Barack Obama Is Not Qualified To Be President

We now come to the close of what feels like a hundred years of Obamas in Washington, but it’s really less than 12 full months. There are many year end assessments of Obama’s annus horrendus in Big Media this week so we thought we would add our assessment.



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Barack Obama was not, and is not qualified to be President of the United States. Put aside Obama’s flim-flam history, the thugs he surrounds himself with, his treacheries, his total lack of accomplishments other than self-advancement, his risible résumé, his stinky body odor, the secretiveness of his past, the lack of documentation about earlier periods of his life, drug use, the self-admitted inability to keep a paper in front of him for 2 seconds before losing it, the lies about lost documents from his Chicago legislative office, the grabbing of credit for work others have done, the race-baiting, the woman-hating, the profitable alliances with criminals which even got him a house, the lack of interest in his constituents, the obvious lies when he denies positions he has even affixed his signature to on questionnaires, his lies about being a reformer when he swims in the swamps of Chicago corruption, the ugly church mentor of 20 plus years, his smearing of opponents with sexual or racial slurs, the gay-bashing, the secret deals, the incompetence, the long list of corruptions and boobery… – put all this history we have documented aside. Barack Obama is not qualified to be President because he does not have a world-view which is congruent with reality.

Winston Churchill was in the political wilderness for many years. Churchill’s world view was not viewed positively and few wanted to have much to do with the cigar chomping Winny. Churchill thought that Germany, at the heart of Europe and with many resources and people was a threat to Great Britain, and the peace of Europe. Many labeled Churchill a warmonger and shunned him. Churchill however stood firm. His knowledge of history and geography informed him that Germany was indeed a threat and he held fast to that understanding even though many ostracized him for it. The appeasement of other British leaders and the military actions of Germany eventually forced the world to acknowledge that Winston Churchill’s world view was the one most consistent with reality. Churchill became Prime Minister, then led the Western democracies and Christian civilization itself, from the abyss of despair into victory.

To be an American president means having a world view. Hillary Clinton has a world-view. Hillary Clinton mocked Obama in her insightful “celestial choirs” speech. Hillary Clinton mocked Obama about his foolish “no preconditions, in the first year, anywhere, anytime” meetings with America’s enemies. Hillary Clinton mocked Obama as “naive”. Hillary Clinton was saying that Obama did not know or understand how the world works. Hillary Clinton was saying that Obama’s world view was not congruent with reality. Hillary Clinton has been proved right.

Today, Leslie Gelb begins a very polite and gentle narrative, saying pretty much that Obama better get a reality based world-view, quickly or we all face continued disaster with a boob in charge. Writes Gelb, “If the president wants to be more than a one-term wonder, he needs to have a vision.”

Don’t be fooled by the year-end reprieve of President Obama because the economy looks a bit brighter and the Senate passed a health bill. He’s been pummeled hard all along the political spectrum. He’s in trouble. If he doesn’t overhaul himself and his administration quickly, right-wing bizarros will control Congress in 2011 and he’ll be looking for another job in 2013. He’ll end up a one-termer like Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush. Obama can’t afford to wait to make a mid-course correction a year from now. He’s got to make a quarter-course correction in the next months. He needs to prioritize and focus his energies on the economy, teach his opponents to fear him, and change some top personnel. Above all, he’s got to modify his own ways. He puts far too much store on being the smartest guy in the room and not enough on experience. He’d do well to remember that Jimmy Carter also rang all the IQ bells.

Gelb singles out H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter as examples of single term presidents. Both had a problem understanding the world. George H.W. Bush squirmed when he discussed “the vision thing”. H.W. knew that for all the items on his résumé he lacked the clarity of vision, or world-view, of his predecessor Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan’s world-view was that Soviet Russia was “the evil Empire” and all his actions flowed easily from that perception. A world view is not a set of positions, it is a deep understanding which is in the bones of atavistic history. H.W. Bush made a mess in Iraq but was saved when Margaret Thatcher insisted Iraq be pushed out of Kuwait. H.W. also had a lifetime of experience in job after job which allowed him to accept there was much he did not know and that accepting advice from strong leaders like Thatcher were a help not a hindrance.

Jimmy Carter was a man conflicted. He wanted to be Pope but settled for president. He reacted to events because he did not have a world-view from the outset which comported with reality. Wanting to be an honest man and a peacemaking leader he instead was forced to react to evil in the world and bumbled and stumbled badly. Iran is a great part of his sad legacy.

Both Carter and H.W. had problems with “the vision thing”. Obama too is out of his element (that being the corrupt waters of second city Chicago) and that leads to disaster for us all.

Mind you, I want Barack Obama to succeed. The simple truth, increasingly ignored by Americans and non-Americans alike, is that if he fails, we all fail: Corrosive nastiness and stalemates grow at home, and the world drowns without effective American leadership. I’m talking here about Obama’s success specifically because too many Democrats border on incompetent and Republicans excel mainly at destruction. Obama shouldn’t console himself by believing that as jobs slowly return, his reelection will be saved. His problems, our problems, run much deeper than jobs.

Bill Clinton understood that American military and world power was based on economic power. Bill Clinton knew “it’s the economy, stupid”. American economic strength was deployed by Bill Clinton to solve intractable problems around the world. Northern Ireland and it’s age-old “troubles” is one example of Bill Clinton’s wielding power effectively. Bill Clinton also understood the Teddy Roosevelt and John Kennedy world-view “speak softly, but carry a big stick”. Bill Clinton kept America strong at home and abroad by keeping America economically strong.

More Gelb on boob Obama:

First and foremost, the president must have an overriding theme to discipline himself and focus Americans and the world. He’s been acting as if there are dozens of major issues, when there is only one—the economy, the economy, and the economy. Every other “major” issue has to be judged by how it affects the economy. Our economy is at the heart of our military and diplomatic power, and of our democracy, as Obama said at West Point—but he doesn’t say enough or nor do enough on a day-to-day basis.

Gelb does not understand that Obama knows pretty words and the crafted imagery of his speechwriters via the TelePrompter. But Obama does not understand the meaning of those words. It’s like having a young child star sing, with great feeling and great vocal power, songs about the heartbreak of love and life – the words are there but the understanding is not.

Gelb also fails to let go of the Hopium when he suggests the problems are with legislators and not with Obama when it comes to corruption and “thieving politicians”. As we wrote above, Gelb is being very polite and generous.

When things go wrong at basic levels, there’s only one solution: Go back to basics. Basics means infrastructure—human and physical. We’re falling apart. [snip] But our infrastructure won’t improve if decisions are left in the hands of thieving politicians in state legislatures, or if union workers just stand around so that jobs that used to take one year now take 10. The White House will have to fight to ensure the money gets to the people and the work gets done. That’s far more useful and necessary than Obama flying off on marginal journeys to Copenhagen and the Far East.

Dear Gelb, please understand, those “marginal journeys” Obama makes are his very air. Obama loves the attention and puffing himself up. These trips do not help America at all, but that is not Obama’s interest. Obama only cares about himself. One day Gelb will have the courage, or desire, to finally write this obvious truth.

Gelb wants Obama to go against his very nature, to “modify his own ways”. That’s like asking a coward to be courageous, a follower to lead, a crook to be honest, a Chicago politician to keep his hands in his own pockets.

“Veto that pork” exclaims Gelb. But Obama is a Chicago politician to whom pork projects and waste are the purpose of public life. Gelb pleads, “Same on the need to veto all those damned bridges to nowhere, the pork that candidate Obama promised to get rid of and that President Obama ignores.”

Gelb explains what a world-view is and the practical effects of acting on a world-view:

Elevating the economy to the sole priority doesn’t mean forsaking other major concerns. It means putting those concerns in economic perspective. Obama can fight global warming by funding new forms of energy, which also will reduce the production of offending carbons and stimulate the economy. To deal with health care, focus the final round of congressional bargaining on cost controls to get the deadly deficits under better control. Perhaps the main killer of our economy is that health costs will soon approach 20 percent of our economy. [snip]

Looking down the road, we can do more to protect ourselves through cheaper policies of devastating air strikes and commando raids, containment with allies who share our interests, tried and true divide-and-conquer tactics against our enemies, and good old reliable deterrence, than by embroiling ourselves in endlessly draining civil wars and insurgencies. It will be less expensive and more effective to let our friends know from the outset that their security is primarily their responsibility, that we will help a lot if they’ll fight, but that most of the fighting must be up to them.

Gelb wants Obama to do what Obama is unable to do. Gelb wants Obama to gain a lifetime of experience through sheer will not hard work. But Obama simply does not have the experience needed to be president. All Obama has to show is self-advancement. Obama is the apex of the age of fake: a celebrity who is known for being famous.



Obama is the problem. Obama is not qualified to be president. It’s like asking a chicken to soar with the eagle. It’s like asking Obama to be Hillary Clinton with her lifetime of experience. It’s like asking Obama to be Hillary Clinton with her lifetime fighting to make the world a better place even if she makes enemies while making things better.

Getting policy priorities established and White House power in gear requires that Obama fix up both himself and his team. He can’t keep pronouncing and speechifying on everything. Every time he does, he’s got to say something new, otherwise nothing gets reported. So, he says something new, and it’s different from what he said last time, everyone gets confused about his goals and policies. He also has to impose message discipline. One top economic counselor, Larry Summers, said that the economy and jobs are rebounding. Another top economic counselor, Christina Romer, said that they aren’t. His Vice President Joe Biden says that U.S. troops will start leaving Afghanistan on July 2011, and his senior military advisers say that it “depends.” Jimmy Carter drowned his power in such inconsistencies.

Obama must have White House staff and senior Cabinet officers who will share his policy focus and accept discipline. Above all, that requires that he be clear and consistent in his own mind about what he’s doing. One Obama word out of place and his advisers will simply run off in their own different directions. The president needs managers and strategists, experienced hands in getting things done.

Obama is the problem. Rahm Emanuel was successful in the Clinton White House because Hillary demoted him when he needed to be demoted, disciplined him when he needed to be disciplined, smacked him on the head when he needed to be smacked. All the Clinton era appointees in the world will not help Obama because the problem is Obama. Obama is not qualified to be president. Obama can’t be trusted by friend nor foe. Obama can’t be trusted.



Obama knew it all along. His supporters are beginning to realize it now. We knew it all along. Obama is not qualified to be president. Obama, is not qualified to be president.

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125 thoughts on “Barack Obama Is Not Qualified To Be President

  1. Obama is the problem. Rahm Emanuel was successful in the Clinton White House because Hillary demoted him when he needed to be demoted, disciplined him when he needed to be disciplined, smacked him on the head when he needed to be smacked. All the Clinton era appointees in the world will not help Obama because the problem is Obama. Obama is not qualified to be president. Obama can’t be trusted by friend nor foe. Obama can’t be trusted

    Admin: the fundamental truth is Obama cannot manage others because he cannot manage himself. It is just that simple. Camelot in winter, let them eat cake, be nice to your enemies, kill small businesses and when they are dead kill them again, typical white people, a management structure which would befuddle Rube Godberg, enveloped by the Chicago Machine, mismanaging subordinates, craving adulation, the roar of the crowd and the smell of the grease paint, sensitive and vindictive to a fault the man is a Harvard case study in management gone adrift. Yes, Leslie Gelb he lacks a vision, but that is only part of it. Dangerous deadly incompetence at all points in the compass worse than the right wing bizzaros this former head of the Council of Foreign Affairs who wants to run government can bring himself to say.

  2. “President Obama emerged from Hawaiian seclusion on Monday to try to quell gathering criticism of his administration’s handling of the thwarted Christmas Day bombing of an American airliner as a branch of Al Qaeda claimed responsibility.”

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

    Al Qaeda is scraping the bottom of the barrel. They should have disclaimed all knowledge.

  3. Admin: you are wise to pay attention to what Gelb says. His foreign policy experience is weighty, and it is in that realm that Obama is experiencing one of his biggest failures. We need vision in foreign policy and jobs in the domestic economy and in both area Obama is woefully deficient. He has not figured out what to say to the world after he is done dissing his country, bending before dictators and spreading our wealth. The world sees him as a paper tiger–all mouth and gut wind. He is not listened to because his word means nothing. On the other hand, Gelb is wrong, very wrong when he asserts that Obama must succeed for the country to succeed. The truth is Obama will not succeed and we must find a way to succeed without him.

  4. rgb44hrc siad:
    Taylor Marsh called her op-ed piece, “It’s Not Lieberman, Its’ Obama”. She agrees with you that the blame goes to the top.

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

    Taylor Marsh showing a spark of honesty? Or was that a typo?

  5. For the good of the country, it is time to stop pretending Obama is something he is not–a leader. He is a mouthpiece and that is all he is.

  6. huffingtonpost.com/taylor-marsh/its-not-lieberman-its-oba_b_393668.html

    It’s Not Lieberman, It’s Obama
    ==============================

    Good heavens. Has someone hacked HuffPo and inserted some very good sense and forged Marsh’s name to it?

  7. I am just catching up with all the recent articles posted here…and agree with the analysis…and how the new Obama critics are beginning to put their toes in the water…but they just still cannot bring themselves to put any of the blame, mistakes or responsibility with Obama, himself…it is always sublimated through someone else…and O is just the ‘boob’ who stands by and allows it to happen…(if their analysis is to be believed, talk about a shrinking, irrelevant presidency)

    …I must concur with Admin’s articles on NBC’s Whittaker, but i must add, that one of the most idiotic and worst O a–kissers is Chrystia Freeland, the so called managing editor from the Financial Times, who appears on NBC and MSNBC…how in the world has this person risen to any prominence to be any contributor on any show, even at the level of MSNBC…I have never, ever, heard anyone so, oh what can i say, so stupid, in my whole life…she is a complete embarrassment to herself and utters pure nonsense…

  8. Obama Executive Order on Interpol Gives Fatcats Full Tax Exemption

    Written by Thomas R. Eddlem
    Tuesday, 29 December 2009

    President Barack Obama amended Reagan-era Executive Order 12425 on December 17, which granted agents of the global police database Interpol full immunity from U.S. tax and customs laws, as if they were full ambassadors from other countries.

    The original 1983 executive order designated Interpol as an international organization protected by some immunity laws, but Obama’s amendment granted all Interpol employees full exemption from U.S. taxes and customs inspections. Under provisions of Obama’s executive order, Interpol and its employees in the United States won’t have to any pay income taxes, property taxes, or Social Security taxes, in addition to customs duties.

    The executive order also notes that Interpol employees and their property “shall be immune from search, unless such immunity be expressly waived, and from confiscation. The archives of international organizations shall be inviolable.”

    The latter provision has caused some alarm on the Internet, where many have feared Interpol — which is a law-enforcement agency — would be given more authority to operate in the United States. However, this executive order does nothing to change the authority of Interpol to operate in the United States, except to exempt them from taxes and searches.

    It is suspicious that the archives of Interpol is said to be “inviolable” from U.S. government search, as the entire purpose of Interpol is to share information on international criminals between nations. Such an executive order makes it possible — however unlikely — that such an exemption from customs duties and searches could lead to the export of sensitive materials without U.S. government authorization. It is also possible that U.S. persons could be exported (perhaps for trial at an international criminal court) without a search. The International Criminal Court has actively courted cooperation with Interpol, the Lyon, France-based International Criminal Police Organization formed in 1923 (and later taken over by Nazi Germany, though revived after World War II).

    Though such abductions are possible under Obama’s amended executive order, the amendment doesn’t authorize anything of the sort. And it doesn’t appear abduction of Americans for the International Criminal Court (to which the United States is not a party) is the intent of Obama’s December 17 edict. Abductions are against the basic principles of Interpol. Rather, it looks as if Obama is just giving some of his globalist fatcat friends a full-blown tax exemption.

    We should all be so lucky to be exempt from income and Social Security taxes. But Americans have seen their taxes increased under Obama, from the tobacco tax increase already passed to the “cap-and-trade” and healthcare tax increases eagerly being sought by the Obama administration.

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/usnews/politics/2649-obama-executive-order-on-interpol-gives-fatcats-full-tax-exemption

  9. Obama’s vision of nuclear-free world drawing fire

    By PAUL RICHTER
    Dec. 29, 2009

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s ambitious plan to begin phasing out nuclear weapons has run up against powerful resistance from officials in the Pentagon and other U.S. agencies, posing a threat to one of his most important foreign policy initiatives.

    Obama laid out his vision of a nuclear-free world in a speech in Prague in April, vowing the U.S. would take dramatic steps to lead the way. Eight months later, the administration is locked in internal debate over a top-secret policy blueprint for shrinking the U.S. nuclear arsenal and reducing the role of such weapons in America’s military strategy and foreign policy.

    Officials in the Pentagon and elsewhere have pushed back against administration proposals to cut the number of weapons and narrow their mission, according to U.S. officials and outsiders who have been briefed on the process.

    In turn, White House officials, unhappy with early Pentagon-led drafts of the blueprint known as the Nuclear Posture Review, have stepped up their involvement in the deliberations and ordered that the document reflect Obama’s preference for sweeping change, according to the U.S. officials and others, describing discussions on condition of anonymity because of their sensitivity and secrecy.

    The Pentagon has stressed the importance of continued U.S. deterrence, an objective Obama has said he agrees with. But a senior defense official acknowledged in an interview that some officials are concerned the administration may be going too far. He described the debate as “spirited. … I think we have every possible point of view in the world represented.”

    The debate represents another collision between Obama’s administration and key parts of the national security establishment, following earlier scrapes over troop levels in Afghanistan and missile defenses in eastern Europe. But more than those issues, the future of U.S. nuclear weapons policy is directly tied to a series of initiatives Obama has advanced as a prime goal of his presidency. “This is the first test of Obama’s nuclear commitments,” said former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nancy Soderberg, who held senior foreign policy positions in the Clinton administration. “They can’t afford to fall short at the outset.”

    Congress called for the nuclear review, the third such study since the end of the Cold War, and placed the Pentagon in charge. Similar reviews were conducted near the beginning of both the Clinton and the Bush administrations, but Obama’s is the first in which substantial changes stand to be made both in the number of U.S. nuclear weapons and how they are used.

    The government maintains an estimated 9,400 nuclear weapons, about 1,000 fewer than in 2002. But Obama believes that stepping up efforts to reduce the stockpile will give U.S. officials added credibility in their quest to strengthen the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the cornerstone international arms control pact.

    The timing of the administration debate is crucial, because a key international meeting on the treaty is planned for May in New York. Also looming next year are other elements of Obama’s nuclear agenda, including renewal of an arms reduction treaty with Russia and a push for Senate ratification of a global ban on nuclear testing. The nonproliferation treaty has been weakened in recent years by the spread of nuclear technologies to such countries as North Korea, Pakistan and Iran. But non-nuclear countries are wary of intrusive new rules, arguing that while the United States preaches nuclear arms control to others, it has failed to live up to its own promises to disarm.

    For Obama, the stakes are high. The difficulties posed by challenges in Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Korea and the Middle East underscore the need for progress. Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in part because of expectations that he would make good on his pledge to reduce the nuclear threat.

    The senior Department of Defense official said the nuclear posture debate centers on the different ways to meet the twin goals of nonproliferation and deterrence. “We are not looking at whether to reduce the roles of nuclear weapons and whether to reduce (their numbers); we’re looking at how,” he said.

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nation/6790529.html

  10. The Tyranny of the Majority Party

    If Democrats insist on passing unpopular laws, they won’t control Congress for long.

    By FRED BARNES

    Alexis de Tocqueville never met Harry Reid. Had he encountered the Senate Democratic leader—or President Barack Obama or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi—de Tocqueville might have learned about a new twist on his concept of the “tyranny of the majority.”

    The Frenchman toured America in the 1830s and published his conclusions in the classic “Democracy in America.” He noted the powerful impact of public opinion. “That is what forms the majority,” he wrote. Congress merely “represents the majority and obeys it blindly” and so does the president. They are free to brush aside minority opinion, creating a threat de Tocqueville described as the “tyranny of the majority.”

    Democrats in Washington do have large majorities in Congress. But instead of reflecting popular opinion, they are pursuing wide-ranging initiatives in defiance of the views of the majority of Americans. This stands de Tocqueville’s concept on its head.

    The most striking example is health-care reform. It is intensely unpopular but was approved by the House in November and the Senate on Christmas Eve. Asked in a Rasmussen poll in mid-December if they’d prefer no bill to ObamaCare, 57% said they would. Only 34% said they’d rather ObamaCare be enacted.

    Yet Democrats are forging ahead as if the public actually approves of their health-care reform. Why, when Republicans are preparing to hammer them on the issue in next year’s elections, would they do that?

    Democrats offer different explanations—besides their obsessive attachment to national health care—which suggests that they aren’t quite sure of the political fallout. After Senate Democrats locked up the 60th vote to assure Senate passage of ObamaCare, Mr. Obama sounded worry-free. Risk? What risk? The bill “is a major step forward for the American people,” he said. The president didn’t mention the public’s disapproval as expressed in countless polls. Vice President Joe Biden, in an op-ed in the New York Times, didn’t either.

    David Axelrod, a senior adviser to the president, is more realistic. While acknowledging bad poll numbers, he suggested recently on ABC’s “This Week” that enactment of sweeping health-care legislation will melt public misgivings. “The reality, I think, will trump poll numbers in the dead of winter as this debate is going on,” Mr. Axelrod said.

    Ms. Pelosi, too, is brimming with wishful thinking. “Now we will have the attention placed on the truly great things that are in the bill that we have in common,” she declared recently. And Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) told Politico, “When people see what is in this bill and when people see what it does, they will come around.”

    Then there are the martyrs. Doing a reverse de Tocqueville, willingly endangering one’s political career by voting for ObamaCare, hasn’t fazed Democrat Michael Bennet, the appointed senator from Colorado. He was asked by CNN’s John King whether he’d vote for ObamaCare “if every piece of evidence tells you, if you support that bill, you’ll lose your job.” Mr. Bennet said “yes.” Mr. Bennet isn’t the only potential martyr. A Democratic strategist told Byron York of the Washington Examiner that Mrs. Pelosi “believes losing 20 or even 40 Democratic seats in the House would be an acceptable price for achieving a goal the party has pursued since Franklin Roosevelt.” Now that Alabama Rep. Parker Griffith has bolted the Democratic Party, Republicans need 40 seats to capture control of the House.

    With large congressional majorities, Democrats decided to forget about Mr. Obama’s campaign theme of bipartisanship. They brook no compromise with Republicans and forge ahead on issue after issue—health care, cap and trade, Guantanamo, spending, the deficit—despite the public’s mounting disapproval. That arrogance shaped the economic stimulus passed in February. Republicans wanted tax cuts to spur investment and create jobs. Democrats rejected that idea and enacted a huge increase in spending. As unemployment continued to rise, public opinion turned against the stimulus. Nonetheless, House Democrats passed a new, smaller stimulus bill last week with the same emphasis on spending.

    Large majorities create what de Tocqueville called a sense of “omnipotence.” This leads to overreaching and spawns dubious ideas. Since Democrats believe they will benefit from passing any sort of health-care bill regardless of public opinion, they’re committed to passing anything they can call a “historic” achievement. That makes little sense. With history in mind, cutting procedural corners becomes acceptable. Thus Democrats have set arbitrary deadlines, scheduled post-midnight votes and put limits on debate, all in the name of achieving a breakthrough.

    Not that such behavior is anomalous. To pass a Medicare prescription drug benefit in 2003, Republicans kept the House vote open for three hours to round up votes. Unlike ObamaCare, however, the drug benefit had popular support.

    This is not the first time in recent memory when a sizeable congressional majority, feeling self-sufficient, ignored popular opinion at its peril. In 1995, Republicans, led by newly installed House Speaker Newt Gingrich, shut down the federal government in their fight over spending with President Bill Clinton. The public sided with Mr. Clinton, and the clash spurred his re-election in 1996.

    William Daley, who was Mr. Clinton’s Commerce secretary and is the brother of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, worries that Democrats are doing now what Republicans did then: provoking a public backlash. Democrats must “acknowledge that the agenda of the party’s most liberal supporters has not won the support of a majority of Americans,” he wrote last week in the Washington Post. “Either we plot a more moderate, centrist course or risk electoral disaster not just in the upcoming midterms but in many elections to come.” “I regard as impious and detestable the maxim that in matters of government the majority of a people has the right to do everything,” de Tocqueville wrote roughly 175 years ago. But what about a congressional majority—which lacks a mandate from a majority of Americans—seeking to do everything? The Frenchman might have dubbed that the “tyranny of the minority.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703478704574612630389421904.html?mod=rss_Today's_Most_Popular

  11. We would be remiss if we did not note that another Hillary opponent is in trouble – Janet Napolitano – the new “Brownie, you’re doing a heckava job.”

  12. admin: I loved this post. It hit the nail right on the head. He’s not qualified and the republicans are good at causing trouble. Thankyou!

  13. Admin:
    Getting policy priorities established and White House power in gear requires that Obama fix up both himself and his team. He can’t keep pronouncing and speechifying on everything. Every time he does, he’s got to say something new, otherwise nothing gets reported. So, he says something new, and it’s different from what he said last time, everyone gets confused about his goals and policies. He also has to impose message discipline. One top economic counselor, Larry Summers, said that the economy and jobs are rebounding. Another top economic counselor, Christina Romer, said that they aren’t. His Vice President Joe Biden says that U.S. troops will start leaving Afghanistan on July 2011, and his senior military advisers say that it “depends.” Jimmy Carter drowned his power in such inconsistencies.

    ———————————————————————————————————- Sometimes I wonder if the speech writer knows what is going on in the administration and if Obama even reads his speechs before delivering them. If he does read them before he gives them, then the speech writer and Obama must be playing basketball 24/7 and they themselves have NO idea what is going on. Oh yeah, his cabinet might tell him what they are doing, but does Obama remember, I don’t think so, he even screws up his own daughter’s name, how many states we have and there have been many instances where he has gotten the information wrong.

  14. Admin; Reagan world view was that the Soviet Union was an evil empire. Obama’s is that all his muslim brother’s are simply misunderstood, not the bloodthirty killers that they really are.

  15. I must concur with Admin’s articles on NBC’s Whittaker, but i must add, that one of the most idiotic and worst O a–kissers is Chrystia Freeland, the so called managing editor from the Financial Times, who appears on NBC and MSNBC…how in the world has this person risen to any prominence to be any contributor on any show, even at the level of MSNBC…I have never, ever, heard anyone so, oh what can i say, so stupid, in my whole life…she is a complete embarrassment to herself and utters pure nonsense…
    ==============================
    I think she has ruined that newspaper. How does an idiot like her become managing editor.

  16. OBAMA GIVES INTERPOL RIGHTS SUPERIOR TO US LAW ENFORCEMENT
    by Erick Erickson

    Okay, okay. I know a lot of you know about this already.

    For about a week I have been getting emails about Barack Obama surrendering American sovereignty to Interpol, the international criminal police force under the UN’s jurisdiction, but I honestly couldn’t believe even Obama would do that.

    The people emailing me were, frankly, mostly of the black helicopter crowd variety so I dismissed it is as overhyped.

    Then RedState regulars like Kenny Soloman and Veronica Estrada started taking it seriously. I had to pay attention.

    Finally, I got an email with several links from a friend saying I needed to say something about this. He wanted to make sure it was on my radar screen.

    This is an extremely serious issue.

    The best and most reasonable take comes from Andy McCarthy. Let me put this in perspective for you.

    American law enforcement agencies at the local, state, and federal level are bound by open records act laws. At the federal level, the Freedom of Information Act applies.

    Knowing that an intrepid reporter can, after establishing credible sources, file a judicially enforcible FOIA request to obtain information from a law enforcement agency is one of the chief deterrents to law enforcement agencies from abusing discretionary power.

    Additionally, Interpol is a foreign power, but operates out of the U.S. Department of Justice inside the United States. While Interpol has some limited immunities given by Ronald Reagan in the early 1980’s, it does not — or at least did not until last week — have immunity from the 4th Amendment. Consequently, this international agency could, should it abuse its powers, have the federal government seize its assets, etc.

    In other words, the international police organization Interpol was treated like every other law enforcement agency in America — it was subject to FOIA requests and could, like any arm of a municipal, county, state, or federal government agency, have its property taken by the federal government if it crossed the boundaries of criminal law protection for the accused.

    For no discernible reason whatsoever, last Wednesday when no one was looking, Barack Obama signed an executive order giving all immunities of foreign powers to Interpol.

    In other words, Interpol is now in a better position than any American law enforcement institution that operates on American soil. It cannot have its records searched or seized and it is not subject to the restraints of sunshine and transparency that FOIA requests can bring.

    At a time when Obama is worried about ensuring the rights of terrorists against the abuses of the American government, he has no problem surrendering American rights to an arm of the United Nations.
    This is extremely important because it comports with Barack Obama’s world view in ways harmful to American sovereignty. Obama has said repeatedly that he views no nation as greater than any other nation. He has said repeatedly that one nation should not be able to impose its will on another. He applies this even to the United States.

    In Barack Obama’s world, the United States is no better and no worse than Iran, China, North Korea, or Kenya. In his world view, we are all players on an international stage with the United Nations as the leader. Therefore, while Obama will not give up American sovereignty to Peru, he is perfectly happy to give up sovereignty to the United Nations.

    The man is not just an amateur. He is also a damnably naive fool.

    This is also a backdoor to the International Criminal Court (”ICC”). The United States chose, before Obama took office, to avoid the ICC. Interpol has become the law enforcement arm of the ICC. By taking away the limits to Interpol’s immunity in the United States, Barack Obama has freed the organization up to conduct criminal investigations of individuals inside the United States on behalf of the ICC without any of us knowing about it.

    And who does the ICC want to investigate? The lawyers, CIA operatives, and soldiers who have defended the United States in the War on Terror by setting up GTMO and prosecuting the war. These men and women now have yet another deterrent to keep them from being fully effective — the fear of an international criminal investigation that they don’t even know about.

    How many Americans will get killed because of the policies Barack Obama is employing to undermine our safety and security in a dangerous world?

  17. Gelb claims Obama has no discernible vision. He is wrong. The fact is Obama has a vision. He views everything through the prism of the United Nations, even though he failed miserably in Copenhagen in a UN setting. The man is dysfunctional.

  18. Napolitano should have stayed in Arizona, she was too dumb to be raised above her rather limited brain.

    Then again you can see why the Arizonians wanted rid of her.

  19. What we need to do is compare what Obama does issue by issue with what Hillary promised to do if she had become president. The health care comparison excerpted above is the perfect place to start. We need some reference point if we are to demonstrate conclusively that Obama is a failure. She is the proper reference point since she has a proven track record of success. And when his defenders cry fowl and say you cannot compare promises with governance, we can remind them that is precisely what THEY did when they were promoting Obama, therefore they have no basis whatsoever for objection.

  20. “The fact is Obama has a vision.”

    —————-

    Yep. He thinks he’s a God. His ego just keeps growing. I read that when he was a junior senator and made a speech, Reid congratulated him on it. He replied that “he has a gift.”

  21. Charles Krauthammer is ripping into Obama on national security. He is not alone. The news has just been announced that the CIA was tracking the airplane terrorist since August. Obama is trying to talk himself out of this one (again) after he kept quiet (and idiots like Michael Crowley said Obama was smart to keep quiet and that it was part of a larger “strategy.”

    Prepare for more news damaging to Obama to come out. Obama spoke again today about the terrorist plot. He spoke yesterday as if bored and then went golfing again. Obama is now speaking out probably because he knows more bad news is coming and he wants to portray himself as “in charge.” Janet Napolitano should start packing her bags.

    Here is more information on the boob in chief:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a9747974-f49c-11de-9cba-00144feab49a.html

    Republicans have seized on the Christmas Day attempted terrorist attack as evidence that Democrats are weak on national security issues, as they seek to bolster their credentials ahead of next year’s Congressional elections.

    As the Obama administration’s investigation into how a suspicious Nigerian man was able to carry explosives onto a US-bound aircraft gathers pace, a slew of Republicans have criticised everything from the president’s slow response to his plans to close the controversial Guantánamo Bay prison camp.

    “Soft talk about engagement, closing Gitmo, these things are not going to appease the terrorists,” said Jim DeMint, a Republican senator from South Carolina.

    “They’re going to keep coming after us, and we can’t have politics as usual in Washington, and I’m afraid that’s what we’ve got right now with airport security,” Mr DeMint told Fox News.

    President Barack Obama on Monday made his first remarks on the attempted attack, vowing to track down “all who were involved” in its planning and use “every element in our power to disrupt and defeat violent extremists”.

    Security has been tightened dramatically at airports across the US and the Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting an inquiry into how the incident happened.

    But Republicans have been emboldened by the administration’s faltering response to the attempted attack. Janet Napolitano, the homeland security secretary, on Sunday said that “the system worked” but later performed a U-turn, saying that the system did not work and “no one is happy with that”.

  22. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/31021.html

    There is a sense of déjà vu in the Obama administration’s response to the attempted terrorist attack on Christmas Day. A by-now familiar pattern has been established for dealing with unexpected problems.

    First, White House aides downplay the notion that something may have gone wrong on their part. While staying out of the spotlight, the president conveys his efforts to address the situation and his feelings about it through administration officials. After a few days, the White House concedes on the issue, and perhaps Barack Obama even steps out to address it.

    That same scenario unfolded over the summer, when Obama said Sgt. James Crowley, a white Cambridge, Mass., police officer, “acted stupidly” when he arrested Henry Louis Gates Jr., a black Harvard professor, in his own home. It happened in March when the public was outraged over AIG dishing out hefty bonuses. More recently the public witnessed the dynamic after a security breach at President Barack Obama’s first state dinner.

    But the fact that the issue now is a terrorist incident — albeit an unsuccessful one — makes the stakes much higher, and the White House’s usual approach more questionable. That this test of his leadership comes while he’s on vacation in tropical Hawaii further complicates things.

    After delivering his first public remarks Monday about a Nigerian man’s attempt to blow up a Northwest Airlines jetliner over Detroit, the president motorcaded to the golf course at a nearby country club. Optics aside, it had taken Obama three days to issue a statement on the incident, and the administration was left struggling to control the message.

    By the time Obama addressed the public with a brief televised statement, his critics had made such headway that the White House was left with this lede in the New York Times: “President Obama emerged from Hawaiian seclusion on Monday to try to quell gathering criticism of his administration’s handling of the thwarted Christmas Day bombing of an American airliner as a branch of Al Qaeda claimed responsibility.”

    It’s the kind of story the White House might have avoided if Obama hadn’t waited so long to forcefully react to the incident.

  23. “Where’s Obama?” we wrote the other day.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/passion_out_of_fashion_for_kjSxMUmymb1313z1SlfkrI

    Responding to the attempted terror attack on an American plane in US skies, Obama took a break from the sandy beaches and golf links of Hawaii to make his first remarks about the simple thwarting of what were supposed to be the highest security procedures.

    It was three days late and Obama mailed it in.

    Unaided by his trusty TelePrompTers, the president read through his statement like a schoolkid dutifully treading through his book report.

    “Here is what we know so far: On Christmas Day, Northwest Airlines Flight 253 was en route from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Detroit,” he said in those monotone stanzas.

    “As the plane made its final approach to Detroit Metropolitan Airport, a passenger allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device on his body, setting off a fire.”

    Allegedly? This is not a courtroom, Mr. President. Or a law school.

    You are the leader of the greatest beacon of hope in a world filled with unyielding and mindless evil.

    Where is your passion?

    It’s not like he had to come out and say something like wanting the guy “dead or alive.”

    But something? Anything?

    As disappointing as Obama’s dearth of vigor is, truly alarming is what he said a little later as he complimented the fine Americans and great passengers from other countries who stepped in and, once again, picked up where the government had colossally failed.

    “This incident demonstrates that an alert and courageous citizenry are far more resilient than an isolated extremist,” Obama said.

    Again, this was a prepared statement that he appeared to read word for word from a sheet of paper.

    This was not a slip of the tongue.

    An “isolated extremist?”

    Amid all of the current confusion over how Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab got on to a flight bound for America despite ample warning that he was planning to attack the country, one thing is clear right now: the so-called “isolated extremist” was working for al Qaeda — a worldwide terror group.

    No matter what kind of vacation Obama finds himself on right now, al Qaeda remains fully at war with America. And will remain so until every last one of them is killed.

    It was almost like Obama yesterday really would have rather been surfing.

  24. All of a sudden, after months of suck-up articles for bambi, it is much easier to find articles that constructively and honestly criticize the idiot.

    The tide is turning.

  25. Janh….the fellators can only go on so long but when they know they are starting to look uncredible and stupid they will bite.

    The american idol president was built up, now comes the time to tear him down, same old same old media style tricks and when you’ve been pumped into being some sort of messiah, that fall is gonna look like a beating gang warfare style.

    Obama is probably gonna wish he never took the job by the end of this, in way way over his head.

  26. moon,

    That is why I admire people like Charles Krauthammer who have come out strong from the very start with honest critiques of him.

    There are so few news channels/shows left to watch that don’t idolize the guy. Brett Baer’s show is one of the only ones I can stomach now. His political roundtable is very addictive.

  27. Janet Napolitano, the homeland security secretary, on Sunday said that “the system worked” but later performed a U-turn, saying that the system did not work and “no one is happy with that”
    ——————————-
    She is just lucky one is dead. Instead of saying the system worked, and then saying it did not work and then saying no one is happy about that she should have said there was a breakdown in security, thank got no one was killed or injured and efforts to rectify that problem are underway as we speak.

  28. Obama Readying Immigration Overhaul Despite Political Risks

    Peter Nicholas and Tom Hamburger
    Washington DC Bureau
    December 29, 2009

    The punishing battle over healthcare is still unresolved, but the Obama administration is quietly laying plans to take up another issue that could generate even more controversy and political division–a major overhaul of the nation’s immigration system.

    Already, senior White House aides have privately assured Latino activists that the president will back legislation in 2010 to provide a road to citizenship for the estimated 12 million undocumented workers now living in the United States. In a conference call with proponents, White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina, political director Patrick Gaspard and others recently delivered the message that the White House is committed to seeing a substantial immigration bill pass and wants to make sure allies are prepared for the fight.

    In addition to the citizenship provision, the emerging plan will stress increased efforts to harden borders to make illegal entry more difficult. But that two-track approach has been rejected in the past by Republicans and other critics who insisted a border crackdown demonstrate its effectiveness before any action on citizenship could be considered.

    As recently as the George W. Bush administration, efforts to win congressional approval for coupling the two issues were repeatedly stymied. And whatever proposal Obama eventually puts forward is likely to trigger equally determined opposition, especially with next November’s congressional elections looming.
    That makes embracing an immigration bill a significant gamble for the White House, which already has job creation, global warming curbs, and new regulations for financial institutions on the agenda for 2010.

    Adding to the difficulty, polls show that the public is far more worried about the 10% unemployment rate and the fragile economy than anything else. By pushing an immigration bill, Obama risks appearing out of step with the everyday worries of the typical voter. Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster, said the issue is difficult in virtually any environment. “We know from a lot of experience that immigration reform has been and can be a very polarizing issue. There are heated differences about whether there ought to be some kind of pathway to citizenship for people who entered the country illegally,” he said. “And my sense from the public opinion research is people care more about vindicating their position than they do about getting the issue solved.” But the White House has apparently decided to press ahead, with Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano designated to lead the effort. She has begun talking privately with lawmakers in an effort to hash out a strategy.

    In an effort to enlist the kind of support from business groups that helped drive its healthcare initiative, the White House has also reached out to the National Restaurant Association, which represents an industry that employs thousands of immigrants, asking if they could be counted on as an ally.

    Earlier this year, the new head of the association, Dawn Sweeney, met with Cecilia Munoz, a White House aide involved in the issue, and expressed interest in cooperating. “It’s an extremely important issue for our members,” Sweeney said. Her association could be a force in exerting grassroots pressure on lawmakers.

    As a presidential candidate, Obama vowed to take up immigration in his first year in office. It’s now too late to make good on that commitment. If they delay once more, Obama and congressional Democrats could anger the Latino voters who came out in force for them in 2008. Exit polls show Obama won two-thirds of the Latino vote in the 2008 election compared to 31% for his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain.

    No one anticipates that a core element of the Democratic base will defect to the Republican Party next November. But even a significant drop in turnout – which often happens anyway in non-presidential elections–could frustrate Democratic efforts to preserve their congressional majority. “The bulk of the people needing immigration reform are Latino,” said U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ). “It was a major motivating issue during the election. … There’s a level of disenchantment about where we’re going. There’s some frustration and disappointment, and if you don’t give the Latino community a reason to participate (in the elections) you weaken your base even more.”

    Unlike healthcare, which has played out over most of a year, an immigration bill would be constrained by a tight deadline next year. For a bill to have a realistic shot of passing, political analysts say, the particulars would have to be hashed out and agreed upon by next spring. Delay would increase the likelihood of the issue getting derailed by the November elections.

    Henry Cisneros, a former cabinet secretary in Bill Clinton’s administration who took part in the conference call with the White House, said: “It gets much more difficult as the year goes along. So everyone has to be very sober about the prospects. But the president and congressional leadership understand it’s important to start the ball rolling.”

    “It was clear that the administration intends to put this in the first rank of their legislative priorities in 2010,” he said.

    An immigration bill was introduced in the House earlier in the month and Sen. Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat who chairs a subcommittee on immigration, is heading the effort to cobble together a coalition in the Senate.

    Bipartisan support is possible. Schumer’s office said he is working with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to develop a bill and wants Graham to sign on as a co-sponsor. Graham’s office did not return calls for comment. Democrats may not have a lock on one prominent Republican who wanted to revamp the immigration system in the past: McCain, who backed George W. Bush’s failed attempt to overhaul immigration in the second term. The Arizona senator has not committed to supporting the Obama bill, saying he worries that the president will not endorse a temporary guest worker program.

    Organized labor, an important part of the Democratic base, has voiced opposition to a guest worker program under which more immigrant workers could enter the country on a temporary basis. Critics argue that there is no effective system for assuring that such workers leave the country when their entry permits expire. “From everything that we hear right now, the temporary guest worker program won’t be addressed in immigration reform. And unless that is an essential part of the reform program, it’s something that Sen. McCain can’t work on,” said Brooke Buchanan, a spokeswoman for McCain.

    The White House would not reveal its position on the issue of guest workers. A White House spokesman, Nick Shapiro, said in a prepared statement: “The president has asked secretary Napolitano to work with stakeholders and leaders on this issue in the House and Senate to move the legislative process forward on this important issue.”

    Should an immigration bill gain traction, White House chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel would likely become a central player in the negotiations. Emanuel has had a long history with the issue. As a young aide to Bill Clinton, Emanuel co-wrote a memo showing great concern for the political dynamics of immigration. Emanuel and Ron Klain, now the top aide to Vice President Joe Biden, wrote in 1994: “We must be seen as taking proper, forceful steps to seriously address the immigration problem without alienating the Hispanic and civil rights constituencies.

    “Our goal is not to out-do the Republicans, rather to use our achievements and proposals to prevent them from using this as a wedge issue against us.” The former head of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Doris Meissner, recalls that she once received a phone call from Emanuel berating her over a news story about lax border enforcement in Arizona. “This kind of press is killing us,” Meissner recalled Emanuel saying , as he instructed her to send border agents to the area immediately. “He had no authority whatsoever to give me orders,” she said. “My boss was the Attorney General.”

    But Emanuel was constantly pressing his White House colleagues to push what he termed a “balanced” immigration policy, which included both enforcement and stepped-up grants of citizenship.

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/sns-dc-immig29-final,0,5744314,full.story

  29. Just read over at TC that Maria Cantwell and John McCain are leading the effort to re-instate the Glass-Steagall act. It was repealed during the Clinton adminstration and that lead to all these dirivities and the recent problems.
    I just hope the republicans due their homework and not blame Bill Clinton, he could not of vetoed the bill because it passed by huge margins in both the senate and the house. So that means both sides voted on it and no one should be singled out as it being their fault. It was introduced by the republicans and pushed thru. Bill signed it because it would have done NO good to try and veto it.

    I have heard a few rethugs on Fox claiming it was during the Clinton administration and were trying to hang it on BIll. If they do this, they will show their true colors as just throwing rocks and not telling the truth. Playing the blame game.

  30. wbboei, I read your piece on Interpol and I can see how dangerous this could be. I also know that Hillary wanted us to be able to use the Haug for international crimes, I think? This is way above my head, but I think Hillary was for us doing this. Could this actually net us someone like Soros who has been operating just barely above the law??? Many countries have already tried to catch him, some have. His insider trading and insider knowledge should be against the law!

  31. wbboei, Would you be as worried about Interpol and what Obama signed, if it had been Hillary was POTUS and she had signed it??

    My personal opinion is that this may be used to prosecute those rapists in Africa. I would not be surprised if soon the United States joined the ICC. I seem to remember Hillary talking about it during the primary.

    I looked up Interpol and they can investigate high crimes in the financial world.

  32. wbboei says: (re: Chrystia Freeland)

    I think she has ruined that newspaper. How does an idiot like her become managing editor.

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

    wbboei…that is what i was wondering…so many of these people – ann kornblut, etc, etc, etc…so many…and you wonder, how did these ‘smug, insufferable, and often uninformed, group think’ people get these jobs…i cannot help but wonder if there are trust fund baby money lines to these jobs…caught a bit of kornblut pushing her book…her thinking and reporting are from some 1950’s sterotypical female time warp…and she perpetuates it…

  33. Wbboei, Or it could be the beginning of this, you just never know with Obama, exactly how he is going to drag this country down.

    Reparation for victims
    For the first time in the history of humanity, an international court has the power to order an individual to pay reparation to another individual; it is also the first time that an international criminal court has had such power.

    Pursuant to article 75, the Court may lay down the principles for reparation for victims, which may include restitution, indemnification and rehabilitation. On this point, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court has benefited from all the work carried out with regard to victims, in particular within the United Nations.

    The Court must also enter an order against a convicted person stating the appropriate reparation for the victims or their beneficiaries. This reparation may also take the form of restitution, indemnification or rehabilitation. The Court may order this reparation to be paid through the Trust Fund for Victims, which was set up by the Assembly of States Parties in September 2002.

    To be able to apply for reparation, victims have to file a written application with the Registry, which must contain the evidence laid down in Rule 94 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. The Victims’ Participation and Reparation Section prepared standard forms to make this easier for victims. They may also apply for protective measures for the purposes of confiscating property from the persons prosecuted.

    The Victims’ Participation and Reparation Section is responsible for giving all appropriate publicity to these reparation proceedings to enable victims to make their applications. These proceedings take place after the person prosecuted has been declared guilty of the alleged facts.

    The Court has the option of granting individual or collective reparation, concerning a whole group of victims or a community, or both. If the Court decides to order collective reparation, it may order that reparation to be made through the Victims’ Fund and the reparation may then also be paid to an inter-governmental, international or national organisation.

  34. Connie: I supported Hillary because she is the greatest leader of my generation. I have said that here and I have written it in publications. She is a Roosevelt Democrat, whereas Obama is a Wall Street shill and a short seller on America. Obama is not a member of my generation however and there is no one in his generation that shines as bright as he does. As John Kennedy said about someone like him in Profile in Courage he (Obama) shines but he stinks. There is someone in the Republican pipeline who could run rings around Obama because he has the same star qualities, but he his message draws its essence from the Great American tradition which reaffirms who we are as a people, whereas Obama detests that tradition as much as Reverend Wright does and wants to tear it down and start over. I mentioned his name to you tonight and I thought perhaps you would want to see who he is. This is a Hillary site and she is our leader, but I do not think it remiss to acknowledge that there are leaders in the next generation, and great leaders do not need a party to prop them up. Shaw said it best every profession is a conspiracy against the laity, and if that is true then surely every political party is a conspiracy against the laity as we have seen. Here is Marco Rubio who would make a great vp for Sarah on their ticket.

    http://video.aol.co.uk/video-detail/rubio-join-our-team-today/2815233569

  35. …the fellators can only go on so long but when they know they are starting to look uncredible and stupid they will bite.

    Ouch. It would be hurt if they used their teeth on The One.

  36. Obama Readying Immigration Overhaul Despite Political Risks

    Be still my heart. Yeah, Barry. An “amnesty” bill, that’s the ticket. What the hell, ya got 60 votes, right?

  37. Wbboei, here’s more, excerpt, on Rubio:

    http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1950222,00.html

    A new voter poll was released a couple of weeks ago that showed Florida Governor Charlie Crist dropping into a tie with former state House speaker Marco Rubio — an underdog Crist had led by more than 20 points last summer — in next year’s Republican primary race for the U.S. Senate. But the next day, Crist was still being Crist. Seemingly ignoring the GOP conservatives who’ve been lambasting him for reversing much of the red-meat legacy of his predecessor, Jeb Bush, Crist enthusiastically signed a bill expanding passenger rail in Florida — including a high-speed train system Bush made a point of quashing five years ago. The measure, Crist said, will take “the Sunshine State into a new era of economic prosperity and innovation.”

    Just as big a concern for the tanned “Sunshine Governor,” however, is how to get his Senate campaign back on the rails. Ever since a conservative tent revival began sweeping America last summer, sparked by angry misgivings about health care reform and other harbingers of big government, Republican purists have targeted Crist’s moderate, bipartisan style. Seizing on his embrace of President Obama’s $787 billion economic-stimulus plan, they’ve treated him as a whipping boy for everything that’s wrong with the battered GOP as well as Florida’s recession-ravaged economy, whose unemployment rate of 11.5% is the state’s worst since 1975. Along the way they’ve anointed Rubio, a 38-year-old Cuban American, as the right wing’s new boy wonder, a genuinely conservative David who can slay Crist’s Goliath RINO (Republican in Name Only) in the primary next August.

  38. One additional point on Rubio. Dimocratic strategists assume the future belongs to Dimocrats because of demographics. But Rubio shows that the Republicans will adjust their strategies to any new realities. At some point Republicans, as they did in the California Proposition 8 fight, will appeal to African-Americans based on conservative social values. Latinos too are susceptible to appeals based on social issues such as gay marriage.

    Rubio shows Republicans how they too can get a big slice of the demographic pie of the future. The predictions of Obama’s Hopium guzzlers that demographics will mean future Dimocratic victories and realignment are delusional.

  39. Wbboei, Wow! He is quiet interesting and the prospect of him paired up with Palin would be an incredible ticket.

    The dims have no one to put up against those two for the exception of Hillary, but will she be too tarnished by then??

    I would like to know about his Christian upbringing, if he is Cuban, maybe he is Catholic. That would be a positive. What about his view of women?? Well, in due time he will show himself, but on first look he looks great!

  40. Wow, the dims will have their hands full with this one and Sarah. This is why they are letting Hillary’s light shine now, their scared. Who in the world would they get to put with her?? They have a whole bunch of has beens.

    I am not sure Hillary could beat this guy with Sarah. Certainly things are going to have to turn around significantly for her to pull it out.

  41. wbboei, Jeb Bush,Jr is endorsing Rubio. Looks like they are trying for the hispanic, cuban, Catholic and if they couple this guy with Sarah, the female vote as well. These folks are way smarter than the embiles that put the “Shaft” in, instead of Hillary.

  42. OMG, The son of a bartender and maid. Is that knowing what true America is all about or what?? I can’t find out where he got his education. He has 4 kids, married to a Miami Dolphins cheerleader. Is he a rags to riches storybook guy or what?? He’s is Catholic! What are those republicans thinking?? Actually JFK was more of a republican by today’s standards than a democrat.

  43. One additional point on Rubio. Dimocratic strategists assume the future belongs to Dimocrats because of demographics. But Rubio shows that the Republicans will adjust their strategies to any new realities. At some point Republicans, as they did in the California Proposition 8 fight, will appeal to African-Americans based on conservative social values. Latinos too are susceptible to appeals based on social issues such as gay marriage.

    Rubio shows Republicans how they too can get a big slice of the demographic pie of the future. The predictions of Obama’s Hopium guzzlers that demographics will mean future Dimocratic victories and realignment are delusional.
    __________________________________________
    Admin> right on. That is why the dems need to jettison Obama in 2012. He is not a problem solver, he is not a patriot, and he is a byproduct of the Chicago machine. Hillary is a problemsolve, a patriot, and she represents the traditional democratic tradition which dates back to a time when Roosevelt took defeated the money men Obama goes to bed with.

    The republicans will always argue for small government, even when they do not practice it. The argument Marco makes would be tedious but for Obama. Obama has validated that argument on all fronts. He misses the budget projections by a mile, quadruples the deficit, kills jobs, bends to foreign dicators, destroys the value of the dollar, fails to protect us from terroism–if this bozo did not exist the Republicans would have to invent him. And then there is my friend McConnell who says Obamacare is bad for the country but refuses to say he will kill it because he knows that it is a self inflicted wound for the democratic party and he wants the insurance companies back. Yes indeed, Obama is the one The Republicans have been waiting for. He validates their argument.

    But this give rise to certain questions>

    1. Will Obama so tarnish the democratic brand that they become unelectable?

    2. Will Obama cost blue dogs their seats?

    3. Will Obama drive blue dogs into the other party?

    4. Will there come a point where blue dogs stand up to him?

    There is a similar war going on in the republican party. The conservatives are livid at their leadership for not standing up to Obama.

  44. wbboei, Who are these retiring dims, were they Obama supporters or Hillary supporters?? Do we know??

    Has anyone here seen the Rock the Vote ad?? That is another present to the GOP.

  45. hwc, I don’t think the republicans will either. Think about too many males that would have to take orders from a woman. Many would not like it.

  46. Connie: there are things about the Cuban People in this country that most Americans do not know. Cuba was the center of the Spanish Empire in the New World from the middle of the sixteen century forward. As such, it was a center of learning, culture and government. Those who rose to power in that culture were people of proven ability, and connections. When fidel castro took over many people fled from the island including the friend I have talked about before. These were not day laborers coming in from Mexico, these were the middle and upper class of Cuba many of whom took menial jobs in the beginning to survive but in time assumed the highest positions of command citizenship and government in America. As a federal judge told my friends parents after interviewing him for admission–if you have any more like him send then here we can use them. Their affiliation with the Republican Party is cultural and historical–relating back to the Bay of Pigs. The Republican strategy toward all Hispanics was devised in whole or in part by Karl Rove. It stressed religion, social conservatism, family. The goal is to direct the appeal to Hispanic women, more so than men.

  47. In 1964, my friend the arbitrator was a union officer but was sent on special assignment to assist the Farmworker organizing efforts, and to deal with the Teamsters who were aiding the employers in resisting farmworker efforts. He was sent to a hot place in California and there he met the great man himself Caesar Chavez, along with Hillary’s friend and supporter Dolores Huerta one of the greatest union organizers in labor history. My friend was very very impressed with Huerta who ran the entire operation while Caesar was making rousing speeches and posing for photo ops. Sometime later, the movie producer David Selznik (MGM–Gone With The Wind, etc.) gave him a ranch and became a spanish grandee and lost interest in the union thing. But Dolores to her credit continued the effort. She got legislation passed ending the brazeros program and curtailing some of the more egregious employer practices. When I was campaigning for Hillary in Texas, I tried to catch up with Dolores, and convey the best wishes of my friend to her, but never managed to meet her. I left messages all over and if she got them she probably took one look at them and said who is this idiot. I mention this mainly to illustrate how critical the women are in the Spanish culture and to suggest why the republicans target that group.

  48. wbboei, The only thing the dims could tie to Rubio is the fact that Jeb has endorsed him and he is a Bushite
    ———————————
    Connie: I suspect Jeb does not like Crist, since Crist is reversing program Jeb passed. That would be reason enough to endorse Rubio. Also, Rubio was a prominent member of the House when Jeb was governor. perhaps he was even Speaker at that time, and of the same party. That is another reason for Jeb to endorse him. Finally, Rubio needs money to run a senate campaign so that is another tie. That does not mean he is a bushie. I think his support is broader than that.

  49. Wbboei, I don’t think they will run Sarah, they will run Michael Williams an A.A.
    ——————————————
    Do you mean Michael Steele? Doubtful. Conservatives do not like him.

  50. wbboei, There is a new black guy, very good, I thought his name was Michael Williams. He has a flat top and is ex-military, very, very patriotic. Doesn’t like hand outs and afirmative action. He thinks everyone should stand at the same starting line, no matter the color. He is a guy I like. My republican friend sent me his video. I think he is ex-marine.

  51. wbboei, I have been over at the DNC blog reading my old blogs and its funny how everything we said about Obama has come true. Most of the people on the Party Builder are different now. I bet too embarrassed to comment.

    I had written a post about Soros at the beginning of the primary. Gee, I must have been on to him for some time.

  52. Wbboei, This is the guy I was talking about, I was wrong on the name. This is a great black man.

    h t t p ://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VP2p91dvm6M

  53. This is the best video I have seen discussing the fall of the dollar. According to this video, the Chinese are the ones who came up with cash for clunkers because they wanted the metal.
    h t t p ://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VP2p91dvm6M

  54. To think this idiot is our President at this time in American history is so frightening that it is inconceivable to believe we will be able to come thru even January, 2010. Apparently, the foreclosures are going to triple in January and wreck havoc, yet we hear nothing from MSM. Food prices are going to triple especially in California.

  55. Wbboei, Here’s Webster Tarpley’s idea’s to fix the economy, it is strikingly close to Larouches’s, I think. Its definitely an FDR vision.

    Rebuild US Infrastructure, Industry and Agriculture: The Program to End the Economic Depression
    by Webster G. Tarpley, http://www.tarpley.net
    November 14, 2009

    The US and the world are gripped by a deepening economic depression. There is no recovery and no automatic business cycle which will revive the economy. This bottomless depression will worsen until policies are reformed. The depression results from deregulated and globalized financial speculation, especially the $1.5 quadrillion world derivatives bubble. The US industrial base has been gutted, and the US standard of living has fallen by almost two thirds over the last four decades. We must reverse this trend of speculation, de-industrialization, and immiseration. Current policy bails out bankers, but harms working people, industrial producers, farmers, and small business. We must defend civil society and democratic institutions from the effects of high unemployment and economic breakdown. We therefore demand:

    1. Measures to reduce speculation and minimize the burden of fictitious capital: End all bailouts of banks and financial institutions. Claw back the TARP and other public money given or lent to financiers. Abolish the notion of too big to fail; JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Citibank, Wells Fargo and other Wall Street zombie banks are insolvent and must be seized by the FDIC for chapter 7 liquidation, with derivatives eliminated by triage. Re-institute the Glass-Steagall firewall to separate banks, brokerages, and insurance. Ban credit default swaps and adjustable rate mortgages. To generate revenue and discourage speculation, levy a 1% Tobin tax (securities transfer tax or trading tax) on all financial transactions including derivatives (futures, options, indices, and over the counter derivatives), stocks, bonds, foreign exchange, and commodities, especially program trading, high-frequency trading, and flash trading. Set up a 15% reserve requirement for all OTC derivatives. Use Tobin tax revenue and a revived corporate income tax to provide immediate tax relief to individuals, families, the self-employed, and small business by increasing personal exemptions and standard deductions. Stop all foreclosures on primary residences, businesses, and farms for five years or the duration of the depression, whichever lasts longer. Set a 10% maximum rate of interest on credit cards and payday loans. Re-regulate commodities markets with 100% margin requirements, position limits, and anti-speculation protections for hedgers and end users to prevent oil and gasoline price spikes. Enforce labor laws and anti-trust laws against monopolies and cartels. Restore individual chapter 11.

    2. Measures to nationalize the Federal Reserve, cut federal borrowing, and provide 0% federal credit for production: Seize the Federal Reserve and bring it under the US Treasury as the National Bank of the United States, no longer the preserve of unelected and unaccountable cliques of incompetent and predatory bankers. The size of the money supply, interest rates, and approved types of lending must be determined by public laws passed and debated openly, passed by the congress and signed by the president. Stop US government borrowing from zombie banks and foreigners — let the US government function as its own bank. Reverse current policy by instituting 0% federal LENDING with preferential treatment for tangible physical production and manufacturing of goods and commodities, to include industry, agriculture, construction, mining, energy production, transportation, infrastructure building, public works, and scientific research, but not financial services and speculation. Issue successive tranches of $1 trillion as needed to create 30 million union-wage productive jobs and attain full employment for the first time since 1945, reversing the secular decline in the US standard of living. Provide 0% credit to reconvert idle auto and other plants and re-hire unemployed workers to build modern rail, mass transit, farm tractors, and aerospace equipment, including for export. Extend 0% federal credit for production to small businesses like auto and electronics repair shops, dry cleaners, restaurants, tailors, family farms, taxis, and trucking. Maintain commercial credit for retail stores. Create an unlimited rediscount guarantee by the National Bank for public works projects to provide cash to local banks for bills of exchange pertaining to infrastructure and public works. Repatriate the foreign dollar overhang by encouraging China, Japan, and other dollar holders to place orders for US-made capital goods and modern hospitals. Revive the US Export-Import Bank. Set up a 10% tariff to protect domestic re-industrialization. Nationalize and operate GM, Chrysler, CIT, and other needed but insolvent firms as a permanent public sector. Maintain Amtrak and USPS.

    3. Measures to re-industrialize, build infrastructure, develop science drivers, create jobs, and restore a high-wage economy: state and local governments and special government agencies modeled on the Tennessee Valley Authority will be prime contractors for an ambitious program of infrastructure and public works subcontracted to the private sector. To deal with collapsing US infrastructure, modernize the US electrical grid and provide low-cost energy with 1,000 fourth generation, pebble bed, high temperature reactors of 1,000 to 2,000 megawatts each. Rebuild the rail system with 50,000 miles of ultra-modern maglev Amtrak rail reaching into every state. Rebuild the entire interstate highway system to 21st century standards. Rebuild drinking water and waste water systems nationwide. Promote canal building and irrigation. For health care, build 1,000 500-bed modern hospitals to meet the minimum Hill-Burton standards of 1946. Train 250,000 doctors over the next decade. The Davis-Bacon Act will mandate union pay scales for all projects. For the farm sector, provide a debt freeze for the duration of the crisis, 0% federal credit for working capital and capital improvements, a ban on foreclosures, and federal price supports at 110% of parity across the board, with farm surpluses being used for a new Food for Peace program to stop world famine and genocide. Working with other interested nations, invest $100 billion each in: biomedical research to cure dread diseases; high energy physics (including lasers) to develop fusion power and beyond; and a multi-decade NASA program of moon-Mars manned exploration, permanent colonization, and industrial production. These science drivers will provide the technological spin-offs to modernize the entire US economy in the same way that the NASA moon shot gave us microchips and computers in the 1960s. These steps will expand and upgrade the national stock of capital goods and enhance the real productivity of US labor. Return the federal budget and foreign trade to surplus in 5 years or less.

    4. Measures to defend and expand the social safety net: Restore all cuts; full funding at improved levels for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, jobless benefits, WIC, Head Start, and related programs. Offer Medicare for All to anyone under 65 who wants it at $100 per person per month, with reduced rates for families, students, and the unemployed. Pay for this with Tobin tax revenues and TARP clawback, and by ending the Iraq and Afghan wars. Seek to raise life expectancy by five years for starters. No rationing or death panels; savings can come only by finding cures. Quickly reach a $15 per hour living wage. Repeal the Taft-Hartley Act and affirm the right to organize. Pass card check to promote collective bargaining.

    5. Measures to re-launch world trade and promote world recovery: Create a new world monetary system including the euro, the yen, the dollar, and the ruble, plus emerging Arab and Latin American regional currencies, with fixed exchange rates and narrow bands of fluctuation enforced by participating governments. Institute clearing and gold settlement among member states. Replace the IMF with a Multilateral Development Bank to finance world trade and infrastructure. The goal of the system must be to re-launch world trade through exports of high-technology capital goods, especially to sub-Saharan Africa, south Asia, and the poorer parts of Latin America. Promote a world Marshall Plan of great projects of world infrastructure, including: a Middle East reconstruction and development program; plans for the Ganges-Bramaputra, Indus, Mekong, Amazon, and Nile-Congo river basins; bridge-tunnel combinations to span the Bering Strait, the Straits of Gibraltar, the Straits of Malacca, the Sicilian narrows, and connect Japan to the Asian mainland; second Panama canal and Kra canals; Eurasian silk road, Cape to Cairo/Dakar to Djibouti, Australian coastal, and Inter-American rail projects, and more. American businesses will receive many of these orders, which means American jobs.

    This program will create 30 million jobs in less than five years. It will end the depression, rebuild the US economy, improve wages and standards of living, re-start productive investment, and attain full employment with increased levels of capital investment per job. Most orders placed under this program will go to US private sector bidders. Because of the vastly increased volume of goods put on the market, inflation will not result

  56. December 30, 2009

    Clinton Edges Out Palin as Most Admired Woman

    Obama easily wins Most Admired Man title

    by Jeffrey M. Jones

    Princeton, NJ — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues her reign as the Most Admired Woman in the eyes of Americans, but barely edges out former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin this year, 16% to 15%. Talk show host Oprah Winfrey and first lady Michelle Obama finish third and fourth, with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Queen Elizabeth II, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and poet Maya Angelou — all regulars on the list — joined by newcomers German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Elin Woods in the top 10.

    Hillary Clinton has now been named Most Admired Woman 14 times since 1993, spanning her career as first lady, New York senator, and now secretary of state. The three times she has not finished first during this time, she earned second place (to Laura Bush in 2001 and to Mother Teresa in 1995 and 1996).

    “Since 1948, Billy Graham and Queen Elizabeth II have been the two individuals with the most top 10 finishes on the Most Admired Man and Woman lists, with Graham doing so a record 53 times and the British monarch achieving that distinction 42 times.”President Barack Obama is the landslide winner among men for the second time, with 30% of Americans naming him as the Most Admired Man this year. Obama won last year with 32%, and both totals are among the highest Gallup has measured for a winner, with George W. Bush’s 39% in 2001 remaining the all-time high for Most Admired Man.

    Obama’s similar performance to last year’s is notable considering the declines in his approval and personal favorability ratings since he took office in January.

    Bush finished second again this year, after winning the honor from 2001-2007. The rest of the top 10 includes former South African President Nelson Mandela, radio and TV personality Glenn Beck, Pope Benedict XVI, the Rev. Billy Graham, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Arizona Sen. John McCain, former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and golfer Tiger Woods. Ironically, Woods — who has some of the highest personal favorability ratings in Gallup polling history — did not finish in the top 10 until this year, following a personal scandal that caused those ratings to plummet.

    Americans’ choices for Most Admired Man and Woman are influenced by their political leanings. Obama easily wins as Most Admired Man among Democrats and independents, but among Republicans George W. Bush ranks first, with Obama placing second.

    The choices for Most Admired Woman are polarized by party, with Hillary Clinton the dominant leader among Democrats and Sarah Palin among Republicans. The two receive the same percentage of mentions from independents. Clinton still ranks among the leaders among Republicans, while Palin barely registers any mentions from Democrats.

    cont.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/124895/Clinton-Edges-Palin-Admired-Woman.aspx

  57. HECKUVA JOB, BARRY!!!

    MODO WISHES OBAMA CARED ABOUT “STUFF”

    If he’s Wimpy, Hillary must be Popeye.

    Notice how she gets her digs in about one of Obama’s problems is being surrounded by Clintonites. As if “Clintonite” is a disparaging term.

    As if he were Superman who is drained of his super powers when in the presence of that dreaded substance, clintonite.

    As the Nation’s Pulse Races, Obama Can’t Seem to Find His
    ==============================

    By MAUREEN DOWD
    Published: December 29, 2009

    I was walking through a deserted downtown on Christmas Eve with a friend, past the lonely, gray Treasury Building, past the snowy White House with no president inside.

    “I hope the terrorists don’t think this is a good time to attack,” I said, looking protectively at the White House, which always looks smaller and more vulnerable and beautiful than you expect, no matter how often you see it up close.

    I thought our guard might be down because of the holiday; now I realize our guard is down every day.

    One thrilling thing about moving from W. to Barack Obama was that Obama seemed like an avatar of modernity.

    W., Dick Cheney and Rummy kept ceaselessly dragging us back into the past. America seemed to have lost her ingenuity, her quickness, her man-on-the-moon bravura, her Bugs Bunny panache.

    Were we clever and inventive enough to protect ourselves from the new breed of Flintstones-hardy yet Facebook-savvy terrorists?

    W.’s favorite word was “resolute,” but despite gazillions spent and Cheney’s bluster, our efforts to shield ourselves seemed flaccid.

    President Obama’s favorite word is “unprecedented,” as Carol Lee of Politico pointed out. Yet he often seems mired in the past as well, letting his hallmark legislation get loaded up with old-school bribes and pork; surrounding himself with Clintonites; continuing the Bushies’ penchant for secrecy and expansive executive privilege; doubling down in Afghanistan while acting as though he’s getting out; and failing to capitalize on snazzy new technology while agencies thumb through printouts and continue their old turf battles.

    Even before a Nigerian with Al Qaeda links tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines jet headed to Detroit, travelers could see we had made no progress toward a technologically wondrous Philip K. Dick universe.

    We seemed to still be behind the curve and reactive, patting down grannies and 5-year-olds, confiscating snow globes and lip glosses.

    Instead of modernity, we have airports where security is so retro that taking away pillows and blankies and bathroom breaks counts as a great leap forward.

    If we can’t catch a Nigerian with a powerful explosive powder in his oddly feminine-looking underpants and a syringe full of acid, a man whose own father had alerted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a traveler whose ticket was paid for in cash and who didn’t check bags, whose visa renewal had been denied by the British, who had studied Arabic in Al Qaeda sanctuary Yemen, whose name was on a counterterrorism watch list, who can we catch?

    We are headed toward the moment when screeners will watch watch-listers sashay through while we have to come to the airport in hospital gowns, flapping open in the back.

    In a rare bipartisan success, House members tried to prevent the Transportation Security Administration from implementing full-body imaging as a screening tool at airports.

    Just because Republicans helped lead the ban on better technology and opposed airport security spending doesn’t mean they’ll stop Cheneying the Democrats for subverting national security.

    Congressman Pete Hoekstra of Michigan was weaselly enough to whack the president and “weak-kneed liberals” in his gubernatorial fund-raising letter.

    Before he left for vacation, Obama tried to shed his Spock mien and juice up the empathy quotient on jobs. But in his usual inspiring/listless cycle, he once more appeared chilly in his response to the chilling episode on Flight 253, issuing bulletins through his press secretary and hitting the links. At least you have to seem concerned.

    On Tuesday, Obama stepped up to the microphone to admit what Janet Napolitano (who learned nothing from an earlier Janet named Reno) had first tried to deny: that there had been “a systemic failure” and a “catastrophic breach of security.”

    But in a mystifying moment that was not technically or emotionally reassuring, there was no live video and it looked as though the Obama operation was flying by the seat of its pants.

    Given that every utterance of the president is usually televised, it was a throwback to radio days — just at the moment we sought reassurance that our security has finally caught up to “Total Recall.”

    All that TV viewers heard, broadcast from a Marine base in Kaneohe Bay, was the president’s disembodied voice, talking about “deficiencies.”

    Citing the attempt of the Nigerian’s father to warn U.S. authorities six months ago, the president intoned: “It now appears that weeks ago this information was passed to a component of our intelligence community but was not effectively distributed so as to get the suspect’s name on a no-fly list.”

    In his detached way, Spock was letting us know that our besieged starship was not speeding into a safer new future, and that we still have to be scared.

    Heck of a job, Barry.

  58. From Rassmussen: -16

    and this little tidbit:

    “In Nebraska, just 17% approve of the Medicaid deal cut by Senator Ben Nelson to secure his vote on health care reform. Nelson is now down by 30 points in an early look at his 2012 Reelection Bid. Republicans now lead by five points on the Generic Congressional Ballot. That’s a big change from the seven-point lead enjoyed by Democrats when President Obama was inaugurated.”

  59. Barack Obama gets an ‘F’ for protecting Americans

    Toby Harnden
    December 30th, 2009

    There is no more solemn duty for an American commander-in-chief than the martialling of “all elements of American power” – the phrase Obama himself used on Monday – to protect the people of the United States. In that key respect, Obama failed on Christmas Day, just as President George W. Bush failed on September 11th (though he succeeded in the seven years after that).

    Yes, the buck stops in the Oval Office. Obama may have rather smugly given himself a “B+” for his 2008 performance but he gets an F for the events that led to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarding a Detroit-bound plane in Amsterdam with a PETN bomb sewn into his underpants. He said today that a “systemic failure has occurred”. Well, he’s in charge of that system.

    The picture we’re getting is more and more alarming by the hour. Here are some key elements to consider:

    1. Abdulmutallab’s father spoke several times to the US Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria and visited a CIA officer there to tell him, apparently, that he feared his son was a jihadist being trained in Yemen. According to CNN, the CIA officer wrote up a report, which then sat in the CIA headquarters at Langley for several weeks without being disseminated to the rest of the intelligence community. This was not just a casual encounter. Again according to CNN, there were at least two face-to-face meetings, telephone calls and written correspondence with the father. If it’s true that the CIA sat on this then it beggars belief.

    2. After 9/11, the huge bureaucracies of the Homeland Security Department and the Directorate of National Intelligence (DNI) were created. Inside the DNI, the National Counter Terrorism Center was created. These organisations were created to “connect the dots”. It may well be that the fault lay with NCTC and not the CIA – CIA spokesman George Little says here that “key biographical information” and information about “possible extremist connections in Yemen” was passed to NCTC. If NCTC knew about it, then did someone at the National Security Council within the White House? There’s a huge blame game beginning so we’ll no doubt know soon enough.

    3. It wasn’t just the meeting with the father. According to CBS, “as early as August of 2009 the Central Intelligence Agency was picking up information on a person of interest dubbed ‘The Nigerian’ suspected of meeting with ‘terrorist elements’ in Yemen”. So there were other parts of the jigsaw that were not put together.

    4. In his studied desire to be the unBush by responding coolly to events like this, Obama is dangerously close to failing as a leader. Yes, it is good not to shoot from the hip and make broad assertions without the facts. But Obama took three days before speaking to the American people, emerging on Monday in between golf and tennis games in Hawaii to deliver a rather tepid address that significantly underplayed what happened. He described Abdulmutallab as an “isolated extremist” who “allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device on his body” – phrases that indicate a legalistic, downplaying approach that alarms rather than reassures. Today’s words showed a lot more fire and desire to get on top of things – we’ll see whether Obama follows through with action. In the meantime, he went snorkelling.

    5. There has been a pattern developing with the Obama administration trying to minimise terrorist attacks. We saw it with Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad, a Muslim convert who murdered a US Army recruit in Little Rock, Arkansas in June. We saw it with Major Nidal Malik Hassan, a Muslim with Palestinian roots who slaughtered 13 at Fort Hood, Texas last month. In both cases, there were Yemen connections. Obama began to take the same approach with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. We’ll see whether this incident shakes him out of that complacency. Whether it’s called the war on terror or not, it’s clear that the US is at war against al-Qaeda and radical Islamists.

    6. Guantanamo Bay. It seems that two of the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) planners behind this attack were released from Guantanamo Bay during the Bush administration. That calls into question the competence of Bush administration officials but also the wisdom of closing Guantanamo Bay. How many other enemies of America and the West are going to be released back to the battlefield? As Mike Goldfarb asks: “Is the Obama administration seriously still considering sending some 90 Yemeni detainees now being held at Gitmo back to their country of origin, where al Qaeda are apparently running around with impunity?”

    7. Janet Napolitano, Obama’s Homeland Security Chief, has been a distaster in this, exhibiting the kind of bureaucratic complacency that makes ordinary citizens want to go postal. On Sunday, she told CNN that “one thing I’d like to point out is that the system worked” and ABC News that “once the incident occurred, the system worked”. A day later, she grumbled that quoted “out of context” before reversing herself, telling NBC: “Our system did not work in this instance. No one is happy or satisfied with that. An extensive review is under way.” The “system worked” comment was a “heckuva job, Brownie” moment. Is she up to the job?

    8. Will Obama hold individuals accountable? Briefing the press today behind a cloak of anonymity as a “Senior Administration Official”, Denis McDonough, NSC chief of staff (he gave the game away by saying he was from Minnesota), said that Obama “intends to demand accountability at the highest levels” before adding: ” It remains to be seen what that means exactly.” If heads don’t roll – and soon – then Obama’s words will seem hollow. It’s an opportunity for him to show some real steel.

    9. There’s a continued, unfortunate tendency for everyone in Obamaland to preface every comment about something going wrong with a sideswipe against the Bush administration. On Sunday, Bill Burton, Deputy White House Press Secretary, briefed: “On the Sunday shows, Robert Gibbs and Secretary Napolitano made clear that we are pressing ahead with securing our nation against threats and our aggressive posture in the war with al Qaeda. We are winding down a war in Iraq that took our eye off of the terrorists that attacked us, and have dramatically increased our resources in Afghanistan and Pakistan where those terrorists are.” Why pat yourself on the back for “winding down a war in Iraq that took our eye off of the terrorists that attacked us” when the issue at hand is why the US government under Obama, er, took its eyes off a terrorist who did try to attack us and nearly killed 300 people? It’s bordering on the juvenile. Obama’s been president for a year now. It’s time for him to accept that things that happen as his responsibility, not Bush’s. It’s time for him to echo Ronald Reagan, who said over Iran-Contra: “I take full responsibility for my own actions and for those of my administration.”

    10. Will there be US air attacks against targets in Yemen? Watch this space. It’s safe to say that Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula or AQAP, described to me by a senior intelligence official today as “officially recognised and in corporate terms a sanctioned franchise of al-Qaeda” that is plainly now seeking to become an international rather than just a regional Islamist player.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tobyharnden/100020934/barack-obama-gets-an-f-for-protecting-americans/

  60. By now, it is becoming too obvious even for MSM to ignore how disconnected and ineffective Obama is as president.

    Those who persist in covering for him are seeing their journalistic credibility dissipate. Those who call him out get credit.

    And Congressmen who jump up and yell “You lie!!!” get the kudos of the public and donations into their campaigns.

    We have numerous examples of dithering and ineptitude:

    * Somalian pirates taking hostage, where the Marines were waiting for a few days for approval to take action

    * the recurrent approach of outsourcing legistlation to Congress that he deems crucial to his political success and the well being of the American public

    * Attempts to cozy up to whack job regimes and tinhorn tyrrants backfire

    * Attempts to negotiate with Russia and China show a man who does not know how to play poker well

    * Only addressing the Xmas plane bombing incident after being embarrassed into making some kind of generic statement.

  61. INCOMPETENT OR EVIL?

    Pick your poison. This was the choice with Bush, on topic after topic. Actually, sometimes you’d get a twofer, both at the same time.

    And so Obama is Bush III.

    Ruth Marcus’ column today includes this excerpted section:

    “And how can it be, in the face of all this, that the administration’s communications strategy, cooked up on a conference call, was to assure us that they were looking into things but in the meantime we should settle down?”

    realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/12/30/red_flags_waved_–_and_ignored_99720.html

    December 30, 2009
    Red Flags Waved — And Ignored
    By Ruth Marcus

    WASHINGTON — The more I think about the Christmas all-but-bombing, the angrier I get. At the multiple failures that allowed Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to get on the plane with explosives sewn inside his underwear. And at the Obama administration’s initial, everything’s-fine-everybody-move-right-along reaction.

    I understand: When it comes to a terrorist attack, we live in an age of not if but when. What seems obvious in retrospect is rarely evident at the time; hindsight needs no Lasik. For every Abdulmutallab that slips through the inevitable cracks, many more are foiled. Or so we hope.

    And so we have learned, because we must, to live with a new layer of risk. Like climbers adjusting to a higher altitude, we have grown so accustomed to the changed circumstances that we forget about the thinner air, the omnipresent danger. Until moments like the episode on Flight 253 yank us back to the new reality — and, worse, to the realization that, eight long and expensive years later, not nearly enough has changed.

    “Information was not shared. … Analysis was not pooled. … Often the handoffs of information were lost across the divide separating the foreign and domestic agencies of the government.”

    “Improved use of ‘no-fly’ and ‘automatic selectee’ lists should not be delayed. … This screening function should be performed by the TSA, and it should utilize the larger set of watchlists maintained by the federal government.”

    “The TSA … must give priority attention to improving the ability of screening checkpoints to detect explosives on passengers.”

    A trenchant analysis of the Christmas attack? No, quotes from the report of the 9/11 Commission.

    As with the numerous missed opportunities to stop the 9/11 hijackers, the Abdulmutallab story that has emerged so far is an enraging litany of how-can-it-be’s.

    How can it be that his visa was not revoked after his own father went to U.S. authorities to report concerns about his son’s radicalization? “After his father contacted the embassy recently, we coded his visa file so that, had he attempted to renew his visa months from now, it would have triggered an in-depth review of his application,” one U.S. official told CNN. How reassuring.

    How can it be that, after the father’s alert, the most that seems to have been done was to place Abdulmutallab’s name in a database so sprawling as to be nearly useless? There was, one administration official explained, “insufficient derogatory information” to bump up Abdulmutallab to a higher status of watch list. Excuse me, but how much more derogatory can you get?

    How can it be that British authorities denied Abdulmutallab’s request for a visa renewal — without triggering a comparable review by U.S. officials? Was the United States not informed or did U.S. authorities simply not take action in response? Either there is a continuing problem of intergovernmental communication or a continuing problem of bureaucratic lassitude.

    How can it be that an individual passenger (a) traveling from Nigeria, with its known security lapses, (b) not checking luggage and (c) purchasing a ticket with cash was not singled out for additional screening? What did he have to do: wear a sign saying, “You might want to check my underwear”?

    How can it be that screening technology is so lacking so long after the 9/11 Commission called for “priority attention” to detect explosives on passengers?

    How can it be that our best line of defense seems to have been a combination of incompetence and bravery — incompetence by the attacker whose device failed to detonate properly, and bravery by passengers who acted so quickly to subdue him and put out the fire?

    And how can it be, in the face of all this, that the administration’s communications strategy, cooked up on a conference call, was to assure us that they were looking into things but in the meantime we should settle down?

    This was not just one supposedly out-of-context stumble by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; it was the official line. Making the rounds of Sunday talk shows, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs resisted every effort to get him to acknowledge that something had gone seriously wrong.

    The American people are not as stupid as the administration’s initial approach assumed. They accept that a smart, determined terrorist can — and eventually probably will — slip through the best-constructed defenses. They cannot accept — nor should they — a system so slipshod as to let through a bungler like Abdulmutallab, with all the red flags that were waved, and ignored.

  62. Another big culprit in this big intelligence mess is the two houses intelligence committees….

    LEST WE FORGET……our chosen congressional leaders WERE TOO BUSY with the expensive health bill TO WORRY ABOUT ATTACKS ON US!!!!!

    I hope the State Dept has its details covered fully in sharing this critical info….and I have to know…was hillary notified?

  63. Kristol: The GOP vs. Big Government, Big Pharma, and Big Insurance

    The Senate Democrats’ legislation is a Medicare-cutting, tax-hiking, no-real-reform, 2,000-page monstrosity opposed by the majority of the American people.

    The only winners would be Big Government, Big Pharma, and Big Insurance.

    Big Government would grow in immeasurable ways and would gradually assume ever more responsibility for our health decisions.

    Big Pharma gets what it wants:

    “On the campaign trail, Barack Obama vowed to take on the drug industry by allowing Americans to import cheaper prescription medicine. ‘We’ll tell the pharmaceutical companies ‘thanks, but no, thanks’ for the overpriced drugs — drugs that cost twice as much here as they do in Europe and Canada,’ he said back then. On Tuesday, the matter came to the Senate floor — and President Obama forgot the ‘no, thanks’ part. Siding with the pharmaceutical lobby, the administration successfully fought against the very idea Obama had championed.”

    And so does Big Insurance:

    “The Democratic party is on the verge of enacting a requirement, enforced with federal tax penalties, which would effectively require hard-working Americans to hand over even more of their wages to profit-hungry, private insurance companies.”

    Republicans should say: No, No, a thousand times No.

    And if the legislation passes, the GOP should immediately begin trying to repeal key parts of it. The moment it passes, Mitch McConnell might introduce free-standing legislation repealing the Medicare cuts. Republicans could highlight their opposition to Big Pharma and Big Insurance by trying to force votes–in 2010–on drug re-importation and more insurance competition, measures that could go into effect right away so as to be of immediate benefit to the American people. And of course they should promise to relieve the American people of the prospect of living under the Democrats’ health bureaucracy regime by promising repeal of the whole thing in 2011.

    Posted by William Kristol on December 16, 2009

  64. THE NEW OBAMA REPORT CARD

    Even co conspirators like Ruth Marcus are beginning to see the light. The problems of this country are 24-7 whereas Obama is not a 24-7 kind of guy. He is a party animal, and big media is always invited. Thirty Christmas parties and a long luxurious vacation leave him little time for the affairs of the state. He cannot be bothered with such trivial interruptions as an abortive terrorist attack, public hangings in Iran, an economic bubble, and the like. He needs to concentrate of what really matters like his golf game, and whether to buy that Hawaiian estate. Priorities.

    Big media put this corrupt, lazy, narcissistic nincompoop in there. They thought they could keep his balloon aloft for eight years with an unending stream of puff pieces, excuses and lies. They tried to give him an early report card with high marks, and he trumped them by giving himself an A- while everything was falling apart. Unfortunately, reality intervened. They lack the integrity to look their readers in the eye and say they were wrong. Lest we forget, these are the same people who gave us Bush, the Iraq War, this idiot, and too soon the destruction of our country. Soon they will be behaving like rats jumping off a burning ship. But they are still rats.

    The American People are starting to see him for what he is and more important what he is not. They do not buy the politically correct premise of Obama and big media elites that if we stop calling our efforts to protect ourselves from another 9/11 a war on terrorism then al Quaeda will stop behaving badly. This is all too reminiscent Carter who refused to call Iranian hostage takers terrorists and insisted on calling them students. Of course we now know his National Security Director Zbig Brzezinski helped orchestrate the overthrow of the shah, in order to release radical Muslim forces against the soft underbelly of the USSR. Not surprisingly, Zbig is now a behind the scenes advisor to Obama.

    The American People see this threat to our security for what it is. Al Qaeda announces that it will be sending 200-300 fighters against us from Yemen is what I have heard. These are political statements and they are obliged to follow through. They will not be deterred by Obama lessons in self esteem, even when they are buttressed by a Nobel Prize. The weakness and cowardice he has shown to the world, by targeting the interrogators who prevented a second attack which targeted Los Angeles; his insistence on trying the architect of 9/11 in civil court which will give him legal defenses and a platform for proselytizing which he would not have in military court; his adamant refusal to reconsider his stupid decision to close Gitmo and send dangerous al Qaeda operatives back to Iran over the objections of democrats and republicans alike. His failure to respond to the latest terrorist incident for 3 days was his Katrina moment.

    Domestically, the health care deform will be his undoing. It will destroy the health care of the middle class, and they know it. It will destroy a key voting block of the Democratic Party, i.e. seniors. It is tied to him because the core elements of it smack of Rezko and were connived with big business in secret in breach of one of his central campaign promise. There will be consequences for him as there were for George Bush when he broke his campaign promise of no new taxes. Meanwhile, on the job front, he has diverted jobs monies to pork projects. And now his latest unforced error will be to push immigration and amnesty at a time when record numbers of Americans are unemployed.

    Granted, many people who voted for Obama are wishing they had voted for Hillary. But the path for her is a very complicated one. Obama would love to make of her a scapegoat for his foreign policy failings And the Republicans would be most happy to oblige him in that respect. But it will be hard for him to do that now with her high approval rating, and public disgust over his continuing tendency to scapegoat Bush.

    But it is no easier from her standpoint either. If she is to be viable as a candidate in the future, then she cannot be seen as jumping ship. But if she stays where she is she could be blamed for the destruction that is apt to follow through his terrible judgment and misguided policies.

  65. Finally the fingerpointing is at obama and not Hillary for just following his stupid logic…
    ———
    Obama’s suck-up to China isn’t working
    Posted By Daniel Blumenthal Wednesday, December 30, 2009

    An end of the year meeting between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki exemplifies all that is wrong with Obama’s Asia policy. In a matter of weeks, China blew up the Copenhagen climate change talks and humiliated President Obama, executed a mentally ill Brit on drug possession charges, and sentenced Liu Xiabo, the human rights activist and political reformer to 11 years in prison.

    And what does the Administration do? Call in the Japanese ambassador to, as the Washington Post put it, tell him in “blunt, if diplomatic, terms that the United States remains adamant about moving a Marine base from one part of Okinawa to another.”

    Are we really willing to wreck one of our most successful alliances over a real estate dispute? Meanwhile, as Washington hyperventilates about Japan’s coming entente with China, Prime Minister Hatayoma just concluded a successful visit to India. A deeper Tokyo-Delhi security cooperation pact is not exactly a kowtow to China.

    The “kick Japan kiss China approach” is indicative of a larger Obama problem: the inability to distinguish friends from rivals. The administration has frozen sales to Taiwan. Reports out of India indicate that the Obama administration “has signaled its intent to abandon elements in its ties with New Delhi that could rile China, including a joint military drill in Arunachal and any further Indo-U.S. naval maneuvers involving Japan or more parties like Australia.”

    Despite stiffing Obama on issues from human rights (he was supposed to be more effective than his predecessors with his quiet diplomacy — that was the justification for dissing the Dalai Lama), Iran, and climate change, China not only gets a pass, but sits back and grins as Washington undercuts its friends.

    As the New Year approaches, it is high time for a review of Asia policy. I suggest beginning with a simple set of questions: why has not a single weapons system been sold to Taiwan, why are we escalating a real estate dispute with Japan to ruinous levels, why is our free trade agreement with South Korea still frozen, and why are we rolling back our cooperation with India? If we are sacrificing pro-ally initiatives for the sake of better relations with China it is not working.

    http://shadow.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/12/30/obamas_suck_up_to_china_isnt_working

  66. Admin- WBB- confloyd..

    Sorry to say, I’ve been offline for the last two days because I have the FLU (not H1N1) and been diagnosed with Pneumonia and feel as week as a kitten. When not in bed resting, I am reading here if the rest has been sufficient enough to walk the few steps over to my desk.

    I posted the article on the Executive Signing of Interpol noting Obama signed it on December 17 just a day or two before he was to make his pitch for Global Warming in Copenhagen. Given the evidence was real not rumor, how this event could be relegated to the black helicopter crowd was beyond my comprehension. Nevertheless, I was amazed at the little response the ramifications of the signing generated here. The fact that Interpol was just given the authority by a US President to supersede our local and state police jurisdictions, I thought was unprecedented. And the fact their airline baggage would not be subject to the routine baggage search from planes coming INTO our country. With the addition of other percs included into the signing noting exemption from property taxes on housing them (most likely in the myriad of foreclosed homes owned by the banks) throughout the country.

    The saving grace for all this was the notation made in the signing that the SOS (and only the SOS) in command given full power to pick and choose who would be the designated agents of Interpol. Well, we know who that is… no worries there.

    (I will digress here for a moment and return here after posting another reality, the HC Bill.)

    Now if we back up just a little bit… Given the date of the signing on Dec 17th pre Copenhagen Summit, the plan was to get a Treaty signed giving over our sovereignty to the NWO run by the IMF and the UN. Bear in mind we have several independent agencies running this country. They are the Federal Reserve and The IRS. The just voted on HCR Bill’s enforcement agency for non-payment of premiums, last I knew, was the IRS. Having the IRS as the enforcer for citizens not wanting to join the HC Plan or delinquent in their payments has given the NWO/IMF an inroad to putting liens on your real estate (with the penalties and interest accruing) even though people are struggling to make sure that mortgage is paid and uptodate. The IRS Liens will accrue big dollars against your real estate even if you are one of the lucky ones who dodged the first bullet and do not have a mortgage. With the property devaluations over the last two years, my market sources say, the eroding of property values will continue until two thirds of the real estate values has been attained.

    Parlay those thoughts and the HC Bill with an IRS Lien and it spells disaster for us with this Health Care Plan going through. (The common joke around the beltway is that no one in the Senate has read the Bill.) And by the way, Congress is protected (for now). They can keep their HCPlan (Blue Cross) and not join the HC Reform Plan we will be paying for for the next 4 years before the plan kicks-in.

    That means we will be parted with our money and not realizing the benefits of it for 4 yrs… and those resisting joining the plan or delinquent will become victims of the IRS and subjected to foreclosure of their real estate.

    (I hope by now you can see where this is going…)

    OK, back to the Interpol signing. Honestly, I did breathe a sigh of relief seeing we were safe with Hillary as the SOS. However, if she resigns, who do you think will fill her role as SOS? During this past week, John Kerry has been given great cover by the WH in his capacity as Chairman of Foreign Relations Committee in meeting with the Iranians.

    “The Obama administration hasn’t decided whether to make Kerry its official representative if he goes, but as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry can visit if the White House and Tehran both approve.”

    h… w.. mehrnews.com/en/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=1006311

    Meaning, Obama is all for it.. but it’s up to Iran to accept Kerry’s proposal. One questions why would Kerry be selected as an official representative to Iran? Wouldn’t we want to send our best and brightest Hillary Clinton to deal with Iran’s potential of stockpiling nuclear warheads and jeopardizing the safety of Israel?

    Or is Kerry… Hillary’s replacement if she were to resign/fired and run?

  67. Pelosi enjoys privacy at Hualalai after Palin is hounded off Maui
    By Andrew Walden :
    : 31876 Views ::
    Big Island News, Hawaii State News, National News, National Politics

    by Andrew Walden

    While President Barack Obama enjoys a high profile vacation on Oahu, “progressive” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is being allowed to stay out of the limelight while luxuriating at the Four Seasons Hualalai resort on the Big Island.

    Guarded by US Capitol Police bolstered by officers on loan from the Hawaii County PD, Pelosi is enjoying what Hollywood Reporter calls: “…a picture-perfect stretch of beach on the Big Island’s chic Kona Coast….a private Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course and Pahu’ia, an award-winning oceanfront restaurant, $40 million worth of enhancements…20 new suites and … its lauded Hualalai Spa.”

    According to the Hualalai Spa website, Pelosi may, “Enjoy complimentary pre-treatment rituals, relaxing by a quiet stream in the open-air Waiea, or Water of Life, garden. Or savour the lap pool, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms and cold plunges, all set amidst lush greenery. (Pelosi’s) choice of skin-care and massage treatments may be enjoyed outdoors in our exotic new hales, secluded for privacy…. With the guidance of (her) spa therapist, (Pelosi may) choose from more than 20 local natural ingredients – from Hawaiian sea salt to crushed macadamia nuts – which are custom-blended to create unique personalized treatments.”

    It is not clear how Pelosi arrived on the Big Isle. Her controversial military transport is not immediately visible amidst the forest of private jets which now crowd Kona’s Keahole Airport South Tarmac. Hawaii County is hard hit by shrinking tax receipts caused by the Obama recession, but Hawaii County Police department spokesperson Chris Loos states that the department was able to aid Pelosi’s security detail without canceling other scheduled enforcement activities. Loos did not provide an estimate of the expense incurred by the County PD.

    SNIP

    The one-way flight from San Francisco to the Big Isle is 2400 miles, within the range of both the C-20 (Gulfstream III) and the C-37A (Gulfstream V) but only the C-37A could safely make the 4500 mile one-way trip from Washington, DC nonstop.

    Akamai readers will of course remember how Pelosi’s Congress last fall berated Detroit auto executives for flying corporate jets from Detroit to Washington to appear before Congress requesting Federal bailouts. The big three execs were forced to return to Washington a week later by car in order to get a hearing. Not Pelosi or her ultra-rich “in-group”.

    Pelosi’s visit has not been noted in local or national media. This contrasts strikingly to the treatment meted out to another high profile Hawaii vacationer–Sarah Palin. While attempting to relax at a resort on Maui December 16 and 17, Palin, husband Todd and their children found themselves hounded by paparazzi hungry for photo bounties offered by the pro-Obama Hollywood gossip website TMZ.com. Finally they were forced to leave. Palin told Politico: “Todd and I have since cut our vacation short because the incognito attempts didn’t work and fellow vacationers were bothered for the two days we spent in the sun.” Palin was obligated to issue an apology for wearing a visor with the McCain campaign logo covered. Said Palin: “So much for going incognito.”

    The contrast between the reverential privacy granted Pelosi and the petty harassment aimed at both Palin and the Detroit auto execs is an element of the ongoing decades-long campaign of politically correct thought reform aimed at American elites. The message is simple: Toe the line or be hounded out of our circles.

    Apparently some people never left high school.

    hawaiifreepress.com/main/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/1496/Pelosi-enjoys-privacy-at-Hualalai-after-Palin-is-hounded-off-Maui.aspx

    also can find this article here along with some really great comments!!

    konateaparty.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/pelosi-enjoys-privacy-at-hualalai-after-palin-is-hounded-off-maui/

  68. ThreatsWatch.Org: PrincipalAnalysis
    Wither Sovereignty

    Executive Order Amended to Immunize INTERPOL In America – Is The ICC Next?

    threatswatch.org/analysis/2009/12/print/wither_sovereignty/

  69. Citing the attempt of the Nigerian’s father to warn U.S. authorities six months ago, the president intoned: “It now appears that weeks ago this information was passed to a component of our intelligence community but was not effectively distributed so as to get the suspect’s name on a no-fly list.”

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

    Admin? I hope someone will dig out just how this happened — before they blame it on Hillary.

  70. huffingtonpost.com/jane-hamsher/left-right-agree-health-c_b_407335.html

    Left and Right Agree: Health Care Mandates are the road to NeoFuedalism

    There is tremendous fear rising on both the right and the left that the announced intention of Congress — to force every American to pay tribute to private corporations, with no government alternative — sets a dangerous and frightening precedent with implications far outside the scope of health care.

    If the health care bill written by the Senate is passed, middle-class Americans will be mandated to pay almost as much to private insurance companies as they do to the federal government in taxes for insurance they can’t afford, with the IRS acting as a collection agency for penalties of 2% of their annual income if they refuse to comply.

    Keith Olbermann has said he will go to jail before doing so.

    But this left-right alliance against corporatism isn’t new. Many recent measures have been bringing liberal progressives and conservative libertarians together to join forces in opposition:

    Democrat Alan Grayson worked successfully this year with Republican Ron Paul to pass legislation to audit the Federal Reserve, with 317 cosponsors as diverse as Dennis Kucinich and Michelle Bachmann.

    On December 3, the liberal Campaign for America’s Future wrote a letter to the Senate opposing the reconfirmation of Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke until such an audit has been conducted. The letter was signed by James Galbraith, Robert Weisman, Chris Bowers and myself on the left, and Grover Norquist, Phillis Schlafly, and Larry Greenley on the right. Financial blogger Tyler Durden and young organizer Tiffiniy Cheng joined us.

    Also on December 3, conservative Jim Bunning joined liberal Bernie Sanders in placing a hold on the Bernanke nomination until the Fed had been audited.

    On December 15, CAF again sent a letter to the Senate Banking Committee, asking them to delay the vote on the Bernanke confirmation until Audit the Fed received a stand alone vote in the Senate. It was signed by Matt Kibbe of Freedomworks, John Tate of the Campaign for Liberty, and Grover Norquist on the right, and David Swanson of AfterDowiningStreet, Dean Baker and Robert Borosage on the left.

    On December 21, a letter was written opposing the mandate in the health care bill. It was signed by Bob Fertik of Democrats.com, Howie Klein of DownWithTyranny, Brad Friedman of Velvet Revolution, Tim Carpenter of Progressive Democrats of America on the left and Grover Norquist, Jim Martin of 60 Plus Association, Duane Parde of the National Taxpayers Union on the right.

    On December 23, Grover Norquist and I sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder calling for an investigation into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s conflicts of interest before the White House could lift the cap on the commitment to them from $400 billion to $800 billion with no Inspector General in place.

    The individuals on both sides of the political spectrum who signed these letters agree on very little, but they do share both a tremendous concern for the corporatist control of government that politicians in both parties seem hell-bent on achieving with this health care bill.

    We’ve covered the health care reform process heavily on Firedoglake, and the hypocrisy of the entire process has been staggering to watch.

    In 2000, the Democrats railed in opposition when the Republicans passed Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage that didn’t allow for negotiated drug prices. And in 2006 when Democrats took over Congress, one of the hallmarks of their first hundred days was passing legislation allowing Medicare to do so, supported by both Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama.

    Of course, it had no chance of passing with George Bush in the White House.

    Candidate Barack Obama said the ability to negotiate for drug prices would save $30 billion a year in medical costs. Yet when President Obama was elected, he negotiated a secret deal with PhRMA that prevented drug price negotiations in exchange for $150 million in political advertising to help vulnerable Democrats in the House and in support of the health care bill.

    Jaws dropped when Senator Tom Carper said that because PhRMA had paid for the deal with political advertising, they were obligated to abide by it.

    But the Democrats are hardly alone. Jeff Sessions railed on the floor of the Senate against the corrupt PhRMA deal, but he didn’t mention that he voted for the 2000 bill without it. He also didn’t think it worthy of note that when he had the chance to vote for it in the Senate in 2006, he voted “no.”

    Both parties are equally blameworthy — the only difference is who is in power and taking PhRMA’s money.

    The PhRMA deal is one of many negotiated by the White House this last summer which formed the underpinnings of the health care bill. From then on, it just became a matter of which member was going to extract what deals for their vote, and who was going to take the blame for cutting popular elements from the legislation that the corporate “stakeholders” didn’t want.

    As FDL’s Jon Walker wrote recently, if the ability to cut health care costs hadn’t been auctioned off to private corporations in exchange for political patronage, there would have been no government subsidy necessary to make insurance coverage affordable.

    We are ceding control of the government to private corporations, not figuratively but literally. When the Senate Finance Committee bill was released earlier this year, the “author” was a former VP of Wellpoint. Liberals, conservatives and independents alike are all justifiably alarmed at what this represents.

    It is tragic that health care for the poor is being held hostage to the corporatist agenda, a fig leaf to buy public support and disguise this bill for what it is. As blogger Marcy Wheeler noted in a piece called “Health Care and the Road to Neo-Feudalism:”

    I understand the temptation to offer 30 million people health care. What I don’t understand is the nonchalance with which we’re about to fundamentally shift the relationships of governance in doing so.

    Just as those on the libertarian right were demonized by the Republican establishment for opposing the Iraq war during the Bush years, so progressives on the left are being pilloried for “damaging the cause” by joining with Republicans to oppose these extreme measures. It’s ironic that the most virulent supporters of a President who ran on “bipartisanship” should reject it so vehemently when it becomes critical of the policies pursued by his White House.

    But this “right-left wraparound” is happening because politicians in both parties have become so unresponsive to popular sentiment, and the political drama that plays out in the media little more than kabuki theater for the benefit of the voters. The public support for stifling investigation of the bank bailouts just to protect the President are infinitesimally small, and fortunately Dennis Kucinich announced today that he would commence an investigation into the Fannie/Freddie bailout. But it’s a testament to the extreme nature of what is happening to our government that such traditional political foes could find common cause in opposing it.

    It’s foolish to say that only those who agree with you on every issue are allowed to share your opinion when it comes to opposing something like the mandated bailout of Aetna — it isn’t necessary to achieve health care reform. As Jon Walker notes, removing the mandate would reduce the CBO score and its inclusion in the health care bill with no government alternative is unacceptable for moral, political and policy reasons.

    Candidate Obama himself opposed the mandate. Arianna Huffington and Howard Dean agree with him.

    As Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos said, “remove the mandate or kill this bill.” We’ve opened a “war room” at Firedoglake with information about calling your member of Congress to demand that this provision to bail out the insurance industry be removed from the health care bill before they agree to cast their vote in favor of it.

    And nobody needs to pass an ideological purity test before they can use it.

    Join us to oppose the mandate. Enter the war room.

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

    kudos to Jane for sticking to her guns on this one and shouting out…

    O and the dims are hellbent on enslaving us to the insurance and drug companies from birth to death with the IRS watching our every move…and punishing us…some health reform…

    and what’s up with O and Rahm and no caps on Freddie and Fannie May? Have they not learned anything? so the taxpayers just keep paying while our interest rates continue to be jacked up and doubled? WTH?
    the media needs to take a closer look at Rahm and his conflicts of interests? does he still profit? and Barney Frank???

    ******************************************************************************
    bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=a48c8UpUMxKQ

    Bankers get 4 Trillion from Barney Frank

    Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) — To close out 2009, I decided to do something I bet no member of Congress has done — actually read from cover to cover one of the pieces of sweeping legislation bouncing around Capitol Hill.

    Hunkering down by the fire, I snuggled up with H.R. 4173, the financial-reform legislation passed earlier this month by the House of Representatives. The Senate has yet to pass its own reform plan. The baby of Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, the House bill is meant to address everything from too-big-to-fail banks to asleep-at-the-switch credit-ratings companies to the protection of consumers from greedy lenders.

    I quickly discovered why members of Congress rarely read legislation like this. At 1,279 pages, the “Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” is a real slog. And yes, I plowed through all those pages. (Memo to Chairman Frank: “ystem” at line 14, page 258 is missing the first “s”.)

    The reading was especially painful since this reform sausage is stuffed with more gristle than meat. At least, that is, if you are a taxpayer hoping the bailout train is coming to a halt.

    If you’re a banker, the bill is tastier. While banks opposed the legislation, they should cheer for its passage by the full Congress in the New Year: There are huge giveaways insuring the government will again rescue banks and Wall Street if the need arises.

    Nuggets Gleaned

    Here are some of the nuggets I gleaned from days spent reading Frank’s handiwork:

    — For all its heft, the bill doesn’t once mention the words “too-big-to-fail,” the main issue confronting the financial system. Admitting you have a problem, as any 12- stepper knows, is the crucial first step toward recovery.

    — Instead, it supports the biggest banks. It authorizes Federal Reserve banks to provide as much as $4 trillion in emergency funding the next time Wall Street crashes. So much for “no-more-bailouts” talk. That is more than twice what the Fed pumped into markets this time around. The size of the fund makes the bribes in the Senate’s health-care bill look minuscule.

    — Oh, hold on, the Federal Reserve and Treasury Secretary can’t authorize these funds unless “there is at least a 99 percent likelihood that all funds and interest will be paid back.” Too bad the same models used to foresee the housing meltdown probably will be used to predict this likelihood as well.

    More Bailouts

    — The bill also allows the government, in a crisis, to back financial firms’ debts. Bondholders can sleep easy — there are more bailouts to come.

    — The legislation does create a council of regulators to spot risks to the financial system and big financial firms. Unfortunately this group is made up of folks who missed the problems that led to the current crisis.

    — Don’t worry, this time regulators will have better tools. Six months after being created, the council will report to Congress on “whether setting up an electronic database” would be a help. Maybe they’ll even get to use that Internet thingy.

    — This group, among its many powers, can restrict the ability of a financial firm to trade for its own account. Perhaps this section should be entitled, “Yes, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., we’re looking at you.”

    Managing Bonuses

    — The bill also allows regulators to “prohibit any incentive-based payment arrangement.” In other words, banker bonuses are still in play. Maybe Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. shouldn’t have rushed to pay back Troubled Asset Relief Program funds.

    — The bill kills the Office of Thrift Supervision, a toothless watchdog. Well, kill may be too strong a word. That agency and its employees will be folded into the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Further proof that government never really disappears.

    — Since Congress isn’t cutting jobs, why not add a few more. The bill calls for more than a dozen agencies to create a position called “Director of Minority and Women Inclusion.” People in these new posts will be presidential appointees. I thought too-big-to-fail banks were the pressing issue. Turns out it’s diversity, and patronage.

    — Not that the House is entirely sure of what the issues are, at least judging by the two dozen or so studies the bill authorizes. About a quarter of them relate to credit-rating companies, an area in which the legislation falls short of meaningful change. Sadly, these studies don’t tackle tough questions like whether we should just do away with ratings altogether. Here’s a tip: Do the studies, then write the legislation.

    Consumer Protection

    — The bill isn’t all bad, though. It creates a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency, the brainchild of Elizabeth Warren, currently head of a panel overseeing TARP. And the first director gets the cool job of designing a seal for the new agency. My suggestion: Warren riding a fiery chariot while hurling lightning bolts at Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

    — Best of all, the bill contains a provision that, in the event of another government request for emergency aid to prop up the financial system, debate in Congress be limited to just 10 hours. Anything that can get Congress to shut up can’t be all bad.

    Even better would be if legislators actually tackle the real issues stemming from the financial crisis, end bailouts and, for the sake of my eyes, write far, far shorter bills.

    (David Reilly is a Bloomberg News columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

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

    all i can say for all that hope and change BS…all we get is BUSINESS AS USUAL AND WORSE…a bunch of lies and insider deals!

  71. This is why I hate republicans, a la Mareen Dowd, the republicans stopped more funding for airport security, yet they are screaming the democrats are weak. Well, we are going in to Afganistan and they would not, we are in Yemen and they did not, we are in Pakistan and they were not, so how in the hell are we weak??

    Yes our Potus is weak, with his not wanting to say terrorism, and always protecting the name of Islam and never using the word Islamofascist, but we are fighting them.

    Somebody needs to call them out on this, its just all politics all the time. This is not the time for such bullshit, this country is in deep trouble because of GWB and his fucking policies. One year can’t wipe out 8 years of fuckups.

  72. I am really going to hit the roof if the republicans blame Clinton for the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. IF they do that, I will NEVER have any respect for them.

  73. turndown, How could it be Hillary’s fault, she is not homeland security and this guy did not have a passport, so the state dept. did not issue one for him??

    This is just a set up anyway, the powers that run this world want a huge war and this is how they are going to trick the American people into it.

  74. I am sure that Maulkin doesn’t want the interpol and ICC to come in because precious Bush and Cheney could be held for war crimes.

  75. NY Daily News: No B+ For Obama Response To Detroit Bomber

    Too Little, Too Late, Too Unserious
    Posted by Dan McLaughlin (Profile)

    Wednesday, December 30th at 12:00PM EST

    20 Comments
    The New York Daily News under the management of Mort Zuckerman is a fairly reliable weathervane of a particular stripe of moderate, Northeastern Democrat opinion, broadly liberal in inclination but more cold-eyed and hawkish when it comes to crime, national security, and in particular the threat of Islamic extremism to the U.S. and Israel – your basic Ed Koch-type Democrat (this is not an exclusively Jewish phenomenon, although in New York that’s who the leading voices are). Typically, the News gave fawning and totally excessive coverage of every historic move of the historic new historic presidency of Barack Obama during the high watermark of his Administration, from November 2008 through late January 2009; at one point either Obama or his wife was on the front page every day for more than three weeks.

    So, it’s significant – in the way moderate-conservative outlets’ turning on George W. Bush between mid-2005 and early 2006 was significant – that the News today has a blisteringly harsh assessment of Obama’s sluggish public response to the attempted destruction of a U.S.-bound flight by a fanatic wearing bomb-laden underwear apparently designed by Al Qaeda bomb-makers in Yemen, especially given the revelation that U.S. intelligence had been warned by the Nigerian bomb-wearer’s father that he was in cahoots with Islamist extremists. The News’ assessment, which was featured with the front page headline “Get a Grip”:

    The moment demanded inspiring, decisive presidential leadership.

    America waited four days for a glimmer.

    President Obama’s initial response Monday was too long in coming, too cool in delivery and too removed from the extreme gravity of the plot….

    Before his first remarks on Monday, Obama had left a vacuum, and into that 76-hour empty space rushed Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, whose ineptitude made a mockery of her position and threw millions of fliers into continuing states of confusion.

    What the public was left with was a never-to-be-repeated case study in crisis mismanagement. It’s time to get a grip, Mr. President.

    Napolitano’s “the system worked” comment is perhaps the perfect symbol of this tone-deaf response, given that this particular attack was essentially thwarted by the passengers, not by the government. This is, of course, in contrast to how swift and vivid Obama’s statements can be when he wants to make partisan hay from the news, as with his same-day statement declaring himself “shocked and outraged” at the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller. The News’ assessment of the substance of Obama’s response is no cheerier:

    Obama’s description of Abdulmutallab as an “isolated extremist” was remarkable and disturbing. This radicalized young Nigerian is nothing of the sort. He operated, in fact, as an Al Qaeda-recruited, Al Qaeda-supplied, Al Qaeda-directed foot soldier – as, to put it directly, an enemy combatant, and not as the criminal “suspect” of Obama’s description.

    In similarly distant fashion, the President ordered up a “review” of how Abdulmutallab smuggled explosives onto the jet and a “review” of how he slipped through the government’s various terror watch lists despite signals of clear and present danger.

    The Telegraph has a more detailed rundown of how the intelligence on Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab didn’t prevent him from boarding the plane with a bomb in his pants, and how Obama’s response continues a disturbing pattern:

    There has been a pattern developing with the Obama administration trying to minimise terrorist attacks. We saw it with Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad, a Muslim convert who murdered a US Army recruit in Little Rock, Arkansas in June. We saw it with Major Nidal Malik Hassan, a Muslim with Palestinian roots who slaughtered 13 at Fort Hood, Texas last month. In both cases, there were Yemen connections. Obama began to take the same approach with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

    As the News notes, the security problems that led to this attack include laxity at the TSA and a too-easy hand in releasing Gitmo detainees (such as the Yemeni bomb-makers who were released to a Saudi “art therapy” program), both of which have roots in the Bush Administration’s periodic capitulations to political correctness and (in the TSA’s case) the disastrous “leadership” of Norman Mineta. But the News also notes that Obama can’t well avoid responsibility for Bush policies he inherited and chose to expand, rather than repair. He’s particularly put on the spot by liberal California Democrat Dianne Feinstein’s call for a halt to releases of further GTMO detainees to Yemen.

    There will be no B+ for this effort.

  76. Ten New Reasons Why Obamacare Can Still Be Killed
    by Phyllis Schlafly

    New reasons emerge almost daily as to why Obamacare can and must be defeated.

    1. The American people oppose Obamacare by almost 2 to 1 in the latest CNN poll. Other polls show lopsided opposition to passing either the Senate or House health-care bill.

    Public opinion is against the bill because of its obscene costs in higher taxes, burdensome debt, anti-freedom mandates, rationing, and reduced care for seniors. The American people have awakened to the fact that Obamacare is transformational legislation that will drag us against popular will into European-style Socialism.

    2. The Democrats’ double-counting of Obamacare’s financial benefits has been exposed as a colossal lie. Harry Reid told the Senate that his bill strengthens our future by both “cutting our towering national deficit by as much as $1.3 trillion over the next 20 years” AND “strengthening Medicare and extending its life by nearly a decade.”

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) refuted that assertion. CBO said the claim that Obamacare would provide these benefits simultaneously “would essentially double-count a large share of those savings and thus overstate the improvement in the government’s fiscal position.”

    3. Obamacare is unconstitutional because of its mandate that all individuals must carry “approved” health insurance, and all businesses must give health insurance to their employees whether or not the company can afford it. “Universal” coverage will be enforced by the Internal Revenue Service with power to punish those who don’t have such a plan.

    Constitutional lawyers point out that the Commerce Clause does not give Congress the authority to force Americans to buy health insurance as a condition of living in our country because personal health insurance is not “commerce.” The CBO wrote that “a mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be an unprecedented form of federal action”; the Supreme Court has never upheld any requirement that an individual must participate in economic activity.

    4. Since the Senate bill imposes sharp limits on health-insurance companies’ ability to raise fees or exclude coverage, it likely will force many of them out of business. Obamacare is unconstitutional because it violates the Bill of Rights protections against takings without just compensation and deprivation of property without due process of law.

    5. Other Obamacare provisions blatantly legislate racial and other forms of discrimination. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights sent two letters to the President and congressional leaders warning about the obnoxious requirements for racist and sexist quotas.

    The Senate bill requires that “priority” for federal grants be given to institutions offering “preferential” admissions to minorities (race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, and religion). Institutions training social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, behavioral pediatricians, psychiatric nurses, and counselors will be ineligible for federal grants unless they enroll “individuals and groups from different racial, ethnic, cultural, geographic, religious, linguistic, and class backgrounds, and different genders and sexual orientations.”

    6. Obama’s claim that “everybody” will now be covered creates few winners but lots of losers. Universal health insurance will be achieved by forcing young people to pay the additional costs (insurance for the youngest third of the population would rise by 35 percent), and by restricting and rationing care for the elderly.

    7. According to Robert Samuelson in the Washington Post, the “wild card is immigration.” From 1999 to 2008, 60 percent of the increase in the uninsured occurred among Hispanics, and Obama’s refusal to close our borders will make this problem more costly every year.

    8. Obamacare gives Medicare bureaucrats the power to ration health care by forcing doctors to prescribe cheaper medical devices and drugs. In the recent case of Hays v. Sebelius, the court ruled that Medicare doesn’t have the right to make this rule, but Obamacare takes jurisdiction away from the courts to hear any appeal from decisions of the new Medicare Commission.

    The “stick” applied to primary-care doctors is imposing financial penalties if they refer too many patients to specialists. The “carrot” is financial rewards to doctors who give up small practices and consolidate into larger medical groups or become salaried employees of hospitals or other large institutions.

    9. The Senate bill contains at least a dozen of what can be described as bribes. Senator Mary Landrieu received a $300 million increase in Medicaid funding for her state (known as the Second Louisiana Purchase), and a $100 million bribe to Senator Ben Nelson gives Nebraska a permanent exemption from the costs of Medicaid expansion.

    10. The Senate bill even has a four-page section artfully written to enable ACORN to get federal health-care grants. This section describes grant recipients as “community and consumer-focused nonprofit groups” having “existing relationships … with uninsured and underinsured consumers.”

    http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=35024

  77. Too little too late
    ****************

    DNC commission recommends end to superdelegate system

    A commission of Democratic leaders on Wednesday recommended their party virtually eliminate superdelegates from their presidential candidate nomination process.

    Their proposal — commissioned by the Democratic National Committee in the aftermath of last year’s tough primary season — would essentially make the “superdelegate” post an honorary position.

    Consequently, these powerful party leaders could no longer select the candidate of their choice; rather, their votes would be tied to the outcome of their respective states’ primaries, which choose winners by popular vote.

    “Openness, fairness, and accessibility are central to our ideals as Democrats, and the Commission’s recommendations to reform the delegate selection process will ensure that voters’ voices and preferences are paramount to our process of nominating a Presidential candidate,” Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, current chairman of the DNC, said in a statement Wednesday.

    As Kaine’s remarks elicit, Democrats authorized the delegate reform commission following last year’s close, competitive primary battle between then-candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

    The two potential nominees remained competitive in the popular vote until the very end, but Obama won a clear majority of his party’s super delegates — ultimately nabbing 463 of the all-important, independent votes to Clinton’s 257 superdelegate votes.

    A number of Democrats thus emerged from the party’s 2008 primary season unhappy with the outcome and concerned by the delegate-awarding process, prompting DNC leaders at the 2008 convention to authorize a commission to examine those votes.

    That commission, comprised of the likes of House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), finalized its discussions on Wednesday. In addition to recommending the end to the superdelegate system, members proposed the party’s primary calendar be pushed back — pre-primary events to February and primaries to March — and the creation of a “best practices” program for states that still use caucuses.

    The commission’s ideas now head to the party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, which will vote on the changes and possibly implement them before the 2012 presidential election.

    “As we work towards improving our Presidential nominating process and making it accessible to as many voters as possible, I am grateful to the Commission for its hard work in moving this process forward,” Kaine said in the statement.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/73973-dnc-commission-recommends-end-to-superdelegate-system

  78. December 31, 2009

    Afghan suicide bomber attacks CIA base

    The US military base in Afghanistan that was targeted in a suicide attack on Wednesday was being used by the CIA, according to US media.

    Most of the eight Americans killed in the attack on the base in the eastern Afghan province of Khost were CIA agents, the Washington Post reports.

    If true, the attack is the single deadliest attack on US intelligence personnel in the eight years since US-led invasion of Afghanistan began.

    The agency has acknowledged the deaths of four CIA officers in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion, according to the Post.

    Meanwhile, in a separate attack four Canadian soldiers and a Canadian journalist were killed when their armoured vehicle was hit by a bomb in southern Kandahar province on Wednesday.

    It remains unclear how the Khost bomber was able to evade security at Forward Operating Base Chapman, which the Post said serves as an operations and surveillance centre for the CIA near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. He made it into a room being used as a fitness centre, where he detonated his explosive belt. The blast also wounded eight people several of them seriously, the Post reported. At least one Afghan civilian was also killed. At least one Afghan civilian was also killed.

    “It is the nightmare we’ve been anticipating since we went into Afghanistan and Iraq,” John E. McLaughlin, a former CIA deputy director told The Post. “Our people are often out on the front line, without adequate force protection, and they put their lives quite literally in jeopardy,” he said.

    U.S. military officials and diplomats confirmed Wednesday’s attack and the eight civilian deaths. “We mourn the loss of life in this attack,” State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/Afghanistan/article6972266.ece

  79. Wednesday, December 30, 2009

    EDITORIAL: The pooh-pooh presidency

    Known for leaping in front of cameras to bolster support for health care “reform” or cap and trade, President Obama gives resounding campaign-style speeches to back agenda items he actually cares about. Terrorism doesn’t rate that much effort. After Fort Hood and Northwest Airlines Flight 253, Mr. Obama seemed like he was dragged in front of the American people.

    Since Mr. Obama initially approached the Fort Hood shootings as a footnote in an already scheduled speech before the Tribal Nations Conference in November, national security matters haven’t gone smoothly. He managed to belittle the massacre, giving shout outs to government officials before addressing the tragedy.

    This time, the White House avoided Mr. Obama blurting out anything untoward. Instead, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano did that all for him, initially saying security measures to protect passengers on flights “worked well” and later backtracking to say, “the system failed miserably.”

    When Mr. Obama finally did address the American people about the attempted terror attack three days later, it wasn’t to rally a people under attack or to assure the nation he was up to the challenge of defending the United States, it was to pooh-pooh the attack. He blamed the whole thing on an “isolated extremist.” Mr. Obama bravely called on the American people to join him in continuing to underestimate the size of the problem.

    For good reason, Americans trust Republicans more than Democrats to handle national security issues. According to a Rasmussen poll released in late November, just before Mr. Obama’s speech on Afghan strategy, voters trusted the Republican Party more than Democrats in terms of national security and the war on terror by 50 percent to 37 percent.

    You’d think poll results like that would spur the White House to take terrorism a little more seriously. However, in the first days after Christmas, Mr. Obama remained personally disengaged from addressing the public about the latest terror scare and left the heavy lifting to subordinates like Ms. Napolitano.

    While the president continued to play golf, basketball and work out in an island paradise during the Detroit terror aftermath, many in the media excused Mr. Obama for blowing them off. After all, reporters following the president are happy not to be sweating it out in Crawford, Texas, anymore.

    http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/dec/30/the-pooh-pooh-presidency/

  80. I wonder how the republicans are going to blame Obama for the suicide bomber at the CIA base in Afganistan??

    The rethugs are good at pointing fingers, when they sat on the money for the scanners at the airports and sat on more regulation at the airports, but they sure know how to point the finger.

    It won’t be long before they start blaming the Clinton’s for the Glass-Steagall Act being repealed.

    The one thing that the republicans can do is start blaming Hillary and BIll for everything, that will unite the party faster than anything, so let do it.

  81. Rush Limbaugh in the hospital in serious condition in Hawaii. Why is everyone in Hawaii, even Pelosi, they must be planning more foolishness for the american people.

  82. Never mind the super delegate system, how about getting rid of the delegate system that gave certain parts of a state more say in the winner of that state, like nevada and NH, where Hillary won decisively yet lost the state because of more power given to minorities. That was despicable. Also Texas with that stupid caucus and primary.

    Get rid of caucuses and make the states winner takes all just like the GE.

    Had that been the case we would have had President Hillary Clinton and not President Bozo.

  83. wbboei, This one is for you, I know how you love Z-big. This too is why the Soviets would not shake Obama’s hand.

    Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM

    Recommend
    The real power behind the throne-to-be
    It is hard to sort through the hype and heat of Obamania, but one thing is clear: who’s pulling the

    As the United States election race enters the final stretch, Barack Obama as the candidate promising change is revealing his true colours, much to the despair of anyone actually expecting any change. His recent call to declare Jerusalem the undivided capital of Israel, his denial of Palestinians’ right of return, and his support for a Bantustan Palestinian “state” which poses no threat to Israel show how completely he has caved in to the Zionist establishment on that issue.

    As US President George W Bush calls for early reductions in combat troops in Iraq, Obama’s position on Iraq — a vow to bring troops home within 16 months, excepting a “residual force” — looks less and less of a defining moment in his foreign policy. Whatever happens to troop levels, there is no explicit talk of overriding the plans for 14 permanent bases.

    Obama is toeing the line in Afghanistan, too. As NATO casualties continue to mount, surpassing monthly Iraqi casualties as of June this year, he is proposing — now seconded by McCain — that the United States shift up to 15,000 more troops there from Iraq. Just prior to his trip to Afghanistan, he wrote in a New York Times op/ed, “We need more troops, more helicopters, better intelligence-gathering and more nonmilitary assistance to accomplish the mission there.” Please, will someone show me the silver lining in an Obama victory in November?

    But then none of the above should come as any surprise to those familiar with his chief promoter and foreign policy adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who, along with current (and likely future) Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, has already entered history as helping “suck the Soviets into a Vietnamese quagmire”. These are the words of president Jimmy Carter’s Under- Secretary of Defense Walter Slocumbe in March 1979, eight months before the Soviets were successfully “sucked in”, when Gates was CIA chief. The changing of the guard, come November, will change nothing. US foreign policy has a logic which transcends who sleeps in the White House.

    What’s especially ghoulish about all this is that there are five Brzezinski offspring who are all onboard the Obama wagon: Mark (director of Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council under president Bill Clinton, and one of the prime movers of the 2004 colour revolution in Ukraine), Ian (currently the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and NATO affairs and a backer of Kosovan independence, NATO expansion into Ukraine and Georgia and US ABM missiles in Poland), Mika (political commentator on MSNBC whose interview with Michele Obama contributed to the general media Obamania) and finally, Matthew (a friend of Ilyas Akhmadov, “foreign minister” and US envoy of the Chechen opposition).

    Brzezinski’s brand of anti-Russian, anti- Muslim geopolitics will dominate a future Obama administration. In Second Chance: Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower, published last year, he lays out his New World Order agenda without so much as a blush. Apparently, there is a global political awakening going on, the goal of which is “dignity”. Not economic development, not the alleviation of poverty, not national sovereignty against the IMF and World Bank. Just plain old dignity, though Zbig’s brand of dignity is the kind attained through secession, balkanisation, and the creation of weak statelets for each ethnic minority subservient to the US. Think: Kosovo and — if he has his way — Chechnya. Neo- Wilsonian demagogy in the service not of peace but of US world domination, encirclement of Russia and control of the Arab world.

    Zbig said in endorsing Obama: “What makes Obama attractive to me is that he understands that we live in a very different world where we have to relate to a variety of cultures and peoples.” Obama’s alleged global approach and trans-ethnic, trans- racial allure are right out of Zbig’s university textbook, or rather Second Chance, which will be the manual for the Obama campaign and presidency.

    Obama is literally a second chance for Brzezinski: having destroyed the Soviet Union and shattered the Warsaw Pact, he now wants to dismember the Russian Federation itself and put the finishing touches on Afghanistan as an impregnable US military base against China, Russia… the list is endless. Perhaps Zbig is dreaming of restoring Greater Poland circa 1600 — from the Black Sea to the Baltic, all controlled by petty szlachta aristocrats like… the Brzezinskis?

    The Economist blog put it best: “A new brain for Barack Obama! It’s 78 years old and it still works perfectly. It belongs to Zbigniew Brzezinski, the peppery ex-national security adviser to Jimmy Carter.”

    The messianic idealism of the Obama campaign has not been seen since the days of another Brzezinski creation — Jimmy Carter, who made him national security adviser with disastrous results. Brzezinski’s anti-Russian obsession back in 1976 prompted him to foment the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, which he touted as the greatest single bulwark against Soviet communism. Tarpley argues that Brzezinski was even a prime behind-the-scenes mover in the overthrow of the Shah of Iran and installing Ayatollah Khomeini in power in Tehran. Brzezinski cared less about the Middle East and its oil than he did about the need for a centre from which Islamic fundamentalism of the most retrograde type could penetrate the soft southern underbelly of the USSR. For Brzezinski, the space between the southern frontier of the Soviet and the Indian Ocean littoral became an “arc of crisis”, and we have his handiwork to thank for the horrors taking place there to this day.

    The 1980 Carter Doctrine — that the US was determined to dominate the Persian Gulf — is at the root of the first Gulf War, of the present Iraq war, and of the possible war on Iran. Brzezinski’s grandiose schemes of world transformation caused a renewal of the Cold War and gave birth to Al-Qaeda, and without Soviet restraint the results could easily have been far more tragic than they turned out to be. By 1980, disillusionment with Carter led to the nightmare of the Reagan regime. But this was of little concern to Brzezinski — a mere blip on his radar screen.

    In 2008, we have an obscure Illinois senator, a neophyte with no legislative achievements to speak of, but with a raft of utopian promises, including solving the race problem once and for all. Recession, unemployment and an alarming rise in poverty are of no consequence; a golden age is at hand thanks to his magnetic personality. Since he knows nothing of foreign policy, these matters will be competently managed by the Brzezinski cabal.

    But there seems to be one slight hitch. Despite Obama’s slavish pro-Israeli genuflections of late, he is still not trusted by the Jewish lobby. Quite possibly because they know who the power behind the throne-to-be is, and they can’t stomach him, nor he them. Addressing the AIPAC crew in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, he said, “they operate not by arguing but by slandering, vilifying, demonising. They very promptly wheel out anti-Semitism. There is an element of paranoia in this inclination to view any serious attempt at a compromised peace as somehow directed against Israel.”

    But then Brzezinski was a key player in Carter’s 1978 Camp David Accords, much loathed by the Zionists as giving up Sinai in exchange for a cold peace with Egypt. Brzezinski is definitely not a hardcore Zionist, though he’s happy to allow the destruction of Palestine. Perhaps he is, under his suave exterior, still the quintessential Polish anti- Semite, with a vision of the New World Order without Israel at the centre.

    If he can keep up the momentum, however, he may be able to outflank the Zionists in Washington and bring his horse first past the finish line. They are on the defensive these days, what with spy trials, even J Street Project, a Jewish lobby group that — gasp — dares to criticise Israel. Is this, then, the silver lining in an Obama victory?

  84. djia Dec. 30 @ 6:54 pm Pelosi in Hawaii
    ————
    Thanks for the info; was wondering where in the world she and her ilk are.
    The following news items were broadcast yesterday by NJN News:
    1. Acting (NJ) Governor Dick Codey has called for the resignation of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in a letter to her on his (state) Senate President letterhead. He commented that the position requires a law enforcement background, noting that a political appointment is not sufficient for the position.
    2. Jesse Jackson announces that many houses of worship are in danger of foreclosing.

    video – http://www.njn.net/television/webcast/njnnews/wednesday.html

  85. WOW. Seems like even native born Hawaiians are not eligible. Implications for Obama’s citizenship qualifications?
    ——————–

    You may be Hawaiian–but chances are you are not “Qualified” to become a member of the allegedly “Hawaiian” Indian Tribe proposed under Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) and Sen. Dan Akaka’s (D-HI) newly revised version of S1011/Akaka Bill. If created under US law, the Akaka Tribe will negotiate to take control of land and other assets which are supposedly the property of all native Hawaiian people–but the majority of native Hawaiians will be excluded from participating in the organization of the Native Hawaiian Interim Governing Council. They could remain excluded from the Tribe that the Interim Governing Council organizes.

    On one hand, Section 4(a)(4) of the Senate Akaka Bill states: “Native Hawaiians have an inherent right to autonomy in their internal affairs (and) and inherent right of self-determination and self-governance (and) the right to reorganize a Native Hawaiian governing entity….” But Section 8(a) recognizes only: “The right of the qualified Native Hawaiian constituents to reorganize the single Native Hawaiian governing entity….”

    Who are allowed to become “Qualified Native Hawaiian Constituents” will be determined by a “commission” of nine members. There are exactly nine OHA Trustees.

    “Qualified Native Hawaiian Constituents” is a brand new classification which has not been used in any previous version of the Akaka Bill. The inclusion of this new category was noted by Governor Linda Lingle and Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett–who have supported previous versions of the Akaka Bill–in their December 15 statement expressing “strong opposition” to the new version of the Akaka Bill.

    Only these so-called “Qualified Hawaiians” may participate in electing the Native Hawaiian Interim Governing Council. This Interim Council will propose rules for the Tribe as a whole, –including rules about who may or may not become members. Since a smaller Tribe means more money for each individual member and easier control by political cronies a bias will exist in favor of keeping as many Hawaiians as possible out of the tribe. Many mainland Indian tribes have cut down their tribal rolls by changing the rules of membership in order to grab a larger share of gaming revenues for each of the remaining members.

    The Interim Council is itself considered an Indian Tribe according to Section 10(c) and so it operates under the same Federal Indian Laws which have allowed several California gaming tribes to expel hundreds of members in a grab for gambling profits.
    http://hawaiifreepress.com/main/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/1465/Akaka-Bill-More-than-73-of-Hawaiians-not-quotQualifiedquot-for-membership-in-Akaka-Tribe.aspx

  86. NY Post with a valid opinion. Obama CAN be trusted…to screw things up, to be spineless, to make empty threats, to cave into enemies, to stab allies in the back.

    Yes, Obama CAN BE TRUSTED. Indeed.

    nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/day_of_reckoning_hHNtbO7IbHnphV3rxxYZ8N

    O’s day of reckoning

    Last Updated: 7:31 AM, December 31, 2009

    Posted: 1:14 AM, December 31, 2009

    It’s showtime, folks! Today’s the deadline President Obama imposed on Iran’s leaders to give up their nuclear ambitions and be nice.

    Not sure if the deadline expires at midnight in Tehran or on Washington time, but the mullahs and President Mahmoud “Mighty Mouse” Ahmadinejad aren’t scrambling to give Obama a New Year’s Eve smooch.

    Rather than cave in to our president’s mighty rhetoric, the Tehran tyrants took a break from killing protesters in the streets to attempt to import more than 1,300 tons of make-a-nuke uranium ore from Kazakhstan.

    They’ve also increased their nuke-cooker centrifuge count, tested new long-range missiles and lied like Persian rugs about hidden nuke sites. In response, our president threatened to huff and puff and blow their house down.

    Iran’s retort? “Love the cool breeze, Barack.”

    This is another debacle of Obama’s own making. It’s a fundamental rule of playgrounds and security policy that you shouldn’t make threats you can’t or won’t back up. But Obama’s in love with the sound of his own voice. The fanatics in Tehran are more interested in the sound of a nuclear blast.

    Desperate leftists in our country still compare Obama to Bush, insisting that, well, Obama’s not doing so badly, not really, not if you really think about it.

    Bush, for all his faults, worried our enemies. Obama amuses them.

    Obama’s primary threat against the Tehran thugs has been sanctions. OK, let’s see if he can get internationally recognized sanctions that actually bite. I’m offering 100-to-1 odds in Tehran’s favor.

    China won’t play. Beijing wants Iran’s oil and values Tehran as a regional cat’s paw.

    Dubai won’t halt its massive illicit trade with Iran. Local ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s desert playground is $80 billion in the hole. And smuggling’s Dubai’s only growth industry these days.

    And Russia will cheat on any paper agreements. As will the ‘stans of Central Asia. And Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait. Iraq, too. And Pakistan.

    Obama’s threatened sanctions get even more laughable, since they’d target only Iran’s power elite. Insiders in any dictatorship are those best able to duck the pain of sanctions. So Ahmadinejad can’t get a visa for a Vegas vacation. That’ll teach him a lesson.

    Only comprehensive sanctions backed by a military blockade have any chance of working. Otherwise, as we’ve seen in North Korea, the well-connected continue to feast while the commoners faint from hunger. And there won’t be a blockade, folks.

    If sanctions weren’t enough of a joke, we also have Obama’s all-too-obvious reluctance to back the millions of Iranians struggling for freedom and democracy. Our president’s empty remarks this week checked the block for nervous American leftists, but provided no useful support to Iranians risking their lives for basic rights.

    What should this inept administration do? Provide clandestine, covert and overt support to Iran’s freedom crusaders. And funnel money and arms to Baluchi, Kurdish, Azeri and Arab separatists willing to take on the Revolutionary Guard jihadis.

    Meanwhile, a paradox arises from those courageous demonstrations in Iran: They really do threaten the monstrous regime of the mullahs — and that makes Iran’s bully-boys even more likely to use nukes as soon as they get them.

    If Ahmadinejad and the turbaned tyrants sense that time’s running out, they’ll launch any nukes they have against Israel in a frantic attempt to kick-start Armageddon and entice the Hidden Imam to return.

    These are not rational actors by our standards. They’re authentic fanatics. And the (shrinking) civilized world is racing against the clock to change the Tehran regime before the regime can change the world.

    President Obama’s answer? Make it harder for Iran’s rulers to acquire foreign luxury goods. Guess Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollah Khamenei won’t be drinking Chateau Margaux or Cheval Blanc at their we-popped-a-nuke celebration.

    While Obama dithers, Israel may have to act. The Gulf will explode. Oil will be a bargain at $400 a barrel. The global economy will freeze. And we’ll be in the fight anyway.

    And then? Obama will interrupt another vacation to explain that those wicked Israelis didn’t give his sanctions time to work. And it’ll be Bush’s fault, too. And America’s. And Islam will have nothing to do with religious madmen murdering their own people in the streets and begging Allah to help them nuke their neighbors.

    Happy New Year!

  87. O is no FDR

    Tony Blankley wonders whom is Obama trying to outwit. And he points out the dangerous disconnect between the White House and the military.

    realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/12/30/afghan_war_policy_fractured_99723.html

    December 30, 2009
    Afghan War Policy Fractured
    By Tony Blankley

    Franklin Roosevelt was famous for being able to give people on all sides of a policy dispute the impression that he supported each person’s position. Such artfulness helped him manage domestic politics for 12 years in the presidency. Similarly, President Obama wrote in his book “The Audacity of Hope” that “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views. As such, I am bound to disappoint some, if not all, of them.”

    All politicians — indeed all people — permit such ambiguous perceptions of themselves from time to time. But for presidents, it is vital that such ambiguities support, not undermine, their policy objectives. And, as important articles in the Washington Post and the U.K. Guardian last weekend disclose, there is major confusion at the highest levels over what the president’s policy is in Afghanistan.

    The confusions as to intentions, strategies and exit timing started immediately after the president’s Dec. 1 speech, and have gotten dangerously worse in the ensuing month. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Chairman of Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullins and the top generals all said we were there to win and the July 2011 exit date was conditional on whether enough had been accomplished by then. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, adviser David Axelrod, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Vice President Joe Biden and the president all indicated July 2011 was real, and senior White House sources said “winning” was not an objective.

    In an extraordinary example of expository journalism on the front page of last Saturday’s Washington Post, Rajiv Chandrasekaran laid bare the shockingly different understandings of the Afghan mission held by the White House and the Pentagon (see “Civilian, military planners have different views on new approach to Afghanistan,” The Post, Dec. 26).

    There are three broad areas of “misunderstanding.” First, Gen. Stanley McChrystal believes he is allowed to build up Afghan troop levels to 400,000. The president’s objective is 230,000. With 400,000, we would be at about the minimal total troop level that the Army and Marine manual says is required to win a counterinsurgency war.

    Second, the July 2011 drawdown (exit) date has lead military commanders to accelerate pace of operations in order to attain victory quicker, while White House sees it as intended to “narrow” the scope of operations. So ragged are the communications between the White House and the military that, according to the Post article: “a senior administration official said the National Security Council (in the White House) is discussing ways to increase monitoring of military and State Department activities in Afghanistan to prevent ‘overreaching.'”

    That is a more tactful way of saying that the president and his men do not trust the military chain of command (nor the secretary of state’s communication chain) to accurately report to the president what they are doing. Are the military and State Department being insubordinate? Or is the White House unjustifiably untrusting of the military and State chains of command? Either alternative is unacceptable and needs to be corrected immediately.

    Third, the objective of the mission is badly divergent between the White House and the military. According to The Post: “The White House’s desired end state in Afghanistan, officials said, envisions more informal local security arrangements than in Iraq, a less-capable national government and a greater tolerance of insurgent violence” (which sounds like a formula for the Karzai government to fall to the Taliban once we leave). The White House expressly instructed Gen. McChrystal not to use the term “Defeat the Taliban.”

    Yet when Gates subsequently visited Kabul, he told the military personnel that “we are in this thing to win.” The Pentagon later explained that use of the word “win”: “From a moral perspective, when you ask soldiers and families to sacrifice, we do that to win. We need to be able to articulate winning.” Or as I argued in a column a few months ago, it is heartless to ask a solider “to die for an exit strategy.”

    However, regarding the ambiguity of the July 2011 deadline, a senior Democratic staff member in Congress told The Post: “Is the surge a way of helping us leave more quickly, or is the timeline a way to help win support for the surge? Which is the strategy and which is the head fake? Nobody knows.”

    A senior officer is quoted in the article saying they “don’t know if this is all over in 18 months, or whether this is just a progress report that leads to minor changes. Until they tell us otherwise, we’re operating as if the latter is the policy.”

    Well, perhaps some officers think that, but several of the troops I have either talked to directly or heard from indirectly say they assume we are short timers — and they have no desire to be the last guys to die in a losing war.

    Strategic ambiguity is useful when confounding the enemy. It is worse than dangerous, and should be promptly rectified, when it confuses and dispirits the president’s own generals and troops — while unintentionally encouraging the enemy to fight on.

  88. WAITING FOR THE REPERCUSSIONS, ON DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN POLICY FRONTS

    realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/12/31/2009_chickens_and_their_2010_roost_99734.html

    December 31, 2009
    2009 Chickens and Their 2010 Roost
    By Victor Davis Hanson

    In the coming year, plenty of our chickens will be coming home to roost.

    Take foreign relations. In 2009, the new administration assumed that George W. Bush was largely responsible for global tensions. As a remedy, we loudly reached out to our foes and those with whom we had uneasy relationships.

    But so far these leaders — like Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Russia’s Vladimir Putin — have only interpreted Barack Obama’s serial goodwill gestures as weaknesses to be exploited. They play the part of the pushy class bully, we the whiny nerd.

    In the waning days of 2009, Iran has announced it has no intention of dismantling its nuclear facilities and ignored the latest Obama deadline to cease. There’s no reason not to expect the theocracy to make significant strides in its nuclear program in 2010, while continuing without rebuke to beat and murder democratic dissidents in its streets.

    Russia has announced plans to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons – and scoffed at our polite suggestions that it should pressure Iran to stop its nuclear development.

    Venezuela brags of its own similar program to come — an act that could threaten all the neighboring democracies in the region.

    The administration courted China on a much-heralded Asian tour. President Obama even has said he would be our first “Pacific president.”

    Unfortunately, China was not impressed. It declined our advice about reducing its carbon footprint and instead reminded Americans that we owe the Chinese people nearly $1 trillion. Expect much more of that hectoring in 2010 as our debt to China grows.

    Consider also the threat of Islamic terrorism. In 2009, some in the Obama administration decided “war on terror” was too provocative a label for what might be better dubbed “overseas contingency operations.” Apparently, they were thinking a kinder, gentler image would discourage terrorists.

    Accordingly, the self-confessed architect of Sept. 11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was promised a civil trial in New York rather than a military tribunal normally accorded to out-of-uniform murderous terrorists. Expect a lot of soapbox speechmaking about America’s sins during his testimony in 2010.

    As part of our efforts to break with the Bush anti-terrorism past, President Obama also vowed he would close the facility at Guantanamo Bay by Jan. 22, 2010 – another deadline that won’t be met.

    But as 2009 ended, we were reminded that radical Islamic terrorists still want to kill us for who we are, and what we represent, rather than any particular thing we do.

    Maj. Nidal Hasan, nursed on radical Islamic doctrine, murdered 12 fellow soldiers and one civilian at Ford Hood, Texas. Five would-be terrorists with U.S. citizenship were arrested in Pakistan on their way to link up with Islamist militant groups. And Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was stopped in flight from Amsterdam before he could blow up an American passenger jet.

    Note that all these recent terrorists were not poor, lived in the hospitable West – and cared little that the Obama administration has been critical of the U.S.’s prior war-on-terror policies.

    So, while we assured the world in 2009 that we wouldn’t be overzealous in our various efforts to stop terrorists, the terrorists proved they most certainly would be in theirs to kill us.

    Meanwhile, at home we operated on the same naive assumptions. The Obama administration inherited a $500 billion deficit and expanded it threefold. Its planned mega-deficits may well grow the aggregate national debt over the next decade to over $20 trillion.

    But the administration’s 2009 calculations on how to service the growing red ink are based on continued cheap interest. Yet in 2010, it is likely we will see rising inflation, rising interest rates – and rising costs to the continual self-destructive borrowing.

    We were given a financial break on energy prices in 2009. The worldwide recession sent oil down to about $50 a barrel. But America did little during the year’s reprieve to rush into production newly discovered domestic gas and oil fields, to tap existing finds in Alaska, or to license new nuclear plants.

    By year’s end, oil was creeping back up to $80. If the economic upswing continues, in 2010 it may near its old high of nearly $150 a barrel. Soon we will wish we had done something concrete in 2009 rather than offering more stale rhetoric about wind and solar power.

    In other words, 2009 may seem to have ended relatively quietly. But in our foreign relations, in the war against terror, in our massive borrowing, and in our energy policies, we created chickens that soon will come home to roost in 2010.

  89. GMAC: HIT ME BABY ONE MORE TIME

    “All I want for Christmas is 3 billion bucks,
    3 billion bucks;
    All I want for Christmas is 3 billion bucks,
    3 billion bucks;
    or more.”

    bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601070&sid=ap0H4JFsSyTs

    GMAC Said to Discuss U.S. Aid Package of $3 Billion or More
    =========================

    Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) — GMAC Inc., the home and auto lender that counts the U.S. government as the largest stakeholder, is discussing with the Obama administration a third bailout of $3 billion to $4 billion, said a person familiar with the matter.

    The size of the assistance is under negotiation, the person said on condition of anonymity because the talks are private. A deal may be reached in days as Detroit-based GMAC incorporates losses from its home-loan businesses, the person said.

    GMAC received two rounds of government aid totaling $13.5 billion as it struggled with losses at home-mortgage operations, which include Residential Capital LLC, known as ResCap. The primary lender to General Motors Co., its former parent, and Chrysler Group LLC is being helped by profits in auto-lending and is working to sell or restructure the ResCap unit.

    “We question why GMAC needs this capital,” CreditSights Inc. analyst Adam Steer said in an interview. “If you look at where the losses are coming from, it’s not coming from the core automotive business, it’s coming from the legacy portfolio at ResCap.” Steer has called for GMAC to cut ties to the home lender or place it in bankruptcy.

    GMAC would like to find a solution to ResCap by the end of the year, Chief Financial Officer Robert Hull said Nov. 4 in the company’s third-quarter earnings call. The lender reported its eighth loss in the past nine quarters in November, while the auto-finance unit had a profit.

    Reviewing Operations

    “We have been conducting a strategic review of our business and evaluating options to address the challenges at ResCap and at the mortgage operation,” GMAC spokeswoman Gina Proia said yesterday in an interview.

    The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that GMAC was negotiating a third aid package.

    GMAC was ordered by the Federal Reserve in May to raise as much as $9.1 billion in new Tier 1 capital to withstand a possible prolonged recession, after government stress tests of finance companies. The U.S. gave the lender $3.5 billion toward that goal, leaving a capital hole as large as $5.6 billion to be filled by Nov. 9.

    “As we stated on Nov. 9, Treasury is in discussions with GMAC to ensure its capital needs, as determined last May by the stress tests, are met,” Treasury Department spokesman Andrew Williams said in an interview.

    New Chief Executive

    GMAC asked Treasury in November to delay providing the third round of government aid as outlined in the stress tests until newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Michael Carpenter could assess the company’s needs. Carpenter replaced CEO Alvaro de Molina Nov. 16.

    CreditSights’ Steer said it might make more sense for the government to make capital available to GMAC on an as-needed basis rather than forcing the lender to take more bailout funds.

    “A more proactive way to deal with this is to make a capital line available to GMAC that it could draw on if it actually needs it rather than putting taxpayer money at risk right away,” Steer said.

    The U.S. was considering an injection of $2.8 billion to $5.6 billion, people familiar with the matter said in October. Later that month, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner scaled back the estimate.

    The federal government is the biggest owner of GMAC, with a 35.4 percent stake. The U.S. also controls General Motors, which holds a 9.9 percent stake. Cerberus Capital Management LP, the New York-based investment firm, holds 22 percent. GMAC doesn’t have publicly traded shares.

  90. Between dailykaos and huffpo, a startling shortage of critique of the man who has broken nearly every promise with his “base”.

    The strategy on these sites appears to be, find an example of Republican lunacy or over-reaching (current top of the list is Cheney’s frank assessment of Obama’s shortcomings in protecting the country), and use it to show how reasonable Obama is.

    This appears to be a way of coping with the terrible realization that the guy you hoped would bring change is not doing that at all. So let’s pretend that “Obama is actually performing quite well”.

    If you are too proud to admit you fucked up, you won’t be able to correct it.

  91. rgb44hrc: They have to be desperate to draw comparisons of potus contrasted with Bush. That’s a very low bar.

  92. holdthem…

    Yeah, “Better than Bush”.

    My dog is better than Bush.

    And unlike Obama, I know she was born in this country.

  93. The intransigence of these left wing blogs, their determination to repeat the party line ad nauseum like some twisted version of the apostles creed, their inability to process new information that conflicts with their erroneous view and to adjust their opinion to reality is form of mental sickness. Two examples of this come to mind.

    First, there was a primitive tribe in the South Pacific whose island was used as a dumping point for allied supplies. These dumps were done at night so it was necessary for these natives to wander out of their huts and down to a landing strip where the supplies were dumped, so they could be safeguard the supplies for the allies, and be paid for their services. They used torches to light up the drop area for the allied pilots. Then in 1943 the war moved from the South Pacific to the Central Pacific. Hence, the allies stopped dumping supplies on that island. Nevertheless, for many years thereafter the primitive tribe continued to go out to that empty air strip every night and light the torches for no good reason except it had become a ritual. The bots who infest those sites operate in precisely the same manner. The first rule of politics should be what is in it for me, and in their case the answer is nothing. He has betrayed them and their values.

    Second, there was a famous exchange between John Maynard Keynes the economist and some would be critic with a reputation. Keynes had taken a position on a controversial matter, later changed it and the critic accused him of inconsistency bordering on heresy. To which Keynes replied: change the facts I change my answers . . . what do you do? The answer a bot would give is: nothing–I know what I know. Don’t confuse me with the facts. Simply put these are not the kind of people rational human beings listen to. They are a Tower of Babel not worth listening to.

  94. President Mahmoud “Mighty Mouse” Ahmadinejad vs. President Barack “Mighty Mouth” Obama will bobb for apples to see whether Iran backs down Obama yet again. Obamas fall back strategy if he wins will be to take account of his adversarys muslim heritage and let him go two out of three.

  95. RGB: the failure of this Administration to achieve a common, coherent and unified vision on Afghanistan, as discussed in the article by Tony Blankley is the harbinger of mission failure. This is a microcosm of the entire Obama Administration. On one side, you have the realists who deal in reality and for whom there is no margin of error. With them there are objective standards of measurement, be they cost, territory, body count, etc. They use those to measure success or failure. Hillary, Gates, and the Generals fall in this fold. They are people you can trust. On the other side are people who deal in the world of academic theory and political perceptions. With them the standards of measurement are different. Reality is a matter of perception, and a plan that looks good on paper is ipso facto a good plan. Never mind the fact that no battle plan survives the first engagement, and when trouble comes they will not be the ones fighting the war. In my view, the second group is an unmitigated disaster. They are the ones who lose wars and cost human life. They are also the inner circle of Barack Hussein Obama–meaning the ones he listens to and is manipulated by.

  96. Nelsons constituents do not want his 30 pieces of silver.
    ========================================================
    Nebraska Voters Aren’t Impressed With Nelson’s Pork
    By Bronwyn’s Harbor on December 31, 2009 at 10:45 AM in Current Affairs
    Nebraska voters are overwhelmingly expressing intense disapproval of Sen. Ben Nelson’s vote for Obamacare, despite Nelson’s garnering a major (make that obscene) gift for the state, in perpetuity, of Medicaid to be paid for by the feds. [That gift is so obscene that several state attorneys general are challenging the favoritism to Nebraska as unconstitutional, reports Reverend Amy.] In other words, these Nebraskans ARE mad enough to look that ol’ gift horse in the mouth, and hoist him out on his own petard. As Michelle Malkin said, “Corruption stinks — and sticks.”

    The political damage Nelson may have incurred in providing the critical 60th vote that cleared the way for Senate passage of the health care reform bill showed up Tuesday in a poll released by Rasmussen Reports.

    The telephone survey of 500 Nebraskans, conducted Monday, suggested Republican Gov. Dave Heineman would defeat Nelson in a potential 2012 Senate race by a 61-30 margin.

    The poll showed Nelson with a 55 percent unfavorable rating and 64 percent disapproval for Democratic health care reform legislation.

    This polling fits in exactly with polling that LisaB shared with me: Rasmussen reports 58% of Americans are opposed to the health care plan in Congress.

    I always thought that Nelson would face an uphill battle in proving to his state’s voters that he got them a great pork deal when it was more important to the voters, in the immediate term, that he oppose Obamacare. Now he’s running an ad during a football game — “Beleaguered Nelson to air TV ad tonight — in a desperate gambit to improve his standing among Nebraska voters. Sorry, Ben. You’re toast. Well, as long as the voters remember all of this in 2012 when you’re up for reelection.

    This bill is so unpopular across the nation, that one wonders what on earth possessed any of these senators to vote for it.

    In fact, I wonder who in the heck IS enthused about Obamacare except for the Senate and the White House and a few deluded columnists like Paul Krugman, who I used to respect until he became an apologist for this plan that does nothing but reward insurance companies and punish the middle class — all of which Paul used to fight against.

    This is legislation that hardly of us wants. Even those of us who want health reform. We know that a system that primarily rewards insurance companies and imposes onerous taxes on the middle class is NO solution.

    What’s even more astonishing to me is that Senate Democrats are using the health care bill to convince Democrats to donate to their campaigns. The Democratic base, they seem to forget, is also widely opposed to this bill.

    Look at this e-mail I got, probably because I am on my senator’s mailing list, which she passed along — without my permission — to the Senate fundraisers:

    Dear ______

    We know how their Karl Rove politics work.

    On Christmas Eve, the Senate passed sweeping health care reform. Not one Republican voted in favor. Trying to deny Democrats a legislative victory was more important than expanding health care to millions of Americans who need it.

    They will spend the next 11 months spinning our health care victory into a weapon and hitting us with it.

    We might have the momentum now, but we must show the GOP and the pundits that we can sustain it until the 2010 elections. A strong fundraising report will do just that, but we need your help.

    There are only hours left until the DSCC’s end-of-quarter deadline at midnight Thursday. We need you to contribute $5 or more right now. Every dollar will make a difference!

    It’s hard to believe that Republicans could be so united against legislation that will expand health care coverage to 31 million uninsured Americans, add choices and competition, force insurance companies to abide by strong new regulations and cut costs for families. The bill also reduces our national debt and ensures that Medicare will remain solvent. Republicans are on the wrong side of history on this one.

    Now that they lost this battle, they will be focusing their fight — and their millions and millions of dollars – on defeating us. That’s why it’s imperative that we match them now and at every fundraising goal from here on out.

    There are only hours left until the DSCC’s end-of-quarter deadline at midnight Thursday. We need you to contribute $5 or more right now. Every dollar will make a difference!

    I truly believe that history will not look favorably upon the Republican Party. In the meantime, it’s up to us to keep them out of the Senate.

    Sincerely,
    Bob Menendez

  97. confloyd
    December 30th, 2009 at 7:50 pm
    turndown, How could it be Hillary’s fault, she is not homeland security and this guy did not have a passport, so the state dept. did not issue one for him??
    ——————-

    ALL USE EMBASSYS are under the DEPT. OF STATE…..this terrorist’s father went to the US embassy in nigeria to tell about his son….it maybe that just the CIA folks were called in after his initial contact with the US embassy but maybe the news could have gone upto the highest person in the dept…..

    I am not “blaming” hillary here but it wou;ld be nice to know how the news about the father’s concerns were distributed within the State dept….and all the intelligence/homeland security agencies…

    I for one have stopped using Bush as a scapegoat; we all knwo he messed up big time BUT it is importanet to know that ALL CONGRESSIONAL folks and their STAFF had 8 years to fix and test the system…SO I BLAME THE CONGRESS!!!!!! and BO!

    And yes that includes BO and maybe even hillary here as senators!!!!

  98. Of course Hillary wasn’t really at fault. But the bots and the rightwingers may try to blame it on her, if the real details don’t come out first.

  99. Hansen was quoted:
    But as 2009 ended, we were reminded that radical Islamic terrorists still want to kill us for who we are, and what we represent, rather than any particular thing we do.

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

    No, the Ft Hood shooter was protesting a particular thing we were doing: sending him and others to fight in Afganistan.

    The other recent terrorists mentioned may have been protesting particular things too. The 9/11 attack was in protest of our support of Israel in a land dispute; it was Bush who said they hated ‘who we are and what we represent.’

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