Mythbuster Part I – President Hillary Clinton Versus President Barack Obama

Yesterday’s article The Democratic Civil War – One Side Must Die was the prelude to a series of articles we begin today. After reading yesterday’s article, several commentors and emailers asked us, “what should we do now?”, “what steps need to be taken?” By way of response, Hillary supporters are in Winter quarters, meaning we are in a preparatory phase.

For now the job is to remain organized and reach out to as many rank and file Democrats (the innocent dupes who voted for the “D” not necessarily the “O”) as are in our networks. We also must continue to encourage and expand the network of Hillary supporter blogs that did not exist when Big Pink was all alone. And, more than follow and react to the day’s events we must keep the history of what happened in the long 2008 election cycle alive. We must put that history into context and articulate the intellectual reasoning of what and why we fight.

Yesterday we quoted the reprehensible and worldview enemy, Katha Pollit. Pollit wrote an unscrupulous defense of Barack Obama and employed the “he’s doing the best he can” defense we discussed on February 8, with the additional “it’s the best anyone (including Hillary Clinton) can do” corollary defense (along with a surrender-to-sexism-and-misogyny ploy masked as a fake feminism fur wrapped in deception).

Today we will address, not the historic, demographic coalition destroying Mistake In ’08, but Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Let’s start with the, hated by Big Media and Hopium guzzlers, advertisement that so effectively shattered the establishment myth that Obama was ready to run anything bigger than a 711 convenience store.

After more than a year watching Obama perform his publicity stunts starting with the bungled oath of office on Day 1, the 3:00 A.M. advertisement rings truer than ever. But the Katha Pollits and the Left Talkers and assorted deceivers want to pretend that Obama and Hillary are the same and that a President Hillary Clinton would be, in their Hopium Hallucinations, as bowing and corrupt and incompetent as Barack Obama proves to be every day.

Every day proves that Barack Obama either lied to the American public about what he would do and how he would do it – or else his world view is so warped and distorted that he is forced to backtrack on every fake promise whether it is the uniter-not-divider nonsense, the never-gonna-happen end of Guantanamo/Gay Marriage Ban/Don’t Ask Don’t Tell/Health care reform/Immigration reform/Cap and Trade/Financial Reform/Electoral transformation and the receding oceans.

So obvious are Barack Obama’s faults that former fluffers are scouring the employment advertisements in order to find Boob Barack a job he is better suited for. We do not think he is suited to run a low traffic 711 convenience store, for the very reasons former Obama fluffers search for a new job for the Mess-iah. Jeffrey Rosen thinks Obama is suited to a job at the Supreme Court, though we are sure that the same non-accomplishment and self-promotion and non-existent work habits would make him a disaster at any job that requires brains and hard work. Rosen:

“He’s too detached and cerebral. Too deferential to Congress. Too willing to compromise. And he’s too much of a law professor and not enough of a commander in chief, as Sarah Palin recently admonished.” [snip]

Though Obama has struggled to find his footing in the White House, his education, temperament and experience make him ideally suited to lead the liberal wing of the court, especially at a time when a narrow conservative majority seems increasingly intent on challenging progressive economic reforms for the first time since the New Deal. Obama is clearly eager to take on the four truly conservative justices — Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas — as his State of the Union smackdown suggests. But as president, he’s constrained by that pesky separation of powers. So what better way to engage the fight than to join the bench?

Rosen must be smoking Hopium because otherwise he would know that Obama on the Supreme Court would do what Obama always does – give others the hard work, orchestrate publicity stunts for himself and only himself, and do whatever it takes to become rich personally and avoid fighting those who might benefit him. In short, Barack Obama on the high court would be the ventriloquist dummy for whatever majority exists at the moment. Far from fighting Scalia, Roberts, Alito, or Thomas, Barack Obama would bow to power and prove once again that he simply cannot be trusted – by anyone – friend or foe.

Rosen even has a dream scenario for getting Obama out of 1600 Pennsylvania:

“It would be unusual, but not difficult, for Obama to get himself on the Supreme Court. He could nominate himself to replace John Paul Stevens, for example, or he could gamble and promise Hillary Rodham Clinton that he won’t run for reelection in 2012 in exchange for a pledge of appointment to the next vacancy.”

For those that need translation from the lofty language of D.C. elites, Rosen is very politely saying “get out” to Barack Obama and “forgive us and save us Hillary Clinton.” Rosen also delivers this not too polite slap, though drenched in honey: “It’s surprising but true that the least successful presidents are often the most judicious, while the most successful justices are the most pragmatic.” That’s Rosen’s elite way of saying “Barack, you are a loser.”

Rosen is not alone in politely stating that Obama is a Boob and Hillary is desperately needed by America if we are to survive as a recognizable nation and world power. Eleanor Clift also recognizes the differences between President Hillary Clinton and the current boob:

“Disillusioned Democrats concluded Obama spent too much time chasing bipartisanship, and the yearlong horse trading and backroom dealmaking squandered the mandate he had from the voters. The fractious Democratic majority would only have acted on its own if Obama had cracked the whip. But he signaled early on that he could be rolled when he ceded too much power to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in putting together the stimulus bill.

If Hillary had been elected, would she have done things differently? Having been burned once with health-care reform, she probably would have approached it more gingerly, and she wouldn’t have felt indebted to Kennedy. Those who know her say she would never have given up that much control to Congress, not so much for ideological or philosophical reasons, but simply because she’s a more controlling personality than Obama. And she certainly wouldn’t have wasted any time seeking bipartisanship. She would have accepted today’s polarizing politics as a fact of life, something to be conquered, not changed.”

Hillary Clinton is a fighter who has over the years worked to reach common ground even with the most hate filled of Hillary haters. Hillary does try to reach common ground, but Hillary will also be able and willing to fight. Hillary will fight, even the scoundrels who run the Senate and the House. That’s why the Democratic establishment went after Hillary, in secret, with a 2×4 and made sure Obama was gifted the nomination. Now the Dimocratic establishment sees the loss of elections and the loss of their big offices and perks and they know only Hillary can save them. But Hillary won’t save them now. They must die a swift political death.

One legal type African-American (we note his race to drive the Hopium guzzlers nuts) speaks on the issue of President Hillary Clinton Versus President Barack Obama:

“During the Democratic primaries, I often felt that I was on Jupiter. My fellow Democrats rejected qualities in Hillary Clinton that are essential to a successful presidency.

When Clinton claimed she had more experience than Obama, Democrats either denied this reality or said that experience does not matter. They insisted that “ideas matter more” or that “Lincoln did not have experience either.” Instead of experience, they preferred a “fresh face.”

When Clinton said she was a fighter (explicitly embracing a “Rocky” theme), Democrats turned this into a bad thing, accusing Clinton of negative campaigning. Obama said that Clinton only knew how to fight, but that he would bring together the American people. Democrats wanted a “unifier” rather than a “fighter.”

Well, I think it is time for people to evaluate their choices. From where I sit, I believe we could use a healthy dose of fighting and experience in the White House. What do you think?

On issues ranging from healthcare, anti-terrorism tactics, war, and crime, President Obama seems committed to making deals with moderates and conservatives, rather than fighting for the values of the Democratic Party. Or, is the failure to fight an official value of the Democratic Party? “

How bad is the boob in the White House? Charles Blow, an Obama fluffer, sees the problem even as he makes excuses and fans more false Hope for the weak, simpering, delusional Barack Obama:

President Obama wanted to change Washington. It changed … for the worse. And it’s now holding his agenda hostage. The question is: How much is he willing to change himself in order to save it? [snip]

Over the same period, his job approval ratings have dropped to new lows for him, and according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll released on Thursday, the gap between those who trust him and the Democrats to handle major issues versus those who trust Republicans to do so has narrowed to nearly nothing.

And perhaps most worrisome, according to a January report from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, Obama’s image among the all-important independents as a “strong leader” and a president “able to get things done” took the biggest slides of all his character traits measured.”

Even the repulsive Hillary haters and Obama lovers like Ed Schultz, Keith Olbermann and Eugene Robinson begin to see Obama slip and slide and deceive and lie. Obama’s inexperience slip is showing.

Foreign leaders and prominent political analysts and publications sneer and snort at the boobery of Barack Obama:

“President Obama sounded a bit like a weary air traffic controller on Aug. 10, when he was quizzed during a three-way summit with leaders from Mexico and Canada about a promised overhaul of U.S. immigration laws.

“I’ve got a lot on my plate, and it’s very important for us to sequence these big initiatives in a way where they don’t all just crash at the same time,” the president said in response to a reporter’s question.”

Guess what Barack – they’re all crashing at the same time. You are a corrupt boob.

For the Hopium guzzlers, it is important to note that much of what we have written at Big Pink since April 2007 is what the people who knew Barack Obama the best also wrote a long time ago:

“While then Sen. Barack Obama was considering running for president, his advisor and friend David Axelrod worried in 2006 that Obama would have to toughen up for a White House campaign. Axelrod told Obama that he was thin skinned and he wondered if Obama could take the punches that would come in a presidential campagin.

“You care far too much what is written and said about you. You don’t relish combat when it becomes personal and nasty. When the largely irrelevant Alan Keyes attacked you, you flinched,” Axelrod wrote in a memo.

Axelrod’s strategy memo to Obama is revealed in “The Battle for America 2008,” a new book by Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson about the 2008 presidential campaigns.

Obama’s charmed political career came in part because of puffy, fluffy non-critical press coverage. Axelrod fretted about how Obama would do in the rough and tumble of a campaign.

‘It goes to your willingness and ability to put up with something you have never experienced on a sustained basis: criticism. At the risk of triggering the very reaction that concerns me, I don’t know if you are Muhammad Ali or Floyd Patterson when it comes to taking a punch.'”

Axelrod also predicted how the Hillary Clinton campaign would attack Obama:

“Her goal will be twofold: to suggest that she has the beef, while we offer only sizzle; and that she is not about the past but the future. But for all her advantages, she is not a healing figure. As much as she tacks to the right, she will have a hard time escaping the well-formulated perceptions of her among swing voters as a left-wing ideologue.”

Much of what Axelrod stated was self-serving and protective of his meal ticket. But as we know, Hillary always was about a long lasting and winning coalition for the entire Democratic Party – Hillary was about the future. Obama was about himself. Obama fought hard only when it was for self promotion. When Jeremiah Wright’s “God Damn America” was the headline Barack Obama said he could not abandon Wright. When Wright said Obama was a deceptive politician (“And what I think particularly angered me was his suggestion somehow that my previous denunciation of his remarks was somehow political posturing.” “I don’t think that he showed much concern for me.”) only then did Obama dump the Reverend on his ass.

“Obama, The Great Pretender, was upset because mean ol’ Wright exposed Obama’s lies and because Wright showed “disrespect” for Obama and his pretentious campaign. It wasn’t God Damn America that irked Obama. It was mean ol’ Wright not respecting the new Messiah.”

And yes it was here at Big Pink in May 5, 2007 where you read “When Sizzle Meets Fizzle” an echo of the then secret Axelrod memorandum.

Today, Barack Obama has another fake, “damn the people” publicity stunt, this one a health scam that will fool only fools desperate to be fooled. It’s not going to happen, it’s razzle-dazzle time. Fake promises from a fake man for a fake plan. Hillary Clinton supporters know a universal health care plan died in August 2008. Today is more flim-flam from a flim-flam confidence man trying to save himself, not the American people. Barack Obama must be chased out of office and his low poll numbers driven even lower.

Here at Big Pink we believe the likely scenario for a Hillary Clinton presidential run is that we chase Barack Obama out of a re-election bid (if not out of the White House before his term is up) and only then will Hillary Clinton run. The way to run Barack Obama out of a re-election bid is to make sure the Dimocrats who gifted him the nomination suffer devastating defeats and doom and death. Only then will the return of the FDR/Hillary Clinton coalition be possible and desirable. We will never return to the Democratic Party until it is purged fully from the intelligencia idiots and self-serving “leadership” which gifted Obama the nomination of the once great Democratic Party and cared not a whit that an inexperienced boob and stooge would lead to catastrophic hurt for America.

There are those who disagree with us. Some believe Hillary Clinton will indeed run against Barack Obama in 2012. They think, like us, that the Republicans will have an unprecedented victory in 2010, and then the following will happen:

“If the Democrats lose the House, they can blame Nancy, Harry and Obama. [snip]

Beyond that, Obama will likely not be able to make a Clinton comeback. Obama couldn’t get his radical agenda passed even though the Democrats controlled the Senate and House because he lacks the necessary skills to build consensus and govern. His leadership deficiencies mean that he won’t fare any better in a divided government.

In the face of such Carter-like difficulties, the Democrats will have to ask themselves: Should we place our 2012 Congressional election fate in the hands of Obama? Many will say yes – enough could well say no because . . .

(a) Obama will have not done much for them. Keep in mind that Obama was rushed into the Presidency. He didn’t have a long career of helping other Democrats around the country. [snip] Obama’s campaigning for candidates has not been successful either – just ask Governor Corzine and Senator Coakley. Indeed, moderate Democrats are telling him to stay away in 2010. All-in-all, don’t expect too many to bleed for Obama in 2012 – to the contrary, many will prefer to try to stop the bleeding they are suffering at his hands.”

And here is the important kicker which we agree with:

(b) “Hillary Will Have Better Ratings Than Obama. The Clintons are no dummies. They knew Obama would fail. So, in anticipation, Hillary simultaneously (a) burnished her foreign policy credentials as Secretary of State, and (b) distanced herself from the domestic problems of the Democrats and her approval ratings have risen accordingly – even if she had no major successes. Brilliant by comparison to Obama.

She can also correctly say: “I Told You So – he wasn’t ready and I certainly am.”

The Democrats, or enough them, won’t want to give up the White House in 2012. Carter was a one term President – Johnson not much more than that. Their only two-term President was a Clinton and enough Democrats will urge this Clinton to run in 2012 hoping for another electoral first – a female President.”

Hillary Clinton supporters are in Winter quarters. But we continue to bust myths and drill every day. We continue to grow our numbers and expand our presence. Spring is coming. We must be ready.

We will be ready on Day 1 when the trumpet sounds.


166 thoughts on “Mythbuster Part I – President Hillary Clinton Versus President Barack Obama

  1. “He’s too detached and cerebral.”

    I love that whole “cerebral” schtick.

    Mr. Teleprompter can’t think his way out of a paper bag.

    Outfoxed by a donkey.


    Here’s the whole thing that admin excerpted above:

    What Obama Did Wrong
    On health-care reform, the president didn’t repeat Clinton’s mistakes. Obama made new ones

    Many armchair analysts agree President Obama shouldn’t have tackled comprehensive health-care reform in his first year, that he should have focused on the economy and creating jobs. That’s easy to say now that we’ve seen what a hash Congress made of the reform effort. But if Obama had walked away from universal health care, it would have been seen as a colossal betrayal of the Democratic dream and the liberal lion whose endorsement helped propel him to the White House.

    Obama’s nomination was far from a sure thing when Sen. Ted Kennedy, with Caroline Kennedy at his side, took the stage at American University a week before Super Tuesday and endorsed Obama. It was one of those moments in politics when the ground shifted, when liberals and feminists and African-Americans—the Democratic base—got the OK from their first family of politics to back Obama, an upstart in the party, over Hillary Clinton, who had assumed this would be her base, as it had been during her husband’s presidency.

    As it turned out, Kennedy’s endorsement wasn’t enough for Obama to carry Massachusetts, an inkling perhaps of what would follow with this year’s loss of Kennedy’s seat to Republican Scott Brown. Hillary’s feistiness was more popular with working-class Democrats in the state than Obama’s cool intellectualism. The Kennedy mystique took a minor hit, but the national momentum had shifted to Obama, generationally and culturally, and Kennedy made it happen.

    Even before Kennedy became ill with a brain tumor, he was looking ahead to a Democratic president and a renewed push for what he called “the cause of my life,” health care as a right, not a privilege. After being diagnosed with a brain tumor in May 2008, Kennedy let it be known he was orchestrating meetings with lobbyists and lawmakers so Democrats would be ready to go with legislation once the election formalities were over. A Democratic victory seemed certain with historical forces favoring the Democrats, and Republicans less than enthusiastic about their nominee, John McCain.

    Obama took office with two agendas—the one that he ran on, which included health-care reform, education reform, and energy independence—and the one he inherited, rescuing the economy, bailing out the banks, and filling the huge hole created by the collapse of private investment with government spending. The much-maligned stimulus bill didn’t save or create as many jobs as promised, but it pulled the economy back from the brink, allowing Obama to soldier on with health care, fulfilling the commitment of the campaign. This time, building on the lessons of the past, he would do it differently.

    The last big push for health-care reform had ended in failure when Hillary Clinton crafted a bill in the White House and congressional leaders treated it like an anthrax letter. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then chair of the Senate Finance Committee, held the Clinton bill aloft, all 1,342 pages, and let it drop to the floor with a thud, signaling what he thought of it.

    Obama, taking the opposite tack, turned over the drafting of legislation to Congress on the assumption that powerful committee chairmen would have a vested interest in its passage. Now we know the opposite of an error is another error, and that Obama was too passive in his relationship with Congress. He didn’t provide leadership to his allies on Capitol Hill, and the result was an extended period of stumbling that allowed reform opponents to gain the upper hand.

    Kennedy died in late August, and when Obama appeared before a joint session of Congress on Sept. 9 to urge for health care’s passage, commentators wondered if Kennedy’s death would provide the last push to get the bill done. Republicans Orrin Hatch and John McCain spoke movingly at the Kennedy funeral mass about their friendship with the liberal lion, but Kennedy nostalgia did not dislodge a single Republican vote.

    Disillusioned Democrats concluded Obama spent too much time chasing bipartisanship, and the yearlong horse trading and backroom dealmaking squandered the mandate he had from the voters. The fractious Democratic majority would only have acted on its own if Obama had cracked the whip. But he signaled early on that he could be rolled when he ceded too much power to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in putting together the stimulus bill.

    If Hillary had been elected, would she have done things differently? Having been burned once with health-care reform, she probably would have approached it more gingerly, and she wouldn’t have felt indebted to Kennedy. Those who know her say she would never have given up that much control to Congress, not so much for ideological or philosophical reasons, but simply because she’s a more controlling personality than Obama. And she certainly wouldn’t have wasted any time seeking bipartisanship. She would have accepted today’s polarizing politics as a fact of life, something to be conquered, not changed.

  3. The thugs are at it time to formulate a workable plan or to push Hillarycare, this must be fought quickly and resoundingly wbb
    Patricia MurphyColumnist
    Obama Health Care Plan’s Price Tag Jumps to $950 Billion

    Posted: 02/22/10Filed Under:The Capitolist

    President Obama unveiled his plan for health care reform Monday morning, four days before the summit at which Republicans and Democrats are scheduled to sit down with the president to forge a bipartisan compromise on the matter.

    White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said Monday that Obama’s proposal is designed to “bridge the gaps” between the different health reform bills passed by the House and Senate last year, and represents Democrats’ “opening bid” for the talks with Republicans this week.

    “The president is coming to the meeting with an open mind; we hope the Republicans will come with an open mind too,” Pfeiffer said.

    The plan, which is posted on the White House’s Web site, keeps much of the health reform framework passed by Senate Democrats in December, including a mandate that requires individuals to purchase health insurance, a process for the federal government to subsidize people who cannot afford coverage, and taxes and fees to raise revenue to pay for those subsidies.

    Like the Senate-passed bill, the president’s plan would create health insurance exchanges, where individual customers could shop for insurance, in some cases across state lines. A public insurance option is not in the president’s plan, although Pfeiffer said Obama “supports a public option.”

    The new proposal does make some significant changes to the Senate bill. For example, it eliminates the “Cornhusker Kickback,” the provision negotiated by Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) to require the federal government to pay for his state’s portion of the costs for Medicaid expansion in the bill. Instead, the federal government will pay for 100 percent of the Medicaid increase for all states through 2018, and will cover a declining share after that.

    Also, the president’s proposal delays the implementation of the excise tax for expensive insurance policies for all policy holders, not just union members (as had been negotiated), until 2018, and increases the threshold of plans that are subjected to the tax to $27,500 for a family plan, an increase from the $23,000 threshold in the Senate bill.

    Finally, the White House proposal creates $40 billion in small-business tax credits to help employers pay for insurance for their workers, although only businesses with more than 50 employees will pay penalties for not doing so.

    One element in the plan that neither the House nor Senate has passed is a proposal to give the federal government authority over insurance rates. Right now, rates are regulated only at the state level, and in some states are not regulated at all. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced a federal-rate-authority measure this month after California’s largest insurance provider for individuals alerted its customers that their premiums could increase by as much as 39 percent this year.

    White House adviser Nancy-Ann DeParle estimated that the changes proposed by the White House would increase the cost of the overall health care bill to $950 billion over 10 years, which she said will be offset by additional fees for health providers and penalties on large employers that do not cover their workers.

    Democrats struggled earlier this year to move health care reform to a final vote, but House and Senate negotiators failed to come to agreements on several issues, including language restricting abortion funding. Pfeiffer said Monday that the president will recommend using the Senate abortion language, originally proposed by Nelson, rather then the stricter House language championed by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.)

    Since the election of Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Democrats have searched for a process to move reform through Congress with or without his support, including the possibility of breaking the larger package into small pieces for individual votes, or using a Senate procedure known as “reconciliation,” which allows legislation directly related to the federal budget to pass the Senate with 51 votes, instead of having to clear the 60-vote threshold required for most other bills.

    With expectations low that Thursday’s televised meeting will yield many real results, senior Democrats have refused to rule out any procedural tactic to pass health care reform this year. At the end of January, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi explained the approach Democrats are taking to pass health care reform.

    “We will move on many fronts, any front we can,” she told reporters at a press conference. “We will go through the gate. If the gate is closed, we will go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we will pole-vault in. If that doesn’t work, we will parachute in. But we are going to get health care reform passed for the American people for their own personal health and economic security and for the important role that it will play in reducing the deficit.”

    On Monday, White House advisers indicated that reconciliation remains a viable option. “There have been no determinations on which process we will use going forward,” Pfeiffer said. But he warned that Democrats will examine all of their options, “if the opposition takes the extraordinary step of filibustering health care reform.”

    “The president expects and believes the American people deserve an up-or-down vote on health care reform.”

  4. Along with Charles Blow of the NYT, Bob Herbert on Saturday had lots of criticisms of the lack of leadership by our “leaders”, but apparently none of the blame is laid at Obama’s feet.

    Recall when things were foobar under Bush, Herbert and others freely associated blame onto Bush, and really it was almost all deserverd; failure of Congress to do their job means the President is not leading. Imagine Lyndon Johnson or FDR abdicating legistlation to Congress??

    Here’s the link to Herbert’s column:

    And a couple examples of vague references to “leaders”:

    “And there are not enough leaders explaining to the public how heavy this lift will be, and why it is so necessary, and what sacrifices will be required to get the job properly done.”

    “The point is that top government leaders should be seeking as many solid and creative ideas as possible, with the goal of moving with dispatch on the best ones.”


    Obama puts forward last-ditch health care plan

    By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR and ERICA WERNER, Associated Press Writers Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar And Erica Werner, Associated Press Writers – 11 mins ago
    WASHINGTON – Making a last-ditch effort to save his health care overhaul, President Barack Obama on Monday put forward a nearly $1 trillion, 10-year compromise that would allow the government to deny or roll back egregious insurance premium increases that infuriate consumers.

    The White House immediately demanded an up-or-down vote in Congress on the plan, or something close to it. But it’s highly uncertain that such sweeping legislation can pass. Republicans are virtually unanimous in opposing it, and some Democrats who previously supported a health care remake are having second thoughts in an election year. After a year in pursuit, Obama may have to settle for a modest fallback version of what once was his top domestic priority.

    Release of the plan on the White House Web site comes just four days before Obama’s one-of-a-kind, televised health care summit with Democrats and Republicans. The White House said the plan would provide coverage to more than 31 million Americans now uninsured without adding to the federal deficit.

    On Capitol Hill, Democrats cautiously welcomed the proposal, while Republicans gave a thumbs down.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement she looks forward to reviewing the plan and discussing it at the summit. “We must pass comprehensive, affordable health insurance reform, and I am hopeful that Thursday’s meeting will help us achieve this goal,” she said, reaffirming her commitment.

    House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio dismissed the proposal, saying, “the president has crippled the credibility of this week’s summit by proposing the same massive government takeover of health care based on a partisan bill the American people have already rejected.”

    Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said it was “disappointing that Democrats in Washington either aren’t listening, or are completely ignoring what Americans across the country have been saying.”

    The 11-page plan is Obama’s most detailed proposal since he took up the health care overhaul effort a year ago. At the time, he sought to avoid the problems former President Bill Clinton encountered when he issued Congress a detailed prescription in the 1990s, a plan that failed and contributed to the Democrats lost of Congress in 1994. Now Obama is being criticized for having been too deferential to lawmakers.

    White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer said the plan is an “opening bid” going into Thursday’s summit. It would cover more Americans — but also includes a new tax on investment income that Republicans object to.

    “The president is coming into the meeting with an open mind,” said Pfeiffer. “If the Republicans do, too, our hope is that we can find some areas of agreement. If the Republicans bring good ideas to the table we will find ways — look for ways to incorporate those into our proposals.”

    Weeks ago, the president and congressional Democrats were on the verge of an historic step — a long-sought remake of the nation’s health care system after a half-century of unsuccessful attempts by scores of politicians. Then Republican Scott Brown stunned Washington with an upset win in the Massachusetts Senate race, denying Democrats their 60-seat majority and reversing any political momentum.

    Now, Obama may have to settle for a scaled-down plan that smooths some of the rough edges from the current health insurance system, but stops well short of providing coverage for nearly all Americans. It could include ideas Democrats and Republicans have both supported, such as federal funding for high-risk pools that would extend coverage to people denied because of medical problems, and a new insurance marketplace for small employers and individuals buying their own policies.

    Determined not to abandon Democratic bills that took a year of arduous effort, Obama’s plan builds on them. That’s no guarantee that it won’t run into problems.

    The plan conspicuously omits a government insurance plan sought by liberals and viewed as a nonstarter by conservatives and some congressional moderates. It includes Senate-passed restrictions on federal funding for abortion that have been adamantly opposed by abortion foes as well as abortion rights supporters.

    The new White House plan would give the federal government the power to regulate the health insurance industry much like a public utility. The Health and Human Services Department — in conjunction with state authorities — would be able to deny substantial premium increases, limit them or demand rebates for consumers.

    Oversight of insurance companies has traditionally been a state responsibility. Obama’s proposal for a new federal role calls for setting up a seven-member Health Insurance Rate Authority to monitor insurance industry practices and issue an annual report. States that beef up their consumer protection programs would be eligible for a share of $250 million in federal grants.

    The plan closely tracks the bill passed by Senate Democrats on Christmas Eve, with changes intended to make it acceptable to their House counterparts.

    It would require most Americans to carry health insurance coverage, with federal subsidies to help many afford the premiums. Insurance companies would be barred from denying coverage to people with medical problems or charging them more.

    The plan dramatically scales back a Senate tax on high-cost health insurance plans objected to by House Democrats — and labor unions. Instead of raising $150 billion over 10 years, it would bring in just $30 billion, the administration said. A Medicare payroll tax increase on upper-income earners would help plug the revenue gap. For the first time, Medicare taxes would be assessed on investment income, not just wages.

    Like the Senate bill, the Obama plan would create competitive insurance markets in each state for small businesses and people buying their own coverage. It would strip out a special Medicaid deal the Senate bill granted to Nebraska that drew public scorn as the “Cornhusker Kickback” but leaves in a special Medicaid deal for Louisiana. It also would gradually close the Medicare prescription coverage gap, make newly available coverage for working families more affordable. Those changes move in the direction of the House bill.

    Estimated to cost about $1 trillion over 10 years, Obama’s plan would be paid for by a mix of Medicare cuts, tax increases and new fees on health care industries.

  6. “…..Even the repulsive Hillary haters and Obama lovers like Ed Schultz, Keith Olbermann and Eugene Robinson begin to see Obama slip and slide and deceive and lie. Obama’s inexperience slip is showing…….”

    100% correct Admin. These are repulsive men to the core. You can also add Twiity, Hannity, Beck, O’Riley, Huffington, and many others.


    Or was this another bait-and-switch? Sell it one way, but let the industry lobbyists insert the fine print.

    This time the topic is the credit card reform law.

    NEW YORK (AP) — Your next credit card statement is going to contain an ugly truth: how much that card really costs to use.

    Now, thanks to a long-awaited law that goes into effect Monday, you’ll know that if you pay the minimum on a $3,000 balance with a 14 percent interest rate, it could take you 10 years to pay off.

    “Jaws will drop,” said David Robertson, publisher of The Nilson Report, a newsletter that tracks the industry. “I don’t doubt for a nanosecond that it’s going to give a lot of people a sinking feeling in their stomachs.”

    That’s not all that will make them queasy.

    During the past nine months, credit card companies jacked up interest rates, created new fees and cut credit lines. They also closed down millions of accounts. So a law hailed as the most sweeping piece of consumer legislation in decades has helped make it more difficult for millions of Americans to get credit, and made that credit more expensive.

    iT wasn’t supposed to be this way. The law that President Barack Obama signed last May shields card users from sudden interest rate hikes, excessive fees and other gimmicks that card companies have used to drive up profits. Consumers will save at least $10 billion a year from curbs on interest rate increases alone, according to the Pew Charitable Trust, which tracks credit card issues.

    But there was a catch. Card companies had nine months to prepare while certain rules were clarified by the Federal Reserve. They used that time to take actions that ended up hurting the same customers who were supposed to be helped.

    Consumer advocates say the law still offers important protections for the users of some 1.4 billion credit cards.

    “We expected some rate increases; we expected some annual fees,” said Ed Mierzwinski of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, an advocacy organization that lobbied for the law.

    To be sure, the law takes effect while credit card companies are still reeling from the recession.

    In 2007, the top 12 card issuers earned a combined $19 billion from credit cards, according to The Nilson Report. A year later, amid the financial meltdown, profits for those companies fell more than 65 percent to $6.32 billion. The plunge was largely because defaults ballooned as unemployment soared.

    Profit figures for 2009 aren’t yet available. But banks wrote off about $35 billion in credit card debt last year, as the unemployment rate topped 10 percent. Analysts predict the default rate will remain at least twice as high as normal through this year, and longer if unemployment stays high.

    At the same time, the law is expected to cut into future profits. FICO Inc., the company best known for its credit scores, projects the average card will generate less than $100 a month in revenue within three years, down from $200 a month before the law.

    That helps explain why the industry reacted so aggressively to the legislation. Among the moves it made:

    — Resurrected annual fees.

    Annual fees, common until about 10 years ago, have made a comeback. During the final three months of last year, 43 percent of new offers for credit cards contained annual fees, versus 25 percent in the same period a year earlier, according to Mintel International, which tracks marketing data. Several banks also added these fees to existing accounts. One example: Many Citigroup customers will start paying a $60 annual fee on April 1.

    — Created new fees and raised old ones.

    These include a $1 processing fee for paper statements for cards issued by stores such as Victoria’s Secret and Ann Taylor. Another example is a $19 inactivity fee Fifth Third Bank now charges customers who haven’t used their card for six months.

    Other banks increased existing fees. JPMorgan Chase, for instance raised the cost of balance transfers from one card to another to 5 percent of the transfer from 3 percent.

    — Raised interest rates.

    The average rate offered for a new card climbed to 13.6 percent last week, from 10.7 percent during the same week a year ago — meaning cardholders had to pay almost 30 percent more in interest, according to

    For millions of other accounts, variable interest rates that can rise with the market replaced fixed rates. The Fed is expected to start raising its benchmark interest rates later this year, which would likely trigger an increase on those cards.

    Besides making credit more expensive, banks also made it harder to get and keep credit cards. One big reason: Since the financial meltdown, many credit card issuers have been trying to reduce risk.

    The number of Visa, MasterCard and American Express cards in circulation dropped 15 percent in 2009, for example. Rarely used cards were among the first cut off. Some cards linked to rewards programs for purchases like gasoline were likewise shut down.

    Card companies also slashed credit limits for millions of accounts that remain open. About 40 percent of banks cut credit lines on existing accounts, according to the consultant TowerGroup, which estimated that such moves eliminated about $1 trillion in available credit. Much of that was unused.

    Credit lines were frequently cut in regions most affected by the housing crisis and high unemployment, such as Florida and California, said Curt Beaudouin, a senior analyst at Moody’s Investors Service. “They’re not doing it willy nilly, they’re doing it systematically,” he said.

    Companies are also making fewer solicitations. Mailed offers for new cards increased in the final three months of 2009 for the first time in two years, but there were only about 575 million. That’s about a third of the average number of quarterly offers from 2000 through 2008, according to Mintel.

    Because the law makes credit cards less profitable, some subprime borrowers may not be able to get cards at all, at least for the next few years. There’s no fixed definition, but subprime borrowers generally have a FICO score below 660. For a good portion of this group, options may be limited to alternatives like PayPal and other electronic payment services, prepaid cards and payday lenders.

    “Not everyone either deserves or should have an open-ended credit card,” said Roger C. Hochschild, chief operating officer of Discover Financial Services.

    Joining those who won’t easily get cards: college students and others under age 21. The law strictly limits card marketing on campuses, ending giveaways like T-shirts and pizza Cards can only be granted to applicants who show they have the means to repay, or those who have a co-signer who can pay.

    “Some of the more vulnerable parts of the population are a little bit more protected,” said Georgetown University finance professor James Angel. But he predicts card companies will find ways around most of the new restrictions. And once the economy recovers, he expects the lending spigot to open again.

    In the meantime, there is one group of consumers that banks will chase after — those who carry a balance from month to month for at least part of the year, and pay their bills on time. They’re the most profitable and least risky group for banks.

    Also a target customer: anyone willing to do more business with the bank that issues their card, say opening a checking or savings account or taking out a mortgage.

    “What we want is a deeper relationship with our customers,” said Andy Rowe, an executive vice president with Bank of America’s card business. Customers willing to stick with a single bank may even be able to get annual fees waived or get a better interest rate, he said. “That’s where the competition will be.”

  8. From the Bill Clinton-centric blog, an excerpt from the Major Garrett interview with Bill. This is going to come back to haunt Obama after November. Bill is being coy here and when he got home laughed heartily:

    GARRETT: One other difference the president noted between the cycle in 1994, he’s said to have said this to some democrats in the White House, never denied it. He said, a big difference between 1994 and now is you have me. What do you make of that?

    CLINTON: Well, I don’t know, but he’s a persuasive man and I hope he helps. I think the main thing is they’ve got a lot of advanced notice and I think the — if they really focus and catch a break or two, I don’t think it’ll be as bad as it was in ’94.

  9. From the Congressional Budget Office:

    This morning the Obama Administration released a description of its health care proposal, and CBO has already received several requests to provide a cost estimate for that proposal. We had not previously received the proposal, and we have just begun the process of reviewing it—a process that will take some time, given the complexity of the issues involved. Although the proposal reflects many elements that were included in the health care bills passed by the House and the Senate last year, it modifies many of those elements and also includes new ones. Moreover, preparing a cost estimate requires very detailed specifications of numerous provisions, and the materials that were released this morning do not provide sufficient detail on all of the provisions. Therefore, CBO cannot provide a cost estimate for the proposal without additional detail, and, even if such detail were provided, analyzing the proposal would be a time-consuming process that could not be completed this week.

  10. Looks like some real fireworks are ahead for Barky. It will be the price he and the Dimocrats pay for their endless follies.

    Obama’s fellow Dems are cannon fodder in his plan
    By: Chris Stirewalt
Political Editor
February 22, 2010

    No one believes that the president’s health care summit with Republicans is about bipartisanship.
    Republicans fear that it is a trap intended to hold them and their ideas up to ridicule. And though the president and his party certainly want to shift the blame to Republicans after months of unilateral failure by Democrats, that’s not the real purpose of the health gabfest.
    This summit is all about Barack Obama.
    You see, the president has a big problem: He may be our chatterer in chief, but Americans have stopped listening to him.
    Consider the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. Though 46 percent of Americans still approved of the job he was doing, only 39 percent had a favorable personal opinion of Obama. That’s an 11-point drop since July and a 20-point drop since inauguration. For a politician whose success was predicated on a personal brand, that’s a catastrophic fall.
    Where did the love go?
    Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia said of Obama: “He’s beginning to not be believable to me.”
    Rockefeller was talking about the president’s support for policies that seem to endorse the use of coal power but that in reality would destroy the industry.
    But whether the subject is coal or health or education or government spending, a lot of Americans are tuning Obama out.
    Liberals believe this is because Obama lacks the ferocity needed to deal with the concentrated evil of Republicanism. Conservatives believe it’s because Obama is too radical.
    But for most voters, the explanation is much simpler — Obama is a typical politician: His words and actions don’t match up.
    So the president means to show a little action.
    Even if his health plan is in worse shape than it was when Massachusetts voters smothered the bill, Obama wants to give the appearance of vitality.
    But this still leaves the question of whether Obama really wants to pass his plan over the strenuous objections of the American majority. Does he want a catastrophic victory or an honorable defeat?
    It is instructive that the president has embraced the use of budget reconciliation.
    This parliamentary tactic has been used for policy changes before (most notably with the 1997 creation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program) but never for such a huge undertaking.
    The White House plans to tack the president’s health plan on to the federal budget because the budget requires only 51 votes for passage instead of the usual 60, which would make it impossible for the 41 Republicans to block the plan with a filibuster.
    Voters, who disapprove of the president’s plan by a 2-to-1 margin, will not be amused by this congressional chicanery.
    By embracing the use of budget reconciliation, the president eliminates a convenient means of escape from what figures to be a political disaster. If Obama insisted on following standard parliamentary procedure, he could throw up his hands at Republican obstructionism and get on with the rest of his presidency.
    But apparently that is not what Obama wants. He wants to win, not look good losing.
    That’s where Obama splits from many of his fellow Democrats in Congress.
    Obama and his team take seriously what the administration has called the “existential threat” to his presidency posed by Republican obstructionism.
    The White House team believes that if the president is defeated on health care, Obama will be dismissed as a weak and ineffective president, brought to his knees by the minority party.
    As the president said in his weekly address: “What’s being tested here is not just our ability to solve this one problem, but our ability to solve any problem.”
    Even though the course that Obama has laid out would mean devastating losses for Democrats this fall and a new depth of partisan rancor in Washington, the president has convinced himself he needs this victory in order to establish his credibility.
    He’s willing to allow his party to endure the short-term consequences of his long-term agenda.
    But will his fellow Democrats go along for the ride?
    Obama’s reconciliation strategy assumes that the final bill crafted by him and his team can get a 218-vote majority in the House.
    House liberals may be willing to accept anything after having seen oblivion, but how many moderate Democrats are willing to walk the plank again? Remember that original House bill only drew 220 votes.
    In his effort to smash the Republicans once and for all, Obama may be done in by his fellow Democrats.

    Chris Stirewalt is the political editor of The Washington Examiner.
    He can be reached at

  11. Feb. 22, 2010 – 12:05 a.m.
    Senate Faces Serious Brain Drain Next Year

    By David M. Drucker, CQ-Roll Call

    With the retirement of Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.), every Democratic presidential hopeful from 2008 will have exited the Senate by the time the 112th Congress convenes in January — and they’ll have taken an abundance of experience and star power with them.

    Bayh joins a group of veteran Democratic and Republican senators, many longtime elected officials, who are set to end their careers at the end of the term. All told, those departures — as well as the death last year of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) — will leave the chamber with a deficit of 232 years of legislative know-how and Washington gravitas that has characterized Capitol Hill for a generation.

    Given the political volatility of the election cycle, the Senate makeover could be even more extreme come Nov. 2. While current and former senate aides from both parties agree it will take time for junior members to find their sea legs, they say the chamber will continue to drive Congress’ legislative agenda and that new crop of dynamos will rise.

    “The diminished star power is easily overcome. Younger members will in time become the new faces of the institution, and if anything it eliminates some distractions and unnecessary drama when there are fewer celebrity senators,” a senior Democratic Senate aide said. “The more notable trend is just that the senator is getting younger, and as that happens, the traditions and customs of the Senate that used to pave the way for bipartisanship are observed less and less.”

    The exodus began in the aftermath of the 2008 elections and was a product of the Democrats’ overwhelming success that year. Barack Obama gave up his Illinois Senate seat when he was elected president, and 36-year Senate veteran Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.), was elected vice president.

    Obama recruited Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), his top rival in the Democratic presidential primary, to run the State Department. He also hired away Sen. Ken Salazar (Colo.) to lead Interior. A year later, another 2008 White House aspirant, Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (Conn.), facing a serious climb to re-election, announced he would retire at the end of his term after 30 years.

    Bayh, who abandoned plans to run for president in 2008 during the early stages of a campaign that never formally launched, announced last week he was leaving at the end of his second term. Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.), is retiring after 18 years.

    Additionally, four GOP senators are calling it quits, while one Republican, Mel Martinez (Fla.), resigned his seat last summer. Among those Republicans leaving are three former governors: Judd Gregg (N.H.) after 18 years, Christopher J. Bond (Mo.) after 24 years and George V. Voinovich (Ohio) after 12 years. Jim Bunning of Kentucky also is retiring after two terms.

    One GOP lobbyist said the combination of Democratic and Republican retirements amount to a loss of “eons” of experience and include unique, irreplaceable characters who have left an indelible imprint on the Senate and American politics. But, the lobbyist said, the chamber was designed to absorb such losses, helped along in part by experienced staff who will remain. “Senatorial Darwinism will take care of itself and new leaders will rise,” the lobbyist said. “There are first-term members who will move up, and those in tiers of the current leadership who will also rise. The Senate is by design an institution that is meant for permanence through change.”

    This isn’t the first time the Senate has faced a generational shift among Democrats. In the landmark election of 1980 that ushered California Republican Ronald Reagan into the White House, five Democratic senators who were also national figures of their time said goodbye. Among them were Frank Church (Idaho), Warren Magnuson (Wash.), George McGovern (S.D.), Herman Talmadge (Ga.) and Birch Bayh (Ind.), Evan Bayh ’s father.

    However, among the incoming senators that year were Dodd and Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.), who was a Republican until 2009, when he bolted to become a Democrat. Specter is among this year’s politically vulnerable class of longtime members whose loss in the midterms could further diminish the amount of experience and collection of unique senate characters.

    But perhaps more glaring indicators of what Election Day 2010 could mean for the Senate are the predicaments of Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and the GOP’s 2008 presidential nominee, John McCain of Arizona.

    Reid’s re-election is in as much jeopardy as any incumbent Democrat’s running this cycle. McCain is facing his toughest test in years via a primary challenge from former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, long a darling of conservatives.

    One former Senate Democratic leadership aide said the potential loss of experience from Reid or McCain — or both — would be a significant blow to the chamber and its ability to tackle large, complex issues. The prospects of completing successful negotiations over contentious legislation could suffer as new members go through a period of on-the-job training, although some argue the 111th Senate hasn’t proved able in that regard, either.

    Additionally, many Democrats set to retire “might be really liberal but wanted to negotiate,” another Democratic lobbyist and former Senate aide said. Kennedy, the chamber’s “liberal lion,” was viewed that way by many Republicans, among them conservative Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (Utah).

    Should the Democrats suffer heavy losses this November — and particularly if Reid loses — the Senate could face greater paralysis as his replacement retrenches with a majority moved to the left by the loss of both moderates and retiring liberal negotiators. Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin of Illinois and Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) are expected to vie for the leadership post if Reid loses.

    A second Republican lobbyist, who works closely with Democratic and GOP senators, said the Senate could be additionally polarized as both sides look ahead to the 2012 presidential election and as members weigh a Senate map that at least initially appears to favor Republicans. Should the GOP manage to regain the House but not the Senate, the gridlock could be magnified.

    “In the end, the 112th Congress will likely end up more similar to the 110th, at least if the Democrats retain control of both houses, because they will have smaller numbers and would have to moderate their agenda after losses in 2010,” the lobbyist said.

  12. admin
    February 22nd, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    From the Bill Clinton-centric blog, an excerpt from the Major Garrett interview with Bill. This is going to come back to haunt Obama after November. Bill is being coy here and when he got home laughed heartily


    Yep, and let him dare, or anyone for that matter, try and play the “race card”…
    The matter of calling Bill or Hillary Clinton racists, is dead and buried. Finis-

  13. GARRETT: Two quick questions about (INAUDIBLE). Ken Starr has said, if he was in your presence, he would say to you, “I’m sorry.” What would you tell Ken Starr?

    CLINTON: Well, I’m sorry too. I’m sorry it happened. But I thought that — I haven’t read (INAUDIBLE) book. I read a few newspaper articles about it, I did talk to him. But I never thought — I thought Starr was caught up in a system that he was a willing participant in, but it was really bad.

    I think it is easy to set up something so these two run into each other!!!! It could be some apology!!!!

  14. More of coy Bill:

    Bill Clinton doesn’t have an upbeat outlook for health care reform, Fox News’s Major Garrett reported Monday after sitting down with the former president.

    Garrett paraphrased on Fox News what Clinton told him in his first interview since having heart surgery: “I said, ‘Does 2010 feel like 1994?’ He said it feels a little bit like it. He said, ‘I tried to get health care, didn’t work out. This president’s trying to get health care, didn’t work out.’ He spoke of health care reform, even as President Obama tries to revive it, entirely in the past tense. That tells you about what he thinks the future of health care reform is.”


    Obama New/Old health care plan (ONOHCP)

    Opinion: Obama’s Health Plan — A Missed ChanceUpdated: 48 minutes ago
    .Print Text Size E-mail MoreGrace-Marie Turner

    Special to AOL News (Feb. 22) — Instead of offering a genuinely fresh approach, President Barack Obama has unveiled a health plan that essentially splits the difference between two bad partisan bills that are hugely unpopular with the American people. The dubious hallmarks of the House and Senate bills — hundreds of billions in tax hikes, trillions in new health care spending, job-killing mandates on individuals and businesses, and onerous Washington regulations on one-sixth of the U.S. economy — are all in the president’s plan.

    The American public has seen this movie before and has rejected it, yet Obama decided to release it once more, hoping for a better review.

    President Obama’s health plan moves to the left in hopes of winning over reluctant progressives, angry at the White House for abandoning the public option, cutting a deal with Big Pharma and almost leaving reform at the alter in the aftermath of the Massachusetts election, says Igor Volsky of the Center for American Progress.

    He would continue to require both individuals and employers to pay for health insurance or face fines and penalties. Rather than reform Medicaid, the president would expand it, the most dysfunctional health program in the country and one that politicians would not want to be their health plan. And Obama would increase fees on insurers and other health companies — fees that will be passed along to consumers in the form of higher premiums.

    The big new idea in the president’s plan is to federalize regulation of health insurance, creating a Health Insurance Rate Authority to conduct “reviews of unreasonable rate increases and other unfair practices of insurance plans.” This might sound appealing, but do we really want to give Washington — with its trillion-plus-dollar deficits — more control over the health sector? This new “rate authority” would be a first step toward imposing price controls on private insurance.

    Obama clearly is not trying to bridge the divide between Republicans and Democrats as a starting point for a dialogue at Thursday’s summit. If he were, he would have included medical liability reform, meaningful interstate purchasing of health insurance and other ideas Republicans support that would provide more competition in the health insurance market and help reduce rising health insurance premiums.

    In fact, the Obama plan snubs the GOP by calling for increased taxes on companies inside and outside the health sector, and for a payroll tax on the non-wage interest and dividend income of wealthier Americans. These higher taxes will drive up the cost of health insurance, depress innovation and delay the economic recovery.

    Rather than eliminating special interest deals like “the Cornhusker Kickback,” “the Louisiana Purchase” and the labor-union exemption, the president’s plan basically extends the sweetheart deals to others. All states get more favored treatment for expanding Medicaid, and the threshold for taxing high-cost health plans is raised, while the tax will not take effect until 2018.

    All of these deals will cost money. While the Congressional Budget Office won’t be able to estimate the bill’s costs until it gets actual legislative language, we know that the proposal outlined by the president will cost even more than the Senate bill’s staggering $2.4 trillion price tag over 10 years.

    More Coverage:
    – Plan Omits Tort Reform
    – Price Tag Nears $1 Trillion
    – Opinion: Pundits’ Behavior
    – Opinion: Health Care a Win?
    – Key Points of Obama’s Plan
    – Opinion: A Missed Opportunity
    – Opinion: Winning Reluctant Dems
    Health spending will continue to rise, premium costs will increase, at least 24 million people will remain uninsured and the system of subsidies to individuals and businesses will continue to allow politicians to pick winners and losers. Moreover, because the president’s plan is built upon the Senate bill, it would include cuts to Medicare that will jeopardize care for seniors.

    It’s unfortunate that Obama shunned the bipartisan path to a health reform compromise in favor of this split-the-difference partisan plan modeled after the House and Senate bills. It offers Republicans little upon which to build a conversation that could lead to genuine compromise at Thursday’s summit.

    Grace-Marie Turner is president of the Galen Institute, a nonprofit research organization focusing on patient-centered solutions to health reform.

    To submit an op-ed to AOL News, write to
    Filed under: Opinion

  16. How can anyone not be embarrassed to propose Obummer for SC. I know this sounds old, but he has NO credentials, NO experience for the job. What an insult to every hardworking, brilliant attorney and judge in this country.

    So we have a faux Olympics and a faux president….all done for the benefit of TV and making money.

    We really all have to fight for some substance and reality.

  17. Carol,

    They weren’t embarassed to propose him for potus, so why are you surprised that they would propose him for SC?

    I guess the new qualifications are:

    No Experience

    Racist Attitude

    & Bully Tactics

  18. mp
    February 22nd, 2010 at 6:55 pm
    GARRETT: Two quick questions about (INAUDIBLE). Ken Starr has said, if he was in your presence, he would say to you, “I’m sorry.” What would you tell Ken Starr?

    Weird, I was just thinking today, because I live in Austin and Baylor University is close, I wonder if that turd Starr is sorry for anything he did. I thought if I had a kid in Baylor I would pull them out. He needs to go on Fox and tell the world like a man.

  19. Clinton urges NATO security cooperation with Russia

    Andrew Quinn
    Mon Feb 22, 2010

    (Reuters) – NATO must boost security cooperation with Russia and streamline operations to face new challenges — both military and civilian — in coming years, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday.

    Clinton said new partnerships, including with Cold War foe Russia, will help NATO to take on growing transnational threats including nuclear proliferation, terrorism, piracy and cyber security.

    “While Russia faces challenges to its security, NATO is not among them,” Clinton told a Washington think tank, stressing that a new U.S. plan for European missile defense was no threat to Moscow. “Just as Russia is an important partner in efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation, so should it be in missile defense,” she said. “And we invite Russia to join NATO in developing a missile defense system that can protect all citizens of Europe and Russia.”

    Clinton’s speech to the Atlantic Council was the latest effort by the Obama administration to reassure European allies that Washington will hold tight to transatlantic ties despite growing preoccupation with China, Iran and other hotspots.

    It was also a fresh gesture to Moscow, which has grown increasingly nervous over new U.S. plans for European missile defense as well as plans to continue expanding NATO membership.

    NATO is now undertaking a major review to assess its structure and goals for coming decades, and Clinton said it was crucial that member states take the opportunity to re-imagine the alliance as a broader, more flexible organization.

    “You don’t win by fighting the last war,” she said.


    She said that NATO must guard against both terrorism and outright military threats, including nuclear proliferation and missile development in countries such as North Korea and Iran.

    And she said Russia — for so long the focus of NATO’s fears — could emerge as a partner, including on missile defense.

    President Barack Obama announced last year he was shelving Bush-era plans to install a land-based missile shield to guard against long-range missile threats from Iran — a move which pleased Moscow, which had opposed the shield idea.

    But Moscow has expressed doubts about the new U.S. strategy, which centers on sea-based interceptors and a second-phase of land-based systems that U.S. officials say will be better able to counter short- and medium-range missiles, which they now deem the chief threat from Iran and elsewhere.

    Clinton said that while the United States had “real differences” with Russia in several areas, it was also committed to working with Moscow to advance common interests. “We want a cooperative NATO-Russia relationship that produces concrete results,” she said.

    She said the idea of partnership should be central to a new streamlined NATO, which needs a more powerful secretary general to achieve its goals.

    The United States, which in the past has been ambivalent about suggestions that NATO work more closely with the European Union, was also now fully behind deeper cooperation between the two organizations.

    “We do not see the EU as a competitor of NATO — we see a strong Europe as an essential partner,” she said.

    And she said NATO’s new challenges would increasingly include civilian aid and construction — as seen in Afghanistan, where civilian assistance efforts are being implemented in parallel with the growing U.S.-led war against the Taliban.

    “For too long, our Alliance has been hamstrung by those who argue that NATO is an exclusively military organization and oppose attempts to develop — or even discuss — the Alliance’s capacity to take on civilian tasks,” she said.

    “Our common experience in Afghanistan has shown that the Alliance cannot accomplish its missions using purely military tools. ”

  20. gonzo,

    His apology which was discussed in a television interview with Greta was vapid and ridiculous.

    See below:

    VAN SUSTEREN: On the day of this big announcement Baylor University, it’s also announcement of “Death of American Virtue,” a book that has come out of the investigation of President Clinton.

    Starr: You have been quoted as saying that if you saw President Clinton that you would say, you were sorry. Explain what you meant by that.

    “Oh, well, I mean that in the sense that I very much regret that the entire episode happened. And what American of goodwill wanted this episode to happen? No one did. So obviously I regret that as a citizen who loves his country. Obviously it brought great pain to a lot of people. It was unpleasant for everyone involved in the investigation.

    But Janet Reno, the then attorney general of the United States, made a determination, and I think it was the correct legal determination, that this matter, the Lewinsky phase of the investigation, as unhappy and as unpleasant as it was, had to be investigated, and that’s what we did. But of course, who wanted this to happen to our country?”,2933,586284,00.html

  21. But Janet Reno, the then attorney general of the United States, made a determination, and I think it was the correct legal determination, that this matter, the Lewinsky phase of the investigation, as unhappy and as unpleasant as it was, had to be investigated, and that’s what we did. But of course, who wanted this to happen to our country?”

    I forgot about that IDIOT Janet Reno, ye gads. Starr wanted it to happen, him and the Repub party. I hate that worm. You know he never got any, probably all sweaty and desperate.

  22. Ken Starr sounds like Barack Obama.

    It was NOT my fault. I was forced to do it. I was forced to pursue Bill Clinton and every phase of his life and even go after his wife. It was terrible how they made me set Clinton up to lie about sex. I never wanted to spend millions and millions to try to “get” Bill Clinton. Yes, indeed, I just couldn’t sleep at night after I was forced to send the Clinton’s friend, Susan, to jail for not testifying as I wanted against the Clintons. I certainly didn’t want this to happen to our country. Janet Reno made me do it.

  23. From PUMA P.A.C.:

    These four words are the ones the Obots were either too stupid or too wicked to understand, and we have THEM to thank for the mess this country is in.

    * We needed a leader.
    * We needed a leader with integrity.
    * We needed a leader with integrity and experience.

    It really is as simple as that. The Pumas were right, the obots were wrong, and

    The Obama Movement Must Die. Hillaryis44 is absolutely, positively correct: the obama movement tore the Democratic Party apart for its own short term gain. The state of the union, the stability and success of our whole country, for ALL the people be damned. They are the most blatantly selfish, self-centered, self-absorbed, narcissistic solipsists ever spawned and unleashed on the political process in American history. The internet was their breeding ground, and, like killer bacteria in a protein-rich environment, they multiplied and grew stronger. Their influence was amplified and exaggerated by the new power of the internet, and especially web two dot oh.

    more good reading at the link.

  24. Congrats Admin.

    I’m not surprised that you continue to be quoted all over the internet. Your articles are stellar and deserve notice.

  25. …a worthwhile read at the link that will relieve the some of the stress you feel between your shoulder blades: 🙂

    More from Big Government:

    3. Pelosi Retires after 2012. If the Democrats lose the House in 2010, it should not be long thereafter that Pelosi retires. Ask yourself: How many former Speakers of the House are still in Congress? It is perhaps the ultimate up and out position in politics – with no place to retreat. In short, if the House falls – so will she.

    4. Hillary Will Run in 2012. If the Democrats lose the House, they can blame Nancy, Harry and Obama. Their agenda was far too divisive in an era of divisive politics. No one, however, deserves more blame than Obama. He picked too many fights with Americans and couldn’t control Pelosi. That is why his ratings are so low.

    Beyond that, Obama will likely not be able to make a Clinton comeback. Obama couldn’t get his radical agenda passed even though the Democrats controlled the Senate and House because he lacks the necessary skills to build consensus and govern. His leadership deficiencies mean that he won’t fare any better in a divided government.

    In the face of such Carter-like difficulties, the Democrats will have to ask themselves: Should we place our 2012 Congressional election fate in the hands of Obama? Many will say yes – enough could well say no because . . .

  26. My voice added to Jan’s- Congrats, Admin!

    Admin, you’ve kept the home fires burning for Hillary and given us a venue for keeping in contact with likeminded supporters.

    All the while giving us live testimony witnessing a play by play self-destruction of the Obama coalition/Chicago Combine.

    Kudos- and huge thanks!

  27. JanH
    February 22nd, 2010 at 10:55 pm


    I’ve been home from the hospital for almost a month now.

    I feel about 85% recovered which I think is a good number considering…

    More importantly, I’m feeling tangible improvement as the weeks go by.

    Thanks for asking…


    Book Review: The Lomborg Deception
    Debunking the claims of the climate-change skeptic.

    The Danish political scientist won fame and fans by arguing that many of the alarms sounded by environmental activists and scientists—that species are going extinct at a dangerous rate, that forests are disappearing, that climate change could be catastrophic—are bogus. A big reason Lomborg was taken seriously is that both of his books, The Skeptical Environmentalist (in 2001) and Cool It(in 2007), have extensive references, giving a seemingly authoritative source for every one of his controversial assertions.
    Howard Friel has checked every single citation in Cool It. The result is The Lomborg Deception, which is being published by Yale University Press next month.
    But when Friel began checking Lomborg’s sources, “I found problems,” he says. “As an experiment, I looked up one of his footnotes, found that it didn’t support what he said, and then did another, and kept going, finding the same pattern.”

  29. Admin> congratulations. What a marvelous piece of political strategy have written. This post, the one that precede it and a glass of wine have got me thinking–thinking about an historical antecedent which explains the primary and where we are now.

    In many ways, Barrack Hussein Obama is the modern day equivalent of Santa Ana–the tyrant and invader of sovereign state of Texas in 1836. We Hillary supporters were like the Davie Crocketts, the Jim Bowies, the Colonel Travis and the rest of the 189 men defending their country in the Battle of the Alamo in the 2008 primary. The backstabbing Judases in the dimocratic party, the uber corrupt media and the money men led by that Nazi collaborator Soros were officers in Santa Anas hordes. We fought the hard battle, lost the battle due to overwhelming odds, and will go on to win the war. Houston avenged the Alamo at the subsequent Battle of San Jacinto which finished off the dictator and liberated Texas. Our San Jacinto as the warnings Hillary gave her fellow democrats and the country are coming true now in spades.

    Obama supporters played in the campaign and big media played El Degüello for us and for Hillary at the end of the primary. The day is coming when we will play that same sad and prophetic song for them.

    (Note: El Deguello is a bugle call of Moorish origin notable in its use by the Mexican Army during the 1836 Battle of the Alamo. According to James A. Michener’s novel Texas, the original meaning of the Degüello call was an appeal to an enemy to surrender or else they would die by the sword. General Antonio López de Santa Anna of the Mexican Army used it to signify that no quarter would be given to the enemy. Source: Wikopedia)

    PS: these comments are dedicated to Hillary4Texas, Gonzo and Confloyd–our friends from Texas who will forgive me I hope if I have misstated the history of their fine state.

    The best tribute however is from the late Marty Robbins:

  30. Some people are incapable of embarrassment. Want an example? Try Jerry Rivers, aka Geraldo Rivera–or just plain Geraldo to those who know and love him dearly. As Sammy Goldwin used to say include me out.

    However . . .

    One of the moments which would embarrass most people (but obviously not Geraldo) was the discovery of the secret vault which he billed as the Chicago equivalent of the Lost Duchmen Mine in old Arizona. Only one problem. After all the hype, all the drama and all the build up, the door to the secret vault swung open and what did the million viewer see? As they say in Brooklyn: Nawthing. Or as Gerttude Stein said of Oakland was no there there.

    Just like the Obama Presidency.

  31. Wbboei, I am posting this link of the best person to be the GOvernor of Texas. I am watching this video and low and behold I felt the same excitment that I had for Hillary. This RN/business owner from South Texas can give a speech (albeit a southern one) from the heart as our Shero Hillary without a telepromter. If you dare listen to the whole video. I love to hear women who profoundly believe what they are selling because they always do it from their gut as we know misogny is alive and well everywhere. I am seeing those Medina signs in same places I saw Hillary’s which is out in the countryside where people who are proud Americans live.

  32. Years ago, Dale Carnegie wrote a seminal book called “How To Win Friends And Influence People”.

    According to my information Obama is coming out with a sequel called “How To Lose Friends And Alienate People”.

    He has received an $8 million advance which by sheer coincidence is the purchase price of the mansion on Maui he wants to buy.

    Even though the course that Obama has laid out would mean devastating losses for Democrats this fall and a new depth of partisan rancor in Washington, the president has convinced himself he needs this victory in order to establish his credibility.

    He’s willing to allow his party to endure the short-term consequences of his long-term agenda.

    But will his fellow Democrats go along for the ride?

    Obama’s reconciliation strategy assumes that the final bill crafted by him and his team can get a 218-vote majority in the House.

    House liberals may be willing to accept anything after having seen oblivion, but how many moderate Democrats are willing to walk the plank again? Remember that original House bill only drew 220 votes.

    In his effort to smash the Republicans once and for all, Obama may be done in by his fellow Democrats.

  33. Wbboei, the joke is that Obama has divided his friends and united his enemies. So much for How to win friends and influence people.

  34. Former President Bill Clinton speaks to Harrah’s employees at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas
    Monday, Feb. 22, 2010

    By J. Patrick Coolican

    The Harrah’s Foundation presented former President Bill Clinton with a $1 million donation to the William J. Clinton Foundation Monday at Caesars Palace. Clinton then gave a speech to Harrah’s employees and others about his work in Haiti, why individual charity and volunteering can make a difference, and his belief that Nevada will make it out of the economic downturn even stronger than before.

    Former President Bill Clinton spoke expansively Monday night on the challenges facing America and the world from the stage of the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.

    The 42nd president looked tired after a recent procedure to put two stents in a coronary artery, although the crowd still took to his conversational speaking style.

    He drew on themes that have become his post-presidential life’s work: the growing interdependence of humanity, and how to build on the best aspects of that interdependence while dismantling the worst.

    In describing that new interdependence, he noted rapid technological change — there were fewer than 50 sites on the Web and cell phones weighed 5 pounds when he was elected president in 1992.

    Now, many people in the developed world have access to information and communication at their fingertips, binding us together whether we like it or not. But the flow of goods, people, money and armaments also carries extreme risks, in the form of terrorism or financial panics that spread the world over, Clinton said.

    Regardless, it isn’t changing.

    “We can’t get divorced,” he said. “You can’t put the walls back up.”

    Clinton played an integral part in his wife’s failed presidential campaign, including helping her win the Nevada Democratic presidential caucus when he hustled for votes on the Strip. But after swimming again in the tumultuous waters of partisan politics in 2007 and 2008, “The Big Dog,” as Democrats like to call him, seems to have moved past the disappointment of the campaign.

    Instead, he’s returned to a life that had grown on him after leaving office — speaking around the world, usually for six figures, about themes that often cross ideological boundaries; responding rapidly to mass tragedies, such as the Haitian earthquake; and working with his foundation on issues that have always animated him, including climate change and access to health care and education.

    There are three key challenges facing both the United States and the world, Clinton said.

    The first challenge is inequality. A billion humans survive on $2 per day; a billion more survive on $1 per day. And, 100 million children don’t go to school.

    In the United States, the top 10 percent of wealthiest Americans got 90 percent of all the wealth created during the first decade of the new century, he said. Meanwhile, he noted, job growth and incomes stalled for poorer and middle-class Americans, while college tuition increased 75 percent after inflation and health care costs doubled, further pulling down the middle classes.

    The second problem, Clinton said, is instability. One small event can lead to catastrophe. For instance, a wave of foreclosures hits Nevada, and the government of Iceland goes bankrupt. The ability to move money and weapons around the world with ease gives terrorist power to terrorize. The failure to establish protection against these dangers is a failure of modern society, he said.

    Finally, the way that humans produce and consume energy is unsustainable, Clinton said, gently mocking climate change denialists.

    He called the failure to fundamentally change our energy portfolio during the past decade a great environmental and economic mistake — and singled out Nevada in particular.

    “If Nevada had taken up my challenge four or five years ago to become the first energy-independent state, you wouldn’t have the unemployment you have today,” he said.

    (In fact, solar plants require little ongoing labor, so it’s not clear what effect a massive investment in solar energy would have had in the long run.)

    The challenges in solving these three problems are different in rich and poor countries, Clinton said. Poor countries don’t have enough capacity. “They don’t have systems that guarantee predictable results,” he said.

    He added: “Think about this encounter we’re having: You’d be shocked if the lights went off. I’ve spent time in places where you can’t take that for granted.”

    He said he’s kept up at night fearing that Haiti will have heavy rainfall before sanitation systems are built in time to deal with it.

    Rich countries, while having enough capacity, are too rigid and unable to change to respond to new challenges, Clinton said.

    In his only foray during the speech into what could be called partisan politics, he chided Republicans, though not by name, expressing bafflement at America’s refusal to learn from health care systems of other advanced countries.

    Switzerland, for instance, has a private insurance system like that in the United States but spends just 11.5 percent of its national income on health care, compared to more than 17 percent in the United States. The difference is $1 trillion dollars.

    “I don’t understand it. And I am bewildered why we think this is the one area where the rest of the world has nothing to teach us,” he said.

    The same rigidity — or “partisan gridlock” in Washington parlance — could prevent reform of the financial system, leading to disastrous effects, he said.

    Clinton challenged the audience to serve, to fill in the gaps where neither the private sector nor government are willing or able to solve problems.

    Despite the challenges ahead, Clinton said America would continue to lead the world. “People that predict America’s demise ought to read a little history. George Washington was derided as a mediocre surveyor with bad false teeth who never won a battle in his life. He turned out to be a pretty good general.”

  35. Connie: I had a few contacts in Texas but that was years ago. One of them was the cousin of the actor Steve McQueen. We worked together on a bill for country of origin labeling. He was a television and talk show personality, a big supporter of Texas A&M and one tough hombre. He reminded you a little of the actor John Wayne, but a real cowboy. He hates Washington. He ran on the Republican ticket twenty years ago against Max Sandlin and lost. I will try to find him and see what he says about Perry. I suspect he supports him because of their common background in ranching.

    (Note: Max Sandlin (aka Spanky) was a small time version of John Edwards, a class action tobacco lawyer and a congressman from East Texas. He was alleged to be amorously involved with the daughter of guess who– Pelosi, i.e. Monster-in-law.

    Come to think of it, you have better Republican contacts in Texas than I do. Ask some of your doctor buddies. You say they are Republicans. If anyone would know they would.

    In the meantime, I need any information you have showing that Perry is a globalist and does not care about the people of Texas. I have looked for it myself and could not find it. If you have it, I want to get it to my friend. He said he likes Medina, and she speaks for him, but does not have the experience that Perry does. He knows about the Super Highway so I need more than that. If you can provide me with that information it will trump the experience argument in his mind and he may be able to deliver one county at least in your part of Texas for Medina. This is important.

  36. confloyd
    February 23rd, 2010 at 2:00 am
    Wbboei, Thanks for that video I enjoyed it. Here’s another Alamo story that I like! LOL!

    And Wow, thanks for your video confloyd, brought tears to my eyes, way up here in MN. The terminus of the Santa Ana Highway.

  37. Wbboei, the joke is that Obama has divided his friends and united his enemies. So much for How to win friends and influence people
    You are right admin. That is funnier and much more descriptive. He has made his friends look like idiots, and his enemies look politically astute.

  38. confloyd
    February 23rd, 2010 at 2:00 am
    Wbboei, Thanks for that video I enjoyed it. Here’s another Alamo story that I like! LOL!
    Thanks Betty. I was trying to tie it in with the general theme Admin is developing here, which is to say, a call to arms for Hillary supporters.

  39. Mrs. Smith, thanks for your valued insights on the idea of a health care committee. The assumption is that something needs to be done, and the political system cannot deliver it because of weak leadership on both sides of the aisle and the predominance of big business looking to cut a fat hog at the expense of the American People. The further assumption is that the system is out of control for a variety of reasons including free riders (according to Numbers USA 50% of the illegal immigrants are on welfare now, just as an example), the need for tort reform, and the lack of effective competition. (Note: Robert Porter–the worlds leading authority on competitive strategy had done a comprehensive analysis of the problem.)

    A perfect example of this is what is happening with Blue Cross in California. They are raising their rates 38% in California. This increase was approved by the Administration of the husband of Maria Shriver who once told us with a straight face that Barrack Obama is the one we have been waiting for. and led gregorian chants to that effect. And why did they raise their rates? Simple. They lost policy holders due to the economic downturn. Less revenue so the rates must go up–or so we are told. Question: okay fine. They have less customers and less revenue. That means less work. Did they make deep cuts in staff? Did the CEO take a 38? cut in his own salary? Did anyone bother to ask those questions? If not, and not, then isn’t it true that we are no longer talking about capitalism–which is driven by market forces? Isn’t it true that we are talking about corporate welfare and the American People are left holding the bag? Is this what the spreading of the risk principle of insurance is intended to provide?

    Meanwhile, my friend told me she has secured a commitment to speak about this on the radio. But it is still in the formative stages. Some doctors have agreed to join.

  40. wbboei

    I can not believe that someone else knows about the Gregorian Chant, besides me. I did a paper on it in a college music class one time. Amazing.

    And I could not agree with you more. I had the state Senator who told us she was going to support O because of Maria, Caroline, and Oprah. This women had some political experience, and completely fail the IQ test.

  41. Obama is right in one sense: the difference between 1994 and now is that we now have me, me meaning him, him, HIM, meaning Barrack “I can make them believe anything I want them to believe” Obama. The beloved messiah. The Billy Budd of Big Media. Bill Clinton inherited a deficit and left office with a huge surplus. Will the same be said for Obama. Is it too late to stop the Mount Rushmore project, or have those stimulus monies already been allocated?


    Can Obama Bypass Republicans on Health?

    Megan McArdle blogs at Asymmetrical Information on The Atlantic magazine Web site.

    Reconciliation is not meant to handle these sorts of problems; it’s meant to help Congress get revenues in line with outlays without letting protracted negotiations push us into a budget crisis. It’s not possible to do any sort of comprehensive, rational overhaul of the Senate health bill — which after all, was intended to be the opening salvo in a negotiation, not the final bill.

    More broadly, for all that Democrats are declaring that they have a mandate, it’s pretty clear that the public does not want them to pass any of the health care bills on the table — which has to include the Obama plan, since it is only a minor tweak on the existing proposals. Polls have shown more Americans opposing passage than supporting it since early summer, and opposition has risen fairly steadily over time.

    While President Obama promised health care reform during the election, the plan he ran on was much different than the one he is hoping to sign into law. Most notably, it contains an individual mandate, which he opposed during his campaign — and which the American public opposes. The individual mandate, along with the hefty price tag, are the two factors that Americans who oppose the legislation are most worried about.

    Of course, sometimes politicians have to do the right thing rather than the popular thing. But this cannot be a blanket authority to ignore the desires of one’s constituents.

    Democrats have had plenty of time to make their case. They have failed to do so. The longer they have talked, the more firmly the voters have rejected their ideas. If Congress goes ahead anyway, they will pay a terrible political price.

    Many progressives are pushing the notion that having already once voted for it, Democrats will pay that political price no matter what, so they might as well pass it. That ignores several factors. First, a hated bill that failed last December is not going to engender the same ire as a hated bill that passed in May.

    Second, Republicans will capitalize on the use of the reconcilation process, characterizing it as a procedural trick. And third, the provisions that go into effect early, like forbidding insurers to discriminate on the basis of pre-existing conditions, are probably going to push up the cost of coverage in the short run.

    It’s far from clear that Democrats have the votes to pass anything close to this bill, even through reconciliation. Pro-life Democrats in the House may not go along with the Senate bill, which has more liberal language on abortion.

    But even if they eventually go along, Speaker Pelosi could still be short of the votes she needs, thanks to attrition. To pass the Senate bill, she will probably need to flip a significant number of “no” voters into the “yes” column. Since most of the “no” voters come from relatively conservative districts, this is tantamount to asking them to commit political suicide.

  43. wbboei, As far as Perry being a globalist, he was at one of the bilderberger, he’s a Bush appointee and he was for the Obama’s 787 stimulus. He’s grown Texas goverment. The only thing I need to know is that he is for imminent domain in Texas.
    I also know he is the new wonderboy for the repugs. He will be the one they run. I am disappointed in Palin. Medina speaks to the people and I like her. She was raised near where I was. She is smart and know all about the medical field. I don’t think she’ll ever get that property tax thing thru and that isn’t what I like about her. I like 90% of her stances, so thats pretty good. Thankyou for posting that speech, she reminded me of Hillary after she got warmed up, she had that audience moving and thats when Hillary started winning.

    BTW, you tied it into to what we are doing here with Hillary very well because Medina speaks to the middle class and so does Hillary.

  44. This is pure funny, Carter doesn’t even want to be compared to Obama. LOL!! I think Carter is getting a little Alzheimers.

    Jimmy Carter Objects To Article Comparing His Foreign Policy To Obama’s
    Buzz up!51 votes Send
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    Facebook Twitter Delicious Digg Fark Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Bookmarks Print AP – FILE – In this Sunday, June 22, 1980 picture, U.S. President Jimmy Carter and British Prime Minister … Sam Stein Sam Stein – Mon Feb 22, 4:26 pm ET
    In last month’s issue of Foreign Policy magazine, leading analyst and Iraq War supporter Walter Russell Mead opined that President Obama’s foreign policy agenda was turning into a duplicate of Jimmy Carter’s.

    The thesis was beyond speculative. Even by Mead’s own admission, Obama’s foreign policy is in its nascent stages. Right now, he writes, it “looks a little bit like that of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger.” Mead even suggests that the president is trying to pursue a “Jeffersonian” worldview — in which the U.S. is militarily formidable but unexposed to regional crises. Either way, the Carter comparison was clearly meant as an insult. After all, the piece was titled “The Carter Syndrome.”

    It would seem natural for Obama and his allies to find the piece somewhat insulting — but the one raising the most stink so far is Carter himself.

    The former president penned a 1,500-word letter to the editor complaining about the article’s treatment of his foreign policy legacy. That’s followed by a second letter to the editor from Zbigniew Brzezinski, his national security adviser.

    Both delve into an issue-by-issue defense of various Carter actions: whether it was relations with China, peace talks in the Middle East, a renewed emphasis on human rights in Africa, the strengthening of NATO and even the hostage crisis in Iran.

    “I won’t criticize or correct his cute and erroneous oversimplistic distortions of presidential biographies and history except when he refers specifically to me,” Carter writes. “I resent Mead’s use of such phrases as ‘in the worst scenario, turn him [Obama] into a new Jimmy Carter,’ ‘weakness and indecision,’ and ‘incoherence and reversals’ to describe my service. An especially aggravating error is his claiming, ‘by the end of his tenure he was supporting the resistance to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, increasing the defense budget, and laying the groundwork for an expanded U.S. presence in the Middle East.’ None of these were late decisions based on a tardy realization of my earlier errors and misjudgments.”

    All of which was not enough to placate Mead, who responded in kind to Carter’s own response. Recalling that he cast his first presidential vote for Carter in 1980, he writes:

    I have attended meetings at which high-ranking officials from both the Soviet Union and the Carter administration have clearly stated that Carter’s support for human rights was seen from the Soviet side as a repudiation of détente and a return to Cold War hostility — and that, especially in the beginning, Carter did not fully grasp the tension between his two goals of détente with the Soviets and the promotion of human rights. Obama faces, potentially, a similar tradeoff between the promotion of human rights and the development of stable relations with countries such as China and Iran; he is likely to find it as difficult to manage the tension between those goals as Carter once did

  45. Acorn is changing its name. It will still be a corrupt organization, but you just change the name and keep on going, much like Perry did here in Texas. The super highway was called the Transtexas Highway and he changed to the corridor and pushed it thru.

  46. wbboei, As far as Perry being a globalist,
    Okay, but give me some links on this. These statements will be challenged. And when they are challenged the burden of proof will be on us to prove they are true. Remember the good job you did running the traps on Soros? We need that same kind of scholarly research here.

  47. rgb44hrc: from what little I know, McArdle’s analysis seems sound. I think Rove goes even further challenging the constitutionality of doing something like this. In any event the politics are destructive to the democratic party, and any victory here will be a phyric one. If the legislation is bad for the people and bad for the party, why then does Barrack Hussein Obama pursue it? For the same reason he did the Rezko deal–it was bad for his constituents but very good for his big business backers and contributors. Also, the bill gives a grinning tyrant like him the ability to control the masses. How? It gives him a plethora of information previously deemed private. And, information is power.

  48. WBboei, Here is some info on Perry.

    Aaron Dykes / JonesReport | May 31, 2007

    Texas Governor Rick Perry’s attendance at this year’s Bilderberg meeting was reported today by the Dallas Morning News and confirmed by the Governor’s Press Office as he left Austin for Istanbul– where the exclusive and private meeting of elites from throughout the Western world will take place. The trip could be in violation of the Logan Act which prevents U.S. citizens from unauthorized negotiations with foreign entities.

    While the agenda of the meeting is kept secret, the overlap in interests between Governor Perry and Bilderberg are clear, as Texas becomes increasingly overrun by international firms taking control over land, roads and newly privatized utilities– seizing Texas in a manner similar to IMF takeover of third world nations.

    Rick Perry has not only been instrumental in the contentious development of the Trans-Texas Corridor– often argued to be necessary infrastructure for regional government under C.F.R. plans for a North American Community and the Security & Prosperity Partnership of North America ( signed by President Bush– Rick Perry has also privatized TxU (Texas Utilities), handing it off to global investment firms and private control who are heavily involved in the Bilderberg group.

    The $45 billion dollar TxU buyout is no less than the largest buyout ever, and involves at least three firms represented annually at Bilderberg, each characteristic of global investment– Goldman Sachs, represented by its Chairman Peter D. Sutherland (also Chairman of British Petroleum [BP]), Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co. (KKR) represented by Henry R. Kravis, founder and partner, and Credit Suisse First Boston represented by Chairman and CEO Ronald S. Lloyd.

    Now, the biggest ever buyout is unfolding in scandal– as Ajaz Rahim, head of investment banking at Saudi owned Faysal Bank in Pakistan, is criminally charged with conspiracy and securities fraud for insider trading based on information he received from Credit Suisse, who advised on the TxU deal

  49. Obama The Spinner or Human Yo Yo. (From No Quarter). At what point does a spinner become just a liar?

    It seems like Obama’s administration is in constant circular motion, spinning in one direction then another. Up, down, around the world. I’m getting dizzy.

    UP Hope and change…. DOWN Same old, same old….
    UP No lobbyists in my administration…. DOWN Lobbyists running loose
    UP Get the best people for the job…. DOWN Old Chicago ties rule the roost
    UP Close Guantanamo…. DOWN Don’t close Guantanamo
    UP Transparency…. DOWN Closed up…. UP(a little?) CSPAN this week
    UP Universal health care…. DOWN Not really necessary UP Another new plan (whatever can pass regardless..)
    UP Reaching across the aisle…. DOWN Democrats only UP? Trying again?
    UP We all must sacrifice…. DOWN Well, not me or mine–we are Royalty
    UP Bring down spending…. DOWN Spend like crazy
    UP Greedy bankers should be ashamed…. DOWN They’re not so bad
    UP Deficit reduction…. DOWN Tax cuts

    Do you see a yoyo spinning?

  50. Connie: yes, I know Alex believes that Perry is a bilderberger. That may well be true. But as I recall he also believes Waco was a government conspiracy. My point is I need something more than that in order to convince the people I want to convince that Perry is a globalist and does not care about the people of Texas. If it is out there I know you will find it.

  51. Sec. Clinton faces growing pressure to fight Internet censors in Iran and China

    By Ian Swanson – 02/23/10

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is coming under growing pressure to award grants to promote Internet freedom in Iran.

    A coalition of pro-democracy groups wrote to Clinton on Monday asking that grants be awarded based on merit and not political biases. They want the grants to go to groups working inside and outside nations such as Iran and China that tightly control information on the Internet.

    In a release, they said awarding the grants in a transparent manner based on merit would show that a speech by Clinton last month on Internet freedom was not just political rhetoric but a serious call for action.

    The letter from the groups follows another letter signed by five senators pressing the State Department to issue funds quickly.

    A key issue for the senators is that grants should be awarded to groups working outside the borders of authoritarian regimes such as Iran.

    The State Department’s request for proposals stipulates that those asking for grants show an “in-country” demonstration. This “ignores the fact that some of the most successful censorship circumvention tools are operated remotely,” the senators said in a letter sent to Clinton in January.

    The letter was signed by Sens. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and Robert Casey (D-Pa.).

    The 2010 appropriations bill for the State Department provided $30 million for counter-censorship programs and technology.

    During the protests that followed Iran’s disputed presidential election last year, a number of groups outside Iran worked to ensure that censors in Iran did not prevent the spread of information over Facebook, Twitter and other web sites.

    The Global Internet Freedom Consortium, one of the groups that signed Monday’s letter, has produced software able to help users break through barriers set up authoritarian regimes such as China and Iran.

  52. Connie: I may have the wrong guy. I was thinking of Alex Jones. You are talking about Aron Jones. What do you know about him?

  53. Ian Swanson can go to hell. He knows Hillary supports internet freedom. Surely he has read her speeches on the subject. The only thing holding her back was the naive belief of her boss that appeasement of those regimes would work. Inasmuch as that theory has now been proven wrong and Hillary is now in charge of foreign policy, I suspect that this will change. However, such a move would have to be part of a comprehensive strategy of bringing down that regime with sanctions. It should not be pursued in isolation.


    Analogy time: Obama the builder says, “Your house has a leaking roof and the foundation is bad. You need to build a new house”.

    You agree, having put out the pails when it rains, and use the sump pump when it floods.

    So you ask him to submit plans for the New Building. The plans take months, the details are released piecemeal, the builder outsources the work to cheapie laborers, and it turns out that they really have no background in home building, that this is their first job (they used to run a campground).

    You say, “These plans are for a house that look worse than what I currently have”. They respond, “No, you just aren’t envisioning how lovely and structurally sound it is.”

    Then you ask them for references, they say they will provide that, but they keep not providing it.

    You look them up in the Better Business Bureau, but you do not find that they are licensed. You explicitly ask them, “I need to see a copy of your license to build homes in this state.” The answer, “Don’t worry, I’ll get that to you later this week.”

    By that time, if you haven’t hung up the phone, you are a fool who is probably dealing with a grifter. So if you write them a check…

  55. Israel turns to US for backup plan against Iran

    Tue, 23 Feb 2010

    After failing to win support in Russia for tough sanctions against Iran, Israel turns to its closest ally, the United States, for a backup plan to curb Tehran’s enrichment program.

    On Tuesday, the Israeli military radio reported that Defense Minister Ehud Barak will be travelling to Washington to share his concerns over Iran’s refusal to stop its nuclear activities.

    Barak will meet several US officials during his five-day tour, including US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Middle East ‘peace’ envoy George Mitchell.

    He is also scheduled to meet the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York.

    As part of a last-ditch effort to obstruct Iran’s nuclear program, Israel has sought to send high-ranking delegations to a number of countries, particularly Russia and China, to rally support for punitive measures against the Tehran government.

    In Russia, Israeli efforts have achieved little with Kremlin officials declaring that it is much too soon to consider stringent measures against Iran.

    This has not stopped Tel Aviv’s effort to call for international sanctions against Iran. On the contrary, it has prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to go as far as demanding that the UN Security Council should be sidestepped if it cannot agree to more sanctions against Tehran.

    “We must prohibit Iranian oil exports and imports to Iran of refined oil products. No other sanctions will be effective,” Netanyahu said in Jerusalem (Al-Quds) at a meeting of delegates from the Jewish Agency, an organization that encourages Jewish immigration to Israel.

    Such daring rhetoric by the Tel Aviv regime comes in light of the wide belief that Israel is in possession of over 200 nuclear warheads. Additionally, Israel has refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and is not a member of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

    Despite its refusal to join any international atomic regulatory agency, Israel has been the most vocal in calling for international sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran for its IAEA-monitored nuclear program.

    “We have arrived at a point where the international community has to decide if it seriously plans to stop Iran’s nuclear program,” the Israeli premier added.

    This comes as the UN nuclear watchdog released a new report on Tehran’s enrichment program, criticizing Iran for a range of issues, but verifying the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in the country at the same time.

    Iran says that is a signatory of the NPT and, unlike Israel, neither believes in atomic weapons nor, as a matter of religious principle, does it intend to access such weapons of mass-destruction. Tehran has also repeatedly called for the elimination of all nuclear arms throughout the globe.

  56. Wbboei, I don’t know a thing about him. I can tell you that Perry has followed Bush’s policies right down the line. Bush is a globalist and so is Perry. He is doing the work for them. I know that Perry is a born again Christian or so appears to be. This is why you can’t go by that. We all thought that Obama was a Christian, we all know now he is a muslim. You can’t judge a book by its cover, you have to open it up and read it. He has done everything here in Texas to help the globalists, thats is all I need to know. APparently your friend doesn’t know much about the globalist’s agenda. IF you know that and what Perry’s record is, you just add 2 + 2. Powerful and corrupt repugs are behind Perry.

  57. Wbboei, The only kind of repug I would ever be able to vote for is the Medina kind. I can’t do the regular repug.

    The libertarian side of the repug party is much reviled, why I don’t know, but so are the blue dogs in the dem party.

    I just remember Hillary telling Ron Paul that she was impressed by his loyal supporters. I thought that was ironic, because her supporters are just as loyal, although we have not banded togethers as MR.Paul’s and got our own candidates to put forth like Debra Medina.

  58. even lap boy ezra klien is finally opening his eyes…

    A Failure Of White House Leadership

    One other point on the public option: This has been a complete and utter failure of White House leadership. They need to give this effort their support, or they need to kill it by publicly stating their opposition. But they can’t simply wait for someone else to make the decision for them, which has been their strategy until now.

    If the White House decides that reviving the public option is a good idea, there’s reason to believe the Senate would follow them on that. It would make some sense, after all: The public option is popular, its death was partly the product of industry pressure, and the sudden spate of high-profile rate increases offers a nice rhetorical pivot for anyone who wants to argue that individuals should be able to choose an insurer who’s not a profit-hungry beast. Plus, Democrats need an excited base going into the 2010 election, and this may be the only way to get it.

    If the White House decides to stick with the effort to look like hopeful bipartisans in the face of Republican opposition, that would make sense, too. The sell on reconciliation is that it’s a few final tweaks to a bill that has already passed. The White House’s health-care proposal reflected that theory. Resuscitating the public option is a very different play: It’s a big change rather than a small tweak, and it’s a polarizing decision after weeks of rhetoric emphasizing comity.

    But the White House has stayed quiet — and confusing. Publicly, Kathleen Sebelius said the White House would do whatever Harry Reid wanted. Privately, there’s been no support for this public option push, and the idea didn’t even make a token appearance in their white paper. They wish this wasn’t happening, but they’re not willing to put a stop to it. Instead, they hoping someone else — maybe Jay Rockefeller — stands up and calls the play.

    This is, however, the worst of all worlds. In refusing to disappoint the left early, they’re assuring the sense of betrayal will be much more acute because the feeling of momentum will have far longer to build. And in refusing to embrace this strategy cleanly, they’re making it harder to lay the groundwork for an effective communications strategy around a bill that’s tougher on insurers. The problem isn’t just that the White House is following, but that they’re making it harder to eventually lead.


    we tried to warn them…i know i tried to warn ezra during the primaries…won’t be long before the rest of the msnbc crowd will also be forced to wake up…

    O…all talk and no walk…

  59. Wbboei, The only kind of repug I would ever be able to vote for is the Medina kind.
    And that was where my roots in the party were. Never the Rockefeller wing.

  60. Family of Dallas officer killed in ’08 motorcade crash sues Hillary Clinton

    Tuesday, February 23, 2010
    By TANYA EISERER / The Dallas Morning News

    The family of a veteran Dallas police officer who died two years ago while escorting a motorcade for Hillary Rodham Clinton filed suit this week, alleging, among other things, that the city failed to properly train him for the difficult assignment.

    The lawsuit was filed Monday in state district court, on the two-year anniversary of the death of Senior Cpl. Victor Lozada.

    In addition to the City of Dallas, it names as defendants Clinton, who was running for president at the time; her campaign; and the Super Seer Corp., the maker of Lozada’s motorcycle helmet.

    The 49-year-old officer died after he failed to negotiate a curve on the Houston Street Viaduct and slammed into a concrete guardrail. Clinton’s motorcade was headed across the viaduct to a rally in Oak Cliff.

    Lozada, a 20-year veteran of the force, was catapulted dozens of feet forward along the roadway. The force of the crash knocked off his helmet.

  61. Attacks on Obama are now out in the open. Here’s ad advertisement from Ron Paul’s son who is running for a U.S. Senate seat from Kentucky.

  62. Wbboei, I don’t know a thing about him.
    I need to be able to authenticate him as someone worthy of belief. That is why I ask.

  63. The 49-year-old officer died after he failed to negotiate a curve on the Houston Street Viaduct and slammed into a concrete guardrail. Clinton’s motorcade was headed across the viaduct to a rally in Oak Cliff.
    Is it Hillary’s fault that he was not properly trained, failed to negotiate a curve and slammmed into a concrete guard rail? If he was a motor cycle cop for twenty years then the fault may lie with him/

  64. JanH, I just can’t believe that. They are suing Hillary Clinton?? She took off from her schedule to go to the funeral and all. It wasnt her fault the guy hit a bump. OMG, people are looking for a free buck. Its downright disgusting. Everybody looking for a free ride.

  65. Admin: I’d vote for Rand Paul in a heartbeat. Ron Paul is looking better all the time. Hillary has even said she thought he had loyal supporters and you could see he took it as a compliment. I think Hillary knows that Paul is for the middleclass and not the globalists. When I saw that video of Paul I realized he does not have an aversion to war, he has an aversion to senseless wars.

  66. President Bill Clinton Marks Black History Month In The Bronx

    Dan Lieberman

    Former President Bill Clinton came to the Bronx last week to address a crowd of nearly 1,200 African-Americans, and given the warm welcome he received, it was hard to recall the strain that had existed two years ago between African-Americans and the man once called America’s “first black president.”

    Last night in a packed auditorium in the Co-op City section of the Bronx, in a part of town that doesn’t often get presidential visitors, people eagerly awaited his arrival. The former president was the keynote speaker for the neighborhood’s 11th annual Black History Month celebration.

    “Now we have two black presidents,” declared Josephine Collins, 81, who described this year’s celebration as extra special because of who was coming to dinner.

    A vibrantly dressed Irish dance troupe made up of 36 black and Hispanic students performed their own brand of Keltic dance for the former president. Inadvertently, they also served as his decoy to make his entrance into the auditorium a subtler one.

    He was finally in the house. For nearly 40 minutes he spoke about the need for community engagement and apologized for the frustratingly slow pace of politics in Washington, even in the age of Obama. “Sometimes it takes us a long time to get things right,” he admitted. “But as Martin Luther King said, the arc of history is long but it bends toward justice.”

    Clinton’s speech invoked emotion and pride for Co-op City residents, like Mary McKinney, who was one of the local African-American leaders honored last night for her work in the community. She said Clinton’s presence there made her feel like the Bronx was finally getting some much-deserved attention.

    “A lot of people are misled about the Bronx,” McKinney said. “They think we don’t want quality things. We’re glad someone is finally listening to us.”

    The Black History Month celebration was organized by U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley, who invited Clinton to the gathering. The event usually draws about 400 constituents, Crowley said, but this year the crowd was nearly three times that.

    This year’s theme focused on celebrating community service, and “by providence, he’s here,” Crowley said.

    The former president was a fitting guest. He is the United Nations’ special envoy to Haiti, and made his second trip to the Caribbean island just last week, where he is helping coordinate relief efforts in the wake of the earthquake that claimed more than 200,000 lives.

    As Clinton spoke about his work in Haiti and other countries around the world, his message to people in Co-op City was: “No matter how bad it is, someone has it worse.” But in the same vein, he also urged residents to take pride in the good things in their own community.

    “This is a special place you live,” Clinton said. “It has a character. It has a personality. It has a life, and I don’t want you to give up on it, and I don’t want you to give up on your country.”

    The speech was visibly moving to many in the audience who couldn’t stop smiling, the room completely silent for the entire length of his speech.

    “Lord, we thank you for William Jefferson Clinton,” said Dr. Robert A. Smith, Jr., pastor at the Church of the Savior, who led the benediction.

    But after the speech, some community leaders reflected on Clinton’s relationship to the African-American community in the post-2008 election era — one that has its first truly “black president.”

    “People see him as the forerunner for Obama,” said the Rev. Sheldon Williams of the Co-op City Baptist church, who led the invocation at last night’s event. “Because of him it was possible for Obama to become president because of the way he treated African-American people.”

    Smith believes that Clinton’s connection to the African-American community did reach a low point during the 2008 election when he made some controversial racial remarks, but said it’s all in the past.

    “We are a forgiving people,” Smith said. “The visceral response of the community is that he is one of us. His life’s work is always in the midst of people of color.”

    None of this was on 65-year-old Vivian Wescott’s mind, though. She has long been enamored with Clinton and listened intently to every word of his speech. “It was wonderful, ” she said. “Such a stimulating force for a community trying to do its best.
    “He just brought a lot of good vibes.”


    “”We are a forgiving people,” Smith said.”


    You’re just lucky that the Clintons are that forgiving. Shame on you for using the race card against them after everything they have done for you.

  67. HEre is a funny post over at CW blog.

    I heard it was so cold in Washington, O, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi had their hands in their own pockets.

  68. Mrs. Smith, Will all the idiots stop today. 1. the lawsuit of the motorcycle cop. 2. The black folk forgiving Bill for something he did not do. (shaking my head) are people really that stupid???

  69. The Democrats, or enough them, won’t want to give up the White House in 2012. Carter was a one term President – Johnson not much more than that. Their only two-term President was a Clinton – and enough Democrats will urge this Clinton to run in 2012 hoping for another electoral first – a female President.”
    I wonder. These are the same people who said they would rather take control of the party than win the general election. But now that they have been burned I wonder if they will revisit that issue in the cold light of day and change their answer. Certainly, the pride of having a black president is now overshadowed by the fact that he is an incompetent and tyrannical one who is running not only the party but the country into the ground.

  70. Connie: I never drink liquor on Sunday and I never watch Carlin. The first rule has its exceptions, but the second is absolute. The second rule also applies to Bill Mahr.

  71. OBEDIENT WORKERS!!!! LIKE THE KIND THEY HAVE IN CHINA!!! I need to find that video of Zbig talking about the CHINESE, his eyes flicker and light up and the cash register’s are ringing in his head!!! He loves those chinese workers and so does Soros!!

    We most of the dims and most of the repugs are on the same team so it makes no difference when I say this.

    I am voting for the Medina’s, the Hillary’s and the Ron Paul’s of this world from here on out. I will only vote for folks who care about ME!

  72. Wbboei, you really should break a bad habit every now then, its good for the soul.LOL!! I really don’t watch Carlin either, but what he says on this video I believe, so if you don’t listen, you won’t understand.

  73. People need to realize those politicians can’t serve two masters. They either serve themselves or they serve us. I am kind of liking the ladder.

  74. My pink dog won’t go outside, its been snowing since 10 am. I need eight snowboots for my dogs otherwise if this keeps up I will have to break out the puppy pads.


    The United States of Chicago

    Bill Thomas
    Monday, February 22, 2010

    The Obama administration is tanking, and Democrats and their media flacks are blaming everyone but themselves. Talk-show host Bill Maher zeroes in on the basic theme: Americans “are not bright enough to really understand the issues.”

    “The biggest culprit in our current predicament,” as Jacob Weisberg sees it in Slate, is “the childishness, ignorance and growing incoherence of the public at large.”

    In other words, the same voting public that fell for “hope and change” and put Barack Obama in office a year ago suddenly is too stupid to notice the genius at work in the White House.

    With Obama not inclined to do what presidents are supposed to do, namely keep the country solvent and secure, lots of people are wondering what gives. Talk about dumb.

    Some on the extremes, as Obama himself noted, believe his health care reform program is part of a “Bolshevik plot” to wreck the nation’s economy. Others, not smart enough to think in those terms, are just afraid of losing their jobs, homes and life savings.

    Obama learned his politics in Chicago, where complainers are ignored. But in Washington, Democratic Party officials are concerned his “transformative” presidency may be transforming millions of former supporters into an angry mob.

    The latest polls shows the party has something to worry about. Obama’s job approval numbers are in free-fall, from over 62 percent early last year to 47 percent last week. On top of that, surveys of voter sentiment suggest the 2010 congressional elections will see GOP gains. Scott Brown’s win last month in Massachusetts took away the Democrats’ 60-vote majority in the Senate, forcing the administration to work with Republicans, something it was planning to avoid.

    Obama ran for the presidency promising to be the exact opposite of what he’s turned out to be: a Chicago political operator too slick for his own good. Which isn’t that surprising, because the Chicago way of doing things is what he’s brought to the White House.

    Chicago, it’s important to know, has been run by the Democratic Party since 1931. That’s one-party rule for 79 years. Currently under the control of Mayor Richard M. Daley, son of a former Chicago mayor, the city’s political machine, in exchange for unquestioning loyalty, dispenses everything from jobs to Thanksgiving turkeys. That these goodies should flow through the Democratic Party makes perfect sense. Chicago’s politburo-style city council has 50 members. Forty-seven seats are held by Democrats, two seats are vacant, and one seat is Republican. Do the math.

    In most American governing bodies, business is done by compromise. In Chicago, there’s no need for compromise because there’s practically no opposition party. This is how Obama and Co. thought it would be running Washington.

    The problem is things don’t work that way anymore – not after Democrats lost their supermajority in the Senate, where the administration’s agenda can now be stopped by a single vote.

    In Chicago, a situation like that could be easily corrected by the application of muscle. In Washington, that may help, or it could make more Americans realize how wrong they were to believe this bunch in the first place.

  76. When the Lehmann situation broke in September 2008, it helped Obama because supposedly he’d be better at managing the economy (guffaw).

    U.S. Economy: Consumer Confidence Falls to Lowest Since April

    Feb. 23 (Bloomberg) — Confidence among U.S. consumers fell in February to the lowest level in 10 months, a sign that concern about job prospects may hold back the spending needed to sustain the recovery.

    The Conference Board’s confidence index slumped to 46, below the lowest forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of economists, from 56.5 in January, a report from the New York- based private research group showed today. A separate report showed home prices rose for a seventh month.

    Stocks fell and Treasuries gained after the confidence report also showed attitudes about current conditions fell to the lowest level in 27 years and the outlook for wages dimmed. The survey reinforces expectations Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will repeat the central bank’s pledge to keep interest rates low for “an extended period” in testimony to Congress tomorrow.

    “Consumer spending is going to disappoint throughout most of the year,” said Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist at Mizuho Securities USA Inc. in New York. The economy “may not be out of the woods.”

    Economists forecast the confidence index would decrease to 55 from a previously reported 55.9 January reading, according to the median of 68 projections in the Bloomberg survey. Estimates ranged from 50.9 to 59.

    The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index declined 1.2 percent to 1,095.25 at 12:22 p.m. in New York. The 10-year Treasury note rose, pushing down the yield eight basis points to 3.72 percent.

    Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial in New York, said in an e-mail to clients that the larger-than-anticipated decline may have also reflected a drop in stock values. The S&P 500 fell 8 percent to a closing low this month of 1,056.74 on Feb. 8 from a January high of 1,150.23.

    Home Prices

    The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index of 20 U.S. cities increased 0.3 percent. Compared with December 2008, prices fell 3.1 percent, the smallest year-over-year decline since May 2007.

    “There’s no precedent for such a sharp turnaround in the data that we have going back to 1987,” Robert Shiller, co- founder of the index, said today on a conference call with reporters. He said the eventual end to the Fed’s purchase of mortgage-backed securities and expectations for a higher federal funds rate make it difficult to forecast home prices.

    The Conference Board’s measure of present conditions decreased to 19.4, the lowest since February 1983, from 25.2.

    Jobs Hard to Get

    The share of consumers who said jobs are plentiful fell to 3.6 percent from 4.4 percent, according to the Conference Board. The proportion of people who said jobs are hard to get increased to 47.7 percent from 46.5 percent.

    “The vicissitudes of the political situation in Washington cannot be helping,” said Brian Bethune, chief financial economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts. “There has been a lot of sizzle on job stimulus proposals but no meat is coming out of the sausage factory. Now the focus seems to be moving back to the health-care reform issue.”

    The gauge of expectations for the next six months decreased to 63.8, the lowest since July 2009, from 77.3 the prior month.

    The proportion of people who expect their incomes to increase over the next six months declined to 9.5 percent from 11 percent. The share expecting more jobs in the next six months fell to 13.4 percent from 15.8 percent.

    The report also showed the Middle and South Atlantic were among regions with declines in confidence, which sustained two blizzards this month. Sentiment also waned in areas not affected, such as the Mountain and Pacific regions.

    Unemployment Outlook

    The unemployment rate is expected to average 9.8 percent this year, according to the median forecast of a Bloomberg survey taken early this month.

    An increase in initial jobless claims so far this year signals the labor market isn’t improving, said Ricchiuto. Claims rose to 473,000 in the week ended Feb. 13, compared with 432,000 at the end of 2009, the lowest since July 2008.

    Consumer spending will grow 2 percent this year, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg this month. That would follow last year’s 0.6 percent decline, the worst showing since 1974.

    The world’s largest economy will expand 3 percent this year after shrinking 2.4 percent in 2009, according to the median forecast of economists.

    Some retailers are turning more optimistic. Lowe’s Cos., the second-largest U.S. home-improvement chain, posted fourth- quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates after better- than-forecast sales signaled a recovery in the housing market.

    “While the psychological impact of falling home prices and an uncertain employment picture continue to weigh” on consumers, Americans are “gaining the confidence to take on more discretionary projects.” Robert Niblock, Lowe’s chief executive officer, said in a statement Feb. 22. “The worst of the economic cycle is likely behind us.”

  77. Admin, glad you posted your take on Rosen’s column. I thought the exact same thing- he’s not qualified for SCOTUS either.

    I think Dick Morris (I know, I know…) said it best last week:

    “Seemingly paralyzed by adversity, President Obama and his advisers are showing a lack of resilience in the face of reversals that is perhaps the inevitable outcome of his smooth rise to the top in 2008. Never tried by bad outcomes (as Hillary has doubtless been), he and they seem unable to regain momentum and appear to be flailing without strategic or even tactical direction.

    All this might be what happens when you elect a state Senator whose U.S. Senate career was consumed with his presidential campaign as president.”

  78. Job Opening: Leader of the Free World (September 30, which was before wonderful wonderful Copenhagen)/

    According to sources, this is Sarkozy’s perceptive analysis of the Obama personality and its potentially destructive consequences:

    “And they both say that [France’s President Nicolas] Sarkozy thinks that President Obama is incredibly naive and grossly egotistical – so egotistical that no one can dent his naïveté. And he’s very worried about what that means for the West. Because the President of the United States is the leader of the free world. And if the President of the United States isn’t going to lead the free world, it’s not going to be led.”

    Obama’s ego may have rendered him invincibly ignorant. Click on link above for video.
    h/t: Hot Air

  79. Glenn Beck’s show today is about lies. Slap me but have they let all the loonatics out of the asylems today???

    Beck is the biggest liar on TV today aside from all the politicians that is.

    Beck needs a giant mirror to stand in front of it, he is the epitome of a liar.

  80. Beck says everybody is mad at Scott Brown, he says his facebook page is full of nasty remarks…. Poor Scott he has fallen off the pedestal already.

  81. Glenn Beck apparently doesn’t want the US govt. to have parks and wild life sanctuaries. He seems to think the capitalists will care for those places. WTF is wrong with this man. Capitalists care only about making money not pristene parks or wildlife sanctuaries. Oh those repugs, they’ve have really gone off their rocker. If they think I am going to sign on to that their nuts.

  82. Looks like McCain is taking a page out of Beck’s playbook.

    McCain Team Hits Hayworth’s “Birther” Comments
    February 23, 2010 11:42 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | Share This

    By Reid Wilson
    Ex-Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R) stayed atop the conservative mind with a radio show on the biggest conservative talk station in Phoenix. But the show is proving a treasure trove of oppo research for his rival, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

    McCain’s camp is taking a new angle on Hayworth, accusing him of being a birther for comments Hayworth made during his radio career. In a new clip, from July ’09, Hayworth says “questions continue” about Obama’s birth certificate.

    “Equal justice under law: Doesn’t that include this president and his birth certificate?” Hayworth asked on the July 15 show, according to a recording the McCain campaign is sending to reporters.

    “Mr. Hayworth can run from his record, but he can’t hide,” McCain spokesperson Brian Rogers said of the clip. “We welcome Mr. Hayworth attempting to shift positions on this issue, but he can’t obscure his real record as he backtracks. Facts are stubborn things, JD.”

    McCain has been running radio ads critical of Hayworth’s record on spending, an indication, Hayworth told Hotline OnCall, that McCain is in “panic” mode. McCain has also distributed talking points on Hayworth’s record to friendly GOPers in AZ, another sign he’s taking Hayworth’s challenge seriously.

    Hayworth’s team dismisses the controversy over his birther comments, attributing them to a need to stir up controversy on the radio.

    “As a talk show host, it was J.D.’s job to provoke discussion, including on this issue since people were calling in about it,” said Jason Rose, Hayworth’s senior advisor. “Questions were asked when that topic was in the news. Those questions have been answered to the satisfaction of jd and most of america. The issue is closed.”

    Rose also pointed to comments attributed to McCain in “Game Change,” a best-seller about the ’08 campaign in which the GOP nominee lambasts his fellow GOPers. “Frankly, I think Senator McCain’s birthing of profane and outrageous comments about Republicans in ‘Game Change’ are far more interesting,” Rose said.

    The battle between McCain and Hayworth is shaping up to be a contest between the GOP establishment and grassroots conservatives. Hayworth has spent the early part of his campaign attending Tea Party rallies, while McCain has collected endorsements from influential conservatives and GOPers like Grover Norquist, Sarah Palin and Bill Bennett.

    McCain also won backing from ex-rival/ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney (R), who called McCain essential to the Senate in a press release today.

    “It’s hard to imagine the United States Senate without John McCain, especially in the critical times we find ourselves in, with double-digit unemployment, a mountain of debt imperiling future generations and a global terrorist threat from jihadists bent on destroying our very way of life,” Romney said in a press release today. “It is times like these that we look to leaders of character.”

  83. Clinton presses Russia to wrap up START deal

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton phoned her Russian counterpart on Tuesday to press Moscow to wrap up final details on a new START deal to cut strategic nuclear weapons, the State Department said.

    Clinton spoke to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for about 15 minutes and “encouraged Russia to continue to move ahead, push hard, so we can reach an agreement in the next couple of weeks,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told a news briefing.

    “We are at the point where we think we can reach an agreement relatively quickly and we are encouraging the Russian side to do its part.”

    After months of talks in Geneva, the two sides suspended talks before Christmas and agreed to resume early in 2010.

    U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev have pledged to complete the pact to succeed the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which expired late last year.

    The two presidents have agreed to cut deployed nuclear warheads to between 1,500 and 1,675 on each side.

    Political analysts say a deal could boost strained ties between Washington and Moscow and emphasize their shared commitment to nuclear disarmament at a time when major powers are pressing Iran and North Korea to renounce their nuclear ambitions.

    Hurdles to a pact include domestic politics in both countries and differences in their nuclear forces.

    But officials have indicated the most difficult disputes have been over verification measures, which Russia wants to be much less strict than under START.

    Crowley said the United States believes that an agreement was now clearly in sight.

    “There are still some details to be worked out. We hope we can do that in coming days,” he said.

    “We’re working through precisely how to register Russia’s concerns, but there are plenty of mechanisms to do that within both the negotiation and the ultimate agreement.”

  84. Clinton condemns ‘cowardly’ N.Ireland car bombing

    WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned Tuesday as “cowardly” a car bombing that destroyed a Northern Ireland courthouse just weeks after a sensitive deal on policing powers.

    “I strongly condemn the bombing last night in Newry,” Clinton said in a statement, referring to the town south of Belfast where the explosion occurred. “It was another cowardly act of violence by those who would prefer to plant bombs than to argue for votes and to participate in the political process.”

    The explosion occurred just three weeks after a long-sought deal was reached on devolving sensitive policing and judicial powers from London to Belfast.

    “The parties in Northern Ireland have similarly condemned that action in the strongest terms and I urge that everyone continue to work toward seeing the devolution of authority and a better future for Northern Ireland,” Clinton said.

    Clinton made her remarks shortly before a meeting in Washington with Shaun Woodward, the British minister in charge of Northern Ireland affairs.

    Police and justice officials are due to transfer power on April 12 and the Northern Ireland Assembly will vote on the deal on March 9.

    Negotiations to conclude the deal between the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Fein, which wants a united Ireland, were painful and drawn out.

    Northern Ireland’s three decades of violence known as “The Troubles”, in which more than 3,500 people died, was largely ended by a 1998 peace deal which paved the way for devolution of power.

  85. Wbboei, See what I’m talking about. Those repugs you hold dear support a Rino like McCain who support Obama. You can’t tell them apart. That’s why I like Medina, the establishment doesn’t like her, just like that did not like the Clinton’s. The Clinton’s made it in thanks to Ross Perot and they were good for this country.

    Look at Scott Brown, he’s a Rino, totally fooled everyone. He is voting with Obama.

    Give me about 700 Medina’s and we’ll get this country back on the right track.

  86. Connie: belay my last. Whatever is going on with you and me now is distracting to the people on this site. I want to contribute and not distract. We have been over it a million times. I was a democrat then a republican and now an independent. Since you are unwilling to give whatever is bothering you a rest, I think it is in the best interests of everyone that I find somewhere else to blog. Somewhere else to help Hillary achieve the presidency in 2012.

    I want to thank everyone on this site for what you have taught me. Especially you Admin. Keep up the fight and we will get our girl in the White House yet. Peace.

  87. wbboei,

    For me, you are the heart and soul of this board. I read your posts with great respect and always enjoy and learn from your critiques.

    I really hope you will change your mind and not abandon us here.

  88. *Rahm under the bus….

    Rahm Emanuel’s rescue mission: His own image

    By: Glenn Thrush and Eamon Javers
    February 23, 2010 04:56 AM EST

    Like many Americans, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has been forced to work two jobs to get through tough times.

    Emanuel’s main job is serving as President Barack Obama’s not-so-mild-mannered point man on the renewed, possibly quixotic final push for health care reform.

    But in his spare time, the White House chief of staff and his allies have sought to defend Emanuel against a growing chorus of critics who blame him for nearly everything that has gone wrong in Obama’s first year.

    One of the more surprising details to emerge from this back and forth is that Emanuel’s allies are letting it be known around town that he never wanted to make it the administration’s top priority for Year One. That may come as a surprise to Democrats on the Hill who’ve been lobbied relentlessly by Emanuel to get a bill done — and fast.

    “There are some at the White House and elsewhere who clearly want Rahm’s head, and he needs to defend himself,” said an Emanuel friend, speaking on condition of anonymity. “That’s why there’s a CYA operation going on.”

    Emanuel’s aides say that he’s focused on passing health care reform and maintain that he’s not spending any more time than usual spinning or working the press. But since the shocking victory of Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts last month, which some Democrats blamed on Emanuel, they have been swamped with press interest, with at least four major profiles of the colorful former Illinois congressman in the works.

    For all his reputation as a tough guy, Emanuel is the consummate media schmoozer and speaks freely to friendly Fourth Estaters.

    That’s why many Emanuel critics pounced on a Sunday column by Dana Milbank of The Washington Post defending Emanuel — and criticizing his reputed rivals, David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett and Robert Gibbs.

    The key paragraph contained high praise for Emanuel — at the expense of his boss: “Obama’s first year fell apart in large part because he didn’t follow his chief of staff’s advice on crucial matters. Arguably, Emanuel is the only person keeping Obama from becoming Jimmy Carter.”

    In the piece, the longtime Post politics watcher portrays a White House filled with Obama’s Chicagoland sycophants, and idealists veering the White House dangerously off to the left — with Emanuel the only forceful voice of pragmatism and moderation.

    “Contrast Emanuel’s wisdom with that of Jarrett, in charge of ‘intergovernmental affairs and public engagement’ — two areas of conspicuous failure,” Milbank writes. “Then there’s Gibbs. It’s hard to make the case that you’re a post-partisan president when your on-camera spokesman is a hyperpartisan former campaign flack.”

    That kicked off a fusillade of criticism from the left and right — and accusations of disloyalty by proxy.

    There’s not a shred of proof that Emanuel fed Milbank the Rahm-friendly intel included in the piece — or that he was the source of a tart comparison of Obama with Carter. And, in fact, Milbank said Monday in a live chat on the Post website that he didn’t speak to Emanuel for the piece.

    But critics from MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough to widely read D.C. blogger Steve Clemons saw telltale signs of Emanuel’s involvement.

    “I take Dana at his word,” Clemons, author of the Washington Note blog, told POLITICO. “But the article that he wrote had a tone and a feeling like it was written by Rahm and his closest spear carriers.”

    On Monday’s “Morning Joe,” Scarborough, an Emanuel opponent of long standing, all but accused him of blaming Obama for not following his advice to move ahead more aggressively on jobs and recovery bills after health reform stalled in the Senate.

    “Dana Milbank wrote a story where he said: ‘If only the president had followed Rahm, everything would be OK.’ It certainly sounds like Rahm was leaking like a sieve to Dana Milbank,” said Scarborough. “It appears that Rahm has become quite promiscuous in telling anybody who will listen to him about how he tried to coach the president.”

    He added: “Rahm was right, but it’s also Rahm’s job to keep his mouth shut. Well, it is to serve the president and keep his mouth shut.”

    The scrutiny from outside comes at a time of soul-searching and finger-pointing within 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

    Even as the White House wrestles with the future of the health care initiative, administration officials are revisiting the way they prioritized issues in their first year. At issue is just who was responsible for the White House’s shift in emphasis from the economy and jobs to health care, which took place late in the spring of 2009.

    “Even then, some people were like, why were we doing health care?” said a senior administration official. “There was a sense even then that we want to talk about jobs, jobs, jobs, but it kept getting drowned out by health care. It was clearly a decision that got made, but Rahm and Axelrod weren’t totally comfortable going for it.”

    The official pointed out that Emanuel, who served as an aide in the Clinton White House, saw then how the heath care issue can divert the attention of many of the key players in an administration.

    “Rahm has some experience with how an entire administration gets overwhelmed by an issue like this,” said the official. Ultimately, the official said, the priorities were Obama’s call. “But I don’t think his political advisers were arrayed behind him on this,” the official said.

    Writing in The New Yorker in May, author Ryan Lizza argued that White House aides were divided in early 2009 about when to do health care. But, Lizza reported, it was former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle — who was then the president’s pick to head the health care effort — who insisted that the White House tackle health care in the first year. Ironically, Daschle was soon forced to step down from his White House post after it emerged that he had failed to pay some taxes.

  89. wbboei,

    I would be greatly bothered if you left this BIG PINK HOUSE
    Please don’t go.

    You are so important here!!!

    I don’t want to see anyone leave here (just in case anyone else was heading for the door) 🙂

  90. wbboei: May I join you on your exodus? I too am fed up that our drive to support our Girl has been led astray by those with self interests that are tiresome and

  91. ABM90,

    What are you talking about?

    I am constantly posting everything I can find on Hillary and Bill here so that we can all be informed.

  92. What happened to one person and one vote. Its only for the sheeple.

    Perry appoints Tarrant County adviser to Parks and Wildlife
    ECounty, has been appointed to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.

    Duggins also serves on the Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee. He will replace Philip Montgomery of Dallas, and will serve on the commission until Feb. 1, 2013.

    “Mr. Duggins is carrying forward a family passion for parks and wildlife conservation,” said Allison Castle, deputy press secretary for Governor Perry. “His history of public service and professional experiences uniquely qualifies him to serve on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.”

    The Texas Parks and Wildlife commission is charged with the preservation and promotion of the state’s natural, sporting and recreational resources.

  93. My last word on the subject.

    I simply feel that we must all stand united here even when times are tough.

    Otherwise we feed into the bots glee and that is something I definitely don’t want to happen.

  94. JanH

    I totally agree…

    I personally also feel that there is (thanks to you and many others) lots of great Hillary and Bill
    articles,posts & discussions.

    If we were to not discuss “other” items and only “worshiped” Hillary and Bill; we would be no different than the obot worshipers.

  95. We all hold in common our loyalty to Bill and Hillary. We all can agree to disagree with civility unlike what the extreme left and extreme right do to each other.
    I do not have enough time to offer very insightful posts, and I manly respond based on emotion. I find Wbboei ‘s thoughtful analysis always helpful along with many others. Remember, united we stand, divided we fall.

  96. “Remember, united we stand, divided we fall.”


    My $0.02 exactly! If we expect to survive what may be before us, we all have to develop thicker skins like our dear Hillary learned early on. If she hadn’t learned that lesson early in her career, she’d be home baking chocolate chip cookies for Bill and Chelsea. Where would we be then?

  97. DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 23, 2010, 4:59 PM (GMT+02:00)Tags: Ahmadinejad Hizballah Israel Syria

    Assad wants clear Iranian guaranteesPresident Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, after again warning Iran’s allies this week that Israel is poised to attack them, finds them less inclined to act as Tehran’s surrogates in a potential conflict and more insistent on equality as partners.
    Thursday, Feb. 25, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad drops in on President Bashar Assad in Damascus for what their spokesmen have called coordination talks attesting to the strong relations between their two governments. According to debkafile’s Iranian and military sources, their conversation will focus on how to implement the secret military pact their two governments signed in December 2009, which commits each, as well as co-signatories Hizballah of Lebanon and the Palestinian Hamas, to come to the other’s aid if any is attacked by the United States or Israel.
    debkafile’s sources in Damascus report that Ahmadinejad put in three phone calls to President Assad, Lebanese President General Michel Suleiman and Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah to warn them that “Iran has reliable information (…) that the Zionist regime is after finding a way to compensate for the ridiculous defeats it suffered by the people of Gaza and Lebanon’s Hizballah.” He added: “Should the Zionist regime repeat its mistakes and initiate a military operation, then it must be resisted with full force to put an end to it once and for all.”

    He promised Iran would come to Syria and Hizballah’s aid, should they come under Israeli attack, but left them with the impression that Tehran placed the onus of bringing about Israel’s downfall “once and for all” squarely on the shoulders of Syria and Hizballah. Iran would not necessarily fight alongside them.

    Neither was satisfied.
    Ahmadinejad is due to meet all three of Iran’s allies in Damascus Thursday: Assad, Nasrallah and Hamas political secretary Khaled Meshaal. He will find them refusing to go to war against Israel without clear guarantees from Tehran that Iranian military forces will fight alongside them. They want Tehran to abide by their mutual defense pact in full, meaning that Iran will not only open a third front against Israel but also send troops over to fight shoulder to shoulder with Syrian soldiers and Hizballah militia units.

    Ahmadinejad’s talks in Damascus Thursday are causing concern in Washington and Jerusalem because they are designed to take Iran’s secret military treaties a step closer to fruition.
    A Western source told debkafile that the Iranian and Syrian presidents will undoubtedly get down to the practicalities of the four-way military alliance, thereby ratcheting up military tensions in the region and making
    the potential of a looming Middle East war more tangible.

  98. Hey team,

    I would love to see 1000 posts per day posted here too. I also would love to see the

    passion we once had.

    You guys, I was struck by what Mrs. Smith said few days back.

    To stay close in case something happens that seperates us… seriously – does the old gang have a mailing list or something?

    Can we exhange personal email addresses anyway private? That way, we can stay in touch?

    Just a thought……..

  99. Secret,
    I agree we all need to stay in touch I will give Admin my email and anyone who wants it can have it. We never know what could happen as Obama is not to be trusted.

  100. S
    February 23rd, 2010 at 1:14 pm
    even lap boy ezra klien is finally opening his eyes…

    A Failure Of White House Leadership

    And do you notice how Klein keeps saying “the White House” — still a chicken — he won’t mention the name of the President, as if he has nothing to do with this — or if Klein just criticizes a failure of leadership in the White House, his readers and fans won’t notice that it is a failure of Obama’s leadership. Damn. I am sick of this.

    He is also saying that Obama is still voting present — isn’t that what Hillary pointed out “in the White House, you can’t just vote present.”

    I still remember the words of Wes Clark — “If you want to know what someone is going to do, take a look at what they’ve done.”

    Thanks. Rant over.

  101. My $0.02 exactly! If we expect to survive what may be before us, we all have to develop thicker skins like our dear Hillary learned early on. If she hadn’t learned that lesson early in her career, she’d be home baking chocolate chip cookies for Bill and Chelsea. Where would we be then?

    Getting fatter!

  102. djia, Would you mind posting the upc labels again. I tried to find them today but couldn’t. My granddaughter is get too many upset stomachs and my daughter buys her snacks at the Dollar Store (a subsidiary of the Chinese Walmart) LOL!!!

  103. Secret, To tell the truth, I couldn’t figure it out. I know he has it so I hope he will give to those interested. I have in the past sent him an email, but had problems this time.

  104. February 24th 2010

    Hillary Clinton at Uruguayan President Mujica’s inauguration

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be visiting five Latinamerican countries next week beginning in Uruguay, representing President Barack Obama at the inauguration ceremony of president elect Jose Mujica on March first, according to Washington diplomatic sources.

    While in Uruguay Hillary Clinton is scheduled to hold a meeting with Argentine president Cristina Kirchner. Relations between the US and Argentina can be considered normal but distant from the more fluid dialogue with other Mercosur members (Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay) and Chile.

    The festivities in Montevideo, half an hour’s flight from Buenos Aires, seem a good opportunity for a face to face meeting of the two ladies.

    From Uruguay Ms Clinton flies to Chile to bid farewell President Michelle Bachelet who will be leaving office on March 11, when conservative Sebastian Pilñera is inaugurated.

    Chile is a privileged and close associate of the United States, one of the few in the region that can boast a free trade agreement with Washington and has also had access to sophisticated weapons from the Pentagon’s arsenal such as the F-16 fighter bomber.

    When Bachelet took office four years back, former President George Bush’s was represented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

    From Chile the Secretary of State will be travelling to Brazil to meet with President Lula da Silva in preparation for President Obama’s visit sometime in the following months. She will most possibly also meet cabinet chief Dilma Rousseff recently nominated as the ruling Workers Party candidate.

    However Lula da Silva’s announced visit to Iran in May could be seen as an obstacle, according to Washington sources. Nevertheless relations between Brazil and the US are considered excellent and Itamaraty has as Deputy Minister Antonio Patriota, an expert in US affairs until recently ambassador in Washington.

    The next stops will be in Central America, Costa Rica and Guatemala. In Costa Rica Ms. Clinton will congratulate president elect Laura Chinchilla, the country’s first woman president. Costa Rica is also a staunch ally of Washington and the most stable country in the region.

    The visit of Hillary Clinton is seen as a quick reply from Washington to the Rio Group meeting in Mexico, which agreed on the creation of a new regional organization but excluding United States and Canada; a confirmation that Latinamerica weighs and heavily in Washington’s overloaded foreign affairs agenda.

    For Uruguay, Ms Clinton’s visit can be seen as an “upgrade” since five years ago the then Republican administration sent Eliane Chan, Secretary for Labour, which two years later repeated when Mrs. Kirchner took office in December 2007.

  105. #
    February 23rd, 2010 at 10:18 pm


    Getting fatter!


    Definitely! And possibly a huge contract for a reality tv series… 🙂

  106. JanH, Hillary sure seems to be meeting with a lot of female presidents in South America. The United States is suppose to be advanced on women’s issues but lags behind in hiring one for the top job.

  107. Lord, we thank you for William Jefferson Clinton,” said Dr. Robert A. Smith, Jr., pastor at the Church of the Savior, who led the benediction.


  108. okay here goes……………………


    for the old gang – send your email addresses to

    that way, we can stay in touch… in case Bambi does something drastic!!


  109. Sorry if I’m posting this twice, but I didn’t see it in your list of Obama flips and fails.

    Obama nominated anti-pot crusader as head of DEA

    Candidate Obama promised to respect state statutes legalizing medical marijuana. According to a 2009 poll, 72% of Americans want him to keep his word. But, a Salon article argues that the DEA isn’t following orders
    [ much more detail and links here]
    But rather than put somebody reform-minded in charge of the DEA, Obama has nominated an anti-medical marijuana crusader, someone who aggressively raided Los Angeles cannabis clubs during her tenure there. Michele Leonhart has blocked marijuana research, overruling an administrative judge’s ruling that would have permitted a researcher to grow his own plants.

    It’s no wonder Obama can’t advance his domestic agenda if he’s unwilling to pick people who actually support his positions!

  110. But rather than put somebody reform-minded in charge of the DEA, Obama has nominated an anti-medical marijuana crusader

    Okay, here’s a motive for this.

    A friend of mine, a disabled vet, got a permit for growing his own medical marijuana. He has been able to greatly reduce his prescription pain medications.

    Thus Pharma is losing sales. Med Mari is not just a ‘moral’ issue, it’s competition.

    Usual Obama pattern: pose as a liberal hero, but the actual results ALWAYS favor the money.

  111. wbboei, please let me know where you go to; that said, I wish you would reconsider an exodus. Your thorough and logical processes are a must read for me…every day.
    For those who wish to keep in touch, my email address is

    Please respond with your email address as well.

  112. while meme talks, Clinton does

    Gov. Schwarzenegger to host obesity summit

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010

    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is asking leaders in public health and the private sector to come up with some solutions to the obesity crisis.

    The governor will be joined by former President Bill Clinton at a Los Angeles summit Wednesday where they will discuss the best public policies and business practices for a healthier California.

    Similar meetings have been credited with producing successful legislation that helps the state’s citizens avoid weight gain.

    In 2011, restaurant chains with 20 or more locations will be required to post calorie information on their menus and indoor menu boards. Vending machine operators will also be required to stock their machines with 35 percent healthy foods and 33 percent healthy beverages.

  113. I changed the way I eat last summer, I included a monounsaturated fatty acid with every meal and avoided other kinds of oils. The fat melted off me. I read that recent research indicates that Omega 6 and 9 are hibernation oils. Oils nature provides to all animals in the fall of the year when they must either hibernate or face extreme conditions. The same research shows that Omega 3 is a spring oil, oil nature provides those same animals to get their metabolism going so that they can be about the business of living. This cyclical rhythm seems to be as reliable as the diurnal cycle, night and day.

    Only thing Omega 3 is very delicate and spoils easily. So if manufacturers want their packaged food to have a 10 year shelf life they need to remove it from their products, and they do. I read that if a biopsy was done of the middrift fat in most obese people it would show it is made up of exclusively Omega 6 and 9 oils.

    And here is another thing I read, Europe won’t buy our genetically modified corn because they say their studies indicate it caused obesity in their female test subjects. But they feed us the corn, it is in everything. so now when I walk around and I see obese people I know the deck is stacked against them and the worst thing is they are asked to take the total blame for their obesity. A long time ago I read something about Tom Daschle and ethanol and a cover up for Monsanto’s corn and their herbicide roundup.

    So they can keep their obesity summits or childhood obesity crusades and get busy making sure the FDA and other regulatory agencies do the peoples business. As far as I am concerned it is the same old same old: Give their rich contributors all the breaks and then beat up on us because we suffer the consequences. I guess they wouldn’t even bother beating up on us if the consequences weren’t so obvious or threatening to the profits of other contributors (health insurers). So I just think that, rather then deal with controllable contributing factors, and seeing what impact that has, they are going to train their 2X4s on those of us and our children who are overweight.

  114. Just so everyone is aware- Wbb has been in contact with me and as much as I’ve tried dissuading him from leaving pink, he is determined to have it his way-

  115. ADMIN, you are probably the only one who can mend this quarrel, if you think it’s worth bothering about.

    wbboei’s leaving seems to have provoked a fear in some commenters that the whole site is in danger or is somehow no longer what it was and means to be, but of course, knowledgeable as wbboei is, nobody is indispensable here but ADMIN, and no-one makes points as clearly or as insightfully with as broad and penetrating a perspective on the past, present and future as ADMIN.

    wbboei, there is such a thing as ignoring the obnoxious. Why walk out on ALL of us?

  116. Mrs. Smith… something I’ve been wanting to tell you for awhile… do you remember when you wrote to someone: “xxxxxx, get over yourself!” It truly cracked me up and I still giggle when I think of it.

  117. Hi everyone! I read “Big Pink” and all the wonderful people who post daily, including wbb, confloyd, abm90, turndown, jan h, lil ole grape. I read all the posts today and honestly, I must have missed something. Confloyd, who is in Texas and likes Medina was simply giving info to wbb, who requested the info, to give to his friend in Tx, who happens to support Perry. Don’t understand why wbb is upset.

    Oh well, great article as usual Admin. I have loved your insight and perspective since 2/08. Please don’t stop. You, unlike other blogs, always hit the Obama nail right on the head.

  118. Seems I recall Turndown getting it from all sides over Martha Coakley. A good debate never hurts anyone and I for one am glad to see him still posting here.

  119. Betty
    February 24th, 2010 at 9:16 am

    I changed the way I eat last summer, I included a monounsaturated fatty acid with every meal and avoided other kinds of oils. The fat melted off me.

    Hi Betty, thank you for this note. I have been trying to lose weight (need to go 10 lbs to my ideal weight) and anything fatty (even good fats) scare me. But I do need good fat to increase my low, low good cholesterol. Could you give me a link or say more about what foods you ate (then again, I am a vegetarian if you are not)?

  120. Mrs. Smith,

    Please give wbboei my best wishes. I hope in time he will change his mind and come back to us. He will be much missed.


    Thank you for that information. Very important.

  121. Mrs. Smith
    February 23rd, 2010 at 9:34 pm
    “Remember, united we stand, divided we fall.”


    My $0.02 exactly! If we expect to survive what may be before us, we all have to develop thicker skins like our dear Hillary learned early on. If she hadn’t learned that lesson early in her career, she’d be home baking chocolate chip cookies for Bill and Chelsea. Where would we be then?

    We’d be eating some very tasty cookies!

  122. Clinton cites progress with China in Iran sanctions effort


    Wednesday, February 24, 2010

    WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday that U.S. diplomacy has moved China closer to the American view that Iran’s continuing refusal to come clean on its nuclear program demands tough new U.N. sanctions.

    “I think we’ve made a lot of progress” toward gaining Chinese backing of new sanctions, Clinton told a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing on the State Department’s 2011 budget request.

    The U.S. and others believe Iran is hiding nuclear weapons development under the guise of a civilian energy program. Iran insists that its intentions are peaceful.

    Clinton said Iran’s failure to accept the Obama administration’s offers of engagement and prove its nuclear intentions are peaceful had given the U.S. and its partners new resolve in pressuring Tehran to comply with international demands through fresh penalties.

    Clinton acknowledged that some key countries, like China, are still not ready to support new U.N. sanctions, but she said that in recent weeks during visits abroad she has pushed hard to explain the U.S. view on why Iran’s actions cannot go unanswered by the U.N.

    Among the arguments she said she has made to Chinese officials is that if Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon triggers an arms race in the Persian Gulf region, that will harm China’s own security interests, considering China’s reliance on Iranian oil.

    “Iran is at the top of my agenda,” she said. Clinton said the U.S. has pursued an approach to Iran “that has exposed its refusal to live up to its responsibilities and helped us achieve a new unity with our international partners.”

    “Iran has left the international community little choice but to impose greater costs and pressure in the face of its provocative steps,” Clinton said. “We are now working actively with our partners to prepare and implement new measures to pressure Iran to change its course.”

    Clinton addressed the possibility that Congress may impose its own sanctions on Iran, besides those the U.S. is seeking through the United Nations Security Council. If Congress does that, Clinton said, it should leave the administration enough flexibility to continue the separate U.N. track.

    Congressional sanctions might be tougher than any the United States could win international approval for at the U.N., but the United States wants international backing for its tough stance against Iran and sees the U.N. penalties as a powerful symbol of world resolve against an Iranian bomb.

    Clinton was on Capitol Hill to present the administration’s 2011 budget request for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development of $52.8 billion, which if approved by Congress would be a $4.9 billion increase over the current budget. Most of the extra money is set to support U.S. efforts in three countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

    Iran has formally set out its terms for giving up most of its cache of enriched uranium in a confidential document – and the conditions fall short of what has been demanded by the United States and other world powers.

    Washington has dismissed the document – seen by The Associated Press on Tuesday – as a “red herring” and warned it would consult with its allies on new penalties on Iran to punish it for its nuclear defiance.

    The document says Tehran is ready to hand over the bulk of its stockpile, as called for under a deal brokered by the International Atomic Energy Agency and endorsed by the five permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany.

    But Iran adds that it must simultaneously receive fuel rods for its research reactor in return, and that such an exchange must take place on Iranian territory.

    The Iranian offer was sure to be rejected by the six powers, which have waited for nearly six months for such an official answer.

  123. Mrs. Smith, You remember last week I posted something for you about a Soros. He was investing in a small company in Ghana that can track students meals at a local high school with some sort of tracking device. Its the tracking device he is investing in.

    I have a feeling and have found new information about these tollroads that are being privatized and sold to foreign companies. The legislatures in many states are knee deep in this. It started with the Bush administration and is continuing with the Obama administration and now he is getting the help of Ray LaHood, the corrupt union guy to get these deals on the tollroads.
    The tollways want to use some sort of device that can be installed and tracked on cars to ascertain their mileage……..Soros new interest in tracking devices. Send me an email and I will send you what I have found so far.

  124. Then again…


    Russia will not support ‘crippling’ Iran sanctions

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday that Iran’s continuing refusal to provide more information on its nuclear program has left the international community little choice but to impose new, tough sanctions on Tehran.

    In congressional testimony, Clinton said Iran’s failure to accept the Obama administration’s offers of engagement and prove its nuclear intentions are peaceful had given the U.S. and its partners new resolve in pressuring Tehran to comply with international demands through fresh penalties.

    “We have pursued a dual-track approach to Iran that has exposed its refusal to live up to its responsibilities and helped us achieve a new unity with our international partners,” she told the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    “Iran has left the international community little choice but to impose greater costs and pressure in the face of its provocative steps,” Clinton said. “We are now working actively with our partners to prepare and implement new measures to pressure Iran to change its course.”

    The U.S. and others believe Iran is hiding nuclear weapons development under the guise of a civilian energy program. Iran insists that its intentions are peaceful.

    Iran has formally set out its terms for giving up most of its cache of
    enriched uranium in a confidential document – and the conditions fall short of what has been demanded by the United States and other world powers.

    Tehran has said it is ready to hand over the bulk of its stockpile, as called for under a deal brokered by the International Atomic Energy Agency and endorsed by the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany.

    But Iran adds that it must simultaneously receive fuel rods for its research reactor in return, and that such an exchange must take place on Iranian territory.

    Clinton addressed the possibility that Congress may impose its own sanctions on Iran, besides those the U.S. is seeking through the United Nations Security Council. If Congress does that, Clinton said, it should leave the administration enough flexibility to continue the separate UN track.

    Congressional sanctions might be tougher than any the United States could win international approval for at the UN, but the United States wants international backing for its tough stance against Iran and sees the UN penalties as a powerful symbol of world resolve against an Iranian bomb.

    Diplomat: Russia says it won’t support ‘crippling’ sanctions

    Russia earlier Wednesday said it would not support “crippling” sanctions against Iran, including any that may be slapped on the Islamic Republic’s banking or energy sectors, a senior Russian diplomat said.

    “We are not got going to work on sanctions or measures which could lead to the political or economic or financial isolation of this country,” Oleg Rozhkov, deputy director of the security affairs and disarmament department at Russia’s Foreign Ministry, told reporters.

    “What relation to non-proliferation is there in forbidding banking activities with Iran? This is a financial blockade. And oil and gas. These sanctions are aimed only at paralysing the country and paralysing the regime.”

    Iran has the world’s second-largest crude oil reserves, but desperately needs investment to develop them. It denies working to develop a nuclear warhead but insists on its right to create nuclear power-generating capacity.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Moscow last week to press the Kremlin to back tougher sanctions against Iran over its suspected nuclear weapons project.

    This week, Netanyahu called for an immediate embargo on Iran’s energy sector.

    In a new twist on the international community’s effort to reign in Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, Japan has offered to enrich uranium on Iran’s behalf, the AFP news agency reported on Wednesday.

    Iran has not yet responded officially but its parliament speaker Ali Larijani is expected to discuss the offer in a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada in Tokyo on Wednesday, the agency said, quoting the Japanese-language Nikkei business daily.

    A previous deal offered by Russia and France to enrich and process Iranian nuclear fuel failed to materialize after Iran refused to send the greater part of its stock of low-enriched uranium – some 400 kilograms – abroad in a single consignment.

    Japan offers to enrich Iran’s uranium

    Japan’s offer was first mooted in December following approval from the United States, during a visit to Tokyo by Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, the Japanese paper said.

    On Tuesday the U.S. warned Iran that “patience is running out” over its nuclear program, adding that Tehran has shown no interest in addressing the West’s fears over its controversial uranium enrichment.

    White House spokesman Robert Gibbs repeated U.S. warnings of “consequences” if Iran continues to enrich uranium.

    “It is clear that the continuing announcements and pronouncements that are made in Iran demonstrate that they have no interest in building international confidence that their nuclear program is for peaceful means,” Gibbs added.

  125. February 24, 2010 8:44 a.m. PT

    Clinton eyes quick resumption of Mideast talks

    WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she’s hopeful that long-stalled peace talks between Israelis and the Palestinians will resume soon.

    She tells a congressional committee that groundwork is being laid to restart the talks with the help of U.S. envoy George Mitchell. She’s not saying exactly when the negotiations might resume, but her comments come amid a flurry of U.S. diplomatic activity in the region.

    Clinton says it’s “absolutely necessary” for Israelis and Palestinians to begin discussing the most difficult issues.

    A plan backed by the U.S. and its international partners would allow the Palestinians to establish an independent state alongside Israel. The West Bank would make up most of that future state.

  126. Obama, Biden, Clinton, Dodd & More Believe Reconciliation is Unconstitutional

    by Human Events

    The Obama White House has recently announced that they will go forward with a reconciliation process — sometimes called the “nuclear option” — to try and pass their government run healthcare plan in the Senate. This process circumvents a Republican filibuster and only requires a simple majority vote of 51 rather than 60.

    What did top Democrats think of this process previously? See below…

    Barack Obama 4/25/05: “The President hasn’t gotten his way. And that is now prompting a change in the Senate rules that really I think would change the character of the Senate forever…what I worry about would be that you essentially still have two chambers the House and the Senate but you have simply majoritarian absolute power on either side, and that’s just not what the founders intended.”

    Hillary Clinton 5/23/2005: “So this president has come to the majority here in the Senate and basically said ‘change the rules.’ ‘Do it the way I want it done.’ And I guess there just weren’t very many voices on the other side of the isle that acted the way previous generations of senators have acted and said ‘Mr. President we are with you, we support you, but that’s a bridge too far we can’t go there.’ You have to restrain yourself Mr. President.

    Charles Schumer 5/18/2005: “We are on the precipice of a crisis, a constitutional crisis. The checks and balances which have been at the core of this Republic are about to be evaporated by the nuclear option. The checks and balances which say that if you get 51% of the vote you don’t get your way 100% of the time. It is amazing it’s almost a temper tantrum.

    Harry Reid 5/18/2005: “Mr. President the right to extended debate is never more important than the one party who controls congress and the white house. In these cases the filibuster serves as a check on power and preserves our limited government.”

    Dianne Feinstein 5/18/2005: The nuclear option if successful will turn the Senate into a body that could have its rules broken at any time by a majority of senators unhappy with any position taken by the minority. It begins with judicial nominations. Next will be executive appointments and then legislation.

    Joe Biden 5/23/2005: This nuclear option is ultimately an example of the arrogance of power. It is a fundamental power grab.

    Harry Reid 5/18/2005: “But no we are not going to follow the Senate rules. No, because of the arrogance of power of this Republican administration.”

    Chris Dodd 5/18/2005: “I’ve never passed a single bill worth talking about that didn’t have a lead co sponsor that was a Republican. And I don’t know of a single piece of legislation that’s ever been adopted here that didn’t have a Republican and Democrat in the lead. That’s because we need to sit down and work with each other. The rules of this institution have required that. That’s why we exist. Why have a bicameral legislative body? Why have two chambers? What were the framers thinking about 218 years ago? They understood Mr. President that there is a tyranny of the majority.

    Dianne Feinstein 5/18/2005: “If the Republican leadership insists on forcing the nuclear option the senate becomes ipso facto the House of Representatives where the majority rules supreme and the party of power can dominate and control the agenda with absolute power.”

    Hillary Clinton 5/23/2005: “You’ve got majority rule and then you have the senate over here where people can slow things down where they can debate where they have something called the filibuster. You know it seems like it’s a little less than efficient — well that’s right it is. And deliberately designed to be so.”

    Joe Biden 5/23/05: “I say to my friends on the Republican side you may own the field right now buy you won’t own it forever I pray God when the Democrats take back control we don’t make the kind of naked power grab you are doing.”

    Charles Schumer 5/23/2005: “They want their way every single time. And they will change the rules, break the rules, and misread the constitution so that they will get their way.”

    Hillary Clinton 5/23/2005: “The Senate is being asked to turn itself inside out, to ignore the precedent to ignore the way our system has work, the delicate balance that we have obtain that has kept this constitution system going, for immediate gratification of the present President.”

    Max Baucus 5/19/2005: “This is the way Democracy ends. Not with a bomb but with a gavel.”

  127. I don’t know what the recent quarrels have been about because I haven’t been reading here much lately. I don’t like to leave certain things unanswered, but I also don’t have time to reply to the repeated tinfoil that takes it for granted that Gore is a crook, most of the scientists of the world are fakes, I should ‘get over myself’, my concerns about contraceptives are boring, etc etc.

    Bashing Coakley as a reward for her actually voting for Hillary in Denver was at least on topic.

    People who think I’m still posting here might notice WHAT I’m posting: mostly links to sites supporting Global Warming research and debunking people like Monckton.

  128. Turndown,

    We all have different views. I try to read each side, and to be honest, as of yet I have not come to any great conclusions or personal decisions on this important issue.

    Thanks for your links.

  129. I mostly lurk here now, but….

    I’ll put it out there if you guys won’t: I’d rather read wbboei’s than confloyd’s stuff. Where the bodies are buried and political spectrum discussions seem more salient than the state of Rick Perry’s coiffure.

    A big part of it is I see Confloyd getting swept up in something else altogether while the rest of us are still (mostly) anchored with Hillary. Not to say Perry isn’t a dick, that goes without saying.

    I could care less about Medina, et al., but I am becoming worried that things that do seem too tinfoily for rational discussion of late and distract from our girl. Frankly, the Soros- Bilderberg stuff seems straight out of Beck-istan.

    Can we get back to the subject somewhat? Or at least start posting porn links? 🙂

  130. February 24, 2010

    Clinton Says Domestic Politics Hurting US Abroad

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton complained Wednesday that domestic political battles are hurting the president’s foreign policy goals and damaging America’s image abroad.

    Testifying before a congressional committee, Clinton said fights between the White House and Congress have led to ”gridlock” in appointing officials to critical positions, including those with key foreign policy and international assistance responsibilities. That has created confusion among friends and allies, she said.

    ”We’re now more than a year into a new administration and whether you agree or disagree with a particular policy, a president deserves to have the people that he nominates serving him,” Clinton told the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    In response to questions from Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Penn., she noted that delays and holds placed on the nominations of several ambassadorial and senior State Department positions had been problematic.

    ”It became harder and harder to explain to countries, particularly countries of significance, why we had nobody in position for them to interact with,” Clinton said.

    She did not identify the positions to which she referred nor the lawmakers who delayed the confirmations but in one well-publicized case last year, Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., held up for months the appointments of both the new ambassador to Brazil and the incoming top diplomat for Western Hemisphere affairs over policy toward Honduras.

    In another case, earlier this year several State Department appointees were among dozens caught in a blanket hold on Obama nominees by Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., who placed it over concerns about a Air Force refueling tanker contrac in his home state and a new FBI explosives center he wants built there.

    Clinton said foreign governments have trouble understanding the way the U.S. process works when situations like that arise.

    ”People don’t understand the way our system operates, they just don’t get it,” she said. ”And their view does color whether the United States … is in a position going forward to demonstrate the kind of unity and strength and effectiveness that I think we have to in this very complex and dangerous world.”

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