Chicago’s Dark Night – Giannoulias, Stroger, And The Crown Of Corruption

Update: Giannoulias gets the nomination. The Republicans forcefully respond:


“Do you have any idea who you’re stealing from?” screams the bank official. “You and your friends are dead.”

Later a bank robber asks another bank robber as they try to penetrate the vault: “They wired this thing with 5,000 volts. What kind of bank does that?” The answer is: “A mob bank.”

First robber: “Every guy gets his share, five shares. Five shares is plenty.”
Second robber: “Six shares. Don’t forget the guy who planned the job.”
First robber: “He thinks he can sit it out and still take a slice.”
Second robber: “I know.”
First robber: “That’s why they call him ‘The Joker’.”

Chicago Clown

* * * * *

When the makers of the election year 2008 film, The Dark Knight, wanted the fecund smell of stockyard slaughter, the delirious stench of centuries old corruption, they thought: Chicago.

We warned in December of 2008 that:

The multi-headed Hydra which is the Obama Chicago Culture Of Corruption is growing another head in Washington, D.C. and a special prosecutor is needed in Washington while Patrick Fitzgerald stabs at the Hydra in Chicago.

Today, the Chicago Hydra is up for election. Expect a head to be cut, and ten more heads to grow.

Widespread voter anger and unrest are confronting the Illinois political establishment as the state hurtles toward its first-in-the-nation primaries Tuesday.

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, under fierce attack for his plan to boost income taxes and for his handling of a prison release program, finds himself in a dead heat against surging state Comptroller Dan Hynes.

State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, the Democratic front-runner in the race for President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat, has seen his lead in polls narrow in recent days as he has taken criticism from former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman and Chicago Urban League President Cheryle Jackson about his oversight of a family-owned bank and his handling of the Bright Start college savings program.

At the local level, Todd Stroger, the powerful Democratic president of the Cook County Board, who has come under fire for his hiring practices and his support for a sales tax increase, has fallen significantly behind his primary challengers in new polling.

Clean air from Massachusetts is sweeping through the windy city.

Democrats are starting to realize that every single Democrat in the country is vulnerable now. It’s a very angry electorate, a very volatile electorate,” said Jerry Morrison, political director of the state Service Employees International Union, which has endorsed Quinn and Giannoulias.

“It’s been brewing for some time,” said Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross. “I think it’s as intense here as it’s been [in Massachusetts].” [snip]

The anger is palpable. People are frustrated — and they don’t know who to take it out on,” said Eric Adelstein, an Illinois-based Democratic strategist. “[People are] just very cynical — and right now the job approvals are low for everybody.”

The issue is not anger or frustration. The issue is corruption. Chicago corruption. Obama style sweet talk Chicago corruption.

Obama, for his part, has maintained a comfortable distance from Tuesday’s primaries, making no endorsements in any of the races up for grabs. Even so, he has become an issue in the competitive three-way GOP gubernatorial race between McKenna, state Sen. Kirk Dillard and former state Attorney General Jim Ryan.

Last week, McKenna launched a new campaign ad blasting Dillard for appearing in a 2008 presidential campaign ad praising Obama, the former Illinois state senator, as a bipartisan figure — a move designed to weaken Dillard’s standing among conservative voters in the downstate region.

“In a Republican primary, if you’re in an ad supporting Barack Obama for president, that’s something that’s very, very unpopular with the base. Even if you’re in Illinois, that’s very unpopular,” explained Brian Nick, a GOP adman working for McKenna. “To be able to show that one of the front-runners endorsed Obama for president is a strong message to get out.”

Chicago Obama Dimocrats, like the Joker in the flim, look to the bank that financed Antoin “Tony” Rezko, and numbers running, prostitution promoting Michael “Jaws” Giorango. “What kind of bank does that?” The Broadway Bank. The Giannoulias Broadway Bank.

The Chicago bank owned by the family of U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias reported a fourth-quarter loss that increases the amount of new capital it needs to raise to about $76 million.

Broadway Bank, which last week entered into a consent order with federal and state banking regulators requiring it to raise capital, reported a net loss for 2009 of $75 million. Its capital levels as of Dec. 31 were below the minimums demanded by banking regulators.

As of the end of the third quarter, Broadway’s financials suggested the family needed to raise about $50 million to save the bank.

With $188 million in loans at least 90 days past due, more than 20% of the $1.15-billion-asset bank’s loans now are seriously delinquent, according to the bank’s end-of-year financial report with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Banker Giannoulias wants a slice. It’s his turn at the Obama seat. The throne of Corruption.

Only in Chicago, the Gotham of corruption does a thief call out a thief, a mobster rob a mob bank.

The Bank’s worsened condition arrives on the eve of the primary, in which Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is vying with former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman and Cheryle Jackson, on leave from her job as head of the Chicago Urban League, for the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat held previously by Barack Obama.

Ms. Jackson last week called on Mr. Giannoulias to drop out of the race after news of Broadway Bank’s regulatory order; Mr. Hoffman said it rendered Mr. Giannoulias unelectable in the fall.

Mr. Hoffman has criticized the $70 million in dividends the family took from the bank in 2007 and 2008 as the real estate crisis was emerging. The family has said a substantial percentage of that went to pay income and estate taxes.

Before the November election Alexi Giannoulias will face the feds takeover of the alleged bank.

The deep capital deficiency and the regulatory order increase the odds that Broadway, which is 100% owned by the Giannoulias family, will be seized by federal regulators before the general election in November.

That banker with a human face, is the likely choice of Dimocrats to inherit the throne of Obama corruption. But no one is sure what will happen. The voters are unhappy and pesky. We doubt the corruption will be uprooted. At best corruption will be re-routed.

Tuesday’s crowded ballot will test Gov. Pat Quinn’s popularity within his own party a year after he took over the reins from disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich, as well as pare down the field for the surprisingly up-for-grabs U.S. Senate seat formerly held by President Barack Obama.

Mix in the shadow of corruption that hangs over the state and an unemployment rate above the national average and even the political professionals aren’t sure what to expect. [snip]

While this down-ballot contest isn’t registering on the radar inside the Beltway, the four-way Democratic primary for president of the board in the state’s most populous county could tip the turnout scales. With three African-Americans among the four candidates and with first-term incumbent Todd Stroger on the ropes, some political observers predict a boost from black voters trekking to the polls for the favorite, Chicago City Council member Toni Preckwinkle, and Circuit Clerk Dorothy Brown.

If black voters turn out in force, that would bode well for Quinn, because he launched a blistering attack during the past weekend designed to motivate those voters. Quinn accused his opponent, state Comptroller Dan Hynes, of ignoring the dumping of human remains at a historic black cemetery, an attack that came in response to a Hynes television ad featuring 1980s footage of Harold Washington, the city’s first African-American mayor, calling Quinn “a totally and completely undisciplined individual.”

Pity the denizens of Chicago street scams and scoundrels in the shadow of Obama. Who would you choose between these two:

The Republicans at least have a candidate who can bring in the hero of Gdansk.

“In the fractured GOP primary for governor, conservative grass-roots populists are organizing for Adam Andrzejewski, who scored the unique endorsement Friday of former Polish President Lech Walesa — an especially meaningful endorsement in Chicago, which has a sizable Polish population.

Andrzejewski, who registered 7 percent in a Jan. 22 Chicago Tribune poll, presents himself as a “private citizen” running against “five insiders.””

The Blagojevich trial will begin in June. Blagojevich will be in the dock, but Chicago Corruption will be the defendant. Again. Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is working much too slowly and in too limited a manner.

The elections today have the White House “very concerned.”

You’d be concerned too if all your pals, the ones who know where the dead bodies are buried, will soon need jobs. Imagine Todd Stroger unemployed and in need of a job. The Todd Stroger we have written about so often (HERE, HERE, and HERE). In The Senator From Rezko, Part II, we quoted a bit of Obama history:

“There was little controversy earlier this year when Sen. Barack Obama endorsed Mayor Richard Daley over two black opponents for a sixth term, lending his star power to an inevitable rout.”

“But Obama’s record of local endorsements — one measure of how he has used his nascent political clout — has drawn criticism from those who say it reflects his deference to Chicago’s established political order and runs counter to his public calls for clean government.”

“In the 2006 Democratic primary, for example, Obama endorsed first-time candidate Alexi Giannoulias for state treasurer despite reports about loans Giannoulias’ family-owned Broadway Bank made to crime figures. Records show Giannoulias and his family had given more than $10,000 to Obama’s campaign, which banked at Broadway.” [snip]

Obama supported the re-election of Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose administration is embroiled in corruption probes.”

“And during the race for Cook County Board president, Obama predictably endorsed Todd Stroger over a Republican. But he was criticized for calling Stroger “a good progressive” despite allegations of job-rigging to favor members of Stroger’s 8th Ward organization.”

The long history of Stroger’s corruptions (let’s not forget daddy Stroger’s problems) have been appropriately called “serial dishonesty” and a “web of lies”. Just the type of character Obama likes.

“That serial dishonesty invited still more public distrust after Todd Stroger took office. Many citizens watched him cut health workers — but not enough of the patronage hacks in his administration — while larding the county payroll with even more of his friends and family members.

It’s too soon to say with certainty that Todd Stroger will go down as an amateurish one-termer. But his choice of secrecy over candor reminds voters that … it’s all about him, not them.”

“Amateurish one-termer” and “it’s all about him, not them.” sounds like Obama. Birds of a feather, roost with chickens together.

Of course there’s that pesky suicide found floating in Lake Michigan, but he has been long buried and forgotten in Obama’s Chicago.

“CHICAGO – Orlando Jones, the godson of former Cook County Board President John Stroger and an insider in county politics, has been found dead on a Michigan beach from what authorities say is a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The Cook County political insider was found Wednesday night, just as a corruption inquiry targeting him was heating up.

Police found the body of Orlando Jones on a beach in Union Pier, Mich. As CBS 2’s Rafael Romo reports, Jones had close ties to the Stroger family. [snip]

Jones rose to the level of chief of staff for former president John Stroger, who was his godfather. [snip]

Jones left his position in county government to create a lobbying firm in association with Tony Rezko, who has been indicted on fraud charges.

Recent reports from Las Vegas also claim that he was the target of a federal investigation stemming from a hospital deal that he negotiated.

How could anyone be suspicious of Obama with friends like these? Each one of them is a reliable character witness for Barack Obama. What a character Obama is!

There is no one to cheer for in Chicago.

“In the last 48 hours a growing majority of the people I have talked to; almost all of whom are regular primary election votrs, are throwing up their hands in disgust with both parties and are planning on staying home.

People have become disillusioned by their government, and disheartened by the pre-election polls, which continue to suggest a level of ongoing insanity within both parties.

This leads them to believe that they have no voice, and that their vote does not matter in the intramural contests because the game is rigged by entrenched partisan leadership interests, that won’t support no one that nobody sent.

The voters are angry and upset allright, but the sense that I am getting from Demcrats and Republicans alike is that the one thing that they are yearning for most, is a credible; independent third party option, for every office, at every level of government. They are looking for an alternative, and in the absence of that option are choosing “none of the above” by simply staying home.”

As David Yepsen says, “People are unhappy with the way things are.”

“Never ending ethics scandals and the near insolvency of the state government burst the bubble of any post Obama euphoria months ago. On Saturday, Chicagoans awoke to these stories: a suburban mayor sentenced for bribery; a Chicago alderman taking a bribery plea deal, and a former alderman learning he may face prison time for a real estate kickback scheme.

Illinois Democrats are splintered and frazzled in the wake of the impeachment of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who will be tried this summer on federal public corruption charges for, among other items, trying to auction off Obama’s seat. “They’re scared,” Yepsen said.”

Ya think????

We’ve been writing for years that Obama and his wife appear entangled in a complex, yet simple, real estate kickback scheme with a bunch of hospital chicanery tossed in.

We’ve agreed for years with the assessment of the film Joker that Chicago town ““deserves a better class of criminal..”

Chicago citizens and residents of Illinois might take a lesson from the film with the Joker – “it’s not about money… it’s about sending a message.”


103 thoughts on “Chicago’s Dark Night – Giannoulias, Stroger, And The Crown Of Corruption


    The military has started the first steps to get rid of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

    That is good news.

  2. POLITICS: US, Karzai Clash on Unconditional Talks with Taliban

    Analysis by Gareth Porter

    KABUL, Feb 2, 2010 (IPS) – On the surface, it would seem unlikely that Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who presides over a politically feeble government and is highly dependent on the U.S. military presence and economic assistance, would defy the United States on the issue of peace negotiations with the leadership of the Taliban insurgency. But a long-simmering conflict between Karzai and key officials of the Barack Obama administration over that issue came to a head at last week’s London Conference, when the Afghan president refused to heed U.S. signals to back off his proposal to invite the Taliban leaders to participate in a nationwide peace conference.

    The peace negotiations issue is imbedded in a deeper conflict over U.S. war strategy, which has provoked broad anger and increasing suspicions of U.S. motives among Afghans, including Karzai himself. The current source of tension is Karzai’s proposal, first made last November, to invite Taliban leaders – including Mullah Omar – to a national “Loya Jirga” or “Grand Council” meeting aimed at achieving a peace agreement.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responded by pressing Karzai to demand far-reaching concessions from the Taliban in advance of the meeting. Clinton’s conditions on Taliban participation included renunciation of al Qaeda and of violence and acceptance of the Afghan constitution, conditions that would make it impossible for leaders of the insurgency to agree if they are interpreted literally.

    On Nov. 23, Clinton said the United States had “urged caution and real standards that are expected to be met by anyone who is engaged in these conversations, so that whatever process there is can actually further the stability and peace of Afghanistan, not undermine it.”

    Instead, Karzai publicly asked the United States to join in talks with the Taliban. Following the issuance of a statement by Mullah Omar on Nov. 25 that implied the Taliban would negotiate if they did not have to give up their demand for withdrawal of foreign troops, Karzai said there was an “urgent need” for negotiations with the Taliban. In the face of what he knew was U.S. hostility to the idea, Karzai announced on Dec. 3, “Personally, I would definitely talk to Mullah Omar. Whatever it takes to bring peace to Afghanistan I, as Afghan president, will do it.” But he added, “I am also aware that it cannot be done by me alone without the backing of the international community.” That is the phrase Karzai uses to refer to the United States and its NATO allies.

    A few days later, Karzai appeared to give way to U.S. pressure against unconditional talks. He said he wanted to negotiate with Mullah Omar, “provided he renounces violence, provided all connections to al Qaeda and to terrorist networks are cut off and denounced and renounced.” But Karzai announced at the London Conference that he would invite the leadership of the Taliban to a Loya Jirga without specifying that they would have to meet specific conditions in advance of the meeting.

    The Obama administration again reacted with scarcely-disguised disapproval. The State Department spokesman repeated the U.S. line that “anyone who wants to reconcile and play a more constructive role in Afghanistan’s future must accept the constitution, renounce violence and publicly break with extremist groups such as al Qaeda.”

    Clinton pointedly avoided endorsing the invitation and did not use the word “reconciliation”, which is the term in U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine reserved for negotiations with insurgent leaders. Those conditions for participation in negotiations would represent demands for concessions by the Taliban on all key issues before negotiations even begin.


  3. Holy crap, I think I’m going to move back home to Illinois and run for office. This is just mind-bogglingly bad. Maybe do a Walkin’ Lawton kind of campaign. LOL

    It’s like there are people who still believe that Obama could run a thoroughly righteous campaign but then turn around and govern like a total shit. The cognitive dissonance must be disabling.

  4. Clinton: Europe’s reassurer in chief?

    Posted By Josh Rogin Tuesday, February 2, 2010

    As President Obama looks east, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is charged with the mission of ministering to a Europe feeling somewhat neglected by this administration.

    The White House acknowledged Tuesday that Obama will not travel to Madrid for a major conference in May, apparently upsetting his Western European counterparts, who feel increasingly overlooked by a White House mired in so many international crises. But Clinton was in Paris over the weekend, seeking to reassure traditional allies that they still have priority in this administration and continuing the push to mend wounds inflicted during the Bush years.

    “Let me address some questions raised in recent months about the depth of the United States commitment to European security,” Clinton said in a speech Friday at L’École Militaire that got scant coverage in Washington. “Some wonder whether we understand the urgent need to improve security in Europe. Others have voiced concern that the Obama administration is so focused on foreign-policy challenges elsewhere in the world that Europe has receded in our list of priorities…. Well, in fact, European security remains an anchor of U.S. foreign and security policy. A strong Europe is critical to our security and our prosperity.”

    Several European diplomats have told The Cable that they are having trouble getting time and attention from the Obama White House. Although they abhorred the policies of the Bush team, they felt that on a bureaucratic level, the last administration often did a better job of handling day-to-day interactions with their European interlocutors.

    Poor handling of some key issues, such as the announcement of the alteration of missile-defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, have called into question this White House’s acumen in handling key allies, despite their personal affinity for the president himself. But Clinton highlighted U.S.-Europe cooperation on Afghanistan, Iran, and climate change, and referred to the shared values that bind the two powers. Clinton also said that a common mission was to defend the rights of small countries to determine their own destinies, a reference to Russia’s recent moves to re-establish control of countries in its near abroad.

    “We object to any spheres of influence claimed in Europe in which one country seeks to control another’s future,” she said. “Our security depends upon nations being able to choose their own destiny.” But while affirming the U.S. policy to continue expansion of NATO, Clinton argued that Russia was a part of the security architecture in Europe and that its interests lie in participating in, not resisting U.S.-led regional mechanisms.

    “Some have looked at the continent even now and seen Western and Eastern Europe, old and new Europe, NATO and non-NATO Europe, EU and non-EU Europe,” she said, in a clear reference to 2003 remarks by then U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. “The reality is that there are not many Europes; there is only one Europe. And it is a Europe that includes the United States as its partner. And it is a Europe that includes Russia.”

    She did call for reform of the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty, which she noted the Russians have stopped observing. She also called for a strengthening of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which played a key role in mediating the Russia-Georgia war of 2008.

    Specifics on how the U.S. would proceed with contentious European issues were scarce. In a response to an audience question about Russia’s fervent objections to NATO enlargement, Clinton said only, “There are issues regarding Georgia and Ukraine’s aspirations.” She also said “we are serious” about working with Russia on missile defense, but declined to chart out a path for that cooperation.

    The questioners also wanted to know about U.S.-China relations and here, Clinton previewed and defended a long-anticipated meeting between Obama and the Dalai Lama, expected this month.

    “With China, we want the relationship to continue despite the disagreements. So … if we arrange a meeting between our president and the Dalai Lama, that is a difference in perspective, a respect for his religious leadership, and we do not think it should derail the relationship.”

  5. “Mix in the shadow of corruption that hangs over the state and an unemployment rate above the national average and even the political professionals aren’t sure what to expect.”

    The Chicago mob’s cup runneth over.

  6. Poor Sen Reid is in trouble again. He is “taking credit for racial integration in Las Vegas Nevada.”


    One problem: Some local black leaders and historians don’t remember him having had a significant role in that effort and the senator himself made no reference to it in his 2008 memoir.

  7. Admin: superb analysis. Three crooks running for the seat of Obama. He kept it warm for them. The garbage they have been dumping on the taxpayers has been left to rot, and the growing stench can no longer be ignored by voters. The sheer cost of it is staggering. I bet the Polish candidate is right–a forensic audit would show at least $5 billion in waste, which the voters will pay for with tax increases. The threat by some voters to stay home is not the answer. If there is no acceptable candidate then you vote for the lesser of the three evils this time. And the next election you do the same thing. It may take awhile to get to reform but you create the right incentives for constructive change. I love the line: Only in Chicago, the Gotham of corruption does a thief call out a thief, a mobster rob a mob bank.

    Admin: you are absolutely right that we need an independent counsel to sift through the Chicago takeover of Washington. From the Chicago boys this is like Big Casino. During the 1950s the Hoffa brought the mob into the Central States Pension Fund. The res of that fund were then used to grant no interest or low interest loans to the Mafia so they could complete the construction of Las Vegas and realize the dream of Bugsey Siegel who was executed in 1948 because of cost overages in the construction of the original property which was the Flamingo. I have forgotten all the properties that were financed in this manner but two of them were Circus Circus and Aladins. By the way I highly recommend Circus Circus if you are a smoker and cannot afford the price of cigaretts–just stand in the lobby five minutes and you breathe in a whole carton. But at the end of the day, the fund ran out of money and could not pay pensions to retired Teamsters. One of the players in that scheme was a Chicago hood, and a decorated Marine in World War II. He was taken out by the mob in the street in Chicago in 1982 as a warning as a warning. The fund was taken over by the government and former Attorney General William Saxbe was put in charge. He managed to clean it up, but it took years. Think about that model in terms of what is happening now.

    This is why, as you say, it is so important to monitor the moves of the Chicago crew now holed up in the West Wing of the White House. But what we really need to do is scrutinize the Obama budget for all the little piggies ( a term invented by lovable Chuckie Schumer, graft apologist extraordinaire). This budget is a snare and a delusion. It does little to reign in prolifigate spending. At the same time, it reflects a number of unrealistic assumptions such as 3 million new jobs, and a healthy revenues stream from Obama care and Crap and Trade commencing in March. This budget is the fast track to the poor house for millions of Americans. For the Chicago Machine however it is Le Bon Temps Roule.

  8. The other problem with this budget is it imposes taxes and thus burdens small businesses who are the only source of economic growth and sustainable efficient job creation. Without jobs there is no economy. It took Barack a year to realize that becaus he was too busy working the Soros agenda–government takeover of health care, cap and trade, amnesty, stimulus, etc. If you do the research on Soros you will see this is true.

  9. Ani, Nobama: I spoke to the Professor today, and can give you more circumstantial proof. But I think it is best to wait a day to post it, because the message Admin posted today and yesterday really needs to sink in.


    Posted by Erick Erickson (Profile)
    Tuesday, February 2nd at 2:59PM EST

    “Barack Obama refused to help get unemployment down in 2009 by design so he could get credit in the 2010 election year instead.”

    Many of us have been saying it for a while. The White House intended that the stimulus money, which the White House intended to use to save or create jobs, would not really be spent in 2009 as unemployment soared to over 10%.

    On page 9 of Obama’s budget proposal, we find that, in fact, the White House is now admitting this fact. You are still unemployed by government design.

    Barack Obama writes,

    All told, as of the end of November 2009, about 50 percent of Recovery Act funds—or $395 billion—has been either obligated or is providing assistance directly to Americans in the form of tax relief. By design, the bulk of the remaining 50 percent of Recovery Act funds will be deployed in the coming months of 2010 and during the beginning of 2011 to support additional job creation when our economy continues to need a boost. Many of the programs slated to receive additional funding in the near future are those with significant promise of job creation. These include more than $7 billion in broadband expansion, approximately $8 billion in funds to lay the foundation for a high-speed rail network, and continued funding for other transportation projects. All told, the Recovery Act is on track to meet the goal of disbursing 70 percent of its funds in the first 18 months of its life.

    (Budget at p.9)

    So wait? Even after 18 months all the money won’t be spent?

    To put this in perspective, consider what the President said in his State of the Union address:

    One year ago, I took office amid two wars, an economy rocked by severe recession, a financial system on the verge of collapse, and a government deeply in debt. Experts from across the political spectrum warned that if we did not act, we might face a second depression. So we acted – immediately and aggressively. And one year later, the worst of the storm has passed.

    But the devastation remains. One in ten Americans still cannot find work. Many businesses have shuttered. Home values have declined. Small towns and rural communities have been hit especially hard. For those who had already known poverty, life has become that much harder.

    This recession has also compounded the burdens that America’s families have been dealing with for decades – the burden of working harder and longer for less; of being unable to save enough to retire or help kids with college.

    So I know the anxieties that are out there right now. They’re not new. These struggles are the reason I ran for President. . . .

    For these Americans and so many others, change has not come fast enough. Some are frustrated; some are angry. They don’t understand why it seems like bad behavior on Wall Street is rewarded but hard work on Main Street isn’t; or why Washington has been unable or unwilling to solve any of our problems.

    What the hell? This man says last week that “we acted — immediately and aggressively” and this week says “by design, the bulk of the remaining 50 percent of Recovery Act funds will be deployed in the coming months of 2010.”

    That is not immediately and aggressively. He says “one in ten Americans still cannot find work” but also says in his budget, “the Administration moved rapidly to sign into law, just 28 days after taking office, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the Recovery Act) to create and save jobs, as well as transform the economy to compete in the 21st Century.” (Budget at p.
    Obama is trying to have it both ways. He admits his stimulus money is dragging out and that even after 18 months it won’t all be spent. At the same time, he tells the public at the State of the Union that the reasons there is still 10% unemployment is “bad behavior on Wall Street is rewarded but hard work on Main Street isn’t” and “Washington has been unable or unwilling to solve any of our problems.”

    Well, he has the last bit right. Washington was “unwilling to solve” the problems because 2009 was not an election year and 2010 is. The President of the United States refused to help get unemployment down in 2009 by design so he could get credit in the 2010 election year instead.


    Today marks one year since the formal swearing-in ceremony of Hillary Rodham Clinton as Secretary of State. From the earliest Congressional hearings, where she talked of the value of “smart power” and spoke up for women’s health, to last week’s conferences on security in Yemen and relief for Haiti, Hillary has been a powerful advocate for issues and programs important to No Limits: rebuilding America’s alliances through “smart power” to meet the new challenges we face and a human rights agenda for the 21st century.

    We thought this was a good time to celebrate some of the highlights of this historic first year, in Hillary’s own words – and to congratulate her on her leadership.

    Click here to send Hillary a note of congratulations. Use our suggested language or add your own!



    The best way to advance America’s interests in reducing global threats and seizing global opportunities is to design and implement global solutions… We must use what has been called “smart power,” the full range of tools at our disposal – diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal and cultural – picking the right tool or combination of tools for each situation.
    – Addressing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, January 31, 2009


    I have been in African countries where 12 and 13 year old girls are bearing children. I have been in Asian countries where the denial of family planning consigns women to lives of oppression and hardship… We happen to think that family planning is an important part of women’s health and reproductive heath includes access to abortion that I believe should be safe, legal, and rare.

    – Congressional Hearing, April 22, 2009


    We simply cannot solve the global problems confronting us, from a worldwide financial crisis to the risks of climate change to chronic hunger, disease, and poverty that sap the energies and talents of hundreds of millions of people when half the world’s population is left behind. The rights of women – really, of all people – are at the core of these challenges, and human rights will always be central to our foreign policy.

    Read or watch the speech here.

    – 2009 International Women of Courage Awards, March 11, 2009



    We believe that no country benefits more than the United States when there is greater security, democracy, and opportunity in the world. Our economy grows when our allies are strengthened and people thrive. And no country carries a heavier burden when things go badly. Every year, we spend hundreds of billions of dollars dealing with the consequences of war, disease, violent ideologies, and vile dictatorships… I believe if we follow our plans and our principles, we will succeed. We can lead the world in creating a century that we and our children will be proud to own, a century of progress and prosperity for the whole world, but especially for our beloved country.

    – Remarks to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, April 22, 2009


    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got down with local residents of Africa, as part of an 11-day tour of the continent.
    – Kenya, August 9, 2009


    Women and girls in particular have been victimized on an unimaginable scale, as sexual and gender-based violence has become a tactic of war and has reached epidemic proportions. Some 1,100 rapes are reported each month, with an average of 36 women and girls raped every day…
    I came to Goma to send a clear message: The United States condemns these attacks and all those who commit them and abet them. They are crimes against humanity.
    – Op-Ed,, August 21, 2009


    Under the UN Charter, the 15 members of this Council bear primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. Now, satisfying that responsibility includes… the lives and physical security of all people, including the women who comprise half the planet’s population.

    – United Nations Headquarters, September 30, 2009


    And everywhere I go, I will be thinking about how we translate the slogan “No Limits” into opportunities, how we give people the sense that they too, if they will be committed to democracy, if they will care about their neighbor, if they will make investments in their people and their children, they too can have a better life.

    Read or watch the speech here.

    – Washington, D.C., November 6, 2009


    Our human rights agenda for the 21st century is to make human rights a human reality, and the first step is to see human rights in a broad context. …To fulfill their potential, people must be free to choose laws and leaders; to share and access information, to speak, criticize, and debate. They must be free to worship, associate, and to love in the way that they choose. And they must be free to pursue the dignity that comes with self-improvement and self-reliance, to build their minds and their skills, to bring their goods to the marketplace, and participate in the process of innovation.


    Over this past year, we have elevated into our human rights dialogues and our public statements a very clear message about protecting the rights of the LGBT community worldwide. And we are particularly concerned about some of the specific cases that have come to our attention around the world… including legislation in Uganda which would not only criminalize homosexuality but attach the death penalty to it. We have expressed our concerns directly, indirectly, and we will continue to do so. And we view it as a very serious potential violation of human rights.

    – Georgetown, Washington, D.C., December 14, 2009


    We know what the consequences will be for the farmer in Bangladesh or the herder in Africa or the family being battered by hurricanes in Central America. Without that accord, there won’t be the kind of joint global action from all of the major economies we all want to see, and the effects in the developing world could be catastrophic. We know what will happen. Rising seas, lost farmland, drought and so much else.

    Read or watch the speech here.

    – Copenhagen Conference, December 17, 2009


    I’m proud that the State Department is already working in more than 40 countries to help individuals silenced by oppressive governments… We are also supporting the development of new tools that enable citizens to exercise their rights of free expression by circumventing politically motivated censorship. We are providing funds to groups around the world to make sure that those tools get to the people who need them in local languages, and with the training they need to access the Internet safely. … Both the American people and nations that censor the Internet should understand that our government is committed to helping promote Internet freedom.

    Read or watch the speech here.

    – Newseum, Washington D.C., January 21, 2010

    One year: 198,934 miles and 49 countries traveled.


    Smart power, human rights and women’s rights around world – these are our international priorities at No Limits. We’re so proud that Secretary of State Clinton is leading the way in advocating new policies that protect America’s national interest and our values around the world. Let’s tell Hillary how proud we are – send a note by clicking here!

  12. wbboei
    February 2nd, 2010 at 4:01 pm



    This really needs to go viral.

  13. wbboei,

    This really needs to go viral.
    Jan–why don’t you do it. Mrs. Smith is also good at getting this to the right people. It is amazing what Obama says when he wonders off script.

  14. Iran to execute more opposition activists


    Top news: With major opposition protests planned for Feb. 11, Iran plans to execute nine more protesters for the crime of moharebeh, or waging war against god. Activists Arash Rahmanipour and Mohammad-Reza Ali-Zamani were hanged last week. They were arrested before the disputed June 12 presidential elections but their cases became intertwined with those of the “green” protesters arrested over the summer.

    “Nine others will be hanged soon. The nine and the two who were hanged on Thursday, were surely arrested in the recent riots and had links to anti-revolutionary groups,” said senior judicial official Ebrahim Raisi today.

    Senior cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati praised the executions during last Friday’s prayer sermon saying that if the state “shows weakness, we will suffer more. There is no room for Islamic mercy.”

    The opposition has called for mass demonstrations on the anniversary of the founding of the Islamic Republic on Feb. 11. In a statement on his website, opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi said that the Islamic Revolution had failed to achieve most of its goals.

    “Stifling the media, filling the prisons and brutally killing people who peacefully demand their rights in the streets indicate the roots of tyranny and dictatorship remain from the monarchist era,” he said.

  15. What we are finding is that as Obama diminishes our stature as world leader no other country of group of countries is ready willing and able to take our place. The end result is chaos. The Krauhammer speech said it all.

  16. When Hillary ever had an unpaid bill during the campaign, it made the news. Obama still has bills to pay and there is silence from Big Media:

    The city of Springfield still hasn’t been fully repaid for costs associated with hosting then- U.S. Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign stop in the fall of 2008.

    Obama’s presidential campaign was sent a bill for $68,139, and still owes the city $55,457, according to Ernie Slottag, the city’s spokesman.

    The city has been trying — unsuccessfully — to collect payment, Ken Crutcher, the city’s director of office of budget and management told aldermen recently.

    “We’ve spoken to a lot of people and have found a lot of circles,” Crutcher said. … “We’ve been kind of bounced from place to place with respect to that particular event.”

    Attempts to get a comment for this story from the Obama campaign were unsuccessful. The White House referred comments to the Democratic National Committee. A spokesman at the DNC didn’t respond to questions sent via e-mail.

    “Let’s turn them over to a collection agency,” quipped Ward 3 Ald.Frank Kunz.

    His remark prompted laughter from aldermen during a recent budget workshop

    “I’m serious,” he said. “If you guys are serious about going after him, turn them over to a collection agency.”

  17. Second time we quote Limbaugh favorably, but this really is dead on:

    Limbaugh said that he watched Obama deliver his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress last week, but “gave up after 50 minutes.”

    “I heard it all before. There was nothing new in it. The only difference was the tone,” Limbaugh said, belittling Obama “a young inexperienced guy, who is just mad.

    This is the first time in his life there is not a professor who can turn his C into an A, or to write the law review article for him he can’t write. He is totally exposed. There is nobody to make it better,” Limbaugh said.

  18. just a thought for any O opposition that might stop in for a read here…next time they have one of their ‘public sessions’ with O, they need to actually verbally quote him – word for word – on any issues, plans or political attacks he has made…(he always tries to make it seem he is above the partisan attacks when he lobs them all the time…you cannot let him get away with that…need to be much better prepared at his game)

    …I think the repubs scored points in that last session on Friday in that they forced O to go ‘on the record’ admitting that the repubs had submitted ideas and O is now on record stating that “he took the best of their ideas” and has read their plans (what else is new…he takes their best ideas while saying they are party of no ideas)

    …but O was able to sidetrack many of the things he has said and done by his usual DEFLECTION and avoidance of answering a direct question…the only way any opposition can get around that with O is to quote him word for word and then make him squirm out of what he meant (he will probably try the ‘out of context’ bit, so have your context ready) any opposition cannot allow O to sidetrack them…stay on point and forget the joking around…

  19. Capital Fax, has links to watch the Illinois election results:

    * NBC5 starts its extended coverage at 9 o’clock. You can watch it here. Click that link for its six o’clock broadcast as well. The embed was causing problems for some people, so I took it down. I’ve also readjusted this post and I’ll be adding more in a bit, including links to results. Be patient, please.
    * ABC7 isn’t streaming yet, but its page is here.

    * CBS2’s coverage begins at 10 tonight. Click Here to watch. [Fixed link.]
    * Fox Chicago’s election page is here.
    * CLTV’s coverage starts at 7 o’clock. and then it moves to WGN. Click for the page

    * The SJ-R will be live-blogging election results.
    * Illinois Statehouse News will have all the acceptance and concession speeches on its site. Click here.
    * Sun-Times election page.
    * Tribune election coverage.

    * Cook County, Chicago and suburban election pages.
    …Adding… Results links…

    * Sun-Times
    * ABC7
    * CBS2

    * NBC5

  20. admin
    February 2nd, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    When Hillary ever had an unpaid bill during the campaign, it made the news. Obama still has bills to pay and there is silence from Big Media:


    Hey admin, nice job of digging up that one, exposing Obama hubris and media double-standards. “Hillary still owes Buffalo NY $10.34, and this DEBT is two years old”.

    I liked the Limbaugh explanation too.

    fuck POTUS, he’s a POS.

  21. Who’ll be next after Hillary Clinton?

    Preeti Aroon
    Wednesday, February 3, 2010

    As you all probably know, Secretary Clinton recently answered, “No, I really can’t,” when asked by PBS’s Tavis Smiley Reports whether she’ll serve a second term as U.S. secretary of state. In life after being America’s top diplomat, Clinton said she’d like to read, write, and maybe even teach. Of course, she said she’ll always remain a steadfast advocate for women and girls.

    So, if Clinton won’t be secretary of state from 2013 through 2016, and if Obama is re-elected for a second term, then who’ll be the next secretary of state? Well, FP’s The Cable compiled a shortlist that includes:

    •Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)

    •Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.)

    •James Steinberg, U.S. deputy secretary of state

    •Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

    •Richard Holbrooke, special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan (and a former managing editor of FP!)

    •George Mitchell, special envoy for Middle East peace

    •Chuck Hagel, former U.S. Republican senator, now chairman of the Atlantic Council

    •Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command

  22. According to the latest returns:

    Todd Stroger will probably lose to Preckwinkle.
    Giannoulias will probably win the D senate nomination.
    Kirk will probably win the R senate nomination.
    Quinn leads over Hynes for D governor nomination.
    McKenna leads Andzejewski for R governor nomination.

    Chicago votes against change. Dimocrats buy a bunch of trouble.

  23. The governors race for both the Ds and Rs is tightening up in Illinois. The election is like watching the big show of tonight on TV – “Lost”. 🙂

  24. Admin@2010: “Chicago votes against change. DIMOCRATS BUY A BUNCH OF TROUBLE” (emphasis added)

    Here is what the Republicans are saying about this:


    1. Posted by Moe Lane (Profile)

    [8:46 PM]: OK, with 11% in it looks good for Kirk, Quinn and Giannoulias both appear to be edging this out. EXCELLENT NEWS FROM A REPUBLICAN STANDPOINT–PARTICULARLY THE LATTER. (emphasis added)

    2. Comment

    The “Big Tent” analogy isn’t the correct one…the correct one is a MAGNET…we need to be a MAGNET that draws these independents in who are sick and tired of what’s going on in Washington—Fred Thompson (Note: same with Illinois)

    3. Comment

    Kirk wins, and knocks at G’s horrible bank dealings. (snip)

    Kirk looks like he will win, if its the case, solidify around him, begrudgingly, and lets up our pickups from 7 to 8 this year. Every additional competitive Senate race edges us closer and closer to 51 seats in the Senate.

    4. Comment

    Kirk is well positioned to pull liberal votes in a clear-cut R year.

    He can be the Scott Brown of Illinois if we work hard.

    5. Comment

    Mark Kirk fits the blue state and will be far and above better that the Dems running, if not just a vote to organize the Senate. Its not like this is SC or UT, this is freaking IL and we got a good chance at Obama’s Senate seat.

  25. Sorry if this is a repost:

    One famous face was absent at the State of the Union address to Congress last week – and it wasn’t the designated cabinet member who always stays away from the Capitol building in Washington on these occasions, to provide continuity of government in case al-Qa’ida pulls off the big one. The missing person was Hillary Clinton, and the silly chatter predictably started.


    Many voters heading to polling places in Chicago say they aren’t happy. And it’s not because of the foul weather.

    A steady snow didn’t stop 62-year-old salesman John Rogers from voting downtown Tuesday. But the Democrat wasn’t happy with the candidates. He says he doesn’t trust anyone running and that it’s a matter of voting for lesser evils.

    Another Democratic voter, 58-year-old Rich Hammer, says he isn’t excited about either of the Democratic gubernatorial candidates, Gov. Pat Quinn or Comptroller Dan Hynes.

    But the unemployed Chicagoan says he cast his vote for Hynes because of Quinn’s role as lieutenant governor when disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich was in power. He says Quinn’s role was innocent but that the association still turned him off.

  27. NYTimes, yesterday, before the vote:

    Alexi Giannoulias would be nothing in Illinois politics if not for Broadway Bank. Now the near-failure of that family-owned bank is threatening to make him a political non-entity again.

    Broadway Bank is the source of the wealth that has made him a viable candidate. It also provides his main claim to professional expertise, the ability to write loans and tally a balance sheet. But now the precipitous implosion of the bank’s finances — punctuated last week by an agreement with regulators that the bank must raise more capital or else — is a potentially serious blow to Mr. Giannoulias’s viability in the race for the United States Senate seat once held by President Obama.

    Mr. Giannoulias, 33, has ducked all but the most general questions about which loans he approved that might have contributed to the bank’s trouble. He said there would be time later to get into such details.

    I interpret that to mean: “I hope I can get this past my fellow Democrats. I’ll worry about my Republican opponent later.”

    Though he would not talk to the Chicago News Cooperative, in public statements Mr. Giannoulias has noted that four years have passed since he left the bank. In a statement, the bank said only 9 percent of the $242 million in nonperforming assets currently on its books originated under Mr. Giannoulias.

    But here is an inconvenient fact about bank failures: They do not happen overnight. A dollop of reckless lending here, a dash of destabilizing hot money there, hide a few troubles over there. Let that simmer for a while and, voila!, an insolvency soufflé.

    After law school, Mr. Giannoulias went to work full-time at the bank in 2002. He quickly became a senior loan officer and then a vice president. Whether merely by coincidence, or because of the ambition and aggressiveness of its well-pedigreed new junior executive, the bank’s profile changed sharply between then and when Mr. Giannoulias resigned after winning the race for state treasurer in November 2006.

    According to a review of the bank’s annual filings with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from 2001 through Sept. 30, 2009, the bank plunged into the sort of lending that has caused bank crises across the country: construction and development loans. Mr. Giannoulias’s lending department sharply increased the construction and development portfolio to $356 million by 2006, six times the level it had been before he went to work there.

    In 2006, the bank set aside $2.2 million as a provision against loan losses, a safety measure that federal regulators require banks to take. Despite its large increase in risky loans, Broadway only doubled its bad-loan reserve in the time Mr. Giannoulias was there. A bank spokesman said he had been only lightly involved during that period.

    Construction-related lending jumped to more than triple the bank’s required regulatory capital during this period, and the loans started to go bad. By the time Mr. Giannoulias departed, Broadway was left with nearly $14 million in real estate on its books, more than 10 times the level when he arrived. Foreclosures take time, though — often about 18 months. And within two years of Mr. Giannoulias’s departure, the bank was left holding $38 million in real estate.

    The move into real estate coincided with a headlong push into brokered deposits. This is quintessential hot money — large amounts that jump from bank to bank, each bank offering the lure of high interest , which the banks then must fund by making ever-riskier loans.

    During Mr. Giannoulias’s time at the bank, brokered deposits catapulted fourfold, to $640 million. The typical bank at this point was growing brokered deposits at about 9 percent a year. Mr. Giannoulias’s bank was increasing its load by as much as 48 percent in a single year. Broadway Bank’s brokered deposits reached 80 percent of total deposits in 2006.

    No one knows for certain how big a role Mr. Giannoulias played in these decisions. As Broadway’s top lending officer, he must have influenced the move into construction lending. As a connected family member, he was probably present during discussions of the hot-money play. Certainly, he took part in the family’s decision to take out some $70 million in dividends from the bank in 2007 and 2008, even as it careened toward a consent decree with the F.D.I.C.

    Mr. Giannoulias told reporters that a time would come when he could answer questions about what happened at his family’s bank. Here is hoping there is plenty of time, because questions keep mounting faster than the troubles at Broadway Bank.

  28. Obama has an Epiphany, and is no longer infatuated with OO.

    However, she still give him a B-, says it is like all relationship you settle into, and the very last sentence says, at least she was not the Eduward’s girl.

    I guess it all means, she drinks the Kool Aid a little less. Those people you put on pedestals, usually have feet of clay, and fall off. Better to elect someone you know not to be perfect, who has some sort of experience and record on tough issues, and the one they have is not full of refusing to vote. (He is practicing that right now. He initiates nothing, so in re-election he can say that he had to pass what Congress gave him, it was not his fault).

    As ALL the major networks will tell you, HRC is not perfect.

    If you still like the candadate regardless of their imperfections, you might very well have someone that will continue to be the right person after you elected them.

  29. Puma-SF
    February 3rd, 2010 at 2:09 am

    Thanks, Puma-SF for posting this article from the Independent regarding Hillary’s absence from the SOTU address. This is the type article I like reading that projects the right aura around Hillary’s future plans.

  30. NewMexicoFan:

    I’m finally starting to feel like my old self again.. I’m able to navigate our 13 step stairway to the upper level without feeling my legs are going to collapse under me. It was pretty scary there for a while. Five days bedridden resulting in complete debilitation is hard to believe can happen after such a short stay in bed and needing help on day (6) to stand up and pivot to a chair. Scary indeed.

    I may not have been posting as usual, but I appreciate all the work done by Big Pinkers posting the latest and most important news and commentary about our heroine, Hillary and all that is going on with the elections and foreign policy news. I hope to add my small contributions to the always informative, heady, topics posted by admin.

    (I will add my opinion about EE soon when I find I have a spare moment to waste on that piece of grizzle..)grrrrh!


    I think last night’s Illinois primary results indicate some difficulties ahead in the state for Democrats that have nothing to do with who the winners and losers were.

    Based on the current numbers 885,268 voters were cast in the Democratic primary for Senate compared to 736,137 on the Republican side. Those numbers are awfully close to each other for a state that’s overwhelmingly Democratic.

    For sake of comparison the last time there were competitive Senate primaries on both sides in Illinois, in 2004 when Barack Obama was nominated, there were nearly twice as many votes cast in the Democratic primary as the Republican one. 1,242,996 voted in the Democratic race to 661, 804 for the Republicans.

    Last night’s turnout is yet another data point on the enthusiasm gap, showing that Republicans are much more excited about this year’s elections than Democrats, even in a deep blue state. We’ll have more analysis on last night’s results later today.

  32. Posted by Brian Darling (Profile)
    Wednesday, February 3rd at 4:00AM EST
    Frank Luntz has created a firestorm with the release of a document “The Language of Financial Reform” where he outlines messaging points about the financial reform ideas pending before Congress. The left is in a fury over this memo, yet the memo seems to correctly allege that the financial reform measures pending before Congress contain a permanent bailout authority and fund for the federal government. A source in the Senate tell me that allegations of a permanent bailout fund in both the House and Senate versions of the legislation are “largely correct.”

    Sam Stein of the Huffington Post writes:

    In a 17-page memo titled, “The Language of Financial Reform,” Luntz urged opponents of reform to frame the final product as filled with bank bailouts, lobbyist loopholes, and additional layers of complicated government bureaucracy.

    The American people, and Tea Party participants in particular, are mad about politicians bailing out Wall Street, AIG (in addition to a potential coverup of information relating to that bailout), car companies and using TARP monies as a means to set up a permanent authority for the federal government to engage in crony captitalism. If Luntz’s allegations are true, then he should be lauded by those who believe that the last thing the federal government should do is establish a permanent authority for the federal government to bail out failing firms. Critics of Luntz are having a hard time arguing that the legislation pending before Congress does not set up a mechanism for the federal government to bailout and sieze institutions that they deem to be threats to the economy.

    Elite politicians ignored the American people and are still trying to pass ObamaCare. They are not listening to the American people and these elites are contemptuous of those who distrust the federal government as CEO of Wall Street firms. The American people need to look critically at the Luntz memo to see if he is correct and if it is true that this legislation is granting the federal government the right to bailout and take over banks and other financial institutions with no input from the average American. I wrote a piece for the web site Big Government where I argued that Congress was creating a Big Brother for Wall Street on November 14, 2009 based on a Senate discussion draft of the financial reform bill. That draft contained langauge that resembled permanent bailout authority for the federal government.

    The discussion draft “prevents excessively large or complex financial institutions from bringing down the economy” by “creating a safe way to shut them down.” They create a “Agency for Financial Stability” to be government entity to replace the free market forces. If these banks fail, they will avoid a bankruptcy proceeding, like any other business, and their creditors and trading partners will be bailed out by the federal government. If you liked the Bailout of Wall Street, then you will love this legislation because it makes permanent a mechanism to place these private entities into a federal receivership (government control) then bail out the people doing business with them under the promise of the cost “ultimately be charged to financial firms.” A senior Senate staffer on financial service issues tells Big Government that this provision “treats financial companies different from everybody else – everybody else has to go to bankruptcy.”

    On December 11, 2009, the House passed Congressman Barney Frank’s (D-MA) bill (H.R. 4173) on a 223-202 vote. The 1705 page bill has language in Section 1109 titled “Emergency Financial Stabilization.” The below langauge that has passed the House enables a “Financial Services Oversight Council,” after certification by the Secretary of Treasury and the President, to create a widely available bailout out program.

    (a) IN GENERAL.—Upon the written determination of the Council that a liquidity event exists that could destabilize the financial system (which determination shall be made upon a vote of not less than two-thirds of the members of the Council then serving) and with the written consent of the Secretary of the Treasury (after certification by the President that an emergency exists), the Corporation may create a widely-available program designed to avoid or mitigate adverse effects on systemic economic conditions or financial stability by guaranteeing obligations of solvent insured depository institutions or solvent depository institution holding companies (including any affiliates thereof), if necessary to prevent systemic financial instability during times of severe economic distress, except that a guarantee of obligations under this section may not include provision of equity in any form.

    Luntz makes the claim that the bill contains a permanent bailout fund for Wall Street. The above language seems to validate that concern. He further argues that the taxpayers may be on the hook for $4 trillion in bailout liabilities. Remember that President George W. Bush’s bailout, on paper, was a mere $700 billion, yet this legislation may put taxpayers on the hook for $4 trillion. That number is more that President Obama’s whole budget for Fiscal Year 2011 submitted to Congress this week.

    Supporters of the new bailout authority may want to investigate Luntz’s claims to see if the taxpayers are truly on the hook for more bailout monies. These supporters should be able to justify $4 trillion in new authority and how the federal government can protect the taxpayer from government officials bailing out friends and former employers. I can’t imagine that the American people will be happy that this Congress and the Obama Administration are standing on the shoulders of Bush Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to create a permanent authority for bailouts. Senator John Thune (R-SD) has been pushing legislation to end the Troubled Assets Relief Program at a time when others in Congress want to make bailouts permanent.

    According to Luntz 71% of Americans are less likely to vote for politicians who support bailouts. According to David Reilly of Bloomberg, the financial regulatory bill contains many objectionable items including the $4 trillion in new bailout authority. Frank Luntz may be working at the behest of paying clients, yet none of his detractors can refute the claim the different versions of this legislation, at the core, sets up a permanent bailout fund for financial firms at a time when unemployment is at 10% and the American taxpayer does not feel like the federal government should be using tax dollars to protect bad decision making on Wall Street.

  33. Last night’s turnout is yet another data point on the enthusiasm gap, showing that Republicans are much more excited about this year’s elections than Democrats, even in a deep blue state. We’ll have more analysis on last night’s results later today.
    This goes to the larger question of whether the Joker himself could muster widespread grass roots enthusiasm for a second run give the fact that he has proven to be such a big bait and switch candidate. I am quite sure there will be your usual ignoranti like the Obama girl and Chris Buckley who will be there with bells on. Likewise there will be paid operatives like his 400 bloggers, and old media with the exception of FOX will follow behind his with their nose up his a… And they will beat the drum of lets hate all republicans even as the memory of George Bush fades from the public memory.

    But I wonder. I talked to a friend last night who considers himself a progressive. He no longer fights me when I tell him Obama is no good. In fact, he believes the bloom is off the rose and The Joker could not galvanize support like he did before when he was an unknown commodity to people who did not bother to study his record. The only thing I am certain of is that Old Media will continue to lie cheat and steal for him. But that no longer matters because people with any intelligence no longer listen to them or their propaganda. It is meaningless tripe.

    They do not have the audience, and they do not have the public trust. When the public sought answers to questions of who is he and what is happening to our country, Old Media treated them like children. They should not be surprised when people ignore them. They ignored and bamboozled the American People when it counted and turnabout is fair play.

  34. Mrs. Smith

    I can tell you are getting fiesty, so I know you are feeling better. I cannot wait until you unload on the Edwards mob.

  35. Funding the Aristocracy: Nancy Pelosi and Taxpayer Joy Rides

    Brion McClanahan
    Wednesday, February 03, 2010

    While serving on the House Appropriations Committee, Nancy Pelosi used the mantra that, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need.” She was being honest, particularly in regard to what she “needed” from the United States taxpayer. Recent reports suggest that as Speaker of the House, Pelosi has racked up millions of taxpayer dollars in travel expenses on military aircraft for not only herself, but also family members unaccompanied by any congressional delegates. These expenses included booze and food for herself and her guests. It seems that many Americans shrug off this type of abuse of taxpayer dollars—the story has been virtually swept under the carpet—but the founding generation warned against this type of activity and at times made living very uncomfortable for members of Congress.

    During the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Roger Sherman of Connecticut observed that he “was not afraid that the legislature would make their own wages too high, but too low, so that men ever so fit could not serve, unless they were, at the same time, rich. He thought the best plan would be, to fix a moderate allowance [and]…moved that five dollars per day be the sum, any further emoluments to be added by the states.” This was the general consensus at the Convention. No one worried that the Congress would appropriate too high of a salary because they all generally understood that the public money should be carefully guarded and frugally spent. In fact, the first Congress appropriated a per diem rate of $6 or roughly $116 current dollars for time in session. If Congress met 200 days a year, that would equal a salary of approximately $23,000 current dollars, a figure that pales in comparison to the $174,000 current members earn for their service. And, Pelosi earns $223,000 for her role as Speaker of the House. Certainly, when the average American earns around $43,000 a year, this figure would exceed the “moderate allowance” Sherman and other members of the Convention conceptualized in 1787.

    Of course, these salaries are in addition to the several “perks” that members of Congress receive at the expense of the American taxpayer. These are well documented, but include health club and limousine services, superior health insurance and pension plans, franking privileges, staff allowances, and payment for fine furnishings and foliage. Travel expenses are typically picked up by the American taxpayer, as in the case of Pelosi’s extravagant trips, and the Air Force is often used as a personal chauffeur service for members of Congress, their families, friends, and staff. How many Americans would love to travel to Europe, China, South America, the Caribbean, or even parts of the United States for free or have a $2 million travel expense account?

    The members of the Constitutional Convention also argued that travel to and from the Congress should be paid at least in part by the States. Salaries in the early federal period rose only slightly, and until 1855, Congressmen were paid per diem. Members of Congress often had to lodge together while in Washington and the living conditions were hardly five-star. They complained incessantly about the weather, poor roads, bad food, and typically lousy atmosphere. Washington was a swamp, and many men thought an unfit place to have a government. Alexander Hamilton, famous as the “big government” member of the founding generation, had a one person staff as Secretary of the Treasury, and worked in Spartan conditions on worn furniture. Congressmen wrote their own speeches, did their own homework, wrote their own bills, and generally tried to avoid being in session as much as possible. The federal government had a limited role to perform and the sooner these men could get home, the better.

    Perhaps that is how Americans wanted it. If Congressmen were too comfortable, their time in session may be more productive, meaning more laws, more taxes, and more regulation. Higher salaries and better “perks” have led to the professional politician, something the founding generation hoped to avoid. Several men in that generation had long careers in public service, but they considered themselves to be planters, businessmen, or soldiers first and foremost. They never “ran” for office and never received substantial compensation for their time in government. Abigail Adams complained that her husband’s “salary” as Vice President could barely pay the bills, and of course when John Adams left Washington in 1801 after being ousted from the executive office, he took the equivalent of a public bus back to Massachusetts.

    No one would argue that members of Congress should receive a “moderate” compensation for their service, but without popular or State checks on Congressional salaries and “perks,” the term “moderate” has been defined by Congressmen themselves. Pelosi’s $2 million joy rides at the expense of the American taxpayer are but one example of abuse, and they are not confined to party affiliation. Congress will never reduce its own salary or substantially reform its “perk” system. Several members of the Constitutional Convention wanted members of Congress to be paid by the States, thus allowing the people of the States to determine salaries and compensation. This was defeated for the simple reason that the Framers worried States would starve the federal legislature and withhold representatives, but perhaps that type of policy should be reconsidered. The States could interpose their sovereignty and refuse to hold elections (and pay for them), or two-thirds of the States could call for a Constitutional Amendment to reduce compensation and change the “perk” system in Washington, but without drastic action by the State legislatures, members of the Congressional aristocracy will continue to be propped up by the American taxpayer with the ultimate result being more legislation and more government intrusion. If members of Congress had a “moderate” salary with fewer perks, they probably wouldn’t have the time or money to fly around the world or hold hearings on everything under the sun. They would return to being the citizen legislators that the founding generation envisioned.

  36. A beautiful article by Pat Racimora at No Quarter and the moral to the story is sublime: Pay attention only to the sound of the violin and you will know what to do.
    Social science research has demonstrated it over and over again, but we let ourselves be bamboozled every time.

    We are so influenced by hype, glitz, cultural biases and tricks, and other gimmicks that lead us to make decisions already predetermined by others. And it’s amazing how well such tactics work when hoodwinkers want to use them against us. Or when we fall victim to our own information-processing vulnerabilities.

    Audiences rate speeches delivered by a man as superior to the exact same speech delivered by a woman. The content of an essay attributed to an individual described as an expert is rated well above that same essay attributed to a college freshman. A high-priced artwork is preferred to that same piece at a bargain price. And judges of wine are influenced by so many factors that the pattern of winners looks almost random.

    Leonard Miodinow’s Wall Street Journal piece titled,
    “A Hint of Hype, A Taste of Illusion” inspired my cartoon. He tells the fascinating story of the winners and losers of wine competitions. Judges vary so significantly that such contests have little meaning. My advice here is to just figure out what you like. Some expert sommelier somewhere will extol your excellent taste in wine.

    So, what does all this mean regarding our ability to pick (and then vote for) competent leaders with strong character?

    We know that getting caught up in spin can be dangerous. Bernie Maddoff’s sweet talk comes to mind. But in this election year we have to be ultra-sensitive lest we be duped again by both the MEDIA and candidates SPINNING MACHINES. We already know what (havoc) a slick campaign can wreak—and we are living it out now at the highest levels.

    It may be difficult to remain oblivious to the dazzling words and the flying mud that we are beginning to experience as November elections heat up. But if one keeps totally focused on candidate’s documented previous EXPERIENCE AND INTEGRITY, it is more difficult to be stupid.

    Finally, it is said that when Issac Stern learned that a Carnegie Hall concert was sold out far in advance, he went out in his old clothes and played his violin on the sidewalk so that his fans who were not lucky enough to get tickets could hear him up close. However, few stopped to notice. So I offer this analogy: “PAY ATTENTION ONLY TO THE SOUND OF THE VIOLIN AND YOU WILL KNOW WHAT TO DO” (Emphasis added)

  37. Reuters Kills Budget Story on WH Complaints
    Pulled story said Obama budget had backdoor tax hikes

    Newser) – Reuters pulled an article suggesting President Obama’s budget blueprint included backdoor tax increases last night after the news agency received complaints from the White House. The Reuters story was “falsely stating that the president’s budget raises taxes for middle-class families, when in fact the opposite is true,” a White House official told Talking Points Memo.

    The article listed changes the author considered tax hikes, such as letting a $250 credit for teachers buying school supplies expire—a claim the White House proved wrong. In rebutting the story, the administration emphasized that the new budget makes the Bush tax cuts permanent for families earning less than $250,000 a year and ups the top rate on dividends for households earning more than $250,000.

  38. Mrs. Smith, here’s hoping you are back to full strength soon.

    As to Edwards, there is a lot to be learned from that phoney. The lessons deserve a full discussion but we have wasted a lot of time on that “grizzle”, as you call it.

    There is a good article by Tom Bevan today (with several good links including a 2007 article on why Edwards is a phoney) which you might want to read:

    Last week Richard Cohen lamented the rise of the “flash candidate.” His column was mostly focused on John Edwards, but included references to Sarah Palin, Scott Brown, and Barack Obama. Cohen concluded:

    We have substituted the camera — fame, celebrity — for both achievement and the studied judgment of colleagues. The political machine, the organization, even the parties themselves are gone, severely atrophied or discredited as (ugh) mainstream. They once served as filters, admission committees, but they have been replaced by a sham familiarity — fame at its most beguiling and dangerous. This was John Edwards. He’s not a scandal. He’s a lesson.

    Ironically, Cohen went the entire column without mentioning the culpability of the media in enabling John Edwards’ meteoric rise and also the media malpractice that let the Democrats come within a whisker of nominating someone whose behavior was so mind-numbingly reckless it would have destroyed their chances of winning the White House.

    Tina Brown gets it:

    The truly shaming revelation here is how—except for the hound dogs of the National Enquirer—the press and the political establishment were duped by a candidate who, even before the Rielle Hunter craziness, was a giant phony. It should be collectively blush-making for the press to remember the newsmagazine covers, the fawning TV sitdowns, the op-ed boostings Edwards garnered in the course of his years as a crowd-pleasing, “Kennedyesque” candidate who supposedly cared for the underdog and coined the “Two Americas” catchphrase. It turns out that the cocoon of John Edwards’ megalomania was a third America all its own.

    As Byron York points out, when it came to the Rielle Hunter mess, the media simply wasn’t interested in telling the story. The excuse is that the ever scrupulous MSM didn’t want to risk its reputation on tabloid fodder carried by the National Enquirer. (Never mind the New York Times printed a front page, anonymously sourced story during the height of the campaign alleging John McCain had an affair with a lobbyist).

    The truth, however, is that it was really a matter of priorities. While big media outlets dispatched dozens of investigative reporters to Alaska within hours of Sarah Palin being announced as McCain’s VP pick, apparently no one could spare a single reporter to go out and verify the easily verifiable blockbuster story about John Edwards.

    Long before Hunter appeared on the scene there were plenty of signs that John Edwards was a complete phony driven more by megalomania than anything else who shouldn’t have been let anywhere near the White House.  The political class, including reporters, were enthralled by Edwards’ populist rhetoric even though they many knew it didn’t come close to matching reality.

    Brad Warthen, a columnist and editorial page editor at The State in South Carolina, recounted his observations of Edwards’ phoniness in February ’07.  And Bob Shrum knew Edwards was a phony for the better part of a decade, but waited until 2007 to reveal some disturbing anecdotes about Edwards, including this one from the ’04 campaign when John Kerry was mulling over his VP options:

    Kerry talked with several potential picks, including Gephardt and Edwards. He was comfortable after his conversations with Gephardt, but even queasier about Edwards after they met. Edwards had told Kerry he was going to share a story with him that he’d never told anyone else—that after his son Wade had been killed, he climbed onto the slab at the funeral home, laid there and hugged his body, and promised that he’d do all he could to make life better for people, to live up to Wade’s ideals of service. Kerry was stunned, not moved, because, as he told me later, Edwards had recounted the same exact story to him, almost in the exact same words, a year or two before—and with the same preface, that he’d never shared the memory with anyone else. Kerry said he found it chilling, and he decided he couldn’t pick Edwards unless he met with him again.

    So Richard Cohen is right, there is a lesson to be learned from the meteoric rise and fall of John Edwards. It’s that the media fell down on the job by not sufficiently scrutinizing Edwards on his way up and then fell down again by ignoring a story that could have done catastrophic damage to the Democratic party and to the country.

  39. The article on why Edwards is a big phony written in 2007 (link below). One of the ways we measure candidates is how they treat waiters and receptionists and the people who take care of them. Bill Clinton is always looking to thank the band, the cooks, the waiters, the secretaries, the elevator guys, – that always informed us about the type of person Bill Clinton is and why he “gets” people.

    The author of the Edwards story clearly understands our type of measurement of a political candidate. Here’s the link:

  40. wbboei
    February 2nd, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Good point. We were sold the $787 billion stimulus bill as necessary, right now, to create, or save, or massage jobs. And even then, many economists were saying it was too small, that it should have been higher. Obama agreed, saying that another round might be needed.

    Yet there still is a pile of money, half of it, behind the couch, for that “rainy day”?

    Yes, it does look like they want to crank up the jobs picture in summer 2010 before the 2010 elections, so Obama won’t have egg on his face, so Dems wouldn’t be screaming, “Why did we nominate this guy who completely squandered our advantages???”

  41. JanH
    February 3rd, 2010 at 11:06 am
    Reuters Kills Budget Story on WH Complaints
    Pulled story said Obama budget had backdoor tax hikes

    News agencies that become state mouthpieces eventually find that no one needs their “dear leader” sunny optimism.

    Especially when people are hurting, they hope that the fourth estate is on their toes and not on the dole.


    …Ghosts of Senators Past

    Rising revolt in Pennsylvania


    ‘I’m running like I’m 20 points behind and I’ll continue to run like I’m 20 points be hind,” says Pat Toomey, the presumptive GOP nominee for Senate in Pennsylvania — who in fact now leads Sen. Arlen Specter 45 percent to 31 percent among likely voters in the latest Frank & Marshall College poll.

    Specter, who switched parties last year for fear of losing a Republican primary to Toomey, still has to finish off a challenger from the left, Rep. Joe Sestak, in the May 18 Democratic primary. Meanwhile, as the nation turns sour on the Obama agenda that Specter has helped enact, Toomey’s been charging up — six months ago, he was down eight points.

    Campaigning across the state, Toomey says he’s hearing time and again that it’s Washington’s “lurch to the left” that “Pennsylvanians don’t like.” The bailouts and ObamaCare are both flashpoints. The effort to pass the “card-check” bill to ease union organizing is a loser for Specter, too, even in this union-friendly state. Above all, Toomey reports, voters are asking the government, Why aren’t you fo cused on the economy?

    Much as with the Massachusetts voters who sent Scott Brown to the Senate, Pennsylvanians are unhappy with one-party rule. “People are looking for balance” and for some serious “fiscal discipline,” Toomey notes.

    And they’re unhappy with President Obama. In February of last year, the F&M poll showed that 55 percent thought Obama was doing a good or excellent job, while 36 percent said he was doing a fair or poor job. In the latest poll, that job-approval rating had essentially reversed: 38 percent view him positively and 61 percent negatively.

    More important, 40 percent say they’re financially worse off than a year ago, versus just 10 percent who say they’re better off. And 49 percent don’t think they’ll be better off a year from now.

    The poll’s director, Terry G. Madonna, tied Obama’s decline to the those numbers: “The data in the poll tells us that people are deeply concerned about their personal finances and about the health of the economy,” he said.

    He’s seconded by former Sen. Rick Santorum — who reached out to Democratic voters through social issues but who agrees that jobs and the economy are key now. “I think Pat Toomey must emphasize jobs first and foremost,” Santorum says.

    Santorum also notes some Toomey advantages: Toomey “was a small business owner, and he understands more than most what makes a business-friendly environment that creates jobs. As a congressman, [Toomey] established a strong record of fiscal discipline and how critical it is to keep taxes low . . . and we can’t forget that Sen. Specter was one of the pivotal votes that allowed the $800 billion stimulus bill to pass.

    “Specter had a chance to put the brakes on this reckless stimulus plan — but rather chose to abdicate that responsibility and be the key vote to move that legislation forward. Pat would be well-served to remind voters as often as possible of his opponent’s very weak record on the economy.”

    But the economy and jobs actually comes in a close second behind health care as the top issue for voters in the F&M poll — which is just fine with Toomey, because he’s been railing against the Democratic approach for months.

    One of his regular lines is a question: “Why is it you can buy car insurance from a little green lizard, but you can’t buy health insurance from a guy in Ohio?” He wants to see health insurers compete across state lines, along with other modest reforms to give people more options than under the current system.

    Toomey still has to get his name-recognition numbers up — but his strength now is the fact that Specter has held the seat for 30 years. The F&M poll reports that six in 10 voters think it’s time for a new senator.

  43. When will the BM admit and acknowledge the spoiler role Edwards played in the Dem primary? Will they start asking questions why there were no questions about him early on and that the voters had to rely on an “unreliable” source like the NE for the truth. What role did Obama play in all of this?

  44. From what I saw in the primary, it was not solely the fact that the system that was dysfunctional in each and every way noted by Peter Kahn in his 1992 message to Wall Street Journal Readers, which provides the right diagnosis. It is the larger fact that the media people themselves at NBC, CNN, MSNBC and ABC are corrupt people. Corrupt in the sense that they knowingly censor relevant information and engage in the lowest forms of character assassination. Obviously, they do not consider themselves to be corrupt but if they have any conscience then they know what they are. This is no longer a personal thing with me–those fires have cooled. It is a studied opinion and observation. Whatever else they may or may not be, the people working for cnn, nbc, msnbc, and cnn are corrupt people. The leaders and the rank and file. That is not just my opinion however. My opinion counts for nothing. It is the opinion of millions of Americans who have voted with their feet.


    It’s always time for another distraction, replete with populist rantings.

    Obama takes another dig at Las Vegas
    By Jordan Fabian – 02/02/10 02:32 PM ET
    President Barack Obama took another dig at Las Vegas at his New Hampshire town hall Tuesday after similar remarks got him into hot water last year.

    Obama said that people should not “blow a bunch of cash in Vegas” during a tough recession. Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman called for Obama to apologize after he made comparable comments last February.

    “When times are tough, you tighten your belts,” he said at the forum.” You don’t go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don’t blow a bunch of cash in Vegas when you’re trying to save for college.”

    The president targeted Las Vegas last Feburary at a town hall in Elkhart, Ind. when he was asked about corporate responsibility.

    “You can’t get corporate jets. You can’t go take that trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers’ dime,” he said.

    Goodman fired back, saying “That’s outrageous. He owes us an apology. He owes us a retraction.”

    The mayor later withdrew his apology demand but remained unhappy about the comment.

    Obama will also travel to Nevada this month to campaign for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D), who hails from the Silver State.

    Goodman last year said that Las Vegas, which plays host to many business conferences and conventions, had suffered under the recession like many other areas of the country.

    “There’s no question that we’re feeling the impact of it today, and as far as living in Las Vegas, this has a debilitating effect on our economy,” Goodman said.

    “We can promote what we’re famous for, but it has nothing at all to do with the fact that you can have a serious meeting here in Las Vegas,” he added.

    White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs later clarified that Obama meant to target banks and other firms that received federal bailout funds. Gibbs said that the president believes in a strong tourism industry.

  46. from the above:

    “Obama will also travel to Nevada this month to campaign for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D), who hails from the Silver State.”

    On that note, Charlie Cook moved Reid’s status from “vulnerable” to “doomed”.

    Nothing like the promise of an Obama visit to support a candidate can sink a candidate so fast.

    Betcha when Obama shows up, Harry will be in Haiti delivering canned goods to homeless victims.


    GOP finds loophole in reconciliation ploy

    By Alexander Bolton – 02/03/10 06:00 AM ET

    As it turns out, Senate Democrats may not be able to force healthcare legislation through the chamber on a simple majority vote.

    Republicans say they have found a loophole in the budget reconciliation process that could allow them to offer an indefinite number of amendments.

    Though it has never been done, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) says he’s prepared to test the Senate’s stamina to block the Democrats from using the process to expedite changes to the healthcare bill.

    Experts on Senate procedural rules, from both parties, note that such a filibuster is possible. While reconciliation rules limit debate to 20 hours, senators lack similiarconstraints on amendments and could conceivably continue offering them until 60 members agree to cut the process off.

    Another option for Democrats would be to seek a ruling by the parliamentarian that Republicans are simply filing amendments to stall the process. But such a ruling could taint the final healthcare vote and backfire for Democrats in November.

    Or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) could use a tactic similar to the so-called nuclear option to quash the GOP tactics.

    If those options failed, and Reid couldn’t convince a single Republican to vote with his 59-member conference, Democrats might be forced to consider withdrawing the healthcare bill.

    A Democratic leadership aide confirmed to The Hill that the options outlined in this articlee are correct.

    House Democrats have said they would not pass the Senate healthcare bill unless changes are made through reconciliation, which is necessary because Republicans control 41 Senate seats, enough to block legislation through the regular process.

    But Republicans may end up having that power even under reconciliation.

    “You could keep offering amendments until you don’t have any more to offer,” said a congressional aide, who said he did not know how long senators would be willing to stay in the chamber to move the reconciliation package. “What the body’s tolerance would be is unknown.”

    A former Senate Republican leadership aide said: “The limit is on debate, not on consideration of amendments.”

    DeMint said he’s ready to try anything.

    “You’ll see Republicans do everything they can to delay and stop this process,” DeMint said. “They need to get the message the track they’re on is the wrong track.”

    Reid spent significant time last year in close study of the Senate rules for fast-tracking healthcare legislation under special budget rules.

    Reid stayed away from the special process of passing healthcare reform with only 51 votes because he knew it would be messy.

    But since Republicans won a Senate seat in Massachusetts, thereby stripping Democrats of a filibuster-proof majority, it appears Democrats will need to invoke those rules to make crucial changes to healthcare legislation.

    DeMint said that using reconciliation rules to pass the House-requested changes to the Senate healthcare bill with only 51 votes is “tyrannical.”

    “I think you’ll see us offering amendments to get us into November, if we can,” said DeMint.

    Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.), the ranking Republican on the Budget Committee, said: “You could continue to offer amendments, I suspect.

    “You can offer an unlimited number of amendments on the budget after time is elapsed so it’s logical that you could also do it on reconciliation,” Gregg said.

    Democrats could try to persuade Republican colleagues to back down and withdraw their amendments after several hours or days of voting. With a unified Democratic conference, Reid would need just one GOP senator to cut off the process.

    The most likely candidate would be Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), who voted with Democrats to advance the Senate Finance Committee bill but has since opposed the healthcare measure on the Senate floor.

    Reid or another Democrat could make a point of order that using amendments to stall a reconciliation bill violates the spirit of the Budget Act of 1974, which sets up for expedited consideration of budget-related bills.

    Reid or another Democrat could argue that offering unlimited amendments violates the spirit of limiting debate.

    The parliamentarian has ruled that the limit on debate does not allow senators to filibuster the motion to proceed to a reconciliation bill. The parliamentarian could rule that the same concept applies to amendments.

    No one really knows, because a lawmaker has never tried to use amendments to filibuster a reconciliation package.

    “We haven’t ever tried it before,” said a congressional aide.

    Parliamentarian Alan Frumin could rule Republican amendments after a certain number out of order. But he could also allow the GOP amendments, since they are not expressly barred.

    If Frumin ruled with Republicans, Reid would be in a difficult position. He could either pull the bill off the floor or he could appeal the ruling of the parliamentarian.

    With a simple majority of 51 votes, Reid could overturn the ruling of the chair and set a Senate precedent that amendments must be limited to within reason. This tactic would be similar to the so-called nuclear option Senate Republicans considered using in 2005 to overrule Democratic filibusters of judicial nominees.

  48. From BP
    Senator Scott Brown Watch
    Lucy Gill

    Where in the hell is Scott Brown? The voters have spoken! Why hasn’t he been sworn in? And why is Kirk still voting? How inthehell is that legal? Kirk became the 60th vote for raising the debt ceiling. Would Brown have voted yea?

    And why is no one mentioning it? I’ve only found one small mention of this fact, even in the blogosphere.

    Time to get grumpy.

    Thomas Lifson adds: Republican senators have got to take a principled stand against extending the debt ceiling. If Senator Brown had been there, the GOP would have had to make good on the threat of no extension.

    But it is time for the charade to end, and stop waiting to officially seat him. Nobody has any doubt Brown was elected, and it is time the voters of Massachusetts had the senator they voted for.

  49. Kerry is such an A*S…we already know.

    Congress sacks White House claims of imminent touchdown on health bill

    By: Susan Ferrechio

    Despite assertions by the White House that Congress remains on the verge of passing health care reform, lawmakers in the House and the Senate have stalled in their efforts to move forward with a bill as they turned their focus to creating jobs.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he would meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to discuss how to proceed with health care, and he said congressional and White House staff have already been collaborating on a new plan.

    But, he warned reporters, “Don’t pin me down as to days or number of weeks” before a new proposal emerges.

    On Sunday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told CNN. “We’re still inside the 5-yard line” on health care, in a pronouncement that caught some lawmakers off guard.

    “I wouldn’t think so from a policy and a cost standpoint and what Americans feel about it,” Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, said of Gibbs’ remark. “That defines a huge gulf between the reality on Main Street and the reality in Washington, D.C.”

    Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said Gibbs’ use of the 5-yard line analogy “is fine,” but senators did not discuss any new health care strategy at their weekly caucus meeting Tuesday afternoon.

    “There was a lot of discussion obviously on jobs and what’s happening with that,” she said.

    In the House, leaders were vague. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., promised to disclose a new plan “as soon as a way forward is clear.”

    Democrats face a logistical and political problem in trying to tackle jobs and health care at once, in part because the health care proposal Democrats favor would raise taxes.

    “The Medicare payroll tax is a good example,” Snowe said, referring to a provision in the Democratic health care bill that would raise the payroll tax on those with higher incomes. “You can’t say on the one hand that everything is OK and we have to work on jobs, then on the other adding to the cost of doing business, because that creates uncertainty.”

    Democratic leaders in the House and Senate still insist a health care reform bill will pass this year, but even the Senate’s more liberal members seem more uncertain of the outcome.

    “I hope so,” said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., when asked if he thought health care passage was possible this year.

    Kerry said he believed the “best path forward” was for the House to pass the Senate health care plan, after which some changes could be made to the bill in the form of new legislation that the Senate could pass with just 51 votes through a process known as reconciliation.

    “I don’t know if that is achievable,” Kerry conceded. “I guess I feel the imperatives of doing nothing are very powerful and therefore I’m hopeful that in the end, common sense is going to win out. But I don’t want to put odds on it. This is Washington.”


    Obama comes up with yet another moon shot landing goal.

    Note that again, good intentions, followed by lots of people pointing out that 500 pound “thing” in the corner, REALITY.

    Obama Sets Ambitious Export Goal

    Published: January 28, 2010

    WASHINGTON — In promising Wednesday night to double the United States’ export growth over the next five years, President Obama set an ambitious goal for American trade policy that, he said, could create two million jobs.

    The trouble, trade experts say, is that meeting that goal would require the president to engage in a fight to the death with the liberal wing of his own party, persuade China to allow its currency to appreciate 40 percent, get global economic growth to outperform the salad days from 2003 to 2007, and lower taxes for American companies that do business abroad.

    And, while he is at it, forget about strengthening the dollar in the foreseeable future.

    Since the Obama administration has not yet clearly articulated a trade policy or even sent several completed trade agreements to Congress, his pledge to double exports in five years was greeted with incredulity, even among Democratic trade policy experts.

    “It’s like someone dropped a paragraph from a Bush or a Clinton speech, given the low profile the administration has accorded trade so far,” said David Rothkopf, a former Commerce Department official with the Clinton administration.

    Leslie H. Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, added: “How will he perform this miracle? It really is a mystery.”

    So far, administration officials have not laid out how they plan to double American exports to $2 trillion in 2015, from $1 trillion today. Mr. Obama said he was starting a National Export Initiative that will “help farmers and small businesses increase their exports,” but did not elaborate. White House officials, when pressed, said only that the commerce secretary, Gary F. Locke, would give a speech on the matter next week.

    Separately, on Thursday, Mr. Locke announced that, as part of a plan to reduce export burdens on American companies, the United States might remove restrictions on exports of goods with potential military applications when such technologies were available worldwide.

    “We have too many controls on items readily available around the world,” Mr. Locke told the United States-China Business Council.

    Export control rules are meant to keep dual-use technologies like computer encryption software and airplane parts out of the hands of American foes that could use them for military purposes.

    A White House spokeswoman, Jennifer R. Psaki, said on Thursday that the White House had been working for several months on a policy to increase exports. She said the plans included the creation of an export promotion cabinet and steps to help small and medium-size businesses tap markets in other countries.

    In the last months, two of Mr. Obama’s top aides, Lawrence H. Summers, the White House economics adviser, and Michael Froman, the deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs, have reached out to trade experts at Washington-based policy organizations to ask them for advice on increasing export growth.

    Gary C. Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said many economists believed that, to increase exports, one of the first things that Mr. Obama needed to do was to stop slamming big American companies that invested overseas.

    “The fact of the matter is these are the firms that account for two-thirds of American exports,” Mr. Hufbauer said. “Their investments abroad are intimately related to their exports. The notion that you can punish U.S. firms for investing abroad and still see exports rise is bunk.”

    But Wednesday night in his State of the Union address, Mr. Obama took another whack at those businesses, saying, “It’s time to finally slash the tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas and give those tax breaks to companies that create jobs in the United States of America.”

    Mr. Obama does receive some credit from free-trade proponents for resisting, so far, the temptation to ignite a trade war or enact a lot of protectionist policies, often the first move of presidents during an economic downturn. While the administration imposed punitive tariffs last year against Chinese tires and steel pipes, Mr. Obama has not taken tougher steps — like trade sanctions — against imports from China or India.

    And on Wednesday he reiterated his pledge to push through stalled trade agreements with Korea, Panama and Colombia, which would open the markets of those countries to American goods. But that would ignite a fight from Democrats from big manufacturing states who say the agreements would usher in a flood of imports at the expense of American jobs. Fearing that reaction, White House officials have yet to move forward on seeking Congressional approval of the trade deals.

    In developing trade policy, Mr. Obama faces the same challenges at home as he does abroad: his most important allies are also his biggest rivals or adversaries. Most economists say they believe that the only way for Mr. Obama to achieve his ambitious export goals is to export more to China, India and other big emerging markets.

    But those were the very same countries that Mr. Obama cited Wednesday night as America’s principal competition in many areas, including developing green energy and producing educated workers.

    “China’s not waiting to revamp its economy,” he said, knocking down a rhetorical straw man he had just set up about how “Washington has been telling us to wait for decades, even as the problems have grown worse.”

    At home, Mr. Obama will need the support of his own party to get trade deals passed. Yet, Mr. Rothkopf, the former Clinton administration official, said, “His own party is also the home of the most virulent opposition to such deals.”

  51. We already know neither party has the best interest’s of the American people @ heart, so the Repubs must be making back room deals or Brown would be seated. His not being @ the SOTU was probably part of it. I don’t know that he could be with out being seated.

    I have a request. No more comments on Obama Girl. Talk about your 15 minutes! If anything, it, sorry, she, represented to me everything that was wrong with the Fraud and the media’s march to put him in office.

  52. When will the BM admit and acknowledge the spoiler role Edwards played in the Dem primary? Will they start asking questions why there were no questions about him early on and that the voters had to rely on an “unreliable” source like the NE for the truth. What role did Obama play in all of this?
    No. They have no capacity to be introspective. Prior generations of news people were capable of this. But not this generation. They see themselves not as reporters of the news but as celebrities. Their work product reflects that bias and cannot be trusted.

    Think back to the four day orgey following the death of Russert. Four days of hubris and self adulation. The story was all about them.

    Fortunately, there are a few who have integrity, are not seduced by power and speak the truth so all may hear it. Krauthammer is the shining example. But they are rare in this environment.

    Given all that, the posting above by Pat Racimora takes on even greater significance. We must discount what they say and evalutate the character and expererience of candidates. The problem of course is that is much harder than sitting in an easy chair and letting some biased talking head tell us what to think.

    The one silver lining in the dark cloud Obama economic plan is that millions of Americans will now have the time to analyze the bias they are being fed and search for the truth because they will be permanently unemployed. But if you weight the equities you must conclude that is not a good thing, or a desirable state.

  53. JanH
    February 2nd, 2010 at 12:17 pm
    I guess there aren’t any serious problems to keep bambi at home…

    Barack Obama to travel to Indonesia with family
    US President Barack Obama and his family will retrace his childhood steps, travelling to Indonesia next month in a nostalgic return to the country where he lived with his late mother and Indonesian stepfather in the 1960s.

    Probably to beg to not have his “Little Barry” statue torn down.

  54. WASHINGTON — In promising Wednesday night to double the United States’ export growth over the next five years, President Obama set an ambitious goal for American trade policy that, he said, could create two million jobs.
    Haaah Haaah Haah Haaah etc.

    I believe it was the French President who told the boob we live in the real world not a virual one.

    Barack: since you have the audacity to challenge me on that point, let me point out that in the text of my prepared and rehearsed and focus grouped remark, I all I said was “could” produce two million jobs. I never said would.

    Me: oh no Messiah. You can say would. The simply need to add the word “virtual” as in virtual jobs, and then you can come across even stronger.

    Barack: great idea. Let me run this suggestion by the west wing, the little groper, the focus groups, Tiny Tim Axelrod, Telebama and see if have consensus and alignment. If so we can feed it to the shills at AP and NYT who will peddle it for us just like they do with the rest of our garbage. The rubes will fall for it.


    “In many ways, his failure of leadership on abortion rights has made things worse.”

    Another supporter who feels LET DOWN.

    And she digs up this to-die-for quote:
    “His failure to stand up for the human rights of women — and to trust us — began to make me wonder about his commitment to those of us who were his core constituents and helped elect him. He’s like the prom date I had last night who can’t remember my name this morning.”


    Obama Can’t Make Eye Contact With Abortion Rights

    President Obama flinches every time support for abortion comes up in policy debates — from the stimulus bill to healthcare reform. How can we be motivated to come out to the polls when we doubt whether our needs are his priority?

    I find myself somewhat depressed by what’s going on in this moment. A year ago, millions of us watched with great hope the inauguration of President Obama. I did not expect him to be a miracle worker, given the overwhelming crises he inherited from George Bush — an economic meltdown, two wars, an out-of-control deficit, and a crisis of faith in our government and public institutions. The Office of the President had lost all credibility as the multiple lies and manipulations of the Bush-Cheney administration brought our country to its knees.

    President Obama had a full-blown mess on his hands. He needed to prioritize saving the economy, ending the wars, combating terrorism, enacting health care reform, and restoring trust in the government before he could get to the main issues I wanted as a reproductive justice activist. I fully understood that we had elected a neo-liberal to beat back a neo-fascist agenda. So his support for Wall Street, for corporations, for moneyed interests — while disappointing — was not surprising. He had to have centrist, pro-business politics to get elected. After all, this is the America I know, love, and criticize.

    What was truly disappointing was the way President Obama flinched every time support for abortion came up in policy debates — from the stimulus bill to healthcare reform. As Sharon Camp from the Guttmacher Institute puts it, “He can’t make eye contact with abortion,” an observation those of us in the reproductive justice movement can’t help but agree with. His failure to stand up for the human rights of women — and to trust us — began to make me wonder about his commitment to those of us who were his core constituents and helped elect him. He’s like the prom date I had last night who can’t remember my name this morning.

    In many ways, his failure of leadership on abortion rights has made things worse. In the healthcare reform debates, we have Democratic politicians increasing restrictions on access to abortion. President Obama openly supported the Hyde Amendment prohibiting the use of federal funds for abortions for poor women, women in the military, and women receiving healthcare from the Indian Health Service. Instead of dismantling Hyde, he’s defending it, while not understanding that a country that can be persuaded that poor women are second class citizens who don’t deserve funding for abortions can morph into a country that believes that all poor people don’t deserve funding for healthcare at all.

    So as I continue SisterSong’s work of building a movement of women of color for reproductive justice, I wonder what the New Year will bring. Will we finally begin to see White House leadership help us save the lives of women of color who desperately need us to stand up for them? Will national political leaders wake up to the reality that poor women and rural women in states like Kentucky suffer most when the federal government compromises on access to reproductive health care? Will President Obama offer policies to substantiate his brilliant rhetoric? Will he support our human rights to have children, or to not have children? To parent our children in safe and healthy environments which are the cornerstones of reproductive justice?

    The tea baggers on the right who loathe his agenda are the least of his problems. The diminishing faith among those in his core base should really worry him. How can we be motivated to come out to the polls when we doubt whether our needs are his priority?

  56. The best part of that video by the mayor of Las Vegas is when he calls Barry “A real slow learner”…ya think?

  57. I am convinced that Rush is reading this blog. He just almost quoted you and your article wbb
    February 2nd, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Posted by Erick Erickson (Profile)
    Tuesday, February 2nd at 2:59PM EST

    “Barack Obama refused to help get unemployment down in 2009 by design so he could get credit in the 2010 election year instead.”

    Many of us have been saying it for a while. The White House intended that the stimulus money, which the White House intended to use to save or create jobs, would not really be spent in 2009 as unemployment soared to over 10%.

    On page 9 of Obama’s budget proposal, we find that, in fact, the White House is now admitting this fact. You are still unemployed by government design.

    Barack Obama writes,

    All told, as of the end of November 2009, about 50 percent of Recovery Act funds—or $395 billion—has been either obligated or is providing assistance directly to Americans in the form of tax relief. By design, the bulk of the remaining 50 percent of Recovery Act funds will be deployed in the coming months of 2010 and during the beginning of 2011 to support additional job creation when our economy continues to need a boost. Many of the programs slated to receive additional funding in the near future are those with significant promise of job creation. These include more than $7 billion in broadband expansion, approximately $8 billion in funds to lay the foundation for a high-speed rail network, and continued funding for other transportation projects. All told, the Recovery Act is on track to meet the goal of disbursing 70 percent of its funds in the first 18 months of its life.

  58. Gonzo: it goes even further than that. He is lacks common sense. Who is he to be lecturing the American People that they must tighten their belt and prioritize and not spend money on things like Las Vegas. Does he live up to that admonition himself? Does he set an example? Does he practice what he preaches? The answer is obvious. He is the virtual president. This experiment by Madison Avenue, and Global elites to create a virtual president who could capture and hold the imagination of the populace will fail because the man is too consumed with his own ego to realize how preposterous this advice is coming from him

  59. Comment from the Uk today.

    Very interesting exchange today between Obama and a highly endangered Democratic incumbent senator, Blanche Lincoln:

    “Lincoln, who faces serious competition in her ‘10 re-elect — and a 27 percent approval rate in Arkansas — practically demanded Obama “push back in our own party… [against] people at the extremes.” She added that “no one in your administration” understands how to make payroll.

    Obama shot back hard, warning Lincoln, gently but firmly, that he had no intention of adopting the previous administration’s policies, cautioning, “I don’t know what would differentiate us from the other guys.” “We should not be spooked,” he added.”

    This is a fascinating glimpse into how Obama thinks; in a nutshell, he rationalizes that any modification in his ideological course amounts to “adopting [George W. Bush’s] policies” and leaves the Democrats with nothing to differentiate themselves from Bush. He thus still seems to view the public’s rejection of Bush as an ideologically-rooted rejection of conservatism rather than a simple rejection of failed policies. The implication is that he believes there’s nothing wrong with his current political course, only a failure to sell how beneficial his policies will be (and, of course, he has boundless faith in his own abilities as a salesman).

    His final comment that the Dems shouldn’t be “spooked” suggests that far from swerving or slamming on the brakes, he’s hitting the accelerator on an agenda that’s making more and more in his own party very nervous.

  60. MSNBC Cuts Away From Obama Q&A After He has a go at Cable News

    During the Q&A portion, Pres. Obama said:

    If everybody here turned off your CNN, your Fox, just turn off the TV, MSNBC, blogs, and just go talk to folks out there, instead of being in this echo chamber where the topic is constantly politics. The topic is politics. It is much more difficult to get a conversation focused on how are we going to help people, than a conversation about ‘how is this going to help or hurt somebody politically?’ and that’s part of what the American people are just sick of.

    Well one-minute-ten-seconds after MSNBC was mentioned by name, the cabler cut out of the Q&A. It was quite jarring, only made more obvious by the immediate reference that was made to it. David Shuster joked about it, saying the Pres. was “encouraging all the Senators to turn us off, don’t pay attention to the echo chamber. But we’re going to use our authority to be able to essentially turn off the President’s feed right now.”

    And they did – moving on to pundits, discussing the political implications, almost on cue.

  61. moononpluto
    February 3rd, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    That moron needs to be hit hard with reality, and hit often to wake up . More Tea Party victories. More “Brown Outs”. Do we really have to wait till Nov for more elections? He needs to be brought down a few million pegs.

  62. Wbboei, I found this on the CW blog. I thought it was quiet interesting as following the money is what we should do to find out just who put the fraud in office. My guess we’ve been wrong about Soros putting him in all by himself. I think Soros had lots of help.

    This is from CW.

    Percy Sutton stated that Khalid Al-Mansour was “raising money” for Obama.

    Percy Sutton stated that Khalid Al-Mansour was trying to help Obama get into Harvard Law School.

    Percy Sutton stated that Khalid Al-Mansour was an advisor to Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal

    Prince Alwaleed bin Talal just more of the Fox News Network. Now I wonder how this purchase figures into the situation.

  63. confloyd

    The guy is so Muslim. He doesn’t go to church, except to stump. Please don’t mention REV Wrong, who did not expose Chrisitian values, but hatred toward the White Christian, hatred toward America, all the while holding his hand out, bribing the Gov not to unleash his hoards of paid goons in protest. Black Mafia razzel dazzel.Black Theology…Is that what the Underworld calls it now?… Called America not a Christian nation (Obama). We have all know his STRONG ties to ISLAM. His formative years were in Indonesia in Muslim schools. Can’t wait to go back and visit his old hangouts. We knew about his ties prior to the election to the worst of the worst Muslim leaders in America and NO ONE LISTENED…I don’t think they are listening still…..And if the Saudi Prince has his way, we will never hear it again….

  64. gonzotx
    February 3rd, 2010 at 12:46 pm
    I am convinced that Rush is reading this blog. He just almost quoted you and your article wbb

    Where better to get “opposition research” on a faux populist Dem than from a REAL Progressive Democrat web site.

  65. His final comment that the Dems shouldn’t be “spooked” suggests that far from swerving or slamming on the brakes, he’s hitting the accelerator on an agenda that’s making more and more in his own party very nervous.
    That is exactly right. That is why he will not move to the center. That is why he is on a collision course with reality and the American People. He is in short a self absorbed ideologue who believes his own propaganda. Waterloo was not lost at the moment of battle. It was lost much earlier when Napoleon made the decision to invade Russia. No one could talk him out of it. He refused to be spooked. He marched in with an army of two million soldiers and staggered out with less that 500,000 if memory serves. That is what we are dealing with here too. A Napoleonic complex, and the many idiots who fell for it.

  66. gonzotex, I was under the thinking that the Prince owned 20% of Fox, its really more like 40%.

    It all fits into my theory of who is really behind Obama. We will see in the next 3 years after the republicans get in what happens. My question is why did Obama not get anything done for the exception of the Bank bailout when he had a “Super Majority”??? Never in our history has any Potus had such a majority and yet he got NOTHING accomplished. WHY?? Its not that he is stupid, he is under orders.

  67. On Sunday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told CNN. “We’re still inside the 5-yard line” on health care, in a pronouncement that caught some lawmakers off guard.
    Notice he did not say which 5 yard line. My sense is if he loses six more yards the other team will score a safety. Wrong Way Corrigon lives in the tiny mind of Robert Pillsbury Dough Boy–or Curly if you prefer–Gibbs.

  68. “His final comment that the Dems shouldn’t be “spooked” suggests…”

    Hey, isn’t that a racist comment?

    Or maybe it’s a low blow directed against the CIA?

  69. Over on the CW, they are all busy questioning and writing open letters to Glenn Beck. They are mad because they feel like they made Glenn Beck and now he won’t go where no one has before and that is to question the origin of Obama. That’s all they talk about.

    If they really can’t figure it out, I don’t know what to say but 2 + 2 has always equaled 4.

    This is what they need to think about.

    1) Saudi’s own 40% of Fox.
    2) Fox is pro republican and has CDS
    3) Glenn Beck will not acknowledge or give any play to the birthers
    4) Recently he said he was worried that the Potus would be assasinated.
    5) He ties Clinton to Obama everyday as a nasty progressive.
    6) He tells the world that the progressive are Hitler re-incarnated
    7) Just when the FDL groups decided Obama was a republican, Obama came out with the bank tax;
    8) Fox had Prince Talalwee on slamming the bank tax as bad for business
    8) Just when FDL groups think HCR was what the republicans really wanted, we get a pre-programmed alledged fight with the house republicans.
    9) Now who visits the WH, but Bush I and Jeb Bush.
    10) Yesterday on RS, it was noted that Jeb is back and is ready to run. It all fits just too good.

  70. wbboei, In answer to your question, do I think Obama will move center or remain/go ultra left will not make a difference. Republican ideas/bills will insue after the republicans take over the House.

    Think about this, if he goes to center, the republicans will get the bills passed that they want because they will not pass anything that isn’t. If Obama vears to the left the republicans will still get what they want because nothing Obama promised will get done and the electorate will be pist and put in a republican President, then they have it where they want it again. So to me either way the republicans are going to win this battle.

    SO AGAIN I ASK, WHY DIDN’T OBAMA GET ANYTHING DONE WHEN HE HAD A “SUPERDOOPER MAJORITY”, (the first time in history)?? Are we to believe stupidity, laziness or can be believe it was pre-determinined since Obama is obviously in bed with the Saudi’s as BushII has always been.
    Personally, I think Obama has much in common with Oswald, a patsy.

  71. admin states:

    So Richard Cohen is right, there is a lesson to be learned from the meteoric rise and fall of John Edwards. It’s that the media fell down on the job by not sufficiently scrutinizing Edwards on his way up and then fell down again by ignoring a story that could have done catastrophic damage to the Democratic party and to the country.

    I am catching up so not sure if anyone else has mentioned this…but what i find infuriating is that the exact same MSM that conveniently ignore the Edwards story and did not want to touch it…that same MSM had no problem peddeling pushing stories and driving rumors about Bill Clinton…we can all recall the timely Vanity Fair hit piece on Bill Clinton by Todd Purdum during the heat and intensity of the primaries and the coordination for his appearances on msnbc and msm outlets to keep spreading the rumors and innuendo about Bill…and that of course, gave that same MSM perfect openings to opening gossip on tv and in print about unfounded rumors…

    of course, the standard for the Clintons with the MSM has always been that no cheap shot can be wasted…

  72. Senator-elect Scott Brown seeks to be sworn in Thursday

    February 3, 2010
    By Matt Viser

    Hoping to start work in Washington a week sooner than originally planned, US Senator-elect Scott Brown this afternoon asked Governor Deval Patrick and Secretary of State William Galvin to “certify without delay” the results of the Jan. 19 special election.

    In a letter written by his legal counsel, Daniel B. Winslow, Brown said he wanted the results certified no later than 11 a.m. Thursday so that he could deliver a copy to the secretary of the United States Senate in time to be administered the oath of office by Thursday afternoon.

    The Republican Brown, who won a stunning upset in the Jan. 19 special election, had initially planned to be sworn into office Feb. 11. But Winslow wrote, “he has been advised that there are a number of votes scheduled prior to that date. For that reason, he wants certification to occur immediately.”

    Galvin completed his certification of the official election results today. The results now must be approved by the Governor’s Council, and then signed by Galvin and Patrick. The governor has been away from the State House this afternoon, with several events in Taunton, so the certification did not occur this afternoon.

    Patrick is planning to certify the results at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, said governor’s spokesman Kyle Sullivan. “This will ensure that Senator-elect Brown’s request to receive the final paperwork by 11 a.m. tomorrow is fulfilled,” Sullivan said in a statement.

    Vice President Joe Biden would have to administer the oath of office, and top Senate Democrats appeared ready this afternoon to move on Brown’s request.

    “Once he gets the certificate in hand, he can be sworn in,” said Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate majority leader Harry Reid. “We are working to swear him in as quickly as possible, which would be as early as tomorrow afternoon.”

    There are several votes coming up within the next week that are expected to be controversial, including nominees for solicitor of labor and the US General Services Administration. A vote could come next week on whether to confirm Craig Becker, a Chicago-based union attorney who was nominated by President Obama to the National Labor Relations Board.

    Votes on a major jobs bill could also come next week.

    Still, it was Brown who had suggested being sworn in on Feb. 11, which was the date that officials in Massachusetts and Washington had been making plans around.

    “Feb. 11 was a tentative date,” said Eric Fehrnstrom, one of Brown’s top advisers. “Since the election results are now complete, there’s no reason to wait. Senator-elect Brown wants to take his seat and participate in some important votes that are coming up.”

    As recently as Tuesday afternoon, Brown’s spokesman, Felix Browne, said in an e-mail, “Feb. 11 still the date, yes,” when asked if anything had changed or if Brown would seek to be sworn in sooner. Tuesday morning at 8:50, Brown posted on his Facebook page “Scott Brown will be officially sworn in on February 11th at 12:45 p.m.”

    On a WTKK-FM radio show this morning, Patrick said Brown was satisfied with the Feb. 11 swearing-in. “I think everybody feels like it’s moving apace,” he told hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan.

    Brown’s victory over Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley reshaped the national political landscape and has stalled the Democrats’ drive in Washington for a national health care overhaul.

  73. #
    February 3rd, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Mrs. Smith

    I can tell you are getting fiesty, so I know you are feeling better. I cannot wait until you unload on the Edwards mob.


    February 3rd, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Mrs. Smith, here’s hoping you are back to full strength soon.

    As to Edwards, there is a lot to be learned from that phoney. The lessons deserve a full discussion but we have wasted a lot of time on that “grizzle”, as you call it.

    There is a good article by Tom Bevan today (with several good links including a 2007 article on why Edwards is a phoney) which you might want to read:


    Yesseree Bob!, NMF and Admin- I’m pacing myself as to allocation of (my) energy resources. I’ll need to do a little research on the John Edwards piss-off point. ( he never had a chance winning my vote) It happened during one of the debates when he was tag teaming with the (new phrase I learned today) “blue lipped” Kenyan against Hillary. Made me frakin’ furious!

    Hopefully, I’ll find the video and post it with my rant…

  74. Watch Senator Gregg (R-NH) take on the brilliant White House Budget Director Peter Orszag when he tries to slip one past Gregg and his colleagues. Oh did I forget to mention that Orszag is brilliant–albeit ethically challenged just a tecth. But since he is Harvard trained (whatever the hell that means) he is by definition infallible–even though he is usually 180 out.

    “No! No! No!” he yelled out. “You can’t make that type of statement with any legitimacy. You cannot make that statement.”

    Gregg then held up a guideline for the TARP, which he helped write in 2008 to keep the country from further economic collapse.

    “This is the law,” he said. “Let me tell you what the law says. Let me read to you again because you don’t appear to understand the law. The law is very clear. The monies recouped from the TARP shall be paid into the general fund of the Treasury for the reduction of the public debt. It’s not for a piggy bank because you’re concerned about lending to small businesses and you want to get a political event when you go out and make a speech in Nashua, N.H.”

  75. I saw this article earlier and wanted to post it to corroborate my view that what is causing democrats in swing states to say “no mas” and resign is not excessive partisanship between the parties, but general dissatisfaction with their own party leadership which plays by Chicago rules that reward insiders and screw constituents while Rome burns. Not easy to find, but here is the article by the Los Angeles Times. (N.B. the last sentence, where Judas Gerghen tells us the change agent he shilled for does not want to make any changes the way he does business–even though it ill serves the nation.)

    President Obama Day 386: What Happened To Him

    A favorite story about Chicago politics involves Roman Pucinski, who served six long terms of political apprenticeship in the Washington minor leagues of the U.S. House of Representatives before the Windy City’s vaunted Democratic political machine allowed him to step up and serve on the City Council.

    The late Pucinski then served for 18 years as a loyal operative assigned to the 41st Ward (of 50).

    It’s always useful for Chicago pols to have White House connections if, say, they’d like to dispatch someone famous to fly off to Copenhagen to lobby the International Olympic Committee for their city’s 2016 summer games bid.

    But the Chicago Daley machine, which is actually a ruthless coalition of urban Democratic factions united by the steel reinforcing rods of self-interest, didn’t much care about this Barack Obama fellow before, as long as he was quiet, obedient and headed on a track out of town. How he acquired a reform label coming out of that one-party place is anyone’s guess.

    But now that the sun has risen on the 386th day of the Obama White House, many political observers are coming to see that the ex-state senator from the South Side is running his federal administration in Washington much the way they run things back home: with a small….

    …claque of clout-laden people from the same school who learned their political trade back in the nation’s No. 3 city, named for an Indian word for a smelly wild onion.

    That style is tough, focused, immune to any distractions but cosmetic niceties. And did we mention tough. A portly, veteran Chicago alderman once confided only about 40% jokingly, that he had taken up jogging to lose weight but quickly gave it up as boring because “you can’t knock anyone down.” That’s politics the Chicago way.

    For instance, remember how much we heard all last year about the need for healthcare legislation before early August, before October, before Thanksgiving, before Christmas, before the State of the Union? And how spanked the White House was by the Massachusetts Senate upset that Obama said his laser-vision for 2010 was on jobs and the economy?

    So, what did he announce during a Super Bowl interview? More healthcare meetings, designed to politically box Republicans into the No-Nothing corner.

    In the last few days at least three major outlets have published well-informed evaluations of Obama’s first year in office. All are well worth reading. The dominant themes: disappointment and disillusionment with the Chicago way.

    In one respect it’s not surprising that a capitol city with its own style of take-no-prisoners politics should find a professed outsider’s style of smoother-spoken take-no-prisoners discomforting.

    But now, no less than the Huffington Post headlined its Obama evaluation by Steve Clemons: “Core Chicago Team Sinking Obama presidency.”

    The devastating Financial Times report by Edward Luce: “A fearsome foursome”

    And the Washington Post story by Ann Gerhart: “A year later, where did the hopes for Obama go?”

    The Post story focuses on a handful of Obama supporters, so fiercely motivated and hopeful in 2008 and through the inauguration, now largely drifting back to normal lives lacking fulfillment of so many promises.

    The other two fascinating accounts examine Obama’s close-knit team of Chicagoans: confidante Valerie Jarrett, who’s so intelligent she once hired Michelle Obama; Rahm Emanuel, the diminutive, acid-tongued chief of staff with overwhelming energy and ambition; David Axelrod, the ex-Chicago Tribune politics reporter-turned-consultant who’s been coaching Obama forever; and Robert Gibbs, who isn’t from Chicago but that’s OK because he’s only the mouthpiece and the others keep a close eye on him.

    Clemons focuses on how dead-on the Luce piece is and how the FT Washington bureau chief had to assiduously hide his sources as everyone was properly so fearful of retribution from the quartet around the mayor, er, president.

    And Clemons attributes the lack of online link love to the Luce item Monday to the same fears among D.C. journalists dodging disfavor from the same four.

    Quoting “administration insiders,” Luce says “the famously irascible Mr Emanuel treats cabinet principals like minions. ‘I am not sure the president realises how much he is humiliating some of the big figures he spent so much trouble recruiting into his cabinet,’ says the head of a presidential advisory board who visits the Oval Office frequently.”

    And both articles note, accurately, how savvy cabinet secretaries like Kathleen Sebelius at Health and Human Services and Ken Salazar at Interior have been marginalized because putting a media face on the Obama Oval Office can only be entrusted to the likes of Gibbs and Axelrod.

    Another Luce source talks about the difference between campaigning, which is easier, and governing, which is the ultimate goal but takes a more refined skill-set:

    ‘There is this sense after you have won such an amazing victory, when you have proved conventional wisdom wrong again and again, that you can simply do the same thing in government,’ says one. ‘Of course, they are different skills. To be successful, presidents need to separate the stream of advice they get on policy from the stream of advice they get on politics. That still isn’t happening.’
    Also noted, how most everything coming out of the executive office is filtered through a political prism above all. i.e. the Afghanistan troop surge speech that touched all the political bases in 4,582 words without once saying “victory.”

    Warning that Obama needs to take action quickly, Clemons adds that needed advice from a broader range of advisers “is getting twisted either in the rough-and-tumble of a a team of rivals operation that is not working, or is being distorted by the Chicago political gang’s tactical advice that is seducing Obama towards a course that has not only violated deals he made with those who voted him into office but which is failing to hit any of the major strategic targets by which the administration will be historically measured.”

    David Gergen, who helped guide Bill Clinton out of not dissimilar troubled waters, tells Luce: “There is an old joke. How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb? Only one. But the lightbulb must want to change. I don’t think President Obama wants to make any changes.”

    — Andrew Malcolm

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