The Big Pink Diet

Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s failed attempts to devour the Hillary Clinton “machine”, Black Russian cigarettes, hate of Sarah Palin, economic collapse, everything is on the menu today.

Iran did not blow up the world yesterday. so today we will catch up on some of the news items we have not yet commented on and some fun missed quotes that will launch many articles on other websites.

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Hillary supporters laugh (or is it cackle still?) because of an insidery observation few have noted. The observation comes from the comment section of a Hopium factory. The Hopium factory workers are full of outrage that anyone thinks Obama or his thugs are anything but perfect. Steve Clemons, the target of the ire at the Hopium factory, wrote one of the “blame the staff, protect Barack” articles we have discussed then replied to the assaults on his reputation (he prides himself on his insideryness). Here is the insidery quote which brings knowing smiles from Hillary supporters:

I respect that we see Tom Daschle differently, and I get how angry many are about the lobbying/advocacy work he does/did on health care. I know the Tom Daschle of the 1990s in the Senate and the Tom Daschle who walked right through a huge crowd on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Denver to give me a very public hug after hearing from a mutual friend that my partner and I had just been married on the steps of San Francisco’s City Hall. I do get the issues that others have about Daschle….but the fact remains that Obama’s political genius is being one of the best M&A guys in politics – morphing major pieces of the Daley machine into the Daschle machine into the Kennedy machine and into the Edwards machine. They are still trying to meld the Clinton franchise in, but that’s been difficult.

By “M&A” insidery Clemons means “mergers and acquisitions”. Daschle is no hero to us. Daschle is one of the establishment who imposed his will on the Democratic rank and file and selected Barack Obama to be gifted the Democratic nomination. Daschle has already suffered Clinton Karma, but we expect more Clinton Karma of the Patrick Kennedy variation. “No merger, no acquisition” with Hillary supporters – death, destruction, doom to the Obama “political genius” machine. The Daley/Daschle/Kennedy/Edwards machine gifted Obama the nomination. Edwards is destroyed, Daschle’s Dakota is going red; Kennedy is destroyed and Massachusetts is going red; the Daley machine is next. It’s Clinton Karma.

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We were attacked in 2007 when we first wrote “Stinky B.O.” Left Talkers who sold their souls to Big Media and endorsed “media darling” Barack Obama, Left Talkers who hallucinated Obama was a potential FDR – now two years after it became evident Left Talkers say B.O. Stinks:

“I have to admit it now. Obama just stinks.”

A little late to say what was obvious to a working political nose. B.O. stinks – always has, always will.

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Calling Obama a “professor” is now “racist”. During the campaign pointing out that Obama was not a tenured professor was “racist”, now you can be a “racist” for saying “professor”.

Ogletree, founding and executive director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, says he sees the “professor” label as a thinly veiled attack on Obama’s race. Calling Obama “the professor” walks dangerously close to labeling him “uppity,” a term with racial overtones that has surfaced in the political arena before, Ogletree said.

As Obama sinks, the race card rises. The Confluence has more.

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More people smell the stink, than the perfume:

A new national survey from Quinnipiac (2/2-2/8) shows President Obama’s job approval rating at 45%, with 46% disapproving.

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Politico’s leader got into a fight with Bill O’Reilly the other day over the Sarah Palin hate of Big Media. Big Media hates, hates, hates, Sarah Palin but today Politico’s leader pretends Big Media actually “loves” Sarah Palin. It is obvious Big Media hates Palin so we won’t beat that dead horse. We did find this gem in the article however – it’s a confession of sorts – something we knew but the Hopium guzzlers still deny:

Could Palin raise money outside of the traditional fashion of leaning on deep-pocketed donors to bundle checks from their friends and clients? Absolutely. But even Obama’s fundraising juggernaut — in the mythology of the ’08 election a machine built on small-dollar contributions – was a product of wealthy donors and industry.

Read it and weep Hopium guzzlers: Obama was a product of wealthy donors and industry – and he was selected by the establishment. “Hope and change” was an advertising slogan to fool Left Talkers and Hopium guzzlers.

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The worst is yet to come. The economic horror awaits. Niall Ferguson outlines the corpse in chalk:

What we in the western world are about to learn is that there is no such thing as a Keynesian free lunch. Deficits did not “save” us half so much as monetary policy – zero interest rates plus quantitative easing – did. First, the impact of government spending (the hallowed “multiplier”) has been much less than the proponents of stimulus hoped. Second, there is a good deal of “leakage” from open economies in a globalised world. Last, crucially, explosions of public debt incur bills that fall due much sooner than we expect

A Tea Party is needed in Europe.

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Publicity stunts: The rubbish “jobs bill” which throws more money out the window:

It’s a bipartisan jobs bill that would hand President Barack Obama a badly needed political victory and placate Republicans with tax cuts at the same time. But it has a problem: It won’t create many jobs.

Even the Obama administration acknowledges the legislation’s centerpiece — a tax cut for businesses that hire unemployed workers — would work only on the margins.

As for the bill’s effectiveness, tax experts and business leaders said companies are unlikely to hire workers just to receive a tax break. Before businesses start hiring, they need increased demand for their products, more work for their employees and more revenue to pay those workers.

The bill is dead, but it was always a publicity stunt. Another Obama publicity stunt with a big price tag. Americans want jobs and Obama only offers flowery words. Flowery words, garnished with Hopium, are Obama’s “chicken in every pot”.

Paul Krugman too, between fluffing Obama, knows Obama is “clueless” and “we’re doomed”.

I’m with Simon Johnson here: how is it possible, at this late date, for Obama to be this clueless? [snip]

The president, speaking in an interview, said in response to a question that while $17 million is “an extraordinary amount of money” for Main Street, “there are some baseball players who are making more than that and don’t get to the World Series either, so I’m shocked by that as well.”

“I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen,” Obama said in the interview yesterday in the Oval Office with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands Friday. “I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free- market system.” [snip]

Oh. My. God.

First of all, to my knowledge, irresponsible behavior by baseball players hasn’t brought the world economy to the brink of collapse and cost millions of innocent Americans their jobs and/or houses. [snip]

If the Bloomberg story is to be believed, Obama thinks his key to electoral success is to trumpet “the influence corporate leaders have had on his economic policies.”

We’re doomed.

Obama always was the stooge of corrupt establishment forces Paul. Welcome to reality. We’re doomed.

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E.J. Dionne, is clueless too. Dionne, tries to explain the Obama mess but his real agenda is to play the race card:

The most popular theory on the left is that Obama’s race is a big part of the story, and that we are seeing a reaction among some whites against the multiracial, multicultural political coalition he has brought together. The phrase “losing our country” is often on the lips of his enemies, which raises the question of who they mean by the word our.

The racism smear is the only lifeboat left on the Obama Titanic, or is it the Hindenburg?

It’s not racism – it’s all the talk with no results:

Judging by Obama’s long-on-ideas, short-on-accomplishment record, he’s certainly found that to be true. [snip]

In his 2007 announcement speech, he said, “What’s stopped us is the failure of leadership, the smallness of our politics — the ease with which we’re distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our preference for scoring cheap political points instead of rolling up our sleeves and building a working consensus to tackle big problems.”

Distractions like trips to Copenhagen for Chicago Olympics and Norway for undeserved plaudits and Prizes. It’s all talk from the professor, um, lecturer:

And yet progress is scant on all the largest fronts he laid out three years ago:

_Washington is just as divided now as then, if not more so. Most every piece of legislation Obama has signed has been passed by Congress largely along partisan lines, and political gamesmanship is in full swing. Obama is a polarizing figure himself; a recent Gallup Poll found a 65 percentage-point gap between Democrats and Republicans on their approval of Obama, the largest for any president in his first year in office.

_America is still at war in Iraq. U.S. combat troops are supposed to be out by this August by the latest presidential deadline — later than candidate Obama had planned.

_The economy is on the mend and Obama has made investments in education. But his efforts to curb climate change and overhaul the nation’s immigration system are stalled.

_His health care overhaul, after nearly reaching conclusion and then grinding to a halt with Republicans’ upset win of a Senate seat from Massachusetts, now hangs by a thread after a year of work.

_Obama banned torture but the Guantanamo Bay prison for terrorism suspects — a U.S. eyesore to American allies_ remains open despite a pledge to close it. And while Obama stepped up efforts to root out terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, America was nearly hit again by a terrorist on Christmas.

It’s almost as if, standing in Illinois, Obama foretold the future, saying: “Too many times, after the election is over, and the confetti is swept away, all those promises fade from memory, and the lobbyists and the special interests move in, and people turn away, disappointed as before, left to struggle on their own.

Just three years later, Obama finds himself tackling a big agenda, with little to show as he steps up his bipartisanship preaching and tries to lead a country once again decidedly angry.

Lobbyists? What Lobbyists?

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Barack Obama is poison. Remember the Big PhaRma deal with Billy Tauzin, the guy Obama attacked during the election campaigns?

Now Billy Tauzin has been poisoned by the Obama embrace.

Two sources familiar with the situation said that some of PhRMA’s board members were worried about salvaging the $80 billion deal the industry struck with the White House last summer to help pay for reform. They worried that liberal House members, who have always thought the deal let the industry off too easy, were going to try to undo it and that it wasn’t clear that Tauzin could convince the White House to stand behind it.

Some board members also felt Tauzin, who was elected to Congress as a Democrat in 1980 before switching parties in 1995, had made too many concessions to Democrats, including agreeing to spend up to $100 million on pro-reform advertising. The sources said Tauzin wasn’t fired, but saw the growing board displeasure with his tenure and decided to step aside voluntarily.

Hopium guzzlers will no doubt declare that Obama played a brilliant game and got rid of Billy Tauzin. The bottom line is – Obama is poison – embrace him and die. As Billy Tauzin and Patrick Kennedy have found out.

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As we noted yesterday, Patrick Kennedy resigned. Clinton Karma strikes again. Teddy Kennedy, the Chappaquiddick Chauffeur we used to defend, endorsed Obama. Teddy bought along the Kennedy clan. Now iconic Caroline is a joke, and son Patrick can sit in bars and cars and drink his life away. Three Kennedys shattered in one year – Obama is poison.

The people, reflected in polls, turned from Teddy’s son, the one who endorsed Obama over Hillary. Next up, Chuck Schumer then John Kerry.

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The economy is what matters in 2010 and 2012 elections. Obama thinks his rotted organization will save him. But the economy won’t save Obama:

By some measures, each recession since the 1980s has retreated more slowly than the one before it. In one sense, we never fully recovered from the last one, in 2001: the share of the civilian population with a job never returned to its previous peak before this downturn began, and incomes were stagnant throughout the decade. Still, the weakness that lingered through much of the 2000s shouldn’t be confused with the trauma of the past two years, a trauma that will remain heavy for quite some time.

The unemployment rate hit 10 percent in October, and there are good reasons to believe that by 2011, 2012, even 2014, it will have declined only a little. [snip]

There is unemployment, a brief and relatively routine transitional state that results from the rise and fall of companies in any economy, and there is unemployment—chronic, all-consuming. The former is a necessary lubricant in any engine of economic growth. The latter is a pestilence that slowly eats away at people, families, and, if it spreads widely enough, the fabric of society. Indeed, history suggests that it is perhaps society’s most noxious ill.

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The end of “don’t ask, don’t tell”? Nonsense, gay-basher Obama is all talk. It’s another publicity stunt, more flowery words, no action:

It also sent a strong signal to the Democrats’ demoralized, demobilized progressive base that he’s still on their side, after delays and compromises on the public option, cap and trade and the closing of Guantanamo Bay.

But House Democratic leadership aides tell POLITICO they are growing increasingly worried over the lack of a detailed White House road map for passing a repeal — and that without such a road map, repeal will end up in the same kind of Senate gridlock that hobbled health reform.

It’s all a crock. It’s a publicity stunt.

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) cast the issue in the context of Obama’s recent dual-track political approach of soothing liberals in his national messaging while stressing centrism inside the Beltway.

“There’s frustration, and ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is one small part of it,” says Weiner. “The frustration has been that while the president has said the right things when he’s on the road, he’s emphasized bipartisanship and not [moved] towards issues of importance to the Democratic base when he comes back to Washington.”

Weiner is no dope. Obama is an establishment stooge. It’s all a crock.

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Speaking of crock pots, Michelle Obama has a new publicity stunt now that her “fashion icon” has turned to “fashion icky”.

Fat kids are a “national security” matter to Michelle. Obama thinks everything he does is of world shaking importance too. Parents should encourage active healthy kids, but Michelle wants to make it a national security issue so she can wear her gutter outfits purchased at auto repair shops. Here’s the fatty issue:

At a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday, First Lady Michelle Obama announced the launch of the ‘Let’s Move’ campaign to end childhood obesity in the United States, an epidemic she said is costly and a threat to national security.

“A recent study put the health care cost of obesity-related diseases at $147 billion a year,” Mrs. Obama said. “This epidemic also impacts the nation’s security, as obesity is now one of the most common disqualifiers for military service.”

Every day Michelle Obama reminds us more and more of Mary Todd (although we actually like Mary Todd) with her bizarre statements – fashion and otherwise. The new Michelle project will be an opportunity to waste billions every year.

Some of the goals include ending what Obama referred to as “food deserts” with a $400 million a year “Healthy Food Financing Initiative,” which will bring grocery stores to low-income neighborhoods and “help places like convenience stores carry healthier food options.”

Obama called for overhauling many federal laws and guidelines, including adding $10 billion over the next decade to “update” the Childhood Nutrition Act, which feeds 31 million children at school and would add funding to feed more children.

Good child nutrition is always a good idea, but we envision Michelle force-feeding arugula from her poisonous garden to innocents. Michelle Obama’s “find something to do between shopping and Wednesday night parties” effort on obesity, with obligatory website, is already annoying. Good nutrition and exercise is always a worthwhile endeavor, although we cringe at the thought of Michelle taking over the nation’s kitchens.

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Finally, Big Pink secrets revealed.

Here at Big Pink we are blessed with wonderful physiques, unquestionably attributable to excellent nutritional habits and appropriate exercise. Svelte, toned, energetic and happy we roam among the Pink clouds, sensibly yet elegantly clothed, surrounded by pictures of Hillary Clinton. Many, not Michelle, seek access to Big Pink dietary secrets. Today, like the Iranians yesterday, we will reveal our dietary atomic bomb.

How can you maintain yourselves in tip top physical shape? What are the secrets to toned arms and colt-like legs? Is there a chemical free, unquestioned, absolute best way to suppress the appetite?

An entire industry is dedicated to profit from the answers to the above questions. Usually there are high fees and berries associated with the answers to these health, diet, and exercise questions. Here at Big Pink, prodded by Bill Clinton’s health problems of yesterday, we will reveal dietary secrets never before revealed to man or woman – and all for the low cost of – FREE.

The Big Pink Diet secret, better than Atkins, South Beach, or any other diet is herewith revealed: Place an 8 x 11 photograph of Michelle Obama (or Barack Obama) inside your refrigerator and/or pantry. This photograph technique is not only an excellent appetite suppressant. Toned arms and nimble legs will soon be yours as you move swiftly and vigorously to open and shut refrigerator doors as quickly as possible. Heath and exercise benefits will soon be yours as you learn to leap through the air, laden with the few items you retrieve from the pantry or fridge without catching a glimpse of Michelle and/or Barack Obama.

[Warning: few (if any) other portraits will have the effects of Michelle/Barack Obama pictures. For instance, a Hillary Clinton portrait will cause you to dreamily consume the Godiva chocolates, Vodka and champagne stored in your freezer unit. You might pluck one of those, only for super special occasions, Sobranie of London Black Russian cigarettes from their box. The sleek elegant black cigarette topped with a gold foil filter, emblazoned with the Czarist Imperial Eagle – wisps of smoke dreamily transport you to a glorious day before anyone heard the name “Obama”.

Portraits of Claire McCaskill and/or John Edwards/Richardson/Dodd/Teddy/Oprah/Brazile/Pelosi/Bush/Russert have been reported to be efficacious as well, but not at the high levels of ambulatory fright and appetite suppressing horror as Mr. and Mrs. TOTUS/POTUS/FLOTUS.]

As always, before beginning a dietary and exercise program such as this one, make sure you consult with your physician.


353 thoughts on “The Big Pink Diet

  1. How many dead bills does that make for the wondrous bambi now?

    Great article, admin.

    OT: I’m dividing my interests today and watching the Olympic torch relay in Vancouver. Walter gretzky (dad of Wayne) just carried the torch and there are rumors that Wayne himself will carry it at the very end.

    LOL…I’ve never been so proud to be a Canadian.

    On a side note, I found it interesting that both Matt Lauer and Bob Costas carried the torch yesterday.

  2. Journalistic standards?

    February 11, 2010

    This newspaper, along with much of the mainstream media, has been hammered for ignoring the National Enquirer’s reporting about an affair liberal Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards was allegedly having during the campaign with his videographer. Those allegations proved to be true, and Edwards’ political career is now a historical footnote, which should make his personal life a nonissue, right?

    Or not. Thursday, The Times’ website is carrying a story (and a video!) from its corporate sibling, KTLA, reporting on the Enquirer’s latest Edwards scoop. “If you’re into scandals, former Sen. John Edwards is the gift that keeps on giving,” KTLA’s Victoria Recaño says as she introduces the video piece. The station’s reporter, Cher Calvin, then is shown interviewing … not Edwards or anyone else involved in the scoop but the Enquirer scribe who wrote it (who goes on to speculate about the cost of Edwards’ divorce and the outcome of a federal investigation into whether Edwards used campaign funds improperly). So, I guess that means the Enquirer is a reliable source now, huh?

    Wild speculation, however, isn’t solely the province of supermarket tabloids and the media outlets who quote them. Witness the initial report on by Emily Friedman about former President Clinton’s hospitalization. ABC may have broken the story about Clinton being rushed to the hospital with chest pains; if it did, my hat’s off to them. But there’s no excuse for Friedman including this statement in one of her first dispatches:

    Sources on Capital (sic) Hill tell ABC News that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was seen leaving the Oval Office a short time ago and did not seem “too concerned” or “in a rush.”

    Make that, unidentified sources with mind-reading capabilities. I won’t even pretend to know what Friedman was trying to get across, but there are at least two equally valid ways to read that sentence: The former president’s medical problems weren’t life-threatening, or his wife couldn’t care less what happens to him. As it happened, Clinton underwent surgery to prop open a coronary artery, which seems like a pretty serious procedure. And the secretary of State may not, in fact, have been blithely unconcerned about her notoriously unfaithful husband’s condition. Here’s what Friedman wrote in a later version of the story:

    Sources on Capitol Hill tell ABC News that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was seen leaving the Oval Office around the same time that Clinton had been hospitalized. Sources told ABC News that Secretary Clinton was “very concerned when told about the President, given his heart history” and that it made everyone “very nervous.”

    The ABC News website offered no explanation for or acknowledgment of the change in its reporting. Here’s a link to the story, in case you’d like to see the latest insight from ABC News about Hillary Clinton’s frame of mind.

  3. Having shed 50 pounds the hard way in the last six months, I wish I had thought of putting the disgusting photos in the fridge instead of on the dart board. The Big Pink diet would be very effective at keeping me away from the fridge, but may I suggest supplements? Daily reading of hillaryis44 helps to keep the world’s insanity in perspective. Large photos of Bill, Hill and Chels prominently displayed in one’s dwelling bring greater health benefits than feng shue – guaranteed to restore faith in our country and the world as well as in one’s own good nature. As for exercise, putting your boots on the ground to fight for the right candidates against the bad ones will definitely energize oneself and others, thus promoting the health of the whole country. That, in my opinion, might be the complete Big Pink Fitness Program. Suggestions?

  4. Did ABC expect to see Hillary break down and cry in front of them?

    Considering how she was treated on the election trail when she got emotional, I find their reporting to be disgustingly dumbed down.

  5. JanH, That was reported in some CDS blogs. People are just mean.

    Admin: OMG! I should try that diet, admittedly I get sick to my stomach when I see the “one” ,Axelrod and Michelle. I have to find a pic and put it in my frig. If its works we will start a national campaign with before and after pics, LOL!!!

  6. Ogletree has built a career on race issues – if he doesn’t keep on finding racism everywhere what else can he do? I know him, casually; he seems a nice enough guy, but he’s a dinosaur. He and his whole crusade have warped into absurdity – as silly as the the guy in Texas who objected to astrophysicists using the term “black holes.” There is only one answer to these paranoid racist-hunters – yawn.

  7. lil ole grape @ 12:14,

    Public race relations in this country have become like a dysfunctional human relationship, wherein no honest discussion can be had, because of cries of “that hurts my feelings, don’t say that”. Granted, in such relationships, often the initial cause for that reaction is that the one partner has indeed been cruel and hurtful in the past. But the “victim” in that scenario can morph into a person who uses that as a weapon to control and to avoid honest solutions, or avoid even DISCUSSING fairness or going forward.

    There is power in being an oppressor, but there is also power in being a victim. It’s a different kind of power, but it’s still power. We have all seen these sorts of relationships before. They circle the ground of fault and culpability endlessly, and get nowhere, and both parties remain perpetually seething at one another.

    Note that I said at the first that this applies to PUBLIC race relations. Private relations are another matter. I find that ordinary people in their everyday lives can navigate whatever racial tensions remain, and do it quite well. We out here in the workday world pretty much know how to get along. Those in the halls of politics and academia haven’t a clue.

  8. My brother has started a Tea Party in our town. He asked me to set up a blog site for them, I did. I took the liberty to post a comment from here, I credited ShortTermer, I hope that it is ok to have done that, I should have asked first, but too late now. The maiden post is copoied below:

    “Friday, February 12, 2010
    Someone who calls their self ShortTermer says:

    It is not about Republican and Democrat any longer. It is about anyone who is willing to work to save our country. Yesterday is gone; tomorrow is unsure; and we are destined to leave future generations in debt that is mindboggling and in a country that is less free. This is not what American patriots have shed blood for in the current and past wars; the founding fathers must be rolling in their graves.

    How foolish we have been; will future generations ever forgive us for wasting away the hard won freedom that was left for us to keep safe for them? “

  9. I should try the Big Pink Diet. Putting pictures of BO, MO, Caskill, etc., on my refrigerator would be enough to turn me away.

    Admin, your sense of humor never ceases to amaze and impress me.

  10. Great post!

    I am waiting for some marching orders to get rid of Schumer. Admin….do you really think it’s possible and if so….how?

  11. Feb. 11, 2010

    The Clinton Voters Jump Ship

    Jonathan V. Last: The President Faces the Challenge of a Shrinking Political Base

    The conventional wisdom is that Barack Obama’s decline in the polls represents a new, unexpected turn against him. But an examination of the results of the recent elections in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts suggests that what we might really be seeing is a return to the skepticism that significant portions of the electorate have showed about Obama from the beginning of his national career.

    For six months during the 2008 primaries, Obama and Hillary Clinton crisscrossed the country wooing voters. Obama consistently failed to win over important parts of the Democratic base, even after it became clear that he was going to be his party’s nominee.

    On February 5-Super Tuesday- Obama did poorly in both New Jersey and Massachusetts, losing to Clinton by 10 and 15 points, respectively. The exit polls were in line with Obama’s performance throughout the primary race: He did very well with blacks, wealthy voters, highly educated voters, and very young voters. He did poorly with working-class whites and older voters. In New Jersey, Obama was +20 among voters under the age of 29, but about -26 among voters over 50. In Massachusetts, he ran even with young voters, and -31 among those over 65. As for education, Obama was -41 among voters with only a high school degree, but ran even, or just ahead, among voters possessing postgraduate degrees. And then there was gender and race. In New Jersey, Obama was -19 among white men; in Massachusetts he was +1.

    In addition to the demography, there was geography. Obama ran well in urban enclaves. He also did well in college towns and state capitals. But he did poorly in the suburbs and in smaller industrial towns.

    A week after Super Tuesday, Obama won the Virginia primary. He performed somewhat better in all categories, even winning white men by 18 points. But his victory came largely from blacks (who made up 30 percent of the vote, and whom he won 90 to 10) and the upscale Northern Virginia suburbs, increasingly home to a highly educated class of government and technology workers.

    Reviewing the primary fight, Michael Barone noted that Obama got majorities “from whites only in his home state (Illinois), in states where the white Democratic primary electorate is unusually upscale and non-Jewish (Virginia, Vermont), and in mountain states where the cultural divide is not black-white.” This racial divide, Barone explained, was part of a larger, cultural divide between Jacksonians and academics. “In state after state, we have seen Obama do extraordinarily well in academic and state capital enclaves. In state after state, we have seen Clinton do extraordinarily well in enclaves dominated by Jacksonians.”

    The Jacksonian Democrats tended to be white and working-class; the academics tended to be highly educated, and often government employees. This divide is often attributed to latent racism in the Jacksonians. But a suspicion of Barack Obama shouldn’t make you a racist. Consider the case of Buchanan County, a Jacksonian stronghold on the Virginia border next to both West Virginia and Kentucky. Obama lost Buchanan County to Hillary Clinton by a margin of 90 to 9. Which might make one view Buchananites with some suspicion-except that in the 1989 gubernatorial race, Douglas Wilder won Buchanan County by 18 points over his (white) Republican rival.

    In the general election, Obama was finally able to convert some of the voters who had resisted him. Massachusetts doesn’t have many Jacksonians, but it does have white ethnic enclaves. Obama went +7 among white Massachusetts men, and his share of white Democrats was nearly the same as his share of all Democrats, meaning that he brought home most of the Clinton voters. In New Jersey, he did less well in this conversion: His white Democratic share ran 4 points behind his overall Democratic share. In Virginia, the Jacksonians warmed to him. After getting shellacked in Buchanan County by Clinton, he lost to McCain there by only 5 points.

    The question, then, is how these various coalition groups-the white ethnic enclaves, the Jacksonians, the suburban and industrial town voters-have reacted to Democrats since Obama took office. And the answer is: Without enthusiasm.

    In Virginia, Republican Bob McDonnell won an 18-point victory in a state Obama carried by 6 points. Obama had been -24 among white men in 2008; McDonnell was +43. Obama had carried every income bracket under $75,000 by at least double-digit margins. McDonnell was -8 among those making between $15,000 and $30,000 a year. He was +6 from there up to $50,000 and +28 among those making between $50,000 and $75,000. Where Obama had lost whites without college degrees by a big margin-34 percent-McDonnell did even better than McCain had, rolling up a 51-point advantage. Buchanan County? McDonnell won it by 26 points, a 21-point swing against the Democrats.

    In New Jersey, it was worse. Chris Christie was outspent by a millionaire incumbent in a state Obama won by 15 points. Christie won by 5 points, and the exit polls showed defections among the same groups who had been against Obama in the presidential primaries. Where Obama had been only -3 among white men, Christie was +34; where Obama had run even with older whites, Christie was +25; where Obama had been competitive among non-college educated whites (he was only -4 in the general election), Christie was +34. In the rural south, Obama had won Gloucester and Salem counties easily. A year later, they went for Christie. In heavily industrialized Passaic County, Obama had won by 21 points; Christie came within 8.

    Which leaves Massachusetts. There were no exit polls for the January special election. One approximation comes from a Public Policy Polling survey conducted a few days before the election, which concluded with Scott Brown ahead by 5 points. Brown was +12 among white voters (Obama had been +20), and the poll suggested that Brown did very well among middle-aged voters: He was +14 among those age 30 to 44 and +3 from age 45 to 64. Among these groups Obama had been +18 and +20. The town and county results tell the same story. Plymouth and Worcester counties are two ethnic, blue-collar strongholds that went heavily for Clinton in the primaries, by 21 and 25 points, respectively. Brown won them by similar margins: +26 in Plymouth and +23 in Worcester.

    Caveats abound, of course. This is an exercise in apples and oranges, comparing Democratic primary voters with general election voters. It artificially claims three distinct Democratic candidates as generic proxies for Obama-and even uses a preelection poll sample in lieu of actual exit poll data. This can’t count for science, even on the Internet.

    But if we accept that the comparisons are at least marginally valid, then Obama is not encountering some new, unanticipated resistance from the electorate. Instead, it may be that his general election triumph was the aberration-that his coalition was never as strong as the financial panic of September 2008 made it seem. It would mean that he is now returning to his natural base of support and that the Jacksonians and others who resisted him in the primaries have turned away once again from his charms.

    But it also suggests something more, that the Democratic party is now the party of Obama, for good and for ill. While the president is no Jacksonian, his party has many in its ranks. Democratic officeholders should be concerned about their voters fleeing not just from Obama but from their party as well. The president may be in the process of trimming the Democratic base back into something that looks an awful lot like his own primary base.

    A few weeks ago Representative Marion Berry, a Jacksonian from Arkansas’s First District, recounted an exchange he had with the president. Asked how he was going to prevent a midterm disaster on the scale of 1994, Obama replied, “Well, the big difference here and in ’94 was you’ve got me.” Which may be precisely the problem.

  12. Calling Obama a “professor” is now “racist”. During the campaign pointing out that Obama was not a tenured professor was “racist”, now you can be a “racist” for saying “professor”.

    My word, labeling him with something uppity is racial? Wouldn’t the opposite, calling him a beggar be called racist too?

    Is there any term that can be used without it being twisted into an attack on his race? Is there any discussion we can have about his character, his policies, his politics, that isn’t already being characterized as racist?

    Isn’t that twisting in itself “racist”???

  13. February 12, 2010

    Bipartisan’ Delegation to Haiti Includes 1 Republican, 11 Democrats

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Friday that she is leading a 12-member “bipartisan” congressional delegation to Haiti. The group includes one Republican — outmatched by 11 Democrats.

    Maybe it was an oversight. Or maybe it was a metaphor for what counts as bipartisanship these days.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Friday that she is leading a 12-member “bipartisan” congressional delegation to Haiti. The group includes one Republican — outmatched by 11 Democrats.

    Though Pelosi’s press release used the word “bipartisan” five times, Florida Sen. George LeMieux is the sole GOP lawmaker in Congress visiting the devastated island nation for what would presumably be a bipartisan cause — assessing ways to help the country recover from its earthquake.

    LeMieux spokesman Ken Lundberg said other Republicans “were asked,” though he couldn’t speak for them. He said LeMieux determined it was “important that he go.”

    “We have a large Haitian community in Florida,” Lundberg said. He said lawmakers touched down in Haiti Friday morning and plan to return the same day. “Just a quick trip,” he said.

    Pelosi said in the statement that the lawmakers would “pay our respects” to the Haitian people, as well as hold meetings with President Rene Preval and other top officials. They also planned to visit aid distribution sites and medical centers, and meet with aid workers from the U.S. military, the United Nations and other organizations.

    “It is also crucial that the House and Senate — on a bipartisan basis — have the opportunity to examine the ongoing reconstruction efforts ahead of the U.S. Congress considering long-term reconstruction assistance for Haiti,” she said.

    Among the Democratic delegation members are Pelosi, Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, New York Rep. Charlie Rangel and Donna Christensen, the non-voting delegate from the Virgin Islands.

    It’s not the first time that barely visible participation of the minority party counted as bipartisanship. The guest list for the White House bipartisan Super Bowl party last weekend included one Republican, Louisiana Rep. Joseph Cao, who incidentally was the only Republican in Congress to cast a floor vote for health care reform.

    And just how much is this “quick and crucial” trip going to cost?

  14. “speaking of crock pots…”

    LOL Very nice.

    And of course, obama said this:

    It’s almost as if, standing in Illinois, Obama foretold the future, saying: “Too many times, after the election is over, and the confetti is swept away, all those promises fade from memory, and the lobbyists and the special interests move in, and people turn away, disappointed as before, left to struggle on their own.”

    That’s exactly how he governs to the right. It’s intentional. He mouths a worthwhile liberal sentiment, and then creates a void in leadership by stepping out of the way. And of course, the worst possible entities fill that void. That’s how he gets off looking like a liberal while simultaneously moving the country to the far right. And across the political spectrum, everyone falls for it. The liberals think he’s more liberal than Clinton and the right thinks he’s a socialist while not realizing he’s almost as far right as George Bush. Palin might very well be to Obama’s left.

    As for Keynsian economics, of course, they work. But Obama failed to provide a stimulus large enough to do the job that needed to be done. Krugman has talked about this in detail and at the time. So once again, Obama stakes out a liberal position but then takes a conservative action. Here’s Krugman from July of last year:

  15. By the way, is there any chance Palin could run to Obama’s left? I mean, neither of them would admit it but she talks farther right than she governs and he talks farther left than he governs. It’s a funny idea.

  16. OO is afraid to take the risks of the right actions to take. He does not even know the first thing about winning people over to his side. The Honeymoon is over.

    Great leaders know how to take risks, and how to win the enemy over.

  17. Yes Obama unfortunately Americans know they have you, thats why there is civil unrest, tea parties, the demise of the democratic party and the rise of the awful republican party. We know we all know!

    I guess he is still believing he has that midas touch.

  18. incidently and off subject. It snowed here in Texas and is the only second time I seen it in my whole 60 years on this earth. My dogs who had never seen it either went nuts, they played in it just like two kids, the tasted and kept wanting to go back outside all morning. LOL!!

  19. Basement Angel, if the Democratic Left had a brain they would realize that the Tea Party movement they so disparage is doing what the Left cannot do – protest against the establishment and the big money people who got the bailout money. In a way, that populism, what the left disparages as “teabaggers” is much more to the left than what poses as the left today.

    Palin can run to the left of Obama on some issues such as the economy. What is afflicting us all is prejudice at this point. The prejudices of what purports to be the “right” and what purports to be the “left” fail upon examination. The Tea Party movement has some very “left” positions on the economy and the Dimocratic Left stinks of establishmentarianism.

    It’s all a crock.

  20. admin,

    You are a riot! RORFLMAO!

    ‘Svelte, toned, energetic and happy we roam among the Pink clouds, sensibly yet elegantly clothed, surrounded by pictures of Hillary Clinton.’

    I may want to lose weight (like everyone else) but I’m not yet ready for the grave which is where I’d be if I was forced to look at scowljowl every time I opened the fridge. That’s a recipe for anorexia followed by an untimely demise.

  21. Hopium guzzlers will no doubt declare that Obama played a brilliant game and got rid of Billy Tauzin. The bottom line is – Obama is poison – embrace him and die. As Billy Tauzin and Patrick Kennedy have found out.
    Admin: would it be fair to say that Obama is not the political genius Clemons fantasizes about, but rather the political equivalent of the Ebola Virus? Independent studies have shown that sooner or later Obama destroys everything and ever one in his political path? If we could retain a qualified epidemiologist to study him under laboratory conditions he could confirm this diagnosis and prescribe a proper cure. The proper cure would be quarantine, a antibiotic cocktail and large doses of reality until the delusion passes.

  22. From admin at the top:

    but the fact remains that Obama’s political genius is being one of the best M&A guys in politics – morphing major pieces of the Daley machine into the Daschle machine into the Kennedy machine and into the Edwards machine. They are still trying to meld the Clinton franchise in, but that’s been difficult.

    Those M&A’s were of the small fish, the easy corrupt pieces. Daschle, Dean, Edwards, Richardson, Daley, all small tyrants in their little fiefdoms.

    Even Kennedy was the president-never-to-be.

    Only the Clinton presidency united the Dems, worked across the aisle, and got things turned around (“Hey, where did that deficit go??”). And there was some woman involved in that Clinton administration…

  23. Kucinach just went up in my books, he says he voted again the bail out stimulus bill. He was to give Americans a chance to retire early. I will go with that. They are going to try to let the 60 year olds early retirement.

  24. The feds have now got involved with the church burners here in East Texas. I think 10 churches have been burned down. Its both black and white churches so its not the kkk. They have some scretches of people of interest they appear to be young and some white and some black. It sounds like some of Obama supporters.

  25. Rgb44Hrc, Obama wants to break and absorb the “Clinton franchise”. According to Clemons Obama has thus far been unsuccessful in that takeover. That’s why there has been a secret war against Bill and Hillary by Obama.

  26. After Massachusettes, I think Obama heard us, this is his answer. This is for South Carolina, I wonder when it will nationwide?

    Title 23 – Law Enforcement and Public Safety

    CHAPTER 29.


    SECTION 23-29-10. Short title.

    This chapter may be cited as the “Subversive Activities Registration Act.”

    SECTION 23-29-20. Definitions.

    For the purposes of this chapter the following words, phrases and terms are defined as follows:

    (1) “Subversive organization” means every corporation, society, association, camp, group, bund, political party, assembly, body or organization, composed of two or more persons, which directly or indirectly advocates, advises, teaches or practices the duty, necessity or propriety of controlling, conducting, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States, of this State or of any political subdivision thereof by force or violence or other unlawful means;

    (2) “Organization subject to foreign control” means every corporation, society, association, camp, group, bund, political party, assembly, body or other organization, composed of two or more persons, which comes within either of the following:

    (a) it solicits or accepts financial contributions, loans or support of any kind directly or indirectly from, or is affiliated directly or indirectly with, a foreign government or a political subdivision thereof, an agent, agency or instrumentality of a foreign government or political subdivision thereof, a political party in a foreign country or an international political organization or

    (b) its policies, or any of them, are determined by or at the suggestion of, or in collaboration with, a foreign government or political subdivision thereof, an agent, agency or instrumentality of a foreign government or a political subdivision thereof, a political party in a foreign country or an international political organization;

    (3) “Foreign agent” means any person whose actions, or any of them, are determined by or at the suggestion of, or in collaboration with, a foreign government or political subdivision thereof, an instrumentality or agency of a foreign government or political subdivision thereof, a political party in a foreign country or an international political organization; and

    (4) “Business” includes, but is not limited to, speaking engagements.

    SECTION 23-29-30. Effect on freedom of press or speech.

    Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to authorize, require or establish censorship or to limit in any way or infringe upon freedom of the press or of speech as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States and no regulation shall be promulgated hereunder having that effect.

    SECTION 23-29-40. Organizations exempt from application of chapter.

    The terms of this chapter do not apply to any labor union or religious, fraternal or patriotic organization, society or association, or their members, whose objectives and aims do not contemplate the overthrow of the government of the United States, of this State or of any political subdivision thereof by force or violence or other unlawful means.

    SECTION 23-29-50. Registration by subversive and foreign-controlled organizations.

    Every subversive organization and organization subject to foreign control shall register with the Secretary of State on forms prescribed by him within thirty days after coming into existence in this State.

    SECTION 23-29-60. Registration of members of subversive and foreign-controlled organizations.

    Every member of a subversive organization, or an organization subject to foreign control, every foreign agent and every person who advocates, teaches, advises or practices the duty, necessity or propriety of controlling, conducting, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States, of this State or of any political subdivision thereof by force or violence or other unlawful means, who resides, transacts any business or attempts to influence political action in this State, shall register with the Secretary of State on the forms and at the times prescribed by him.

    SECTION 23-29-70. Forms and schedule for filing information.

    Every organization or person coming within the provisions of this chapter shall file with the Secretary of State all information which he may request, on the forms and at the times he may prescribe.

    SECTION 23-29-80. Promulgation of rules and regulations.

    The Secretary of State may adopt and promulgate any rules and regulations, not inconsistent with the terms of this chapter, which may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter and may alter or repeal such rules and regulations.

    SECTION 23-29-90. Penalties.

    Any organization or person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not more than twenty-five thousand dollars or imprisonment for not more than ten years, or by both fine and imprisonment.

  27. Fox and the republicans keep saying that they want to scrap the hc bill. Heck, I want to scrap the entire election, oust the imposter and start all over again, can we do that please!

  28. This is a post from Count Us Out.

    Investigators declare, “Obama never attended Columbia University”
    investigators conclusively state that:

    1) Columbia University will not divulge whether the “alleged” diploma issued was in the name of Barry Soetoro or Barack Hussein Obama. No public record exists regarding the diploma.

    2) Obama alleges he attended Columbia in 1982, 1983. But, the investigators have been UNABLE to turn up a single shred of written documentation for the years 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984 that show where Obama appeared on a school roster, register, faculty memo, bulletin board, school awards, dean’s list; where Obama’s name appeared in a yearbook, club record, fraternity record, extra curricular activity member roster, student newspaper, student radio or tv activity; where Obama appeared in any records as a worker, employee, laborer in or about Columbia University; where Obama enrolled in any sports activity or program.

    3) As a graduating senior in 1983 he does not appear in any Political Science (his major) or Granduating Class yearbook or invitation records.

    4) There is absolutely no documentation of any kind to show Obama attended, lived, worked or played at Columbia University during the investigated 4 years.

    5) Interviewed professors, college employees, students (who were at Columbia during the years in question) have failed to turn up a single person that can remember Obama. This is irrefutable evidence. Think about your own situation if Obama had attended your college? A “now-famous” person went to your school? Many would be able to say, “of course I remember.” At Columbia, not a single person has been able to say he or she remembers Obama.

    Below is a audio file of Dr. Manning going over the investigated information. Have a listen as he declares, “Obama never attended Columbia University.”

  29. confloyd, that SC thing is bullcrap. Some moron posted it, and Cheeto and HuffPo and the other progressive blogs ran with it without bothering to check it out.

    It is an old statute from 1951, when the communists were active. It hasn’t been enforced in DECADES. It’s like the old “no spitting on the sidewalk” laws that are still on some states books.

    It’s a big nothingburger – just another far left wankfest over those backward stupid rubes in SC.

  30. imho, Anthony Weiner is a clinton dem (in fact, isn’t he engaged to Hill’s PA, Huma), Weiner is not afraid to call O out…

    …would not surprise me at all if there is talk behind the scene and rumblings of a primary run against O if he doesn’t get his act together…


    after reading that expose and collusion between O and Big Pharma…one can only assume that O is not actually the President and is in fact, a Lobbyist…O is a Lobbyist for Big Pharma…simple as that…The Lobbyist-in-Chief…

  31. glennbeck has changed his hair color I think, it may be my TV, but it sure looks like its grey now instead blonde.

  32. confloyd
    February 12th, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Fox and the republicans keep saying that they want to scrap the hc bill. Heck, I want to scrap the entire election, oust the imposter and start all over again, can we do that please!


    LOL…maybe this is all just a Dallas J.R. moment…a dream that turned into a nightmare.

  33. Few In US Want Members Of Congress Re-Elected

    By Jonathan D. Salant

    (Bloomberg) – Just 8 percent of Americans want the members of Congress re-elected, according to a CBS News-New York Times poll taken nine months before roughly one-third of the Senate and the entire House face voters.

    America’s sleeping giant awakens..

    The Feb. 5-10 survey found 81 percent of respondents saying the lawmakers shouldn’t receive another term.

    By 80 percent to 13 percent, Americans said members of Congress are more interested in serving special interests than the people they represent.

    Also, 75 percent disapproved of the job Congress is doing, the highest level since 74 percent said they disapproved in October 2008. Congress’s job approval rating was 15 percent in the current survey; it was 12 percent in October 2008.

    The new poll of 1,084 adults had a margin of error of plus- or-minus 3 percentage points.

    Half of those surveyed said they wanted to abolish the filibuster in the U.S. Senate, the procedural move by which bills can be stalled unless 60 lawmakers vote to shut off debate, while 44 percent disagreed.

    The job President Barack Obama is doing was approved of by 46 percent; disapproving were 45 percent. In a December CBS-New York Times poll, his approval rating was 50 percent, while 39 percent disapproved.

    In the new poll, 60 percent of respondents said Obama understood people like themselves, compared with 42 percent for congressional Democrats and 35 percent for congressional Republicans.

    Still, 52 percent said they disapproved of the way Obama is handling the economy, while 42 percent approved. And 55 percent said they disapproved of his handling of the health-care issue, while 35 percent approved.

  34. 3 killed in Alabama university shooting

    February 12, 2010

    CNN) — Three people were killed and one was wounded Friday after a shooting at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, said Ray Garner, a spokesman for the university.

    A female shooter was in custody, he said.

    The incident occurred about 4:15 p.m. in Shelby Hall, which police were still searching, said Trent Willis, a spokesman for the mayor. “We do have some witnesses,” he said.
    Apparently the victims are faculty.

  35. Looks like those professoratorial types are killing each other over in Huntsville, Alabama. It looks like faculty on faculty this time. Probably some sleep over problems, you know who is staying at who’s house tonight? LOoks like 10 are going to the hospital. Its going to get down to needing combat pay to teach in these colleges.

  36. Sounds like McKystal is kicking some ass in Afganistan today, as they have started the largest military strike in the 9 year war. Good, may they will get Osama.

  37. Bill Clinton ‘will continue’ Haiti work
    (AFP) – 1 hour ago

    NEW YORK — A day after undergoing heart surgery, former US president Bill Clinton reassured supporters he will continue his work as a fundraising coordinator for earthquake-struck Haiti.

    “In my capacity as UN Special Envoy for Haiti, I will continue to work with the Haitian government and people, international donors and multilateral organizations,” Clinton said in a statement.

    The statement came just hours after he was released from hospital in New York following successful surgery to clear up a clogged artery.

    Clinton is a special UN envoy to Haiti and also works with fellow former US president George W. Bush in coordinating fundraising.

    Exactly a month after the earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people and left some 1.2 million homeless, Clinton said there had been “a generous outpouring of support from donors all over the world.”

    He said the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and his own Clinton Foundation Haiti Relief Fund had secured “impressive” donations.

    “So far, we’ve allocated seven million dollars to organizations providing medical care, food, water, shelter, and education,” he said, “and we will continue to provide assistance in the months and years to come.”

    Clinton also praised Haitians for doing “so much with very little.”

  38. H4T, We had the most I have ever seen. Must have been 3 or 4 inches, covered my pasture and made it completely white. My dogs went nuts.

  39. I was hoping for a little, as the 3-year-old grandbaby has never seen snow, and would have loved it, as well as my dogs! But no such luck.

  40. CALLING ALL TEXAS DEMOCRATS: Read this, is this guy stupid or what? He is very definitely a died in the wool racist.

    Democratic candidate for governor Farouk Shami says white people not willing to work in factories

    06:26 PM CST on Friday, February 12, 2010
    By GROMER JEFFERS Jr./ The Dallas Morning News
    Democratic candidate for governor Farouk Shami said Friday that white people are not willing to work in factories and as a result, Hispanic labor is essential to the Texas economy.

    Shami, a Houston hair care magnate, made the statements during a taping of WFAA’s Inside Texas Politics, which airs at 9 a.m. Sunday on Channel 8.

    “A majority of the people are going to be Hispanic and African-American,” he said. “You don’t find white people who are willing to work in factories. And our history proves lots of time when … the white people come to work in a factory they either want to be supervisors or they want to be paid more than the average person. And unfortunately they exit.”

    Later, Shami told another interviewer — seeking his reactions on comments made by Republican candidate Debra Medina — that a conspiracy of government involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks was possible.

    In between campaign stops in Dallas, the frontrunner in the race, former Houston Mayor Bill White, denounced Shami’s assessment of white workers.

    “I don’t know what Mr. Shami was talking about,” White said. “Texas is too good for stereotypes. Everybody is made in the image of God.”

    Becky Moeller, president of the Texas AFL-CIO, also said Shami was wrong.

    “That is the most preposterous statement I’ve ever heard come out of a person’s mouth,” she said. “I don’t know where he’s getting his information. It’s not supported by facts.”

    Moeller said that white Texans work in manufacturing jobs, as do residents of all ethnic backgrounds.

    Throughout the campaign, Shami has been prone to making controversial statements. And his campaign has often dwelled on the issue of race. He’s accused White of taking jobs from black Houstonians and giving them to his friends, as well as making sure potholes in Mexican-American and black neighborhoods were not fixed.

    Shami has even criticized White for touting his birthplace, San Antonio, suggesting that doing so was a thinly veiled slap at Shami’s Palestinian roots.

    Shami’s comments Friday about the tendencies of white workers were prompted by a question asking the Democrat to clarify a statement he made at Monday’s debate with White.

    During the forum, Shami responded to a question about illegal immigration by saying: “A day without Mexicans is a day without sunshine.”

    “Where ever you go, I mean, you find, you know, Hispanic people really are essential to our economy and services,” he said. “We cannot do without that.”

    Shami, who taped the interview at Houston station KHOU, was asked by a reporter there about Medina’s remarks, in which she failed to dismiss a fringe theory that the Bush administration played a role in the 2001 terrorist attacks. Medina has since said she believes Muslim terrorists were responsible.

    “Would we ever find the truth about 9/11? That’s a very dangerous subject to get into,” Shami said. “You know so it’s hard to make judgment. I’m not saying yes or no, because I don’t know the truth.”

    The reporter, Doug Miller, pressed Shami on what he believed about 9/11, and like Medina, Shami left open the possibility of a government conspiracy.

    “If it was a strategy to put the country under a threat to really get the people together, I mean, in politics, I don’t trust politics, unfortunately,” Shami said. “That’s why I think politics should be run like a business, up front and transparent.”

    He added: “The possibilities are there, the jury is out to decide, time will tell.” And he raised the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

    “We still don’t know who killed John F. Kennedy, who’s behind it,” Shami said.

  41. Hannity just revealed that he personally is afraid the tea party people will put up their own people. So the republicans are definitely trying to latch on to the tea party folks. I know some of you want this but I don’t, but their candidates are soaring and beating the republican, so we may have a real third party someday soon.

  42. Yikes, Hannity is bringing on tapes of Elizabeth Edwards that she would not want us to hear. Hannity, he thinks it ok to abuse women as long as their democrats. Thats fair and balanced, isn’t it?

  43. Jan, the photography is breathtaking…i have only been to montreal and old quebec city…very beautiful…here’s to the games…

  44. Jan, I always wanted to visit BC and Victoria when I lived on the West Coast but so far I have not had that opportunity…from all the photos and video i have seen it is very beautiful…


    Bill Clinton:

    One day after undergoing a heart procedure for chest discomfort, former President Bill Clinton told reporters he’s feeling terrific.

    “I feel great and the doctors and the hospital crew did a great job. And as I said, I even did a couple miles on the treadmill today, so I feel good,” Clinton said.

    He added that his doctors, who inserted two stents into one of his coronary arteries on Thursday, did recommend some limitations for his exercise.

    “They told me not to lift anything that weighs over ten pounds for a week, not to jog, but walk — but not to walk fast up steep hills for a week until the opening where they did the surgery in my leg heals,” he said. “It’s a miraculous thing. You can feel the energy coming back right away when all the arteries are pumping to the heart, so it made a big difference.”

    great news…we love you Bill…

  46. Hannity just revealed that he personally is afraid the tea party people will put up their own people. So the republicans are definitely trying to latch on to the tea party folks. I know some of you want this but I don’t, but their candidates are soaring and beating the republican, so we may have a real third party someday soon.
    This has been my concern from the beginning. That they would run their own candidates and siphon off enough Republican votes to enable the dimocrat to win. Big media has figured this out and stopped calling them bad names and given them a forum for precisely that reason.

    The antidote to this is Sarah Palin. That is why she will continue to be relevant to the national political debate. A friend of mine felt the Scott Brown phenomenon will make her irrelevant. Personally, I don’t think so. But she needs some training on how to handle interviews.

  47. Admin,

    The Democratic Left doesn’t have a brain right now. I’m just staggered by the stupidity. They got Gene Lyons, Noam Chomsky and Bill Clinton telling them to take the tea partiers seriously. But they don’t do it.

    Palin, it seems to me, has the credibility to move her party to the center. You would think the Dems would be exploiting that rather than attacking and demeaning her. It’s really embarrassing.

  48. Basement Angel, You’d think both party would be trying to get on the tea parties best side, but look who is the head of the party, the idiot that lets terrorists get mirandized.

  49. Confloyd,

    I got no problem with Mirandizing terrorists. I got a problem with the fact that too many people in this administration seem to be running amok because there isn’t an ounce of leadership coming out of the White House. We aren’t proceeding down a thought out path on too many fronts because no one seems to be thinking about policy in this White House.

    I wish one person had asked Obama what economics texts he had read and what he found most credible in them. I don’t think he’s read word one on economics.

  50. #
    February 13th, 2010 at 12:04 am
    I agree, Mrs. Smith. Enjoying it immensely.
    Wonderful wasn’t it! Paula. The designer of the opening ceremonies itinerary should receive a gold medal for his use of all mediums of technology brilliantly integrating them into a a dazzling feast for the eyes. (More creativity and brilliance than Avatar).. imo

    I loved the arrival of the King of the North. The giant polar bear- with his outstretched arms.

    Is Obama about to throw Holder under the bus?

    8:30 pm on February 12, 2010
    by Ed Morrissey

    The news that Barack Obama has decided to insert himself personally into the review of the proper venue for adjudicating the cases of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other 9/11 plotters should have some people at the Department of Justice nervous.

    After all, Obama delegated the decision entirely to his Attorney General, Eric Holder, who has struggled to defend it, especially after widespread criticism of the handling of the EunuchBomber.

    If Obama wants to address mounting anger over both situations and a bipartisan refusal by New York’s political class to hold a criminal trial there, he’ll have to make a decision that will undoubtedly look like a rebuke to his AG:

    Hot Air has more at the link:

  51. The future of this country depends in no small measure on how the Tea Party movement adapts to the political system:

    1. Best Option: support the Republican Party in 2010 to restore balance of power in Congress. In 2012 defeat Obama and drive his thugs out of the party. If Hillary becomes the candidate rejoin the Democratic Party. If not then see item 2.

    2. Next Best Option: evolve into an independent and effective political group which neither party can control. Support whichever candidate places country over party and pursues an agenda compatible with the interests of the American People.

    (Note: history has shown that neither party is capable of doing this sua sponte. Want proof? First Bush, now Obama. I used to say Bush loves America but has no use for the American People. Obama on the other hand has no use for either.)

    3. Worst Option: run candidates, siphon off Republican voters and hand the election to the uber corrupt party of Barack Hussein Obama. Caveat emptor: the law of unintended consequences.

  52. I consider British Columbia to be our most beautiful province of all.
    Yes, it is gorgeous. The city of Vancouver is marvelous. Stanley Park is incredible. Victoria is nice. The Empress Hotel, a beautiful relic of the Victorian Period. It some ways it is like the Hotel Del Coronado–minus the ghost. And then there is Vancouver Island parts of which are a continuation of the rain forest which stretches from the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. Beautiful place to hunt camp and fish. The Frazier River is one of the largest salmon producing rivers in North America.

    Many years ago on an airplane I met an elderly man who was a major in that wonderful organization the Salvation Army. It reminds me of the story Goodbye Darkness by William Manchester. It is the story of his experiences as a marine on Guadalcanal Pelau and I think he got to Iwo Jima. But in the early part of the book he talks about the experiences of his father who I think was also a marine and that would have meant Belleau Woods in France. He was badly wounded on the last day of the war, before the armistice was declared. He was put through triage and left to suffer for a couple days which significantly aggravated his condition. While he was in pain and waiting for treatment, he asked for cigarettes and some minor personal effects from the charities who milled through the hospital. The Red Cross demanded he sign a note to repay then and he refused. The Knights of Columbus took one look at is Masonic ring and moved on. Only the Salvation Army was willing to give him what he asked for no questions asked. Manchester never forgot that. My own father who wss in the Pacific in World War II expressed the same sentiments about the Salvation Army. If Glenn Beck only knew what he was talking about those were the original progressives. Hillary is a progressive in that sense–wanting to help people.

    Back to my train of thought. That old major with a thread bare unform told me that he had spent decades travelling the length and breadth of Canada, from the Yukon to Great Slave Lake to the Maritime Provinces and all points south. He told me the most beautiful place he found was the maritime provinces–Nova Scotia, I think he said. As I say it has been a long time since I had that conversation, and I do not remember things as well as I used to.

  53. Admin: Your diet secret is excellent and will work wonders for those tempted by late evening fridge snacks. But for those with real will power, a viewing of Hardball around the dinner hour (either 5PM or 7PM) can bring about some serious tonnage loss. I admit to sneaking an occasional peek lately (for the team, of course) and I am down to being a mere skeleton.

    Matthews has been pushing furiously and desperately for the fraud’s health care scam in order to find some (any) accomplishment for which to laud him. Yesterday, he was planning to do a whole show about it and was clearly seething that he was forced to talk about Bill Clinton instead. He continually tried to link the discussion back to O (“Isn’t it remarkable how this current President maintains ties with former Presidents?”) and showing photos of O with BC. He also mentioned how BC is beloved around the rest of the world – because they don’t remember Monica (yes, he actually said that). Truly nauseating and a great appetite suppressant.

    Matthews is (and has been for some time) nothing more than a celebrity-wannabe and failed political-wannabe. He is neither Republican nor Democrat, merely a hack using his limited public platform to mock and attack those people that he personally hates. Fortunately, his viewership these days is practically nil.

    Thanks again Admin for another great (and entertaining) column.

  54. Yesterday we were all thinking about Bill Clinton and what a dynamic speaker he is. Trust me Obama cannot hold a candle to him. I saw him in Texas and again in Pennsylvania. He was going non stop from city to city speaking on behalf of Hillary. No notes, no teleprompter, he did it all extemporaneously. In Pennsylvania, he spoke about Hillary’s commitment to helping people and how some of the programs she developed as first lady of Arkansas which she came up with in discussions with him over the dinner table and improved the lives of hundreds of people. One of those programs was so successful that it still exists today and has been replicated in 26 states, but she never brags about is. She is just glad to see that it is working. And in Texas he talked about the early work Hillary did to see that Mexicans and others who were excluded from the system at that time were signed up to vote, and there were some old people in the group who remembered her after all those years. Yes, Bill is an electrifying speaker. Obama is a newsreader a talking head a bimbo who stands to get electrocuted if telebama shorts out.

  55. Correction to the above. It was thousands of people Hillary helped in Arkansas and if you extend that number over all the people in other states it must be tens of thousands.

    Concerning Obama, the only time I can stand to listen to him is when he picks up somebody else’s speech off the podium and starts reading it by accident. If it is true that he reads and edits his own speeches, then it is hard to understand how he cold read the wrong speech and fail to realize it. But that is what he did.

  56. de Borchgrave is a smart guy. I have followed him for thirty years. He is with UPI. You will not get this kind of reporting from the propagandists at AP. FOX is foolish to publish their lying articles, or they should at least come with a suitable disclaimer, so no one makes the mistake of believing their propaganda.

    Do note however that three months after receiving his Nobel Prize in the Jack Squat category he is now up for a second Nobel Prize in the crisis in governance category, and the inside bet is he will get that one too. Where there is a will there is a way, provided you have Daddy Soros backing you. Nothing new under the sun. Just another Soros deal coming at us.
    Action on Iran Could Save Obama’s Presidency
    Friday, 12 Feb 2010 03:21 PM Article Font Size
    By: Arnaud de Borchgrave

    “Clueless in Washington” was how The Economist, a British weekly read by movers and shakers the world over, headlined America’s crisis in governance. Neither the president nor Congress shows any sign of knowing how to tackle the budget deficit.

    A $1.6 trillion deficit for the current fiscal year, to be followed by $1.35 trillion for the 2011 budget and an authorized increase of almost $2 trillion in the national debt to $14.3 trillion is a road map for a fiscal catastrophe. The last half-trillion-dollar spending bill signed by President Obama included more than 5,000 earmarks worth about $7 billion — pork funds forced upon the executive by legislators in return for their votes.

    Deficits between now and 2020 are forecast to add up to $30 trillion. The total amount of U.S. dollars in circulation worldwide (known by the Fed as M3): $14.3 trillion. Some financial and economic experts think the Obama administration’s remedial measures thus far are tantamount to slightly rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    In his new book, “Freefall” (W.W. Norton & Co., 2010), Joseph E. Stiglitz, a member of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, says, “In the Frankenstein laboratories of Wall Street, banks created new risk products without mechanisms to manage the monster they had created,” while innovation simply meant “circumventing regulations, accounting standards and taxation.”

    Kevin Philips, whose latest book — “Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism” (Viking, 2008) — is an equally devastating indictment, writes, “The financial industry will most likely block any far-reaching overhaul, even though it will not be able to put its own broken Humpty Dumpty back on the wall. That bleak conclusion may not be too far from what Joe Stiglitz himself thinks.”

    Mr. Obama is floundering as he tries to reset his presidency on economics. Defense is sacrosanct. Either taxes go up, or entitlements go down, or both. On Capitol Hill, it’s still burned toast for the president.

    For centuries, leaders faced with insuperable domestic problems found escape in foreign distractions. In some cases, the distractions occurred suddenly and fortuitously, such as World War II, which started in Europe and pulled America out of the Great Depression.

    President Obama isn’t looking for such a distraction, but others have no pangs illuminating what they think is the way out of the “clueless in Washington” dilemma. Right-wing scholar-activist Daniel Pipes, a neocon icon, could not be more blunt: President Obama can “save” his presidency by bombing Iran. The fact that this also could cost him the presidency is not deemed worthy of discussion.

    Mr. Pipes is in good company. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair now says the world may have to take on Iran as the mullahocracy and its Revolutionary Guards are more of a threat today than Iraq was when U.S. and British troops invaded in 2003.

    Mr. Blair, addressing a joint session of Congress, gave President George W. Bush a powerful oratorical assist on the historical need to destroy Saddam Hussein’s regime and its nuclear and chemical weapons. There also was much disinformation about a purported alliance between Saddam and Osama bin Laden. At one stage, 60 percent of the American people believed the canard that Saddam had been behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed 3,000 Americans.

    While under questioning by a British panel investigating his decision to join the U.S. in the war against Iraq, Mr. Blair kept coming back to Iran — no less than 58 times. If Saddam hadn’t been eliminated, Mr. Blair said, today Iraq and Iran would be competing in supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups.

    Mr. Pipes, a powerful voice in Israel’s corner, says Mr. Obama “needs a dramatic gesture to change the public perception of him . . . preferably in an arena where the stakes are high, where he can take charge, and where he can trump expectations.” Such an opportunity now exists, to wit: “Obama can give orders for the U.S. military to destroy Iran’s nuclear weapons capacity. It would have the advantage of sidelining healthcare, push Republicans to work with Democrats, make tea partyers jump for joy, conservatives and neoconservatives would swoon ecstatically.”

    In 2003, President George H.W. Bush appointed Mr. Pipes to the board of the U.S. Institute of Peace. Today, he is part of a powerful lobby in Washington that pooh-poohs the repercussions predicted by the Iran war naysayers, a group that includes three former U.S. CENTCOM commanders.

    Gen. Anthony Zinni, one of the three, says, “If you like Iraq and Afghanistan, you’ll love Iran.” They can see how one bomb on Iran would trigger the theocracy’s impressive asymmetrical retaliatory capabilities up and down the entire Persian Gulf — and beyond.

    To reinforce the war party’s arguments, Mr. Pipes also says that “the apocalyptic-minded leaders in Tehran could eventually “launch an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the U.S., utterly devastating the country.” His detractors dismiss EMP alarmism as flimflam. But they are wrong.

    EMP is a very real concern of those who ponder future asymmetrical threats.

    In his latest book, “One Second After” (Forge, 2009), New York Times best-selling author William R. Forstchen looks at EMPs “and their awesome ability to send catastrophic shockwaves throughout the U.S. within seconds.”

    One Scud-type nuclear missile, fired from the cargo hold of a freighter off the East Coast, set to explode 75 miles up, could fry everything electrical in one-third of the United States, from every cell phone and computer to aircraft, trains, vehicles, elevators, and the entire government, including the Pentagon.

    Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak disappointed the war hawks by saying the inability to negotiate a peace deal with the Palestinians is a greater threat to the Jewish state than a nuclear Iran. National Security Adviser Gen. James L. Jones added that Israel is acting “responsibly” on Iran, and “we’re working very closely with them.”

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suddenly cooed, too, offering the West its low-enriched (3.5 percent) uranium, then taking it back once enriched at 20 percent. Within 48 hours, Iran’s chief obfuscator was barking again, announcing the production of highly enriched uranium at 20 percent and the building of 10 new enrichment sites in 2010. Weaponization requires 90 percent.

    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said he is certain Iran is going for the bomb and it’s time for tough new sanctions. But Russia and China are not aboard.

  57. Mike Marks, the last time we listened to Matthews was when he appeared unbeknownst to us on the Joe Scarborough show. Matthews was deliberately provocative and taunting Scarborough and others. At the time it was assumed Obama would push the health scam through and Matthews was obnoxious and visibly happy that Obama was about to get a major victory.

    Matthews kept ranting and raving that health care “had to be done” and that is all there was to the discussion. To Matthews it was simply “get it done”. It was a bravura “bully boy” example.

    You are to be commended for ventures into Chris Matthews land “for the team”. We long ago used to watch Matthews as part entertainment, part to hear the conventional “wisdom” of Big Media blowhards, and part to learn something/anything. But the entertainment turned dull, the conventional “wisdom” rancid and increasingly deranged, and we had to admit that we were not learning anything. When we did watch Matthews we came away with less wisdom than when we started. So we stopped watching Matthews at all.

    Your description of the show you watched was vivid. The praise for “remarkable” Obama is truly fawning and ever so stupid. Through you we can feel the Matthews hatred of Clinton. With your description we can see the wet lips and drool on the side of the mouth every time Matthews utters “Monica”.

    Long ago we realized that Matthews thought of himself as greater than Bill Clinton and with even more ability than Bill Clinton. After all, they are both Irish, blondish, rotundish, wonkish, and love gab. In his own mind we think Matthews harbors resentments towards Bill Clinton because he imagines himself greater than Bill but with less recognition and less accomplishments. “How dare Bill be loved and appreciated more than me” we hear Matthews saying. We suspect that is why Matthews is so blind about Bill Clinton and why he tries to tear Bill down.

    As to watching Matthews for dietary purposes, we would only consider that if we were bulimic.

  58. Betty, thank you for using my post. More power to the Tea Parties and to true patriots who love this country – our country. You need no permission from me to post whatever is useful of what I post.
    What is the name of your blog/site?

    And thanks to you and your brother.

  59. A long article in the New York Times on the question of Texas textbooks and whether the founding mothers and fathers were particularly Christian has this bit of joy:

    Finally, the board considered an amendment to require students to evaluate the contributions of significant Americans. The names proposed included Thurgood Marshall, Billy Graham, Newt Gingrich, William F. Buckley Jr., Hillary Rodham Clinton and Edward Kennedy. All passed muster except Kennedy, who was voted down.

  60. Mrs. Smith, my favorite saying now is in reference to the blizzard covering the WH:
    Hell has frozen over! lol
    So, much for that global warming thing-y.

  61. I think this is my first post here. First of all, I’d like to say I LOVE Big Pink! Huge fan for a long time.

    I signed up to post my opinion on Barry being “clueless.” I don’t think he’s clueless. I think he’s a Republican Trojan horse. Continuing wars, not prosecuting Bush, Cheney, et al, not stepping up to the plate vis-a-vis the environment, being anti-woman, racist, etc. This is why the Republicans stood down for the election – they could have had Obama gone in seconds, because of his checkered past, but NOOOOOO. I think the plan was to destroy the Democratic Party for the foreseeable future. And, voila! They seemed to be succeeding for a while.

    But Barack can’t hide his true leanings, and that is why Martha lost in MA; in large part, because they see – and by “they,” I mean Independents and Democrats – that Obama is not a true Dem in any sense of the word. True Dems are about helping people, they’re about ethics, they’re about concern for the long term. Barry is not about any of these things. He’s about money and power and show. That’s it! And all us (we?) PUMAs knew that he would tip his hand as soon as his reign started – and he did. Over and over and over again.

    And now, Big Pink does not pull any punches in keeping us informed, and in a very riveting way. You are the best! I’m honored to post here. A wonderful way to start the weekend, and the end of the disasterous fake presidency of Barack “Barry Soetoro” Obama!

  62. #
    February 13th, 2010 at 8:22 am

    Mrs. Smith, my favorite saying now is in reference to the blizzard covering the WH:
    Hell has frozen over! lol
    So, much for that global warming thing-y.


    Hell has frozen over and exposed the reason for
    tampering with climate results blaming “humans” for Global Warming- The scheme involved having a scientific basis for creating another hoax called “Cap and Trade”. Thankfully, world leaders in Copenhagen had the wisdom to show Obama and Soros the door. Thereby ruining their charade for once more lining their pockets with money stolen from people just because they can.

  63. admin:@8:09, Well I always said Texans had common sense! Glad to see that the head of the Irish Mafia didn’t make the cut.

    It seems to me that the Lion of the Senate was a legend in his own mind.

  64. Alex

    Thanks for your first time post. Always great to see long time readers join in the conversation. In my estimations, it is on blogs like these that our true democracy lives.

  65. I saw a “motto for 2012′” I thought it was good so I will post it here.


  66. As I recall, it had to do with extending educational opportunities to children who by virtue of native American heritage, or rural poor conditions were being left behind by the state educational system. I think it was a patch of some sort to make good on the goal of equal eduction for all children. The program was and is important for the reasons stated above but the larger point Bill was making was that even as First Lady of Arkansas Hillary was always thinking about how to make the lives of the American People better and to help them over the rough spots.

    How different it is with Mr. Obama–who thinks only of himself. Yes, Obama. The candidate of big business, wealthy donors, and people who fall for a clever marketing campaign because to them it seems hip–hep to the jive. The inevitable result is what you see now: “clueless in Washington, an American crisis in government, soaring deficits far as the eye can see, as the movers and shakers of the world see it”, as Arnaud de Borchgrave notes. It is the dark side of Twain’s novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court. You cannot take someone who knows nothing about the executive branch of government and has never run so much as a cocktail stand and expect them to succeed in a complex role. But that is what they did.

    The folly could be summed up in one sentence which was repeated time and again by the unenlightened during the campaign: it does not matter that he lacks experience. He is a Harvard professor and will surround himself with good people. Good people alright. People like Axelrod, Jarrett, Emanuel and Gibbs–the village idiot. Neopolitano and Van Jones are part other examples of his judgment in public office.

  67. White House releases economic report predicting high unemployment until 2015

    February 12, 2010

    White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and Counsel of Council on Economic Advisers Dr. Christina Romer held a press conference yesterday answering questions about a new economic report predicting high unemployment until 2015.

    “Dr. Romer, one figure that just leaps off the page from this report is that even after job growth returns, you don’t see unemployment coming down to 6 percent until 2015. Isn’t that a pretty bleak assessment,” asked a White House reporter, “of what six years of the Obama presidency is going to deliver?”

    “I think we described at the time,” Romer said, “we had — we tried to do an honest, conservative forecast to make sure that we were basing our budget numbers on sort of as close to the consensus and reasonable forecast as we can.”

    The counsel is thinking that the future could be brighter than their report indicates.

    “The Council of Economic Advisers are very enthusiastic about the small business jobs and wages tax credit,” Romer said.

    Gibbs chimed in that unemployment is greater now than in any modern economic downtown. “Taking the recession in 1981, 1991, and 2001, they don’t cumulatively equal 8.4 million jobs,” Gibbs said.

    The US economy hasn’t experienced this much unemployment since the Great Depression. “I think the statistic I saw,” Gibbs said, “was that you had consecutive quarters of more than 5 percent, more than negative-5 percent economic retraction for the first time since the Great Depression. So I think it’s important to understand the sheer size and the magnitude of what we’re dealing with.”

    Is it more of the blame game?

    “What you just said leads naturally into what some of the critics are saying this morning, which is that what you’ve just described as documenting the challenges is really an exercise in blame-shifting. Is it?,” a reporter asked.

    “No,” Gibbs said. “The fact that we lost 763,000 in January of 2009 isn’t blame-shifting; it’s a fact. The fact that we were, as Dr. Romer said, averaging 700,000 jobs lost a month in that quarter is a fact. The fact — the notion that we are now where we are losing — in November we had positive job growth, but we’re getting much closer to the margin of zero — that’s a fact. This isn’t blame-shifting.”

  68. Confloyd: can you imagine what the Dorian Grey portrait of Teddy Kennedy would look like? It would look like one of those creatures from Tales of the Crypt.

  69. White House releases economic report predicting high unemployment until 2015
    That was the opposite of what they were saying a year ago.

    Do you remember the old expression “a credibility gap”?

    Do they have ANY concept of what that means to this society–and our political system?

    I doubt the middle class will go gently into that goodnight.

  70. wbboei,

    Nova Scotia and the Maritimes as a whole are indeed very beautiful. I just have very fond family memories of summer holidays in B.C. and am more partial to that province…lol…

  71. Thanks, Alex, for your first post. It is always great to see long time readers join in the conversation. I feel the blogs are keeping our Democracy alive.

  72. Nova Scotia and the Maritimes as a whole are indeed very beautiful. I just have very fond family memories of summer holidays in B.C. and am more partial to that province…lol
    Jan–you will get no argument from me. I have spent lots and lots of time in British Columbia and I agree with you. They have some great golf courses too. The jewel of the crown is Capilano in North Vancouver, which is situated on the mountainside just below the Grouse Mountain Sky ride. I can remember playing that course in 1969 on the day we landed on the moon, I was in the service then and the Canadian host and playing partner told me you must be very proud of your country today.

    I have not been to the maritime provinces. Some day I hope to, when my ship comes in.

  73. Thanks, admin, I now have some duplicate posts, sorry about that.

    I will be more patient. (I thought i was losing my mind).

  74. White House releases economic report predicting high unemployment until 2015
    Pay close attention here and ask yourself is this what is meant by the term leadership???????????


    VENUE: Theater of the Absurd

    1. Act I: tell people everything is bad and getting worse. Present yourself as the Messiah. Yea, though you walk through the shadow of death you must fear no evil because I will be with you. My rod and my staff shall protect and comfort you. (Song: Jesus Christ Super Star and from the bot chorus I Don’t Know How to Love Him)/

    2. Act II: I won. Fuck you. Fuck all of you. I am president. It is me me me me me–la ti do. Ten to five (new song). The cocktails, the parties, the golf. Me and my media banker and basketball buddies are star crossed and in the flush forever. Most important decision: that mansion in Hawaii is for sale. Should I. Or shouldn’t I. (Song: selections from How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying)/

    3. Act III: The economy? Sure its bad. But it ain’t my fault. No sir. Not me. Its Congress, its Bush, its the dumb white cop, its those people who live in small towns, its those typical white people. I am blameless. Jamie Dimon and the rest of my buddies are blameless. (Song: Put The Blame On Mame–I am innocent)/

    4. Act IV: I told you I would never lie to you. Its gonna be a Japanese style recovery. Fifteen years of high unemployment, and slow growth. But I have made an important decision. At the end of my second term I will buy that mansion in Hawaii. Nothing to good for me and Michelle. (Song: I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, Brother Can You Spare A Dime, Slow Boat To China)/

    5. Grand Finale: Big Media Chorus, ring level, close-ups, fade to black and endless night. (Song: Jesus Christ Superstar. We Don’t Know How To Love HIM.)

  75. Barack’s buddy Jamie Dimon who got the obscene bonus which Barack praised him for just hung out a sign at Chase Bank Ten Billion Dollars To Loan. A friend of mine runs a small coffee restaurant which he has had for thirty years. He went needs a new coffee machine costing $10,000. He saw that ad, went to Chase and applied for a loan. He was turned down for no apparent reason. He has assets and a decent cashflow, which has taken a hit in the past year but is still viable. That is what we are dealing with now: lies and delusions. Someone told him that Chase is taking the money and investing it in oveseas markets where the rate of return is better. That is Jamie Dimon for you. Barack’s buddy. When it comes to the American People, Barack is the absent minded professor.

  76. When it comes to the American People, Barack is the absent minded professo——————

    That is being so kind!!!!!!

    More like “derelection of duty, utterly contemptuous professor”

  77. Earlier this week there was a story about how Senator Reid gutted the jobs bill they had previously concocted. Governor Edward Rendell (D-PA)–a decent man and fine public servant– was at loss to explain why his leadership would do such a thing in a time of need. The answer is obvious. The White House wants to take credit for a robust jobs bill at a time closer to the election. Want proof? Obama has purposely horded stimulus monies for that same exact purpose. To date, only 35% of those monies have been spent, for the same reason. This is a cynical political ploy. If those monies had been spent at or near the time of allocation, then many people who are unemployed would be working and contributing to the economy. Politics over sound governance is all that Obama is capable of. No mystery here Governor. Just business as usual from a corrupt administration.


    Question: when will it end?

    Answer: 2012

    Comment: those who voted for him need to say: fool me once– shame on you. Fool me twice– shame on me.

    Prediction: look for Volker, or a younger protogee to take Geithner’s place after 2010/ Just a hunch.


    Last Updated: 11:13 AM, April 8, 2009
    Posted: 1:23 AM, April 8, 2009
    The stress tests the government are about to conduct on some of the nation’s largest banks is being blasted by insiders at Sheila Bair’s Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., who say it’s a pointless exercise that’s more sizzle than steak.

    The FDIC’s basic beef with the stress test is that it is not a credible way to assess how much additional cash beaten-down banks will need to weather what many Wall Street experts predict will be more losses in the coming months.

    The tests are conducted by the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve on the nation’s 19 biggest banks, including behemoths Citigroup, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase.

    “It’s a sham,” one source told The Post, describing the test as an “open-book, take-home exam” that doesn’t actually work.
    While specific details are still being worked out, the Treasury and Fed’s tests are expected to determine how banks might perform under the assumption that unemployment ratchets up and overall economic conditions worsen beyond what the market has seen so far.

    However, Bair and others argue that the remedial test won’t be able to determine accurately how much each bank will need in the future.

    These people say some banks found in solid shape today may later go to Uncle Sam hat in hand as the markets worsen. They also note that anything done now will largely be arbitrary.

    Officials from the FDIC declined to comment.

    The FDIC’s panning of the stress tests highlights the growing rift between Bair and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner over how to fix the ailing financial sector.

    Many high-profile analysts already are voicing the concern that losses will pile up in areas most of Wall Street hasn’t watched closely, such as residential and commercial loans that are currently on banks’ balance sheets.

    Banks can house these assets on their balance sheets at nearly their full value if they hold them to maturity. However, the credit crunch has made many of these loans worth far less. For example, market players said banks today will get anywhere from 60 cents to 80 cents on the dollar for option ARMs and home-equity loans they own.

    Critics also argue that the stress test fails in comparison to other valuation methods such as Basel II, which took years to develop and was to serve as a global standard for assessing how much capital a bank should hold in relation to its risk.
    “How is the Fed and the Treasury over a couple of weeks supposed to take a weird set of macroeconomic assumptions and come up with a number [for banks]?” one source asked.

    The transparency of the test has also been called into question since expectations are that the Treasury won’t disclose specifically which banks need more cash to remain stable and which will pass muster.
    Treasury expects to release some of its findings at the end of April.

    Read more:;jsessionid=B52BFEE65BD6BE8D85C1315CD03E87FD#ixzz0fRHNbvwp

  79. Alex,

    You aren’t alone in your suspicions. A lot of us think that. Think about how odd it is that the Illinois GOP couldn’t find a single Republican to run against an unknown state senator from Chicago. What are the odds that they would be forced to import a mental defective from Maryland just to have a candidate?

    My suspicions are that he was groomed to take on Clinton from the point where it was clear that she was a viable candidate against Giuliani for the senate. Now, I could be wrong. I don’t have any memos to that effect, bu6 that is what I think.

  80. Netanyahu speaks with Clinton ahead of her visit to Persian Gulf


    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday held a phone conversation with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The two discussed the course of action taken by the international community against Iran and the diplomatic process with the Palestinians.

    The Prime Minister’s Office said that Netanyahu sent his regards to Clinton’s husband, former US President Bill Clinton, and wished him a quick and full recovery. Clinton is slated to arrive Saturday in the Persian Gulf for a short visit.,7340,L-3848462,00.html

  81. 13/02/2010

    Obama names special envoy to pan-Islamic body

    US President Barack Obama on Saturday named Rashad Hussain as his administration’s special envoy to the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.

    In a recorded video message to the seventh annual US-Islamic World Forum meeting in the Qatari capital, Obama said he wanted to deepen partnerships with the Muslim world “and to develop others.”

    “I’m proud to announce today that I am appointing my special envoy to the OIC Rashad Hussain,” Obama said.

    “As an accomplished lawyer and a close and trusted member of my White House staff, Rashad has played a key role in developing the partnerships I called for in Cairo.”

    In June 2009, Obama travelled to Egypt to deliver an address aimed at restarting US relations with Muslims worldwide as he seeks to rebuild ties after eight rocky years under his predecessor George W. Bush.

  82. Most of us believe that the malaise that affects our political system is the direct result of the clash between Democrats and Republicans. Lord knows that paradigm had validity at one time. If you believe it is still valid, then it is axiomatic that Obama is a Republican posing as a Democrat. Why? Because Democrats help people and republicans help themselves to opm–other people’s money–or so goes that paradigm.

    But what if we are wrong? What if there are Republicans who hate their party leadership because it is too tied to big money and there are Democrats who hate their party leadership because they are too tied to big money. Does the Democrats are for the people and Republicans are for big money make sense any longer.

    You can say Obama is behaving like a rich republican like Bush. But you could just as easily say that he is behaving like a limousine liberal–in which case he would be like Kerry, Kennedy or one of those. In either case he is indifferent to the interests of the American People, and party label becomes a distinction without a difference, save this: as long as the American People believe that the two parties are not two wings of the same bird, they will be divided.

    I have spoken before about a man named Felix Rohatyn. He is a Wall Street Banker, a behind the scenes mover and shaker, friend of Pelosi, executor of the Kennedy will–so I am told. After Mondale lost the election, he approached the leaders of the Democratic Party and he argued that they must abandon the FDR model and cast their fate with Wall Street as the Republicans have always done. Otherwise, they would not be competitive in elections. His view prevailed and at that point the paradigm changed, but the rhetoric remained the same.

    Normally, I would not quote Tom Friedman, but once in a while he makes a valid point. In this book The World Is Flat, he mentions that fault lines now exist in both parties between the business oriented globalist factions, and the america first faction, which believes the first priority should be here at home. The contradiction is illustrated by the prior example of Chase–a Barack supporter who rejects loan applications here but makes huge investments of our money in the third world where the rate of return is superior, for the investment class.

    These schisms in both parties have the potential to reconfigure the entire political system. Rather than Democrats and Republicans we might have a Wall Party comprised of small businesses, labor unions, small business republicans. And we might have a globalist party comprised of limousine liberals, environmentalists and multi national corporations. If you look around the world from the standpoint of comparative government that is not as far fetched as it sounds. The problem is that even though these groups might have congruent economic interests, their political philosophies are fundamentally different. But if things remain as they are, the community of interest which define a political party or any voluntary association for that matter will wither away and disillusionment will follow.

  83. Admin @6:27am:

    Thanks for your reply to my comment. I can’t take watching Hardball anymore, either; but I am compelled to tune in occasionally for the trainwreck aspect of it.

    I agree completely with your assessment of Matthews. He ran for a House seat in the early 70’s and lost. He sees himself as superior (or at least equal) to Bill Clinton as a potential politician and he has a lot of pent-up rage for BC’s stealing of Chris’s imagined political achievements. Even more so for Hillary, especially when she ran for the Senate; he really became visibly unhinged about that. Bill was bad enough, but a WOMAN stealing his imagined glory. No no no.

    The only sad part of it is that he was actually a reasonably good left-leaning journalist before he got his own show; he was very impressive when he used to substitute for Jack Germond on the Mclaughlin Group in the late 1980’s. But he’s been going downhill for a long time now and is pretty cose to the bottom now – a bitter, aging, self-deluded clown.

    It continues to amaze me how accurate your predictions have been about everything for the last two years, especially about health care reform. I had my doubts, but you were correct; it truly did die in August 2008.

  84. admin – here’s a job opening with your name written all over it. those of us here at big-pink would be happy to help out too. 🙂

    February 13, 2010
    Help wanted: Obama’s Twitterer (filibusterers need not apply)
    Posted: February 13th, 2010 12:38 PM ET

    From Fortune Senior Writer Michael Copeland

    Organizing for America, an organization under the umbrella of the Democratic National Committee is looking for a “Social Networks Manager.” The ideal candidate is someone who can play Twitter, Facebook, and yes, even MySpace, like a violin, to “execute grassroots campaigns to advance the President’s agenda for change.”

  85. “to advance the President’s agenda for change” hmm, the problem is nobody knows what his agenda is, what he stands for.. one day it is no tax increase for middle class, the next day he is “agnostic” (LOL, I like it when he uses big words).. one day he is for public option, another day he is not.. one day he is against Wall Street excesses and disasters, another day he is calling them savvy and successful…

  86. Thanks for the warm welcome! I especially appreciate your repeated efforts to make sure I feel at home, New Mexico Fan (I love the Land of Enchantment, also!). Most of all, I’m particulary fond of Big Pink’s dedication to the truth. Rumor is it will set you free – hopefully free of B(arry) S(oetoro) ;-).

  87. Mike Marks, if you want to get Chris Matthews in a nutshell, get the last show of his long lost series “Politics” (there are no mentions on the internet of that failed show that we have been able to find). That was a high minded politics show and a total failure. In the last episode Matthews appears utterly defeated.

    After the failure of “Politics” Matthews became a showboat and blowhard. BTW, the failure of “Politics” was due to the fact that it was not particularly a very good show – it did not explain politics and it did not have any facts or “scoops” that could not be obtained anywhere else. The failure of his “Politics” show unhinged Matthews.

    Matthews has done everything he can do to wipe “Politics” from his biography.

  88. I have mixed emotions about FOX. Their saving grace is they are not pure shills for the Administration, like CNN, NBC, ABC, NYT clearly are. They have the best news analyst in Charles Krauthammer, the best interviewer in Greta Van Sustern and Megan Kelley in the industry. I think highly of Major Garrett as a reporter, and had a chance to tell him that during the West Virginia primary. Britt Hume was an excellent panel moderator.

    But they have others I am not fond of. O’Reilly strikes me as a slime ball, and Hannity is a bitter partisan. I think Shawn reached a new low when he had on those people who had taped conversations by Elizabeth Edwards, while she was struggling with cancer and learning that John had betrayed her. The private pain she went through is nobody’s business, and for Shawn to publicize it and sensationalize it as he did was un-Christian of him. I do not like either Edwards because of the shameful way they deceived Hillary, but what Shawn did here was beyond the boundaries of civility, charity and common decency.

  89. The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche advanced the philosophical premise that God is dead.

    This raises an epistemological question: who is God? Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes was a social darwinist and he claimed God is the majority vote of the nation with the most guns.

    In the international arena it raises a question of volition: if God is not dead, but fails to act, because HE does not wish to take the risk, and prefers to blame others who did, then how can there be stability and order in the world.

    A friend called me this morning and said this: in Haiti, we are seeing the results of Obama in a microcosm. France and others criticize us for being botching the rescue mission. Americans go down there to bring medical supplies and save lives. So called authorities arrest church people who have filed papers to bring orphan children to safety.

    What does Obama do? He gives press conferences, does curtain calls and pussfoots around the legal question. De rigeur for a Harvard law graduate and a senior lecturer in Constitutional Law. Some of his supporters have tried to argue that such characterizations are racist. Perhaps we should just say he is like Chamberlain with an umbrella–all mouth. Dictators–even petty ones are connoisseurs of power. When they smell weakness they are emboldened. And with Obama it exudes from every pore.

    How would Bush or Clinton have handled this? I suspect a phone call would have been made and an ultimatum would have been issued. Release them now or else. Or else we will start pulling our, or we may just take self help. But of course that is not consistent with Obama’s world view. But he has no concept of the obligations and responsibilities of power.

  90. Wbboei, Did you hear about the democrats wanting to lower the age of retirement to 60yrs old? It is something new that Reid is behind. I know their was talk about lowering the age to get into medicare to 55, so my question is, is there really going to be any new jobs or are they thinking if they retire the 55 and up that will create the new jobs needed?

  91. Wbboei, Did you hear about the democrats wanting to lower the age of retirement to 60yrs old?
    I think it came from Dennis. He was standing on the balcony one evening staring at the heavens… A comet lit up the sky. He checked his watch. Nope. Its too early for Halley’s commet-by sixty two years. He went out down to inspect. He found a flying saucer, knocked on the hatch and it opened. He peered down into the abyss and saw nothing. Then suddenly an alien who looked like Napolitiano appeared. He asked we are running out of money. What do we do. The alien replied even though I just crashed the system worked and that is why I am alive. The answer to your question is simple. Give them early retirement. To which Dennis asked how can that work? We will be paying more money and getting nothing for it. We will have negative productivity. To which the alien replied it is no problem really. They are old and unproductive. And you will be just fine if you pay them in yen–or better still-special drawing rights.

  92. “to advance the President’s agenda for change” hmm, the problem is nobody knows what his agenda is, what he stands for.. one day it is no tax increase for middle class, the next day he is “agnostic” (LOL, I like it when he uses big words).. one day he is for public option, another day he is not.. one day he is against Wall Street excesses and disasters, another day he is calling them savvy and successful
    This is where Plouffe and his goons will fall flat on their face. Hope and change have given way to militarism and economic failure. What was new and sheek has become pedestrian. It is no longer some rock video. It is real life, real life aint getting better, and Obama has shown himself to be A God That Failed. Successful strategies draw their essence from the world around them–not from the virtual world. Success has many fathers whereas failure is an orphan. Sorry Plouffe.

  93. This reminds me of a time in the late 80’s or early 90’s my son met a new friend from Arkansas. They were in high school but the boy never quiet got used to Texas and was always wanting to go back to Arkansas. One day I asked this kid why he didn’t like Texas and liked Arkansas better he said, ” you most people think Arkansas is hillbilly country, but in the last few years our school system was completely redone, my dad had lots of work, and they had a lot of programs for healthcare for the poor. I did not realize at the time that it was a state where our future President and First Lady were working their butts off to bring Arkansas out of the dark ages.

  94. Admin@2:03:

    If you’re referring to Matthews’s “Politics” show that was on the “America’s Talking” network around 1995, I missed that because “America’s Talking” was not part of my cable lineup.

    Thanks for the tip; I’ll let you know if I can track down anything related to the show.

  95. Clinton Travels to Qatar, Saudi Arabia

    Her trip will focus on talks with allies on Iran and Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

    13 February 2010

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has left on a trip to Qatar and Saudi Arabia for talks with U.S. allies on Iran and efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

    Clinton is expected to arrive Sunday in Qatar’s capital, Doha, where she will meet with the emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, as well as Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, who serves as both the prime minister and foreign minister.

    Clinton will also deliver a speech to the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha, as part of the Obama administration’s bid to promote better ties with Muslim countries.

    U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday appointed a special envoy to the 56-member Organization of the Islamic Conference ahead of Clinton’s appearance at the forum.

    In a recorded video message to the conference, Mr. Obama said he was appointing White House lawyer Rashad Hussain to expand the partnership with the Muslim community that he has pursued since his Cairo speech last June.

    President Obama said he looks forward to continuing the dialogue next month when he visits Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country. Mr. Obama also acknowledged the challenges ahead, because he said the relationship between the United States and Muslims has, as he put it, “slipped into a cycle of misunderstanding and mistrust that can lead to conflict rather than cooperation.”

    In Saudi Arabia, Clinton will meet with King Abdullah, the principal sponsor of the 2003 Arab League peace initiative offering Israel full relations with Arab states for progress made with the Palestinians. A State Department spokesman said Clinton will try to persuade Arab leaders to re-engage with the stalled peace process.

    Clinton is departing a day later than planned after her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, was briefly hospitalized for a heart procedure on Thursday.

  96. Mike Marks, that’s the show. Excellent memory or excellent research. Notice it has disappeared from Matthews’ C.V. The last show is the one to watch – in it Matthews pretty much admits that the serious style did not work and foreshadowed the horrors to come.

  97. wbboei
    February 13th, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Wbboei….I have had to turn off Fox in the afternoon . I find Megan Kelly to be pure Republican old line propaganda. That is not news ….it is opinion. I spend many hours working alone and like to have news on. Many of us are longing for one news station to watch.

    I do agree that Fox is the only place to watch any anti Obummer news, but I find I am watching it less and less. They are going to start losing some of their new market share if they dont try to be more “fair and balanced”. But I doubt if they care at this point. They are moving more and more people to the Republicans or at least they are trying very hard.

  98. NYT saying that Zuckerman is thinking about running against Gillibrand.
    A giant step—in the wrong direction. The senate is no place for billionaire globalists. Mort is no friend of the common man. It had to be either him or Bloomberg. One of those two champaign bottles was bound to pop. Billionaire media moguls like them are too alpha to do well in the deliberative, seniority driven senate where progress happens slowly if at all.

    P.S. let him run against two faced Schumer instead. In that case I might warm up to the idea.

  99. I find Megan Kelly to be pure Republican old line propaganda.
    Are you sure she is a republican? Or is she a conservative? There is a difference you know. Big Business, Big Media and the Political Parties themselves are one and the same. The problem I have with that conflation is that it prevents conservatives and liberals who care about the future of this country from finding each other, understanding their common interest and forming a united front against the common enemy. If I were a globalist and wanted to exploit the American People, I might seek to portray the conflict in terms of party vs party. That way I could divide and conquer. But if you view the two parties as joined the hip as I do, then I see it differently. Thus, when Megan Kelly asks tough questions to sitting politicians I applaud. Same way with Greta.

    I gather from your comments that you are a loyal Democrat and deplore what Obama is doing to the party. During the Bush presidency there were Republicans who felt the same way about him and left the party for that reason. People who care more about country than party need to find each other and not let party label prevent them from forging a new consensus. Most people today are sick and tired of ideologues. They want moderation and practical solutions. If you look at the current political scene Hillary is the only one who can do that. Others like Gingrich are capable of offering solutions but they are not moderates, and that is a problem.

  100. wbboei, Megan Kelly is a RWN and a religious one. There is nothing wrong with being religious as long as you don’t push your views on the rest of American/world. This is what FOx does, and all it is is a cover for breaking the middle class. I hope you realize for the last week Beck is preparing the country for a collapse. He says America will be better afterwards just like it was after the depression.

    With people in power like him we just we don’t need enemies.

    Carol, I too have been turning off Fox because of the RWN propaganda, I am sick of the name calling and the two bit fights with the democrats. I can’t imagine why Fox does not realize by going this far right it will run off the Clinton dems. I don’t know why they would do this unless its the plan. Its what is called working both sides against the middle. THe CHICAGO COMBINE

  101. I started to post this earlier. If FOX wants to get the rest of the audience big media has abandoned, they should stop kissing Obama’s ass (as O’Reilly does because he thinks that makes him look fair and balance, when all it really does to me at least is make him look like a coward) and start criticizing the Republican leadership when they betray the interests of the American People as Obama so often does as well. If they do that they could hang a going out of business sign over the offices of CNN, ABC and NBC. But that is a big step for them politically and from a marketing standpoint. But as I said before, there are conservatives who are mad at the Republicans so they should try it. It will make them harder for their opponents to criticize.

  102. You will have to watch her grip about the missionaries in Haiti. Poor little missionaries were only trying to give these kids a better life. In my opinion, they were obstructing real concrete work to save and help the people by getting this whole thing going.

    She constantly has people on who are against Roe Vs. Wade. She also has a Brietbart type sting unit going to abortion clinics. SHe is a nut case.

    Obviously we will have to find the videos, as she is a television pundit.

    There again Fox is pushing rwn theology on the whole of America.

  103. Wbboei, I just haven’t found any true way of separating the conservative from the republicans unless their names is Ron Paul which is not one of my favorites because of his stance on war.

  104. Some of the blue dogs that have now joined the republican party will be hard to separate also. I have to do this soon as the republican primary is in March. It is the most important one and I am voting for Medina, but have also got to watch as some state congressman and state senators have switched. So I plan to see if these folks were superD’s in 08′ and who they backed. If they backed Clinton I will vote for the Bluedog turned republican. I got a political speech this am at the pharmacy by a Chuck Hopson lackey. He’s a turncoat so we’ll look a little closer at him.

  105. I bought a copy of The American Spectator with a picture on the front doing a half assed salute worthy of the Ruler of the Queen’s Navee, which was entitled Flirting With Failure such articles as Defects of Leadership and Who Is This Guy Anyway and Naif or Narcissist. This is a perfect antidote to the crap pouring out of Foreign Affairs from Zeib Brzezinsky who is best remembered for unleashing radical Islam on the world and who now asks us to Let Barack Be Barack. The trouble is there is too much Barack and too little common sense in everything. Here is a sample of this from a Professor at USC:
    A Lack of Leadership
    Ronald Steel

    A year ago, with the election of Barack Obama, it seemed to many that America and its role in the world might be transformed. A powerful post-ethnic, post-Cold War coalition had been created by a man who seemed able not only to transcend cultural differences and economic barriers, but also to exert American leadership in a fractured world without sowing distrust and raising fears of dominance.

    His enormous personal appeal, the exultant crowds that greeted his appearances and cheered his every word have been testament to the deep well of longing and hope felt by millions of Americans. There has been nothing like this in our recent history. It has been inspiring, but also disconcerting. It is as though we were looking for a savior to rescue us from forces seemingly beyond our control. (snip)

    In foreign policy one would not have expected that Barack Obama would be following in the footsteps of George W. Bush, albeit avoiding the messianic, self-serving rhetoric. While the United States is bogged down in tribal wars in the Middle East, the world is moving on. NATO is an alliance in name only, one that has no real enemies and uses the United States merely as a security blanket, even as Western Europe enfolds Russia in a post-Cold War embrace increasingly dominated by the economic powerhouse of Germany.

    In Asia, too, a post-American future is already evident. The inexorable rise of China confronts Japan and India with critical decisions. In this emerging Great Power game the United States, bogged down in a tribal war in Afghanistan in which “winning” is an illusionary concept, will become increasingly pushed to the sidelines. Unless Barack Obama is willing to confront his own generals (for whom he is, of course, Commander-in-Chief), he will continue to dissipate his authority along with his domestic support.

    Charisma is a declining asset unless continually renewed by accomplishment. Barack Obama has gloriously fulfilled our lower expectations. But if he wants to be remembered as the FDR of this generation—the President who boldly took on what he labeled the “malefactors of privilege”—rather than as its capable but ineffectual Herbert Hoover, he will have to trade in some of his charisma for a bigger dose of chutzpah and arm-twisting.

  106. Joffee is the editor of Die Zeit, and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute. His analysis is pretty good. The only problem with his analysis is he does not give sufficient credit to Bill.

    Who Is This Guy?
    Josef Joffe

    One year into his first term, we pretty much knew where a new President was located on the classical ideological axes of American foreign policy: internationalism vs. nationalism, realpolitik (Nixon, George H.W. Bush) vs. idealpolitik (Jimmy Carter). Within internationalism, there has always been an additional distinction: exemplarism vs. interventionism. Would America shine by example and thus bring democracy and human rights to the world by just being there (the Founding Fathers, Bill Clinton), or would it seek to impose it in one way or another (Wilson, George W. Bush)?

    We used to have a fairly good sense early on where on these axes past Presidents were situated, give or take a few feet. But we don’t know where Barack Obama is. Is he an internationalist? Yes, he likes multilateralism and cooperation. But he is also a nationalist in the sense that he spends most of his energy in and on America: with health care and cultural politics like gay rights.

    Is he an idealist? Surely, a man who has been preaching “change” must believe in the malleability of human affairs. But then note the absence of any human rights or democracy rhetoric, which has been a classic of U.S. policy through the ages. That makes him at best a closet idealist.

    So he is a realist? Well, yes and no. Yes, because he has not reneged on using American power, be it in Iraq or Afghanistan. Nor has he much touched the defense budget. But then, he may be neither a nationalist nor a realist. Deep in his heart, one surmises, he wants to end America’s military engagements and certainly avoid brazen displays of American muscle. He does not talk the language of power the way Kennedy did once he realized that he was up against a global challenge flung down by Nikita Khrushchev. He does not draw lines in the sand like Truman in Europe or Johnson in Vietnam. Nor does he celebrate America as the “indispensable nation.” He has not launched an arms race like Ronald Reagan, nor blessed a National Security Strategy, as did George W. in 2002, which sought to enshrine American hegemony, if need be, by preventive war.

    Instead, Obama preaches the policy of the “reset button” while reaching out to bitter foes like Iran, Cuba or Venezuela with soothing, almost apologetic words. A realist would always emphasize conflict in the affairs of nation; Obama seems to believe in the power of therapy—politics as psychiatry—as if all conflicts were unreal and rooted in misunderstanding or cultural insensitivity. If he were a “real” realist, Obama would devote more attention to allies and friends. You don’t find much “NATO” in his perorations.

    Above all, Barack Obama does not demonstrate what all his predecessors have: a faith in American exceptionalism. His actions betray the opposite. His guiding lights are multilateralism and institutionalism, which is the pursuit of interests in collective settings where America is one shareholder among many. Obama, we might speculate, is the first American President to shift from “light unto the nations” to “one among the nations.” This, no doubt, is why Europeans like him so much: He seems to act and talk like one of them, as if the United States were one of the large powers in the European Union.

    But then, he certainly is not willing to give the rest of the world a veto power over American actions. He lets the dollar slide to reduce America’s deficits—to the chagrin of its key trading partners. He doesn’t let anybody else cramp his style in the Middle East, where his Administration waded in early on to solve the insoluble. It would have been nice to get the world’s biggest economies to stimulate massively in the wake of the fall of the House of Lehman, but since they dithered, the United States went off on its own.

    So who is Barack Obama? The simple answer is: We don’t know, at least not yet. A more complicated answer is: He is not like any of his predecessors in the White House; we don’t know “where he is at” in the larger scheme of American ideology and identity. But does it matter?

    It does matter because statecraft is about choice, and choice is about national character and power. It is about grasping the nettle and showing one’s mettle. Obama, after his first year, is deliciously—or vexingly—indistinct. He “triangulates” like Clinton, but doesn’t say so. On the other hand, Clinton seemed to know where he was going; if it took some tacking, so be it. But Obama’s is the policy of flux: Let’s see what happens. Let’s see if the Iranians come around. Let’s see if Islamicism can be killed with kindness. If the Europeans don’t want to step up in Afghanistan, we won’t press them too hard. This is less like pragmatism and more like testing the winds. It is like triangulation without keel, chart and compass.

    As any skipper knows, you can’t sail a ship that way. In the world of politics, there are two problems. At home, the nation that fell for “change” might get disenchanted with a leader of such vague identity. Abroad, somebody will test his mettle—the way Kennedy was tested in Cuba, Johnson in Vietnam, Nixon in the Yom Kippur War (by Arabs and Soviets), Carter in Afghanistan and Iran, Reagan first by Soviet intermediate-range nuclear forces in Europe and then, under Gorbachev, by Soviet weakness. Bush Sr. was tested by the collapse of the Soviet empire; he passed the ordeal brilliantly by reunifying Germany and the Continent.

    Clinton is the odd man out in this sequence. His two terms were the halcyon years of American power. After forty years of bipolarity, the United States was the last man standing, facing no challenger as far as the eye could see. Bush Jr. was not so lucky; he was a tragic figure who showed too much character, by taking on the Taliban and then Saddam, failing in the second instance to husband American strength for a rainier day.

    Obama seems to have too little character (in the sense of a distinct persona). That is acceptable as long as no serious challenger arises. But one will, and then we will learn who this President really is. Let it not be said about Barack Obama that his greatest achievement was managing America’s not-so-graceful decline from power and preeminence.

  107. wbboei, You will be glad to know Monday morning I am going to the republican headquarters and pick up some Medina signs. I hope they have them. I hadn’t realized until today that the primary is Mar 3 in Texas. We must vote out Rick Perry.

  108. Well apparently the primary here in Texas is March 2nd and both the republican and democratic are done the same day. So in order to get Perry out I will cross over. I will leave it to the lefties not to let Farouk get in.

  109. “Charisma is a declining asset unless continually renewed by accomplishment. ”


    Well that certainly tells it like it is. The empty-headed failure of this potus continues to deflate.

  110. This guy is from Brookings–the democratic think tank, and is more predisposed to take a positive view of Obama. But other than the ommitted pararaph which makes the ludicrous claim that he and his staff staved off a depression this is what you get:

    A Mixed Picture
    William A. Galston

    The Obama Administration is a work in progress, and a fair-minded report card would feature far more incompletes than letter grades. Still, one may venture some interim judgments. (snip)

    Obama has encountered his share—perhaps more than his share—of disappointments and failures. Abroad, the concrete gains from his policy of engagement are hard to discern. Despite intense Administration efforts, meaningful Israeli-Palestinian peace talks seem no more likely than when he took office. His decision to reverse the Bush Administration’s commitment to robust anti-missile emplacements in Poland and the Czech Republic yielded no reciprocal gesture from Russia. The Iranians’ response to his proposal for defusing (at least temporarily) the nuclear crisis is disappointing, as is the continuing refusal of both Russia and China to support tougher sanctions against the Islamic Republic. His decision to reduce (at least rhetorically) the emphasis on democracy and human rights in American foreign policy does not seem to have eased relations with those countries—such as China and Egypt—that in the past have been most resentful of such pressure.

    Results have been disappointing on the domestic front as well. In the spring, Administration officials predicted that the stimulus package would cap unemployment at 8 percent. As of this writing, the jobless rate is above 10 percent and will probably go higher before beginning to subside sometime in 2010. The Administration itself forecasts above-average unemployment for years to come, and its proposals for additional job generation seem fragmentary at best. Efforts to stem the tide of housing foreclosures got off to a slow start and have yet to make a major dent in the problem, which may well get worse instead of better.

    While the financial system has been stabilized, the Administration’s decision not to remove most “toxic assets” from the books of major banks has contributed to a credit contraction that is generating liquidity problems for perfectly solvent businesses. And the Federal budget deficit, which came in at $1.4 trillion—nearly 10 percent of GDP—for FY2009 will total $9 trillion over the next decade, absent major policy changes. Already, there are signs that the global financial system will neither tolerate nor be able to sustain this course. Meanwhile, too, the dollar is plunging in world markets, and other countries are beginning to talk openly about alternatives to the dollar as the global reserve currency.

    While the President remains personally popular, public opinion surveys point to declining support for many of his policies. And the people are signaling their disappointment with some of his key strategic choices. His decision to pursue comprehensive healthcare reform along with an economic rescue and recovery program has contributed to rising public concerns about spending and the budget deficit, and to the growing perception that he is trying to do too much. As Obama took office, 70 percent of Americans saw him as possessing “strong leadership qualities”, and 63 percent rated him as “firm and decisive.” As of late October, those figures had declined to 56 and 48 percent, respectively. Although we can only speculate about the relationship between these trends and the President’s extended reconsideration of the Afghanistan policy he had announced just this March with considerable fanfare, it is hard to believe that there is no connection. His deliberative decision-making style turns out to be a two-edged sword, at least in the court of public opinion.

    In his dazzling speech at the 2004 Democratic convention, which catapaulted him onto the national stage, Barack Obama held out hope of healing the breach between Red and Blue America, a theme he continued during his lengthy presidential campaign. Even then, there were warning signs—in particular, the gap between his post-partisan tone and the substance of his agenda, which was in many respects less bipartisan than Bill Clinton’s had been in 1992. While he extended White House invitations to numerous Republicans early in his presidency, his decision to allow Democratic congressional leaders to draft the stimulus package contributed to the Republicans’ unanimous rejection of the final bill. By late summer, the partisan divide was as deep and bitter as it had been for many years.

    We will never know what might have happened had the Administration adopted a different strategy. The results might have been no better. After all, the post-2008 remnant of the Republican Party is staunchly conservative. For the first time ever, the most liberal Republican senator is more conservative than is the most conservative Democrat. If for political purposes we define the political center as the point of overlap between the two parties, then the center has literally disappeared in the U.S. Congress, complicating the task of forging cooperation between the parties. Still, the President never tried very hard to render bipartisanship a matter of substance as well as tone, making it all but certain that he would not redeem an important promissory note he had issued to the American people during the campaign.

    As Barack Obama took the oath of office in January, public trust in our political institutions stood near historic lows. A year later, it has not increased at all. We do not know why. But one may speculate that the gap between the large hopes his campaign engendered and the modest results his Administration has thus far produced offers at least a partial explanation.

  111. “He seems to act and talk like one of them, as if the United States were one of the large powers in the European Union.”
    In other words, the great political Houdini has sold out the nation. Way to go, bambi.


    “Clinton seemed to know where he was going; if it took some tacking, so be it. But Obama’s is the policy of flux: Let’s see what happens. Let’s see if the Iranians come around. Let’s see if Islamicism can be killed with kindness. If the Europeans don’t want to step up in Afghanistan, we won’t press them too hard.”

    This isn’t “testing the winds.” This is plain stupidity and absolutely zero experience with a huge touch of never being ready on Day 1 and sleeping through/partying/vacationing through every 3 a.m. call.

  112. Clinton seeks more Arab pressure on Iran

    SHANNON, Ireland (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will seek to enlist more Arab diplomatic pressure on Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions during a visit to the Gulf this week, U.S. officials said Saturday.

    Speaking as she set off on a three-day visit to Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the officials said Clinton also hoped to win greater Arab support to revive Israel-Palestinian peace negotiations, which have been frozen for more than a year.

    President Barack Obama has made little headway in his effort to restart the peace talks or to persuade Iran to rein in a civil nuclear program which the West, as well as many Arab states, suspect is a cover to develop atomic weapons.

    The United States is leading a push for the U.N. Security Council to impose a fourth round of sanctions on Iran, which says its nuclear program is to generate electricity so it can export more of its valuable oil and gas.

    The U.S. officials hinted that one way Saudi Arabia could help diplomatically would be to offer China guarantees it would meet Chinese oil requirements, a step that might ease Beijing’s reluctance to impose further sanctions on Iran.

    China, which wields a veto on the Security Council, has lucrative commercial relationships with Iran and, along with Russia, has worked to dilute previous sanctions resolutions.

    “We believe that all countries have a part to play in helping to sharpen the question for Iran,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman told reporters as Clinton began her trip, saying Saudi Arabia and China have recently increased their diplomatic and commercial contacts.

    “We would expect them (the Saudis) to use these visits, to use their relationships, in ways that can help increase the pressure that Iran would feel,” he added.

    Other U.S. officials, who spoke on condition they not be identified, said they believed Saudi Arabia had made some gestures toward China on fuel assurances but gave no details.

    “There’s been some recent, positive moves,” said one official, without elaborating.


    Clinton is scheduled to meet Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani Sunday and Saudi King Abdullah on Monday.

    The centerpiece of Clinton’s trip is a speech Sunday at the U.S.-Islamic World Forum, a meeting hosted by the Qatari government and the Saban Center for Middle East Policy of the Washington-based Brookings Institution think tank.

    Aides described her appearance as a sequel to Obama’s June speech in Cairo, in which he called for an end to the “cycle of mistrust and discord” between the United States and the Muslim world and sought to pave the way for better relations.

    While Obama’s speech was well received by many, there has been deep unhappiness among Arabs at his inability to get Israel to stop building Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

    A year of U.S. diplomatic efforts has so far failed to revive talks aimed at ending the six-decade conflict through a peace treaty that would create a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

    Having failed to get Israel to undertake a total settlement freeze or to get Arab states to take confidence-building steps such as reopening Israeli trade offices as a first step toward negotiations, Washington now simply wants to get talks going.

    Clinton planned to discuss how Arab states might give Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas political cover to help him resume peace talks despite the absence of a settlement freeze.

    “What we would like to see right now is for the Arab states to provide the support that President Abbas feels he needs in order to enter … negotiations,” he said. “Let’s stop talking about negotiating. Let’s actually get the negotiations moving.”

  113. Wbboei, My 87 y.o. yellow dog democrat is voting for republicans the first time in his life. I can’t believe he said he would join me in voting for the thugs this time. This should be a wakeup call for the dimocrats.

  114. Michael Barone was a writer for US News and World Report, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (the Republican alternative to the Brookings Institute) and the co-author of the Almanac of American Politics, which I highly recommend. He is a superb analyst and this article on Obama bears this out. NB the statement “no consideration was given to deferring such legislation or making it less ambitious and expensive”. If Hillary were president, I am 100% certain she would have been more judicious in that respect. Guaranteed.
    Mistaken Assumptions
    Michael Barone

    Barack Obama has based his policies as President on two assumptions. One year after his election both assumptions appear to have been mistaken.

    His domestic policies have been based on the assumption that economic distress would produce an increased demand for, or at least acceptance of, big government policies. The financial crisis of September 2008 had already led to the Bush Administration’s $700 billion TARP legislation, supported by Senator Obama, followed by the $787 billion stimulus package passed in February 2009, and by the government and United Auto Workers takeover of General Motors executed in the spring. Curiously, the Obama Administration provided little in the way of guidelines to Congress on the stimulus package and let Democratic congressional leaders fashion its details.

    Obama has followed the same procedure on the health care and cap-and-trade legislation, which Democrats made a priority long before the financial crisis, at a time when Federal budget deficits were far lower and revenues considerably more robust than they have been in 2009. Evidently, no consideration was given to deferring such legislation or making it less ambitious and expensive. The assumption was that in a time of economic distress voters would welcome such initiatives.

    That has not been the case. The most unexpected political development of the year (unexpected by me, anyway) was the emergence of a spontaneous protest movement that made itself felt in “tea parties” and congressional town hall meetings. Large numbers of ordinary voters made it plain that they regarded the expansion of government—the Congressional Budget Office forecast that spending was on a trajectory to double the national debt as a percentage of gross domestic product over ten years—as profoundly undesirable.

    As with the stimulus package the Obama Administration let Democratic congressional leaders fashion cap-and-trade and health care legislation without much in the way of guidance. The President, who often voted “present” in the Illinois Senate, did not even take a strong stand on whether a health care bill must include a “public option” government health insurance program. The House Democratic leadership did push through cap-and-trade legislation in June and a health care bill in November by narrow margins, with 44 and 39 Democratic members opposed. But on the anniversary of Obama’s election, the prospects in the Senate for cap-and-trade legislation seem dismal, and those of a health care bill there remain uncertain. Polling showed both to be sharply unpopular, and in elections for Governor in New Jersey and Virginia the losing Democratic candidates ran 12 percent behind Obama’s percentages in those states in 2008, while the Republicans ran 3 percent and 5 percent ahead of George W. Bush’s percentages there in 2004.

    Obama’s foreign and defense policies have been based on the assumption that showing respect for and a willingness to engage with the leaders of nations that have been hostile in varying degrees to the United States could produce breakthroughs to agreements and mutually acceptable accommodation. A corollary seems to have been that a willingness to snub or pressure nations that have been America’s friends could help produce such outcomes.?

    A year after Obama’s election that assumption appears to have been unrealistic. Certainly, hoped-for outcomes have not occurred. The most visible failure has been the Administration’s inability to persuade the regime in Iran to abandon its program to obtain nuclear weapons. Obama has treated the Iranian mullahs respectfully, perhaps even slavishly; he ostentatiously refrained from condemning the irregular June 12 elections; he has authorized direct negotiations. But the Iranians have shown no sign of appreciating his respect, much less of abandoning their nuclear program.

    Similarly, Obama unilaterally abrogated the American commitment to missile defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic—a long-time demand of Vladimir Putin’s Russian government—but received no perceptible concessions in return. His Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced before a trip to China that she would not press the Chinese regime on human rights issues, again without receiving any concessions in return. ?

    The Obama Administration pressed our ally Israel to ban even internal expansion of settlements on the West Bank, but that did not produce concessions by Palestinians or the hoped-for negotiations toward a two-state solution, and the U.S. demand has apparently been modified. The Obama Administration declared that the ouster of the President of Honduras, pursuant to a vote by the Congress and a ruling of the Supreme Court in that nation, was a military coup—a position applauded by the authoritarian ruler of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez. But the Administration then evidently agreed not to insist on the President’s reinstatement and, in a reversal, promised to respect the scheduled November 29 election there.

    Obama has stated that he will be “persistent” in seeking accommodations with hostile nations, and perhaps persistence will produce more agreeable results than were apparent a year after his election. But that seems, at least to me, very far from certain.

    Missing from the record of this Administration in the year after Obama’s election were, in foreign policy, the stress on human rights evident to a varying extent in the policies of Administrations of both parties over the past thirty years and, in domestic policy, the post-partisan approach that Obama proclaimed in the 2004 Democratic National Convention speech that brought him to national attention and in his 2008 presidential campaign. The President has repeatedly hailed his own election as a landmark moment in tolerance, notably in the two-minute videotape he prepared for the ceremonies commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. But, with the exception of a speech on Africa delivered in Ghana, he has expressed little or no sympathy with those seeking basic human rights in countries like Iran or Burma and has seemed hesitant to hail America’s role in expanding liberty and democracy in the world. He has made pointed snubs of the leaders of friendly nations like Britain and Israel while speaking respectfully of the Islamic Republic of Iran and exchanging smiles and books with Hugo Chávez.

    At home Obama has missed few chances to make disparaging remarks about his predecessor in office, in contrast to every other President since World War II, who conspicuously refrained from such backward-looking barbs. In his campaign he called for civil discourse, but in office he has characterized Republicans in sharply negative terms—a practice few of those predecessors indulged in very much. On major issues he has made, or allowed Democratic congressional leaders to make, choices on policy that made bipartisanship impossible, in contrast to important policy priorities in the first two years of the Administrations of George W. Bush (on education) and Bill Clinton (on the North American Free Trade Agreement).

    Barack Obama seems to consider his election as such a momentous event that it would change Americans’ attitudes on public policy enough to make his leftish Democratic policies the national consensus, and that it would change foreign tyrants’ attitudes on international issues enough to make them amenable to agreement or accommodation with the United States. So far, at least, things have not worked out that way.

  115. This guy is an Obama boot licker. I have omitted the provisions which heap unearned glory on him and dwell on the problems he inherited from Bush. The interesting part is the description of Obama’s failed strategic vision, which sought and has failed to secure a game changing agreement with the nut jobs in Iran who are busy playing him like a fiddle. This vision comes from his mentor Zbig Bzenski. And while it is quite true that the Iranians played Bush as well, the fact remains that it was not until Obama that Iran became a nuclear state. Finally, in keeping with the el fin de siglo meme while Obama is chasing his tail on this issue the world sees us as a world power unable to achieve its goals, ergo a world power in decline. (See last sentence below):
    No Breakthrough
    Steve Clemons


    Obama realized when taking office that world leaders had significant doubts about the ability of the United States to alter the trend lines of any of the great global challenges—from dealing with the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran to reversing climate change, reinvigorating a nuclear non-proliferation regime, dealing with the growing arc of instability and Islamic radicalism running from North Africa through the Middle East to South Asia, dealing with China’s rise and Russia’s increasingly provocative behavior, and dealing with human rights challenges in Africa and Southeast Asia. To alter their impression, Obama needed to surprise the international system with a globe-altering arrangement akin to Nixon’s opening to China, and he needed to do it despite the world’s deep doubts about American leadership and power.?

    As it happened, a “Nixon to China” achievement was possible with only one nation of global significance: Iran. But to move Iran off a course that probably leads to acquisition of nuclear weapons, Obama had to move many other pieces of the global system simultaneously in order to reinforce and complement a new Iran track. Some of these needed global shifts have gone relatively well, but others have been disastrous.

    First, the Obama team needed to rob the Iranian government of bragging rights as self-proclaimed defender of the Islamic faith. Ridiculing Saudi and Gulf State gestures toward Israel in King Abdullah’s Arab Peace Initiative, Iran’s leaders have threatened Israel in terms implying total destruction. Obama and many Middle East stakeholders believe that the establishment of a viable Palestinian state next to Israel would do much to remove the Palestine grievance from a narrative of humiliation by the West that many Muslims carry. Obama worked toward this goal by appointing former Senator George Mitchell to serve as an envoy to get Middle East peace negotiations moving again.

    Things did not work out so well. Obama’s initial moves to get five Arab states to ante up with gestures favoring Israel in exchange for a settlements freeze fell completely apart. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushed Obama’s demands back—thus becoming for the Obama Administration what Nikita Khrushchev was at the beginning of the John F. Kennedy Administration: a leader who defined the limits and weakness of the new U.S. President. Khrushchev was, of course, an enemy of U.S. interests—and Netanyahu an ally—but the Israeli Prime Minister’s actions and Obama’s acquiescence to him have had a devastating impact on the way nations around the world view Obama and his team.

    Because of their permanent status in the UN Security Council, Russia and China also ranked high on Obama’s Iran action plan list. Obama has worked to redirect U.S. relations with Russia and China away from contentious problems like the Russia-Georgia military clash and East European deployments of U.S.-controlled ballistic missile defense systems, in the case of the former, and away from human rights-related issues, in the case of China, in order to secure the possibility of greater support for U.S. and European efforts to seduce or force Iran into dropping its nuclear weapons ambitions.?

    Obama has successfully moved Russia and China relations onto less contentious paths. With Russia, Obama has launched a renewed effort to reinvigorate the nuclear non-proliferation regime and efforts at warhead and nuclear supplies reduction. With China, the United States has engaged in close coordination on global economic matters and collaborated in climate change policy planning. Nevertheless, neither China nor Russia has signed on to a tougher Iran sanctions strategy—and they have weakened America’s position as they resist.

    Add to this mix Obama’s ownership of the “good war” in Afghanistan and the military’s call for greater troop deployments to forestall military disaster. From Iran’s perspective, the United States appears tied down in Afghanistan, pricked by withdrawal challenges in Iraq, beleaguered economically, unable to win a contest of wills with the Prime Minister of a small client state of the United States, and unable to push Russia and China to a harsher sanctions strategy. Despite Iran’s own internal drama after its election and its reduced stature in the Middle East after the crackdown on election protesters, Iran sees weakness in America—not resolve. Iran also sees a globally popular, charismatic American President working hard on a great number of issues—but ultimately unable to marshal the coalition of pressures and structural shifts that would allow him to engineer a credible “Nixon Goes to China” shift with Iran.

    Thus in what Obama most needed to achieve early in his tenure, a new course with Iran, he has failed. There are many years left for Obama to keep working on this desired strategic leap for U.S. foreign policy. In the meantime, America keeps demonstrating, much to ill effect, that it cannot achieve the global goals it sets for itself and thus is, in the eyes of the world, on a track of slow decline.

  116. Confloyd: congratulations to both of you. And when the Republicans wander off the reservation we can throw them out too. Since the law does not provide for term limits, it is necessary for the voters to do so at the ballot box until we find a candidate who puts country before party. Between now and then we need to run the varmints out of town.

  117. Stephen Karsner is a fellow at the Hoover Institute. Like the old country western song this article tells it how it is. Recall that Araud de Borgrave advance the view that a victory in Afghanistan could redeem Obama in the eyes of the world. This article refutes that idea in the first paragraph. It is, has always been, the economy stupid :
    Three More Years
    Stephen D. Krasner

    The success of Barack Obama’s presidency will depend on his domestic accomplishments: health care, financial reform and the overall state of the economy. His presidency could be wrecked by foreign policy developments; it cannot be redeemed by them. The five big foreign policy challenges that the Administration confronts—North Korea, Iran, Middle East peace, Af-Pak and Iraq—offer no opportunities for big wins, but there could be big losses. It is not clear, one year on, that the President sees things this way, but eventually he will, because that is all reality will offer.

    Kim Jong-il may decide, along with the few other people that run North Korea, that it would be wise to end the regime’s nuclear program. Such a decision would not be driven by pressure from outside actors. The Six-Party Talks, now suspended, did not end North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs because the countries that could pressure the regime, South Korea and China, are more worried about destabilization than nuclear weapons. The population of North Korea is 22 million, only about 45 percent that of South Korea. Its per capita income at purchasing power parity is $1,800, less than 7 percent that of South Korea. The collapse of the North Korean regime would present severe challenges for South Korea and burden China as well. While the best outcome for five of the six members of the Six-Party Talks is a non-nuclear and stable North Korea, the second-best outcome for Japan and the United States (and probably Russia) would be a non-nuclear, destabilized North Korea, while the second-best outcome for China and South Korea is a stable, nuclear North Korea. Given this divide, the Obama Administration will not have any more success than the Bush Administration in ending North Korea’s nuclear aspirations.

    Iran will get nuclear weapons. This could be a very bad outcome. There are at least four reasons why Iran might use nuclear weapons. First, it would not have an assured second-strike capability, making it more likely that it would launch on warning, including warnings that might be false. Second, internal divisions within the Iranian regime will make it difficult to establish unified control over weapons, making organizational failures, such as mistaken commands that could lead to the use of nuclear weapons, more likely. Third, the millenarian views of some members of the regime, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, could make a war to end history—at least a history dominated by the West—an attractive policy option. Finally, in the face of internal pressure, the regime might calculate that providing weapons to Hizballah could precipitate a crisis that would revive its internal fortunes. The reasons that nuclear weapons have provided stability for the great powers—unambiguous destruction and assured second-strike capability—do not apply to Iran.

    Despite the fact that Iranian nukes are so dangerous, the Obama regime will not be able to prevent them. Russia and China will not support the kind of sanctions that might convince the leaders of Iran to reconsider their present course. An attack against Iran by the United States or even Israel might be the best course for long-run world peace, but it would engulf the Administration and weaken its chances of success on domestic issues.

    The Obama Administration will not broker a Middle East peace. The Palestinian Authority does not control Gaza. Compromise with Israel would de-legitimize Hamas in the eyes of its own supporters. The mailed fist has worked for Israel: Since the much maligned Lebanon war, attacks from the north have stopped completely; since the war in Gaza, rocket launches have greatly diminished; since the construction of the security barrier and more ambitious IDF operations in the West Bank, terrorist attacks have been tightly controlled. Direct negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis will be futile because the level of distrust between Israel and the Palestinians is prohibitively high. Active third-party engagement by the United States, the European Union, and leading Arab states might, just might, produce a peace deal, but given the demands of his domestic agenda, President Obama will not take on such a role.?

    There is no good strategy for Afghanistan. In the 2008 campaign the President described Afghanistan as a war of necessity. In March 2009, he ordered a review of Afghanistan policy, which endorsed a counterinsurgency policy. A counterinsurgency strategy, however, requires a local political structure upon which the components of effective governance, including the military and police, can be placed. Afghanistan does not have such a structure. The Karzai government is not only corrupt, but incompetently corrupt. Foreign assistance and opium create perverse incentives: Public officials become responsive to foreign donors or drug smugglers, not to their own population. Without a stable institutional structure, the idea of building up the Afghan army so that the United States and its allies can withdraw is a chimera. Training is not the problem. The problem is what happens to men after they are trained. Do they take their guns and walk back to their villages or do they remain with their units to fight the Taliban? They will only pursue the latter course if there is a government that can command their loyalty.

    The safe haven in Pakistan, which will not be eliminated, precludes a decisive victory over the Taliban, because the interests of Pakistani and American leaders are not aligned. Elements within the Pakistani government have proliferated nuclear weapons, backed terrorism within Afghanistan and India, and protected the Afghan Taliban regime now in exile in Quetta. The Pakistan military will attack those Taliban elements that are a threat to Pakistan. They will not attack the Afghan Taliban, which would be an ally should it ever regain power in Afghanistan. America has given billions of dollars to Pakistan. It is helpful to think of this money as a bribe to the Pakistani military to allow U.S. counter-terrorism operations in the border areas rather than as support for an ally in need of money and materiel.

    There are options for Afghanistan that involve a combination of counterinsurgency in areas of the country where effective local authority could be established (something that will be impossible so long as Kabul controls local appointments) and counter-terrorism in Pakistan and areas of Afghanistan where local governance cannot be supported. Turning this option into an operational strategy and selling it to the American public is a challenge that President Obama will have to embrace.

    In this sorry list of foreign policy problems, Iraq looks like a bright spot. American troops will withdraw. The present Iraqi governmental structure might remain in place. But a better bet would be that Iraq will be a military dictatorship within five years. Given the institutional weakness of the government and the continued focus on building up Iraq’s security forces, the army will become the strongest institution in the country, as it was during most of Iraq’s modern history. Assuming the military would be prepared to keep Iraq away from transnational terrorism and to maintain a distance from Iran, this might be a satisfactory, although far from ideal, outcome for the United States. An imperfect democratic regime would do more to ensure long-term stability in the country and the region.

    Foreign policy is a challenge that Obama must manage rather than master. The President must maintain a stance of activism and engagement despite what must be a recognition that peace in the Middle East, stability in Iraq and Afghanistan, and de-nuclearization in Iran and North Korea are illusory goals. So he must focus on the success of his domestic agenda: That is where positive change is possible.

  118. Thank you ShortTermer, I knew that’s how you would feel. I showed my brother your comment and after he read it we agreed that you put into words is what we have been feeling with ever increasing urgency for the last 8 or so years. Thank you.

    Here is the address to the White Bear Lake Tea Party Patriots.

    You can also find up by going to the national Tea Party Patriots web site and searching for parties in MN. Only one problem, the national site sends correspondence to his email, which is now swamped. He says he feels like the little kid who took his thumb out of the dike. So we need to find out how to direct people to the web site where they can all get to know each other and start making plans.

  119. There were three other articles in that American Interest Series which I did not post because they seemed too utopian. One was by William Marshall at the Progressive Policy Institute, another is by Annie Applebaum at WashPo, John Nye and Francis Fukyama. Also, I ommitted the articles by Richard Pearl and Robert Kagen both of whom are neocons, who march under the flag of The Project For A New American Century, which was the doctrinal basis for the Iraq War. In other words, I have tried to isolate the more moderate opinions which seem realistic and not driven by bias of the left or the right.

  120. Connie the difference as I see it is this:

    1. conservatives believe in the Constitution and the bill of rights.

    2. conservatives believe in limited government.

    3. conservatives reject the idea of globalism.

    4. conservatives are deeply suspicious of big government and big banks.

    5. conservatives believe in this country and patriotism.

    The Republican Party establishment compromises those principles from time to time when it is to their financial advantage to do so.

  121. Wbboei, My 87 y.o. yellow dog democrat is voting for republicans the first time in his life. I can’t believe he said he would join me in voting for the thugs this time. This should be a wakeup call for the dimocrats.
    Confloyd: your mother would approve. How do I know? I know because I know she would realize it is not the same party it was under FDR and Hillary/Bill. I also know because you told me that she liked some of the stuff PB says.

  122. Admin @7:47PM:

    Thanks again for the info. I remember when the show was on but, as I mentioned, the station was not available from my cable provider at the time. I’ll be sure to keep you posted if I find any clips or transcripts.

  123. Interesting. Dr. Phil Jones, one of the grand poobahs of AGW, has pretty much admitted that the data was cooked, and it’s a crock. From a BBC interview:

    Phil Jones, the professor behind the “Climategate” affair, has admitted some of his decades-old weather data was not well enough organised.

    He said this contributed to his refusal to share raw data with critics – a decision he says he regretted.

    But Professor Jones said he had not cheated the data, or unfairly influenced the scientific process.

    He said he stood by the view that recent climate warming was most likely predominantly man-made.

    But he agreed that two periods in recent times had experienced similar warming. And he agreed that the debate had not been settled over whether the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than the current period.

    Got that? Yes, the earth is warmer than is recent history. But it is NOT necessarily warmer than in Medieval times, which means that all this hoopla may well be an overreaction to a NORMAL (though very long, time-wise) cycle. If the Medieval period was as warm or even warmer than now, then there is NO freaking way that CO2 emissions are PROVED as causing crap.

    No, the science is NOT “settled”. But people who very much desired for it to be “settled” FOR POLITICAL AND FINANCIAL REASONS massaged the data and threw other data out to make it so, and deliberately tried to hide and withhold the raw data they used, so no other scientists could refute them. Then they ridiculed and bullied anyone who questioned them.

    And now they’ve been caught at it, and are being force to admit it (though they are still trying to justify themselves.)

  124. 14 February 2010

    Hillary Clinton in Gulf to keep pressure on Iran

    Clinton seeking Arab help on Iran

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has arrived in the Gulf to rally Arab support for tougher sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme.

    In Qatar, Mrs Clinton will address the annual US-Islamic World Forum and meet Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose country opposes the sanctions.

    The three-day tour will include her first ever trip to Saudi Arabia.

    The Obama administration is stepping up pressure on Iran by launching a diplomatic offensive in the Gulf. Washington wants the UN Security Council to impose a fourth round of sanctions on Tehran.

    Iran says its nuclear programme is to generate electricity so it can export more of its valuable oil and gas, but the West suspects it of trying to develop atomic weapons.

    “ We would expect [the Saudis] to use their relationships [with China] in ways that can help increase the pressure that Iran would feel ” (Jeffrey Feltman Assistant secretary of state).

    Efforts to revive the Arab-Israeli peace process are also expected to be on the agenda during Mrs Clinton’s tour.

    The secretary of state delayed her trip by one day after her husband, former President Bill Clinton, underwent a heart procedure at a New York hospital.

    In Qatar, she will hold talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jasim al-Thani.

    And in Saudi Arabia, Mrs Clinton will meet King Abdullah, as well as foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal.

    A state department official travelling with Mrs Clinton said the US expected Saudi Arabia, which has growing trade relations with China, to persuade Beijing to abandon opposition to tougher sanctions against Iran.

    “We would expect them [the Saudis] to use these visits, to use their relationships in ways that can help increase the pressure that Iran would feel,” Jeffrey Feltman, assistant secretary of state, told reporters as Mrs Clinton began her trip.

    Loss of revenue

    China, which wields a veto on the UN Security Council, is still opposed to a fourth round of sanctions. The BBC’s Kim Ghattas, who is travelling with Mrs Clinton, says Beijing fears major loss of revenue from investments in Iran and disruption in oil supplies from the country.

    The secretary of state is expected to press the Saudis to reassure the Chinese that the kingdom can offset any disruption.

    Missile defence is also expected to be on the agenda – the US is beefing up the missile deterrent of its Arab allies to assure them that their security is key to Washington.

    Mrs Clinton’s two deputies will head to the region in the coming days, travelling to Israel, Jordan and Egypt. And on Monday, William Burns, the under-secretary for political affairs, will travel to Lebanon and Syria.

    Our correspondent says Washington is still hoping it can loosen the links between Damascus and Tehran. She adds Lebanon currently holds a seat on the Security Council and its ties with Iran may prevent it from backing new sanctions.

    The centrepiece of Mrs Clinton’s trip is a speech on Sunday at the US-Islamic World Forum, a meeting hosted by the Qatari government and the Washington-based Brookings Institution think tank.

    Aides described her appearance as a sequel to US President Barack Obama’s speech last June in Cairo, in which he called for an end to the “cycle of mistrust” between the US and the Muslim world.

  125. Obama Making Plans to Use Executive Power

    February 12, 2010

    WASHINGTON — With much of his legislative agenda stalled in Congress, President Obama and his team are preparing an array of actions using his executive power to advance energy, environmental, fiscal and other domestic policy priorities.

    Mr. Obama has not given up hope of progress on Capitol Hill, aides said, and has scheduled a session with Republican leaders on health care later this month. But in the aftermath of a special election in Massachusetts that cost Democrats unilateral control of the Senate, the White House is getting ready to act on its own in the face of partisan gridlock heading into the midterm campaign.

    “We are reviewing a list of presidential executive orders and directives to get the job done across a front of issues,” said Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff.

    Any president has vast authority to influence policy even without legislation, through executive orders, agency rule-making and administrative fiat. And Mr. Obama’s success this week in pressuring the Senate to confirm 27 nominations by threatening to use his recess appointment power demonstrated that executive authority can also be leveraged to force action by Congress.

    Mr. Obama has already decided to create a bipartisan budget commission under his own authority after Congress refused to do so. His administration has signaled that it plans to use its discretion to soften enforcement of the ban on openly gay men and lesbians serving in the military, even as Congress considers repealing the law. And the Environmental Protection Agency is moving forward with possible regulations on heat-trapping gases blamed for climate change, while a bill to cap such emissions languishes in the Senate.

    In an effort to demonstrate forward momentum, the White House is also drawing more attention to the sorts of actions taken regularly by cabinet departments without much fanfare. The White House heavily promoted an export initiative announced by Commerce Secretary Gary Locke last week and nearly $1 billion in health care technology grants announced on Friday by Kathleen Sebelius, the health and human services secretary, and Hilda L. Solis, the labor secretary.

    White House officials said the increased focus on executive authority reflected a natural evolution from the first year to the second year of any presidency.

    “The challenges we had to address in 2009 ensured that the center of action would be in Congress,” said Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director. “In 2010, executive actions will also play a key role in advancing the agenda.”

    The use of executive authority during times of legislative inertia is hardly new; former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush turned to such powers at various moments in their presidencies, and Mr. Emanuel was in the thick of carrying out the strategy during his days as a top official in the Clinton White House.

    But Mr. Obama has to be careful how he proceeds because he has been critical of both Mr. Clinton’s penchant for expending presidential capital on small-bore initiatives, like school uniforms, and Mr. Bush’s expansive assertions of executive authority, like the secret program of wiretapping without warrants.

    Already, Mr. Obama has had to reconcile his campaign-trail criticism of Mr. Bush for excessive use of so-called signing statements to bypass parts of legislation with his own use of such tactics. After a bipartisan furor in Congress last year, Mr. Obama stopped issuing such signing statements, but aides said last month that he still reserves the right to ignore sections of bills he considers unconstitutional if objections have been lodged previously by the executive branch.

    Another drawback of the executive power strategy is that actions taken unilaterally by the executive branch may not be as enduring as decisions made through acts of Congress signed into law by a president. For instance, while the E.P.A. has been determined to have the authority to regulate carbon emissions, the administration would rather have a market-based system of pollution permits, called cap and trade, that requires legislation.

    Still, presidents have logged significant accomplishments through the stroke of a pen. In 1996, on his own authority, Mr. Clinton turned a 2,600-square-mile section of southern Utah into the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, in what was called at the time his boldest environmental move. Mr. Bush followed suit in 2006 by designating a 140,000-square-mile stretch of islands and ocean near Hawaii as the largest protected marine reserve in the world, in what some see as his most lasting environmental achievement.

    The use of executive power came to a head this week when Mr. Obama confronted Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, about nominations held up in the Senate. In a meeting with Congressional leaders at the White House on Tuesday, Mr. Obama turned to Mr. McConnell and vowed to use his power to appoint officials during Senate recesses if his nominations were not cleared.

    By Thursday, the Senate had voted to confirm 27 of 63 nominations that had been held up, and the White House declared victory. Two administration officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Friday that the White House had drafted a list of about a dozen nominees for the president to appoint during the recess that just began, but most were among those cleared.

    Mr. McConnell’s office denied that the president’s threat had anything to do with the confirmations, pointing out that the Senate regularly passes a batch of nominees before going on recess.

    “All presidents get frustrated with the pace of nominations, and all Congresses say they’re doing their best, so it’s not a surprise,” said Don Stewart, a spokesman for Mr. McConnell. “But the fact is nominees are being confirmed, particularly those nominated since December.”

    The recess appointment power stems from the days when lawmakers were in session only part of the year, but in modern times presidents have used it to circumvent opposition in the Senate. Mr. Clinton made 139 recess appointments, 95 of them to full-time positions, while Mr. Bush made 171, with 99 to full-time jobs. Mr. Obama has yet to make any.

    Those given such appointments can serve until the end of the next Congressional session. As a senator, Mr. Obama was less enamored with recess appointments. When Mr. Bush used the power to install John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations, Mr. Obama called Mr. Bolton “damaged goods.”

    But the White House argued that Mr. Obama’s choices have been held up more than Mr. Bush’s and left open the prospect of giving recess appointments to some of those still held up, including Craig Becker, a labor lawyer whose nomination for a seat on the National Labor Relations Board has been blocked.

    “If the stalling tactics continue,” said Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, “he’s not ruling out using recess appointments for anybody that he’s nominated.”


    Even though Obama’s Global Warming initiative has revealed itself to be a “man made scam”- Obama will not be deterred from creating an agency requiring monetary participation by business’ and citizens modeled on the baseless ‘Cap and Trade’ carbon tax/credits and having this agency augmented by federal enforcement. We can’t have the elites left wanting for federally created sources of income. Obama must mitigate for damage control his failure to deliver billions for health care income to insurance cos and perpetual income to corrupt Carbon Tax lobbyists.

  126. When it comes to the use of executive power there is a critical distinction to be made between recess appointments when Congress does not act, vs enacting sweeping legislation with adverse tax consequences. The idea that he would attempt to pass such legislation through an end run around congress has deadly legal and political consequences for the Party and could be undone by future presidents and congress–regardless of the perpetuity provisions he tries to insert. It could even rise to the level of an impeachable offense when and if the Republicans win control of congress.

    The New York Times in general, and this guy Baker in particular have an incestuous relationship with the Administration, hence it is likely that this is more in the nature of a trial balloon. The real goal of Obamacare is to acquire a level of control over the personal liberty, private wealth and life and death decisions of average Americans which is what the international banking interests apparently want and the insurance companies as well. It has nothing much to do with the welfare of the average American. This fucking Obama holds a knife at the throat of the American People, and if he thinks that is the way to get re elected he is nuts. He will be a pariah.

  127. One of the scholarly articles which I did not post last night but can if anyone is interested is the one by Francis Fukyama. He is best known for the book The End of History, which is one of the key planks of globalization. Tne noteworthy thing about that article what it says about health care, which is that it is the litimus test for success of this Administration. By contrast, the litmus test of the American People is jobs.

    The global elites are devoted to Obamacare because it establishes a political mechanism to control the spiraling costs of the baby boom generation retirement on gdp. This has ramifications for international finance, debt conrol, the value of the dollar. But inasmuch as Obama is a pathological liar and shill for big business, he tries to sell it as something which is good for the American People when in fact the only ones it is really good for are the global elites.

  128. Confloyd

    Thank you for your comments upthread re Mega. I find we are often in agreement and youo stated it better than I did. She is pushing an agenda. That is not news, it is propaganda.

  129. “…Israel has lost its advantage over the Arabs regarding the quantity and quality of weapons. …the Arabs also appear to have caught up to Israel in the area of tactics and training.”
    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    Israel’s Netanyahu keeping mum about Obama’s virtual arms embargo

    WASHINGTON — Israel’s government has kept its silence during a year-long ban on weaopns sales imposed by the United States at the same time the administration has approved $10 billion in weapons sales to Arab states, a report said.

    The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs reported that the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sought to conceal a virtual arms embargo by the administration of President Barack Obama. The institute said the Israeli government was also refusing to protest massive U.S. weapons projects for Arab rivals in the Middle East, which has eroded Israel’s military superiority over its neighbors.

    “Israel, in very important ways, isn’t protesting where it might,” JINSA said.

    Over the last year, the United States refused to approve any major Israeli weapons requests. Government sources asserted that the refusal represented a White House policy to link most arms sales to Israel to progress in the U.S. plan to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank.

    At the same time, Obama has approved more than $10 billion worth of arms sales to Arab League states, including Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. JINSA said Israel, which receives more than $2.4 billion in annual American military aid, refrained from objecting to U.S. plans to sell F-16s, Harpoon Block 2 anti-ship missiles, Hellfire air-to-ground missiles, fast attack craft and helicopters to Egypt.

    In a Jan. 27 report, the institute, regarded as close to the Defense Department and U.S. military, said the White House has blocked key weapons projects and upgrades for Israel. JINSA said Obama rejected Israel’s request for AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters while approving advanced F-16 multi-role fighters for Egypt.

    “Indeed, Israel’s request for six AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters was blocked by the Obama Administration in June — the same time the Egyptian sale was approved,” the report said.

    The administration’s policy, the report said, has violated a pledge given more than 40 years ago to maintain Israel’s military superiority over its Arab neighbors. JINSA said the erosion of Israel’s qualitative edge began under the previous administration of President George Bush.

    “How does Israel compete when the Obama administration announces 24 more F-16s for Egypt and 24 additional F-16s for Morocco?” the report said. “The concept of the Qualitative Military Edge failed to keep up with the changes in U.S. arms sales and training policy over the decades.”

    JINSA dismissed Israeli government claims that the White House was ready to address the erosion of Israel’s military superiority. The institute said the January 2010 visit by U.S. National Security Advisor James Jones did not concern Israel’s qualitative military edge.

    “Actually, it was to push Israel into more pointless talks with Palestinians, who declined to cooperate,” the institute said.

    The U.S. aid to Arab states, the report said, has hampered Israeli military cooperation with Washington. More than 20 years ago, the Israel Air Force stopped participating in U.S.-sponsored regional exercises to prevent the leakage of combat tactics.

    “It’s one thing for our lover to take pictures in the bedroom,” the report quoted an Israeli combat pilot as saying. “It is another for them to sell the pictures on the street.”

    JINSA said Israel has lost its advantage over the Arabs regarding the quantity and quality of weapons. The institute said the Arabs also appear to have caught up to Israel in the area of tactics and training. The sole advantage was said to concern the quality of Israeli soldiers and officers.

    “Changing Israel’s local security paradigm at the same time as increased sales to the neighbors — and no new sales to Israel — means the balance is pushed further out of whack,” the report said.


  130. Although the writer is the most influential Israeli analyst writing in English from that country today, do not look for her work in the New York Times, TNR, or The Atlantic any time soon. Hers is the strongest single voice opposing Obama’s foreign policy, supporting Israel and denying Iran nuclear weapons. df]

    Jerusalem Post, February 12, 2010

    Column One: Sarah Palin’s friendship


    US President Barack Obama is an inept, incompetent leader. More than his failure to pass his domestic agenda on health care and global warming despite his Democratic Party’s control over both houses of Congress, Iran’s announcement on Thursday that it is a nuclear power and has the capacity to produce weapons-grade uranium is a testament to Obama’s feckless incompetence. Even his most ardent supporters are admitting this.

    Take The New York Times. In a news analysis Thursday of Obama’s failure to prevent Iran from advancing with its nuclear program, David Sanger wrote that for the US president, the last year has been “a year in which little in his dealings with Iran has gone the way that the White House expected.”

    Since Obama first announced his wish to sit down with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at a Democratic presidential candidates’ debate in the spring of 2008, the 44th US president’s only strategy for dealing with Iran has been to appease its leaders. And as of Tuesday, he still believes that ingratiating himself with the regime is his best bet.

    On Tuesday, Obama wouldn’t admit that appeasement has failed, even as all of Iran’s top leaders said they were expanding their illicit uranium enrichment activities. The most he would do was acknowledge that the regime’s leaders “have made their choice so far, although the door is still open.”

    As for sanctions, well, Obama said it will take “several weeks” to put those together at the UN.

    The distressing truth is that Obama’s aim has never been to prevent Teheran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. His whole “sanctions-if-engagement-fails” strategy is just a ruse. The Obama administration has never intended to place biting sanctions on Iran. As one senior administration official told The New York Times, the purpose of the sanctions talk is to get the Iranians to agree to negotiate. As he put it, “This is about driving them back to negotiations, because the real goal here is to avoid war.”

    Got that? As far as Obama is concerned, Iran with nuclear weapons isn’t the main concern. Israel using force to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons is the main concern.

    US PRESIDENTS have a far freer hand in foreign policy than they have in domestic affairs. A president’s ability to implement his domestic agenda is constrained by Congress. Congress has much less of a say in foreign policy. But the main constraining factor for a US president in both domestic and foreign affairs is public opinion.

    Over the past year, Obama failed to pass his domestic agenda even though he enjoyed governing majorities in both houses of Congress, because the public opposed his agenda. So, too, if the public is able to express its opposition to his foreign policy, particularly as it relates to Israel and Iran, he will be unable to sustain it.

    To date, in light of his sinking approval ratings, the main thing Obama has had going for him is that since the presidential election, his political opponents have lacked a leader capable of uniting his opponents around an alternative path. Over the past week, that leader may have emerged.

    On Saturday, former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin gave the keynote address at the Tea Party Movement convention in Nashville, Tennessee. As she did in the presidential campaign, Palin electrified her audience in Nashville by credibly channeling the populist impulses of American voters. In her signature line she asked, “So how’s that hopey changey stuff working out for ya?”

    Palin excoriated Obama on his handling of US foreign policy. Among other things, she noted that a year into his quest to appease dictators, America’s international standing is in shambles. “Israel, a friend and a critical ally, now questions the strength of our support,” she added.

    Palin bellowed that on issues of foreign policy, there is no room for self-delusion. As she put it, “National security, that’s the one place where you’ve got to call it like it is.” And then, “We need a foreign policy that distinguishes America’s friends from her enemies and recognizes the true nature of the threats that we face.”

    If her address wasn’t enough to convince Americans – and specifically American Jews – that Palin thinks supporting Israel and standing up to Iran are the keys to US national security, then there was her interview on Fox News Sunday. Asked how Obama can win reelection in 2012, Palin responded, “Say he decided to declare war on Iran or decided really to come out and do whatever he could to support Israel, which I would like him to do.”

    And if that still isn’t enough, there is her lapel pin. The politician who leads the populist opposition to Obama decided to make her most important speech since the 2008 election wearing a pin featuring the US flag and the Israeli flag.

    Palin, who is considering a run in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries, is using her public platforms to reassemble the coalition of security hawks, social conservatives and blue collar workers that propelled Ronald Reagan to the White House in 1980. Her support for Israel serves her in building support among both security hawks and social conservatives.

    Unlike Obama’s empty protestations of support for Israel, Palin’s support is obviously heartfelt and therefore will not diminish while Obama remains in office. And as Palin becomes stronger, her ability to influence the US debate in a manner that constrains Obama’s freedom to intimidate Israel into allowing Iran to become a nuclear power will rise.

    In spite of Palin’s extraordinary support for Israel, the American Jewish community overwhelmingly rejects her. As Jennifer Rubin noted in her article, “Why Jews hate Palin,” in Commentary magazine, Jews disapproved of Sen. John McCain’s choice of Palin as his running-mate by a 54 to 37 percent majority. The sneering broadsides published against Palin by leading American Jewish writers are legion.

    In her article, Rubin gives a number of reasons for American Jews’ rejection of Palin.

    On the one hand, American Jews, who overwhelmingly self-identify as Democrats and disproportionately identify as liberals, oppose Palin for the same reason they oppose all social-conservative Republicans – because she isn’t a liberal Democrat. What makes American Jews’ rejection of Palin unique is its emotional potency. Rubin argues that the visceral hatred that many American Jews express towards Palin is effectively an issue of class hatred, or snobbery. They are four generations removed from the sweatshops where their great grandparents labored on New York’s Lower East Side. And they don’t like this woman with a funny accent who went to University of Idaho, guts fish and shoots moose.

    This may be true. But if it is, American Jews might want to rethink their loyalty to their social class. As the demonstrations against Ambassador Michael Oren at UC Irvine, against former prime minister Ehud Olmert at University of Chicago, against Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon at Oxford, as well as the disinvitation of Prof. Benny Morris at Cambridge and the celebrity of Harvard’s anti-Semitic Prof. Steve Walt show clearly, the bastions of intellectual elitism where American Jews feel most at home have become the repositories of the most virulent hatred of Jews in America and the West today. Liberal standard bearers like Hollywood have had no compunction about giving prestigious awards to movies like Paradise Now, which glorified murderers of Jews in a manner unmatched since the days of Leni Riefenstahl. Elite media outlets like The Atlantic monthly are only too happy to publish the rantings of newly fashionable critics like Andrew Sullivan.

    Liberal Democratic Jewish voices, like Leon Wieseltier at The New Republic, are aware that there is a problem with the rampant anti-Semitism in their camp. And they fear that as a consequence, American Jews may take a second look at Palin with her Israeli flag lapel pin. As Wieseltier wrote this week, “A day does not go by when I do not do my humble part to prevent such a transformation [of American Jewry from liberals to conservatives] from coming to pass.”

    THE FACT of the matter is that for Israel’s sake such a transformation can’t happen quickly enough. It isn’t that American Jews have to change their social agenda, but they must recognize that today, sadly, there is not meaningful bipartisan support for Israel in the US Congress. The 54 lawmakers who wrote Obama a letter last month asking him to force Israel to open up Gaza’s borders were all Democrats. Opposition to passing sanctions against Iran, and opposition to an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear installations, are only politically significant among Democrats.

    In her speech at the Tea Party Conference, Palin said, “We need a commander-in-chief, not a professor of law standing at the lectern.”

    The fact of the matter is that Obama came to many of his anti-Israel sensibilities through his professor friends – Rashid Khalidi, John Mearshimer, Samantha Power, William Ayres, Bernadine Dohrn and, of course, the late Edward Said. Americans interested in national security – and particularly American Jews who support Israel – should be the first ones to second Palin’s statement.

    Sarah Palin’s emergence as the mouthpiece of populist opposition to Obama presents Israel’s supporters – and particularly Israel’s Jewish supporters – with an extraordinary opportunity and an extraordinary challenge. Palin’s coupling of support for Israel with her populist domestic agenda marks the first time that support for Israel has been treated as a core, populist issue. The opportunity this presents for American Jews who care about Israel is without precedent.

    But of course, to make the best use of this opportunity, American Jews who support Israel have to disappoint Wieseltier. They have to acknowledge that the Left has rejected their cause and increasingly, rejects them.

    Obama’s failure to prevent Iran from moving forward with its nuclear program, and his stubborn refusal to support an Israeli move to deny Iran the ability to threaten Israel and global security as a whole, place Israel and core US national security interests in unprecedented jeopardy. His fellow Democrats’ willingness to support him as he maintains this perilous course means that the Democratic ship has abandoned Israel, and strategic sanity.

    Palin’s future in politics is unknowable. But what is clear enough is that today hers is the strongest single American voice opposing Obama’s foreign policy and the loudest advocate for supporting Israel and denying Iran nuclear weapons. For this she deserves the thanks and support of American Jewry.

  131. Wbboei, If we really want to get involved with getting all these rotten Rino’s and odumbodims out, we need to start now state by state.

    My dada and I will be pushing for Medina, I have many to check out though.

  132. I just hope Hillary is sucessful in Saudi because we need to Iran dead in their tracks ASAP or its time to obliterate them.

  133. Paul Faulcker is on GPS. He says our Government is “Dysfuntional”. He supports his claim with

    The fact that all of the key people in the financial areas have not only not been approved, some have not even been proposed.

    He says we need to get back to more manufacturing. He give as an example, that the cost of shipping foreign steel to the US offsets the increase labor cost of producing it here.

    I thought this was an older gentlemen, who really understood what was going on. However OO administration does not listen to older people.

  134. Carol
    February 14th, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Thanks for posting such an excellent article. The author is indeed a reputable one.

    As far as Palin goes, I am Jewish and have had my concerns. Not because she does not support Israel…because I know she does very strongly and that is a huge plus for me.

    My reasoning goes towards experience. I would love to see her run for senator, work her way up the ranks and them become a successful vice president nominee and so forth. I see her surpassing all of our dreams for fair and equal representation but not for ten or more years from now.

  135. Carol
    February 14th, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    “…Israel has lost its advantage over the Arabs regarding the quantity and quality of weapons. …the Arabs also appear to have caught up to Israel in the area of tactics and training.”


    I have never been an over-dramatic person, but I honestly believe that bambi AKA Hitler II has signed Israel’s death warrant with relish and much laughter amongs his terrorist Arab allies.

  136. bambi HUSEIN Obana must be rubbing his hands with glee.

    Hillary needs to get out now.

    No reason to stall Iran missiles deal, Moscow says

    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia sees no reason to stall on the sale of its S-300 anti-aircraft systems to Iran, the Kremlin’s powerful Security Council said Sunday, hours before the premier of Iran’s adversary Israel was due to visit Moscow.

    The possible sale of Russian air defense hardware to the Islamic Republic is a major irritant for both Israel and close ally the United States. Both have pressed Moscow not to go ahead with a deal that may help protect Iran’s nuclear facilities from potential air strikes.

    “There is a signed contract (to supply S-300 missiles) which we must implement, but deliveries have not started yet,” Vladimir Nazarov, deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council secretary, told Interfax news agency in an interview.

    “This deal is not restricted by any international sanctions, because the talk is about deliveries of an exclusively defensive weapon,” he said.

    Nazarov also said a military strike on Iran would be a big mistake and that the problems linked to Iran’s nuclear program must be resolved only by diplomatic means.

    “Any military action against Iran will explode the situation, will have extremely negative consequences for the entire world, including for Russia, which is a neighbor of Iran,” he said.

    It was a separate issue that Russia’s actions should help strengthen international and regional security, respect international law and international commitments including those within the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Nazarov said.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to hold talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow on Monday, planning to push the Kremlin for urgent “crippling sanctions” against Iran over its nuclear program.

    Medvedev chairs the Security Council.

    “Israel believes that heavy pressure must be applied on Iran — above all very severe sanctions, which were referred to by the U.S. secretary of state as ‘crippling sanctions’,” Netanyahu told the weekly cabinet meeting earlier Sunday.

  137. JanH
    February 14th, 2010 at 1:38 pm
    February 14th, 2010 at 12:43 pm
    I would love to see her run for senator, work her way up the ranks and them become a successful vice president nominee and so forth.

    maybe new york senate? 😉

  138. JanH
    February 14th, 2010 at 1:38 pm
    My reasoning goes towards experience. I would love to see her run for senator, work her way up the ranks and them become a successful vice president nominee and so forth. I see her surpassing all of our dreams for fair and equal representation but not for ten or more years from now.

    As usual, I agree with you completely. I am not advocating for Palin…..but thought the article was worth posting.

  139. H4T… Follow-up of your posted article. Denialists continue in their desperation:


    Climate scientists admit fresh error over data on rising sea levels.

    Latest embarrassment comes as key skeptic Benny Peiser backs down in row over fabricated quote.

    Climate experts have been forced to admit another embarrassing error in their most recent report on the threat of climate change.

    In a background note – released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last night – the UN group said its 2007 report wrongly stated that 55% of the Netherlands lies below sea level. In fact, only 26% of the country does. The figure used by the IPCC included all areas in the country that are prone to flooding, including land along rivers above sea level. This accounts for 29% of the Dutch countryside.

    “The sea-level statistic was used for background information only, and the updated information remains consistent with the overall conclusions,” the IPCC note states. Nevertheless, the admission is likely to intensify claims by skeptics that the IPCC work is riddled with sloppiness.

    The disclosure will intensify divisions between scientists and skeptics over the interpretation of statistics and the use of sources for writing climate change reports, disagreements that have led to apologies being made by both sides of the debate. Last week a key climate-change skeptic apologized for alleging that one of the world’s leading meteorologists had deliberately exaggerated the dangers of global warming.

    In an email debate in the Observer, Benny Peiser, head of the UK Global Warming Policy Foundation, quoted Sir John Houghton, the UK scientist who played a key role in establishing the IPCC, as saying that “unless we announce disasters, no one will listen”.

    But in a letter to the Observer, Houghton said: “The quote from me is without foundation. I have never said it or written it. Although it has spread on the internet like wild fire, I do not know its origin. In fact, I have frequently argued the opposite, namely that those who make such statements are not only wrong but counterproductive.”

    Houghton said he was incensed because he believed the quote attributed to him, and to the IPCC, an attitude of hype and exaggeration and demanded an apology from Peiser.

    For his part, Peiser told the Observer that he welcomed the clarification. “For many years, the Houghton ‘quote’ has been published in numerous books and articles. I took Sir John’s failure to challenge it hitherto as a tacit admission that the ‘quote’ was accurate and reflected his view on climate policy. Now that he has publicly disowned the statement, I will certainly refrain from using it.”

    Houghton’s “quote” has become one of the most emblematic remarks supposed to have been made by a mainstream scientist about global warming, and appears on almost two million web pages concerned with climate change. The fact that it now turns out to be fabricated has delighted scientists.

    “We do not over-egg the pudding when it comes to the evidence about global warming – and I hope people will now appreciate this point,” said Alan Thorpe, head of the Natural Environment Research Council.

  140. Carol_ excellent article by Glick.

    This whole plan is Nixon to China = Bambi to Iran, but it hasn’t quite worked out. Soros was in Iran trying to promote a velvet revolution but they kicked his sorry ass out. Not much twittering anymore.

    The man behind this whole Iran strategy is Brzezinsky. He is the one who said somthing about shooting down Israel planes, and then had to recede into the background. But believe you me he is the architect. Thus his article in the current issue of Foreign Affairs entitled let Obama be Obama which is code for do it my way.

    I hope jbstonesfan sees the article because it is good ammunition for the battles he is fighting.

  141. Regardless of the degree of global warming based on human activity, I believe polution is bad and should be curtailed and eventually stopped. We should clean up the air in similar fashion to the way we cleaned up the water.

  142. Rino Lindsey Graham is speaking on Fox now and says the sanctions are not working. Well they can’t work since the republican administration decided to starte borrowing from China and this administration has tripled the borrowing. We can’t make China do a damn thing. Russia is going to sell the rockets to Iran. Israel need to bomb, bomb bomb Iran.

  143. admin: Since the Massachusettes election, we haven’t been following any of the other primaries. I am sure that there are some out there. Are you going to delve into some of the races? I know we are looking into Schumer of which I am interested, but there are many more if we are really going to punch back the Obama administration. Primaries are starting.

  144. 14/02/2010

    Clinton: U.S. can’t force Israel, Palestinians into peace talks

    On visit to Doha, U.S. Secretary of State acknowledges ‘disappointment’ over delay in renewing talks.

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday acknowledged frustration in the Middle East over the delay in restarting Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, but said that the Obama administration could not “force” the sides into reaching a solution.

    “This is hard work,” Clinton said at the beginning of a three-day visit to the region. “I know people are disappointed that we have not yet achieved a breakthrough.”

    “But we must remember that neither the United States nor any country can force a solution. The parties must resolve their differences through negotiations,” she added.

    A year of U.S. diplomatic efforts has so far failed to revive talks aimed at ending the six-decade conflict through a peace treaty that would create a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

    The U.S. recently offered to bring the Palestinians and Israelis into “proximity talks”, with a U.S. mediator shuttling between negotiating teams to restart the talks that broke down at the start of a war in Gaza in December 2008.

    President Barack Obama’s special Mideast envoy George Mitchell, came to the region last month for separate meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in another effort to see the talks re-launched.

    Clinton planned during her visit to discuss how Arab states might give Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas political cover to help him resume peace talks despite his insistence that Israel first embark on a full freeze in West Bank settlements.

  145. Clinton says US has no interest in ‘occupying’ Afghanistan

    (AFP) – 2 hours ago

    DUBAI — US State Secretary Hillary Clinton said on Sunday that her country has no interest in “occupying” Afghanistan or abandoning the war-torn country.

    “The United States has no interest in occupying Afghanistan. We also have no intention of abandoning Afghanistan,” she told the US-Islamic World forum in Doha.

    “When international forces leave Afghanistan, our civilian presence will continue, so that we can foster a long-term partnership between Afghanistan, the United States, and other nations, that is based on shared responsibility for our common security,” she added.

    Some 15,000 US, British and Afghan troops launched early Saturday the largest offensive in Afghanistan since US President Barack Obama announced sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan late last year.

    The United States and NATO already have 113,000 troops in the country battling the insurgents. NATO has pledged another 10,000, bringing the total to more than 150,000 by August.

  146. I thought that the Chinese were supposed to be mad at us for signing a deal with Taiwan, when they are going to do the same thing.

    World | Natural Disasters

    “In 2010, China will face a more complicated situation, both at home and abroad,” the state news agency Xinhua paraphrased Wen as saying, in remarks carried in major newspapers.

    People must “keep a sober mind and an enhanced sense of anxiety about lagging behind,” the premier added.

    Priority should be given to “persistence in taking economic development as the central task, forcefully promoting reform and opening up … and doing a better job responding to the global financial crisis, in order to keep steady and relatively fast economic development.”

    The government is trying to maintain a balance between the economic growth needed to create jobs for the country’s 1.3 billion people, and not letting the economy overheat and drive up the cost of basic goods and housing for residents.

    China raised the level of reserves banks must hold for the second time this year on Friday, spooking financial markets on the eve of its New Year holiday by showing it was intent to curb lending and inflation.

    China powered to 8.7 percent growth last year, by far the strongest of any major economy, driving demand for everything from Chilean copper to Australian iron ore.

    “Shanghai house prices must fall, they cannot go higher, this year they must fall,” said Shanghai resident Ge Jieyou, 53. “We have a lot of corruption here, I don’t think that will change this year.”

    Wen, who in previous years has spent the holiday with everyone from AIDS patients to survivors of 2008’s devastating Sichuan earthquake, this year visited a drought-struck part of the southern region of Guangxi, state television said.


    President Hu Jintao, by contrast, first visited Taiwan investors in the coastal city of Zhangzhou in the southeastern province of Fujian, before going to an old revolutionary base further inland.

    Taiwan businesses have invested billions of dollars in China since detente began between the two sides in the 1980s, lured by a common culture and language.

    China and Taiwan have been ruled separately since a civil war ended with Communist victory in 1949.

    Ties have improved further following the election of China-friendly Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou in 2008, who has signed a series of landmark trade and tourism deals with Beijing.

    “We will try our best in everything that will benefit the Taiwan compatriots, and we will honor our words,” Hu told the Taiwan investors, according to Xinhua.

    Beijing has directed its ire over Washington’s recent decision to sell weapons to Taiwan at the United States, rather than the self-ruled and democratic island, being keen not to damage warming relations and the eventual goal of reunification.

    Taiwan and China are gearing up to sign a free trade deal, something Hu told his Taiwan audience would “bring win-win results.”

    The year of the tiger is believed to bring with it mythical heroic powers, even if soothsayers say it is an inauspicious one for marriage. Still, the year is seen as being good for the economy.

    Beijing and the commercial capital Shanghai reverberated with huge, ad hoc firework displays and the sound of firecrackers, whose smoke filled the streets.

    Firecrackers are believed to scare off evil spirits and entice the god of wealth to people’s doorsteps once New Year’s Day arrives.

    Celebrations will carry on into the early hours of Sunday, officially the first day of the Lunar New Year.

    (Additional reporting by Lucy Hornby, and Farah Master in Shanghai

  147. Philip Seib. Professor of journalism and public diplomacy and director of the Center on Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California

    February 14, 2010

    DOHA, QATAR — When Hillary Clinton addressed the U.S.-Islamic World Forum here on Sunday night, she found the going smooth…until she hit the bump of Gaza. A group of religious leaders, whose spokesman was Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, D.C., asked why the Obama administration could not do more to help the beleaguered residents of Gaza, whose supplies of food, water, and medicine are barely at survival level.

    Secretary Clinton replied that the United States was doing all it could to get Israel to let “the trickle of supplies become a steady flow,” and then allow America and Arab states to rebuild Gaza’s schools and hospitals. Her message: U.S. influence has its limits.

    Even at a conference featuring much constructive talk about improving the institutions of civil society and enhancing dialogue between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds, the gravitational pull of Palestine was always present. The rhetoric of reconciliation dominated, but there were also comments about “the foggy vision through which the United States looks at the Arab world,” and insistence that U.S.-Arab relations cannot substantively improve until Israeli-Palestinian disputes are resolved.

    Pradeep Ramamurthy, Senior Director for Global Engagement at the White House, insisted that the administration is committed to a healthy Palestinian state, saying, “No day is soon enough.” But he admitted that the effort to get from here to there is constantly frustrating. Martin Indyk of the Brookings Institution added, “We have been let down by both sides.”

    As they went about their business, the more than 300 attendees at this conference were mostly hopeful, but they could not shake off the specter of Palestine.

  148. a good case for why the Repugs are not the ansew and why we need a third peoples party

    Op-Ed Columnist
    Palin’s Cunning Sleight of Hand
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    CloseLinkedinDiggFacebookMixxMySpaceYahoo! BuzzPermalink By FRANK RICH
    Published: February 13, 2010
    Liberals had a blast mocking Sarah Palin last weekend when she was caught addressing the Tea Party Convention with a cheat sheet scrawled on her hand. Even the president’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, couldn’t resist getting into the act and treated a White House briefing to a Palin hand gag of his own.

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    Barry Blitt

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    Times Topics: Sarah Palin

    Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
    Frank Rich
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    Yet the laughter rang hollow. You had to wonder if Palin, who is nothing if not cunning, had sprung a trap. She knows all too well that the more the so-called elites lampoon her, the more she cements her cred with the third of the country that is her base. Her hand hieroglyphics may not have been speaking aids but bait.

    If so, mission accomplished. Her sleight of hand gave the anti-Palin chorus another prod to deride her as an empty-headed, subliterate clown, and her fans another cue to rally. The only problem is that the serious import of Palin’s overriding political message got lost in this distracting sideshow. That message has the power to upend the Obama presidency — even if Palin, with her record-low approval ratings, never gets anywhere near the White House.

    The Palin shtick has now become the Republican catechism, parroted by every party leader in Washington. Their constant refrain, delivered with cynicism but not irony, is this: Republicans are the anti-big-government, anti-stimulus, anti-Wall Street, pro-Tea Party tribunes of the common folk. “This is about the people,” as Palin repeatedly put it last weekend while pocketing $100,000 of the Tea Partiers’ money.

    Incredibly enough, this message is gaining traction. Though Obama remains more personally popular than the G.O.P., Republicans pulled ahead of the Democrats in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, among others, in a matchup for the 2010 midterms.

    This G.O.P. populism is all bunk, of course. Republicans in office now, as well as Palin during her furtive public service in Alaska, have feasted on federal pork, catered to special interests, and pursued policies indifferent to recession-battered Americans. And yet they’re getting away with their populist masquerade — not just with a considerable swath of voters but even with certain elements in the “liberal media.” The Dean of the Beltway press corps, the columnist David Broder, cited Palin’s “pitch-perfect populism” in hailing her as “a public figure at the top of her game” in Thursday’s Washington Post.

    That Republican leaders can pass off deceptive faux-populism as “pitch-perfect populism” is in part a testament to the blinding intensity of the economic anger and anxiety roiling the country. It also shows the power of an incessant bumper-sticker fiction to take root when ineffectually challenged — and, most crucially, the inability of Democrats to make a persuasive case that they offer anything better.

    The Obama White House remains its own worst enemy. No sooner did Palin’s Tea Party speech end than we learned of the president’s tone-deaf interview expressing admiration for “very savvy businessmen” like Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs. With that single remark, Obama ingeniously identified himself with the most despised aspects of both Washington and Wall Street — the bailout and the bonuses. He still doesn’t understand that to most Americans, Blankfein is a savvy businessman only in the outrageous sense that he managed to grab his bonus some 17 months after the taxpayers had the good grace to save him from going out of business altogether.

    Instead of praising bailed-out bankers, the president might have more profitably instructed his press secretary to drop the lame Palin jokes and dismantle the disinformation campaign her speech delivered to a national audience. Palin, unlike Obama, put herself on the side of the angels, railing against Wall Street’s bonuses and bailout, even though she and John McCain had supported TARP during the campaign. Palin also bragged that she had “joined with other conservative governors” in “rejecting some” stimulus dollars when in reality she rejected only a symbolic 3 percent of those dollars — soon to be overruled by the Alaskan Legislature, which took every last buck.

    This disingenuousness is old hat for Palin, who hired lobbyists to pursue $27 million in earmarks while serving as mayor of the town of Wasilla (pop. 6,700) and loudly defended her state’s “bridge to nowhere” until her politically opportunistic flip-flop. What’s new is the extent to which her test-marketed dishonesty has now become the template for her peers in the G.O.P. “populist” putsch. Adopting her example — while unencumbered by her political baggage — the party is exploiting the Tea Party movement to rebrand itself as un-Washington while quietly conducting business as usual in the capital.

    There’s “no difference” between G.O.P. and Tea Party beliefs, claims the House Republican leader, John Boehner. Not exactly. The three senators named “porkers of the month” for December by the nonpartisan Citizens Against Government Waste were all Republicans: Richard Shelby of Alabama, Susan Collins of Maine and Thad Cochran of Mississippi. Shelby is so unashamedly addicted to earmarks that he used a senatorial “hold” to halt confirmation votes on 70 Obama administration appointees until his costly shopping list of Alabama pork projects was granted. Or so he did until his over-the-top theatrics earned him unwelcome attention and threatened to derail his party’s pious antispending posturing.

    While more brazen than his peers, Shelby is otherwise typical of them. Jonathan Karl of ABC News last week unearthed photographs of various G.O.P. congressmen posing in their districts with stimulus checks that they had publicly opposed. The Washington Times uncovered more than a dozen other Republican lawmakers who privately solicited stimulus money from the Department of Agriculture while denouncing the stimulus to their constituents and the news media, often angrily.

    Even the G.O.P./Tea Party heartthrob of the hour, Scott Brown, is not the barn-coat-wearing populist he purports to be. In her speech, Palin saluted him as “just a guy with a truck” who was doing “his part to put our government back on the side of the people.” In reality Brown’s Massachusetts Senate campaign benefited from a last-minute flood of contributions from financial industry donors — with 80 percent of the haul coming from outside the state. It says all you need to know about our politics that his Democratic opponent, Martha Coakley, matched him by holding a fund-raiser largely sponsored by lobbyists for the health care and pharmaceutical industries.

    Now that he’s in the Senate, Brown is likely to junk the truck and side full time with Wall Street against Main Street. To do otherwise would be to buck his party’s entire establishment. Shelby, the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, has already signaled that he’ll fight the Obama administration’s push for a “Volcker rule” to rein in too-big-to-fail financial behemoths. The conservative message guru Frank Luntz has drafted a memo instructing G.O.P. legislators on how to defeat a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency while camouflaging themselves as populist foes of the very banks and credit card companies that that agency would regulate. That’s a neat trick — Luntz’s nonpolitical clients include Merrill Lynch and American Express — and it helps explain why Wall Street is now tilting its contributions to Congressional Republicans for 2010.

    Yet it’s the Democrats who are now most linked to corporate interests, thanks to all the backroom deals over health care. More Americans have heard of the Medicaid money shoveled to the Democratic senators Ben Nelson (the January “porker of the month”) and Mary Landrieu in exchange for their health care votes than of Thad Cochran’s $8.75 million earmark for the “Exchange With Historic Whaling and Trading Partners Program” (a proposed cut in the Obama budget). The Republicans are so disciplined at claiming the fiscal-hawk high road that even Jenny Sanford, the wronged first lady of South Carolina, is still defending her husband, Mark, as an uncompromising defender of “hard-earned tax dollars” in her new tell-all memoir, “Staying True.” Though she gives us the skinny on her husband’s philandering, she never mentions the subsequent revelations that expenses for his trysts and other personal travel were billed to taxpayers.

    Before he was done in by his Argentine firecracker — and before the emergence of Palin — Sanford was floated by The Wall Street Journal editorial page and others on the right as an ideal ticket mate for John McCain in 2008. As a congressman he had slept on a futon in his office and voted against a breast cancer postage stamp as wasteful “feel-good legislation.” As governor, he refused to take stimulus money despite the fact that South Carolina had the nation’s fastest-growing unemployment rate. When an unemployed man from Charleston caring for a seriously ill mother and sister called in to C-Span last February begging Sanford for help, he didn’t budge. But he did volunteer to pray for the caller and his family.

    So it went with Palin last weekend. Her only concrete program for dealing with America’s pressing problems came in the question-and-answer session. “It would be wise of us to start seeking some divine intervention again in this country,” she said, “so that we can be safe and secure and prosperous again.” That pretty much sums up her party’s economic program, at least: divine intervention will achieve what government intervention cannot. That the G.O.P. may actually be winning this argument is less an indictment of Palin than of Washington Democrats too busy reading the writing on her hand to see or respond to the ominous political writing on the wall.

  149. US: Israel, We’re At Your Side


    Visiting U.S. Joint Chief of Staffs Mike Mullen declared today that Washington was committed to Israel’s security, voicing concern over the possibility that a war might erupt in the Middle East over Iran’s contentious nuclear program.

    Mullen arrived in Israel today for talks on Iran’s nuclear program, as the United States and Israel were pushing world powers to support harsher sanctions against the Islamic republic.

    He said during his visit that it was important to let diplomacy and international pressure work before looking into military options, adding: “While every situation has limits, we’re not there yet.”

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Iran on Sunday to reconsider its “dangerous” nuclear policy, saying Tehran’s stance leaves the world community little choice but to impose “greater costs”.

    Hours earlier, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu underscored Israel’s support of Clinton’s declaration that “crippling” sanctions were needed to rid Iran of its contentious nuclear ambitions.

    In her latest comments on the matter, delivered at a U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha on Sunday evening, Clinton said:

    “Iran leaves the international community little choice but to impose greater costs for its provocative steps. Together, we are encouraging Iran to reconsider its dangerous policy decisions. “We are now working actively with our regional and international partners, in the context of our dual track approach, to prepare and implement new measures to convince Iran to change its course,” she added, speaking at a U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha.

    Clinton added that evidence “evidence is accumulating” that Iran was trying to develop a nuclear bomb. The U.S. is in a favor of a peaceful solution, she said, but did not want to engage Iran “while they are building their bomb.”

    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Sunday that the United States expects to gain China’s support for imposing sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.
    “We have the support of everyone from Russia to Europe. And I believe we’ll get the support of China to continue to impose sanctions on Iran to isolate them,” Biden said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program.

    Beijing so far has been cool to the Obama administration’s push for additional international sanctions on Iran.

    Israel pushes for crippling Iran sanctions:

    Meanwhile, Netanyahu told ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday that he would push for crippling sanctions on Iran during his meetings with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin this week. Netanyahu is scheduled to leave for Moscow today.

    “Russia is an important power and ally, and we intend to discuss Iran,” Netanyahu said. “Harsh sanctions must be placed on Iran, as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: We need crippling sanctions.”

    Netanyahu was expected to try to persuade Russian leaders to implement sanctions against Tehran, and to receive assurances that the Kremlin is committed to freeze its supply of advanced S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Iran.

    But Russia said Sunday that it saw no reason to stall on the sale. “There is a signed contract (to supply S-300 missiles) which we must implement, but deliveries have not started yet,” Vladimir Nazarov, deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council secretary, told Interfax news agency in an interview.

    “This deal is not restricted by any international sanctions, because the talk is about deliveries of an exclusively defensive weapon,” he said. Nazarov also said a military strike on Iran would be a big mistake and that the problems linked to Iran’s nuclear program must be resolved only by diplomatic means. “Any military action against Iran will explode the situation, will have extremely negative consequnces for the entire world, including for Russia, which is a neighbor of Iran,” he said.

    Russia is believed to support sanctions targeting governmental bodies directly involved in Iran’s nuclear program, but not those aimed at striking the country’s economy as a whole.

    “If Russia agrees to sanctions, China will find itself alone and may be forced to line up with the Western powers,” an Israeli official said. “That’s why persuading the Russian leadership is so important.”

    U.S. military chief Mike Mullen due in Israel to discuss Iran:

    Meanwhile, Israel is continuing diplomatic efforts to persuade the international community to launch a fourth round of United Nations Security Council sanctions against Iran by the end of next month.

    Israel and the United States will hold strategic talks on the issue next week, the first such talks since Netanyahu took office.

    A senior Israeli official said that the U.S., France, Britain and Germany have been updating Israel continuously on developments at the UN and in major world capitals on drafting new measures against the Islamic Republic.

    “As far as we know, efforts are being made to reach a decision on sanctions, and to have them approved in the Security Council by mid- to late March,” the official said, adding, “The sanctions are expected to focus on the Revolutionary Guards and bodies linked to the nuclear program, and less on the Iranian population.”

    Israel and Washington have held several high-level consultations on Iran in recent weeks. Last month U.S. National Security Adviser James Jones visited Israel for talks with Israeli colleagues, and two weeks ago Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon Panetta paid a secret visit to the country. The U.S. officials briefed their counterparts on sanctions the Obama administration intends to levy against Iran, but reportedly asked them to keep a low media profile and to “act responsibly.”

    Today, Mullen met his Israeli equivalent, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, with whom he reportedly enjoys a close working relationship.

    Mullen and Ashkenazi met several weeks ago at a NATO summit in Brussels and on several other occasions over the past year, and speak regularly by phone. Mullen will meet with Deputy Chief of Staff Benny Gantz on Monday, as well as Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin and Amir Eshel, head of the army’s Planning and Policy Directorate. Mullen will also meet with Defense Minister Ehud Barak for talks on Iran and on maintaining

    Clinton pressing Arab countries on Iran:

    Parallel to discussions with the Netanyahu administration, the U.S. is also ramping up pressure on Israel’s Arab neighbors over Iran as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Saudi Arabia and the Qatar this week.

    As Clinton departed for a three-day trip to the Gulf, U.S. officials hinted yesterday that one way Saudi Arabia could help diplomatically would be to offer China guarantees it would meet Chinese oil requirements, a step that might ease Beijing’s reluctance to impose further sanctions on Iran.

    China, which wields a veto on the Security Council, has lucrative commercial relationships with Iran and ahas worked to dilute previous sanctions resolutions.

    “We believe that all countries have a part to play in helping to sharpen the question for Iran,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman told reporters as Clinton began her trip, saying Saudi Arabia and China have recently increased their diplomatic and commercial contacts. “We would expect them (the Saudis) to use these visits, to use their relationships, in ways that can help increase the
    pressure that Iran would feel,” he added.

    A high-level U.S. delegation will visit Israel next week for strategic talks on Iran and a number of other issues. In contrast to the original plans, talks will not be held between Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Clinton, but will instead be held at the deputy-minister level.

    The Israeli negotiators will be headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon of Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party. The U.S. team will be led by Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg, and include presidential advisers Dennis Ross and Daniel Shapiro and other National Security Council, Defense Department and CIA officials.

    Leading U.S. foreign-policy officials will also arrive in the region this week. Deputy Secretary of State Jacob Lew will visit Israel, Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority, and Under Secretary of State William Burns will travel to Syria and Lebanon.

  150. Happy Valentine’s Day to all, especially admin, for all the work you do..(little belated) and enjoy the extra day (and 2 much chocolate):wink: for Prez’s Day.

  151. Mrs. Smith: South Pacific was excellent. I highly recommend it. The stage play is better than the movie. Normally it is the other way around, e.g. Showboat.

  152. Recovering from power outages and tons of snow but I must post this introduction of Hillary.Eat your heart out HOCUS POTUS.

    Hillary Rodham Clinton
    Secretary of State
    Doha, Qatar

    February 14, 2010


    MR. TALBOTT: (In progress) has worked assiduously on behalf of peace and better understanding around the world, and especially in this region.

    As Secretary of State, she has traveled the globe, including several visits to the Islamic world from Africa to Asia. Moreover, when she travels, she does so not just to explain American policy candidly and respectfully, but also to listen carefully and to learn other people’s perspectives. In short, to engage in dialogue, which of course, makes it especially appropriate that she would take part in this forum.

    Two personal notes, if I might. I am sure that I speak for everyone not only this room, but many watching on television and listening on the radio, when I ask that she convey to President Clinton our best wishes for his speedy and complete recovery. He gave the keynote address at this forum six years ago. And he is deeply respected in the Arab and Muslim world. We all need, in this complex and sometimes dangerous world of ours, his energy, his wisdom, and his big heart, just as we need yours.


    MR. TALBOTT: Finally, Madam Secretary, there are, of course, limits to the number of people whose lives have been enriched by the privilege of knowing you personally. Quite a few are here tonight. But there seems to be no limit whatsoever to the number of people around the world who feel as though they know you, and who count on you to speak out for what they believe in, and what matters to them.

    I have been here in Doha for several days. And I have been struck by how the local press has a way of referring to you not by your title, not by your last name, but just as Hillary. And there is no question why. It’s because when you come here, you are greeted not just as a distinguished visitor, not just as a representative of our government, but as a friend who is held in respect, admiration, and affection.

    So, Your Highness, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming the Secretary of State of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton.


  153. Wow! Talk about hopium addiction. Frank Rich is suffering from post-euphoria high syndrome in the form of extreme paranoia. I can picture poor Frank trying to stave off the cold sweats as he is unable to fall into a restful slumber because of the Rich-horrifying images of President Palin’s POTUS crest dancing in his head.

    No Frankie, it’s not a dream, it’s your worst nightmare and the two-engine train that will be the victorious 3rd-party ticket is barreling down the track directly at you and your ilk: Palin-Clinton 2012. Let the hopium withdrawal begin.

  154. alloutin10
    “Palin-Clinton 2012.”

    Nope. Clinton and anybody else including Palin. Hillary as veep to Palin would be another huge mistake — anyway, never happen. Clinton is the greatest statesperson of our time — an enormous talent. Would be wasted as veep.

  155. wbboei
    February 15th, 2010 at 7:18 am

    Mrs. Smith: South Pacific was excellent.

    Good on you, wbb. I haven’t seen the movie in a very long time. IIRC, my favorite song from SP was
    Bali Ha’i. How about you?

  156. My comment to a republican blog which did not post. Eric has been invited to appear on big media who now need someone from the blogging community to articulate the conservative viewpoint. Now he is chasing the people who are not satisfied that Obama is not a citizen off the site–and it is getting messy. It is the wrong battle but he is fighting it. It makes him more employable by CNN who invented the attack he has now fallen into. Oh how ya gonna keep em down on the farm after they have seen Paree–or in this case a panel seat at CNN. The only hope is friendly reminders that they are full of shit, towit:
    Eric, I am a regular reader of your blog. I commend you, Eric, Dan and others for your work. Often the analysis you provide on crucial issues is spot on. Also, you appear on networks such as CNN and MSNBC to articulate the conservative viewpoint. Thus, I am reluctant to criticize you on a matter which I was prepared to let pass, except you keep bringing it up and digging in deeper. The last word is never the last word when it should be the last word, so there comes a point where even a reader must respond.

    Let me say it to you straight out: I for one am deeply disappointed with the position you have taken toward those who have a different point of view from your own (and mine) on the birth certificate issue. It goes too far and frankly, I wonder about the motivations behind it. To be clear, I am fine with the fact that you disagree with them in principle, that you refute their point of view, and that you state unequivocally that it does not represent the position of your site. You have covered yourself more than sufficiently by those statements.

    But when you go beyond that and disparage those people, call them birfers, betlittle their view point, and publish some of their more outrageous statements to make them look deranged– you sound like the kooks at Daily Kos, Democratic Underground and-forgive me- CNN and MSNBC. And when you go even further than that and presume to ban them from the public discussion (by suggesting they are not legitimate conservatives) then you are doing to them what this Administration has tried to do to the entire tea party movement—and the American People, i.e. silence their voice.

    Finally, your assertion that Obama is the “legitimate” president conveniently ignores the circumstances by which he rose to power, the many unanswered questions, his history with the Chicago Machine, the 2000 complaints of voter fraud, intimidation in the primary by his minions, his use of the race card, his assault on the Bill of Rights, and the separation of powers, the Rezko type deals which he has cut with lobbyists and big business interests at the expense of the American People. These are a matter of record. As Casey Stengel used to say, look it up.

    It so happens I agree with your position on the Article II question. But the birfers as you call them did not create the issue. They did not question McCain’s citizenship, post a phony birth certificate on a website and engage in extensive legal maneuvering. Obama is the one who did that. I spoke to Brian Ross at ABC at that time. Since then, a contemporaneous announcement surfaced and the Secretary of State of Hawaii affirmed that he was borne there. For me at least that settled the legal issue. Plus the courts could not get past the issue of standing. But I do not know why he spent $1.7 million to hide something most people would produce without objection. Does that seem “legitimate” to you?

    In sum, the difference between you and me on this issue is I do not want to throw anyone who opposes Obama under the bus. I am categorically opposed to letting big media define the limits of rational debate. They have proven themselves to be a corrupt institution, one which hides the truth, engages in character assassination and shills for Obama. As for Obama, I firmly believe that he was put there for a reason, and to know what that reason was you must get your hands on a copy of the Dean Plan. The ultimate goal is to protect the oligarchs at the expense of the American People. If you think that makes me a conspiracy nut well then so be it. Feel free to ban me from your site if that makes you happy. But more important than that, be prepared to lose to Obama because country club republicans cannot beat the Chicago Machine. You have to fight fire with fire. This is not business as usual.

  157. ABM90
    February 15th, 2010 at 8:20 am


    I’ll 2nd New Mexico Fan’s “WOW” for the spectacular introduction given SOS Clinton by Mr Talbot in Quatar. Hillary is indelibly imprinting her status as a beloved diplomat and statesman worldwide. Best use of “smart power”…

  158. lil ole grape

    Sorry I am getting ready to go someplace this morning, so I did not see your message.

    I like Diane Denish. Now, she is a bit tarnish by Julas, but having interacted with her a little, and her staff, I think she is a person who can get the job done. She also was a die hard HRC fan to the end. She lead the charge at the State convention against the State Chair stealing Delegates from HRC, and she had lawyer there to back her up. Unfortunately, the way the rules are written in this state, he could do that. Although how you could justify it when HRC won the state, I will never know.

    Her father was a rancher from the Eastern side of the state, where a lot of Reps live. I have heard that she does not need the money. That in itself makes her a better candidate than many.

    In short, I will work for her, and vote for her.

  159. Getting curioser, curioser. With Hillary we could have had a total domination for another 16 years and yes, she would have picked a VP (not necessarily the nincompoop in WH now) who would have continued the domination after her for another 4-8 years.

  160. February 15, 2010

    Hillary Clinton: Iran is becoming a military dictatorship

    Iran is becoming a military dictatorship, Hillary Clinton declared today as the US prepared fresh sanctions against the Islamic Republic that would specifically target the Revolutionary Guard.

    “We see that the government in Iran, the Supreme Leader, the president, the parliament is being supplanted and that Iran is moving towards a military dictatorship,” the US Secretary of State told students in Qatar during a tour of the Middle East designed to increase pressure on the Islamic Republic to end its nuclear programme.

    “The civilian leadership is either preoccupied with its internal domestic political situation or ceding ground to the Revolutionary Guard and that’s a deeply concerning development.”

    Analysts agreed, saying that the regime increasingly relied on the Guard’s military muscle to stay in power since last June’s hotly-disputed presidential election and in return had allowed it greatly to increase its economic and political power.

    “There’s a mutual dependency,” said Ali Ansari, professor of Iranian history at St Andrew’s University, who said the Guard still needed Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, and President Ahmaidnejad as figureheads, and to control other conservatives alarmed by its rise. The clergy and the parliament have been largely sidelined since last June.

    Last Wednesday the US Treasury Department froze the assets of a Revolutionary Guard commander, General Rostam Qasemi, and four front companies that he controls and are suspected of involvement in Iran’s nuclear programme.

    Mrs Clinton said the US was now seeking international support for a new set of UN sanctions “particularly aimed at those enterprises controlled by the Revolutionary Guard”. There is no shortage of targets as the Guard’s tentacles now reach everywhere.

    The elite 120,000-strong force was created in 1979 to protect the Islamic revolution – a remit that it has used relentlessly to expand its empire.

    The Guard, using its allies in the million-strong Basij volunteer militia, has led the crackdown on the opposition since the election. It controls Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. It runs great swathes of the Iran’s construction, energy, banking, shipping, mining and manufacturing sectors and much of its black market including illicit alcohol.

    It mobilised all its resources to secure Mr Ahmadinejad’s dubious victories in the presidential elections of 2005 and 2009 and has been rewarded with huge government contracts and rigged privatisations that have enriched its leaders. Last September it bought a 51 per cent share of the national telecommunications business after its only rival was disqualified at the last moment.

    Former Guard commanders account for half Mr Ahmadinejad’s cabinet and increasingly the Guard is muscling in on the state-controlled media. Mir Hossein Mousavi, the opposition leader, recently remarked that “if the Guard has to calculate on its abacus every day to see how much the prices of their shares have gone up or down, it cannot defend the country and its national interests”.

    As Mrs Clinton left Qatar, Britain, France and the US launched a concerted attack on Iran’s human rights record during a four-yearly review by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Indeed western diplomats queued all night last week to secure early speaking slots and prevent Iran packing the three-hour debate with its own supporters.

    Peter Gooderham, Britain’s ambassador, accused Iran of “grave human rights violations” including the mass arrests of protesters, the rape and torture of detainees, coerced confessions and show trials.

    Jean-Baptiste Mattei, the French ambassador, said the regime had unleashed “bloody repression against their own people who are peacefully seeking their rights”. Michael Posner, the US assistant secretary for democracy and human rights, condemned the regime’s “violent and unjust suppression of innocent Iranian civilians”.

    Mohammed Javad Larijani, Iran’s representative, insisted that “Iranian society is a successful model of brotherly and amicable coexistence,” while another member of the delegation called June’s election “an exemplary exhibition of democracy and freedom”.

    Allies including Cuba, Venezuela, Sri Lanka and Nicaragua defended Iran’s record.

  161. We had two power outages during this snow storm and the first one lasted for more than 30+ hours. It was worse because we could not get out of the house. I used to wonder how poor people who won’t have home heating in Afghanistan and such place survived a cold winter and now I know. More than the physical discomfort for us first world city bred people, what gets you down is the anxiety.

  162. Continuing my last comment, the nincompoop in the WH picked a VP who is unelectable making sure that there is no continuity of the Dem presidency after him. He made sure no Dem would upstage him.

  163. Thing is Bayh resigning has screwed the Dems in Indiana – All condidates have to be filed by Friday this week. Hilarious, he screwed them over. Why?

  164. jbstonesfan
    February 15th, 2010 at 11:41 am

    “And so before we got the happy word that Clinton was OK, I realized what a great loss it would be if he and Obama were deprived of a chance to spend significant time together comparing crises and problems.”

    What a joke! Bambi trashed the Clintons with lies and more lies. If anything, the idiot has stolen ideas from both of them and then praised himself for coming up with them.

    As well, the “sex” comment is in reference to the renewed rehashing of the latest “trash book” on the Clintons that is now out on the shelves about Bill Clinton and Starr: The Death of American Virtue…

    Moon–if that is correct then it is a shock all right.

    I have been operating on two assumptions about him. First, that he has been promised a job on K street. That rumor comes from a friend in Indiana who worked for him. Second, that his initial opponent withdrew because the Chicago Machine had something on him. Thus, this may be a case where one bad turn deserves another.

    I doubt this is welcome news for Hillary. She was close to Evan and believed he would be a future presidential or vice presidential candidate. But that was while she was still in politics. His subsequent decision to play his constituents for suckers on health care vitiates any loyalty many of us had to him based on his prior support of Hillary.

    Obviously, we will be told that he is retiring for some other reason.

  166. E.J. Dionne is a pseudo intellectual scumbag. He is not worth reading or listening to. He is a card carrying member of the elites who are lying to us about what is happening to the country.

  167. Hillary Clinton: Iran is becoming a military dictatorship
    This is what my friend from Iran told me a couple months ago. Now I know it is true.

  168. Now Obama is saying the terror trial may be moved to military court.

    There is a pattern of erratic behavior with Obama which negates any pretense of leadership.

  169. I can’t keep up, who’s next for resigning, i’m betting Blanche Lincoln, a drunk skunk raping a bear could get elected ahead of her in Arkansas at present.

  170. alloutin10 – no offense, but Palin-Clinton ticket???dream on…never, ever happen…


    as for EJ Dionne…oh, another one coming to their cynical senses and realizing that Bill is the real deal and O is a phenomenon that is blazing out…

    my comment left to EJ:

    no matter how many words you write or whatever comparative analysis you try to come up with…the simple fact remains…Barak Obama is no Bill Clinton…and he never will be…Bill Clinton is one in a million and although Obama has tried in many ways to replace Bill Clinton he will never come close to the actual accomplishments and good works that Bill Clinton has produced in our country and all over this world…

    Barak Obama reads what he wants to project from a teleprompter…Bill Clinton stands there and explains issues from an outline in his head and heart…end of story…no comparison

  171. This guy loved Bambi and still knows Clinton is the only one who can save this hack.
    Saving the country–yes. But saving him–no way. That would be masochistic.

  172. JanH-Israel is being denied vital supplies by Obama and cannot strike Iran without said supplies. Israel now faces mortal danger from Iran and must sit back, as we did during the Holocaust and wait until we are destroyed.

  173. jbstonesfan,

    I agree. Israel has kept silent this last year as the U.S. has stopped arms transfers to them and yet boosted arms/weaponry transfers to the PLO.

  174. Clinton gets royal treatment at Saudi king’s retreat

    By Glenn Kessler
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, February 15, 2010

    RAWDAT KHURAIM, SAUDI ARABIA There’s nothing like having tea served by men with guns dangling on their shoulders.

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday got the royal treatment, literally, when King Abdullah invited her and her entourage to visit him at his winter retreat here, about an hour’s drive north of Riyadh, the capital. Few visitors are invited to the king’s desert sanctuary, and reporters are almost never permitted. But the king not only allowed the media to venture inside his soaring black tent, but personally greeted each hack.

    The royal surroundings — the result of the House of Saud’s autocratic control of the country’s oil wealth — are both spectacular and surprisingly banal.

    The tent, which from a distance looks like a six-top black circus tent, is actually a mini-palace with a tented top. It sits on concrete, with one grand sitting room and one equally large banquet room. It is surrounded on all sides by semi-trailers, recreational vehicles and dozens of other, real tents (with carpets covering the sand and nonstop air conditioners.) A helicopter landing zone is just steps away, as is a zoo stocked with deer, falcons and other beasts.

    In many ways, minus the carpets and fancy finishings, it looked like a U.S. military facility in Iraq.

    Clinton traveled here on the king’s own bus, a massive vehicle with 11 seats arranged in a circle in the Saudi fashion. When she arrived, the king greeted her in the sitting room, which features five chandeliers and a single carpet stretching 82 feet long. Along one wall was a giant 60-inch television, surrounded by 32 smaller televisions. (Apparently the king can always keep an eye on every cable channel.)

    Each member of Clinton’s entourage was given a card with a number, which showed exactly which overstuffed couch he or she would sit on. As dozens of servants, including the gun-toting tea servers who served single gulps of tea, bustled about, the king, through an interpreter, and Clinton (along with each country’s ambassadors) engaged in light-hearted banter about camels for about a quarter of an hour.

    The camel diplomacy eventually ran out of steam and the king motioned that it was time for lunch.

    The 86-year-old monarch slowly led the way to the banquet room. The food selection was worthy of an elaborate wedding, a Hollywood opening or a fancy bar mitzvah. Arrayed along the side, at least four dozen types of meat, fish and chicken dishes, including huge platters of lobster, awaited the guests. The tables were groaning with even more food and dishes, too numerous to count, let alone eat. The hand fresheners were scented by Bulgari.

    In the center of the room stood yet another huge television, which lifted out of a cabinet on a hydraulic lift. The king and Clinton sat down with their food, facing the television, and he immediately turned it on, at high volume, to a news and sports channel.

    That spoiled the atmospherics a bit. But the king and Clinton seemed to be chatting during the meal, so the TV might have been intended to keep their conversation private from the curious ears of the other guests.

    After the meal, servants stood by with bottles of Neroli Green, a French cologne, to spray on each person’s hands.

    The ceremony was then over, and the king and Clinton repaired to a private room for serious talks. The reporters waited in the sitting room, occasionally offered tea by the men with guns.

  175. S,

    No offense taken. It wouldn’t be discourse if we all agreed on everything. In the final analysis, I know that Palin-Clinton will never happen. My illegible inference is that they are the only two national-level entities currently discussed that, while part of the establishment, are truly outside of the establishment. In both cases, the whacked out ultras of both of their parties are responsible for their exile. But as far as dreaming is concerned, would it not guarantee a bipartisanship approach on behalf of the Executive Branch?

    Have any other politicians in recent memory been more unfairly disrespected and discounted by their own parties than Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin? Wouldn’t either of them be a legitimate tea party candidate because neither of them owe a thing to either the current Democratic or Republican establishment? Couldn’t both of them make compelling arguments for moderates from both parties fleeing to new ground?

    Unfortunately, a 3rd-party ticket has zero chance of winning a presidential election in our country at this time. But things change. A successful 3rd-party candidate must have national draw and must be able to stand alone outside the status quo establishment. If I pick up one overriding theme of agreement from participants at Hillary is 44, it’s the narrative that both the Democrats and Republicans have continually disappointed and a truly new approach is needed.

    Hillary Clinton would never play 2nd string to Palin. Although, from my perspective, a perspective learned the old fashioned way by both successfully and unsuccessfully running companies, the #2 person in an organization is often the actual agent of change; as opposed to the front person who is too busy ducking jabs, making nice with the naysayers and making excuses for mistakes that naturally occur along the way. Being out of the direct line of fire isn’t necessarily a bad place to be.

  176. How about this for a bumper sticker





  177. Clinton gets royal treatment at Saudi king’s retreat

    By Glenn Kessler
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, February 15, 2010

    Jan–isn’t it amazing what useless crap big media feeds to the American People? Take this article for example. How does this tripe help us understand what is really happening in the Middle East? Question: What kind of an editor puts this crap out under his newspaper masthead. Answer: the kind that writes stories about cleavage. As for this Kessler jerk-off he should be working for People Magazine.

  178. The reporters waited in the sitting room, occasionally offered tea by the men with guns.
    A simple matter of misplaced priorities. Motive and opportunity were present. The only thing missing was the crime. Gadfly Glenn failed to tell us whether it was green tea, red tea, black tea or ooligon tea. Obviously, a material omission.

  179. The Saudi story makes me sick. All that opulence and their people are peasants, exactly what is going to happen in this country if globalists have their way.

  180. Bayh retiring should be scaring the hell out of everyone. Most of Hillary supporters are leaving and that leaves the republicans and the far left. What a combination to get the people work done. This country is going to hell in a hand basket.

  181. wbboei, confloyd

    I agree with both of you. Posted it because it shows just how unethical and disgusting some of these Arab rulers really are.

    It is a testament to Hillary’s strength that she can talk to these pompous leaders and not throw up.

  182. I wonder if all these Hillary supporters are leaving/retiring as a show of solidarity to the Clintons as well as a middle finger to the dims who think they own the world.

  183. alloutin 10…as you say essentially everyone is entitled to their opinion…and musings…

    …imo…although Hillary may understand and relate to many of the complaints and objectives of the tea party movement…there is no way in the world at this stage in Hillary’s life with the resume behind her and having been married to the only successful two term democratic president in most of our lifetime…that Hillary will do anything but remain a faithful Democrat…albiet a Clinton Democrat…and that is something I think most of us here still believe in and support…

    I like Sarah and I am hoping she stays true to herself and genuine…imo, that is a big part of the attraction to Sarah…and that she calls it like she sees it…take it or leave it…the established insiders of both parties cannot stand that…she is their loose cannon and a threat…and to others a she is their “free spirit” and speaking the truth…

    …so while there may be things both Hillary and Sarah have in common, they come from different directions and Sarah will be riding her wave on her own if she is too succeed…

    I noticed today that John Podesta is being quoted as saying the Obama admin is “in a mess”…I think most of us hold out hope that O will be that one termer and Hillary and the Clinton dems can ride to the rescue and get our country back on track to prosperity and success…

    …until then chaos prevails…

    …that’s my musing for the day…

  184. JanH, Brett Baier is saying just that almost. He said one of the sentences it seemed that Bayh was saying you can’t trust the democrats. We need the transcript of what he said so we can dissect it.

  185. Bayh retiring should be scaring the hell out of everyone. Most of Hillary supporters are leaving and that leaves the republicans and the far left. What a combination to get the people work done. This country is going to hell in a hand basket.
    Yes. To each of your points.

    It used to be that the center was defined by the overlap between the right and the left.

    If all we have left is right wing republicans and left wing ideologues then there can be no center

    And then is like Easter 1916:

    Things fall apart the center cannot hold
    Mere anarchy is loosed and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned
    The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

  186. I wonder if all these Hillary supporters are leaving/retiring as a show of solidarity to the Clintons as well as a middle finger to the dims who think they own the world.
    This is symptomatic of the malaise that afflicts the party as a whole. It began when they threw Hillary and her supporters under the bus. It continued when they rejected Roosevelt values as a governing philosophy and put blind faith in a con man turned messiah. And now they are feeling the affects of arrogance bullying and overreaching. At the same time, they they realize the primal anger in their constituents. They know they have aided and abetted his efforts to take this country away from the constituents they took an oath before God to protect and serve. To whom do they turn now? No easy answer. That is why they want out. I don’t blame them. But where can they go to hide, really?

  187. Two words jumped out at me: Executive and Exceptional(ism) Sounds Presidential to me like, Blue Dog Hillary. Clinton-Bayh ’12. What is should have been in 2008 The DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION HAS BEGUN 🙂

  188. US, Turkish officials get physical in Qatar

    Mon, 15 Feb 2010

    A fight broke out between high-ranking US and Turkish officials at a meeting held between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Qatar.

    The fight was reported between the US ambassador to Qatar and an advisor to the Turkish prime minister at the end of a 20-minute meeting between Clinton and Erdogan on Monday.

    The altercation took place after the US envoy entered the room to remind those present to close the meeting as the time was over.

    In response, Erdogan’s adviser said, “It is not for you to judge the importance of our meeting, you offend our country,” the Turkish daily Today’s Zaman reported.

    The quarrel led to physical confrontation and the two diplomats were separated with difficulty.

  189. Was Bayh losing his seat or was he ahead?

    Polling showed him leading fairly comfortably, but a high profile former Sentator Dan Coates had entered the race and the signals were noisy.

    Bayh has been expressing open disgust with the Democratic Party in recent weeks (since the Scott Brown won the swimmer’s seat). He said today he had an executive’s temperament and just couldn’t deal with the Senate any longer….


  190. wbboei, I just read where Hillary has said that the Revolutionary Guard seems to be in charge and running the country. She also said, it is worrisome for us and its people.

    How could there be anything worse that that theocracy that is running it now??

  191. Don’t hold this as gospel but i just heard rumours Barbara Mulkulski has decided not to seek re-election either.

    what is going on if this is true.

    May just be bunk rubbish but you never know.

  192. Guess what political group we are:

    We raised $55 million from 2004 – 2008

    One of our stated missions is to provide scholarships to disadvantaged African-Americans

    In the year 2008 we spent more on the caterer for ONE of our events ($700,000) than we gave out in scholarships

    The president of a prominent lobbying group stated in a recent newsletter that without our support, their mission in Washington would fail.
    Corporate America (Wal-Mart, AT&T, General Motors, Coca-Cola and Altria) paid off the mortgage on our office headquarters
    The board of our Foundation is made up of a Who’s Who among corporate America (Boeing, Wal-Mart, Dell, Citigroup, Coca-Cola, Verizon, Heineken, Anheuser-Busch, Amgen and GlaxoSmithKline)

    Believe it or not, the answers and more sordid details are exposed in the NYT:

  193. h/w
    [ In the early 90s ] Bill Clinton boosted funding for local police forces, and police began experimenting with radical new approaches to policing, such as those employed in the so-called Boston Miracle. In 1994, the murder rate started to fall, and it’s been falling ever since. Rape, robbery, and aggravated assault have dropped along with it. Last year was no exception. According to preliminary FBI data, the murder rate dropped 10 percent from 2008 to 2009, robbery fell 6.5 percent, aggravated assault fell 3.2 percent, auto theft was down a whopping 18.7 percent.

    Easy commenting. I was still logged in from months ago.

  194. Don’t hold this as gospel but i just heard rumours Barbara Mulkulski has decided not to seek re-election either.
    She is a fine public servant and was a staunch Hillary supporter.

  195. For every democratic senator or congressman who decides to hang it up the DNC needs a Harvard trained deval patrick or barack obama clone with no experience who can step into the breach, play the race card against opponents, tell lobbyist show me the money, and sweep the electorate off its feet with vague illusory promises. That is not asking for much now is it?

  196. New Jerseyans like Presidents Reagan and Clinton best

    February 15, 2010

    New Jerseyans liked Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton best of all the US Presidents, according to an Associated Press poll released in time for Presidents’ Day. Presidents John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, and Barack Obama rounded out the top five.

    The poll, conducted by Monmouth University and Gannett New Jersey, asked respondents which were their favorite Presidents in history. Poll takers contacted 803 adults by telephone, for a margin of error of 3.5 percent.

    All of the top three finishers originally carried New Jersey in their respective elections. Interestingly, Nixon, who also carried New Jersey in his re-election, is not even among the top ten.

    Of better note is that the top three are remembered for tolerating more conservative policies than are most of their recent predecessors. Kennedy is best remembered for his forceful stand during the Cuban Missile Crisis and for his “Ich bin eine Berliner” speech at the Berlin Wall. But he should also be remembered for proposing the first significant cuts in income-tax rates, cuts of the sort that Ronald Reagan would propose, and see enacted, early in his term of office. Bill Clinton did not propose any income-tax reductions, but neither did he raise taxes to the levels that prevailed before Reagan. More to the point, when Clinton’s party lost control of Congress, Clinton changed the thrust of his presidency and allowed the first significant entitlement reform to go forward.

    That George W. Bush is not remembered nearly so fondly might be because he was not the man that Ronald Reagan was, and New Jersey conservatives know it. They also know that he proposed significantly more total spending that Bill Clinton proposed.

    The results of the poll were as follows:

    Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Presidents Poll

    Ronald Reagan 24%
    Bill Clinton 22%
    John F. Kennedy 11%
    Abraham Lincoln 7%
    Barack H. Obama 7%
    Franklin D. Roosevelt 5%
    George Washington 3%
    Harry S. Truman 3%
    George W. Bush n/r
    James Earl Carter, Jr. n/r

  197. Where is bambi?

    Clinton, Pelosi to attend funeral

    The Tribune-Democrat
    February 14, 2010

    JOHNSTOWN — Former President Bill Clinton, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and CIA Director Leon Panetta are among the dignitaries who will attend the Tuesday funeral of U.S. Rep. John Murtha. Also, the military presence will include Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.

    The day will begin with the Murtha family departing Frank Duca Funeral Home in Westmont, and it will end with a military flyover during a private interment at Grandview Cemetery.

    But in between, the 11 a.m. funeral service at Westmont Presbyterian Church, 601 Luzerne St., will be open to the public. A line will form at Geneva Avenue and Luzerne Street, with shuttle service to the church from Hiram G. Andrews Center provided by CamTran.

    For those who cannot make it into the church, Murtha spokesman Matt Mazonkey on Sunday announced four sites that will provide live coverage of the service:

    • Our Mother of Sorrows church, 415 Tioga St. in Westmont.

    • Hiram G. Andrews Center (Seminar Theater), 727 Goucher St. in Upper Yoder Township.

    • Pasquerilla Conference Center, 301 Napoleon St. in downtown Johntown.

    • Holiday Inn, 250 Market St. in downtown Johnstown.

    Also, the funeral will be aired live on WJAC, WTAJ and PCN.

    Security is expected to be tight at the church, with many notable political figures expected to pay their respects to Murtha. In addition to Clinton, Emanuel, Panetta and Mullen, the list includes:

    • Gov. Ed Rendell.

    • A bipartisan delegation of U.S. House and Senate members.

    • Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

    • Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.

    • National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones.

    • Service secretaries and the Joint Chiefs.

    Fifteen members of Congress who represent Pennsylvania will serve as honorary pallbearers.

    They include Democratic Sen. Bob Casey and Republican Rep. Bill Shuster.

    Tributes also will be paid outside the church.

    When the funeral procession passes Westmont Middle School on the way to the service, students “will welcome the procession holding American flags,” Mazonkey said.

    Upon leaving the service, the procession will detour onto Colgate Avenue, where the Murtha family had lived for more than 40 years.

    When entering Grandview, Murtha’s family will pass under two fire trucks with ladders extended and draped with a large American flag.

    Grandview will be closed to all vehicles and pedestrians during the private interment.

    But Mazonkey said Gen. James Conway, Marine Corps commandant, will present Mrs. Murtha with an American flag during the ceremony.

  198. I have quite a lot of respect for Bayh and Mikulski and will be very disappointed to see them go.

    BTW, JanH, I think Bill looks great in that video. That surgery made him appear 10 years younger. Or maybe it was just the rest he had, lol.

  199. Concerning Evan Bayh, the cover story is he resigned because he wants bi partisanship and is anxious to do the work of the American People. Hogwash. He had a beef with Reid, a stiff challenger and a record that would be hard to defend in an election. The article lauds him for his courage in voting for cost control measures, but the comment reveals that he did this only after he knew the stimulus bill would pass without his vote. That coincides with my information that he was secretly maneuvering for passage of Obamacare, while pretending to question its cost impact. The latter is why he lost altitude.


    With Bayh, the Writing Was on the Wall…Sen. Evan Bayh, D-IN, has always been somewhat fiscally conservative — but lately, we’ve seen that move to the center/center-right even more, with some speculating that he was doing so to prepare for an assault from the right, as he was planning to run for re-election this year.

    Most particularly, he has sounded an ever-increasing alarm about rising federal deficits, aligning with more conservative members of the chamber, for instance, to create a debt commission modeled on the military’s base closure system. Bayh worked behind closed doors for hours with his colleagues trying to craft the legislation, only to have the rug ripped out by Republicans who once supported the idea but then abandoned ship at the last minute. (GOP’ers said at the time that they did so fearing that the commission would propose tax hikes and not much-needed spending cuts.)

    Bayh has consistently spoken against Washington’s ability to voluntarily cut spending, so he increasingly favored mandating that action.

    The signs of Bayh’s discontent with the direction of the economy and with Washington can be seen in his votes over the past year or so, starting with the budget last year — he was one of only two Dems to vote AGAINST it. In fact, according to a Washington Post analysis of Senate Democrats’ voting records late last year, Bayh was the most conservative Democrat, edging out a more high-profile conservative, Sen. Ben Nelson, D-NE. Bayh voted with his fellow Democrats, according to the survey, just 72 percent of the time.

    Earlier this year, Bayh voted against his party when Reid tried to bring up a 10-year, $245 billion so-called “doc fix” — which was designed to stop massive cuts in federal reimbursements paid to Medicare docs. He told me it was solely because the measure was not paid for with offsets (e.g., spending cuts).

    And though he voted FOR the $787 billion stimulus bill, he was part of a group (“Gang of 18”) that axed $100 million from the original product produced by leadership, what Bayh at the time called “silly stuff.” And just recently, he expressed regret about the design of the stimulus legislation, saying he wished there had been “more targeted spending” in the bill.

    And the senator was one of only two Dems to vote against the $410 billion omnibus spending bill – sending Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, scurrying for days in an attempt to shore of 60 votes to overcome a Republican-led filibuster.

    During healthcare negotiations, Bayh made it clear he did not trust that the bill would really hold down deficit spending. He worked with other conservative members to craft a package designed to rein in future costs. He also jumped into the center of the abortion policy storm when late last year, he joined with seven of his Democratic colleagues to tighten controls designed to eliminate any federal spending on the controversial procedure.

    Bayh was also known to opposed the so-called “cap and trade” climate legislation proposed by the Obama Administration.

    In March of 2009, Bayh quietly assembled a working group of Senate moderates with a goal of crafting “a fiscally responsible spending plan in the Senate,” according to a release from his office at the time. The group was to meet every Tuesday just before the weekly Dem Caucus lunch.

    Most recently, when the debt commission failed (though Obama has said he will enact one, albeit with less teeth, by executive order) he joined forces with Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, to introduce a package of deficit-fighting measures.

    “We cannot continue to spend what we do not have,” Bayh told reporters, as he praised President Obama’s intention to enact a 3-year discretionary spending freeze, something Bayh, himself, had advocated in the Wall Street Journal op-ed last September.

    The Bayh-McCain Fiscal Freeze Act of 2010 would enact the spending freeze, a moratorium on earmarks until the budget is balanced, and a line item veto for the president, among other mandates.

    And Bayh is not just conservative with fiscal policy. He’s somewhat hawkish on defense issues, as well. Most recently, he has pushed for the Obama Administration to impose “crippling sanctions” against Iran and strict sanctions for human rights violations by that totalitarian regime.

    But he did join forces with Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-ME, a number of years back in an attempt to tie U.S. foreign aid to Iraq to that government meeting a series of benchmarks.

    The writing does appear to have been on the wall with Bayh, said several Democratic sources. And one senior Senate Democratic aide with knowledge of the Bayh decision pointed to Reid’s move to take hatchet to the $85 billion bipartisan jobs bill crafted by the top Democrat and Republican on the Finance Committee, slimming it down, without GOP consultation, to a mere $15 billion, though he did leave elements that do have bipartisan support. “From what I understand, that really could have been the straw,” the aide said.

    Greg in IndianaReport
    What this article fails to mention is that when Bayh voted against his party, it was after the fact. By that I mean he waited sometimes 4 hours after the bills had already passed and then cast his vote against it! He could have kept the Health care bill from going to the floor if he would have voted no on that one. I don’t want to hear how fiscally conservative Bayh is because he is not! About time for him to leave politics and stop riding his daddy’s coattails.


    site reporting that Sen Mikulsi will announce retirement in a few days…

    guess the dems all want to “pace” their retirement annoucements as the good dems flee from the O sinking ship as fast as they can get the hell out of there…

    …gee, getting a little lonely for “the One” wouldn’t you say…

    the DNC and O karma just keeps giving…they rigged the primaries…forced the most unqualified candidate on us…and now everything is turning to hell…probably going to be more and more “retirements” coming…who in their right mind wants to put up with the amateur hour admin that defines O…people wiseing up to the fact that he does not know what he is doing…and all the rapture of the lamestream media cannot hide that…

    getting kind of embarrassing for O that so many are deserting him…we all know this would not be happening with Hillary at the helm…hell, no!

  201. ouch…just heard a discussion on cnn where rep. cardoza from calif is being quoted in the NYT as saying that O is NOT WELCOME to come to CA and campaign with him…

    OMG…the damn is really bursting – O is beginning to look like a complete fool…

  202. Barack Millstone Obama
    Peter Wehner

    The news that Democratic Senator Evan Bayh is retiring is another stunning blow for a Democratic party that is already reeling. This development — because of who Bayh is (perceived as a moderate/centrist); because of the state he represents (a traditionally Red one but won by Barack Obama in 2008); and because of his political situation (it was assumed he was in a comfortable position to win re-election) — will have significant ramifications. It will accelerate almost every bad trend for Democrats (more retirements, fewer entries into national races, more intra-party acrimony, and more panic).

    The last time we saw a double-digit shift in Senate seats in a single election was when a former movie actor by the name of Ronald Reagan was elected president (Republicans won a dozen seats back in 1980). A shift of those dimensions in a non-presidential election year would be basically unheard of. But as Jen points out, a pickup of 10 GOP seats — and recontrol of the Senate — is no longer out of the question. America’s political tectonic plates are shifting in a fairly dramatic and rapid fashion; and the resulting dislocation will batter and crush many Democratic candidates, perhaps on a scale we have not witnessed before in our lifetime, at least in a midterm election.

    Such an outcome can still be averted — but as many of us have been predicting for a while now, the news for Democrats is continuing to get worse rather than better. Evan Bayh’s retirement is a body blow for the president and his party. It will cause more than a few knees in the Obama White House to buckle. It is beginning to dawn on them just what awaits them.

    Rep. Marion Berry, yet another retiring Democrat, gave an interview to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette a few weeks ago in which he recounted meetings with White House officials, reminiscent of some during the Clinton years, where he and others urged them not to force Blue Dogs “off into that swamp” of supporting bills that would be unpopular with voters back home. “I’ve been doing that with this White House, and they just don’t seem to give it any credibility at all,” Berry said. “They just kept telling us how good it was going to be. The president himself, when that was brought up in one group, said, ‘Well, the big difference here and in ’94 was you’ve got me.’ We’re going to see how much difference that makes now.”

    We shall indeed. The big difference between now and 1994 is that Democrats have Obama instead of Clinton as the head of their party. And that may turn out to be very bad news for Democrats. The Democratic party is in worse shape now than it was at a comparable period then. The mistrust of government runs deeper. The anti-incumbent tide is stronger. And the public uprising is greater.

    The Clinton years — and Bill Clinton’s undeniable political gifts — are looking better and better to Democrats with every passing week.

    Democrats indeed have got Obama, and they have Obama’s agenda as well. Could the political millstone be any heavier?

  203. if this keeps up…it is not outside the realm of possibility that O could have a primary challenge in 2012…if only to salvage and save what will be left of the democratic party…(admin, your theory is beginning to manifest)

  204. No need to worry about Maryland, it is the bluest state in the country and i bet one of O’s allies goes after Mikulski’s seat with a vengeance.

    Yeah Obama’s changing the Democratic party – Everyone’s leaving it in droves.

  205. Bayh to Obama: take this job and shove it

    Millions of Americans long to tell their bosses “take this job and shove it.” Hardly any have the power and money to do so, especially in these recessionary times. Sen. Evan Bayh (D) of Indiana, however, is the exception. His stunning retirement from the Senate is essentially a loud and emphatic “screw you” to President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. For months now, Bayh has been screaming at the top of his voice that the party needs to reorient toward a more popular, centrist agenda — one that emphasizes jobs and fiscal responsibility over health care and cap and trade. Neither the White House nor the Senate leadership has given him the response he wanted. Their bungling of what should have been a routine bipartisan jobs bill last week seems to have been the last straw.

    I don’t doubt that Bayh could have won re-election — though he probably did not relish the prospect of a very nasty campaign revolving around GOP attacks on his wife’s business activities. Let it never be forgotten that Bayh is a perennial Democratic golden boy, the keynote speaker at the party’s 1996 convention, scion of a political dynasty, proven vote-getter in a red state and, in his own mind, prime presidential timber. For him, then, the question was: even if I win, who needs six more years of dealing with these people, after which I might be 60 years old and trying to pick up the pieces of a damaged political party brand?

    And don’t get him started on the Republicans! I think we have to take Bayh at his word when he quite justifiably expressed disgust not only with the jobs bill fiasco, but also when he lashed out at the Senate Republicans who opportunistically voted down a bipartisan budget-balancing commission they had previously endorsed.

    Quitting the Senate was a no-lose move for the presidentially ambitious Bayh, since he can now crawl away from the political wreckage for a couple of years, plausibly alleging that he tried to steer the party in a different direction — and then be perfectly positioned to mount a centrist primary challenge to Obama in 2012, depending on circumstances.

    There will be those Democrats who bid good riddance to Bayh and his coal-burning-state apostasy about cap and trade, etc. If so, they won’t need a very big tent to contain the celebration. On a more pragmatic view, Bayh’s dramatic vote of no-confidence in his own party’s leadership looks like another Massachusetts-sized political earthquake for the Democrats. Not only does it imperil the president’s short-term hopes of passing health care and other major legislation this year. It also makes it much more likely that the Republicans can pick up Bayh’s Senate seat in normally red Indiana and, with it, control of the Senate itself. If present trends continue, November could turn into a Republican rout.

    By Charles Lane | February 15, 2010; 2:49 PM ET

  206. Bayh is a boy scout. His dad was not. He sees no future with dim party. Wants to preserve his options for future run possibly at president. That is what I am being told in a telephone call now. Also Indiana will have 2 Republican senators.

  207. It is getting a little harder to keep changing mind. Not on camera so much. We sure miss seeing him. Oh well, he will be back with another bunch of lies.

  208. Obama has been noticeably absent for the news. Its a shame. Harder to lie with impunity. His magical ability to sway the public is fading fast.

  209. Coats opponent is from Bloomington. The people who live there do not believe in using deoderant. New age crazy. This is not a tea party type but a kumbaya put everybody on welfare. He waited until today to marginalize it.

  210. alloutin10, I have often opined for a Hillary/Sarah ticket. Just think 16 years of progress with both being POTUS for two terms each. And a further hope would be that each is VP for two terms each! The most flack on this subject has been from Sarah and Obummer fans…they look at me like I have lost my marbles. I answer with, “Well, how could two women ‘f’ our country up any more than the MEN have for more than 200 years, especially since Bill’s reign?
    They have more in common than they disagree on; and each works across the aisle. And, both LOVE this country. Now, just how could America go wrong with that combination. It would be the salvation for our country if it can last another three years.

  211. Here’s a little story on Palin’s popularity.

    Sarah Palin Mobbed at Daytona Speedway
    Monday, February 15, 2010, 4:17 PM
    Jim Hoft

    Sarah Palin addresses the crowd before the start of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL Sunday, February 14, 2010.

    The democratic-media complex spent two weeks building up Danica Patrick’s appearance but in the Sarah Palin ate up all of the crowd’s attention.
    The Sun-Sentinel reported:

    Palin-mania easily surpassed Danica-mania at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday.

    While Patrick got all the headlines for the better part of two weeks, she had no stake in the Daytona 500. Palin did, and as a VIP guest for the race, she ate up all the attention.

    When she arrived for the drivers meeting, Palin was immediately mobbed. She briefly chatted with Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, shook hands with supporters and smiled big.

    She took a seat up front next to Harry Connick Jr., who sang the national anthem for the race. When NASCAR president Mike Helton acknowledged her as a special guest, she got the largest ovation from the room, packed from the front to the back with drivers, team members, support personnel and onlookers.

    After sitting through the meeting, Palin could not get out the door. Fans mobbed her, asking for pictures and autographs. Her 12-person entourage, comprised of track security, a policeman, friends and spokespeople, tried to get her to the door and to her next appearance. But Palin could not help herself, and kept signing and posing for pictures.

    Even when she was able to get out the door, she stopped every few feet to take pictures. One fan asked where her husband, Todd, was on Valentine’s Day. Palin said he couldn’t make it because he’s in Alaska preparing for the Iron Dog, the world’s longest snow-mobile race.

    As she got moving again, Palin stopped when she saw a boy in a wheelchair to say hello and sign an autograph.

  212. My sober second judgment is that the Bayh announcement is a positive development for us and quite possibly a tell as to Hillary’s future plans.

  213. MY guess is that Obama is planning to do some really controversial things after the Nov. election and people are leaving so they won’t have the Obama stench on them. I think its the STENCH!

  214. wbboei
    February 15th, 2010 at 6:56 pm
    Obama has been noticeably absent for the news. Its a shame. Harder to lie with impunity. His magical ability to sway the public is fading fast

    yes, he is probably receiving inside polling that says the people are sick of seeing and hearing him and to get out of the public eye for awhile…lay low, so to speak…

  215. ShortTermer,

    Well said. I have a tendency to be verbose with written communications. I blame it on one of my careers where I had to justiry my existence based on how many pages it took to write a report.

    You cut directly to the point: they have more in common than both sides want to admit. And they both despise Barry.

  216. S, We all hope that, I think his children and wife need more of his time. His prize money for the peace prize is held up due to a President unable to collect money like that while in office. So we are led to believe he can’t even give it away. He is saving it for a rainy day. Bill was almost broke when he left the WH. due to the republicans manufacturing lies.

  217. the best news would be to hear that O is retiring…

    I know, wishful thinking…
    My belief is by 2012 the country will be in rough shape and he will be forced out by the party. He is not FDR. He is not Bill Clinton. He is not even Carter. He is LBJ with no track record. We liked LBJ. He had a significant tack record, but Viet Nam did him in. Hope and change will do Obama in. No hope and bad change may the cure be not worse than the disease. The speech will be Barack thanks for burying the country. Now get out.

  218. MY guess is that Obama is planning to do some really controversial things after the Nov. election and people are leaving so they won’t have the Obama stench on them. I think its the STENCH!
    He may not have a governing majority after November. There may be a bi-parrtisan consensus tor impeachment if he does something controversial. Like pass bad legislation through what the compliant NYT calls “executive power”.

  219. his also is more evidence that Harry Reid is a terrible majority leader.
    He reminds me of Yosemite Sam in the old Bugs Bunny cartoons.

  220. he is probably receiving inside polling that says the people are sick of seeing and hearing him and to get out of the public eye for awhile…lay low, so to speak…

    According to the latest ABC Washinton Post poll, the 6th graders are not happy that the President can carry around a teleprompter with him to remember things like Christmas carols, whereas they must memorize them. This sense of disentitlement is spreading across the nation like welfare. Sensing change in the wind, Obama is allocation 40 billion in stimulus monies so 6th graders can have teleprompters like his. It is a real win win for everybody except the taxpayers.

  221. LOL…wbboei,

    It’s kind of like obama gets to cheat on exams/not do his homework but expects America’s children to study and be honest.

  222. damn, i hate to see HRC stuck in the current wasteland of an administration for the next 3 years. this guy is really in the shitter.

  223. janh

    bo also expects America’s children to be healthy and eat right, while he sneaks off to the rose garden to chain-smoke marlboros.

  224. alcina
    February 15th, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    alcina, perhaps admin will be correct and Hill will make her strategic exit after the midterms…maybe she and evan will have ‘somethings’ in common…

  225. isn’t it just poetic justice that O, ‘the one’, with his millions of supporters and fans would end up with his own party leaving him on his own…

    …amazing how fast he has fallen and things have done a 180 degree turn…

  226. With all these resignations and retirements, I’m beginning to think “Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.” Republican control wouldn’t be a piece of cake either. To be quite honest, the dimocratic brand is going to be so damaged, even Hillary may not be able to resurrect the party.

  227. wbboei
    February 15th, 2010 at 6:51 pm
    Playing her all day today on news. Looks really good. Good sign.

    Sorry — playing who “her” all day on the news?

  228. birdgal, there is a lot of truth in what you say…frankly O is destroying the dim party…it started with the DNC during the primaries when many of us walked away…and now he is doing the lasting damage to the brand with his lack of leadership and do nothing presidency…

    I don’t think many expected it to happen so fast…least of all this WH…shocker!

    this is what happens when the DNC forces an inexperienced, unqualified candidate on the rest of us…you reap what you sow…

    you can fool some of the people some of the time…but not all of the people all of the time..

    wake up call for what is left of the democratic party…

  229. jbstonesfan,

    I was looking for this earlier and finally found it…

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    Israel’s Netanyahu keeping mum about Obama’s virtual arms embargo

    WASHINGTON — Israel’s government has kept its silence during a year-long ban on weapons sales imposed by the United States at the same time the administration has approved $10 billion in weapons sales to Arab states, a report said.

    The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs reported that the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sought to conceal a virtual arms embargo by the administration of President Barack Obama. The institute said the Israeli government was also refusing to protest massive U.S. weapons projects for Arab rivals in the Middle East, which has eroded Israel’s military superiority over its neighbors.
    “Israel, in very important ways, isn’t protesting where it might,” JINSA said.

    Over the last year, the United States refused to approve any major Israeli weapons requests. Government sources asserted that the refusal represented a White House policy to link most arms sales to Israel to progress in the U.S. plan to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank.

    At the same time, Obama has approved more than $10 billion worth of arms sales to Arab League states, including Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. JINSA said Israel, which receives more than $2.4 billion in annual American military aid, refrained from objecting to U.S. plans to sell F-16s, Harpoon Block 2 anti-ship missiles, Hellfire air-to-ground missiles, fast attack craft and helicopters to Egypt.

    In a Jan. 27 report, the institute, regarded as close to the Defense Department and U.S. military, said the White House has blocked key weapons projects and upgrades for Israel. JINSA said Obama rejected Israel’s request for AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters while approving advanced F-16 multi-role fighters for Egypt.

    “Indeed, Israel’s request for six AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters was blocked by the Obama Administration in June — the same time the Egyptian sale was approved,” the report said.

    The administration’s policy, the report said, has violated a pledge given more than 40 years ago to maintain Israel’s military superiority over its Arab neighbors. JINSA said the erosion of Israel’s qualitative edge began under the previous administration of President George Bush.

    “How does Israel compete when the Obama administration announces 24 more F-16s for Egypt and 24 additional F-16s for Morocco,” the report said. “The concept of the Qualitative Military Edge failed to keep up with the changes in U.S. arms sales and training policy over the decades.”

    JINSA dismissed Israeli government claims that the White House was ready to address the erosion of Israel’s military superiority. The institute said the January 2010 visit by U.S. National Security Advisor James Jones did not concern Israel’s qualitative military edge.

    “Actually, it was to push Israel into more pointless talks with Palestinians, who declined to cooperate,” the institute said.

    The U.S. aid to Arab states, the report said, has hampered Israeli military cooperation with Washington. More than 20 years ago, the Israel Air Force stopped participating in U.S.-sponsored regional exercises to prevent the leakage of combat tactics.

    “It’s one thing for our lover to take pictures in the bedroom,” the report quoted an Israeli combat pilot as saying. “It is another for them to sell the pictures on the street.”

    JINSA said Israel has lost its advantage over the Arabs regarding the quantity and quality of weapons. The institute said the Arabs also appear to have caught up to Israel in the area of tactics and training. The sole advantage was said to concern the quality of Israeli soldiers and officers.

    “Changing Israel’s local security paradigm at the same time as increased sales to the neighbors — and no new sales to Israel — means the balance is pushed further out of whack,” the report said.

  230. I did not know that Mukulski was who Bill Clinton wanted Gore to select as his running mate!!! This is true according to Hillbuzz. Well, if this is true, I can imagine we will be seeing Hillary stepping down soon. As I said the “obama stench” is what is driving these blue dogs out and a possible run for the Presidency. Heck it could be a Bayh and Mikulski ticket that has BC’s blessing.

  231. I don’t give a rat’s ass about Evan Bayh’s so-called discontent with the Democratic Party. The fact is that his wife, as a director of Wellpoint, compromises Bayh. They’re both a couple of crooks. No love lost here. Don’t let the door hit them on the way out.

  232. Yes Jan H. Obama will let Iran do to Jews in six (6) minutes what Hitler took six (6) years to do to our people. . Obama has armed Israels’s enemies, trained them, and ordered all military aide to Israel to cease and desist.
    One can only draw the conclusion Obama wants Israel destroyed by his Arab/Muslim brothers. Sadly, Obama still has overwhelmingly strong Jewish support.

  233. Bayh and Mikulski————

    Just two fed-up senators on the ticket… needs to be either bayh and somethine else or Mikulski and someone else….

    They are ok but together they would be very boring…

  234. Maybe a lot of Clinton guys are getting the hell out of dodge so they can’t be associated with the oncoming shitstorm.

    Lining up to be free to support Clinton in 2012. I hope.

  235. wbboei
    February 15th, 2010 at 6:51 pm
    Playing her all day today on news. Looks really good. Good sign.

    Sorry — playing who “her” all day on the news?
    Hi anni: I was referring to Hillary. I was on the phone with a friend in Indiana who is well connected to the Democratic Party and is a news analyst. I was trying to listen and type what she was saying at the same time. She talking about Hillary. She also said that unlike his father, Evan is a choirboy. He was good as governor. But in the senate and in the midst of other alpa males he was not particularly effective. Also, the senate is constrained by the seniority system and he was junior not only to Luger but to many in his own party. Therefore his influence is limited. She said he was up by 15 points over Coates, but Coates is the one who defeated his father–who went on to a cushy job on K street/

  236. So maybe he is going to a cushy job on Kstreet.

    Breaking News on Greta is that they’ve caught 3 down from Osama and second down from Mullah Omar.

    You guys if Obama catches Osama Bin Ladin, all bets are off on who could win in 2012′

  237. confloyd,

    I don’t think all bets are off. Yes that would be a big plus for him, but with all the mistakes he has made and will continue to make, I don’t think it will add up to another win for him.

  238. Saudi Arabia refuses to back U.S. call for sanctions against Iran

    February 15, 2010

    UNITED NATIONS — Saudi Arabia on Monday refused to openly back a United States call for help to introduce sanctions on Iran, suggesting stronger measures are needed to convince the Islamic republic to roll back its nuclear program.

    The rebuff came after Saudi King Abdullah met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who earlier had warned that Iran was becoming a “military dictatorship.”

    The U.S. government wanted the Saudis to assure China, the leading obstacle to pushing through new United Nations sanctions against Iran, that it will make up any shortfalls in China’s purchases of Iranian oil.

    China is heavily invested in Iran’s oil industry, and relies on it to supply a significant quantity of the resource needed for China’s expanding industrial economy. But it is also a veto-bearing member of the UN Security Council, which is the only international body that can impose legally binding global sanctions.

    Appearing at a news conference with Clinton, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal left the impression his country does not intend to intervene with China, at least publicly.

    “They need no suggestion from Saudi Arabia to do what they ought to do according to their responsibility,” he said of the Chinese.

    Saudi also questioned the ability of a sanctions regime to stop Iran after it declared last week to have already attained the capability of producing weapons-grade nuclear fuel — even though it denied its nuclear program is aimed at producing a nuclear bomb.

    “Sanctions are a long-term solution,” he said. “They may work, we can’t judge, but we see the issue in the shorter term, maybe because we are closer to the threat. We need immediate resolution rather than gradual resolution.”

    The rebuff from Saudi Arabia, one of Washington’s closest allies in the Middle East, will be seen as a setback in the U.S.

    Clinton arrived in the desert kingdom after speaking in Qatar of Iran’s militarism, citing increased powers by the Islamic republic’s Revolutionary Guard as the ruling mullahs seek to crush continuing dissent. “That is how we see it,” Clinton told a student town-hall gathering in the Gulf state, which marked the start of her Middle East tour aimed at rallying support for action against Iran. “We see that the government of Iran, the supreme leader, the president, the parliament, is being supplanted, and that Iran is moving toward a military dictatorship.”

    Clinton’s accusation marked some of her toughest language yet about Iran, which U.S. President Barack Obama said last week continued to spurn his administration’s calls for dialogue over its nuclear program.

    But she denied the United States was planning any military strike against the country, which has a long record of nuclear secrecy.
    “We are planning to try to bring the world community together in applying pressure to Iran through sanctions adopted by the United Nations that will be particularly aimed at those enterprises controlled by the Revolutionary Guard,” Clinton said at the meeting, held on the Doha campus of Carnegie Mellon University.

    Though a branch of Iran’s military, the guard has in recent years built a separate multi-billion dollar “business” empire, with interests in key sectors of the economy, including construction, weapons programs and telecommunications.

    It has also included the civilian Basij militia in its command structure, thereby enhancing its role and influence in government as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad counters opposition to his disputed election to a second term in June.

    Clinton added that the U.S. would allay regional concern about a nuclear-armed Iran by offering a security umbrella to its allies in the region. “We will always defend ourselves, and we will always defend our friends and allies,” she said. “And we are also talking at length with a lot of our friends in the Gulf as to what more they need defensively, in the event that Iran pursues its nuclear ambition.”

    Rick Santorum, a former Republican U.S. senator, said in reaction to Clinton’s comments that she was wrong to give the impression Iran was now controlled by a “run-of-the-mill army authoritarian group.” He charged that Iran’s government remains just as susceptible to making extremist theology-based decisions — such as attacking Israel, which Ahmadinejad has said should be destroyed. “What you’re seeing here is a symbiotic relationship between the Revolutionary Guard and the mullahs and President Ahmadinejad,” Santorum said on Fox News Network. “There is no question that the mullahs are losing power (and) support, and that they have had to rely on the military more, but I still believe that there is a very clear nexus and relationship between the two that is not as simple as Secretary Clinton will have you believe.”

    Santorum backed an argument made by John Bolton, U.S. ambassador to the UN under the former Bush administration, who said in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal Friday that preventing a nuclear Iran requires “decisive and likely military action now.” He added that there is “no likelihood that an Obama-inspired regime of sanctions” will be effective.

    In Moscow Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Russia to toughen its stance on Iran, telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that “only sanctions with teeth bite.”

    Russia, which also holds a Security Council veto, has been reluctant to expand sanctions beyond Iran’s nuclear industry. But Netanyahu called for measures to block Iranian fuel imports
    to disrupt its petrochemical industry.

  239. I guess we should remind them “the last one out needs to turn off the lights” LOL!!

    Poor Obama can’t get his radicals nominated and appointed, can’t get the olympics, can get anyone elected, so heck its better to quit than to this guy try and help you out. Obama stench! He’s going down with Blago and Resko, that’s why they’re all leaving.

  240. 70 Percent Of Republicans Believe Obama Will Be Remembered Among The Worst Presidents, Says New Poll

    Justin Duckham on February 15, 2010

    A comfortable majority of Republicans believe that history will not be kind to President Barack Obama, a new poll conducted by Zogby International shows.

    The polling firm found that although 41 percent of Americans believe it is too soon to judge where Obama will stand in the pantheon of U.S. presidents, 70 percent of Republicans are already prepared to assign Obama to the bottom-third of all former Commander in Chiefs.

    Conversely, 30 percent of Democrats believe Obama will be remembered among the top-third and 83 percent claim his predecessor George W. Bush will be ranked among the bottom.

    The poll, which was conducted January 15-18th with the participation of 1,963 Americans, finds that Abraham Lincoln is ranked as the greatest U.S. president.

    Overall totals show that 37 percent of Americans regardless of party believe Obama will be in the bottom third. 49 percent that believe Bush belongs in the bottom third as well.

  241. The military caught this terrorist in Pakistan/Afganistan border, I am going to give this catch to Hillary as it was her that wanted to go in on foot and not just drones. Quiet a feather in her cap. Of coarse the republicans won’t ever give her the credit. Maybe she go get Osama out herself, then they’d have to believe she did it.

  242. Admin Please post. This blows Beck’s cover. Who got to Beck and changed his mind?? This also proves Beck is a fraud.

    h t t p ://

    He tied candidate Medina to the truthers movement to knock her numbers down, but he truly had questions himself.

    Who got to him.

  243. Top Taliban commander captured in Pakistan: report

    Sun, Jan 31 2010WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top military commander of the Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, has been captured in Karachi, Pakistan, in a secret raid by Pakistani and U.S. intelligence forces, The New York Times reported on Monday.


    Citing U.S. government officials, the Times said Mullah Baradar, described as the most significant Taliban figure captured since the start of the Afghanistan war, had been in Pakistani custody for several days and was being interrogated by Pakistani and U.S. intelligence.

    The White House and CIA declined comment on the report and the Pentagon also had no immediate comment.

    The Times cited officials as saying the operation to capture Mullah Baradar was conducted by Pakistan’s military spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, which was accompanied by CIA operatives.

    The newspaper said U.S. officials described Mullah Baradar as ranking second in influence in the Taliban only to Mullah Muhammad Omar, and that he was a close associate of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden before the September 11 attacks.

    The newspaper said it was not clear if he was talking, but it quoted the officials as saying his capture could lead to other senior Taliban officials. The officials voiced hope he would provide the location of Mullah Omar.

    U.S. Marines are currently leading one of NATO’s biggest offensives against Taliban Islamic militants in Afghanistan.

    The assault is the first test of U.S. President Barack Obama’s plan to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, where the Taliban has made a steady comeback since a U.S.-led invasion ousted it in 2001.

    The newspaper said it learned of the operation on Thursday, but delayed reporting it after a request by White House officials who said disclosing it would end a very successful intelligence push.

    The Times said it was now publishing the report because White House officials acknowledged that news of the capture was becoming broadly known in the region.

    U.S. officials were quoted as saying that in addition to the Taliban’s military operations, Mullah Baradar ran the group’s leadership council, often called the Quetta Shura.

    The Times said the participation of Pakistan’s spy service in Mullah Baradar’s capture could suggest a new level of cooperation from Pakistan’s leaders, who it said had been ambivalent about U.S. efforts against the Taliban.

    It quoted former CIA official Bruce Riedel as saying he had not been aware of Mullah Baradar’s capture before being told by the Times, but that the raid constituted a “sea change in Pakistani behavior.”

  244. Bayh gives the party in Indiana one day to find someone to run in his place and tells Obama on Presidents day. LOL!! I have to say he decided to give them the old “one two”. It will get them scrambling to find someone to run. He basically just gave his seat to a republican.

  245. If we catch Bin Laden, Obama and Holder will just read him his Miranda rights, bring him to NYC for trial, and some brain dead judge will let him go on a technicality.

    BTW, how is KSM supposed to get a fair trial given that Obama has already said he will be convicted and executed? If the conclusion is predetermined, isn’t it just a show trial? Aren’t show trials banned under the Geneva Conventions?

  246. I am beginning to believe that the women in this country will be the ones to save it.

    Listen to this:

    h t t p ://

    Gonzotx, that exactly what main stream politicals want you to believe. You can’t be for Perry. He will let that trans-texas-corridor go thru and he has already sold it to a foreign country so they can charge tolls. If we keep letting these people tell us to vote for then we can’t complain when we are a socialist state run by the Chinese. This lady is a grass roots activist and I am going to vote for her.

  247. gonzotex, Did you watch her completely kick Perry and Kay ass during the debates?? This is good women, she kinda reminds of our last female governor.

  248. Bayh gives the party in Indiana one day to find someone to run in his place and tells Obama on Presidents day. LOL!! I have to say he decided to give them the old “one two”. It will get them scrambling to find someone to run. He basically just gave his seat to a republican
    Connie: by the “one-two” I assume that you mean the “digitus imputicus” aka flipping The One the bird? Yes, no, maybe? Notice he was not on the news today. Where oh where is my Barack Obama–youth wants to know. Already I am experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. This must be what cold turkey is like–its just awful cold sweat ache in all parts of the body can’t keep anything down. Oh where is that paragon of virtue, that demigod from Chicago, that Pericles who came to save Athens? And when will he return with his telebama act, fiery rhetoric that twice wowed them in Copenhagen and that pack of lies that brought 70,000 hopium addicts to the banks of the Willamette River on a warm summer day when the world was young and the unemployment rate was under 8%. Where is he? Echo answereth naught.

  249. I know we have been screwed by electing two incompetents as Potus, but really they weren’t new to the Washington scene. Baby Bush grew up in it and OBama was prepped, so I think Debra Medina and Sarah Palin is what this country needs. Real, real fresh faces, they can’t screw up any more than the last ones, so my money is on the ladies.

  250. So maybe he is going to a cushy job on Kstreet.

    Breaking News on Greta is that they’ve caught 3 down from Osama and second down from Mullah Omar.

    You guys if Obama catches Osama Bin Ladin, all bets are off on who could win in 2012′
    The credit for these captures goes to Hillary, Gates, Patreaus and McCrystal. They are solid as the Rock of Gibralter. And Obama? He is as solid as a trembling tower of tapioca. You can see why 36 flag officers endorsed her during the campaign. She understands military strategy and everything else. Congratulations Hillary. 2012? Obama? No.

  251. I read someplace where John Podesta is saying things are really screwed up at the White House now. FOX needs to do an ambush interview on Axelrod and force him to speak to this issue.

  252. To my knowledge the only senior military officer who endorsed Obama in the primary was that 90 day wonder General Peak USAF. McPeak was known to his airman as the asshole with scrambled eggs on his hat. The high point of his illustrious career was serving as Secretary of the Air Force for roughly 90 days during which time he moved boldly, strategically and stealthfully–to do what ? To change the uniforms of enlisted me. And what became of that noble effort, sir? Why they complied of course. What do you mean by complied? They donned the new uniforms. Did they like them? no. Did they hate them? yes. How much did they hate the new uniforms? They hated them almost as much as they hated mcpeak. Why was that? Because he was an asshole. Then would it be fair to say that he was a perfect match for Obama. You might say that.

  253. What Evan Bayh’s retirement really says about Obama’s Washington
    Andrew Malcolm

    Ross Perot was an outsider. So was Bill Clinton of Arkansas. George W. Bush of Texas campaigned to change the tone in Washington. Why? Because, despite the utter silliness of one person promising to change a city’s political culture, polls [snip] told them that’s what voters said they wanted to hear. Just about every potential Republican candidate for 2012, especially Sarah Palin, is also running as not-from-there. In fact, the current coatless Oval Office guy did the same thing, promising change to believe in, even though a) he was employed there, and b) the real change he believed in was that he become the ringmaster of the very same civic circus.

    With a single phone call Obama could have had centrist, bipartisan and sometimes independent Bayh on his 2008 ticket. Instead, Obama went with that Amtrak-riding political force from powerful Delaware, who’s a gaffe-prone gabber — but obedient. Monday after issuing a presidential statement on Serbian National Day, Obama squeezed in time to put out a perfunctory political pronouncement of professed appreciation for Bayh’s public service. Now comes word that later this week the Change Agent will travel to Las Vegas, the city he loves to denounce for its spending excesses, for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser. There, according to the all-knowing columnist Jon Ralston, tickets only cost $30,000 per person. [More at latimesblogs ]

  254. confloyd
    February 16th, 2010 at 1:21 am


    confloyd: I agree. Your observations and commentary are spot-on. Women will be the mechanism by which the world will once more be put in balance with nature.

    So, what should we do with all the men who have become irrelevant in the world of politics?

  255. $30,000 per person
    And it is not even tax deductible. Nobody pays that kind of money for a political event unless they have money to burn. By the same token nobody with money pays that kind of money without expecting something back in return. Something of greater value. We know what Obama wants: the money and connections necessary to pursue a second term in office. His continuing goal is to fulfill his anti American agenda.

    (Question: where are the jobs Obama? That is what the American People need right now. You promised and once again you reneged. Just words where your constituents are concerned. Right down to that slashing of a jobs bill from $95 billion to a meager $15 billon. And what about raising taxes on the middle class. We have arrived at the point where it no longer makes sense to talk about the promises you have broken. It is easier to talk about those you have kept to the American People.)

    What do the fat cats want from him. Obviously, specific quid pro quo will vary from case to case. But generally speaking what they all want is for him to use the power of government to alter the status quo in ways beneficial to them. And, typically it comes at the expense of the American People. Obama world does revolves around what is good for his business backers and not what is good for the American People. With this joker Rezko is not the exception. He is the rule.

  256. Admin: note the statement: “Senator Chuck Schumer of NY is one scandal away from having his poll numbers go south in a tearing hurry”. One can only wonder what that statement is referring to. Or whether it is merely a throw away line.
    Posted by Moe Lane (Profile)
    Tuesday, February 16th at 8:33AM EST
    Red State Blog

    Barbara Mikulski And The Democratic Margin of Error

    Jim Geraghty dumped a bit of cold water on this not-yet-officially-refuted rumor that Senator Mikulski is planning to retire:

    …the least she’s ever gotten in a Senate race is 60 percent. Evan Bayh faced a tough reelection bid, but Mikulski’s biggest-name opponent so far, is Queen Anne’s County Commissioner Eric Wargot. She’s raised $3 million, he’s raised $176,526. Even in a terrible year for Democrats, she should be safe.

    If Mikulski is contemplating retirement, it’s not because she fears she’ll lose in 2010.

    …which is true enough: if Mikulski is retiring (we should probably get that confirmed today), it won’t be because of the current political environment.

    But from now on, reasons for Democratic drop-outs no longer matter. Particularly in the Senate.

    As of this moment, the conventional wisdom has conceded that the GOP is going to have a good run in November. The blue-sky goal is slowly moving from ‘retaking the House’ to ‘getting fifty or more seats;’ and people are beginning to suggest a hint about the possibility of maybe being in a position to flip the Senate. As it stands, +8R seats is… justifiable. It will require the GOP to keep all of its in-play Senate seats (which is actually looking likely, at this point) and the Democrats to lose all of theirs (less likely, but not actually impossible). To hit the magic +10R number, the GOP would have to knock off two out of three remaining races: Gillibrand in NY, Boxer in CA, and the open seat in CT. Getting one of those three will be an accomplishment; getting two would be tricky.

    But that obscures the real problem for the Democrats, which is that they cannot have any more bad luck if they want to be assured of keeping their Senate majority. If Mikulski retires, of course the GOP will press hard for her Senate seat. The Democrats will have defend it, which means resources that they’d rather spend elsewhere. Senator Frank Lautenberg is in the hospital right now after a fall. I hope he’s fine, I wish him a speedy recovery, and I expect that he’ll be back to work next week; but if he had broken his neck instead the Democrats would be facing the fact that the manner of his replacement would be under the control of a Republican governor. Senator Chuck Schumer of NY is one scandal away from having his poll numbers go south in a tearing hurry. And so on, and so on.

    My point here is that the ‘why’ of any particular political setback for the Democrats is now no longer as important as the setback itself. We are almost at the point where everything has to go right for them, from now until November, for them to preserve their Senate majority. Meanwhile, the GOP is already poised to gain enough seats to allow a margin on cloture votes; and while we may want +11R, if we have to we’ll soldier through and somehow make do with +6R. Put another way: we’re already hit our primary objective. Now we’re just seeing how far we can make the rubble bounce.

    Odd how things can change in a year, yes?

  257. confloyd
    February 16th, 2010 at 1:14 am

    go to her website

    She is a Libertarian, Evangelistic home schooling novice. Not someone I would vote for. By the way, they caught her giving credence to 9/11 conspiracy theory, then she back tracked on it. She was “surprised” by the question. Really?

  258. Updated: Feb 16, 2010

    Republican Texas governor candidate Debra Medina tells Glenn Beck that there might be a government conspiracy behind 9/11.
    Debra Medina was interviewed by Glenn Beck to answer questions if she was a 9/11 Truther. Medina is a Republican Texas governor candidate that is facing off in a GOP primary with Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey. However, she has not taken a position on whether or not there was a conspiracy.

    “I don’t have all of the evidence there, Glenn, so I’m not in a place, I have not been out publicly questioning that. I think some very good questions have been raised in that regard, there are some very good arguments and I think the American people have not seen all the evidence there, so I have not taken a position on that,” Medina said.

    Medina also she she has never involved with the 9/11 truth movement. She also said that there is no no doubt in her mind that Muslim terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center buildings on 9/11. Beck told Medina that he has received emails alleging that she was a “9/11 Truther.”

    “That’s the first time I’ve heard of that accusation,” Medina replied.

    From that point forward, Glenn Beck asked her straight up, “Do you believe the government was in any way involved in the bringing down of the World Trade Centers on 9/11?” Medina paused. It was clear that she was being careful with her answer.

    “I think some very good questions have been raised in that regard,” Medina replied. “There are some very good arguments, and I think the American people have not seen all of the evidence there, so I have not taken a position on that.”

    That answer caused a stir, and it left the talk show host stunned

  259. ACE

    Amy Bishop Is A Far-Left Extremist “Obsessed” with the President
    —Gabriel Malor
    Honestly, I hate how the Left goes ape-shit every time a Republican voter or supporter (not a politician) does something stupid or illegal. As if the fact that the individual is a Republican somehow has relevance to their stupid or illegal act. And as if other Republicans should feel guilty or responsible for criminal idiots hiding among us. Lefty bloggers and MSNBC are frequent abusers of this strategy and justify it by squawking “hypocrisy” as if two wrongs make a right.

    So, with the note that I believe her far left views and apparently tiresome support for President Obama did nothing to cause her crazy or compel her crimes:

    Meanwhile, in an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education, Anderson said he was searching for the “trigger” to his wife’s breakdown, and that he wondered whether an e-mail message – potentially in the form of a final tenure denial – might have upset her, because university higher-ups were known to send “nastygrams” on Fridays.
    A family source said Bishop, a mother of four children – the youngest a third-grade boy – was a far-left political extremist who was “obsessed” with President Obama to the point of being off-putting.

    The article also quotes an anonymous “classmate” of Bishop’s slain brother, Seth, who describes their childhood household as “anything but a home…a really dreary, dark place where there wasn’t a lot of love.” I’m skeptical that so many former classmates and friends appear to be coming out of the woodwork to say predictable things about Bishop and her family, particularly those claiming recollection of events 23 years ago.

    Whatever. I’m sure Bishop’s “dreary, dark” childhood will be compelling in the Lifetime movie.

  260. One of the things Bayh harped on in his retirement speech was excessive partisanship.

    What exactly does he mean???????

    Does he mean the opposition party is stopping critical legislation from coming to the floor?

    That cannot be it when the Dims had 60 votes in the senate and a majority in the House.

    He cannot mean that. So what does he mean by partisanship?

    Does he mean that the leadership of his own party is concerned with politics as opposed to governance?

    To put a finer point on it, does he mean he is tired of being ruled by the Chicago Machine?

    A machine that has spread like the AIDs virus through the Democratic Party?

    A machine that ignores the interests of constituents and focuses on rewarding cronies, ala Rezko?

    A machine which now controls the DNC, state parties, Congress, the White House–and is tanking the country?

    A machine epitomized by three words: Obama, Reid, Pelosi? And the cast of thousands from the 51st ward?

    I think the answer to that question is yes. But he cannot say it straight out.

  261. gonzotex, Don’t fall for that 9-11 truther crap. She is not a 9-11 truther, all she said was the American people have a right to ask their govt. questions which is what Beck himself advocates. Beck did a number on her. I posted some of the debates in which she kicked Perry’s ass. If you vote for Perry your helping the globalists take this country over. Kay says she will stop it, but she has been in the pocket of lobbyists for years.

  262. Perry is not popular here in east Texas because of the TransTexasCorridor. People here are having to give up the ranches that have been in their family for years for this highway that will run from Peru to Canada. It will give the globalists exactly what they need to turn us into NorthAmericanUnion. This is one of BUsh’s incentives that Perry has carried on. Its all part of Nafta, which we all know how that worked out.

    IF we don’t stop Perry all you guys fighting up north for fairness in govt, can just hang it up. This is where the fight should be and not place else. All the states along the Highway is where we should be fighting.

  263. Gonzotex,
    Here is Glenn Beck saying the very same thing that Debra Medina said.

    h t t p ://

    Home schooling in the Beeville area is pretty normal. I raised all my children there and there is huge bunch of people who do that because of the drug problem down there. There is also lots of bullying going on down there. I often thought about doing this for my son because he had a hard time in school. He did get mixed up during his high school years, but everything turned out fine as he is now lead tech in a cath lab in Tomball. Some people just think they can do a better job than the schools and some can.

  264. wbboei, It is amazing that with a 60-vote majority this fool couldn’t get anything done, its almost as if he did not want anything done.

  265. admadinajad, Said any country that seeks to impose more sanctions on us will regret it. Hillary is hitting back with Iran is a military dictorship. Hillary is in a word battle with Amadinejad.

  266. I am reading that this Bayh resignation is the WH’s attempt to pick who they want in Indiana, could that be possible??

  267. 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

  268. 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.
    From the LA Times article: this important sentence. This is the problem Plouffe is facing. These supporters are part of a cult that worships Obama not congress. Thus, they will be of far less help in 2010. And where 2012 is concerned, they will be hard pressed to defend his record and campaign for him. He is a Chicago Machine politician. By then everyone will know it. That said I doubt Bayh will run because he knows they will break his kneecaps. The public will need to eject the thug from office and if he has not solved the unemployment problem it will get very very very ugly for Mr. Obama.

  269. Alex
    February 13th, 2010 at 8:56 am
    I think this is my first post here. First of all, I’d like to say I LOVE Big Pink! Huge fan for a long time.

    Welcome, “long time listener, first time caller”.

    “I’m listening…”

    Yes, for anyone out there not sure they have something to contribute, by the fact that you are a regular reader here means you have something between your right ear and your left ear, and so we welcome your input.

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