More Obama Failures Defended By The Hopium Addled

We get get a lot of questions which revolve around “when will Americans wake up to flim-flam Obama?”

We also get a lot of communications from the Hopium addled purporting to defend Obama. The defenses revolve around “George W. Bush did not damage America in the first 12 months and likewise you have not seen all the good Obama will do to America until after 12 months and then wait until the economy gets better – that will shut you up but good!”

At first we thought these are really stupid people, who do not know their history, who defend Obama. After all, George W. Bush did do a great deal of damage to America in the first six months mostly by ignoring Bill Clinton communications warning about Bin Laden. In the first months Bush wasted money and vacationed and lived the good life. Americans quickly caught on to Bush living the high life and Bush’s popularity sunk only to be rescued on September 11, 2001, the day the planes hit.

We have, however, discovered that these strange and ahistorical defenses of Obama are wielded not only by those who send their crayon missives to us, but these defenses are also used by intelligent people we once respected.

* * * * *

When will Americans wake up to flim-flam Obama? Already polls show crusty sand is being wiped from American eyelids. But the complete and irreversible “wake-up” will occur (just as with Bush) when the Obama Katrina disasters touch individual Americans. At that point no amount of Hopium consumed will deflect American revulsion against Obama. When will that point arrive? We have a guess:

But if anyone’s looking for some clear voices, there are 650,000 of them just waiting to be heard. That is roughly the number of long-term unemployed who will begin losing their jobless benefits in September, according to the National Employment Law Project. [snip] Depending on which state and the sort of triggers that apply to benefits, hundreds of thousands of workers laid off early in the downturn are soon to be left without the basic sustenance of an unemployment check.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department says, the number of unemployed people out of work for 27 weeks or longer continues to grow, reaching 4.4 million last month. In June, three out of 10 jobless workers had been out of work for at least six months, according to the department’s data. The stimulus package the president signed soon after taking office did provide extended benefits, and boosted weekly payments. But even that extension runs out on Dec. 26, and would not apply to all the unemployed. Does anyone really believe that a significant portion of the unemployed will have found new work by then? Hardly. Both private and government economists now predict that unemployment will continue to rise at least through the end of this year.

“We can’t ignore this moment when all these folks are running out (of benefits),” says Maurice Emsellem of the National Employment Law Project.

Having wasted trillions of dollars Obama will eventually be forced to extend unemployment benefits. Republicans, if intelligent, will likely back the extension of benefits but with a twist: take the money from the Obama “stimulus” scam passed earlier this year.

Dimocrats will yell and scream if money from the slush fund (a.k.a. the Obama “stimulus” scam) for 2010 Dimocrats is threatened to be taken away. But if Republicans demand extended unemployment benefits be taken from the Obama “stimulus” scam they will find a receptive American public.

The “best and the brightest” of Dimocrats will fail to understand the pull for Americans of fiscal responsibility. The once rational Michael Tomasky is a case in point.

Michale Tomasky recently took to his website to spin pretty on the latest stinking B.O. polls. Here is the deceptive, unfactual defense:

This is chiefly about the economy. Period. It was Bush’s mess. Now it’s becoming Obama’s mess to average voters. I have to say, that’s understandable.

And wasn’t all this entirely anticipate-able? I anticipated it, and I’m sure others did too. One always knew that the economy wouldn’t start rebounding til next spring or summer. So what should we have expected to happen in the second half of 2009, as unemployment figures rose (something we also knew would happen)? Obviously, Obama was going to start losing some support. He’ll keep losing more by year end for sure.

We agree with Tomasky that “it’s the economy, stupid”. And we certainly agree that it was “entirely anticipate-able” that the economy would not rebound this year. We here at Big Pink certainly anticipated it. We wrote against the Bush waste of money in late 2008 (as well as during his term) and we railed against the Obama waste too. But Tomasky ignores the repeated assertions by Obama and his looters that the economy would recover THIS YEAR.

That’s right Tomasky, it was the Obama looters who failed to anticipate the “entirely anticipate-able”.

It was Obama who stated that by passing his “stimulus” scam unemployment would not rise above 8%. It was “entirely anticipate-able” that that was an Obama lie. Obama said that to get his 2010 election slush fund for Dimocrats passed. This was all “entirely anticipate-able”. At the time we quoted Alice Rivlin’s warnings. We wrote repeatedly that this was not an economic package so much as an electoral slush fund:

Wake up real Democrats and Real Progressives! It’s not Rush Limbaugh vs. Obama – it’s Real Democrats who want to protect Social Security and secure the economy vs. Barack Obama and his flim-flam “stimulus” scam. [snip]

It will take a lot of courage for the emerging NObama coalition to speak up and vote against the Hopium addled and other Social Security looters. Barack Obama and his crimelords are attacking the elderly and the young. The elderly Obama will target with inflation and an attack on Social Security, the young Obama will attack with a debt they will inherit. [snip]

This is not a “stimulus” bill. It is a political money waste designed to influence the 2010 elections.

We argued for a “smart” expenditure policy and against the “stimulus” scam. We entirely anticipated what would happen and it was the Dimocrats and Obama who failed to anticipate the “entirely anticipate-able”.

Tomasky and the Hopium addled defenders of Barack Obama refuse to hold Obama to account, but unemployed Americans will not be so vapid.

Yes Mike, it was Obama in his 2010 budget that declared an economic turnaround THIS JUNE. Roubini and Big Pink did not believe it. We denounced the “entirely anticipate-able” mess which is the Obama “stimulus”.

Yes Mike, we have been proven right when we wrote Obama Budget: Sleeveless, Clueless, Truthless, Hopeless, Penniless. It was Obama, Mike, who lied about the “entirely anticipate-able”.

Having rewritten history to ignore Obama’s lies, Tomasky then proceeds to propose the obvious – which might not be true – a very very big “if”:

It was always my feeling that in political terms, as long as the economy actually does begin to bounce back by next summer, in time for the midterms, the politics would be basically fine over the long haul. As long as Obama and Dems can campaign next year saying, credibly, that we’re getting back on track, things will work out. The Senate numbers still favor pick-ups under those circumstances. Also, as the economy rebounds, so will Obama’s numbers.

So it’s going to be a long fall. Passing some big legislation would certainly help. Failing to pass it would hurt, but it probably wouldn’t hurt as much as some liberals think, because this is still mainly about the economy.

Some liberals are panicking, and some conservatives are starting to gloat. But really. This happened to Reagan. Terrible recession, and he got creamed in the first midterms. Went on to be a fairly consequential president.

If I were in the WH, the one thing I’d be saying is: Get out there and give speeches. Not town halls, which bring out his less appealing professorial side. Speeches. Highlight stimulus gains. Thump the tub on health care and the climate bill. The guy can rev people up as we know. As I’ve written before, why they so rarely have him out there doing it is a mystery.

So for the Hopium addled Tomasky it comes down to this: ‘if the economy improves (the big “if”) then Obama and the Dimocrats will be OK next year – and there is no need for panic even though things are going to get really bad for the rest of the year. Also, let’s hear more words, words, words, from Obama.’

Tomasky does not tolerate the possibility that it is Obama policies which are the problem and that more droning from him will not get jobs to the unemployed.

* * * * *

Hopium addled Eleanor Clift still believes Obama is the Mess-iah, albeit with flaccid polls:

His poll numbers may be sinking, but six months into his presidency, Barack Obama retains the admiration and the trust of voters. To be sure, they’re not as admiring of his policies. The attacks from critics about unsustainable debt and big government have taken their toll. Voters question whether his policies will work, and the legions of progressives who backed him wonder whether he has what it takes to work his will on Capitol Hill.

Clift’s prescription is for Obama to become something he simply is not – a fighter for the people. Obama only fights for himself. Still, Clift continues to light the incense:

If political capital is measured by popularity, Obama still has plenty. What he doesn’t seem to have is a willingness to spend it. With health-care reform working its way through Congress and climate-change legislation within reach for the first time ever, it’s time for Obama to get in touch with his inner LBJ, but so far the signs don’t look good. [snip]

It’s not Obama’s temperament to lean hard on people, and he doesn’t know his prey the way President Johnson did as a former Senate majority leader. LBJ had compromised and bullied and legislated for years, and he knew everybody’s sweet spot, when to cajole, when to threaten. Obama’s got Rahm Emanuel, a cleaned-up, not-quite-so-vulgar version of Johnson. It’s not the same, but will have to do. With unemployment climbing and 12,000 people a day losing health insurance, Obama cannot allow universal health care to slip away yet again. If a Democratic president with commanding majorities in both the Senate and House can’t make it happen this Congress, the Democrats will take a hit in the 2010 congressional election, and the losses will be deserved.

Obama defenders still continue to think that Obama will fight for someone other than himself:

This is an LBJ moment where Obama’s legislative skills will be tested. Just as Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law along with sweeping civil-rights legislation in the window that was open to him after the assassination of President Kennedy, Obama’s standing in the country is high enough that he can still ride the wave of the election that swept him into office. The steadily increasing number of people without jobs and health insurance is scary and their cry for change will only grow louder. The true unemployment rate is probably twice what the government records as people get discouraged and fall from the statistics.

Hopium addled Clift, like Tomasky, like Big Media – is still a fan, is still a believer – not a trace of doubt in their minds.

* * * * *

Sad sack Joe Klein is also a believer. Like most of Obama’s Hopium addled Joe unwittingly denounces Obama even as he sings Obama’s praises. For instance:

Barack Obama has been President for six months now, and we are beginning to learn a few things about how he does business. The most surprising of these is that he is a vehement traditionalist, a small-c conservative, despite his opponents’ best efforts to paint him as a radical. In foreign policy, this has meant a return to traditional diplomatic devices — treaties, alliances, negotiation, a global strategic vision — after the ad hoc, go-it-alone bellicosity of his predecessor. [snip]

It is likely to be an ugly summer of sausage-grinding in Washington. Obama’s two biggest domestic-policy proposals — health-care reform and alternative energy — will be pulverized and reshaped by the Senate. The end products may be unsightly and counterproductive, if passed. A third initiative — a relatively modest regulatory reform of the financial system — is being chewed to dust by the termite lobbyists of the banking industry. A fourth initiative — the effort to buy off the banking system’s “toxic” assets — is languishing, near comatose, because of the bankers’ intransigence. (See who’s who in Obama’s White House.)

The fact is, Obama may be blowing a major opportunity for reform with his domestic-policy diffidence. He came to office faced with an unprecedented economic crisis, and he focused on it successfully during his first 100 days, giving two excellent speeches about the need for a stimulus plan and general economic reform.

Did you notice that for Klein – just as for Tomasky – the thrill is Obama’s WORDS. Klein thinks Obama’s “two excellent speeches” are wonderful, Tomasky wants more Obama speeches, at least Clift wants more LBJ in her Obama.

Klein will not accept the Obama is a boob even as he catalogs Obama’s boobery point by ugly point:

He has lost that focus as his other initiatives have come online; he has failed to speak with precision or clarity about the bills wandering through Congress. He has failed to make clear what needs to be in those bills — and what can’t be — if he is going to sign them. He also needs to update the public on his stimulus plan, especially now that his Vice President inadvertently dissed it. And he needs to make a direct assault on the greedheads who created the Ponzi economy and are now trying to gut his plan to make them do business honestly. [snip]

Congress cringes at the hard stuff, especially anything that can be labeled a tax or a regulation. To make things more difficult, the public doesn’t consider health or energy reform as crucial as the President (rightly) does. Most people are happy with their health insurance, although they’re worried about losing it. And they are not clear about the sacrifices necessary to address climate change — or the national-security issues raised by our dependence on oil provided by some of the more disgraceful governments in the world.

If Obama is to succeed with his domestic-policy agenda, he needs to convince people that action is necessary on these abstruse issues. He is going to have to demand clear, comprehensible solutions from Congress, and he is going to have to admit what most civilians know in their gut: that a price must be paid for a better, more secure health-care system and action on climate change. [snip]

It will take relentless focus to sell health reform and solve the continuing economic crisis. That will not leave much time for climate change, at least not this year — and that is a good thing, because the Waxman-Markey energy bill passed by the House is an excellent candidate for euthanasia. It is a demonstration of all that’s wrong with the legislative process in latter-day America.

Joe Klein thinks Obama is simply wonderful but that things right now suck. Klein will not admit that Obama AND his policies are a mess. Joe does not want to be right; Joe is a believer.

But Americans are beginning to wake up. The unemployed and the soon to be unemployed and the soon to be unemployed without unemployment benefits are especially awake and not happy with Obama:

President Barack Obama’s approval rating has nose-dived in Ohio, a sign that voters are beginning to blame him for their economic problems. [snip]

“These numbers indicate that, for the first time, voters have decided that President Barack Obama bears some responsibility for their problems,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the polling institute.

“Until now, voters have given President Obama high ratings on the economy, blaming former President George W. Bush for their problems. They might be taking out their frustration on President Obama, possibly deciding that the change he promised has not come as quickly as they expected.”[snip]

“These numbers indicate that he may be losing, at least for now, some of those who voted for him in November, and should be an indication to the White House that his honeymoon with voters may be ending.” [snip]

The sinking numbers for Obama and Strickland could mean trouble for Democrats in next year’s midterm election.

“If the election is a referendum on how Ohio’s doing, which is what Republicans will try to make it, then it’s bad news for Democrats,” Brown said.

Klein, Clift, Tomasky are still on the Hopium. The Hopium addled continue to defend the indefensible Obama. For Clift, Tomasky, and Klein, the Chris Matthews thrill up the leg is still tingling.

For unemployed Obama voters, the thrill is gone.


95 thoughts on “More Obama Failures Defended By The Hopium Addled

  1. BRAVO, Admin!

    I was wondering when you’d get around to using King’s ‘The Thrill is Gone.’ Perfect moment for it.

    “Tomasky and the Hopium addled defenders of Barack Obama refuse to hold Obama to account, but unemployed Americans will not be so vapid.”

    I hope you’re right.

  2. It’s not only the unemployed.

    Basil9, the Thrill is gone for environmentalists too:

    Ms. Miller, an activist with Greenpeace, had worked hard on her own time to elect Barack Obama because he directly and urgently addressed the issue nearest her heart: climate change.

    But over the last few months, as the ambitious climate legislation was watered down in the House without criticism from the president, Ms. Miller became disillusioned. She worried that the bill had been rendered meaningless — or had even undermined some goals Greenpeace had fought for. And she felt that the man she had thought of as her champion seemed oddly prone to compromise.

    “I voted for the president, I canvassed for him, but we just haven’t seen leadership from him,” said Ms. Miller, who rappelled down Mount Rushmore on Wednesday with colleagues to unfurl a banner protesting what they called President Obama’s acquiescence to the compromises. [snip]

    For some environmental groups and individuals, the bill’s perceived shortcomings — like generous pollution allowances to coal utilities and the usurping of the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory authority over carbon emissions — were more than mere setbacks.

    “This bill was worse than what we were expecting, even knowing we wouldn’t get the best bill,” said Nick Berning, a spokesman for the group Friends of the Earth.

    The overriding of the E.P.A.’s regulatory authority over carbon emissions was particularly startling, Mr. Berning said.

    The president clearly shares the blame, he said, adding, “He is not engaged enough.”

    On the campaign trail, Mr. Obama used forceful and direct language on climate change, calling carbon emissions from human activity an “immediate threat” to the climate. His environmental critics say they miss that urgent tone.

    “He was far too quiet during the House debate,” said Jessy Tolkan, the executive director of the Energy Action Coalition, a youth group in Washington that campaigns for clean energy. “He needs to live up to the promises he made to us when we poured our heart and soul into electing him.”

    Ms. Tolkan said that her organization was hoping to take that point home to the Democratic Party before the midterm elections. “Those who played a leadership role in weakening this bill will feel the wrath of youth political power across the country,” she said. “2010 is not that far away.”

  3. crayon missives; slush fund; Obama Budget: Sleeveless, Clueless, Truthless, Hopeless, Penniless; Get out there and give speeches; let’s hear more words, words, words, from Obama…and on and on….

    First off Admin, this is one amazingly thorough, evidence-based, and stellar article.

    Secondly, He has never been a fighter for the people. He fights for the wealthy. He fights for his terrorist friends. He bullies the rest of us.

  4. Community organizer, and his personality, does not lend itself to giving directions to the nation’s legislators, nor the world’s leaders on what he expects, and what he wants. He bullies his way, and has never been in the National/International Legislative environment where he had to negotiate anything. He does not lead he bullies, just as JanH said above.

    These truth were self evident in the Primary: Actions will always trump Words. Since they only had words, voter went on good Faith or stupid faith. HOWEVER NOW WE HAVE ACTIONS OR LACK OF THEM. American Voters have to decide if they are going to sober up and call it what it is. HE IS NOT THE PERSON WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR. She is now trying to save his Axx by being SOS, his only area of accomplishment.

  5. I think it’s time for another round of ‘”reen shoots; Your taxes are going up.”

    All together now.


    And I think there are MILLIONS of Americans who feel exactly the way that guy does.
    As far as enviro-wackos – I’m sorry but I’ve seen too many jobs lost to those extremists. Case in point, one of the few large concrete manufactureres near Albany is on the verge of being shut down coz of emissions lies. Over 300 jobs. Where the heck are those people going to get hired?

  6. “Lefty environmental groups are now calling Bullshit on the Fraud in Chief.”

    Of course the NYT Obama fluffer, between comments by the environmentalists that Obama is a lying sack of sh*t, interjects comments like:

    Few politicians make the transition from campaign trail to White House without sacrificing a few starry-eyed supporters along the way, of course.
    And Mr. Obama’s early record on environmental issues suggests that he is more aggressive than any of his predecessors in supporting causes like combating global warming and shifting to renewable energy sources”

    The Energy Bill (Cap & Trade) is a huge payoff to many special interests, including Big Coal, Nuclear Power (GE/Imelt, Westinghouse), Goldman and GE again, Big Agriculture and others. the consumer, the American economy and the environment get screwed. Another big beneficiary of the Cap & Trade derivatives scam is the Chicago Energy Exchange. The CCX got its start using a Grant from the Joyce Foundation and Big Surprise Obama was on the Joyce Board and as CCX Richard Sandor said ““Obama was on the foundation that gave us the grant,” Sandor said. “We know him well.”


    Obama Presidency, most corrupt in history.

  7. You know, all this “hanger-on” groups who were promised the moon by their messiah and are just now realizing that he lied…lied…lied… Well they voted him in. They bowed down and kissed his feet.

    It’s a little late for them to be crying that he “done them wrong.” They let the dog eat their homework, didn’t vet the moron, attacked the Clintons left and right, and are now going to have to live with their actions.

  8. Exactly, JanH, they didn’t vet him, they bought his pack of lies, and the president is elected for 4 yrs. Go screw.

  9. After yet another European tour, with much less adulation this time, Obama is back on the job on vacation.

    From Politico:

    Sunday golf at Fort Belvoir for Obama. From the pool report:
    Presidential motorcade left the White House at 12:35 p.m. headed to Fort Belvoir for a golf outing. Motorcade arrived at Fort Belvoir at 1:06 p.m. and pool peeled off to the PX while the POTUS headed to the course. Pool sat in the food court while the POTUS golfed. Among his golfing partners was Ron Kirk, U.S. Trade Representative. POTUS finished 18 holes and the pool departed Fort Belvoir at 5:38 p.m. Pool arrived at the White House at 6:03 p.m.

  10. Flaunting that phony smile and waving to his international serfs, while at the same time being tutored by Putin on the history of the Cold War is tiring work, Admin.

    Give the guy a break…lol… What could be more important than improving his golf score at great expense to the taxpayers?

  11. Bravo, admin! Poor Big Tool Media: Their chorus is becoming more plaintive

    If lovin’ you is wrooong, I don’t wanna be right…

    There there, Tweetie and Klein, Mike, Clift and Tomasky. It’s time to press that corsage between the pages of a book now, honey. You’ll always have your Acropolis memories. Maybe in your golden years you’ll catch a faint whiff of hopium on the air, and smile for the folly of youth. I know it hurts, sweetie. I know, but it’s part of growing up. *pat pat* Let me get you some tea…..

  12. Admin:

    “The overriding of the E.P.A.’s regulatory authority over carbon emissions was particularly startling, Mr. Berning said.”


    SHV Says:
    July 12th, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    “”The Energy Bill (Cap & Trade) is a huge payoff to many special interests, including Big Coal, Nuclear Power (GE/Imelt, Westinghouse), Goldman and GE again, Big Agriculture and others. the consumer, the American economy and the environment get screwed. Another big beneficiary of the Cap & Trade derivatives scam is the Chicago Energy Exchange. The CCX got its start using a Grant from the Joyce Foundation and Big Surprise Obama was on the Joyce Board and as CCX Richard Sandor said ““Obama was on the foundation that gave us the grant,” Sandor said. “We know him well.”


    Putting two and two together. The purpose for the incestual relationship between Cap and Trade and the Energy Corps is “emmission limitations” are going to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Several bidders will be playing here for buying emmission caps and selling them to corps over their emmision quota at a new undetermined price . One bidder we are familiar with who will have a front row seat is Soros.

  13. Here is a brief summary of how Cap and Trade works and the auction process.


  14. The purpose for the incestual relationship between Cap and Trade and the Energy Corps is “emmission limitations” are going to be auctioned off to the highest bidder.
    There are so many aspects to the Obama Eco-Scam that you need a score card to keep up with it. It’s a huge give away to big coal. They can still build coal fired plants and “lay off” the pollution with questionable overseas carbon credits. If by some miracle, US Co2 production is reduced, it will amount to p*ssing in the ocean. China is building one coal fired electric generation plant a WEEK for the next ten years.

  15. Want more proof that Obama is corrupt, and is turning the taxpayers wallet over to Immelt. Someone who knows tells me GE a huge stake in the national health care issue as well as cap and trade. I was told by a friend this afternoon that they are angling to be the vendor of choice for the information system. Either a no bid contract, or have the parameters designed in such a way as only GE can meet them. Do we have any corroborating proof? Bush all over again. The government of GE, by GE, and for GE must perish or the people are screwed. Its about time for the left to start connecting the dots isnt it?

  16. And of course David Letterman’s owner is GE.

    If we cut to the chase, you might as well say, it’s GE vs Sarah Palin.

  17. And of course David Letterman’s owner is GE.
    I think it is CBS which is owned by Westinghouse, who also wants a piece of the nuclear business.

  18. I guess he didn’t want to breathe the same air as his serfs…

    Sunday, July 12, 2009 09:20 AM

    Obama and the Masses
    Geoffrey York

    Millions of Africans wanted to see Barack Obama on his first presidential visit to a black African country. Some travelled for days, from countries all over the continent, in hopes of getting a glimpse of him. Thousands gathered at the Accra airport and the streets of the capital. Virtually all were disappointed.

    Why? Because the White House had decided that Mr. Obama would not be seen in public during his entire 21-hour visit to Ghana. All of his events were carefully limited to a small number of invited guests and official dignitaries. As for the ordinary masses, they could only watch him on television – or glimpse his helicopter flying overhead.

    Accra’s central square, known as Black Star Square, is the traditional place for foreign leaders to meet the crowds. It’s where former president Bill Clinton held a huge rally for nearly a million people in 1998. But the square was tightly sealed off during Mr. Obama’s visit to the city on Saturday morning, and there was no central place for people to gather to catch a glimpse of him in any way.

    Ghana announced that television screens would be set up at key locations such as the National Theatre, a major landmark in central Accra, so that people would have a place to gather to watch Mr. Obama’s visit. But security roadblocks were set up all around the city, making it difficult for anyone to reach the theatre without a long walk. In the end, when the TV screen was set up in the theatre, the 1500-seat auditorium was almost entirely empty, with only a few dozen people watching.

    About 10,000 police were deployed during the visit, shutting down roads, setting up barricades and keeping people a long distance away from Mr. Obama as his limousine raced around the city.

    To explain the mysterious absence of any public appearance by Mr. Obama during his visit, the Ghanaian government told the local media that “the rainy season” had forced them to shift his appearance from Black Star Square to a nearby convention centre, where the parliament was assembled for the day. It was an absurd explanation. Accra does have rain at this time of year, but the city was sunny on Saturday, and White House officials confirmed that they never had any plan to allow Mr. Obama to speak outdoors.

    Why was security so tight? One reason is the era of terrorism, which always causes twitchiness among American security officials whenever a U.S. president enters an unfamiliar country. Terrorists have attacked U.S. targets in Africa, including embassies, on several occasions since the 1990s.

    Another reason was simply the huge popularity of Mr. Obama himself, especially in Africa. If he had appeared on the streets, he would have been instantly mobbed by emotional crowds.

    A third reason was the experience of 1998, when Mr. Clinton spoke at Black Star Square. The massive crowd of spectators who gathered for his speech were so excited that they surged towards the stage, crushing and nearly killing those at the front.

    But for many Africans, none of these explanations can really justify the decision to keep Mr. Obama isolated from the people. Ghana is one of the most peaceful countries in Africa. If the president can hold public appearances in Europe and the United States, which he does, why not in the continent where his father was born?

  19. July 10, 2009

    EXCLUSIVE: Career diplomats protest Obama appointments
    Nicholas Kralev (Contact)

    The White House, unaware of historic norms, had been on track to give more than the usual 30 percent of ambassadorial jobs to political appointees until objections from career diplomats forced it to reconsider, administration officials say.

    As a result of the reversal, some donors to President Obama’s election campaign – as well as senior advisers and other supporters of the campaigns of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton – are likely to find their hopes of being rewarded with an embassy dashed.

    “The White House has come around, and we truly expect that, at the end of the process, the balance will be within historical norms,” said one senior administration official who asked not to be named because he was discussing internal deliberations.

    Mr. Obama has been criticized in recent weeks for continuing the tradition of handing out ambassadorships to major campaign donors with no experience in foreign affairs.

    The Washington Times reported Tuesday that an old college roommate, the head of an entertainment production company and a lawyer whose family made its money selling vacuum cleaners are among more than a dozen people who have been given ambassadorships after raising a total of at least $4 million for Mr. Obama’s campaign, according to public records.

    The decision to uphold the historic ratio of 30 percent political appointees and 70 percent career diplomats came only after members of the Foreign Service protested to White House staff and Mrs. Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl D. Mills, officials said.

    “There was some question about how sacrosanct the 30 percent was,” the senior administration official said.

    Although the 30-70 ratio is not official, “all administrations have adhered fairly closely to it in the last several decades,” said Steven B. Kashkett, acting president of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), the diplomats’ union.The U.S. has 175 ambassadorial posts.

    Senior political appointees at both the White House and the State Department apparently were not aware of past practice and were en route to exceeding 30 percent political appointees, several career diplomats said. That message was conveyed to Harry K. Thomas Jr., who until recently was director-general of the Foreign Service, they added.

    Concerned that too many political supporters of Mr. Obama, Mr. Biden and Mrs. Clinton, who ran separate campaigns during last year’s Democratic primaries, may be expecting to become ambassadors, career officials at the State Department alerted Ms. Mills several weeks ago. She raised the matter with Mrs. Clinton and later involved the White House, officials said.

    “The thinking on this issue has evolved at the White House,” the senior administration official said. “They have come to recognize its importance in light of the president’s campaign promises.”

    He noted that those who expected jobs but will not get them now should not be too concerned, because the administration “will need talent later.”

    The White House did not respond by publication deadline to a question about preserving the 30-70 ratio.

    Mr. Obama ran on a pledge to emphasize diplomacy and transparency but appeared to be well on his way to inflating the number of political appointees as ambassadors until the Foreign Service intervened.

    “Why is ours the only profession where it’s considered acceptable to appoint someone without any experience?” Mr. Kashkett said. “Would you appoint someone to head a hospital without medical experience?”

    Even if the White House respects the 30-70 ratio, “we still have concerns,” Mr. Kashkett said. “Thirty percent is not a comfortable number. We feel very strongly about the importance of appointing primarily professional diplomats as ambassadors.”

    Political appointees counter that an ambassador is the president’s personal representative to a foreign country, and Mr. Obama has the right to choose the person he wants for a particular position.

    A senior Foreign Service officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid retribution, said that increasing the number of “political ambassadors” would affect the service’s top ranks, because there would be fewer assignments career diplomats can take and some might be forced into early retirement.

    Career diplomats always bristle at the prospect of traditional career posts “going political.” Some said there are indications that such posts in countries including the Philippines and Peru might be taken away from the Foreign Service. Mr. Thomas was supposed to go to Manila this summer, they said, but that no longer appears to be the case.

    Other career officers said they were not sure what to make of Mrs. Clinton’s decision to create new positions in Washington for senior officers who have served as ambassadors, because they saw it as a sign than fewer ambassadorial assignments may be available to them. The secretary’s aides said the positions came before their occupants, rather than the other way around.

    For example, Mrs. Clinton tasked Daniel Fried, former assistant secretary of state for European affairs and ambassador to Poland, to oversee sending Guantanamo Bay inmates home or to third countries. A senior State Department official said Mrs. Clinton chose Mr. Fried because of his experience working with the Europeans, who are the most likely recipients of prisoners.

    However, Mrs. Clinton appointed Philip S. Goldberg to coordinate implementation of the latest U.N. Security Council sanctions resolution against North Korea. A former ambassador to Bolivia who was expelled by the government of President Evo Morales last year, Mr. Goldberg has served mainly in Latin America and the Balkans and has no experience in Asia.

    Several Foreign Service officers praised Mrs. Clinton for standing up for the service at the White House, though they said they have to wait and see whether the percentage of political appointees is capped at 30 percent.

    According to a list AFSA keeps on its Web site and updates every two weeks, there are 175 ambassadorial positions around the world. As of July 1, about 26 percent of them were occupied by political appointees, but more than 11 percent were vacant. Those numbers are likely to fluctuate in the next several months because of summer rotations in the Foreign Service and more political appointments expected from the White House.

  20. # SHV Says:
    July 12th, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    “There are so many aspects to the Obama Eco-Scam that you need a score card to keep up with it. It’s a huge give away to big coal. They can still build coal fired plants and “lay off” the pollution with questionable overseas carbon credits. If by some miracle, US Co2 production is reduced, it will amount to p*ssing in the ocean. China is building one coal fired electric generation plant a WEEK for the next ten years.”


    When you read the HOUSE Rebuke to Obama’s recent Power Grab and what he said…while he was signing the War Supplemental Bill; you’ll see he believes we’re just going to roll over for him and the Capone gangsters in our WH.


    The conditions on World Bank and IMF funding were part of the $106 billion war supplemental bill that was passed last month. Obama, in a statement made as he signed the bill, said that he would ignore the conditions.

    Obama said:

    They would “interfere with my constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations by directing the Executive to take certain positions in negotiations or discussions with international organizations and foreign governments, or by requiring consultation with the Congress prior to such negotiations or discussions,” Obama said in the signing statement.


  21. President Obama has ordered national security officials to look into allegations that the Bush administration resisted efforts to investigate a CIA-backed Afghan warlord over the killings of hundreds of Taliban prisoners in 2001.

    “”The indications that this had not been properly investigated just recently was brought to my attention,” Obama told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview during the president’s visit to Ghana. The full interview will air 10 p.m. Monday.”

    (Obama never knows sh*t until it’s brought to his attention)

    ,” the president replied, “I think that, you know, there are responsibilities that all nations have, even in war. And if it appears that our conduct in some way supported violations of laws of war, then I think that, you know, we have to know about that.”

    (… “we have to know about that”…Nah..Really??? With the WH “National Security Team” doing the “investigation” rather than the Military, or DOJ and FBI, a cover up is likely.)

  22. When you read the HOUSE Rebuke to Obama’s recent Power Grab and what he said..
    The House vote was 4XX-2. Obama will probably just ignore the vote. Obama blasted Bush for the signing statements during the Primary…When I counted the Bush and Obama signing statements for the first 6 months they were the same #.

    The House Intel(?) committee is trying to increase oversight of the questionable intel and black ops….Obama said if they pass it, he will veto the law. Worse than Bush.

  23. ”The indications that this had not been properly investigated just recently was brought to my attention,” Obama told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview during the president’s visit to Ghana.
    I had forgotten..He was Chairman of the Senate Sub-Committee that had oversight of the Afghan war….Oh..that’s right he never had a meeting of that committee.

  24. Mr. Obama ran on a pledge to emphasize diplomacy and transparency but appeared to be well on his way to inflating the number of political appointees as ambassadors until the Foreign Service intervened.
    I am shocked, shocked that there is gambling going on in there.

    With Obama promises are like pie crusts–made to be broken.

    This raises a number of interesting questions, such as:

    1. does anyone believe Obama was unaware of the 30% limit on political appointees. I was aware of it, so why wasn’t he?

    2. how far over the 30% maximum was the Administration before career diplomats blew the whistle on him?

    3. of the ambassadorships handed down thus far, how many were his, as opposed to Hillary’s or Biden’s?

    4. how many of his appointees had no prior diplomatic experience? (Note: in violation of his campaign promise to elevate diplomacy over politics in the appointment process).

    5. to which countries did he send political supporters with no prior diplomatic experience? (Note: he did this with Japan, and they were insulted and considered rejecting his nominee).

    6. with obama the campaign never ends, the graft never stops, and the country is his to plunder. Forget about what he says–he is a liar. Watch what he does.

  25. This is not a case of first impression. Think back for a moment to the primary. In California, Obama initially appointed grass roots supporters to superdelegate positions as a reward for their support. Later however he replaced those grass roots supporters with millionaires, who could help him line his pockets with more money. The millionaires went to the convention, the supporters stayed home, and not much more was said about it. It would be heresy to question the judgment of someone they earnestly believed to be a god. He was by definition infallible.

    So when he says he was unaware of the 30% limit, which is well known to others, it is a case of selective amnesia. It is the same payola game he played in the primary, except in the former case, the victims were the hopium addled boobs who belived him, and let him walk all over them without so much as an objection. Here however the victim is the country. Possibly he should make Immelt Ambassador to North Korea. That way at least we could be sure the nukes aimed at us were American made.

  26. # SHV Says:
    July 13th, 2009 at 12:11 am

    When you read the HOUSE Rebuke to Obama’s recent Power Grab and what he said..
    The House vote was 4XX-2. Obama will probably just ignore the vote. Obama blasted Bush for the signing statements during the Primary…When I counted the Bush and Obama signing statements for the first 6 months they were the same #.

    The House Intel(?) committee is trying to increase oversight of the questionable intel and black ops….Obama said if they pass it, he will veto the law. Worse than Bush.


    Obama is due for a major smackdown. Heres the “key”…

    “They would “interfere with my constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations by directing the Executive to take certain positions in negotiations or discussions with international organizations and foreign governments, or by requiring consultation with the Congress prior to such negotiations or discussions,” Obama said in the signing statement.”

    Obama is looking for a free hand, no oversight, to do business with Kadafee, Farrakhan, Ahmadinejad. Chavez and the rest of his relatives in Africa

  27. Hi everyone, My computer has been down with that virus. It is totally fried. My son is trying t reprogram it and is not having much luck. Its been killing me not to be able to comment on the Obama non news over the weekend.

    I have managed to get a part-time job close to home. I had to quit my other full time as it was 130 miles from my home. My husband is going down hill very fast now and I can’t be gone all the time. This dementia is hard to deal with and work, but since I have no retirement or savings I have to deal with it.

  28. I just remembered what I wanted to comment about 2 days ago, it was Obama’s trip to see the Pope. I watched as all of his entourage kissed and bowed to the Pope. I saw that most of Obama’s people kissed the papal ring except for Axelrod. He only bowed and he looked quiet uncomfortable! What is Axelrod’s religion, anyone know??
    I thought the whole crew of Obama’s looked quiet hideous while visiting the Pope, all looked like they would rather be having a colonoscopy instead.

    I had not realized that the females visiting the Pope would have to wear a head covering! I thought that was over after vatican 2. I though Meanchelle looked ridiculous in hers. I thought it was overdone, much like his guidance when going to the middleeast.

  29. SHV, I am amazed that he is jewish, since he looks so much like Hitler. His mustasche and his hair cut remind me of Hitler everytime I see him.
    I wonder if he is a practicing Jew?
    This is the first time I have had to look at the Baracks latest vacation, I wonder why the kids always look like there in play clothes? I would think they need to dress up some, especially when traveling to foreign countries. Maybe I am wrong about that though!

  30. Sorry to hear about that confloyd. Sounds like a smart move getting a job closer to home, and a parttime position given your husbands condition.

  31. wbboei, that is why I have wanted UH, I knew sooner or later I would be without health insurance. It came sooner than I expected. I am healthy except for the ulcer I have recently gotten. At this rate we won’t even have SS in 6 years when I can fully retire.

  32. Vēnī, vīdī, vīcī (pronounced [ˈweːniː ˈwiːdiː ˈwiːkiː] in Classical Latin or [ˈveni ˈvidi ˈvitʃi] in Vulgar Latin) is a famous Latin sentence allegedly written by Julius Caesar in 47 BC.[1] It translates as “I came, I saw, I conquered.” Its form (a three-part sentence or motto)

    And so it was with the Messiah when he and the Obama girls invaded Russia and took Moscow and Putin by storm. The Russian people have given up borsht for Lent (you can get real drunk on beet soup if you mix it with too much vodka). They walk around in a trance and say to he is the one we have been waiting for. Russian historians are doing alternate history scenarios now saying the cold war never would have occurred if obama had been president after world war II. Everyone loves him. Everyone. Yet no one knows why.

    The best explanation I can come up with is everyone loves a patsy. Four days after his dramatic lets mend fences swauree with Putin, Russian announced it will deploy missles against Poland if the United States proceeds with a missile defense system in eastern Europe. He went on to say that he may refuse to negotiate over nuclear reductions, unless the United States promised not to install the missle defense program.

    This is a hard slap in the kisser to Barack Hussein Obama. Putin has bambi by the balls and is squeezing hard. Poor bambi. Dumber than owl shit and now as good to look at. Vini vidi vici. Heres looking at you kid.

  33. Cofloyd,

    best of luck with hubby and I hope you can get health care, soon.

    According to BO, you’re eligible!

    But since he’s disabled, why isn’t he covered under medicare?

  34. confloyd,

    I’m so sorry things are so tough for you and your husband. You are both in my thoughts and prayers.


    Monday, 13 July 2009

    Criticism Directed At Support Given Chávez And Cuba

    National media reported this weekend that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has twice stated to Chile’s government that the U.S. will not support the re-election in 2010 of Chile’s José Miguel Insulza to head the Organization of American States (OAS).

    Chile’s José Miguel Insulza is seeking a second term as secretary general of the
    Organization of American States.
    Insulza, a former Chilean Interior Minister, apparently rubbed the U.S. the wrong way following his leadership role in the OAS’s decision to readmit Cuba to the organization. Cuba was removed from the OAS in 1962 [ST, June 5 ].

    The U.S. wanted stricter regulations to be imposed on Cuba to assure greater democracy in the country. Clinton was reportedly unhappy with Insulza’s personal attempts to get Cuba unconditionally reinstated.

    Insulza’s position was further undermined by Clinton’s naming Costa Rican President and Nobel Prize winner Óscar Arias as the sole negotiator in the Honduran crisis [ST, July 9 ], ignoring Insulza’s efforts, reported Chile’s conservative media this weekend.

    Insulza has been criticized by a range of (mostly right of center) U.S. think-tanks for allegedly being too close to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Many of Insulza’s policies within the OAS dovetail with those espoused by Chavez’s Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), say the critics.

    ALBA is a left of center organization promoting international cooperation between Latin American and Caribbean nations and was initially proposed by Chávez as an alternative to the failed Free Trade Area of the Americas proposed by the U.S.

    “Insulza has been a loyal disciple of Chávez in the case of Honduras,” said Juan Carlos Hidalgo, Latin America project coordinator for U.S. think tank the Cato Institute. “It is obvious that if Insulza wants to be reelected, he has to be on good terms with Chávez, who with Petrocaribe [an oil alliance between Venezuela and the Caribbean] has about 14 or 15 votes in the OAS. In Washington there is growing concern over the secretary general’s biased actions.”

    Insulza has also been criticized for not intervening with the same intensity for democracy violations alleged in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia, as he has shown in Honduras.

    The conservative El Mercurio highlighted a letter recently sent to Insulza by Henry Ramos Allup, leader of the Venezuelan opposition party Democratic Action. It said: “Dear Secretary General of the OAS, don’t act stupidly; we know you know what is happening in Venezuela. You should be ashamed: don’t turn into the tyrant’s [Chávez’s] spokesman.”

    “Insulza’s inflexible defense of Zelaya and his lethargy with regard to political rights being trodden down in half a dozen other countries have only one thing in common: it is what Chávez wants,” said Roger Noriega, ex U.S. under-secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs during the George W. Bush presidency.

    Insulza has referred to alleged violations of democratic processes in countries such as Nicaragua and Bolivia as “internal problems,” and has denied being inflexible or a socialist “ideologist” with regard to the crisis in Honduras. “I have received this kind of criticism for all the problems I’ve dealt with in the OAS,” Insulza told El Mercurio last week. “However, I don’t feel my position as secretary general has come under threat, so this has not been my concern.”

    Insulza was nicknamed “Insulso” (“dull”) and called a “jerk” by Chávez in January 2007, following the former’s decision to ask Venezuela to reinstate cable television network RCTV, whose license was not renewed by the Venezuelan government following accusations of its involvement in a short-lived coup [ST, Jan. 10 2007 ].

  36. Morning All: This week will start the center stage world wide performances by POTUS Hillary Rodham Clinton.Now that playtime is over for the messiah and its back to BS filled telebama readings and embarassments around the world.I keep asking “How Soon Oh Lord?”.We cannot put up with this destruction of our once great country.

    By ABM90 It is wakeup time.

  37. Obama to meet American Jewish leaders

    Jul. 13, 2009

    Haviv Rettig Gur , THE JERUSALEM POST

    US President Barack Obama will meet on Monday with over a dozen heads of influential American Jewish organizations and is expected to respond to concerns that the White House is pressuring Israel over West Bank settlements while it is soft-pedaling with some of Israel’s worst enemies.

    “American Jews more or less agree with the president on settlements, but it’s the focus on criticizing Israel that’s disconcerting,” said an organization leader who will be attending the meeting.

    “There’s no single monolithic voice speaking for American Jewry,” said another participating leader. “When both the Orthodox Union and [American Friends of] Peace Now are in the room, you won’t get a unified opinion.” He added that “it’s important to speak carefully, because one Jewish leader shouldn’t say things that will be contradicted by another. It’s important not to appear divided.”

    The meeting, under the aegis of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, will include representatives of the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform religious streams, and major groups such as AIPAC, the American Jewish Committee, ADL and Hadassah.

    While the Jewish leaders are expected to raise many domestic issues – from welfare reform to security concerns for Jewish institutions – the question on everybody’s mind will be Obama’s Middle East policy, participants said. Most of the heads and membership of the major organizations are Democrats who broadly support the current administration – another cause for discomfort.

    These concerns have been discussed, though quietly, ever since Obama’s June 4 speech to the Muslim world. In the wake of that speech, Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents, was quoted as expressing “concern” over the US president’s seeming justification of Israel’s founding on the Jews’ suffering during the Holocaust. Hoenlein has claimed he was misquoted in those comments, but he seems to share the concerns of other Jewish leaders that some of the language coming from the administration shows a lack of understanding of the mainstream Jewish perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    Similarly, New York Jewish Week editor Gary Rosenblatt recently quoted AJC executive director David Harris as saying that “[I’m] hearing a growing number of questions and concerns about the US-Israel relationship, and a sense that the Obama administration’s response to the Iran crisis was slower than it should have been.”

    The Monday meeting is off-record and was intended to be kept secret.

    Meanwhile, Obama used a Sky News interview aired Sunday to express concern over Syria. There are “aspects of Syrian behavior that trouble us,” he said in response to the interviewer’s question on whether he would accept an invitation for direct talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad. He also noted that there were already “some diplomatic contacts between the United States and Syria,” and said his administration believed there was “a way that Syria can be much more constructive on a whole host of these issues.”

    Obama said he was “a believer in engagement, and my hope is that we can continue to see progress on that front.”

    In late June, the US State Department praised Syria for its “constructive role to promote peace and stability” as it announced plans to return an ambassador to Damascus after a four-year absence.

    Also Sunday, in a CNN interview that aired after the president’s return from Ghana, Obama spoke about slavery and the Holocaust, saying they were terrible chapters in history that should not be ignored. He said slavery’s part in US history should be taught in a meaningful way and that the two events must never be forgotten.

    The Ghana visit was the first trip to sub-Saharan Africa by America’s first black president. Obama and his family visited a West African castle where traders once shipped slaves to the New World.


    there is a new headline at AOL that indicated that. I would have pasted the link, but for some reason it will not let me. But but go to and it is one of the rotational headlines.

    This might be interesting. She is going to campagin for Dems, Reps, and Ind. She says she will not be bound by party affiliation, and is more interested in what they support.

    The Independents might just have a viable candidate.

  39. Confloyd and all good Morning.

    Confloyd, I am sorry to hear of your husband’s condition. This has got to be the hardest thing for you. I have never had to deal with it, so I can only imagine what you are going through. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Keep posting, as it will be a way for you to communicate with people in a way you cannot always communicate with the people around you. Sometimes there might be a need to share something you can share nowhere else.

  40. The actual headline is PALIN DROPS NEW SURPRISE and the discussion is after she writes her book, she will campaign for candidates in any party who share her beliefs.

    I wonder if Palin is sensing the frustration of the women in the country.

  41. h t t p ://|hp-laptop|dl1|link3|

    Finally got the link to copy.

  42. Jul 13, 2009
    Left behind on major presidential trips, overruled in choosing her own staff—Hillary Clinton is the invisible woman at State. But Obama’s brilliant foreign policy spouse may not stay silent forever.

    It’s time for Barack Obama to let Hillary Clinton take off her burqa.

    Consider the president’s Moscow trip a week ago. In a cozy scene at Vladimir Putin’s dacha, the boys enjoyed traditional Russian tea and breakfast on a terrace. Sitting on Putin’s right was the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov. Where was Lavrov’s counterpart? She was back home, left there with a broken elbow to receive a visit from the ousted Honduran president, Jose Manuel Zelaya.

    It becomes clearer by the day how cleverly Obama checkmated both Clintons by putting Hillary in the topmost Cabinet job.

    Same thing last month, when the president stopped off to see King Abdullah en route to his oratorical home run in Cairo: no Hillary. Nor was there any sign of Middle East envoy George Mitchell or anyone else from the State Department on the Saudi leg of the trip, even though its main mission was to recruit Abdullah into a peace-making partnership with Israel. The king told Obama no, by the way, so it’s fair to ask whether the president could have used a bit more Foggy Bottom prep work. Jim Hoagland noted in Sunday’s Washington Post that the White House’s leak of Obama’s decision to send an ambassador to Syria took Clinton’s State Department by surprise and trumped State’s efforts to squeeze another concession or two out of Damascus first.

    Hillary finds herself in a familiar bind with a different twist. If she allows daylight between herself and the president, she becomes the kind of lame duck Colin Powell was once foreign powers realized the ex-general was nowhere near Bush’s inner circle. It becomes clearer by the day how brilliantly Obama checkmated both Clintons by putting Hillary in the topmost Cabinet job. Secretary Clinton can’t be seen to differ from the president without sabotaging her own power. And ex-President Clinton has been uncharacteristically disciplined about not threatening the careful political equilibrium his wife is trying to maintain. Besides, when Hillary had her own deep misgivings about taking the job in the first place, it was Bill who seconded Obama and encouraged her to accept.

    The Big Dog’s sacrifice (and, maybe, Hillary’s revenge) is that he no longer can behave like a roving superstar diplomat without a portfolio. He has been curtailed in how freewheeling he can be running his successful Clinton Global Initiative. It was an apt symbol when, in May, with the administration’s approval, he was made U.N. special envoy to Haiti. Obama hasn’t just dethroned the potential queen. He’s turned Bill Clinton into Prince Philip—Port-au-Prince Philip, in fact.

    Any discontent over this turn of events, however, is locked in the basement of the Clintons’ house in Chappaqua. Hillary, with her usual iron discipline about the big picture of power, is behaving like a stalwart team player. Before she took the job, she was assured she could pick her own trusted team. Yet she was overruled in appointing her own choice for deputy secretary, Richard Holbrooke. Instead, she was made to take an Obama guy, James Steinberg, who had originally been slated to become national security adviser. (Hillary took care of Holbrooke, one of diplomacy’s biggest stars, by giving him the most explosive portfolio—Pakistan and Afghanistan.) She lost the ability to dole out major ambassadorships, too. A lot of these prizes are going to reward Obama fundraisers instead of knowledgeable appointees like Harvard’s Joseph Nye, whom she wanted to send to Japan.

    Even when there’s legitimate credit to be had, she remains invisible. Contrary to administration spin that Biden played a critical role in the decision to send more troops to Afghanistan, the vice president stayed opposed to Obama’s strategy. It was Hillary, sources tell me, whom the president relied on throughout the deliberations with principal national security advisers to support and successfully argue his point of view. The need to paper over the difference between Obama and the vice president meant Hillary’s role went unacknowledged.

    The former first lady and New York senator is no stranger to the big game of politics. Obama’s presidency is tightly White House driven and she is not the only player on a tight leash. She has always cared more about the substance of work than its status trappings. Besides, the president and she agree on most of the big issues (though she thought he took the neutrality of his statements in the Iran uprising too far too long). There has been much comment that she wasn’t allowed by the president’s message team to go on the Sunday talk shows until six months into her tenure as secretary of State. But I doubt she cares about losing the spotlight at this time in her life when she’s not running for something. Unlike Bill, she hates glad-handing and does TV only because she has to. Policy is her meat and drink. On her State Department plane, Hillary is always eager to throw off her well-groomed public look and sit up front with no makeup, wearing sweats and her bookworm glasses, as she crunches her way through a big fat file of foreign policy memos. She is as formidably well-informed in this job as she was at the Rose Law Firm in Arkansas, doing all the legal backup work for the guys on a big deal. Or when she played the canny sounding board and strategist for Gov. Bill Clinton in his run for president.

    That’s the trouble. You could say that Obama is lucky to have such a great foreign policy wife. Those who voted for Hillary wonder how long she’ll be content with an office wifehood of the Saudi variety.

  43. Trying to post the Tina Brown article on Hillary from Daily Beast , but can’t. It is very disturbing imo and what some of us predicted .

  44. Thanks JanH….also, I didn’t realize a “majority” of US Jews were against the settlements. That is nonsense. A minority of extrem left wing Jews are against Israel , period. Most Jews, however, even those who voted for clown face, realize you must have natural growth,

  45. jbstonesfan,

    It is beyond my comprehension that these “extreme left wing Jews” are aligning themselves with bambi. They see only what they want to see and make excuses for anything he does that doesn’t quite sit well with them. Are they willing to sacrifice the Jewish holy land? Have they turned a blind eye to Jewish history. It’s not just a question of natural growth here, it is also a question of security.

    In the meantime, Syria is demanding that Israel leave the Golan Heights before they ever start negotiating for peace. Abbas is demanding the moon. And bambi is smiling and playing golf.

  46. OT and on a lighter note: There is now scientific justification for my renowned potty mouth.
    According to Scientific American, swearing comes from a different part of the brain than normal speech, and functions to relieve pain.

    So f*ck Obama, that #*&^%$# with his #@((*&^%$!!!!!!!

  47. jbstonesfan Says:

    July 13th, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Left behind on major presidential trips, overruled in choosing her own staff—Hillary Clinton is the invisible woman at State. But Obama’s brilliant foreign policy spouse may not stay silent forever.


    I think it’s all in the way media spins this out. I also think that the knives are being sharpened by a few immature and extremely jealous insiders. Yes it is true that she broke her elbow and that curtailed a few major moments for her.

    What I have heard and definitely believe is that bambi himself hates anyone in the limelight other than him. She is highly respected and liked internationally for more than just her amazing diplomatic skills and apparently bambi has taken note, does not want anyone, especially Hillary stilling the attention from him and so is going on his own to some of these events.

    LOL…I say have at it. He screws up so badly most of the time that it’s better if she isn’t involved. I think she is getting a lot done behind the scenes. She is going to India this month and possibly Pakistan in October among other places.

  48. This reminds me of the U.S. Jewish power players in world war two. They backed down so easily when they were told that if Americans got into the war the Jews would be blamed. No movies or documentaries were made by major communication moguls dealing with Hitler and the 6 million Jews were produced for this reason. The exception being the brilliant Charlie Chaplin.

  49. July 12, 2009

    Is the real coup in the Americas being engineered by the Secretary of State against a 3am challenged White House?

    Three weeks ago Hillary Clinton spent 72 hours to finally convince the Non-Meddler in Chief to denounce the Islamist Junta in Iran for the violent repression of hundreds of thousands of voters protesting an obviously fixed Presidential “election.”

    In the immediate aftermath of the election, President Barack Obama had rushed to make clear to Iran’s “Supreme Leader” that he was still anxious to deal with the tyrants no matter how they treated their own citizens. Then two weeks ago, the President, newly liberated from meddlesome meddling bans abroad, rushed to echo Venezuela’s previously elected dictator, Hugo Chavez in denouncing the removal of the Honduran President from office by its Supreme Court and Attorney General as a “coup.” The military had carried out the order to stop the former President from wreaking havoc in the streets leading a mob in an illegal referendum to allow him to serve for life.

    Now, it appears the grown-up former First Lady has rescued the boy president admirer of despots and American values once again:

    US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said today that Costa Rican president Oscar Arias will serve as international mediator in the Honduran political crisis. Clinton made the announcement at the US state department after meeting privately with Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, who was forced into exile on 28 June. She said Zelaya as well as the politician who took over as Honduran leader, Roberto Micheletti, agreed to the Arias role as mediator. She said Arias would work on the problem from Costa Rica, not in Honduras.

    Clinton noted that Arias won the Nobel peace prize in 1987 for helping broker an end to central America’s civil wars. She said she spoke to him earlier today. “He is the natural person to assume this role,” she told reporters, adding that while the Obama administration continues to support the efforts of the Organization of American States (OAS) to resolve the crisis, she felt it was necessary to also name a specific mediator.
    Clinton also called on all parties to refrain from further violence in an effort to resolve the political crisis. She said her meeting with Zelaya was productive. “I reiterated to him that the United States supports the restoration of the democratic, constitutional order in Honduras,” she said.

    Presidents Obama, Chavez and Castro had called for the restoration of Zelaya to the Presidency and for onerous OAS sanctions. But as the details of the affair came out, it has become clear that no military coup has occurred and that nearly the whole of the Honduran people would not abide the return to office of the real coup leader.

    It appears to this observer that Secretary of State Clinton has produced a device for her President to save face via a mediation that merely supports the restoration of democracy, which is already effected given the return to civilian rule within minutes.

    I would expect that the mediation will restore the former President’s cherished photos of Chavez and spare pajamas and urge the OAS not to punish the Banana industry for rejecting dictators for life.–Politics-Examiner~y2009m7d12-Hillary-Halts-Hounding-of-Honduras


    “It appears to this observer that Secretary of State Clinton has produced a device for her President to save face via a mediation that merely supports the restoration of democracy, which is already effected given the return to civilian rule within minutes.”

    Exactly! It isn’t the first time and sure won’t be the last time that she cleans up this idiot’s mess.

  50. Re: Obama’s latest statements on the economy:

    The whole “we underestimated” or “we misread” or “we did not have accurate info” (however they spin it) just infuriates me.
    Let’s see, at the time the stimulus passed, congress was told they could not read the bill, they could not take a few days to debate, it had to happen RIGHT NOW.

    Because we were facing financial armageddon. Because our entire banking system would collapse. Because the job losses would be crushing. Because if we did not pass this bill RIGHT NOW, there would be freaking martial law in the streets of America. That’s what we and congress were told.

    So which is it? Are you lying now or were you lying and fear-mongering then? Because if “armageddon and martial law” is a UNDERESTIMATION, then how is it possible to be worse than that? In saying that we underestimated, are you now saying that what faces us is, in your newly revised estimation, WORSE than armageddon, martial law, and the collapse of our entire economy? Is that what you are saying?


  51. Agreed…Busg didn’t get off from the “we underestimated the resistance” or “were provided poor intelligence”, so why does Bambi get to mitigate his failures….well, because big media is still horny for the guy.

  52. Well, like I said before, once you start lying, it get difficult keeping tack of the lies, and people start to think your word means SHXT. We all knew this before. It is also easier to keep track of the truth, than to keep track of the lies and which lie you have told to whom.

    It is risky to trust a Liar, but that is exactly what the Dim and some I’s did. The I’s are now seeing what they have elected, but the Dims will never. But it is the I’s that will call the next election. They really have been becoming influencial in the past number of years. Even if they can not elect their candidate, they can direct the outcome.

  53. GWB:
    “We were given faulty intelligence”
    “We underestimated the difficulty of the task in Iraq”

    “We had incomplete information”
    “We underestimated the severity of the economic crisis”

  54. A good question for bambi might be this: when the world is beset with economic, political and military crises for the United States, and you have someone whom by your own admission is uniquely qualifed to deal with those crises, why in the world would you attempt to marginalize her? Is it that you care so little for the country, or that you care so much for your own narrow self interest that you cannot distinguish between campaigning and governing? Do you really believe that Putin and other world leaders are impressed with your fratboy personna and attempted end run around them to their domestic populations? Have you forgotten the fact that when it comes to goverance nature abhors a vaccuum?

  55. It’s a sad fact that fear-mongering/manipulation, media, and politics go hand in hand no matter which party is in power.

  56. This reminds me of the U.S. Jewish power players in world war two. They backed down so easily when they were told that if Americans got into the war the Jews would be blamed. No movies or documentaries were made by major communication moguls dealing with Hitler and the 6 million Jews were produced for this reason. The exception being the brilliant Charlie Chaplin.
    You could argue that the same thing occurred in Hollywood during the McCarthy show trials–the Hollywood Seven. Studio heads and major actors like John Wayne, Ward Bond, Robert Taylor and others named names. People like Humphrey Bogart talked a good game but when the chips were down caved. Obviously, times were different, but in other ways they were the same because the nation was gripped by a fear that was easily exploited by demogogues. Then as now, salvation lies in insisting upon American values, and an abiding suspicion of all would be messiahs, foreign or domestic.

  57. Not even baseball games are safe from the Obama droning:

    Barack Obama will be adding baseball broadcaster to his résumé. learned Sunday that the President will join Fox Sports announcers Joe Buck and Tim McCarver during Tuesday’s All-Star Game. Obama is expected to be in the booth sometime between the third and fifth inning. reported earlier that the White House was considering Fox Sports’ request to interview the President during the game.

    Obama is scheduled to throw out the first pitch Tuesday in St. Louis at Busch Stadium.

  58. This reminds me of the U.S. Jewish power players in world war two.
    Perhaps the worst example was the New York Times Newspaper.

  59. I genuinely feel bad for Hillary and Bill. Bill probably forced her into SOS as he wanted her to have a greater legacy than NY senator, and shem reluctantly, serving for a two bit chicago thug using her for his most unpopular policies.

  60. And so it was with the Messiah when he and the Obama girls invaded Russia and took Moscow and Putin by storm.
    President John Kennedy in Vienna = Berlin Wall, Missiles in Cuba, Vietnam War

    President Barack Obama in Moscow = ? ? ?

  61. US-China strategic-economic dialogue set for July 27

    WASHINGTON (AFP) — Top US and Chinese leaders will meet for the first “strategic and economic dialogue” with the administration of President Barack Obama in Washington July 27-28, US officials said Monday.

    The dialogue “will focus on addressing the challenges and opportunities that both countries face on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global areas of immediate and long-term strategic and economic interests,” according to a statement from the US Treasury and State Departments.

    “This first meeting of the dialogue will also set the stage for intensive, ongoing and future bilateral cooperative mechanisms.”

    The meeting is the first in a series agreed by Obama and China’s President Hu Jintao that replaces a “strategic economic dialogue” established by former president George W. Bush’s administration and Beijing.

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will be joined by their respective Chinese co-chairs, State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Vice Premier Wang Qishan.

  62. Asia wants substance from the Obama administration

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has laid the groundwork. Now it’s up to the president to deliver on US leadership in the region

    By Simon Tay
    Tuesday, Jul 14, 2009

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to travel to Asia again this month to meet foreign ministers at the ASEAN Regional Forum, and to visit India.

    On her first Asian trip in February, she provided a welcome contrast to the past with her openness to others’ views, her willingness to cooperate and her star power. She made Asians look at the US anew.

    But this trip will be trickier. One challenge is that part of the plot for the US and Clinton is being written by others. North Korea will be on the agenda after conducting its missile tests, as will Myanmar, since its generals persist in prosecuting Aung San Suu Kyi, the world’s most famous political detainee, on trivial charges.

    After all that has happened in recent weeks, the definition of “success” must be set low. Nothing positive will come from the US condemning these two difficult regimes unilaterally. So a key goal of Clinton’s visit must be to pull together with the Asian leaders present at the ASEAN Regional Forum.

    As for Myanmar, its neighbors and fellow ASEAN members — Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand — are also concerned about Suu Kyi’s continued prosecution. The US should begin to work with these countries not only on this matter, but also on the elections that Myanmar military junta has promised for 2010. Together, they should press for assurances of a free and fair process, with the aim of avoiding the kind of mess that followed the Iranian elections.

    Indonesia can be one ally. After decades of autocracy, this vast archipelago of a country just concluded a presidential election that has solidified its transition to democracy. India, proud of its long-standing democracy and fresh from its own elections, shares a border with Myanmar and can also assist efforts there.

    The approach to North Korea is similar. Kim Jong-il is a naughty boy who wants attention and incentives to behave decently. Rather than debate with her counterparts, Clinton needs to ensure that other countries in the six-party framework, especially China and South Korea, are on the same page as the US.

    On both issues, there is little capacity to exert force or sufficient pressure for solutions any time soon. So diplomatic efforts must instead aim to join Americans and like-minded Asians in common cause, to push for steps forward in the medium to longer term. Others must be brought on board, especially the Regional Forum hosts, ASEAN and Thailand.

    A moral community should form in Asia, one that displaces its leaders’ usual cynical calculations of power in order to jump on the right bandwagon.

    In all this, China is the 800-pound dragon in the room. China is already closer to ASEAN and a key player with respect to Myanmar, North Korea and other sticky issues. A “bamboo” economic zone appears to be emerging, perhaps to replace today’s weakening US-centric trans-Pacific ties.

    This is the context for Clinton’s visit to India, as well. Former US president George W. Bush’s administration should be credited for giving overdue recognition to India, but this was done primarily on a bilateral basis. The US should now leverage that relationship to work on regional and even global issues.

    Besides her own work, Clinton is likely to also be inundated during this visit with requests concerning President Barack Obama. There is still no confirmation of when Obama will visit Asia, though many expect that he will attend the APEC summit to be held in Singapore in November.

    China, Japan and Indonesia must be among Obama’s priorities, but many others will clamor for him to visit their capitals. Clinton and the US administration would do well to decide which requests are merely photo ops and confine these to meetings at the sidelines of APEC. The US should insist on a substantive agenda as a precondition for any Obama visit. In China, for example, Clinton successfully established an agenda for the two countries to work together on climate change. Plans and resources must now be prepared.

    Clinton has reopened the doors for Obama in Asia with charm and confidence. Obama will eventually come to Asia with many high expectations and star billing. While his charisma and openness to dialogue will be sought after, substance will also be measured and much needed.

    By November, after all, it will be more than a year since the global crisis began in the US, and Obama and his team must show tangible prospects for recovery. US leadership — globally and in Asia — can no longer be presumed. It must be earned.

    Simon Tay is chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs and a fellow of the Asia Society.

  63. Clinton: Vetting for USAID job ‘ridiculous’

    By MATTHEW LEE – 27 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is blaming an exhaustive White House vetting process for the fact that the Obama administration has not yet named a person to run the U.S. Agency for International Development.

    Six months into the administration’s tenure without having appointed someone to the agency’s top spot, Clinton told USAID employees on Monday that several people had turned down the job due to overly burdensome financial and personal disclosure requirements that she called a “nightmare,” “frustrating beyond words” and “ridiculous.” She also said the White House had turned down her request to announce on Monday that someone — expected by officials to be physician and Harvard University professor Paul Farmer who is well known for his work in Haiti — would be named to the post soon.

    “Let me just say it’s not for lack of trying,” Clinton said in response to an employee’s question about the delay, despite her and President Barack Obama’s stated desire to have USAID play a bigger role in American foreign policy. “We have worked very hard with the White House on looking for a candidate who, number one, wants the job.”

    The comment drew laughter from the audience, prompting her to say: “It’s been offered.” She then launched into a critique of the vetting process.

    “The clearance and vetting process is a nightmare and it takes far longer than any of us would want to see,” Clinton said. “It is frustrating beyond words. I pushed very hard last week when I knew I was coming here to get permission from the White House to be able to tell you that help is on the way and someone will be nominated shortly.”

    “I was unable,” she said. “The message came back: ‘We’re not ready.'”

    Clinton said the vetting process for senior officials gets worse in each successive administration with the requirements demanding in some cases that candidates hire lawyers and accountants, detail everywhere they have lived since they were 18 and name every foreign citizen they know. “I mean, it is ridiculous,” she said. “Some very good people just didn’t want to be vetted,” she said.

    USAID is in charge of America’s foreign assistance. Obama and Clinton have said the agency’s work will be essential to what they have called “smart power,” a foreign policy strategy centered on defense, diplomacy and development.

  64. Here’s who is coming to the White House today

    By Eric Fingerhut · July 13, 2009

    We did some digging and mangaged to find out who is on the guest list of this afternoon’s meeting at the White House between President Obama and Jewish leaders. UPDATED: After the 3 p.m. meeting did not appear on initial versions of the president’s schedule for today, an update was just issued this morning, adding a meeting with “key leaders” of Jewish-American groups.The White House is apparently keeping the meeting very low-key–it doesn’t even appear on the president’s publicly-released schedule for today (although a meeting with “labor leaders” is listed.)

    The 16 invitees include representatives of the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform movements, AIPAC as well as J Street and Americans for Peace Now, major mainstream groups like ADL and the American Jewish Commitee, umbrella organizations such as the Conference of Presidents and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and Jewish women’s groups NCJW and Hadassah. Here’s the full guest list:

    *For anyone interested in the names of the invitees, go to the link below…

  65. Obama chooses Ala doctor as next surgeon general

    By LAURAN NEERGAARD – 55 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama turned to the Deep South for the next surgeon general, choosing a rural Alabama family physician who made headlines with fierce determination to rebuild her nonprofit medical clinic in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

    Dr. Regina Benjamin is known along Alabama’s impoverished Gulf Coast as a country doctor who makes house calls and doesn’t turn away patients who can’t pay — even as she’s had to find the money to rebuild a clinic repeatedly destroyed by hurricanes and once even fire. “For all the tremendous obstacles that she has overcome, Regina Benjamin also represents what’s best about health care in America, doctors and nurses who give and care and sacrifice for the sake of their patients,” Obama said Monday in introducing his choice for a job known as America’s doctor.

    He said Benjamin will bring insight as his administration struggles to revamp the health care system: Saying she “has seen in a very personal way what is broken about our health care system,” Obama said Benjamin will bring important insight as his administration tries to revamp that system.

    Benjamin called the job “a physician’s dream,” and pledged to be a voice for patients in need — and to fight the preventable diseases that claim too many lives each year, including nearly her entire family. Her father died with diabetes and high blood pressure, her only brother of HIV, her mother of lung cancer “because as a young girl, she wanted to smoke just like her twin brother could” — an uncle now on oxygen as a result, she noted. “I cannot change my family’s past. I can be a voice in the movement to improve our nation’s health care and our nation’s health,” Benjamin said. “I want to be sure that no one falls through the cracks as we improve our health care system.”

    The surgeon general is the people’s health advocate, a bully pulpit position that can be tremendously effective with a forceful personality. Benjamin has that reputation.
    Pushed by the need in her own shrimping community of Bayou La Batre, Ala., and its diverse patient mix — white, black and, increasingly immigrants from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos — Benjamin, 51, has emerged as a national leader in the call to improve health disparities. She became the first black woman and the first doctor under age 40 elected to the American Medical Association’s board of trustees, and in 2002 became the first black woman to head a state medical society.

    “She’s always been very ambitious from a political standpoint. She has always, always been motivated by that ambition,” said Dr. James Holland, CEO of Mostellar Medical Center in nearby Irvington, Ala., where Benjamin spent about three years in the early 1980s as a National Health Service Corps scholar. Holland said Benjamin’s selection as surgeon general “doesn’t surprise me at all. The only thing that surprises me is that it hasn’t happened before now.”

    Medical groups welcomed her ability for straight-talk, whether to patients or politicians, about the dire health needs of much of the country. “We want to emphasize prevention, primary care and early intervention, and we have somebody now who does that for a living,” said Dr. Georges Benjamin, no relation, of the American Public Health Association.

    Added AMA President Dr. James Rohack, who has known Benjamin for more than two decades. With “her recognition that if you don’t have health insurance, you live sicker and you die younger, she can bring the real-world perspective as surgeon general of the things as a nation we need to do to keep ourselves healthy.”

    Benjamin made headlines in the wake of Katrina, as photographs showed her laying patient charts out to bake in the sun and lamenting the lack of pricey but more hurricane-resistant electronic records. Her nonprofit clinic was rebuilt by volunteers only to burn down just as it was about to reopen. Benjamin later told of her patients’ desperation that she rebuild again, recalling on woman who handed her an envelope with a $7 donation to help.

    “If she can find $7, I can figure out the rest,” Benjamin said last fall as she received a $500,000 MacArthur Foundation “genius award,” money she said she’d use to help finish that job.

    Her nomination for surgeon general requires Senate confirmation.

  66. The White House is apparently keeping the meeting very low-key–it doesn’t even appear on the president’s publicly-released schedule for today
    Did Obama sneak the Jews in through the service entrance?

  67. Report: Kim Jong Il has pancreatic cancer
    I believe it after seeing his picture. I wonder if there will be a fight for succession in NK? If so, more opportunity for Bambi to screw up.

  68. OT…..Well….Looks as if the Penn. Dem. Senate Primary is off the a running start, Specter is trashing Joe Sestak for his ethics and military service:

    “Arlen said, “Congressman Sestak is a flagrant hypocrite in challenging my being a real Democrat when he did not register as a Democrat until 2006, just in time to run for Congress. His lame excuse for avoiding party affiliation, [was] because he was in the service….”

    (Sestak) “I was registered as an Independent during the 35 years I served in the U.S. Navy protecting our country because, like Generals Colin Powell and Wesley Clark – who were also registered as Independents, I believe it is important that military officers should be nonpartisan.”

    Arlen is Scum…No wonder Obama and the DNC support him. Hopefully, when Sestak crushes Specter in the primary, it will signal the beginning of the counter revolution to re-take the Dem. Party from the anti-Clinton, Obamaists.

  69. JanH Says:

    July 13th, 2009 at 1:59 pm
    Asia wants substance from the Obama administration

    It’s going to be a lonnnnnnng wait.


    July 13, 2009
    Obama Is Wrong, Wrong, Wrong About Honduras
    By Jennifer Rubin

    The Obama administration seems to have gotten just about everything wrong about the ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya. Wrong on the law. Wrong on the politics. Wrong on the foreign policy.

    On the law, Miguel Estrada, the brilliant attorney whose nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals was blocked by those who abhor a truly wise Latino conservative, actually has read the Honduran constitution. He finds that it specifies that it cannot be amended to change the limit on a single four-year term for the president. And it further provides that trying to amend the constitution “constitutes treason.” As Estrada reminds us, “The rules are so tight because these are terribly serious issues for Honduras, which lived under decades of military rule.”

    But Zelaya, who fancies himself the next Hugo Chavez, ordered himself up a referendum earlier this year with the clear purpose to amend the constitution to do what is prohibited and indeed treasonous. After all, such a gambit is precisely the mechanism his role model Chavez used in order to extend his rule in Venezuela.

    The Honduran Congress voted that Zelaya’s referendum was illegal. And what followed was a model of strict constitutional interpretation and fidelity to the rule of law:

    The attorney general filed suit and secured a court order halting the referendum. Zelaya then announced that the voting would go forward just the same, but it would be called an “opinion survey.” The courts again ruled this illegal. Undeterred, Zelaya directed the head of the armed forces, Gen. Romeo Vasquez, to proceed with the “survey” – and “fired” him when he declined. The Supreme Court ruled the firing illegal and ordered Vasquez reinstated.

    Zelaya had the ballots printed in Venezuela, but these were impounded by customs when they were brought back to Honduras. On June 25 – three days before he was ousted – Zelaya personally gathered a group of “supporters” and led it to seize the ballots, restating his intent to conduct the “survey” on June 28. That was the breaking point for the attorney general, who immediately sought a warrant from the Supreme Court for Zelaya’s arrest on charges of treason, abuse of authority and other crimes. In response, the court ordered Zelaya’s arrest by the country’s army, which under Article 272 must enforce compliance with the Constitution, particularly with respect to presidential succession. The military executed the court’s order on the morning of the proposed survey.

    Estrada concludes that while Zelaya’s arrest was “legal, and rather well justified to boot,” his exile was not. (Solution: let him back in to the country and send him to jail.)

    Then there is the politics within Honduras. It seems the Honduran people have figured out what Zelaya is up to and don’t like it one bit. The Wall Street Journal reports:

    Honduran media published a CID-Gallup poll that showed 41% of Hondurans said the coup was justified, while 28% were opposed. The survey, conducted between June 30 and July 4, supported anecdotal evidence of anger at Mr. Zelaya. While thousands of Hondurans take to the streets almost daily to protest the ouster, larger crowds often demonstrate in favor of the coup.

    Prominent leaders of the Catholic Church have also taken the view that the ouster of Zelaya was appropriate. Tegucigalpa Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez (who was touted as a candidate for Pope in 2005) and eleven bishops have spoken out, declaring Zelaya removal was “fully backed by Honduran law.” This report explains:

    Rodriguez said Zelaya’s bid for a nationwide referendum that could have extended presidential term limits violated an article in the Honduran constitution, which states that anyone who seeks to change a prohibition on presidential reelection immediately loses any office they hold. . . In an interview this week with CNN en Espanol, Rodriguez took the direct approach to addressing Chavez: “I want to take this opportunity to say that we totally reject the meddling of the Venezuelan president. We are a small country, but a sovereign one.”

    So while Obama might find the ouster of Chavez’s “mini-me” to be “illegal” and “unacceptable,” the Honduran constitution and people don’t agree.

    And then there is the foreign policy side of the equation. In yet another effort to apologize for past American sins, Obama was quick to weigh in against the “coup.” Now this was neither a coup (see Estrada) nor an American coup, but let’s not gets hung up on technicalities.

    What Obama was clearly doing was trying to escape the image that he was merely one more American president in conflict with anti-American voices in the region. He wasn’t going to let a little bit of Chavez-emulation deter him. He is, we have come to see, in the business of being “Not George W. Bush.” And in this case that meant siding with the anti-American Zelaya and his patron Chavez.

    That, of course, has put the Obama administration at odds with the Honduran people and the “rule of law” which Obama always invokes when he is not really following the applicable rule of law. So finding themselves in a bit of a bind, the Obama team punted to the former president of Costa Rica who proceeded to begin negotiations. He then penned an odd column in the Washington Post in which he explained that problems like this occur when “governments divert to their militaries resources that could be used to strengthen their democratic institutions.” (Actually in this case the military was defending democratic institutions, but let’s hope his mediation skills are up to the task of finding an acceptable solution.)

    So Obama on this one got the law, the politics, and the foreign policy wrong. And, perhaps realizing as much, he has had to reverse course (or force his secretary of state to do so) and get out of the limelight. That is the most positive development yet. Really, if you are going to “meddle” it is best to know something about the country in which you are meddling and the regional implications which will flow from it.


    Barone piles on…

    Chaos on Capitol Hill: All Politics is Loco

    By Michael Barone
    July 13, 2009

    Disarray. That’s one word to describe the status of the Obama administration’s legislative program as Congress heads into its final four weeks of work before the August recess. A watered-down cap-and-trade bill passed the House narrowly last month, but Sen. Barbara Boxer has decided not to bring up her version in the upper chamber until September.

    Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, who promised a health-care bill last month, still isn’t delivering, and neither is the Health Committee’s Christopher Dodd. They’re both trying to nibble down cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, which has put the price tag at a trillion or more. But their latest ploys — broad-based tax increases, transferring more of the Medicaid burden to the states — sound like sputtering.

    Meanwhile, Majority Leader Harry Reid says he’s taken off the table one approach that has potential bipartisan support — ending the tax preference for employer-provided insurance.

    In the House, there is more chaos. Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman has delayed the health-care markup he had planned for this week, giving the Administration and House leaders a chance to win over balky Blue Dog Democrats. Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel is also stymied, and says all he knows about agreements that the White House has struck with various health groups (pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, HMOs) is what he reads in the papers.

    All this sounds like muddling by incompetents, but in fact these Democratic legislators are (mostly) highly competent, and they are trying to do very hard things: restructure government regulation of — or establish government control over — one-sixth (health care) and one-tenth (energy) of the economy. And they’re dealing with a president who has shown a striking lack of interest in details and whose signal legislative achievement so far — the $787 billion stimulus package passed in February — has visibly failed in its asserted goal of holding unemployment down to 8 percent.

    It turns out that details matter, a lot, when you’re slinging around great gobs of dollars. Barack Obama let congressional appropriators write the stimulus package. The result, according to the Government Accountability Office, is that only $29 billion had been spent as of June 19, 90 percent of it for Medicaid and “the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund administered by the Department of Education.”

    Translation: The money has gone to state governments in fiscal trouble because of declining revenues and (in some cases) profligate spending. This insulates public employee union members from the painful effects of recession that are being felt by almost everyone else, with the added political benefit of channeling money to unions, which in turn channel some of it to Democratic politicians.

    Obama was also content to let Waxman and Edward Markey write the House cap-and-trade bill. To get needed votes, they gave away carbon credits to politically connected businesses rather than sell them by auctions whose revenues Obama planned to use to finance health care. And they included potentially embarrassing provisions, like one regulating the efficiency of candelabra base lamps. Better be prepared to face the federal candelabra inspectors.

    Such are the people whom we are asked to trust to reshape the provision of health care. They are struggling to amass the votes to establish a government health insurance plan whose transparent purpose is to drive private insurers out of business and impose one-size-fits-all health care on the bulk of Americans. They already inserted into the stimulus package a provision funding “comparative effectiveness research,” which purports to show what treatments are medically effective and cost-effective.

    But comparative effectiveness research is, if not junk science, not a fully developed intellectual enterprise. Medicine is an art as well as a science, and comparative effectiveness research may too often compare apples and oranges. Meanwhile, as Europeans know, the most effective way to squeeze out costs, as Obama promises, is denial of care. Hip replacement at 60? Hey, that’s expensive, and you’re too old.

    Polls show that most voters — and increasing numbers of independents — are queasy about vastly increased government spending and more concerned about bolstering the economy than about reshaping health care or addressing projected global warming. They’ve noticed that the stimulus package hasn’t delivered the promised results. Do they want to turn over the health care and energy sectors to a president inattentive to details and congressional leaders in disarray?


    This from NQ’s Larry Johnson, who notes which is the twitchy finger in the WH making people nervous, and which is the “cool head”.

    Hillary Rescues Honduras

    By Larry Johnson

    After Barack Obama’s team of White House amateurs overreacted to the expulsion of Honduran President Zelaya two weeks ago by lining up with Fidel Castro and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Hillary Clinton’s State Department has brought some adult leadership to the process. What Barack Obama should have done at the outset was coordinate with his Secretary of State. But apparently Barack likes to listen to the likes of Dennis McDonough, who is a political hack on par with Karl Rove. McDonough is clueless on policy but always eager to play a political angle.

    Rather than check with the intelligence community, who could have briefed President Obama on the fact that intelligent agents of Cuba and Venezuela were plotting with Honduran President Zelaya to circumvent the Honduran Constitution, Obama quickly denounced the Hondurans and failed to do anything behind the scenes to prevent the blow up or reassure the Hondurans that the United States would not abandon them to Chavez. Although the Honduran military had the full support of the Honduran Supreme Court and the Honduran Congress when it moved against Zelaya, the action exposed Honduras to charges that it was reverting to the bad old days of military governance.

    Enter Hillary the Savior.

    Secretary of State Clinton, while condemning the action of the Honduran military, mounted a behind the scenes diplomatic effort to counter the meddling of Cuba and Venezuela. Her efforts paid dividends yesterday with the news that Nobel laureate and former Costa Rican President, Oscar Arias, would mediate the conflict. The Wall Street Journal reports:

    &&&&&& START WSJ QUOTE &&&&&&&
    Mrs. Clinton said both sides had agreed to work with Mr. Arias, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for brokering an end to civil wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua. She called him “the natural person to assume this role.”

    Talks will begin Thursday in Costa Rica, Mr. Zelaya told Honduran radio. It was the Obama administration’s idea to bring Mr. Arias in as a mediator, said a senior U.S. official briefed on the diplomacy.

    Mr. Arias could help the U.S. try to find a solution in which Mr. Zelaya returns to his post temporarily. Political parties here also have discussed moving up presidential elections already scheduled for November.

    But a solution could prove tricky, with Honduras’s political establishment opposed to Mr. Zelaya resuming his post for any period.

    Honduras’s acting president, Roberto Micheletti, applauded the designation of Mr. Arias and said, “We are ready for dialogue,” but added, “Only if it’s about President Zelaya’s surrendering himself to the tribunals of justice, and not about his return.” He told reporters, “No way.”

    Washington has sought to make clear it prizes democratic principles by quickly condemning the coup and throwing its weight behind Mr. Zelaya, though he is a leftist ally of Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez and a frequent critic of the U.S.
    &&&& END WSJ QUOTE &&&&&&&&

    The Wall Street Journal is a tad hysterical here. The reality is that a deal is likely in place that will let Zelaya finish his term after a public commitment to forego his effort to circumvent the Honduran Constitution and seek a new four year term for himself.

    The Honduran press sees it differently. The lead article in today’s La Prensa states:
    EEUU parece abandonar a Manuel Zelaya (The United States Appears to Abandon Manuel Zelaya).

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

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

  73. US budget deficit at $1 trillion

    The US budget deficit has moved above $1 trillion (£616bn) for the first time – with three months of the financial year remaining, official data show. The government stepped up spending to counter the recession, and the bailout of financial institutions has taken a huge chunk out of government finances. Falling tax revenues and unemployment benefit spending have also contributed.

    The figure compares with $455bn for the whole 2007/8 financial year, but the 2008/9 deficit was expected to soar.

    A budget deficit can impede on spending on health and education programmes.

    Increased anxiety

    Congress has already approved a $700bn financial bailout and a $787bn economic stimulus package to try and jump-start a recovery.


    Increased debt costs for government
    Increased risk of inflation
    Long-term pressure on dollar
    Could lead to higher taxes and spending cuts later

    And last week a senior US Democrat said that legislators must be willing to consider the possibility of a second economic stimulus package.

    But even before the global economic slowdown, the US had moved into deficit – driven largely by tax cuts and the cost of the Iraq war.

    The Treasury figures showed that the budget deficit so far in the financial year, which runs to 30 September, was $1.086 trillion – a widening of $94.316bn from the month before. And the situation has led to increasing anxiety among the foreign buyers of US debt, including China. It may force the Treasury to pay higher interest rates to those who buy its debt, to make it a more attractive long-term prospect, observers say.

    “These are mind boggling numbers,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economist at the Smith School of Business at California State University. “Our foreign investors from China and elsewhere are starting to have concerns about not only the value of the dollar but how safe their investments will be in the long run.”

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


    And once again it is bambi’s message that keeps damaging international relations for the worse. It would appear that Hillary’s main job is to clean up his shit on aisle 1 through infinity.

  75. Public opinion will change decisively once three conditions are satisfied:

    1. first, he has repudiated all the promises made to them in the primary–which they relied on when they voted for him. .

    2. second, he is a brand promoted by big media to advance the interests of their business owners, at the expense of the people.

    3. third, he inherited a recession, but through bad policies has turned it into something far worse that will touch the life of every American. There are no winners in this game.

    Based on that, it is a non-sequitir to say you like him but dislike his policies. This is not some rock video–it is reality. He is president. Talk is cheap. He must be judged in terms of his actions.

  76. “This is the message that the United States should have delivered on day one but Barack Obama circumvented the State Department. It has been Hillary’s leadership over the last two weeks that has moonwalked the Hondurans back from the precipice of crisis and set them on the road to a peaceful, legal resolution of the matter that will protect Honduras from the subversion of Cuba and Venezuela. Well done Madam Secretary.”
    Fine. But it does raise the Berkley paradigm which is: if a tree falls in the forrest and nobody hears it does it make a noise? Arguably yes, where as here a record has been made which can be revisited at a later time. Frankly, I am more encouraged by the fact that Hillary is speaking out against the ridiculous vetting process by his White House which has prevented her from filling the top job at USIA upon which the implementation of smart power doctrine depends. This is hardly surprising, given the rupe golberg management structure he has concoted, ang the predominance of political hacks in that operation. Meanwhile, the captain of the Titanic has left the wheel house to take a nice walk on the main deck gladhandling passengers and gazing at the stars. Not an iceberg within 200 miles he tells himself, as he savors the cold clear night air.

  77. We may have our third party candidate. Note the scumbag McCain now has pleasant things to say about Sarah vs prior, when he sent his dogs out after her. He is as trustworthy as the Fraud and just as unwilling to accept any personal responsibility. This is a sad come to Jesus for me because after 5 years in the Hanoi Hotel I was willing to cut him an awful lot of slack. No more.

    Palin Says She May Stump for Democrats/Republican Governor Says

    She’s Not Leaving Politics

    (July 12) – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said she’s not only staying involved in national politics, but she plans to jump back into the national scrum when she leaves office at the end of the month.
    The former Republican vice presidential nominee said she plans to write a book, campaign for political candidates from coast to coast — even Democrats who share her views on limited government, national defense and energy independence — and build a right-of-center coalition.
    “I will go around the country on behalf of candidates who believe in the right things, regardless of their party label or affiliation,” she said during an interview published Sunday in The Washington Times.

    After announcing on July 3 that she will resign as governor of Alaska at the end of the month, Sarah Palin sparked questions about her future, including whether she was preparing to run for president. In an interview published Sunday, the former Republican vice presidential nominee said she plans on staying in politics and may even campaign for Democrats.(Note: Please disable your pop-up blocker)

    Palin shocked critics and allies alike when she announced on July 3 that she would leave the governor’s office while in the middle of her first term. The governor chose not to seek re-election and suggested it was unfair to hold onto the office as a lame duck. Instead, she will step down July 26 and pursue a national profile. She has not said whether she is building toward a presidential campaign for 2012.
    Republican Women Federated of Simi Valley announced Palin was scheduled to speak to the group’s private gala on Aug. 8 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California. The event — reporters will not be allowed to attend — will take place in an airplane hangar that houses a retired presidential aircraft Air Force One and will stir more questions about he curious resignation.
    Palin defended the decision because “pragmatically, Alaska would be better off” if her state weren’t spending time on ethical complaints against her. She also said the plan to resign had been in the works for months.
    Her 2008 running mate disputed suggestions the telegenic and plainspoken soon-to-be-former-official was a quitter.
    “Oh, I don’t think she quit,” said Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee in 2008 who plucked Palin out of near-obscurity and made her a household name. “I think she changed her priorities.”
    For now, though, Palin isn’t detailing those priorities.
    “I’m not ruling out anything. It is the way I have lived my life from the youngest age,” she said in the Washington Times interview. “Let me peek out there and see if there’s an open door somewhere. And if there’s even a little crack of light, I’ll hope to plow through it.”

    The self-described hockey mom plans to write a memoir but declined to discuss any potential deal for her to become a television commentator.
    “I can’t talk about any of those things while I’m still governor,” she said.
    Yet she’s already reminding audiences of her bipartisan and family-oriented appeal.
    “People are so tired of the partisan stuff even my own son is not a Republican,” Palin said.
    Like his father, 20-year-old Track Palin is registered as “nonpartisan” in Alaska, she said.
    McCain said he believes Palin will play a major role in politics, telling NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that “she has the ability to ignite our party and to galvanize us and get us going again and give us a strong positive message.”
    That said, McCain declined to endorse a Palin for President campaign.
    “We’ve got a lot of good, strong, young, attractive, articulate spokespersons for our party and our principles,” McCain said, citing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

  78. Part of a piece I found @ Ace. I really don’t like Liz very much, but you know, the enemy of my enemy….

    Liz Cheney: Obama’s An Idiot Or…Well, He’s Pretty Much Just An Idiot And A Dangerous One At That
    Liz Cheney has an Op-ed in today’s WSJ. It’s juicy red meat that also is a devastating take down of the fool 52% of the people voted for.

    She starts with Obama’s fanciful tale of the ending of the Cold War during his speech in Moscow and then gets going.

    It is irresponsible for an American president to go to Moscow and tell a room full of young Russians less than the truth about how the Cold War ended. One wonders whether this was just an attempt to push “reset” — or maybe to curry favor. Perhaps, most concerning of all, Mr. Obama believes what he said.
    Mr. Obama’s method for pushing reset around the world is becoming clearer with each foreign trip. He proclaims moral equivalence between the U.S. and our adversaries, he readily accepts a false historical narrative, and he refuses to stand up against anti-American lies.

    …Asked at a NATO meeting in France in April whether he believed in American exceptionalism, the president said, “I believe in American Exceptionalism just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” In other words, not so much.

    The Obama administration does seem to believe in another kind of exceptionalism — Obama exceptionalism. “We have the best brand on Earth: the Obama brand,” one Obama handler has said. What they don’t seem to realize is that once you’re president, your brand is America, and the American people expect you to defend us against lies, not embrace or ignore them. We also expect you to know your history.

  79. Interesting. I’m hearing murmurs that some want to mount a constitutional challenge to California’s use of IOU’s. Some are saying it’s blatantly unconstitutional, and a state does not have the right to issue “bills of credit” or other legal tender, and that is precisely what thes IOU’s are:

    Article I of the Constitution:

    Section 10. No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.

    So California is allowed to pay their debts in gold or silver if they’d like. But IOU’s, otherwise known as bills of credit, are not constitutional.

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