Pantsuit-less Palin Provokes PINO Panic, Part II

The PINOs (Progressives In Name Only) are in a Palin Panic.

The PINOs are so desperate to bring down popular Palin they are even denouncing sexism and misogyny. The Hillary hater extraordinaire at the New York Times, Frank Rich, is so hate-filled against popular Palin that Rich even defended the object of his extraordinary hatred – Hillary Clinton (history of Frank Rich HERE). Frank Rich, sexist and misogynist and Hillary hater had this to say about past hate-filled attacks against Hillary Clinton:

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

Sexist and misogynist Frank Rich is lying. Rich and the New York Times and creepy friends like Sally Quinn along with other Dimocrats were the ones who most trashed Hillary and Bill Clinton. Yes, the Republicans and Ken Starr and other louts attacked the Clintons. But as smarmy as the Starrs and Gingriches have been, the Dimocrats like Frank Rich have been much worse. The Republicans never called Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton “racists”. The “racist Clintons” was an entirely Dimocratic set of smears. Now Frank Rich and the Dimocrats write about Sarah Palin in the same way they lied about and trashed Hillary Clinton.

The sexists and misogynists are trashing Sarah Palin with code words deployed against women such as “nutjob” and “erratic”.

Is Sarah Palin beyond reproach? Has Sarah Palin made questionable political moves and less than admirable appearances which cannot be discussed? No and yes – Sarah Palin can be criticized and she is far from perfect. Charlie Cook, the very well known pollster and columnist, questioned Palin’s political moves – but notice how he does it – without using code “that bit*h is wacko” language.

The political community’s reaction to Alaska Republican Gov. Sarah Palin’s announcement that she would resign on July 26 was swift, withering and very nearly unanimous. It’s hard to dispute that Palin handled the announcement badly, but was her decision to resign really crazy, or just unexpected, with the press reacting to an unorthodox move by declaring it insane?

Charlie Cook recognized that Palin’s resignation was “unorthodox” and thought her handling of the announcement went “badly”. But Cook did not resort to code language of sexists and misogynist. Indeed, Cook makes a strong case why Sarah Palin might have made a wise, an intelligent, a politically astute and clever move by resigning:

First, look at the issue of not seeking re-election in 2010 and work back. A good case can be made that seeking a presidential nomination has become an extraordinarily difficult undertaking in terms of organization-building, fundraising and cultivating the relationships necessary to win. And perhaps doing that well and being an effective governor are mutually exclusive. [snip]

Running for president is now a minimum two-year, full-time job. [snip]

So assuming Palin would not seek re-election in 2010, what value would she get from spending the next 18 months as a lame-duck governor, having to contend with a recalcitrant state legislature that already has shown little interest in making her look good, while trying to lay the groundwork for a national campaign? [snip]

The ugly sausage-making aspect of governing, particularly during difficult economic times, was going to afford her few opportunities to look good, but plenty of headaches, over the next 18 months. Why do it? Why not take a bit of grief for bailing out early and get a head start on 2012?

Finally, it appears that Sarah and Todd Palin are not people of great wealth, and it’s a decent bet that they would have little income during 2011 and 2012, with the two of them campaigning full time. [snip]

In short, Palin’s decision to step down earlier seems totally reasonable, even if badly executed. The widespread negative reaction among the political press seems to be a combination of shock that a presidential contender was doing something outside the box (she actually gives up power — how extraordinary! — and puts all her chips on a presidential bid earlier than they are accustomed to), and a disdain that many in the press have for her and anything she does — as she reciprocally seems to have for them. [snip]

The bottom line is that Palin, who was a relative nobody in the party one year ago, has little time to waste putting together a 50-state effort. This move gives her an additional year and a half to do it.

Think we’re off track comparing the sexism and misogyny weaponized against Hillary Clinton to Governor Sarah Palin? Ask yourself this: Have you ever seen Governor Sarah Palin in a pantsuit?

* * * * *

Hillary Clinton is known for wearing many pantsuits. When Hillary, in the normal exercise of clothes wearing, provoked Robin Givhan of the Washington Post to write about Hillary’s cleavage we wrote Boobs. We invited readers to see real boobs instead of fixating on Hillary’s.

Hillary likes, and is known for wearing, pantsuits, Sarah Palin is not known for wearing pantsuits.

Why then did Mr. Ed, the talking horses’ ass, Schultz attack Sarah Palin as “an empty pantsuit”? Sarah Palin is known for wearing skirts and dresses (she was attacked on how she paid for clothes she wore during the campaign so there is quite a history on this “issue”), not pantsuits. Why then did Mr. Ed, the talking horses’ ass, Schults attack Sarah Palin as “an empty pantsuit”?

The attack by Mr. Ed on Sarah Palin came as Palin’s children were under attack by the Big Blog boys angry that another woman had slipped past their attack nets and this time actually made it onto the national ticket. Remember the DailyKooks Dimocrats and the sexist and misogynist attacks?:

Sept. 1 — The campaign statement served to knock down the far-fetched suggestion on the Kos site — based partly on a perusal of photographs — that Palin’s infant son, Trig, had been secretly delivered by Bristol. But it also sparked a new round of journalistic self-examination over whether such family matters should be pursued. [snip]

But blogger Andrew Sullivan, a right-leaning former New Republic editor who supports Barack Obama, pushed the story about the baby, who was born with Down syndrome. Citing unresolved questions and the campaign’s refusal to release the medical records involved, he writes: “The circumstantial evidence for weirdness around this pregnancy is so great that legitimate questions arise — questions anyone with common sense would ask. . . . After all, this baby was a centerpiece of the public case for Palin made by the Republicans.” [snip]

The controversy erupted as a debate was taking shape over whether some media criticism of Palin’s limited government experience has been sexist. Liberal radio host Ed Schultz was telling listeners Monday that Palin was an “empty pantsuit” who had set off a “bimbo alert.”

Andrew Sullivan persists in his attacks on Trig as a child, not of Sarah Palin, but of her daughter. The other rumors which the Big Blogs pushed was that Todd Palin had impregnated his own daughter. These additional rumors appear to have been mostly, but not totally, abandoned.

Why did so many PINO boys (and women) follow the disgusting Andrew Sullivan and his smears? Why did not mainline Democratic groups rise to defend Palin and the attacks on her family. Where were the mainline women’s groups when women were under attacks, which “family man” John “Are you my daddy? Edwards was spared?

* * * * *

Why was there silence from women’s groups when Hillary and Palin trashing became the norm?

Many of these PINOs reside in Big Blogs run by boys (and some Left Talking women) but many PINOs now treacherously run “mainline” interest group organizations and many are (think Robert Wexler) considered community leaders. We’ve discussed the treachery of mainline women’s groups (and Gay groups, and Jewish groups, and African-American groups) not only against Hillary Clinton in the last election cycle (think NARAL endorsing Obama over Hillary) but most importantly against their own constituencies (see, HERE, HERE, and HERE).

In short, what happened is that the “mainline” interest groups and “leaders” began their activist lives as representatives of their communities. Eventually these organizations (Women’s groups, Gay/Lesbian groups, etc.) and “leaders” became mere appendages of the Democratic Party. Now, these organizations are mere appendages of the Obama Dimocratic Party. That is why Gay groups continue to raise money for the treacherous Obama and why women’s groups and pro-choice groups and others, to a lesser or greater extent, supported a never before seen or heard “present” voting Obama over long time champion, ally and fighter Hillary Clinton.

Consider: Governor Sarah Palin is a very successful woman. She is a woman. She is a governor of the state of Alaska. She is a mother of several children. She is married. She is married to a somewhat blue-collar man of some Yup’ik Eskimo heritage. Governor Palin is “hot”. Governor Palin’s husband, Todd, is “hot”. Governor Palin’s husband is athletic and appears happy and Governor Palin is athletic and appears happy. Governor Palin’s husband shares family responsibilities and usually while she is at work Todd takes care of the children. Both Sarah and Todd enjoy vacations together and fish together. From all appearances Sarah Palin and Todd Palin like and respect each other.

Consider: Modern Feminism, as Betty Friedan (writer The Feminine Mystique, Co-founder NOW) described it, sought the right for women to be allowed “into the mainstream of American society now” in “fully equal partnership with men”. Feminism was about choice. Feminism is not about slavery to a role whether that role is leftist agitator or frumpy housewife. Feminism was about choice. Feminism is about choice.

I ask myself why I’m so dissatisfied. I’ve got my health, fine children, a lovely new home, enough money. My husband has a real future as an electronics engineer. He doesn’t have any of these feelings. He says maybe I need a vacation, let’s go to New York for a weekend. But that isn’t it. I always had this idea we should do everything together. I can’t sit down and read a book alone. If the children are napping and I have one hour to myself I just walk through the house waiting for them to wake up. I don’t make a move until I know where the rest of the crowd is going. It’s as if ever since you were a little girl, there’s always been somebody or something that will take care of your life: your parents, or college, or falling in love, or having a child, or moving to a new house. Then you wake up one morning and there’s nothing to look forward to.

At the time, feminists were fighting a societal value that “the female cycle has defined and confined woman’s role”. Friedan quoted a March 7, 1960 Newsweek article (apparently Newsweek was as lame then as it is now):

She is dissatisfied with a lot that women of other lands can only dream of. Her discontent is deep, pervasive, and impervious to the superficial remedies which are offered at every hand…. An army of professional explorers have already charted the major sources of trouble…. From the beginning of time, the female cycle has defined and confined woman’s role. As Freud was credited with saying: “Anatomy is destiny.” Though no group of women has ever pushed these natural restrictions as far as the American wife, it seems that she still cannot accept them with good grace…. A young mother with a beautiful family, charm, talent and brains is apt to dismiss her role apologetically. “What do I do?” you hear her say. Why nothing. I’m just a housewife.” A good education, it seems, has given this paragon among women an understanding of the value of everything except her own worth. . .

Yes, Obama Hopium addled addicts, feminism fought against “anatomy is destiny” and for the rights of all women, all women.

Freidan continued:

And so she must accept the fact that “American women’s unhappiness is merely the most recently won of women’s rights,” and adjust and say with the happy housewife found by Newsweek: “We ought to salute the wonderful freedom we all have and be proud of our lives today. I have had college and I’ve worked, but being a housewife is the most rewarding and satisfying role…. My mother was never included in my father’s business affairs. . . she couldn’t get out of the house and away from us children. But I am an equal to my husband; I can go along with him on business trips and to social business affairs.”

The alternative offered was a choice that few women would contemplate. In the sympathetic words of the New York Times: “All admit to being deeply frustrated at times by the lack of privacy, the physical burden, the routine of family life, the confinement of it. However, none would give up her home and family if she had the choice to make again.” Redbook commented: “Few women would want to thumb their noses at husbands, children and community and go off on their own. Those who do may be talented individuals, but they rarely are successful women.

A very strong argument can be made that Friedan and her fellow middle class feminists did have a veiled contempt for the lower classes (and lesbians) but as the movement grew Friedan and others understood that Feminism had to come to terms with their class prejudices (and eventually champion lesbian rights) and the rights of women who chose to work at home.

The class conflicts continue today from those who think they are Feminists but in reality are brain dead, well educated fools and tools of the Dimocratic Party of Obama. Well educated fools are everywhere today (Bobby Rush called Obama “an educated fool”).

Feminism has always being about human liberation. Feminism seeks the liberation of men and women from traditional roles just for the sake of traditional roles. Feminism has been about all men and all women not just the politically correct ones.

Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin have caused panic amongst the PINOs because they highlight the differences between PINO words and PINO actions.

The PINO panic has just begun.


143 thoughts on “Pantsuit-less Palin Provokes PINO Panic, Part II

  1. Great article Admin

    I remember when I was in High school and the so called “counselor” was advising me on my post HS education. I will never forget, “why don’t you get married and drink two martini’s a day like my wife”. I was so appalled I told him ” I understand why your wife drinks. It’s because she’s married to you!”

    Pre- Title 9 I might add.

    I was an angry woman for a long time. I am still angry and I don’t miss an opportunity to tell young woman, including my own daughter everyday the way it was, how far we have come and unfortunately how far we have to go.

  2. At White House, U.S. Jews offer little resistance to Obama policy on settlements

    By Ron Kampeas · July 13, 2009

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — Top Jewish organizational leaders expressed support for President Obama’s Middle East peace strategies at a White House meeting but said the president must do a better job of showing he expects hard work from all sides, not just Israel.

    Obama’s meeting Monday afternoon with 16 Jewish leaders from 14 groups comes after weeks of tense exchanges between the Obama administration and Israel’s government over freezing Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank, prompting expressions of “concern” from some U.S. Jewish organizational leaders.

    “The view was expressed among the organizations at a minimum there was concern about an imbalance in pressures placed on Israel as opposed to on the Palestinians and Arab states,” Alan Solow, the chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, told JTA. “The president indicated he had a sensitivity to the perception of that imbalance and had to work harder to correct that perception.”

    One participant quoted the president as saying that “There’s not a lot of courage among the Arab states; not a lot of leadership among the Palestinians.”

    The consensus was that on substance, Obama had the support of the room when it came to his peacemaking strategies — or, at least, he did not face opposition.

    The two representatives of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, president David Victor and president-elect Lee Rosenberg, asked friendly questions about Saudi Arabia and Iran, respectively, and did not press the settlements issue. Rosenberg and Solow, who are both from the Chicago area, were major fund-raisers for Obama’s presidential run.

    Some of Obama’s loudest critics — the Zionist Organization of America and the National Council of Young Israel, among them — were among the notable absences from the list of those invited to the White House.

    Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union of Reform Judaism, delivered a ringing endorsement of Obama’s demands for a settlement freeze, saying that settlement expansion was not in Israel’s interest.

    Such pronouncements are likely to reinforce the growing perception in the Israeli government that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is unlikely to garner significant support among U.S. Jews should the disagreement with Obama over a settlement freeze escalate into a full-scale confrontation.

    Top officials close to Netanyahu are debating how to treat the reluctance among U.S. Jews to back what they now call “normal living” conditions in the settlements — a euphemism for natural growth. Some Netanyahu advisers suggest writing off much of the U.S. Jewish community in the short term, maintaining relations only with those groups sympathetic to Netanyahu. Others suggest intensive outreach to left-leaning Jews.

    Concerns about a potential confrontation may be moot. The United States and Israel reportedly are close to agreeing to a formula that would allow Israel to finish about 2,500 “almost complete” units now under construction in the West Bank. That would allow Israel to claim settlement growth was continuing while the Obama administration would describe it as an effective freeze.

    The only signs of contention — from Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League’s national director, and Malcolm Hoenlein, the Presidents Conference’s executive vice chairman — had to do with how Obama was handling his demand for a settlements freeze, not with its substance. Hoenlein said that peace progress was likelier when there was “no daylight” between Israel and the United States. Obama agreed that it must always be clear that Israel has unalloyed U.S. support, but added that for eight years there was “no daylight and no progress.”

    “There was a lot of appreciation by the broad spectrum of the Jewish community of the president’s clarity on Israel and the absolute alliance between Israel and the United States,” said Nancy Ratzan, the president of the National Council of Jewish Women.

    It was Foxman who raised the concern of a perception that Obama was leaning harder on Israel than on the Palestinians and Arab states.

    Obama conceded the point — to a degree — saying it was the result of “man-bites-dog” coverage of a relatively unusual circumstance: a U.S. president pressuring Israel. He said he would make it clear that he expected the Palestinians to contain violence and end incitement, and that Arab nations should make gestures toward Israel commensurate with Israel’s concessions.

    “If you really read everything he’s written and said, it is clear there are multiple parties that have obligations and steps,” said Jeremy Ben Ami, director of J Street, a left-wing pro-Israel group. “He’s going to call out the Palestinians and the Israelis and the Arab nations.”

    On the issue of Iran, Obama said his strategy of outreach as a means of persuading the Islamic Republic to end its nuclear weapons-program was still in place, although he recognized that the Iranian government was entrenching itself in the wake of riots triggered by June 12 elections denounced by many Iranians and westerners as rigged.

    Obama said there was progress in persuading other nations, especially Russia, to sign on to his carrots-and-sticks strategy on Iran — offering incentives and threatening a harder line.

    Participants said the meeting, at a round table in the White House’s Roosevelt Room, was relaxed and friendly. “The comfort level was magnificent; there were no notes,” said Ira Forman, CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council.

    Obama teased Rahm Emanuel, his chief of staff, and David Axelrod, his top political adviser, both of whom attended the meeting and are Jewish. “If Axelrod or Rahm ignore you, don’t blame me,” he said.

    The emphasis was on foreign policy, but Obama fielded questions on domestic issues, including his efforts to introduce universal health care and end hunger among American children.

    Also present were representatives of Americans for Peace Now, the Orthodox Union, the United Jewish Communities, Hadassah, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and the American Jewish Committee.


    “Some of Obama’s loudest critics — the Zionist Organization of America and the National Council of Young Israel, among them — were among the notable absences from the list of those invited to the White House.”

    Oh yeah. This was a balanced meeting of all sides…NOT!

    Now I’m off to read Admin’s latest masterpiece…

  3. Why did not mainline Democratic groups rise to defend Palin and the attacks on her family. Where were the mainline women’s groups when women were under attacks, which “family man” John “Are you my daddy? Edwards was spared?
    Because they are pure ideologues. And when it comes to ideologues there is no such thing as the truth. There is only progaganda. The gate swings one way–namely their way. Theirs is the totalitarian mindset.

  4. It was another Potemkin Village meeting. When you invite only the supporters, the result is a pre ordained certainty. The White House probably wrote that statement. It is a stunt and the end result is pure propaganda. It is unpersuasive. The question is did it persuade the people in Israel. Not likely.

  5. Very revealing about Schultz’s choice of phrase. Pantsuit? Pantsuit? Hmmm….

    Because we all know that the hatred of Palin is purely truth-and-policy based, and has NOTHING to do with her gender, or with any displaced fury and hate for Hillary…..

  6. more good news
    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 28% of the nation’s voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-six percent (36%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of –8 (see trends).

    I attended a small party for Senator Gillibrand…a fund raiser but I was invited as a guest of a local dedicated Democrat and friend of Hillary. As I really don’t feel like a Democrat anymore it was an odd feeling. i spoke frankly to some of her staff and operatives there. I got the distinct impression that they are quietly very concerned about former democratic Hillary supporters like me.

    On a bright note, I was impressed with kirsten. She is bright and articulate and SENSIBLE. I spoke with her briefly about illegal immigration. She made a more skilled and articulate case for a government Health care option that the telepromtor in chief.

    I think it is important for us to attend…infiltrate…dem party events and let them know that all is not roses.

  7. “In short, Palin’s decision to step down earlier seems totally reasonable, even if badly executed.”



    A very fair and balanced report. Thank you.

  8. Carol,

    Thanks for sharing your impressions of Kirsten. I think she is trying to do her best in very difficult circumstances.

    “i spoke frankly to some of her staff and operatives there. I got the distinct impression that they are quietly very concerned about former democratic Hillary supporters like me.”

    They should be worried. But the fact that they were open to listening to you and not defensive says quite a lot.

  9. Let us face it. This country is in uncharted waters, not only with the state of the economy nationally and internationally, but with the fact that a whole lot of people did not fold into either party

    Look out when a group gets mad. In many cases, they get even.

    I guess I view Palin’s announcement of her departure from the norm, regardless of how you judged how she did it, an act of frustration at the way she was being treated as a women. I really think if she plays her cards right she will command a large Independent vote, maybe even one that can win.

    When you have sliding poll numbers, it is hard to turn it around. Remember how hard HRC worked to get her’s turned around. So the question is what magic act will O’s staff use, and how effective will Palin be in 2010. If she is effective, the Dims are in trouble, as she is rising, and they are not.

  10. Palin left the Rep party because she was as shabbily treated by fractions of the right and she was the left. McCain through his so called operatives tried to lay blame for HIS loss at her feet. The media wouldn’t even acknowledge during the campaigns her crowds were in the multiple thousands. They are all afraid of her because she speaks for the common man.

  11. Maybe she should get her own symbol, not like that Pepsi symbol of the Frauds, but a Phoenix rising. Not too Alaskan however. But then Palin isn’t about symbols. She is our Rosie the Riveter, second generation, after Hillary, of course!

  12. Guillabrand? She was an upstate moderate to conservative. Now she is on the dim bandwagon. She was a Hillary supporter. Now she gets support from bambi, who forces Israel out of the race. They are all bright and articulate–for whatever thats worth, unless you get into the red zone with a candidate named bush. The question is what is in her heart. Will she become a blind follower of Bambi or will she join the blue dog coalition. Any sense of that? I know they all have to play the game, but at what point does it stop? Twenty eight percent has got to have them wondering. Notice there was a 1 point slip on the strongly against, but a 2 point slip in the strongly in favor.

  13. What a bunch of spineless suck ups ……this was a staged event much like his press conferences were at least two of the groups participating are far from pro Israel imho…the others are part of his Chicago machine, and the balance a bunch of liberal democratic Jews afraid to dare tell the emperor he is wearing no close….I now fully understand how Hitler rose to power in Germany…I am sickened by this event….

  14. The capitol at this point is a sewer. I used to be a big fan of Shumer, but listening to him on sunday morning made me nauseious….especially on the subject of Palin. He was laughing in the most sexist, offensive manner.

    I hope that Gillibrand will be able to hold onto some kind of independence, but the system corrupts. She has important roles on some committees and is working for certain things in the legislation. She did not seem overly enthusiastic about Obama …barely mentioned him…but certainly was respectul.. she would hardly be able to function there or run for reelectio if she were not.

  15. jbstonesfan Says:

    July 13th, 2009 at 8:58 pm


    I agree. I just don’t understand how they can support this monster. It’s like history repeating itself.

  16. What a pity that the teleprompter did not crash on the TOTUS’ head and making “IT” senseless……

  17. MP, the last words TOTUS typed out were a heartbreaking: “I can’t take this anymore…. the lies, the lies…. all for nought, all for nought…. I go to my maker at last.”

    Poor TOTUS, the maker is GE.

  18. Ah Admin, TOTUS is the real president, and that looks like a terror attack to me. We need an investigation NOW.

  19. Saudi, UAE look for assurances on US economy: analysts

    By Paul Handley

    RIYADH (AFP) — Saudi Arabia and Gulf holders of billions of dollars of US debt will be seeking assurance on the US economy when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner visits the region this week, economists said Monday.

    Amid calls from China, Russia and now France for a new global reserve currency, Geithner will have to sell a vision of recovery even as the US economy continues to falter, they said.

    “Secretary Geithner’s visit will be like a progress report on the state of the US economy,” said veteran Riyadh economist John Sfakianakis. “Since Saudi Arabia is a very important holder of US paper, some explanation about the state of the US economy” is necessary from the top US finance official, he said.

    On Tuesday, Geithner arrives in Jeddah, the Red Sea business centre where much of the Saudi government has repaired for the summer months. He will address the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and meet top officials, including possibly King Abdullah.

    On Wednesday, he is scheduled to meet with United Arab Emirates officials and the heads of two of the UAE’s main public investment funds in Abu Dhabi.

    Economists said the key US interest is making sure the petro-economies of the Gulf keep most of their foreign reserves in dollar-based assets, especially US Treasury debt. “This is a reassurance trip,” a UAE-based economist who works for a government agency told Dow Jones Newswires. “Geithner wants to let Abu Dhabi and Saudi know that their investments in the US are safe.”

    Sfakianakis points out that senior US treasury officials regularly visit Saudi Arabia to discuss economic and finance issues. “It’s an annual visit. (Former) Secretary (Henry) Paulson visited Saudi Arabia a year ago,” he said.

    It underscores the importance of the kingdom as the leading global oil exporter as well as holder of about 400 billion dollars in foreign reserves, most of it believed in dollar-denominated assets.

    Because the country is so dependent on oil and gas exports — also denominated in dollars — economists do not believe Riyadh is considering any radical changes to its dollar holdings.

    But the Saudi government has been selling off foreign assets in recent months to fund a massive government investment programme aimed at keeping the economy growing. Saudi foreign assets have dropped from a peak of 443.2 billion dollars last November to 395.2 billion dollars at the end of May.

    And across the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, foreign holdings have fallen around 300 billion dollars, which likely has contributed to the dollar’s weakness.

    In the background too are the calls for a new international reserve currency similar to the Special Drawing Rights used by the International Monetary Fund.
    China first raised the issue, followed by Russia, and French President Nicholas Sarkozy last Thursday suggested his support, saying a “multipolar world must be a multicurrency world.”

    Also on the menu for talks in Jeddah are cooperation in fighting financing for terror groups, keeping the price of oil in a stable range that will help the world economy recover, and ways to keep up pressure on Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.

    Geithner will also likely pitch for more Saudi and UAE investment in the United States, according to a Treasury official who briefed reporters in Washington ahead of the trip. “He will reiterate that we are open to foreign investment from the region,” the official said.

  20. jbstonesfan,

    You might be interested in the following…

    Saturday, Jul. 11, 2009 at 8:36 AM

    Remarks of Sen. Menendez, Floor of the United States Senate

    “Acknowledging Israel’s History”

    *The full text of his remarks can be read at:

    *and the video can also be watched from:

  21. On Tuesday, Geithner arrives in Jeddah, the Red Sea business centre where much of the Saudi government has repaired for the summer months. He will address the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and meet top officials, including possibly King Abdullah.

    America groveling @ the feet of Judah.

  22. you just cannot make this stuff up…out of the blue…the teleprompter crashes to the floor and shatters…toooo much!


  23. TOTUS: “Get me out of here, this guy doesn’t know what he is talking about…
    I can’t be part of this any longer…anything but another day of this”

  24. Thanks Admin for the Charlie Cook link.
    Sarah needs her own tv show for more exposure to the masses. With so little real news and commentary these days to draw from on mainstream media.

    Sara would be guaranteed a captive audience hungry for direction. I think she would be a natural for tv especially if she had a ‘Stinko Pinko’ segment… Big draw for people to tune in for the Letterman types, where she or an associate could return fire with brilliant, sardonic humor.
    Admin: No one seems to know if Obama is being snubbed ie.. no handshake..from the Russians? Please watch the video or embed whichever works for you.

  25. Help! I’ve fallen and I can get out of the spamon filter…

    Please, help, someone fish me out (?)

  26. Yes, first there was Nelson Eddie and Jeneatte McDonald, then there was Jackie Gleason and Audrey Meadows, then there was George Burns and Gracie Allen, and now there is Teleboob and Telebambi–nevermore.

  27. Teleboob is Telebambi. What am I thinking. Its Teleboob and Teleprompter. God this gets confusing. Its Barak Obama. No its Barry Sotero. No its Barry Soreto. Idiot for short.

  28. Can you see the gameplan here. Put us so far in debt that the Saudis and eventually Red China makes major investments here, lower the immigratation bar and you end up with what you have in Canada only worse. I honestly think that is the blueprint. No other explanation makes sense for this prolifigate spending at a time like this. I could be wrong, but I dont think so.

  29. wbboei, did you see that Bloomberg and Shumer are pist at Hillary and are going after her or am I just late on seeing that clip?
    I will never, never forget the look on Hillary’s face as Shumer drug her to the New York delegation to push the button for Obama at the National Conventionl. It looked as if they were dragging her. I hate those Bast*&^S!

    From “Gigi” (1958)
    (Lyrics : Alan Jay Lerner / Music : Frederick Loewe)

    Frat boy! Frat boy!
    Tanking now and so you got to spin!
    Frat boy! Frat boy!
    Oh, youth can really do a fellow in!
    (So can incompetence)
    The numbers for the “young president” continue to plummet. The critical metric is not general approval rating, but rather the spread between strongly approve vs strongly disapprove, since that subset of people tend to be the influencers in the electorate. Here is the last from Rass on that subject:


    strongly for: 37%
    strongly against: 30%
    difference: -7


    strongly for: 28%
    strongly against: 36%
    difference: -8

  31. wbboei, did you see that Bloomberg and Shumer are pist at Hillary and are going after her or am I just late on seeing that clip?
    confloyd what clip are you referring to? what does bloomberg have to do with anything?

  32. There is a clip of Bloomberg/Shumer stating that it was Hillary’s policy that keeps NEw York from being able to tax the diplomats. They are saying that Hillary has screw all of New York just six months into her new job as SOS. The both of them are really gripping about her.
    Its over on Drudge. I think there is more to this than what we are seeing with Chuck Schmer coming out against her. There must be news she is going to run for governor.

  33. wbboei, also just went over to texasdarlin and watched a video of Obama in Russia being snubbed. Its quiet interesting, the people in the line would not shake his hand. I wonder whats up with that??

  34. Confloyd, the story and video is at the link here:

    Bloomberg, running for reelection, attacked Hillary. The short Schumer clip is not against Hillary but only that he will try to get taxes paid. At the link the State Department states the policy on taxation was changed because other countries were threatening to reciprocate and charge the U.S. taxes. Because the U.S. has more embassies and consulates worldwide it is likely that the U.S. would wind up paying more in taxes than it would get if there was a tax war.

    What is disgusting, is that the CBS reporter, Marcia Kramer, is the one that accuses Hillary of a “double cross”.

  35. Confloyd: When she was senator from New York, she protected New York. Now that she is Secretary of State she must protect the financial interests of the State Department. You know how these things work. Bloomberg raises hot air because he will have to raise taxes and does not want to be blamed. She calls Schumer and says I am taking this position to avoid retaliatory taxes on our diplomats abroad. If you can change it back that is fine. The only one who does not understand how this game is played is Kramer. That is because she is brain dead.

  36. New York Post is a republican rag. They were the ones who ran the attack site Just Hillary. Their anti Hillary bias has been obvious from the beginning.

  37. Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary of state for management, said the rules change comes because other countries do not apply similar taxes on US properties overseas, which include Army bases, FBI offices and State Department housing.

    “Those countries have come to us and said, ‘Wait a minute. Why is New York taxing us when we don’t tax you?’ ” he said.

    “This has become a diplomatic irritant. They’ve held up activity at those locations, not given us building permits.”

    Kennedy acknowledged that New York has more diplomatic housing than any other city in the nation.

    But he insisted, “New York gets a lot of benefits from having these here
    This seems like a reasonable decision by the State Department to me. Again, as SOS her job is to look out for the interests of the federal government with military bases, embassies etc all over the world.

  38. Wbboei, Admin, I agree she most certainly did the right thing. She did not play politics as some would have. She made the best decision. There are those who will turn it against her and those are the ones that this attack is aimed at. The idiots that listen to the idiots for their info.
    Its the same of crap, blame Hillary whenever possible. Schumer however, I don’t trust, you guys from NY can tell if I should.

  39. I still think this is just more crap for Hillary to have to deal with if she decides to run for something again, whether governor of NY or POTUS. IF the common NY believes this lie, they don’t deserve Hillary.

  40. Wbboei, I sent you the video of the handshake snub in Russia. I think they don’t like Soro’s homeboy in Russia. King Obama looked very irritated that they did not want to shake his hand. I loved it!!!

  41. Now Democrats are beginning to wake up.

    (CBS) President Obama’s approval rating has fallen six points in the past month, a new CBS News poll finds, amid growing skepticism about his handling of the economy and questions about the impact of the stimulus package.

    The president’s current approval rating, which is 57 percent, is still relatively high. But it has fallen 11 points from its peak of 68 percent in April, and has also dropped since last month’s mark of 63 percent. His disapproval rating, meanwhile, has risen from 23 percent in April to 32 percent today.

    The decline in support is coming not from Republicans – whose support for the president has actually risen – but from Democrats and independents. While 82 percent of Democrats still approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing, this number is down ten points from last month.

    The president’s support among independents has fallen eight points to 50 percent. Only 30 percent of Republicans back Mr. Obama, though that’s up from 23 percent in June.

    The driving issue behind the president’s decline in approval appears to be the economy. His approval rating on handling the economy is now 48 percent, while 44 percent disapprove. Last month, Americans approved of his handling of this issue by a margin of 22 points.

    The optimism over the economy seen in May – when 32 percent said it was getting better and 23 percent said it was getting worse – has dissipated. Now just 21 percent say the economy is improving, while 33 percent say it is getting worse. Forty-five percent say it is staying the same.

    Half of all Americans expect the recession to go on at least two more years. Fifty-seven percent say the country is on the “wrong track,” up from 50 percent last month. And 44 percent describe the economy as “very bad,” up from 36 percent in June.

    Despite White House efforts to stress the implementation of the stimulus package, just 21 percent say it has had a positive impact on the economy.

    There is a lot more at the link.

    Watch CBS Videos Online

  42. I think you are exactly right. They hate Gorgeous George becasue of Georgia. They hate Bambi because he is a fraud. They have no respect for a man who is disloyal to the country he supposedly represents. They treated him exactly the way he deserved to be treated. Cold shoulder all the way. Did you see that little petulent look on Bambis kisser when nobody will shake hands. Next time maybe he can show them his flabby abs, and let Sullivan do the narration. More stuff big media doesnt want its audience to know.

  43. I think they hate George because of his hand in destroying their economy. That look was something, he does not like being ignored. He wants to be King Obama. I wonder sometimes what is really going on. Why would heads of governments either bow and scrape to him or like Russia seem to be “just putting up with him”? That seem to me sooo weird. I guess I am always thinking their is some underlying cause or conspiracy. Oh well, these times are very unusual to say the least!

  44. wbboei, this is why I hate Glenn Beck and his republicans. Just saw a video of Glenn calling Hillary a weasel politician. The whole flip flop on the diplomats paying taxes again. The republicans are now going after her for this stupid reason and omiting just how much money she has actually saved the taxpayer by not making the foreign govt.’s to pay taxes. More republican BS! I will sent you the video!

  45. That handshake snub video is a false story, I think. We need to know who those people were in the line before calling it a snub. Looks like he is introducing Medvedev to his people. It happened with the Saudi king and his reception line but we found out later that people who didn’t shake hands with 0bama were his own people and he was putting out his hand to introduce them. He should change his gesture.

  46. White House Auto Industry Adviser Steven Rattner Abruptly Resigns

    July 14, 2009

    Washington, D.C. (AHN) – President Barack Obama’s auto industry adviser, Steven Rattner, is stepping down and will be replaced by former United Steelworkers official Ron Bloom, the Treasury Department confirmed late on Monday. The resignation comes just weeks after the bankruptcy restructuring of Chrysler and General Motors, and amid a pay-to-play probe involving Rattner’s investment firm.

    Rattner, a Wall Street financier and co-founder of the Quadrangle Group, was appointed late February by the President as an adviser to Treasury Sec. Tim Geithner and National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers about the restructuring of automakers and the bailout of Chrysler and General Motors, both of which have just been restructured.

    His Quadrangle Group is one of 20 investment firms being investigated by the SEC and New York Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo. The state pension fund was used by “numerous individuals operating at the highest political and governmental levels under [former state] Comptroller Hevesi…. as a piggy bank and a favor bank for political allies and other friends,” according to Cuomo’s office. Investigators want to know if payments made by firms seeking investments under the pension fund were legal.

    “With the emergence of both General Motors and Chrysler from bankruptcy, we enter a new phase of the government’s unprecedented and temporary involvement in the automotive industry,” Geithner said in a statement announcing Rattner’s resignation.

    “With GM’s restructuring complete, Steven Rattner, whose leadership and vision were invaluable to the Auto Task Force’s efforts, has decided to transition back to private life and his family in New York City,” the secretary added. “We are extremely grateful to Steve for his efforts in helping to strengthen GM and Chrysler, recapitalize GMAC, and support the American auto industry.”

    Rattner and his firm have not been accused of any wrongdoing. Apart from Quadrangle, five investments involving the Carlyle Group are being probed.

    Two former aides of Hevesi, Henry “Hank” Morris and David Loglisci, were charged in March with a 123-count indictment including fraud, bribery, and money laundering. Morris, who served as the top adviser for the former comptroller, allegedly “took approximately $30 million in fees [from th fund] for himself and his business partners on investments which Morris himself had a role in approving.” Loglisci, at the time the chief investment officer at the comptroller’s office, is accused of directing hundreds of millions of dollars of investment deals to Morris and favored firms, in return for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of “sham investments” for a movie called “Chooch” that he and his brother were producing.

    The White House had said in April the President had full confidence in Rattner, and that the auto industry adviser had informed administration officials about the investigation during the transition.
    “He’s not accused of doing any wrongdoing and is not likely to face either criminal or civil charges as it relates to this, and a pending investigation was something that he brought up to us,” Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said at the time.


  47. AOL Headline O wants Senate to pass medical bill QUICKLY. Well that is what happen to the stimulus bill, which did not quite stimulate. I wonder even who has read it as you can bet that O and many of his staff, not to mention the Senators have NOT.

    Tell Me Again Why We Pay these people so much, why they have such great health and retirement benefits, and then they pass laws that no one has read. AND I MEAN YOUR SENATOR.

    We are foolish to re-elect people out of friendship and being familiar with them, over how they are performing.

    This is the Great Summer break coming up. Make an appointment with your Senator, and start quizing them on what they know.

  48. Okay…I submit this with reservations…lol…it’s either a “take it with a grain of salt/fairytale piece of journalism, or maybe I’ve just woken up to what wwoebi has been saying…not sure which, but here goes….


    ‘Politburo’ controlling U.S. policy
    Sources say White House cadre bypassing agencies, jeopardizing security

    Posted: July 14, 2009
    By Aaron Klein
    © 2009 WorldNetDaily

    JERUSALEM – A small group of officials working mostly from the White House are tightly controlling U.S. foreign policy, bypassing other government agencies and making decisions without employing their expertise, according to diplomatic sources speaking to WND.

    The sources said some of the decisions may be jeopardizing U.S. security.

    A senior Middle East diplomatic source said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently apologized to a Mideast leader, explaining to him U.S. policy regarding his country is being dictated by the White House and not her agency.

    The diplomatic sources all confirmed Clinton has been largely cut out from the decision-making process, as have U.S. National Security Adviser James Jones and other top figures.

    The diplomatic sources identified the White House group largely controlling foreign policy as consisting of President Obama; White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel; top Obama adviser David Axelrod; and National Security Council Director Denis McDonough. Also, Mark Lippert, chief-of-staff of the National Security Council, is involved.

    The White House did not immediately respond to WND’s request for comment.

    A senior U.S. official referred to the group as a “politburo,” using the term for the executive committee of communist political parties.

    The source said the so-called politburo is making decisions that bypass other agencies.

    ‘Sabotaging negotiations with Syria’

    A case in point was documented in a Washington Post column last weekend by Jim Hoagland, who quoted diplomatic sources stating the White House decision makers unilaterally announced last month the U.S. would send an ambassador to Syria.

    The decision – which provided Damascus a major prize – took State officials by surprise, according to Hoagland. The senior U.S. official who spoke to WND confirmed a working group within the State Department was in the process of negotiating concessions from Syria in exchange for the appointment of a U.S. ambassador.

    The U.S. withdrew its ambassador from Syria four years ago in protest of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, an attack widely blamed on Damascus.

    The U.S. official told WND the White House hastily leaked the news of an ambassador, ensuring against any possibility of extracting concessions from Syria since there was no need for Damascus to negotiate.

    Ben Smith of Politico on Sunday contradicted Hoagland’s report, writing Clinton and Mideast envoy George Mitchell were both in on the decision to send an ambassador to Syria. Smith sited a memo from Mitchell to Clinton and Obama recommending an ambassador to Syria after his mid-June meeting with Syrian President Assad. Also, Smith reported the decision was discussed in a Deputies Committee that included the deputy secretary of state, Jim Steinberg, as well as a Mitchell aide, Fred Hoff.

    However, according to the senior U.S. official speaking to WND, Smith failed to differentiate between a recommendation for the U.S. to eventually send an ambassador to Syria and the actual announcement of the decision to send an ambassador that was to follow negotiations.

    The recommendation, made in June, was to be followed by State-led negotiations to extract concessions from Syria, such as an end to Damascus support for terrorism or the insurgency against U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    ‘Still in campaign mode’

    The diplomatic sources said it was significant Obama has only called one Cabinet meeting thus far – a symbolic confab to mark his 100th day in office.

    The sources also said it was telling that Clinton was not granted the right to appoint her own deputies. They said many State deputies were political appointments to return favors from last year’s presidential campaign.

    The senior U.S. official said Emanuel is most heavily involved in drafting policy, describing him as a sort of policy CEO, while Axelrod works to brand White House decisions.

    The source described the decision-making group as “ignorant” and as “still in campaign mode,” citing as one example the lack of understanding among the group of Syria’s strong ties to Iran.

    In another example, a second source said Obama and his team last week made numerous factual errors while negotiating in Russia, completely surprising Russian President Dmitry Medvedev with their lack of knowledge.

    The second source said the main goal of the White House “politburo” is creating an image of the U.S. working with the international community and of ensuring Obama’s reelection in 2012.

    The diplomatic sources said Obama is involved in the decision-making process but that he is particularly obsessed with the Palestinian issue. The sources declined to describe Obama as anti-Israel, but they painted him as heavily pro-Palestinian.

    The sources said a main goal of the Obama administration is to oversee an eventual withdrawal from Iraq, even if that means cutting deals that would undermine U.S. security in other areas. The sources said they are concerned many foreign policy decisions are based on branding and are not taking U.S. security into consideration.

  49. Good Morning all. I guess I am getting off on the wrong foot again. However, that headline kind of upset me. The man is not a manager, let alone Presidental Material.

  50. JanH

    Sure makes you feel secure, when the community organizer’s group is bypassing the people that know. The Economy is the key here.

    People in our society expect quick results. This comes from how quickly our world has become with computers etc. So the slow recovery of the economy, whether staged or just ignorance, is going to be an interesting sell. Will the young people buy this hook line and sinker, when they have just gotten their pink slip, and people are not crowding at their door to hire them.

    I just heard from a person who was an Engineer in Oil byproducts. I will be watching how fast he is picked up.

    To be truthful with you, I was surprised he got a laid off. One would think an Engineer in Oil would have a more secure job. This person has had a very successful career up to now. However, his company was taken over by a company he formerly worked for, and the CEO ran it into the financial hole, just like he did his other company. There are investigation going on now, as to why that was allowed to happen with this company. But then look at who we let take over the country.

  51. wbboei, this is why I hate Glenn Beck and his republicans. Just saw a video of Glenn calling Hillary a weasel politician. The whole flip flop on the diplomats paying taxes again. The republicans are now going after her for this stupid reason and omiting just how much money she has actually saved the taxpayer by not making the foreign govt.’s to pay taxes. More republican BS! I will sent you the video!
    I have never had any respect for Beck. He is a petty tyrant, a clutz and he misfires 50% of the time. If she allowed the taxes to be levied and it quadrupled our tax liabilities around the globe he would be saying she favored New York City at the expense of the country, and in that case he would be right. The other problem with the guy is he has the attention span of a flee. He explores no issue in the depth it deserves so people really think about it. Instead, all he does is push the buttons of his audience. Shades of Joe Pine.

  52. Ben Smith of Politico on Sunday contradicted Hoagland’s report, writing Clinton and Mideast envoy George Mitchell were both in on the decision to send an ambassador to Syria. Smith sited a memo from Mitchell to Clinton and Obama recommending an ambassador to Syria after his mid-June meeting with Syrian President Assad. Also, Smith reported the decision was discussed in a Deputies Committee that included the deputy secretary of state, Jim Steinberg, as well as a Mitchell aide, Fred Hoff.

    However, according to the senior U.S. official speaking to WND, Smith failed to differentiate between a recommendation for the U.S. to eventually send an ambassador to Syria and the actual announcement of the decision to send an ambassador that was to follow negotiations.
    This is the kind of thing I wrote about a couple weeks ago. This is a formula for disaster. Disaster. An inside cabal making big decisions without involvement of key cabinet officials. They do not want feedback from reality. Dangerous. And who praytell is guiding them?

    Apart from that, Ben Smith gets my nomination for the stupidest member of the Georgetown Social Set. I hope they give him an award for that at the next press club dinner. Anyone who calls himself a jounalist but cannot differentiate between stealing an idea and involving the author of that idea in the decision making process is clueless.

    Here is an analogy. In labor law a key difference between a supervisor and a rank and file employee is the supervisor exercises what the law refers to as “independent judgement” in the performance of their job. Ben Smith does not rise to that standard because he prints whatever excuse the White House offers and call himself a journalist. A better word would be butt boy.

  53. To be truthful with you, I was surprised he got a laid off. One would think an Engineer in Oil would have a more secure job. This person has had a very successful career up to now. However, his company was taken over by a company he formerly worked for, and the CEO ran it into the financial hole, just like he did his other company. There are investigation going on now, as to why that was allowed to happen with this company. But then look at who we let take over the country.
    The other factor in play here is this Administration has eliminated the subsidy for domestic oil operation. I am told this has hit certain parts of Texas, like Beaumont very hard.

  54. Just another hit Job by the Post…surprised Boomberg had so much venom as well, but it’s all politics. Hillary is never returning to NY as either senator or governor. Obama has pretty much sealed her fate and lets just hope he doesn’t force her out in 2012.

  55. EDITORIAL: Primary for the Senate seat is good for democracy

    July 13, 2009

    Sometimes a wide-open primary election is just what a democracy needs. Next year’s race for junior U.S. senator from New York is absolutely one of those times.

    Newsday’s editorial board usually steers clear of party politics, but incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand wasn’t elected to the Senate – she was appointed by New York’s unelected governor, David Paterson. This is the first chance voters will have to be heard on a successor to Hillary Clinton. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) may prefer Gillibrand at his side, and the Democratic Party may not relish a challenge. But that’s not what’s best for the public.

    Since joining the Senate in January, former Rep. Gillibrand has been malleable on key issues, moderating her past support for gun rights and criticism of comprehensive immigration reform. A tough primary would test the strength of her convictions.

    Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) was geared up to run but opted out when President Barack Obama signaled his desire for party unity. But there are still possible challengers. Suffolk Legis. Jon Cooper (D-Lloyd Harbor) has formed an exploratory committee and is weighing a run. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan) is stumping hard. And labor activist Jonathan Tasini is also in the race.

    This board’s support for a vigorous primary shouldn’t be construed as an endorsement of any candidate; it isn’t. We just want choices and a spirited contest to help voters make informed decisions.,0,6212112.story

  56. The other factor in play here is this Administration has eliminated the subsidy for domestic oil EXPLORATION (not operation). I am told this has hit certain parts of Texas, like Beaumont very hard


  57. Sometimes a wide-open primary election is just what a democracy needs. Next year’s race for junior U.S. senator from New York is absolutely one of those times.
    Amen. And amen twice in re. Pennsylvania. We need Sestak–not Spector/

  58. I just hope people realize that this primary in NY to challenge Gillibrand is only for a 2 year term. Whoever wins the election will be running for that same seat 2 years later. That’s 4 years spent running for the same office twice.

  59. Mon, Jul. 13, 2009

    Obama gets nothing for big nuclear concession

    Washington Post

    The signing ceremony in Moscow was a grand affair. For Barack Obama, foreign policy neophyte and “reset” man, the arms reduction agreement had a Kissingerian air. A fine feather in his cap. And our president likes his plumage.

    Unfortunately for the United States, the country Obama represents, the prospective treaty is useless at best, detrimental at worst.

    Useless because the level of offensive nuclear weaponry, the subject of the U.S.-Russia “Joint Understanding,” is an irrelevance. We could today terminate all such negotiations, invite the Russians to build as many warheads as they want, and profitably watch them spend themselves into penury, as did their Soviet predecessors, stockpiling weapons that do nothing more than, as Churchill put it, make the rubble bounce.

    Detrimental because Obama’s hunger for a diplomatic success, such as it is, allowed the Russians to exact a price: linkage between offensive and defensive nuclear weapons.

    This is important for Russia because of the huge American technological advantage in defensive weaponry. We can reliably shoot down an intercontinental ballistic missile. They cannot. And since defensive weaponry will be the decisive strategic factor of the 21st century, Russia has striven mightily for a quarter-century to halt its development. Gorbachev tried to swindle Reagan out of the Strategic Defense Initiative at Reykjavik in 1986. Reagan refused. As did his successors — Bush I, Clinton, Bush II.

    Obama, who seeks to banish nuclear weapons entirely, has little use for such prosaic contrivances. First, the Obama budget actually cuts spending on missile defense, at a time when federal spending is a riot of extravagance and trillion-dollar deficits. Then comes the “pause” (as Russia’s president appreciatively noted) in the planned establishment of a missile shield in Eastern Europe. And now the “Joint Understanding” commits us to a new treaty that includes “a provision on the interrelationship of strategic offensive and strategic defensive arms.” Obama further said that the East European missile shield “will be the subject of extensive negotiations” between the United States and Russia.

    Poland and the Czech Republic thought they were regaining their independence when they joined NATO under the protection of the United States. They now see that the shield negotiated with us and subsequently ratified by all of NATO is in limbo. Russia and America will first have to “come to terms” on the issue, explained President Dmitry Medvedev. This is precisely the kind of compromised sovereignty that Russia wants to impose on its ex-Soviet colonies — and that U.S. presidents of both parties for the last 20 years have resisted.

    Resistance, however, is not part of Obama’s repertoire. Hence his eagerness for arcane negotiations over MIRV’d missiles, the perfect distraction from the major issue between the two countries: Vladimir Putin’s unapologetic and relentless drive to restore Moscow’s hegemony over the sovereign states that used to be Soviet satrapies.

    That — not nukes — is the chief cause of the friction between the U.S. and Russia. You wouldn’t know it to hear Obama in Moscow pledging to halt the “drift” in U.S.-Russian relations. Drift? The decline in relations came from Putin’s desire to undo what he considers “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century — the collapse of the Soviet empire. Hence his squeezing Ukraine’s energy supplies. His overt threats against Poland and the Czech Republic for daring to make sovereign agreements with the United States. And less than a year ago his invading a small neighbor and then effectively annexing two of Georgia’s provinces.

    That’s the cause of the collapse of our relations. Not drift, but aggression. Or, as the reset man referred to it with such delicacy in his Kremlin news conference: “our disagreements on Georgia’s borders.”

  60. AOL Headline O wants Senate to pass medical bill QUICKLY. Well that is what happen to the stimulus bill, which did not quite stimulate. I wonder even who has read it as you can bet that O and many of his staff, not to mention the Senators have NOT
    Believe me. All this traitor wants is a headline. It reminds me of an acquition years ago. The CEO told me, and these were his exact words, I dont care what you negotiate, just get me a headline which I can use to advance my agenda on a broader front.

    Once upon a time, the President of Bechtel
    the San Francisco based contruction outfit and one time eyes and ears for the CIA was told that there was this hot deal–they always tell you that to generate deal heat, but you must act immediately.

    His response was classic and should be engraved in the rotunda of Capitol Hill, towit. ” Whenever someone asks me to make a decision before I have studied it, and if I do not act now the opportunity will be lost, I have one unfailing response. The answer to the deal is NO! Mary Bono and Sheriff Reichart should commit that one to memory–traitors/

  61. 13/07/2009 | Moscow News №26 2009
    Peter Lavelle

    Obama ain’t no rock star

    Russia-US relations may or may not be on the mend – or “reset” – after Barack Obama’s visit.

    Even I’ll admit (and I’m hard to please) there’s some genuine goodwill on both sides to repair a relationship that has been out of whack since the end of the Cold War. However, the same goodwill remains a rarity to many in the Western media. For them, the Russian people weren’t grateful enough and even didn’t deserve Obama’s visit.

    We are told that the “Great Obama Show” flopped in Russia.

    America’s “commander-in-speech” didn’t leave Russians cheering and clamouring for more. Added to this is the assumed reason: It is not Obama’s fault – the Russian people should be blamed for not embracing the world’s greatest gig on the political stage. This line of thinking is typically Western, particularly American, cultural arrogance. Politics should not be equated with entertainment.

    Articles in The New York Times (“In Russia, Obama’s Star Power Does Not Translate”) and The Washington Post (“In Russia, Obama’s Limited Reach”) serve as examples of a particular attitude towards Russians: they react to political events and ideas in ways contrary to supposed international norms.

    When Obama visited Prague in the spring, he was welcomed as a titan. This shouldn’t have surprised anyone – many Czechs are disillusioned with the European Union. Membership of the bloc was supposed to mean affluence, stability and a seat at the adult table with the powerful Western countries. Well, things worked out differently and badly. For the Czechs, Obama appeared to be the long-awaited agent of change. Today the Czech Republic is a second-tier European country that reports to the Brussels bureaucracy and is dead set against Washington’s anti-missile plans for Eastern Europe.

    Obama has equivocated on this issue and is a strong supporter of global nuclear disarmament. Thus, the Czechs had a number of reasons to embrace Obama.

    In Cairo, the Obama magic worked again. Washington’s perceived crusade against the Arab and Muslim world was addressed when he spoke to Egyptian students. Obama’s address was truly amazing and historic. He admitted the wrongs committed by the US and its allies against the countries and peoples of the Greater Middle East.

    Importantly, he said that the US would again be an honest broker in the region after decades of favouring the Israelis. Whether this will happen is anyone’s guess, but Obama’s admission that American policies had failed and were unjust was reason enough to celebrate him.

    In Moscow, things played out differently. Obama’s handlers probably thought the string of successes in Prague and Cairo could be replicated here. If he could diverge from the usual Washington script and even utter the word “sorry,” then everything would be alright. Well, this didn’t go down well here. Forgiveness isn’t really the issue for Russians.

    Particularly young Russians want much more from the US than the Czechs or the Egyptians do. What the Western media described as Obama’s star qualities were never really in play here.

    Russia has its politicians and rock stars, but they’re not idolised like gods.

    Mikhail Gorbachev claimed to know what was best for the Russian people and he failed. Boris Yeltsin claimed to know the same and failed (with a lot of American support). Russia’s current political elite is a lot less ambitious. It hopes for the best and admits there are hard days ahead.

    America’s expectations of leaders is not the international norm, it’s a dangerous exception. Obama does indeed have rock star qualities, but he isn’t a rock star – he’s a politician of hope. Western media will eventually trip him up and bring him back to earth. In the meantime, Russians will continue to demand a better standard of living and status on the world stage.

    All of this is not too sexy, but it’s what most Russians want from their leaders. When they want a rock star, they go to a concert or turn on the radio. They’re not looking for a political leader from abroad to play that role. n

    Peter Lavelle is a political commentator at Russia Today television. His opinions are his own and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


    “For them, the Russian people weren’t grateful enough and even didn’t deserve Obama’s visit.”

    Well that say it all. The media is broken.

  62. My God, Charles and Peter really laid it out. The Russian people went up in my estimates. They actually expect a Leader to be a Leader.

    I am not sure if the other visits faired that well either. They were probably serving beer.

  63. The problem with Obama’s visit to Russia (full disclosure: I was born and raised in the Ukraine, before the collapse of the USSR), the problem is that Obama went there expecting the Russians to reach out to him. He wanted them to do the hard work. He was just going to grace them with his presence. But it doesn’t work that way. Russians are a cynical bunch, and I don’t consider cynicism to be a dirty word. They don’t get carried away by rhetoric, not anymore. They want results. And what did Obama bring to the table? Himself? Who cares! The reason Putin is such a rock star in Russia is that he did bring something to the table: wages, food, stability, wealth. Until Putin came along the country was in disarray; Gorbachev and Yeltsin brought it there. And Putin gave people something tangible they can hold on to. Obama brings just words, but the Russians – particularly the young ones – remember Gorbachev and Yeltsin’s words and they know words won’t buy them bread. I remember reading that before his first meeting with Gorbachev Reagan watched Russian movies to better understand the people and the culture. I detest Reagan, but in that he approached his responsibilities with pragmatism and respect. Obama wanted the Russians to do all of his work for him. And why should the Russians care about who the American president is? His race is of no consequence to them, so the historicalness of it all is definitely lost in translation.

  64. Great article by Krauthammer. I think he has not only terrific insights but terrific sources. He is the opposite end of the spectrum from Ben Smith and his ilk who are at best lap dogs.

    The central dispute between the United States and Russia is exactly what he says it is, and Obama wanted a superficial headline so badly that he offered no resistance to what Putin wants, not even pro forma.

    With a fool like him at the helm, one can only speculate where we will be four years from now. He gives up strategic advantage and competitive advantages built over a century, carelessly and at the drop of a hat. And what does he get in return. Personal adulation–nothing more.

  65. The thing about the Russians is that they are pragmatists – they do not expect another country’s leader to be all global-community mushy lovey, and have no patience with all joining hands and singing “We Are The World”.

    They EXPECT another country’s leader to come to the bargaining table with HIS country’s interests at heart, and as his primary concern. That is the definition of a leader. Not for him to be an ass, not to be stubborn and arrogant and unwilling to negotiate (that’s the opposite extreme), but to REPRESENT his own country’s needs and desires, and to negotiate hard on his country’s behalf.

    Obama is a prime example of the thing they least respect – a “leader” who will roll over and sell out HIS OWN PEOPLE in order to gain the favor of “the global community”. I can well imagine that they felt nothing but contempt for that sort of cowardice. The very idea is foreign to them.

  66. dyb: well said. It frightens them to see that there are people in the world who have enough common sense to ignore the hype and focus on what is essential. A country like ours that cannot seem to do that is in real trouble. When iconography replaces problemsolving the end is near.

  67. Rockefeller patterns a healthcare ‘reform’ bill on the Federal Reserve

    June 14, 2009

    RED FLAG ALERT! The depraved Jay Rockerfeller, another “tool” of the Obama Administration that continues maintaining a Senate seat in WVA (Why or How? Don’t ask me!) plans on creating a Health Care/Medi-Care Agency governed by the Executive Branch. Be afraid- be really afraid!

    Jun 1, 2009

    big.bird Things are getting stranger and stranger in D.C. and the promise of change now definitely looks like the same old game with Medicare: invite the HMOs in to brainstorm cuts in services to people who need them most.

    Behind this is a new bill submitted on May 20 by Senator John D. “Jay” Rockefeller IV (D, W.VA.), chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care. It authorizes the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC, created in 1997) to go even further and set lists of approved treatment standards and actually have enforcement powers over methods of healthcare delivery and reimbursement. You just think about that for a minute.

    This time “The MedPAC Reform Act” is calling for MedPAC to be made up of “independent experts” as an “executive agency modeled after the Federal Reserve.” Is that because the Fed has done such an incredibly super job of throwing our money after banks and other dinosauric corporations like AIG?

    Do we need still another shark tank of “experts” with vested interests and little transparency over their actions, spending your money as they will, and as fast as they print it. Yes, just as the Federal Reserve serves private financial interests, so too the new health care reimbursement agency will serve the HMOs, demanding their (your) blood money. This is the opposite of what Obama promised in his “Change” campaign.

    But then, politicians as we all know will and do say anything to get elected. Reality is another thing. And Rockefeller claims that an enhanced, empowered MedPAC would not be, and get this, subject to the “whims of Congress.” Excuse me? Jay said this and more about his bill in a recent interview with Washington Post healthcare writer, Ceci Connolly. He added, “To truly achieve transformative health care reform, we need to separate the special interests from the decision makers.” Think about that for a while.

    He added “We must take Congress out of its current role [representing the people?] . . . It is inefficient and ineffective; we are not health-care experts, and being a deliberative body means that we cannot keep pace with the rapidly transforming health-care marketplace.” Congress is not made up of all arms experts yet they appropriate billions every year to the Department of Defense. When we leave it to the generals to do on their own buying pell-mell, we end up with them in bed with big defense corporations, creating multi-billion dollar white elephants that don’t fly, i.e, incredible waste.

    In fact, in the true tradition of the Rockefeller family and their treasonous involvement and leadership in the Bilderberg Group, Jay Rockefeller is trying to circumvent the duly elected legislative body of the people to make side deals with private corporations, utilizing MedPAC’s “experts,” and hence have more money to pour down the corporations’ ever dollar-hungry gullets, not to mention the bankrupt banks’ maws.

    The very idea of setting up an “independent” national commission to declare what doctors and hospitals can and cannot do is odious — a step totally in the wrong direction for both the right and left sides of the Obama/Baucus health-care “reform” discussion. It is made to order to keep the money flowing right down the drain of the financial cadre behind the HMOs.

    Until now, the very idea of this flagrantly “special interest” bill has not been permitted in the United States. Unfortunately, the model for it comes express-direct from Britain and is called the “National Institute for Clinical Excellence,” or NICE, more appropriately “Nazi-Inspired Citizen Eradication”. NICE was set up 11 years ago and passes on what medications, treatments, and services cannot be allowed to be given in the health-care system. It can easily become the “euthanasia express,” with its “Kevorkians,” excuse me, “experts” deciding who lives and who dies and when.

    There is a distinctly inhuman, illegal feeling about this bill. But then Rockefeller’s latest bill is one of dozens that have been filed recently in Congress, each with various slants, but all consistent with the un-American, Nazi-medicine edge.

    They will all be detailed soon in Obama/Baucus/Grassley’s “comprehensive health care reform” act in June. For instance, a version that was filed last week in the Senate called the “Advance Planning and Compassionate Care Act,” was to help citizens decide when to reduce expensive treatments in their “end-of-life” experiences. Can you believe it? It is again sponsored by Jay Rockefeller, Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), and others. This is not science fiction, folks. These geeks (vultures/saboteurs- my emphassis) are for real. They just sound like they’re from another planet.

    In fact, Rockefeller personally desires backing the principle of providing health care for all, especially kids, so they can practice these little tricks on everyone. He would also like to have Medicare open to enrolling people 55 years old and up, to get the “experts” hands on them earlier. But the caveat, my dears, is that he wants his NICE agency patterned on Britain’s model to “service them.”

    NICE will decide when and how to cut care for the enrollees so that the HMO systems get their pound of flesh, yours or mine, and more. My advice, beloved fellow citizens, old, middle-aged and young, is to be careful of this Rockefeller, this elitist playing Democratic senator and his bunch. And be careful of all who offer your healthcare up as a honey-pot for the healthcare and Big Pharma bears — just like the Federal Reserve does with taxpayer money for the banks.

    As to Obama, he couldn’t care less. He just wants to cut a couple of trillion from his first term expenditures, the monies he’s already given away to the banks, so that he has more to spend next time around. Stay tuned. More to come!

  68. Hillary4Texas–absolutely right. And in their own rise to power they have met their share of phonies like him, who ingratiate themsleves to power but leave the heavy lifting to others even as they take credit for it.

  69. “Obama is a prime example of the thing they least respect – a “leader” who will roll over and sell out HIS OWN PEOPLE in order to gain the favor of “the global community”.”



    You nailed it! Great post.

  70. “Jay Rockefeller is trying to circumvent the duly elected legislative body of the people to make side deals with private corporations.”



  71. I went to West Virginia during the campaign. I was struck by the beauty of the place, and the way it resembles a feudal society. The governor is a shady character–his name is Joe Manchion, but his real name is Mancini. The attorney I talked to made a big point of that. He also made the case that Rockafeller is like a feudal prince in that state. Lots of poverty, low education level, all in keeping with the designs of Jay. I do not like the man. Never have. Classic limosene liberal. He did the things that others do, peace corps, global causes. But he is someone who is interested only in power and frankly the state and country would be far better off without him. In some ways he reminds you of Teddy Kennedy.

  72. One other point. Mansion made a commitment to endorse whoever won the primary, Hillary won it and then he went silent. I tried to get the attorney who knew him to make a personal request. He was afraid to do so because of who the guy is and because of Rockafeller. He told me you dont know how things work in this state. It is much worse than where you come from.

  73. I just wanted to make a comment about the PANTLESS PALIN.

    For some time I have noticed how women, playing leader roles on TV really dress like the men, blue jeans, no purse, very masculine really. Don’t get me wrong, some of them are gorgous women, but they tended to really take on a male persona.

    HOWEVER The Closer lady is entirely different. She carries a purse, puts on bright lipstick, and usually wears a great outfit. This is the first young tough women I have see in a lead detective role, that portrays her as a feminine women. I really think this is a good sign, and really one Palin is projecting. Just because you put on a skirt, and have a purse, does not mean your IQ goes down. Now we all know why HRC wears the pant suits, it is because of her legs, so I am not bashing her, I am just taking note of something I have observed.

    This is also true of the books written staring female detectives, they act like men. Now there is one writer that portrays women as women, but they are usually everyday people that become detectives to solve a personnel crime.

    So, maybe we are making some progress here. It is hard to look at Palin and not find her a very attractive person. I guess we will hear that shxt again that we heard about the women lawyer whom the men claimed was too attractive to be in court with them, and practice her profession. Palin is just too gorgous to be President, as we cannot keep our minds on our work.

    But then most of them are having a hard time keeping their minds and eyes where they should be anyway.

  74. If she was being “iced out” so blatantly, it’s hard to conceive that she would still be on board………………..she is , if nothing else, a woman who commands respect.

  75. I understand perfectly what happen in WV. In NM it became obvious that O was the choice and had been all along, even though HRC won the Primary here. When our Axxhole Gov endorsed someone for Rep, the rest need not apply. But then many of the party leaders are also State employees, and the Rep endorsed was one. Their bonuses are based on how much they support the Gov, so we know that they stand up and salute.

    So much for a Democracy within the parties.

  76. I really don’t believe in the Party sytem anymore, as they do not represent the people’s will, and in the case of the Dims, they are not a democracy. So Palin acting like an I, outside of her party to me is a breath of fresh air.

  77. Just another hit Job by the Post…surprised Boomberg had so much venom as well, but it’s all politics. Hillary is never returning to NY as either senator or governor. Obama has pretty much sealed her fate and lets just hope he doesn’t force her out in 2012
    He has already forced her out. The question is what does she do about it. New York remains an option. As for Bloomberg, he is a plutocat who deals in politics and may have his own designs on the governors office. Probably not a senate seat, because he fancies himself an executive. He is the kind of individal we do not want in politics. Burke claimed you wanted wealthy people in parliament because they could not be bribed. I do not want them in congress for the very same reason and because behind every great fortune there is a great crime. Just ask Jay and Teddy.

  78. Of course Jay and Teddy would dismiss such seditious statements as class warfare, to which I say I am merely calling the game on what people like them have been doing to our country for years. There is something perverse about someone who is not content with the power of their money and business connections, but feel compelled like Laughtenberg et al to grab that final brass ring of politics to give themsleves absolute power. It works for the good of society rarely if ever. Roosevelt is the conspicuous exception, but he was willing to take on the banks and his old friends for the good of the country, which people like Bloomberg most likely are not.

  79. I know it gets cold and dark in Maine during those long winters, but even so I cannot understand why they elect people like Collins. Who counts the votes?

  80. Well if she has indeed been “iced” or “forced” out, then it’s all to the good in my humble opinion. She won’t be blamed for bambi and his thugs stupid mistakes that just keep happening over and over again.

  81. That’s the cause of the collapse of our relations. Not drift, but aggression. Or, as the reset man referred to it with such delicacy in his Kremlin news conference: “our disagreements on Georgia’s borders.”
    In 1939 Hitler had a disagreement with Poland about its borders. But if you are Bambi and have no sense of history then that is irrelevant because it happened before Bush became president.

  82. stockpiling weapons that do nothing more than, as Churchill put it, make the rubble bounce
    The problem is, the huge stockpiles of nuclear weapons are aging and have to be maintained at increasing cost (>$5 billion/yr). Most of these weapons were designed in the ’60s and ’70s when “design” was more art than science and were not built with “long shelf” life as a goal. As Sec Gates has pointed out, we are getting to the point were the stock pile is needed because we don’t know which ones will actually “work”. His proposal is that we design and build a more reliable weapon and replace the existing stockpile with a few reliable “bombs”.

    “We can reliably shoot down an intercontinental ballistic missile.”
    Nonsense…After a lot of failures, the “test” goal were achieved by “shooting” down missiles with known launch times, known course and no counter measures. Success was declared and deployment was begun. I can’t find any evidence that the system has had any additional testing especially with anything that approaches a “real” event.

  83. NewMexicoFan> Helen Mirren’s Detective Jane Tennyson on the “Prime Suspect” series always wore skirts. I only remember 1 pantsuit in the entire series. She usually carried a purse and wore lipstick, too!

  84. DYB, thanks for the tip on Jane Tennyson. I had not seen that one. I will look that up.

    I simple want women portrayed as women. I know that we should be who we are. When we present ourselves as male replicas, and we make compromises to keep the men happy, such as all of the women’s groups did in the primary and general election, we have allowed them to rape us of who we are.

    Women’s group should represent women as they really are, and not bow down to a political party to keep or get what they think women should deserve. They should have stood above the political system, and stood for the women, and their right to be who they are.

    The compromised made in the last political cycle put women’s right behind significantly. This was not a single issue election such as choice. In fact that was not the issue at all. The issue was how do we support women as leaders. Instead, they sold their souls to the men FOR WHAT?

  85. Okay, here’s my latest economic rant, regarding the hopium smokers who keep trilling about green shoots every time there’s a DOW uptick. They are fucking idiots, ignoring the obvious.

    The problem is not merely that the govt must deficit-spend to get us out of this. That can be borne (though whether any of the spending they are doing is actual stimulus is another matter.)

    The biggest problem is that the CONSUMER is not only underemployed, but is LEVERAGED TO THE HILT. The truth is that Americans have been driving their spending levels in recent years not on wages and income, but on credit. The demand that fueled our economy has not been real, it has been an illusion, created by easy credit cards and pulling money out of their homes. 70% of our GDP (the consumer) is in debt up to their EYEBALLS, with no way to pay it off.

    There will be no recovery, because recovery has to come from the 70% of GDP that is the consumer. With no jobs, and the personal debt wall now slamming them in the face, it is going to be a very long time before Americans can go back to spending. A big chunk of that personal debt (not govt debt) HAS to be brought down to reasonable levels before large enough numbers of people will start consuming again.

    If Americans do not and cannot spend, THERE WILL BE NO RECOVERY. Period. It cannot happen. The govt could empty the Treasury trying to pull against the weight of the 70% of the GDP that is underwater, and it would still not be enough.

    That’s the ugly truth, and all the “market confidence” in the world is not going to change that basic math.

  86. As if Michigan is not suffering enough – Obama is going there today. Obama is going to Michigan to salvage the Dimocrats who gifted him the nomination. But Obama is turning to poison for Michiganders. The Detroit News greeted Obama with this editorial:–Obama-s-stimulus-plan-is-not-working

    President Barack Obama’s plan to attack the recession through massive deficit spending is not producing the results the president promised in February when he convinced the American people to go deep into hock in the name of creating jobs and boosting economic growth.

    Obama is well into spending the $787 million approved by Congress for his stimulus programs, and yet the unemployment rate is still climbing and economic recovery remains elusive.

    Administration economists projected that the huge influx of borrowed federal dollars would keep the national unemployment rate from breaking through the 8 percent mark. It stands at 9.5 percent today and is still rising.

    Since the stimulus money was targeted toward so-called shovel-ready projects, the promise was that it would provide an almost immediate economic surge. Although spending of the stimulus money is ahead of schedule, it has not pushed economic growth upward. Even the construction industry, flush with cash for road building and other infrastructure projects, is lagging last year’s performance.

    There’s also little evidence that roughly an equal amount of taxpayer money poured into the banks and other financial institutions has done much to free up credit markets.

    Proponents of big government spending see the failure of the stimulus package to deliver measurable results not as evidence that the strategy was wrong, but rather that not enough money was placed behind it. They’re advocating yet another stimulus program, equal to or bigger than the last.

    That would compound the mistake and drag the nation even deeper into debt. Borrowing has already pushed beyond the reckless level — the federal deficit is now nearly 12 percent of total economic output.

    Printing or borrowing even more money to fund this failed experiment would devalue the dollar and increase the likelihood of devastating inflation.

    We said when Obama first proposed this spending explosion that it was the wrong way to stimulate the economy. That’s now fact.

    Instead of more spending, Obama and Congress should turn to the only proven stimulus strategy: cutting taxes. Corporate and individual tax rates should be cut substantially, at all income levels, and the administration should signal that there will be no new taxes for anyone. Taxpayers allowed to keep more of their own money would spread it around the economy and trigger a broad and sustainable rebound.

    The president should signal that his No. 1 priority is reviving the economy and set aside those pieces of his agenda — carbon cap-and-trade and health care reform specifically — that carry the serious risk of killing jobs and raising the costs of goods and services.

    Particularly, it ought to be clear to everyone in Washington that a nation that has squandered more than a trillion dollars on failed stimulus efforts can’t afford the $100 billion to $200 billion 10-year price tag for Obama’s health care proposal.

    Obama has taken fiscal irresponsibility to unprecedented heights. He can’t keep spending like this.

    The administration and Congress should act now to bring the spending train to a screeching halt, find ways to make deep cuts in the federal budget and let individual taxpayers act as the primary agents for stimulating the economy.

  87. Continued rant: And the American consumer is the ONLY player here that is being forced to deleverage. The banksters continue to refuse to realize any losses, and take more of our tax money to boot.

    Did you see the Geithner video where he was questioned about whether TARP funds that are paid back are really “paid back”? (Remember, a big part of how they sold it was the idea that some of that money would get paid back.)

    The upshot was that no, even funds paid back will remain available to the banks if they need them. So we’ve basically established a 700 billion fucking perpetual line-of-credit for them. Way to reduce that moral hazard, and encourage more ethical behavior, huh?

    God, this shit makes me so angry I could SPIT.

  88. Palin takes Obahmbo to the Woodshed!!

    The ‘Cap And Tax’ Dead End

    By Sarah Palin
    Tuesday, July 14, 2009

    There is no shortage of threats to our economy. America’s unemployment rate recently hit its highest mark in more than 25 years and is expected to continue climbing. Worries are widespread that even when the economy finally rebounds, the recovery won’t bring jobs. Our nation’s debt is unsustainable, and the federal government’s reach into the private sector is unprecedented.

    Unfortunately, many in the national media would rather focus on the personality-driven political gossip of the day than on the gravity of these challenges. So, at risk of disappointing the chattering class, let me make clear what is foremost on my mind and where my focus will be:

    I am deeply concerned about President Obama’s cap-and-trade energy plan, and I believe it is an enormous threat to our economy. It would undermine our recovery over the short term and would inflict permanent damage.

    American prosperity has always been driven by the steady supply of abundant, affordable energy. Particularly in Alaska, we understand the inherent link between energy and prosperity, energy and opportunity, and energy and security. Consequently, many of us in this huge, energy-rich state recognize that the president’s cap-and-trade energy tax would adversely affect every aspect of the U.S. economy.

    There is no denying that as the world becomes more industrialized, we need to reform our energy policy and become less dependent on foreign energy sources. But the answer doesn’t lie in making energy scarcer and more expensive! Those who understand the issue know we can meet our energy needs and environmental challenges without destroying America’s economy.

    Job losses are so certain under this new cap-and-tax plan that it includes a provision accommodating newly unemployed workers from the resulting dried-up energy sector, to the tune of $4.2 billion over eight years. So much for creating jobs.

    In addition to immediately increasing unemployment in the energy sector, even more American jobs will be threatened by the rising cost of doing business under the cap-and-tax plan. For example, the cost of farming will certainly increase, driving down farm incomes while driving up grocery prices. The costs of manufacturing, warehousing and transportation will also increase.

    The ironic beauty in this plan? Soon, even the most ardent liberal will understand supply-side economics.

    The Americans hit hardest will be those already struggling to make ends meet. As the president eloquently puts it, their electricity bills will “necessarily skyrocket.” So much for not raising taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year.

    Even Warren Buffett, an ardent Obama supporter, admitted that under the cap-and-tax scheme, “poor people are going to pay a lot more for electricity.”

    We must move in a new direction. We are ripe for economic growth and energy independence if we responsibly tap the resources that God created right underfoot on American soil. Just as important, we have more desire and ability to protect the environment than any foreign nation from which we purchase energy today.

    In Alaska, we are progressing on the largest private-sector energy project in history. Our 3,000-mile natural gas pipeline will transport hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of our clean natural gas to hungry markets across America. We can safely drill for U.S. oil offshore and in a tiny, 2,000-acre corner of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge if ever given the go-ahead by Washington bureaucrats.

    Of course, Alaska is not the sole source of American energy. Many states have abundant coal, whose technology is continuously making it into a cleaner energy source. Westerners literally sit on mountains of oil and gas, and every state can consider the possibility of nuclear energy.

    We have an important choice to make. Do we want to control our energy supply and its environmental impact? Or, do we want to outsource it to China, Russia and Saudi Arabia? Make no mistake: President Obama’s plan will result in the latter.

    For so many reasons, we can’t afford to kill responsible domestic energy production or clobber every American consumer with higher prices.

    Can America produce more of its own energy through strategic investments that protect the environment, revive our economy and secure our nation?

    Yes, we can. Just not with Barack Obama’s energy cap-and-tax plan.

    The writer, a Republican, is governor of Alaska.

  89. NewMexicoFan> “Prime Suspect” was a magnificent series. There were 7 installments (roughly 3.5 hour movies) made over about 18 years with Mirren as a detective trying to work in a very sexist (among other things) culture of British police. They finished the series with her character’s retirement last year. You should definitely NetFlix it!

  90. July 14, 2009

    Experts: Obama Too Optimistic on Economy

    Politico: Miscalculation Would Mean Much Higher Deficits Than the Administration Is Now Acknowledging

    A series of POLITICO interviews in recent days with independent economists of varied political stripes found widespread disdain for Obama’s first round of assumptions, with some experts invoking such phrases as “rosy” and “fantasy.” (CBS/AP)

    President Barack Obama’s economic forecasts for long-term growth are too optimistic, many economists warn, a miscalculation that would mean budget deficits will be much higher than the administration is now acknowledging.

    The White House will be forced to confront the disconnect between its original, upbeat predictions and the mainstream consensus about how the economy is likely to perform in a new budget forecast to be unveiled next month.

    Christina Romer, chairwoman of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, said in a POLITICO interview that the administration – like many independent economists – did not fully anticipate the severity and pace of this recession. She said the White House will be updating its official forecasts.

    The new numbers will come as part of a semiannual review that, under ordinary circumstances, is the kind of earnest-but-dull document that causes many Washington eyes to glaze over. This time, however, the new forecasts – if they are anything like what many outside economists expect – could send a jolt through Capitol Hill, where even the administration’s current debt projections already are prompting deep concerns on political and substantive grounds.

    Higher deficit figures also would arrive at a critical moment in the health care debate, as lawmakers are already struggling to find a way to pay for the president’s nearly $1 trillion reform package.

    Alternately, if Obama clings to current optimistic forecasts for long-term growth, he risks accusations that he is basing his fiscal plans on fictitious assumptions – precisely the sort of charge he once leveled against the Bush administration.

    White House officials rebuff such suggestions, saying the midyear correction is precisely intended to keep their economic program reality based.
    But a series of POLITICO interviews in recent days with independent economists of varied political stripes found widespread disdain for Obama’s first round of assumptions, with some experts invoking such phrases as “rosy” and “fantasy.”

    Obama’s current forecasts envision 3.2 percent growth next year, 4 percent growth in 2011, 4.6 percent growth in 2012 and 4.2 percent growth in 2013.

    The administration is already under intense pressure over its economic calculations on the most politically sensitive statistic: employment. The administration once vowed to use stimulus policies to keep the jobless rate below 8 percent; it is now just shy of 10 percent. Deficit figures do not pack the same emotional punch as unemployment lines do. But they matter greatly to policymakers and the financial markets as a measure of whether the country can afford Obama’s big agenda.

    And the general public is paying attention, too. In a June NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, a bare majority – 51 percent – of respondents approved of Obama’s handling of the economy, down from 56 percent in February.

    In addition, 58 percent said the president and Congress should focus on keeping deficits down, even if that delays an economic recovery, the poll found. “They used a rosy forecast, and that’s understandable because a quick recovery makes the rest of the agenda possible. It creates the basis for the revenues you need for health care and climate change,” said Robert Shapiro, a former Clinton economic adviser.

    “But it’s also dangerous and risky because if the forecast doesn’t come true, you’ve undermined the basis for the rest of your policies,” he added.

    White House officials note that at the time of their forecasting, the depth of the crisis was less clear. For instance, the global reach of the downturn wasn’t fully apparent late last fall.

    Another challenge was that the slowdown “was going from a relatively normal recession into something much worse, and we were at a pivot point, if not a turning oint,” Romer said. “There was just inherently a lot of uncertainty. None of us has a crystal ball, especially at a time when there is a lot of new information coming in. That’s when you have to be ready to update. That’s certainly what a lot of forecasters have done and what we will do, as well,” she added.

    Those outside forecast adjustments have been almost universally in a downward trend. White House officials began to lay the groundwork for the politically ill-timed revisions when Vice President Joe Biden recently conceded the administration had “misread” the economic indicators in January about how bad the economy actually was.

    Obama later amended those remarks, saying the White House had “incomplete” information, which led to their miscalculations.

    Either way, those admissions appear to pave the way for a significant rewrite of the White House’s economic outlook, starting with it growth predictions.
    “Those numbers will prove to be much, much too optimistic,” said J.D. Foster, a former economic adviser in the Bush administration.

    To appreciate the potential problems that can arise once those numbers are changed, consider this: The White House projected revenues for 2012 are forecast at $3.1 trillion. But if growth is just 2 percent, rather than around 4 percent, as some economists now expect, that income would hover around $2.4 trillion – adding another $700 billion to the projected deficit of $581 billion.

    “That would be a significant change in the deficit,” said Foster, who did the math.

    There is a case for hewing close to the administration’s original, out-year conclusions, said some economists. The president’s hope for a burst of new economic activity around “green” jobs in the energy and environment sectors and the kick-in of the infrastructure phase of the stimulus package could provide some healthy growth, economists say.

    “The question is, what will drive the growth? It’s not likely to be the housing market or another tech bubble. We don’t know what it is going to be, but it doesn’t make sense to assume it won’t be anything,” said James Horney, an economist with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

    Still, it’s not clear whether another optimistic outlook will sell on Capitol Hill.

    Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s and a frequent adviser to Capitol Hill, said the worsening economic picture makes passage of health care reform even more essential. “It’s so important for policymakers to show that they will address the long-term fiscal pressures on the economy and budget very, very soon,” he said, including the rising costs of Medicare and Medicaid that are overwhelming the federal budget. The key for outside investors, he said, is “to see if policymakers credibly pay for it.” If Congress does it right, “that could be quite a positive thing” by boosting U.S. credibility in the world markets that are financing the nation’s debt.

    Roger C. Altman, another former Clinton economic adviser, recently suggested in a Wall Street Journal column that Congress move aggressively on health care reform and Social Security – both fixes that could ease deficit pressures.
    “Public anxiety over deficits may make this fix [of Social Security funding] possible now, even though it has been elusive for years,” he said.

    But Peter Morici, a University of Maryland economist, said the White House should set aside major domestic initiatives and focus on stabilizing the economy by attacking the trade deficit.
    “The spending required for health care, the tax on business with a [climate change] cap-and-trade system, and the wasteful spending inside the stimulus will finish the job that the Chinese mercantilism began,” he said. “We’re eaded for a disaster here.” Go slow is also Shapiro’s guidance, suggesting a phased-in approach to any universal health care insurance program, which would delay its full costs.

    Almost all of the economists interviewed – including former Bush White House officials – were sympathetic to the Obama economic team’s plight. Its January forecasts didn’t deviate sharply back, then, from most other predictions by established and respected economic experts. The Congressional Budget Office, for instance, predicted growth in 2012 of 4.4 percent, compared with the White House’s 4.6 percent. But some worry the administration now is on the verge of making another mistake by inadequately addressing the next big threat: inflation fears.

    No one can predict when that day will come, but many think now that it will be sooner rather than later. When it does come, the Federal Reserve Bank will face a Hobson’s choice, said Morici: either runaway inflation or higher interest rates, both of which could stall a recovery and send the economy back into recession.

    The Fed’s decision to pump money into the economy to stave off disaster in the financial sector and elsewhere last year was understandable, said Foster. “But a price must be paid for what they did,” he added, and that means withdrawing that liquidity from the market to combat inflation. “In this case, the amount of liquidity to be withdrawn is unprecedented,” he added.

    Zandi doesn’t dismiss Foster’s scenario, but he said it’s possible the country could get through inflation scares without as much damage. “I think policymakers will do roughly the right thing with health care reform and get a reasonably credible package from a fiscal perspective,” he said. “Then the current stimulus will be reasonably sufficient to push us out of recession later this year and into early recovery,” he added.

  91. I’m watching the Sontemayor hearings, and Lindsey Graham is the designated attack dog for abortion. I wonder why they give that job to the “confirmed bachelor”? Weird.

    I’m from SC originally, and the whole damn state tiptoes around Sen. Graham’s status. It’s weird. You’d have to live there. I’d dare say that around 70% of the population there assumes he’s gay, but you aren’t supposed to say that out loud. It’s a DADT policy.

  92. Another brilliant essay, Admin.

    however, I’d like to state for the record that Frieden is, was and always be a whiny-voiced yenta with too much friggin time on her hands.

  93. Clinton removes sling from broken elbow

    WASHINGTON (AFP) — Less than a month after breaking her elbow, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared Tuesday in public without a sling.

    Welcoming Latvian Foreign Minister Maris Riekstins for talks at the State Department, the chief US diplomat even moved her injured right arm without apparent difficulty while posing for the cameras before their meeting.

    The right-handed Clinton did not go as far as following protocol and shaking the minister’s hand but it was the first time she appeared to be using her arm again since her injury on June 17.

    In speaking Monday to the US Agency for International Development, she wore a sling over her right arm that bore a State Department seal: a bald eagle holding an olive branch in one claw and thirteen arrows in the other.

    It symbolizes the first 13 states of the union.

    In the last few weeks, Clinton has often worked from home and canceled trips to Italy, Greece and Russia while she receives physical therapy to help her recover from the fall she suffered in the basement of the State Department.

    On Wednesday Clinton plans to give a major speech on US foreign policy, six months after assuming the role of chief US diplomat. On Thursday, she resumes foreign travel when she departs for India and Thailand.

  94. JanH … great news about Hillary…



    An enterprising college student, Ariel Boone, has used the White House staff/salary list to do some digging on gender and pay disparities. Here’s what she found:

    On average, a White House woman earns $9,168 less than a White House man.

    A woman’s median WH salary is $57,314, while a man’s median WH salary is $65,000.
    According to Boone’s research, the gap is due to women being clustered in lower-level positions, while men are more likely to have executive jobs. This chart breaks it down:

    It’s not surprising that the White House — an extremely elite, competitive place to work — follows the same patterns we see in the private sector, of women being outnumbered in top positions and over-represented among “assistants.” Just a reminder that even in progressive politics, we have to stay vigilant about mentoring young women, promoting them, and offering both women and men the work-life balance that allows them to maintain careers as they get into their thirties and forties and begin having kids.

    –Dana Goldstein

    there is a graph on the website…

  95. Again, so what did NOW and NARAL get for their betrayal. Must be thirteen pieces of silver, as they obviously did not get equal pay in the WH. You cannot tell me that we have no qualified women to put into those executive positions. One would have thought that the women organization would have insisted on this as part of their agreement to endorse him. Oh, well, obviously they do not represent women. We need some new organizations.

  96. JULY 15, 2009 Small Business Faces Big Bite: $1.04 Trillion House Health Bill Hits All but Tiniest Firms for Not Providing Insurance

    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON — House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled sweeping health-care legislation that would hit all but the smallest businesses with a penalty equal to 8% of payroll if they fail to provide health insurance to workers.

    The House bill, which also would impose new taxes on the wealthy estimated to bring in more than $500 billion over a decade, came as lawmakers in the Senate raced against a self-imposed Thursday deadline to find ways to finance their health-care bill. Senators are weighing a combination of several more-modest tax increases, including some that would hit health-care industries.

    Under the House measure, employers with payrolls exceeding $400,000 a year would have to provide health insurance or pay the 8% penalty. Employers with payrolls between $250,000 and $400,000 a year would pay a smaller penalty, and those less than $250,000 would be exempt.

    The relatively low thresholds for penalties triggered criticism from Republicans, who said the burden on small business is too high. Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan, the top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee, said the House bill would “impose massive new taxes and mandates on employers, especially small businesses.”

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the measure aims to lower health costs for Americans. “Holding down the cost of health care is certainly our No. 1 objective,” the California Democrat said.

    The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday calculated the cost of the bulk of the House bill at $1.04 trillion over 10 years, in line with President Barack Obama’s desired budget for a health overhaul. That estimate doesn’t include revenue from a new tax on the wealthiest Americans, as well as several other changes lawmakers made to the bill in recent weeks.

    The House bill would place new taxes on the wealthiest people to help expand insurance coverage to the nation’s 46 million uninsured people. The legislation calls for a 5.4% surtax on individuals and families with annual gross incomes exceeding $1 million.

    Households with annual income between $500,000 a year and $1 million would be hit with a 1.5% surtax, and those earning between $350,000 and $500,000 would face a 1% surtax. Those rates could eventually increase to 3% and 2%, respectively, if the government doesn’t achieve certain health-cost savings.

    The 1,018-page initiative contains several components pushed by liberal Democrats that were long expected to be part of House legislation, but which face considerable opposition in the Senate. Most notably, the House bill creates a new public health-insurance plan aimed at individuals and small businesses that otherwise can’t get affordable insurance.

    Both chambers would expand health-insurance coverage through the Medicaid federal-state insurance program for the poor.

    The House measure would bar insurance companies from denying coverage to individuals who are sick, while also requiring most Americans to carry health insurance or pay a penalty equal to about 2.5% of their gross income. It would provide families earning up to $88,000 a year with subsidies to help them buy coverage.

    The Senate legislation is also expected to include mandates on insurers to provide coverage and individuals to carry it, although the details may differ. The bigger differences will come on the financing side, where many senators are cautious about introducing major new taxes on the wealthy to pay for health care.

    The White House is pushing hard for action before the August recess in both houses of Congress to give lawmakers time to reconcile their two versions, pass that compromise through the House and the Senate and send Mr. Obama a final bill by autumn. In the Senate Finance Committee, where lawmakers are trying to craft a bipartisan measure, Chairman Max Baucus was pitching his colleagues on a plan to finance the bill through a combination of more-modest tax increases. He is trying to fill a hole of about $300 billion over 10 years, after Democrats objected to a provision to tax upper-end employee health benefits.

    The fresh package included a new fee on pharmaceuticals and other health-care industries, and stiffer corporate-reporting measures aimed at collecting a greater share of corporate taxes owed each year, two Senate aides said.
    Under the proposal, health industries including drug makers and insurers would be charged an assessment, with individual companies’ fees based on their market share. “The goal here is a bunch of smaller, less controversial items that can add up,” one official said.

    Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) said he was bouyed by the new package. “There are many options that I think are a lot easier sledding than taxing benefits,” he said.

    The package may still include a modified version of the plan to tax high-end employer-provided health insurance, though on a smaller scale. Details weren’t available.

    Mr. Baucus spent much of the day meeting one-on-one with members of his committee, and he put on an optimistic face. “We’re going to pass very significant health reform this year,” the Montana Democrat said.

    But the pre-recess deadline appeared in danger as Republicans expressed concern that the process is moving too quickly. Sen. Olympia Snowe, a key Republican whom Mr. Baucus is trying to win over, said Tuesday that the legislation is far too complex to rush and that she saw little chance of moving a bill through the Senate before the August break. “I frankly couldn’t imagine at this point bringing it to the floor and completing our deliberations…before the August recess,” the Maine senator said. She said “arbitrary, artificial time frames really are not realistic given the magnitude of the task we are assigned to do.”

    In addition to health care, the White House also hopes for action on energy and financial-sector regulation, both of which would consume time this fall. At a White House meeting with top Democratic leaders on Monday, Mr. Obama pushed Mr. Baucus to produce legislation by Thursday.

    Senators are now talking openly of keeping the chamber in session an extra week, though some say that is simply a tactic to discourage delay by senators who have plans for vacations, congressional trips and hometown activities.

    A further complication is that if it looks as if the Senate can’t or won’t act this summer, many House Democrats are likely to hesitate about voting on a contentious issue — including raising taxes — for something that might never become law.

    Write to Janet Adamy at and Laura Meckler at

  97. JULY 15, 2009

    Obama’s Fiats Anger Lawmakers


    WASHINGTON — With $108 billion in International Monetary Fund loan guarantees in jeopardy last month, White House economic officials begged, cajoled and cut deals with Democrats to secure passage of legislation boosting the fund’s power. Days later, President Barack Obama announced he wasn’t bound by any of the agreements.

    The ensuing flap over the president’s June 24 signing statement is the latest in a series of clashes between the White House and Congress over an issue Mr. Obama once fought against himself: presidential fiat.

    As a candidate, Mr. Obama vowed that he wouldn’t abuse the presidential signing statement, a declaration issued by the president when he signs a bill to give his interpretation of that law. President George W. Bush used so many signing statements — more than 750 — that the American Bar Association criticized it as an abuse of power.

    After Mr. Obama’s issuance of his second signing statement last month, even some Democrats say he isn’t keeping his word on reining in unilateral presidential actions.

    “Of course there’s a broader issue here,” said House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D., Mass.), referring to the brewing battles with Mr. Obama over presidential prerogative. “It’s outrageous. It’s exactly what the Bush people did.”

    A White House official said the signing statement was issued “out of an abundance of caution” to preserve “core presidential prerogatives” in the area of foreign policy. “The administration negotiated in good faith on this bill and has every intention of living up to our commitments undertaken in the legislation,” said White House deputy press secretary Jen Psaki.

    The House last week reinstated the restrictions on the IMF that were undone by the president’s June signing statement, by a vote of 429-2, in a foreign-operations appropriations bill. In a letter slated for delivery on Wednesday, Mr. Frank, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D., Wis.), and New York Democratic Reps. Nita Lowey and Gregory Meeks will inform the president that if he issues another signing statement on IMF and World Bank funding, Congress will cut off the funds he wants.

    Mr. Obama needs good relations with congressional Democrats to help pass his agenda on health care, energy and financial-markets regulation.

    At the London summit of the Group of 20 largest economic powers in April, Mr. Obama had promised to secure large increases in loan guarantees for the IMF. With the Group of Eight summit kicking off soon, failure to make good on that promise would have been an embarrassment.

    Many Republicans opposed the IMF loan-guarantee language, which had been inserted in a war-spending bill making its way through Congress last month, calling it a bailout for international bankers.

    The White House needed to win over balking Democrats. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D., Mass.) and ranking committee Republican Richard Lugar of Indiana said they wanted more transparency from, and oversight over, the World Bank and IMF. Mr. Frank, bargaining for a group of House liberals, wanted assurances that the lenders wouldn’t demand that poor governments cut education, environmental and other social programs as a prerequisite to getting emergency loans.

    Mr. Frank said his talks with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner couldn’t be described as negotiations. Mr. Geithner, he said, was begging. He said Treasury assurances that it would accept these restrictions persuaded him to switch his vote, and that he, in turn, won over several other Democrats.

    Mr. Kerry’s account was similar, saying for the past several months, he had worked with the Senate and Treasury “to encourage financial institutions such as the IMF to become more transparent and accountable.”

    Mr. Obama’s signing statement said the IMF and World Bank provisions “would interfere with my constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations.”

    Write to Jonathan Weisman at

  98. JanH…those two last articles you posted are so disturbing…I am sending them to my friends that are still so invested in republican hate that they cannot even see what is happening right in front of their eyes…with not much help from the media…

    this admin in worse than Bush…Bush III is too kind…these are sneaky, selfish money grabbers…

    why is no one connecting the dots with Goldman, Geithener and O admin…

    I will give props to Dylan Ratigan – he called the admin out yesterday on MSNBC no less on where is O admin and Goldman goes right back to business as usual

    …this is a partial clip from Ratigan


    did you see this one?NEW YORK, July 14 (Reuters) – U.S. government officials are weighing a plan that would let borrowers who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments avoid eviction by renting their homes instead, sources familiar with the administration’s thinking said on Tuesday.

    Under one idea being discussed, delinquent homeowners would surrender ownership of their homes but would continue to live in the property for several years, the sources told Reuters.

    Officials are also considering whether the government should make mortgage payments on behalf of borrowers who cannot keep up with their home loans, tapping an unused portion of a $50 billion housing aid kitty.

    As part of this plan, jobless borrowers might receive a housing stipend along with regular unemployment benefits, the sources said. (Reporting by Patrick Rucker; Editing by Diane Craft)

    and this…

    including photos of tea party protestors that cannot believe O lied to them…

  99. TOO FUNNY!

    “I don’t care if someone’s orange, as long as they’re honest. I don’t go by black and white. I go by right and wrong.”
    Down the Mississippi: Barack Obama effect ends white rule in Deep South town
    A tiny Mississippi delta town has elected its first black mayor after the white incumbent, unopposed for 30 years, faced a young challenger inspired by President Barack Obama’s feat in winning the White House.

    By Toby Harnden in Alligator, Mississippi
    Published: 4:13PM BST 12 Jul 2009

    Tommie ‘Tomaso’ Brown: ‘Obama was a major influence on everybody…he inspired me.’

    Robert Fava is philosophical about steping down as mayor and says he was ready for a change. Jennifer Green and J R Cook disagree about whether Tommie ‘Tomaso’ Brown’s election will improve life in Alligator : JULIAN SIMMONDS

    In a shock result in Alligator (population 220), Tommie “Tomaso” Brown, 38, defeated Robert Fava, the mayor since 1979, owner of the general store and once his opponent’s boss, by 37 votes to 27.

    Mr Brown’s surprise victory was a milestone for Alligator, which is named after the curving lake nearby rather than the alligators that once occupied it. Although the only three businesses in the shrinking, tumble-down town are run by whites, three-quarters of the population is now black.

    “They wanted a black mayor,” said a philosophical Mr Fava, 71. “Another Obama – I think that’s what brought it on. I ran on ’30 years of dedicated service’ and he ran on ’Change’. He promised a swimming pool and a recreation centre, which he can’t do.

    “He beat me by 10 votes because he had enough family folks to put him in. But we get along good. He used to work here at the store and there ain’t no problems between us. They were ready for a change and I was too – it’s a weight off my mind.”

    Alligator, some 90 miles south of Memphis, was once a thriving town whose population swelled to more than 1,000. Its economic backbone was provided by European immigrants, especially Italians, who came to work on the plantations in the Deep South’s fertile Mississippi delta at the start of the 20th Century.

    In the 1920s, the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley railroad ran eight trains a day that stopped at Alligator, dropping off and picking up salesmen who would gamble all day in the town’s Gibson Hotel, built in 1897.

    Other visitors would arrive on boats that plied the Mississippi river from Memphis to New Orleans, transporting timber and grain as well as people. Blacks would play the blues along the town’s Front Street and labour in the fields but everything was run by the whites.

    A yellowing newspaper cutting in Mr Fava’s store tells how Alligator once boasted “two schools, two churches, 16 brick store buildings, two blacksmith shops, two lumber yards, two doctors’ offices…and three modernly-equipped gins.”

    The trains stopped in the 1950s and the hotel closed down around the same time and was demolished. Trailer homes now occupy the space where it once stood, one of them lived in by Mr Brown, who works as a cashier at the Fitzgeralds Casino in nearby Robinsonville.

    Most of the old store fronts are boarded up and grass grows on the pavements. Vacant buildings have been broken into and vandalised. The alligators in the lake have also gone, chased out by beavers whose dams now have to be blown up by farmers because they cause fields to flood.

    All that remains of the town’s once teeming commercial activity is Mr Fava’s Mary Ann’s Country Store, named after his wife; Gator’s grocery and diner owned by his younger brother Ronnie; and Bruno’s liquor and convenience store owned by his cousin Vito Sbravati.

    Though some work in the casinos and on the Mississippi boats, most Alligator residents are farm workers, producing corn, beans, cotton and rice that is shipped the 350 miles down the river to New Orleans, from where it is exported.

    Mr Brown was the first black man ever to stand for Mayor of Alligator and it took Mr Obama’s election to galvanise him into action. “Obama was a major influence on everybody,” he said, almost drowned out by the chirping of crickets in the sweltering afternoon heat. “He inspired me. I’m not going to take that from him.

    “After 30 years, I didn’t think an African-American would be able to be mayor. I didn’t think the position was open to me. When he won, I decided that I knew the changes that needed to be made here and I thought that I could make those changes.

    “If we don’t look after our youth, what do we have? The population is dying out and I want more people here. I want better living conditions.

    I just want the people to be comfortable. Small towns like this depend on government funding and that’s what we’re seeking.

    “I mingle with a lot of the young kids here in the community because if you deal with the people and their problems you understand more what’s going on if you’re out with them.”

    The town’s facilities were substandard, he said, gesturing towards the humble town hall, where a “No Loitering” sign is nailed next to the door. “There isn’t even a phone or a fax machine in there. How can we communicate with the outside world and ask for things?” There was jubilation among the town’s blacks after Mr Brown’s victory.

    “”Everybody out here was whooping and hollering and running and trying to flip,” said Patrina Brown, 25, the new mayor’s niece and newly elected as one of Alligator’s five aldermen.

    Some youngsters ran into Mr Fava’s store to taunt him. “They was pulling down their pants, shouting, ’Kiss my black ass, because we got a black mayor’, swinging their things around and throwing stuff,” said Jennifer Green, 31, a black mother of 10.

    Miss Green is dubious about whether Mr Brown, whose duties will include organising contract labour, overseeing the water and sewer systems and distributing any grant monies, can deliver. “He says there’s going to be lots of changes and everything with all these kids running around here.

    “But he do the same thing they do, drinking beer and stuff. You’ve got to stay at home and study the town. Alligator is the kind of place where if you leave your door open, when you come back there ain’t nothing in your house.

    “There’s guns. Kids knock on your door asking for a beer at three and four in the morning. I get 14-year-olds asking me if I want weed or whatever. They should have just left Mr Robert in there.

    “Tomaso won’t do anything about any of it. He’s going to put his hand in the cookie jar just at the wrong time and get caught.”

    Her boyfriend J. R. Cook, who is white, disagreed. “It was about time for Robert to get out. He was tired. And there ain’t no saints around here. They may be Christian people but when they get out of church it makes no difference.”

    Mr Fava said that relations between blacks and white had been generally good, though crime had increased. “Alligator is a quiet town, except when we get that Voodoo and Rap music.

    “There’s only been one murder in all the time I’ve been here. About five years ago, there was a white lady coming in with a black guy and they got into it and he shot her and tried to burn the body up. They got him and he’s doing time in the penitentiary.”

    Mr Brown said: “Robert’s coming around and accepting the reality now. I used to work for him and his brother and mow his lawn and stuff. It was a shocker for him after 30 years.”

    Up at Bruno’s, at the entrance to Alligator beside Route 61, known as the Blues Highway, dozens of the town’s blacks were spending their Saturday evening outside the store drinking beer and whisky and dancing to music blasting from a boom box. The scent of marijuana hung in the warm air.

    Inside the store, Vito Sbravati, 69, and his wife Christine, 65, were doing a very brisk trade. Next to the door was a photograph of President George W. Bush and his wife Laura thanking the couple for their campaign contributions.

    The town had changed beyond all recognition, they reflected, since Mr Sbravati’s grandfather had arrived at New York’s Ellis Island in 1905 before making the journey by sea to New Orleans and then up the Mississippi to Rosedale, 30 miles from Alligator.

    Mr Sbravati shrugged that his cousin Robert had not been able to get his vote out but said he thought Mr Brown’s election would not make much difference. “I call him Tomaso Obama.”

    The couple will be retiring in two weeks. “It’s not about colour,” said Mrs Sbravati, also a third generation Italian-American in Alligator whose mother, an Allegrezza, married Mr Fava’s Uncle Bruno.

    “I don’t care if someone’s orange, as long as they’re honest. I don’t go by black and white. I go by right and wrong.”

  100. Mary B // July 13, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    New Hampshire stimulus: $8.32 million per job

    With the entire nation wondering at the effectiveness of a stimulus package that has resulted in not saving 2 million jobs thus far, the data on job creation has finally begun to arrive. In New Hampshire, which got $416 million dollars, officials have proudly announced that the money has created jobs — 50 of them, to be exact. Only 34 of them are full time:
    More than $400 million in federal stimulus money has come to New Hampshire this year, and more is on the way.

    The Office of Legislative Budget Assistant reported last week that $413.6 million made its way to the state under a list of programs that involve education, highways, environmental, health and human services, energy and law enforcement. …

    So far, a total of 50 jobs have been created by the funding, 34 of them full time. The OES will be headed by a director whom Gov. John Lynch has not yet appointed. All five OES jobs are described as full-time temporary positions that will go out of existence in September 2011, the end of the federal fiscal year.

    You read that right. The stimulus package in New Hampshire has created 50 temp jobs, apparently all of them bureaucrat positions, and none of them permanent. The Office of Economic Stimulus (OES) employs five of those people, and when the governor appoints the director, that position will pay a $110,000 salary, plus benefits.

    Roughly speaking, those 50 jobs cost the American taxpayer $8.32 million per position. If we calculate part-time positions as one-half of a full-time job, the cost per full-time job would be $9.9 million. At that rate, the $787 billion Porkulus package should generate about 79,495 jobs across America — or about what we lose today by 1:37 pm in new unemployment claims. And of course, all of those would last only as long as the stimulus money kept coming to fund them.

    Patrick Hynes at Now Hampshire points out the fallacy of transparency even on these pathetic returns on the stimulus: has repeatedly asked the state’s “stimulus czar” Orville “Bud” Fitch for up-to-date tallies of stimulus jobs created in New Hampshire. At the end of May, Fitch did not know. On June 26th, Fitch told, “We are just now rolling out a reporting system to gather information from grant fund recipients.”

    According to stimulus backers, accountability and transparency were to be hallmarks of the historic spending measure.

    Jazz Shaw follows up on this weekend’s report on the waste of stimulus funds in New York:

    When Route 17 began work two years in the Southern Tier to expand to four lanes and convert it to a continuation of I-86, not only did the state hire many new workers in the area, but local businesses reported significant benefits as well, all of which resulted in more jobs and increased prosperity in the region. The same could be happening right now on major pending projects around Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo if the money had been quickly and properly targeted, since the plans for those projects have been drawn up and waiting for years.

    Instead, federal stimulus funds are being shunted to cover up the holes and warts of a dysfunctional state government, with the taxpayer left to pick up the check. And, as the Syracuse Herald article points out, the long range effect of this will be virtually [nil]. …

    When this stimulus money was first dished out in titanic proportions, a bit more time and effort on the part of Congress could surely have targeted for real job creation and long term benefits. Using it as a “stabilizing” stop-gap patch for failing state governments is resulting in it having roughly the same benefit as pouring golf balls down a gopher hole.

    And the Obama administration is considering an encore

  101. S Says:
    July 14th, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    (Reuters) – U.S. government officials are weighing a plan that would let borrowers who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments avoid eviction by renting their homes instead, sources familiar with the administration’s thinking said on Tuesday.

    Under one idea being discussed, delinquent homeowners would surrender ownership of their homes but would continue to live in the property for several years, the sources told Reuters.

    Officials are also considering whether the government should make mortgage payments on behalf of borrowers who cannot keep up with their home loans, tapping an unused portion of a $50 billion housing aid kitty.

    As part of this plan, jobless borrowers might receive a housing stipend along with regular unemployment benefits, the sources said.


    This is a disaster waiting to happen. The dream of Americans of Home Ownership will officially be dead!

    In essence the government is crippling the American family unit. This proposal would have Tarp Funds scheduled for assisting borrowers going directly to the banks.

    Homeowners would still be required to pay rent (more banking income) while their homes are still for sale. This would turn Americans into nomads moving from place to place disrupting the ability of their children attaining lifelong friends in the same schools throughout their formative years, ultimately ruining any hope of long term family stabilization.

    This is a horrendous plan that will damage American permanently.

  102. Health and Fitness
    Girl, 13, dies of swine flu in city’s fourth death from virus
    By Mark Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

    Posted: July 14, 2009 6:04 p.m.

    A 13-year-old Milwaukee girl died of swine flu Sunday night at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, becoming the fourth victim in a city with some of the highest flu numbers in the nation.

    City officials did not announce the latest swine flu death until Tuesday, and only described the victim as an adolescent with an underlying medical condition. Information about her case and her name, Gisela Alanis, were found on a medical examiner’s report.

    According to the report, Gisela, who had asthma, was semiconscious and in respiratory distress when she was admitted to the hospital emergency room May 27. She later developed fevers and on Sunday her blood pressure dropped before she died.

    No one was at her family’s south side home early Tuesday evening. But a neighbor called Gisela’s death tragic.

    “She was a wonderful girl. I would rather have them take my life and let that girl live,” said Ron Rutke, 79. “She was like a mother hen to her brother and sister.”

    In announcing the latest flu death, the fifth in the state, city Commissioner of Health Bevan K. Baker said that Milwaukee is preparing for the possibility of mass vaccinations in the fall when school starts.

    “We will be faced with the awesome responsibility of a mass vaccination,” Baker said. “This is a major undertaking, the likes of which has not been seen by many who are alive today.”

    The national vaccination effort this fall could be the largest ever conducted in the U.S., Baker said.

    Although Milwaukee has vaccination plans, the city must wait for the federal government to determine how much vaccine will be available and what vulnerable groups will have priority in receiving doses, Baker said.

    Conditions that place people at greater risk for complications from influenza include: pregnancy; diabetes; lung problems, including asthma and emphysema; certain heart conditions; diseases or medications that weaken the immune system; and kidney diseases.

    Children on chronic aspirin treatment also face risks. In addition, those younger than 5 and those 65 or older are considered at greater risk.

    According to the most recent figures, Wisconsin has 6,037 confirmed and probable swine flu cases; Milwaukee has 3,268. By itself, Milwaukee has reported about 700 more flu cases than the entire state of California. Baker did say that the city’s case counts have been declining, though he added: “We’re also expecting the numbers to ramp back up in the fall.”

    State and local health officials have taken pains to point out that the high numbers here might be the result of more aggressive flu surveillance and more efficient testing. However, there have also been suggestions that for reasons unknown, Milwaukee may have simply had more H1N1 virus in its midst.

    The Harvard University School of Public Health has been working with city health officials to study the magnitude and spread of the disease in Milwaukee.

    Baker said researchers are going to be comparing observations from Milwaukee and other cities and should have some insight within the next month.

  103. Mrs Smith and gonzotx…they are looking for every device they can to make the american taxpayers not only humbled but dependent on them…between the taxes they are going to put on small business and the mandatory health insurance the bottom is really going to fall out…

    if we read JanH’s post at 9:02 correctly about taxing and penalizing small businesses for health insurance in this climate when most of these business are struggling to stay above water I fear the worst…by the time they get done paying health costs, salaries, overhead, etc…there will be nothing left for an owner to use to support their family…

    and Mrs. Smith you are so right…they are going to drive people out of their homes…what happened to O’s plan to stop foreclosures? oh that’s right…it has too many rules to include average people…

    …and what am I thinking? any extra dollar we find must go to the banks…at any cost…save those banks..doesn’t matter if our tax dollars end up in international banks…

    pls take a look at that Dylan Ratigan video clip …you have to hang in there to get past Contessa and her comment, but Dylan gets to the point…O has no problem letting GM go bankrupt but not the banks…they are a bottomless pit for taxpayer money…so it makes perfect sense that they should just end up owning all the once private property in the country or left to a very few…

    didn’t we once have anti-trust laws in this country? something about monopolies and conglomerates? how did we ever get to ‘too big to fail?’

  104. And then we have bambi in Michigan today telling people that most of the auto jobs will be gone permanently. Then he tells them that re-education is the way to go and fields like medicine will definitely flourish.

    Can you believe that a 50 year old man would want to go back to school? This is nuts!

  105. Jan H, there has been about 2 over 50’s in every new class in xray school for several years now. The two men that I work with are shocked at what we health care workers have to put up with.
    I just can’t imagine how healthcare is up and coming with UHC coming out, in Canada many were laid off.


    Sarah Palin, political genius
    Willie Brown

    Sunday, July 12, 2009

    The pundits are wrong. Conventional wisdom is wrong. Sarah Palin’s decision to step down as Alaska governor was a brilliant move.

    Palin has some of the best political instincts I have ever seen. She became a pop-culture superstar overnight when John McCain made her his veep pick, and she’s still second only to President Obama among politicians the public is interested in. Even in liberal San Francisco, she’d be front-page news if she ever came to town.

    But that kind of celebrity comes at a high price. What a lot of people don’t know is that Palin entered Alaska politics as a reformer attacking the corruption of the state’s Republican establishment. As such, she was the darling of the Democrats – until she hooked up with McCain.

    After the election, with Palin back home but positioning herself for a 2012 presidential run, it was clear she would catch nothing but ridicule from Alaska’s Democrats. It was not going to be pretty.

    If Palin wants to play on the national field, she has to be free to move around. She has to be able to drop into Indiana, Ohio or Tennessee and help Republican candidates raise money. She has to be available for radio and TV.

    She has to be like Gavin Newsom, free to roam around the country, safe in the knowledge that things will pretty much take care of themselves back home.

    Instead, Palin faced the prospect of being constantly pinned down in a state that is a day and a half away from the rest of America. She would have been totally isolated in every sense of the word.

    Now she can study up on issues where she is lacking and become a full-time political celebrity.

    The pundits call her a quitter, but let’s be honest – the pundits never liked her to begin with. Better to take one hit for stepping down and move on than to stay in Alaska and die a death by a thousand cuts.

    Governor or not, Palin is still the biggest star in the Republican galaxy. After all, who else have they got?

    Willie Brown gets it…and now MoveOn is targeting Sarah – they are so afraid of this woman…the PINOS have to destroy her…they cannot allow her to have any voice…today they all came out with the exact same talking points about her article in the WP and all declaring her the next Rush…(btw…the repubs are getting nervous with her ‘independent’ talk)

    ‘Showbiz Tonight’ is pushing that all syndicators have already decided no talk show for her because she is too ‘polarizing’ so that’s the end of that…so they say…

    Ann Curry and Larry King have stooped to the desperate low of an ‘exclusive’ with “Ricky Hollywood” better known as that nobody dissing his child’s grandmother, or lowlife 19 year old Levi Johnson, the left’s new political pundit…

    funny…last time I spent working with TV people they love controversial and ‘polarizing’ usually a ratings bonanza…half of tv is based on controversial and polarizing…

    …the coordinated extent the MSM and PINOS are going to to try to silence this woman is beyond fear…they cannot take one little lady from Alaska, mother of five…amazing!

  107. Good morning and good news.

    BO booed in Milwaukee when he throws out the first pitch.
    It’s going to be a rough 4 years. He’s only been in office 5 months and he’s already getting booed….And protested.

    UPDATE: Joe Buck in the announcer’s box at the game: “There won’t be any bailout for the National League.”

    UPDATE 2: Even Yahoo had to admit Obama was booed…
    And, that the pitch bounced before the plate.

  108. I think if Palin wanted to get a show of some kind – she’d definitely find an outlet. Her ratings would be through the roof.

    Levi Johnson has proven to be a lowlife of the highest order. He’s actively dismantling his relationship with his own daughter for a few dollars.

  109. Good Morning All

    I found this buried as a headline along the side of a page, and the link was broken. I went to the LA Times and searched for it, and sure enough it was there. A case on whether Obama is the legitimate President, asking for the birth certificate, a judge has asked them to submit their paper work. Could there possible be one honest judge left in the country. If I were a judge, I would want to know why O was spending all the money fighting this issue.

    h t t p ://

  110. In the short news cast I saw on O throwing out the pitch, that was edited out. But then what can you expect.

    The O staff promised the world, said they could perform miracles, let Political crap put together the stimulus package, does not understand certain key areas must be micromanaged, especially in a recession, which is probably really a D, thinks we don’t remember I CAN LEAD FROM DAY ONE, thinks that I and We miss read the state of the economy will sell in an environment that expects fast turnarounds, and perfection, thinks he can continue to make speeches with TOTUS (does anyone but me think that crash made him look a little like Ford bumping his head), thinks that we don’t know that even when he is met with big crowds, nothing much seems to get done, are more than tired of his apologies for America, and that his appearance at a baseball game does nothing to prove he is a leader. After all some of those teams are going bankrupt also, and next thing you know he will want to save them.

    So what happened to all those jobs he promised in Detroit, and Michigan? Now they have to retrain to what, call marketing?

  111. confloyd Says:

    July 15th, 2009 at 1:26 am


    I know of one young lady in Canada who got her forestry degree some years back and couldn’t get a job so she went back into nursing because she was told there would always be jobs in that field.

    Well guess what…there is a hiring freeze in her province now for jobs in the medical field because of massive and stupid overspending.

  112. NewMexicoFan Says:

    July 14th, 2009 at 9:26 am
    AOL Headline O wants Senate to pass medical bill QUICKLY. Well that is what happen to the stimulus bill, which did not quite stimulate. I wonder even who has read it as you can bet that O and many of his staff, not to mention the Senators have NOT.

    Obama is essentially saying, “Shut up and sign zee papers. No need to look at the fine print”.

    His incuriosity rivals Bush, so that he and the whole executive branch take a pass on shaping policy, punting it down the end of the mall to Congress. Bush may have been incurious (and inept, like Obama, at influencing congressmen), but at least Bush knew Cheney was behing the scenes twisting arms.

    Obama’s sole priority of getting these bills passed quickly is to make it seem like he’s on top of things, seem like he’s a demanding task master, seem like he cares about what is good for the country. But the reality is that it is all for show, for a billl signing ceremony. The big donors and lobbyist write the legistlation, and give it to Congress to rubber stamp. Obama reads lobbyists the riot act in public, but in exchange for making him look tough, he quietly acceeds to their demands.

    So much for transparency.

  113. S Says:

    July 15th, 2009 at 3:44 am

    Willie Brown gets it…and now MoveOn is targeting Sarah –

    How MoveOn targeting Palin?

    They really have become meaningless. Should they not be directing their anger at Obama, for doing a false withdrawl from Iraq (“We’re all out…of the big cities…we are now deploying hundreds of thousands of troops just outside big cities’ city limits”) and for escalating in Afghanistan?

  114. rgb44hrc

    Don’t you think it is interesting that the only people he has control over are the Dims, and he is using bullying tactics to do it. Where as internationally, he acts like a wet noodle, and looks even worse, and has accomplishing very little.

    So his strong leadership abilities (bullying), is restricted to the US Dims (Basically the superduds he whipped during the primary). Outside the country he is still busy appologizing, and getting nothing.

    I wonder if the superduds will learn from this? Nah, probably not, they are too busy lick each other bxtts. If I learned nothing else in my short career with the Dims, it was the good old boy network is alive and well, and when they ask you to bend over, you only say HOW LOW.

  115. More attack articles appearing everyday!!!

    Clinton aims to retake foreign policy center stage
    Email this Story

    Jul 15, 3:49 AM (ET)


    (AP) In this July 10, 2009, photo, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton answers question during her…
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    WASHINGTON (AP) – Eclipsed by a globe-trotting president, a foreign policy-savvy vice president and a bevy of special envoys, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is struggling to re-emerge this week as the Obama administration’s diplomatic heavyweight.

    Clinton is trying to retake center stage as the administration’s top foreign policy voice after four frustrating, low-profile weeks during which a fractured elbow forced her to cancel two overseas trips. Her diminishing presence abroad and at home, followed by her startling public criticism of the White House this week for delaying a key appointment, has prompted a flurry of speculation about whether her influence is waning inside President Barack Obama’s Cabinet.

    Clinton was set to deliver what aides billed as a major policy address at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington on Wednesday. A day later, she heads off on an around-the-world trip.

    “Her role so far has been more in the field of public relations than in policy formation,” said Reginald Dale, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “She is seen as glamorous and in many countries as a valuable symbol of the United States, but it is not at all clear that she has an in-depth influence on foreign policy.”

    “She needs to decide if she wants to be the administration’s mascot or have an impact on actual policy,” he said. “If she wants to have an impact, the speech may be a way of claiming her stake.”

    Clinton’s frustration was perhaps evident Monday when in a rare fit of pique, she lashed out at the White House for failing to quickly nominate someone to lead the U.S. Agency for International Development.

    In rather undiplomatic comments, Clinton criticized the White House vetting process as a “nightmare,””frustrating beyond words” and “ridiculous.” She added that overly burdensome financial and personal disclosure requirements had led several candidates to withdraw.

    And, in an unusually blunt description of an administration squabble, she allowed that she had “tried very hard” but had been denied permission by the White House to tell USAID employees that they would soon get a new boss.

    The White House declined to comment on her remarks.

    The unfilled UDSAID post Clinton complained about is considered critical to what she often refers to as “smart power,” the combination of defense, diplomacy and development that the administration wants to guide its foreign policy. “Smart power,” which Clinton spoke about frequently in her early days as the nation’s top envoy, was to be the focus of her speech Wednesday.

    “She’s not trying to announce a grand doctrine,” said Anne-Marie Slaughter, Clinton’s director of policy planning. “That is not the point. The point is to provide a coherent strategic framework” that explains the administration’s foreign policy approach thus far and sets the stage for future policy decisions.

    Though they deny any rivalries within the administration’s foreign policy team and reject suggestions she has been forced into a backseat role, Clinton aides say she is eager to get back to what had been a busy pace of travel and events.

    They note that she has had frequent and regular meetings at the White House with the president, pointing to private sessions with both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in the Oval Office scheduled for just an hour after her speech on Wednesday.

    But they acknowledge that she has chafed under the limitations imposed by her injury, which notably caused her to miss important multilateral conferences in Europe in late June and to be unable to accompany Obama to Russia last week.

    Still the impression persists that she lost clout in her absence, as Obama traveled frequently in an elevated foreign policy role that some observers have described as “diplomat in chief.” At the same time, Biden has also assumed an increasingly public role in diplomacy in Iraq and has waded into both the delicate Mideast peace process and into American relations with Iran. And national security adviser James Jones has shaped his own high-profile presence, while a group of globe-trotting special envoys have pursued shuttle diplomacy from Jerusalem to Kabul.

    Michael Mandelbaum, a professor of American Foreign Policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, said it is still too early, six months into the administration, to assess Clinton’s influence.

    But he noted she has yet to take on a specific significant project or projects to distinguish herself as the nation’s chief diplomat.

    “Every president always overshadows every secretary of state, that’s just the nature of the beast,” he said. “But a secretary of state carves out a niche by picking out an issue, or two or three, and taking it as his or her own. She hasn’t yet done that, at least not yet.”

    Clinton’s departure Thursday for India and Thailand will mark her first trip abroad since a one-day visit to Niagara Falls, Canada, on June 13, and only in recent days has she begun to resume a more robust schedule in talks with visiting foreign officials and “town hall” meetings with employees.

    “Her name hasn’t been up there in lights,” Dale said.

    In the address, Clinton planned to highlight “smart power” along with the importance of dealing with the spread of weapons of mass destruction, the threat posed by Iran and North Korea, the need for compromise to forge Middle East peace and an initiative on international food security, aides said.

    AP National Security Writer Robert Burns contributed to this report.

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    • Clinton aims to retake foreign policy center stage
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    • Government Web site says Madoff at prison in Ga.

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  116. # DYB Says:
    July 15th, 2009 at 9:03 am

    I think if Palin wanted to get a show of some kind – she’d definitely find an outlet. Her ratings would be through the roof.
    Levi Johnson has proven to be a lowlife of the highest order. He’s actively dismantling his relationship with his own daughter for a few dollars.


    Sarah Palin having her own TV show would be rated number #1 indefinitely at any news network. TV is her best venue for public exposure and an equalizer to the talk shows taking pot shots at her.

    Hold out for the right money Sarah…

  117. The pundits call her a quitter, but let’s be honest – the pundits never liked her to begin with. Better to take one hit for stepping down and move on than to stay in Alaska and die a death by a thousand cuts.\
    . . . .

    Insofar as Palin is concerned, I like her and would certainly vote for her if Obama, or any other dim was the candidate. Would enough others?

    Anymore, the issues are too complex for the public to understand. They havent the time. It is all emotion, celebrity and the negation of democracy, understood to mean self government.

    Knowing that, her decison to leave becomes understandable. The public mood being emotional when Obama fails, they will reach for the opposite. Given a choice between ignoring and thereby diminishing Palen as they do Hillary, they have opted to keep her in the spotlight because they believe they are destroying the Republican Party in the process. They may be wrong.

    As for Willie Brown, perhaps the real point is not the last two paragaphs. Please dont throw me into the briar patch. They have no one else.

  118. Sarah Palin having her own TV show would be rated number #1 indefinitely at any news network. TV is her best venue for public exposure and an equalizer to the talk shows taking pot shots at her.
    Yes, but here is how you do it. Sara is the host of the show. She gets interesting people on and she also gets intellectual heavyweights who are dynamic as opposed to bookish. Their presence bolster her own credibility. Political discourse is the minor premise, not the major one. However, she uses her guests to highlight Obama gaffs and the complicity of big media–what they don t want you to know, etc. She would have brilliant African Americans like Thomas Sowell on to negate the media premise that this is a redneck movement. She could also have women of substance. The big question is where is the country going and what is the right path. That could be the closing statement.

  119. I would even go so far as to investigate the financial holdings of media people, and their net worth. If the economic situation goes badly in the tank and they are there sitting on their millions and telling the rest of us it really isnt so bad then this information would be useful to impeach their credibility. Also, their home addresses should be made public, so all those delightful Alinsky methods which Obats deploy against others could be productively deployed against them. In our town bots destroyed property of people with McCain signs in their yard after the local newspaper published their addresses. If things get rough, it will not stop at property damage. A friend of mine had her house robbed twice in the past six months.


    Yet more calls for Obama to do more, more than sit on the sidelines. This time it’s about health care.

    The money quote:

    “The faltering momentum of health reform highlights the limits of President Obama’s early tendency to set broad policy goals and let Congress sweat the details. This approach produced a $787 billion economic-stimulus bill that has yet to do much stimulating. It also led to the frenzy of legislative horse trading and deal cutting that weakened the Waxman-Markey climate bill.”

    Calling Dr. Obama to Save Health Care Reform

    By Will Marshall
    July 15, 2009

    Health-care reform is in danger of dying on the congressional operating table. It’s time to call in Surgeon-in-Chief Barack Obama.

    The president isn’t a miracle worker like the cranky protagonist on television’s “House.” But he can refocus the health-reform debate on what really matters, and on the hard decisions that lawmakers, left to their own devices, would just as soon avoid.

    Last week, Congressional leaders scotched a Senate proposal to pay for health care by ending an unlimited federal tax subsidy for employer-paid health coverage. A philosophical rift also widened between House liberals and more moderate Blue Dog Democrats. The former served notice that they would refuse to back any bill that does not include a strong “public option,” while the latter balked at supporting legislation that would compound the nation’s debt crisis.

    And in a letter to Congress, White House budget chief Peter Orszag warned that it’s not enough for lawmakers to come up with ways to pay for health care reform: They must also tackle the structural roots of medical inflation, especially the widespread overuse of redundant or ineffective tests and procedures.

    The faltering momentum of health reform highlights the limits of President Obama’s early tendency to set broad policy goals and let Congress sweat the details. This approach produced a $787 billion economic-stimulus bill that has yet to do much stimulating. It also led to the frenzy of legislative horse trading and deal cutting that weakened the Waxman-Markey climate bill.

    But revamping America’s costly, wasteful and inequitable health-care system is simply too big and too important to leave to the vicissitudes of interest-group politics in Washington. That’s why President Obama must intervene.

    He could start by reminding Americans of the three main things health care reform must do:

    1) Constrain the growth of medical costs;

    2) Guarantee everyone access to affordable care; and

    3) Pay for itself.

    On the first point, Orszag is absolutely right: Reform must emphasize quality over quantity in the provision of medical services. He’s called for a major federal investment in studies of the comparative effectiveness of various medical procedures, the cost of which often vary dramatically across the country

    Republicans, apparently unwilling to set any limits on health-care consumption, have criticized the proposal. Its real problem, though, is that it probably would take a long time to “bend the cost curve” of health spending.

    The most important structural reform now is to begin to nudge the entire health sector away from fee-for-service payments, which give providers a perverse incentive to maximize revenues by providing more services than patients actually need.

    This is where liberal demands for a public option based on Medicare make no sense. With its fee-for-service structure and a long-term deficit exceeding $30 billion, Medicare is anything but a model of cost containment.

    It’s essential, instead, that health reform speed progress toward a better payment system modeled after successful “integrated” or “accountable” care organizations like the Mayo Clinic or Intermountain Health. Organizations like these may put doctors on salary, or they may charge patients a “package price” for a specific set of health care services. They also encourage providers to collaborate in managing their patients’ overall health. In these ways, they align providers’ incentives with the best interests of their patients and the system as a whole.

    On the second question, access to affordable care, lawmakers seem to be making more progress. Any legislation will likely require that private insurers guarantee coverage to all without regard for pre-existing medical conditions. The insurance industry seems willing to go along, as long as all Americans are required to get health insurance – a mandate that will bring millions of young, relatively healthy people into risk pools.

    Under the emerging system of so-called “health exchanges,” individuals could choose among competing private and public plans. Lawmakers will also likely add a modest employer mandate, less to financial coverage expansions than to assure that companies don’t drop their existing coverage.

    Finally, there’s the third and most vexing question – how to pay for all of this. At a time when the United States is facing double-digit budget deficits and a swelling national debt, it’s critical that we don’t make things worse by borrowing hundreds of billions more to pay for universal coverage.

    A lot of the money – but far from enough – will come from cuts in Medicare payments to hospitals. The best way to cover the balance would be to repeal or limit the tax inclusion for employer-paid health benefits. Not only would that raise big money – $320 billion over 10 years – but it would give employers an incentive to stop overpaying for inefficient and wasteful health insurance plans.

    Rather than embrace this obvious “two-fer,” however, congressional leaders have gotten cold feet. They worry about opening the door to GOP demagoguery about “taxing your health-care benefits.” Moreover, a cap on the tax exclusion would encourage a necessary shift away from the bloated, unaffordable health plans many unions negotiated for their workers.

    So Congress is now toying with income-tax surcharges on Americans with incomes over $350,000. Unfortunately, this approach doesn’t raise enough money to fill the hole in financing health reform. In addition, taxing the richest Americans is a well we can only go to once. If we use that money for health care, it won’t be available to help close Washington’s enormous budget deficits.

    President Obama ought to affirm the principle that the first place to look for savings to pay for health reform should be within the health-care system itself. Yes, it will take all of his considerable communications skills to convince the public that trimming the federal subsidy for health care will make the overall system sounder. One difficulty, of course, is that Obama opposed the subsidy cap during the campaign, and he has promised not to raise taxes on middle class families.

    The president should also remind the Senate of his original plan to use revenues from trading carbon allowances to pay for health reform. To mollify powerful interests and win just enough votes for passage, the House climate bill gave most allowances away. The White House should put pressure on the Senate to adjust that balance.

    Congress, by design, is the arena where parochial interests compete to shape national legislation to their liking. The White House, of course, is hardly immune to special-interest pressures. But the president represents the country as a whole and must act in the national interest. In this case, his job is to rally the large but diffuse majority of Americans who say they want sweeping health reform, and rivet their attention on Congress. Without such outside pressure, the odds grow daily that what emerges from Congress won’t be health reform worthy of the name.

    Will Marshall is president of the Progressive Policy Institute.

  121. Will Marshall is president of the Progressive Policy Institute.
    There is a lulu for you. Or maybe a lolo as in sotero, soreto or whatever his last alias was. Chicken little calls in the seventh cavalery and the modern equivalent of George Armstrong Custer to rescue all these budget busting disaters while delusion last and before common sense sets in.

    Markey and Waxman? Two of the last people on earth to be setting macro policy or managing micro details.

  122. That Will Marshall is so full of bullshit. Bambi represents the whole people whereas Congress represents partisan interest. Spare us the history lesson, and look at the realitiy of this administration. The problem with Obama is he does NOT represent the whole people. He takes money from special interests and sells out the nation. Marshall the deluded speaks of a world and a president who does not exist. This is not magic thinking, it is pure propaganda.

  123. Lets scratch this whole thing and go back to Hillarys plan. That plan was for the people, whereas the one Obama wants, once he defined it will do what he always does reward special interests startting with GE which has a big piece of the action.

  124. # wbboei Says:
    July 15th, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Sarah Palin having her own TV show would be rated number #1 indefinitely at any news network. TV is her best venue for public exposure and an equalizer to the talk shows taking pot shots at her.
    Yes, but here is how you do it. Sara is the host of the show. She gets interesting people on and she also gets intellectual heavyweights who are dynamic as opposed to bookish. Their presence bolster her own credibility. Political discourse is the minor premise, not the major one. However, she uses her guests to highlight Obama gaffs and the complicity of big media–what they don t want you to know, etc. She would have brilliant African Americans like Thomas Sowell on to negate the media premise that this is a redneck movement. She could also have women of substance. The big question is where is the country going and what is the right path. That could be the closing statement.


    Yes, of course, wbb. You are the detail guy, I am the conceptual idea person.. She could also appeal to the academics..having quarterly college political debates. (prizes including scholarship money) This would definitely cut into Obama’s synchronicity with the college crowd (‘the believers’ sans experience) Topics like: Do You think Obama’s election was predicated on Racism?” Pro/Con… This real time discussion would help us cut through Obama, the media creation of the century, created by a sense of Emotional Realism! [sigh] I have so many ideas to combat the junk political news from the propagandist media, I can hardly wait.

  125. “Eclipsed by a globe-trotting president”


    I am trying so hard not to laugh at that statement. Bambi trots…yep that is very true. But what kind of trotting does he do? His kodak moments in Russia fell flat. His economic knowhow is a joke and his policy polling is sinking fast. His diplomatic ventures have garnered ridicule worldwide and it is Hillary who has had to save his and his bully advisors collective asses over and over again.

    To my way of thinking, any media wannabe that thinks bambi is ready, competent and respected enough to solve any of the massive problems he has created both nationally and internationally has been brainwashed.

  126. 15/07/2009

    Israel furious over Hamas leader’s trip to Switzerland

    By Barak Ravid

    The Foreign Ministry is furious over news that Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior Hamas official based in the Gaza Strip, recently headed a Hamas delegation to Switzerland for talks with Swiss diplomats.

    A senior Foreign Ministry official said the visit will further destabilize already shaky relations between Jerusalem and Bern, after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Switzerland in April for the “Durban 2” United Nations anti-racism conference.

    China’s news agency broke the story of Zahar’s visit nearly two weeks ago.

    Officials at the Israeli Embassy in Bern were surprised by the report, since they knew nothing about the June visit. The embassy has requested clarifications from the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, but Israeli officials say the responses have not been satisfactory.

    One Jerusalem official said it was many days before the Swiss confirmed the Hamas visit to the embassy.

    Swiss officials told Israel’s ambassador in Bern, Ilan Elgar, that the Hamas delegation was invited to Geneva by a nongovernmental research institute.

    The Foreign Ministry source, however, noted that Swiss diplomats, including the Swiss envoy to the Middle East, met with the delegation during a conference at the institute.

    When Elgar requested official clarification regarding the visa issued to the delegation, he was told by the Swiss foreign ministry, “In Switzerland, Hamas is not considered a terrorist organization.”

    Tensions between Jerusalem and Bern began to build about a year and a half ago, when the Swiss foreign minister went to Iran to sign a major gas purchase contract.

    In May, in the wake of Ahmadinejad’s visit to Geneva and the official working meeting with him held by Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz, Israel recalled Elgar to Jerusalem for consultations in protest.


    “he was told by the Swiss foreign ministry, “In Switzerland, Hamas is not considered a terrorist organization.”

    I’m speechless.

  127. As wbboei has pointed out, the AP’s Matthew Lee is pretty bad. That article he had today pushed every anti-HRC meme floating around, and was embarrassingly short of actual facts – for instance, it was Hillary’s idea to bring in the envoys. They aren’t “eclipsing” her.

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