just heard that O is up to over 20 czars…

    Johnathan Turley has a piece on O not only keeping Bush policies but expanding them and being even worse than Bush

    jonathanturley.org/2009/07/08/12598/

    part of what he says:

    Liberals continue to be largely silent in the face of policies that they once denounced and protested. It is rare to hear any coverage or questions of the Administration’s refusal to investigate war crimes of torture, for example. Liberals seem to be quickly developing a cult of personality that has supplanted the most basic principles of human rights and international law. As with the Republicans under Bush, the Democrats are refusing to push the Administration to investigate torture or comply with international law. Before the inauguration, various generals and senators claimed that Obama and Holder assured them privately that no one would be investigated for torture. It now appears that these stories were likely true. Democrats must choose between their principles and their politicians — and they appear to be making the same choice as their Republican counterparts.

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

    this is no longer our democratic party…it has been hijacked

  125. wwoebi,

    I think links like the one about Biden and Hillary pushing for bambi to act like a leader regarding Iran need to continue. No matter how the media twists it to look as if Hillary’s opinions do not matter to bambi, the fact that she is trying to change his corrupt message is what I hope the reasonably unbiased and knowledgeable person sees.

    It separates her from his Machiavelli actions. It puts him alone in the hot seat when all is said and done.

    This marginalization is just another ridiculous media attack so that their messiah does not come across as being as stupid and racists as he really is. It further diminishes an already valueless media.

  126. paragraph 3: I do not know that the world sees what you and I do. If the reports are to be believed, then the foreign leaders perceive two different messages and are confused. The leak about the efforts by Hillary and Biden to persuade the O man to take a more assertive position vis a vis Iran are responsive to that concern. I believe in time they will see the shortcomings of Obama. But at that point, I want her to be the one the country turns to rather than the other party.

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

    From those who dare, foreign bodies see Obama as an operative, not a politician, far and away from a statesman. Some such as Sarkozy, (not that I think France is a bastion of courage and valor)… who is most notable for speaking out against Obama…

    Sarkozy’s credentials (as the example) for holding office: Obama’s peers… [cough…]

    “before his presidency, he was leader of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP). Under Jacques Chirac’s presidency, he served as Minister of the Interior in Jean-Pierre Raffarin’s (UMP) first two governments (from May 2002 to March 2004), then was appointed Minister of Finances in Raffarin’s last government (March 2004 to May 2005), and again Minister of the Interior in Dominique de Villepin’s government (2005-2007).

    Sarkozy was also president of the General council of the Hauts-de-Seine department from 2004 to 2007 and mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine, one of the wealthiest communes of France from 1983 to 2002. He was also Minister of the Budget in the government of Édouard Balladur (RPR, predecessor of the UMP) during François Mitterrand’s last term.

    Sarkozy is known for his strong stance on law and order issues and his desire to revitalise the French economy. In foreign affairs, he has promised a strengthening of the entente cordiale with the United Kingdom and closer cooperation with the United States. His nickname, “Sarko”, is used by both supporters and opponents.

    Most foreign leaders have been involved in politics for decades climbing the ranks slowly paying their dues until they are recognised as someone who has something of value to offer in a leadership position.. Obama has no speciality. He is devoid of any knowledge or talent he can turn to for expertise in any field.

    Hillary on the other hand… well as usual, Hillary can walk intoa workingman’s pub and find common ground with them and the next minute turn around and give a speech in front of the United Nations without the use of a telepromper… because they are her thoughts and words… not the script composed by handlers.

    We voted for Prime Rib and instead got last weeks fishwrap.

  127. There is a lot of poppycock and media trying to diminish her worth in the following article, but one comment especially stood out for me: she will be talking about the country’s aka bambi’s goals, not her own. I find it very interesting that the line is being drawn so sharply here. I personally think it speaks very well for her future in distancing herself from the idiot’s mistakes.

    And as far as the media trying to send the message that Hillary is desperately trying to raise her profile, what a load of manure!

    ———————————–

    With foreign-policy speech, Clinton plans to raise her profile

    Wed, 07/08/2009

    After missing two overseas trips due to surgery to repair a broken elbow, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plans to deliver a major foreign-policy speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington next week before departing for India and the ASEAN conference in Thailand on Friday, July 17, aides say.

    Guiding the speech are Anne-Marie Slaughter, the director of the State Department’s policy planning office, and Derek Chollet, her deputy, among others. In a “smart power” oriented address, Clinton plans to discuss ways the United States can promote nuclear nonproliferation, combat violent extremism, and improve food security, along with other themes. “She will highlight the … goals of U.S. policy (not her goals — the country’s),” one official familiar with the preparations stressed on condition of anonymity.

    But Clinton’s planned speech is clearly meant to raise her own profile as well. In her first six months as Barack Obama’s top diplomat, the secretary has faced something of an underappreciated challenge: proving that she is a loyal lieutenant to her former presidential primary rival while projecting that she owns the Obama administration’s diplomatic portfolio.

    At a press conference Tuesday after meeting with ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, Clinton jokingly showed off the State Department seal on her black arm sling (her hard cast was removed last week), and mentioned the intensive physical therapy regime she is subject to — six times a week, for the next six to eight weeks.

    Although Clinton displayed typical understated good humor, the elbow that kept her from going with Obama to Moscow is just the latest in a set of circumstances and dynamics that have caused some to observe that the secretary hasn’t yet fully come to dominate her foreign policy turf. But it’s a perception that Clinton seems set to challenge.

    “Goals and opportunities are in clearer focus, and coming off a lull because of the elbow, [she’s] ready to get back at it,” an administration official said on condition of anonymity, responding to the observation that Clinton seems to be moving to raise her profile.

    Clinton and Obama aides alike say the administration has one of the most effective secretary of state-White House relationships and balanced national-security teams of the past several terms. They note that Clinton has excellent relationships with the other national-security principals, a strategic investment that could pay dividends down the road.

    She breakfasts frequently, as she did on Tuesday morning, with Vice President Joseph Biden (her neighbor), meets with the president privately at least once a week in the Oval Office, has a regular monthly meeting with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and attends multiple Principals Committee meetings at the White House with Obama, Gates, National Security Advisor James L. Jones, and CIA director Leon Panetta each week. Aides also note that getting many senior State Department appointments confirmed and their teams in place in the past few weeks, in particular assistant secretaries in charge of the State Department’s regional bureaus, has helped accelerate getting the engines moving and connecting Foggy Bottom’s seventh-floor bigwigs with its civil service and bureaucrats who now have intermediate leadership to guide their work.

    Perhaps more than any other member in Obama’s “team of rivals,” Clinton has had to walk a fine line: to prove to the president and his loyalists (to say nothing of a rapacious press corps) that his former primary opponent would be a trustworthy team player, restraining her own foreign-policy inclinations to bolster and never undermine his. Channeling Obama’s vision while making the secretary of state job her own has required impressive self-restraint amid a host of foreign leader powwows, interagency meetings, and appointments. Not lacking for opportunities to seize the megaphone, Clinton appears to have carefully calibrated the amount of individual voice, vision, and volume she has projected so far, perhaps with an eye to gaining a measure of trust that will ultimately enhance her effectiveness.

    So far, Clinton has arguably succeeded in proving her team-player bona fides. Several initially somewhat wary Obama aides and holdover State Department officials who have traveled with her abroad have confided genuine admiration for Clinton’s professionalism and decency — citing her preparedness for meetings with foreign leaders and her thank-yous to bureau staff who worked on her trips. Clinton loyalists and White House aides, moreover, vigorously insist that the secretary is a critical and indispensable voice in Obama’s national security team.

    “The President and General Jones value Secretary Clinton deeply,” NSC Director of Strategic Communications Denis McDonough said in an e-mail. “She is a tireless advocate for the national interest and a key player on the national security team. Hers is a key voice – in the situation room, on the Hill and overseas.”

    But the task of raising her profile is not without hurdles. Although many sources say relations are genuinely harmonious between Obama and Clinton and the other principals, a legacy of bruised feelings lingers among some loyalists in the former rival camps. Late last month, for instance, White House aides quietly nixed plans to bring on journalist and longtime Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal as a State Department consultant and speechwriter, an aide confirmed, after the planned appointment was reported. Blumenthal, said by one friend to be one of Clinton’s best speechwriters, is an ardent Clinton loyalist who is identified with some of the more intense antagonisms of the Democratic Party primaries.

    Clinton has encountered other obstacles. Perhaps more than other national-security agency heads, Clinton may have faced a longer lag in getting key senior appointments confirmed and in place, due to the fact that the State Department had a greater percentage of political appointee slots to fill. (Gates, in contrast, was able to keep half of the Defense Department appointees.) The sheer fact that a new administration has come into office with a foreign-policy vision sharply different from its predecessor’s, moreover, has meant that more energy and direction are naturally coming out of the White House, rather than Foggy Bottom.

    Then there is another factor: Obama himself. Clinton is “one smart, tough, extremely capable secretary,” said Aaron David Miller, a former aide to six secretaries of state who is now with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. But the president, Miller said, is the nation’s chief diplomat: “an incredibly powerful physical and intellectual persona” who is traveling everywhere from Cairo to Moscow. “It’s not like the conventional wisdom that said he would be bogged down with the economy and wouldn’t have time for foreign policy.”

    A former Clinton administration foreign-policy hand who spoke on condition of anonymity said that other presidents — Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton among them — also had international star power and still had effective secretaries of state, particularly Bush’s James Baker. He added that with Obama’s numbers sinking in key battleground states, Obama will need to be spending more time domestically helping reassure Americans on the economy (as well as nervous House Democrats) and less time on long trips abroad. But to raise her profile, Clinton needs to take on some of the key issues that had been tasked to envoys and not be seen dealing only with “small bites,” as he called it.

    “There is plenty of time for her to do it,” the former Clinton administration official said. “[But] after the six-month mark is crossed, you start wondering if there is time to convince foreign leaders that she is the person to deal with.”

    Aides say the charge that Clinton has allowed too much of her portfolio to be outsourced to high-profile envoys like Af-Pak Special Representative Richard Holbrooke and Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell is nonsense. “The envoys report to her,” the administration official said. Her appointment of a second deputy secretary, Jacob Lew, has contributed to long-term efforts to bolster the State Department’s money, personnel, and resources, he added.

    Then, of course, there is coping with plain bad luck. Just as many assistant secretary nominees to head the State Department’s regional bureaus were moving toward confirmation, Clinton broke her elbow on her way to a meeting at the White House last month, requiring surgery and intensive physical therapy, and forcing her to cancel two planned foreign trips, including Obama’s current one.

    But even though Clinton had to send Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Bill Burns to Moscow as her stand-in, Obama appointed her to cochair the U.S.-Russia Commission. Aides say she will focus on Russia and China as key parts of her brief, along with development, nonproliferation, and combating violent extremism. She will also step in to bring high-profile support to George Mitchell’s Mideast peace efforts when he needs her, they say.

    The Wilson Center’s Miller said that in his experience, the trust of the president is essential for a secretary of state to prove effective. “You needed a president who trusted you and in whom you could trust and who covers your back at home and covers the rest of you,” Miller said.

    Time will tell if Clinton has been wise to do the initial, low-profile diplomatic prep work at home to be an effective and consequential secretary of state, with the ear and confidence of the president, especially when crisis erupts.

    2009/07/08/with_foreign_policy_speech_clinton_plans_to_raise_her_profile

  128. Lunch with the Secretary

    Wed, 07/08/2009

    At noon today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was set to dine privately with a dozen of the nation’s top foreign-policy wise men and women. Among them: State Department Policy Planning chief and former Princeton Woodrow Wilson dean Anne-Marie Slaughter, top speech writer Lissa Muscatine, former national security advisors Zbigniew Brzezinski, Gen. Brent Scowcroft, and Samuel “Sandy” Berger,” The End of History and the Last Man author Francis Fukuyama, former National Security Council official and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace president Jessica Mathews, the original “smart power” auteur, Human Rights Watch COO and former Holbrooke aide Suzanne Nossel, Harvard Kennedy School dean emeritusand National Intelligence Council chairman Joseph S. Nye, Clinton advisor and former North Korea hand Wendy Sherman, and former Clinton administration Russia hand and Brookings Institution president Strobe Talbott.

    What’s on the menu? Among other things, discussion and guidance for a major foreign-policy speech Clinton plans to give next week. (More on that to come.)

    Nursing a broken elbow that has kept her from two overseas trips, Clinton is keeping busy, meeting with Honduras’s ousted President Manuel Zelaya Tuesday, as well as having breakfast with Vice President Joseph Biden, and preparing for the speech, as well as a trip later next week to India and the ASEAN summit in Thailand. While she was being represented in Moscow this week by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Bill Burns (a former U.S. ambassador to Moscow who was one of the few aides invited to sit in on Obama’s private meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, a source on the trip said) and U.S. ambassador to Russia John Beyrle, Clinton was named by Obama as cochair and coordinator of the U.S.-Russia Commission this week. Her Russian counterpart will be Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (with whom Clinton famously “reset” relations with a toy button that was ever-so-slightly mistranslated). A previous iteration of the important commission was run at the vice-presidential level (Gore-Chernomyrdin), but there was a desire in Washington, Russia hands said, to find a construct that would avoid having Putin be the counterpart. Smart power, indeed.

    thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/07/08/lunch_with_the_secretary

  129. JanH, I think that previous story you posted about Hillary is actually pretty good. Where did that appear? I can’t tell from the link.

    I’m glad to hear she’s giving an important foreign policy speech next week. I remember reading a while ago that she was going to start doing that. And she has a trip to India coming up soon as well.

  130. Poll shows Obama popularity slipping in Virginia – Yup hows that changing ringing these days.

    A new poll shows President Barack Obama’s popularity in Virginia has slipped below 50 percent.

    The Public Policy poll of 617 likely general election voters showed Obama with a 48 percent approval rating, which is within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

    The survey showed 46 percent disapproval and 6 percent not sure.

    The opinion is highly polarized, the poll shows, with 95 percent of Democrats but only 9 percent of Republicans viewing him favorably. Fifty-two percent of independents disapprove of his performance with only 38 percent approving.

    The poll was taken June 30 through July 2.

  131. Sorry Paula,

    I didn’t realize the link was broken.

    With foreign-policy speech, Clinton plans to raise her profile:

    news.google.ca/news?hl=en&q=With+foreign-policy+speech,+Clinton+plans+to+raise+her+profile&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=DEpVSrLwA4XYtgPM0v3zAQ&sa=X&oi=news_group&ct=title&resnum=1

  132. Yes, I agree, Jan… the previous article was well researched, well thought thought out and objectively written. More than anything I’ve read in a very long time. However, I couldn’t decipher the link either…

    JanH Says:
    July 8th, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Lunch with the Secretary

    Wed, 07/08/2009″At noon today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was set to dine privately with a dozen of the nation’s top foreign-policy wise men and women. Among them: State Department Policy Planning chief and former Princeton Woodrow Wilson dean Anne-Marie Slaughter, top speech writer Lissa Muscatine, former national security advisors Zbigniew Brzezinski, Gen. Brent Scowcroft, and Samuel “Sandy” Berger,”

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

    Now theres a nest of vipers for you.. except for Berger and the “girls”…

  133. Thanks, JanH. 🙂

    BTW, Obama’s now at 56 in the Gallup tracking poll, so he’s definitely dropping nationally and in key states. It’s definitely the economy finally catching up to him.

  134. Everyone is all about the logo on Hillary’s sling..hee!

    Here is a nice jpg of it if admin can post it for us… (for posterity)

    h…and ws…. foreignpolicy.com/images/090708_Sling.jpg

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

    Thanks Jan for posting the missing link…

  135. Paula,

    I heard that some of his cabinet are touring rural areas throughout the U.S. this summer. All on his behalf of course. Got to get the dim message out there…dumb as it is.

  136. The “Lunch with the Secretary” link is as follows:

    thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/07/08/lunch_with_the_secretary

  137. From those who dare, foreign bodies see Obama as an operative, not a politician, far and away from a statesman.
    ——————————————
    Here is what is important. Obama is a threat to foreign leaders in three respects: first, he discounts the value of their experience and history. Second, he threatens to go around them to their people, and stir loyalty to himself not them. Third, he is as you say an operative of Soros, Goldman Sacks and others who have ruined their economies. The man who sees this most clearly is Putin. Therein lies the fault line. Obama threatens them in a more serious way than Bush did. If they realize that they will listen to Hillary who speaks for America if she is allowed. The foreign policy speech is an opportunity.

  138. As suspected here, Obama and the foreign policy morons in the WH totally FU’d the situation in Honduras:

    “Hillary Rescues Honduras”
    (snip)
    “La Prensa also reported on the testimony of proposed Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, Arturo Valenzuela who told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday that this was not just a matter of resolving Zelaya’s expulsion from Honduras but that there also is a need to look at Zelaya’s effort to circumvent the Honduran Constitution and the efforts of Venezuela to interfere in Honduran internal affairs.

    This is the message that the United States should have delivered on day one but Barack Obama circumvented the State Department. It has been Hillary’s leadership over the last two weeks that has moonwalked the Hondurans back from the precipice of crisis and set them on the road to a peaceful, legal resolution of the matter that will protect Honduras from the subversion of Cuba and Venezuela. Well done Madam Secretary.”

    ww.noquarterusa.net/blog/2009/07/08/hillary-rescues-honduras/#more-27561

  139. yes, wbb- I agree..

    “The man who sees this most clearly is Putin.”

    There is a pic of Putin out there of him pointing a finger at Obama’s face. Right about the time he was praising Bush’s hospitality when visiting the ranch in Crawford. If you had seen the look on Obama’s face… hiding his rage by pulling up his socks..

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

    “Therein lies the fault line. Obama threatens them in a more serious way than Bush did. If they realize that they will listen to Hillary who speaks for America if she is allowed. The foreign policy speech is an opportunity”

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Putin had better take everything Obama said with a grain of salt. If he double-crosses Putin, (which I think is his intent) there will be Hell to pay.

  140. “It has been Hillary’s leadership over the last two weeks that has moonwalked the Hondurans back from the precipice of crisis and set them on the road to a peaceful, legal resolution of the matter that will protect Honduras from the subversion of Cuba and Venezuela. Well done Madam Secretary.”

    —————————-

    Exactly!

  141. DYB, that is truely an amazing video. Sounds like the bots will do anything to make another mess for Palin. That was a set up for the masses who idolize MJ now to hate Palin. It is also very dangerous for Palin. This is just a terrrible statement by this woman.

  142. politicsdaily.com/2009/07/08/sarah-barracuda-palin-and-the-piranhas-of-the-press/?icid=webmail|wbml-aol|dl1|link4|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.politicsdaily.com%2F2009%2F07%2F08%2Fsarah-barracuda-palin-and-the-piranhas-of-the-press%2F

    h stuff and ws.

    This Journalist admits that Palin was really executed by the Media, compared to Biden. They did worse to HRC. He also says journalism in on the demise because of this reporting. Amen.

  143. Putin had better take everything Obama said with a grain of salt. If he double-crosses Putin, (which I think is his intent) there will be Hell to pay.
    ——————————————-
    Obama marched on Moscow like Sciprio decended on Cathage, protected by the Obama girls and a revolting deluge of media crap which caused one wag to say I think he is here to manipulate us.

    And ever clever Obama did just that. He let loose his Henny Youngman one liner about Putin having one foot in the cold war, which earned him a stern lecture from the old KGB opeative. Also he tried to separate the younger president from Putin, which was not too smart since he serves at the pleasure of Putin. A shrewd move that was.

    Finally, Obama proclaimed he wanted a strong Russia and proved it by laying the groundwork to negotiate away a good part of our strategic deterrent, such a long range bombers, nuclear subs etc. consistent with his I hate American agenda.

    Big Media, who got to go along, called this another successful trip in Obamas mission to bring harmony to the world and save the planet. However, it does beg the meaning of the word successful.

  144. Obama marched on Moscow like Sciprio decended on Cathage
    ***********
    Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus was a smart guy…Obama, not so much. If Obama, or any American President wanted to be respected by the Russians, they would ask for a tour of the “Great Patriotic War Museum” in Moscow. Unless things have change since I was last in Russia, the Russians are quite sensitive that they get little credit for what they did to defeat the Germans. From the American point of view, the US Army whipped the Nazis. No mention is made of the 310 German divisions that went East and never returned.

  145. This is the message that the United States should have delivered on day one but Barack Obama circumvented the State Department. It has been Hillary’s leadership over the last two weeks that has moonwalked the Hondurans back from the precipice of crisis and set them on the road to a peaceful, legal resolution of the matter that will protect Honduras from the subversion of Cuba and Venezuela. Well done Madam Secretary.”
    ————————
    Obama failure was one of commission as well as ommission. When the crisis erupted initially, his first instinct was to jump in bed with the marxist trio and made it a quartet. He called it a coup before realizing that it was something different, and it was the marxist president who was acting in violation of the law. Obamas predisposition to side with his enemies and his failure to provide leadership on the Iran issue, give world leaders further cause not to trust him or follow his lead. That is in addition to the threat he poses to them which I mentioned above.

  146. Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus was a smart guy
    ———————————————–
    A Greater Than Napoleon–so said British Military Historian Liddell Hart. When I compared him to Obama, I was being facetious. I was comparing the sublime to the ridiculous.

  147. the Russians are quite sensitive that they get little credit for what they did to defeat the Germans
    —————————–
    Understandable. They lost 17 million lives, as I recall.

  148. I just looked at Manchelle’s European Vacation pics and I am wondering who these extra children are that seem to be traveling with the Obama kids?? They look very American so I don’t think they are from Italy. I guess we are paying for a whole lot of folks vacations now, now that most American families this year can’t afford one. Will wonders ever cease.
    There used to be an acronym at the prison we used to say. It stood for “Rank has its Priviledges”. I guess thats how the Obama’s feel?? DId alll the other children of presidents take along guests during overseas trips??

  149. When I compared him to Obama, I was being facetious
    ************
    my comment was snark on your snark.

    I think the Russians say the Germans killed ~20 million but It’s kinda hard to be sure because Stalin killed 30-40+ million Soviet Citizens from 1922-53.

  150. Stalin killed 30-40+ million Soviet Citizens from 1922-53.
    ********
    I should say that is the low estimate, some people say more than 60 million.

  151. Soviet Union[52] 168,500,000 10,700,000 11,400,000 1,000,000 23,100,000

    The 17 million deaths figure for the Soviet Union in World War II was based on a book I read by Breznevski 15 years ago. I checked it out after posting, and see that it is understated. Apparently, the official figure has been revised upwards after the Soviet Union fell, and better research was available. The latest scholarship indicates 23.1 million deaths which equates to 13% of their total population.

    1. 10,700,000 military deaths–due to German bruatality and the barbaric military tactics of General Zuckoff and the tragedy of modern warfare and the miliary machines.

    2. 11,400,000 civilian deaths due to starvation, disease, military action etc.

    3. 1,000,000 Holocaust deaths

    Staggering.

  152. Somewhere in the book I have never read Obama has said he has not had the courage to confront his own past and the circumstances of his birth which he calls “murky”. Since he is unwilling to confront his own history, it is hardly surprising that he devalues history, and the product of history which is experience. But as the above figures illustrate, and as Putin surely told history must be understood, because it is who we are. My hero, George Kennan put it ever so eloquently when he said: what I hope to give to the people in power is some sense of what I see through the lense of history and that is the hopeful path to the future, and those paths which lead only to despair and from which no one ever returns. 23 million deaths is more than a statistic. It is a human tragedy writ large. And whatever Putin may be, he at least understands that much, and that makes him a greater than Obama.

  153. Posted @ Ace… I thought a little humor was in order. I have been reading for days but can raley comment as WordPress is creating havoc with my computer. My password has to be changed daily. I feel like Cinderrella @ the stroke of midnight:
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Obama lackey: stimulus “created” 150,000 jobs
    —Purple Avenger
    What a relief. Prosperity is just around the corner. A chicken in every pot. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Now go fetch me a juice box you denialist haters. 150,000 – how’s my ass taste now bitches?

    …Since Obama signed the stimulus bill in February, the economy has shed more than 2 million jobs. Unemployment now stands at 9.5 percent, the highest in more than a quarter century.

    Robert L. Nabors II, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, testified that 150,000 jobs had been created from stimulus spending. With the stimulus spending, he said the nation is moving down the right path…

    What they failed to mention is those 150,000 jobs are for Unicorn handlers/trainers, and at Purina who had to ramp up production on the Unicorn Chow™ manufacturing lines.
    **********************
    (that path must be the Yellow brick road)

    Help, I think a house just fell on the Fraud and Mozilla looks ANGRY!

  154. To some of us Obama is far worse than a bad politician and a weak leader. He epitiomizes much of what is mawkish and sick in our culture. He is the agent of national decline.

  155. Obama lackey: stimulus “created” 150,000 jobs
    —Purple Avenger
    ————————————
    Like Casey Stengel used to say: do the math.

    $1,200,000,000,000 stimulus package including interest
    _____________________________________________ (divided by)

    150,000 jobs

    = $8,000,000 job

    Now that’s what I call a great ROI (return on investment)

  156. canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/12737

    Nearly Six Months In, Obama Still “Achievement” Free

    By John Lillpop Wednesday, July 8, 2009
    As tough as it is to admit it, Hillary Rodham Clinton got one right when she tried to warn America that Barack Obama was an inexperienced, naive poser without any achievement to his credit.

    As reported by the LA Times, in part, during the heat of the 2008 campaign:

    “I think that I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. Sen. John McCain has a lifetime of experience that he’d bring to the White House. And Sen. Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.”

    The unwashed masses fell in love with this bright and silver-tongued man of color who, if elected, would make your car and mortgage payments for you, provide free health care for everyone, and end partisan squabbling.

    He would deal with Iran, North Korea, Al-Qaeda and other avowed enemies of America by simply talking nice to them.

    He would solve the energy crisis by reminding everyone to check the air pressure in his or her tires.

    He would declare all of America a “nuclear-free” zone which would immediately end the threat of nuclear war and eliminate the need for all of those silly missile shields that Republicans kept pushing to keep their pals in the defense industry rich and happy.

    Weakest, least able, and least pro-American presidency in our history

    Nearly six months into the weakest, least able, and least pro-American presidency in our history, Barack Hussein Obama remains a man without achievement.

    The only CHANGE he has managed is to the US dollar which, after months of Obamanomics, has been downgraded to change!

    Thank goodness, the people are starting to wake up, as in Ohio where Obama’s approval rating has slipped to 49 percent.

    A counter-revolution is in the air.

    The people have pretty much had it, and will soon demand CHANGE in the Oval Office and in the halls of Congress presently clogged with lefty nut balls like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

    Hang on patriots! This too will pass.

  157. 1. 10,700,000 military deaths–due to German bruatality and the barbaric military tactics of General Zuckoff and the tragedy of modern warfare and the miliary machines.
    ***********
    I don’t think an American can possibly understand the “Eastern Front”. It was a “knife fight” to the death. Up until Kursk, the Russians were not well trained and were at a severe equipment disadvantage; frontal assaults, using troops to clear mine fields, anything that they could do to kill Germans. Their backs were against the wall. As you document, the best current guess is 10.7 million Russian military causalities. The German’s lost 5.2+ million, there were a lot of German MIA’s, so who really knows. If the Russians had retreated behind the Urals and told the Americans and Brits “It’s all yours boys”, there is no way in hell that the American or British public would have tolerated the number of causalities needed to defeat the Germans. I think that fact is what annoys the Russians about the American attitude re:WW II.

  158. Kennan was one of Roosevelts four wise men. He was the architect fo the Marshall Plan. He was a scholar in residence at Princeton when my friend the Cuban Banker was there. My friend went to a lecture by Kennan, and at the end of it tried to pay Kennan a compliment. Unfortunately, it came out wrong and Kennan interpeted it as an insult. I thought that only happened to me when I used to ask girls out on dates, but evidently the practice is more prevalent than I assumed. In any event, I see strong shades of Hillary in Marshall, and in the first draft of the letter I sent to her congratulating her of SOS, I made reference to Kennan in connection with the doctrine of smart power. Kennan worked for Truman and then Eisenhower, and you can see how these themes echo and re echo throughout the American history which the benighted Obama sees as irrelevant. From Wikkopedia:

    The critical difference between the Truman and Eisenhower approaches to containment, however, had to do with Eisenhower’s concerns that the U.S. could not sustain high military expenditures over long periods of time. [30] The new president thus sought to minimize costs not by acting whenever and wherever the Soviets acted (a strategy designed to avoid risk), but rather whenever and wherever the U.S. could afford to act

  159. It was a “knife fight” to the death.
    ____________________________________
    Well put. Hitler had his best general on the eastern front–Manstein. Liddell Hart interviewed the German generals who surrendered to the allies after the war, and that was the unanimous consensus. His strategy was to take full advantage of time and space, and flanking movements, whereas Hitler demanded that they dig in and not retreat. Stalingrad was their gotterdammeung. That directive alone plus the brutal Russian winter cost at least a million lives. Napoleon tried the same thing a century earlier. He entered Russia with with an army of 5 million and came out with 500,000 if memory serves. My dad told me one of my relatives was named Barkley and he was a French general at that time. On further research I discovered Barkley was in fact a Russian general who commanded the Czars army and used the scorched earth doctrine later deployed against Hitler. I later learned that he died childless. So much for family legends.

  160. The only thing I could figure is Barkley adopted a child and that was perhaps who my relative was. But as the great Obama would say, it is murky.

  161. My favorite military historian J.F.C. Fuller was a British General and historian who studied the campaigns of Alexander the Great, and invented the doctrine of bleitzkreig deployed by Guderian in the west. In his book The Conduct of War, he refers to a diary kept by an SS officer who said that he knew the war in the east was lost long before Stalingrad. He said it was lost the day they hoisted the Nazi flag rather than the Ukranian flag over a captured city in the Ukraine. The reason he said that was because Ukraine hated Stalin and was a natural ally. Bush’s initial policy in Iraq seemed to confuse that issue, when he talked about an American crusade. To the mind of a neo con it was our war–the unfinished business of 1991. But in fact, it was never our war, it was theirs. As I look back on Hillarys brilliant cross examination of the co-chairmen of the Iraq Study Group–James Baker and Lee Atwood, her understanding of that was obvious. Not for nothing did 36 flag officers support her candidacy. And who did bambi have in his corner? That smart ass 90 day wonder General McPeak–dont get me started on the airforce generals.

  162. marie3548 Says:

    July 9th, 2009 at 12:42 am
    canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/12737

    Nearly Six Months In, Obama Still “Achievement” Free
    —————————————————-
    Wonderful article. Once the American People come to their collective senses about Obama, the next problem will be to stand up to the ACORN thugs who are hell bent on controlling the census and corrupting the vote. The record of the 2008 primary is pertinent and this may turn out to be a far bigger challenge than people anticipate. Also we will have the left wing bloggers to contend with.

  163. I think that I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. Sen. John McCain has a lifetime of experience that he’d bring to the White House. And Sen. Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.”
    —————————————————-
    You know experience means nothing to Obama when he makes a 31 year old Harvard jackass his car czar. Think of how many jobs in this country depend on the sound decisionmaking by this young whippersnapper whose fountain of knowledge is drawn from a textbook–as opposed to real life experience and whose solutions will therefore have the smell of the lamp rather than the ring of reality to them. It is a certain formula for failure and it does make you wonder whether Obama is stupid or wants the company to fail so he can sell it to China.

  164. This is a trainwreck in slow motion, but only to those who have eyes to see, ears to hear and a sense of history.

  165. wbboei: Your words are absolutely true. Just hooked up with an old, old, old friend this past week. He is a veterinarian and I thought at one time a quite intelligent man. Needless to say, our convo turned to the country and I find he’s still koolaid drunk on teh one. He is in “blame Bush” mode. You can’t reason with some of them that, hey they’ve been in charge now for 8 months, where is the beef!

    God, I’m disgusted right now.
    The past month has been a month from hell for me. Car breakdowns, animal sickness, unexpected issues, expected issues. I wanna hibernate for about 3 years and come out with this nightmare is over.

  166. Yes the Russians were in the war longer than the Americans and suffered massive casualties. This much is true.

    At the same time, I just have a very hard time reconciling Russia’s own history of brutality. My grandparents on both sides came from the Russian Ukraine in the early 20th century. They left a lifetime of hardships and violent prejudice.

    Russia has every right to be acknowledged for their hard work and sacrifices in WWII. I hope they are also willing to be acknowledged for their unconscionable massacres of minorities over the years as well.

  167. US, Israel settlement deal emerging

    Jul. 8, 2009
    herb keinon and gil hoffman

    Israel and the US are moving toward a compromise solution on the settlement issue that might allow both sides to claim “victory,” The Jerusalem Post has learned.

    According to senior government officials, under this type of solution, Israel would declare a moratorium of a few months on the settlement issue, possibly half a year, while the US would give Israel a green light to complete a still-to-be-determined number of housing units in the settlements that are in advanced stages of construction.

    Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office would not confirm media reports that work on some 2,500 housing units in the settlements would continue.

    Under this type of arrangement, US President Barack Obama would be able to claim a victory in getting Israel to agree to a moratorium on any new housing starts in the settlements, while Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu could claim that he did not agree to a complete freeze, and that housing construction would continue.

    In addition, US Mideast envoy George Mitchell would continue efforts to extract normalization gestures from at least some countries in the Arab world.
    A State Department spokesman on Wednesday night denied the media reports on the 2,500 housing units.

    Israeli officials said that Obama was continuing pushing hard on the settlement issue because of a feeling he needed some breakthrough here to be able to go to the Arab world and build coalitions to help the US deal with mounting problems in Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran. Once agreement is reached on the settlement issue, and the US gets some gestures from the Arab world, the next step would possibly be an event – likely an international conference – where a “to do” list would be presented regarding what needed to be done to move the diplomatic process forward.

    This “to do” list, according to one well-placed source, was shaping up as a revamped edition of the road map, with sequential phases and a stronger regional component, meaning that the Arab states would be asked to become involved in the normalization of ties in the early stages, rather than at the end, of the process.

    In addition, any new road map would have take into consideration – and deal with in detail – something that did not exist when the original road map was launched in 2003: Hamas control of the Gaza Strip. Diplomatic sources said that the US, interested in shoring up its relations with Russia, is now much more amenable than in the past to the idea of an international conference in Moscow to launch the new initiative. The sources said the issue was discussed during Obama’s recent visit to Moscow, and that it will also be raised at the G8 meeting that opened Wednesday in Italy.

    Arad revealed that ahead of Netanyahu’s meeting with Obama in May, the National Security Council prepared reports that articulated the American commitments in great detail. Netanyahu also quizzed his predecessor, Ehud Olmert, in a meeting on Friday about the agreements he had reached with president George W. Bush behind the scenes. “The problem is that Americans saw the situation from a different perspective than we did and it required convergence that we are working on now,” Arad said in response to a question from The Jerusalem Post.
    “The US didn’t see itself obligated by the agreements. Our demand to respect previous standpoints has necessitated the dialogue with the US continuing to this very day. Israel expects agreements to be honored.”

    Arad said the policy review period that the Netanyahu and Obama administrations embarked on when the two new leaders took over did not end when they met in Washington and would continue until a framework is agreed on how to proceed on the diplomatic front.

    Netanyahu’s policy planning director Ron Dermer vowed at the press conference that no compromises would be made on Israel’s insistence that a Palestinian state be demilitarized. He promised that the prime minister would never utter the words “Palestinian state” without the word “demilitarized” preceding them.
    When asked why Netanyahu waited to say those words in an address at Bar-Ilan University rather than already uttering them in Washington, Dermer said that Netanyahu purposely did so in order to emphasize his conditions for a Palestinian state before committing himself to establishing it.

    Channel 2 reported Wednesday night that the prime minister had told his father, 100-year-old historian Benzion Netanyahu, that he purposely set the conditions knowing that the Palestinians would never agree to them. “He doesn’t support [a Palestinian state],” the father said in a phone interview. “He set conditions that they won’t ever accept. That’s what he told me. He set the conditions and they won’t accept even one of them.”

    Netanyahu’s office responded by accusing Channel 2 of “maliciously tricking a 100-year-old man.”

    Kadima released a statement saying that the interview proved that Netanyahu did not endorse a Palestinian state in good faith.

    jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1246443757019&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter

    ————————

    I hope they get something in writing this time.

  168. S Says:

    July 8th, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    this is no longer our democratic party…it has been hijacked

    On May 31st 2008 I undersood that the democratic party had been hijacked, I stood in front of my tv in shock. And every day seems to bring me more shock from the group I onced belived in, oh what a fool I was for the lat 28 years.

  169. Wow internet and cable out this morning(again) so I watched morning news on a local station. More Jackson. And then some more Jackson. Very annoying.

  170. henry,

    Once again the media has judged that a celebrity (as talented as he was) is more important than any world crisis out there.

  171. Under this type of arrangement, US President Barack Obama would be able to claim a victory in getting Israel to agree to a moratorium on any new housing starts in the settlements, while Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu could claim that he did not agree to a complete freeze, and that housing construction would continue.
    ————————————
    If that is the deal then Bambi got out negotiated which is good. Bibi gave Bambi the sleeves off his vest, plus has the green light to go after Iran if Biden is to be believed. I saw something that Bambi disagreed but that is okay because he will change his mind 99 times between now and then. He always claims victory but no one except a fool would believe him. Recall, he demanded an absolute halt and he did not get it.

  172. You can’t reason with some of them that, hey they’ve been in charge now for 8 months, where is the beef!
    ——————————-
    DOT is it that he cant see where this train is headed or wont allow himself to see where the train is headed, because if it is the former ask him how long he would stay in business as a veternarian if he was deep in debt, borrowed more and more money and grossly overestimated his future revenues with which he hoped to maintain his business and retire the debt. If it is the latter, show him the hedges article entitled brand obama so he knows how he got bamboozled. But the bottom line is we do need a third way. Which raises a further question: if there was a viable alternative who was in tune with the values that have made our country great, and was neither Bush or Obama would you be interested. The people who were wrong dont want to be seen as wrong and cannot get past Bush. That is why they need a door 3.

  173. Generation Obama Meets Bill Clinton

    07/9/09

    As Bill Clinton spoke to the standing-room-only conference of liberal student activists in a packed Washington ballroom yesterday, he peered over his reading glasses to assess the crowd. They were diverse, quite young and awfully friendly.

    Although they had seemed mortal enemies during the 2008 campaign, all seemed to be forgiven between Clinton and this crowd of energized Obama devotees at the Campus Progress national conference. They had Facebooked and Twittered their way to a presidential victory, and in the process yanked it away from Hillary Clinton and put it in the hands of a generation closer to their own. But that was history now, and Clinton had a challenge for his new friends.

    Over the course of his nearly hour-long speech, he told them that to live in today’s “communitarian” world, they had to get busy thinking about the how. “You should think of your generation as the ‘how generation,’ ” the 62-year-old ex-president told them. “This is a great moment, but it isn’t enough to be proud of your new president and cheer from the sidelines. You have to answer the how question.”
    How will they reverse climate change? How will they change the delivery system for health care and education? How will they pay for their parents’ Medicare and the costs of their children’s Type 2 diabetes? “You’ll be worried sick about the future of your children,” he warned.

    The speech held most of the students’ attention most of the time, but it wasn’t really the stuff of Clintonian legend. Time, age and the 2008 defeat seemed to have mellowed the populist everyman from Hope. Gone was the randy former governor of Arkansas and politically brilliant, if self-destructive, two-term president. In his place was a white haired, almost grandfatherly, figure, lecturing the students from a podium several feet above the crowd. A bright orange tie set off his expensive-looking khaki suit, where one hand rested casually in a pants pocket while the other pointed left, right and directly at his audience to emphasize one socially responsible point or another.

    From the carbon footprint of Korea to housing in New Orleans’s Ninth Ward, from narco-traffickers to the importance of being a public servant as a private citizen, Clinton gave the Generation Obama kids a to-do list long enough to last their entire lives.

    He also gave them a look back at his own administration, heavy on the victories (“we passed the biggest increase in college aid in 50 years”), light on the defeats (his failed efforts at health care reform) and silent on the scandals that plagued his eight years in office.

    But who in this room knew or cared? Many of these Democratic newbies were toddlers when Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992. They described him as a likable, charismatic relic and looked back on his administration, to the extent that they could, with a blend of nostalgia and appreciation. They are the first generation with no memory of how bad it got for Bill Clinton and the first to see him as truly a figure from the political past, rather than the present.

    “I remember the saxophone, the dog and Hillary,” said Cierra Robinson, a 23-year-old student from Howard University. “There was a sense of comfort back then.”

    “Part of the reason we’re here is because of his administration,” said Melissa Morales, 21.

    Desiree Ortiz, 20, said, “He’s the bridge between two generations,” adding, “I felt like he was speaking to me, but I guess everybody says that.”

    Vinayak Muralidhar, a 20-year-old student at M.I.T., compared the past president to the current one. “When I saw Obama speak, he was very inspirational, but not specific,” he said. “Clinton gave us things we can do.”

    So where does Bill Clinton ultimately fit in with the Obama-generation Democrats?

    When asked if Clinton helped pave the way for Obama to become president, Cierra Robinson said, “I think when she endorsed him, that helped out.” The Clinton who was relevant in Robinson’s mind, of course, was Hillary.

    politicsdaily.com/2009/07/09/generation-obama-meets-bill-clinton/

  174. DOES ANYONE BELIEVE OBAMA WHEN HE STATES WE’RE ON THE RIGHT TRACK???

    Not even the NY Times does…
    and losing 2,000,000 jobs while using the funny-money “saved jobs” estimate of 150,000 still leaves quite an impressive hole. This quote from the article shows the contrast between obama’s blah-blah-blah and the consequences of his power grab:

    “Administration officials had predicted that the stimulus program would save or create 600,000 jobs by summer. But the economy has lost more than two million jobs since Mr. Obama took office, and officials now estimate that the program has saved only about 150,000 jobs.”

    nytimes.com/2009/07/09/us/politics/09stimulus.html?_r=1&ref=politics

    Doubts About Obama’s Economic Recovery
    Plan Rise Along With Unemployment
    ==============================

    By EDMUND L. ANDREWS
    Published: July 8, 2009
    WASHINGTON — At his inauguration in January, President Obama warned that times would get tougher before they got better. He has been proved correct.

    With unemployment already at 9.5 percent and likely to exceed 10 percent, much higher than White House officials predicted back in February, Mr. Obama has been facing attacks that his $787 billion stimulus program was either too timid or wrong-headed or both. Now, just five months after Congress agreed on the plan, with only a fraction of the money actually out the door, Washington is debating the need for a second round of stimulus amid economic and political crosscurrents.

    In Ohio, where unemployment is above 10 percent and where Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will visit on Thursday, Mr. Obama’s popularity has dropped sharply. In a poll by Quinnipiac University earlier this week, 48 percent of respondents said they disapproved of Mr. Obama’s handling of the economy, while 46 percent approved, down 11 percentage points since May.

    “People are soured on the system, and that’s understandable,” said Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio. “People want to see more money for water and sewers. They want to see more manufacturing growth. They want to see what we’re going to do beyond that.”

    For the moment, Mr. Obama and his top economic advisers are fending off calls for more action, combining a message of hard-headed realism about the magnitude of the economy’s problems with more cheerful predictions about an imminent boost as the government spending begins to hit the streets.

    “The stimulus is on track,” Lawrence H. Summers, director of the White House National Economic Council, said Wednesday in an interview. “We planned for a program that would stimulate the economy over a two-year period, with a force that increases significantly over calendar year 2009. The implementation is on track to deliver that.”

    Administration officials say a job market recovery usually lags behind the economic recovery itself. Indeed, most forecasters had predicted that unemployment was likely to keep rising through the end of 2009 and would not start to edge down until 2010.

    “People know that problems of this seriousness cannot be turned around in six months or nine months,” Mr. Summers said. “One of the president’s strengths is his extraordinary candor. The president has been honest with the American people about the enormity of the challenge and the amount of time it will take to turn things around.”

    But political pressures may not give the administration two years to show that its plan is working, especially if Democrats in Congress begin to conclude that continued bad economic news is putting them at risk of losing seats in the 2010 midterm elections.

    Mr. Obama has bought time by casting the struggling economy as the legacy of President George W. Bush, but as time passes it increasingly becomes his problem and his party’s.

    Administration officials had predicted that the stimulus program would save or create 600,000 jobs by summer. But the economy has lost more than two million jobs since Mr. Obama took office, and officials now estimate that the program has saved only about 150,000 jobs.

    Republicans say that Mr. Obama’s recovery plan is failing and proves that government spending is an inefficient way to help the economy. Some Democrats fret that the program may be either too small or too slow.

    Laura Tyson, a former economic adviser to President Bill Clinton, told an investor group in Singapore on Wednesday that the stimulus program was a “bit too small” and that the United States might need a second effort.

    A top House Democrat, Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, told reporters on Tuesday that policy makers needed to be “open” to the possibility of a second program.

    Administration officials acknowledge that their initial forecasts, which anticipated that unemployment would peak at 8.5 percent, were too optimistic, although they were in line with Federal Reserve and most private forecasters. On Sunday, Mr. Biden acknowledged that officials had “misread” the economy.

    The looming political battle is about how to respond, and three camps are forming. The first includes the White House and most Democratic leaders in Congress, who champion a wait-and-see approach until more of the stimulus money hits the streets.

    White House officials estimate that the government has committed $158 billion for spending around the country, but only about one-third of that has been spent. Temporary tax cuts have totaled about $43 billion thus far, according to White House estimates.

    A second camp, consisting of nervous Democrats and some economists, argues that the government must spur the economy with another round of spending, tax cuts or a mixture of both.

    The third camp is led by Republicans, many of whom argue that the spending program was wrong from the start and that the government should focus on tax cuts.

    But Mr. Obama and Democratic lawmakers face difficult political and economic constraints if they try any kind of midcourse correction.

    The budget deficit for 2009 will hit $1.7 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That equals 12 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product and is far higher than any deficit under any president since World War II.

    Regardless of whether a second round of stimulus came from higher spending or lower taxes, the added kick to the economy would take months to arrive and would push the deficit even higher.

    One risk facing policy makers is that bond investors around the world, already jittery about the flood of new Treasury debt being issued, would become even more nervous about future inflation and demand higher interest rates. Higher rates would probably push up the cost of mortgages as well as business borrowing, offsetting any lift that came from an additional stimulus program.

    But the other risk is that the economy sinks even more than expected right now, compounding the problems policy makers already have. Waiting too long could heighten that danger.

  175. and its getting worse

    Latest Obama Approval Numbers 51%-48% (Pres. Approval index down to -8)

    “The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 30% of the nation’s voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-eight percent (38%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of –8. The President’s Approval Index rating has fallen six points since release of a disappointing jobs report last week.”

  176. moon,

    I was praying that this trend would continue. So now I expect the dims to throw someone else under the bus again and change message.

  177. Thirty-nine percent (39%) now give the President good or excellent marks for handling the economy while 43% say he is doing a poor job.

    There is a gender gap when it comes to perceptions of Obama’s performance. By a 46% to 27% margin, men Strongly Disapprove. Women are more evenly divided—33% Strongly Approve and 30% Strongly Disapprove.

    Thirty-four percent (34%) of voters nationwide say the U.S. is heading in the right direction, the lowest level of optimism since mid-March.

    In other words, your hope is fading and the change is not coming.

  178. Another thing i’ve noticed is that Dems are now in trouble for next year. The republican is leading for the NJ Gov Race. They do not like Corzine there. Things are a changing and i think people are really going to take it out on the dems next year.

  179. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state shows Christie with a seven-point lead over Corzine, 46% to 39%. A month ago, immediately following his GOP Primary victory, Christie led by 13 percentage points. The current numbers are just about identical to the pre-primary numbers from May.

    the deadly numbers for Corzine.

    Corzine is viewed favorably by 43% of voters and unfavorably by 46%. Fifty-seven percent (57%) have a favorable opinion of Christie, with 36% unfavorable. Corzine’s favorable ratings are up two points from a month ago, but Christie’s are up four.

    Just 40% say they approve of the way Corzine is doing his job while 58% disapprove. That’s down two points from a month ago. Of particular concern for the governor should be the fact that just 16% Strongly Approve and 44% Strongly Disapprove.

    Among those who could still change their mind, 60% disapprove of Corzine’s performance including 38% who Strongly Disapprove.

    By a 55% to 32% margin, voters say they trust Christie more than Corzine on taxes. The gap is similar on the topic of cutting government spending: 54% trust Christie more while 29% trust Corzine. On the question of cutting government corruption, Christie, a former federal prosecutor, has a 57% to 28% advantage. On all three topics, Christie has a slightly larger edge than he did a month ago.

  180. Analysts are suggesting that it is the independents who while once swayed by the false messiah are now turning on him in droves.

  181. “The stimulus is on track,” Lawrence H. Summers, director of the White House National Economic Council, said Wednesday in an interview. “We planned for a program that would stimulate the economy over a two-year period, with a force that increases significantly over calendar year 2009. The implementation is on track to deliver that.”
    *********
    Interesting that Summers admits that the timing of spending was in-sync with the election cycle. Obama is Bush III…The political office at the WH is controlling policy.

    More spin..”Labor Department says first time jobless claims fell by 52,000 last week to 565,000″..Wow!! only 565,000 new jobless last week…The idiots were playing “cute” with the stim. money, hundreds of billions in tax cuts that don’t save jobs, political rewards and loading spending to try and influence ’10 election. The jobless “sh*t” is really going to hit the fan as the States unwind and begin to layoff more and more employees.

  182. oh look a lessjobs lost just in time for the G8 summit and obamas bad polling, call me cynical but………………

    and yes its is the independents thats a turning on Obama in droves, thats where it always will be and looking at the upsurge in republican generic ballot polling, i’d say they will deliver a kicking next year at midterms.

  183. Unlike Predecessors, Clinton Left Behind on Presidential Foreign Travel
    By the time President Obama returns from Ghana, the last stop on his latest three-country tour, he will have visited nine countries without Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    By Judson Berger

    FOXNews.com

    Thursday, July 09, 2009
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    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to reporters after meeting with ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya in Washington on Tuesday. (AP Photo)

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to reporters after meeting with ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya in Washington on Tuesday. (AP Photo)
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    When the president travels out of country, his secretary of state customarily follows.

    Not so with Hillary Clinton.

    More and more, President Obama is ditching his top diplomat when he travels abroad. By the time Obama returns from Ghana on Sunday, the last stop on his latest three-country tour, he will have visited nine countries without Clinton.

    That’s highly unusual for a new secretary of state. Though Clinton has accompanied Obama on several key international visits this year, including Egypt and Trinidad and Tobago, Obama has spent far more time than his predecessors without his foreign policy point person.

    Some analysts say this could be a product of Obama’s acute interest in diplomacy and international affairs, or perhaps his wariness to promote on the world stage a former rival whose star power could detract from his.

    But they wonder whether Clinton, who as first lady traveled the world, is being used to her fullest potential at a time when crises are flaring all over the globe.

    “Whenever the president is on foreign travel, it’s typical that the secretary of state would travel with the president,” said a former top State Department official in the Bush administration. “It seems that (Clinton has) had a bit lower profile over the past couple months as opposed to when she entered office.”

    The former official said Clinton entered the post with the “widest public recognition” of any secretary of state, but that she’s since drifted more into the background.

    “That could be by design, on her part or his part,” the official said.

    Aides to both Clinton and Obama took pains to describe the close working relationship between the two, citing Clinton’s attendance at weekly meetings with Obama and Vice President Biden and her participation in other meetings the president holds with foreign leaders.

    “The secretary and the president consult often, and share common foreign policy objectives,” said State Department spokesman Ian Kelly. “She is proud to be part of his team.”

    Recently, Clinton’s absence on the world stage can be attributed in part to her broken elbow. She right away canceled plans to attend meetings in Italy and Greece after her injury from a spill last month.

    The State Department announced last week she wouldn’t be going to Russia either, where Obama was meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev, before heading to Italy and then Ghana. Aides said she had used her personal relationship with Russia’s foreign minister to shape this week’s summit but that the injury prevented her from attending.

    Kelly called the injury a “serious break” and said she was spending some time working at home to recover.

    It’s unclear, though, whether she would have accompanied Obama to the other countries on his itinerary.

    Clinton’s absence only expands the list of nations Obama will have visited without Clinton: Ghana, Italy, Russia, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Turkey and Canada.

    With that kind of globetrotting schedule, it may be hard for anyone to keep up.

    But Madeleine Albright marched practically lockstep with former President Bill Clinton around the world when she joined him in his second term.

    In fact, the last four secretaries of state were pretty much buddy-buddy with the president overseas during their first six months on the job — whether the president traveled a lot, or a little.

    — Secretary of State Warren Christopher accompanied Clinton on all three foreign trips the president took in the first half of 1993.

    — Albright and Clinton hit up a whopping nine countries together during their first six months together. Clinton did veer off on his own to visit former Prime Minister Tony Blair in Britain and later to visit Denmark dignitaries.

    — Secretary of State Colin Powell tagged along with President George W. Bush on three foreign trips in their first six months, with Bush going on his own once to Britain.

    — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made three separate European tours with Bush after she took her post in the first half of 2005. In July, Bush took a solo trip to Scotland and Denmark. But Rice accompanied Bush on every trip after that for the rest of the year, through South America and then through Asia.

    Clinton and Obama aren’t quite as tight. The president’s chief rival in the Democratic primaries did not accompany Obama on his first foreign trip in office to Canada. She was on a multi-country tour through Asia at the time.

    She later met up with Obama in April for stops in three European countries, but left when Obama headed to Turkey — his first visit as president to a Muslim country.

    She met up with Obama again later that month for the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, after the president made a solo stop in Mexico while Clinton went to Haiti and the Dominican Republican.

    And she joined him in Cairo, Egypt, in early June for one day, in the middle of Obama’s Middle Eastern and European tour. Obama had already visited Saudi Arabia, and then went on to Germany and France without her. Clinton had spent three days prior to the president’s departure in El Salvador and Honduras.

    Like her predecessors, Clinton has kept a vigorous international schedule of her own.

    She’s visited Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Central America, as well as Canada and Mexico, on her own time. While the president was in Russia on Tuesday, she met in Washington with ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya. She announced that Costa Rica’s president would serve as an international mediator in the leadership crisis in Honduras.

    Clinton plans to head to India on a separate trip late next week. To mark her first six months on the job, she is also scheduled to deliver a major policy speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

    Brian Darling, an analyst with the conservative Heritage Foundation and former counsel to Republican senators, acknowledged that Clinton travels a lot on her own but said she loses out by not accompanying Obama.

    “The president views himself as diplomat-in chief. … He loves diplomacy. He clearly very much enjoys meeting with the leaders of foreign countries so he’s taken over the role of what Hillary would normally do,” Darling said. “I think it may denigrate the influence Hillary may have when meeting with foreign leaders.”

    Darling, as well as the former State Department official, noted that Clinton also is surrounded by special envoys to diplomatic and security hotspots. High-profile names include Pakistan and Afghanistan envoy Richard Holbrooke, Mideast envoy George Mitchell and U.S. representative to Six-Party Talks with North Korea Stephen Bosworth. Darling said their roles detract from Clinton’s influence as well.

    But Clinton apparently is having her voice heard one way or another.

    The Washington Times reported last week that it was Clinton who urged Obama to toughen his language on Iran’s crackdown on protesters in the wake of the country’s disputed election.

    Obama had taken heat from some who thought the president was being too soft on the regime.

    The Times reported that Obama, who later said he was “appalled and outraged” by the crackdown, did not inform Clinton ahead of time, though, that he was taking her advice.

    Several officials confirmed to FOX News that Clinton and Obama did not initially agree on the tone the president should take toward Iran. But they denied there was any rift between the two and suggested the leak on the Iran story could be traced to former Clinton aides still in “campaign mode.”

    “What we’re seeing here is the fruits of a very effective interagency process,” said Assistant Secretary of State P.J. Crowley. “The president is getting the best advice he can from his advisers. Sure, there are debates. But this is part of a healthy give-and-take that yields good policy.”

    Click here to read ‘Is Obama Hiding Hillary?’ on FOX Forum.

    Click here to read more on the State Department.

    FOX News’ Nina Donaghy contributed to this report.
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