The Barack Obama Double Murders Mystery

We planned to publish PINOs Palin Panic Part II today but it is a Friday and we are amused and distracted by silly events and memories of Bill.

Michael Tomasky, a writer we used to respect (we’ll have more on him soon) writes today about the DrudgeReport picture of Obama.

There’s a bit of hubbub over whether Obama, in the instantly famous picture really was checking out that young lady’s backside. Drudge is running big with it, under the (I admit) funny headline “Second Stimulus Package!”

However, if you at the video, not just the still, things get a bit murkier. It seems he may merely have been looking down at some steps.

In either case, I have trouble seeing the political problem here. Especially in the former case. I don’t quite get why Drudge is trumpeting this.

Tomasky used to be astute but apparently is now so Hopium addled that he cannot see why this is so amusing. We’ll remind him with this video:

We are sure Tomasky is not so dumb that he actually fails to understand why the pictures of smarmy Obama and Sarkozy are such a sensation. Yes, they are amusing and funny but they also go at the artificial construct that Obama is a flawless family man unlike, those horrible other people (the Hopium addled immediately yell Clinton!).

Big Media outlet ABC (among others) immediately lunged to protect Obama from even the hint of imperfection. No surprise there. What did pleasantly surprise was the reaction in the comments section. Banner at 4:43 p.m. spoke for many:

He was checking her out, big deal. Guys do that.

What is SICKENING is the press trying to cover up for it! Guys, get your noses out of his butt already!

And who really cares anyway? I’m more concerned about his getting rid of our missile shield with N korea and Iran are threatening to shoot missles at us! Or this Cap and Tax farce.

Wendy at 4:42 bought things back to Governor Sarah Palin:

ABC so worried about Obama and will go to great lenghts to defend him..yet these same droolers will continue to quote Levi Johnston..this administration’s government controlled media joke..I only watch FOX news to get both sides..until they shut it down.

At 4:43 Angus put the situation into perspective:

ABC will cover for Obama no matter what. They’re now OBC. Leave it to OBC to try to mitigate this lapse of judgement. Maybe OBC can do a 30 minute special from the Whitehouse with Obama on bootycall.

Like us, Jon (at 4:36) remembered the Saudi bow:

OK he didn’t bow to the Saudi King, but he did bow to the stairs because otherwise they would be impassible.

Or…he did bow to the Saudi King and he did stare at the girls booty.

To many excuses make the obvious apparent.

Katie Couric’s IQ linked to The Onion and what would happen if Barack Obama murdered neighbors:

More than a week after President Barack Obama’s cold-blooded killing of a local couple, members of the American news media admitted Tuesday that they were still trying to find the best angle for covering the gruesome crime.

“I know there’s a story in there somewhere,” said Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, referring to Obama’s home invasion and execution-style slaying of Jeff and Sue Finowicz on Apr. 8. “Right now though, it’s probably best to just sit back and wait for more information to come in. After all, the only thing we know for sure is that our president senselessly murdered two unsuspecting Americans without emotion or hesitation.”

Added Meacham, “It’s not so cut and dried.”

[Picture: Associated Press reporters investigate any possible gym training regimens the president might have used to get into peak physical condition for the murders.]

Since the killings took place, reporters across the country have struggled to come up with an appropriate take on the ruthless crime, with some wondering whether it warrants front-page coverage, and others questioning its relevance in a fast-changing media landscape.

“What exactly is the news hook here?” asked Rick Kaplan, executive producer of the CBS Evening News. “Is this an upbeat human-interest story about a ‘day in the life’ of a bloodthirsty president who likes to kill people? Or is it more of an examination of how Obama’s unusual upbringing in Hawaii helped to shape the way he would one day viciously butcher two helpless citizens in their own home?”

“Or maybe the story is just that murder is cool now,” Kaplan continued. “I don’t know. There are a million different angles on this one.”

So far, the president’s double-homicide has not been covered by any major news outlets.

* * * * *

This past week Obama made a fool of himself in Russia. Charles Krauthammer covered the serious consequences of the Obama foolery. We like that at least one Big Media columnist understands that Obama will ride over anyone or anything in his quest for publicity and applause. We particularly like this sentence which sums Obama’s craving for publicity succinctly: And our president likes his plumage.

But it was a 25 year old Russian who we declare an honorary Pinko:

Crowds did not clamor for a glimpse of him. Headlines offered only glancing or flippant notice of his activities. Television programming was uninterrupted; devotees of the Russian Judge Judy had nothing to fear. Even many students and alumni of the Western-oriented business school where Mr. Obama gave the graduation address on Tuesday seemed merely respectful, but hardly enthralled.

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.”

You got it Kirill.

* * * * *

On July 4th Politico published a story which glorified Obama and imagined how great Obama would be when he arrives in Africa later today. The article which took only minimal swipes at Bill Clinton reminded us why Bill is our guy.

Politico did not seem to realize that a white Bill Clinton getting a great crowd and a great crowd reaction says something more uplifting about humanity than the tired story of Obama ‘getting down in Africa with his homies’.

Still it was a good story for a weekend summer night:

It might seem like a moment just too good for the White House to pass up – America’s first black president, on his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa, looking out over a sea of jubilant faces, delivering a message of friendship and hope.

Yet President Barack Obama, who would command a monumental audience nearly anywhere he spoke on the continent where he traces his ancestry, is not scheduled to deliver a speech to the general public when he visits Ghana next week.

The White House said it preferred a smaller event at Ghana’s parliament to herald the nation’s democratic traditions. But some suspect the reason has its roots in an event that holds a storied place in White House lore – President Bill Clinton’s 1998 speech to a massive crowd in the sweltering heat of Accra, Ghana, where Obama will visit as well.

It does not really occur to Politico that maybe Obama is afraid that he cannot get a crowd greater than white old “racist” Bill Clinton. The possibility that at best Obama could only match Bill is not considered. Old, white, “racist” Bill Clinton who did so much to help the world was loved – even by all those African-Africans even though Bill Clinton was only the first Black president. Obama will always take second to Bill, at best.

And Bill saved a life. Don’t ever forget that. Bill saved many Muslim lives in the Balkans and many lives of all colors and creeds. Bill also personally saved a life. Barack Obama only saves his news clippings.

Whatever the number, the overheated, overcrowded, overwhelming event left some in Clinton’s party worried that he’d been shot, and a doctor concerned that he could contract HIV from frantic interaction with the crowd. And it took a threatening turn at the end, as a red-faced, shouting Clinton implored the crowd, “Get back! Back off!” as it threatened to crush a woman near the front of the stage.

The crowd was so large that it began surging towards the stage. Suddenly, a woman in the front of the crowd began to get trampled,” recalled Sandy Berger, Clinton’s national security adviser at the time. “Clinton jumped up and put his arm down over the side and grabbed her. The Secret Service thought he’d been shot and freaked out.”

He saved her life,” Berger said. “It was a kind of tumultuous scene.”

Michelle would at most have yanked at the woman’s sleeves.

In those days (keep that in mind you Hopium addled ahistorical fools) AIDs was greatly feared. Today we know better, but back in those days – fear was strong.

Clinton’s White House physician Dr. Connie Mariano said she started out that day worried about the heat, but wound up concerned about HIV.

“It was steamy, and hot, and miserable,” Mariano recalled. “[Ghana’s president General Jerry] Rawlings put a ceremonial robe over [Clinton’s] dark business suit and I thought, ‘Oh my God, he’s going to pass out,’” she said.

Mariano said the feverish crowd and the scuffle over people being crushed at the front left the president nicked up.

He got scratches. His hands were cut because people’s nails were scratching him because they wanted to hold him,” she said. “Realize how many HIV-positive people there were there. … It was an extremely frightening experience.”

As the crowd surged forward, police wielding rubber truncheons slammed them down on the hands of people holding onto the barricades. The front-line people would jump back, only to be pushed forward, grab the barricades, and have their hands whacked again. Reporters offering bottled water to parched Ghanaians nearly triggered a stampede.

“I just remember the mass of flesh. There was like a gazillion people, more than I had ever seen in my life,” said Ann Scales, who covered the event for The Boston Globe.

Clinton’s speechwriter that day, Ted Widmer, recalled a feeling of sensory overload.

“It was surreal in many ways — just one sensation after the next,” he said. “Sweat was pouring out of every pore in my body. … I was seeing these people do a lion dance with deafening drums. … I’ve been at plenty of unmemorable political speeches. This one was carnival-esque and fun.”

During the presidential primary campaign last year, Clinton often invoked the memory of his Accra speech as an example of when he was at his rhetorical peak. “Back when I was in politics, I was a reasonably good speaker,” Clinton told college students in Austin, Texas last February. “I once spoke to a million people in Ghana.”

You’re still at your peak Bill. You’re still the one.

* * * * *

For those needing a Palin fix right away, you can prep for Part II of our Palin Panic series by checking out the good folks at The Confluence who today are having a discussion as to whether or not Governor Sarah Palin is a feminist. We’ll discuss that issue too in Part II of our Palin Panic series.


130 thoughts on “The Barack Obama Double Murders Mystery

  1. Thanks Admin,

    I really could care less whether the idiot stared at her behind or not. What makes me furious is how the media keeps giving him a “get out of jail free” card for absolutely everything and the Clintons get painted red for imagined slights.

  2. OT…I’m shocked..

    “WASHINGTON (CNN) — The highly controversial no-warrant surveillance program initiated after the September 11 terrorist attacks relied on a “factually flawed” legal analysis inappropriately provided by a single Justice Department official, according to a report to Congress on Friday.

    Among other things, the report cites a Justice Department conclusion that “it was extraordinary and inappropriate that a single DOJ attorney, John Yoo, was relied upon to conduct the initial legal assessment” of the surveillance program.

    “The lack of oversight and review of Yoo’s work … contributed to a legal analysis of the [program] that at a minimum was factually flawed,” it says.

    The report says Yoo largely circumvented both his boss, Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

    Yoo, described by Bybee in the report as “the White House’s guy” on national security, also provided the legal justification for the CIA’s controversial harsh interrogation program. Yoo’s legal rationale was later repudiated by the Justice Department.

    Of all of the scum and war criminals in the Bush administration, John Yoo is an archetype of the type of person who will willingly takes away our Constitutional liberties, or killed 60 million Russians in the Gulags or made the trains run on time to Treblinka. In the big picture he is ‘small potatoes” but he should be the first person indicted under the United States War Crimes Law of 1996. If convicted, he is deserving the maximun penalty under Us Law, IMHO.

  3. Thanks admin for the break-

    I really understand why Sarah Palin just wants to be left alone. The woman has been persecuted to death but still everyone keeps pushing at her, speculating what she will do…what CAN she do…. ‘Run Sarah Run’…

    Has it ever occurred to anyone maybe the woman just wants a break from politics and get back to her family routine instead of hearing…We’re with you in 2012… The constant droning on and on, questions and possibilities…dissecting her from her hairline to toenails.

    Jaysus, give the woman a break. When she’s ready to do something;I’m sure she’ll let us know.

    Hillary is driven, Sarah Palin is not. Hillary thrives in this environment, Sarah does not… and she may never..Let the woman be who she wants to be..

  4. Another candid camera moment for bambi…

    L’AQUILA: US President Barack Obama has shaken hands warmly with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, long reviled in Washington.

    The landmark handshake took place yesterday as leaders from major economic powers and emerging nations prepared to take a group photograph at a summit in L’Aquila, Italy.

    Relations between Libya and the US have see-sawed for 30 years. Diplomatic relations were broken in 1981 and only restored in 2004. However, relations remained strained, mainly over compensation for terrorism victims.

    Mr Obama has triggered a raging debate in the US by saying Washington should be prepared to speak with its enemies. A handshake with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez at a summit in April attracted great attention.

    A senior White House official shrugged off Mr Obama’s handshake with Colonel Gaddafi, remarking that relations between the two countries had been restored.,25197,25762028-32682,00.html

  5. Hmmmmm…
    Anyone else think this spinning by the MSM reflects a real fear of something uncontrollable surfacing – namely one of the real BO smoking guns. What I mean is, remember that clip of BO on the campaign plane, showing off his crotch to a group of giggling reporteresses? And his randy middle-finger cheek scratches. Not to mention the Larry Sinclair rumors.

    Just a thought.

  6. My email de jour to the hillary hating cornell professor at legalinsurrection. He is a rw, not a bot.

    Hey Bill-

    This is good stuff. It must have been ghost written by one of your law students. I supported Hillary in the primary and Sarah in the general election. The top of the McCain campaign said my work helped him win the third debate. What did you do to prevent this media orchestrated disaster to our country?

    This part of what you said the other day was brilliant! Not that you give a damn what I think, any more than I give a damn what you think. But on this subject you spoke the truth and I commend you for that.

    —————————————————— good stuff . . . .

    If Palin were President, we would not have:

    A debt and deficit rising so far out of proportion to historical norms as to threaten the near-and-long term viability of the country’s ability to service the debt without destroying the value of the dollar, and passing on to our children and grandchildren unsustainable burdens.

    A stimulus package filled with pork and giveaways to political constituencies, pushed through under false and fraudulent claims of job creation, and exaggerated claims of immediate economic disaster which themselves hurt the markets, in a process so disgusting that not a single Representative or Senator read the bill before voting.

    Health care proposals which are wolves in sheep’s clothing, using a seemingly benign “public option” to drive out private insurers, to increase the percentage of people dependent on the government, and eventually to obtain the “one nation, one plan” nationalization of health care which is the holy grail of Obama and his left-wing supporters.

    A “cap-and-trade” proposal which seeks to regulate and tax the most fundamental aspects of the economy based upon the pure hubris that bureaucrats in Washington are capable of knowing what is best for individual businesses, and arising from disputed science as to the existence and causes of global warming, while proponents like Al Gore stand ready to make fortunes from “trading” carbon credits.

    A foreign policy which strong-arms allies such as Israel and Honduras, while paying deference to enemies such as Hugo Chavez and Mahmood Ahmadinejad, and which denigrates the U.S. by showing subservience to foreign rulers and by distorting the historical role of the U.S.

    An energy policy which increases our current dependence of foreign oil by locking up domestic resources, in the speculative hope that someday, somehow, alternative energy sources will make up the difference.

    The use of federal government power to bully the private sector into giving up property rights in favor of unions and other political supporters of the administration, rather than letting the rule of law work in the normal fashion in auto industry bankruptcy proceedings, as happened with other industries that restructured.

  7. Sorry, Admin… The outburst wasn’t directed at you, I should have mentioned first.

    I went over to the Confluence…

    The headline did it… not my fault.

    Is Sarah Palin a feminist?

    I can say with certainty, The only thing Sarah Palin is right now, is TIRED.

  8. While Buttman aka “the masked marvel ” drinks in the next stimulus pkg,Sarkozy,laughs and we realize this idiot needs to be sent to a rehab <usstatebpa@subscriptions.fcg.govcenter for hungups.All this foolishness going on while President Hillary Clinton is working 24/7 to save this country and the world around us.Go to the State web site and read what a real leader does and says that has earned her Global respect by friends and enemies as well.


  9. Hillary is driven, Sarah Palin is not. Hillary thrives in this environment, Sarah does not… and she may never..Let the woman be who she wants to be..
    Do you really believe that Mrs Smith? Do you think the Hillary we see today is the same one we saw in the primaries? I don’t. Hillary is better at it than anyone I know but believe me it takes its toll on any human being. And that is why it must change. Peacefully if possible. Something is fundamentally wrong with a media that destroys candidates who could help us, and forces snake oil salesmen down our throats to feather their own nest. Brokaw remains an enigma to me. How he could turn his back on the country after making so much of the concerpt of patriotism is a perfect illustration of how so many people are for sale. This is the path to national disaster and anyone with eyes to see can see it. It transcends or should transcend party differences and begs the question of what it means to be an American. The hatchet marks in the wood by the Cornell law professor above states the proposition accurately. Those are the sins Brokaw and others have supported sub silentio as they continue to promote this snakeoil salesman and tear down Palen because she is not part of their privileged economic circle.

  10. I posted a comment at No Quarter which was critical of Buffett, and the first stimulus, but raised the possibility that a second stimulus might be needed if it could be shown that it would achieve the economic objectives sought. Here is the response. I would direct your attention to the video unless you have an aversion to profanity and violence. If you can ignore those distraction and hear what is being said, the writers point is that is the common reaction to Obamaeconomics in general and a second stimulus in particular. See what you think.
    Comment by Seymour | 2009-07-10 11:27:28

    I agree with your theorems wbboei but American Citizens won’t tolerate another stimulus as so eloquently put in this video from a citizen in flyover America.

    Anyone who travels the Midwest knows this is the going theme and it’s only going to get worse.

    Check him out. He starts going off at 30 seconds precisely and he literally hits the nail on the head. Makes me want to get out my old Easton softball bat. Not for kids.

  11. basil,

    The media is scared shitless (excuse the language). They can’t afford to have bambi self-combust because when he does, they will go down with him. It’s just a matter of time.

  12. “Something is fundamentally wrong with a media that destroys candidates who could help us, and forces snake oil salesmen down our throats to feather their own nest.”


    And I don’t think I have gotten over the shock, even to this day, of how they tried to destroy the Clintons with so much maliciousness.

  13. The media is scared shitless (excuse the language). They can’t afford to have bambi self-combust because when he does, they will go down with him. It’s just a matter of time.
    Well . . . in that case they need to watch the video and learn to play baseball. The longer they fight this the harder they will go down. They have forgotten the cardinal rule of all contested issues: never defend an indefensible position.

  14. And I don’t think I have gotten over the shock, even to this day, of how they tried to destroy the Clintons with so much maliciousness.
    You are right. It is an indelible stain on their profession. Most businesses sell products and services. They sell informantion. If that information is biased to the point that it cannot be trusted then the good will of their business plunges and people will not buy their product. The short term thinking in their industry is incredible.

  15. I would think a number of the news reporters are looking for new jobs, sponsored blogging and twittering, as they prepare to write their books.

    Truth is a five letter word, and one that the media has no concept of.

  16. “Hillary is better at it than anyone I know but believe me it takes its toll on any human being.”

    Hillary has devoted her life to politics. She knew what she wanted to do with her life 30yrs ago. Is she the same person she was in the Primary? For the most part she is- She has tailored her interests to those of Foreign Policy. She could walk into the WH tomorrow and take over the duties of the president in a heartbeat; just like she could have had she been the Dem Nominee in the election.

    Sarah Palin is an good, honest person. She is trying to do all she can to help people and make it a better place. Theres no denying it.

    She needs time to develop, grow and expand who she is while developing a following… a bloody army that can front these assaults from the media for her. Right now she is faced with monumental bills to pay off from lawsuits. What she needs is about 50 fundraisers to retire her debt. and go on a speaking tour where she can earn money to get her debt put to rest.

    I haven’t seen anyone stepping forward to pick up the crucible and get it done for her. All I see is everyone expecting her to do more. I may be wrong about this but…It’s not the only thing to be a good person and be conscious of the welfare of others. She needs to go Indy and start from scratch and build a party around her. Or throw in with someone else. If thas what she wants to do.. I think we’re agreed, it can’t be done overnight. Obama has weakened the spirit of the country and depleted everyone’s resources. People are trying to survive much less give money they don’t have to a cause… It’s just a very bad time for all concerned. Most of us are watching and waiting for BO to drop other shoe. Meaning if the economy goes belly-up it won’t matter a hill of beans who’s who in the political sector because it will be every man for themselves judt to make it through another day..

    Sorry, I can’t be of more help. I’m priority driven and don’t mean to be a party pooper…

  17. Jan-

    “And I don’t think I have gotten over the shock, even to this day, of how they tried to destroy the Clintons with so much maliciousness.”

    But they had US! The Clintons had a huge base of support from the campaign to the WH.

    Bill’s approval rating was 68% when he left the WH. That is the difference with Sarah. They literally plucked her out of the wilderness and after she did her job they not only abandoned her, they set the dogs on her.

  18. I know quite a few here are big Sarah Palin fans. I am on the fence. I admire her for many things but do I put her in the same class as Hillary? Not yet and maybe never.

    I agree with Mrs. Smith’s analysis at 8:45 p.m. I would love to see Sarah triumph in the next decade. I think her stepping down now was a very smart strategic move. I don’t think it is all about debt. I think it is also about stepping back, regrouping, and coming up with a plan.

    I wish her all the best and hope she triumphs, but for now, I am so glad that Hillary is in place.

  19. When one parent constantly protects one child and abuses the other, you end up with a very disfuctional family. The same is true in Politics. In many instances, where the child had no boundaries, because the parent constantly is cleaning up after them, they end up not being able to function in society the way the rest of us do. They don’t think the rules apply to them, and they will get more and more risky as time goes on.

    1. The rules do not apply to me

    2. The media and the Dims drinking Kool Aid will clean this up for me, and I can go on just as I have, or worse, as I continue to look for an instance in which I am accountable for. I DON’T REALLY WORK FOR THE VOTERS OR THE AMERICAN PUBLIC, I WORK FOR MYSELF.

  20. I watched the video and as much as I despise him, I do not think he was checking her out…she was a 16 yr old girl for christ’s sake. As pointed out, it is the “rush to cover” anything that may even seem to tarnish the media’s darling that is sickening.

    As for Bill, how can anybody not love this man!!!!!!! As I have said Ad nauseum, the man should be ambassador to the world.

  21. The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that 30% 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 –7 (see trends).

    The Rasmussen Consumer Index shows that consumer confidence is down again on Friday. That’s the sixth straight daily decline and confidence is now at the lowest level since mid-March. Just 8% rate the economy as good or excellent while 62% say it’s in poor shape.


    I agree with you (as I usually do) about Palin. As a person, I like her and admire her. I voted for her but only as the lesser of two evils. i do not share many of her political views…..but then i don’t hare many of BO s either.

    I also believe that running this country is no longer a job for just a nice, good, decent person or a self educated person like Lincoln was. The job is increasingly complex and also requires a level of education that I believe Hillary posseses and Palin does not. She does , however, have more experience and integrity than Obama and that is why I was comfortable voting for her.

    I hope to have better choices next time, but fear I will not. This country has serious problems, beyond oureconomice woes. The media and the last election are merely symptoms of an ill educated and somewhat apathetic population….many of whom don’t even what to discuss politics and certainly not read about it. In other words….don’t confuse them with the facts.

  22. The photographer who took “the” photo (although there are several of the same type of photos involving other women. See ) states what he saw:

    About that picture: Pool reporter Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times has sent White House reporters an addendum …

    to his pool report from yesterday evening, attempting to lend some clarity to that controversial photo. “There has been interest in a certain photo of the president during this photo-op, and I have mentioned what I saw from my perspective to several of you, so here it is for everyone.

    Pooler had eyes on Obama for most of the event, and in particular as they group entered and as the juniors (the teenage student that accompanied each leader) were leaving the stage. I did not see anything from my perspective that looked like the president checking out anyone. I did see him act as traffic cop and keep things running. “Obama greeted most, if not all, of the juniors.

    “For the photo Obama was standing in between Sarkozy (on his left) and the US junior, with Lula’s junior and then Lula to right of them. The juniors were led out by summit staff one-by-one to the right of the stage, while the leaders remained for their own photo. It was at this point that your pooler did see Obama, Lula and Sarkozy laughing and appearing to needle each other over something as they were looking toward their right.”

  23. Admin,

    I’ve never seen so much fuss and excuse making in my life. God forbid that anything touch bambi in a negative way. At this point I don’t really care if it was true or not, it’s just hilarious to see all these media lemmings scrambling to defend him.

  24. I did one anti Obama video during the primary. I think it was reasonably effective and we sent it to the superdelegates. I think it moved some of them, but we will never know how many.

    I have an idea for one now that could be as devastating to Obama as the little girl counting the daiseys as the ICBM goes off was against AUH20 in 1964. It plays well to the temper of our time.

    I think it is too soon to launch it now. But I intend to talk to some people. I wish we had a centrist party to go to.

  25. We’ve always assumed Sonia Sotomayor was a shoe-in for nomination and confirmation. We might be mistaken.

    At her confirmation hearings the reverse discrimination firefighters will testify and that will undoubtedly hurt Sotomayor. What surprises us how low her approval numbers already are. She will need a strong performance at the hearings to make sure wobbly Dimocrats don’t abandon her. While there are 60 Dimocratic votes and Republicans that support her, which should make her confirmation inevitable, there are those polls….

    Sonia Sotomayor will begin her confirmation hearings next week with some of the highest levels of public opposition of any Supreme Court nominee in the last two decades, according to a new poll by the CNN and the Opinion Research Corporation.

    In fact, only one nominee had a higher level of opposition: Harriet Miers, who was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2005. Miers later withdrew her nomination under questions about her qualifications from both the political left and right.

    Forty-seven percent of respondents to the poll say they would like to see the U.S. Senate vote to confirm Sotomayor versus forty-percent who say they would not. In the final CNN poll taken before Miers withdrew her nomination, forty-three percent of respondents said the Senate should oppose her confirmation.

    No other recent nominee, not even Robert Bork, whose own nomination under President Ronald Reagan was scuttled, faced public opposition this severe. In the last poll taken during the Bork confirmation fight, thirty-eight percent wanted to see him confirmed versus thirty-five percent who did not.

    All other nominees polled by CNN—Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, John Roberts and Samuel Alito—enjoyed wide margins of public support.

    Interestingly, independents are split down the middle on Sotomayor. Forty-two percent believe she should be confirmed. Forty-one percent believe she should not be confirmed.

    The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey was conducted from June 26 to 28, with 1,026 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

  26. We’ve always assumed Sonia Sotomayor was a shoe-in for nomination and confirmation. We might be mistaken.
    Admin: I have never known you to be mistaken.

  27. The 1964 Civil Rights Act forbade quotas, but the 1972 Amendments changed that and created a defacto requirement for affirmative action. I wrote the first document in our industry in 1975 so I knew something about this subject at one time. At this point, with Obama in the White House, what he is doing to the country, and the rising tide of unemployment the issue is incendiary. I think she will get through but it will cost the Democrats politically. In fact, I think it may cause them to win the battle (she gets confirmed) and lose the war (2010).

    The term ‘reverse discrimination’ was coined by the late Justice John Marshall Harlan, who was my favorite jurist of the modern era. He used it in dissenting opinions. In times of full employment reverse discrimination is like gunpowder– it burns along its appointed line. But in times of double digit unemployment is it like dynamite– it explodes and rends in all directions. To borrow an analogy from Wigmore.

  28. As for Bill, how can anybody not love this man!!!!!!! As I have said Ad nauseum, the man should be ambassador to the world.
    Which is why he took the job in Haiti. You must pass through the chairs first. He would make a great Secretary General of the United Nations someday soon–wouldn’t he? Bambi will be out of a job in 3 and a half yeas but he will be seen for the ineffectual leader he is. He will not be accepatable at the UN. He will gravitate to Africa.

  29. So Bambis army commander says we need alot more troops in Afghanistan.

    It seems to me I’ve heard that song before
    It’s from an old familiar score
    I know it well, that melody, etc

    ABM 90: Here’s looking at you kid. Its Harry James and Helen Forrest. Dig that trumpet. My favorite big band. As I recall, he ended up marrying Betty Grable and Helen was pretty broken up about it.

    SHV: your prediction that Bambi will break his pick on Afghanistan is about to come true.

  30. Thank God for Sarah’s Christian upbringing and insulrity.

    Imo she has the potential to be a nother Bill Clintin. Not as good for our issues, but a leaps and bounds learner adn able to keep an adminstration clean from corruption on a national scale as she did in Alaska.

  31. I wonder how the African American professor from Temple University who frequently appears on FOX in defense of bambi responds to waffles shaking Khadafi’s hand. Several students and professors from the school were aboard the flight that went down over Lockerbee. I am sure no one will ask him.

  32. JULY 11, 2009

    Health Bill in House Relies on Wealth Tax

    WASHINGTON—House Democrats plan to pay for their health-care legislation with a big tax increase on wealthy households, aiming to raise $540 billion over the next decade with a package of surtaxes on families making $350,000 or more.

    The tax increase is the financial cornerstone of legislation that seeks to make good on President Barack Obama’s call to expand health-insurance coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans, while attempting to offset the cost and avoid expanding the federal budget deficit.

    The House bill, expected to be formally unveiled as soon as Monday, is likely to cost $1 trillion overall. About half the cost of the bill will come from budget savings from ratcheting down payments that health-care providers receive through programs like Medicare, which covers the elderly. The balance will come from revenues generated by a graduated surtax that would begin in 2011, said New York Rep. Charles Rangel, chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

    Upper-income families currently face a top income-tax rate of 35%, though that is scheduled to rise to 39.6% in 2011. Under the Rangel plan, married couples making $350,000 would also be subject to a 1% surtax to cover the health plan. The levy would rise to 2% for those making above $500,000 and 3% for those with incomes of $1 million or more. Around 1% of U.S. households filing tax returns make more than $350,000, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

    Congressional aides said the surtax rates would go higher as soon as 2013—to 2%, 3% and about 5% for each of the three levels. They added, though, that the higher rates might not kick in if other ways to pay for the health plan were found by then.

    Mr. Rangel offered details of the financing plan Friday after emerging from a daylong caucus of Democrats on the Ways and Means panel. House Democrats aim to convene three key committees next week to formally consider the package. The legislation, which would create a public health-insurance plan that competes with private insurers, is expected to be brought before the full House by the end of the month.

    But even as details are coming together, Democratic leaders are scrambling to win support from fiscal conservatives, rural Democrats and politically vulnerable freshmen who have all raised objections. Some worry the public plan will tilt the marketplace against private insurers. Others worry about the cost of the package, and fear having to vote on a bill that includes such substantial tax increases.

    “I’m not persuaded any sort of tax increase is needed,” said Rep. Gerald Connolly, a first-term Democrat from Virginia. He suggests Democrats should focus more on finding budget savings. “The jury is still out on what, if anything, we have to do for revenue enhancement.”

    The struggle for unity among Democrats dramatizes the larger challenge facing the majority party: whether rank-and-file Democrats are willing to stomach higher taxes in the pursuit of expanding access to health care. Throughout 2008, Mr. Obama himself signaled a readiness to raise taxes on wealthy individuals as a way to pay for his priorities. In his budget unveiled in the spring, Mr. Obama assumed the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy would expire at the end of 2010. Those higher rates would fall on couples with incomes above $250,000. Mr. Obama also proposed to limit tax deductions taken by the wealthy to help pay for heath care.

    A White House aide speaking on background said the majority of the funding for the health-care overhaul should come from budget savings, such as cuts in wasteful spending in Medicare and Medicaid, which provides care for the poor. The White House aide added that “Congress is making good progress” in looking for addition revenues beyond budget cuts. “There are several good ideas on the table,” the aide said, pointing to the president’s proposal to limit itemized deductions for the wealthy.

    Democratic leaders argued Mr. Obama’s efforts have made raising taxes on the wealthy an easier political gambit than such alternatives as taxing health benefits. Broadly, they hope to steer debate away from the cost of the bill and how to finance it. “The big debate is going to be between those who want to protect the status quo, and those who want to reform our health-care system,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.).

    Curtis Dubay, a senior tax policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, said the Democratic plans to raise taxes on the wealthy could backfire politically. “There certainly will be a steep price to pay,” he said.

    Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R., Ohio) criticized Mr. Rangel’s proposal, underscoring the Republican line of attack. “In the middle of a serious recession, with unemployment nearing double digits nationwide, the last thing we need is a tax increase on small businesses, which will cost the American economy even more jobs,” he said.

    Even if the House does embrace the higher income taxes, that doesn’t guarantee the levies would be part of a final health bill. Senators are separately deliberating on their own versions of a health plan, and higher taxes are likely to face more resistance in the Senate.

    After discarding a proposed tax on health-care benefits as too politically risky, Senate Democrats are considering a range of alternatives, including possible levies on pharmaceutical companies and insurers, as well as a surtax on wealthy individuals. Details of the Senate bill are not expected to be nailed down until later this month.

    Party leaders argue taxes on the wealthy are more easily defended than other levies, such as the proposed tax on health-care benefits. The issue of financing has produced a sharp debate among Democrats, in part because the issue is exposing the party to political attacks from Republicans.

    GOP leaders have pounded the Democrats for proposing to raise taxes during a recession, which they argue would further stunt economic growth. The Republican National Committee swatted at Democrats again Friday, saying their plan to pay for health-care legislation “would hit small businesses hard,” since small-business owners often pay their business taxes as part of their personal income taxes.

    Under the emerging House bill, the second increase in surtax rates wouldn’t kick in if budget savings exceed expectations and cover the cost of the bill. That was a nod toward House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D., S.C.), who suggested that putting a trigger on the surtax could mollify restive Democrats. “What I’m talking about is not unprecedented,” Mr. Clyburn said in an interview. He noted that other lawmakers are proposing a trigger for the public plan, in case other provisions in a health-care overhaul don’t lower the number of uninsured Americans as rapidly as planned.

  33. Senate votes to allow online purchases of Canadian drugs

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate dealt a blow to the drug lobby Thursday by voting to permit people in the United States to order lower-cost drugs from Canada over the Internet.

    The prescription drug plan, by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., passed the Senate by a 55-36 vote that added it to a $42.9 billion bill funding the Homeland Security Department. The Senate then approved the homeland security measure by a 84-6 vote Thursday night.

    Critics said Vitter’s amendment would open a gaping loophole that would expose people to Internet scams and unsafe drugs, but the allure of importing U.S.-made drugs from other countries where government policies have driven prices lower has long had a pull on lawmakers.

    But so too has the drug lobby, which has always defeated attempts to allow consumers widespread access to “reimported” drugs. Several Democratic leaders, including Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and his top lieutenant, Dick Durbin of Illinois, initially opposed Vitter’s amendment, only switching their votes after it became clear the popular idea would pass.

    Their doubts about the idea may ensure the drug importation rule gets dropped during House-Senate negotiations on a final bill. Currently, U.S. travelers may return with a three-month supply of drugs when crossing the border.

  34. I think the main reason there’s no enthusiasm for Sotomayor is that no one knows where she stands on the issues. Is she a liberal, is she a conservative, a centrist? There’s a lot of contradictory cases and stories about her. So no one gets behind her: nobody knows if she’s a friend. That’s largely her own fault and the fault of the Administration for not presenting her case to the public. They probably thought her being a Hispanic Woman would make her immune to attacks. They were wrong.

  35. Just watched Telebama speak in Ghana and I have to say he is campaigning for his goal to be the new emperor af all blacks worldwide while stirring up the young blacks here at home to empower themselves and carry on a drive to get even with whiteys for the past inequities that existed before MLK.This is one dangerous power hungry wannabe dictator like Benito Mussolini,head and nose pointed up,mean and scorning eyes.While here at home we worry about the state of the economy and unemployment he is already planning his ascent to the role of the black messiah with no religious ties except perhaps muslims.

    Time to worry folks and time to stop the fear of his race card.WAKE UP

    By ABM90 President Hillary you have many supporters and you know when to speak out.

  36. JanH
    Watched Defiance yesterday. Unfortunately I did so using Amazon VOD and 2 plus hours in front of a computer is a bit uncomfortable. Do you recommend the book as I think there would be a lot of interesting dynamics to explore and I’m always in search of a good book.

  37. Henry,

    The book is definitely more thorough. Lots of additional facts throughout, better accuracy, and excellent references/citations if you are into that. Descriptors are amazing and that part doesn’t alway show up as effectively on screen.

    I always think that for longevity purposes, books are my best friends. I remember passages from them more clearly than from just a movie. Defiance is not an easy book to get through but well worth the effort.

    I hope you get the opportunity some day to watch a full screen version of the movie. And if this topic interests you, PBS, the History Channel, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center have produced documentaries that are worth a look at.

    Hope that helps.

  38. Henry,

    Not to oversaturate on the issue, but my two favorite books on this topic are as follows:

    The Avengers: a Jewish War Story by Rick Cohen

    Fugitives of the Forest: The heroic story of Jewish Resistance and Survival During the Second World War by Allan Levine.

  39. Opposing view: Deal weakens U.S. posture
    Obama’s policy makes risky reductions in nuclear weapons.
    By John Bolton

    President Obama has to date failed to articulate any coherent strategic rationale for the substantial cuts in nuclear weapons and delivery systems he agreed to Monday with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Obama’s inability to do so is not surprising, because he made these commitments without waiting for an up-to-date “nuclear posture review,” the definitive mechanism for assessing America’s strategic needs.

    Avoiding this authoritative process, coupled with the administration’s hell-for-leather insistence on ratifying a new treaty by December, and its proposed cuts in missile-defense expenditures and critical weapons systems such as the F-22, demonstrate just how ideologically committed Obama is to a less robust U.S. defense posture. Not only are the proposed cuts in nuclear weapons levels dangerous, but the reductions in delivery systems are even more reckless, as the United States now significantly relies on such systems to deliver conventional warheads. Russia does not.

    Obama’s approach weakens our nuclear and conventional capabilities, while leaving Russia exactly at levels to which it would otherwise be driven by its own bleak economic realities. Moreover, Russia still insists on linking reductions in U.S. missile defenses to offensive cuts, and Obama hasn’t unequivocally rejected this dangerous connection.

    Obama’s policy is risky for America and its global allies who shelter under our nuclear umbrella. It is hardly the time to shred that umbrella. Nuclear proliferation threats are growing, with North Korea detonating nuclear devices and testing missiles; Iran’s nuclear and missile programs progressing; India and Pakistan increasing their capabilities; and other would-be nuclear states watching America’s response.

    Although Obama hopes dramatic U.S. nuclear weapons reductions will discourage proliferation, the actual result will be the exact opposite. Reality is much harsher than a wishful-thinking administration willing to accept deep cuts in America’s defenses, with our military already stretched thin.

    The answer is not to rush into any new treaty with Russia by year’s end. Preserving the verification mechanisms of the START treaty, which expires then, is doable by simply extending those mechanisms until new strategic levels can be carefully considered and prudently negotiated. Any other approach leaves America vulnerable. Our president should know better.

    John Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, was U.N. ambassador and under secretary of State for arms control during the George W. Bush administration

  40. wwoebi,

    It will take years and years to fix the mess bambi is making of everything.

    He rarely articulates any coherent strategic rationale on any of his decisions.


    Black fraternity inducts Bill Clinton as honorary member

    NEW ORLEANS — A historically black fraternity has voted to induct former President Bill Clinton as an honorary member.

    Phi Beta Sigma President Paul Griffin Jr. said Friday that Clinton is the first U.S. president to be inducted into a historically black fraternity.

    The fraternity voted Tuesday for Clinton’s induction at its 95th Anniversary Conclave in New Orleans, La.

    Stevie Wonder, Al Roker, the Rev. Al Sharpton and jazz musician Ramsey Lewis are also honorary members of Phi Beta Sigma.

    The fraternity was founded in 1914 at Howard University in Washington, D.C. It has more than 150,000 alumni and college members in about 500 chapters throughout the U.S., Caribbean, Africa and Asia.


    we all love you Bill…a true President of the People

  42. S
    Sorry but any group which honors the race baiter Sharpton is not a group which bestows an honor worth getting.

  43. JanH
    I couldn’t help but recall the Painted Bird as I watched it. I know the book has since been proven to be fiction and was an entirely different story but none the less it evoked the novel. Hopefully films as such will continue to be made as after watching it I tried to remember when it was that I learned about the Holocaust in school. And shockingly I cannot recall learning of the brutality and heinous crimes. My eyes were first opened to the barbarism by a miniseries called the Holocaust which if I remember correctly featured a very young Meryl Streep. I am 42 and must have been 10 or 12 but I was fortunate enough to watch it with my parents and discuss. I am not Jewish but perhaps the only “celebrity” whose death might prompt me to behave like jackson’s minions would be Elie Weisel. And I wish Spielberg would have the courage to make a film which depicted how the Arab would actively participated in the Holocaust instead of making films which lose every bit of integrity when he has his protagonist uttering lines like this pen this pen.

  44. I hear you Henry…perhaps “black guilt” is setting in on those who betrayed him…either way I concur with admin…President Bill Clinton is still at his peak…and is the ONE…except no substitutions…

  45. JanH Says:
    July 11th, 2009 at 11:29

    Not to oversaturate on the issue, but my two favorite books on this topic are as follows:
    As I read this comment, I looked at my book shelves and saw Martin Gilbert’s “The Boys”…Personal stories about children who survived.

  46. I think every high school should show the films like Thirteen, Night and Fog, Requiem for a Dream and others of the same ilk and then hold conversations with the kids.

  47. Anyone know the stats– How much was the foundation headed by President Clinton able to reduce the cost of drugs to treat HIV in Africa? If I remember correctly it was close to 80%! So how many people are alive because William Jefferson continued to contribute to the world? How many children might be born negative because of his works?

  48. This is not smart, but very very stupid. That the report comes from McClatchydc news services gives it credibility:

    Supporters of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor are quietly targeting the Connecticut firefighter who’s at the center of Sotomayor’s most controversial ruling.

    On the eve of Sotomayor’s Senate confirmation hearing, her advocates have been urging journalists to scrutinize what one called the “troubled and litigious work history” of firefighter Frank Ricci. [snip]

    On Friday, citing in an e-mail “Frank Ricci’s troubled and litigious work history,” the liberal advocacy group People for the American Way drew reporters’ attention to Ricci’s past. Other advocates for Sotomayor have discreetly urged journalists to pursue similar story lines.

    Specifically, the advocates have zeroed in on an earlier 1995 lawsuit Ricci filed claiming the city of New Haven discriminated against him because he’s dyslexic. The advocates cite other Hartford Courant stories from the same era recounting how Ricci was fired by a fire department in Middletown, Conn., allegedly, Ricci said at the time, because of safety concerns he raised.[snip]

    “To go after so sympathetic a plaintiff as Frank Ricci . . . is a new low in the politics of personal destruction,” said Roger Pilon, the director of the libertarian Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies. “If they were smart, they’d keep a low profile.” [snip]

    With his awards for bravery, some 17 years of fire department service and history of overcoming dyslexia, Ricci has become a compelling human character in the Sotomayor confirmation drama. Senate Republicans have summoned him, along with Lt. Ben Vargas of the New Haven Fire Department, as two of their 14 witnesses next week.

    Though even Republicans concede Sotomayor appears poised to win confirmation, the hearing — and Ricci’s part in them — could be exploited politically. The case is symbolic of race-based preferences, which conservatives have long rejected.

    “Affirmative action remains a potentially useful issue for the GOP,” Rose noted, and “this case has the potential of perhaps mobilizing the Republican party again.”

    Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina added that many Americans can identify with Ricci, making him an especially attractive witness for the GOP and potentially dangerous for Democrats.

    “He took on a second job and worked hard, but was denied due to the same legal concepts” that were designed to protect people’s rights, Graham said.

  49. mp Says:

    July 11th, 2009 at 11:05 am

    who is wearing a black dress with a slutty slit????

    but she did wear a black veil, for her visit to the Pope…you know the ‘nun’ look from the front…
    the slutty slit was in the back!!! lol

  50. NewMexicoFan Says:

    July 11th, 2009 at 11:44 am
    Tax the Wealthy for health care. I wonder how that is going to go over.

    I hate to clue you in, but the “Wealthy” is ANYONE with a job!

  51. To give props where it is merited I have to say waffles is the first president to call out the governments for taking aid and then profiteering when it comes to Africa. I had a friend who had a doctorate in nursing( apparently it is financial more viable than becoming an MD) who worked with doctors without borders and she told me flat out that medicines donated were then sold and that no one would rock the boat so they used other donations to buy the things that were aqlready donated. I am sure this has always happened with some governments but bambi actually acknowledged it. Please prove me wrong as I am quite comfortable loathig him but….

  52. admin Says:

    July 10th, 2009 at 10:40 pm


    How ridiculous. Forced to make that statement I am sure.

    Photographers take several hundred photos at a time hoping to get “one”. I am sure the photographer did not have time to think , he was just clicking.

  53. Admin
    Somebody somewhere needs to start turning the tables on these people. What if we were to take even one person who has filed a frivolous complaint against Gov Palin and put their life through the wringer and then put it all on the internet. If I had the tech savvy I’d love to start a group like smack/back in which those that elect to spew bile are subjected to the same analysas and as they are publishing or filing suit I think privacy issues wouldn’t be an issue.

  54. henry Says:

    July 11th, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  55. well off to watch Bruno with my 17 year old football playing nephew. We both love borat and no Holiday is complete in my family without putting it on and offending everyone.

  56. Interesting. Some docs in Seattle, fed up with the system, have banded together and created a “flat rate” clinic that is totally bypassing the insurance companies.

    They are making a nice living without gouging the patients, because they are spending their time TREATING, not arguing over payment and qualifications and claims and doing endless paperwork.

  57. Hillary forTexas
    Well here in the burbs of Pittsburgh you have almost no choice but to go through the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. They essentially have a monoploy and they pay zero taxes as they are considered a part of the Univeristy and are not for profit

  58. Jan:

    “It will take years and years to fix the mess bambi is making of everything.”


    Yes it will. Unless we get Bambi’s initiatives throw out or stalled in Congress until the next Stone Age. If Bambi can’t produce or royally screws up his puppet-masters plans; they will play the NBC trump card. Natural Born Citizen card and remove him from office.

  59. wbboei Says:

    July 10th, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Loved the video, I sent it viral.

  60. I always knew I was voting more for Sarah than McCain. There was something about JM I did not trust. There was something about Sarah I did. You always have to go with your instincts. I wanted to believe JM was an honorable man. He is neither.
    From Ace

    Rogue? Palin’s “Pals Around with Terrorist” Attack Delivered Almost Verbatim From McCain Playbook
    Palin’ comment was disowned by many McCain staffers and offered as evidence she was hard to control and/or “going rogue.”

    I actually do sympathize with their attempts to distance themselves from the attack — after all, it’s a vice presidential candidate’s duty to act as attack dog, making the attacks the presidential candidate would prefer not to. Admitting a line of attack was cooked up at campaign headquarters and given to the veep candidate as a script is incompatible with this good cop/bad cop routine.

    Still, while the McCain campaign had practical and understandable reasons to not take possession of the attack, they really went too far in pushing the claim entirely on to Palin — who was already being savaged by the liberal media. True, you don’t want McCain claiming authorship of the attack, but why can’t mere staffers, entirely unknown to the general public and not running for anything, take some of the bad-cop heat on this?

    A recent leaked email demonstrates that Palin said precisely what she was asked to say, and authorized to say. Almost verbatim.

    But on the subject of linking Obama to ex-Weatherman Bill Ayers, it turns out that Palin hadn’t gone rogue. Balz and Johnson answer this question pretty definitively. They’ve obtained an e-mail from campaign adviser Nicolle Wallace sent to Palin on the morning of October 4rd, with an attached New York Times article about Obama’s relationship with Ayers.
    Turns out that the McCain campaign was a week away from running an ad linking Obama to Ayers. The e-mail from Wallace, according to Balz and Johnson, reads as follows: “Governor and Team: rick [Davis], Steve [Schmidt] and I suggest the following attack from the new york times. If you are comfortable, please deliver the attack as written. Please do not make any changes to the below without approval from steve or myself because precision is crucial in our ability to introduce this.”

    McCain HQ had suggested the following line: “This is not a man who sees American as you and I do — as the greatest force for good in the world. This is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country.”

    At the event, Palin said this:

    “Our opponent … is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country. This is not a man who sees America as you see America and as I see America.”
    I suspect this was all due to McCain’s chief psychological problem (and a problem which would have made him a bad president, by the way — just not as bad as President Oh-Bum-Looker). His overweening vanity was and is a crippling defect. He knew damn well that to beat Obama, who was the front-runner throughout the campaign except for a couple of magical weeks after Sarah Palin had lit the country on fire, he would have to attack Obama and expose his unsavory connections and paint him as a dangerous selection for president.

    But his vanity, and his often absurd sense of “integrity,” wouldn’t permit him to do this, or at least wouldn’t permit him to do this and be blamed for it. A bit like Richard Nixon reading the transcripts of the Oval Office tapes and flinching from all the expletives and ranting, “The president does not use expletives!”

    Similarly, “John McCain does not engage in personal attacks!” Um, yes you do. You do all the time. You just can’t acknowledge it to the public, and, worse yet, you can’t even acknowledge it to yourself.

    It’s dangerous for a man to be a secret to himself.

    And so, this: These attacks had to be made (and should have been made; the country has a right to evaluate whether a man who chums about with unrepentant terrorists “shares their values,” as the poll questions say).

    But John McCain does not make personal attacks.

    Especially against the first serious (half) black candidate for office, and someone his media friends hold in such (excessively) high regard.

    So McCain refuses to ever make something approaching a serious issue of this out of his own mouth (blowing a key opportunity to do so, when asked directly about it, at the third and final debate with Obama), instead only having Palin make the attack.

    And then, when questioned about it, McCain staffers let her twist in the wind for it. I don’t know if McCain ordered them to do so; it’s just as likely they knew that McCain’s vanity was such that he would never want such attacks associated with him, and thus did what they thought he’d want them to do.

    Thanks to Heather.

  61. off to clean the yard. it’s virtual cold front today, only 105, not 106 like the last 2 days.

  62. Henry,

    I agree about Wiesel. I was also heartbroken when Golda Meir and Simon Wiesenthal died. As far as Spielberg goes, I will never understand why he chose Schindler as the focus of his holocaust epic. Not to say that Schindler didn’t do his part, albeit for rather selfish purposes at times, but there are so many more “Jewish rescuers” that would have been far more worthy of notice.

    Thank you for your comments.

  63. S Says:

    July 11th, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Black fraternity inducts Bill Clinton as honorary member


    Well, I think this is a wonderful accolade for him. I am equally sure that bambi and his racist friends are furious that their smear campaign on Bill doesn’t seemed to have had the longevity they wanted. As far as the other inductees, racist or not, I still think this is fantastic for him.

  64. The sentiments expressed by Ray Charles above should be the requium for every bot. Obama is the one who promised them love and it was all a lie. For the rest of us, the title alone will suffice. When the ship of state is taking on water, the idiot captain of this ship decides this would be a perfect time to play around with the seacock and marvel at the sudden and unanticpated incursion of sea water. It is more than enough to give everyone with half a brain who is not on the take a worried mind, as the song says. If it does not work there is a gold plated lifeboat with his name on it. But where does that leave the rist of us?

  65. July 11, 2009

    Eager to Tap Iraq’s Vast Oil Reserves, Industry Execs Suggested Invasion

    by Jason Leopold

    Two years before the invasion of Iraq, oil executives and foreign policy advisers told the Bush administration that the United States would remain “a prisoner of its energy dilemma” as long as Saddam Hussein was in power.

    That April 2001 report, “Strategic Policy Challenges for the 21st Century,” was prepared by the James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy and the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations at the request of then-Vice President Dick Cheney.

    In retrospect, it appears that the report helped focus administration thinking on why it made geopolitical sense to oust Hussein, whose country sat on the world’s second largest oil reserves.
    “Iraq remains a de-stabilizing influence to the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East,” the report said.

    “Saddam Hussein has also demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use his own export program to manipulate oil markets. Therefore the U.S. should conduct an immediate policy review toward Iraq including military, energy, economic and political/diplomatic assessments. “Like it or not, Iraqi reserves represent a major asset that can quickly add capacity to world oil markets and inject a more competitive tenor to oil trade.”

    The advisory committee that helped prepare the report included Luis Giusti, a Shell Corp. non-executive director; John Manzoni, regional president of British Petroleum; and David O’Reilly, chief executive of ChevronTexaco.

    James Baker, the namesake for the public policy institute, was a prominent oil industry lawyer who also served as Secretary of State under President George H.W. Bush and was counsel to the Bush/Cheney campaign during the Florida recount in 2000.

    Ken Lay, then chairman of the energy-trading Enron Corp., also made recommendations that were included in the Baker report.

    At the time of the report, Cheney was leading an energy task force made up of powerful industry executives who assisted him in drafting a comprehensive “National Energy Policy” for President George W. Bush.

    A Focus on Oil

    It was believed then that Cheney’s secretive task force was focusing on ways to reduce environmental regulations and fend off the Kyoto protocol on global warming.

    But Bush’s first Treasury Secretary, Paul O’Neill, later described a White House interest in invading Iraq and controlling its vast oil reserves, dating back to the first days of the Bush presidency.

    In Ron Suskind’s 2004 book, The Price of Loyalty, O’Neill said an invasion of Iraq was on the agenda at the first National Security Council. There was even a map for a post-war occupation, marking out how Iraq’s oil fields would be carved up.

    O’Neill said even at that early date, the message from Bush was “find a way to do this,” according to O’Neill, a critic of the Iraq invasion who was forced out of his job in December 2002.

    The New Yorker ‘s Jane Mayer later made another discovery: a secret NSC document dated Feb. 3, 2001 – only two weeks after Bush took office – instructing NSC officials to cooperate with Cheney’s task force, which was “melding” two previously unrelated areas of policy: “the review of operational policies towards rogue states” and “actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields.” [The New Yorker, Feb. 16, 2004]

    By March 2001, Cheney’s task force had prepared a set of documents with a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as two charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and a list titled “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts,” according to information released in July 2003 under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the conservative watchdog group, Judicial Watch.

    A Commerce Department spokesman issued a brief statement when those documents were released stating that Cheney’s energy task force “evaluated regions of the world that are vital to global energy supply.”

    There has long been speculation that a key reason why Cheney fought so hard to keep his task force documents secret was that they may have included information about the administration’s plans toward Iraq.

    ‘Conspiracy Theory’

    However, both before and after the invasion, much of the U.S. political press treated the notion that oil was a motive for invading Iraq in March 2003 as a laughable conspiracy theory.
    Generally, business news outlets were much more frank about the real-politick importance of Iraq’s oil fields.

    For instance, Ray Rodon, a former executive at Halliburton, the oil-service giant that Cheney once headed, said he was dispatched to Iraq in October 2002 to assess the country’s oil infrastructure and map out plans for operating Iraq’s oil industry, according to an April 14, 2003 story in Fortune magazine. “From behind the obsidian mirrors of his wraparound sunglasses, Ray Rodon surveys the vast desert landscape of southern Iraq’s Rumailah oilfield,” Fortune’s story said. “A project manager with Halliburton’s engineering and construction division, Kellogg Brown & Root, Rodon has spent months preparing for the daunting task of repairing Iraq’s oil industry.”

    “Working first at headquarters in Houston and then out of a hotel room in Kuwait City, he has studied the intricacies of the Iraqi national oil company, even reviewing the firm’s organizational charts so that Halliburton and the Army can ascertain which Iraqis are reliable technocrats and which are Saddam loyalists.”

    At about the same time as Rodon’s trip to Iraq – October 2002 – Oil and Gas International, an industry publication, reported that the State Department and the Pentagon had put together pre-war planning groups that focused heavily on protecting Iraq’s oil infrastructure.

    The next month, November 2002, the Department of Defense recommended that the Army Corps of Engineers award a contract to Kellogg, Brown & Root to extinguish Iraqi oil well fires. The contract also called for “assessing the condition of oil-related infrastructure; cleaning up oil spills or other environmental damage at oil facilities; engineering design and repair or reconstruction of damaged infrastructure; assisting in making facilities operational; distribution of petroleum products; and assisting the Iraqis in resuming Iraqi oil company operations.”

    In January 2003, as President Bush was presenting the looming war with Iraq as necessary to protect Americans, the Wall Street Journal reported that oil industry executives met with Cheney’s staff to plan the post-war revival of Iraq’s oil industry.

    “Facing a possible war with Iraq, U.S. oil companies are starting to prepare for the day when they may get a chance to work in one of the world’s most oil-rich countries,” the Journal reported on Jan. 16, 2003. “Executives of U.S. oil companies are conferring with officials from the White House, the Department of Defense and the State Department to figure out how best to jump-start Iraq’s oil industry following a war, industry officials say.

    “The Bush administration is eager to secure Iraq’s oil fields and rehabilitate them, industry officials say. They say Mr. Cheney’s staff hosted an informational meeting with industry executives in October [2002], with Exxon Mobil Corp., ChevronTexaco Corp., ConocoPhillips and Halliburton among the companies represented.

    “Both the Bush administration and the companies say such a meeting never took place. Since then, industry officials say, the Bush administration has sought input, formally and informally, from executives and industry experts on how best to overhaul Iraq’s oil sector.”

    Guarding the Oil Ministry

    Despite the Bush administration’s denials about oil as a motivation for war, the Bush administration’s focus on Iraqi oil was firmly set. On April 5, 2003, Reuters reported that the State Department’s “Future of Iraq” project headed by Thomas Warrick, special adviser to the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, held its fourth meeting of the oil and energy-working group.

    Documents obtained by Reuters showed that “a clear consensus among expert opinion favoring production-sharing agreements to attract the major oil companies.” “That is likely to thrill oil companies harboring hopes of lucrative contracts to develop Iraqi oil reserves,” the news agency reported. “Short-term rehabilitation of southern Iraqi oil fields already is under way, with oil well fires being extinguished by U.S. contractor Kellogg Brown and Root …

    “Long-term contracts are expected to see U.S. companies ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco and ConocoPhillips compete with Anglo-Dutch Shell, Britain’s BP, TotalFinaElf of France, Russia’s LUKOIL and Chinese state companies.”

    After U.S. troops captured Baghdad in April 2003, they were ordered to protect the Oil Ministry even as looters ransacked priceless antiquities from Iraq’s national museums and stole explosives from unguarded military arsenals.

    Unacceptable Options

    In April 2001, the report laid out a series of unacceptable options, including helping Iraq under Saddam Hussein extract more oil by easing embargoes that were meant to hem Hussein in. “The U.S. could consider reducing restrictions on oil investment inside Iraq,” the report said. But if Hussein’s “access to oil revenues was to be increased by adjustments in oil sanctions, Saddam Hussein could be a greater security threat to U.S. allies in the region if weapons of mass destruction, sanctions, weapons regimes and the coalition against him are not strengthened.”

    Iraq is a “key swing producer turning its taps on and off when it has felt such action was in its strategic interest,” the report said, adding that there even was a ”possibility that Saddam Hussein may remove Iraqi oil from the market for an extended period of time” in order to drive up prices. “Under this scenario, the United States remains a prisoner of its energy dilemma, suffering on a recurring basis from the negative consequences of sporadic energy shortages,” the report said. “These consequences can include recession, social dislocation of the poorest Americans, and at the extremes, a need for military intervention.”

    The report recommended Cheney move swiftly to integrate energy and national security policy as a means to stop ”manipulations of markets by any state” and suggested that his task force include “representation from the Department of Defense.” “Unless the United States assumes a leadership role in the formation of new rules of the game,” the report said, ”U.S. firms, U.S. consumers and the U.S. government [will be left] in a weaker position.”

    Two years after the Baker report, the United States – along with Great Britain and other allies – invaded Iraq. Now, more than six years after that, the U.S. oil industry finally appears to be in a strong position relative to Iraq’s oil riches.

    However, the price that has been paid by American troops, Iraqi civilians and the U.S. taxpayers has been enormous.

  66. JanH Says:

    July 11th, 2009 at 4:15 pm
    July 11, 2009

    Eager to Tap Iraq’s Vast Oil Reserves, Industry Execs Suggested Invasion

    by Jason Leopold

    Two years before the invasion of Iraq, oil executives and foreign policy advisers told the Bush administration that the United States would remain “a prisoner of its energy dilemma” as long as Saddam Hussein was in power.

    That April 2001 report, “Strategic Policy Challenges for the 21st Century,” was prepared by the James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy and the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations at the request of then-Vice President Dick Cheney.

    In retrospect, it appears that the report helped focus administration thinking on why it made geopolitical sense to oust Hussein, whose country sat on the world’s second largest oil reserves.
    “Iraq remains a de-stabilizing influence to the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East,” the report said.

    We always knew this didn’t we. War’s are always fought for power and money. Oil is the gold of yesteryear. Fighting for Democracy, what a pile of horse sh*t…

  67. However, the price that has been paid by American troops, Iraqi civilians and the U.S. taxpayers has been enormous.
    Jan, I wonder why this comes out now. Who is paying for it. Everyone knew the reason was oil. Everyone knew the oil executives were pushing for it. Everyone knows GE is pushing the current administration in much the same manner. Everyone knew the Bush Administration decision making was terrible. Everyone knew the press was complicit. I knew this, I wrote about it and I opposed the war. I was not aware of this specific memo but what does it really add. I beliveved we should continue the inspection process, try to buy him him out, orchestrate covert action, but not get involved in a land war. Well, fucking bambi is making many of the same mistakes, but the asshole who wrote this article aint focusing on that. He should be writing about Afhganistan, and the snakepit we are getting ourselves into there because Bambi has no sense of history or judgment. Lets look forward, and direct out attention where it will do some good. Bush is not longer President, whereas this publicity seeking jackass is.

  68. wwoebi,

    I have to admit the the timing of this article seemed suspicious to me. Possibly…no more than likely a dim counterattack against the Repubs. Most likely to change the negative newscycle bambi’s ratings have been getting.

    The problem I have is that neither party has the ethics of a warthog so unless the independents do major damage in the next bi-elections, my frustration just continues to build.

  69. Groan:

    Mr. Obama returns to Washington on Sunday from a weeklong trip abroad at a time when Democrats have grown increasingly jittery about the economy and the political risks of the president’s ambitious agenda on health care, energy and climate change, financial regulation and other issues.

    Aides said Mr. Obama’s remarks on Saturday, delivered in his weekly radio and video address, were intended to help regain control of the debate. He will follow up with speeches in Michigan and New York in the coming week, and possibly a prime-time news conference.

    Behind the scenes, the White House is working to calm nervous lawmakers.

  70. I always knew I was voting more for Sarah than McCain. There was something about JM I did not trust. There was something about Sarah I did. You always have to go with your instincts. I wanted to believe JM was an honorable man. He is neither.
    Gonzo: your instincts were right about John. Unforunately, so were mine. I think people sensed it about him. I really wonder about his staff. I knew them locally and they were not competent. His national staff I communicated with indirectly and they were pretty slow to react. But I always sensed that perhaps the problem was the candidate himself much as I hate to say it. I am not sure he wanted the job. And I am pretty sure he did not support Palen the way he should have. She took alot of hits for him, and I do not think he has lifted a finger to defend her. Part of the reason was the party chose her for him. As you may recall, he wanted Lieberman of all people.

  71. He will follow up with speeches in Michigan and New York in the coming week, and possibly a prime-time news conference.
    These prime time news conferences are big money losers for the networks. I doubt this will be well received in the board rooms. The abc broadcast on health care tied for third place. He is a one trick pony, and it is all he knows how to do–read a teleprompter. People are getting sick of his bullshit. Overexposure never works. With him it is a psychosis. The negative 7 point spread has them desperate.

  72. Not surprised. Dismal polling and sure enough he goes primetime again. I wish they had just offered him a show on Comedy Central or the cartoon channel instead of the presidency.

  73. JanH

    So how long will people continue to relove him because he made another speech, especially when many no longer listen.

    I had those women stomping for the President’s health care plan a few weeks ago. So believe me, he has his Acorn hires out there like it is a primary.

    So when will the American people decide that the Primary and honeymoon are over, and now it is time to quit voting Present.

    I am gaining a new respect for Independents. At least they are willing to listen, judge, and admit they were wrong. The Hardcore Party followers are not. They just want to win, and don’t care about putting a crook in there.

  74. NMF,

    I personally think the independents should become the New Democratic Party and the present dimwitted dims should be shoved out enmass, with few exceptions, i.e. Hillary.

  75. July 11, 2009

    Latest ethics complaints should be ‘a wake-up call,’ Palin says

    Gov. Palin’s office announced Friday night that two more ethics complaints have been filed against her in the last week.

    (CNN) – The two new ethics complaints filed against Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in the past week should be ‘a wake-up call,’ the former Republican vice presidential candidate says.

    In a statement released late Friday night, Palin’s office announced that two more ethics complaints had been filed against the governor in the week since she made her surprise announcement that she plans to step down later this month -including one complaint filed on Friday.

    “Although the governor would not have thought it possible, the latest complaint rises to a new level of absurdity in alleging that she has been paid for interviews that she has given to the news media,” Palin’s chief of staff Mike Nizich said in a release announcing the filing of the recent complaints.

    “It is amazing to me that anyone could think that, let alone put their name behind it and once again seek to distract state officials and needlessly increase their work load. The state is losing the value of some of its expenditures when public servants are pulled away from important assignments to deal with far-fetched and mean-spirited allegations,” added Nizich.

    For her own part Palin used the leveling of two more ethics complaints against her in a week’s time to call for a more productive political discourse in her state. “The only saving grace in this recent episode is that it proves beyond any doubt the significance of the problem Alaska faces in the ‘new normal’ of political discourse,” Palin also said in Friday’s statement announcing the complaints. “I hope this will be a wake-up call – to legislators, to commentators and to citizens generally – that we need a much more civil and respectful dialogue that focuses on the best interests of the state, rather than the petty resentments of a few.”

    Of the total of 19 ethics complaints that have been filed against Palin or her staff, “15 have been resolved without any finding of wrongdoing, and four are now pending,” Friday’s statement from Palin’s office also said.

  76. I think in order for a real indie party to take hold it has to start in a targeted area. Research and find one state, one central location that is open to real change and will support indie and pour ALL our resources into it. Get some people on national level and then keep after it like a newborn. Try to keep the kooks and the influence of big money to a minimum . Saying that knowing it will take big money to grow. If we are all over the place our resources will be used up nd fail.

  77. Oh, lord, spare us, not more speeches. Jeebus Crispies on a waffle cone, this guy has given more prime-time speeches in 6 months than most presidents do in their whole term! The public is getting really sick of it, too. I’ve heard very apolitical people making comments about it, how they are tired of hearing him talk to the cameras constantly.

  78. SHV, “later this year” is code for “We are going to do a big assed money drop in crucial areas just before mid-term elections”

    Why do you think most of the “stimulus” spending was not scheduled til 2010? It’s earmarked for GRAFT, baybee. It’s entirely political. The Dimocrats are going to try to buy their seats with OUR money.

  79. The man is pathetic. He is turning a recession into a depression, is jeopardizing our national security, afraid to speak out against tyranny and has never met a problem he could solve. He always wants to get in front of audiences who are not up to speed on the issues so he can look smart. He cannot deliver a coherent speech without a telepromter. When he gets in front of a more sophisticated audience he plants questions, filabusters, ducks questions and pursues a vendetta against anyone who tries to get at the truth. Next stop comedy central for a lovefest with a brain dead moderator named John Stewart who will kiss his ass, let him ramble and avoid tough questions like the plague. Stewart is a crashing bore.

  80. OT, but Denninger is on fire today. Go read ALL of it. Here’s some snippets:

    the same banks that lobbied hard this spring to get an exemption from mark-to-market accounting for the “assets” they hold on their books – an exemption they were in fact using without having it, as I will shortly illustrate.

    Well now Doddering Dodd and “I’ve never been frank” Frank are asking for the impossible:

    Today, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank asked the heads of U.S. banking regulators to look into whether their companies are carrying home-equity loans at “potentially inflated values,” which “may contribute to resistance on the part of servicers to negotiate the disposition of these liens.”

    Most of these loans are in fact worth nothing!

    Here’s the understatement of the year from the same article:

    “It is well understood that the four major banks would likely need an additional capital injection should they be forced to mark the second-lien mortgages on their balance sheets to a realistic value,” Greenwich Financial’s Frey said.

    Oh, so you mean our wonderful Congress has in fact encouraged and put into policy and law accounting fraud?

    Why yes!


    REALITY folks is that these banks (and many more) are in fact BANKRUPT, right here and now. Again:

    “It is well understood that the four major banks would likely need an additional capital injection should they be forced to mark the second-lien mortgages on their balance sheets to a realistic value,” Greenwich Financial’s Frey said.

    In English (translation by Tickerguy), for the financially less-literate, this is what Greenwich’s Frey said:

    These banks have less capital than the loss on these loans if the value of these loans are recorded honestly. That is, their assets are exceeded by their liabilities.

    This is the definition of bankruptcy; ergo, these four banks are in fact BANKRUPT right here and now, have been bankrupt, and it is “widely understood”, including by Congress, The Federal Reserve, The FDIC and OCC that this is the case. All of these “Regulatory Arms” of our government are in fact actively conspiring in violation of the “Prompt Corrective Action” law to hide this.

  81. Bambi says the stimulus bill will kick in later this year. When it doesnt he will send biden on tv to say everyone got it wrong. The problem with that argument is not everyone is president, not everyone said they would fix the problem, and not everyone lets a little thing like the truth stand in the way of a good story–or a photo op. So when he says his stimulus plan will kick in I have visions of Lou Groza of the old Cleveland Browns kicking 50 yard field goals, and a single illegal alien on a scaffold collecting $230,000 of non taxable income from our grandchildren installing faulty windows in the Rainier Club while old millionaires who havent seen action since the Crimean War sit around smoking pre Castro Cohebas and laughing about how the other half lives.

  82. HillaryforTexas,

    If you are right, then millions of people who are homeless, starving, sick, struggling to make ends meet, and much more will not get the help they need until it is politically convenient for the bambi and the dims?

    That is so evil and reprehensible. I’m sickened by this agenda.

  83. JanH, that’s correct. The ONLY reason I can see to not get all that stimulus money out into the economy RIGHT AWAY is that they wanted to deliberately wait til 2010 to give the economy a little boost just prior to mid-terms.

    Very similar to the way that the market mysteriously tanked to help Bambi win the election.

    These fuckers (D and R) do not give a SHIT about this country, or her people. It’s all about hanging on to their own power.

    At this point, I’d likely vote for the Devil himself, if I thought he had a shot at taking this filthy incestuous travesty called our current political crony system DOWN.

  84. Of course they are bankrupt. You are bankrupt when your assets exceed your liabilities. In their case, if the mark to market rule was applied the assets they are carrying on their books would have no value and their liabilities would exceed their assets in the aggragate. They bought these instruments themsleves when they could no longer peddle them to other countries, they knew it was a scam, but they also knew all the other banks were doing it too. Everybody knows this, so lets move on and have an open, honest, transparent discussion about what we are going to do about this and the burden of proof that we should do anything is on them. Lets hear their opening statement. No more of these secret covenants with bambi secrectly arrrived at. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, electric light the best policeman. Do we hear an opening bid. And get this whole thing off the desks of corrupt people like Dodd and Frank who are part of the problem and not the solution.

  85. Why do you think most of the “stimulus” spending was not scheduled til 2010? It’s earmarked for GRAFT, baybee.
    I agree…They got cute with the money, and let the WH political office call the shots. Unemployment is going to continue to go up through 2011 and it’s is increasingly likely that the jobs that have been/will be lost aren’t coming back. In addition, the State economies are starting to unwind and cut backs in State programs are on going and lay-offs of State employees are beginning.

  86. If you are right, then millions of people who are homeless, starving, sick, struggling to make ends meet, and much more will not get the help they need until it is politically convenient
    Wasn’t much money for those folks to begin with. Most of those programs were cut because they were “pork”. All of the bridges to “nowhere” and window replacement programs were left in along with $299 billion in worthless tax cuts.

  87. I have done negotiations for nearly three decades and have supervised subordinates in the exercise of same. I know what a good negotiation looks like, and yes, I know what a bad one looks like as well. As a general rule of thumb, you try to avoid bad negotiation behavior when the negotitiation is an important one. And, there are few negotiations which are more important than the one Bambi had last week with Putin. So how did the Messiah do in that meeting with Putin?

    Not worth a shit. On a scale of 0-10 from worst to best, I would give him no more than a 2. Putin handed bambi his head. What exactly did Putin do. He was all 10s: i) he controlled the agenda, ii) he lectured bambi on his improvident remark about having one foot in the cold war, iii) he gave Bambi the history lesson he does not have, iv) he convinced bambi that America needs Russia, but Russia does not need America, ergo bambi will have to deal on Putins terms, v) he let Putin pull him into a zero sum game, by conflating offensive and defensive weapon systems, vi) he used bambis weakness to signal to Ukranians that they cannot count on America, vii) he used bambis weakness to make Poland wish they had Bush back, and viii) when the short meeting was over, he walked out–no sitting around schmoozing. The clear subtext was this: Obama, I have more important things to tend to.

    When you like Putin or not you have to admire what he did here. He is a tough disciplined bargainer, he picked up on Bambis little ploy to separate Putin from the president he handpicked and above all Putin knows a fucking rube when he sees one. Oh bambi will go back to his entourage and paper over their mistakes. But Putin know a rube when he sees one, and he will continue to exploit the weakness he sees. It is what you do in the moment and dont do that counts. And bambi did essentially nothing. He is so stupid he doesnt even realized he got had.

  88. “he convinced bambi that America needs Russia, but Russia does not need America, ergo bambi will have to deal on Putins terms”


    Frighteningly true.

  89. Putin knows a fucking rube when he sees one

    Exactly. Just watching the body language was instructive. Bambi got HAD.

  90. when your assets exceed your liabilities.
    Sorry. If your assets exceed your liabilities, you are solvent. If your liabilities exceed your assets then you are bankrupt. That is the situation the banks are in, if the bad paper was assessed at market value, and it is one of the reasons they fought against the application of that rule.

  91. wbboei, the public rationale spouted for suspending mark-to-market was a “temporary measure”, to give the banks in danger of imminent collapse a little breathing room to get their shit together and clean up their books. That’s what the stupid public was told.

    Instead, they took that “breathing room” they were supposedly given, and said, “Cool, we don’t have to do a damn thing, it’s all covered now!”

    Not to mention that based on that latest Denninger link I posted, they were not marking to market even while the rule was in place. They were committing ACCOUNTING FRAUD the entire time, for years. And the govt knows this, and the govt is now HELPING them with that accounting fraud.

  92. Chrystia Freeland interviews Larry Summers:

    Onward, then, to the toughest economic challenge Summers faces today: the recession. Here, Summers turns sombre: “I don’t think the worst is over … It’s very likely that more jobs will be lost. It would not be surprising if GDP has not yet reached its low. What does appear to be true is that the sense of panic in the markets and freefall in the economy has subsided and one does not have the sense of a situation as out of control as a few months ago.”

  93. Do we have a plan yet? One would think it was throw some money at it (at the Direction of the Dims), stand back and see what happens, and then throw some money on it again.

    Does not sound like much of a plan to me. But then who am I but a voter.

  94. Obama’s Saturday Radio address:

    Obama says stimulus plan to kick in later this year.

    (too little, too late)

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said Saturday more time was needed for his $787 billion stimulus package to work, predicting the spending would have a bigger impact on the economy later this year.

    In an advanced text of his weekly radio speech, Obama said the stimulus plan approved by Congress and signed into law in mid-February “was not designed to work in four months — it was designed to work over two years.”

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said it was too soon to decide whether the U.S. economy needed the help of a second-round of government stimulus to recover from recession.

    “I don’t think that’s a judgment we need to make now, can’t really make it now prudently, responsibly,” he said in a taped interview with CNN that will air Sunday.

    According to a transcript provided by CNN, Geithner said the “biggest thrust” of the stimulus package signed into law earlier this year would take effect in the second half of the year.

    Obama’s comments follow government data showing the unemployment rate soared to 9.5 percent in June, the highest level since 1983 and above the 8 percent peak predicted by the White House when it worked with Congress to pass the package. Republicans say the stimulus plan is not working.

    Obama now warns unemployment likely will top 10 percent in the coming months.

    “We must let (the stimulus plan ) work the way it’s supposed to, with the understanding that in any recession, unemployment tends to recover more slowly than other measures of economic activity,” Obama said.

    He said the benefits of the plan would “accelerate greatly throughout the summer and the fall.”

    The continuing recession and further steep job losses are wearing away the patience of Americans and raising doubts about Obama’s handling of the economy.

    The share of Americans who believe the stimulus package will restore the economy slipped to 52 percent in late June, down from 59 percent two months earlier, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

    Vice President Joe Biden said the administration had “misread” how bad the economy was when it took office but that the

    stimulus package would help the economy recovery and create jobs.

    Senate Republican Leader Mich McConnell Friday called the stimulus plan a failure.

    Obama said it takes time for the plan’s money “to get out the door” to pay for roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects that will create jobs “because we are committed to spending it in a way that is effective and transparent.”

  95. Tax Dodger Geithner says:

    “According to a transcript provided by CNN, Geithner said the “biggest thrust” of the stimulus package signed into law earlier this year would take effect in the second half of the year.”


    Why do we have a Treasury Sect who can’t count?

    This “IS” the second half of the year.

  96. Obama now warns unemployment likely will top 10 percent in the coming months.
    He must be getting a “heads up” from the Dept. Labor to expect more bad news….Until now, it was maybe 10% in 2010.

  97. Why do we have a Treasury Sect who can’t count?

    This “IS” the second half of the year.
    They are idiots!! If someone calls them on their stupidity, Obama will say “uhh..umm..uh.. I meant the fiscal year, Oct. 2010” and when that dead line come and goes there will be another excuse.

  98. SHV Says:
    July 11th, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    The extension given to the unemployed workers is for the most recently unemployed. Our unemployment rate really is closer to 16% including those no longer eligible to collect.

    Obama’s stats are seriously lacking.

  99. Nobody believes this stimulus money is going to jump start the economy. It was a failure from day 1. The real game that is going on here is to force him to spend the money now rather than waiting for next year. He wants to drag his heels and use it as graft at election time. McConnell wants to put enough heat on him that he cannot do that and when he spends the loot now and it does not save the faltering economy they will have a second angle of attack to go at him in 2010. Also, more waste, fraud and abuse will come to light, which will open a third angle of attack.

  100. SHV Says:
    July 11th, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    The (Rs) are capitalizing on the economy Big Time as well they should. Not that they are any better than what we have for so called representation now.

    Especially after Harry Reid made the statement : “Paying Taxes is Voluntary.”

  101. He must be getting a “heads up” from the Dept. Labor to expect more bad news….Until now, it was maybe 10% in 2010
    I guarandamnteeyou he is playing games with the numbers. I told you a few weeks ago how this is done. The Cuban banker found out how they do it when he worked for Walter Wriston at City Bank. Add 1-2 points to what they are saying. And when bls sends some poor sap to Capitol Hill to defend bambis political number, ask him for his notes, because these guys keep them to blackmail their superiors who sent them out on these brown helmut missions. If you can catch them lying or forcing bls to produce phony numbers you have got them.

  102. wbb-

    “I guarandamnteeyou he is playing games with the numbers.”
    I never doubted your word, wbb. There is so much BAD news out there, people are becoming desensitized to the scurrilous behavior of this administration. Each and every person is coping with their own personal issue of potential devastation. From Health issues to Finance. Obama is poking every sore spot the American people are sensitive to, promising relief he has no intention whatsoever to deliver.

  103. Since I am not and never have been interested in Obama the body of evidence I have to draw on is always incomplete. However it strikes me that he is a man of polar opposites. At the one extreme we have the garralous frat boy, skirt chaser, chain smoking, hale fellow well met, I just want to be loved personana which graces the pages of People Magazine. At the other extreme we have the a 47 year old megalomaniac spouting empty rhetoric in hypnotic cadences to a brain dead audience of big media and bots who applaud on que like members of the old Politiburo. The point is its one extreme or the other with no in between. You might even say he is a sociopath.

    There is fratboy bambi and stern lecturing bambi and nothing in between. Most of the time its the frat boy, but when someone gives him the words and the telepromter then its I am the messiah and what you are about to hear is the word of God. Fuck you bambi. You snakeoil salesman. Other than that how was

  104. Good Morning Anyone? There were few overnight posting, so it must be the weekend.

    Anyway, I went to see the Rep ad. I am wondering what the stats are on School Teachers, Fireman, and Police. I assume that the cities pay that. We had heard rumblings in our community at the end of the school year that firemen and police were having the 40 hour weeks curtailed, and that school teachers were being released before the end of the year. Our state is a balanced budget state. Not sure what is happening anywhere else.

  105. Good Morning NMF.

    Higher Taxes, Anyone?

    By George F. Will
    Sunday, July 12, 2009

    Economic policy, which became startling when Washington began buying automobile companies, has become surreal now that disappointment with the results of the second stimulus is stirring talk about the need for a . . . second stimulus. Elsewhere, it requires centuries to bleach mankind’s memory; in Washington, 17 months suffices: In February 2008, President George W. Bush and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who normally were at daggers drawn, agreed that a $168 billion stimulus — this was Stimulus I — would be the “booster shot” the economy needed. Unemployment then was 4.8 percent.

    In January, the Obama administration, shiny as a new dime and bursting with brains, said that unless another stimulus — Stimulus II wound up involving $787 billion — was passed immediately, unemployment, which then was 7.6 percent, would reach 9 percent by 2010. But halfway through 2009, the rate is 9.5. For the first time since the now 16-nation “euro zone” was established in 1999, the unemployment rate in America is as high as it is in that region, which Americans once considered a cautionary lesson on the wages of sin, understood as excessive taxation and regulation.

    “Everyone guessed wrong” about the economy’s weakness, says the vice president, explaining why Stimulus II has not yielded anticipated benefits. Joe Biden is beguiling when unfiltered by calculation, as he often is and as he was when he spoke about guessing (“Meet the Press,” June 14) and how everyone “misread” the economy (“This Week,” July 5). To be fair, economics is a science of single instances, which means it is hardly a science. And it is least like one when we most crave certainty from it — when there is a huge and unprecedented event and educated guessing is the best anyone can do.

    But before embarking on Stimulus III, note that only about 10 percent of Stimulus II has yet been injected into the economy. This is not the administration’s fault, the administration’s defenders say, because government is cumbersome, sluggish and inefficient. But this sunburst of insight comes as the administration toils to enlarge governmental control of health care, energy, finance, education, etc. The administration guesses that these government projects will do better than the Postal Service (its second-quarter loss, $1.9 billion, was 68 percent of its losses for all of 2008) and the government’s railroad (Amtrak has had 38 money-losing years, and this year’s losses are on pace to set a record).

    Let’s guess: Will a person or institution looking for a place to invest $1 billion seek opportunities in the United States, where policy decisions are deliberately increasing taxes, debt, regulations and the cost of energy, and soon will increase the cost of borrowing and hiring? Or will the investor look at, say, India. It is the least urbanized major country — 70 percent of Indians live in rural areas, 50 percent on farms — so the modernizing and productivity-enhancing movement from the countryside to the city is in its infancy. This nation of 1.2 billion people has a savings rate of 25 to 30 percent, and fewer than 20 million credit cards. Which nation, India or the United States, is apt to have the higher economic growth over the next decade?

    Yet while government diminishes America’s comparative advantages, liberals are clamoring for . . . higher taxes. Partly because of changes endorsed by presidents from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, approximately 60 percent of taxpayers now pay either no income tax (43 percent) or less than 5 percent of their income. Because one cannot raise significant money by that tax without nicking the middle class, or without bringing millions of people back onto the income tax rolls, attention is turning to a value-added tax.

    A VAT is levied at every stage of production. Like the cap-and-trade carbon regime now being constructed, a VAT is a liberal politician’s delight: It taxes everything, but opaquely. Before he became an economic adviser in the Obama White House, where wit can be dangerous, Larry Summers said: Liberals oppose a VAT because it is regressive and conservatives oppose it because it is a money machine, but a VAT might come when liberals realize it is a money machine and conservatives realize it is regressive.

    At the June 29 White House briefing, press secretary Robert Gibbs was asked, with reference to health-care legislation, if the president’s pledge not to raise taxes on couples making less than $250,000 is “still active.” Gibbs answered: “We are going to let the process work its way through.” What is your guess?

  106. The real economic news from the trenches.

    I participated in a neighborhood wide yard sale on Saturday. Dozens of cars drove by, stopped, browsed, but there were few sales.

    I managed to unload a couple of ‘big ticket’ items; a couple of good folding lawn chairs, a like-new beach umbrella, a kids karaoke machine, a gorgeous four-screen room divider which one of my parrots bit a few chunks out of and an autoharp for a grand total of of almost $200 – not a bad few hours. But None, I REPEAT NONE of the $1-$10 items sold at all and everyone was conplaining that no-one has money this year.

  107. So how long does it take for the average voter to figure out that if you knew what you were doing in the first stimulus, you would projected the right numbers, or was the game plan to lie to the people.

    It looks like the Independents don’t like being lied to. So Party members how do you like the lying? I personnelly can live with a very bad situation as long as I know the game plan with a light at the end of the tunnel, and that game plan comes true.

    So which is it? Did he lie to us, or did he put in place a plan made by his buddies Polosie etc, who took care of their own, and they failed to inform you and your experts of this. But then your experts should have know, and so should you have.


  108. nmf,

    I am so glad, proud and relieved i changed to independent last november.

    no more strings for me. may the best person prevail.

  109. May I just say that I love Brad Sherman (D- CA)? Here he is on Friday, trying to get Timmeh to answer the question of whether the CDS trading going on TODAY has an implicit govt guarantee.

    This video is appalling.

    Is Rep. Sherman up for re-election? I need to send him money of he needs it.

  110. Op-Ed Columnist

    She Broke the G.O.P. and Now She Owns It

    Published: July 11, 2009

    SARAH PALIN and Al Sharpton don’t ordinarily have much in common, but they achieved a rare harmonic convergence at Michael Jackson’s memorial service. When Sharpton told the singer’s children it was their daddy’s adversaries, not their daddy, who were “strange,” he was channeling the pugnacious argument the Alaska governor had made the week before. There was nothing strange about her decision to quit in midterm, Palin told America. What’s strange — or “insane,” in her lingo — are the critics who dare question her erratic behavior on the national stage.

    Sharpton’s bashing of Jackson’s naysayers received the biggest ovation of the entire show. Palin’s combative resignation soliloquy, though much mocked by prognosticators of all political persuasions, has an equally vociferous and more powerful constituency. In the aftermath of her decision to drop out and cash in, Palin’s standing in the G.O.P. actually rose in the USA Today/Gallup poll. No less than 71 percent of Republicans said they would vote for her for president. That overwhelming majority isn’t just the “base” of the Republican Party that liberals and conservatives alike tend to ghettoize as a rump backwater minority. It is the party, or pretty much what remains of it in the Barack Obama era.

    That’s why Palin won’t go gently into the good night, much as some Republicans in Washington might wish. She is not just the party’s biggest star and most charismatic television performer; she is its only star and charismatic performer. Most important, she stands for a genuine movement: a dwindling white nonurban America that is aflame with grievances and awash in self-pity as the country hurtles into the 21st century and leaves it behind. Palin gives this movement a major party brand and political plausibility that its open-throated media auxiliary, exemplified by Glenn Beck, cannot. She loves the spotlight, can raise millions of dollars and has no discernible reason to go fishing now except for self-promotional photo ops.

    The essence of Palinism is emotional, not ideological. Yes, she is of the religious right, even if she winks literally and figuratively at her own daughter’s flagrant disregard of abstinence and marriage. But family-values politics, now more devalued than the dollar by the philandering of ostentatiously Christian Republican politicians, can only take her so far. The real wave she’s riding is a loud, resonant surge of resentment and victimization that’s larger than issues like abortion and gay civil rights.

    That resentment is in part about race, of course. When Palin referred to Alaska as “a microcosm of America” during the 2008 campaign, it was in defiance of the statistical reality that her state’s tiny black and Hispanic populations are unrepresentative of her nation. She stood for the “real America,” she insisted, and the identity of the unreal America didn’t have to be stated explicitly for audiences to catch her drift. Her convention speech’s signature line was a deftly coded putdown of her presumably shiftless big-city opponent: “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities.” (Funny how this wisdom has been forgotten by her supporters now that she has abandoned her own actual responsibilities in public office.)

    The latest flashpoint for this kind of animus is the near-certain elevation to the Supreme Court of Sonia Sotomayor, whose Senate confirmation hearings arrive this week. Prominent Palinists were fast to demean Sotomayor as a dim-witted affirmative-action baby. Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard, the Palinist hymnal, labeled Sotomayor “not the smartest” and suggested that Princeton awards academic honors on a curve. Karl Rove said, “I’m not really certain how intellectually strong she would be.” Those maligning the long and accomplished career of an Ivy League-educated judge do believe in affirmative-action — but only for white people like Palin, whom they boosted for vice president despite her minimal achievements and knowledge of policy, the written word or even geography.

    The politics of resentment are impervious to facts. Palinists regard their star as an icon of working-class America even though the Palins’ combined reported income ($211,000) puts them in the top 3.6 percent of American households. They see her as a champion of conservative fiscal principles even though she said yes to the Bridge to Nowhere and presided over a state that ranks No.1 in federal pork. Nowhere is the power of resentment to trump reason more flagrantly illustrated than in the incessant complaint by Palin and her troops that she is victimized by a double standard in the “mainstream media.” In truth, the commentators at ABC, NBC and CNN — often the same ones who judged Michelle Obama a drag on her husband — all tried to outdo each other in praise for Palin when she emerged at the Republican convention 10 months ago. Even now, the so-called mainstream media can grade Palin on a curve: at MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” last week, Palin’s self-proclaimed representation of the “real America” was accepted as a given, as if white rural America actually still was the nation’s baseline.

    The Palinists’ bogus beefs about double standards reached farcical proportions at Fox News on the sleepy pre-Fourth Friday afternoon when word of her abdication hit the East. The fill-in anchor demanded that his token Democratic stooge name another female politician who had suffered such “disgraceful attacks” as Palin. When the obvious answer arrived — Hillary Clinton — the Fox host angrily protested that Clinton had never been attacked in “a sexual way” or “about her children.”

    Americans have short memories, but it’s hardly ancient history that conservative magazines portrayed Hillary Clinton as both a dominatrix cracking a whip and a broomstick-riding witch. Or that Rush Limbaugh held up a picture of Chelsea Clinton on television to identify the “White House dog.” Or that Palin’s running mate, John McCain, told a sexual joke linking Hillary and Chelsea and Janet Reno. Yet the same conservative commentariat that vilified both Clintons 24/7 now whines that Palin is receiving “the kind of mauling” that the media “always reserve for conservative Republicans.” So said The Wall Street Journal editorial page last week. You’d never guess that The Journal had published six innuendo-laden books on real and imagined Clinton scandals, or that the Clintons had been a leading target of both Letterman and Leno monologues, not to mention many liberal editorial pages (including that of The Times), for much of a decade.

    Those Republicans who have not drunk the Palin Kool-Aid are apocalyptic for good reason. She could well be their last presidential candidate standing. Such would-be competitors as Mark Sanford, John Ensign and Newt Gingrich are too carnally compromised for the un-Clinton party. Mike Huckabee is Palin-lite. Tim Pawlenty, Bobby Jindal — really? That leaves the charisma-challenged Mitt Romney, precisely the kind of card-carrying Ivy League elitist Palinists loathe, no matter how hard he tries to cosmetically alter his history as a socially liberal fat-cat banker. Palin would crush him like a bug. She has the Teflon-coated stature among Republicans that Romney can only fantasize about.

    Were Palin actually to secure the 2012 nomination, the result would be a fiasco for the G.O.P. akin to Goldwater 1964, as the most relentless conservative Palin critic, David Frum, has predicted. Or would it? No one thought Richard Nixon — a far less personable commodity than Palin — would come back either after his sour-grapes “last press conference” of 1962. But Democratic divisions and failures gave him his opportunity in 1968. With unemployment approaching 10 percent and a seemingly bottomless war in Afghanistan, you never know, as Palin likes to say, what doors might open. It’s more likely that she will never get anywhere near the White House, and not just because of her own limitations. The Palinist “real America” is demographically doomed to keep shrinking. But the emotion it represents is disproportionately powerful for its numbers. It’s an anger that Palin enjoyed stoking during her “palling around with terrorists” crusade against Obama on the campaign trail. It’s an anger that’s curdled into self-martyrdom since Inauguration Day.

    Its voice can be found in the postings at a Web site maintained by the fans of Mark Levin, the Obama hater who is, at this writing, the No.2 best-selling hardcover nonfiction writer in America. (Glenn Beck is No.1 in paperback nonfiction.) Politico surveyed them last week. “Bottomline, do you know of any way we can remove these idiots before this country goes down the crapper?” wrote one Levin fan. “I WILL HELP!!! Should I buy a gun?” Another called for a new American revolution, promising “there will be blood.”

    These are the cries of a constituency that feels disenfranchised — by the powerful and the well-educated who gamed the housing bubble, by a news media it keeps being told is hateful, by the immigrants who have taken some of their jobs, by the African-American who has ended a white monopoly on the White House. Palin is their born avatar. She puts a happy, sexy face on ugly emotions, and she can solidify her followers’ hold on a G.O.P. that has no leaders with the guts or alternative vision to stand up to them or to her.

    For a week now, critics in both parties have had a blast railing at Palin. It’s good sport. But just as the media muttering about those unseemly “controversies” rallied the fans of the King of Pop, so are Palin’s political obituaries likely to jump-start her lucrative afterlife.

  111. Is Rep. Sherman up for re-election?
    All US Reps are up for re-election every two years. Rep. Sherman is an account and atty. He called BS early on the Bankster’s welfare bill.

  112. Leave it to the NY Times to paint all those not thrilled with Obama as racist rednecks with “ugly emotions”.

    They still don’t get it.

  113. SHV, I wasn’t sure if he even had a challenger. There are some who don’t, or at least not a viable one.

    Yeah, he was fabulous in his arguments about TARP from way back.

  114. wbboei Says:
    July 12th, 2009 at 1:15 am

    “it strikes me that he is a man of polar opposites. At the one extreme we have the garralous frat boy, skirt chaser, chain smoking, hale fellow well met, I just want to be loved personana which graces the pages of People Magazine. At the other extreme we have the a 47 year old megalomaniac spouting empty rhetoric in hypnotic cadences to a brain dead audience of big media and bots who applaud on que like members of the old Politiburo. The point is its one extreme or the other with no in between. You might even say he is a sociopath.”


    Exactly right, wbb. Except, there is an in between. The in between is what Obama’s plans are ‘between’ Obama and his gameplanners. We are aware, that the “in between” is not revealed to the public for their knowledge and consumption to be processed, digested and crossexamined for feasibility or “IF” the plan Obama is using will ultimately be beneficial to the public.

    This gaping disparity is analogus to decisions made by a computer, where information is inputted to a computer for the sole purpose of denying or approving a plan. There is no way of cross examining a computer.

    As far as the Obama administration is concered, the Treasurey Department in particular (a private entity) have substituted this private entity for the computer, with the same unavailability of cross-examination and public scruitiny determining if the plan
    in place being followed is in the public’s best interest.

  115. H4T,

    “I guess when you steal billions through market manipulations you can affort to give billions in bonuses…

    That video needs to go viral!

  116. ANALYSIS-For Obama, healthcare failure is not option

    Sun Jul 12, 2009

    * Obama needs breakthrough success on healthcare bill

    * Democrats remember fallout from ’94 failure

    * Obama slipping in polls as economy still falters

    By John Whitesides

    WASHINGTON, July 12 (Reuters) – For President Barack Obama, failure on healthcare is not an option.

    With the economy struggling and his poll numbers dipping, the president who made “change” his campaign mantra cannot afford to come up empty on his top legislative priority — a long-sought overhaul of the costly and complex U.S. healthcare system.

    The gathering debate in the Democratic-controlled Congress will be the biggest test yet of Obama’s ability to work with lawmakers and deliver on promises. Failure would spark new doubts about a president still seeking a signature accomplishment.

    “The guy made big promises and said, ‘Yes, we can,’ but the question still is, ‘Can he?'” Democratic consultant Doug Schoen said. “Failure begats failure, and failure here would raise questions about his ability to lead on a lot of issues.”

    He takes his effort to win public backing for his plan to a town hall meeting in Warren, Michigan, on Tuesday, a state where closed factories and the highest unemployment rate in the country have left many without private health insurance and struggling to pay healthcare bills.

    Analysts said the dire consequences for Obama and his fellow Democrats of not passing a healthcare measure make it very likely a bill will be passed in some form, even as the political battle heats up over its cost and scope.

    Obama and his administration have jacked up expectations with optimistic proclamations “the stars are aligned” for reform, and congressional leaders have been working for months to fashion a proposal.

    “The Democratic leadership and the president cannot end all this fervor without having some sort of healthcare reform bill,” said Bob Blendon, a health policy and political analysis professor at Harvard University. “The bill could be more modest than some of the things being discussed but there has to be a bill because the Democratic Party would pay a huge price if there isn’t. They learned that lesson in 1994,” Blendon said.

    That year’s collapse of the healthcare reform effort, led by then-first lady Hillary Clinton, is still fresh in the minds of many Democrats, who lost control in both chambers of Congress later that year in a Newt Gingrich-led Republican landslide. All 435 members of the House of Representatives and one-third of the 100 senators are up for re-election next year.


    “The last time they failed on healthcare they got Gingrich,” said Len Nichols, director of the Health Policy program at the New America Foundation. “This time if they fail they might get Limbaugh,” he said in a reference to influential conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, a harsh Obama critic. “So they are highly motivated.”

    Obama wants lawmakers to curb costs and expand health insurance coverage to many of the 46 million uninsured Americans. In a shift of strategy from the Clinton effort, however, he left it to Congress to put the bill together. But keeping Democrats happy while attracting Republicans has proven a difficult balancing act. Congressional leaders have struggled to trim costs and find ways to cover its estimated price tag of at least $1 trillion.

    Republicans object to plans for a government-run healthcare option that would compete with private insurers, fearing its impact on the insurance industry and the employer-based insurance model used by most Americans.

    Obama aides have signaled they would be willing to reduce or change the public plan to win support from at least a few Republicans, drawing criticism from liberal Democrats.

    A group of fiscally conservative Democrats, meanwhile, objected to the House bill on Thursday because it did not have enough cost savings. They said it should be revamped before they can support it, creating the latest in a series of challenges.

    “There are going to be some tough negotiations in the days and weeks to come but I’m confident that we’re going to get it done,” Obama said while traveling in Italy on Friday.

    The healthcare debate comes at a critical juncture for Obama, who faces growing criticism that his economic prescriptions are failing. He managed early victories in Congress on a $787 billion economic stimulus package, a financial rescue package and bailouts for endangered firms and industries, but his approval ratings have slipped in recent polls as unemployment rises and the economy continues to stumble.

    The latest Gallup poll put Obama’s approval rating at a still-high 57 percent, down from 64 percent in early June. In other polls, it ranges from the mid-50s to mid-60s.

    “The Obama administration is desperate for accomplishments on the big issues,” said Schoen, the White House pollster under former President Bill Clinton. “The reason he is trying to do as much as he can as quickly as he can is he knows his approval rating is a depreciating asset. As soon as that goes below 50 percent he is in trouble.”

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