Happy Hanukkah, Health Care Hell, and Hillary Clinton Was Right, Again

Our Jewish friends are sufficiently oppressed these holidays, with Obama, so we thought to lighten the burden with news items to bring a chuckle and a smile. Let’s play “spin the Dreidel”.

A dreidel is a pointy, four-sided top which can be made to spin on its pointy base. There are Hebrew letters on each one of its sides, which stand for deep cabalistic notions but can also serve in small-time gambling.

Assuming you’re not a kabalist, you need to know this:

Nun stands for nes, miracle. If you roll a Nun you neither pay nor gain anything.

Gimel stands for gadol, great. If you roll a Gimel you win everything.

Hay stands for haya, was. If you roll a Hay you win half.

Shin stands for sham, there. If you roll a shin you lose everything.

Obama is a shonda and those who voted for him spun a sham. Here’s hoping Hillary Clinton and Hillary supporters spin a Gadol in the coming years.

* * * * *

We found this comment at a website we visited – the Big Pink message comes through in this:

It is just hilarious to see how soon libs turn, how soon the glow of victory dims when reality shines its big light, and how easy it is to become mesmerized by a huckster reading a teleprompter.

Obama had no credentials for his job other than understanding Chicago-style politics. He has never made anything, he has never run anything, he has never added value to a system, he has no leadership experience, he has no governmental experience (to speak of), he has no military experience, he has no fundamental requirements for the job! Yet he talked you all into voting for him and now you want to cut and run.

Obama’s poll numbers are lower at this point than just three other presidents since polling began. Independents are running “right” as Obama and his henchmen(women) run “left.” Polls for those running at the state level indicate a huge shift in just six months after taking the oath of office. Obama’s personal polling data indicates he could not be elected today. Congressional leaders, i.e., the Dems, are laughing stock and sacrificing their colleagues up for election in 2010… for what?

I would say the Democrat Party is coming undone. Why? It tries to serve too many constituencies and can therefore please few of them. Most of you above prove it by your comments.

Soon it will not be a Republican who says repeats our message but Obama-loving-Hopium-guzzling-reality challenged Dimocrats themselves.

Will you have a Hanukkah laugh by reading “Hillary Was Right” (not the old “Hillary Was Right” about Healthcare) on Dailybeast? You betcha!

Barack Obama wasn’t ready to be president, and he better figure out what he’s doing before it’s too late.

As the first year of the Obama era draws to a close, the president is losing the battle for America’s hearts and minds. It’s hard not to feel some sympathy for him, given the disastrous state of the economy when he took office and the many smoldering international crises that keep flaring up. President Obama’s predecessors deserve plenty of blame for his woes—as Obama and his advisers never tire of reminding us. But their not-so-subtle digs at President George W. Bush paper over their own unforced errors.

There is a lot more to gladden Hanukkah hearts in the article. Part of the article (as well as an increasing amount of other articles published these days) begins to understand and circulate our argument about the Barack Obama “situation comedy” coalition versus the winning FDR/Hillary Clinton coalition. Here is a sample of how Obama is destroying the Democratic Party with his “situation comedy” coalition which excludes groups long ago assumed to be the Democratic base but now consigned to being called “racist”:

Voters over 65 were largely immune to the Obama magic during the campaign, and the prospect of trimming Medicare to help finance coverage expansion didn’t sit well. My guess is that President Obama figured emphasizing cost cutting would help bring a handful of Republicans to the table. Yet he failed to reckon with the fact that politicians of all stripes will abandon ideological commitments on a matter of political survival. So-called small-government conservatives in the House spent the Bush years fighting for federal spending directed at projects in their own districts. When elderly voters started calling in about the threat to Medicare, virtually all congressional Republicans simultaneously discovered that protecting Medicare from spending cuts was a bedrock principle of true Americanism. Again, one can complain about Republican hypocrisy, but it’s easy to imagine Democratic incumbents engaging in similar ideological acrobatics to gain an advantage.

Hanukkah hearts be happy and light:

It is the unforced errors that raise the question of whether Hillary Clinton was right back in 2008 when she argued that the White House was no place for “on-the-job training.” At the time, Clinton’s stinging attacks on Obama’s relative inexperience infuriated the insurgent candidate’s supporters, who damned the Clinton machine for its savage bullying. Yet there was an obvious truth behind Clinton’s rhetoric. As a major player during her husband’s administration, she had an opportunity to learn from the amateurish mistakes made during the Clinton White House, including a callous disregard for key congressional allies and the country’s moderate-to-conservative temperament on contentious social issues. More to the point, the army of ex-Clinton staffers were the ones who wouldn’t need on-the-job training. They already knew how to staff bureaucracies and how to make government work. Even now, a number of critical administration jobs remain unfilled. Republican opposition has something to do with this, but overwhelming Democratic majorities in Congress make this excuse more than a little unconvincing.

The article even includes this Hanukkah gift, long a Big Pink favorite:



Oh, Hanukkah celebrating hearts be light and happy today.

If you did not realize universal health care died in Denver in 2008 when Obama was gifted the nomination, you are a sad puss today. All that talk about a health care deal? Words, words words:

A senior Senate aide tells us that this report was fueled by a lot of “disinformation” from Reid.

There is no deal yet and we’re nowhere near one,” says the aide. “Reid is leading a psych-ops campaign out of his leadership office to make people believe there is a deal. Here’s the real story: When Reid came out of conference, only options emerged, not a consensus. Instead of acknowledging this, he’s trying to create a sense of inevitability.”

“There are still two major problems for Reid,” says the aide. “One is the potential trigger in the Office of Personnel Management expansion. That would be a non-starter with at least one member. Two, Reid has problems with his Medicare buy-in idea, since it has not been fully defined to all members. We don’t know whether it will be a temporary program or a permanent Medicare buy-in program. And if premiums can’t sustain the program, will taxpayers be liable? No one knows. It’s being described as something that would be walled-off from Medicare, but there are many lingering liability questions that have yet to be answered.”

But we were told, “there’s a deal”. More fakery in the age of fake:

Two centrist Democrats at the center of the Senate’s tense healthcare reform negotiations insisted that there has been no compromise deal on the legislation despite Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) pronouncements.

“There’s no specific compromise. There were discussions,” Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said at a press conference Wednesday.

Reid announced Monday night that a working group of five liberal Democrats and give centrist Democrats had reached a “broad agreement” on how to bridge an intraparty divide on healthcare reform — and particularly on whether to create a government-run public option insurance program. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is currently scoring the new provisions to determine their costs.

According to Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), sending the bill to the CBO was about all the 10 senators agree to do. “We got to a point where we couldn’t go any further until we got scores,” she said. “There are a lot of things on the table still and until, you know, we hear back from CBO it’s going to be hard to see whatever I can support, for sure.”

Indeed, Landrieu said, “Until the package that was sent [is] scored, we don’t know what’s in it.”

These cautious appraisals from centrist Democrats mirror the reaction of liberal Democratic Sen. Russell Feingold (Wis.). Asked on Wednesday whether he could support the package before the CBO, Feingold said, “I don’t know yet. I have concerns myself still about some aspects of it, and, you know, I’m interested in seeing what the Congressional Budget Office numbers are.”

Here at Big Pink we are almost ignoring the fake health care debate and scam. We know health care died in Denver at the hands of surgeon Dr. Dean. The real battle will take place in 2010 when Dimocrats are brutally punished – and we cheer because only with a severe beating and a hemorrhage of Dimocratic blood will we get closer to getting back to the winning FDR/Hillary Clinton coalition.

Will all the Dimocratic corruption, the Obama Dimocratic Culture of Corruption it is hard to think about the health scam but we need to discuss it if only for Hanukkah amusement and gloating:

Democratic leaders hit a rough patch Friday in their push for sweeping health care legislation, as they tried to fend off criticism of their proposals from a top Medicare official, Republicans and even members of their own party.

Slogging through a 12th day of debate on the legislation, the Senate found itself at an impasse over a proposal to allow imports of low-cost prescription drugs from Canada and other countries.

Democratic leaders tried to kill or neuter the proposal, offered by a senior Democrat, Senator Byron L. Dorgan of North Dakota.

Universal health care died in Denver. It is a painful scam we are witnessing today:

The Medicare official, meanwhile, said that total national health spending would increase slightly as a result of the Senate bill, put together by the majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada. President Obama has repeatedly said that one of his top goals is to slow the growth of health costs.

Richard S. Foster, the chief actuary of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said Friday that under Mr. Reid’s bill national health spending from 2010 to 2019 would total $35.5 trillion. That is $234 billion, or 0.7 percent, more than the amount projected under current law, he added.

To help pay for coverage of the uninsured, the bill would impose new fees on health insurance companies and manufacturers of brand-name prescription drugs and medical devices. Mr. Foster said the fees would increase national health spending by $11 billion a year because the fees “would generally be passed through to consumers in the form of higher drug and device prices and higher insurance premiums.”

Republicans said Mr. Foster’s report confirmed what they had been saying for months.

There are other problems:

Centrist senators raised concerns about a major new element of the legislation, which would expand Medicare to cover some people ages 55 to 64.

Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Republican of Maine, said Democrats were moving to expand Medicare “without really understanding the ramifications.”

“I just don’t think it’s a policy we should embrace,” said Ms. Snowe, who discussed health care with President Obama in two private White House meetings in the last week.

The No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, said Friday that he did not know details of the proposal put together by Mr. Reid in an effort to break an impasse over the legislation.

Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, said Republicans were exasperated because they did not know any details of Mr. Reid’s proposal, which could affect one-sixth of the economy.

Responding to Mr. McCain on the Senate floor, Mr. Durbin said, “I would say to the senator from Arizona that I am in the dark almost as much as he is, and I am in the leadership.

“Most of us know the fundamentals, but we don’t know the important details,” Mr. Durbin added. He said the secrecy was frustrating to Democrats as well as to Republicans.

Obama loving Durbin is “in the dark” alright. Wait until next years when he finds himself with a greatly diminished group of Dimocrats – he will crawl around the floor crying “We need Hillary. Hillary was right!”

The lying fools and dummies at Obama loving websites still don’t fully understand the damage they have done to the Democratic Party. But even the lying fools and dummies are making a list and spinning the Dreidel:

The White House, aided by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), is working hard to crush an amendment being pushed by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) to allow for the reimportation of pharmaceutical drugs from Canada, Senate sources tell the Huffington Post.

As a result, the Senate health care debate has come to a standstill: Carper has placed a “hold” on Dorgan’s amendment and in response, Dorgan tells HuffPost, he’ll object to any other amendments being considered before he gets a vote on his.

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) is a lead co-sponsor of Dorgan’s amendment. She said she’s confident that, as of now, they have the votes they need. “I think that’s why we’re not having this vote,” she said, smiling. The amendment has the support of a number of other Republicans, including Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Charles Grassley (Iowa), John Thune (S.D.) and David Vitter (La.).

Opponents of the amendment worry that many more Republicans may join the amendment not because they agree with it, but because they want to put the health care bill in jeopardy.

So the White House and the drug makers are trying to persuade as many Democrats as they can to oppose the amendment despite their previous support for it.

“I don’t think that’s going to get my vote,” Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) said when HuffPost asked about the reimportation amendment. He said that even though he is a supporter of reimportation, he is concerned that if it passes it could blow everything up.

“I’m not messing around with anything without 60 votes. Nothing,” he said. “And I’m a co-sponsor of the amendment.”

Dorgan knows he is in trouble in the Dakotas. Dorgan knows he needs to do a publicity stunt to try to save himself.

Obama killed universal healthcare when he was in Illinois and now he intends to continue to protect Big PhaRma:

Within a decade, reimportation would save consumers roughly $80 billion and the federal government $19 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. But that would mean $100 billion more in lost revenue than the powerful Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) lobby agreed to bear– in exchange for being supportive of the overall health reform effort.

Earlier this year, the administration struck a deal with PhRMA and the Senate Finance Committee limiting the industry’s hit to $80 billion over ten years. The deal has never been officially confirmed, but the Huffington Post reported at the time that the White House agreed to oppose re-importation. The Senate Finance Committee bill, as well as the merged bill sent to the floor by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), stuck to that deal.

Along with its pledge of support, PhRMA offered to spend $150 million on ads backing reform. Most of that money stands ready to be used to kill reform, should it come to that. A Democratic aide said that the threat of PhRMA ads is being used by opponents of Dorgan’s amendment as a reason to sink it.

Similarly, if Republicans end up providing the winning margin for the importation amendment, a source involved in the negotiations said the drug makers will come after the GOP “with a vengeance — and not just on health care.”

Grassley, a longtime supporter of reimportation, said that the amendment is running into trouble “[b]ecause of the PhRMA agreement with the White House. This thing can pass and they don’t want egg on their face with PhRMA. And I understand there’s going to be a side-by-side [alternative amendment] and it’s probably one of these issues where it will obfuscate the issue, but that not one single pill will get into this country if that side-by-side is adopted.”

Thune, another co-sponsor of the amendment, said he was unsure how many fellow Republicans would come along. “It remains to be seen. Everybody’s close to the vest on this and I think that’s why the Dems don’t want it voted on. They don’t know how many votes their side has to deliver to defeat it. They’ve got a lot of people on their side that would normally vote for it,” said Thune.

Thune is from the Dakotas and Dorgan is from the Dakotas and this is all about Dorgan losing in the Dakotas. Dorgan is in big, big trouble in his reelection fight (losing 55% to 36%).

Big PhaRma, fighting side by side with stooge Barack Obama, wants all that IRS enforced customer base. Right now Obama’s Health care scam and insurance company bailout is on life support:

There’s no certainty that PhRMA would walk away from the entire bill if the amendment passed, because it contains a basket of other goodies the industry won from the White House – not to mention about 30 million newly-insured consumers. “Who knows what people are going to do? It’s hard to predict what’s going to happen,” Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Finance Committee, said Friday.

Asked about the state of the amendment, he said: “Limbo.”

The lobby is fighting the amendment as hard as it can, along with Carper, the senator from Delaware, which is home to a range of pharmaceutical interests.

But be cheerful Hanukkah hearts. Sit back and watch the Hopium guzzlers and Obama enablers who know gnash their teeth and rend their sackcloths and wash themselves in ashes.

Sit back Hanukkah holiday-ers as you read this comment from Hopium guzzlers:

F*cking Barack Obama, the man has become everything i despise about our current political system. Who knew? who knew he would become such a complete disaster.

Big Pink readers knew you dumb cluck.

Oh, Happy Hanukkah and the wailing to be heard in 2010:

Given the disproportionate share of voters age 55 and older likely to comprise the electorate in next year’s mid-term, passage of health care reform legislation would pose a serious risk to Democratic majorities in the House and Senate according to a new survey released today by Resurgent Republic, a non-profit conservative organization that gauges public opinion toward government policy proposals.

Oh, Happy Hanukkah, even Ron Brownstein is singing from the Big Pink songbook.

As 2010 approaches, President Obama is displaying a familiar strength, a familiar weakness, and a new vulnerability that could tip next year’s midterm election.

The familiar strength is his standing among racial minorities. [snip] But, overall, minority voters will likely cast a smaller share of votes in 2010 than in 2008 (or 2012). For congressional Democrats, that prospect raises the stakes on reconnecting with white voters now radiating discontent.

This takes us to Obama’s familiar weakness: his difficulties among white voters without college educations. He’s not the first Democrat with that problem. Although such working-class whites anchored Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal coalition, no Democratic presidential nominee since 1988 has carried more than 44 percent of them, according to exit polls; Obama captured a meager 40 percent.

Oh, we wept with joy when we read that Brownstein analysis. Brownstein finally talks about the white working class and FDR and the winning coalition. Is Brownstein reading Big Pink and waking up to the Mistake in ’08?

Oh, Happy Hanukkah, when mentioning the white working class is not followed by “racist”:

Just 38 percent of noncollege whites approved of Obama’s performance in the latest weekly Gallup average. Partly, his problem is stylistic, says pollster Geoff Garin, the top strategist during the 2008 Democratic primaries for Hillary Rodham Clinton (who crushed Obama among working-class whites). “Obama has a particular problem with them, not because of his race but because he has a very intellectual long-term approach to things and is not the kind of politician who tries to connect with the immediacy of people’s problems,” Garin said.

Oh, we will have to write more about this Brownstein fellow who finally, finally, finally, understands the Mistake in ’08 we here at Big Pink have been writing about since 2007.

We’ll have to write more about this Brownstein fellow who echoes us so late in the day. Here is some more juicy non-Tiger Woods stuff:

The president’s difficulties extend beyond manner. Polls show most working-class whites doubt that his flotilla of federal initiatives will help them. In a recent survey by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, only one-third of noncollege whites said that their families would be better off if health care reform passes. In a Garin poll for the Economic Policy Institute, just one-fifth of working-class whites said that Washington’s response to the recession had benefited them. Many more identified Wall Street and large banks as the big winners. Their view, Garin says, is that Washington is reserving its “urgency” for “people at the top.”

These attitudes threaten Democrats in 2010. Nationwide, about 30 percent of whites over 25 hold college degrees, according to new census figures. The share of whites with college degrees runs below that national average in 241 House districts; Democrats now hold 128 of them and Republicans 113. Those Democratic seats, particularly in interior states, present big opportunities for Republicans: Those districts include 25 of the 39 that my colleagues at The Cook Political Report rate as most vulnerable to a GOP takeover.

There is a lot more, but we’ll discuss them in a later chapter of our long term project Mistake in ’08.

Even Stuart Rotherberg asks Are Democrats Trying To Follow Past GOP Leaders Off The Cliff? Big Pink readers know the answer is a huge “YES!”

Big Pink readers will also not be surprised by this scam either:

A loophole in the Senate health care bill would let insurers place annual dollar limits on medical care for people struggling with costly illnesses such as cancer, prompting a rebuke from patient advocates. [snip]

As currently written, the Senate Democratic health care bill would permit insurance companies to place annual limits on the dollar value of medical care, as long as those limits are not “unreasonable.” The bill does not define what level of limits would be allowable, delegating that task to administration officials.

Adding to the puzzle, the new language was quietly tucked away in a clause in the bill still captioned “No lifetime or annual limits.”

Oh, be of good cheer this Hanukkah. The flim-flams and the flim-flammers are getting exposed. Just think of how gloomy last year at this time was when there was a tiny Pink light in the window and everyone else was expecting to hear celestial choirs and a Mess-iah in January. One year later the Pink light is surrounded with millions of Pink lights.

One year later and the “celestial choirs” are now rightly heard as screeches and lies. One year later and the Big Pink argument of the winning Hillary Clinton and FDR coalition is finally heard and beginning to be understood. One short year later.

Imagine what next year will bring!

Happy Hanukkah to all.

Spin that Dreidel.

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240 thoughts on “Happy Hanukkah, Health Care Hell, and Hillary Clinton Was Right, Again

  1. Spin the Dreidel – with John Edwards:

    http://www.nationalenquirer.com/john_edwards_kicks_mistress_rielle_hunter_out_secret_documents_child_suport_war/celebrity/67804

    When Rielle Hunter, the mother of John Edwards’ love child,demanded more money in child support from the disgraced two-time Presidential loser, he tossed her and their daughter out on the street, sources tell the ENQUIRER exclusively!

    Top secret documents obtained exclusively by The ENQUIRER provide undeniable proof that John Edwards is the father of his mistress’ love child – and show that she’s asking for nearly $18,000 a month in support!

    But Rielle Hunter’s cash grab so infuriated the disgraced presidential candidate that, sources say, he basically tossed her and their daughter out on the street just days before they were set to move into a house he’d bought for them!

    The ENQUIRER has also learned Edwards had been preparing to publicly admit he is the baby’s father. But now that their child support negotiations have taken an ugly turn, Rielle is ready to drag the former North Carolina senator into court, insiders say.

    “John thought he had sweetened the deal by getting Rielle a house, but she didn’t think what he’d offered to pay in regular support for their daughter was fair,” an insider disclosed.

    “John was so angry that he wouldn’t let Rielle move into the house, even with a moving van full of her belongings en route.

    “So a week after Thanksgiving, Rielle found herself without a place to live – and no agreement with John for their daughter’s long-term support. She’s absolutely furious, and may take the whole thing public!”

    The abrupt breakdown between Edwards, 56, and the 45-year-old blonde divorcee came as he was preparing a statement that would finally publicly confirm he’d fathered Rielle’s daughter Frances, sources say.

    He was expecting to release the statement within weeks, and he’d even had his parents meet Frances before Thanksgiving, according to sources.

    Edwards has also been negotiating a child support arrangement with Rielle behind the scenes, according to 11 pages of top secret legal documents provided to The ENQUIRER by sources close to the case.

    In a three-page document dated April 15, 2009, Rielle’s New Jersey-based attorney Frank Louis offers her extensive advice on how to figure child support expenses in the case of “Hunter v. Edwards.”

    On May 11, 2009, Louis prepared an eight-page “Family Part Case Information Statement” listing “Rielle Hunter” as the plaintiff and “John Edwards” as the defendant.

    The document identifies “custody” and “child support” as the issues in dispute, and names Rielle and “John Edwards” of Chapel Hill, N.C., as the parents of “Frances Quinn Hunter” born Feb. 27, 2008.

    But sources say Edwards balked at her demands and even though he’d agreed to buy her a home, he backed out of the deal at the last minute.

  2. Happy Hanukkah to you as well, admin! The hopium-addled are waking up. Soon we will see the Big Media Boyz crawling around looking under their desks, as Bush did for WMD’s:

    “There was a sparkly pony here somewhere….nope, not over here….”

    Tweety will discover that the tingle up his leg was just the pending pulmonary embolism that will take the air out of his Obama-praise. It wasn’t Hope that made you breathless and dizzy, Crissy, it was hypoxia. Oops.

  3. Admin.
    Thanks for this Hanukah post! I sent it to all my celebrating friends. Perhaps we could have at least one juicy paragraph added for each of the reamining 7 days.

  4. admin: Loved that post! I especially liked to be reminded that it was just one short year ago that it all seemed so hopeless. Things are becoming unzipped and it won’t be long until the whole enchilada is exposed. LOL!!

  5. THE ESSENTIAL TRUTH ABOUT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA
    (Based on common sense as opposed to magic thinking)

    He has no sense of the economy or business
    He is petty, vindictive and throws supporters under the bus
    He is the personification of the Chicago Machine
    He poses as a visionary leader but is in fact a shallow patsy
    He is a Citizen of the World rather than a bona fide American
    He is the bottom to a dangerous bureaucrat named Pelosi
    He is madly in love with himself and craves to be worshiped
    He deceived us into believing he is something he is not
    He takes his marching orders from Global Predator Soros inter alia
    He is destroying our nation, our liberty and mortgaging out future

    (

  6. It is over for Obama. Over. As the magic thinking wears off common sense will start to prevail among more people. Here are his 10 Achilles heels. I grouped them by target audience i.e. liberal, independent, conservative but the spam filter blocked them from posting.

    Here are the essential truths about Obama, that no rational person can deny: 1. He has no sense of the economy or business 2. He is petty, vindictive and throws supporters under the bus 3. He is the personification of the Chicago Machine 4. He poses as a visionary leader but is in fact a shallow patsy 5. He is a Citizen of the World rather than a bona fide American 6. He is the bottom to a dangerous bureaucrat named Pelosi 7. He is madly in love with himself and craves to be worshiped 8. He deceived us into believing he is something he is no 9. He takes his marching orders from Global Predator Soros inter alia 10. He is destroying our nation,our liberty and mortgaging out future.

  7. Admin: What an outstanding and uplifting post. I will never forgive the boobs, pusses and enablers who forced Obama upon us and I really don’t have faith that they will ever truly wake up. But as a Big Pink reader I take great pride in knowing that we were right from the beginning. Obama cannot be trusted.

  8. Here is what Lord Monckton had to listen to, Obama’s Hitler Youth chanting at Copenhaugen. I guess Soros is sending the young koolaid drinkers to Copenhaugen to shout down Lord Monckton.

    h t t p ://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZw8yF5alkM

  9. The Dims just got thru another 1.1billion in spending. Here we come, just where Soros wants us.

    Posted by Ellen Krafve – bio | email

    WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Democrats had to wait a bit, but they got the crucial 60th vote they needed to end a Republican filibuster on a $1.1 trillion spending bill.

    Party leaders held the vote open for an hour to accommodate Sen. Joe Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew. The Connecticut independent walked more than three miles to the Capitol to cast his vote on the Sabbath. He made the trip after attending services at his synagogue across town from Capitol Hill.

    The 60-34 vote clears the way for passage of the massive spending measure tomorrow afternoon. The bill would give most federal agencies increases far exceeding inflation and hand federal workers pay increases averaging about 2 percent. It would also allow detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

    A watchdog group notes that the bill also contains more than 5,000 pet projects for lawmakers, totaling $3.9 billion.

  10. Win or lose, Hillary Clinton just goes from strength to strength

    Defeat by Barack Obama was supposed to signal a return to the Senate: instead, Hillary Clinton has become a high-profile secretary of state, and is being tipped for the vice-presidency in 2012 and the White House in 2016

    Paul Harris
    The Observer,
    Sunday 13 December 2009

    The rumour was compelling, even by the high-octane standards of Washington DC. Vice-president Joe Biden would step down in two years’ time, allowing Hillary Clinton to join the Democrats’ presidential ticket in 2012. Then, after serving with Barack Obama through his second term, Clinton would be all set to win the White House in 2016.

    The gossip spread like wildfire through the cocktail parties of Washington, into the blogosphere and then into the mainstream press, where New York magazine, National Public Radio and the cable news channels all picked up on it. The dream of Clinton becoming America’s first woman president was suddenly alive again.

    But the true importance of the rumour lay not in its details, but in its very existence. Eighteen months ago, smarting from defeat by Obama’s upstart campaign, such a political rebirth would have been unthinkable. There had been undeniable bitterness between the two camps. The Democratic party had been divided. Two such colossal figures could never work together, let alone prosper. Clinton, in short, would return to the Senate and continue the loyal, dogged work of drawing up legislation and ease into history as an elder stateswoman.

    But the past year has seen a remarkable rejuvenation of Clinton as secretary of state. She has reinvented herself as a highly visible public figure representing the US abroad. At the same time – to the surprise of many critics – she has earned a reputation for loyalty within the Obama administration. “The critics who said she would undermine Obama have been shown to be wrong,” said Robin Gerber, author of Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way.

    Indeed, the only place where Clinton has perhaps trodden on her boss’s toes is in the popularity stakes. While Obama has become the focus of domestic discontent that has seen his approval ratings slump to below 50% in some polls, Clinton has gone from strength to strength. In October, one Gallup survey had Clinton’s approval rating at 62%. She graced the cover of Time magazine last month under the headline “The State of Hillary”. One pundit approvingly dubbed her “America’s Iron Lady”.

    Some might say that Clinton’s first year as secretary of state has gone some way towards soothing the wounds left by her thwarted ambition to take the White House. Though she is not president, Clinton has nonetheless achieved what she has always wanted: influence and power. In fact, many would argue that, against all the odds, she continues to go from strength to strength.

    In an era of celebrity politics Clinton certainly holds her own with Obama. Her name and her face are among the most recognisable in the world. Her presence at an event, or her visit to a foreign county, guarantees a slew of media coverage. “Obama is a celebrity president. She is a celebrity secretary of state,” said Isobel Coleman, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

    That fame has allowed both Obama and Clinton to bask in some of the successes of American foreign policy over the past year. The commitment to closing the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay was hailed around the world, as was a vow to cease torturing detainees.

    American diplomats, after eight years of more muscular Republican unilateralism, were suddenly talking up the strengths of negotiating and forging international alliances. America even scrapped a proposed missile shield that had been a darling of the Bush years, though it outraged Russia and appeared to have serious technical problems.

    Clinton has been able to soak up the benefit of a global sense that America has fundamentally changed the direction of its politics. She has embarked on trips to Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East that have differed substantially in tone from those of the Bush years.

    In Pakistan, she eschewed the usual private audiences with generals and politicians and held a series of often raucous public meetings. “The tone is different now and don’t ever underestimate the importance of tone in diplomacy,” said Larry Haas, a political commentator and former aide in the Clinton White House.

    But there is also a powerful critique building up of the Obama administration’s foreign policy. Clinton is attacked for not making any single issue – say, women’s rights – her diplomatic centre-piece. She is also accused of excessive travelling, and of giving flowery speeches without actually taking any difficult stands. Her critics point out that on some tough issues, such as human rights in China or Tibet, America has pursued similar policies to the Bush administration. The Obama administration looks prettier to its foreign admirers, but the substance remains the same: projection and protection of American power. Realpolitik, it seems, has won out as usual.

    That argument is especially strong when it comes to Afghanistan. Obama was elected on a promise of winding down the war in Iraq and committing extra resources to Afghanistan. But few of those who supported him imagined that he would follow through on that promise to the point where tens of thousands of extra troops would be dispatched. Likewise, with America’s stance on Iran. Relations with Iran are as testy as ever and many believe that a potentially devastating face-off over Iran’s nuclear ambitions remains every bit as likely as it as when Bush was in power.

    “On Iran you are ending up with a policy that is not dissimilar to the Bush one,” said Coleman.

    But Clinton is savvy enough to know that her main audience does not lie abroad, but at home. She has taken her deserved reputation for toughness and translated it into her position in the administration, posing firmly as a hawk. That has won her some unexpected new admirers. Retired four-star general Jack Keane told one interviewer: “I’m a Republican. I disagree with her about practically everything, but she’d make a hell of a commander-in-chief.”

    Indeed, Clinton is known to be reliably hawkish on all the top national security issues, from North Korea to Iran, to Israel and the Middle East. She has given the administration a tough edge on the day-to-day running of diplomacy even as Obama has been more dovish on the big picture version of events.

    But she also shown her canny streak in securing her own position within Obama’s team. Foreign policy is a crowded field in Washington, attracting attention from Obama himself, Pentagon chief Robert Gates and Biden. But a skilful Clinton has gracefully forged alliances and played the game to emerge as a winner. She plays a team game for Obama, maintains an excellent relationship with Gates and has helped see off Biden’s dovish instincts on Afghanistan. She has used her strong personal relationship with the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, to prove her usefulness in the Afghan theatre. She has thrived in a post she never thought she would hold.

    “Clinton is both a passionate and a practical person. She has shown an ability to be both an effective team player and to step out on her own. She walks that line very well,” said Haas.

    Certainly she has stepped out from the shadow of her husband, Bill. One of her few public flaps as secretary of state came on a trip to the Congo, when a student made the mistake of asking her what her spouse thought of a certain issue. Clinton snapped back that she was “not going to be channelling her husband”. Never were truer words spoken.

    After being first lady, a New York senator, battling against Obama in 2008, and now secretary of state, Clinton has defiantly emerged as a major American figure in her own right. Nor has her story ended.

    So what of the rumour that she may replace Biden in 2012 and run in 2016? Away from the chattering television pundits, few of the experts gave the story much credence, least of all those who have studied Clinton closely. “It’s not impossible. But it would be very hard to see that happening,” said Gerber. But she raised another intriguing possibility. Clinton is a highly trained and accomplished lawyer. After her stint at state, Obama could one day appoint her to the supreme court. Then her ability to wield power would go on for as long as she lived. “That could definitely happen one day,” Gerber said.

    One way or another, and defying all predictions, Clinton’s star is likely to be in the ascendant for years to come.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/dec/13/hillary-clinton-strength-president

  11. Good Luck with that!

    “So what of the rumour that she may replace Biden in 2012 and run in 2016?

    One way or another, and defying all predictions, Clinton’s star is likely to be in the ascendant for years to come.”

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

    Replace Joe Biden? You mean replace the goof-in-chief in 2012. I wouldn’t settle for anything less and I will work my *ss off helping her get there.

  12. Office of the Spokesman

    Washington, DC

    December 11, 2009

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver a speech on human rights on Monday, December 14 at 12 p.m. at Georgetown University’s Gaston Hall. The speech is sponsored by Georgetown’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. John J. DeGioia, President of Georgetown, will introduce Secretary Clinton.

    In her speech, Secretary Clinton will discuss the human rights agenda for the 21st century.

    In commemoration of International Human Rights Day on December 10, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton issued a statement.

  13. No, no, no, not the Supreme Court, Hillary is 45! This country needs her more than ever. She’s the only one on the radar that can do it. We have already had two inexperienced people and look what has happened. Its time for someone who knows what they are doing.

  14. The stolen emails went public several weeks ago. The polluters’ employees had plenty of time to cherry pick quotes. Now some other people have had time to study them.

    Nobody has yet found very much incriminating. If the quotes given so far are the worst things that a large number of people said over 13 years of email…!

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091212/ap_on_sc/climate_e_mails
    E-mails stolen from climate scientists show they stonewalled skeptics and discussed hiding data — but the messages don’t support claims that the science of global warming was faked, according to an exhaustive review by The Associated Press.
    [….]
    The AP studied all the e-mails for context, with five reporters reading and rereading them — about 1 million words in total.
    [….]
    One e-mail that skeptics have been citing often since the messages were posted online is from Jones. He says: “I’ve just completed Mike’s (Mann) trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (from 1981 onward) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”
    Jones was referring to tree ring data that indicated temperatures after the 1950s weren’t as warm as scientists had determined [by real thermomether readings].
    The “trick” that Jones said he was borrowing from Mann was to add the real temperatures, not what the tree rings showed. And the decline he talked of hiding was not in real temperatures, but in the tree ring data which was misleading, Mann explained.

  15. From Dec 9 interview of Gore by Andrea Mitchell, quoted at http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/al-gore-bashes-clime-change-deniers-glo

    GORE: Well, you know, the — the global warming deniers persist in this air of unreality. After all, the entire north polar icecap, which has been there for most of the last 3 million years, is disappearing before our eyes. Forty percent is already gone. The rest is expected to go completely within the next decade. What do they think is causing this?
    [….]
    GORE: Well, the scientific community has worked very intensively for 20 years within this international process, and they now say the evidence is unequivocal. A hundred and fifty years ago this year was the discovery that CO-2 traps heat. That is a — a principle in physics. It’s not a question of debate. It’s like gravity; it exists.

  16. http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2009/12/09/climate-gate-timeline/
    A Case Of Classic SwiftBoating: How The Right-Wing Noise Machine Manufactured ‘Climategate’
    [….] The methods for the right-wing political hit machine were honed during the Clinton years. Columnist and language-guru William Safire, a former aide to actual Watergate crook President Nixon, attached “-gate” to any minor post-Nixon incident as a “rhetorical legerdemain” intended “to establish moral equivalence.” (See phony manufactured scandals “Travelgate,” “Whitewatergate,” etc.) A right-wing echo chamber — including the Rev. Moon-funded Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, talk radio, and the constellation of various conservative front groups and think tanks — would then blare the scandal incessantly, regardless of the truth. But the more troubling aspect of this gimmick is the increasing willingness for traditional media outlets, from the Evening News to the Washington Post, to largely reprint unfounded right-wing smears without context or critical reporting.
    One of the most successful coups for right-wing hit men was the “SwiftBoat” campaign, a well financed effort orchestrated by lobbyists and Bush allies to smear Sen. John Kerry’s (D-MA) war record. But “Climategate” is no different, with many of the same conservatives actors playing their respective roles

    Details in a following post.

  17. ADMIN, HERE’S SOME WINGNUT NUTS AND BOLTS FOR YOU.

    http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2009/12/09/climate-gate-timeline/
    (continued from last post)

    Nov. 17:

    – RealClimate blogger Gavin Schmidt realized that someone was hacking his computer and downloading 160MB of files from a Turkish IP address. About an hour after the intrusion, a mysterious commenter at the climate skeptic blog Climate Audit posted a link to the hacked files with a note reading: “A miracle just happened.” Schmidt noted that, “four downloads occurred from that link while the file was still there (it no longer is).”

    Nov. 19:

    – Hackers then used a computer in Saudi Arabia to post the stolen e-mails, stored on a Russian server, on the climate skeptic website Air Vent.

    – Skeptic blog “Watts Up With That” curiously is among the first blogs to posts the hacked e-mails.

    – Chris Horner, an operative of the Koch Industries/ExxonMobil-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute, blogged giddily at National Review that although he had not been “able to fully digest this at present,” “the blue dress moment may have arrived” on climate science.

    – Sarah Palin appears on Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor to discuss her new book. Palin and O’Reilly compare a young man who briefly hacked into her e-mail account in 2008, calling the incident “extremely disconcerting and disruptive” and “Watergate-lite.” O’Reilly and Plain do not discussed the hacked climate e-mails.

    Nov. 20:

    – In a front page article, the New York Times’ Andy Revkin reports that the e-mails “might lend themselves to being interpreted as sinister.”

    – Myron Ebell, of the Koch Industries/ExxonMobil-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute, releases a statement pointing to the stolen e-mails to conclude that global warming science is “phony.”

    – Reading reports on right-wing blogs on air, Rush Limbaugh dedicates a segment to the hacked e-mails, claiming they vindicate his belief that global warming does not exist.

    – Conservative Ed Morrissey concluded the e-mails prove global warming is “not science; it’s religious belief.”

    – Right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin cheers “the global warming scandal of the century,” adding: “The Chicago Way is the Global Warming Mob Way.”

    – ExxonMobil-funded front group FreedomWorks blasts out an e-mail asking “Has the Global Warming Lie and Conspiracy Been Truly Exposed?”

    – Marc Morano, a former Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) staffer who helps to distribute climate change denying propaganda to a network of news outlets and conservative organizations, broadcasts Climategate to talk radio.

    — The Wall Street Journal’s environmental blog publicizes the conservative blogosphere’s furor: “this should get interesting … Maybe this will spice things up.”

    Nov. 22:

    – Sen. David Vitter’s (R-LA) staff distributes a letter claiming the stolen e-mails reveal what “could well be the greatest act of scientific fraud in history.”

    Nov. 23:

    – Heralding the stolen e-mails, infamous climate science skeptic Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) call for congressional investigations against climate scientists.

    – Fox News’ Fox Nation headlines the e-mails: “Global Warming’s Waterloo”

    – Glenn Beck devotes both his radio and Fox News program to covering Climategate, claims the e-mails show a “brand new reality” on climate science.

    – Investors’ Business Daily editorializes that the e-mails show that global warming is “junk science.”

    – The ExxonMobil-funded Heritage Foundation publicizes the stolen e-mails.

    – Right-wing activist Viscount Monckton says climate scientists are “criminals.”

    Nov. 24:

    – Fox News’ Stu Varney begins his daily coverage of Climategate. He continues to attack global warming science, using the e-mails, on both the Fox News and Fox Business network.

    – Washington Times editorial board, Drudge Report, both chime in to claim hacked e-mails show global warming is not real.

    Nov. 29:

    – Fox News regular Andrew Breitbart calls for climate scientists to be killed over Climategate.

    Nov. 30:

    – Rep. Candace Miller (R-MI) issues a statement to demand for an investigation of Climategate, and begins speaking about it on the floor of the House. In the following week, Reps Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Darrell Issa (R-CA), John Linder (R-GA), Bill Shuster (R-PA), Joe Barton (R-TX), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA), Mike Rogers (R-MI), Dan Burton (R-IN), Steve Scalise (R-LA), Greg Walden (R-OR) and Charlie Dent (R-PA) begin blasting press releases on the subject.

    Dec. 1:

    – Newt Gingrich, who only 2 years ago said America must act “urgently” to address climate change, seizes on the stolen e-mails to spread skepticism of global warming science. Gingrich’s political attack group, ASWF, is heavily funded by coal interests.

    Dec. 2:

    – Right-wing billionaire David Koch, of the oil empire Koch Industries, sends his front group Americans for Prosperity to attend the Copenhagen conference to attempt to hijack the debate. AFP intends to “expose” the science using the stolen e-mails.

    Dec. 3:

    – Canada’s National Post reports that burglars and hackers have been attacking the Canadian Center for Climate Modeling and Analysis at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. In the lead up to the Copenhagen conference, Andrew Weaver — a University of Victoria scientist and key contributor to the Nobel prize-winning work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — noted that his campus office was broken into twice and that a dead computer was stolen and papers were rummaged through.

    – Saudi Arabian climate negotiators for the Copenhagen summit endorse Climategate, charging that the e-mail show “there is no relationship whatsoever between human activities and climate change.”

    – Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade says “damning” e-mails show scientists who “think … Antartica is becoming like the Bahamas.”

    Dec. 4:

    – NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams adopts right-wing Climategate smear: “Have the books been cooked on climate change?”

    Dec. 7:

    – ExxonMobil-funded think tanks the Heartland Institute and the National Center for Policy Analysis publicize the e-mails to “discredit” global warming science.

    Dec. 8:

    – The Wall Street Journal accuses climate scientists of being Stalinists.

    – Fox News devotes a segment to a right-wing Rasmussen poll with a graphic that claims 120 percent of the public believes scientists falsified global warming data.

  18. Just to give an idea of the links available at
    http://swifthack.com/

    Send Tips | RSS | Daily Email | More on SwiftHack
    SWIFTHACK
    Myles Allen: Science Forgotten in Stolen Emails Fuss
    IPCC Chief Pachauri: Negotiators Haven’t Been Distracted by ‘ClimateGate’
    AP Review: Stolen Emails Don’t Undercut Vast Body of Scientific Evidence
    Select Committee Staff Analysis Debunks Stolen Climate Email Myths
    Washington Post Op-Ed Editor Defends Running Palin SwiftHack Column

    FactCheck.org Debunks ‘ClimateGate’ Little Green Footballs Piles On
    NRDC’s Pete Altman: The Voices of Reason are Prevailing Over ‘Climategate’… ‘Climategate’ Turned Out to be Such a Dud UCLA Climate Scientist Glenn MacDonald in L.A. Times: ‘Climategate’ Distracts from a Crucial Issue
    Michael Gerson Attempts Thoughtfulness on ‘ClimateGate,’ Then Gives it Up Pew Poll: 23% of Republicans and 11% of Democrats Have Heard ‘A Lot’ About ‘Disclosure of Private Emails Between Prominent Climate Scientists’
    U.S. Youth Crash Americans for Prosperity Live Webcast in Copenhagen NWF CEO Larry Schweiger: Polluter-Pushed Hack Can’t Cloud Science
    How The Right-Wing Noise Machine Manufactured ‘Climategate’ Cartoon: The Climate Change Hoax
    ABC Uses Fox Tactic to Make Jon Stewart Seem Like a Climate Change Denier Al Gore: “Global Warming Deniers Persist in this Air of Unreality’
    Pew Center on Global Climate Change Releases SwiftHack/ClimateGate Background Document The Nation: What You Need to Know About ‘ClimateGate’
    Digby on Sarah Palin’s New Facebook Rant: Oh Snap Krugman: Deniers Furious at the Notion that they Have to Listen to Guys Who Talk in Big Words
    Barbara O’Brien: Knowledge vs. Ignorance (and Ignorance Is Winning) Cosmos Magazine: No Climate for Games
    The Way Things Break Compiles Reactions to Sarah Palin’s WaPo Op-Ed SwiftHack Sarah Palin Publishes Error-Ridden Op-Ed in the Washington Post
    Statements from Scientists Other Statements of Interest
    American Meteorological Society Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA)
    Professor Phil Jones, Head of the Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA)
    Michael Mann, Lead author of the UN IPCC Third Assessment Report Carol Browner, Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy
    James Hansen of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies White House Science Advisor John Holdren
    Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

  19. I still think this vp rumor is ridiculous on its face. It is being promoted by the obama scumbags to keep the clinton forces from mounting a challenge. That is all this is. If she is going to do it then the year will be 2012. I believe next year will tell the story. But 2016 is out of the question in my opinion. Don’t believe it.

  20. Replace Joe Biden? You mean replace the goof-in-chief in 2012. I wouldn’t settle for anything less and I will work my *ss off helping her get there.
    ————————
    Me too. And I will be damned if I will fall for their 2016 nonsense.

  21. Wbboei, you are right about the Hillary as VP rumor. Years ago (and it might happen still), Microsoft developed a strategy to keep competitive businesses at bay.

    When any software developer would begin to seek funding, from venture capitalists to develop new software to perform a certain function, Microsoft would announce, loudly or quietly, that it too was developing the same type software to be introduced in its next Windows package. The result was that funding would dry up for for outside of Microsoft software developers. In almost all cases Microsoft would not develop the promised new software once the threat was removed.

    This old Microsoft trick (and it is not a trick only employed by Microsoft but rather smart, if dirty, business practice) is now being employed by Obama thugs to dampen any moves by Hillary. This is also a good way for the Obama Hopium dispensers to get early word of any moves by Hillary as the equivalent of venture capitalists of political campaigns will go to the Obama thugs at the first pro-Hillary funding moves to check out whether there is any possibility that Hillary could come to the rescue of the Obama 2012 death campaign.

    Don’t believe the hype.

  22. Puma-SF, Hillary can still be 44 by a different measure. Grover Cleveland was elected twice but not consecutively. If Hillary becomes the next president she would become the 44th person to be president.

  23. admin: Superp, I still haven’t given up hope that she will sit in the Oval Office before 2012. Although I do think hope is overrated. Obama is less then zero when it comes to “person” status.

  24. “Obama is a celebrity president. She is a celebrity secretary of state,” said Isobel Coleman, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

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

    ah, no…when Obama shows up he brings his teleprompter, when Hillary shows up she brings intelligence, experience, substance, strength and DEPTH…something you cannot acquire just reading words…

  25. wbboei

    “If she is going to do it then the year will be 2012.”

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

    Yes, admin, floating the rumor Hillary is considering the vp slot would definitely keep the money flowing to the head of the hydra. Hillary needs to do exactly what Sarah Palin did- resign at the right time and go on the road on a speaking tour campaigning against the current leadership while the idiot-in-chief is still dicking around with Health Care accomplishing nothing for the people. Obama has given her the perfect venue for a wonderful campaign slogan: “I TOLD YOU SO”

  26. I must be reading Admin’s minds, as I was going to post about this being a smoke screen to retain financial supporters, and to keep the competition at bay by suggesting a way the fraud could be re-elected. But the blog, as usually, has done a great job all on its own.

    I TOLD YOU SO is a good one, and there are many more to add.

    How about the new MAYOR in Houston!

  27. turndownobama
    December 13th, 2009 at 12:24 am

    The stolen emails went public several weeks ago. The polluters’ employees had plenty of time to cherry pick quotes. Now some other people have had time to study them.

    Nobody has yet found very much incriminating. If the quotes given so far are the worst things that a large number of people said over 13 years of email…!

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091212/ap_on_sc/climate_e_mails

    “E-mails stolen from climate scientists show they stonewalled skeptics and discussed hiding data — but the messages don’t support claims that the science of global warming was faked, according to an exhaustive review by The Associated Press.”

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

    AP’s Seth Borenstein is just too damn cozy with the people he covers – time for AP to do something about it.

    Here’s a recent story from the Associated Press: (per your post, Turndown:)

    By Seth Borenstein, Raphael Satter and Malcolm Ritter, Dec 12, 2009

    “E-mails stolen from climate scientists show they stonewalled skeptics and discussed hiding data — but the messages don’t support claims that the science of global warming was faked, according to an exhaustive review by The Associated Press.”

    Look in the mirror, fools. It’s right there in the CRU emails:

    On Jul 23, 2009, at 11:54 AM, Borenstein, Seth wrote:

    “Kevin, Gavin, Mike,
    It’s Seth again. Attached is a paper in JGR today that
    Marc Morano is hyping wildly. It’s in a legit journal. Whatchya think?”

    Seth

    Seth Borenstein
    Associated Press Science Writer
    [7]sborenstein@xxxxxxxxx.xxx
    The Associated Press, 1100 13th St. NW, Suite 700,
    Washington, DC
    20005-4076
    202-641-9454

  28. Link to the comment above from Tony Watts a meteorologist who’s been in the business for 25 yrs. Bad enough to be duped by Obamabots promoting Global Warming is as is another scam promoted by Al Gore.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/

    You can look at his graph tracking temperatures and CO2. There is absolutely no relationship between the two. Global Warming is a natural cycle of the earth’s atmosphere.

  29. I spoke to a friend of mine and strong Hillary supporter last night whose husband has a PHD and 3 masters in the health sciences. She defends the role of science in general in this debate while conceding that politics and ambition can corrupt the process. For example, her husband studied under a leading authority on maritime pollution and its impact upon sea life. She says her husbands mentor would not lie per se, but would extrapolate from the available data to reach conclusion which were always conducive to the receipt of grant money. With respect to global warming, she says from a pure scientific standpoint, there is an inadequate body of evidence to reach firm conclusions since they have only been collecting data for 100 years which is less than a nanosecond in the life of the earth. Her concern is global pollution more than global warming, but thinks the scientific effort should continue. She does not want this to morph into the old creationism vs science debate.

    Her primary concern is not the problem so much as the remedy. The common approach of the corrupt Obama Administration is to select a problem, characterize it as a crisis, and then implement a remedy which does not solve the problem but lines the pockets of big business interests. This can be seen in cap and trade, and this health care miasma. She hates both of those programs. The question is, has always been, whether these programs solve the problem, and are affordable. If a public official like Obama promotes these programs and they do not solve the problem, diminishes personal wealth and bankrupt the country for the sake of big business then there is a word for it: treason. The remedy for that is at the ballot box, if he does not destroy our country first.

    It has been my observation that many of the people who were avid supporters of Obama have grown strangely silent on the subject. The remedy for that problem is President Hillary Clinton in 2012.

  30. Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeefallllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll……………………..

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that 23% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-two percent (42%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -19.

    Today is the second straight day that Obama’s Approval Index rating has fallen to a new low. Prior to the past two days, the Approval Index had never fallen below -15 during Obama’s time in office

  31. wbboei,

    “She says her husbands mentor would not lie per se, but would extrapolate from the available data to reach conclusion which were always conducive to the receipt of grant money.”

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    I agree with your post. The problem we’re seeing is people having trouble wrapping their heads around the scope and breath of what Obama’s “real” agenda is- pushing for Cap and Trade and a Carbon Tax on citizens. By adopting the COP15 agreement which holds many human and civil rights violations within the framework of it’s preliminary draft. Their agenda is geared to bleed the public dry and relieve them of whatever wealth they’ve accumulated spreading their wealth to Third World countries driving them into losing their retirement savings, their homes and ultimately into hopeless poverty.

    Simply put, Obama is all about the Haves and the Have Nots. The middle class do not qualify as Haves because Obama’s agenda is with the Elites. The Elites are not planning to part with “their” wealth when they can easily bankrupt the Middle Class by having banks foreclose on their homes and be in control of vast real estate inventories. By passing domestic legislation on Cap and Trade and a Carbon Tax on private citizens you are left with Banks and the EPA in control of citizen’s lives.

    Obama could not careless about pollution.

  32. “E-mails stolen from climate scientists show they stonewalled skeptics and discussed hiding data — but the messages don’t support claims that the science of global warming was faked, according to an exhaustive review by The Associated Press.”
    —————————
    These people are the least credible people on the planet. Whether you believe in global warming or not, these are the last people in the world to rely on. They are an extension of the Obama campaign machine and have been since the beginning. If you believe them, then you must also believe that it is a good idea to appoint the coach of one of two competing teams as the referee. They are bitter partisans, and any review of the evidence they would conduct is tainted with their bias and should be excluded from any rational debate on the subject. I condemn them at the organization and down to the lowest operative. They may love their wives and children but they are rank and file members of an organization whose culture systematically perverts the truth. I have seen too many examples of this to ever believe otherwise.

  33. Footnote: I feel no animus toward the other wire services. Just AP. Starting with the New York Times reprobate who runs it.

  34. Great news, Moononpluto!

    Let’s hope the Dims pay attention, realize it’s suicidal to tie their fortunes to Squat’s and wake up in time to defeat the monstrosity of a HCR bill as well as crap and tax.

  35. Yes Moon that is terrific news. It is 2 to 1 against him now. I was at a Christmas Party last night and everyone I spoke to believe the man is an unmitigated disaster for this country. Not one dissenting vote.

  36. wbboei
    December 13th, 2009 at 11:30 am

    wbboei,

    I’m curious – were any of these people Obama supporters or cheerleaders prior to this? Do tell…

  37. MoonOnPluto, those numbers are staggering. The Obama campaign thugs will doubtless continue to whistle past the graveyard but every day new weakness is displayed.

    Even the repulsive Clare McCaskill is running away from the disaster and she is not up for re-election next year. We don’t believe a word that drips from her lips:

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/politicolive/1209/McCaskill_will_vote_no_on_health_care_if_it_increases_costs.html?showall

    Sen. Clare McCaskill (D-Mo.) says she’d “absolutely” vote against health care overhaul legislation if it raises costs and the deficit.

    “My statement all along is it has to slow down the increase in health care costs over time, and that is bending the cost curve and secondly that it has to be deficit neutral,” McCaskill said on “Fox News Sunday.” “We have to be saving more money for our government than we’re spending.”

    McCaskill, a first-term senator, said if the Senate bill now under consideration raises costs and increases the deficit, senators would “go back and look at other proposals.”

  38. We also have anecdotes to tell about the slipping support. Recently we have been at events and heard from the most die-hard Democrats (from the arts community) that there is not a person they know that is not “disgusted” with Obama. We are sure that these are the types of Democrats that would not tell pollsters what they honestly think. If Obama has lost these absolutely hate the Republicans types he is in greater trouble than even the polls state.

  39. Claire Macaskill the ultimate political blowjob queen who frankly can only be described as having pimped herself out as Obama’s political oral front during the campaign. Who would have guessed she would run a mile when she knows tying herself now to bambi will get her sacked in 2012.

    Sweety (well her boss dished it out so many times), you barely won in 2006, 2012 you are done, we will make sure of it.

    Revenge is better than christmas.

  40. Here’s more on the Rasmussen poll.

    BTW, Anyone else hear the Squats are headed to Hawaii for a 13 day Xmas vacation?????

    “The 23% who Strongly Approve matches the lowest level of enthusiasm yet recorded. Just 41% of Democrats Strongly Approve while 69% of Republicans Strongly Disapprove. Among voters not affiliated with either major party, 21% Strongly Approve and 49% Strongly Disapprove.

    The flight of independents continues, in other words. They’re more disillusioned than the electorate as a whole, with a -28 on the index and more than a 2-1 showing for strongly disapproving to strongly approving. Among seniors, it’s -29, and even the under-30 crowd has him at a -2. According to Rasmussen, Obama has also lost the middle class, noting that his weakest income demographics come from earners between $40K – $100K per year.”

  41. I’m curious – were any of these people Obama supporters or cheerleaders prior to this? Do tell…
    ——————————————————————————————-
    Hi Ani–30% of them were. They do not admit it now. But I saw them at the same Christmas Party a year ago and I vividly recall what their sentiments were at that time. The group as a whole was blue collar, managers and small business owners. The demographic was 45 and up. Some were union and ex union. There were independents republicans and democrats. I do not have a good feel for where the young people stand, but not our friend dick morris has done some polling of his own which shows that when they learn that they will be forced to pay for coverage their strongly oppose what he is selling. I believe he is in the process of losing a large part of that demographic. They are older now, he has not fulfilled their expectations, they will soon be jobless and more skeptical of unenforceable political promises supported by nothing but hype.

  42. McCaskill is a scientific experiment gone bad in mating a hippopotamus with a jackal. Her ex husband was an attorney and he committed suicide. He was a lucky lawyer. Do you perchance recall the time this freak of nature spit in the earphones and handed them to one of the Republican candidates. This was bad form, whether or not he deserved it. The jackal side of her personality shown through. At other times she tried to cop a feel with Obama and even he would have none of it. What I most enjoy however is when stands before outraged citizens and pretends to be legitimate. What a ham actor.

  43. wbboei
    December 13th, 2009 at 9:57 am
    I spoke to a friend of mine and strong Hillary supporter last night whose husband has a PHD and 3 masters in the health sciences…

    ———————-

    I find this post to be one of the best on this confusing topic to date. There has been so much written and posted here about climategate et al that it can be overwhelming. I sit back and wonder if this is also a pro-Gore vs anti-Gore moment as well and that just skewers the process even more.

    wwoebi,

    Thanks to your friend for making the most sense to me yet.

  44. Christine Roehmer is a close runner-up to top BJ queen.

    I heard her on Meet the De-pressed this morning and her obsequious kowtowing to Squat was practically XXX-rated.

    Even Squat diehard Gregory looked squeamish.

  45. When those young people cannot get jobs they will take it out on him. He was the one who PROMISED them hope and change. At a minimum, that means a decent livelihood. As the Yukon poet Robert Service noted:

    A promise made
    Is a debt unpaid
    And the trail
    Has its own stern code

  46. wbboei,

    I never needed, wanted or could afford health insurance until well into my 30’s.

    (I am a late-bloomer).

    Having been forced to pay hundreds of dollars for HC would have meant going without either food or shelter, neither of which I would have been willing to sacrifice.

    Wonder of today’s under-40’s will wake up in time to realize what’s going on? (If LSM has any say, they’ll be in the dark until it’s too late.)

  47. This is the problem with these sweeping solutions to supposed problems. They fail to take into account of the unique circumstances of each individual. They impose taxes fines and financial obligations on millions of people who are sailing close to the wind. And when they inflate the value of the currency they deprive people on fixed income of a livelihood. And now they raise the debt ceiling. The only plausible answer for this is creative destruction as I have hypothesized before. By what sophistry of reason can they expect to heap massive financial burdens on a faltering economy and not have it fail. Failure is measured not in stock market bubbles but in the jobless recovery and he resulting decline in the wealth of our nation. The responsibility for this rests squarely on the shoulders of Obama. He is the architect of the coming disaster. If you think I am kidding, all you need to do is run the numbers. The conclusion is obvious.

  48. wbboei said:
    Her concern is global pollution more than global warming, but thinks the scientific effort should continue. She does not want this to morph into the old creationism vs science debate.
    Her primary concern is not the problem so much as the remedy. The common approach of the corrupt Obama Administration is to select a problem, characterize it as a crisis, and then implement a remedy which does not solve the problem but lines the pockets of big business interests. This can be seen in cap and trade, and this health care miasma.

    =======================

    I certainly agree with this!

    Whether we focus on global warming or on global pollution, it is largely the same polluting industries causing both. And the same scientific community fighting both. The (mostly non-climatic) ‘scientists’ who are attacking the scientific community now will go on to attack anti-pollution efforts.

  49. I did not mean to say inflate the value of our currency. I meant print money with reckless abandon thereby causing inflation. That deflates the value of money. It is not happening now because there is a rush to t bills and no one is spending much money contrary to certain hype about the Christmas season–and particularly its aftermath. It will happen next year however when we adjust to mark to market. Hyper inflation to pay for these programs is coming.

  50. Mrs. Smith
    December 13th, 2009 at 9:07 am

    ====================

    So a reporter asked some CRU guys for comment on a relevant paper in July. That doesn’t make him guilty of anything. There were over 1000 emails, most of them innocent.

  51. As for the Dims talking about not raising the deficit for health care etc — isn’t there also a current bill to raise the limit on the debt, in connection with some further stimulus bill they want?

  52. I ran into the owner of a Mercedes dealership here in town. He is a nice old guy, and fought in North Africa during World War II. He made a fortune and gave it away. He spends alot of time with sick children and terminal cases. He plays Santa Clause at the local hospital. His bona fides are above reproach.

    I asked him how his business was going. He told me he lived through the depression and things were looking better. He said he sold 7 new Mercedes the day before. What if anything are we to make of that.

    It is obvious that the well healed are doing just fine in this crisis. Others are suffering and in real trouble. Why not take judicial notice of this and impose a 25% global tax on people making more than $500,000? The burden of this nonsense must be shifted from the middle class who cannot afford it to the wealthy who can. He is their candidate and it is only right that they should pay the cost of his improvident policies.

  53. wbboei,

    I have read that if a new currency were to be issued it would take three current dollars to get one of the new.

    Do you think that’s likely to happen? (a new currency).

  54. JanH
    December 13th, 2009 at 12:38 pm
    I sit back and wonder if this is also a pro-Gore vs anti-Gore moment as well and that just skewers the process even more.

    ======================

    Yes. The dinosaur industries have been out to get Gore ever since he wrote EARTH IN THE BALANCE prior to 1992. They would be pushing ‘climategate’ just to discredit him, if for no other reason.

  55. JanH
    December 13th, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Thanks to your friend for making the most sense to me yet.

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

    Jan, I agree with her scientific assessment. However, there are several dynamics in play here at the same time in the US besides Global Warming most importantly, the Economy and Health Care. Having the Banks, the EPA and the IRS as enforcement entities over citizens for collecting non-payment of HC premiums, will be all America needs to severely cripple it’s citizen’s Civil Rights if the EPA and the IRS are used for enforcing man-made dictatorials on Global Warming restrictions and non-payment of Health Care premiums.

    At the present time, there are three dimensions affecting our present state of affairs being discussed in Congress. Health Care, the Economy and Global Warming. Each one of those discussions comes with it a host of monetary penalties to be levied on the public if they are legislated into law having severe, debilitating consequences to people if they are not in compliance. Wbboei’s friend just elucidated one aspect of how scientists cherry pick scientific data when grants are at stake.

    When you take a step back and look at the overview of the issues pending in our Congress, the Economy, Health Care and the addition of Global Warming to the mix it appears they are coordinated to hit the public all at the same time

    Al Gore is not an issue except to those who choose to protect him as some sort of an idol to their ideals. Nevertheless, the fact remains, Al Gore stands in Obama’s Camp not ours.

  56. Not only are the wealthy not suffering they stand to benefit from the downturn. They can buy the homes of people who lose them for pennies on the dollar. All the more reason to put the tax burden where it belongs. Not on the middle class but on the well heeled.

  57. turndownobama, the problem is that there is BIG MONEY and huge corporate political interests on BOTH sides of this. And both muddy the waters. It’s not just the oil industry that is meddling and providing financing, Big Money has hopped onto the other side as well.

    The science isn’t being left alone to reach conclusions by EITHER side. There is strong-arming going on, as many scientists have attested to. Opposing or even slightly skeptical views are outright blackballed from the review literature, and then (handily) denigrated for not being peer-reviewed. The grant process is a politicized joke.

    There is no freaking way to arrive at complete scientific truth in that sort of politicized environment, with billions standing to be made on BOTH sides.

  58. So here is my idea to pay for Obama nonsense.

    all income in excess of $250 K would be subject to a 25% global tax

    all income in excess of $1 M would be subject to a 50% global tax

    all income in excess of $5 M would be subject to a 75% global tax

    With a draconian penalty for capital flight. Or criminalize it.

    Do you suppose that would get their attention?

  59. HillaryforTexas
    December 13th, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Here, here-

    The proof is in the pudding. The corporate polluters can buy Carbon Credits to continue polluting. This is no more about science and cleaning up the environment than the MOON is made of Swiss Cheese. The elites are using the altruistic motives of people like us who want to clean up the environment as has been said before, it’s about politics and greed… not science and cleaning up the environment.

  60. HillaryforTexas,

    The big money that is claiming an environmentlaist banner (wind, perhaps nuclear) is very late to the battle. For decades, it has been Big Oil Money against grants from government and a few environmentalist groups.

    So the legitimate research groups are part of universities with some tradition of fairness. Any carrots they may now be offered by Big Wind or Big Cap and Trade are late, unreliable, and may not be pleasing to their parent universities.

    So there may be some monetary pressures from both sides, but not equal pressures.

  61. The nuclear industry needs to be vilified as well. It is unsafe at any speed. Plus you cannot get rid of the waste product and nobody wants it. If we are going to have clean safe energy we need solar or wind. And we are not there yet. But to hell with nuclear power. That is the same power that threatens the survival of the world for war purpose. There should be a flat prohibition on all forms of nuclear power except on submarines. Excelon and General Electric can go to hell.

  62. HillaryforTexas said:
    Opposing or even slightly skeptical views are outright blackballed from the review literature, and then (handily) denigrated for not being peer-reviewed.

    ======================

    I’ve seen that claim about two papers mentioned in the CRU emails. At least one of the papers has a lot of strikes against it as being very badly done.

    How many papers and articles can you name as examples?

  63. wbboei
    December 13th, 2009 at 2:07 pm
    But to hell with nuclear power. That is the same power that threatens the survival of the world for war purpose. There should be a flat prohibition on all forms of nuclear power except on submarines.

    ================

    I’d agree if it were possible.

  64. This is a good article from No Quarter. Among other things, we learn that Andrea Mitchell is a transvestite. (His real name is Andrew Mitchell.)

    Warmists in the 11th Century
    By John Batchelor on December 13, 2009 at 9:45 AM in Current Affairs

    Deniers Denied.
    Spoke to Bob Zimmerman, author “Universe in a Mirror,”Tuesday 8, and speaking to Robert Eshelman, Nation, on Wed 9, both re Copenhagen, yet from diverse points of view.

    The diversity is critical. Zimerman and I spoke the Climategate, an issue that looms in significance as the climate change warmists press their case that the hacked-emails are nothing a footnote, and as the skeptics press the case that the global warming scientists are not to be trusted, having been caught out on changing tree-ring data from mid-20th century.

    Why trust a falsifier? The global warming team does not provide an answer. Instead what comes across is that this has turned into a partisan boxing match.

    Above hostsRachel Maddow and Andrew Mitchell, representing MSNBC cable, which is self-consciously associated with the Obama administration’s team, speak of Climategate as a trivial matter and treat those who challenge the data and the conclusions as “deniers.”

    News to me that this term is regarded as prejudicial and a smear — as in a Holocaust-denier. What I also learn from the above colloquy of two people who are being paid sizable sums in order to speak of Climategate as insignificant, not from the facts but from their team allegiance, is that the global warmists have not yet found a defensive strategy that works.

    Attacking the critic is not a promising solution to a problem, just a momentary tactic. It does not answer the doubts that you have a weakness.

    What Warm Problem?

    I have learned to frame the story not in terms of tree-rings and ice cores but rather in terms of centuries.
    The warmist case argues that it is warmer now than it was 150 years ago, and that is a direct result of man-man green-house gases such as CO2 from our carbon-based energy generation. But this is not proved. We may be warmer because of natural events, such as the sun-spots that Zimmerman and I watch closely.

    The more important comparison is between the 21st century and the 11th century. The warmists at East Anglia know this. So do the skeptics. And what does the data support? No definite conclusions.

    It was warm in the 11th century. That was about the time that the Norse went a-Viking as far as Greenland and North America — when the Vikings reached Maine. The fabled Vinland map is from that warm period, and the Greenland settlements followed. The Little Ice Age that followed int he 16th century (associated with no sunspots for decades) shut off the Greenland colonies and also froze the top of pails of milk in Shakespeare’s age.

    Why was it warm in the 11th century? Why did it get much colder in the 16th? Was it as warm in the 11th as now. Can we get as cold as the 16th again without changing anything? Unknown at this time. Need more data. Need trusthworthy data.

    Warm Bolivia.
    Rob Eshelman tells me from Copenhagen of his conversation with Evo Morales’s Climate ambsssador to Copenhagen, Salon, who argues that the problem is not the climate alone but the abuse of “Mother Earth” by the developed nations of the United States and Western Europe. Bolivia advocates a”Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth” that rejects cap and trade solutions and wants the developed states to pay damages done to the planet to compensate the developing nations as they rise.

    In sum, Bolivia, and we can presume also Venezuela and other allies of Hug Chavez, want a planet not just cooler but also a world turned upside down. Once you begin talking about the future of the planet, there is no end to the stuff dreams are made of. The warm shall be cool; the last shall be first.

  65. This article comes from the latest US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works report. Scientists from ALL over the World are decrying the Global Warming scam at the COP15 Summit:

    More Than 700 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims

    “The over 700 dissenting scientists are now more than 13 times the number of UNscientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers. The 59 additional scientists hail from all over the world, including Japan, Italy, UK, Czech Republic, Canada, Netherlands, the U.S. and many are affiliated with prestigious institutions including, NASA, U.S. Navy, U.S. Defense Department, Energy Department, U.S. Air Force, the Philosophical Society of Washington (the oldest scientific society in Washington), Princeton University, Tulane University, American University, Oregon State University, U.S. Naval Academy and EPA.”

    The explosion of skeptical scientific voices is accelerating unabated in 2009. A March 14, 2009 article in the Australian revealed that Japanese scientists are now at the forefront of rejecting man-made climate fears prompted by the UN IPCC.

    “I do not find the supposed scientific consensus among my colleagues,” noted Earth Scientist Dr. Javier Cuadros on March 3, 2009. Cuadros, of the UK Natural History Museum, specializes in Clay Mineralogy and has published more than 30 scientific papers.

    Award-Winning Princeton University Physicist Dr. Robert H. Austin, who has published 170 scientific papers and was elected a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, lamented the current fears over global warming.

    “Unfortunately, Climate Science has become Political Science…It is tragic that some perhaps well-meaning but politically motivated scientists who should know better have whipped up a global frenzy about a phenomena which is statistically questionable at best,” Austin told the minority staff on the Environment and Public Works Committee on March 2, 2009.

    Tsonis further added: “The temperature has flattened and is actually going down. We are seeing a new shift towards cooler temperatures that will last for probably about three decades.” [ See also: Peer-Reviewed Study Finds Global Warming could stop ‘for up to 30 years! Warming ‘On Hold?…’Could go into hiding for decades’ study finds – Discovery.com – March 2, 2009 ]

    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=10fe77b0-802a-23ad-4df1-fc38ed4f85e3

  66. Hi wbboie,

    Thanks so much for responding. 90% of my friends are/were Hillary supporters, some of whom voted for Obama in the general and some did not. I have not polled the die hard Obama supporters I know to see what their feelings are now. After the knock down drag outs of last year, I just couldn’t bear to hear it if they are still defending his goofy behavior and policies. But the day is coming. I am so tempted to ask – “so how’s that hopenchange comin'” but for the moment I’ll keep my powder dry.

    I am always fascinated to hear other reports from the ground for obvious reasons. Bless you for obliging me. 🙂

  67. Here’s my take on global warming. There’s nothing we can do about it is made by God. The Old Testament says that God will never destroy man by water again. So I asked my mom what that meant, she said it meant the end will be by fire. So in my opinion there’s nothing we can do to change what is going to happen.

    Sorry if I offended anyone with a biblical prophecy, but I just couldn’t help myself.

  68. “Al Gore is not an issue except to those who choose to protect him as some sort of an idol to their ideals. Nevertheless, the fact remains, Al Gore stands in Obama’s Camp not ours.”

    —————–
    Mrs. Smith,

    That was exactly what I was trying to say. Instead of believing that Obama and Al Gore both walk on water, it would be nice if their supporters would realize that they have made mistakes…huge ones in some cases.

  69. confloyd,

    I never disregard the power of God or the bible. My personal beliefs are that his touch is on everything. What saddens me though is how so many(human beings)keep getting it wrong.

  70. #
    JanH
    December 13th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    “Al Gore is not an issue except to those who choose to protect him as some sort of an idol to their ideals. Nevertheless, the fact remains, Al Gore stands in Obama’s Camp not ours.”

    —————–
    Mrs. Smith,

    That was exactly what I was trying to say. Instead of believing that Obama and Al Gore both walk on water, it would be nice if their supporters would realize that they have made mistakes…huge ones in some cases.

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

    Thanks, Jan. When I checked back to see if Al Gore actually said: “Humans are responsible for Global Warming”, he did say it. Those words are the centerpiece for his thesis on “An Inconvenient Truth”. I have no need to take down or denigrate Al Gore for promoting a Lie. There are 700 Scientists ahead of me prepared to tell him he’s dead wrong with the evidence to back it up. So portraying me as a Gore hater is a non-starter as well as the fall back tin-foil argument used by Leftists.

    Lord Monckton has done a stellar job of that already.

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/monckton/goreerrors.html

    But due to the fact Big Media hasn’t given any play to Monckton’s debunking of Gore’s movie, Inconvenient Truth, isn’t surprising at all. Now that we know the nexus of the sham was the “Cap and Trade” issue all along. Where billions of dollars were to be made by wealthy financiers creating a Climate bubble using Gore’s movie as the propagandized foundation brainwashing the public into thinking it’s their fault.

    Just as the sub-prime mortgage bubble burst, the Climate bubble was the next bubble created to burst in a few years when the Truth came out humans aren’t responsible for Global Warming at all because the climate is cooling NOT warming regardless of the CO2 emissions.

  71. US Congress sends Obama major spending bill

    WASHINGTON — The US Congress on Sunday sent President Barack Obama a giant spending bill that includes annual foreign aid packages, mild sanctions aimed at Iran, and money for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    The Senate by a vote of 57 to 35 approved the legislation, which now will go to Obama for his expected signature. The package, which had already cleared the House of Representatives, includes 447 billion dollars in annual expenses, plus more than 600 billion dollars in health care expenditures.

    The measure includes two billion dollars, 75 million more than in 2009, to study global climate change, and allows the transfer of suspected terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay to US soil for trial but forbids their release.

    The bill requires periodic reports on the status of diplomatic efforts to freeze Iran’s nuclear program, as well as on US and global sanctions on the Islamic republic, which has defied UN demands to freeze sensitive atomic work. It also forbids the US Export-Import Bank from helping any project run by firms that have a significant role in Iran’s energy sector, though it would allow Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to waive such restrictions.

    As part of US aid to help frontline states in the global war on terrorism with economic development, security, and good governance, the legislation includes 2.6 billion dollars in aid for Afghanistan.

    It also includes 1.459 billion dollars for Pakistan, and 467 million for Iraq.

    The legislation includes 2.22 billion dollars in aid to Israel, 1.3 billion for Egypt, and about 540 million in economic and security aid to Jordan.

    The package also includes 231.6 million dollars in new money to help Mexico in its fight against the deadly illegal drug trade, including funds for counter-narcotics, law-enforcement and economic development.

    It also includes 522 million dollars for counter-narcotics efforts in Colombia, including judicial expenses and efforts to give participants in the drug trade alternative ways to make a living.

    And it includes 83 million for regional security and law-enforcement programs in Central American countries.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gGBzmoEm6GD-k5xuD75GDsRTpCKg

  72. Obama and Soros is getting more money for their pet projects, while Rome burns.

    Soros is really getting the money from his Central American countries. He wants them all cleaned up before he makes the US part of Canada and Central America.

    The handwriting is on the wall for those who care to look. We are broke, but we continue to send money to South America, WHY???

  73. Arizona is in trouble…..another state going down the bankrupt route.

    IOUs instead of checks for state employees?

    http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/148135

    State and university employees could wind up with IOUs in their pay envelopes instead of checks in February if the planned sale of state buildings hits a snag, state Treasurer Dean Martin warned Monday.

    And that could leave workers with a piece of paper that won’t help them buy food for their families, pay the mortgage or heat their homes.

    Martin told legislators that by the end of January the state will have borrowed about $1.1 billion to pay its bills. The total amount Martin has available, both internally and from Bank of America, is $1.2 billion.

    But the state is obligated to make a payment of about $325 million to public schools on Feb. 1.

    What’s supposed to happen around the third or fourth week of January, Martin said, is the state will sell off – at least in title only – a dozen state buildings in exchange for at least $737 million. Martin said that will provide enough operating capital to keep the state going and, more important, to ensure that the payroll checks and bill payments that are sent out are good.

    “Should that not happen, should there be a hiccup, a sneeze, something, anything gets lost in the mail, we will not be able to make the February school payment,” Martin said. “There’s just not enough cash. The credit cards are maxed out, you’re at your limit.”

    That leaves him only one legal option for paying those to whom the state owes money: IOUs.

    “They’ll get a note saying, ‘We’ll give you the money on this date,’ up to 90 days” in the future.

    The state would be obligated to pay interest. But Martin said it likely would be the same discounted annual rate he got from Bank of America for the state’s line of credit: about three-fourths of a percent.

    “The bigger issue is what that does to the economy,” he said. “You put 30,000 state employees without paychecks, the trickle effect throughout the economy, what that does to the vendors, it needs to be avoided.”

    California issued IOUs earlier this year while it was trying to get its finances in order.

    read on…………………

  74. This is what happens in the deflationary collapse, firesales of assets to payoff expenses, asset price collapse, more people go underwater, IOU values implode etc etc. It’s gonna be the greatest horriblest show on earth.

  75. Moon, I agree! Just went to Walmart, the store is completely stocked, many decorations, no shortages and only 12 days to Christmas. Usually by this time you can’t find decorations, many things are pick over. I just can’t believe it. It’s going to be bad after the New Year. New York and now Arizona, who will be next.

  76. After reading of the vast amounts of money allocated to foreign countries designated in next years budget; it’s a travesty to send billions of dollars out of the country while our own citizens haven’t received the economic relief they were promised early on by Obama.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    Another twist in the things to come-

    Prince William to share Queen’s Elizabeth’s duties as a Shadow King.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1235375/Prince-William-share-Queens-duties-Treasury-document-reveals-secret-plan-make-Shadow-King.html

  77. Here’s a new Billboard that is Missouri.

    h t t p ://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2009/12/missouri-billboard-warns-washington-prepare-for-war/

  78. Another twist in the things to come-

    Prince William to share Queen’s Elizabeth’s duties as a Shadow King.

    ——————
    I would much rather have them skip a generation to William than have Charles and his Camilla take over.

  79. suntimes.com/news/metro/blagojevich/1935445,CST-NWS-BLAGO13.article

    December 13, 2009

    BY NATASHA KORECKI Federal Courts Reporter nkorecki@suntimes.com

    Rod Blagojevich’s lawyers want the FBI to give up details of interviews conducted last year of President Obama, his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, White House adviser Valerie Jarrett and others as part of the investigation into the former governor.

    In a Friday filing, Blagojevich attorneys also asked for information regarding first lady Michelle Obama. However, a source said late Friday that the FBI never interviewed the first lady.

    Rod Blagojevich’s lawyers want the FBI to give up details of interviews conducted last year with President Obama (from top left), Michelle Obama, Valerie Jarrett and Rahm Emanuel. A source said Friday, the FBI never interviewed the first lady.

    Then-President-elect Obama, Emanuel and Jarrett sat down with the FBI about a year ago — just after Blagojevich was arrested on charges of trying to sell Obama’s recently vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder.

    Obama revealed he was interviewed in a report he made public last December.

    The defense request, filed in federal court, asks for “notes, transcripts and reports” of interviews with the Obamas, Emanuel, Jarrett and union chiefs Thomas Balanoff and Andy Stern.

    The request was part of a larger bid by defense lawyers to have prosecutors turn over additional materials, including witness statements, six months before the June trial date. Typically, prosecutors give the defense such information 30 days before the trial.

    Shelly Sorosky, an attorney for Blagojevich, said the defense needs additional time with the material “because there’s so much of it. This is massive stuff.”

  80. Confloyd, Obama was on 60 minutes, again, to sell his latest distraction. Obama knows Americans are angry at the big giveaways to Wall Street so now Obama is pretending, with more words, that he too is upset with Wall Street. Expect more of this type of bamboozlement in days to come.

  81. As we stated, all that talk about a “deal” to pass the health care scam, was a scam itself to create fake momentum.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/14/health/policy/14health.html?_r=1

    In a surprise setback for Democratic leaders, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, said on Sunday that he would vote against the health care legislation in its current form.

    The bill’s supporters had said earlier that they thought they had secured Mr. Lieberman’s agreement to go along with a compromise they worked out to overcome an impasse within the party.

    But on Sunday, Mr. Lieberman told the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, to scrap the idea of expanding Medicare and to abandon the idea of any new government insurance plan, or lose his vote.

    On a separate issue, Mr. Reid tried over the weekend to concoct a compromise on abortion that would induce Senator Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska, to vote for the bill. Mr. Nelson opposes abortion. Any provision that satisfies him risks alienating supporters of abortion rights.

    In interviews on the CBS News program “Face the Nation,” Mr. Lieberman and Mr. Nelson said the bill did not have the 60 votes it would need in the Senate.
    [snip]

    Democrats are desperately trying to round up 60 votes and conclude Senate debate on the health care bill before Christmas.

    Mr. Reid could not immediately figure out how to achieve that goal at a meeting he held Sunday with senior Democratic senators and White House officials, including Mr. Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, according to Senate Democratic aides. [snip]

    The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said that passage of the bill was looking less and less inevitable. The Democrats “are in serious trouble on this,” he said, “and the core problem is the American people do not want us to pass it.

    On television Sunday, Mr. Lieberman said: “We’ve got to stop adding to the bill. We’ve got to start subtracting some controversial things. I think the only way to get this done before Christmas is to bring in some Republicans who are open-minded on this, like Olympia Snowe.”

    Senator Snowe, of Maine, has tried to find common ground with Democrats, but has rejected Mr. Reid’s proposal to let uninsured people 55 to 64 years old purchase coverage under Medicare.

    “You’ve got to take out the Medicare buy-in,” Mr. Lieberman said. “You’ve got to forget about the public option. You probably have to take out the Class Act, which was a whole new entitlement program that will, in future years, put us further into deficit.” [snip]

    Even if Senate Democratic leaders were prepared to meet Mr. Lieberman’s demands, they would still need to resolve intraparty disputes over insurance coverage for abortion.

    Aides to Mr. Reid met Saturday with advocates of abortion rights to explore ideas for a possible compromise.

    In hopes of placating opponents of abortion, Mr. Reid is also considering an increase in the federal tax credit for adoption of children and a new program to provide services to pregnant high school and college students.

    Both ideas were proposed by Senator Bob Casey, Democrat of Pennsylvania, who opposes abortion but generally supports the overall bill.

  82. Arizona, meet New York:

    http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=877570

    As he had earlier promised, Gov. David Paterson today said he will withhold $750 million in local aid scheduled to go out this week.

    That includes more than $500 million in scheduled school aid payments and $112 million to cities and counties. Additionally, the governor will hold back $47 million set to go to health insurance firms that cover state employees, although that is not expected to affect coverage of workers.

    Paterson stressed that his actions are payment delays rather than cuts, although he hasn’t precluded making cuts in the 2010-09 budget to be released next month.

    The move is likely to provoke a lawsuit from the state Senate, which has been battling the governor over budgetary issues, and it will probably make some towns, cities, counties and school districts borrow money in the short term in order to cover costs such as salaries, benefits and a large payment for retiree pensions coming due in the next several months.

    Some localities may even point to this borrowing and consequently raise local property taxes.

    The governor said the state is going to run out of money this month, even after it taps its rainy day fund and borrows money from other pots of cash throughout state government.

  83. admin, I just can’t imagine what is going to happen to all this states on the threshold of bankruptsy. No public school, what about the prison’s? This is a mess and we still let them get another billion yesterday. What are they up to?

    I did hear Obama on a commercial act like he was appalled at the bankers, yeah right, he was probably high fiveing or shall I say fist bumping them as he walked on stage to tell those lies.

    We are spending like drunken sailors and the whole world has their hands out, plus all those folks that want that Obama money. I have never seen it like this.

  84. The New York Giants lost tonight, I was rooting for them. My boy Colt McCoy from the University of Texas did not get the Heisman. The Cowboys lost too. It was a terrible football weekend!

    To make thing much worse the King came on in the middle of all of it to tell more lies!!

  85. Some might say that Clinton’s first year as secretary of state has gone some way towards soothing the wounds left by her thwarted ambition to take the White House.
    ********************

    What an ass….

  86. Gore, what a disappointment! Humans are the cause of Global warming…oh excuse me, time to take my private jet to collect 50 million more on my way to my 10,000 square foot house…

  87. Confloyd

    I was hoping Colt would win it too, but he will have a National Championship soon and a very successful NFL career…Don’t cry for him,he will make millions… but the Cowboys, they suck!

    I am a Green Bay Packer fan and love every time they lose! Can’t help it. I use to sneak into the Packer games as a young person and met Lombardi, Starr…all of them..

  88. Lord Monckton has done a stellar job of that already
    —————————————————
    Amen. He is a great man. A world class leader.

  89. Pennsylvania has had some fine senators over the years, like Hugh Scott, and John Heintz. But the two they have now, namely Spector and Casey are very sad.

  90. Iran to put three US hikers on trial

    By Hiedeh Farmani (AFP) – 3 hours ago

    TEHRAN — Iran is to put on trial three US hikers arrested after they “illegally” entered the country four months ago, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Monday.

    “Interrogation of the three Americans who have illegally entered Iran with suspicious aims is ongoing. They will be put on trial by the judiciary and rulings will be made,” Mottaki told a news conference carried live on state television.

    Shane Bauer, 27, Sarah Shourd, 31, and Josh Fattal, 27, were arrested July 31 after straying into Iranian territory during a hiking trip in Iraq’s Kurdistan region.

    Iran’s public prosecutor said on November 9 the trio faced espionage charges but Mottaki said a day after that they were charged with illegal entry, alluding that espionage was still only an accusation.

    The trio are held at Tehran’s Evin prison in separate cells and with few visits allowed. Their friends and relatives denied that they were spies and the United States insisted that they be released.

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called on Iran to release the three and said the administration was “exploring every angle” to help them.

    Earlier this month scores of prominent international figures also called on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to release them.

    The case has further strained ties between Tehran and Washington which have had no diplomatic relations for nearly three decades.

    Washington is also spearheading international efforts to curb Iran’s atomic drive as Western powers fear Iran is seeking nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian programme — something that Iran vehemently denies.

    In response to calls to release the three, Iran has brought up the case of its own nationals detained in the United States and other countries. Tehran has accused the United States of abducting Shahram Amiri, an Iranian nuclear scientist who went missing in Saudi Arabia during a minor Muslim pilgrimage.

    The US State Department declined to comment on the Iranian claims.

    On Thursday Iranian media published a list of 11 Iranians claiming they are being held in the United States or other countries. Mehr news agency said the foreign ministry is “vigorously” pursuing diplomatic means to obtain the release of the Iranians, three of whom have allegedly been detained in countries outside the United States on Washington’s request.

    In recent years Iran has detained several US-Iranians on suspicions of harming national security. One among them, academic Kian Tajbakhsh was re-arrested in the aftermath of the June 12 presidential election and sentenced to 15 years in jail.

    Mystery also surrounds the fate former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who went missing on the Iranian island of Kish in March 2007. Iranian officials say they have no information about him.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g9jL6IntIV8AZYEEErfJvQVNWzrg

  91. sigh…delusional as usual…

    ————————-
    December 14, 2009

    Obama Rates Himself for First Year in White House: B+

    US President Barack Obama has given himself a rating of B+ for his first 11 months in office. The president gave the rating in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

    What made him think that? He believes he deserves that rating for getting the economy on track, winding down the war in Iraq, for making the right decision in surging Afghanistan, for bringing back America’s prestige in the world and for stopping Iran and North Korea in developing nuclear weapons.

    What would drive him to get a grade of A-minus? He said if he could get the health care plan passed and if he can get more jobs for the Americans.

    The interview was part of Oprah’s “White House Christmas Special” on ABC. She also interviewed First Lady Michelle Obama. She showed First Dog Bo doing high-fives and discussed the White House’s 390-pound gingerbread house.

    The President also informed that he is not worried about his falling approval ratings. He said it was expected, and he was expecting it months ago. He further explained that citizens are bound not to be happy with unemployment soaring.

    The interview ended with a debate on who gives better gifts. The first lady said she does until the president pointed at the double-stranded pearl necklace she was wearing.

    http://dailycontributor.com/obama-rates-himself-for-first-year-in-white-house-b/9574/

  92. Jan– B+? The man is far too modest. Here is his real report card:

    bankrupting the country: A+

    Bush foreign policy: A+

    narcissism: A+

    Soros Aenda: A+

    playing race card: A+

    destroying the middle class: A+

    breaking every campaign promise: A+

    throwing supporters under the bus: A+

    He looks like a straight A student to me.

    And because he is delusional, he fails to appreciate the ramifications of what Rassmussen is saying.

    I would rather have him overconfident. That makes him easier to defeat.

  93. RealClearPolitics url:

    realclearpolitics.blogs.time.com/2009/12/14/grade-inflation/

    shows that NY Daily News considers Obama’s self-assessment as “grade inflation”:

    That’s how the New York Daily News is treating the news that Obama gave himself a “good, solid B plus” when asked by Oprah Winfrey to grade his first year in office. Obama went on to say he’d boost his grade to an “A minus” once health care reform gets passed but added he “can’t give myself the grade I’d like” until more Americans are back to work.

    While Obama (and his most fervent supporters like the slavish Jacob Weisberg) might truly believe he deserves an B+/A-, it’s safe to say the rest of the country sees that as a fairly generous grading curve for a man who entered his first December in office with the lowest job approval rating ever recorded for any president at this point in his term. Obama has shed a net of 40 points in job approval since taking office and now finds a majority of Independents disapproving of the job he’s doing as president.
    &&&&&&&

    Squat never has been fairly graded in his life. Why start now. So let’s give him an A+. You know, “not for what he’s actually done, but what he may possibly accomplish some day”.

    Let’s also award him the Heisman trophy, and an Oscar for “Best Farce”.

  94. December 14, 2009

    Clinton human rights speech: preview

    Days after Obama delivered a Nobel speech that struck a new emphasis on human rights, saying freedom movements have “history and us on their side,” and making the moral case for the use of force in some cases, Hillary Clinton will deliver what advisors say is a major address on human rights in the 21st century, today at Georgetown University.

    “We cannot separate our democracy, human rights, and development agendas: they are mutually reinforcing and united in service of a common purpose: to create a world where all people have the opportunity to fulfill their God-given potential,” Clinton will say.

    “It is the foreign policy of this country and this administration to support and defend democracy. We embrace democracy not because we want other countries to be like us, but because we want all people to have the opportunity to decide for themselves how to live their lives.”

    Clinton’s speech will emphasize that development and democracy have to be part of a human rights agenda — as well as pragmatism.

    “We will measure success by asking the question: Are more people in more places able to live up to their potential because of our actions?” she is expected to say. “Not every situation is the same. Sometimes we will have the most impact by publicly denouncing a government action. Other times we will be more likely to help the oppressed by engaging in tough negotiations behind closed doors. In every instance, our aim is to make a difference, not to prove a point.”

    It’s an “important speech” that speaks to issues that “matter deeply and personally both” to Clinton and the President, a senior official said.

    Clinton speaks at noon at Georgetown’s Gaston Hall.

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/laurarozen/1209/Clinton_human_rights_speech_to_emphasize_pragmatism_Not_every_situation_is_the_same_.html?showall

  95. rgb44hrc,wbboei, JanH and all,
    Amen, again! I am with wobboei, Dean’s List for all the negatives he has accomplished with the speed of a train – on the way to a wreck……
    BTW, Orca deserves a good grade for such loyalty to the flim-flam bamboozling man. You know, The One!!!! NOT!

  96. I do not always agree with John Boulton, but his insights on Obama are profound. He accurately asserts that the Obama mindset is distinctly POST AMERICAN. He is passive in the face of aggression and puts his entire faith in international bodies. That is why we have no solutions on Iran or North Korea. At best he is a paper tiger. This is one of the things Hillary has to deal with in her job as SOS.

    Here is a portion of the text of an interview of Boulton by Laura Ingraham, which can be seen in full at: http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/laura-ingraham-asks-john-bolton-weigh

    BOLTON: Yeah, he didn’t say it’s imprudent for America to act alone, or America should have allies.

    INGRAHAM: Right, which is fine.

    BOLTON: .he said we cannot act alone. That’s fundamentally wrong.

    But it reflects, I think, what’s basically his mindset, which is he is post American. He’s against nuclear proliferation. He’s against belligerent war. He just wants to resolve it through the framework of the United Nations. And that’s what the real problem is. That’s why North Korea and Iran continue to pursue their nuclear programs. That’s why we have the risk of continuing global terrorism.

    Because the Obama approach isn’t going to work. And because he says a nice thing about America every once in a while, doesn’t change the fundamental philosophy at work in his brain.

    INGRAHAM: I was actually surprised by some of the conservative comments. And I try, you know, it’s the Christmas season. I try to be charitable on my radio show. But the fundamental issue is as the commander in chief of the United States military, the president of the United States, you are there to make sure that our security is paramount. And great to have allies. But whatever you have to do to keep it safe here is what you have to do to keep it safe here.

    BOLTON: No. And if you look at — even where he tries to defend America’s role in the world, and providing peace and security, he puts it in the context that we made a substantial contribution. And it wasn’t just treaties and declarations that kept the world safe from Communism after World War II.

    That’s why I think you have to look at him as a fundamentally post-American president. America has its interests, but so do 191 other members of the United Nations. And we have to take those into account.

    Look, this is a president that’s had some actions forced upon him by circumstances. I think Afghanistan is the paradigm case. But even in the speech where he surges American forces, he takes with one hand what he had given with the other. And that’s why I think we have to look at what his priorities are. Reducing our strategic nuclear posture vis-a-vis the Russians, getting more and more international climate regulation, more and more global governance.

    INGRAHAM: And we see at the same time, John, of course, China moving in such a rapid fashion. Not only militarizing space, gobbling up commodities, their middle class is growing. Their industrial output is surging. And we’re – banker, please be nice to us. I mean, banker, we’d like you to cut your emissions. I mean, the whole geopolitical approach of this administration seems to me to be flawed at the very best.

    BOLTON: Well, this is a case where we’re playing softball with China and they’re playing ice hockey. They are pursuing their national interests. That’s what we ought to do.

    INGRAHAM: (INAUDIBLE) you can’t blame them.

    BOLTON: Exactly. If we had a president who played our national interests as his first priority, I wouldn’t mind that he gets into difficult circumstances with the Chinese. That’s what happens when national interests clashes. He doesn’t believe in the clash of national interests . He doesn’t believe in using American power to advance those interests.

    He said at the U.N. that no one nation can or should dominate another. Tell that to Beijing .

    INGRAHAM: Well, what are we actually going to do if they go in to Taiwan now? Please pretty please? Back off? I mean, what are they going to do?

    BOLTON: If I were on Taiwan, I’d be very worried.

    INGRAHAM: Very worried.

    BOLTON: This is the kind of signal of weakness that I think provokes countries to challenge the U.S. because they think they can get away with it.

    INGRAHAM: In just 30 seconds, North Korea, we sent a special envoy. I love the special envoy, sent them to North Korea. Three days of talks, high level talks. Never had such high level talks before. What did we get?

    BOLTON: Well, I think the North Koreans will come back to the negotiating table at the six-party talks. And you know what that means? They’re setting us up to give them more tangible economic and political concessions.

    INGRAHAM: I mean, they need money, right?

    BOLTON: They are not going to give up their nuclear weapons program through negotiations. Neither is Iran while we’re on the subject.

    INGRAHAM: Ambassador John Bolton, always great to see you. Merry Christmas and happy Hanukah to all our Jewish viewers out there.

  97. “They are not going to give up their nuclear weapons program through negotiations. Neither is Iran while we’re on the subject.”

    ——————

    Exactly.

  98. Amazing the Oprah would ask him to Grade himself. He Does not work for himself, he works for us, and the polls, which he disses, are his Grade from the voters.

    That should tell you something. Having taught, there are a lot of F students, that thought they were As. Their egos were enormous. Sound like anyone we know?

  99. ANOTHER BOT BITES THE DUST…
    AND ANOTHER BOT BITES
    AND ANOTHER BOT BITES
    ANOTHER BOT BITES THE DUST.

    George McGovern, (former?) Obama supporter, is now “astounded” at the choices being made by the man whom he sold to sucker voters (but none of us here, thank you very much) as a “man of peace”.

    He warns of “another Vietnam”. Too late for George.

    Yet he lets himself off the hook for his bad choice, but smothering Squat with right-handed critcisms (the opposite of a left-handed compliment): “talented young president”, “capacity to be a great president”, etc.

    realclearpolitics.com/2009/12/13/sharp_turn_toward_another_vietnam_226169.html

    Sharp Turn Toward Another Vietnam
    =================================

    George McGovern, Washington Post
    December 13, 2009

    As a U.S. senator during the 1960s, I agonized over the badly mistaken war in Vietnam. After doing all I could to save our troops and the Vietnamese people from a senseless conflict, I finally took my case to the public in my presidential campaign in 1972. Speaking across the nation, I told audiences that the only upside of the tragedy in Vietnam was that its enormous cost in lives and dollars would keep any future administration from going down that road again.

    I was wrong. Today, I am astounded at the Obama administration’s decision to escalate the equally mistaken war in Afghanistan, and as I listen to our talented young president explain why he is adding 30,000 troops — beyond the 21,000 he had added already — I can only think: another Vietnam. I hope I am incorrect, but history tells me otherwise.

    Presidents John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon all believed that the best way to save the government in Saigon and defeat Ho Chi Minh and his Viet Cong insurgents was to send in U.S. troops. But the insurgency only grew stronger, even after we had more than 500,000 troops fighting and dying in Vietnam.

    We have had tens of thousands of troops in Afghanistan for several years, and we have employed an even larger number of mercenaries (or “contractors,” as they’re called these days). As in Vietnam, the insurgent forces are stronger than ever, and the Afghan government is as corrupt as the one we backed in Saigon.

    Why do we send young Americans to risk life and limb on behalf of such worthless regimes? The administration says we need to fight al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. But the major al-Qaeda forces are in Pakistan.

    The insurgency in Afghanistan is led by the Taliban. Its target is its own government, not our government. Its only quarrel with us is that its members see us using our troops and other resources to prop up a government they despise. Adding more U.S. forces will fuel the Taliban further.

    Starting in 1979, the Soviets tried to control events in Afghanistan for nearly a decade. They lost 15,000 troops, and an even larger number of soldiers were crippled or wounded. Their treasury was exhausted, and the Soviet Union collapsed. A similar fate has befallen other powers that have tried to work their will on Afghanistan’s collection of mountain warlords and tribes.

    We have the best officers and combat troops in the world, but they are weary after nearly a decade of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why waste these fine soldiers any longer?

    Even if we had a good case for a war in Afghanistan, we simply cannot afford to wage it. With a $12 trillion debt and a serious economic recession, this is not a time for unnecessary wars abroad. We should bring our soldiers home before any more of them are killed or wounded — and before our national debt explodes.

    In 1964, Johnson asked several senators who were not running for reelection that year if we would campaign for him. He assured those of us who were opposed to the war in Vietnam that he had no plans to expand the U.S. presence. Johnson won the election in a landslide, telling voters he sought no wider war. “We are not about to send American boys nine or 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves,” he assured during his campaign.

    But once elected, Johnson began to pour in more troops until American forces reached exceeded 500,000. All told, more than 58,000 Americans died in Vietnam, and many more were crippled in mind and body. This is to say nothing of the nearly 2 million Vietnamese who died under U.S. bombardment.

    Johnson had a brilliant record in domestic affairs, but Vietnam choked his dream of a Great Society. The war had become unbearable to so many Americans — civilian and military — that the landslide victor of 1964 did not seek reelection four years later.

    Obama has the capacity to be a great president; I just hope that Afghanistan will not tarnish his message of change. After half a century of Cold War and hot wars, it is time to rebuild our great and troubled land. By closing down the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, we can divert the vast sums being spent there to revitalizing our own nation.

    In 1972, I called on my fellow citizens to “Come home, America.” Today, I commend these words to our new president.

  100. ROLLED BY ROLLING STONE?

    I thought Rolling Stone mag would forever be in love with Squat. Wasn’t Taibbi warning us how dangerous McCain and Palin would be in cozying up to Wall St.? That Obama would fight for the little guy.

    Now I get the joke. Haha. Good one. Whew. LOL.

    The clue to Taibbi’s status as Sucker Extraordinair is:

    “What inspired supporters who pushed him to his historic win was the sense that a genuine outsider was finally breaking into an exclusive club, that walls were being torn down, that things were, for lack of a better or more specific term, changing.”

    My apologies for the length. But it seems like a fairly thorough compendium of Obama’s suck-uppiness to his Wall St. backers.

    rollingstone.com/politics/story/31234647/obamas_big_sellout

    Obama’s Big Sellout
    ===================

    The president has packed his economic team with Wall Street insiders intent on turning the bailout into an all-out giveaway

    MATT TAIBBI
    Posted Dec 09, 2009 2:35 PM

    Barack Obama ran for president as a man of the people, standing up to Wall Street as the global economy melted down in that fateful fall of 2008. He pushed a tax plan to soak the rich, ripped NAFTA for hurting the middle class and tore into John McCain for supporting a bankruptcy bill that sided with wealthy bankers “at the expense of hardworking Americans.” Obama may not have run to the left of Samuel Gompers or Cesar Chavez, but it’s not like you saw him on the campaign trail flanked by bankers from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. What inspired supporters who pushed him to his historic win was the sense that a genuine outsider was finally breaking into an exclusive club, that walls were being torn down, that things were, for lack of a better or more specific term, changing.

    Then he got elected.

    What’s taken place in the year since Obama won the presidency has turned out to be one of the most dramatic political about-faces in our history. Elected in the midst of a crushing economic crisis brought on by a decade of orgiastic deregulation and unchecked greed, Obama had a clear mandate to rein in Wall Street and remake the entire structure of the American economy. What he did instead was ship even his most marginally progressive campaign advisers off to various bureaucratic Siberias, while packing the key economic positions in his White House with the very people who caused the crisis in the first place. This new team of bubble-fattened ex-bankers and laissez-faire intellectuals then proceeded to sell us all out, instituting a massive, trickle-up bailout and systematically gutting regulatory reform from the inside.

    How could Obama let this happen? Is he just a rookie in the political big leagues, hoodwinked by Beltway old-timers? Or is the vacillating, ineffectual servant of banking interests we’ve been seeing on TV this fall who Obama really is?

    Whatever the president’s real motives are, the extensive series of loophole-rich financial “reforms” that the Democrats are currently pushing may ultimately do more harm than good. In fact, some parts of the new reforms border on insanity, threatening to vastly amplify Wall Street’s political power by institutionalizing the taxpayer’s role as a welfare provider for the financial-services industry. At one point in the debate, Obama’s top economic advisers demanded the power to award future bailouts without even going to Congress for approval — and without providing taxpayers a single dime in equity on the deals.

    How did we get here? It started just moments after the election — and almost nobody noticed.

    ‘Just look at the timeline of the Citigroup deal,” says one leading Democratic consultant. “Just look at it. It’s fucking amazing. Amazing! And nobody said a thing about it.”

    Barack Obama was still just the president-elect when it happened, but the revolting and inexcusable $306 billion bailout that Citigroup received was the first major act of his presidency. In order to grasp the full horror of what took place, however, one needs to go back a few weeks before the actual bailout — to November 5th, 2008, the day after Obama’s election.

    That was the day the jubilant Obama campaign announced its transition team. Though many of the names were familiar — former Bill Clinton chief of staff John Podesta, long-time Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett — the list was most notable for who was not on it, especially on the economic side. Austan Goolsbee, a University of Chicago economist who had served as one of Obama’s chief advisers during the campaign, didn’t make the cut. Neither did Karen Kornbluh, who had served as Obama’s policy director and was instrumental in crafting the Democratic Party’s platform. Both had emphasized populist themes during the campaign: Kornbluh was known for pushing Democrats to focus on the plight of the poor and middle class, while Goolsbee was an aggressive critic of Wall Street, declaring that AIG executives should receive “a Nobel Prize — for evil.”

    But come November 5th, both were banished from Obama’s inner circle — and replaced with a group of Wall Street bankers. Leading the search for the president’s new economic team was his close friend and Harvard Law classmate Michael Froman, a high-ranking executive at Citigroup. During the campaign, Froman had emerged as one of Obama’s biggest fundraisers, bundling $200,000 in contributions and introducing the candidate to a host of heavy hitters — chief among them his mentor Bob Rubin, the former co-chairman of Goldman Sachs who served as Treasury secretary under Bill Clinton. Froman had served as chief of staff to Rubin at Treasury, and had followed his boss when Rubin left the Clinton administration to serve as a senior counselor to Citigroup (a massive new financial conglomerate created by deregulatory moves pushed through by Rubin himself).

    Incredibly, Froman did not resign from the bank when he went to work for Obama: He remained in the employ of Citigroup for two more months, even as he helped appoint the very people who would shape the future of his own firm. And to help him pick Obama’s economic team, Froman brought in none other than Jamie Rubin who happens to be Bob Rubin’s son. At the time, Jamie’s dad was still earning roughly $15 million a year working for Citigroup, which was in the midst of a collapse brought on in part because Rubin had pushed the bank to invest heavily in mortgage-backed CDOs and other risky instruments.

    Now here’s where it gets really interesting. It’s three weeks after the election. You have a lame-duck president in George W. Bush — still nominally in charge, but in reality already halfway to the golf-and-O’Doul’s portion of his career and more than happy to vacate the scene. Left to deal with the still-reeling economy are lame-duck Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, a former head of Goldman Sachs, and New York Fed chief Timothy Geithner, who served under Bob Rubin in the Clinton White House. Running Obama’s economic team are a still-employed Citigroup executive and the son of another Citigroup executive, who himself joined Obama’s transition team that same month.

    So on November 23rd, 2008, a deal is announced in which the government will bail out Rubin’s messes at Citigroup with a massive buffet of taxpayer-funded cash and guarantees. It is a terrible deal for the government, almost universally panned by all serious economists, an outrage to anyone who pays taxes. Under the deal, the bank gets $20 billion in cash, on top of the $25 billion it had already received just weeks before as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. But that’s just the appetizer. The government also agrees to charge taxpayers for up to $277 billion in losses on troubled Citi assets, many of them those toxic CDOs that Rubin had pushed Citi to invest in. No Citi executives are replaced, and few restrictions are placed on their compensation. It’s the sweetheart deal of the century, putting generations of working-stiff taxpayers on the hook to pay off Bob Rubin’s fuck-up-rich tenure at Citi. “If you had any doubts at all about the primacy of Wall Street over Main Street,” former labor secretary Robert Reich declares when the bailout is announced, “your doubts should be laid to rest.”

    It is bad enough that one of Bob Rubin’s former protégés from the Clinton years, the New York Fed chief Geithner, is intimately involved in the negotiations, which unsurprisingly leave the Federal Reserve massively exposed to future Citi losses. But the real stunner comes only hours after the bailout deal is struck, when the Obama transition team makes a cheerful announcement: Timothy Geithner is going to be Barack Obama’s Treasury secretary!

    Geithner, in other words, is hired to head the U.S. Treasury by an executive from Citigroup — Michael Froman — before the ink is even dry on a massive government giveaway to Citigroup that Geithner himself was instrumental in delivering. In the annals of brazen political swindles, this one has to go in the all-time Fuck-the-Optics Hall of Fame.

    Wall Street loved the Citi bailout and the Geithner nomination so much that the Dow immediately posted its biggest two-day jump since 1987, rising 11.8 percent. Citi shares jumped 58 percent in a single day, and JP Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley soared more than 20 percent, as Wall Street embraced the news that the government’s bailout generosity would not die with George W. Bush and Hank Paulson. “Geithner assures a smooth transition between the Bush administration and that of Obama, because he’s already co-managing what’s happening now,” observed Stephen Leeb, president of Leeb Capital Management.

    Left unnoticed, however, was the fact that Geithner had been hired by a sitting Citigroup executive who still had a big bonus coming despite his proximity to Obama. In January 2009, just over a month after the bailout, Citigroup paid Froman a year-end bonus of $2.25 million. But as outrageous as it was, that payoff would prove to be chump change for the banker crowd, who were about to get everything they wanted — and more — from the new president.

    The irony of Bob Rubin: He’s an unapologetic arch-capitalist demagogue whose very career is proof that a free-market meritocracy is a myth. Much like Alan Greenspan, a staggeringly incompetent economic forecaster who was worshipped by four decades of politicians because he once dated Barbara Walters, Rubin has been held in awe by the American political elite for nearly 20 years despite having fucked up virtually every project he ever got his hands on. He went from running Goldman Sachs (1990-1992) to the Clinton White House (1993-1999) to Citigroup (1999-2009), leaving behind a trail of historic gaffes that somehow boosted his stature every step of the way.

    As Treasury secretary under Clinton, Rubin was the driving force behind two monstrous deregulatory actions that would be primary causes of last year’s financial crisis: the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act (passed specifically to legalize the Citigroup megamerger) and the deregulation of the derivatives market. Having set that time bomb, Rubin left government to join Citi, which promptly expressed its gratitude by giving him $126 million in compensation over the next eight years (they don’t call it bribery in this country when they give you the money post factum). After urging management to amp up its risky investments in toxic vehicles, a strategy that very nearly destroyed the company, Rubin blamed Citi’s board for his screw-ups and complained that he had been underpaid to boot. “I bet there’s not a single year where I couldn’t have gone somewhere else and made more,” he said.

    Despite being perhaps more responsible for last year’s crash than any other single living person — his colossally stupid decisions at both the highest levels of government and the management of a private financial superpower make him unique — Rubin was the man Barack Obama chose to build his White House around.

    There are four main ways to be connected to Bob Rubin: through Goldman Sachs, the Clinton administration, Citigroup and, finally, the Hamilton Project, a think tank Rubin spearheaded under the auspices of the Brookings Institute to promote his philosophy of balanced budgets, free trade and financial deregulation. The team Obama put in place to run his economic policy after his inauguration was dominated by people who boasted connections to at least one of these four institutions — so much so that the White House now looks like a backstage party for an episode of Bob Rubin, This Is Your Life!

    At Treasury, there is Geithner, who worked under Rubin in the Clinton years. Serving as Geithner’s “counselor” — a made-up post not subject to Senate confirmation — is Lewis Alexander, the former chief economist of Citigroup, who advised Citi back in 2007 that the upcoming housing crash was nothing to worry about. Two other top Geithner “counselors” — Gene Sperling and Lael Brainard — worked under Rubin at the National Economic Council, the key group that coordinates all economic policymaking for the White House.

    As director of the NEC, meanwhile, Obama installed economic czar Larry Summers, who had served as Rubin’s protégé at Treasury. Just below Summers is Jason Furman, who worked for Rubin in the Clinton White House and was one of the first directors of Rubin’s Hamilton Project. The appointment of Furman — a persistent advocate of free-trade agreements like NAFTA and the author of droolingly pro-globalization reports with titles like “Walmart: A Progressive Success Story” — provided one of the first clues that Obama had only been posturing when he promised crowds of struggling Midwesterners during the campaign that he would renegotiate NAFTA, which facilitated the flight of blue-collar jobs to other countries. “NAFTA’s shortcomings were evident when signed, and we must now amend the agreement to fix them,” Obama declared. A few months after hiring Furman to help shape its economic policy, however, the White House quietly quashed any talk of renegotiating the trade deal. “The president has said we will look at all of our options, but I think they can be addressed without having to reopen the agreement,” U.S. Trade Representative Ronald Kirk told reporters in a little-publicized conference call last April.

    The announcement was not so surprising, given who Obama hired to serve alongside Furman at the NEC: management consultant Diana Farrell, who worked under Rubin at Goldman Sachs. In 2003, Farrell was the author of an infamous paper in which she argued that sending American jobs overseas might be “as beneficial to the U.S. as to the destination country, probably more so.”

    Joining Summers, Furman and Farrell at the NEC is Froman, who by then had been formally appointed to a unique position: He is not only Obama’s international finance adviser at the National Economic Council, he simultaneously serves as deputy national security adviser at the National Security Council. The twin posts give Froman a direct line to the president, putting him in a position to coordinate Obama’s international economic policy during a crisis. He’ll have help from David Lipton, another joint appointee to the economics and security councils who worked with Rubin at Treasury and Citigroup, and from Jacob Lew, a former Citi colleague of Rubin’s whom Obama named as deputy director at the State Department to focus on international finance.

    Over at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is supposed to regulate derivatives trading, Obama appointed Gary Gensler, a former Goldman banker who worked under Rubin in the Clinton White House. Gensler had been instrumental in helping to pass the infamous Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which prevented regulation of derivative instruments like CDOs and credit-default swaps that played such a big role in cratering the economy last year. And as head of the powerful Office of Management and Budget, Obama named Peter Orszag, who served as the first director of Rubin’s Hamilton Project. Orszag once succinctly summed up the project’s ideology as a sort of liberal spin on trickle-down Reaganomics: “Market competition and globalization generate significant economic benefits.”

    Taken together, the rash of appointments with ties to Bob Rubin may well represent the most sweeping influence by a single Wall Street insider in the history of government. “Rather than having a team of rivals, they’ve got a team of Rubins,” says Steven Clemons, director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation. “You see that in policy choices that have resuscitated — but not reformed — Wall Street.”

    While Rubin’s allies and acolytes got all the important jobs in the Obama administration, the academics and progressives got banished to semi-meaningless, even comical roles. Kornbluh was rewarded for being the chief policy architect of Obama’s meteoric rise by being outfitted with a pith helmet and booted across the ocean to Paris, where she now serves as America’s never-again-to-be-seen-on-TV ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Goolsbee, meanwhile, was appointed as staff director of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, a kind of dumping ground for Wall Street critics who had assisted Obama during the campaign; one top Democrat calls the panel “Siberia.”

    Joining Goolsbee as chairman of the PERAB gulag is former Fed chief Paul Volcker, who back in March 2008 helped candidate Obama write a speech declaring that the deregulatory efforts of the Eighties and Nineties had “excused and even embraced an ethic of greed, corner-cutting, insider dealing, things that have always threatened the long-term stability of our economic system.” That speech met with rapturous applause, but the commission Obama gave Volcker to manage is so toothless that it didn’t even meet for the first time until last May. The lone progressive in the White House, economist Jared Bernstein, holds the impressive-sounding title of chief economist and national policy adviser — except that the man he is advising is Joe Biden, who seems more interested in foreign policy than financial reform.

    The significance of all of these appointments isn’t that the Wall Street types are now in a position to provide direct favors to their former employers. It’s that, with one or two exceptions, they collectively offer a microcosm of what the Democratic Party has come to stand for in the 21st century. Virtually all of the Rubinites brought in to manage the economy under Obama share the same fundamental political philosophy carefully articulated for years by the Hamilton Project: Expand the safety net to protect the poor, but let Wall Street do whatever it wants. “Bob Rubin, these guys, they’re classic limousine liberals,” says David Sirota, a former Democratic strategist. “These are basically people who have made shitloads of money in the speculative economy, but they want to call themselves good Democrats because they’re willing to give a little more to the poor. That’s the model for this Democratic Party: Let the rich do their thing, but give a fraction more to everyone else.”

    Even the members of Obama’s economic team who have spent most of their lives in public office have managed to make small fortunes on Wall Street. The president’s economic czar, Larry Summers, was paid more than $5.2 million in 2008 alone as a managing director of the hedge fund D.E. Shaw, and pocketed an additional $2.7 million in speaking fees from a smorgasbord of future bailout recipients, including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. At Treasury, Geithner’s aide Gene Sperling earned a staggering $887,727 from Goldman Sachs last year for performing the punch-line-worthy service of “advice on charitable giving.” Sperling’s fellow Treasury appointee, Mark Patterson, received $637,492 as a full-time lobbyist for Goldman Sachs, and another top Geithner aide, Lee Sachs, made more than $3 million working for a New York hedge fund called Mariner Investment Group. The list goes on and on. Even Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, who has been out of government for only 30 months of his adult life, managed to collect $18 million during his private-sector stint with a Wall Street firm called Wasserstein-Perella.

    The point is that an economic team made up exclusively of callous millionaire-assholes has absolutely zero interest in reforming the gamed system that made them rich in the first place. “You can’t expect these people to do anything other than protect Wall Street,” says Rep. Cliff Stearns, a Republican from Florida. That thinking was clear from Obama’s first address to Congress, when he stressed the importance of getting Americans to borrow like crazy again. “Credit is the lifeblood of the economy,” he declared, pledging “the full force of the federal government to ensure that the major banks that Americans depend on have enough confidence and enough money.” A president elected on a platform of change was announcing, in so many words, that he planned to change nothing fundamental when it came to the economy. Rather than doing what FDR had done during the Great Depression and institute stringent new rules to curb financial abuses, Obama planned to institutionalize the policy, firmly established during the Bush years, of keeping a few megafirms rich at the expense of everyone else.

    Obama hasn’t always toed the Rubin line when it comes to economic policy. Despite being surrounded by a team that is powerfully opposed to deficit spending — balanced budgets and deficit reduction have always been central to the Rubin way of thinking — Obama came out of the gate with a huge stimulus plan designed to kick-start the economy and address the job losses brought on by the 2008 crisis. “You have to give him credit there,” says Sen. Bernie Sanders, an advocate of using government resources to address unemployment. “It’s a very significant piece of legislation, and $787 billion is a lot of money.”

    But whatever jobs the stimulus has created or preserved so far — 640,329, according to an absurdly precise and already debunked calculation by the White House — the aid that Obama has provided to real people has been dwarfed in size and scope by the taxpayer money that has been handed over to America’s financial giants. “They spent $75 billion on mortgage relief, but come on — look at how much they gave Wall Street,” says a leading Democratic strategist. Neil Barofsky, the inspector general charged with overseeing TARP, estimates that the total cost of the Wall Street bailouts could eventually reach $23.7 trillion. And while the government continues to dole out big money to big banks, Obama and his team of Rubinites have done almost nothing to reform the warped financial system responsible for imploding the global economy in the first place.

    The push for reform seemed to get off to a promising start. In the House, the charge was led by Rep. Barney Frank, the outspoken chair of the House Financial Services Committee, who emerged during last year’s Bush bailouts as a sharp-tongued critic of Wall Street. Back when Obama was still a senator, he and Frank even worked together to introduce a populist bill targeting executive compensation. Last spring, with the economy shattered, Frank began to hold hearings on a host of reforms, crafted with significant input from the White House, that initially contained some very good elements. There were measures to curb abusive credit-card lending, prevent banks from charging excessive fees, force publicly traded firms to conduct meaningful risk assessment and allow shareholders to vote on executive compensation. There were even measures to crack down on risky derivatives and to bar firms like AIG from picking their own regulators.

    Then the committee went to work — and the loopholes started to appear.

    The most notable of these came in the proposal to regulate derivatives like credit-default swaps. Even Gary Gensler, the former Goldmanite whom Obama put in charge of commodities regulation, was pushing to make these normally obscure investments more transparent, enabling regulators and investors to identify speculative bubbles sooner. But in August, a month after Gensler came out in favor of reform, Geithner slapped him down by issuing a 115-page paper called “Improvements to Regulation of Over-the-Counter Derivatives Markets” that called for a series of exemptions for “end users” — i.e., almost all of the clients who buy derivatives from banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Even more stunning, Frank’s bill included a blanket exception to the rules for currency swaps traded on foreign exchanges — the very instruments that had triggered the Long-Term Capital Management meltdown in the late 1990s.

    Given that derivatives were at the heart of the financial meltdown last year, the decision to gut derivatives reform sent some legislators howling with disgust. Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, who estimates that as much as 90 percent of all derivatives could remain unregulated under the new rules, went so far as to say the new laws would make things worse. “Current law with its loopholes might actually be better than these loopholes,” she said.

    An even bigger loophole could do far worse damage to the economy. Under the original bill, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission were granted the power to ban any credit swaps deemed to be “detrimental to the stability of a financial market or of participants in a financial market.” By the time Frank’s committee was done with the bill, however, the SEC and the CFTC were left with no authority to do anything about abusive derivatives other than to send a report to Congress. The move, in effect, would leave the kind of credit-default swaps that brought down AIG largely unregulated.

    Why would leading congressional Democrats, working closely with the Obama administration, agree to leave one of the riskiest of all financial instruments unregulated, even before the issue could be debated by the House? “There was concern that a broad grant to ban abusive swaps would be unsettling,” Frank explained.

    Unsettling to whom? Certainly not to you and me — but then again, actual people are not really part of the calculus when it comes to finance reform. According to those close to the markup process, Frank’s committee inserted loopholes under pressure from “constituents” — by which they mean anyone “who can afford a lobbyist,” says Michael Greenberger, the former head of trading at the CFTC under Clinton.

    This pattern would repeat itself over and over again throughout the fall. Take the centerpiece of Obama’s reform proposal: the much-ballyhooed creation of a Consumer Finance Protection Agency to protect the little guy from abusive bank practices. Like the derivatives bill, the debate over the CFPA ended up being dominated by horse-trading for loopholes. In the end, Frank not only agreed to exempt some 8,000 of the nation’s 8,200 banks from oversight by the castrated-in-advance agency, leaving most consumers unprotected, he allowed the committee to pass the exemption by voice vote, meaning that congressmen could side with the banks without actually attaching their name to their “Aye.”

    To win the support of conservative Democrats, Frank also backed down on another issue that seemed like a slam-dunk: a requirement that all banks offer so-called “plain vanilla” products, such as no-frills mortgages, to give consumers an alternative to deceptive, “fully loaded” deals like adjustable-rate loans. Frank’s last-minute reversal — made in consultation with Geithner — was such a transparent giveaway to the banks that even an economics writer for Reuters, hardly a far-left source, called it “the beginning of the end of meaningful regulatory reform.”

    But the real kicker came when Frank’s committee took up what is known as “resolution authority” — government-speak for “Who the hell is in charge the next time somebody at AIG or Lehman Brothers decides to vaporize the economy?” What the committee initially introduced bore a striking resemblance to a proposal written by Geithner earlier in the summer. A masterpiece of legislative chicanery, the measure would have given the White House permanent and unlimited authority to execute future bailouts of megaconglomerates like Citigroup and Bear Stearns.

    Democrats pushed the move as politically uncontroversial, claiming that the bill will force Wall Street to pay for any future bailouts and “doesn’t use taxpayer money.” In reality, that was complete bullshit. The way the bill was written, the FDIC would basically borrow money from the Treasury — i.e., from ordinary taxpayers — to bail out any of the nation’s two dozen or so largest financial companies that the president deems in need of government assistance. After the bailout is executed, the president would then levy a tax on financial firms with assets of more than $10 billion to repay the Treasury within 60 months — unless, that is, the president decides he doesn’t want to! “They can wait indefinitely to repay,” says Rep. Brad Sherman of California, who dubbed the early version of the bill “TARP on steroids.”

    The new bailout authority also mandated that future bailouts would not include an exchange of equity “in any form” — meaning that taxpayers would get nothing in return for underwriting Wall Street’s mistakes. Even more outrageous, it specifically prohibited Congress from rejecting tax giveaways to Wall Street, as it did last year, by removing all congressional oversight of future bailouts. In fact, the resolution authority proposed by Frank was such a slurpingly obvious blow job of Wall Street that it provoked a revolt among his own committee members, with junior Democrats waging a spirited fight that restored congressional oversight to future bailouts, requires equity for taxpayer money and caps assistance to troubled firms at $150 billion. Another amendment to force companies with more than $50 billion in assets to pay into a rainy-day fund for bailouts passed by a resounding vote of 52 to 17 — with the “Nays” all coming from Frank and other senior Democrats loyal to the administration.

    Even as amended, however, resolution authority still has the potential to be truly revolutionary legislation. The Senate version still grants the president unlimited power over equity-free bailouts, and the amended House bill still institutionalizes a system of taxpayer support for the 20 to 25 biggest banks in the country. It would essentially grant economic immortality to those top few megafirms, who will continually gobble up greater and greater slices of market share as money becomes cheaper and cheaper for them to borrow (after all, who wouldn’t lend to a company permanently backstopped by the federal government?). It would also formalize the government’s role in the global economy and turn the presidential-appointment process into an important part of every big firm’s business strategy. “If this passes, the very first thing these companies are going to do in the future is ask themselves, ‘How do we make sure that one of our executives becomes assistant Treasury secretary?'” says Sherman.

    On the Senate side, finance reform has yet to make it through the markup process, but there’s every reason to believe that its final bill will be as watered down as the House version by the time it comes to a vote. The original measure, drafted by chairman Christopher Dodd of the Senate Banking Committee, is surprisingly tough on Wall Street — a fact that almost everyone in town chalks up to Dodd’s desperation to shake the bad publicity he incurred by accepting a sweetheart mortgage from the notorious lender Countrywide. “He’s got to do the shake-his-fist-at-Wall Street thing because of his, you know, problems,” says a Democratic Senate aide. “So that’s why the bill is starting out kind of tough.”

    The aide pauses. “The question is, though, what will it end up looking like?”

    He’s right — that is the question. Because the way it works is that all of these great-sounding reforms get whittled down bit by bit as they move through the committee markup process, until finally there’s nothing left but the exceptions. In one example, a measure that would have forced financial companies to be more accountable to shareholders by holding elections for their entire boards every year has already been watered down to preserve the current system of staggered votes. In other cases, this being the Senate, loopholes were inserted before the debate even began: The Dodd bill included the exemption for foreign-currency swaps — a gift to Wall Street that only appeared in the Frank bill during the course of hearings — from the very outset.

    The White House’s refusal to push for real reform stands in stark contrast to what it should be doing. It was left to Rep. Paul Kanjorski in the House and Bernie Sanders in the Senate to propose bills to break up the so-called “too big to fail” banks. Both measures would give Congress the power to dismantle those pseudomonopolies controlling almost the entire derivatives market (Goldman, Citi, Chase, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America control 95 percent of the $290 trillion over-the-counter market) and the consumer-lending market (Citi, Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo issue one of every two mortgages, and two of every three credit cards). On November 18th, in a move that demonstrates just how nervous Democrats are getting about the growing outrage over taxpayer giveaways, Barney Frank’s committee actually passed Kanjorski’s measure. “It’s a beginning,” Kanjorski says hopefully. “We’re on our way.” But even if the Senate follows suit, big banks could well survive — depending on whom the president appoints to sit on the new regulatory board mandated by the measure. An oversight body filled with executives of the type Obama has favored to date from Citi and Goldman Sachs hardly seems like a strong bet to start taking an ax to concentrated wealth. And given the new bailout provisions that provide these megafirms a market advantage over smaller banks (those Paul Volcker calls “too small to save”), the failure to break them up qualifies as a major policy decision with potentially disastrous consequences.

    “They should be doing what Teddy Roosevelt did,” says Sanders. “They should be busting the trusts.”

    That probably won’t happen anytime soon. But at a minimum, Obama should start on the road back to sanity by making a long-overdue move: firing Geithner. Not only are the mop-headed weenie of a Treasury secretary’s fingerprints on virtually all the gross giveaways in the new reform legislation, he’s a living symbol of the Rubinite gangrene crawling up the leg of this administration. Putting Geithner against the wall and replacing him with an actual human being not recently employed by a Wall Street megabank would do a lot to prove that Obama was listening this past Election Day. And while there are some who think Geithner is about to go — “he almost has to,” says one Democratic strategist — at the moment, the president is still letting Wall Street do his talking.

    Morning, the National Mall, November 5th. A year to the day after Obama named Michael Froman to his transition team, his political “opposition” has descended upon the city. Republican teabaggers from all 50 states have showed up, a vast horde of frowning, pissed-off middle-aged white people with their idiot placards in hand, ready to do cultural battle. They are here to protest Obama’s “socialist” health care bill — you know, the one that even a bloodsucking capitalist interest group like Big Pharma spent $150 million to get passed.

    These teabaggers don’t know that, however. All they know is that a big government program might end up using tax dollars to pay the medical bills of rapidly breeding Dominican immigrants. So they hate it. They’re also in a groove, knowing that at the polls a few days earlier, people like themselves had a big hand in ousting several Obama-allied Democrats, including a governor of New Jersey who just happened to be the former CEO of Goldman Sachs. A sign held up by New Jersey protesters bears the warning, “If You Vote For Obamacare, We Will Corzine You.”

    I approach a woman named Pat Defillipis from Toms River, New Jersey, and ask her why she’s here. “To protest health care,” she answers. “And then amnesty. You know, immigration amnesty.”

    I ask her if she’s aware that there’s a big hearing going on in the House today, where Barney Frank’s committee is marking up a bill to reform the financial regulatory system. She recognizes Frank’s name, wincing, but the rest of my question leaves her staring at me like I’m an alien.

    “Do you care at all about economic regulation?” I ask. “There was sort of a big economic collapse last year. Do you have any ideas about how that whole deal should be fixed?”

    “We got to slow down on spending,” she says. “We can’t afford it.”

    “But what do we do about the rules governing Wall Street . . .”

    She walks away. She doesn’t give a fuck. People like Pat aren’t aware of it, but they’re the best friends Obama has. They hate him, sure, but they don’t hate him for any reasons that make sense. When it comes down to it, most of them hate the president for all the usual reasons they hate “liberals” — because he uses big words, doesn’t believe in hell and doesn’t flip out at the sight of gay people holding hands. Additionally, of course, he’s black, and wasn’t born in America, and is married to a woman who secretly hates our country.

    These are the kinds of voters whom Obama’s gang of Wall Street advisers is counting on: idiots. People whose votes depend not on whether the party in power delivers them jobs or protects them from economic villains, but on what cultural markers the candidate flashes on TV. Finance reform has become to Obama what Iraq War coffins were to Bush: something to be tucked safely out of sight.

    Around the same time that finance reform was being watered down in Congress at the behest of his Treasury secretary, Obama was making a pit stop to raise money from Wall Street. On October 20th, the president went to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York and addressed some 200 financiers and business moguls, each of whom paid the maximum allowable contribution of $30,400 to the Democratic Party. But an organizer of the event, Daniel Fass, announced in advance that support for the president might be lighter than expected — bailed-out firms like JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs were expected to contribute a meager $91,000 to the event — because bankers were tired of being lectured about their misdeeds.

    “The investment community feels very put-upon,” Fass explained. “They feel there is no reason why they shouldn’t earn $1 million to $200 million a year, and they don’t want to be held responsible for the global financial meltdown.”

    Which makes sense. Shit, who could blame the investment community for the meltdown? What kind of assholes are we to put any of this on them?

    This is the kind of person who is working for the Obama administration, which makes it unsurprising that we’re getting no real reform of the finance industry. There’s no other way to say it: Barack Obama, a once-in-a-generation political talent whose graceful conquest of America’s racial dragons en route to the White House inspired the entire world, has for some reason allowed his presidency to be hijacked by sniveling, low-rent shitheads. Instead of reining in Wall Street, Obama has allowed himself to be seduced by it, leaving even his erstwhile campaign adviser, ex-Fed chief Paul Volcker, concerned about a “moral hazard” creeping over his administration.

    “The obvious danger is that with the passage of time, risk-taking will be encouraged and efforts at prudential restraint will be resisted,” Volcker told Congress in September, expressing concerns about all the regulatory loopholes in Frank’s bill. “Ultimately, the possibility of further crises — even greater crises — will increase.”

    What’s most troubling is that we don’t know if Obama has changed, or if the influence of Wall Street is simply a fundamental and ineradicable element of our electoral system. What we do know is that Barack Obama pulled a bait-and-switch on us. If it were any other politician, we wouldn’t be surprised. Maybe it’s our fault, for thinking he was different.

  101. Clinton: Iran charges on US hikers unfounded

    By MATTHEW LEE (AP) – 49 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that Iranian charges against three detained Americans are “totally unfounded” and appealed anew to authorities in Iran to release them.

    Clinton said the three were in no way involved in any questionable activity and were simply hiking near the Iraq-Iran border when they allegedly crossed an unmarked border. Her comments came after Iran’s foreign minister said the three had “suspicious aims” and would stand trial. Iranian officials have said earlier the trio is suspected of espionage. “We consider this a totally unfounded charge,” Clinton told reporters. “There is no basis for it. The three young people who were detained by the Iranians have absolutely no connection with any kind of action against the Iranian state or government.”

    “In fact, they were out hiking and unfortunately, apparently, allegedly, walked across an umarked boundary,” she said. “We appeal to the Iranian leadership to release these three young people and free them as soon as possible.”

    The Americans — Shane Bauer, 27, Sarah Shourd, 31, and Josh Fattal, 27 — were detained after crossing the border from Iraq on July 31. The three graduates of the University of California at Berkeley had been trekking in Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region, their relatives say. They have been held in Tehran’s Evin prison, where Swiss diplomats who represent U.S. interests in Iran have visited them twice.

    Earlier Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said the three would be tried but would not say when proceedings would begin. “They will be tried by Iran’s judiciary system and verdicts will be issued,” Mottaki told a news conference in Tehran, without elaborating. He said the three were still being interrogated.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i2FCRosA_UZx4HMd2sQ781rbr66QD9CJ6PR80

  102. Holy Mary, Christmas comes early.

    RASMUSSEN POLL: Obama Job Approval Falls to New Low at 44%. 55% Disapproval. Can you say, stick a fork in him, he’s done.

  103. Thank you for the lovely article as usuall admin. Once again, I got into a verbal confrontation Saturday night with fellow Jews at a Bar Mitzvah and then reception at a club in Miami. One super liberal told me he “loves” Obama and that Obama saved us from economic collapse. His young son said he viewed Obama as his greatest role model. I told them both that as Jews they should be ashamed of their support for the Anti-Semitic/Israeli Obama and that they had no business attending this affair as they disgrace both our religion and Israel in their support for Obama. I also advised that I voted for McCain and Palin and they were visibly upset. I also once again attacked my liberal Rabbi and asked if he was proud of himself for the “fine” work the Jewish community did in getting the most anti-Israeli president elected. His response was “he is getting tough on Iran now”, but unlike Bush, he is not going to fight a war without exhausting all diplomatic means first”. My response was basically that his so called diplomacy has only allowed Iran to rapidly increase their nuclear ambitions and that in the end, Israel will alone be the one to have to take the reactors out or live under the threat of nuclear annihilation.

  104. jbstonesfan

    December 14th, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    ——————–

    Bravo! It takes a lot of courage to be a smart man among a sea of idiots.

  105. Here is Hillary’s schedule for today.The CLuck flies around his barnyard while she is holding these special meetins and accepting honors from groups and people that hopes she runs again for the sake of saving the world from this Cock of the run idiot.

    ——————————————————————-

    Daily Appointments: Daily Appointments Schedule for December 14, 2009
    Mon, 14 Dec 2009 07:38:50 -0600

    Daily Appointments Schedule for December 14, 2009

    Washington, DC

    December 14, 2009

    ——————————————————————————–

    SECRETARY OF STATE CLINTON:

    10:15 a.m. Secretary Clinton hosts a Bilateral Meeting with His Excellency Miguel Angel Moratinos, Foreign Minister of Spain, at the Department of State.
    (PRESS AVAILABILITY FOLLOWING BILATERAL MEETING AT APPROXIMATELY 10:50 A.M. IN THE TREATY ROOM)
    Pre-set time for cameras:10:00 a.m. from the 23rd Street Entrance.
    Final access time for writers and still photographers: 10:30 a.m. from the 23rd Street Entrance.

    12:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton delivers a Speech on the Human Rights Agenda for the 21st Century, at Georgetown University’s Gaston Hall.
    (OPEN PRESS COVERAGE)
    Pre-set time for cameras: 9:30 a.m.
    Final access time for writers and still photographers: 11:30 a.m.
    For more information, click here.

    THE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING WILL BEGIN AT APPROXIMATELY 1:00 P.M.

  106. I was just watching FOx and the Liar in Chief appeared again, WTF is going on?? We say him yesterday on 60 minutes and Obarfa had a Christmas story with him and his NOI wife. Its Christmas for heavens sake, give us a big present and STFU until you come on TV after the new year to tell us your sorry but we are not in a huge depression.

    So I tune in to the Big Pink and find out that Hillary is giving a big speech right now, he just wanted to steal her glory again. Its the same old shit just a different day.

    How did they pass a huge bill on Saturday and we did not know it was going thru?? It was because they TV was talking and talking about the Healthcare bill and Crap and Trade. They did this so good, its downright scary.

  107. Dirty motives behind pitch for cleaner air

    By Jonah Goldberg | Monday, December 14, 2009 |

    A week ago, Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, formally announced that her agency now considers carbon dioxide to be a dangerous pollutant, subject to government regulation. The “finding” comes two years after the Supreme Court ruled that CO2 falls under the EPA’s jurisdiction.

    A day later, an unnamed White House official told Fox News that the message for Congress is clear: “If you don’t pass this (cap-and-trade) legislation . . . the EPA is going to have to regulate in this area. . . . And it is not going to be able to regulate on a market-based way, so it’s going to have to regulate in a command-and-control way, which will probably generate even more uncertainty.”

    And such “uncertainty” is a huge “deterrent to investment,” which will hurt the economy even more.

    Translation: We don’t want the EPA to kick the economy in the groin, but if Congress doesn’t act, well, a-groin-kickin’ we shall go.

    How grotesquely dishonest.

    The White House and Congress could, quite easily, do something about the EPA’s threat. President Barack Obama could instruct Jackson to interpret the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision granting the EPA power to regulate greenhouse gases more loosely. He could ask Congress to simply rewrite the Clean Air Act so as to exclude carbon dioxide from its list of official pollutants – the policy the EPA followed for years until the Supreme Court reinterpreted the Clean Air Act.

    But no.

    As part of the enduring statist desire to penetrate ever deeper into our lives, greens have wanted to find a way for the government to regulate CO2, a natural byproduct of fire and breathing, for decades. Now they can.

    That is why the White House will use Jackson as a Medusa’s head, to petrify cap-and-trade foes with the prospect of something worse: the effective seizing of the means of production. If Jackson cares so much about sound science, why is she basing some of her policies on data from the discredited scientific frat house, the Climatic Research Unit? If Jackson cares so little about politics, why did she make her announcement at the opening of Climapalooza in Copenhagen?

    In fairness, Jackson is only a Medusa’s head to those who care desperately about economic growth and who don’t think draconian taxes on energy and massive wealth transfers for white elephants in the Third World are the answer to our woes.

    It just so happens that with the exception of nuclear power – which most greens still won’t support – global warming fuels nearly every progressive ambition. Wealth transfers from rich to poor nations: Check. The decline of American sovereignty: Check. A secular fatwa not only to erode capitalism but to intrude on every aspect of our lives (Greenpeace offers a guide to carbon-neutral sex): Check. Weaning us off of oil (which, don’t let the Goregonauts fool you, was a priority back when we were still worried about global cooling): Check. The checks go on for as far as the eye can see, and we will be writing them for years to come.

    http://www.bostonherald.com/news/opinion/op_ed/view.bg?articleid=1218648&srvc=home&position=comment

  108. What we do know is that Barack Obama pulled a bait-and-switch on us. If it were any other politician, we wouldn’t be surprised. Maybe it’s our fault, for thinking he was different.
    ————————————————————-
    Stupidity is its own reward, Matt Tabbi.

  109. Obamas bombs!

    Sunday Night Football & NBC won the Sunday night ratings as usual, as NBC averaged a 5.7 adults 18-49 rating on the night, far ahead of second place CBS‘ 2.9 rating, which was itself boosted by an NFL overrun. ABC’s Christmas In the White House special did a 2.8 adults 18-49 rating, lower than the season average for Brothers & Sisters (of 3.17).

  110. In January of 2007, Bush’s Rasmussen approval/disapproval numbers were 41/57. Obama’s are now 44/55

    Yet the media still portrays him as immensely popular and well-liked, even though he is within 2 points of Bush’s disapproval in early 2007. At those numbers, they INVARIABLY referred to Bush as a markedly unpopular president. The double standard is astounding.

    Me, I’m honest – I can’t stand either one of them.

  111. H4T, I can’t stand either one of them either. That’s amazing his numbers are almost that of Bush. He’s Bush III, so what can he expect.

  112. Question for Admin:

    In Taibbi’s rather good piece (aside from duh comments like “I can’t believe we were fooled by a huckster…”), I get the feeling that such a piece could have been constructed by looking at Big Pink posts from 11/5/2008 – 1/21/2009.

    Might you remember which articles covered these issues.

    And do all mainstream media “journalists” seeking to regain credibility get their info from here, or is it only like 95%?

  113. moononpluto
    December 14th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    RASMUSSEN POLL: Obama Job Approval Falls to New Low at 44%. 55% Disapproval. Can you say, stick a fork in him, he’s done.
    &&&&

    Any more done and it will be inedible.

  114. Dec 14,2009

    Hillary Clinton outlines Obama’s human rights agenda at Georgetown

    They were reading textbooks intently in the stairwell of Gaston Hall before the event, and proofreading their essays as they waited to be let out of the Hall afterwards, but despite being in the heat of finals season, Georgetown students had packed Gaston Hall by 11:15 a.m. to hear Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speak about the Obama Administration’s Human Rights Agenda for the 21st Century at noon.

    “[It’s] one of those quasi-legitimate reasons for taking a break,” Clinton told the audience of students, faculty, administrators, and press. Before she began her remarks, Clinton praised Georgetown for the thought and research its members contribute to the subjects of human rights, interreligious dialogue, and international relations.

    “Thank you for training the next generation of civil rights advocates,” she said, adding that she was grateful that all students, even those who were not focused on these issues, “leave this university with [an appreciation for them] imbued in their hearts and minds.”

    Above her, the IHS symbol for Jesus, which caused a stir among some Catholics when University officials covered it up when President Barack Obama spoke in April, was uncovered. (The Office of Communications did not immediately respond to questions about whether the school left it uncovered mindful of April’s controversy).

    Clinton was introduced by the International Relations Club’s Jasdeep Singh (SFS ‘10) (or “Jas,” if you’re the Secretary) and University President John DeGioia, who called Clinton “a champion of human dignity and human worth both here and abroad … especially of women and children.”

    And she spoke with an emphasis on the rights of women throughout the speech.

    Clinton said that President Barack Obama’s plan of action for human rights going forward consisted of four strategies: accountability, principled pragmatism, partnering with organizations working to achieve the same goals, and focusing on countries experiencing a wide range of human rights challenges.

    She noted that her address would not be a “checklist or scorecard” of human rights violators.

    Under the first element of the agenda, Clinton said the United States would be working to hold everyone accountable for human rights in their countries. In order to “reinforce our moral authority,” she said, the U.S. will lead by example by way of reporting figures for human trafficking that occur within its borders for the first time.

    Clinton said that while holding other accountable could entail public denunciations of a country’s leaders, “other times our negotiations would take place behind closed doors,” such as with China and Russia.

    The second element, “principled pragmatism,” also applies to China and Russia especially, she said. The administration can deplore the murders of Russian journalists and violation of minority rights in China, but “the assumption that we must either pursue democratic rights or [national strategy] is wrong.”

    The third element involved partnering with and supporting groups like NGOs which share U.S. goals, and the fourth involved highlighting success stories and rejecting the notion that some situations cannot be remedied.

    Clinton closed by saying that basic needs and political and other rights are highly intertwined.

    “When a person is too hungry to work or vote or worship, she is denied the life she deserves … Freedom doesn’t come in half-measures,” she said.

    She encouraged Georgetown students to produce ideas and analysis on how to expand human rights.

    “It is the work America signed up to do,” she said.

    Carol Lancaster, the Interim Dean of the School of Foreign Service, invited three questions from students “because so many of you have abandoned your final papers” to hear Clinton speak.

    Students asked about how the U.S. can protect LGBT rights in Uganda, where there is pending legislation to make homosexuality an offense punishable by death, and to balance support for Iranian protesters while pursuing a security strategy.

    Clinton said the U.S. had expressed its concerns about the anti-LGBT legislation directly and indirectly, and that Iran was “a good example of a hard call.”

    In that case, they “didn’t want attention to be shifted from the legitimate concerns to the United States” by speaking out too vehemently she said.

    Finally, a student asked about the role of artists in the campaign for human rights, to which Clinton said, “artists are one of the most effective tools we have” for promoting human rights.

    http://blog.georgetownvoice.com/2009/12/14/hillary-clinton-outlines-obamas-human-rights-agenda-at-georgetown/

  115. So she spoke with the Jesus symbol above her head,hmm,hmm, could that be because she’s a Christian?? Certainly Obama would not want to be seen on National TV with the very same symbol above his head as it might infuriate his muslim supporters.

    People are so stupid that can’t see the forest for the trees. He is a muslim, no other way to explain it.

  116. The WH is leveraging Cap and Trade and/or the Clean Air Act & EPA.. Both evil doers asking US to pick your poison:

    From Jan’s article:

    JanH
    December 14th, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Dirty motives behind pitch for cleaner air

    By Jonah Goldberg | Monday, December 14, 2009 |

    A week ago, Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, formally announced that her agency now considers carbon dioxide to be a dangerous pollutant, subject to government regulation. The “finding” comes two years after the Supreme Court ruled that CO2 falls under the EPA’s jurisdiction.

    A day later, an unnamed White House official told Fox News that the message for Congress is clear: “If you don’t pass this (cap-and-trade) legislation . . . the EPA is going to have to regulate in this area. . . . And it is not going to be able to regulate on a market-based way, so it’s going to have to regulate in a command-and-control way, which will probably generate even more uncertainty.”

    And such “uncertainty” is a huge “deterrent to investment,” which will hurt the economy even more.

    Translation: We don’t want the EPA to kick the economy in the groin, but if Congress doesn’t act, well, a-groin-kickin’ we shall go.

    How grotesquely dishonest.

    The White House and Congress could, quite easily, do something about the EPA’s threat. President Barack Obama could instruct Jackson to interpret the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision granting the EPA power to regulate greenhouse gases more loosely. He could ask Congress to simply rewrite the Clean Air Act so as to exclude carbon dioxide from its list of official pollutants – the policy the EPA followed for years until the Supreme Court reinterpreted the Clean Air Act.

    But no. [snip]

    “That is why the White House will use Jackson as a Medusa’s head, to petrify cap-and-trade foes with the prospect of something worse: the effective seizing of the means of production. If Jackson cares so much about sound science, why is she basing some of her policies on data from the discredited scientific frat house, the Climatic Research Unit? If Jackson cares so little about politics, why did she make her announcement at the opening of Climapalooza in Copenhagen?

    In fairness, Jackson is only a Medusa’s head to those who care desperately about economic growth and who don’t think draconian taxes on energy and massive wealth transfers for white elephants in the Third World are the answer to our woes.

    It just so happens that with the exception of nuclear power – which most greens still won’t support – global warming fuels nearly every progressive ambition. Wealth transfers from rich to poor nations: Check. The decline of American sovereignty: Check. A secular fatwa not only to erode capitalism but to intrude on every aspect of our lives (Greenpeace offers a guide to carbon-neutral sex): Check. Weaning us off of oil (which, don’t let the Goregonauts fool you, was a priority back when we were still worried about global cooling): Check. The checks go on for as far as the eye can see, and we will be writing them for years to come.”

    bostonherald.com/news/opinion/op_ed/view.bg?articleid=1218648&srvc=home&position=commen

    ~~~~~~~~~~~AND THIS AGAINST US:~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Black activist to Obama: Promote job growth by killing cap-and-trade

    we kill Cap and Trade we get the above with the EPA…

    Monday, December 14, 2009

    “Commenting on Obama’s upcoming trip to the COP-15 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen later this month, Borelli said: “President Obama will propose reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels to ‘save the planet.’ Tragically, even his own EPA administrator says this proposal would have no meaningful impact on the climate if done unilaterally, as he would. One thing it will do is have a devastating impact on jobs.”

    Cap-and-trade would limit the amount of emissions industry can release. It seeks to reduce consumption of traditional fossil fuels – such as coal, oil and natural gas – by making them more expensive. Higher costs will ultimately be borne by consumers and workers. As a candidate, Obama admitted that, under such a plan, “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

    Legislation to implement cap-and-trade in the U.S. passed Congress in June and a similar bill is pending in the Senate. The Heritage Foundation estimates that the House version would cause job losses of about 1.15 million jobs annually between 2012 and 2030 – rising to almost 2.5 million per year by 2035.

    An international scandal currently rocking climate change science makes the need for such onerous policy increasingly questionable. Concerns about climate data manipulation, as exposed in recently-posted private e-mails among prominent climate researchers, has heightened the uncertainty about the scientific basis of the theory that mankind is causing severe global warming.

    “I think it’s irresponsible for Obama to continue to push a destructive energy agenda while there is a growing scandal in the scientific community that turns the underpinnings of cap-and-trade policy on its ear,” Borelli noted. “How can the Obama Administration move forward in good faith while so many questions about this potential miscarriage of science remain unresolved?”

    http://www.speroforum.com/a/24258/Black-activist-to-Obama-Promote-job-growth-by-killing-capandtrade

  117. Translation: We don’t want the EPA to kick the economy in the groin, but if Congress doesn’t act, well, a-groin-kickin’ we shall go.
    h/w
    bostonherald.com/news/opinion/op_ed/view.bg?articleid=1218648&srvc=home&position=comment

    Agree with this bit. It’s Obama mob offer can’t refuse. Accept the Cap/Trade carrot or get the EPA stick.

    A few corrections to the longer article though. EPA tried to regulate CO2 a few years back but the SC rejected their paperwork; now they’ve filled in all the blanks and the SC has approved it. (Yes, the timing is probably Obama’s.)

    CRU is not discredited, much less the whole climate science community.

    Too much pollution in the air is likely to cause some problems, whether warming or cooling or both.

    Obama making a bad USE of a crisis doesn’t mean the crisis isn’t real. He may be trying secretly to slant it one way; the oil companies and other polluters have been trying to slant it the other way.

    We are all polluters to one extent or another, anyone who drives or keeps their home at comfortable temperatures. So we all have incentive to denial. Imo the right approach is neither denial nor to severely limit ourselves but to support developing CLEAN energy and positive solutions.

    Remember in the 60s/70s people who supported recycling paper were called hypocrits because they wrote their letters using the only paper reasonably available, which in that era was non-recycled? Still they did manage to get recycling established. Imo we’re in a similar situation now: we need to use the available means to make big improvements and make better means available. (It’s silly to complain of people flying to Copenhagen, that’s how things are done right now.)

  118. How did they pass a huge bill on Saturday and we did not know it was going thru?? It was because they TV was talking and talking about the Healthcare bill and Crap and Trade. They did this so good, its downright scary.

    ======================

    Yes, and didn’t it include lifting the ceiling on debt or deficit?

    While Obama is trying to cut Medicare so as not to ‘add to the deficit’ he is getting the limit lifted for the money he wants to give away elsewhere.

  119. Carol, thank you for posting the AT link..

    Because of you, I found this article at American Thinker…

    We may be able to cut the Obama curs off at the pass!

    Whoever you are out there helping US, WE Love You!

    EPA carbon regs may derail cap and trade

    Joesph Smith

    The EPA’s threat to impose greenhouse gas regulations, hanging like a Sword of Damocles over Congress, may have backfired.

    The Obama administration’s announcement of the EPA “endangerment finding” for CO2, timed to coincide with the start of the Copenhagen climate talks, was intended to allow the President to claim his country was on board with the international climate agenda. However, the EPA may have inadvertently given Congress an out on cap-and-trade legislation.

    Kimberly Strassel’s Wall Street Journal column, descriptively titled “The EPA’s Carbon Bomb Fizzles” paints an intriguing scenario:

    In the high-stakes game of chicken the Obama White House has been playing with Congress over who will regulate the earth’s climate, the president’s team just motored into a ditch. So much for threats…

    President Obama, having failed to get climate legislation, didn’t want to show up to the Copenhagen climate talks with a big, fat nothing. So the EPA pulled the pin. In doing so, it exploded its own threat.

    Far from alarm, the feeling sweeping through many quarters of the Democratic Congress is relief. Voters know cap-and-trade is Washington code for painful new energy taxes. With a recession on, the subject has become poisonous in congressional districts

    The closer the November election gets, the less the Senate will like this issue. And the pressure may be off Congress for a time, since the EPA could now be viewed as the owner of an increasingly unpopular idea:

    “The Obama administration now owns this political hot potato,” says one industry source. “If I’m [Nebraska Senator] Ben Nelson or [North Dakota Senator] Kent Conrad, why would I ever want to take it back?”

    The endangerment finding and the proposed EPA regulations are likely to set off a flood of litigation. Use of the Clean Air Act to regulate CO2 as a pollutant invites challenge by industry groups. On the other side, the EPA attempt to limit regulation to the largest producers invites environmentalist lawsuits to force the EPA to regulate all sources, large and small, right down to the home lawn mower.

    As the Strassel column notes, “the agency is going to get hit from all sides,” which will at a minimum complicate implementation of the EPA rules.

    Then there are the leaked Climategate e-mails, inviting challenge to the science, and a related column by a Colorado State professor of Atmospheric Science said of the international climate conspiracy:

    ” This conspiracy would become much more manifest if all the e-mails of the publicly funded climate research groups of the US and of foreign governments were ever made public.”

    To borrow from Robert Burns:

    The best laid schemes o’ mice and central (white house) planners…

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/12/epa_carbon_regs_may_derail_cap.html

  120. jtjames
    December 14th, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    any of you guys read this…

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

    Yes, I read it- Michael Abramson ought to put down the crack pipe.

  121. don’t know if he’s painting her as a fearless Iron lady, or if he wants to stone her…… the guy’s got issues. Like the Madame President part though

  122. confloyd

    the only way to get through it is by substituting Obama’s name everywhere it says, Clinton- 🙂 Throwing rocks.. my gawd-

    The Obama WH is beginning to feel Hillary’s breath on the back of their necks. This is another plant by Emmanuel’s brother having a Hollywood type writer concoct a story portraying Hillary as weak, inept and unpopular. The sexism in the story is sooo in your face.

  123. In haste while my internet is working….

    Gore has an 80 year old house which he is retrofitting for solar and heat wells. (He is also working to make such retrofits affordable for low income people.) He usually flies commericial.

    Those who snark at him: what exactly are the figures for

    Gore’s income vs Bill Clinton’s
    Gore’s income vs Hillary Clinton’s
    Gore’s house size vs the Clintons’ house
    How often do Bill and Hillary fly commercial?
    How much space in these houses is personal and how much is used for office for the good work they all three do?

    Unless you know these facts, pls stop throwing around vague nasty snark.

  124. moononpluto
    December 14th, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Gore turned his back on the Clintons, thats all i need to know who he is.

    ————-
    Can’t be said often enough!

  125. Right, as of right now, 11 months from polling day, the Democrats Senate and Gov races are in deep shit.

    Colarado at this point is going back deep republican in both Gov and Senate.

    Gov :

    McInnis (r) 48%
    Ritter (d) 40%

    This is up from 44/39 last month, so the repub went up 4, dem up 1.

    Sen :

    Jane Norton (R) is 46% in both races against
    Romanoff or Bennet both on 37%

    Pennsylvania Gov is going republican.

    Corbett (R) 43%
    Wagner (D) 30%
    Some other candidate 8%
    Not sure 20%

    Election 2010: Pennsylvania Governor

    Corbett (R) 48%
    Hoeffel (D) 26%
    Some other candidate 9%
    Not sure 17%

    Election 2010: Pennsylvania Governor

    Corbett (R) 44%
    Onorato (D) 28%
    Some other candidate 7%
    Not sure 21%

    Election 2010: Pennsylvania Governor

    Corbett (R) 46%
    Doherty (D) 23%
    Some other candidate 9%
    Not sure 22%

    Election 2010: Pennsylvania Senate

    Pat Toomey (R) 46%
    Arlen Specter (D) 42%
    Some Other Candidate 4%
    Not sure 8%

    Election 2010: Pennsylvania Senate

    Pat Toomey (R) 44%
    Joe Sestak (D) 38%
    Some Other Candidate 6%
    Not sure 13%

  126. Do these people not know who Nancy Pelosi is? Are they that thick?

    i find this hilarious

    Rasmussen Reports recently asked voters their opinion of “Nancy Pelosi” and the responses were mixed. Forty-six percent (46%) offered a favorable opinion and 50% an unfavorable view. Just half the nation’s voters voiced a strong opinion about Pelosi—14% Very Favorable and 36% Very Unfavorable.

    However, in a separate survey conducted the same night, Rasmussen Reports asked voters their opinion of “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi” and the response was more negative. When identifying Pelosi in this way, just 38% voiced a positive opinion while 58% had a negative view.

    The number with strong opinions also shifted to become more negative. Just 9% had a Very Favorable opinion of “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi”, down five percentage points from the number voicing a Very Favorable opinion of “Nancy Pelosi.” The number with a Very Unfavorable view of Pelosi grew from 36% to 45% when the question reminded voters of the role she plays in the government.

    The increase in strong negatives was most pronounced among voters not affiliated with either major party. Forty-two percent (42%) of unaffiliated voters voiced a Very Unfavorable opinion of “Nancy Pelosi.” That grew to 55% when a separate sample of unaffiliated voters was asked about “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”

    It is significant that simply adding a title identifying her formal role can have such an impact on Pelosi’s numbers. This suggests a fairly large number of Americans have some sense of who she is, but need to be reminded.

  127. confloyd says:

    I did hear Obama on a commercial act like he was appalled at the bankers, yeah right, he was probably high fiveing or shall I say fist bumping them as he walked on stage to tell those lies.

    **************************************
    I will say that Dylan Ratigan amazingly is not letting O or any of the congress off the hook for the continued thievery of our treasury…every time I happen to catch Ratigan he is blasting the admin, congress, banks and wall st for the “legalized stealing ” that continues and no real regulation or structure to change it being setting in place by mr. hope and change and his ‘new way of doing business’ in washington

  128. Obama certainly was’nt appauled when he was accepting their huge contributions during the campaign, this consistently needs to be pointed out as to who took the most money from Wall St.

  129. Mrs. Smith, By far that was the craziest article I have EVER read on Hillary.

    I just can’t seem to get over feeling like impeding doom is about to come to the US. I think POTUS has really in the last couple of days trying to cover it up for as long as he gets thru Copenhaugen.

    Incidently, while watching Beck today, he just happened to show a poster at one of the rallies in Copenhaugen. It read ” Welcome to Hopenhaugen”. Can you believe it??

    I have thought alot about this bizarre Climategate in Copenhaugen during which today I found out that the third world countries walked out because the large industrialized countries are not coming up with the cash that was apparently promised by BO. This is how Obama had such a large stash of money to beat Hillary with, it was from foreign govts. I realize that would be illegal, but we all know he managed to get it done under the radar. The countries stated that they weren’t the ones responsible for global warming and it was their countries who are most affected by it.

    Let me state this it was my fault either, yet I will have to pay for it. It wasn’t me who went to their countries and polluted it, it was the uber rich who were in search for easier ways to make more, and more money without having to pay a decent wage, enviromental regulations, health care, social security, and retirement for the employees it needed to make that money. We the American people were the ones who were without jobs because they went to your country, yet you are asking us (the american people) to pay for it. I say let the uber rich pay for it, there the ones who reaped the profit. A true democrat POTUS would be saying this to venture capitalists who raped and pilliaged these countries and would NOT be asking us to pay for it.

  130. FYI…the exodous begins…so far, Representatives, John Tanner, Bart Gordon are retiring and Abercrombie from Alaska is resiging to run for governor bye, bye!

  131. Further to what Admin was saying

    Democrats Battle To Standstill In Senate Over Drugs

    Posted by Dan Perrin (Profile)
    Saturday, December 12th at 5:55AM EST
    19 Comments

    Senator Carper (D-DE) has put a hold on Senator Dorgan’s (D-ND) drug re-importation amendment, who in turn, has objected to the Senate moving on any other health care amendments, until his pending drug re-importation amendment is voted on.

    Got that? It’s a Dem on Dem cage match.

    The Republicans, meanwhile, offered to stay in over the weekend and are now wishing they had not.

    NOTE TO SENATOR MCCONNELL: If Senator Reid ever wants to let the Senators go home for the weekend before the cloture vote on the ObamaCare bill, agree (please).

    Ultimately there will be a cloture vote on the Dorgan amendment, and this is where it gets very interesting.

    No one knows where Senators are going to be on the vote.

    If the yes votes exceed 51, which by all accounts they will, then the amendment cannot be tabled.

    If the yes votes do not exceed 60 votes, then cloture is not agreed to. Then the amendment just sits there, burning time on the Senate floor, blocking any other action.

    If the yes votes exceed 60 votes, then the bill is amended — and PhRma, the drug industry trade group freaks out, and the deal that they made with the White House to stop re-importation is in shreds. What PhRma does then is an open question. How can they pull the provision out of the bill? Or, do they oppose the bill and spend their millions to kill it? In general, it is grinding and nashing of teeth time for PhRma if Senator Dorgan gets more than 60 votes.

    Given the tens of millions in ads that the drug industry has spent in support of the ObamaCare and it’s donations to the White House political arm — how do you think the Republicans are going to vote?

    Do you think the Republicans are angry?

  132. Posted by Dan Perrin (Profile)
    Sunday, December 13th at 2:41PM EST
    52 Comments
    Update: The New York Times is reporting:

    “In a surprise setback for Democratic leaders, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, said on Sunday that he would vote against the health care legislation in its current form.”

    And on the issue of abortion, the New York Times was equally shocked by Senator Nelson:

    “On a separate issue, Mr. Reid tried over the weekend to concoct a compromise on abortion that would induce Senator Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska, to vote for the bill. Mr. Nelson opposes abortion. Any provision that satisfies him risks alienating supporters of abortion rights.”

    Meanwhile, this just in from the Huffington Post, Senator Lieberman told Senator Reid to his face this morning that he will vote against the Reid vapor deal:

    “Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) informed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in a face-to-face meeting on Sunday that he will vote against a health care bill that includes a public option or a provision that would expand Medicare, a Democrat Senate aide tells the Huffington Post.

    The two Senators had a discussion in Reid’s office shortly after Lieberman appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday morning. The Connecticut Independent discussed with Reid some of his concerns about the legislation, elaborating on issues he had raised during the show. According to the source, who was briefed on the exchange, Lieberman punctuated the discussion by telling the majority leader directly that he would vote against the bill if the Medicare buy-in and public option provisions remained in it.”

    Here is what Senator Lieberman and Senator Nelson said on Face the Nation, via the Weekly Standard:

    “On Face The Nation, Sens. Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson made it pretty clear they weren’t inclined to support the Reid “compromise” featuring a Medicare buy-in. Nelson said he thought such a buy-in is a bad idea, and Lieberman noted that on “the so-called Medicare buy-in — the opposition to it has been growing as the week has gone on. Though I don’t know exactly what’s in it, from what I hear I certainly would have a hard time voting for it because it has some of the same infirmities that the public option did.”
    From Robert Costa, in the Corner:

    “All of the king’s horses and all of the king’s men may not be able to put 60 together again,” says [Senator] Alexander, in reference to the (barely) 60 votes Reid got last month to bring his bill to the floor. “With two weeks until Christmas, Democrats find themselves in the awkward position of trying to pass a 2,000-page bill — a bill which most of them admit they don’t know much about.”

    “Alexander cites the new report from the chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as a potential death blow to Reid’s cause. The CMS, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, says that if Reid’s bill became law, America would spend $234 billion more on health care over the next decade.

    “Add the CMS report to the Mayo Clinic’s devastating letter against the expansion of Medicare, as well as the opposition of the American Medical Association and hospitals to Reid’s Medicare idea, and it’s clear that the more people find out about this, the less they like it,” says Alexander. “I’m not ready to make a prediction (on whether it will fail), but things aren’t looking good for the majority leader.”

    Given Senator Bill Nelson’s (D-Fla) statement on FOX News that the Reid Vapor Deal is a “non-starter,” and the fact that Senator Snowe has said she does not support it, and Senator Lieberman never has supported it, and the only public statements he has made have been to cast doubt about the idea’s viability; and that Senator Nelson has now publicly stated that he cannot vote to end the filibuster if the abortion restrictions he supports are not in the bill — it appears that the ObamaCare implosion is imminent.

    ObamaCare is a political failure. Its political failure will lead to its legislative failure. It is just a matter of when.

    Sphere: Related Content
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  133. Mrs. Smith, Gee, I sure all of us authors here at the big pink could of come up with a humdinger for our imposter POTUS. It would have all been so close to the truth we could have scared the world with the piece. LOL! But, I mean can’t they give Bill Clinton a rest, he has already served us and deserves some peace and quiet, but he will always be the butt of many jokes.

    I guess the article on Hillary was to demean her age. They all want us to think she will be way too old for anything.

    I also read today that maybe the rethugs will be putting forth John Thune in 2012. Well, he is easy on the eyes.

  134. Posted by Moe Lane (Profile)
    Monday, December 14th at 5:52PM EST
    8 Comments
    Ah, the politics of fear.

    The entire Democratic Senate caucus is headed to the White House on Tuesday afternoon to talk health care with President Obama, just as the administration urges Majority Leader Harry Reid to cut a deal with Sen. Joe Lieberman, who is emerging as the skunk at the party for supporters of the massive package to create a new entitlement.

    [snip]

    Congressional staff familiar with negotiations said the White House is strongly urging Reid to work with Lieberman to eliminate the Medicare provision.

    But Reid and other Democratic lawmakers are said to be furious that Lieberman publicly called for the elimination of the proposal before members received an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on the cost of such a plan.

    More accurately, the politics of being afraid. The White House is afraid that they won’t get something that they can call a win (our B+* President hasn’t actually had many this year); the progressives are afraid that their own base will descend upon them with torches and pitchforks if there is no progress against the hated foe; and Red State Democrats are afraid that if they keep on this course they’ll be interacting with the 112th Congress as lobbyists. It should be one sockeldanger of a meeting tomorrow.

  135. I also read today that maybe the rethugs will be putting forth John Thune in 2012. Well, he is easy on the eyes.
    ————————————————-
    He is a great guy. He was in the House before the Senate. He co sponsored a bill I wrote years ago for the cattle industry. As far as I know he is Mr. Clean. I never thought of him as a possibility, but it is a good idea. We will see if this rumor proves true.

  136. Could this be why Iran has suddenly decided to put the three hikers on trial for spying?

    Helicopter Bound For Iran Grounded In Arlington

    Dec 13, 2009 2:45 pm US/Central Helicopter Bound For Iran Grounded In ArlingtonARLINGTON (AP) ―

    Federal agents are investigating whether a helicopter they have held for 14 months at an airport in Texas was earmarked for shipment to Iran.

    The agents suspect an Italian company has already shipped two helicopters in contravention of a U.S. trade embargo with Iran, and that the third was also intended for the country. The $8 million aircraft meanwhile sits in a Bell Helicopter hangar at Arlington Municipal Airport, The Dallas Morning News reported in Sunday’s edition.

    At least one of the aircraft believed shipped to Iran was equipped with night vision and autopilot technology subject to strict U.S. restrictions, the newspaper reported.

    A federal seizure of an Iran-bound helicopter is “a unique circumstance” for North Texas agents, said George Richardson, special agent in charge of the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security office in Dallas. “This is driven by economics,” he told The News.

    The Italian company, Tiber Aviation SRL, last year bought three Bell 412 helicopters from Helivan SA of Mexico for about $22 million, the report said. Bell Helicopter says it leased three helicopters to Helivan in Tarrant County but that Helivan was not authorized to sell them.

    Tiber asked Swiss-based shipping company Panalpina Inc. to transport the first two helicopters through North Texas to Italy, said Panalpina deputy general counsel Robert Ernest. Panalpina was about to ship the third when a Tiber pilot asked for a quote to ship the aircraft to Iran.

    Panalpina refused to ship the aircraft and contacted the U.S. Commerce Department in Dallas, Ernest said.

    Tiber has denied intending to ship any of the helicopters to Iran, according to court documents. The ownership of the helicopter is in dispute in a pending lawsuit between Tiber and Textron Financial Corp., a unit of Bell Helicopter Textron, Bell Helicopter’s parent company.

    The newspaper did not report any comment from Helivan.

    The United States has imposed a trade embargo on Iran since 1995, but foreign companies linked to the United States can still use legal loopholes to sell U.S.-made goods legally to nations under U.S. export bans.

    “We don’t want technology to go to Iran, regardless of whether it will be used militarily or by civilian businesses,” said Kenneth Wainstein, former U.S. assistant attorney general for national security.

    “We don’t want American businesses engaged in trade with a regime whose policies are antithetical to our national interests,” he told The News.

  137. For clarification purposes the path to 2012 for Hillary depends on the failure of Obama and the emergence of a credible Republican challenger. Both conditions will materialize.

  138. North polar ice cap — 2030 is the OPTOMISTIC projection?

    And Gore certainly did attend Cophgn and got a good crowd,

    h/w
    sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/12/14/international/i062638S00.DTL

  139. “Both conditions will materialize.”

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

    Were you referring to which will be gone first?

    The Polar Ice Cap or Gore?

  140. Happy Birthday to the Bill of Rights! (ratified on 15 Dec. 1791)

    Bill of Rights

    Amendment I

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Amendment II

    A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

    Amendment III

    No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

    Amendment IV

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Amendment V

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Amendment VI

    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

    Amendment VII

    In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

    Amendment VIII

    Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

    Amendment IX

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Amendment X

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

  141. Posted by Dan Spencer (Profile)
    Tuesday, December 15th at 7:58AM EST
    No Comments
    Interest in the recent spat of Democrat retirements from the House of Representatives has highlighted interest in a House Retirement Watch. So far, 23 members of the House — 11 Democrats and 12 Republicans, have announced plans to leave the House by the January 3, 2011 end of the 111th Congress:

    DEMOCRATS

    Neil Abercrombie (HI) Resigning to run for governor of Hawaii.
    Brian Baird (WA) Retiring.
    Artur Davis (AL) Running for governor of Alabama.
    Bart Gordon (TN) Retiring.
    Paul Hodes (NH) Running for U.S. Senate.
    Kendrick Meek (FL) Running for U.S. Senate.
    Charlie Melancon (LA) Running for U.S. Senate.
    Dennis Moore (KS) Retiring.
    Joe Sestak (PA) Running for U.S. Senate.
    John Tanner (TN) Retiring.
    Robert Wexler (FL) Resigning effective in January of 2010. There will be a special election to replace Wexler on April 13, 2010.
    REPUBLICANS

    Gresham Barrett (SC) Running for governor of South Carolina.
    Roy Blunt (MO) Running for U.S. Senate.
    Mike Castle (DE) Running for U.S. Senate.
    Nathan Deal (GA) Running for governor of Georgia.
    Mary Fallin (OK) Running for governor of Oklahoma.
    Jim Gerlach (PA) Running for governor of Pennsylvania.
    Pete Hoekstra (MI) Running for governor of Michigan.
    Mark Kirk (IL) Running for U.S. Senate.
    Jerry Moran (KS) Running for U.S. Senate.
    Adam Putnam (FL) Running for agriculture commissioner of Florida.
    Todd Tiahrt (KS) Running for U.S. Senate.
    Zach Wamp (TN) Running for governor of Tennessee.
    We will do our best to keep the House Retirement Watch updated as we learn about additional House departures.

  142. You gotta love this phony familiarity you get with people like Obama. He acts like he is so approachable and so interested people that you can very easily get sucked in. But the truth is he cares only about himself. This phenomenon is not confined to Obama however. He is just an extreme case—indeed so extreme that he cannibalizes his own internal supporters whenever it is expedient to do so. This disease in a much milder form can be seen when you meet Congressional leaders in the field vs when you meet them in Washington DC. They behave more like human beings when they are in district, whereas when you catch them in Washington its do I know you. Perhaps that is why Twain said no man is safe when Congress is in session. Were he living today I am quite sure he would add this caveat: no American is safe when Mr. Obama occupies the White House, unless he brings bags of money ala Rezko or in this case big pharma. Which brings us back to the same question–who in their right mind would vote for Obama?

  143. December 11, 2009, 8:39 pm

    Global Warming’s Cold Shoulder

    By TOBIN HARSHAW

    So, the big Copenhagen climate conference is almost halfway over, and everybody (other than, it appears, Danish prostitutes) is having a grand old time. Tuvalu finds itself a household word; pedal pushers are powering up their own smoothies; the future is apologizing; inflatable-globe producers are making a mint; as are limo drivers; the local police got a cool new water cannon; Viscount Monckton is again trodding on Godwin’s Law; kids are rubbing the bellies of giant pigs. Such attention is swell for the swine, but it seems that another important mammal, the elephant in the room, is being studiously ignored.

    Do advocates of global-warming theory at the Copenhagen conference think it helps their cause to ignore questions from skeptics?

    I’m referring, of course to the giant trove of e-mails that were hacked and released from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Britain last month. The Times’s Andrew C. Revkin says the documents “will undoubtedly raise questions about the quality of research on some specific questions and the actions of some scientists.”

    Raise them it has, but answers seem to be a different matter, according to Mike Flynn of Andrew Breitbart’s right-wing muckraking site, Big Government:

    A Stanford Professor has used United Nations security officers to silence a journalist asking him “inconvenient questions” during a press briefing at the climate change conference in Copenhagen. Professor Stephen Schneider’s assistant requested armed UN security officers who held film maker Phelim McAleer, ordered him to stop filming and prevented further questioning after the press conference where the Stanford academic was launching a book.

    McAleer, a veteran journalist and film maker, has recently made a documentary “Not Evil Just Wrong’ which takes a [skeptical] look at the science and politics behind Global Warming concerns. He asked Professor Schneider about his opinions on Climategate — where leaked emails have revealed that a senior British professor deleted data and encouraged colleagues to do likewise if it contradicted their belief in Global Warming …

    Professor Schneider, who is a senior member of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said he would not comment on emails that may have been incomplete or edited …

    as the press conference drew to a close Professor Schneider’s assistant called armed UN security guards to the room. They held McAleer and aggressively ordered cameraman Ian Foster to stop filming. The guard threatened to take away the camera and expel the film crew from the conference if they did not obey his instructions to stop filming Professor Schneider.

    The guard demanded to look at the film crews press credentials and refused to allow them to film until Professor Schneider left the room.

    This isn’t McAleer’s first brush with a reticent speaker — there was also his famous attempt to get Al Gore to respond to a British judge’s ruling that there were several errors in “An Inconvenient Truth,” which ended with McAleer’s microphone getting cut off.

    So-called Climategate has been one of those high-profile incidents that generates a lot of coverage but not much clarity — you can lump it in with Tigergate, Plamegate and my personal favorite, Wafergate. What we really need is somebody to sort through the pile in search of a smoking e-mail. And just on time, here’s Time’s Bryan Walsh to do the work we don’t want to: “The truth is that the e-mails, while unseemly, do little to change the overwhelming scientific consensus on the reality of man-made climate change. But they do hand a powerful political card to skeptics at the start of perhaps the most important environmental summit in history. Still don’t know what to make of it?” No, actually, but we’ll read on …

    The more than 1,000 e-mails dating back some 13 years contain a range of information — everything from the mundanities of climate-data collection to comments on international scientific politics to strongly worded criticisms of research by climate-change doubters. It is mainly the last point that has skeptics crying foul. In one e-mail, sent to [Penn State Professor Michael] Mann from [director of the Climate Research Unit Phil] Jones, the topic is a pair of papers that criticize the case for man-made global warming; Jones wrote that he and his colleagues would be sure to keep the papers out of consideration for the forthcoming climate assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is.”

    In another e-mail exchange, Mann and Jones discuss ways to pressure an academic journal Climate Research to stop publishing submissions from climate skeptics, with Mann suggesting that they consider encouraging colleagues not to submit papers to the journal until it changes its editorial stance. Jones also wrote repeatedly about rebuffing requests by climate skeptics for raw temperature data from CRU, and seemingly encourages his colleagues to delete e-mails concerning a Freedom of Information request for the data.

    In other e-mails, scientists appear to have trouble reconciling recent temperature data with the warming expected from climate models. And overall, the correspondence evinces climate scientists’ outright scorn for global-warming skeptics; in one message, Ben Santer, a researcher from Lawrence Livermore Laboratory offers — presumably in jest — to “beat the crap out of” a leading skeptic.

    Perhaps most damningly, in an e-mail from 1999, Jones refers to one of Mann’s studies from the prominent journal Nature in a discussion of his own data: “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” (By the “decline,” Jones is presumably referring to the fact that temperature data reconstructed from tree-ring density — a common way to estimate global temperatures before the widespread use of the thermometer — diverges somewhat from recorded temperatures after 1960.)

    In the end, Walsh doesn’t see anything in Climategate that’s lethal to the science of global warming. (For that case, and for a vastly more comprehensive and, to the layman, more confusing analysis of the e-mails, read Steve McIntyre’s post at Climate Audit.) As far as Walsh is concerned, the big lesson is that “in the aftermath of the e-mails, climate scientists and advocates will need to rethink how they engage with critics.” Indeed, one might assume that the release of the e-mails would be the sort of episode that environmentalists and concerned climate scientists would want to get out in front of, that they’d go the extra mile to assure the public that there’s less here than meets the eye. If so, one assumes incorrectly, according to Louise Roug and Tim Grieve of Politico.

    Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin stirred the pot Wednesday with a Washington Post op-ed calling on President Barack Obama to boycott the Copenhagen talks over climategate and the “agenda-driven science” it exposed.

    Obama will surely ignore the call. And the Environmental Defense Fund’s Peter Goldmark told POLITICO Wednesday that climategate isn’t coming up in private meetings among nongovernmental organizations in Copenhagen and is not an issue for negotiators.

    “Now, we know that skeptics have and will continue to try and sow doubts about the science of climate change,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson said in a briefing to an overflow crowd at the U.S. center here Wednesday. “These are the same tactics that have been used by defenders of the status quo for years. Those tactics only serve to delay and distract from the real work ahead, namely, growing our clean energy economy and finding innovative, cost-effective ways to reduce harmful” greenhouse gases.

    U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon took a similar tack in New York Tuesday, telling journalists that nothing made public from the private e-mail accounts of prominent climate scientists casts doubt on the causes or effects of climate change. In fact, he said, climate change is occurring “much, much faster than we realized, and we human beings are the primary cause.”

    So, will the old “Nothing to see here, folks, move right along …” strategy keep climate skeptics at bay? Actually, it’s not even keeping some climate scientists from demanding that the document leak be more thoroughly investigated and that their colleagues show more neutrality in their research. Declan McCullagh of CBS News has an interesting post:

    As the science scandal known as ClimateGate grows, the largest U.S. physicists’ association is finding itself roiled by internal dissent and allegations of conflict of interest over a forthcoming review of its position statement on man-made global warming.

    The scientist who will head the American Physical Society’s review of its 2007 statement calling for immediate reductions of carbon dioxide is Princeton’s Robert Socolow, a prominent supporter of the link between CO2 and global warming who has warned of possible “catastrophic consequences” of climate change.
    Socolow’s research institute at Princeton has received well over $20 million in grants dealing with climate change and carbon reduction, plus an additional $2 million a year from BP and still more from the federal government. In an interview published by Princeton’s public relations office, Socolow called CO2 a “climate problem” that governments need to address.

    “It is Socolow whose entire research funding stream, well over a million dollars a year, depends on continued alarm over global warming,” says William Happer, a fellow Princeton University professor and head of the Happer physics lab who has raised the question of a conflict of interest. The reason: the ostensibly neutral person charged with evaluating a statement endorsing man-made global warming is a leading proponent of precisely that theory whose funding is tied to that theory.

    As previously reported by CBSNews.com, Happer and other members of the APS have been urging the society to take a second look at the 2007 statement, which claims the evidence for the CO2-global warming link is “incontrovertible” and “we must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.” Their letter circulated last month says: “By now everyone has heard of what has come to be known as ClimateGate, which was and is an international scientific fraud, the worst any of us have seen… We have asked the APS management to put the 2007 statement on ice until the extent to which it is tainted can be determined, but that has not been done.”

    While many of Happer’s opponents say the public should disregard him because he sits on the board of the Marshall Institute, a public policy group that has repeatedly questioned global-warming theory, other scientists who disagree with him on the science have sympathy for his complaints about the research establishment. One is the appropriately named Christopher Landsea, a former meteorology researcher with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, who resigned from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change after the panel chairman reported in a 2005 news conference that global warming was a factor in the severe 2004 hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean, a claim Landsea said had no peer-reviewed substantiation. He spoke to the online magazine Miller-McCune:

    In his resignation from the IPCC, Landsea wrote that the IPCC had become politicized to the point where it was using science in a political agenda. At that time, Landsea did not find a strong causal link between global warming and increased or intensified hurricanes in the Atlantic. Landsea became the center of a hurricane of his own after Katrina struck and climate scientists and administration officials wrangled over the likelihood of Katrina being caused by global warming. In 2006, Salon.com reported that the Bush administration sought to have Landsea speak to the media about hurricanes and global warming while stifling another NOAA researcher, Tom Knutson, whose research did suggest a link.

    In an interview with Miller-McCune, Landsea, now the science officer for NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, declined to comment on the hacked e-mails other than to say: “The best scientists are those that are very critical of their own work and colleagues’ work. And if you lose some of objectivity — and there may be some that have — you get a little bit tainted, and that’s unfortunate because what we need desperately are people who are trying to uncover the truth.”

    Among those who seem to think think people like Happer don’t deserve an audience is the filmmaker James Cameron, according to Agence France-Press:
    Its story unfolds on an alien planet in the 22nd century, but director James Cameron says his new film “Avatar” is a metaphor for the way humankind treats Earth today. Cameron joined stars Sigourney Weaver, Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Stephen Lang for Thursday’s premiere of the science fiction epic in London, ahead of its worldwide release next week.

    Set on a distant planet called Pandora, in the heart of a vast tropical forest, it recounts how strife erupts between an indigenous tribe and an Earth-based consortium pillaging for a precious mineral. “I see it as a broader metaphor, not so intensely politicised as some would make it, but rather that’s how we treat the natural world as well,” the Canadian-born filmmaker said. “There’s a sense of entitlement — ‘We’re here, we’re big, we’ve got the guns, we’ve got the technology, we’ve got the brains, we therefore are entitled to every damn thing on this planet’,” he said. “That’s not how it works and we’re going to find out the hard way if we don’t wise up and start seeking a life that’s in balance with the natural cycles of life on earth.”

    Simon Scowl of the celeb-bashing site Deceiver says he isn’t amused, meaning that he really is:
    James “King of the World” Cameron is lecturing you about your unearned sense of entitlement. Isn’t that cute?

    Is there an industry with a bigger carbon footprint than moviemaking? That flick cost something like $300 million to make. How many “natural cycles of life on earth” did it disrupt in the process? How much evil, evil carbon dioxide was produced? How many continents’ worth of mango trees would you need to plant to make up for it? Why is it okay for James Cameron to devote whole rooms full of energy-sucking computers — and the Red Bull-sucking nerds in front of them — to creating photorealistic cat people, but I get a lecture when I leave my cell phone charger plugged in?

    It’s not enough to be rich and famous if you’re not somehow “relevant.” Whether it’s Prince Charles or Al Gore or Leonardo DiCaprio or any of these other guys, they all have the same message: “Hey, I deserve to live like this. Now shut up and shiver in the dark, you peasants.”

    For a more reasonable approach, it’s worth looking at a post by Mr. Revkin at his Times blog, Dot Earth, about Judith Curry, a climate scientist at Georgia Tech who thinks there are three ways to deal with skeptics:
    1. Retreat into the ivory tower
    2. Circle the wagons/point guns outward: ad hominem/appeal to motive attacks; appeal to authority; isolate the enemy through lack of access to data; peer review process
    3. Take the “high ground:” engage the skeptics on our own terms (conferences, blogosphere); make data/methods available/transparent; clarify the uncertainties; openly declare our values

    Most scientists retreat into the ivory tower. The CRU emails reflect elements of the circling of wagons strategy. For the past 3 years, I have been trying to figure out how to engage skeptics effectively in the context of #3, which I think is a method that can be effective in countering the arguments of skeptics, while at the same time being consistent with our core research values. Some of the things that I’ve tried in my quest to understand skeptics and more effectively counter misinformation include posting at skeptical blogs, such as climateaudit, and inviting prominent skeptics to give seminars at Georgia Tech. I have received significant heat from some colleagues for doing this (I’ve been told that I am legitimizing the skeptics and misleading my students), but I think we need to try things like this if we are to develop effective strategies for dealing with skeptics and if we are to teach students to think critically.

    In the same Dot Earth post, Michael Hulme, of the infamous University of East Anglia, shares a basic point about the Copenhagen conference: “COP15 is about raw politics, not about the politics of science.”

    Perhaps the lesson of Copenhagen is that raw politics and thinking critically don’t mix. One hopes, however, that the politics of science allow some room for open debate. That doesn’t mean letting your opponents run roughshod over the facts. Nor does it involve shutting off their microphones.

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/11/global-warmings-cold-shoulder/?ref=opinion

  144. December 15, 2009

    NYT Op-Ed Contributor

    The U.S. Is on Board

    By HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

    Our world is on an unsustainable path that threatens not only our environment, but our economies and our security. It is time to launch a broad operational accord on climate change that will set us on a new course.

    A successful agreement depends upon a number of core elements, but two are shaping up to be essential: first, that all major economies set forth strong national actions and resolve to implement them; and second, that they agree to a system that enables full transparency and creates confidence that national actions are in fact being implemented.

    Transparency, in particular, is what will ensure that this agreement becomes operational, not just aspirational. We all need to take our share of responsibility, stand behind our commitments, and mean what we say in order for an international agreement to be credible.

    Representatives from more than 190 countries have gathered in Copenhagen in the hopes of meeting this urgent challenge to our planet. If we are serious about that goal, we will all embrace these principles.

    It is no secret that the United States turned a blind eye to climate change for too long. But now, under President Obama’s leadership, we are taking responsibility and taking action.

    Already, the Obama administration has done more at home to promote clean energy and address climate change than ever before in our history. We are investing more than $80 billion in clean energy and working with Congress to advance comprehensive climate and energy legislation. And we have announced our intention to cut our emissions in the range of 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and ultimately in line with final climate and energy legislation.

    In light of the president’s goals, the expected pathway in pending legislation would extend those cuts to 30 percent by 2025, 42 percent by 2030, and more than 80 percent by 2050. These are the kind of strong national actions that a successful agreement requires.

    The United States has also pursued an unprecedented effort to engage partners around the world in the fight against climate change, and we have produced real results. President Obama launched the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate which brought together key developed and developing countries to work through issues essential to an accord. He also spearheaded an agreement, first among the G-20 and then among the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation nations, to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. This effort alone could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent or more by 2050.

    So there should be no doubt about our commitment. We have come to Copenhagen ready to take the steps necessary to achieve a comprehensive and operational new agreement that will provide a foundation for long-term, sustainable economic growth.

    This needs to be a common effort. All major economies, developed and developing, need to take robust and transparent action to reduce their carbon emissions. Of course, the actions required of the developed and major developing countries will not be identical, but we must all do our part.

    The simple fact is that nearly all of the growth in emissions in the next 20 years will come from the developing world. Without their participation and commitment, a solution is impossible. Some are concerned that a strong agreement on climate change will undermine the efforts of developing nations to build their economies, but the opposite is true. This is an opportunity to drive investment and job creation around the world, while bringing energy services to hundreds of millions of the world’s poor.

    That is why United States is supporting an accord that both complements and promotes sustainable development by moving the world toward a low-carbon economy. The accord we seek will provide generous financial and technological support for developing countries, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable, to help them reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. And we are prepared to join an effort to mobilize fast-start funding that will ramp up to $10 billion in 2012 to support the adaptation and mitigation efforts of countries in need.

    We can all see the way forward that has emerged from months of negotiations: decisive national action, an operational accord that internationalizes those commitments, assistance for nations that are the most vulnerable and least prepared to meet the effects of climate change, and standards of transparency that provide credibility to the entire process.

    The United States is ready to embrace this path, and we hope that the rest of the world will rally around it this week.

    Hillary Rodham Clinton is secretary of state of the United States.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/15/opinion/15iht-edclinton.html

  145. After a review of the jug handles for this guy,I have what I believe is just the handle for this unknown guy that was dropped in to our midst by the rotten apples in the democratic barrel and their stealth tactics brought on the worst scenario that has affected countries world wide.

    How about “THE BOGUS POTUS” ?

  146. I am sure the bitter politics of the climate debate will subside for good when the messiah tells the warring parties to knock off the bullshit, and do what is right for the darter snail–regardless of what it costs. I am sure Al is doing what he believes is right, but he is stretching the truth of what a truth stretching scientist said about the disappearance of polar ice caps. The comment below the article is also interesting because it puts the lie to the deadly CO-2 hazard which Obamas people have said is a threat to mankind. It may require the messiah to seize command and control powers over the economy to eliminate this terrible problem. Not that it really matters to an overeducated idiot like Obama, but CO-2 just happens to sustain all life on this planet except for extremophiles down near deep ocean volcanic vents, and the quantities of it are miniscule. Nevertheless, he is prepared to seize command and control powers over the economy over that issue and thereby destroy jobs. The job he deserves to lose and will lose in 2012 is his own.
    ———————————————————————————————

    Inconvenient truth for Al Gore as his North Pole sums don’t add up

    Al Gore’s office admitted that the percentage he quoted in his speech was from an old, ballpark figure
    Hannah Devlin, Ben Webster, Philippe Naughton in Copenhagen
    178 COMMENTS
    RECOMMEND? (147)
    There are many kinds of truth. Al Gore was poleaxed by an inconvenient one yesterday.

    The former US Vice-President, who became an unlikely figurehead for the green movement after narrating the Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, became entangled in a new climate change “spin” row.

    Mr Gore, speaking at the Copenhagen climate change summit, stated the latest research showed that the Arctic could be completely ice-free in five years.

    In his speech, Mr Gore told the conference: “These figures are fresh. Some of the models suggest to Dr [Wieslav] Maslowski that there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.”

    RELATED LINKS
    150 arrested as police fire teargas
    Key elements of Copenhagen deal unravel
    Gore: Arctic summer ice ‘gone in five years’
    MULTIMEDIA
    GRAPHIC: our throwaway world
    However, the climatologist whose work Mr Gore was relying upon dropped the former Vice-President in the water with an icy blast.

    “It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at,” Dr Maslowski said. “I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this.”

    Mr Gore’s office later admitted that the 75 per cent figure was one used by Dr Maslowksi as a “ballpark figure” several years ago in a conversation with Mr Gore.

    The embarrassing error cast another shadow over the conference after the controversy over the hacked e-mails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, which appeared to suggest that scientists had manipulated data to strengthen their argument that human activities were causing global warming.

    Mr Gore is not the only titan of the world stage finding Copenhagen to be a tricky deal.

    World leaders — with Gordon Brown arriving tonight in the vanguard — are facing the humiliating prospect of having little of substance to sign on Friday, when they are supposed to be clinching an historic deal.

    Meanwhile, five hours of negotiating time were lost yesterday when developing countries walked out in protest over the lack of progress on their demand for legally binding emissions targets from rich nations. The move underlined the distrust between rich and poor countries over the proposed legal framework for the deal.

    Last night key elements of the proposed deal were unravelling. British officials said they were no longer confident that it would contain specific commitments from individual countries on payments to a global fund to help poor nations to adapt to climate change while the draft text on protecting rainforests has also been weakened.

    Even the long-term target of ending net deforestation by 2030 has been placed in square brackets, meaning that the date could be deferred. An international monitoring system to identify illegal logging is now described in the text as optional, where before it was compulsory. Negotiators are also unable to agree on a date for a global peak in greenhouse emissions.

    Perhaps Mr Gore had felt the need to gild the lily to buttress resolve. But his speech was roundly criticised by members of the climate science community. “This is an exaggeration that opens the science up to criticism from sceptics,” Professor Jim Overland, a leading oceanographer at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

    “You really don’t need to exaggerate the changes in the Arctic.”

    Others said that, even if quoted correctly, Dr Maslowski’s six-year projection for near-ice-free conditions is at the extreme end of the scale. Most climate scientists agree that a 20 to 30-year timescale is more likely for the near-disappearance of sea ice.

    “Maslowski’s work is very well respected, but he’s a bit out on a limb,” said Professor Peter Wadhams, a specialist in ocean physics at the University of Cambridge.

    Dr Maslowki, who works at the US Naval Postgraduate School in California, said that his latest results give a six-year projection for the melting of 80 per cent of the ice, but he said he expects some ice to remain beyond 2020.

    He added: “I was very explicit that we were talking about near-ice-free conditions and not completely ice-free conditions in the northern ocean. I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this,” he said. “It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at, based on the information I provided to Al Gore’s office.”

    Richard Lindzen, a climate scientist at the Massachusets Institute of Technology who does not believe that global warming is largely caused by man, said: “He’s just extrapolated from 2007, when there was a big retreat, and got zero.”

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    Frederick Roots wrote:
    Denis Malyavin wrote:
    “Regardless of if there is evidence of global warming or not, we are dumping hazardous waste into the atmosphere.”

    This shows the extent of the ignorant sheepism on the part of AGW enthusiasts. Far from being ‘hazardous waste as the above contributor suggests, CO2 is essential for almost every life form on the planet except extremophiles down near deep ocean volcanic vents. Virtually all life of any complexity depends on the workings of photosynthesis in which CO2 is taken into plants and allows them to grow and provide food for the rest of the food chain to eat, including us. CO2 is also a trace gas in the atmosphere, making up even now, only 1 part in 2500 of the atmosphere. CO2 is an essential and life giving component of our atmosphere, not hazardous waste, and we couldn’t exist without it.

    The real success of the climate modellers is that they have recruited the ignorant masses into their campaign who do not realise that the whole shabang is based on computer models which the AGW enthusiasts trim and steer to come up with what they want to find. The only empirical fact in this whole warmist scam is that the mean planetary temperature for the last ten years is 0.4 degrees C warmer than the 150 year average. To be honest, I couldn’t tell you if the temperature in my house was half a degree warmer or not. How many could? It is a small amount.

    Inconvenient truth for Al Gore as his North Pole sums don’t add up

    Al Gore’s office admitted that the percentage he quoted in his speech was from an old, ballpark figure
    Hannah Devlin, Ben Webster, Philippe Naughton in Copenhagen
    178 COMMENTS
    RECOMMEND? (147)
    There are many kinds of truth. Al Gore was poleaxed by an inconvenient one yesterday.

    The former US Vice-President, who became an unlikely figurehead for the green movement after narrating the Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, became entangled in a new climate change “spin” row.

    Mr Gore, speaking at the Copenhagen climate change summit, stated the latest research showed that the Arctic could be completely ice-free in five years.

    In his speech, Mr Gore told the conference: “These figures are fresh. Some of the models suggest to Dr [Wieslav] Maslowski that there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.”

    RELATED LINKS
    150 arrested as police fire teargas
    Key elements of Copenhagen deal unravel
    Gore: Arctic summer ice ‘gone in five years’
    MULTIMEDIA
    GRAPHIC: our throwaway world
    However, the climatologist whose work Mr Gore was relying upon dropped the former Vice-President in the water with an icy blast.

    “It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at,” Dr Maslowski said. “I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this.”

    Mr Gore’s office later admitted that the 75 per cent figure was one used by Dr Maslowksi as a “ballpark figure” several years ago in a conversation with Mr Gore.

    The embarrassing error cast another shadow over the conference after the controversy over the hacked e-mails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, which appeared to suggest that scientists had manipulated data to strengthen their argument that human activities were causing global warming.

    Mr Gore is not the only titan of the world stage finding Copenhagen to be a tricky deal.

    World leaders — with Gordon Brown arriving tonight in the vanguard — are facing the humiliating prospect of having little of substance to sign on Friday, when they are supposed to be clinching an historic deal.

    Meanwhile, five hours of negotiating time were lost yesterday when developing countries walked out in protest over the lack of progress on their demand for legally binding emissions targets from rich nations. The move underlined the distrust between rich and poor countries over the proposed legal framework for the deal.

    Last night key elements of the proposed deal were unravelling. British officials said they were no longer confident that it would contain specific commitments from individual countries on payments to a global fund to help poor nations to adapt to climate change while the draft text on protecting rainforests has also been weakened.

    Even the long-term target of ending net deforestation by 2030 has been placed in square brackets, meaning that the date could be deferred. An international monitoring system to identify illegal logging is now described in the text as optional, where before it was compulsory. Negotiators are also unable to agree on a date for a global peak in greenhouse emissions.

    Perhaps Mr Gore had felt the need to gild the lily to buttress resolve. But his speech was roundly criticised by members of the climate science community. “This is an exaggeration that opens the science up to criticism from sceptics,” Professor Jim Overland, a leading oceanographer at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.

    “You really don’t need to exaggerate the changes in the Arctic.”

    Others said that, even if quoted correctly, Dr Maslowski’s six-year projection for near-ice-free conditions is at the extreme end of the scale. Most climate scientists agree that a 20 to 30-year timescale is more likely for the near-disappearance of sea ice.

    “Maslowski’s work is very well respected, but he’s a bit out on a limb,” said Professor Peter Wadhams, a specialist in ocean physics at the University of Cambridge.

    Dr Maslowki, who works at the US Naval Postgraduate School in California, said that his latest results give a six-year projection for the melting of 80 per cent of the ice, but he said he expects some ice to remain beyond 2020.

    He added: “I was very explicit that we were talking about near-ice-free conditions and not completely ice-free conditions in the northern ocean. I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this,” he said. “It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at, based on the information I provided to Al Gore’s office.”

    Richard Lindzen, a climate scientist at the Massachusets Institute of Technology who does not believe that global warming is largely caused by man, said: “He’s just extrapolated from 2007, when there was a big retreat, and got zero.”

    PRINT
    EMAIL

    YOUR COMMENTS
    178 Comments
    (Displaying 1-10)
    Order By:
    Newest first Oldest first Most recommended
    Frederick Roots wrote:
    Denis Malyavin wrote:

    “Regardless of if there is evidence of global warming or not, we are dumping hazardous waste into the atmosphere.”

    This shows the extent of the ignorant sheepism on the part of AGW enthusiasts. Far from being ‘hazardous waste as the above contributor suggests, CO2 is essential for almost every life form on the planet except extremophiles down near deep ocean volcanic vents. Virtually all life of any complexity depends on the workings of photosynthesis in which CO2 is taken into plants and allows them to grow and provide food for the rest of the food chain to eat, including us. CO2 is also a trace gas in the atmosphere, making up even now, only 1 part in 2500 of the atmosphere. CO2 is an essential and life giving component of our atmosphere, not hazardous waste, and we couldn’t exist without it.

    The real success of the climate modellers is that they have recruited the ignorant masses into their campaign who do not realise that the whole shabang is based on computer models which the AGW enthusiasts trim and steer to come up with what they want to find. The only empirical fact in this whole warmist scam is that the mean planetary temperature for the last ten years is 0.4 degrees C warmer than the 150 year average. To be honest, I couldn’t tell you if the temperature in my house was half a degree warmer or not. How many could? It is a small amount.

  147. JanH
    December 15th, 2009 at 8:34 am

    Wonderful article you posted Jan, touching many bases relevant to the complex issues at hand. The biggest question, “Are humans responsible for Global Warming”?

    “In one e-mail, sent to [Penn State Professor Michael] Mann from [director of the Climate Research Unit Phil] Jones, the topic is a pair of papers that criticize the case for man-made global warming; Jones wrote that he and his colleagues would be sure to keep the papers out of consideration for the forthcoming climate assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is.”

    “In another e-mail exchange, Mann and Jones discuss ways to pressure an academic journal Climate Research to stop publishing submissions from climate skeptics, with Mann suggesting that they consider encouraging colleagues not to submit papers to the journal until it changes its editorial stance. Jones also wrote repeatedly about rebuffing requests by climate skeptics for raw temperature data from CRU, and seemingly encourages his colleagues to delete e-mails concerning a Freedom of Information request for the data.”

    “In other e-mails, scientists appear to have trouble reconciling recent temperature data with the warming expected from climate models. And overall, the correspondence evinces climate scientists’ outright scorn for global-warming skeptics; in one message, Ben Santer, a researcher from Lawrence Livermore Laboratory offers — presumably in jest — to “beat the crap out of” a leading skeptic.”

    “Perhaps most damningly, in an e-mail from 1999, Jones refers to one of Mann’s studies from the prominent journal Nature in a discussion of his own data: “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” (By the “decline,” Jones is presumably referring to the fact that temperature data reconstructed from tree-ring density — a common way to estimate global temperatures before the widespread use of the thermometer — diverges somewhat from recorded temperatures after 1960.)”

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

    These are all bullets penetrating the Climate scam perpetrated by Gore and the scientists aiding and abetting his agenda…(for Soros and his Cap and Trade scheme)

    “Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin stirred the pot Wednesday with a Washington Post op-ed calling on President Barack Obama to boycott the Copenhagen talks over climateGate and the “agenda-driven science” it exposed.”

    I can only hope we have provided her with the pertinent information she needs educating the public to the ClimateGate scam.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “Now, we know that skeptics have and will continue to try and sow doubts about the science of climate change,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson said in a briefing to an overflow crowd at the U.S. center here Wednesday. “These are the same tactics that have been used by defenders of the status quo for years. Those tactics only serve to delay and distract from the real work ahead, namely, growing our clean energy economy and finding innovative, cost-effective ways to reduce harmful” greenhouse gases.”

    If the EPA decides to designate CO2 a pollutant actually dangerous to the public. The EPA will be inundated with litigation blizzarding them from every direction including misleading the public into thinking humans are responsible for climate warming. When in fact scientists have proven the climate is cooling regardless of the level of CO2 omissions.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “It is Socolow whose entire research funding stream, well over a million dollars a year, depends on continued alarm over global warming,” says William Happer, a fellow Princeton University professor and head of the Happer physics lab who has raised the question of a conflict of interest. The reason: the ostensibly neutral person charged with evaluating a statement endorsing man-made global warming is a leading proponent of precisely that theory whose funding is tied to that theory.”

    Conflict of interest? The understatement of the century.

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

    Final- a quote from the article reminding us, FREE speech is a precious right and neither (shame on) AL GORE or the scientists involved should be shutting down questions from anyone looking for answers and the Truth.

    “Perhaps the lesson of Copenhagen is that raw politics and thinking critically don’t mix. One hopes, however, that the politics of science allow some room for open debate. That doesn’t mean letting your opponents run roughshod over the facts. Nor does it involve shutting off their microphones.”

  148. THE EVER-SHRINKING POTUS

    Another empty photo-op, but this time the use-ees don’t fall for it.

    The NY Times portrays Squat as a pawn grasping for relevancy.

    Putting Obama on Hold, in a Hint of Who’s Boss
    ==============================================
    December 15, 2009, 1:45 am

    By ANDREW ROSS SORKIN

    President Obama didn’t exactly look thrilled as he stared at the Polycom speakerphone in front of him. “Well, I appreciate you guys calling in,” he began the meeting at the White House with Wall Street’s top brass on Monday.

    He was, of course, referring to the three conspicuously absent attendees who were being piped in by telephone: Lloyd C. Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs; John J. Mack, chairman of Morgan Stanley; and Richard D. Parsons, chairman of Citigroup.

    Their excuse? “Inclement weather,” according to the White House. More precisely, fog delayed flights into Reagan National Airport. (In the “no good deed goes unpunished” category, the absent bankers were at least self-aware enough to try to fly commercial.)

    That awkward moment on speakerphone in the White House, for better or worse, spoke volumes about how the balance of power between Wall Street and Washington has shifted again, back in Wall Street’s favor.

    Now that Citigroup has given back its bailout money — and Wells Fargo announced late on Monday that it would, too — whatever leverage Washington had over the financial services industry seems to be quickly eroding.

    Executive compensation, leverage limits and lending standards were all issues that Washington said it planned to change — and when the taxpayers were the shareholders of these firms, it probably could have done so. But now the White House has been left in the position of extending invitations, rather than exercising its clout. And in the figurative and literal sense, it is getting stood up.

    Those who attended the meeting — Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan flew down on a private jet and didn’t take any heat for it — seemed to talk a good game, but even President Obama acknowledged they might have been just toying with him.

    “The problem is there’s a big gap between what I’m hearing here in the White House and the activities of lobbyists on behalf of these institutions or associations of which they’re a member up on Capitol Hill,” he said after the discussion.

    Are we making too much of this meeting and its grounded attendees?

    The meeting was always just going to be political theater. Wall Street bankers were supposed to play their part on the public stage in Washington, and submit to a scolding from the president about bonuses and the need to start lending more to help get the economy moving.

    But inevitably public perception will issue its harsh ruling, and it goes something like this: If the meeting were really that important to Mr. Blankfein, Mr. Mack and Mr. Parsons, they would have found a way to get there.

    They would have left the night before, or they would have flown out at the crack of dawn, or better yet, taken Amtrak (I called customer service, and the Acela was running only a couple of minutes late).

    In fairness, there is little question that they wanted to be there and seemed genuinely disappointed they couldn’t make it. (You could hear it in Mr. Mack and Mr. Blankfein’s voice when they got on the call. “Mr. President, we’re upset we’re not able to be there, but we’re on line with you now,” Mr. Mack said. “It’s certainly not for a lack of effort,” Mr. Blankfein quickly followed up.)

    But this missed meeting clearly didn’t help their case.

    After all, they sure hoofed it down there last year, when Henry M. Paulson Jr. ordered them to meet him in Washington with less than 24 hours of notice. Most of them got there early, and went home with $10 billion to $25 billion of taxpayer money.

    Upon hearing the news Monday morning of the airplane delays, Mark Haines, an anchor at CNBC, went on the air and, in a Howard Beale moment, said what many Americans were probably thinking: “These guys are such little girls! Give me a break. What a bunch of wimps! Thanks for all that taxpayer money … and, ah, gee, there are delays at the airport!”

    But extra effort may have been a lot to ask given the blasting headwinds they were flying into down in Washington.

    President Obama’s “60 Minutes” interview Sunday night eviscerating Wall Street laid down the not-so-welcome mat. “I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat-cat bankers,” he said.

    Inside the Obama administration, there were bruised feelings about the need for a conference call to have a meeting.

    “It was pretty nervy,” one staff member told me.

    That’s not to say that Mr. Blankfein, Mr. Mack and Mr. Parsons have not been trying to be constructive.

    Mr. Mack has been particularly outspoken about the need for serious financial reform on Wall Street. Mr. Parsons, too, has been trying to act as a liaison with Washington and has not pushed back on legislation.

    And Mr. Blankfein, who is under perhaps the hottest spotlight, has been saying many of the right things, though he probably can’t say enough of them at the moment.

    But as President Obama has said, it is not what those leaders say to him that really matters.

    “The way I see it, having recovered with the help of the American government and the American taxpayers, our banks now have a greater obligation to the goal of a wider recovery, a more stable system, and more broadly shared prosperity,” Mr. Obama said.

    There’s an expression that many bankers already know, and might want to keep in mind if they are summoned to Washington again. The saying is often trotted out on Wall Street when people need to be reminded of the importance of getting on a plane and seeing a client: “You can’t fax a handshake.”

  149. Markos Moulitsas, Tweeted: “Insurance companies win. Time to kill this monstrosity coming out of the Senate.”

    When you’ve lost Markos…lol

  150. I just saw Hillary on a Fox clip with a new look,no hair style ,black headband and looking happier than ever.Bogus Potus has to be very worried about her poularity and high numbers around the world.Order the Moving Van BO.It is time to exit the her Whitehouse.Todays schedule next.

    —————————————————————–
    aily Appointments Schedule for December 15, 2009

    Washington, DC

    December 15, 2009

    ——————————————————————————–

    SECRETARY OF STATE CLINTON:
    11:00 a.m. Secretary Clinton delivers a Classified Briefing to the House of Representatives with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and General James Cartwright, on the House Floor.
    (MEDIA TO BE DETERMINED BY HOUSE)

    2:45 p.m. Secretary Clinton hosts a Bilateral Meeting with His Excellency Vuk Jeremic, Foreign Minister of Serbia, at the Department of State.
    (CAMERA SPRAY PRECEDING BILATERAL MEETING IN THE TREATY ROOM)
    Pre-set time for cameras: 2:00 p.m. from the 23rd Street Entrance.
    Final access time for writers and still photographers: 2:30 p.m. from the 23rd Street Entrance.

    3:30 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Special Envoy for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Stephen Bosworth, at the Department of State.
    (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

    4:45 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, at the Department of State.
    (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

    6:45 p.m. Secretary Clinton hosts the Holiday Reception for the Diplomatic Corps, at the Department of State.
    (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

    THE DAILY PRESS BRIEFING WILL BEGIN AT APPROXIMATELY 1:00 P.M.

  151. Update from Copenhagen [Greg Pollowitz]

    Developing countries end boycott at climate talks:

    COPENHAGEN – Poor countries ended a boycott of U.N. climate talks Monday after getting assurances that rich nations were not conspiring to soften their commitments to cutting greenhouse gases, European officials said.

    European Union environment spokesman Andreas Carlgren said informal talks resolved the impasse, which was started by African countries and backed by major developing countries, including China and India.

    Rich and poor countries “found a reasonable solution,” he said.

    Developing countries agreed to return to all working groups that they abandoned earlier in the day at the 192-nation conference, said Anders Frandsen, a spokesman for conference president Connie Hedegaard.

    The boycott had disrupted efforts to forge a pact on global warming and forced the cancellation of formal working groups, delaying the frantic work of negotiators trying to resolve technical issues before the arrival of more than 110 world leaders, including President Barack Obama, later this week.

    The move was largely seen as a ploy to shift the agenda to the responsibilities of the industrial countries and make emissions reductions the first item for discussion Tuesday.

    ~~~~~~~~

    I think we are at the tipping point of devolving into a developing country. If China can do it, why can’t we?

  152. businessinsider.com/obamas-newfound-populism-all-hat-no-cattle-2009-12?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+clusterstock+(ClusterStock)&utm_content=Google+Reader

    (This guest post originally appeared at NewDeal2.0)

    Obama’s newfound Populism: All Hat, No Cattle

    President Obama is taking a sharp, populist tone with Wall Street and scolding the ways of Washington. Once again, he is looking to the Senate to follow the House and pass a top legislative priority: sweeping financial regulatory reform. It might feel satisfying to hear the President criticize “reckless”, “fat cat” bankers, but the financial reform legislation passed by the House last Friday (and lauded by the President) provides little incentive to change their behavior. In reality, populism — with nothing of substance behind it — is just cynical posturing designed to mask genuine failure. To use an expression favored by his predecessor, this president is once again showing himself to be all hat, no cattle.

    Appealing to the peanut gallery at this stage is an insult to the voters’ intelligence. The most telling comment on the latest reforms came from the stock market: Bank stocks ended the day higher last Friday (when the House bill was passed to great fanfare), with the KBW Banks index slightly outperforming the benchmark Dow Jones industrial average.

    At its most basic level, a bank is an entity that has a reserve account at the Fed, which makes loans and takes deposits. That is its primary public purpose, and we should not be allowing activities which undermine this central function, especially seeing as it is the government which guarantees the public’s deposits via the FDIC. (As an aside, even though the government creates all reserves and guarantees deposits, we do not want it to be directing lending activity because, as “Winterspeak” notes, “we do not want the Government to make credit decisions, they are too likely to dole out money to politically connected constituencies, while starving worthwhile, but unconnected borrowers.”

    However good the political optics of resorting to demonization of Wall Street, the legislation itself does nothing to recognize that the behavior criticized is a direct consequence of incentives built into the current institutional structure. It completely misses the point because it does nothing to ban activities which were at the heart of the crisis and which will likely be perpetuated as a consequence of the new legislation. All the new legislation does is institutionalize tax payer bailouts and, in so doing, continues the process of privatizing profits and socializing losses. Insolvent institutions have a habit of “betting the bank” through control fraud (Bill Black’s term for CEOs using the company as a fraud vehicle) and the new legislation will not prevent this.

    Even positive aspects of the bill, such as the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, were significantly watered down. New Democrats — the people we used to call “Republicans” — won concessions that give federal regulators more scope to preempt state consumer-protection laws deemed to “significantly interfere with or materially impair a national bank’s ability to do business.” The change was sponsored by Congresswoman Melissa Bean, the most bought and paid for member of the House (not an inconsiderable political achievement amongst our current political profiles in courage). Bean justified the change on the basis of having “robust national standards and enforcing them uniformly”, which sounds good until one considers the history of federal regulators, none of whom have historically moved when they plainly should have done so. How many federal regulators do you recall actually blocking the most egregious excesses in the mortgage market over the past 15 years? Preventing the states from moving proactively means that we will likely repeat the experience of the 1990s. Historically, the reform impetus has emanated from the states, not the federal government — Governor Eliot Spitzer’s administration being a prominent illustration.

    More and more voters are beginning to believe this façade of reform is deliberate — a cynical act of kabuki theatre by the President to mask his own reticence to deal with the problem in an honest manner. It was clear to many of us that the president may not have been serious about reform when he picked Tim Geithner and Larry Summers as the leaders of his economic team a year ago, and essentially relegated any genuine progressive to the Cabinet equivalent of Siberia, as Matt Taibbi recently highlighted. Yes, Summers and Geithner both have ample experience. But does that mean that they were qualified to take on the positions they were granted in the Administration? I suppose that depends on whether you think a doctor who botched your surgery ought to be given the role for the next one, simply because he has greater familiarity with your body than another surgeon.

    Some on the left have hit Taibbi very hard for the attacks on Obama. Matt is no conservative, and more importantly, he is correct: Taibbi calls the President what he is, a sweet talking man who cannot fulfill one single promise he made to the public to get elected. So we have this incompetent financial reform bill, which will not place any limits on another systematic collapse. We have a health bill with no means of sensibly restraining cost pressures within the private health insurance industry. We are still fighting two wars, one of which is being escalated. The economy is still struggling and jobs are being lost.

    Far easier to resort to cheap populism than to actually do something about it. If the President were serious, he would be pointing out that the bankers have been undercutting every effort at reform, and have been paying off Congress to put loopholes into all legislation. If he were genuinely upset, he would be channeling the country’s anger constructively, by calling on the population to take to the streets in mass protests against Wall Street with a view to shutting down the biggest banks and breaking their power once and for all. Of course, the President would never do anything so “irresponsible”. Far better to throw a few bones to the peasants and hope that the appearance of reform pacifies them.

    The economist Hyman Minsky argued that the Great Depression represented a failure of the small-government, laissez-faire economic model, while the New Deal promoted a Big Government/Big Bank highly successful model for capitalism. The current crisis just as convincingly represents a failure of the Big Government/Crony Capitalist model that promotes deregulation, reduced oversight, privatization, and consolidation of market power. Yet the very people who have shredded the New Deal reforms and replaced them with self-supervision of markets are the champions of today’s financial “reform”. As appealing as the story of Paul on the road to Damascus might be, there is certainly no evidence of any Damascene conversion here amongst the policy makers of the Obama Administration. It’s business as usual, along with the championing of monetary and fiscal policy that is biased against maintenance of full employment and adequate growth to generate rising living standards for most Americans.

    We must return to a more sensible model. We need enhanced supervision of financial institutions with a financial structure that promotes stability by aligning the banks’ activities with public purpose, rather than abetting speculation and then bailing the financial sector out after the fact. President Roosevelt proved that we could reform the financial system, rescue homeowners, and deal with the unemployed even as we mobilized and then fought World War II. By contrast, this is an Administration that defines reform as muddled compromise within a profoundly broken polity.

    Roosevelt Institute Braintruster Marshall Auerback is a market analyst and commentator.

  153. realclearpolitics.blogs.time.com/2009/12/15/how-the-public-graded-obama/

    How the Public graded Obama

    An interesting follow up to the “good, solid B plus” grade our President gave himself for his first year in office. As it turns out, back in April as part of its special coverage of Obama’s “Second Hundred Days”, CNN asked its viewers to give the Obama administration grades on a number of issues.

    Here is how the American public graded the Obama administration:

    Handling of the Economy = C-
    Handling of Health Care = D
    Handling of Foreign Affairs = C

    As for the grade the public gave President Obama himself? C-.

    Not exactly the kind of report card kids like to bring home to their parents.

    For the record, President Obama’s job approval rating in early April after his second hundred days was 60% and his disapproval rating was 30%.

    Eight months later with a job approval rating of only 48% and a disapproval rating of 45%, it’s awfully hard to imagine the public thinks President Obama deserves a higher grade than they gave him in April.

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

    C-, with CNN reporting – that translates into a failure in the real world…

  154. S
    December 15th, 2009 at 10:30 am
    realclearpolitics.blogs.time.com/2009/12/15/how-the-public-graded-obama/

    How the Public graded Obama

    ——————

    I think the public was too kind.

  155. S
    December 15th, 2009 at 10:30 am

    I translated the letters into traditional number scores and the average is 69.25.

    Which means the Zero qualifies for a solid F for FAILURE.

    and I was kind computing the average.. 🙂

  156. Heh,since a lot of bots are now de-toxing from the hopium, and threatening to not support Dems in 2010 and 212, Matt Yglesias has a post up telling us that we need to “grow up” and come vote for the Democrat, because…um….we HAVE to.

    TC has a good post up on it: http://riverdaughter.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/matt-yglesias-tells-the-rest-of-us-to-grow-up/#comment-424342

    But the best response was in the comments – a pithy video of the Obama bloggers. ADMIN, PLEASE EMBED: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcSrxSkdVDY&feature=player_embedded#

  157. Inevitable, irreversible, unsustainable, we must act now and boldly or our great grandchilder will curse our memory, mendacity and cowardice

    Just jotting down some purple prose for bambi’s speechwriter so bambi can read them into a teleprompter while big media drops to its knees in his honor–and pretends everything is going smoothly.

    My deep concern is that despite the junk science somthing god awful will pass, something is still likely to pass. The walk out by the third world countries is a tactic. They are just negotiating for more money.

    And with Obama who treats out taxpayer money as if it were monopoly money they are likely to get it.

  158. C-, with CNN reporting – that translates into a failure in the real world…
    ——————————
    C as in Carter minus.

  159. Posted by Dan Perrin (Profile)
    Tuesday, December 15th at 10:40AM EST
    47 Comments

    The White House and Democratic Leadership in the Senate has told Senator Nelson they will close every military base in Nebraska — a threat that is not credible, really — but they have also offered Senator Nelson between $300 million to $500 million in earmarks, according to key hill health care operatives. These hundreds of millions will be available for whatever he wants to spend them on in Nebraska.

    Given Senator Nelson’s hard core earmarking history as an appropriator, the word on the street is that this is the real carrot that could get Nelson to agree to some cover amendment that would allege to protect the innocent unborn from government funding of abortion, but, in fact, would not.

    Unless a Sanders or Burris — or some other liberal — objects to the bill having no public option, then if Nelson holds the bill dies, and if Nelson does not hold, the bill passes. Given that the Dems have caved to Lieberman — this is the whole ball game — Senator Nelson. The Dem leadership could still win without Nelson, if they got Snowe since there is no public option, or they could cave to Nelson like they did to with Lieberman, and like the Speaker did with Stupak, and add in the abortion restrictions, but this would tempt fate since their liberal base would have to swallow both no public option and abortion restrictions.

    The next 36 hours are key to this fight, given the fact the Dems caved to Lieberman. It’s all about Nelson now, plain and simple. Will he do what his constituents want and kill the bill, or will he take the cash?

    Senate Democrats on Verge of Deal
    Posted by Erick Erickson (Profile)
    Tuesday, December 15th at 9:06AM EST
    68 Comments

    Don’t believe everything you hear. The Senate Democrats are not on the verge of a collapse. They are on the verge of compromising every single thing they want just so they can get a “health care reform” bill passed.

    Here’s what I’m being told:

    The Democrats have given Joe Lieberman everything he wanted. Joe will now vote for the bill.

    Ben Nelson (D-NE) is being threatened with having every major military installation in Nebraska shut down. Yes, I know, but the Democrats are playing for keeps on this and health care “reform” is more important to them than the military.

    Liberals are being told they have to accept this to given them any credibility going into next year’s election. They don’t want to be accused of “killing reform.”

    Lastly, the CBO scoring of the bill is going to look fine now that the Medicare affecting portions are going to be dropped.

    Inevitably, this legislation is going to cause health care costs to skyrocket and force people into socialized medicine.

    But Barack Obama and the Democrats don’t care. They want to be seen as doing something and beating the Republicans — with what, they don’t care.

    Category: Ben Nelson, Harry Reid, health, Joe Lieberman, Senate Democrats

    CO-GOV: Bill Ritter (D) at 40%.
    Posted by Moe Lane (Profile)
    Tuesday, December 15th at 9:00AM EST
    1 Comment
    It’s a bad time to be an incumbent Democrat:

    Like many Democrats nationwide these days, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter who was easily elected in 2006 finds himself trailing his chief Republican opponent in a potential 2010 match-up.

    A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state shows former GOP Congressman Scott McInnis ahead of Ritter 48% to 40%. Four percent (4%) like some other candidate, and seven percent (7%) are undecided.

    This is down from McInnis/Ritter 44/39 in September, and can’t really be blamed on the health care rationing bill, although it’s entirely possible that the Democrats’ recent decision to shut down the coal industry is a factor here. What makes this fascinating to watch is that Bill Ritter was a 2006 Golden Child; even in 2008 he was popular. Right now Colorado Democrats should be giving serious consideration to trying to replace him in the primary.

    Won’t happen, of course.

    Moe Lane

  160. The world has gone to hell in a handbag…aka destroy the Jewish Race part II:

    ————————
    December 15, 2009

    Israel fury over British war crimes warrant for Tzipi Livni

    James Hider in Jerusalem

    Israel’s Government issued an angry warning today that its ties with Britain were in jeopardy over a UK arrest warrant briefly issued against the Jewish state’s Opposition leader and former Foreign Minister.

    It has emerged that a London court issued a warrant at the weekend, for alleged war crimes committed in last winter’s Gaza offensive, and then rescinded it when it became clear that Tzipi Livni was not on British soil.

    On the orders of the Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahi, the Israeli foreign ministry today summoned the British ambassador to receive a formal dressing down over the affront. “We reject the court’s cynical legal move against Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni, which was initiated by radical elements,” the Ministry said in a statement. “Israel calls on the British government to fulfill, once and for all, its promises and prevent an abuse of the British legal system against Israel and its citizens by anti-Israel elements.”

    The statement warned that relations between Israel and Britain would be damaged unless the UK took quick action to put things right. “If Israeli leaders cannot visit Britain in a proper and honorable manner, this will naturally serve as a real obstacle to Britain’s desire to take an active part in the peace process in the Middle East,” it said.

    The Israeli Ambassador to London, Ron Prossor, also criticised the arrest warrant. “The current situation has become intolerable, it is time that it change,” he said. “I am convinced that the British government will understand that it is time to react and not content itself with declarations.”

    Ms Livni’s office had insisted that the reason she cancelled a scheduled visit to a Jewish group in the United Kingdom was because of a scheduling clash. Speaking at a security conference today she avoided mentioning the warrant, but said that she was proud of her role in Operation Cast Lead, a devastating Israeli offensive against Gaza militants firing rockets into Israel. Some 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis died during the three-week war.

    An investigation by the United Nations Human Rights Council have accused both Israel and Hamas of war crimes and called for both sides to investigate the allegations or be referred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Israel vehemently rejected the inquiry and accused the UN committee of bias.

    The Foreign Office said today that it was urgently assessing the implications of the warrant. “The UK is determined to do all it can to promote peace in the Middle East, and to be a strategic partner of Israel,” a spokeswoman said. “To do this, Israel’s leaders need to be able to come to the UK for talks with the British government. We are looking urgently at the implications of this case.”

    The warrant was just the latest attempt by pro-Palestinian groups to use British courts to seek the arrest of Israeli leaders whom they accuse of war crimes in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In October, Moshe Yaalon, the deputy Prime Minister, was forced to cancel a fundraising trip to London after lawyers warned he could be arrested in connection with a deadly attack he authorised as chief of staff. It killed a wanted Hamas militant chief, his wife and nine children in the Gaza Strip in 2002.

    That incident came shortly after activists tried and failed to obtain a British warrant against Ehud Barak, the Defence Minister during the Gaza war who has retained his post under new the right-wing government.

    And in 2005, retired general Doron Almog had to stay on a plane at Heathrow to avoid arrest after he learned a warrant had been issued against him for the demolition of scores of Palestinian homes by his Israeli forces on the Gaza border.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6957495.ece

  161. December 15, 2009

    Inconvenient truth for Al Gore as his North Pole sums don’t add up

    There are many kinds of truth. Al Gore was poleaxed by an inconvenient one yesterday. The former US Vice-President, who became an unlikely figurehead for the green movement after narrating the Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, became entangled in a new climate change “spin” row.

    Mr Gore, speaking at the Copenhagen climate change summit, stated the latest research showed that the Arctic could be completely ice-free in five years. In his speech, Mr Gore told the conference: “These figures are fresh. Some of the models suggest to Dr [Wieslav] Maslowski that there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.”

    However, the climatologist whose work Mr Gore was relying upon dropped the former Vice-President in the water with an icy blast. “It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at,” Dr Maslowski said. “I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this.”

    Mr Gore’s office later admitted that the 75 per cent figure was one used by Dr Maslowksi as a “ballpark figure” several years ago in a conversation with Mr Gore.

    The embarrassing error cast another shadow over the conference after the controversy over the hacked e-mails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, which appeared to suggest that scientists had manipulated data to strengthen their argument that human activities were causing global warming.

    Mr Gore is not the only titan of the world stage finding Copenhagen to be a tricky deal. World leaders — with Gordon Brown arriving tonight in the vanguard — are facing the humiliating prospect of having little of substance to sign on Friday, when they are supposed to be clinching an historic deal.

    Meanwhile, five hours of negotiating time were lost yesterday when developing countries walked out in protest over the lack of progress on their demand for legally binding emissions targets from rich nations. The move underlined the distrust between rich and poor countries over the proposed legal framework for the deal.

    Last night key elements of the proposed deal were unravelling. British officials said they were no longer confident that it would contain specific commitments from individual countries on payments to a global fund to help poor nations to adapt to climate change while the draft text on protecting rainforests has also been weakened.
    Even the long-term target of ending net deforestation by 2030 has been placed in square brackets, meaning that the date could be deferred. An international monitoring system to identify illegal logging is now described in the text as optional, where before it was compulsory. Negotiators are also unable to agree on a date for a global peak in greenhouse emissions.

    Perhaps Mr Gore had felt the need to gild the lily to buttress resolve. But his speech was roundly criticised by members of the climate science community. “This is an exaggeration that opens the science up to criticism from sceptics,” Professor Jim Overland, a leading oceanographer at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. “You really don’t need to exaggerate the changes in the Arctic.”

    Others said that, even if quoted correctly, Dr Maslowski’s six-year projection for near-ice-free conditions is at the extreme end of the scale. Most climate scientists agree that a 20 to 30-year timescale is more likely for the near-disappearance of sea ice. “Maslowski’s work is very well respected, but he’s a bit out on a limb,” said Professor Peter Wadhams, a specialist in ocean physics at the University of Cambridge.

    Dr Maslowki, who works at the US Naval Postgraduate School in California, said that his latest results give a six-year projection for the melting of 80 per cent of the ice, but he said he expects some ice to remain beyond 2020. He added: “I was very explicit that we were talking about near-ice-free conditions and not completely ice-free conditions in the northern ocean. I would never try to estimate likelihood at anything as exact as this,” he said. “It’s unclear to me how this figure was arrived at, based on the information I provided to Al Gore’s office.”

    Richard Lindzen, a climate scientist at the Massachusets Institute of Technology who does not believe that global warming is largely caused by man, said: “He’s just extrapolated from 2007, when there was a big retreat, and got zero.”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/copenhagen/article6956783.ece

  162. December 11, 2009, 8:39 pm

    Global Warming’s Cold Shoulder

    By TOBIN HARSHAW

    ——————————

    Lots of dishonest zingers in Harshaw’s article. For one, he says tree ring data and thermometer temperatures ‘diverge’ without saying that the thermometer temperatures show a HIGHER rise than the tree rings do (since 1960s).

    I’ll try to get back to this later.

  163. I don’t see how we can be held to this so called contract. Future generations will not stand for it. Hopefully this one won’t…Jesus, no one has ever paid back all the money we loaned for the rebuilding of Europe after WW2. If I remember right actually, one, just one, country paid us back.

  164. Ace
    *************

    Democrats…Yep We’re Ready To Sacrifice Seats To Ram Our Socialist Health Care Nightmare Down Your Throat
    —Ace
    The singular voice of this blog wrote about this yesterday and today Byron York has a piece in the Washington Examiner about the Democrats willingness to lose seats in the name of health care.

    According to one Democratic strategist, you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet.

    “In the House, the view of [California Rep. Henry] Waxman and [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi is that we’ve waited two generations to get health care passed, and the 20 or 40 members of Congress who are going to lose their seats as a result are transitional players at best,” he said. “This is something the party has wanted since Franklin Roosevelt.” In this view, losses are just the price of doing something great and historic. (The strategist also noted that it’s easy for Waxman and Pelosi to say that, since they come from safely liberal districts.)
    “At the White House, the picture is slightly different,” he continued. “Their view is, ‘We’re all in on this, totally committed, and we don’t have to run for re-election next year. There will never be a better time to do it than now.'”

    “And in the Senate, they look at the most vulnerable Democrats — like [Christopher] Dodd and [Majority Leader Harry] Reid — and say those vulnerabilities will probably not change whether health care reform passes or fails. So in that view, if they pass reform, Democrats will lose the same number of seats they were going to lose before.”

    The bill isn’t going to include a public option or the Medicare buy in but it will be “something” that Obama can sign, a majority of the public be damned. Yes, Democrats will pay a price at the polls next year and maybe in 2012 but it will be too late. Nothing like this ever gets repealed, it only grows. So the left with throw their tantrums about not getting everything they want, the Democrats will see the majorities shrink (maybe even disappear) but in the natural flow of American politics, they will be back and they will say, “look at the problems this stupid half measure created!”. Of course the answer will inevitably be more government, not less and in 10 or 15 years (max), they will get their public option and/or single payer system.

    The 50 or 60 Dems who will lose their seats won’t be mourned, they’ll be celebrated as martyrs to the cause, if by martyr you mean someone pulling down mid six to low seven figures as a lobbyist.

  165. Jan, thanks for posting something from Hillary, showing she does think climate change is real and
    carbon emissions are a big part of the cause and should be reduced.

    ——————–

    JanH
    December 15th, 2009 at 8:39 am
    December 15, 2009
    NYT Op-Ed Contributor

    The U.S. Is on Board

    By HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON
    [….]
    It is no secret that the United States turned a blind eye to climate change for too long.
    [….]
    We are investing more than $80 billion in clean energy and working with Congress to advance comprehensive climate and energy legislation. And we have announced our intention to cut our emissions
    [….]
    more than 80 percent by 2050.

    [….]
    The United States has also pursued an unprecedented effort to engage partners around the world in the fight against climate change [….] He also spearheaded an agreement, first among the G-20 and then among the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation nations, to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. This effort alone could reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent or more by 2050.
    [….]
    All major economies, developed and developing, need to take robust and transparent action to reduce their carbon emissions.
    [….]
    That is why United States is supporting an accord that both complements and promotes sustainable development by moving the world toward a low-carbon economy.

    h/w
    nytimes.com/2009/12/15/opinion/15iht-edclinton.html

  166. turndownobama
    December 15th, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Jan, thanks for posting something from Hillary, showing she does think climate change is real and
    carbon emissions are a big part of the cause and should be reduced.

    ——————–

    You’re welcome, but to be honest I don’t know if these are her actual beliefs or if she is just following the party line. I think it is a bit of both.jmo

  167. gonzotx
    December 15th, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Ace
    *************
    Democrats…Yep We’re Ready To Sacrifice Seats To Ram Our Socialist Health Care Nightmare Down Your Throat
    —Ace
    The singular voice of this blog wrote about this yesterday and today Byron York has a piece in the Washington Examiner about the Democrats willingness to lose seats in the name of health care.
    [….]
    The bill isn’t going to include a public option or the Medicare buy in but it will be “something” that Obama can sign, a majority of the public be damned. Yes, Democrats will pay a price at the polls next year and maybe in 2012 but it will be too late. Nothing like this ever gets repealed, it only grows. So the left with throw their tantrums about not getting everything they want [….] in 10 or 15 years (max), they will get their public option and/or single payer system.

    ===================

    Heh. That’s what Bill and Hillary have hinted.

  168. Jan,

    I think Hillary is giving Obama more credit than due (as usual) and probably making his recent climate ‘agreements’ out to be more important than they are.

    But the scientific issue of climate change happening and need to reduce admissions is separate from that. The Clintons have been supporting environmental concerns long before Obama appeared. That is one reason they chose Gore as VP in 1992. Gore in 2000 with their support and Hillary in 2008 campaigned for ‘green jobs’ (eg lower emission cars) etc.

  169. The problem with the divergence in tree ring data is that if that data is not reliable from 1960 on (and it’s not), then it follows that it is not reliable for estimating temperatures in the past, either..

    You cannot use the tree ring data to say it was cooler in the distant past, and then turn around and say that that data is flawed. CRU’s model DOES use the tree ring data to set the “cooler” baseline from which the actual temps “diverge” after 1960.

    If the data is unreliable, then it is unreliable whether you are looking forward OR backward. You can’t have it both ways.

  170. It is pretty obvious that the democrats are on a losing trajectory. It is less clear that the democrats themselves realize it. The case against what they are doing is clear. The public is realizing these scams for what they are. The health care bill boils down to a single party bill to favor insurance companies which does not contain the public option. It is not clear to me how this equates to socialized medicine. It forces young people to buy insurance. You can put lipstick on that pig but it is still a pig–an Obama pig (no, not Mc Caskill that is a different sort). As far as this global warming business, the science is speculative as opposed to conclusive. We need international cooperation of some sort, but it does not need to degenerate into another raid on the treasury which undermines the middle class. And it is madness to transfer vital aspects of our sovereignty to world bodies, unless we want our lives to be run by the UN. If we allow that to happen, the raid on our treasury will bankrupt our country, and there will be no jobs. The short of it is I do not like what I am seeing, and I believe it is a big mistake.

  171. How can lining the pockets of the insurance companies be socialized medicine? That does not compute. This bill is NOT socialized medicine.

    BTW, Hillary has always believed in global warming. She talked about it, during the campaign, and even got McCain to believe it.

  172. In haste….

    HillaeryforTx,

    That’s a point worth looking at. However it’s also a litmus test for articles/analyses of ‘climategate’. Articles or speeches or posts that make it out that ‘hide the decline’ meant a decline in TEMPERATURES are misleading: ignorant or dishonest. In fact measured temperatures were rising during that period.

    (In fact the ‘decline’ was in size of tree rings since 1960. The obvious theory would be that heat+clean sky = bigger rings but heat+pollution = smaller rings.)

    Must go now!

  173. The problem I have with all this climate talk is probably naive but…yes there are definite environmental concerns that need to be addressed. But what I don’t understand is this back and forth about the “climategate” emails. Whether they are truths, half truths, or completely bogus, why can’t the powers that be and the scientists take a step back and simply investigate the whole issue? Why can’t they work towards a mandate that is based on the whole truth, or at least as much truth as is possible to gather, and then go from there to react in a fair and balanced way?

  174. You’re welcome, but to be honest I don’t know if these are her actual beliefs or if she is just following the party line. I think it is a bit of both.jmo
    —————————————-
    Jan: you are right. It is hard to know. I think we can safely assume that she would not like the pro insurance anti public option bill which will emerge from the senate. Is anyone concerned that the public option will be re inserted in the reconcilliation process? They say the House will roll over for the senate bill but what assurances do they have. I think the public will find this repugnant once they get the full details. There will be a bloodbath for democrats in 2010 and 2012. If we end up with a repubican controlled congress and the displaced democrats end up as lobbyists, they may not get as much work as they hope they will.

  175. The problem I have with all this climate talk is probably naive but…yes there are definite environmental concerns that need to be addressed. But what I don’t understand is this back and forth about the “climategate” emails. Whether they are truths, half truths, or completely bogus, why can’t the powers that be and the scientists take a step back and simply investigate the whole issue? Why can’t they work towards a mandate that is based on the whole truth, or at least as much truth as is possible to gather, and then go from there to react in a fair and balanced way?
    ————————————
    100% correct. Why not a targeted approach to specific problems–like the destruction of the Amazon rain forest. Why in the word should we build a global bureaucracy which penalizes and marginalizes the American people. This is a flat abuse of power.

  176. turndown, it’s not just the tre ring data, either. In looking at the distant past, the AGW folks insist on ONLY looking at things like tree ring data, or ice cores. But some of the best indication we have of temperatures in the past is historical and archaeological. The vikings in Greenland and other indications of a worldwide warm period, and evidence of smaller ice ages as well. The AGW folks have scoffed at this evidence as “anecdotal”, but it’s not. It’s not the ONLY evidence, but it should be included in the discussion as well, since we do not have thermometer readings for the periods in the distant past.

    My point isn’t that global warming isn’t happening, or even whether or not it is affected by man. My point is that WE DON’T KNOW, and the data cannot prove that. My point is that the science is NOT settled, and there has been a lot of strong-arming and fudging of facts and ignoring of facts that don’t suit them because of a POLITICAL agenda. A lot of people are emotionally and politically and financially invested in a NEED for it to be true. The opposite is true as well, and I agree that some are misusing the facts.

    We need to back up, take an honest look at the data, and go from there – not insanely push through an agenda that will have a MASSIVE effect on our lives and economies. But the AGW people are behaving as if the political agenda is really their most important one – not the science. That sets off HUGE alarm bells for me.

    If the data regarding temps in the past is fuzzy, then you do not have a “clear and unprecedented warming trend”. You don’t KNOW that it’s unprecedented, because you are using iffy data as your BASELINE from which to chart a “divergence”. Without a clear look at the past, all you really have is a few decades of warming, which may or may not be greater, the same, or even less than warm periods of the past. Everyone needs to slow down, take a deep breath, and study this some more.

    It’s like when people are told to always weigh themselves on the same scale. Because if you weigh yourself one time on your scale, then another time at the drugstore, then another time in the doctors office, you can’t say for certain that you have lost or gained a pound. The margin for error is too great. You can’t plot a trend unless you are using the SAME instrument of measure each time.

  177. hfort,

    It’s not that the historical accounts are anectdotal but that they are LOCAL. We see right now that some parts of the world are hotter than usual but some are colder, some are wetter, etc. YOu have to balance an account of X with data from the whole world at that same time, and we don’t have historical accounts from most of the world in those ages, so we have to look at physical traces (tree rings, ice cores, etc).

    Another angle we could take is, whether the world average is rising or falling, it is the change and disruption right now that is causing problems. So we need to look at whether our industries are causing some of the disruption, regardless of a larger picture.

    Must go!

  178. hfort siad:
    push through an agenda that will have a MASSIVE effect on our lives and economies

    ==========================

    But such agendas are not set in stone either! They change or get worked around or disregarded as different interests get into power in different places.

    Both sides are talking about the political decisions now but the oil interest funded ‘researchers’ are ALWAYS focused on the political; the university scientists much less, and some in their ivory towers not at all.

  179. Clinton says Afghan surge cost to be in U.S. budget

    Tuesday, Dec 15, 2009

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration will include the cost of the military surge in Afghanistan as part of its budget request next year, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday.

    Rolling the added expense into the regular U.S. government budget instead of an emergency funding request might be an easier way for the administration to get Congress to approve more money for Obama’s expansion of the increasingly unpopular war.

    But some key lawmakers have said the Obama administration will have to make an emergency funding request in the form of a “supplemental” spending bill to cover the additional cost, thus forcing lawmakers to vote directly on whether to pay for the Afghan troop buildup.

    Obama earlier this month announced plans to rush 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan next year to join the roughly 68,000 already there fighting a war that began in 2001.

    “It’s going to be in the budget,” Clinton told reporters as she left a briefing with members of the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill. “The president is committed to making it fully accounted for.”

    The administration is not expected to make its next budget request until early next year, probably February, and the money might not be approved until months later. The coming budget request will be for fiscal 2011, which starts on October 1, 2010.

    Clinton said she did not know how much the Afghan surge would cost.

    Pentagon officials have estimated the Afghan surge would cost $30 billion to $35 billion. Pentagon officials have suggested they would likely need an emergency supplemental to pay for it, on top of $130 billion authorized for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for the fiscal year that began on October 1.

    Representative John Murtha, chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee with authority over the Pentagon’s budget, said earlier this month Congress would have to approve a war funding bill of at least $40 billion in the coming months, to pay for Obama’s troop hike in Afghanistan.

    In the Senate, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Carl Levin, also said he expected the administration would have to request emergency funding for more troops.

    Congress is considered unlikely to block funding for the troop surge, even though many of Obama’s fellow Democrats — Murtha and Levin among them — are skeptical of the escalation. But lawmakers could try to tie conditions to the money, such as adding specific timetables for withdrawing troops.

    Former President George W. Bush was widely criticized for using repeated “emergency” war supplemental requests to fund the years-long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Obama pledged to put an end to the practice.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5BE4RT20091215?type=politicsNews

  180. #
    JanH
    December 15th, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    turndownobama
    December 15th, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Jan, thanks for posting something from Hillary, showing she does think climate change is real and
    carbon emissions are a big part of the cause and should be reduced.

    ——————–

    You’re welcome, but to be honest I don’t know if these are her actual beliefs or if she is just following the party line. I think it is a bit of both.jmo

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

    I think it should be noted Hillary is outlining Obama’s agenda. In her entire statement in the NYT never are there words, I believe, I want, I support, in my opinion.

    What she does say is: “It is no secret that the United States turned a blind eye to climate change for too long. But now, under President Obama’s leadership, we are taking responsibility and taking action.

    Hillary is briefing the public on Obama’s agenda, not her personal opinion.

  181. Nations Play Hardball as Hillary Clinton Heads to Climate Summit

    By DARREN SAMUELSOHN AND LISA FRIEDMAN
    December 15, 2009

    COPENHAGEN — The United States is putting on a charm offensive as U.N. climate negotiations enter the home stretch despite new battle lines between rich and poor countries over core features of a new emissions agreement.

    Yesterday, President Obama worked the phones with leaders of some of the world’s most vulnerable countries, ahead of his scheduled trip to Denmark on Friday. Also, the State Department confirmed that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton would arrive here Thursday for a day of meetings ahead of Obama’s arrival.

    Luminaries already are trickling in. By late afternoon, both Britain’s Prince Charles and U.N. chief Ban Ki-Moon had arrived for welcoming ceremonies.

    In the back rooms of the Bella Center, where negotiators are frantically trying to come to agreement on major issues before more than 117 presidents and prime ministers start to arrive tomorrow, delegates privately said the outlook for success was grim. Publicly, they insisted upon optimism — though they warned that the clock is ticking. “We do only have 48 hours,” said Connie Hedegaard, the Danish president of the conference, who fittingly once hosted a television news program called “Deadline.” Before heads of state arrive, she said, “we must have finished the overall obstacles. That’s the reality.”

    Yet the obstacles appeared to grow, not diminish, today. In a major show of force, top officials from China, India, Brazil and South Africa announced that they will collectively reduce global warming emissions 2.1 gigatons by 2020, but they will do it voluntarily. Meanwhile, they insisted that industrialized countries ramp up their targets significantly and sign an agreement that preserves the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, currently the only legally binding climate change agreement. “Developing countries are taking their actions, and we are calling for developed countries to take their historical responsibilities squarely,” said Xie Zhenhua, China’s top climate envoy. “We demand developed countries cut emissions seriously.”

    Jairam Ramesh, India’s environment minister, said the four major emerging countries — which also are among the world’s top greenhouse gas-emitting nations — are united. “We are coordinating our positions almost on an hourly basis,” Ramesh said. “We will resist in a united manner any manipulation or any attempt to hijack the mandate of Copenhagen.”

    Both China and India have agreed to cut carbon emissions relative to economic growth in the coming decade. Brazil has announced major emission cuts tied largely to avoiding deforestation, and South Africa has pledged to peak emissions between 2020 and 2025. The group did not announce new targets today but made a powerful combined statement of its members’ intentions to, as a representative from South Africa said, “take our responsibilities seriously.” Yet the refusal to be bound to those targets in an international agreement is a major problem for industrialized countries and the United States in particular.

    Clinton’s role

    In an op-ed published today in the International Herald Tribune, Clinton stressed that international verification is key. “A successful agreement depends upon a number of core elements, but two are shaping up to be essential: first, that all major economies set forth strong national actions and resolve to implement them; and second, that they agree to a system that enables full transparency and creates confidence that national actions are in fact being implemented,” Clinton wrote.

    Clinton also stressed a critical component to the climate accord sought by key moderate Senate Democrats and Republicans in Washington. “Transparency, in particular, is what will ensure that this agreement becomes operational, not just aspirational,” she added. “We all need to take our share of responsibility, stand behind our commitments, and mean what we say in order for an international agreement to be credible.”

    Clinton’s role is also increasingly growing in the closing hours before a critical deadline for the high-level environmental ministers who are trying to get as much accomplished as possible before their bosses arrive.

    Jennifer Morgan, climate director at the World Resources Institute noted that six months ago that many of the countries offering targets would have been dead set against doing so. She and others suggested that a compromise exists on transparency issues, though likely not by the time Copenhagen talks conclude. “There’s still nothing on the table for them to move one more step,” Morgan said of the developing countries. “They’re putting out a very clear negotiating position right now.”

    Obama calls Bangladesh, Ethiopia

    Meanwhile, the poorest and most vulnerable countries received assurances from Obama that the White House wants to see a strong agreement reached. The White House said Obama called Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia and “emphasized his desire to reach a pragmatic solution that encompasses action by all countries” in Copenhagen. In the phone calls, Obama recited U.S. efforts to curb emissions and talked about the different roles both countries are playing in the two-week-long negotiation session.

    Hasina, in return, highlighted how 80 percent of Bangladesh’s 150 million people will be especially affected by global warming. And Meles, whose country has a critical role in the African Union, underscored the need for the Copenhagen talks to “make suitable progress” on emission cuts, adaptation and financing to help the world’s poorest countries cope with climate change.

    ‘A lot of positioning’

    As of press time, negotiators remained squirreled away in closed-door talks on a number of critical fronts, from long-term emission reduction plans to how to finance developing nation efforts. Draft proposals have been circulating in the Bella Center, too, but they all remain very tentative and filled with the ubiquitous brackets that mean multiple proposals are still on the table. “Time is running away,” said Sweden’s environment minister, Andreas Carlgren. “Within 48 hours, or less than 48 hours, actually, we’re going to finalize this agreement.”

    U.N. climate chief Yvo de Boer said the U.N. talks have reached a “very distinct and important moment” that will need to be resolved by the world leaders. “There’s a saying in English, ‘You can lead the horse to water, but you can’t make it drink,'” de Boer said, noting that the Danish conference’s hosts have been working for two years “bringing 192 horses to water. But you can’t, at the end of the day, make the horse drink. Now it is the job of world leaders to make sure we get a result here.”

    The U.N. talks have broken down several times already over the last nine days of the conference, most recently yesterday, when African nations blocked the entire process because they were not in the room for critical parts of the negotiations. But Hedegaard downplayed the delays. “There’s a lot of signaling out there, a lot of positioning, and that’s not necessarily reflecting the spirit when the doors are closed,” she said.

    http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/12/15/15greenwire-nations-play-hardball-as-hillary-clinton-heads-61556.html

  182. #
    turndownobama
    December 15th, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    hfort siad:
    push through an agenda that will have a MASSIVE effect on our lives and economies

    ==========================

    But such agendas are not set in stone either! They change or get worked around or disregarded as different interests get into power in different places.

    Both sides are talking about the political decisions now but the oil interest funded ‘researchers’ are ALWAYS focused on the political; the university scientists much less, and some in their ivory towers not at all.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    You’re in denial spinning other issues into the conversation. Gore’s entire thesis in an “Inconvenient Truth” is Global Warming is caused by Human emissions of CO2.

    That particular thorn that won’t go away is what this is all about. The scientists manipulated, recalibrated and deleted numbers unfavorable to a predetermined result saying Humans are responsible for Global Warming. Now you come up with a face saving ploy trying hard to wiggle around the truth defending a position that has been proven untenable.

  183. Hillary is on her way to Copenhagen to save the day again.

    Obama is on his way a day later to take all the credit.

  184. Gore is no friend to the Clintons and by blowing the 2000 election ushered in Bush. This resulted in the fraud to be elected, and Hillary not being Prez. Gore sucks.

  185. This is my counter to a bot over at no quarter. For some reason their spam filter blocked it.

    Freedom Fighter: do you believe what you are saying or are you paid by the Obama machine to say them? If it is the former then you need to examine the facts. If it is the latter then fine. As the Mafia used to say everybody’s got to eat. But don’t try to bamboozle us with this propaganda, please. We have been watching the process closely and your contentions do not wash. Let’s take your analysis point by point and see if it can withstand critical scrutiny.

    1. First, you claim that Obama “rescued” the American economy from the brink of disaster? Question: the bank bailout was passed before he became President. That saved the system from an immediate collapse, but how can he take credit for it? He has tripled our deficit and mortgaged our future. By what sophistry of reason can you claim that he has rescued he economy? The proper word for it is tanked. The debt overhang will imperil future budgets, and he proceeds as if he as playing with monopoly money.

    2. Second, you point to the fact that that Obama “won” the Nobel Peace Prize? Question: how could he have “won” the Nobel Prize when it turns out he was selected 10 days into his presidency. Then as now he had accomplished nada. This was a grand gesture by western European elites to coronate a Post American President, with a marked proclivity to trash his country on foreign soil. Soros was instrumental in this. Saturday Night Live provided the final verdict on this ridiculous charade. Jack Squat lives!

    3. Third, you say Obama became the first “African American” President? Question: is that what he is? The NAACP has real doubts about this. They complained he did not have the civil rights experience, whereas Hillary had a proven track record of supporting the African American community. Then Obama’s godfather Soros made a huge contribution to their organization. Shortly thereafter, Julian Bond et al embraced him. Meanwhile Jack Wheeler has done a genealogical study and concluded that Obama is descendent from Arab slave traders. If this is true then where is the victory? Saved or created millions of jobs.

    4. Fourth, you say that Obama banned torture. Question: does that mean he will let American citizens die before he will subject a reluctant witness to extreme interrogation? Why does he condemn the technique but withhold evidence of its efficacy in preventing a second attack? How does he define torture? This is sleight of hand.

    5. Fifth, you claim Obama is more open and transparent WH? Question: how open and transparent was he when he promised to the American People in the primary that he would chase the lobbyists out of Washington and then met secretly with big health care lobbyists and cut sweetheart deals adverse to the interests of the American People. The only time he believes in transparency is when he wants to politicize something Bush did, when it should be dealt with if at all in a private forum.

    6. Sixth, you claim that Obama has saved or created millions of jobs. Question: do you believe the stimulus plan has saved or created millions of jobs? Do you? If so then where are they? The few that have been added have come at enormous cost. And when media outlets have tried to find those millions of jobs the exercise has been comparable to the William James hypothetical of a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn’t there. Unemployment has gone from below 8% to over 10% since he took office. Moreover he has created an environment uncongenial to business growth as Larry Doyle has argues persuasively on this blog.

    7. Seventh, you claim that Obama has achieved diplomatic engagement with Iran. Question: do you not understand the game that is being played here by Iran and Russia? Iran has been buying time and while Obama dithers they are building more nuclear facilities which threaten Israel. The mullahs are no longer running Iran and it has morphed into an aggressive military state. When the student rebellion occurred Obama would not support it. All they asked for was a showing of support, but Obama was more focused on dealing with the regime. Hillary wanted him to take a position on this but it was no use. When it was too late he made a token speech. By then the basijies had quashed the rebellion. The word I would use for him is analysis paralysis.

    8. Eighth, you claim that Obama has given Americans a sense of renewal? Question: are you serious? Here is what happened. Many people were dissatisfied with the Bush Presidency and felt we were at a dead end. I felt that way myself, wrote a chapter about it in a book I was writing on leadership, resigned from the Republican Party, and worked as a campaign volunteer for Hillary in four states. But we all saw others who were desperate and naive enough believe in a man with no track record who was and will always be a composite of Rezko and Wright his two mentors. Big Media hated Hillary and became an extension of the campaign. People engaged in magic thinking and now they are waking up. No he has not given America a sense of renewal. He has given them a sense of betrayal as he compromises their interests on multiple fronts. This is evident in the latest Rassmussen poll which has 43% strongly against, and 22% strongly for.

  186. Bear in mind the only reason bambi would go in there is because there is a done deal. The headline here will be a flash in the pan. The long term damage to our economy will bubble up in 2010. As with the health care scam he is playing to the wrong audience.

  187. HOWARD DEAN SAYS KILL THE SENATE BILL. NELSON TELLS OBAMA NO. (SNOW WON’T DEFECT THIS TIME)

    Posted by Dan Perrin (Profile)
    Tuesday, December 15th at 3:51PM EST
    Red States
    34 Comments
    H/T erod:

    From Plum Line, which has published an advance look at a radio interview Howard Dean recorded for Vermont Public Radio. The interviews will air tonight at 5:50 PM:

    “The gauntlet from Dean — whose voice on health care is well respsected among liberals — will energize those on the left who are mobilizing against the bill, and make it tougher for liberals to embrace the emerging proposal. In an excerpt Kinzel gave me, Dean says:

    “This is essentially the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate. Honestly the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill, go back to the House, start the reconciliation process, where you only need 51 votes and it would be a much simpler bill.”

    Kinzel added that Dean essentially said that if Democratic leaders cave into Joe Lieberman right now they’ll be left with a bill that’s not worth supporting.

    Dean had previously endorsed the Medicare buy-in compromise without a public option, saying that the key question should be whether the bill contains enough “real reform” to be worthy of progressives’ support. Dean has apparently concluded that the “real reform” has been removed at Lieberman’s behest — which won’t make it easier for liberals to swallow the emerging compromise.”

    The question is whether Senator Sanders (I-VT) and Senator Burris (D-IL) or any other Senator agree, and I suspect the answer to that is a big YES.

    And this just in from Bill Dupray at Patriot

    “It looks like Senate Democrats are down to Plan D. The liberals caved on Plan A, single-payer. Then Plan B, the public option, went by the boards. Plan C, the Medicare buy-in, went up in smoke last night. Now it’s on to Plan D, and nobody actually seems to know what that is yet. President Obama, in a sign of desperation, has summoned the Dems to the White House this afternoon for a knee-capping pep rally to get the team over the finish line, but it looks like other than cajoling, there is no real plan to reel in the wobbly members.”

    Dupray then drops this bomb:

    The problem is that Reid is having to play whack-a-mole with his own people. He takes care of Joe Lieberman by killing the public option and the Medicare buy-in. But then today, Ben Nelson (D-Neb) called the president and told him flat out “I am not on the bill” and that Mr. Obama should not expect the meeting to get him on board.

    And yet another, smaller, but more targeted munition:

    Markos Moulitsas (DailyKos) yesterday said the same thing.

    “Insurance companies win. Time to kill this monstrosity coming out of the Senate.”

    Some more news worth telling: Snowe is rock-solid NO (so no worries) and it is highly, highly unlikely that this is finished by Christmas, leaving the question of whether Senator Reid wants to bring Senators back after Christmas, before New Years. My guess is the whole city would revolt, on both sides of the health care debate.

  188. If this health care monstrosity fails then history will record that the seeds of failure were sewn in the broken promise by Obama to drive the money changers from the temple and his subsequent decision to give the health care industry the deal of their lives at the expense of the American People.

    Not surprisingly, it is Rezko redux. Or an apple does not fall far from the tree.

  189. Hope. Change. Hope. Change. Hope. Change.

    For Obama:

    Hope is for suckers.

    Obama Change is for big business.

    Hope, Change. Hope. Change. Hope. Change.

  190. Posted by malbis (Profile)
    Friday, November 6th at 2:41PM EST
    7 Comments

    The official U.S. unemployment rate hit 10.2% in October, the highest since the recession of 1983. But bad as that is, at least we are nowhere near the unemployment levels of the Great Depression, right?

    Wrong.

    That official 10.2% figure really doesn’t tell the truth about unemployment in America. The real unemployment figure is more than twice the official 10.2% rate–a lot higher than you know, even if you already know about some of the number-jumbling that is normal in “official” government statistics. The bad news, and the full facts, paint a bleak picture of the months ahead.

    The official unemployment number doesn’t include people who have given up looking for a new job because of months of not being able to find one. It also doesn’t include people who have taken a part-time job just to survive in the short-term, but whose long-term survival requires them to find full-time employment.

    What this means is that if you were a highly paid software engineer with Master’s degree whose company went belly-up a few months ago–and you are now working nights at a gas station to put food on the table–you don’t count in the official unemployment rate of 10.2%. You have a job. It doesn’t matter that you are now making a fraction of what you used to make in what you consider to be a temporary, fill-in job. It doesn’t matter that you are still sending out resumes and trying to land interviews. It doesn’t matter that you have lost, or are going to lose, your house. You don’t count.

    That isn’t all. You also don’t count if you found yourself laid-off in a company down-sizing back at the beginning of the summer, and after four or five months of getting turned down for job after job you have given up looking for a job because you are discouraged. The same is true if you have taken a break from job-hunting until the economy improves, or in hopes that your former employer will re-hire you as things get better. If you weren’t actively looking for a job in October, then you aren’t officially unemployed. You don’t count. You are in political Limbo.

    The official adjusted unemployment rate, when you add in all of the people who are a.) still out of a job but have given up looking for a new one, and b.) used to have full-time jobs but have had to take a part-time job to try to make ends meet, is 17.5%.

    17.5%. Not 10.2%.

    This method of trimming huge numbers of people out of the official unemployment numbers is fairly recent. It started in 1993 during the Clinton administration. And so, while we can say conclusively that the Obama administration has produced the highest unemployment toll since 1993, we can’t easily compare these numbers to the recession of 1983, or unemployment during the Great Depression.

    But we can look at the official data available under different headings, even things up as much as possible, and get an idea of how bad things really are right now–and how bad they are likely to become. And the picture is not a rosy one.

    Looked at that way, U.S. unemployment during the Great Depression (or the First Great Depression, as historians are likely to call it after the next few years), hit a record high of 24.6%. It took four years for it to reach that level after the stock market crash of 1929. One year after the Crash of ‘29, American unemployment was 8.5%. Two years after the Crash, in 1931 it hit 15.9%. The following year, in 1932, it bottomed out at 24.6%.

    One year after the beginning of our current “economic crisis,” the comparable U.S. unemployment rate is already higher than unemployment was in 1931. How bad will our unemployment be this time next year? Two years from now?

    Unemployment remained high in America throughout the 1930s, and only dipped below 15% when World War II began. By 1942, unemployment had plummeted to 4.7% because of our mobilization for the war.

    You might remember that Democrats were in charge back then, too.

    Remember those recent warnings from the Obama administration that unemployment was going to remain high for the next several years? They are basing that on history as much as on economic projections. The last time this happened, high unemployment lasted for 12 years. And it took a global war to bring it down to pre-Depression levels.

    17.5% real unemployment today versus 24.6% unemployment at the depth of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Well, at least it isn’t worse.

    Or is it?

    The problem is that 17.5% isn’t the actual, current unemployment rate either. Things are really worse than that already.

    If you lost your job more than a year ago, and have given up looking for a new one until the economy improves or out of frustration, you aren’t counted at all in any of the government’s official statistics. For all practical purposes, you have simply ceased to exist as far as the government is concerned. Retirement-age people–even those who have to work to supplement their incomes–aren’t counted either. Neither are the disabled who are able to work but have lost their jobs.

    John Williams, of American Business Analytics and Research, an economist who runs the Shadow Government Statistics website, estimates that when you add in the people who are no longer officially counted anywhere but have lost their jobs…the October, 2009, most accurate figure for the October, 2009, American unemployment rate is 21.4%.

    21.4%. More than one out of every five people in the United States is unemployed.

    And that is just the national, averaged rate. In some parts of the country, such as Michigan, the rate is much higher already. Just as it was during the Great Depression, where cities such as Detroit, Cleveland, Toledo and many others had unemployment rates of 50% or more–some up to 90% unemployed.

    Remember that “change” that President Obama and the Democrats promised in last year’s election campaign? Remember the jokes and bumper stickers about how the only change that voters would actually have would be the change jingling in their pockets?

    Well, for one out of every five Americans who used to be working…even pocket change is hard to come by these days.

    The sky-high unemployment rate getting worse every month from the deficit-busting policies of President Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress is going to be the Grinch that steals Christmas this year. Spending is going to be down. Malls are going to remain Ghost Towns. Retailers that have held on hoping for a Christmas miracle are going to cut back or close completely early next year.

    And then things are going to get worse. Much worse.

  191. wbboei
    December 15th, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    This is my counter to a bot over at no quarter. For some reason their spam filter blocked it.

    ——————-

    Excellent rebuttal.

  192. #
    jbstonesfan
    December 15th, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Gore is no friend to the Clintons and by blowing the 2000 election ushered in Bush. This resulted in the fraud to be elected, and Hillary not being Prez. Gore sucks.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

    Just for the record, Soros backed Gore all the way during the 2000 campaign. That in itself should be a significant red flag. Soros doesn’t play ball with people he can’t control. Thusly, Hillary was out of contention. Dean was replaced with Obama. The rest is history.

  193. The BOGUS POTUS is fast and surely destroying any hopes of peace in this troubled world.He is now undoubtedly the enemy within and must be stopped in his tracks or this economic crisis will make the 1929 crash look like a small dip in the economic health of our country.We could have had Hillary and we WILL have Hillary.She is ready willing and able to take over and stop this “Novice and his handlers”.God help us if he continues down this path.The FOX bloodhounds are so afraid of her rising popularity and fear for their jobs.We are now plagued with the worst BOGUS POTUS and a scum of the earth Congress.

    BY ABM90 What is it going to take to get the populance off their dead a—s and stop this takeover and destruction of our once great nation.I know and saw what happened to Germany.I will never regret my sevice to my country but Because of my age there is very little that I can do to change this act of treason by “THE BOGUS POTUS”

  194. Mrs. Smith, few in the Democratic Party have ever liked Hill and Bill. Except the voters. Even after all the scandal and the relentless attacks, Bill left office with the highest approval rating of any president, ever.

    I have often wondered why the Dem party trashed him and buried his legacy in spite of that – I mean, were they stupid? That didn’t start with Obama, it started as soon as he left office. Then it dawned on me last year – they didn’t hate him despite the fact that the people loved him. They hated him BECAUSE the people loved him. He was OURS, not the oligarchs. Hillary was on our side as well, not theirs, which is why they hate her too.

  195. “I will never regret my sevice to my country but Because of my age there is very little that I can do to change this act of treason by “THE BOGUS POTUS”

    ——————-
    ABM90,

    It has been an honour to read your posts. Simply by fighting the good fight post after post, not to mention your amazing history of serving your country, you are doing much more than many of us ever hope to achieve.

    Bravo to you!

  196. Has Hillary actually gone to Copenhaugen?? If this is true, then this is big, it means the big “O” couldn’t get it thru so they had to get the real negotiator there to do it. Ha! Ha! Ha!

    Nancy fucking Pelosi is still trying to wrap up her Christmas present to the American people, how long will it take for her to ask the real negotiator for help??? LOL!! This could be very interesting!!!

  197. HillaryforTexas said on
    December 15th, 2009 at 1:55 pm:

    The problem with the divergence in tree ring data is that if that data is not reliable from 1960 on (and it’s not), then it follows that it is not reliable for estimating temperatures in the past, either..

    You cannot use the tree ring data to say it was cooler in the distant past, and then turn around and say that that data is flawed. CRU’s model DOES use the tree ring data to set the “cooler” baseline from which the actual temps “diverge” after 1960.

    =============================

    Excellent point. I answered this once but am so busy today I was hasty. This will still be hasty but I hope will help.

    First, imo any critique of the CRU emails which does not get this point is ill-informed or dishonest: ie those that say the CRU people were ‘hiding a decline’ in TEMPERATURE. The decline was in TREE RING SIZE after 1960. The TEMPERATURES went up after 1960, faster than predicted. What the CRU people did was use REAL THERMOMETER temperatures in their graph after 1960. You get this but many seem not to.

    Your point is good. There was a period of iirc c 150 years, c 1800-1960, when the tree and thermometer data did match. After that the rings were smaller though the temperature rose. So as you say the rings may have been smaller with higher temperatures in the past also.

    This is something that can be looked into. Since 1960 do trees in polluted areas show smaller rings than trees in clean areas? We can look for factors that might be causing the divergence since 1960 and see if any such factors left other traces in previous centuries.

  198. JanH: Thank you for your kind words as well those of others that keep me in the hunt like the old dog.And wbboei keep up the steady floww of inspirational and informative comments.Big Pink is alive and well thanks to all of the patriots,we will see Hillary back in the Whitehouse once more as the genuine POTUS.

    Thanks guys and gals ABM90

  199. HillaryforTexas
    December 15th, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    I agree with you 100%, HillaryforTexas…

    I look at it this way- No one can stop the “stars from shining” no matter how hard they try; it can’t be done. They may experience many cloudy, rainy, nights when it looks as if the stars are no more. When the sky clears, there come the ding dang stars whether anyone likes it or not!

    Bill and Hill are STARS in their own right. Enough time has elapsed (almost a year) where people are able to see for themselves the Clinton’s are working for the good of the people. Their work is starting to be recognized for the great work it is- Hillary as professional, knowledgeable, very popular with the World’s heads of state. She has transformed herself into the consumate stateswomen.

    Bill has created a foundation that seems to draw Big Donors like a magnet. They have confidence in him their donations will be spent in the most judicious ways. Afterall, he has a 5 yr track record producing results with his foundation that speaks for itself.

    This is the first time in my recollection, the Clintons are not having to deal with the backdrop of malicious, salacious attacks coming from the Right and Left accusing them of outrageous making newspaper headlines as talk show fodder for pundits. They are free to be themselves and not living on the defensive.

    For the time being, Sarah Palin is a more attractive target. No pun intended. She’s the shiny new thing they can play with.. But, it all goes along with the territory. Paying your dues, testing your strength and resolve if you intend on staying in the game.

    We’ve been through so much with the Clintons, Bill and Hill have become like family. And like family, we’re proud and happy they are doing well for themselves and the people they are helping build a better life. What more can we ask for? Just one more thing? Madame President Hillary Clinton would just about do it!

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