The Reality Based Community Versus The Hopium Delusional Nests

The Red State/Blue State issues clash is increasingly less relevant compared to the clash of conflicting Realities. In the Reality Based Community ugly facts continue to accumulate. In the Hopium Delusional nests there is a craving for more/faster, damn the facts. Increasingly, on the side of the facts are Tea Party activists and Republicans and Conservatives (ouch, that hurt to say although let’s quickly add that there are still nuts aplenty on the other side). It used to not be that way. It was once “our” side that insisted on facts and fact based decision making.

We recall not too long in the past when Republican arch-conservative Senator Rick Santorum confessed to never having actually read the Bible, but instead only commentaries on the Bible. That lack of actual Bible reading never stopped the Senator from pontificating on lessons he learned from the Bible and on issues he argued from a Biblical perspective. Those of us who have read the Bible, not once but several times in order to savor the poetry/history/perspectives of same, scratched our heads. How can someone pontificate, we recoiled, about an unread book?

We also recall not too long ago how “our” side mocked conservatives and others when they would launch boycotts against materials (books, films, art exhibits) which they had never seen or experienced. That to us always appeared irrational. How could a boycott be launched against something unseen? We could not support such faith-based, facts-ignored politics.

In their defense we did understand that indeed many of these boycotts and protests were in fact faith based. Groups such as the Catholic League felt beleaguered by art and a political culture which targeted their religious faith. Further in their defense we now are cognizant of how Catholic Church hypocrisies and scandals are denounced with vitriolic fury in Big Media outlets, but ugly aspects of Muslim history and scandals (of which there are plenty) are not even discussed and even critical cartoonists are targeted for death.

During the health scam debates it was the Obama Hopium Guzzlers who wanted to pass something/anything sight unseen. It was the opposition that insisted the thousands of pages of garbage actually be read. It was a clash between Hopium Guzzlers who at the very best based their support on passing something now and changing it later – and an opposition that demanded to read and know the facts as they presently stand, not a future utopia of changes unseen and not understood. It was the fact based/reality based community versus the faith based nests of delusional Hopium Guzzlers.

Yesterday, the fact based community learned that Attorney General Eric Holder finds it difficult to say “radical Islam” at a hearing to discuss the Times Square attempted bombing by radical Islamic forces. Attorney General Eric Holder discussed other matters which related to American security and the immigration/deportation system which facts lead to the conclusion that the system is busted.

But, in a Rick Santorum moment, Attorney General Eric Holder confessed that he has not actually read the barely 18 page Arizona immigration law. Santorum had the excuse that his non-read Bible was a very lengthy and weighty tome. But what possible excuse, other than willful ignorance, does the Attorney General have for not reading less than 20 pages? [read the Arizona immigration law HERE]

To be fair in our critique, Hillary Clinton has not read the law either and has answered questions about the law when asked. But Hillary is not the Attorney General who is in charge of enforcing U.S. law. Her purview is diplomacy and relations between Mexico and the United States and in that context she has answered questions, asked her in the course of interviews on other matters, about Arizona’s immigration law. It is Eric Holder who has been on the stump threatening lawsuits against the law – without having read the law.

In the reality based community 73% of Americans support the Arizona immigration law. According to a responsible new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, the Arizona law is popular with Americans:

“Fully 73% say they approve of requiring people to produce documents verifying their legal status if police ask for them. Two-thirds (67%) approve of allowing police to detain anyone who cannot verify their legal status, while 62% approve of allowing police to question people they think may be in the country illegally.

After being asked about the law’s provisions, 59% say that, considering everything, they approve of Arizona’s new illegal immigration law while 32% disapprove.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted May 6-9 among 994 adults, finds that Democrats are evenly split over Arizona’s new immigration law: 45% approve of the law and 46% disapprove. However, majorities of Democrats approve of two of the law’s principal provisions: requiring people to produce documents verifying legal status (65%) and allowing police to detain anyone unable to verify their legal status (55%).

Republicans overwhelmingly approve of the law and three provisions tested. Similarly, among independents there is little difference in opinions of the new Arizona law (64% approve) and its elements, which are viewed positively.”

It’s unlikely that 73% of Americans are “racists” so why there such a disconnect between the reality of the American people and the Hopium fueled delusions of the Obama government and allies? Barack Obama toured the country warning that kids going out for ice cream would be asked for their papers in Arizona and thrown into dark dungeons. We’re sure Barack Obama did not read the Arizona law either.

On the question of Greece=America? today the Governor of the Bank of England had disturbing facts to lay on the table:

“Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, fears that America shares many of the same fiscal problems currently haunting Europe. [snip]

Bear in mind King is usually one of the most guarded policymakers in both British and central banking circles. Not yesterday.

It isn’t often one has the opportunity to get such a blunt and straightforward insight into the thoughts of one of the world’s leading economic players. Most of this stuff usually stays behind closed doors, so it’s worth taking note of. And I suspect that while George Osborne will have been happy to hear his endorsement of the new Government’s policies, Barack Obama and the European leaders will have been far less pleased with his frank comments on their predicament.”

Most Americans know that the economy of Greece is a portent that must be taken seriously if we are to avoid the same fate. Denial and HOPE are not strategies to address the problems.

America, and many other large economies including the UK, share some of the same problems as Greece with its public finances:

Every country around the world is in a similar position, even the United States; the world’s largest economy has a very large fiscal deficit. And one of the concerns in financial markets is clearly – how will this enormous stock of public debt be reduced over the next few years? And it’s very important that governments, both here and elsewhere, get to grips with this problem, have a clear approach and a very clear and credible approach to reducing the size of those deficits over, in our case, the lifetime of this parliament, in order to convince markets that they should be willing to continue to finance the very large sums of money that will be needed to be raised from financial markets over the next few years, at reasonable interest rates.[snip]

I think the lesson from Greece is that, if the problem had been dealt with three months ago, it would not have become as serious as it subsequently became. And I think the important thing now is that Greece has been dealt with a major IMF and European Union package…

But those measures provide only a window of opportunity. They do not affect the total amount of debt, in themselves which countries around the world have to repay. The markets, which some of our European partners like to describe as speculators causing difficulty, are the very same markets where the public sector is looking to provide trillions of pounds of support to finance public debt around the major countries in the world over the next few years.

What matters is that those investors are prepared to buy government debt at interest rates which make it tolerable for the countries concerned. And that is why it is important for each and every country to demonstrate that they are on top of a programme for their country to reduce the fiscal deficit to a sustainable path.[snip]

Once you move into the sphere of concerns about sovereign debt, there is no answer; there’s no backstop. And it is very important therefore that we hit these problems on the head now, put in place credible solutions to prevent the problems becoming worse.[snip]

It is absolutely vital, absolutely vital, for governments to get on top of this problem. We cannot afford to allow concerns about sovereign debt to spread into a wider crisis dealing with sovereign debt. Dealing with a banking crisis was bad enough. This would be worse.

George Will recently addressed the crazy reality which is apparent to all but government officials. Will noted the out and out lies of General Motors, in their many advertisements, that they had “repaid our government loan in full.” The Treasury Department assisted in that out and out blatant lie. The Treasury Department issued a press release “GM Repays Treasury Loan in Full” but that was simply a lie. A lie. No clash of realities, it was simply a lie. The Treasury Department then lied about their lie:

“In the commercial, Whitacre says GM has “repaid our government loan in full.” Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., noted that GM used government funds to pay back the government: It “simply transferred $6.7 billion from one taxpayer-funded TARP account to another.” The government still owns 60.8 percent of GM’s common equity, and the Congressional Budget Office projects that the government will lose about $34 billion of the $82 billion of TARP funds dispersed to the automotive industry.

When Ryan and two colleagues asked the Treasury Department for clarification, they got this careful reply: “Treasury has never suggested that the loan repayment represented a full return of all government assistance.” A Treasury press release did say “GM Repays Treasury Loan in Full.” The loan is, however, a small part of taxpayer exposure. Under crony capitalism, when government and corporate America merge, both dissemble.

But it was George Will’s comments on Greece that highlight the clash of realities:

“So the U.S. government, which would borrow 42 cents of every dollar it spends under the president’s 2011 budget, is borrowing to rescue Greece and others from the consequences of their borrowing.

That nation, whose GDP is below that of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, is “too big to fail,” meaning too inconveniently connected to too many big banks. Bailing out Greece really rescues European banks that improvidently bought Greek bonds. Visit here for a useful New York Times graphic illustrating how European nations borrow from one another. For example, Italy owes France (French banks) $511 billion, a sum nearly equal to 20 percent of France’s GDP. About one-third of Portugal’s debt is held by Spain, which has $238 billion of its debt held by Germany and $220 billion by France. Russell Roberts of George Mason University notes that this “discourages prudence and wariness” because when “everyone has financed everyone else, you can justify bailing everyone out.

You don’t have to be an economist to know that this reality is ugly and must be confronted and beat down. But people who indeed are economists and who should know better continue to sell a delusional view contrary to what most can plainly see.

“Meanwhile, when you look under the hood of those troubling long-run budget projections, you discover that they’re not driven by some generalized problem of overspending. Instead, they largely reflect just one thing: the assumption that health care costs will rise in the future as they have in the past. This tells us that the key to our fiscal future is improving the efficiency of our health care system — which is, you may recall, something the Obama administration has been trying to do, even as many of the same people now warning about the evils of deficits cried “Death panels!”

So here’s the reality: America’s fiscal outlook over the next few years isn’t bad. We do have a serious long-run budget problem, which will have to be resolved with a combination of health care reform and other measures, probably including a moderate rise in taxes. But we should ignore those who pretend to be concerned with fiscal responsibility, but whose real goal is to dismantle the welfare state — and are trying to use crises elsewhere to frighten us into giving them what they want.”

In what world, in what reality, are health care costs, not going to rise? Krugman, the writer of that nonsense knows better. Any dunce can see that the Obama sales mantra of “bend the cost curve” was a flim-flam con and that indeed health care costs will continue to rise and rise rapidly. To lump Obama health scam opponents into a right wing bag and not acknowledge the all too real Big Pharma and Big Insurance bailout which is the Obama health scam is at best a Hopium based delusion. At worse a willful attempt to scam and flim-flam.

Increasingly, Americans are engaged in a clash of realities. Those in early 2008 whose reality was that experience and well thought out plans and strategies do not matter as much as a well developed sense of HOPE, they voted for Barack Obama. Reality lost out in 2008.

But in 2010, reality is back in vogue. Reality is back, not because it is enjoyable. Reality is back because facts are stubborn things and they do not go away if you HOPE them away. In the 2010 clash of Reality versus Hopium, Reality has a political knockout punch.


97 thoughts on “The Reality Based Community Versus The Hopium Delusional Nests

  1. Dow Jones down more than 200 this Friday.

    After a nearly $1 trillion rescue package meant to end Europe’s debt crisis once and for all, financial markets took a second look Friday and began to worry about how the plan would actually work and the implications of the drastic austerity measures for the fragile European economies.

    The worries sent financial markets into a tailspin in Europe and the United States, only five days after the European Union and the International Monetary Fund hoped their $957 billion package would signal a “shock and awe” commitment to ending the continent’s crisis.

    The euro, which rallied sharply on Monday after the rescue package was announced, fell Friday below $1.24, an 18-month low.

    Zach Pandl, an economist at Nomura in New York, said there was a growing conclusion among investors that the package was only a notional backstop, not a stimulus, and that the other side of the plan was a commitment among European nations to “significant fiscal tightening, which is going to be negative for growth in the European countries.”

    There were growing fears about the state of the European banking system, in particular, which economists said could be hit hard by a deceleration in already slow-growing economies and the subsequent rise in bad loans.

    This led to fears that their problems could be transmitted to the United States through the linkages of the global financial system. At 2:15 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average was off 230.96points, or 2.1 percent, at 10,551.99 The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index was down 2.5 percent, and the Nasdaq composite was off 2.7 percent.

    M. Jake Dollarhide, chief executive of Longbow Asset Management, noted that even promising United States economic data on Friday had failed to offset the apprehension over Europe’s financial troubles. “We had a bounce back, but the last two days have been really, really bad and have reminded everybody we are not out of the woods yet,” he said.

    The decline stretched across all sectors, with financial and technology stocks notably hard hit. Citigroup was down 3.6 percent, Bank of America 3.4 percent and Intel 3 percent.

    Jeffrey Saut, the chief investment strategist for Raymond James, said he believed that the market had already discounted the concerns over the European crisis and was undergoing a normal cycle to find a new floor. “The psychology came together when the market was set up for a correction anyway,” he said. “I think all we are doing is forming a bottom.”

    Even though Europe’s economies will probably remain moribund, there was also a growing fear about inflation, economists said, after the European Central Bank agreed this week to help calm the financial turmoil by buying government bonds for the first time ever.

    That is a departure from its mandate to focus solely on price stability, some economists say, and as a result is undermining the euro.

    As a measure of the nervousness of investors, gold has rallied in recent weeks, and traders said European investors unnerved over the euro’s prospects were selling euros to buy gold.

    “The reputation of the E.C.B. has been dented,” said Jörg Krämer, chief economist at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

    Europe’s major banks were also hit hard by Friday’s selling wave. Shares in Banco Santander were off 9 percent, while BNP Paribas was down 7.4 percent, Crédit Agricole declined 6.4 percent, Barclays was off 6.1 percent and Deutsche Bank was 3.7 percent lower.

    Over all, the major indexes in Europe opened lower on Friday and accelerated their losses as the day progressed. By the end of trading, the Euro Stoxx 50 index of blue chips was down 3.7 percent.

    In France, the CAC 40 in Paris slumped 4.6 percent, and in London, the FTSE 100 lost 3.1 percent. The benchmark DAX index in Germany was also down about 3.1 percent.

    A cautious outlook from Sony, which released earnings after the close of trade on Thursday, set the negative tone by shining the spotlight on how the huge currency swings set off by the global jitters about Greece’s debt could affect companies as far away as Japan.

    The consumer electronics giant, which makes about 25 percent of its sales in Europe, forecast a profit of 50 billion yen, or $541 million, for the current business year, but also warned that the European troubles could jeopardize its return to profit.

    This helped revive concerns about the impact of the still-feeble economic recovery in the United States, and of the huge savings efforts being put in place by European governments struggling to reduce their budget deficits.

  2. I’ve not yet read a word of this new post. First want to dump what I garnered in response to wbboei’s latest reply to me. And here it is:
    57. S.AMDT.3786 to S.3217 To provide the Commodity Futures Trading Commission with clear antimarket manipulation authority.
    Sponsor: Sen Cantwell, Maria [WA] (introduced 5/4/2010) Cosponsors (6)
    Latest Major Action: 5/6/2010 Senate amendment agreed to. Status: Amendment SA 3786 as modified agreed to in Senate by Voice Vote.
    thomas dot[1-307](Amendments_For_S.3217)&./temp/~bdnmKH
    Monday, May 17, 2010
    2:00 p.m.: Convene and begin a period of morning business.
    Thereafter, resume consideration of S.3217, Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010.
    www dot
    So wbb, is it correct to assume our only recourse at this moment is to contact our Senators?

  3. Further response to wbboei downthread:
    I prepared a detailed response which is currently in filter. No matter. All that’s really important is my understanding of what to do in reponse to need for Cantwell amendment, and that would be to contact my senators ASAP since S.3217 will resume discussion on Monday May 17th after 2 pm business is finished.

  4. I just watched Laura Bush say she was happy that maybe more women would be on the supreme court.

    I also just remembered she was born and raised democrat and married a republican and turned.

    Hillary was born and raised republican and married a democrat and turned…isn’t that weird??? Two first ladies that married in to their party. I like Laura Bush much better than Barbara…she was awful.

    Admin: Glad everyone is back…I was beginning to wonder where everyone was. The stock market…scary!

  5. This is just plain scary and ridiculous. Borrowed money to help other countries in need? Pretty soon the every currency won’t be worth the paper they are printed on. What then?

    Excellent article as usual admin.

  6. Special relationship? Hague meets Hillary

    14 May 2010

    Foreign Secretary William Hague’s first stop is Washington. International editor Lindsey Hilsum writes that it shows “not how much has changed in Britain, but how much has stayed the same.”

    Mr Hague meet with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Afghanistan likely to be top of the agenda as Britain’s new government affirms its relationship with the Obama administration.

    At a press conference following the meeting, Mr Hague said that the US was “without a doubt the most important ally of the UK”.

    Mrs Clinton said she was “very intrigued” by the UK election results, but that the US administration was looking forward to working with the new coalition government. “We will continue to build on the deep and abiding trust that exists between the British and American people for a very long time,” she said. “We don’t formally have a coalition government in the way that you have formed one in the UK now, but we have enough of our own internal differences that we have to sort through. “So I see nothing at all unusual about this new Government and from our perspective it is off to a very strong start and certainly on the foreign policy front we are extremely pleased. This meeting and discussion just confirmed our close partnership and our commitment to working together.”

    Mr Hague said: “The US is without doubt the most important ally of the UK. Fundamentally, it is a relationship rooted in the strong alignment of our national interests. “The scope of our co-operation is unparalleled. Our military, our diplomats, our intelligence and security agencies work hand in glove together. It is not a backward-looking or nostalgic relationship. It is looking to the future, from combating violent extremism to addressing poverty and conflict around the world. “I believe the UK and US share common priorities to an extraordinary degree and we will continue to pursue these priorities in what I think we can confidently say is an unbreakable alliance.”

    International editor Lindsey Hilsum’s analysis:
    First stop Washington – it makes sense for a new foreign secretary who takes the traditional view that Britain’s relations with America trump all others.

    William Hague has said that the relationship should be “solid, not slavish” – a nod to the public discomfort in the UK over Tony Blair’s perceived poodle-ism towards George Bush – but he’s a staunch Atlanticist nonetheless.

    It’s a ritual that every incoming British government should avow that the UK has a “special relationship” with the USA. Hence the use of the phrase “extraordinary special relationship” by President Obama in his congratulatory message to David Cameron.

    The supplicant wants to be seen as “special”; the senior partner uses the word to please and flatter, not because it has meaning. British diplomats in Washington find it all a bit embarrassing, while US officials find it baffling. Mr Hague’s first foreign trip is likely to show not how much has changed in Britain, but how much has stayed the same.

    Joe Klein, Washington correspondent for Time magazine, told Channel 4 News: “I think that on the big issues though, the big foreign policy issues – Afghanistan, Iran etc – that there is an expectation of continuity here especially since the Labour government over the last eight or nine years kind of acted the way you would expect a Tory government to act.”

    Mr Hague said that they had “never ruled out supporting in the future military action” against Iran “but we are not calling for it.” “It is precisely because we want to see this matter settled peacefully and rapidly that we call for sanctions and we support the idea of a Security Council resolution,” he said.

    Before the visit, the foreign secretary has promised to pursue a “solid but not slavish relationship” with America, while recognising the “huge importance” of the so-called special relationship.

    Mr Hague said earlier this week that the situation in Afghanistan was at the top of is priorities. His visit to America comes just after a four-day visit by Afghan president Hamid Karzai – who Hague said would be urged by the new administration to meet his commitments. The government “will give time and support for the strategy to succeed” but “that does involve the government of president Karzai implementing any commitments that it has made,” he said at the time. He also insisted British troops would remain in Afghanistan until “their job is done” and refused to set any “artificial deadline” for the withdrawal of armed forces from the conflict zone.

    US President Barack Obama was among a number of world leaders to call David Cameron after his appointment as prime minister earlier this week.

    Deputy prime minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg hailed the “dramatic difference” the UK and America could make together in a phone conversation with US vice-president Joe Biden. The White House number two called Clegg to offer his “warm” congratulations on his high-profile role in the new Con-Lib coalition government.

  7. Hillary has been attacked all week because Pakistan is crying over her “harsh and unfair” words about them on 60 Minutes last Sunday.

    It’s nice to see that someone gives her credit…

    Clinton makes right points

    By: Thomas Joscelyn
    Special to The Examiner
    May 14, 2010

    Appearing on “60 Minutes,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked if the would-be Times Square bomber had ties to terrorists operating out of Pakistan.

    “There are connections,” Clinton said.

    She was then asked what message she would deliver to Pakistanis about the attack.

    “It’s very clear,” she said. “This is a threat that we share. We have a common enemy. There is no time to waste in going after that common enemy as hard and fast as we can. And we cannot tolerate having people encouraged, directed, trained and sent from Pakistan to attack us.”

    Then, Clinton made this remarkable allegation: “I’m not saying that they’re at the highest levels, but I believe that somewhere in this government are people who know where Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida is, where Mullah [Mohammed] Omar and the leadership of the Afghan Taliban is, and we expect more cooperation to help us bring to justice, capture or kill those who attacked us on 9/11.”

    This is not the first time Clinton has said something like this. She won’t back down from her controversial claim. And for that, she deserves credit.

    We do not know what specific intelligence Clinton is relying upon, but it’s more likely than not that “somewhere” in the Pakistani government there are officials who know where the senior terror leaders are. The most likely home for these officials is ISI, Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

    Too often, senior American officials in Washington, D.C., and abroad fail to state the obvious when it comes to our Pakistani ally. The nation of Pakistan is deeply divided, and these divisions are manifested in the Pakistani government. When Clinton excluded officials at the “highest levels” from her assessment, likely she was referring to Pakistan’s civilian government, including President Asif Ali Zardari.

    The same cannot be said for some members of Pakistan’s military and intelligence establishment. That establishment’s duplicity has been highlighted time and again.

    On one hand, the ISI has assisted the U.S. in efforts to track down top al-Qaida operatives. On the other hand, the ISI has continued to sponsor the Taliban and other jihadist organizations on Pakistani soil, both as proxies for fighting Pakistan’s regional foes, but also because the ISI contains a significant number of true believers.

    Clinton did not totally dismiss Pakistani cooperation against terrorism. She said she had to “stand up” for the efforts the Pakistani government was taking to hunt down “terrorists within their own country.” But when she was asked whether she was “comfortable” with the level of cooperation the U.S. is receiving, she said, “We’ve gotten more cooperation and it’s been a real sea change in the commitment we’ve seen from the Pakistani government. We want more. We expect more. We’ve made it very clear that if, heaven forbid, an attack like this that we can trace back to Pakistan were to have been successful, there would be very severe consequences.”

    It’s dubious that there has been a “sea change” in the Pakistani government’s commitment to the fight, as Clinton claimed. And America does not have to wait for a “successful” attack to pressure the Pakistani government — or at least those parts of the government on America’s side — to do more. America and Pakistan have to stop terrorists such as Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad before they have their finger on the proverbial trigger. A more lethal terrorist may be in the terror network’s pipelines.

    Still, Clinton deserves credit for highlighting a key dimension of this threat that’s often downplayed or ignored.

    Thomas Joscelyn is a senior editor at The Weekly Standard.

  8. Another great read, admin.
    And realizing the commonalities of Santorum and Holder: priceless.
    I regard myself as fortunate to have only two bobots to contend with. These two share the commonalities of snopes as their be-all and end-all when defining truth, and they abhor and avoid YouTube as a dangerous source of misinformation.

  9. Took him long enough…

    Hillary Clinton did not threaten Pakistan: FM
    LAHORE: Foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has clarified that the American secretary of State, Hillary Clinton’s statement in no way connoted a threat.

    Talking to the media in Lahore, Qureshi elaborated that American authorities had also clarified the reality.

    Referring to recent meetings of the Indian High Commissioner with important persons, he termed these as a normal practice, and strongly denied about any backdoor diplomacy with Indian authorities.

    He said that the issue of Indus Water Treaty with India would be resolved according to the accord, and talks for these were in process.

    Replying to a question, he strongly refuted any innocent deaths in Wazirstan.

  10. Israel rejects call to talk with Hamas
    May 13, 2010

    JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Foreign Ministry rejected a call by the presidents of Russia and Turkey to include Hamas in the peace process.

    In a joint news conference Wednesday in Ankara, Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev and Turkey’s Abdullah Gul said Hamas should not be excluded from the current peace process. Gul said peace could not be achieved without Hamas involvement.

    “Nobody should be excluded when these talks are held,” Gul said. “Unfortunately the Palestinians are divided in two. They must be united, and to unite them there must be talks with both sides. The Hamas side won elections in Gaza and so cannot be ignored.”

    Israel’s Foreign Ministry in a statement released late Wednesday also condemned Medvedev’s meeting that day with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Damascus.

    “Israel has always stood behind Russia in its fight against Chechen terrorism and we expect similar treatment in the case of Hamas terrorism against Israel,” the statement said.

    “Hamas is a terrorist organization in every sense of the word; its declared purpose is the destruction of the State of Israel. Members of Hamas have been responsible for the murder of hundreds of innocent civilians, including Russian citizens and other former residents of the CIS. It is totally unacceptable for enlightened nations to divide terrorists into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ according to some geographical division. Terrorists are terrorists, and Israel does not see any difference between the Hamas terror operating against Israel and the Chechen terror operating against Russia. There is no difference between Khaled Mashaal and Shamil Basayev.”

  11. The Obama administration’s attrempt to legitimize groups like Hizbollah , Hamas, and reach out to barbaric characters in Iran, Syria, etc., has resulted in the alienation of a true friend in Israel, and a clenched fist on the part of thesetyrannical groups/rogue nations.
    The fact that our atty general refuses to even use the world “radical Islam”(and I think that video of the “discussion” with Mr. Horowitx with a “moderate ” was telling), only reinforced my theory that Obama will sacrifice Israel to advance his reapproachment with these elements. The failure in that policy is that Isreal is but the carnary in the coal mine. Is she is to go, we are next. As for the perverse argument that Israel costs America blood and treasure(the most dangerous statementever by a sitting US Prez), once most constantly be reminded that in 7 wars since her independence , Israel has never asked for US forces to engage in combat. In contrast, America’s armed forces have dies in the millions for Europeans, and over the last 2 decades, in the thousands for Muslims. Yes, Israel is dependent on US aid and arms, but those very weapon systems/technology Israel buys back from the US has resulted in tremendous intelligence learned by our country and has saved US lives.
    What do we get from Egyt for the almost 3 billion in aid???

  12. Greece is proof that you can’t spend money you don’t have.

    The folks that bought into the housing market to get the ‘American Dream’ are proof that money they didn’t have for a down payment or a fixed rate loan is the tax money all of us had/have to pay for that mistake for decades.

    We all want goodies, but we can’t expect someone else to pay for them.

    Throw the bums out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. An excellent article Admin. On the issue of immigration the problem is systemic. Globalists send products produced in lower cost venues into southern Mexico. Those goods, agricultural products mostly, undercut the market for local farmers. Those farmers are forced to migrate north to Arizona to make a living. There they take work from Americans who would perform that work for decent wages. But globalists destroy the local labor market by employing those illegal immigrants. Those peopole work until there is no work. Where do they go from there? Into barrios where they can be lost and undetecable. Life is nasty brutish and short. Life for laid off Americans may be not much better.

    The problem is compounded further by the fact that speculation as opposed to sound investment is what drives the market. Money is made not by creating value, but by placing bets on the direction of markets. What moves the market is speculation which produces bubbles. It is easy to manufacture a market high if you get enough people together willing to move money in concert with eachother. But it is impossible to determine a market low and that is where the great fortunes of the 20s were lost. Getting back in the market too soon, when further drops are in the offing.

  14. When I was working on the issue of packer concentration in the meat industry, I met a man named Professor William Heffernon who was professor of rural economics at the University of Missouri. He was a truth teller and he told the story from the vantage point of the small farmer. He was opposed by the corporate farm interests, Texas A&M and government officials. He gave me a copy of a chart he produced to amplify his testimony before Congress, and it what it showed was how much common ownership there is in the world’s food supply. If you trace the lines of ownership far enough upstream, you find that a small handful of individuals and nations control the worlds food supply. I used to grow drinking with an Alaskan who was with one of the leaders of a Native Corporation which was set up by the Alaska Native Claims Act of 1970. After a few drinks he would not shut about about this issue of global control of protein. I figured it was the booze talking but then realized years later that he was right. If you go into the inner santum of Cargill Corporation in Minnesota, which is one of the world’s largest food producers and distributors you will see a map of the world. Push a button and at any given minute it will show you where there are famines in the world. You might think that would be the green light for them to send food, but like Ernest and Julio Gallo used to say we will make no wine until it is time. In their case, they would send no food until the price is right.

    Left to their own devices, globalists will do the same thing with capital that Cargill been doing with food for many years. That is a big part of what we are fighting.

  15. A bit more on today’s “America is not Greece” column:

    In his column today, Nobel laureate Paul Krugman claims its wrong to compare the US to Greece:
    [W]e’re not Greece. We may currently be running deficits of comparable size, but our economic position — and, as a result, our fiscal outlook — is vastly better.

    On his blog, Krugman tries to back that up with a graph of projected deficits:[snip graph]

    Wow, the expected US deficits are lower than the Greek ones. One commenter on Krugman’s blog laments that Americans won’t be able to understand Krugman’s graph:

    The “Just Like Greece” scare is targeted to those who cannot (or will not) understand the facts… When, oh when will the American people learn to read a chart?

    But it’s Krugman who is confused. All his graph shows is that Greece is worse off than the US now, and in the near future. That should be obvious to anyone following the news of riots in Greece.

    His graph hides the fact that, while our annual deficits may shrink — some forecasters expect the economy to get better and stimulus funding to phase out — every year the government will still spend more than it takes in, so total U.S. debt will keep rising. And Krugman’s graph doesn’t get at the important question: are we on track to become what Greece is like now? This graph, which uses the same data set as Krugman’s chart, helps answer that:[snip graph]

    In short: In 10 years, under Obama’s budget plan, the USA will likely be in same debt position as Greece is now.

  16. More on reality:

    American conservatives, particularly the fiscal variety, tend to hold up the European Union as a model of irresponsible, big-spending economic policy. But consider this: According to E.U. rules, member countries cannot maintain budget deficits above 3 percent of gross domestic product; nor can their total debt rise above 60 percent of GDP. As Veronique de Rugy points out in this issue, the U.S. budget deficit in 2009 was three times the E.U.’s limit, and total debt will zoom past the 60 percent threshold sometime this year. Washington makes Paris look frugal.

    In March the federal government created the most expensive new entitlement in four decades, even as the bond rating company Moody’s Investors Service warned that debt levels could soon precipitate a downgrade in U.S. Treasury bonds. The main opposition party fought the bill by decrying “cuts” to Medicare, and it has kept itself at arm’s length from one of the few politicians talking seriously about long-term reform.

    Today may be terrible, but tomorrow is going to be much worse, at least as measured by such metrics as deficits, debt, and entitlement spending. In an April speech, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke laid out the misery that awaits us. “The arithmetic is, unfortunately, quite clear,” he said. “To avoid large and unsustainable budget deficits, the nation will ultimately have to choose among higher taxes, modifications to entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare, less spending on everything else from education to defense, or some combination of the above.”

    Yet in the very next paragraph, Bernanke displayed the kind of cowardice that got us into and has helped extend our awful economic mess: “Today the economy continues to operate well below its potential, which implies that a sharp near-term reduction in our fiscal deficit is probably neither practical nor advisable. However, nothing prevents us from beginning now to develop a credible plan for meeting our long-run fiscal challenges.”

    States, counties, and municipalities, lacking Bernanke’s ability to print money, do not have the luxury of “beginning now to develop a credible plan” for the future. They are flat out of money in the present. But they too refuse to face reality.

    The housing bubble, with its tax-generating wealth, was already bursting in 2007. Yet as recently as 2009, Montgomery County, Maryland, decided to make “phantom” cost-of-living increases to the pensions of government workers, linking contributions to salary increases that did not occur. This sweetheart deal, which added more than $7 million to the county’s annual budget (according to The Washington Post), tasted rather bitter at a time when the county’s revenue was falling short of projections by more than $24 million. Yet after one Montgomery County Council member proposed eliminating this sop to the public-sector unions, four of his colleagues joined a rally on the rooftop of the council’s parking garage, leading a crowd of 400 government employees in chants of “We’ve had enough!” and “No justice, no peace.”

    In Los Angeles, former labor organizer and once-rising political star Antonio Villaraigosa, now a second-term mayor who has fallen so far that the local glossy city magazine made him a cover boy last year under the headline “Failure,” announced in April his intention to shut down “inessential” city services two days a week, after the city controller had declared that the municipality would “run out of money” by June 30. Villaraigosa’s deputy chief of staff, Matt Szabo, told The Wall Street Journal the city’s public-sector unions “have priced themselves out of a job.”

    Yet those unions received significant raises from the tough-sounding mayor as recently as 2007. The city’s labor force grew by more than 9 percent from 2000 to 2009, and annual pension contributions tripled, according to the Los Angeles Times. In a March interview with National Public Radio, Villaraigosa lamented that “California cities are constrained by various propositions which limit your ability to raise revenues” (though he managed to raise the city’s sales tax from 8.25 percent to 9.75 percent) and portrayed renegotiating union contracts as an unlikely last resort. “There aren’t a lot of options here,” he said. “We have contracts with our employees that we have to abide by. So unless they agree to sharing in the sacrifice in these tough times, I won’t have a lot of options.”

    Even bankruptcy isn’t necessarily a harsh enough reality check. The city of Vallejo, California, went bankrupt in 2008, largely due to impossible-to-meet pension obligations. Although the bankruptcy judge declared that pension contracts were fair game in the reorganization process, the city last December cut just about everything except pension contributions for government employees, according to a Wall Street Journal piece by Steven Greenhut. In March of this year, Vallejo agreed to a new contract with firefighters that again left pensions unchanged. “The majority [of council members] did not have the political will to touch the pink elephant in the room—public safety influence, benefits, and pay,” Vice Mayor Stephanie Gomes told Greenhut.

    California, it cannot be stressed enough, isn’t necessarily worse than anywhere else; it’s just bigger (and louder). A Reason Foundation study of state spending increases during the comparatively good times of 2002 to 2007 found the Golden State to be in the middle of the pack on a percentage basis. And even after two-plus years of crisis, with unrelenting headlines about “annihilating” cuts, state bureaucracies remain bloated.

    Surveying the fiscal wreckage at the end of 2009, BusinessWeek’s Joe Mysak found that the 50 states had cut their combined payrolls that year by a minuscule 0.25 percent. Mysak’s conclusion: “Politicians everywhere are talking about layoffs, of course. They have been talking about eliminating jobs, often in threatening tones, since at least January. As the numbers show, for most, it’s just talk.”

    Such talk has created a feedback loop in the media, where budget cut horror stories—which never mention how much state and local government spending skyrocketed in the years before the recession—mix seamlessly with editorial-page calls to spend still more money we don’t have on government jobs we can’t afford. “Upcoming budget cuts by recession-battered states will lead to more job losses,” The New York Times editorialized in April. “As states cut spending, there is less business for private-sector contractors and more layoffs of government employees.” Meanwhile, the Times argued, the federal government needs to be spending more “on infrastructure and clean energy” and the creation of “public jobs, especially summer youth jobs.”

    When we’re still talking about government make-work, it’s a sure sign we haven’t recognized the sinkhole we’re in. A smattering of summer jobs for teenagers is no consolation for jacking up the cost of borrowing for everyone during an economic downturn. Yet that’s what the White House’s best economic minds are proposing. “Failure to take additional targeted actions to jump-start job creation,” Christina Romer, chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said in March, “would lead to slower recovery and higher unemployment for an extended period.”

    With policy philosophy like that, it’s no wonder that governors, facing nearly $200 billion in budget deficits, are descending upon Washington for another round of stimulus funding. As long as there’s still one greater fool left willing to chase diminishing returns with more cash, politicians can keep putting off the day of reckoning. If they’re lucky, they’ll be long out of office when the gong strikes midnight. Unfortunately for most of us, we’ll still be here.

  17. The Obama administration’s attrempt to legitimize groups like Hizbollah , Hamas, and reach out to barbaric characters in Iran, Syria, etc., has resulted in the alienation of a true friend in Israel, and a clenched fist on the part of thesetyrannical groups/rogue nations.
    The fact that our atty general refuses to even use the world “radical Islam”(and I think that video of the “discussion” with Mr. Horowitx with a “moderate ” was telling), only reinforced my theory that Obama will sacrifice Israel to advance his reapproachment with these elements. The failure in that policy is that Isreal is but the carnary in the coal mine. Is she is to go, we are next. As for the perverse argument that Israel costs America blood and treasure(the most dangerous statementever by a sitting US Prez), once most constantly be reminded that in 7 wars since her independence , Israel has never asked for US forces to engage in combat. In contrast, America’s armed forces have dies in the millions for Europeans, and over the last 2 decades, in the thousands for Muslims. Yes, Israel is dependent on US aid and arms, but those very weapon systems/technology Israel buys back from the US has resulted in tremendous intelligence learned by our country and has saved US lives.
    What do we get from Egyt for the almost 3 billion in aid???
    jbstonefan. Brilliant.

    Jefferson thought we could make a deal with the Jacobins, and confessed on his death bed to Adams who died on the same day which through an act of Providence was 50 years after the American Revolution that he was wrong. And indeed, the thrust of our policy has been to not embrace radicals who are determined to destroy us and our allies, but to hold them and arms length and cultivate alliances with individuals inside their country who were moderate in their view, and willing to chart a common course with our national interests.

    When we embrace radicals as Obama does it is like Greshoms Law–the bad money drives out the good. In other words, we undermine the influence of moderates with who we could establish a lasting modus vivendi and prevent them from achieving power which would be exercised in a manner consistent with our interests. That is the further problem with Obama and his delusional approach to foreign policy.

  18. More reality:

    Fewer construction workers will be needed. Don’t expect as many interior designers or advertising copywriters, either. Retailers will get by with leaner staffs.

    The economy is strengthening. But millions of jobs lost in the recession could be gone for good.

    And unlike in past recessions, jobs in the beleaguered manufacturing sector aren’t the only ones likely lost forever. What sets the Great Recession apart is the variety of jobs that may not return.

    That helps explain why economists think it will take at least five years for the economy to regain the 8.2 million jobs wiped out by the recession — longer than in any other recovery since World War II.

    It means that even as the economy strengthens, more Americans could face years out of work. Already, the percentage of the labor force unemployed for six months or longer is 4.3 percent. That’s the highest rate on records dating to 1948.

    Behind the trend are the cutbacks businesses made in the recession to make up for a loss of customers. To sustain earnings, they became more productive: They found ways to produce the same level of goods or services with fewer workers. Automation, global competition and technological efficiencies helped solidify the trend.

    Diminished home equity and investment accounts have made shoppers more cautious, too. And their frugality could endure well into the recovery. That’s why fewer retail workers, among others, will likely be needed.[snip]

    More than one-third of chief financial officers at 620 big companies surveyed in March by Duke University and CFO magazine said they didn’t expect to restore their payrolls to pre-recession levels for at least three years. Nearly all cited higher productivity and tepid consumer spending.

    “Companies have just figured out, ‘We didn’t want to fire people … but now that they’re gone, we’ve realized that we can get by without them,'” said John Graham, a Duke finance professor who directed the survey.

  19. I don’t know why people keep comparing us to Greece, they should be saying… California goes so goes the rest of the country…because this will be the true statement.

    Did I hear this correct on Bret Baer…the leaking pipe in the Gulf of Mexico is 21 inches….my culvert in my drainage ditch is 15 inches…WOW…that is a huge leak! The Gulf of Mexico is going to be dead!

  20. Close Bill and Hillary friend Haim Saban on Obama and Israel:

    Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban, said to be the Democrats’ single biggest donor, says he is highly dismayed at the Obama administration’s approach to Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    “To say I don’t sleep easily with the current administration’s relationship to Israel would be an understatement,” Saban told Channel 10’s reporter at an LA Gala dinner starring Idan Raichel and former ambassador John Bolton organized by the Israeli Leadership Council on Wednesday night.

    “I’m an American now, so I don’t say everything I think, like I might have once,” he added in the footage aired by Channel 10 Thursday. Saban said he had made his concerns known to both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, and that Emanuel had characterized himself as more hawkish than 50% of Israelis.

    Saban doubted an opinion poll would bear out this estimate.

    Saban stressed Obama and his administration were not, as some Israelis think, “anti-Israel.”

    “Obama wants to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the same thing we want,” Saban said, just the way he was going about it was not to the taste of many in Israel. “They are leftists, really left leftists, so far to the left there’s not much space left between them and the wall,” he said of the Obama administration.

  21. wbboei
    May 14th, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Minn. woman, Cargill settle E. coli lawsuit
    by Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio
    May 12, 2010

    St. Paul, Minn. — A Minnesota woman who was left paralyzed after eating an E. coli-contaminated hamburger has reached a settlement with agribusiness giant Cargill.

    Stephanie Smith, a 22-year-old former dance instructor from Cold Spring, was awarded an undisclosed sum from the company, her attorney and Cargill announced in a joint statement Wednesday.

    Smith was in a coma for nine weeks as a result of eating the contaminated burger in 2007. The E. coli infection was traced to a hamburger distributed by Minnesota-based Cargill in 2007.

    The family’s attorney, Bill Marler, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Minnesota last year on behalf of Smith’s guardian. Marler said Smith’s medical care and rehabilitation has already cost more than $2 million, and are likely to cost millions more throughout her life.

    Smith’s family could not be reached for immediate comment, but Marler said he and the family are pleased with the settlement.

    “Cargill and we both recognize that Stephanie was severely injured, and the settlement will take care of Stephanie’s needs for the rest of her life,” he said.

    Cargill spokesman Mike Martin said Smith’s injuries were “unfortunate and tragic,” and that the company accepts responsibility for the contamination. Cargill has been paying for Smith’s medical expenses since shortly after her first hospitalization.

    “Certainly we’re pleased that this has resulted in a settlement that will provide Stephanie Smith with support for the remainder of her life,” Martin said.

    Stephanie SmithSmith’s case has become one of the most well-known cases of food-borne illness in the country. Smith became ill in September 2007 and later was diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome, which causes kidney failure. Smith also began having seizures, which led to a coma.

    Marler said Smith will likely remain severely disabled for the rest of her life, although he said she’s made progress in recent weeks.

    “Just last month, she was able to put on braces and walk with a walker for about 100 feet,” he said. “That may not sound like a lot to many people, but for Stephanie and what she’s been through, it’s pretty miraculous.”

    After the outbreak, the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traced the E. coli that sickened Smith to meat supplied by Cargill.

    CargillMore than two dozen others throughout the country also fell ill, and Cargill responded by recalling about 845,000 pounds of frozen ground beef patties.

    Martin said the company is committed to food safety and has taken steps to reducing the risk of future outbreaks. The company has developed new technology to detect pathogens, and is experimenting with a cattle vaccine to prevent contamination, he said.

    But Martin added that, despite those efforts, the company cannot prevent all outbreaks.

    “The technology that exists today is not capable of 100 percent elimination of pathogens that are in meat,” he said.

    The settlement must receive final court approval before it becomes official.

  22. Krugman is right. We must not compare Greece to America. Greece does not have a twelve trillion dollar debt. And it can be rescued through concerted actions of other countries.

  23. Makes you want to run out an have a hamburger…doesn’t it? This is really a serious problem. Usually this virulent strain kills people. As you can see, they mash together beef from different countries, with I am sure, minimal over site.

    The frozen hamburgers that the Smiths ate, which were made by the food giant Cargill, were labeled “American Chef’s Selection Angus Beef Patties.” Yet confidential grinding logs and other Cargill records show that the hamburgers were made from a mix of slaughterhouse trimmings and a mash-like product derived from scraps that were ground together at a plant in Wisconsin. The ingredients came from slaughterhouses in Nebraska, Texas and Uruguay, and from a South Dakota company that processes fatty trimmings and treats them with ammonia to kill bacteria.

  24. Gonzo: they have not changed. Scary. In those days the three main culprists were ibp, cargill and con-agra.

  25. The Haim Saban article reminds us of this May 2009 email from the former chairman of Procter and Gamble (h/t hillbuzz):


    Dear President Obama:

    You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me.

    You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you.

    You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible signs of support.

    You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America and culturally you are not an American.

    You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.

    You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus don’t understand it at its core..

    You scare me because you lack humility and ‘class’, always blaming others.

    You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.

    You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the ‘blame America’ crowd and deliver this message abroad.

    You scare me because you want to change America to a European style country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector.

    You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one.

    You scare me because you prefer ‘wind mills’ to responsibly capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.

    You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living in the world.

    You scare me because you have begun to use ‘extortion’ tactics against certain banks and corporations.

    You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.

    You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider opposing points of view from intelligent people.

    You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent and omniscient.

    You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do.

    You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaughs, Hannitys, O’Relllys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points of view.

    You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.

    Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.

    Lou Pritchett

    Lou Pritchett is a former vice president of Procter & Gamble whose career at that company spanned 36 years before his retirement in 1989, and he is the author of the 1995 business book, Rocking the Boat.

    Mr. Pritchett confirmed to us that he was indeed the author of the much-circulated “open letter” quoted above:

    I did write the ‘you scare me’ letter. I sent it to the NY Times but they never acknowledged or published it. However, it hit the internet and according to the ‘experts’ has had over 500,000 hits.

  26. And file this under…WTF were you thinking!

    Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban, said to be the Democrats’ single biggest donor, says…

    “They (Obama) are leftists, really left leftists, so far to the left there’s not much space left between them and the wall,” he said of the Obama administration.

  27. admin
    May 14th, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    I think I remember this letter on the internet. I would love for someone to make a television add out of it and play it nationally. I am scared too. Amazing that the NYT’s would just disregard such a prominent individual…but not really. Makes it all the scarier. Big Bro IS watching…and censoring!

  28. wbboei
    May 14th, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Yes, it really is something, nothing has changed and we are playing roulette with our lives. I only buy meat that has been ground at the store, like Whole Foods.

  29. gonzotx
    I only buy meat that has been ground at the store, like Whole Foods.


    Yes, or some even more green and local source, like a small food co-op, or a ‘farm share.’

  30. Krugman seems to have succumbed for the last few months…a while ago he was still using critical analysis…now he just spurts out reactionary partisan mush…his integrity is walking a very fine line…besides his columns, his tv appearances have been embarrassing…so trite…and dishonest…


    as for “reality”…even Hollywood is getting sick of “fake” with a trend towards casting real people minus the ‘fake’ plastic frozen faces and bodies that have been overworked … and celebs even shedding make up for a natural look…’real’ is in…


    finally, happened to catch Ed Rendell praising and selling arlen spector…it really made me sick to my stomach…I wanted to shake Ed and say “stop it, stop it already”…we need you Ed to be one of the “real” ones left standing and instead he sounds like the rest of hopium zombies…amazing, how the establishment dems are falling over themselves to support party flopper insider spector…how very, very far the current Dim party has fallen…and they seem to be taking our friend, Ed Rendell, right down with them…

  31. The people in New Orleans are suppose to believe BP and our Government under BO…

    Odd Smells in New Orleans, Thoughts of the GulfBy SUSAN SAULNY
    Published: May 14, 2010


    Obama Vows End to ‘Cozy’ Oversight of Oil Industry (May 15, 2010)
    Size of Oil Spill Underestimated, Scientists Say (May 14, 2010)
    U.S. Said to Allow Drilling Without Needed Permits (May 14, 2010)
    Times Topic: Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill (2010)The signature scent around Bourbon Street, after all, is the smell of spilled liquor.

    But from the French Quarter to New Orleans East, people here have been complaining about a tinge to the air that is unsettling even by local standards.

    Many suspect that it has something to do with the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which has already leaked millions of gallons of crude about 50 miles off the Louisiana coast. The authorities involved in the cleanup of the fallen Deepwater Horizon oil rig have been burning oil on the surface of the gulf and using chemical dispersants around the leak.

    Could New Orleans possibly be smelling that, from more than 100 miles away? Many say yes. But the mystery odor, which is stronger on some days and in some areas than others, is hard for residents to describe.

    “It’s chemical, and I’m trying not to think about it,” said Raymond Dillon, a karate teacher.

    Diana Mecera, a restaurant worker who lives in the French Quarter, said, “It’s a kind of a sewage smell.”

    Her co-worker, Lauren Graham, a waitress, put it this way: “It’s more like being at a gas station.”

    Steven Payne, who owns a men’s store and lives in the Marigny area, said: “It is very distinctly oil. When I smelled it for the first time, I was walking my dog along the Mississippi River levee.”

    Some people who do not notice anything in particular about the scent of the city these days have suggested that their fellow New Orleanians are perhaps a bit overly sensitive.

    “It’s paranoia,” said Lee Washington of New Orleans East. “I sit outside every day, and if I smelled oil, I’d say so.”

    And that is part of the problem: it is too subjective, said Jeff J. Dauzat, a scientist with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. “You try to tell someone you don’t smell it,” he said, “and they say, ‘You’re crazy!’ But the only thing that can overcome emotion is fact.”

    And the facts say the air is safe. More than 800 air samples are being tested every day by the state’s scientists, the federal Environmental Protection Agency and private contractors hired by BP, Mr. Dauzat said, from the shoreline to the population centers farther inland.

    Air safety, however, has little to do with its smell, which Mr. Dauzat acknowledges could drift in more than 100 miles from the gulf under certain wind conditions.

    He cautioned that this was an area with a lot of refineries, chemical plants and cargo shipping, which could all contribute to the smell of the air.

    “We can’t say the complaints of the odors are not valid,” Mr. Dauzat said. “But just because you’re smelling it doesn’t mean it’s at a harmful level.”

    He added: “It may be unpleasant to hang out outside, but will it kill you? No.”

    Larue Hatten, a resident of the French Quarter, said he had not noticed anything unusual lately.

    “Frankly, I’m more concerned about what the oil is doing to the gulf sea life and shoreline than the smell, personally,” Mr. Hatten said. “And here in the Quarter there are so many smells. It’s hard to know what’s what anyway

  32. George S. puts the skids on Hillary running in 2012′ by saying if the Presidents number were low enough that it would cause someone to run against him for the nomination, it would have to be a person outside the administration because everyone in the administration would have the Obama stench…so I don’t think she will run…the DNC has ruined her chances of ever being Potus.

  33. May 14, 2010

    In Battleground States, Obama Job Rating Suffers

    After reaching the lowest levels of the administration thus far a month ago, there’s quietly been something of a mini-resurgence in President Obama’s job ratings. While approval is still below 50 percent, disapproval has fallen to a nearly four-month low in the RCP average, and net approval near its best mark in two months.

    The White House is beginning to highlight these statistics, pointing out to a friendly source Thursday that a “a trend seems to be emerging” with every new national poll. And if the trend continues, it is surely an auspicious factor for Democrats in the midst of an election year.

    But a look at Obama’s numbers on a state-by-state basis reflects the party’s precarious state in the midst of a critical string of primaries and special elections. RCP compiled state-specific public polling over the past three months, and found Obama’s net job approval rating is in negative territory in 28 of the 44 states where figures are available, including nearly all the battleground states critical to his and the Democrats’ future success.

    In Florida, the president’s net approval rating is -1.7; in Colorado, it’s -6.5; North Carolina, -2.7; Ohio, -7.8; Nevada, -5.0; and Pennsylvania, it’s -3.0. These six states all feature critical Senate contests this year, with the Keystone State also home to a potential bellwether special Congressional race next Tuesday. And five of the six were red states that flipped into the Democratic column in the 2008 presidential election.

    Obama’s position is far worse in several other 2008 battlegrounds, as well as red states where Democrats are struggling to hold seats this fall. In Arkansas, where Sen. Blanche Lincoln trails all potential Republican opponents, Obama’s net approval rating is -28. In Indiana, a state Obama won, his rating is -13. And Missouri, which he narrowly lost and hosts an open Senate race Democrats had thought was a prime pickup opportunity, his rating is -11.5.

    The flip side, of course, is that other Democrats facing competitive races in blue states will be safer given Obama’s standing there. The president scores best in states like California (+16.8), Connecticut (+11.5), Illinois (+15.0), and New York (+15.7), where he appeared Thursday at a party fundraiser.

    Publicly, of course, administration officials and the president himself scoff at a polling-obsessed Beltway culture.

    “I’ve got pollsters,” Obama said just last night at a fundraiser in New York. “I know when what we’re about to do is politically unpopular. But what I also knew was that if we wanted to break the back of our recession and get our economy moving again, then the steps we took were absolutely necessary.”

    But it is exactly this kind of state-by-state breakdown that will be crucial as the DNC and the White House map his fall itinerary. Obama has largely avoided public campaign appearances yet for Democratic candidates up in November.

    “He actually has been doing some campaigning,” deputy press secretary Bill Burton told reporters Thursday. “As we get closer to the midterms, you’ll see that increase. But as you can imagine, there’s more than a few things on his plate right now.”

    Those events thus far include only fundraisers for incumbents like Barbara Boxer and Michael Bennet. It is Vice President Biden who has done more of the heavy lifting on the political front; he’ll help Iowa Gov. Chet Culver (D) formally kick off his campaign next week.

  34. George S. puts the skids on Hillary running in 2012′ by saying if the Presidents number were low enough that it would cause someone to run against him for the nomination, it would have to be a person outside the administration because everyone in the administration would have the Obama stench…so I don’t think she will run…the DNC has ruined her chances of ever being Potus.
    That little prick? You mean step and fetch it for Obama? Who died and made him the Delphic Oracle? He is the kind of guy who signs a no disclosure agreement and then leaves the administration and writes a tell all book. I never liked him from the day I first laid eyes on him, and then as now my first thought is get a razor shave starting with the jugglar. If he did a stint at Paris Island on him they would have left him out in the swamp with the rest of the crockadiles. Other than that I do not respect him.

  35. Is there a spell check feature admin? Ifinally figured out how to post a pic, but my spelling is atrocious.

  36. That little prick? You mean step and fetch it for Obama? Who died and made him the Delphic Oracle?

    I agree…who is this fruitcake that thinks he can claim that Hillary can’t run for president……………….all I have to say to his claim is, STFU!!

  37. I think Hillary’s high approval numbers speak for themselves. The numbers vary depending on which poll it is, but I’ve never seen anything lower than 60 percent. On 60 Minutes last Sunday, they said Hillary has a 77 percent approval rating. She has consistently rated at least twenty points higher than Obama and she beats any Republican who would be likely to run against her.

    I agree that most members of the Obama administration would have difficulty running against him in 2012, or running for President in the more distant future (like in 2016 or in 2020). The same holds true for pretty much every prominent Democrat in Congress right now. They have all ruined their own credibility. But not so with Hillary. She was well known in her own right before anybody ever heard of Obama, so people tend to judge her on her own merits. By contrast, people like Holder or Napolitano weren’t well known on a national (let alone an international) scale until they joined the Obama administration. Therefore, if the Obama ship sinks they sink with it; Hillary has her own boat.

  38. Jen the Michigander
    May 14th, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    I agree 100%. People tend to identify Hillary with Bill not Obama. I know, it’s a strange dynamic, but they do. They remember all that
    Peace and Prosperity and innately look longingly to Hillary for guidance. I tend to agree with Morris. She has to wait for the right moment to step in the breach.

  39. Jen the Michigander
    May 14th, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Well said.

    I wish they would run a national poll seeing how many Americans and superdelegates regret not voting for Hillary Clinton.

    lol…I can dream.

  40. Well, I’m glad the blog has awakened, LOL!! Glad I could be of service, LOL!!

    Just repeating what Stephanoupulas was saying on O’Reilly’s tonight…

  41. The confluence’s Dakincat has some interesting facts about the oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico. I feel so sorry for people who live on the Gulf Coast…they say Bobby Jingle looks horrible…I guess he’s not sleeping very well knowing this could be a worse disaster than Katrina.

  42. #
    May 14th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    I don’t know why people keep comparing us to Greece, they should be saying… California goes so goes the rest of the country…because this will be the true statement.

    Did I hear this correct on Bret Baer…the leaking pipe in the Gulf of Mexico is 21 inches….my culvert in my drainage ditch is 15 inches…WOW…that is a huge leak! The Gulf of Mexico is going to be dead!

    Notice the lack of outrage coming from our Reps and Senators. The Senate hearings were a joke. The spinmiesters must have been paid handsomely for their ambivilant responses. The Disney version interrogating BP officers was a farce and should be followed up and viewed with animated cartoon characters.

    Here’s another angle regarding the silent voices from the R’s and D’s about the toxic crude inundating the gulf. The Oil Cos want it that way- Then the Gulf of Mexico IS good for one thing and one thing only… DRILLING for OIL.

  43. Stephonopolis owes Bill/Hill everything, but unlike Carville, he is a weasel( sorry to insult weasels) and an Obama kiss ass from day one…How this turd ever got his own show, let alone one that had the late David Brinkley as a predecessor, just shows how dumbmified we have become.

  44. George S. puts the skids on Hillary running in 2012′ by saying if the Presidents number were low enough that it would cause someone to run against him for the nomination, it would have to be a person outside the administration because everyone in the administration would have the Obama stench


    Well, she doesn’t seem to have caught the stench yet, as her poll numbers are going up while O’s are going down.

    I can’t imagine her openly challenging Obama for the nomination, but remember back around 1968/72 when X challenged LBJ so LBJ quit but Y got the nomination. Trouble is that the GOP won…. Though again which is cause and which is effect.

  45. Mrs. Smith,
    Its a travesty we are not getting any more air time than we are getting. I understand that you can smell the oil in the French Quarter. BP says the air is safe…they also said it was a small leak, now we find out its leaking out of a 21 inch pipe…that’s huge. I did not know they even used that size of pipe.
    Kevin Costner has some kind of machine that separates the oil from the water and 200,000 gals in an hour, they have been testing in New Orleans…lets hope someone allows this to be tried out on the open sea. Time is of the essence.
    Obama coming out of the WH today and hollaring was just stupid, this is the same method he is using on Iran and Israel, we see how that works.
    Big oil is to blame and that goes back to the Bush’s.

  46. turndown…one good thing that might come out of this oil gusher….Hillary can blame the GOP for loosened controls on offshore drilling. She might be able to get that populas game going again. She definitely knows where all the bodies are buried in the Obama administration as well as BUsh’s and she can rest her laurels on husband’s great 8 yr administration.

  47. I have yet to figure out why they all love this fraud…it totally escapes me…some sort of manlove I guess??? Who knows, but I agree with Sarah on one thing, the mama grisslies are going to take back this country. LOL!

  48. #
    May 14th, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    Jen the Michigander
    May 14th, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Well said.

    I wish they would run a national poll seeing how many Americans and superdelegates regret not voting for Hillary Clinton.

    lol…I can dream.
    I also wonder how many of the delegates/superdelegates that switched their votes to the fraud will be kicked out of office in the next two years.

  49. Katrina was on 24/7 as a way too detroy Bush;Obama , once again, gets the pass. The mnedia will protect this man under any circumstances as they are no longer interested in reporting news, but twisting their stories to make Obama look good, and all who oppose him racists.

  50. We found something else that was much more interesting in the Stephanoupoulos interview. First of all, these guys are not as bright as they think they are and they are only considered to be so bright because they were associated with Bill Clinton’s campaign. The smart guys there were Bill and Hillary not anyone else.

    But what we found interesting is that George thought that a Republican takeover of congress would be good for Obama. We presume that theory is because Bill Clinton handled that situation so very well and won reelection. But this time they will have Obama who we doubt will handle a Republican congress as well as Bill did. What is interesting is that this is the new line of defense to explain away the expected losses.

    We don’t think that Hillary will challenge B.O. in a primary but the idea that a Republican congress will help Obama is blowing smoke. Bill was a known commodity when he was elected and an even better known commodity by 1994. The Democrats lost in 1994 due to a Republican unified strategy and assorted scandals along with a too late in coming economic recovery. By the time the Republicans took power the Bill budget and its great effects on the economy were in place so Bill was beginning to ride a wave from those early smart decisions.

    Obama is riding a wave of bad decisions. If the Republicans take over a house of congress there will be many investigations and dredging up of issues that will define Obama, and not in a good way. If Dimocrats believe, and it is likely they do have that delusion, that a Republican takeover will allow Obama to run against a Republican congress all the way to reelection they are sadly mistaken.

    The delusions will persist until the actual fact of devastating defeat actually occurs. At that point some will come to their senses. Some will persist in their delusions of an Obama reelection but reality is the enemy.

    Possibility 1: Republicans win and Dimocrats stick with Obama. If this happens it will mean that the Dimocrats need another beating in 2012. It’s either learn from reality or reality will bite.

    Possibility 2: Republicans win and Dimocrats dump Obama. If this happens the Dimocrats might have a chance to stave off further defeat.

    Possibility 3. Dimocrats win and Dimocrats stick with Obama. If this happens the Obama policies will have to produce results or we are doomed. We doubt this is the least possible of the possibilities.

  51. JbStonesFan, George got his job by declaring Bill would have to resign and indeed predicted a resignation within the week when the Monica story broke.

  52. Shadowfax
    I also wonder how many of the delegates/superdelegates that switched their votes to the fraud will be kicked out of office in the next two years.


    That would be a great message if the supers who voted for Hillary are the only ones who DON”T get kicked out. Not so good a message if they get kicked out too.

  53. jbstonesfan….but why are they doing this???Why this guy? What do they see in this guy that they did not see in Bill Clinton?? I just can’t figure it out, why people love this idiot? Does he have them drugged or what (just joking)?

    It has to be that someone is paying them to be quiet and the long they can keep this guy in the bigger the payola…that’s what I’m guessing! Who has to deep pockets for this idiot?

  54. Unfortunately many people, including Steph etc, seem to have hated (or at least betryaed) the Clintons way back in the 90s, long before anyone heard of Obama.

  55. Admin:

    Here is what doesn’t compute:

    “Bill Clinton handled that situation so very well and won reelection. But this time they will have Obama who we doubt will handle a Republican congress as well as Bill did. What is interesting is that this is the new line of defense to explain away the expected losses.”

    We knew the excuses for Obama’s poor performance would be coming and as lame as a three legged donkey. (no offense, confloyd :0)

    Obama can’t possibly be that delusional he is not concerned the midterms will be a report card gaging his governance. Yet he seems to be unconcerned a democratic bloodbath in November will leave him unscathed. Has he been guaranteed an exit strategy by the sycophants that put him in office; assigning blame for our country’s ills solely to a democratic Congress?

  56. turndown, the party-entrenched Dimocrats always hated Bill, even in the 90’s. He was NOT their choice to win the Dim primary. His first 2 years in office, they fought with him – he wanted to be practical, they wanted to tax-n-spend.

    He tried to move left to bargain with them, get some stuff done. At one point Morris says Bill told him “I was so far left I didn’t recognize myself.” Bill was never a radical ideologue. After 94, he had to fight off the far right, who were as loony as the Dims, but actually did a better job of compromising with him on legislation than the Dims had done.

    Bill WAS a practical centrist at heart, and was besieged from both sides alternately. And the moment he left office the Dims began spitting on his legacy and trying to bury the fact that the Clinton years had ever happened. This all happened, as you say, long before Obama. He was merely a convenient vehicle for them to use to stab the Clintons in the back.

    The Clintons achieved respect from the party poobahs for their sheer political skills, but those bastards NEVER liked Bill or Hillary either one. They could not be controlled. They cared about the People, not the Great Elitist Progressive Fairytale. They upset the apple cart.

  57. Mrs. Smith, its a whistle pass the graveyard strategy. There’s not much more he can do but distract and feign unconcern. It’s all about himself and whatever happens to Dimocrats he does not care. They signed on to the “hang together” strategy too which hurts them and helps him. To that extent the response is rational. Bottom line: what else can he do? Spending trillions hasn’t helped; the health scam has not helped; his appearances do not help (quite the contrary); what else is there to do?

  58. Admin…We don’t think that Hillary will challenge B.O. in a primary but the idea that a Republican congress will help Obama is blowing smoke.

    I still think there is a possibility Hillary will challenge the Fraud if Dems see that he is not able to win re-election. I don’t think Obama is wise, especially not wise enough to swing to the middle like Bill did with a Rep Congress…

    To just destroy the Dems and replace them with a Rep Pres. is not my goal.

    Without the hope that Hillary will run again………I have no hope at all.

  59. Shadowfax, I am with you on that hope thing…if the Hillbuzz boys are right and Obama has some sort of health condition, after he loses the house and the senate…the stress maybe too much for him and he will step aside as did Johnson. This is really our only hope at this point, betting the dims will grow a brain is like expecting Hannity to begin backing Hillary.

  60. The right wing is crazy, but the lefties are just plain stupid…I think they are like my first brother in law…brilliant, but really stupid. If you had to depend on him for your survival, you’d starve to death, but he could talk you to death on any subject.

  61. Admin:

    “To that extent the response is rational. Bottom line: what else can he do? Spending trillions hasn’t helped; the health scam has not helped; his appearances do not help (quite the contrary); what else is there to do?”

    Thanks for your response, admin-

    I was of a mind BO would have Soros recommend him for the Presidency of the UN or some form of Global Government (if things continue going badly for Obama) to pluck him from the jaws of defeat/embarrassment. But just today I read Sarkozy is thinking of withdrawing from the EU and his withdrawal may just trigger a stampede of the EU membership. There doesn’t seem to be much evidence of any tangible success to date coming from their global strategy. In fact, their incessant manipulation of the Euro has had just the opposite effect putting Spain and Portugal at risk of BK. Another disaster in the making-

    In short, BO may have just run out of road. Everything Obama has touched turns into a disaster. It gives me the shivers, if in 4 yrs, after paying for a HC Plan, the plan is so egregious, we’ll be subject to it because no one objected strongly enough during those 4 yrs and end up a precedent setting mandate.

  62. Confloyd
    I really don’t think Obama has Parkinsons, like the Hillbuzz boys tease.

    Obama is a liar and fraud that panders to everyone…when the goodies he promised everyone don’t appear, they will turn on him like sharks.

    First the media will start turning on him (Obama has already started to hide from the media) when the public catches the voting booths on fire in Nov.

    ..the media likes a ‘winner’ not someone that is unpopular, and after that the obots will turn on them more when the MSM doesn’t give them any more hope.

    If Hillary doesn’t challenge him, the Democratic Party will not be in the Whitehouse for quite awhile.

  63. Shadowfax
    I don’t think Obama is wise, especially not wise enough to swing to the middle like Bill did with a Rep Congress…


    Obama has already swung way past the middle and into the Right! BAiling out banks, FISA, throwing women, gays under the bus — all with the excuse of placating the GOP.

  64. Mrs. Smith, its a whistle pass the graveyard strategy. There’s not much more he can do but distract and feign unconcern. It’s all about himself and whatever happens to Dimocrats he does not care. They signed on to the “hang together” strategy too which hurts them and helps him. To that extent the response is rational. Bottom line: what else can he do? Spending trillions hasn’t helped; the health scam has not helped; his appearances do not help (quite the contrary); what else is there to do?
    Yes. It is like that memorable line in the Man From La Mancha by Miguel Cervantes which goes like this: “one does not talk of the rope in the house of the soon to be hanged.”

  65. rgb44hrc
    May 14th, 2010 at 9:54 pm
    May 14th, 2010 at 9:46 pm
    George S.

    George Soros?
    I assumed they were talking about a weasel as opposed to a wart hog. But perhaps it is open to interpretation.

  66. Krugman seems to have succumbed for the last few months…a while ago he was still using critical analysis…now he just spurts out reactionary partisan mush…his integrity is walking a very fine line…besides his columns, his tv appearances have been embarrassing…so trite…and dishonest
    With Paul the truth no longer matters. All that matters to him now is whose side are you on. That is the fastest way for someone in his capacity to lose all credibility.

  67. George S. puts the skids on Hillary running in 2012′ by saying if the Presidents number were low enough that it would cause someone to run against him for the nomination, it would have to be a person outside the administration because everyone in the administration would have the Obama stench…so I don’t think she will run…the DNC has ruined her chances of ever being Potus.

    Hillary has people power. George S has one vote….
    Her connection to the American people scares the hell out of people like George because they can’t control her.

  68. Yes. It is like that memorable line in the Man From La Mancha by Miguel Cervantes which goes like this: “one does not talk of the rope in the house of the soon to be hanged.”



  69. Agree with you Carol. Being in the Obama administration evidently isn’t tainting Hillary or she wouldn’t have such high poll numbers compared to his even right now.

    If he goes lower in the polls it seems to me that her numbers will go even higher. She had the publics attention for all those months when running for President. The American people know she isn’t an “Obmama Democrat”. They are realizing she is what should have been…and I think that is to her advantage.

  70. I think it is ego and audacity at it’s worst. The elected dims, including obama can’t believe that anyone would diss their savior. They can’t believe that they have hung their greedy ambitions on an empty suit who is intent on destroying not just America but the world as a whole.

  71. now all bambi has to do is destroy what Hillary has mended…

    Clinton wins British pledge of support

    By Daniel Dombey in Washington and Alex Barker in London
    May 15 2010

    William Hague, UK foreign secretary, said yesterday that the new coalition government intended to forge a distinctive British foreign policy but that, like its predecessor, it supported the US across the range of international issues.

    In Washington to meet Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, Mr Hague said that, while the UK was concerned about the war in Afghanistan, it endorsed the strategy there and also sought to bolster Washington’s push for international sanctions on Iran.

    The meeting came in the wake of a renewed US emphasis on the “special relationship” with the UK and as the new British government prepares to assess policy on both Iran and Afghanistan, perhaps President Barack Obama’s top two international priorities.

    Mr Hague said the new government was determined to revive the UK economy and to “deliver a distinctive British foreign policy abroad”. But, referring to ties with the US as “an unbreakable alliance” of unparalleled scope, he added: “It is good for our relationship and it is good for world affairs that the UK is in support so far of the major foreign policy initiatives of the Obama administration [although] not in any slavish way.”

    The new foreign secretary’s choice of Washington as his first overseas visit is intended to symbolise the government’s view that the US is its most important partner. Mr Obama made sure he was the first foreign leader to call Mr Cameron after he had taken office.

    Yesterday, the secretary of state dismissed any suggestion that the US was concerned about the novel make-up of the British coalition and said she was “extremely pleased” at the start it had made on foreign policy issues.

    However, British officials have signalled concern about the progress of the US-led war against the Taliban.

    Yesterday, Mr Hague said: “We expected always to be worried about it until huge progress is made.” He said that while he believed international efforts against the Taliban were making headway, “it’s too early to say whether that is going to produce the results desired”, and the UK would “take stock of the role and configuration over coming months and years of British forces”.

    But he stressed that the UK would “give the time and support for the strategy in Afghanistan to succeed”, including enhancing co-operation with the US “so we have a clear, shared perspective on what we are doing”.

    Mr Hague will soon be overseeing a full UK security and defence review that will revisit many assumptions over Afghanistan and Britain’s role in the world. David Cameron, prime minister, has already made clear that troops will “really start coming home” within the next few years.

    Mr Hague also noted “strong continuity” between his stance on Iran and that of the previous Labour government, adding that he wanted the European Union to impose additional sanctions on Tehran.

  72. Saturday, May 15, 2010

    Clinton To Visit Japan On May 21WASHINGTON (Kyodo)–U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Japan on May 21 to discuss the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futemma Air Station in Okinawa with Japanese government officials including Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, Japan-U.S. diplomatic sources said Friday.

  73. Nineties technology just may be the way to go for remediation of the Gulf Oil Spill.

    “Nick Pozzi, who was an engineer with Saudi Aramco in the Middle East when he says an accident there in 1993 generated a spill far larger than anything the United States has ever seen.” But he says, “no one is listening.” After trying to convince BP execs there is a way to save the environment from certain disaster and recover the oil.

    The cure is available:

    Is this anything to do with what you mentioned last night about Kevin Costner, Confloyd?

  74. Mrs, Smith, It sounds similar but Costner’s is apparently a machine that does it and of coarse will cost a huge amount of money….sounds to me that BP is not listening to people at the expense of the gulf and its fish.

  75. Shadowfax,
    Perhaps Obama doesn’t have Parkinson’s, but he does have an ambulance that went with him to New Orleans, I saw it with my very own eyes. So unless its common practice for the President of the US to have an ambulance follow him, then he has something.

    I remember that much was said about Cheney’s ambulance, so I don’t think its common practice for that to happen. I also heard Obama has a rare type of blood.

  76. The Senate will miss him when he leaves.

    This amendment, plus the Glass Stegall Amendment discussed yesterday, would go along way toward solving the problem in global financial markets, and putting us on a sustainable path to economic security.

    Hillary may not be involved in politics at this point, but if she were then there is no doubt in my mind that she would be leading effort for real reform, just as Obama and Dodd are promoting cosmetic reform pre-approved by Wall Street and when his legislation passes it will be sold to the public as “yet another problem left over from Bush solved by Obama”.

    Real reform would break the death grip of global speculators over this economy. It would restore power to the American People and protect our sovereignty. Dodd and Obama are controlled by globalists. Inevitably, they will argue that markets are fragile and these misguided steps could disrupt our economy. But their argument fails to account for the fact that our economy is already fatally flawed in terms of fundamentals and if settle for cosmetic change then disaster ahead is certain.

    That is why I was hopeful that we could generate some support for the above legislation yesterday–not for my sake but because of the critical importance of the issue. However I must assume from the lack of feedback that it did not happen. I ran the traps on it at least, and called all the senate offices. They were elated for the support. I am writing emails. Monday they will be voting. If these amendments do not pass, and they probably will not, then it will be lost opportunity to correct the problem. In the meantime, here are Dorgan’s comments which reinforce the importance of real reform:

  77. Now they are going to put those chemicals under the water…13 birds died today…they were covered with oil…New Orleans smells like oil…I wonder if a spark could start a fire??

  78. They thought it was over after they got done bribing and extorting votes from members of their own party and shoved it down the throats of the American people like the good little Bolsheviks they are, and big media lauded it as the greatest civil rights achievement in the last 50 years, a milestone (millstone?) in the path of human evolution on a par with the opposable thumb, or the capacity to make tools, or communicate through language, oh when will the superlatives from the likes of EJ Dione ever stop.

    Well, guess what? It ain’t over until its over and it ain’t over not now, not in November, and not never:
    Senate GOP Launching New Campaign Against Health Care Law
    By David M. Drucker
    Roll Call Staff
    May 13, 2010, 4:14 p.m.

    Senate Republicans are poised to try to reignite the health care debate by launching a coordinated political messaging offensive to target Democrats and the White House for what they contend are the new law’s onerous consequences.

    A group of Republican Senators who played key roles in the yearlong fight over health care legislation met Thursday in Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (Ky.) office to discuss the strategy. Under the slogan “second opinion,” Republicans plan to communicate their message on multiple fronts, including on the Senate floor, in press conferences, via the Internet and through television and radio appearances.

    A Republican Senate aide described the effort as intended “to draw attention to the consequences of the health care law that the White House hopes people miss.” (snip)

    The Republicans’ latest public relations offensive had been in the works since (snip) Obama signed the health care overhaul into law in late March, but their complete roll out was delayed while Senators focused on financial reform legislation. Until now, the Republicans’ pushback has been largely conducted by the GOP leadership’s press operation.

    Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), an orthopedic surgeon and key player in the health care debate, has not halted his criticism of the new law in the weeks since it was enacted. Barrasso, who coined the “second opinion” slogan, participated in Thursday’s strategy session in McConnell’s office.

    “I’ve gone to the floor every week for the last four weeks and given a doctor’s second opinion of this health care law because at least every week something that I predicted would happen has actually happened,” Barrasso said, citing a new Congressional Budget Office report estimating that the health care overhaul could cost an additional $115 billion.

    Also attending the GOP strategy session were Minority Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.); Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.); Policy Chairman John Thune (S.D.); Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.); Finance ranking member Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions ranking member Mike Enzi (Wyo.).

    Alexander’s GOP Conference office recently unveiled a website titled “A Second Opinion” to act as an online aggregator of news and talking points supporting the Republican health care message.

    Additionally, a component of the new health care campaign involves Republican criticism of Donald Berwick, who (snip) Obama nominated to run the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. On Wednesday, McConnell and Republican Sens. Bob Bennett (Utah) and Pat Roberts (Kan.) engaged in a colloquy on the Senate floor in which they attacked Berwick’s record. Berwick is a doctor and Harvard professor.

    Every Republican in the House and Senate voted against the health care bill on final passage.

  79. After twenty years of running her mouth, Obama lover Margaret Carlson finally said something intelligent. Less clear is that she really intended to say what she said. or regretted saying it later. But without further ado here it is:

    “The Republican-turned-Democrat (Specter) looks like an incumbent of two parties in a year when it’s better to be an incumbent of none.”

    Actually, Specter is a just a man for all seasons, and a proper identification lineage would read Democrat-turned Republican-turned Democrat. In baseball, they would call him a switch hitters.

    Arlen Specter Abandoned by Obama, Imploding in Pa. Senate Race
    Thursday, 13 May 2010 07:34 PM Article Font Size
    By: John Mercurio

    In his increasingly uphill bid for reelection, Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., can’t seem to catch a break. He’s a five-term incumbent during a time of fierce anti-establishment sentiment. He’s running as a Democrat, for the first time in four decades, in a year when the party is on the defensive.

    And less than one week before a tightening Democratic primary, the White House announced that President Obama will not travel to Pennsylvania to campaign for him.

    If that wasn’t bad enough, Specter also must maneuver carefully around Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, whom he opposed for solicitor general last year. As his primary challenger, Rep. Joe Sestak, reminds Democrats, Specter’s 2009 vote is one on a long list of party-line votes he cast as a Republican.

    New polls show Specter’s once-formidable lead in Tuesday’s primary has vanished. Despite a sizable financial advantage, the 80-year-old senator now is locked in a dead heat with Sestak, 58, a retired two-star Navy admiral who ousted a 10-term Republican in 2006 in the moderate Philadelphia suburbs and then won re-election by 20 points.

    Specter started the race last year as a formidable front-runner. He lined up key support from the White House, organized labor, and Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell, who predicted that, if Sestak ran, “he would get killed,” then quickly fade “into political obscurity.”

    Sestak is, to be sure, an unorthodox campaigner. He’s a lackluster fundraiser and doesn’t have a formal campaign manager. But Specter has failed to put to rest questions about his 2009 party switch, which he defends by noting the GOP’s rightward shift.

    “I returned to the party of my roots. What’s wrong with that?” he said this week in Pennsylvania. “Look at what is happening to moderate Republicans around the country. You have Florida Governor [Charlie] Crist getting kicked out of the Republican Party.”

    Sestak has won over party loyalists with a simple recitation of key Specter votes before he switched parties: He voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, for example, and he supported the Iraq War. He backed the Bush tax cuts and, of course, he endorsed the GOP presidential tickets of Bush/Cheney and McCain/Palin.

    In a new TV ad, Sestak attacks Specter’s reasoning for his party switch (“[it]will enable me to be re-elected”), as a narrator says the senator switched parties “to save one job: his, not yours.” Perhaps even more damaging in the Democratic primary, the spot features footage of George W. Bush praising Specter in 2004 as a “firm ally.”

    Some of Specter’s problems are also self-inflicted; for example, he occasionally slips up at Democratic events and refers to the audience as “Republicans.” And, as The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza pointed out Thursday, Specter tripped up during his debut as a Democrat.

    Specter “was badly off his game in the days immediately following his decision to switch parties last April,” Cillizza writes. “In explaining his decision to switch, Specter didn’t cite deep principles but rather his belief that his best chance to be re-elected was by running as a Democrat.

    “His now-infamous quote — ‘My change in party will enable me to be re-elected’ — sums up the problem for Specter. (Sestak turned that quote into an absolutely devastating ad against Specter.),” Cillizza adds. “If he winds up on the short end on Tuesday, Specter may well look back to April 28, 2009 as the day he lost the race.”

    Adds liberal pundit Margret Carlson, “The Republican-turned-Democrat looks “like an incumbent of two parties in a year when it’s better to be an incumbent of none.”

    Waiting in the wings after Tuesday is Republican Pat Toomey, a former congressman and former head of the conservative Club for Growth, who narrowly lost a 2004 primary challenge to Specter. Regardless of who wins the Democratic primary, polls suggest a tight race this fall.

    For months, Toomey has been training his fire on Specter. This week, however, the Republican called Sestak an “extreme liberal.” He released a web video criticizing costly legislation he has supported and dubbed him “Joe Saystax.” The message: Toomey is preparing for a tough race this fall — against either Democrat.

  80. wboeii —

    you are making some excellent points. The finance reform bill is a POS, it will not help anyone except big banks who have enough resources. It will hurt community banks who don’t have that kind of lobbying power. Every state’s local banks have an association that restricts their lending, and in most cases these restrictions are much more strict then for the big firms on wall street. The main difference is the local state banks cannot be bailed out by the state so they do not take risks that are too wild, and that keeps them in check, and they lend to local small businesses, so the relationship is much more sound.

    The lobbyists for the bankers who should have failed are giving money of both parties. But it is idiots like Dodd who are pushing this crap, and its not hard to see why, as soon as Dodd retires, watch, the man will work on some board for JP Morgan, Goldman… etc.

    The demoncrats are so freaking off their core middle class values, it makes me sick!

    Last week, while at the same time Obama was railing in his whiny voice against Wall Street, he raised over 2 million at fundraiser from these same wall street firms.

    Will the MSM report this? HELL NO.

  81. As for Byron Dorgon, another sell-out, made sure that one bank in his state that was making Sallie Mae loans would not be shut down. While in Florida, 2500 employees will be let go this year, another 3000 layoffs next year, since the fool has now taken over the student loan industry.

  82. It seems the Europeans are joining hands in solidarity and are about bringing Obama and the Federal Reserve to heel.

    The EU is creating another stumbling block Geithner and Obama will have trouble overcoming. Outwardly, the US may appear weak on paper… BUT, we have FRIENDS that respect the former prestige of the United States. They miss us terribly and want relations with us back the way they were…. once again-

    This article doesn’t look like much but keep reading…:

  83. As for Byron Dorgon, another sell-out, made sure that one bank in his state that was making Sallie Mae loans would not be shut down. While in Florida, 2500 employees will be let go this year, another 3000 layoffs next year, since the fool has now taken over the student loan industry.
    Good point. I did not know that. Thanks for mentioning it. No virgins in that whorehouse I guess.

  84. In matters of style swim with the current, in matters of style swim like a rock and you Mrs. Smith are far ahead of the pack in understanding the problem. Part of the reason for this is we lack an international perspective, and part of it is we are fed an unending stream of propaganda by our media who are owned and controlled by multi national corporations who see the United States as the fulcrum with which to restructure the world economy to their benefit. A global market without borders.

    What we see in Europe is push back against the divine right of global speculators to prey on their economies and their people. This resistance is also present in Russia. These leaders see what is going on and has been going on since the fall of the Soviet Union. Global speculators preying on their economies. If your read the history of the past twenty years, you see one case study after another of this happening. And every time it happens, the speculators win and the people lose.

    Hedge funds are the vehicles for these activities. They are the darlings of Britain and the United States. They are the engine of a speculative economy which is inherently unstable. Like a hammer pounding on a precious metal, they change the shape of society from a democracy to an obligarchy. Germany, France and Russia understand the game which is being played in a way that most Americans do not. They are wise to say no to hedge funds, unless they are closely regulated.

    Trust all men. But cut the cards.

  85. Question: how many people have emigrated here from Muslim countries since Obamathon took office? And how many more are in the pipeline? I am not suggesting a moratorium. I am simply asking a question.

    So let me summarize the Washington Post article for you:

    Somebody tried to set Lars Vilks and his house on fire, almost certainly because he draws mean things about their religion.

    Via Hot Air Headlines. Yeah, this was the guy who got assaulted by religious fanatics earlier this week, after he showed them mean Photoshops about their religion:

    Let me tell you what worries me about Europe. What worries me about Europe is not they’re going to collapse into some sort of prostrate client state of radical Islamist fanaticism. No, what worries me is that the Europeans have precisely two tools in their political toolbox: technocratic social democracy, and authoritarianism. Technocratic social democracy is rapidly demonstrating that it has absolutely no idea how to handle this kind of aggressive, violent religious fanaticism.

    Authoritarians… do. It will be the wrong answer, ethically speaking, but since when did that ever stop an authoritarian regime?

    Moe Lane

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