The God That Bailed

As part of the Big Pink health plan, we continue to monitor the fever levels of Hopium Guzzlers with thermometers stuck firmly in their recta.

First up – Andrew Sullivan, the one who thought Obama’s “face” was sufficient to bring about a golden age of “new politics”. Sullivan’s Obama Delusion was at a fever high when he declared that Obama’s “face” would “rebrand” America so that “a young Pakistani” Muslim would hear celestial choirs and that:

“At a time when America’s estrangement from the world risks tipping into dangerous imbalance, when a country at war with lethal enemies is also increasingly at war with itself, when humankind’s spiritual yearnings veer between an excess of certainty and an inability to believe anything at all, and when sectarian and racial divides seem as intractable as ever, a man who is a bridge between these worlds may be indispensable.”

What does love obsessed Sullivan see after one year and a half of Obama? Here’s the latest assessment:

“Those of us who hoped for some kind of winding down of the longest war in US history will almost certainly be disappointed now. David Petraeus is the real Pope of counter-insurgency and if he decides that he needs more troops and more time and more resources in Afghanistan next year, who is going to be able to gainsay him? That’s Thomas P. Barnett’s shrewd assessment. Obama’s pledge to start withdrawing troops in 2011 is now kaput. It won’t happen. I doubt it will happen in a second term either. Once Washington has decided to occupy a country, it will occupy it for ever. We are still, remember, in Germany! But Afghanistan?

Obama’s gamble on somehow turning the vast expanse of that ungovernable “nation” into a stable polity dedicated to fighting Jihadist terror is now as big as Bush’s in Iraq – and as quixotic. It is also, in my view, as irrational, a deployment of resources and young lives that America cannot afford and that cannot succeed. It really is Vietnam – along with the crazier and crazier rationales for continuing it. But it is now re-starting in earnest ten years in, dwarfing Vietnam in scope and longevity.[snip]

This much we also know: Obama will run for re-election with far more troops in Afghanistan than Bush ever had – and a war and occupation stretching for ever into the future, with no realistic chance of success. Make no mistake: this is an imperialism of self-defense, a commitment to civilize even the least tractable culture on earth because Americans are too afraid of the consequences of withdrawal. And its deepest irony is that continuing this struggle will actually increase and multiply the terror threats we face – as it becomes once again a recruitment tool for Jihadists the world over.

This is a war based on fear, premised on a contradiction, and doomed to carry on against reason and resources for the rest of our lives.

Maybe this is why you supported Obama – to see the folly of nation-building extended indefinitely to the least promising wastelands on earth, as the US heads toward late-imperial bankruptcy. It is not a betrayal as such. But it is, in my view, a huge and metastasizing mistake.”

Imagine what that “young Pakistani” Sullivan fantasized about is thinking now. As we analyzed in 2008:

“Again and again the Hopium addled live outside reality when they think that the great issues are a matter of personality. Americans are divided and many around the world hate America because of our interests and beliefs, not our personalities nor the personalities of our leaders. [snip]

Frank Rich will eventually be forced to express the reality of Obama as we have so accurately described it. Andrew Sullivan and John Kerry sold Obama’s “black face” as the great hope. Opposition governments and terrorists HOPING for our demise will not be disuaded by a black face in the White House.

Sullivan and his ilk who supported Barack Obama should not have been listened to. Sullivan does not address his foolishness in supporting Obama then. But as unaccountable as Sullivan is, MoveOn is even worse – Stalinist worse, erase history bad:

“When Gen. David Petraeus testified before Congress in September 2007, ran a New York Times ad accusing him of “cooking the books for the White House” about the U.S. troop surge in Iraq and labeled him “General Betray Us.” The ad could be found on MoveOn’s website until Wednesday of this week when it quietly came down and all references to it were scrubbed.

Why was the advocacy group willing to forcefully criticize a top general when President George W. Bush was commander-in-chief, yet is now silent now that President Barack Obama is in office? Is there a double standard at play or has had a sincere change of heart about the abilities of Gen. Petraeus and the merits of military strategies employed in Afghanistan and Iraq?”

Stalinist erasing history is what MoveOn has become.

And what of the gusher of words from Obama on Guantanamo? This is what we wrote in Obama Is The Third Bush Term, Part II – Guantanamo:

“The latest Obama flim-flam took place on ABC’s This Week. The campaign promise to close Guantanamo within 100 days is now a broken promise. Obama says he has just now discovered that closing Guantanamo is “complex”. The truth of course is that nothing has changed on the issue of Guantanamo, there are no new facts on Guantanamo.[snip]

Obama is simply lying, again. The Guantanamo prison and the issues surrounding it have been well known and yes, complex. But there is nothing new on the Guantanamo issue. What is new is Obama is flim-flamming again and Big Media is protecting Obama, again. “

Obama made a lot of empty promises and the gullible and the Hopium guzzling lit incense. Remember what Obama said about the absolute need to close Guantanamo?

“The president said he was issuing the order to close the facility in order to “restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great even in the midst of war, even in dealing with terrorism.”

Obama’s own personal Hopium den stated closing Guantanamo was necessary. This is what Obama said then:

“Close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center: Guantanamo has become a recruiting tool for our enemies. The legal framework behind Guantanamo has failed completely, resulting in only one conviction.[snip] The first step to reclaiming America’s standing in the world has to be closing this facility. As president, Barack Obama will close the detention facility at Guantanamo. He will reject the Military Commissions Act, which allowed the U.S. to circumvent the Geneva Convention in the handling of detainees. He will develop a fair and thorough process based on the Uniform Code of Military Justice to distinguish between those prisoners who should be prosecuted for their crimes, those who can’t be prosecuted but who can be held in a manner consistent with the laws of war, and those who should be released or transferred to their home countries.”

What happened to all that? What happened after the gusher of words when Obama signed an order to close Guantanamo? Here is the latest (Big Media excuses for Obama included):

“Stymied by political opposition and focused on competing priorities, the Obama administration has sidelined efforts to close the Guantánamo prison, making it unlikely that President Obama will fulfill his promise to close it before his term ends in 2013.

When the White House acknowledged last year that it would miss Mr. Obama’s initial January 2010 deadline for shutting the prison, it also declared that the detainees would eventually be moved to one in Illinois. But impediments to that plan have mounted in Congress, and the administration is doing little to overcome them.

The administration argues that Guantánamo is a symbol in the Muslim world of past detainee abuses, citing military views that its continued operation helps terrorists.[snip]

“The president can’t just wave a magic wand to say that Gitmo will be closed,” said a senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal thinking on a sensitive issue.”

Obama promised to close Guantanamo but now that nothing has changed in the level of complexity when he made the promise, Obama has bailed on the promise. Perhaps he is too busy golfing and healing the planet with his soothing words.

Senator Levin of Michigan, an Obama ally says: “They are not really putting their shoulder to the wheel on this issue.” “It’s pretty dormant in terms of their public positions.”

Guantanamo is still open and Obama Hopium Guzzlers are playing apology bingo.

Josh Marshall, who we pegged as the “piano player in a whorehouse” attacked Hillary Clinton viciously and pimped for Obama. On the day of the McChrystal firing Marshall wrote about hero God Obama:

“My initial sense is, honestly, I wasn’t sure he had it in him.”

Marshall who typically thought the decision was typically brilliant of his hero God did not think Obama “had it in him.” Marshall later tried to explain what he meant but failed. Clearly, Marshall’s first impression was that Obama does not have “the stuff” to do what needs to be done.

Many thought Obama would not fire McChrystal because Obama, the bower in chief to foreign potentates and domestic lobbyists and special interests of his special friends, lacks leadership. So what explains the McChrystal firing? The same “reasoning” that motivated Obama to get rid of McChrystal is the same “reasoning” that prompted Obama to throw Jeremiah Wright under the bus (to join his own grandmother and in loco parentis): his ego.

What prompted Obama to whine himself away from “God Damn America” Jeremiah Wright (Wright is back in the news this time attacking “Jews” and Whitey)? Wright, like McChrystal’s aides, insulted Obama:

“What triggered Obama’s twisted reenactment yesterday of Oedipus Rex? Was Obama’s proxy patricide due to something newly outrageous uttered by “Pastor” Wright? No. Obama’s explained the scolding of his “Pastor” of 20 years by statingAnd what I think particularly angered me was his suggestion somehow that my previous denunciation of his remarks was somehow political posturing.” Obama further whimpered, I don’t think that he showed much concern for me.

It wasn’t “God Damn America” that caused the rupture between Jeremiah Wright and Barack Obama. It was Jeremiah Wright telling the truth about Obama’s (as Michelle Obama has said) “selfishness and careerism“. When McChrystal and his aides insulted Obama, we should have all known that Obama would bristle and McChrystal would join the under the bus brigades.

In this health survey of the Hopium Left we cannot forget to stick our thermometer into the recta of the “creative class” at NothingLeft. Lately, Big Boy Blogs like NothingLeft have had nothing to say about the boobery of Obama’s Katrina and the great gusher of oil killing the Gulf coast. The “creative class” at NothingLeft has been busy monitoring the distraction of the so called financial regulation reforms and cheering themselves about nothing left in the proposed legislation:

“The short version is that reformers won some and lost some. But however you feel on the upbeat/downbeat scale, the fact that we won anything is pretty remarkable at all, and should not dismissed by the cynics. The fact is that American democracy is in pretty rough shape: big corporations generally run this town. Watching the Wall Street lobbyists and PR gurus and PAC money roll through DC the past few weeks took my breath away, and I’m a cynical old insider with two decades here. Our side was outspent 500 to 1. The big banks had 2000 of the best-paid lobbyists in the city; our side had a few policy wonks cobbled together from various underfunded public interest groups. Their side had the biggest PR killers in the country; our side had a few intrepid bloggers. Their side had PAC dollars flowing like the Mississippi River; ours had a modest amount of labor dollars and a few $25 netroots contributors. On a few issues, like the swipe fee thing, our side had some business allies; on most issues, and the entire bill overall, the big bankers talked the Chamber of Commerce and many other business interests into helping do their dirty work for them.

So, yeah, I’m bummed that we lost some big things to this Mordor’s army of Wall Street lobbyists, and I know this bill goes nowhere far enough. But my hat is off to the people in this progressive movement who fought their hearts out to win some important victories. The outgunned reformers fought the good fight against the most powerful industry seen in this nation at least since the days of the robber barons, and you won some things that mattered. This bill, assuming it doesn’t yet get derailed, is just one step forward on the path to a saner financial system, but it’s been worth doing.”

Nothing left at NothingLeft. A comment to the above captured the reality:

“I’m afraid Mike contradicts himself here. [snip]

…the bill will not fundamentally restructure or reform the way Wall Street does business.

This is very true. Financial stocks were up 1.69% today, compared to the rest of the S&P at .22% up. This bill doesn’t really change all that much, which is why the banksters are so very happy with this outcome.”

To borrow from Kris Kristofferson, ‘when you got NothingLeft, you got NothingLeft to lose.’ And we won’t go into Biden’s latest truth telling gaffe “there’s no possibility to restore 8 million jobs lost in the Great Recession.”

While the Hopium left continues to debase itself with slight breaks in the Obama fever, only to be followed by relapses, the American people are beginning to catch on to Obama bailing out on doing his job:

“His love of the game is clear from his willingness to play over successive weekends, even in sweltering heat.

But he has come under criticism from Republicans — and some in the media — for playing the country-club sport while millions of gallons of oil spew into the Gulf of Mexico.

Obama has played at least seven times since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded on April 20, according to a compilation of media reports. He has reportedly golfed a total of 39 times since his inauguration, though some rounds came during vacations.[snip]

Democrats were more outspoken about commanders in chief who golfed when Republicans controlled the White House, according to presidential historians.[snip]

Former President George W. Bush understood the potential public-relations fallout of playing golf during a time of national crisis. Bush said it would send the “wrong signal” to continue playing golf while American soldiers were fighting and dying in Iraq, and vowed not to.

He said he decided to quit after the bombing of United Nations headquarters in Baghdad in August 2003. But liberal critics shamed him when they found video of him on the green two months after making his promise.

But Bush seemed well aware of the sport’s image during a time of crisis.

“During the BP spill, it may have been wise to avoid a couple rounds here and there,” said Brinkley.

“Every elected official must be mindful of how things that seem a part of everyday life will be looked at differently during times of crisis,” said Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat from Ohio, who ran for president in 2008.”

Even the kids are noticing that while dolphins die, Obama golfs and it’s Day 69 of the Gusher in the Gulf.

The Mess-iah has bailed on the people who elected him. Little wonder.

Obama simply cannot be trusted. Obama cannot be trusted on any issue. Obama cannot be trusted by his friends. Obama cannot be trusted by his enemies. Obama cannot be trusted.

Obama Bingo


226 thoughts on “The God That Bailed

  1. Eleanor Clift:

    Obama, stymied by the GOP, seems at a loss when it comes to creating jobs. The administration can turn around the bleak job numbers in time for his reelection, but not in time for Democrats this fall.

    Labor ministers reporting to the G20 heads of state in Toronto will document a truly scary rise in unemployment worldwide—a mind-boggling record high of 212 million.

    In its annual Global Employment Trends report, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that 34 million people joined the ranks of the unemployed in 2008 and 2009. [snip]

    Here in America, 15 million unemployed is the official number, but each week scores of jobless drop off the unemployment rolls because their benefits run out and they are no longer counted. The actual number, far higher than what the weekly stats tell us, is on the way to becoming a permanent feature of the new economy. And while governments scrambled to save banks, there’s no comparable urgency about creating jobs.

    The Obama administration, given its rhetoric, has been particularly disappointing. [snip]

    It will take 11 million new jobs to get back to where we were before the Great Recession, and absorb new workers coming into the labor force. If we create 200,000 jobs a month, it will take 12 years; at 350,000 jobs a month, four years. In May, the private sector generated 41,000 new jobs. Don’t do the math; it’s too depressing.

    Business remains reluctant to hire, and the “summer of recovery” that the White House is touting as evidence that its policies are working is fine as far as it goes, but does very little to chip away at the growing jobs gap. Unemployment is expected to remain at about 9.5 percent through this year, and then under the most optimistic scenario very gradually decline to 8.2 percent by the end of 2011, in time perhaps to help ensure Obama’s reelection, but not in time to save Democrats this fall.[snip]

    Democratic Rep. Peter Welch told the group that like it or not, a growing number of Americans think we’ve spent our way into the problem we have, and that any proposal for spending, however worthy, “will be used against us.” Welch offered the wisdom of someone who’s been on the campaign trail, saying that Democrats should talk very concretely about retrofitting local schools, expanding broadband into communities, and rebuilding deteriorating water systems. “It’s unbelievable how bad our water is. Red state, blue state—your water system is failing.”

  2. I nominate admin for a pultizer prize. Superb work.

    the hypocracy of the left knows no bounds. The sad part, they don’t realise most ex-dems like me finally are now seeing their hypocracy. Idiots!

  3. Eleanor Clift: A little too late from you on the jobs topic!!!!!

    Democratic Rep. Peter Welch told the group that like it or not, a growing number of Americans think we’ve spent our way into the problem we have, and that any proposal for spending, however worthy, “will be used against us.”

    It is time for all Govt workers especially elected officials to take a pay decrease!!!!

  4. Yes, and the finance “reform” bill is pretty useless, the main thing it has essentially done is give the Fed. Reserve more power, next thing this recession deepens, and it will, Congress does not even have to be consulted for a TARP2.
    TARP is essentially made permanent, and the Fed. now decides which company is worth saving, breaking up, print as much money they deem necessary,etc.

    “Stop the next crisis? This wouldn’t have stopped the last one”
    (this reform bill will severely decrease money velocity, which means a double dip recession, and a much more severe one than the first one, is pretty much guranteed now if this crap passes)

  5. As HillBuzz likes to say in their latest post, VP Bite-Me’s Marie Antoinette moment

    Vice President Joe Biden was caught on camera calling a Glendale, Wisconsin custard shop manager a “smartass” after the man asked the White House lower his taxes.

    Biden visited Kopps Frozen Custard, a popular Milwaukee-area restaurant the vice president mistook for an ice cream parlor, to chat with employees and patrons. Biden’s rebuke came after he asked the manager what he owed.

    “Don’t worry, it’s on us,” the store’s manager replied to the vice president. “Lower our taxes and we’ll call it even.”

    Minutes later Biden is heard chiding the employee, saying: “Why don’t you say something nice instead of being a smartass all the time?”

  6. If VP Bite-Me had called me a smartass on my own business’s premises, I would kicked him out, right then and there.

  7. tim,

    I would too, right on his butt.

    Yahoo says that Senator Byrd is seriously ill in the hospital…the dems are about to lose another vote.

  8. Admin: nice turn of a phrase–the god that bailed.

    Here’s another:

    When told that her people needed bread, Marie Antoinette was heard to say: “let them eat cake”.

    When told that the American People need jobs, Barack Hussein Obama was heard to say: “it is not my responsibility to solve your problems, my people will handle them. By the way, I hear you have alot of golf courses around here. Just let me play golf!”

  9. the dems are about to lose another vote.
    Not sure of the procedure in W. Va but likely that the Dem Gov will appoint a Dem. replacement to fill out Byrd’s term to 2012.

  10. Not sure of the procedure in W. Va but likely that the Dem Gov will appoint a Dem. replacement to fill out Byrd’s term to 2012.
    Governor Manchin is bought and paid for. He promised to endorse the winner of the Democratic primary. Then when Hillary won by a margin of 67% to 26% he backed down. He is a whore.

  11. “Governor Manchin is bought and paid for. He promised to endorse the winner of the Democratic primary. Then when Hillary won by a margin of 67% to 26% he backed down. He is a whore.”

    Yep, so is Byrd, after hillary won WV, I remember Hillary visited Byrd and complimented so genuinely the people and state of WV.

    and what did Byrd and Manchin do? ENDORSE MR. COMMUNITY ORGANIZER.

  12. forgot to add the most important part

    “and what did Byrd and Manchin do? ENDORSE MR. COMMUNITY ORGANIZER, WHO DID NOT STEP A FOOT IN WV”

  13. I’m having an issue with FlashPlayer and www dot, so cannot refer to the videos of last week’s programs. However I know I heard that NJ was sending some of their unemployed to work on cleaning the oil mess. These people received a week’s training on hazmat-type stuff. Don’t know how widespread the practice of sending unemployed there is, but it will be another way to play with unemployment numbers to give some cover when the Census workers are finally dismissed. Sidenote: I’ve never before paid much attention to Census workers’ schedules. Do they always take this much time?

  14. I’m having an issue with FlashPlayer and www dot, so cannot refer to the videos of last week’s programs. However I know I heard that NJ was sending some of their unemployed to work on cleaning the oil mess. These people received a week’s training on hazmat-type stuff. Don’t know how widespread the practice of sending unemployed there is, but it will be another way to play with unemployment numbers to give some cover when the Census workers are finally dismissed. Sidenote: I’ve never before paid much attention to Census workers’ schedules. Do they always take this much time?

    The last I heard that the Gulf states have a procedure in place that no out of state paid personnel can help; they want their own folks to do the job….early on, about 150 trained staff from elsewhere were sent home even when the local folks has no training…

  15. admin,

    Yes obama has been politically postering from day one. He doesn’t know how to do anything else. He doesn’t know how to lead. He doesn’t know how to problem-solve.

    What he does know how to do is drone on with his teletubby buddy, whine when nobody applauds, and have temper tantrums. I sure hope that those who voted for this clown are happy now.

  16. Can someone please tell me what the hell is wrong with those hamas monsters???

    Israel has just offered to release 1000 known terrorists in exchange for the release of Shalit and they have said NO. The Red Cross has asked to be able to visit Shalit and they have said NO. The U.S. and U.N. have asked them to release Shalit and they have said NO.

    Is he even still alive? What have they done to him?

  17. JanH
    June 27th, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    wow, this has to be one of the most accurate posts. and completely true.

  18. wbboei, another whore…just what we need.

    holdthemaccountable…seems louisiana and surrounding states are getting wise to the fraud’s BS rather quickly….what comes to shore in Louisiana will be handled by the unemployed Louisianaian…LOL! OK Barry, Louisiana may just kick your ass…no blue state workers down here in the red states. LOL!!

  19. They are training the blue state folks with the proper masks and letting the red state folks get more cancer…hmm, hmmm. That should work real well for BOBBY JINGLE…LOL!

  20. I read that there are no skimmers out there now…I hope this isn’t true…why are the republicans sitting on their hands just saying he’s incompetent? Why aren’t they helping get skimmers and the necessary stuff in place…what the heck is going to happen to the animals in the gulf if this keeps up? omg!

  21. Guantanamo is still open and Obama Hopium Guzzlers are playing apology bingo.

    Great post Admin!

  22. Did anyone hear Barrys latest speech, ahhhh, ah, ummmmm, to the G20, and a few answers to the press?

    One thing was how, “Some are surprised by my passing things I promised I would pass, like the Health care bill and ‘Dont ask, don’t tell….”

    Then his comments about getting out of Afghanistan…how long to stay and not just walking away and closing the door.

    How after November, cuts will be made in areas that people will be surprised, but things he promised………..

  23. mp @ 5:33: no out of state paid personnel can help
    confloyd @ 5:58: what comes to shore in Louisiana will be handled by the unemployed Louisianaian
    Then NJ had not yet found that out. When the story aired, the workers had had their week’s paid training (from stimulus????) and were waiting to be sent down.
    I’m plenty OK with what each of you reports, but Barry might not like it. No way to really cook unemployment numbers.
    Then again, who cares about Barry?

  24. FACTBOX-Winners and losers at the G20 summit

    TORONTO, June 27 (Reuters) – The Group of 20 ended a summit on Sunday saying its top priority was strengthening the shaky economic recovery and pledging to clean up debt-burdened public finances without stunting growth.

    The group of major and emerging economies had different priorities going into the Toronto summit, and some were able to achieve more than others during the two-day meeting.

    Following is a list of some of the winners and losers:


    U.S. President Barack Obama arrived at the summit on what White House officials hoped would be a triumphant note after House and Senate negotiators reached a final compromise on a bill that would bring about the most sweeping overhaul of financial rules since the 1930s.

    But he left having achieved little on the fiscal issues that dominated the summit.

    The United States was forced to give ground on European demands for a new emphasis on budget austerity, which it had warned threatened to torpedo the fragile economic recovery.

    Obama also told G20 leaders that existing proposals in the Doha world trade talks did not meet U.S. needs and would have to change significantly.


    Beijing prevailed in its demand that draft language in the G20 communique praising China for enhancing exchange rate flexibility be removed from the final version.

    Although it may seem odd to reject a compliment, China did not want the precedent of having its currency singled out, even in a positive light, in a formal statement by the G20.

    China’s victory on the issue was not total. If cautious officials in Beijing had not had the G20 to worry about, the Chinese currency might still be locked to the dollar. The threat of intense, coordinated criticism was crucial in pushing the government to depeg the yuan last week.


    Germany insisted it faced no criticism for its budget- cutting plans, although it remains a G20 target as a trade-surplus country that needs to do more to boost domestic demand. In an interview with Reuters, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble singled out public sector debt as a barrier to boosting domestic demand, and said the deficit cuts would help steer Germany to a path of sustained growth.

    More broadly, German and other European officials looked like winners because they managed to tilt the balance in the final communique slightly toward the fiscal tightening side, and squeezed in that the Canadian consolidation targets accepted by the G20 were a minimum for advanced economies.

    While Europe did not get global support for a bank levy, it did get G20 backing for some form of contribution from the financial sector to pay the cost of government interventions in that sector according to a set of common principles.


    British Prime Minister David Cameron can claim a win at his first G20 summit. He got at least some of what he wanted, including implicit recognition in the G20 commmunique for his coalition government’s tough budget measures announced earlier this week.

    Cameron also appeared to forge an easy relationship with Obama — and even hitched a ride on the presidential helicopter — and avoided a public rift over the delicate subject of British oil giant BP (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz)(BP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and the costs of its Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

    Cameron, 43, is cutting his teeth as a world leader and his Toronto outing appeared to mark a good start.


    Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva skipped the Toronto meeting, opting to stay home to deal with the aftermath of severe flooding.

    The decision reduced Brazil’s visibility at the meeting, a setback for a rising power that hopes to win a greater role in global affairs.

    It also spurred the leaders of Russia, India and China to called off a meeting of so-called BRIC countries on the sidelines of the G20 summit, blunting at least temporarily their effort to present a united front in demands for more say in world financial institutions.

  25. TORONTO, June 27, 2010

    Rift Forms Between Obama and Other G-20 Leaders

    President Obama Largely Unsuccessful in Convincing His G-20 Colleagues in Further Deficit Spending

    CBS) The G-20 summit concluded in Toronto late Sunday with signs of an economic policy rift between President Obama and other world leaders.

    The debate played out against a backdrop of violent protests outside the summit that resulted in more than 500 arrests but no serious injuries.

    The president came to Toronto hoping to convince his G-20 colleagues to put more emphasis on stimulus spending to keep the economic recovery alive, reports CBS News chief White House correspondent Chip Reid. For the most part he did not succeed.

    The G-20, the top industrialized and developing nations of the world, ended the Toronto summit with a pledge to cut their budget deficits in half within three years. It’s something Mr. Obama has been pressing for but he has also urged more stimulus spending in the short-term to keep the recovery going, a position rejected by Great Britain and some other European nations that say cutting debt should be the top priority.

  26. The last I heard that the Gulf states have a procedure in place that no out of state paid personnel can help; they want their own folks to do the job….early on, about 150 trained staff from elsewhere were sent home even when the local folks has no training…
    I think this “behavior” is partially a result of the Bush/Cheney behavior with Katrina. Normal Federal contracting and pay guidelines were waived and contractors were collecting Fed. $$ and paying low wadges, sub-contracting with undocumented workers and pocketing the difference. This really pi**ed off the locals in the region.

  27. Shadowfax,

    For the first time in my adult life I am completely disgusted, humiliated and embarrassed for my country with this POS in the WH.

    BTW, check the pic on Drudge. Squatlooks absolutely insane!

    Here’s an RCP transcript of some of his comments.

    President Obama on controlling the debt: “Somehow people say, why are you doing that, I’m not sure that’s good politics. I’m doing it because I said I was going to do it and I think it’s the right thing to do. People should learn that lesson about me because next year when I start presenting some very difficult choices to the country, I hope some of these folks who are hollering about deficits and debt step-up because I’m calling their bluff. We’ll see how much of that, how much of the political arguments that they’re making right now are real and how much of it was just politics.”

  28. because next year when I start presenting some very difficult choices to the country, I hope some of these folks who are hollering about deficits and debt step-up because I’m calling their bluff.
    I think this is a clear signal by Obama that he is going to try and do a budget “flim-flam” by gutting Social Security. He plans to partially offset the $23 trillion that went to be banksters on the backs of the elderly.

  29. This is so confusing. I agree with Obama that this austerity position the fools of the G20 arte taking is going to weaken the economy for a very long time. Americans have had flat wages for the past ten years, and are now set to take a cut along with the rest of the world(sans the rich who have already recovered and are doing great), and these G20 fools want to stop stimulating the economy now? Clueless, useless dolts.

    But then he says “Somehow people say, why are you doing that, I’m not sure that’s good politics. I’m doing it because I said I was going to do it and I think it’s the right thing to do. People should learn that lesson about me because next year when I start presenting some very difficult choices to the country, I hope some of these folks who are hollering about deficits and debt step-up because I’m calling their bluff. We’ll see how much of that, how much of the political arguments that they’re making right now are real and how much of it was just politics.”

    Which is it? Does he believe the G20 need to keep stimulating the economy or does he want to make deep cuts to the safety net? No wonder the US position lost if he isn’t going to commit himself.

    By the way, those “difficult choices” he’s taking about are your Medicare and your social security, for those of you who are not following his deficit cutting committee.

  30. Obama Internet kill switch plan approved by US Senate
    President could get power to turn off Internet

    A US Senate committee has approved a wide-ranging cybersecurity bill that some critics have suggested would give the US president the authority to shut down parts of the Internet during a cyberattack.

    Senator Joe Lieberman and other bill sponsors have refuted the charges that the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act gives the president an Internet “kill switch.” Instead, the bill puts limits on the powers the president already has to cause “the closing of any facility or stations for wire communication” in a time of war, as described in the Communications Act of 1934, they said in a breakdown of the bill published on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee website.

    The committee unanimously approved an amended version of the legislation by voice vote Thursday, a committee spokeswoman said. The bill next moves to the Senate floor for a vote, which has not yet been scheduled.

    I don’t trust Barry to have this authority.
    He must not like PUMAs, and we saw how his anger treated McChrystal.

  31. Well if Byrd passes on, the Dem office stranglehold on WV will be OVER. The Republicans will definitely win it next time.

  32. Admin:

    “It wasn’t “God Damn America” that caused the rupture between Jeremiah Wright and Barack Obama. It was Jeremiah Wright telling the truth about Obama’s (as Michelle Obama has said) “selfishness and careerism“. When McChrystal and his aides insulted Obama, we should have all known that Obama would bristle and McChrystal would join the under the bus brigades.”

    Great writing admin, as usual!

    Exactly- when Jeremiah Wright made the statement: “Obama is just another politician and will say whatever he has to say to win an election.” Jeremiah Wright torpedoed his longstanding relationship with Obama as a front row member of his church. After all, (he said) “I am a man of God; Obama is a politician running for election.”

    Obama’s reaction to Wright’s statement was certainly not outrage over his outrageous, “God Damn, America”, statement. It was the later statement quoted above. Wright saying in so many words, he was above Obama, a self-righteous man of God- that was the trigger that delivered Rev Wright not from evil but to the rear axles of Obama’s Big yellow Bus.

  33. How in the world can this happen…Obama with his hand on the button that could kill the internet? Does anyone know who voted for this??? We need the list!

    Its bad enough with his hand on the red button of the nukes but the internet?? He controls the media now, and someone said this isn’t a stalinist state now…bullcrap!

  34. basil9

    Well the major newspapers in Canada, i.e. Globe and Mail and The National stuck to business. Most of the articles about him were about what he hoped to accomplish at G20 and that by and large he was unsuccessful. Those same articles covered all the attending countries viewpoints and not just his. Overall, coverage was specific to what all the countries brought to the event, policy-wise, focus on Germany and Europe as a whole.

    Lots of talk about the protests.

    I didn’t get a chance to watch much on t.v. but again what I did see was pretty straightforward as well as stuff on the protests.

  35. I don’t know about you all, but I hate when Mr. Community Organizer calls people “folks”

    Maybe BC did it as well, but if he did, it came off sounding in a very genuine caring way. Hillary always said “our fellow citizens”, so does Sarah Palin.

    Mr. Kick Ass saying it, to me, whenever I hear it sounds like nails on a chalk board, very condescending, very arrongant, like “how dare you arrogant mean Americans complain, be happy with the crumbs you are given by me”

    I do not like being called “folks” by the community-organizer-in-chief, I hate it!

  36. ” “Somehow people say, why are you doing that, I’m not sure that’s good politics. I’m doing it because I said I was going to do it and I think it’s the right thing to do. People should learn that lesson about me because next year when I start presenting some very difficult choices to the country, I hope some of these folks who are hollering about deficits and debt step-up because I’m calling their bluff. We’ll see how much of that, how much of the political arguments that they’re making right now are real and how much of it was just politics.””

    WTH!?!?!?! Which way does this loser want it? There is a reason the DeathCare bill limits how much govt will pay out docs, there is a reason why americans see this. “People should learn that lesson about me”

    again WTH!?!? why the hell is is always about him? my gosh! this man is a raving nutjob. I thought Bush was bad, this Mr. KickAss makes Bush look good.

  37. Fox news has had Petreas’s life story on their channel since I got home at 7pm, what are they going to do? Are they going to run Petreas in 2012′? Was this strategy Obama’s all along…we all know that McKrystal was liked by HIllary and Petreas was a Bush man…this looks like what Obama has done…he a farking rethug.

  38. confloyd — both mccrystal and petrusas have spoken highly of Hillary, they are not Bush men. Mccrystal said he voted for the Community Organizer.

    In the military, repubs, dems aren’t as distinguable unless they disclose it.

  39. tim, Yur right…I guess Im getting a little over the top here…sorry…I’m just so worried about the Gulf of Mexico. You know I live in Texas and grew up on the coast….I can’t understand why both parties seem to be letting not only the livelihoods of the coast residents, but the poor, poor animals that are dying and the politicians all seem to think that the animals are immaterial immaterial.

    I just can’t stand to think about those animals being choked to death by the water that has been polluted by people who could care less. Where’s PETA, where’s all the people who care about the defenseless animals??? THey care more about covering for their “Great Black Hope”, instead of the poor, poor animals.

  40. Drudge has a weird pic of Obama watching the games…it is a fake…its got to be…look at Obama’s …it just doesn’t fit…Obama dumped te WH press corp yesterday…they are cutting and pasting again in the WH.

  41. confloyd, one of my business collegues is like you, she is very very sad about all those poor animals. I can’t remember if I read it here, but apparently when BP is rounding up oil, sometimes animals get caught and they can’t escape, and so when the oil is burnt off, those animals are burned alive.

    I couldn’t watch the entire story, it was too heartbreaking. The entire situation is horrible. the poor people in that area, they are going to be devastated for years, yes the area will recover at some point, but not all areas and not all people, and certainly not anytime soon.

    yes, confloyd, that picture is a joke, of course the entire press works for the community organizer, so nothing surprises me anymore.

  42. tim, thanx, its really hard for a person who loves the Gulf of Mexico as much as I do…I got my first jellyfish sting there…caught my first trout there…..I caught my first spanish mackeral there…learned to water ski and tried to learn to surf there….went to my first nightclub there….almost had my first kiss there and to watch this beautiful area being held hostage by politics is almost more than one can bare.

  43. Byrd has been in Congress or the senate since 1952, that’s two years after I was born. I am 6 years away from retiring…?????

  44. tim
    June 27th, 2010 at 3:15 pm
    I am from Milwaukee and I have eaten at this world famous, yes, you heard me right, world famous custard stand, hundreds of times. I think Biden made a MAJOR mistake here. These people are the salt of the earth and this will not set well in the midwest. The arrogant fool.

  45. wbb

    99 weeks of unemployment is just welfare. You can color it anyway you want. Being unemployed is a disaster right now, no denying it. I have friends who have been out of work for close to it. People want the same type of job they lost. Not happening in most cases, but that doesn’t mean there is no work to be had. I worked three jobs to make ends meet for years. You do what you have to do to survive. I just had a friend move back to Detroit ( Jesus, why) and she had her husband, in Detroit no less, major unemployment, way above average, found jobs within a few weeks. There are jobs out there. People have to be willing to do them. Now does a software engineer want to do menial labor, probably not, but you do what you must to survive. I did, Sorry, 99 weeks, that’s about all of my paycheck I am willing to give.

  46. lets hope Biden stepped in it…he is beginning to irritate me…I think he’s been drinking the kool-aid. What’s up with the farking ice cream all the time…he doesn’t worry about cholesterol at his age??? I see this man with the ice cream all the time…

  47. Obama commits to goal of cutting US deficit in half by 2013.

    No details….evidently he is convinced he will have a second term….

    Also..on his comments about “calling their bluff” earlier… if he believes that the criticism of his economic policies is mostly just politics then we are indeed in trouble…
    Delusional. Nobody believes his promises at this point. He had just as soon promise that we will colonize Mars by the end of his second term. He is a pathological liar.

  48. Obama, stymied by the GOP, seems at a loss when it comes to creating jobs.
    How can Eleanor Clift accuse the Republican Party of “stymieing” Obama on job creation, when the party he heads holds a substantial majority in both Houses of Congress? If memory serves, there as a $100 billion jobs bill, and Reid cut it to $10 billion. Thus, if anyone is guilty of stymieing Obama, it is his Obama. As for Eleanor, she is a screech owl. It is a sign of desperation that Obama supporters like her are forced to use non sequiturs such as this to defend his failure to govern.

  49. “As for Eleanor, she is a screech owl. It is a sign of desperation that Obama supporters like her are forced to use non sequiturs such as this to defend his failure to govern.”

    Shame. Her brother in law was such a great actor.

  50. What a surprise, now if a bunch of white kids had done this or god forbid recorded Acorn corruption…….

    J. Christian Adams was proud to be a Department of Justice attorney. He believed he was serving his country by prosecuting those who wished harm on others. He strongly believed in what he did. To this DoJ official, his profession wasn’t a job but a calling.

    Until earlier this month when he suddenly resigned. The reason? His superiors told him to drop a case against the New Black Panther Party, even though the “case was the simplest and most obvious violation of federal law I saw in my Justice Department career.”

    Reading Adams’ account of what happened, I can only conclude that little has changed since the days in which our own Editor-in-Chief David Horowitz became disgusted with the Left because it actively covered up the many (horrendous) crimes committed by the racist gangsters of the Black Panther Party.

    Back to Adams’ case against the Panthers. Here’s what happened back in 2008:

    On the day President Obama was elected, armed men wearing the black berets and jackboots of the New Black Panther Party were stationed at the entrance to a polling place in Philadelphia. They brandished a weapon and intimidated voters and poll watchers.

    It goes without saying that such behavior is illegal. That’s why the Department of Justice brought a case against the Black Panthers and those armed thugs after the election. Adams explains that he “and other Justice attorneys diligently pursued the case and obtained an entry of default after the defendants ignored the charges.” As said, all seemed to be going well, until their superiors suddenly ordered them to dismiss the case.

    ….Page 2 ….

    The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has opened an investigation into the dismissal and the DOJ’s skewed enforcement priorities. Attorneys who brought the case are under subpoena to testify, but the department ordered us to ignore the subpoena, lawlessly placing us in an unacceptable legal limbo.

    That’s pretty bad, but it becomes even worse:

    Most corrupt of all, the lawyers who ordered the dismissal – Loretta King, the Obama-appointed acting head of the Civil Rights Division, and Steve Rosenbaum – did not even read the internal Justice Department memorandums supporting the case and investigation. Just as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. admitted that he did not read the Arizona immigration law before he condemned it, Mr. Rosenbaum admitted that he had not bothered to read the most important department documents detailing the investigative facts and applicable law in the New Black Panther case.

    When Christopher Coates, the former Voting Section chief, was outraged “at this dereliction of responsibility that he actually threw the memos at Mr. Rosenbaum in the meeting where they were discussing the dismissal of the case,” he was subsequently removed from his post and sent to South Carolina.

  51. h t t p://

  52. Yeah just heard Byrd has passed away, may god rest his soul.

    Now, that was not what Bambi needed right now was it.

  53. From what I understand from certain people, because Byrd died before July 3, the person the governor appoints will have to run in a special election in November. If Byrd had died after July 3, the person would serve out Byrd’s term until 2012.

    Now this could be interesting if correct.

  54. Interesting article. As Barack so eloquently put it, the difference between 1994 and today is you have got me! And who among us can argue with that proposition.

    Of course there is another difference between 1994 and today: in 1994, we had peace and prosperity, whereas now we have two wars and an economy on the brink of depression.

    These two statements, taken together, lead to one ineluctable conclusion: Barack = depression + 2 wars. Messiahs work in strange and mysterious ways.

    Has The Great Depression Already Begun?

    Posted by Francis Cianfrocca (Profile)
    Monday, June 28th at 8:26AM EDT

    No Comments
    Paul Krugman has just declared the onset of another Great Depression. To him a Depression is characterized by a long-term deflationary trap, but that’s not the reason Depressions are to be avoided. Depressions are bad because of long-term unemployment, which tears at people’s lives and at the fabric of society. So far, I’m with him. After all, to the best of my knowledge, I’m the first one to have used “Great Depression II” in print, back in autumn of 2007, when the stock market hit its all-time high and RedState readers responded by beating me up for bashing the Bush economic record.

    Krugman claims the paternity of the New Depression in the name of the Keynesians. He says that it’s been triggered by the policy errors of the Europeans, who refuse to extend fiscal stimulus, and of the Republicans, who refuse to allow Congress to funnel more money to state and local governments. He’s going to be eating out on this for the rest of his life, because the long-term economic weakness facing us is the real thing, and his statement that we caused it by not stimulating enough will never be falsifiable. (When the crisis started, he was still insisting that only WW2 created enough government borrowing and spending to end the Great Depression.)

    Does Krugman honestly believe that demand by state and local governments is enough to end the deflationary pressure caused by shredded balance sheets in the wake of the ongoing housing bubble? State and local governments do not invest or create value efficiently. The only thing that will realistically happen if we pump up their finances is that they’ll continue to pay public employees enormously high salaries and benefits. This won’t create the demand that Krugman wants, because the public employees who won’t need to be fired by Arnold Schwarzenegger and David Paterson will step up their saving rather than their spending. However, that’s really not bad at all, because balance sheet repair among banks and individuals is the real medicine that will end this prolonged economic weakness.

    But if we really think the solution is to transfer cash balances from bond-market investors to private individuals, then why do it as Krugman demands, by feeding money from the Federal government to state and local governments? That would unfairly benefit public employees much more than private employees. Wouldn’t it be more equitable, not to mention effective, to just give everyone in the country a two-year income and payroll tax holiday, and pay for it with expanded deficits?

    (I can hear Krugman now. He’s saying that the states and localities won’t just use their booty to avoid firing unaffordable, surplus workers whose value to governments comes primarily from their political activism. He’ll say that the states and localities will suddenly go off on a tear of infrastructure construction. To that, two responses: First: have you ever seen political officials try to create economic value? It takes a lot of blind faith to suggest that this is a good idea. And second: Japan actually did this. Didn’t help them in the slightest.)

    And yet: what of those bond markets? Krugman (and Geithner, for that matter) is entirely willing to run the risk of a future credit crash by the US. Looked at from a market perspective, the question boils down to this: if we expand public borrowing to levels beyond all imagining, then are we *guaranteed* to have an economy that’s productive and dynamic enough to pay the real interest on the borrowing and to keep rolling it, for the next T+30 years?

    The answer to that question depends on two things: First: can we grow enough in real terms to outpace the borrowing? (Keynesians say Yes, Axiomatically, because the spending itself is an investment. Anyone with direct business experience will be deeply skeptical of that.)

    And second: will interest rates remain as low as they are now, to ensure that our borrowings remain affordable? To this, Krugman says Yes, Definitely, because rates are low now, and there’s no evidence investors will change their minds. Anyone with direct capital-markets experience is shaking his head at the deep delusion from which this argument is woven.

    Beyond this, there’s a third point: America and the other developed economies are aging. This point is usually extended to become the idea of structural entitlement growth (which certain Republicans are deeply deluded to think we can mitigate). But more directly, aging means reduced productivity on the part of many workers. This alone is enough to make me suspicious of the argument that we can fund enough growth with borrowed money to get out of trouble.

    It’s just not wise to borrow more than you can realistically hope to pay back. At the macro level, this means a certain amount of austerity. Let’s call it a Depression if we must, but let’s recognize how potentially dangerous it is to try to prevent it by maxing out our credit cards.

    I’m in favor of continuing to use transfer payments to mitigate the horrible evil of long-term unemployment. But I think it’s frankly stupid to try to create a robust economy on debt-fueled public spending.

  55. I doubt it will happen in a second term either.

    Ahem, shouldn’t have Sullivan said, “I doubt there will be a second term either.”

    It’s cute how HOPEFUL he is.

  56. Funny about MoveOut.Orgy…

    Long ago, when W. was the evil president with the endless war, I sided with MoveOn and got emails (which I still get, because it’s a good insight into that organization.)

    Now, O is the evil president with an endless war, and it is sad but funny to see the morph into a hypocrital shell of themselves.

    Like NOW and NARAL and SierraClub members who feel dicked over by their sold-ut leadership (“leaders” who are more concerned with rubbing elbows with the Obama Administration, thinking it means have an impact on the discussion) and quit out of disgust, I am sure many MoveOn’ers have…. moved on.

  57. I am sure ABM90 would agree with this post, from No Quarter. It shows Hillary as the energize bunny and Obama is a flattened heap of exhaustion. As Maurice Chevalier said youth can really do do a feller in. Well, so can incompetence–or perhaps it is performance anxiety.

    If you want to knock yourself out, just read Hillary Clinton’s daily appointment schedule. ( I get it most mornings.) No golf game at 10 a.m., no sailing on a yacht named Bob at 4 p.m., only a daily grind of high-level appointments and meetings from daybreak into evening that makes me want to take a nap just from reading through it.

    No wonder her popularity far exceeds that of our hapless leader. Many of us always knew she was a talented workhorse who knew what was what.

    Here, let me give you an example from last Thursday:

    9:15 a.m. Secretary Clinton meets with the Assistant Secretaries of the Regional Bureaus, at the Department of State.

    10:30 a.m. Secretary Clinton joins President Obama’s bilateral meetings with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, at the White House.

    11:45 a.m. Secretary Clinton hosts a working lunch for Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and members of the Russian delegation, at Blair House.

    12:45 p.m. Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, at Blair House.

    1:45 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, at the White House.

    3:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi, at the Department of State.

    4:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton visits the U.S.-Russia “Civil Society to Civil Society” Summit, at the Renaissance Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C.

    5:30 p.m. Secretary Clinton calls Colombian President-elect Juan Manuel Santos.

    So, no wonder her popularity ratings have been consistently far higher than those of President Obama. Even Dana Milbank’s, juvinile video suggesting that a “Mad Bitch” beer be named after her, had to admit in a Washington Post article that she now has it all over Obama.

    It’s about two years too late, but Hillary Clinton has finally pulled ahead of Barack Obama.

    By any measure — favorability ratings or job approval — Americans by a sizable margin have warmer views of the secretary of state than they do of the president. This is of little use to Clinton beyond bragging rights, but among Hillary ‘08 fans there is some satisfaction that the woman Obama once cut down as “likable enough” is now more liked than he is. Depending on the measure and the poll, she leads him by roughly 10 to 25 percentage points.
    To understand why, look no further than their calendars for Monday. The president was in Alabama and Mississippi, trying again to change the public perception that his administration has been weak in its response to the oil spill. The secretary of state was in Washington receiving plaudits for being a “passionate leader” and for taking a “resolute and genuine” stand against human trafficking and slavery.

    Earth to Milbank—Hillary has “polled ahead” of Obama (and in so many other ways!) for a long time now! And, no, we take little satisfaction in the “likeable enough” comment. If there is any satisfaction, it is in knowing we made the right choice all along.

    Milbank concludes: “Few could have imagined back in that prior life that the controversial and polarizing first lady would someday win the favor of two-thirds of her countrymen.” Oh? Few? Eighteen million people favored her all along, and were it not for a corrupt DNC, two thirds of our countrymen would be a lot happier now!

  58. Robert Byrd lead a long life filled with accomplishments:

    * fought hard against George W. Bush and other Republicans as Senate Majority Leader

    * Used his oratorical skills so well, that he could pull off a filibuster and the other Senators thought it was just another speech

    * Snubbed Hillary for an empty suit “community organizer” to represent the Democratic party in 2008, despite the majority of Democrats support “that lady”.

    * First person to fly over Antarctica.

    * Composed Renaissance lute music and performed in front of royalty.

    * In the 1960’s, wrote “Turn, Turn, Turn”.

  59. wbboei
    June 28th, 2010 at 9:50 am
    I am sure ABM90 would agree with this post, from No Quarter.

    Nice post, wbboei. Yes, ABM90 is the best at keeping us abreast of Hillary’s schedule.

    What is odd is that as little as Obama “works”, things are worse when he sets his mind to try to effect political change. Keep that bastid on the golf course and giving sermons to carefully selected audiences, and keep him away from the Oval Office.


    Who’s paying for border security?

    And what is Nepolitano up to:

    Then: “I remember the good old days when then-Gov. Napolitano was sending bills to the Justice Department, asking to be reimbursed for the hundreds of millions of dollars Arizonans pay to house illegal immigrants who are in our prisons because the feds aren’t doing their job.

    Now: “These days, even Janet Napolitano – who just two years ago was asking her predecessor in Homeland Security to leave National Guard troops at the border – is repeating the new mantra that the border is more secure than it’s ever been.”

    Time for Arizona to file a lawsuit of its own

    President Barack Obama’s emissaries are expected in Arizona on Monday to meet with Gov. Jan Brewer.

    When they arrive, I hope she has some suitable gifts on hand to welcome them to the Grand Canyon State. A bola tie perhaps, and maybe one of those handy scorpion paperweights.

    And definitely a bill for $750 million.

    This week, it’s widely expected that the United States of America is going to sue the state of Arizona. It seems we rank right up there with Osama bin Laden and British Petroleum as enemies of the state.

    So I’m thinking we ought to return the favor.

    For a couple of months now, we’ve been the nation’s punching bag as politicians across the country have proclaimed us the spawn of Hitler, given this state’s embrace of Senate Bill 1070. It doesn’t help when state Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, pops up on TV every other day, talking about alien invasions.

    Me? I don’t like SB 1070. It opens the door to profiling and even if it didn’t, it just seems silly for the cops to be chasing around town busting landscapers while heavily armed drug smugglers march through our deserts and into our neighborhoods. But I understand the frustration that led a majority of this state’s residents to look to people like Pearce for answers, because the feds seem far, far away from Arizona – both in mileage and mind-set.

    These days, even Janet Napolitano – who just two years ago was asking her predecessor in Homeland Security to leave National Guard troops at the border – is repeating the new mantra that the border is more secure than it’s ever been. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Land Management is posting signs in the Sonoran Desert National Monument, about 80 miles south of Phoenix, warning visitors about drug and human traffickers passing through the area.

    I remember the good old days when then-Gov. Napolitano was sending bills to the Justice Department, asking to be reimbursed for the hundreds of millions of dollars Arizonans pay to house illegal immigrants who are in our prisons because the feds aren’t doing their job.

    “Arizonans already pay a high price for illegal immigration,” she wrote in a 2005 letter accompanying an invoice. “I’m demanding that the federal government live up to its obligations and stop pushing the burden onto the taxpayers of Arizona.”

    I don’t think she ever got much response out of the Bush administration and Team Obama doesn’t seem anymore inclined to pay its bills. In fact, Obama last year recommended eliminating funding for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which is intended to reimburse states for their costs associated with jailing illegal immigrants. In the end, Congress defied him and allocated $300 million to the program.

    In Arizona, 6,100 of the state’s 41,000 prison inmates are here illegally, according to Tasya Peterson, a spokeswoman for Brewer.

    The last time the feds kicked in to help, she said, was in 2008. According to figures provided by the state, it cost Arizona $120.4 million to incarcerate illegal immigrants that year, not counting the expense of arrest and prosecution. The feds picked up about 10 percent of the tab: $12.8 million, leaving Arizona taxpayers to shoulder the rest of a burden that exists because the federal government can’t – or won’t – do its job.

    Brewer last week informed Obama that we are now shelling out $150 million a year to incarcerate illegal immigrants.

    Instead of our own government suing us this week – what, five lawsuits over SB 1070 isn’t enough? – perhaps the Justice Department might like to conserve its resources and pay its bills which, in Arizona, are long, long past due.

    According to Brewer’s office, the feds now owe us $750 million to cover prison costs dating as far back as 2003.

    Who knows? Maybe Obama’s staffers will be bringing a pile of gold today when they meet with Brewer, to satisfy their debt. If not, was I governor I might be inclined to toss in one more gift for Obama’s staffers to deliver to the White House . . . a summons.

    Maybe it’s time for us to file a lawsuit of our own.

  61. Well, having touched on Obama’s inability to maintain secure borders, it’s onto BOTCHED FINANCIAL REFORM.

    Here’s a NY Post columnist’s viewpoint.

    A rotten ‘reform’:
    Finance bill penalizes prudence

    Posted: 12:25 AM, June 28, 2010

    by Nicole Gelinas

    The Dodd-Frank Act to “reform” Wall Street isn’t yet a sure thing, votes-wise. New York’s congressional delegation can still do the right thing for the city and state — and should vote against this bad bill.

    The measure would bring New York’s strongest banks and investment firms down to the level of the weakest, and turn Gotham’s premier industry into a collectivist monolith with no incentive to control risk.

    And, in a move that’s guaranteed to push jobs out of New York, the feds want big investment firms, insurers and hedge funds to front $20 billion in two years for a “financial crisis special assessment fund.” All this does is give funds time to send assets abroad to escape the fee.

    The compromises hammered out by Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and others don’t address their bill’s fatal flaws — starting with the bill’s disastrous effort to end taxpayer bailouts.

    The obvious — and correct — way to end Wall Street rescues is to let a failed financial firm go bankrupt. That is, the people who invested in a failed company — including bondholders, people owed money on derivatives and other lenders — should take the losses.

    Instead, Congress would “end” bailouts by directing the feds to rescue the creditors to any failed “too big to fail” financial company. Later, the feds would make the failed firm’s competitors pay the cost.

    Don’t buy the claim that this is similar to our 80-year-old system of deposit insurance. Deposit insurance is meant to protect mom-and-pop savers, not sophisticated global investors. And because there are only so many small-scale American savers with a finite amount of cash saved up, any single bank’s risk of having to make good on a failed firms’ FDIC-insured deposits is limited, and roughly predictable.

    By contrast, Dodd-Frank would force financial institutions to shoulder an unknowable and unpredictable risk — but one that stands a good change of being huge.

    Worse, the approach encourages wild risk-taking — and penalizes prudence.

    Say you’re the CEO of Downtown Investment Bank, and you spend a lot of time worrying about the next financial crisis:

    * You sacrifice some profits now by keeping lots of cash on hand in case investors demand it one day.

    * You borrow debt that doesn’t mature for a few years, rather than debt that matures every night. It costs more, but “cheaper” short-term lenders could pull all their money out in a panic.

    * When you suspect a bubble’s going to pop, you pull back a little — even as your competitors chase after every last dollar.

    Under Frank-Dodd, Downtown Investment Bank gets no reward for this. Indeed, its massive cash stash is at risk of being grabbed by the feds to pay for the bailout of its profligate competitor Midtown Investment Bank.

    Meanwhile, no one has to worry about trusting their money to Midtown’s madmen, because the feds will likely make good on it, courtesy of the saps at Downtown.

    The penalties for good behavior don’t end there. Frank-Dodd’s system will inflate the size of the bailout, too — because the government would be in charge.

    The feds would arbitrarily determine how much they’d front to rescue global investors to a failed bank — and then hand the bill to the bank’s competitors. In the midst of a panic, eager to mute the chaos, they’re going to err on the side of paying investors in a bad bank too much. They’re not going to worry about the economic impact of the bill they later hand to the surviving banks.

    The result: Every firm will take more risks, guaranteeing another crisis down the line, and more taxpayer bailouts.

    To avoid that, Congress needs a bill that focuses on helping the economy to withstand financial-company bankruptcies, by:

    * Limiting debt across the board, even debt at a firm that seems to be making “safe” investments. That way, a financial company’s bankruptcy wouldn’t bankrupt the rest of the economy.

    * Forcing financial firms to trade their trillions of dollars’ worth of derivatives openly, on public exchanges. Investors would know their derivatives were safe if one firm goes bankrupt, because the exchange would have collected money in advance from all firms, to minimize the risk of any one going under.

    Congress hasn’t done any of that. Its new derivatives rules are shot through with exemptions. And its new “financial stability oversight council” will replace the infamous ratings agencies in pretending to determine what kind of debt is “safe” — ensuring that everyone will again make the same mistake at the same time.

    Democrats don’t want to hand President Obama a legislative defeat before November elections. But that would be far better than the current alternative — voting for a bill that would slowly suffocate New York’s successful financial companies by shouldering them with failed firms’ losses.

    Nicole Gelinas, contributing editor to the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal, is author of “After The Fall.”

  62. The common thread that runs through all the hopium guzzlers is a failure to come to terms with reality, specifically, the fact that i) they were wrong, and ii) he is gone.

    To have voted for him in the first place was naive. But to fail to hold him accountable at this point is cowardly. But to defend him at this point, well there is only one word for that: stupid.

    Weasel words creep into their vocabulary. Words like disappointed. Is that how normal people feel when they find out that someone they put all their trust in is a fraud, and his love is a devil’s lie? Do they say by golly I am disappointed in him? And also, notice how they talk about generic Obama supporters, as opposed to themselves.

    These people need psychiatric help. They cannot come to terms with reality. And that is a sickness.

    Yet they turn a blind eye to this and speak about what will or will not happen during his second term. Evidently, they also have a taste for the macabre. Politically, he is history. Let us hope that by 2012 many Americans are not as well.

  63. rgb: Good post. The bill is very bad, and in more ways than the author recounts. The New York delegation should vote against it alright.

    Unfortunately, expecting Schumer to do the right thing is like expecting a cat to bark.

  64. The Third Depression
    Published: June 27, 2010
    comments (78)
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    CloseLinkedinDiggMixxMySpaceYahoo! BuzzPermalink Recessions are common; depressions are rare. As far as I can tell, there were only two eras in economic history that were widely described as “depressions” at the time: the years of deflation and instability that followed the Panic of 1873 and the years of mass unemployment that followed the financial crisis of 1929-31.

    Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
    Paul Krugman

    Go to Columnist Page »Blog: The Conscience of a LiberalReaders’ Comments
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    Neither the Long Depression of the 19th century nor the Great Depression of the 20th was an era of nonstop decline — on the contrary, both included periods when the economy grew. But these episodes of improvement were never enough to undo the damage from the initial slump, and were followed by relapses.

    We are now, I fear, in the early stages of a third depression. It will probably look more like the Long Depression than the much more severe Great Depression. But the cost — to the world economy and, above all, to the millions of lives blighted by the absence of jobs — will nonetheless be immense.

    And this third depression will be primarily a failure of policy. Around the world — most recently at last weekend’s deeply discouraging G-20 meeting — governments are obsessing about inflation when the real threat is deflation, preaching the need for belt-tightening when the real problem is inadequate spending.

    In 2008 and 2009, it seemed as if we might have learned from history. Unlike their predecessors, who raised interest rates in the face of financial crisis, the current leaders of the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank slashed rates and moved to support credit markets. Unlike governments of the past, which tried to balance budgets in the face of a plunging economy, today’s governments allowed deficits to rise. And better policies helped the world avoid complete collapse: the recession brought on by the financial crisis arguably ended last summer.

    But future historians will tell us that this wasn’t the end of the third depression, just as the business upturn that began in 1933 wasn’t the end of the Great Depression. After all, unemployment — especially long-term unemployment — remains at levels that would have been considered catastrophic not long ago, and shows no sign of coming down rapidly. And both the United States and Europe are well on their way toward Japan-style deflationary traps.

    In the face of this grim picture, you might have expected policy makers to realize that they haven’t yet done enough to promote recovery. But no: over the last few months there has been a stunning resurgence of hard-money and balanced-budget orthodoxy.

    As far as rhetoric is concerned, the revival of the old-time religion is most evident in Europe, where officials seem to be getting their talking points from the collected speeches of Herbert Hoover, up to and including the claim that raising taxes and cutting spending will actually expand the economy, by improving business confidence. As a practical matter, however, America isn’t doing much better. The Fed seems aware of the deflationary risks — but what it proposes to do about these risks is, well, nothing. The Obama administration understands the dangers of premature fiscal austerity — but because Republicans and conservative Democrats in Congress won’t authorize additional aid to state governments, that austerity is coming anyway, in the form of budget cuts at the state and local levels.

    Why the wrong turn in policy? The hard-liners often invoke the troubles facing Greece and other nations around the edges of Europe to justify their actions. And it’s true that bond investors have turned on governments with intractable deficits. But there is no evidence that short-run fiscal austerity in the face of a depressed economy reassures investors. On the contrary: Greece has agreed to harsh austerity, only to find its risk spreads growing ever wider; Ireland has imposed savage cuts in public spending, only to be treated by the markets as a worse risk than Spain, which has been far more reluctant to take the hard-liners’ medicine.

    It’s almost as if the financial markets understand what policy makers seemingly don’t: that while long-term fiscal responsibility is important, slashing spending in the midst of a depression, which deepens that depression and paves the way for deflation, is actually self-defeating.

    So I don’t think this is really about Greece, or indeed about any realistic appreciation of the tradeoffs between deficits and jobs. It is, instead, the victory of an orthodoxy that has little to do with rational analysis, whose main tenet is that imposing suffering on other people is how you show leadership in tough times.

    And who will pay the price for this triumph of orthodoxy? The answer is, tens of millions of unemployed workers, many of whom will go jobless for years, and some of whom will never work again.


    Hillary wouldn’t agree with thsoe here saying to the unemployed, “let them eat cake!”

  65. It appears that the American People are light years ahead of the race baiting Obamaites and their cronies in the press. Bob Somersby tells them the truth but they are too stupid and arrogant to listen. This is something you never want to do in a courtroom, i.e. let your level of outrage reach a higher pitch than the jury. Same way here. Somersby:

    THE ROAD TO TRIVIA! Journalists never trash the press corps. But last Friday, David Brooks did: // link // print // previous // next //
    MONDAY, JUNE 28, 2010
    Krugman must be read: In this morning’s column, Paul Krugman makes a gloomy semi-prediction about where we may be heading. (We may be heading toward “The Third Depression.” Just click here.) He describes the global “failure of policy” which is leading us there.

    “Why the wrong turn in policy?” he asks. At least in the American sphere, we’ll suggest two major answers:

    The Infection of Dumb
    The Triumph of Power

    The Infection of Dumb has long been obvious in certain major sectors. Question: Are you sure that this infection hasn’t affected the burgeoning new liberal world? More to come on this question.

    Milbank discusses the recent South Carolina primary, in which Republican voters nominated Tim Scott, a very conservative African-American, to run for the House of Representatives from the state’s 1st congressional district. “And the story gets better,” Milbank writes. You see, one of the candidates Scott defeated was Paul Thurmond, son of the late Strom Thurmond. For well over half a century, the elder Thurmond was an icon in South Carolina politics, dating back to the days when he ran for president as a hard-core segregationist.

    Say what? South Carolina’s Republican voters chose a black guy over the son of Strom Thurmond? (Scott also defeated the son of former governor Carroll Campbell.) When Milbank asked Sharpton what he thought about that, Sharpton took yes for an answer:

    MILBANK (6/27/10): Scott, who had been embraced by white voters for years at the county and state levels (he even co-chaired Strom Thurmond’s Senate reelection campaign in 1996), is a racial outlier.

    But that doesn’t change the fact that white, conservative voters in Thurmond’s Dixie, in the privacy of the voting booth, chose a black man over Strom’s son. To savor this irony, I called up the Rev. Al Sharpton, whose great-grandfather is believed to have been a slave owned by Thurmond kin.

    “Given that Strom Thurmond’s family owned my family, Strom is somewhere trying to think how an African American Republican could beat a relative of his,” (snip)

    Milbank calls Scott’s nomination an “irony.” We’d call it an advance.

    Are Scott and Thurmond “reactionaries?” That’s a matter of judgment. (snip) In the past year or so, an entire world of white liberals has happily played a string of race cards; we’ve insisted on advancing familiar slanders in every conceivable circumstance. (snip). Voters in South Carolina’s 1st district are still extremely conservative, he notes. But he’s willing to say that something has changed when they elect an extremely conservative black candidate over such folk who are white.

    Are there still white racists in South Carolina? Presumably, yes—there are. (So too with the other 49 states, though white liberals especially love to race-bait the southern states. This requires very few IQ points.) Indeed, it’s fairly clear that Candidate Obama lost a lot of votes in some deep south states for reasons of race; this seems fairly clear from the 2008 exit polls, which show Obama drawing a much smaller share of the white vote in these states than Candidate Kerry had drawn. For whatever reason, these striking data have rarely been discussed, even as we pseudo-liberals treat ourselves to endless attacks on the “redneck racists” (Janeane Garofalo) who allegedly make up the tea party movement—the entire movement, of course.

    MILBANK: South Carolinians have had plenty to be embarrassed about lately: Mark Sanford’s fling in Argentina via the Appalachian Trail, Joe Wilson’s “you lie,” Jim DeMint’s “Waterloo,” the preposterous Alvin Greene candidacy, the allegations of [Nikki] Haley’s infidelity, the state legislator using the term “raghead” for Obama and Haley (of Sikh ancestry), the state GOP activist who called an escaped gorilla one of Michelle Obama’s ancestors.

    Milbank’s list includes a lot of the usual unexplained fluff. (Are all South Carolinians supposed to be embarrassed about Sanford’s fling? Why?) His list also includes some conduct which goes well beyond “embarrassing,” including the sad, stupid, fallen remarks about ragheads and escaped gorillas. But you know Milbank! Even as he offers a column about changing attitudes in South Carolina, he cruises right past a basic point concerning the insult aimed at Haley. To wit:

    When a good ol’ boy called Haley a “raghead,” the state’s Republican voters weren’t buying! Just as they nominated Clark, a black guy, they went ahead and nominated Haley, an Indian-American.

    To which we say: Good for them!

  66. If Krugman is right and it comes to that there is little doubt how Obama and the people who voted for his sorry ass will be perceived.

  67. Just had a friend start a new job today who had been out 68 weeks. Highly qualified, in San Francisco, and diligently looking for work. They had 4 final interveiws, one of which they had already checked their references, and somehow the offer fell through. In the current environment I do not consider 99 weeks welfare.

    This person was computer literate, well educated, and searched the internet for jobs daily. The stimulus packages are just not working like they think they are. I am not sure throwing more money, without specific instructions will either. I feel that the companies getting the stimulus should sign a contract that says, with this money within 6 months I will hire 600 people in the United States, and then hold them to that.

    Unfortnately, we have just handed out money withv no specifics or controls. Big Business will alway take advantage of that.

  68. Had a discussion with the person that built our home. They bearly got ride of a high end home they had built over a year ago, and they are concerned about the home appraisals that they feel are unfair to the builders. There are a bunch of new restrictions on these appraisals, and getting refinancing has gotten a lot more complicated than you think. We have gone from one extreme to another.

  69. We are not handing money to companies, aside from in the very low multiplier tax cuts on business. It’s not that the stimulus isn’t working, it’s that it was too small to sufficiently build demand. When you have a recession, and you have used every monetary tool at your disposal(ie slashing interest rates), the government must grow demand. The government does that buy hiring companies to fix buildings, build roads, build train lines, improve infrastructure, etc.. The other way to stimulate the economy is to give refundable tax credits from the ground up, in other words to the middle and working class, because they spend most and typically all of their income. They are not going to take a tax rebate and keep it in the bank. We could easily do that now by instituting a payroll tax holiday(for the employee) for the next year or two. There are many things that could be done. Austerity will kill us.

    I agree with you. Unmeployment benefits are not welfare. And, indeed, these benefits work toward keeping the economy churning because of course people on unemployment do not just put their benefits in the bank, they spend them. They go right back into the economy. The multiplier is very high.

  70. Border Security, Finanicial Mis-Reform, and now for OBAMA HEALTH SCARE.

    Barone exposes Obama’s screwups and the marketing campaign to put positive spin on their defective products.

    Hey, didn’t Barone think back in 2008 that Obama would win because he was a transcendant candidate???

    Another person that woke up too late.

    June 28, 2010
    Americans Relate to Founders, Not Progressives
    By Michael Barone

    Democrats are reportedly planning to raise $125 million for a campaign to sell Obamacare to the voting public. Apparently, the idea is that what 50-plus presidential speeches and statements and months of congressional debate could not do can be done by $125 million spent on everything from TV ads to community organizers.

    Maybe. But there seems to be a more fundamental problem here. The Obama Democrats didn’t set out to produce an unpopular stimulus package, an unpopular health care bill and an unpopular cap-and-trade scheme.

    They thought these initiatives would be popular. In their view, history is a story of progress from small government to big government, and as historians of the New Deal wrote, that progress is especially welcome in times of economic distress.

    The massive unpopularity of the Obama Democrats’ programs suggests that view of history is defective. Let me propose another, starting with the Founding Fathers.

    The Founders believed there was a tension between representative government and the right to life, liberty and property. So they wrote the Fifth Amendment to ensure that no citizen was deprived of those rights without due process of law.

    In Britain, that tension had been limited by allowing only property-owners to vote. That way, those without property could not elect representatives who would steal from the rich and give to the poor.

    In the early years of our republic, that precaution did not seem necessary. We were a nation of farmers, where land was plentiful and labor scarce. The large majority of citizens then considered relevant — white adult males — actually owned the land they farmed. There was no danger in allowing all of them to vote, as would become the general rule in the U.S. by the early 19th century, because the large majority owned property.

    The definition of relevant citizens in time expanded to include blacks and women. But as Americans and immigrants increasingly clustered in enormous cities, and as large industrial factories employed thousands of low-skill workers, the percentage of property owners fell.

    One hundred years ago, most urban Americans rented rather than owned their homes. Many had no bank accounts, and few had significant financial assets. Elites worried that this proletariat might rise in revolution.

    In this America, the Progressives argued that the Founders’ vision was obsolete. Property rights should be subordinate to human rights. Government should regulate economic activity and “spread the wealth around,” as Barack Obama told Joe the Plumber.

    This view animated the New Deal in the 1930s and appealed to the non-property-owning majority. Franklin Roosevelt sowed the idea, harvested by the New Deal historians, that an ever-expanding government was both good and necessary. Democrats were referencing this when they said they were “making history” by passing their health care bill.

    Their problem is that the America of the Progressives and New Dealers no longer exists. Government home-finance programs helped make us a nation of homeowners. Technological progress and deregulation squeezed out transportation and communications, and made the necessities of life less costly, enabling citizens to accumulate significant wealth in their working years.

    True, we carried some of these things too far. Efforts to raise homeownership over 65 percent resulted in a housing price crash. Poorly understood financial innovations resulted in the financial crisis of 2008.

    But we still live in an America like the America of the Founders, and unlike the America of the Progressives and the New Dealers, in which a majority of citizens are or have every prospect of becoming property owners. And a nation of property owners is less willing to plunder the property of others in search of some promised gain than a nation where most people don’t and will never own significant property.

    So when Susan Roesgen, then of CNN, upbraided a tea party protester in 2009 by reminding him that he was getting a $400 tax rebate thanks to the Democrats’ stimulus package, she was met with utter dismissal. You don’t sell out your property rights for a mere $400.

    The polls and the post-2008 election results show that the purported beneficiaries of the Obama Democrats’ programs are unenthusiastic about voting and people with modest incomes are trending heavily Republican. The only enthusiasm for the Obama Democrats’ policies comes from David Brooks’ “educated class”: people who are or identify with the centralized experts tasked by the Obama Democrats with making decisions for the rest of us.

    Unfortunately for the Obama Democrats, they, unlike property owners, are not a majority in today’s America.

  71. OT but every now and then you need a laugh. Got this Obama joke from relatives in Switzerland

    The kids filed back into class Monday morning. They were very excited.
    Their weekend assignment was to sell something, then give a talk on productive salesmanship.

    Little Sally led off: “I sold girl scout cookies and I made $30,” she said proudly, “My sales approach was to appeal to the customer’s civil spirit and I credit that approach for my obvious success.”

    Very good,” said the teacher.

    Little Jenny was next:
    I sold magazines,” she said, “I made $45 and I explained to everyone that magazines would keep them up on current events.”
    Very good, Jenny,” said the teacher..

    Eventually, it was Little Johnny’s turn.

    The teacher held her breath …

    Little Johnny walked to the front of the classroom and dumped a box full of cash on the teacher’s desk. “$2,467,” he said. $2,467!” cried the teacher,
    “What in the world were you selling” “Toothbrushes,” said Little Johnny.
    “Toothbrushes,” echoed the teacher, “How could you possibly sell enough tooth brushes to make that much money?”
    “I found the busiest corner in town,” said Little Johnny, “I set up a Dip & Chip stand, I gave everybody who walked by a free sample.”
    They all said the same thing, “Hey, this tastes like dog shit!”
    Then I would say,”It is dog shit. Wanna buy a toothbrush?”

    “I used the Obama governmental approach of giving you something shitty, but looks good, for free, and then making you pay to get the shitty taste out of your mouth.”
    The teacher was speechless. . . . . . . .
    Little Johnny got 5 stars for his efforts, bless his heart. . . . . . .

  72. The Passing of Senator Byrd

    Hillary Rodham Clinton
    Secretary of State

    Washington, DC
    June 28, 2010

    Today our country has lost a true American original, my friend and mentor Robert Byrd.

    Senator Byrd was a man of surpassing eloquence and nobility. I will remember him most for a heartfelt comment he made to me in the dark days following 9/11, when my state of New York was reeling and we were scrambling to provide support and relief. “Think of me as the third senator from New York,” he said. And he meant it. Thanks to the leadership of Senator Byrd, who chaired the Appropriations Committee, New Yorkers got the help they needed. I will never forget his devotion and his friendship in that critical time.

    It is almost impossible to imagine the United States Senate without Robert Byrd. He was not just its longest serving member, he was its heart and soul. From my first day in the Senate, I sought out his guidance, and he was always generous with his time and his wisdom. I admired his tireless advocacy for his constituents, his fierce defense of the Constitution and the traditions of the Senate, and his passion for government that improves the lives of the people it serves. And as Secretary of State, I continued to rely on his advice and counsel. I have been grateful for the support he has provided as a leader of the Appropriations Committee to our diplomats and development workers as they serve our country and advance our interests all over the world.

    Robert Byrd led by the power of his example, and he made all of us who had the honor of serving as his colleagues better public servants and better citizens. After more than five decades of service, he has left an indelible imprint on the Senate, on West Virginia, and on our nation. We will not see his like again.

    I am heartened to know that Senator Byrd is now reunited with his beloved Erma, the high-school sweetheart who became his wife of nearly 70 years and the love of his life. My thoughts and prayers are with their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

  73. Suzy Madrak links to a great Adolph Reed article from 2008 about Barack Obama. Here’s the opening sentence:

    He’s a vacuous opportunist.

    The rest of the article is quite good. Although, he isn’t a Clinton fan, he had decided by that point that she was definitely the lesser of two evils.

  74. My fondest memory of Senator Byrd was during the “hanging chad” debacle. He tried so hard to fight the republicans for Al Gore…he was great then…if only he hadn’t backed O. Surely he had a little dementia for not backing Hillary.

  75. The Barone article is full shit. It wasn’t efforts to raise home ownership over 65% that led to the housing crash, it was plain, old fashioned corruption. If we wanted to do what he says we were doing, we would have begun expanding the amount of housing available for purchase to lower income families. Instead, we tore down housing that could be bought inexpensively and replaced it with high end homes. And then, in order to sell those homes, we took the restraints off of the mortgage industry and let them do whatever they wanted to do in order to get the houses sold. The only thought that went into that program is,”How long can we get away with this?”

  76. Hillary as the energize bunny and Obama is a flattened heap of exhaustion.

    Hillary has already proven herself, over and over.

    She needs to save some of that energy so she can kick Barry’s buns out of DC.

  77. Senator Byrd

    RIP, anyone that can put up with congress that long, has to be tough as nails or crazy.

  78. Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., has been appointed president pro tempore of the U.S. Senate. Byrd will be third in line for the presidency behind the vice president and the speaker of the House. ”

    This was dated Nov. 15, 2006 and Byrd still served in this position. Interesting, no?

    I found this comment on another blog…is it true??? Did Byrd serve in this position as early as 06′??

  79. moononpluto: “She gives him more credit than I would a backstabber and the way he backstabbed her.”

    That’s because Hillary is a class act.

  80. We are not handing money to companies, aside from in the very low multiplier tax cuts on business. It’s not that the stimulus isn’t working, it’s that it was too small to sufficiently build demand.

    The only demand in America is for new types of electonic gadgets…phones etc….everything else is down!!!!

  81. Confloyd,

    He also put up one helluva fight against invading Iraq, and later co-sponsored, with Hillary, a bill to end the war in Iraq. I don’t remember the details.

    There were so many threats and so much pressure put on elected officials, that I think the Clintons, if they want to move forward, simply have to let it go – which they, quite clearly, have done.

    Byrd was always problematic but he had his moments when he spoke from conviction and backed it up with the real goods.

  82. moononpluto
    June 28th, 2010 at 12:08 pm
    She gives him more credit than I would a backstabber and the way he backstabbed her.

    Hillary always remains classy. Like Ron Burgundy says, “Stay classy, San Diego”.

  83. basement angel
    June 28th, 2010 at 12:27 pm
    The Barone article is full shit.

    Agreed, rising home ownership percentages did not create the housing crisis.

    I just enjoyed posting yet another former Obama supporter who is souring on him. He has valid points to make about Obama’s approach: hastily cobble together legistlation that in practice fails, and then spend time hawking how well it works despite evidence to the contrary.

  84. mp
    June 28th, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    So true. Personally, I have to believe that 1) there is protocol involved, and 2) he is still setting the table for Hillary by not going negative on Obumbles. Yet.

  85. rgb,

    I think Obama’s legislation proceeds exactly as he wants it to. Remember, James Roosevelt, who chaired the Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting that halved Michigan and Florida’s delegates and gave four of Hillary’s legitimately won delegates to Obama, got the exact healthcare plan that he asked for in an editorial. I think Obama regards himself as quite successful on that front – he passed the exact healthcare plan that he promised he would. They always knew it wouldn’t be popular because it didn’t solve the problem.

    I think Obama is accomplishing a great deal of what he set out to accomplish – it’s just not what he told his voters that he would do.

    I still think he’s dropping out in 12. I really do.

  86. I could be very wrong but all the reading and research I have done; I also have discussed this with somebody in the oil business….

    “killing a spilling well successfully by blowing it was done by the Soviet Union by their army/navy….they did it using nukes”

    ??? 🙂 🙂

  87. I think Obama is accomplishing a great deal of what he set out to accomplish
    “Obama’s accomplished being elected.

    “I think Obama’s legislation proceeds exactly as he wants it to. ”
    I use “Obama’s” name the same way…as basically “short-hand” for the rot and corruption that infests both political parties. Obama was hired and made POTUS by big money and the power brokers in the Dem. Party. He had and has not political agenda and that is why he was hired to “play” the President. He memorizes the talking points and reads the “lines” written for him and is rewarded with the perks of playing the role.

    I agree, I don’t think he wanted or wants a second term. That will be made clear after Jan. 2011 when the Rethugs get subpoena power in the HR and possibly the Senate. Also after the “historic” 2010 mid-term elections, the MSM will smell blood in the water and make his life miserable. The last two years of his term are likely to be nerve wracking for the country. A pathological narcissist under constant criticism and attack is very worrisome.

  88. ADMIN…maybe you can include above that new poster of Obama with Hope crossed out and oil all over him…if i can find it…i will send a link

  89. I could be very wrong but all the reading and research I have done; I also have discussed this with somebody in the oil business….

    “killing a spilling well successfully by blowing it was done by the Soviet Union by their army/navy….they did it using nukes”
    All of the reading that I have done at “” and other sites, say that trying to blow the well is insane. Right now, the only thing keeping this disaster from becoming a calamity is that the well bore and associated pipes are basically intact. The oil/gas reserve is at very high pressure (~12,000 PSI) and if the rock and salt domes are disrupted, then it’s “all over”.

    The other practical problem with “nukes” is that a nuke that will fit down the drill string doesn’t exist, much less nuclear bomb components that will withstand the high pressure in the well bore.

  90. SHV:

    thanks…as I said and who knows what exactly did USSR did…their well was not near any living community…..

    The only thing I see for those relief wells ..if it does not stop the leaking one..would be that they are active and siphoning off oil/gas safely at a rapid rate to ease the pressure….

    And I also have personally decided – just out of sheer hatred for the fraud…that I am not going to call this the “worst environment disaster in US history”….at least not yet… I do not want the fraud to feel that he had something to write about in his books…

    As far as the history I know of America….the creation of the dust bowl, almost annihilition of buffalos/bisons etc and deaths of many American Indians is still the worst man made environmental disaster of this country!!! SO FAR!!!

    That does not mean that I do not feel for those folks in the gulf!!!! But they will be strong and will survive.

  91. Let the people who really know run our affairs — women

    The greater inclusion of women in serious decision-making will benefit all of society, writes Celia Larkin

    Sunday June 27 2010

    IT mystifies me why Hillary Clinton isn’t used more often as a role model by female politicians. Here’s a woman who served her apprenticeship as a New York senator. Not that long an apprenticeship, but smartly managed nevertheless, and managed in a particularly female way. Instead of in-your-face conflict, she did negotiation. Instead of driving leadership on issues, she did collaboration.

    She learned the system and worked it. Because she’s pragmatic, knows not to fixate on humiliation but concentrate instead on recovering from defeat, she’s now secretary of state.

    I found her example coming frequently to mind in the last 10 days, listening to speculation about a possible new political party — who might join it and where on the political spectrum it might fit? The only thing missing was any reference to women.

    Women comprise half of the world’s population and two-thirds of the world’s work force. In the main, they are the ones with the responsibility for caring for the family. They are the protectors of the health and well-being of the clan, yet they are afterthoughts when a new political party is in the making.

    Politics isn’t just a cruel trade, it is predominantly a male trade where the women who get through the selection process, electoral process and make it into the Dail are in a minority. Many say, off the record, that they are not listened to by their parties and that the way Dail business is structured is anti-family.

    But most of all, politics is a male conversation. When mention is made of the leaders’ debates prior to the next general election, it is clear that most media commentators believe that the (inevitably male) winner will be the one who can bark economic data with the most authority. That’s how male argument works, unilateral, directive communication.

    Women, in sharp contrast, according to Professor Deborah Cameron of Oxford University, practise collaborative participative communication, plus, according to an American study, “a woman’s brain is better organised to perceive and remember emotions”. Yet the preferences and cognitive processes of more than half of the population are effectively ignored in most, if not all, televised political debate.

    This has never been more obvious than in the last two years of constant battering on about high-end economics, billions going into Nama and ‘light-touch’ regulation.

    We haven’t heard much about the real experience of the person in the street. The person going home with the dreaded P45 in their back pocket, sick to the pit of their stomach worrying about how they will pay their mortgage and keep bread on the table. There is no light-touch regulation for the person who cannot pay the mortgage.

    What about the small-business owners who have their backs so close to the wall that they have almost atomised and disappeared into the wall. Cash flow is almost non-existent and in some cases business owners, being the resourceful lot they are, have resorted to the barter system with other companies in order to stay afloat, and thank God for that, for we sure don’t have the banks or the Government to thank for it.

    We don’t hear any political party registering the change on the ground, never mind responding to it, and I believe that that is because of the male dominance of the system.

    There seems to be a lack of political compassion for the ordinary person in the street suffering from chronic economic meltdown. This has resulted in a nationwide cynicism. It has led to mistrust of all our politicians and by extension of the political system which is not healthy for a democratic society.

    It’s not healthy for a democratic society that more than half the population have to listen to a political discourse that doesn’t match the way they think or talk.

    It’s not healthy for people to feel isolated and abandoned to cope alone with the burden of financial survival. It seems to be all about the big boys, and boys they are.

    Maybe I’ve missed something, but I haven’t seen one woman mentioned in all the reports of defaulters on humungous loans from banks and financial institutions.

    If you’re a man, the chances are that your eyes will roll at the notion of changing politics to include soft and fuzzy stuff like emotion. Men feel most comfortable with data and statistics, but the emotional well-being of individuals in society is every bit as important as their financial health.

    Economic recovery depends on the individual being able to pick themselves up, dust themselves down and start all over again.

    Women relate better to stories and emotions, they make up half of the population, so talking to half of the population in terms with which they do not identify is not a good way to motivate them.

    While women are emotional they are also more pragmatic, result-orientated and better at assessing the overall impact decisions have on individuals as well as society as a whole.

    Having worked for 10 years with one politician, Labour’s Jan O’Sullivan, on the voluntary Cara Housing Agency Board, I have seen all of those characteristics in action. In the beginning they frustrated me. I thought Jan O’Sullivan’s approach was way too soft. However, over time, I understood the benefit of it. She achieved what she needed to achieve without collateral damage.

    When I suggest that women are more pragmatic than men, what I mean is that they have a capacity to duck, weave and adapt in order to achieve an objective. Ann Fitzgerald, CEO of the National Consumer Agency is a classic example.

    Serving on the board of that agency, I had major run-ins with her but hold huge admiration for her pragmatism. She understands the system and has learned to work around and within it, she doesn’t go through roadblocks with a bulldozer.

    The one trait a truly effective woman in politics must suppress is the need to be liked. In that context Mary Harney is the outstanding example. When she took the job as Minister for Health, she knew it was political suicide. Slow political suicide, but suicide nonetheless. Speaking to my sister she made it quite clear that she understood perfectly that the job would make her deeply unpopular but her view was, “what else was she in politics for if not to make a difference”.

    We need more women in politics and we need politics to become more open to women. Truly gender-sensitive politics would enable new insights to emerge, making real transformation possible in today’s society.

  92. If (and only if) I wanted a little laugh out of this Bill C/CNN interview which I found hard to watch with him defending the fraud….I think he may have brought up “blowing the well by the navy” solution knowing fully well the implications….of possibly using nukes, making it worse etc….just to keep the pressure on the fraud….whether the zero even knows the full implication….

    I can only hope.

  93. Blago drags Oprah’s name into the trial……

    Blagojevich Considered Oprah for Senator

    Print Share Buzz up!
    Blagojevich Considered Oprah for Senator

    As if she weren’t powerful enough, Rod Blagojevich seriously considered asking Chicago heavyweight Oprah Winfrey to take over the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama.

    “Nobody would assail this pick,” he says in tapes recorded on Nov. 21, 2008. “It’s huge!”

    Winfrey undoubtedly looked like an attractive candidate for senate, despite her lack of political experience. She’s perhaps the most recognizable figure from Chicago, she’s black — a trait Blagojevich highly favored — and she has clout among legislators.

    “She’s a kingmaker!” Blagojevich says. “She made Obama!”

    But even Blagojevich understood that she might not be willing to serve.

    “Oprah is not far-fetched,” Blagojevich contends. Then he concedes, “The odds of her f—-ing taking it are slim to none.”

    Blagojevich makes clear that he wants to appoint an African-American, but can’t decide on a candidate he likes. He encourages chief of staff John Harris to look into Melody Spann Cooper of WVON radio, and Linda Johnson Rice of Johnson Publishing.

    The governor wants desperately, however, to avoid picking Jesse Jackson, Jr.

    “I don’t want to create an opportunity for him in two years!”

    Through it all, even though he says Harris should find him a real “Mother Teresa type,” Blagojevich keeps returning to Oprah.

    “There’s nothing affirmative action about her!”


  94. At least Joe didn’t ask Jim Campbell to stand up and take a bow…


    Jim Campbell, the President and CEO of General Electric’s Appliance and Lighting Division, was rushed to a doctor after he collapsed just before 11:30 a.m. Monday as Vice President Joe Biden was speaking.

    Campbell, who was seated on a stool at the end of the stage set up inside a warehouse at GE’s Appliance Park in Louisville, fell from a stool and off the stage as Biden was nearing the end of his remarks.

    Biden paused and called for a doctor.

    “Do we have a doctor here?” Biden asked. “Ladies and gentlemen, that’s a sad note to end this on. Do we have a doctor here?”

  95. Wow!!!!!!!!

    Hamas says asked by US to keep silent on talks

    Islamist group source says senior American officials request contacts remain secret ‘so as not to rouse Jewish lobby’

    Roee Nahmias
    Published: 06.25.10, 19:04 / Israel News

    A senior Hamas figure said Friday that official and unofficial US sources have asked the Islamist group to refrain from making any statements regarding contacts with Washington, this following reports that a senior American official is due to arrive in an Arab country in the coming days to relay a telegram from the Obama Administration.

    The Hamas figure told the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper that the Americans fear discussing the talks publicly would “rouse the Jewish lobby and other pressure groups in the US and cause them to pressure the administration to suspend all talks with Hamas.”

    The Hamas figure, who is close to Ismail Haniyeh, the prime minister of the government in Gaza, added, “This is a sensitive subject. The Americans don’t want anyone to comment on it because this would catch the attention of pressure groups (in the US) and cause problems.”

    He said Hamas’ exiled leadership in Damascus is overseeing the contacts behind closed doors.,7340,L-3910714,00.html

  96. Shadowfax, Perhaps this is where Potus goes on his 90 minute MIA from the WH reporters…Perhaps he is meeting someone or talking to them on the phone..LOL!

    He managed to escape the WH presscorp while he was Canada, I wonder what he is doing.??

  97. Shadowfax
    June 28th, 2010 at 3:28 pm
    If this is true, then how dare obama sanction talks with these miserable terrorists??? How dare he want to talk to a group of hatemongers who are determined to destroy Israel child by child? And then how dare he try to do this behind Israel’s back?

    I never thought I could be more disgusted with this Benedict Arnold potus, but this is beyond the pale.

  98. JanH,

    If you want peace, you have to talk. A lot more Israelis and Palestinians will die if there aren’t talks – it’s that simple.

  99. well Im glad Hillary get to eat lunch, there never seems to have a lunch break in her schedule…I bet she has mega homework to stay on top of everything like she does….you know I don’t remember Condoleeza Rice looking so tired.

  100. basement angel,

    Talk yes. With Hamas no…not unless Bibi and Abbas are directly involved/represented at the talks. And not doing it out in the open strongly suggests subterfuge.

  101. The WH just announced on CNN, that it will not be blowing up the oil gusher….they are probably holding back information we don’t know. Theres a whole drilling rig on the botton of that ocean too.

    It is making Bill comment look stupid…they are just so sweet over at the WH…

  102. This administration sure seems to be arresting lots of folks…hope they aren’t abusing their power and arresting folks that aren’t guilty.

  103. unless they end up backtracking six months from now and blow it up. Then Bill’s a genius and that click will be on a continuous loop on every network.

  104. Elizabeth Edwards will be on Larry King on Wednesday night….Oh my…why would she do this???

    We are all sick of this story…unless she is going to name names on who broke the story and who’s behind it, I can’t see much value for her in going on Nat’l TV and whine about the other woman…

  105. Bill said if they can’t stop the leak with anything they try, including the new drilling they are going to try, then blowing up the hole, covering it with a huge pile of rocks, etc may be the only way to stop the gusher. He also said, not to blow it up with nukes, but with explosives (?) if all else doesn’t work.

    Bill isn’t looking stupid for what he said.

  106. confloyd
    Elizabeth Edwards probably doesn’t have much longer to live (stage 4 cancer), so she probably feels she has nothing to lose and wants to tell her side of the story before it’s too late?
    No one listens to Larry King any more, anyway. 😉

  107. Can he speak out after he retires, or is the military code, mum to the grave???


    Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was fired last week as the top U.S. general in the stalemated Afghanistan war, has told the Army that he will retire.

    Army spokesman Col. Tom Collins said McChrystal notified the service of his plans on Monday, but he has not yet submitted formal retirement papers. It is not clear when he will leave the service, but the process usually take a few months.

    President Barack Obama has praised McChrystal’s long Army career but says his intemperate remarks in a magazine article that appeared last week could not be abided.

    McChrystal apologized for the remarks in Rolling Stone magazine and flew to Washington last week to resign as commanding general of the war.

  108. Maybe Hillary will find a good place for McChrystal in the State Department, or is he finished with workin’ for da man?

  109. He’s baaaaack, Barry’s favorite pastor….

    Rev. Jeremiah Wright unleashed a slew of racially charged proclamations at a seminar in Chicago last week, reportedly comparing the United States with apartheid South Africa
    and claiming the civil rights movement was about “becoming white.”

    The comments were reported by the New York Post, which provided details about a five-day class President Obama’s former pastor taught at the Chicago Theological Seminary.

    In the seminar, Wright reportedly told those in the class they will never “be a brother to white folk,” describing racial divisions in the country as entrenched — as he did as pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ.

    The civil rights movement “was always about becoming white,” Wright said at the seminar.

    At another point, he said: “White folk done took this country. You’re in their home and they’re going to let you know it.”

    According to the New York Post, Wright also alleged that the American education system is built to poorly educate black students “by malignant intent” and criticized civil rights leader Martin Luther King for advocating nonviolence.

    “We probably have more African-Americans who’ve been brainwashed than we have South Africans who’ve been brainwashed,” he said.

    Obama left Wright’s church during the 2008 presidential campaign, after his fiery sermons shook up the Democratic primary race and compelled Obama to distance himself from the pastor.

  110. “Is the HuffPuff princess starting to turn on her anointed one too?”

    the witch princess is nothing but an opportunist. I remember she used to support newt ginrich during the BC impeachment trial.

    Loyal to no one but herself, hmmm, who else does that remind us of?

  111. Cinie’s World


    Evidence in the Blago trial so far seems to indicate pretty clearly that Barack Obama was as deeply involved in the process of maneuvering people into his conveniently vacant Senate seat as it has always been obvious that he had to be. And, while poor hapless stooge Blago twists in the wind out here on his own, facing jail time, nobody’s looking at what Obie’s hand is doing.

    How come nobody wants to know why Obama wanted his good girlfriend Valerie Jarrett shuffled off to Buffalo, or, to be accurate, the hinterlands of Springfield, Illinois, rather than have her tag along to D.C. with him and Michelle like a third wheel, as she did? Hmmmm? What are her qualifications for the Senate? Has she ever held elective office? What’s she got on him? Could Obama have been so pissed about not being able to shake Jarrett loose that he sicced his attack machine on Blags for unwisely turning down an offer he shouldn’t have refused? Exactly what did the ObaMeister have up his sleeve?

    Just think, had Blago fully understood the value of collecting “favors,” the political landscape might look a little different now. Jarrett would be in Springfield, Patrick Fitzgerald would likely still be having a hard time making a case against Blags, who would still be governor, and somewhat of a “player,” if you get my drift, and nobody but his family and obscure history buffs would have ever heard of Roland Burris.

    Instead, Sir Rod of Ridicule is facing jail time, and looking to take All The President’s Men along with him.

    On second thought, maybe we should thank him.

  112. shadowfax, Looks like Rev. Wright got the memo to begin the race issue again to charge up the multitudes again!

  113. Jan,

    Doing it discreetly is normal in difficult negotiating situations. It allows the US to say things that need to be said that the Palestinians wouldn’t tolerate being said in front of Israelis, and it allows the Palestinians to agree to concessions, and to begin mapping out the political dialogue that will sell those concessions to their people.

    This is how healthy diplomacy is frequently conducted and it is probably the only way it can be done well here. We have lots of talks going with lots of nations that we do not acknowledge.

  114. Looks like Otrauma will name a new Josef Goebbels to
    control our internet activity.Hillary spoke of our sacred right to its freedom from censorship in a speech on Jan 2010.Take a look.

    Remarks on Internet Freedom

    Hillary Rodham Clinton
    Secretary of StateThe Newseum

    Washington, DC

    January 21, 2010


    Transcripts: Arabic | Chinese | French | Persian | Russian | Spanish | Urdu

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Alberto, for not only that kind introduction but your and your colleagues’ leadership of this important institution. It’s a pleasure to be here at the Newseum. The Newseum is a monument to some of our most precious freedoms, and I’m grateful for this opportunity to discuss how those freedoms apply to the challenges of the 21st century.

    Although I can’t see all of you because in settings like this, the lights are in my eyes and you are in the dark, I know that there are many friends and former colleagues. I wish to acknowledge Charles Overby, the CEO of Freedom Forum here at the Newseum; Senator Edward Kaufman and Senator Joe Lieberman, my former colleagues in the Senate, both of whom worked for passage of the Voice Act, which speaks to Congress’s and the American people’s commitment to internet freedom, a commitment that crosses party lines and branches of government.

    Also, I’m told here as well are Senator Sam Brownback, Senator Ted Kaufman, Representative Loretta Sanchez, many representatives of the Diplomatic Corps, ambassadors, chargés, participants in our International Visitor Leadership Program on internet freedom from China, Colombia, Iran, and Lebanon, and Moldova. And I also want to acknowledge Walter Isaacson, president of the Aspen Institute, recently named to our Broadcasting Board of Governors and, of course, instrumental in supporting the work on internet freedom that the Aspen Institute has been doing.

    This is an important speech on a very important subject. But before I begin, I want to just speak briefly about Haiti, because during the last eight days, the people of Haiti and the people of the world have joined together to deal with a tragedy of staggering proportions. Our hemisphere has seen its share of hardship, but there are few precedents for the situation we’re facing in Port-au-Prince. Communication networks have played a critical role in our response. They were, of course, decimated and in many places totally destroyed. And in the hours after the quake, we worked with partners in the private sector; first, to set up the text “HAITI” campaign so that mobile phone users in the United States could donate to relief efforts via text messages. That initiative has been a showcase for the generosity of the American people, and thus far, it’s raised over $25 million for recovery efforts.

    Information networks have also played a critical role on the ground. When I was with President Preval in Port-au-Prince on Saturday, one of his top priorities was to try to get communication up and going. The government couldn’t talk to each other, what was left of it, and NGOs, our civilian leadership, our military leadership were severely impacted. The technology community has set up interactive maps to help us identify needs and target resources. And on Monday, a seven-year-old girl and two women were pulled from the rubble of a collapsed supermarket by an American search-and-rescue team after they sent a text message calling for help. Now, these examples are manifestations of a much broader phenomenon.

    The spread of information networks is forming a new nervous system for our planet. When something happens in Haiti or Hunan, the rest of us learn about it in real time – from real people. And we can respond in real time as well. Americans eager to help in the aftermath of a disaster and the girl trapped in the supermarket are connected in ways that were not even imagined a year ago, even a generation ago. That same principle applies to almost all of humanity today. As we sit here, any of you – or maybe more likely, any of our children – can take out the tools that many carry every day and transmit this discussion to billions across the world.

    Now, in many respects, information has never been so free. There are more ways to spread more ideas to more people than at any moment in history. And even in authoritarian countries, information networks are helping people discover new facts and making governments more accountable.

    During his visit to China in November, for example, President Obama held a town hall meeting with an online component to highlight the importance of the internet. In response to a question that was sent in over the internet, he defended the right of people to freely access information, and said that the more freely information flows, the stronger societies become. He spoke about how access to information helps citizens hold their own governments accountable, generates new ideas, encourages creativity and entrepreneurship. The United States belief in that ground truth is what brings me here today.

    Because amid this unprecedented surge in connectivity, we must also recognize that these technologies are not an unmitigated blessing. These tools are also being exploited to undermine human progress and political rights. Just as steel can be used to build hospitals or machine guns, or nuclear power can either energize a city or destroy it, modern information networks and the technologies they support can be harnessed for good or for ill. The same networks that help organize movements for freedom also enable al-Qaida to spew hatred and incite violence against the innocent. And technologies with the potential to open up access to government and promote transparency can also be hijacked by governments to crush dissent and deny human rights.

    In the last year, we’ve seen a spike in threats to the free flow of information. China, Tunisia, and Uzbekistan have stepped up their censorship of the internet. In Vietnam, access to popular social networking sites has suddenly disappeared. And last Friday in Egypt, 30 bloggers and activists were detained. One member of this group, Bassem Samir, who is thankfully no longer in prison, is with us today. So while it is clear that the spread of these technologies is transforming our world, it is still unclear how that transformation will affect the human rights and the human welfare of the world’s population.

    On their own, new technologies do not take sides in the struggle for freedom and progress, but the United States does. We stand for a single internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas. And we recognize that the world’s information infrastructure will become what we and others make of it. Now, this challenge may be new, but our responsibility to help ensure the free exchange of ideas goes back to the birth of our republic. The words of the First Amendment to our Constitution are carved in 50 tons of Tennessee marble on the front of this building. And every generation of Americans has worked to protect the values etched in that stone.

    Franklin Roosevelt built on these ideas when he delivered his Four Freedoms speech in 1941. Now, at the time, Americans faced a cavalcade of crises and a crisis of confidence. But the vision of a world in which all people enjoyed freedom of expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear transcended the troubles of his day. And years later, one of my heroes, Eleanor Roosevelt, worked to have these principles adopted as a cornerstone of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They have provided a lodestar to every succeeding generation, guiding us, galvanizing us, and enabling us to move forward in the face of uncertainty.

    So as technology hurtles forward, we must think back to that legacy. We need to synchronize our technological progress with our principles. In accepting the Nobel Prize, President Obama spoke about the need to build a world in which peace rests on the inherent rights and dignities of every individual. And in my speech on human rights at Georgetown a few days later, I talked about how we must find ways to make human rights a reality. Today, we find an urgent need to protect these freedoms on the digital frontiers of the 21st century.

    There are many other networks in the world. Some aid in the movement of people or resources, and some facilitate exchanges between individuals with the same work or interests. But the internet is a network that magnifies the power and potential of all others. And that’s why we believe it’s critical that its users are assured certain basic freedoms. Freedom of expression is first among them. This freedom is no longer defined solely by whether citizens can go into the town square and criticize their government without fear of retribution. Blogs, emails, social networks, and text messages have opened up new forums for exchanging ideas, and created new targets for censorship.

    As I speak to you today, government censors somewhere are working furiously to erase my words from the records of history. But history itself has already condemned these tactics. Two months ago, I was in Germany to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The leaders gathered at that ceremony paid tribute to the courageous men and women on the far side of that barrier who made the case against oppression by circulating small pamphlets called samizdat. Now, these leaflets questioned the claims and intentions of dictatorships in the Eastern Bloc and many people paid dearly for distributing them. But their words helped pierce the concrete and concertina wire of the Iron Curtain.

    The Berlin Wall symbolized a world divided and it defined an entire era. Today, remnants of that wall sit inside this museum where they belong, and the new iconic infrastructure of our age is the internet. Instead of division, it stands for connection. But even as networks spread to nations around the globe, virtual walls are cropping up in place of visible walls.

    Some countries have erected electronic barriers that prevent their people from accessing portions of the world’s networks. They’ve expunged words, names, and phrases from search engine results. They have violated the privacy of citizens who engage in non-violent political speech. These actions contravene the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which tells us that all people have the right “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” With the spread of these restrictive practices, a new information curtain is descending across much of the world. And beyond this partition, viral videos and blog posts are becoming the samizdat of our day.

    As in the dictatorships of the past, governments are targeting independent thinkers who use these tools. In the demonstrations that followed Iran’s presidential elections, grainy cell phone footage of a young woman’s bloody murder provided a digital indictment of the government’s brutality. We’ve seen reports that when Iranians living overseas posted online criticism of their nation’s leaders, their family members in Iran were singled out for retribution. And despite an intense campaign of government intimidation, brave citizen journalists in Iran continue using technology to show the world and their fellow citizens what is happening inside their country. In speaking out on behalf of their own human rights, the Iranian people have inspired the world. And their courage is redefining how technology is used to spread truth and expose injustice.

    Now, all societies recognize that free expression has its limits. We do not tolerate those who incite others to violence, such as the agents of al-Qaida who are, at this moment, using the internet to promote the mass murder of innocent people across the world. And hate speech that targets individuals on the basis of their race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation is reprehensible. It is an unfortunate fact that these issues are both growing challenges that the international community must confront together. And we must also grapple with the issue of anonymous speech. Those who use the internet to recruit terrorists or distribute stolen intellectual property cannot divorce their online actions from their real world identities. But these challenges must not become an excuse for governments to systematically violate the rights and privacy of those who use the internet for peaceful political purposes.

    The freedom of expression may be the most obvious freedom to face challenges with the spread of new technologies, but it is not the only one. The freedom of worship usually involves the rights of individuals to commune or not commune with their Creator. And that’s one channel of communication that does not rely on technology. But the freedom of worship also speaks to the universal right to come together with those who share your values and vision for humanity. In our history, those gatherings often took place in churches, synagogues, mosques and temples. Today, they may also take place on line.

    The internet can help bridge divides between people of different faiths. As the President said in Cairo, freedom of religion is central to the ability of people to live together. And as we look for ways to expand dialogue, the internet holds out such tremendous promise. We’ve already begun connecting students in the United States with young people in Muslim communities around the world to discuss global challenges. And we will continue using this tool to foster discussion between individuals from different religious communities.

    Some nations, however, have co-opted the internet as a tool to target and silence people of faith. Last year, for example, in Saudi Arabia, a man spent months in prison for blogging about Christianity. And a Harvard study found that the Saudi Government blocked many web pages about Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, and even Islam. Countries including Vietnam and China employed similar tactics to restrict access to religious information.

    Now, just as these technologies must not be used to punish peaceful political speech, they must also not be used to persecute or silence religious minorities. Now, prayers will always travel on higher networks. But connection technologies like the internet and social networking sites should enhance individuals’ ability to worship as they see fit, come together with people of their own faith, and learn more about the beliefs of others. We must work to advance the freedom of worship online just as we do in other areas of life.

    There are, of course, hundreds of millions of people living without the benefits of these technologies. In our world, as I’ve said many times, talent may be distributed universally, but opportunity is not. And we know from long experience that promoting social and economic development in countries where people lack access to knowledge, markets, capital, and opportunity can be frustrating and sometimes futile work. In this context, the internet can serve as a great equalizer. By providing people with access to knowledge and potential markets, networks can create opportunities where none exist.

    Over the last year, I’ve seen this firsthand in Kenya, where farmers have seen their income grow by as much as 30 percent since they started using mobile banking technology; in Bangladesh, where more than 300,000 people have signed up to learn English on their mobile phones; and in Sub-Saharan Africa, where women entrepreneurs use the internet to get access to microcredit loans and connect themselves to global markets.

    Now, these examples of progress can be replicated in the lives of the billion people at the bottom of the world’s economic ladder. In many cases, the internet, mobile phones, and other connection technologies can do for economic growth what the Green Revolution did for agriculture. You can now generate significant yields from very modest inputs. And one World Bank study found that in a typical developing country, a 10 percent increase in the penetration rate for mobile phones led to an almost 1 percent increase in per capita GDP. To just put this into context, for India, that would translate into almost $10 billion a year.

    A connection to global information networks is like an on-ramp to modernity. In the early years of these technologies, many believed that they would divide the world between haves and have-nots. But that hasn’t happened. There are 4 billion cell phones in use today. Many of them are in the hands of market vendors, rickshaw drivers, and others who’ve historically lacked access to education and opportunity. Information networks have become a great leveler, and we should use them together to help lift people out of poverty and give them a freedom from want.

    Now, we have every reason to be hopeful about what people can accomplish when they leverage communication networks and connection technologies to achieve progress. But make no mistake – some are and will continue to use global information networks for darker purposes. Violent extremists, criminal cartels, sexual predators, and authoritarian governments all seek to exploit these global networks. Just as terrorists have taken advantage of the openness of our societies to carry out their plots, violent extremists use the internet to radicalize and intimidate. As we work to advance freedoms, we must also work against those who use communication networks as tools of disruption and fear.

    Governments and citizens must have confidence that the networks at the core of their national security and economic prosperity are safe and resilient. Now this is about more than petty hackers who deface websites. Our ability to bank online, use electronic commerce, and safeguard billions of dollars in intellectual property are all at stake if we cannot rely on the security of our information networks.

    Disruptions in these systems demand a coordinated response by all governments, the private sector, and the international community. We need more tools to help law enforcement agencies cooperate across jurisdictions when criminal hackers and organized crime syndicates attack networks for financial gain. The same is true when social ills such as child pornography and the exploitation of trafficked women and girls online is there for the world to see and for those who exploit these people to make a profit. We applaud efforts such as the Council on Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime that facilitate international cooperation in prosecuting such offenses. And we wish to redouble our efforts.

    We have taken steps as a government, and as a Department, to find diplomatic solutions to strengthen global cyber security. We have a lot of people in the State Department working on this. They’ve joined together, and we created two years ago an office to coordinate foreign policy in cyberspace. We’ve worked to address this challenge at the UN and in other multilateral forums and to put cyber security on the world’s agenda. And President Obama has just appointed a new national cyberspace policy coordinator who will help us work even more closely to ensure that everyone’s networks stay free, secure, and reliable.

    States, terrorists, and those who would act as their proxies must know that the United States will protect our networks. Those who disrupt the free flow of information in our society or any other pose a threat to our economy, our government, and our civil society. Countries or individuals that engage in cyber attacks should face consequences and international condemnation. In an internet-connected world, an attack on one nation’s networks can be an attack on all. And by reinforcing that message, we can create norms of behavior among states and encourage respect for the global networked commons.

    The final freedom, one that was probably inherent in what both President and Mrs. Roosevelt thought about and wrote about all those years ago, is one that flows from the four I’ve already mentioned: the freedom to connect – the idea that governments should not prevent people from connecting to the internet, to websites, or to each other. The freedom to connect is like the freedom of assembly, only in cyberspace. It allows individuals to get online, come together, and hopefully cooperate. Once you’re on the internet, you don’t need to be a tycoon or a rock star to have a huge impact on society.

    The largest public response to the terrorist attacks in Mumbai was launched by a 13-year-old boy. He used social networks to organize blood drives and a massive interfaith book of condolence. In Colombia, an unemployed engineer brought together more than 12 million people in 190 cities around the world to demonstrate against the FARC terrorist movement. The protests were the largest antiterrorist demonstrations in history. And in the weeks that followed, the FARC saw more demobilizations and desertions than it had during a decade of military action. And in Mexico, a single email from a private citizen who was fed up with drug-related violence snowballed into huge demonstrations in all of the country’s 32 states. In Mexico City alone, 150,000 people took to the streets in protest. So the internet can help humanity push back against those who promote violence and crime and extremism.
    In Iran and Moldova and other countries, online organizing has been a critical tool for advancing democracy and enabling citizens to protest suspicious election results. And even in established democracies like the United States, we’ve seen the power of these tools to change history. Some of you may still remember the 2008 presidential election here. (Laughter.)

    The freedom to connect to these technologies can help transform societies, but it is also critically important to individuals. I was recently moved by the story of a doctor – and I won’t tell you what country he was from – who was desperately trying to diagnose his daughter’s rare medical condition. He consulted with two dozen specialists, but he still didn’t have an answer. But he finally identified the condition, and found a cure, by using an internet search engine. That’s one of the reasons why unfettered access to search engine technology is so important in individuals’ lives.

    Now, the principles I’ve outlined today will guide our approach in addressing the issue of internet freedom and the use of these technologies. And I want to speak about how we apply them in practice. The United States is committed to devoting the diplomatic, economic, and technological resources necessary to advance these freedoms. We are a nation made up of immigrants from every country and every interest that spans the globe. Our foreign policy is premised on the idea that no country more than America stands to benefit when there is cooperation among peoples and states. And no country shoulders a heavier burden when conflict and misunderstanding drive nations apart. So we are well placed to seize the opportunities that come with interconnectivity. And as the birthplace for so many of these technologies, including the internet itself, we have a responsibility to see them used for good. To do that, we need to develop our capacity for what we call, at the State Department, 21st century statecraft.

    Realigning our policies and our priorities will not be easy. But adjusting to new technology rarely is. When the telegraph was introduced, it was a source of great anxiety for many in the diplomatic community, where the prospect of receiving daily instructions from capitals was not entirely welcome. But just as our diplomats eventually mastered the telegraph, they are doing the same to harness the potential of these new tools as well.

    And I’m proud that the State Department is already working in more than 40 countries to help individuals silenced by oppressive governments. We are making this issue a priority at the United Nations as well, and we’re including internet freedom as a component in the first resolution we introduced after returning to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

    We are also supporting the development of new tools that enable citizens to exercise their rights of free expression by circumventing politically motivated censorship. We are providing funds to groups around the world to make sure that those tools get to the people who need them in local languages, and with the training they need to access the internet safely. The United States has been assisting in these efforts for some time, with a focus on implementing these programs as efficiently and effectively as possible. Both the American people and nations that censor the internet should understand that our government is committed to helping promote internet freedom.

    We want to put these tools in the hands of people who will use them to advance democracy and human rights, to fight climate change and epidemics, to build global support for President Obama’s goal of a world without nuclear weapons, to encourage sustainable economic development that lifts the people at the bottom up.

    That’s why today I’m announcing that over the next year, we will work with partners in industry, academia, and nongovernmental organizations to establish a standing effort that will harness the power of connection technologies and apply them to our diplomatic goals. By relying on mobile phones, mapping applications, and other new tools, we can empower citizens and leverage our traditional diplomacy. We can address deficiencies in the current market for innovation.

    Let me give you one example. Let’s say I want to create a mobile phone application that would allow people to rate government ministries, including ours, on their responsiveness and efficiency and also to ferret out and report corruption. The hardware required to make this idea work is already in the hands of billions of potential users. And the software involved would be relatively inexpensive to develop and deploy.

    If people took advantage of this tool, it would help us target our foreign assistance spending, improve lives, and encourage foreign investment in countries with responsible governments. However, right now, mobile application developers have no financial assistance to pursue that project on their own, and the State Department currently lacks a mechanism to make it happen. But this initiative should help resolve that problem and provide long-term dividends from modest investments in innovation. We’re going to work with experts to find the best structure for this venture, and we’ll need the talent and resources of technology companies and nonprofits in order to get the best results most quickly. So for those of you in the room who have this kind of talent, expertise, please consider yourselves invited to help us.

    In the meantime, there are companies, individuals, and institutions working on ideas and applications that could already advance our diplomatic and development objectives. And the State Department will be launching an innovation competition to give this work an immediate boost. We’ll be asking Americans to send us their best ideas for applications and technologies that help break down language barriers, overcome illiteracy, connect people to the services and information they need. Microsoft, for example, has already developed a prototype for a digital doctor that could help provide medical care in isolated rural communities. We want to see more ideas like that. And we’ll work with the winners of the competition and provide grants to help build their ideas to scale.

    Now, these new initiatives will supplement a great deal of important work we’ve already done over this past year. In the service of our diplomatic and diplomacy objectives, I assembled a talented and experienced team to lead our 21st century statecraft efforts. This team has traveled the world helping governments and groups leverage the benefits of connection technologies. They have stood up a Civil Society 2.0 Initiative to help grassroots organizations enter the digital age. They are putting in place a program in Mexico to help combat drug-related violence by allowing people to make untracked reports to reliable sources to avoid having retribution visited against them. They brought mobile banking to Afghanistan and are now pursuing the same effort in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In Pakistan, they created the first-ever social mobile network, called Our Voice, that has already produced tens of millions of messages and connected young Pakistanis who want to stand up to violent extremism.

    In a short span, we have taken significant strides to translate the promise of these technologies into results that make a difference. But there is still so much more to be done. And as we work together with the private sector and foreign governments to deploy the tools of 21st century statecraft, we have to remember our shared responsibility to safeguard the freedoms that I’ve talked about today. We feel strongly that principles like information freedom aren’t just good policy, not just somehow connected to our national values, but they are universal and they’re also good for business.

    To use market terminology, a publicly listed company in Tunisia or Vietnam that operates in an environment of censorship will always trade at a discount relative to an identical firm in a free society. If corporate decision makers don’t have access to global sources of news and information, investors will have less confidence in their decisions over the long term. Countries that censor news and information must recognize that from an economic standpoint, there is no distinction between censoring political speech and commercial speech. If businesses in your nations are denied access to either type of information, it will inevitably impact on growth.

    Increasingly, U.S. companies are making the issue of internet and information freedom a greater consideration in their business decisions. I hope that their competitors and foreign governments will pay close attention to this trend. The most recent situation involving Google has attracted a great deal of interest. And we look to the Chinese authorities to conduct a thorough review of the cyber intrusions that led Google to make its announcement. And we also look for that investigation and its results to be transparent.

    The internet has already been a source of tremendous progress in China, and it is fabulous. There are so many people in China now online. But countries that restrict free access to information or violate the basic rights of internet users risk walling themselves off from the progress of the next century. Now, the United States and China have different views on this issue, and we intend to address those differences candidly and consistently in the context of our positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship.

    Now, ultimately, this issue isn’t just about information freedom; it is about what kind of world we want and what kind of world we will inhabit. It’s about whether we live on a planet with one internet, one global community, and a common body of knowledge that benefits and unites us all, or a fragmented planet in which access to information and opportunity is dependent on where you live and the whims of censors.

    Information freedom supports the peace and security that provides a foundation for global progress. Historically, asymmetrical access to information is one of the leading causes of interstate conflict. When we face serious disputes or dangerous incidents, it’s critical that people on both sides of the problem have access to the same set of facts and opinions.

    As it stands, Americans can consider information presented by foreign governments. We do not block your attempts to communicate with the people in the United States. But citizens in societies that practice censorship lack exposure to outside views. In North Korea, for example, the government has tried to completely isolate its citizens from outside opinions. This lopsided access to information increases both the likelihood of conflict and the probability that small disagreements could escalate. So I hope that responsible governments with an interest in global stability will work with us to address such imbalances.

    For companies, this issue is about more than claiming the moral high ground. It really comes down to the trust between firms and their customers. Consumers everywhere want to have confidence that the internet companies they rely on will provide comprehensive search results and act as responsible stewards of their own personal information. Firms that earn that confidence of those countries and basically provide that kind of service will prosper in the global marketplace. I really believe that those who lose that confidence of their customers will eventually lose customers. No matter where you live, people want to believe that what they put into the internet is not going to be used against them.

    And censorship should not be in any way accepted by any company from anywhere. And in America, American companies need to make a principled stand. This needs to be part of our national brand. I’m confident that consumers worldwide will reward companies that follow those principles.

    Now, we are reinvigorating the Global Internet Freedom Task Force as a forum for addressing threats to internet freedom around the world, and we are urging U.S. media companies to take a proactive role in challenging foreign governments’ demands for censorship and surveillance. The private sector has a shared responsibility to help safeguard free expression. And when their business dealings threaten to undermine this freedom, they need to consider what’s right, not simply what’s a quick profit.

  115. “Maybe Hillary will find a good place for McChrystal in the State Department, or is he finished with workin’ for da man?”

    Hillary needs loyal people who know how to keep their traps shut, not loose-lips McChrystal.

    McChrystal would do better working for Biden. They both get in trouble every few months for running off at the mouth.

  116. Hillarys message was long but very important to all who are supporters of freedom of speech in this magic new world of information.

    By ABM90 “Lest we forget” that she is biding her time
    until until BHO leaves the WH head first or feet first

  117. basement angel
    June 28th, 2010 at 7:17 pm


    “Doing it discreetly is normal in difficult negotiating situations. It allows the US to say things that need to be said that the Palestinians wouldn’t tolerate being said in front of Israelis…”

    Under normal circumstances, that in which the potus and his advisors could be trusted not to make promises that already undermine promises made to other stakeholders in this matter, I would agree with you 100%.

    However, given obama’s predilection to talk out of both sides of his mouth, this is nothing but a disaster in the making. Does he really think that Hamas is going to give in on anything? Is he that stupid?

  118. Elizabeth Edwards will be on Larry King on Wednesday night….Oh my…why would she do this???

    I want to hear her tell us again how that worthless P.O.S. husband of her would be better for women in this country than Hillary Clinton.

    Elizabeth Edwards can bite me.

  119. Watching Hannity, and Dick NoneOfUsLoveHimIKnow Morris was talking about what Bill said about the Oil Gusher. He said, Clinton said they need to figure out how to stop the spill, and he needs to emote later. Then he said, that statement was practically an announcement of Hillary’s candidacy. (He was half joking, but the other half was serious.)
    In other words, Obama is incompetent…

  120. I did watch the show, so blowing up the well in NOT putting a Daisy Cutter on top of it…it is a controlled demolition….a few little bombs next to the drill pipe way down under the seabed…

  121. #
    June 28th, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Elizabeth Edwards will be on Larry King on Wednesday night….Oh my…why would she do this???

    I want to hear her tell us again how that worthless P.O.S. husband of her would be better for women in this country than Hillary Clinton.

    Elizabeth Edwards can bite me.
    Maybe not classy, but a classic!

  122. “The common thread that runs through all the hopium guzzlers is a failure to come to terms with reality …”

    A big part of their problem is that the sucker drones are psychologically exploited by Kos and the other hope-a-dope pushers. We see how Kos tweaks the high while Marshall cuts the dope with quinine. Now Kos says ‘we have to be less specific.’ Non-specific ‘goals’ make it easier for him to deny defeat and maintain the fantasy of power, the drug he uses to manipulate his drones (“Let’s take down Blanche Lincoln!”). There are very real addictive properties to leftist computer communities that these netroot pushers exploit to keep their drones hooked. But there is such a thing as recovery — ‘The God That Failed’ is a great example.

  123. Hillary BUSY BUSY BUSY

    Daily Appointments Schedule

    Washington, DC

    June 28, 2010


    9:15 a.m. Secretary Clinton meets with the Assistant Secretaries, at the Department of State.

    11:00 a.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Ambassador Susan Jacobs, Special Adviser for Children’s Issues, and Assistant Secretary for Counselor Affairs Janice Jacobs, at the Department of State.

    5:15 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Coordinator for Counterterrorism Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, at the Department

  124. Confloyd

    I could not get thru the entire video of Bill Clinton praising Obama and his brilliance and how under appreciated O is. He seemed entirely sincere and if that is the case, then I think we are all deluding ourselves here.

  125. I watched that Bill Clinton video also. It’s clear he is a loyal Democrat. It sounded to me like typical words of support (ie as a partisan Democrat supporting a Democratic president during a time when he is getting heavily criticized). He did have a mildly critical statement later on about other countries having ships and devices to gather oil and the he thinks “we should get that stuff over here”. All the words he used to describe Obama “brilliant, articulate, empathetic” sound like the talking points straight out of the White House–the same words used by other Democratics when talking on TV.

    My own take is that both Hillary and Bill are truely loyal to the Democratic party (more than us these days)-I have a hunch that privately they have a lot of criticism of Obama and but they want to retain their standing. Hillary may indeed be content to put the past behind and accept her role as a loyal member of Obama’s administration–thus Bill may have accepted this as well. Or perhaps both she and Bill are being loyal as they know there might be an opportunity again for her in the future and they have to stay in the good graces of the Democratic party (ie Vice-President or perhaps another Presidential bid). It might be that they just don’t have any other choice at the moment given the situation.

    I’m not as astute as everyone on this board, but clearly Bill and Hillary have made comments in the past that show they have concerns over Obama’s leadership. While we all want Hillary to be in politics again, I guess we all just have to wait and see what happens. I’m not ready to be disappointed in the Clintons yet. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this board it’s that politics is often a chess game. I think Admin is right in that we will have a better view after November.

  126. Carol, If you listen to it, it shows how much different it would have been if Bill would have been in charge. He clearly states the steps he would have taken and they are the opposite of what Obama has done. Lots of messages in that clip, Morris said so on Hannity last night.

  127. American Girl, I think the Clintons are really good at playing chess.

    So Axelrod says the economy occupied them for the first several months and that they did not anticipate it was as bad as it was…well duh….that why Obama has that pist off look on his face all the time….this job is tooooo hard…he was promised parties and fun. He took over and had to work.

  128. “The common thread that runs through all the hopium guzzlers is a failure to come to terms with reality …”

    A big part of their problem is that the sucker drones are psychologically exploited by Kos and the other hope-a-dope pushers. We see how Kos tweaks the high while Marshall cuts the dope with quinine. Now Kos says ‘we have to be less specific.’ Non-specific ‘goals’ make it easier for him to deny defeat and maintain the fantasy of power, the drug he uses to manipulate his drones (”Let’s take down Blanche Lincoln!”). There are very real addictive properties to leftist computer communities that these netroot pushers exploit to keep their drones hooked. But there is such a thing as recovery — ‘The God That Failed’ is a great example.
    Excellent analysis Canaan.

  129. I just heard on Fox that Kagan hated “DADT”, so I guess she’s a real kool-aid drinkers. Was she a superdelegate?? If so, I wonder who she voted for??

  130. We’re next. Notice how they are calling them communiests…they aren’t. freaking news people lying again.


    Communist-affiliated strikers march through the port of Piraeus outside Athens to prevent ferries from leaving the harbor during a 24-hour general strike. Photographer: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images
    More than 9,000 protesters marched through Athens today as Greek unions staged their fifth general strike of the year to challenge government plans to cut pension benefits and loosen labor laws.

    The walkout halted state services including public transport and tax offices and disrupted some hospitals. The 24- hour stoppage hit ferry lines at Piraeus, Greece’s largest port, as the Panhellenic Union of Merchant Marine Engineers demanded changes to “anti-social measures.”

    “We are faced with almost the total destruction of Greece’s social security and labor system,” Spyros Papaspyrou, chairman of ADEDY union for civil servants, said by telephone before the march. “We remain committed to this struggle.”

    Greece is in the midst of its biggest upheaval since joining the euro nine years ago after being forced to take action to avoid a debt default. Reforms to pensions and the way workers are hired and fired are required by the European Union and International Monetary Fund in return for the 110 billion euros ($135 billion) of emergency loans agreed in May.

    About 1,000 police officers were on duty in Athens to monitor the marches, though no incidents had been reported, a police spokeswoman said.

    ‘Usual Routine’

    The backlash against austerity measures in Greece has been evident all year. Three people were killed on May 5 after demonstrators set fire to a bank in Athens as protests and strikes became a daily event in the country.

    A day later in parliament, three of Prime Minister George Papandreou’s lawmakers rebelled over a package of cuts, leading the premier to expel them from his Pasok party. That left him with 157 lawmakers in the 300-seat chamber.

    Tomorrow, catering and tourist-industry employees plan another 24-hour strike. Tourism is Greece’s largest industry, accounting for about 16 percent of gross domestic product and one in five jobs, the World Travel and Tourism Council said.

    “It’s the usual routine,” said Elina Zaroulia, 25, who does fashion public relations for Hugo Boss in Athens and didn’t join strikers today. “Protesters, banners, slogans, but if you work in the private sector you go to work, it’s the way it is and definitely now that it is a time of crisis.”

    Market Reaction

    Markets in Greece were little affected today. The ASE stock index was down 0.7 percent as of 2:18 p.m. in Athens, on course for a sixth day of losses. Ten-year Greek government bonds yielded 812 basis points more than comparable German debt today, the spread widening from 800 basis points yesterday.

    Papandreou, whose union-backed Pasok party prevailed in elections last October, has reduced wages for state workers, trimmed some retirement benefits, and raised sales, fuel and alcohol taxes. The 58-year-old argues the measures, to tame a budget deficit of 13.6 percent of economic output, are needed to prevent the country from defaulting on its debts.

    Greek pensioners on average live on 96 percent of the salary they had when they worked, more than twice the proportion of earnings as Germans, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The Paris-based group called the system a “fiscal time bomb.”

    Companies are prevented from dismissing any more than 2 percent of their workforce in any given month, just as the Greek economy is mired in its first recession since 1993.

    ‘Doing Our Job’

    “Striking is an irremovable right of the Greek people and of every worker, but we are steadily doing our job,” government spokesman George Petalotis said in an e-mailed transcript of comments made in Athens yesterday. Reforms must be pushed through “as the situation had really reached its limits.”

    Pension reforms include increasing the retirement age to 65 from 60 for women, curtailing early retirement, increasing the number of contribution years and calculating payments over a longer period of employment. The bill will be the first enacted since the May 6 package that pledged 30 billion euros of wage and pension cuts and tax increases over the next three years.

    When it comes to the job market, the Labor Ministry plans to allow companies to fire 5 percent of their workers. Newcomers would be paid 84 percent of the minimum wage in a bid to boost employment among those aged between 15 and 29.

    The unemployment rate for that group was more than 22 percent in the first quarter of this year compared with 18.5 percent last year. Greece’s main jobless rate rose in the first quarter to a 10-year high of 11.7 percent.

    “The main target of the new labor-market law is to improve the flexibility in a market that’s considered, together with Portugal and to some extent France, as the most inflexible in the euro area,” said Nicholas Magginas, an economist at National Bank of Greece SA.

    The General Confederation of Labor, or GSEE, Greece’s largest union group for workers at private companies, called plans to cut severance pay, abolish terms of collective- bargaining agreements and raise the ceiling on firing employees an “assault” on staff

  131. AmericanGal
    June 29th, 2010 at 9:28 am
    I watched that Bill Clinton video also. It’s clear he is a loyal Democrat. It sounded to me like typical words of support (ie as a partisan Democrat supporting a Democratic president during a time when he is getting heavily criticized).

    I think Bill and Hill know that when you see a guy shooting himself in both feet, like Obama is doing, the last thing you want to do is be anywhere near the scene. Especially with the media’s propensity for blaming everything and anything on the Clintons.

    Just walk away, a mumble nice platitudes about the “brilliant, articulate, empathetic” historical hopey-changy cool-guy golfer president.

    Bill: “They can blame me on him tanking, or that I piled on.”

  132. I found this on the Countusout blog….
    MANAMA: Israel is massing warplanes in the Caucasus for an attack on Iran, it was revealed yesterday.

    Preparations are underway to launch the military attack from Azerbaijan and Georgia, reports our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej, quoting military sources.

    Israel was, in fact, training pilots in Turkey to launch the strike and was smuggling planes into Georgia using Turkish airspace, they said.

    However, Turkey was unaware of Israel’s intention of transferring the planes to Georgia, the sources said.

    The unexpected crisis between Israel and Turkey following an Israeli commando raid on an aid flotilla bound for Gaza Strip hit Israeli calculations.

    Azerbaijan-based intelligence units, working under the cover of technicians, trainers and consultants, have helped with the preparations, the sources said.

    Military equipment, mostly supplied by the US, was transported to a Georgian port via the Black Sea.

    Georgian coastguard and Israeli controllers are co-operating to hide the operations from Russian vessels, said the sources.

    They point out that according to Israel, it will not be in a position to launch a strike on Iran without using bases in Georgia and Azerbaijan due to the limited capabilities of its nuclear submarines stationed near the Iranian coast.

    Meanwhile, Iran’s Press TV reported that a very large contingent of US ground forces had massed in Azerbaijan, near the Iranian border. The independent Azerbaijani news website Trend confirmed the report.

    Those reports came just days after the Pentagon confirmed that an unusually large fleet of US warships had indeed passed through Egypt’s Suez Canal en route to the Gulf. At least one Israeli warship reportedly joined the American armada.

    Press TV also quoted Iranian Revolultionary Guard Brigadier General Mehdi Moini as saying that the country’s forces are mobilised and ready to face Israelli and American “misadventures” near its borders.

    * Iran last night said it has cancelled plans to send an aid ship to the Gaza Strip as Israel “had sent a letter to the UN saying that the presence of Iranian and Lebanese ships in the Gaza area will be considered a declaration of war on that regime and it will confront it,” Irna said

  133. Third US carrier, 4,000 Marines augment US armada opposite Iran
    DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 28, 2010, 10:45 PM (GMT+02:00)Tags: Iran Persian Gulf USS Nassau

    USS Nassau: More US naval-air-marine muscle off Irandebkafile’s military sources report that Washington has posted a third carrier opposite Iran’s shores. It is supported by amphibious assault ships and up to 4,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel, bringing the total US strength in these waters to three carriers and 10,000 combat personnel.
    The USS Nassau (LHA-4) Amphibious Ready Group 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, tasked with supporting the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet area of operations, is cruising around the Bab al-Mandeb Straits where the Gulf of Aden flows into the Red Sea. Its presence there accounts for Tehran announcing Sunday, June 27 that its “aid ship for Gaza” had been called off, for fear an American military boarding party would intercept the vessel and search it. This would be permissible under the latest UN sanctions punishing the Islamic Republic for its nuclear program.
    The third US carrier group to reach waters around Iran consists of three vessels:
    1. The USS Nassau Amphibious Assault ship is not just an enormous landing craft for the 3,000 Marines aboard; its decks carry 6 vertical take-off AV-HB Harrier attack plans; four AH-1W Super Cobra, twelve CH-46 Sea Knight and CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters, as well choppers convertible to fast V-22 Osprey airplanes capable of landing in any conditions.
    This vast warship has 1,400 cabinets for sleeping the entire Marine-24th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard.
    2. The amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde which carries 800 Marines equipped for instantaneous landing.
    3. The amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland which carries 400 Marines and 102 commandos trained for special operations behind enemy lines.

    debkafile adds: The USS Ashland was the target of an al Qaeda Katyusha rocket attack in 2005 when it was docked in Jordan’s Aqaba port next door to the Israeli port of Eilat. One of the rockets exploded in Eilat airport. The ship exited harbor in time to escape harm.
    These new arrivals are a massive injection of naval, air and marine muscle to the strength Washington has deployed in the Persian Gulf-Red Sea-Indian Ocean arena in recent months. The USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group consisting of twelve warships is cruising in the Arabian Sea opposite Chah Bahar, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards biggest naval base not far from the Iranian-Pakistan border. It is there that most of Iran’s special commando units are housed.


    Wrong Track Distress

    Published: June 28, 2010

    It’s getting harder and harder for most Americans, looking honestly at the state of the nation, to see the glass as half full. And that’s why the public opinion polls contain nothing but bad news for Barack Obama and the Democrats.

    The oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, the war in Afghanistan and, above all, the continuing epidemic of joblessness have pushed the nation into a funk. All the crowing in the world about the administration’s legislative accomplishments — last year’s stimulus package, this year’s health care reform, etc. — is not enough to lift the gloom.

    Mr. Obama and the Democrats have wasted the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity handed to them in the 2008 election. They did not focus on jobs, jobs, jobs as their primary mission, and they did not call on Americans to join in a bold national effort (which would have required a great deal of shared sacrifice) to solve a wide range of very serious problems, from our over-reliance on fossil fuels to the sorry state of public education to the need to rebuild the nation’s rotting infrastructure.

    All of that could have been pulled together under the umbrella of job creation — short-term and long-term. In the immediate aftermath of Mr. Obama’s historic victory, and with the trauma of the economic collapse still upon us, it would have been very difficult for Republicans on Capitol Hill to stand in the way of a rebuild-America campaign aimed at putting millions of men and women back to work.

    Mr. Obama had campaigned on the mantra of change, and that would have been the kind of change that working people could have gotten behind. But it never happened. Job creation was the trump card in the hand held by Mr. Obama and the Democrats, but they never played it. And now we’re paying a fearful price.

    Fifteen million Americans are unemployed, according to the official count, which wildly understates the reality. Assuming no future economic setbacks and job creation at a rate of 200,000 or so a month, it would take more than a decade to get us back to where we were when the Great Recession began in December 2007. But we’re nowhere near that kind of sustained job growth. Last month, a measly 41,000 private-sector jobs were created.

    We are in deep, deep gumbo.

    The Obama administration feels it should get a great deal of credit for its economic stimulus efforts, its health care initiative, its financial reform legislation, its vastly increased aid to education and so forth. And maybe if we were grading papers, there would be a fair number of decent marks to be handed out.

    But Americans struggling in a down economy are worried about the survival of their families. Destitution is beckoning for those whose unemployment benefits are running out, and that crowd of long-term jobless men and women is expanding rapidly.

    There is a widespread feeling that only the rich and well-placed can count on Washington’s help, and that toxic sentiment is spreading like the oil stain in the gulf, with ominous implications for President Obama and his party. It’s in this atmosphere that support for the president and his agenda is sinking like a stone.

    Employment is the No. 1 issue for most ordinary Americans. Their anxiety on this front only grows as they watch teachers, firefighters and police officers lining up to walk the unemployment plank as state and local governments wrestle with horrendous budget deficits.

    And what do these worried Americans see the Obama administration doing? It’s doubling down on the war in Afghanistan, trying somehow to build a nation from scratch in the chaos of a combat zone.

    By nearly 2 to 1, respondents to the most recent New York Times/CBS News poll believed the United States is on the wrong track. Despite the yelping and destructive machinations of the deficit hawks, employment and the economy are by far the public’s biggest concern. Mr. Obama is paying dearly for his tin ear on this topic. Fifty-four percent of respondents believed he does not have a clear plan for creating jobs. Only 45 percent approved of his overall handling of the economy, compared with 48 percent who disapproved.

    It’s not too late for the president to turn things around, but there is no indication that he has any plan or strategy for doing it. And the political environment right now, with confidence in the administration waning and budgetary fears unnecessarily heightened by the deficit hawks, is not good.

    It would take an extraordinary exercise in leadership to rally the country behind a full-bore jobs-creation campaign — nothing short of large-scale nation-building on the home front. Maybe that’s impossible in the current environment. But that’s what the country needs.

  135. Iran is Surrounded by US Troops in 10 Countries

    by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
    Follow Israel news on and .

    Iran literally is surrounded by American troops, notes an oil market analyst, Energy and Capital editor Christian A. DeHaemer. There is no evidence of an imminent attack, but he connects a number of recent events and the presence of American soldiers to warn that oil prices might soar — with or without a pre-emptive strike aimed at stopping Iran’s nuclear power ambitions.

    Iran is bordered on the east by Pakistan and Afghanistan, where U.S. troops have been waging a costly war, in terms of money and lives, against Taliban, Al-Qaeda and other terrorists.

    The Persian Gulf is on Iran’s southern border, and last week’s report, confirmed by the Pentagon, that 11 warships had sailed through the Suez Canal, raised alarm bells that the U.S. is ready to fight to keep the Persian Gulf open.

    Iran has threatened it could close the waterway, where 40 percent of the world’s oil flows in tankers, if the United Nations or the United States by itself carry out harsh energy sanctions against the Islamic Republic. An Israeli ship has also reportedly joined the U.S. armada.

    Kuwait, which is heavily armed by the U.S. and is home to American bases, is located on the southwestern border of Iran. The country’s western neighbors are Turkey and Iraq, also home to American bases, and Turkmenistan, the Caspian Sea and Azerbaijan are the Islamic Republic’s northern neighbors.

    The last year advanced military cooperation with Turkmenistan. An independent Caspian news agency has confirmed unusually heavy activity of American troops along the border with Iran. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Brigadier General Mehdi Moini said last week that his forces increased patrols, including tanks and anti-aircraft units, along the border with Azerbaijan because they noticed increased American activity. Iran charged that Israeli forces were also present, sparking a virtual war alert among the Iranian Guards.

    In addition, the Times of London reported earlier this month that Saudi Arabia has agreed to open its air space for Israel Air Force jets, a claim that the Saudi monarchy denied. It similar denied Iranian news agency claims that Israeli helicopters unloaded military equipment at a northwestern Saudi Arabian air base, from where Israeli planes theoretically could reach Iran in the shorts possible time.

    There has been no confirmation of Israel-Saudi cooperation from any other source, but one IDF reserve officer, who has been involved in secret military projects for private companies, told Israel National News that the it could be true if both countries found it in their common interests. Saudi Arabia does not recognize Israel and has treated the Jewish State with disdain. However, the possibility of Iran’s dominating the Arab world with nuclear power has changed all political scenarios.

    Several defense websites have reported that Israel is deploying one to three German-made nuclear submarines in the Persian Gulf as a defensive measure against the possibility of a missile attacks from Lebanon and Syria, as well as Iran.

    “The submarines of Flotilla 7 — Dolphin, Tekuma and Leviathan — have visited the Gulf before,” DeHaemer wrote, “but the decision has now been taken to ensure a permanent presence of at least one of the vessels.”

    Amid the buzz of increased military activity around Iran looms the specter of higher oil prices, which is DeHaemer’s field of expertise. “The last oil price shock in the Middle East was in 1990 when the United States invaded Iraq for invading Kuwait. The price per barrel of oil went from $21 to $28 on August 6…to $46 by mid-October. The looming Iran War is not priced in,” he warned in his news letter.

    Iran has the third-highest oil reserves in the world and is second only to Saudi Arabia in production. If any action prevents the flow of Iranian oil, the price of “black gold” would soar, he added. (

  136. “The common thread that runs through all the hopium guzzlers is a failure to come to terms with reality …”

    A big part of their problem is that the sucker drones are psychologically exploited by Kos and the other hope-a-dope pushers. We see how Kos tweaks the high while Marshall cuts the dope with quinine. Now Kos says ‘we have to be less specific.’ Non-specific ‘goals’ make it easier for him to deny defeat and maintain the fantasy of power, the drug he uses to manipulate his drones (”Let’s take down Blanche Lincoln!”). There are very real addictive properties to leftist computer communities that these netroot pushers exploit to keep their drones hooked. But there is such a thing as recovery — ‘The God That Failed’ is a great example.
    Excellent analysis Canaan.
    Menken said that patriotism is the last bastion of scoundrels. What he meant by that was scoundrels invoke emotional misleading emotional arguments to justify bad policies and attacks on personal liberty. And, in the moment at least, it works. Why? Because they know what every propagandist knows which is that when reason and emotions conflict, emotions prevail in most people. This is a matter of our evolutionary baggage. Thus, the Obama propagandists will promote these soft airbrushed images, revolutionary art, vague hope and other emanations to distract weak minded people from the hard cold truth which is that the man is wrecking this country. To people who measure his performance in terms of scoreboard, bottom lines, and other metrics which measure accountability, Obama is an abject failure. And his failure affects all of us whether we recognize it our not. But to those who measure his performance in terms of what is new, exciting, dazzling glamorous and emotionally charged they cannot get enough of him. Those people are thrilled when they see pictures of his wife on the front pages of Huffington Post wearing the latest gowns and imitating what they recollect or imagine Jackie would have done. Why would a political news blog do this sort of thing repeatedly, if not to connect with the emotions of their audience and to distract their attention from what is really going on. We must stop pretending these people are journalists. They are propagandists of the lowest order, and there is no getting around it.

  137. Several defense websites have reported that Israel is deploying one to three German-made nuclear submarines in the Persian Gulf as a defensive measure against the possibility of a missile attacks from Lebanon and Syria, as well as Iran
    The German built Dolphin class submarines (type 800) are diesel-electric not nuclear powered. Perhaps the author is referring to the subs capability of launching nuclear armed cruise missiles otherwise that sort of error makes the validity of the whole article suspect.

  138. If Obama’s sins were strictly those of omission, then Bob Herbert would have a point. But the fact is Obama’s sins are both those of omission and commission. Most of us have been clamoring for jobs from the beginning. But for Obama that was never a priority. It never occurred to him that in order to support the programs he wanted there would need to be tax revenues, and in order for there to be tax revenues people would need to have jobs. This is not great feat of reverse engineering, yet somehow in the press of other business it managed to escape the eagle eye Mr. Obama. Which is surprising since in the beginning Herbert described Obama as “a thoughtful man, in a thoughtful White House dealing with a challenging set of problems”.

    Herbert is a clown.

  139. Have others here seen this interview today? I guess we should all celebrate despite the problems with the stock market today–Obama says that the economy is “into recovery” and that it’s the problems in Europe that are making the markets nervous and skittish. Everything is actually rosy……

    How can that man say this stuff with a straight face? Bernake is sitting next to him and does not look happy IMO….

  140. Re: Bernake not happy…he’s not happy because he knows that Obama is talking sh*t

    “RBS tells clients to prepare for ‘monster’ money-printing by the Federal Reserve
    As recovery starts to stall in the US and Europe with echoes of mid-1931, bond experts are once again dusting off a speech by Ben Bernanke given eight years ago as a freshman governor at the Federal Reserve.”
    The speech is best known for its irreverent one-liner: “The US government has a technology, called a printing press, that allows it to produce as many US dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.”
    he ECRI leading indicator produced by the Economic Cycle Research Institute plummeted yet again last week to -6.9, pointing to contraction in the US by the end of the year. It is dropping faster that at any time in the post-War era.

    The latest data from the CPB Netherlands Bureau shows that world trade slid 1.7pc in May, with the biggest fall in Asia. The Baltic Dry Index measuring freight rates on bulk goods has dropped 40pc in a month. This is a volatile index that can be distorted by the supply of new ships, but those who watch it as an early warning signal for China and commodities are nervous.

    Andrew Roberts, credit chief at RBS, is advising clients to read the Bernanke text very closely because the Fed is soon going to have to the pull the lever on “monster” quantitative easing (QE)”.

    “We cannot stress enough how strongly we believe that a cliff-edge may be around the corner, for the global banking system (particularly in Europe) and for the global economy. Think the unthinkable,” he said in a note to investors.

  141. Have others here seen this interview today? I guess we should all celebrate despite the problems with the stock market today–Obama says that the economy is “into recovery” and that it’s the problems in Europe that are making the markets nervous and skittish. Everything is actually rosy……

    How can that man say this stuff with a straight face? Bernake is sitting next to him and does not look happy IMO…
    Well . . . I for one am relieved. When the Messiah tells my that we are in a recovery and the only problem is in Europe it has the same effect as divine law, and markets will snap to attention quite soon. We should be grateful to Obama because as the infallible pundit Bob Shrum said recently, he saved our nation from a depression. And, when Paul Krugman gets wind of this, he will undoubtedly issue a retraction of his recent dire predictions. But the one I worry about is Bernake. For him to agree to sit there beside Obama and let Obama make these statements which have no basis in reality triggers an obligation to correct what is said, and saying nothing, his silence amounts to consent.

  142. De mortimus nil nisi bonum and all that but Byrd was once a Klansman.
    The KKK episode was in 1942 at the age of 24 and could be “excused” as a youthful “error”. 22 years later, Byrd was an active participant in the filibuster of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and was the last speaker (14+ hours) prior to cloture. The following year he opposed the Voting Rights Act. I have no problem speaking ill of the dead.

  143. De mortimus nil nisi bonum and all that but Byrd was once a Klansman.
    The KKK episode was in 1942 at the age of 24 and could be “excused” as a youthful “error”. 22 years later, Byrd was an active participant in the filibuster of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and was the last speaker (14+ hours) prior to cloture. The following year he opposed the Voting Rights Act. I have no problem speaking ill of the dead.
    Lest we forget.

  144. One other point. For historical reasons, the democratic party in West Virginia is the conservative party and the Republican Party is more liberal. I had heard this before I went there to campaign and it was confirmed to me by local politicians. The other thing I found about the politics there is it is more closed and secretive than anywhere else. People in the power structure were afraid to challenge the status quo and told me you do not understand how things work here. It is different than in other states.

  145. So they want to stop the TARP program early to pay for the FINREG bill…

    Way to go…FRANKly DODDgy!!!!!!!!!

  146. I have no problem speaking ill of the dead.
    Neither do I. There is a tendency to deify scoundrel after they expire. When that happens a dose of reality is called for. In this case, the bad needs to be included along with the good to give a fair sense of the man. He could be criticized as well for bringing more money to west virginia on useless road projects, money that could have been utilized more productively. Like so many of his peers, he was a good member of the party, and he brought home the bacon for his state. But truth to tell, few of them rise to the next level where we can say that they were also a great American. It just gets implied in all the florid rhetoric. This problem was noticed by Brutus in his response to Mark Anthony’s speech. And it is remarkable is it not how effectively Mark Anthony played on the emotions of the crowd and then said mischief thou art now afoot, etc/

  147. As I look at the photos of the oil spill, I can’t imagine that some places like LA will ever be the same.

    Oh sure, little clumps of oil can be picked up off the beaches, but other than tourism money, that is the least of the problems.

    Oil sunk in the water so it isn’t that visible, oil soaking the marsh lands that kill everything there, rocks, birds, fish, dolphins, turtles…rushed into garbage bags, burned or die under the water, leaving dead zones in the gulf where no living thing has oxygen to breath. Humans in the gulf exposed to toxic air, toxic oil and disputants…

    All the King’s minions and all BP’s men, couldn’t put the Gulf Coast back together again.

    Time heals all, but this is gonna take a boat load of time to heal this wonderful area that many of us took for granted until we saw it die before our own eyes.

  148. Awesome post and question by Murphy over at PUMApac…
    But here’s the thing. Will Americans be able to unite about this? What’s happening is almost beyond belief. Picture 3 million Americans, AMERICANS!, forced to leave/flee their homes to escape the toxic/cancer causing pestilence of the oil and, even worse, the corexit, that has made the air (the AIR) unbreathable. A la Bhopal, a la Chernobyl, a la 3 Mile Island, a la Hiroshima, a la Darfur.

    This is WAY worse than the Dust Bowl or Katrina or 9/11, and I say that with no aim to downplay the horribleness of those events.

    Americans fleeing their homes, walking away from their pet shops, their pizza parlors, their teaching positions, their dry cleaners, putting them up for sale, abandoning them. Unthinkable.

    It troubles me that those of us far away and feeling unconnected (not us commenting here, because I believe we all know or sort of know at least one actual person who is actually facing this nightmare and so we KNOW what anxiety/terror they are feeling and we feel it too, by extension, which is not the same as actually feeling it but is close enough to not make us callous) are trying to force this into a black/white, repub/dem crisis, political fight. It is SO not that.

    Lord knows that obama is a fucking wanker of the highest degree and this crisis can’t help but expose that. and lord also knows that Hillary freaking Clinton would have been 10000 percent more capable of dealing with this crisis. McCain would have too, I bet. He’s faced crises and he knows how politics and the bureaucracy works. He would have dealt better, faster, and stronger (but not as well as Hillary would have.)

    But, and this is crucial, this is NOT a political disaster (tho it IS a political disaster for obama and the DONC, in the sense that they will pay a downpayment on the rage they bought for their arrogance in November 2010 and they will pay the balance on that enormous debt to the public in 2012) BUT, That is belittling.

    This is a human, earth, universal catastrophe and to turn it into a stupid Beltway teapot tempest (off point, but Tempest would be an EXCELLENT name for a tea house.) is to betray our neighbors in the Gulf and the people on the East Coast, and the West Coast, and every place the awesome Ocean touches, which, as we all know, is EVERYWHERE.

    I cannot tell you how heartening it is to read the comments of the last 3 or 4 threads and see that those on the left left, the middle left, the center left, and the holy smokes are you out in left field left, are just posting links, emails, and info about what’s happening.

    But, again, what do you think? Will we be able as a country of citizens, a country of BY THE PEOPLE to understand that when leaders cant lead the PEOPLE need to to lead and stand together to triumph over the end of Peak Oil and the beginning of a new era.

    There it is. That is the question. Is the current generation — That means us. Are WE ready to reign over the dawn of a new era? Can we do it?

  149. A very bad decision for this reason. This puts political parties at a competitive disadvantage to billionaires like Soros who can put as much money as they like into the American Political System to achieve his stated objectives which are by his own admission to eliminate the United States as a world power and to redistribute the wealth of the middle class to the world.

    Court Reaffirms ‘Soft Money’ Ban
    Comments (1)
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    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court on Tuesday reaffirmed a ban on unlimited contributions to political parties, rejecting a Republican Party appeal to undo a major aspect of campaign-finance law.

    Five months after the court ruled in favor of unlimited corporate and labor spending in federal elections, the justices on Tuesday turned down a request to consider ending the ban on the raising of soft money—unlimited donations from corporations, unions and others—by national party committees.

    The soft-money ban was a cornerstone of the 2002 congressional overhaul of federal campaign finance law.

    On the Docket

    Review the cases already decided and still to come in the Supreme Court’s 2009-2010 term, plus details on the arguments and the justices themselves.

    Justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas said they would have heard the Republicans’ appeal.

    The GOP said the Supreme Court’s rationale in January for removing restrictions on corporate and union spending in federal elections should lead to a similar removal of the restriction on such fund-raising by national political parties.

    In March, federal judges in Washington said recent campaign-finance rulings have left the political parties at a disadvantage relative to outside interest groups now that they are unencumbered by contribution or independent spending limits. But those judges said they lacked authority to overturn the soft-money ban because the Supreme Court explicitly endorsed it in 2003.

    The appeal by the Republican National Committee, RNC Chairman Michael Steele, the California Republican Party and the San Diego GOP is being handled by attorney Theodore Olson, who successfully urged the court to overturn the ban on independent spending by corporations and unions.

    When he served as the Bush administration’s top Supreme Court lawyer, Mr. Olson once defended the provision of the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law that was challenged. That law is named after two leading sponsors of the law, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.

    Democrats have opposed the Republican effort, even though they, too, would be allowed to collect unlimited contributions.

    The Obama administration urged the Supreme Court to leave the soft-money ban in place. It drew a distinction between the Citizens United case decided in January, which involved independent spending by corporations, and the current challenge to the prohibition on contributions.

    The RNC said it wants to raise and spend soft money to help elect GOP candidates to state offices, finance congressional redistricting efforts following the 2010 census, and fund lobbying efforts on federal legislation.

    Before the law was enacted, the two parties were raising hundreds of millions in soft money, with rich individuals, businesses and unions giving a million or more.

    When the Supreme Court upheld the “soft money” ban in 2003, it said that large contributions to the parties were used to buy access to elected officials.

    The GOP said the high court’s Citizens United decision in January changed everything.

    “In Citizens United, the court made clear that the only constitutionally adequate basis for prohibiting political speech is the prevention of actual or apparent quid pro quo corruption—arrangements that exchange dollars for political favors,” the Republicans said in court papers.

    Access is not corruption, they said.

    The case is Republican National Committee v. FEC, 09-1287

  150. I am thinking of this decision more in terms of the democratic party which relied on soft money to maintain its independence form whore merchants like Soros.

  151. Funny thing about “youthful discretions.”

    If either of the Clintons had made “youthful discretions” of Byrd’s caliber, the media would have never let them forget it.

    Then again, you have obama and Wright, Ayers, etc…etc… and it’s all water under the bridge.

  152. This says it all.

    Please pay this one forward all across America and the world.
    Let’s get this circulating for July 4th.


    Happy 4th of July!….
    …..let’s get this started now, So it will be out there on the fourth!!!!







    For All of our military personnel, where ever they may be.
    Please Support all of the troops defending our Country.

    And God Bless our Military who are protecting our Country for our Freedom.

    Thanks To them, and their sacrifices we can celebrate the 4th of July .

    We must never forget who Gets the credit for the freedoms we have,
    of which we should be Eternally grateful..

    I watched the flag Pass by one day,
    It fluttered in the breeze.

    A young Marine Saluted it,
    And then he stood at ease.
    I looked at Him in uniform
    So young, so tall, so proud,
    With hair cut square And eyes alert
    He’d stand out in any crowd.

    I thought how many men Like him
    Had fallen through the years.
    How many died on foreign Soil
    How many mothers’ tears?

    How many pilots’ planes Shot down?
    How many died at sea
    How many foxholes were soldiers’ Graves ?
    No, freedom isn’t free

    I heard the sound of Taps One night,
    When everything was still,
    I listened to the bugler Play
    And felt a sudden chill.
    I wondered just how many times
    That Taps had meant ‘Amen,’

    When a flag had draped a Coffin Of a brother or a friend.

    I thought of all the Children,
    Of the mothers and the wives,
    Of fathers, sons and Husbands
    With interrupted lives.

    I Thought about a graveyard
    At the bottom of the sea

    Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
    No, freedom isn’t free.

    Enjoy Your Freedom & God Bless Our Troops.

    When You receive this, please stop for a moment
    And Say a Prayer for our servicemen & women.
    Of all the gifts you could give A US Soldier,
    Prayer is the very best One.

  153. a friend of mine sent me this…for a bit of inspiration amidst the dreary news…take a peak…

    O is useless…we succeed in spite of him…

  154. shadowfax, I grew up just a few miles from the wildlife refuge that they released the pelicans. People that live along the coast live there because they love it even with all the hurricanes and now oil spills.

    What I saw in those photos was true american spirit of people trying to save what they love…I guess since there weren’t those dead animal pics I found the photos uplifting as I can see folks working hard on this horrible, horrible oil everywhere.

  155. JanH, THe pantsuit Hillary is wearing in those videos you posted I think is very complimentary to her eyes…I bet she look fabulous in that pantsuit.

    The one thing I remember most the time I saw Hillary in person in Waco, was that her eyes just light up.

  156. The house just voted against extending the unemployment benefits which includes money for medicaid….I guess the house doesn’t think the people that have been unemployed and all of their family and friends DON’T VOTE.

    I know we need to get control of this spending, but its not the folks that are unemployed fault that there is no jobs…its Wall Street’s, and all the bail outs for the rich folk…it may just bite them in the butt come November.

    Add the oil spill to these dissatified folks and it may kick some butts in November.

  157. Let us remember that Byrd apologized profusely many times for being a part of the Klan and described it as immoral.

    That matters. It’s when people don’t grow and don’t get things right that it should be hung around their neck.

  158. Its still a ways until the election….the republicans sure started this downfall in the economy and Obama continued it and now the republicans want to get all hard ass about the money…its going to kick their butts.

  159. Shadowfax
    June 28th, 2010 at 5:38 pm
    Bill said if they can’t stop the leak with anything they try, including the new drilling they are going to try, then blowing up the hole, covering it with a huge pile of rocks, etc may be the only way to stop the gusher. He also said, not to blow it up with nukes, but with explosives (?) if all else doesn’t work.

    Bill isn’t looking stupid for what he said.

    Jesus. I have been thinking this all along. They can always drill another well later. Letting it destroy our Gulf and the the wildlife is just unforgivable IMHO.

  160. basement angel
    June 29th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Byrd was a flim flam man and not to be trusted, as Hillary and her supporters know. We all can mouth the “I was young and foolish comments”, it’s actions that count.

    Words? Just “Words”.

  161. Tea Party has postponed it’s “National Convention”, for lack of interest in Las Vegas. I believe it is summer and people need a rest to make the big push to oust the fool’s in the fall. Las Vegas in the summer, hmmmm 110 degrees, not so much.

    Of course the supporters of the fool on the hill think it is a window of hope. Let them be foolish,hope their tethered!

  162. #
    June 29th, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    a friend of mine sent me this…for a bit of inspiration amidst the dreary news…take a peak…

    O is useless…we succeed in spite of him…
    Thanks for posting this, it is a great way to use hair resources and it looks like folks from all over the world are donating. Cute photos of ‘nude’ sheep and alpaca donors.
    I emailed them to see if I could help make booms…

  163. On Fox, there is these two guys talking about Boehner reducing social security benefits and raising the age…they got a guy who says there is no reason not to raise the retirement age to 70…he says he still working why can’t everyone else…apparently he doesn’t do physical labor…try doing that for 8 hours everyday.

    The next question was how did he feel about making rich folks all together give up their social security…answer…he did not like that.

    Here again the republicans are against poor people and of coarse so is Obama.

    Boehner apparently has been getting a lot of crap about it and I remember when Boehner stood up for BP…he quickly changed his mind….maybe they will figure most folks wanted the promises that Hillary and Obama promised and have not gotten them…because we don’t have Hillary.

  164. Bill Clinton Endorses Andrew Romanoff For Senate (breaks with WH, again!)

    Former President Bill Clinton announced in an email Tuesday his support for Colorado Democrat Andrew Romanoff in his bid to unseat incumbent Michael Bennet.

    Clinton, who met Romanoff in 1992 when he was a student at Harvard, alluded to Romanoff’s career in the Colorado legislature to argue that he gives the party “[its] best chance to hold this seat in November.” Clinton did not mention Bennet, who has received strong and consistent support from the White House.

    Romanoff the former Speaker of the Colorado State House, announced his Senate bid last September after discussing potential administration jobs with the White House in the event that he stayed out of the race. President Obama endorsed Bennet shortly after Romanoff announced his candidacy.

    Romanoff is the first Democratic Senate challenger to receive Clinton’s support in a primary this season. In Clinton’s home state of Arkansas, the ex-president publicly endorsed incumbent Democrat Blanche Lincoln over challenger Bill Halter. In Pennsylvania, Clinton worked with the White House to lure challenger Joe Sestak out of the Senate race against incumbent and former Republican Arlen Specter.

    Lincoln recently defeated Halter, while Sestak beat Specter in Pennsylvania.

    Romanoff was an early supporter of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.

    According to most public polling, Bennet leads Romanoff by double digits among likely Democratic voters. He also holds a commanding fundraising advantage.

    Story continues below

    Romanoff, however, has ridden the support of long-time party activists to victories in Colorado’s Democratic party caucuses.

    The Colorado primaries will be held on August 10.

  165. #
    June 29th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    The house just voted against extending the unemployment benefits which includes money for medicaid….I guess the house doesn’t think the people that have been unemployed and all of their family and friends DON’T VOTE.

    I know we need to get control of this spending, but its not the folks that are unemployed fault that there is no jobs…its Wall Street’s, and all the bail outs for the rich folk…it may just bite them in the butt come November.

    Add the oil spill to these dissatified folks and it may kick some butts in November.

    I agree and I think that congress should take a furlough cut until they pass unemployment, medicade funding. That way, they would actually SAVE some REAL money!!!

  166. #
    June 29th, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    If Obama’s sins were strictly those of omission, then Bob Herbert would have a point. But the fact is Obama’s sins are both those of omission and commission. Most of us have been clamoring for jobs from the beginning. But for Obama that was never a priority. It never occurred to him that in order to support the programs he wanted there would need to be tax revenues, and in order for there to be tax revenues people would need to have jobs. This is not great feat of reverse engineering, yet somehow in the press of other business it managed to escape the eagle eye Mr. Obama. Which is surprising since in the beginning Herbert described Obama as “a thoughtful man, in a thoughtful White House dealing with a challenging set of problems”.

    Herbert is a clown.

    Wbboei, it dawns on me reading this and Admin’s post on the secret war a few days ago that he doesn’t meet with anyone. Well…. except sports teams. We have no experts, we have no career civil servants- instead a handful of ill-qualified political appointments and an absentee president.

    What does he do all day??? Hell, Michelle seems to be more fully engaged than he does (even if that means having celebrity dinners and courtside seats). Shit. Maybe there is some merit to the rumors about him and his “personal trainer” who makes over a $100K a year… I mean what else is he doing with all that free time? He acts like it’s an imposition to go down to the Gulf or meet with his head general or answer a damn question from the press….

  167. Boehner reducing social security benefits and raising the age…they got a guy who says there is no reason not to raise the retirement age to 70

    What the hell? I have to work until I am seventy now? Why not just raise it to 99 years old?
    Nothing like paying into it all your life and getting a few years of minimal funds before you kick the frickin’ bucket!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Boehner needs to be put on a very limited budget, to give him a reality check. Ahole.


    Tom Balanoff: Obama called day before election about Jarrett appointment

    By Sarah Ostmanon June 29, 2010 12:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBacks (0)
    Reporting with Natasha Korecki

    Top union leader Thomas Balanoff said he was at dinner the night before the November Presidential election when he got a call that was blocked.
    So he didn’t take it.

    Later he listened to his messages: “I walked outside, listened to it and it was from President Obama,” Balanoff said.

    “Tom, this is Barack, give me a call,” the soon-to-be President-Elect said on the message.

    After Balanoff sent word through an Obama aide to call him back, Obama returned his call later that night.

    “Tom, i want to talk to you with regard to the Senate seat,” Obama told him.
    Balanoff said Obama said he had two criteria: someone who was good for the citizens of Illinois and could be elected in 2010.
    Obama said he wasn’t publicly coming out in support of anyone but he believed Valerie Jarrett would fit the bill.
    “I would much prefer she (remain in the White House) but she does want to be Senator and she does meet those two criteria,” Balanoff said Obama told him. “I said: ‘thank you, I’m going to reach out to Gov. Blagojevich.”

    Balanoff then described a Nov. 6, 2008 meeting he had with Rod Blagojevich to recommend Valerie Jarrett for Barack Obama’s Senate seat.

    Blagojevich responded that he was in “active discussions” with the Madigans about appointing Lisa Madigan and was holding out for a legislative package with the House speaker.

    “I said that could be months. He said, ‘Yeah’. I said Valerie Jarrett, I don’t believe she has that kind of time,” Balanoff testified.

    Blago then turned the conversation to a cabinet position, Balanoff said.

    “He said, ‘You know, I love being governor, but my real passion is health care,'” and then he asked about the Health and Human Services cabinet post.

    “I told him that’s not going to happen,” Balanoff said. “He said, “Is that because of all the investigations around me?”


    from one of the comments:

    By bgates on June 29, 2010 3:04 PM

    You know what I would do if I were a reporter, is mention how this revelation apparently contradicts Obama’s statement from December 2008, when asked “if Mr. Obama was aware of what was happening with his Senate seat”:

    “I had no contact with the governor or his office, and so I was not aware of what was happening,”

    documented at:

    It must be hard to figure out how to explain that away, since the JournoList got shut down.

  169. Shadowfax, The pundits asks this guy if he thought folks here in American would riot if they got their social security messed with…the idiot said no because those folks in Greece aren’t like us here…just try getting rid of social security…try to privitize…cut benefits in half and see what Americans are going to do…I dare them….did they not see the tea parties…believe me those tea parties don’t want their medicare or social security messed with…that I can guarantee them.

  170. My suggestion is that the senate and the house get their pay cut in half and if they get kickbacks from lobbiests that should take the place of their salary and should be taxable.

  171. S,
    I have time and time again how Obama was involved…how is it that Fitz did not arrest Obama too? He is every bit as guilty as Blago…this is just so far vetched. How can this happen? IF this was Bill or Hillary, they would have been led out of the WH in cuffs and chains in front of thousands of reporters.

  172. It’s war! Lawyer for DailyKos details lawsuit against Research 2000

    Okay, I just got off the phone with a lawyer for DailyKos, and he gave me a bunch of interesting new detail about the lawsuit Kos is going to file against the polling outfit Research 2000.

    The gist: This is likely to be a serious lawsuit that is going to flush a lot out into the open, and prompt a serious discussion about what news orgs should be doing to vet polling data they commission.

    In case you missed it, DailyKos founder Markos Moulitsas today revealed that he was preparing to sue Research 2000, which Kos has commissioned polling from for years. Kos said a trio of statistics experts dug into their polling and concluded that much of the polling “we ran the past year and a half was likely bunk.”

    Kos’s lawyer, Adam Bonin, tells me:

    1) The lawsuit will be for breach of contract, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation, and will be filed in the Northern District of California, where Markos is based.

    2) This goes beyond the trio of experts that Markos cited today. Bonin says that they took their findings to “other experts in statistics and polling,” and that they agreed with the analysis finding the polling to be highly questionable. This underscores the seriousness of the charge.

    3) The president of Research 2000 promised Markos in an email that the firm would divulge all of its data supporting the polling conclusions sold to DailyKos, but never followed through, Bonin says. He adds that a June 14th email from Research 2000 president Del Ali to Markos says: “As far as I’m concerned you can have all the raw data.”

    “They handed us fiction and told us it was fact,” Bonin charged. “It’s pretty damn clear that numbers were fabricated, and that the polling that we paid for was not performed.”

    Research 2000 chief Ali rejected the charge that anything is amiss. “I will tell you unequivocally that we conducted EVERY poll properly for the Daily Kos,” Ali told the Post’s polling director, Jon Cohen.

    Kos’ lawyer, for his part, rejected the idea that DailyKos should have shown more skepticism about the polling. “This was a reputable polster who had done polling for a number of other organizations,” he said. “This is about defending the Web site and defending our readers from a fraud that was perpetrated on them.”


    Full disclosure: This blog, like Post blogs, regularly linked to Research 2000 polls, because the firm has been on the Post’s “approved” list. Like I said above, this is likely to prompt a serious discussion about whether news orgs should be doing more to vet the polling they commission or publish.

    DailyKooks have money for their own lawyer???
    Scamming their polls???

    Oh what a shock. (Not)

  173. What is the Kos complaint against the pollsters? Anti-Obama, not pro-Obama enough…what are they suspicious about?

  174. confloyd
    June 29th, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    I said all along, Fritz has made a deal, one the fraud couldn’t refuse. Justice will not be done.

    Put the umemployed back to work with public programs,rebuild our highway system, bridges, power grids, take care of our national parks, but paying people to sit around? Can’t support that.

  175. confloyd
    June 29th, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    No more weekly CA trips back home with the $100,000 dollar liquor bill for slicknan,

    No more entertainment @ the WH. Stay home and actual work. What happened to that garden?

    Better yet, roll up Congress’s sleeves and go to the Gulf and do something worthwhile. Clean up the mess on the beaches and save some wildlife.

    Worthless, the whole bunch of them.

  176. I’ve been out of the loop for a few days. Does anyone have the link to the Bill Clinton video and can post it here?

  177. Ace

    Kos: I Can’t Wait For You To Read My Book Because It’s Loaded With Great Research 2000 Polling Info: I noted that his book American Taliban had been partly based on R2K polling.

    From NRO, here’s Kos pimping that aspect of it.

    As I’ve mentioned before, I’m putting the finishing touches on my new book, American Taliban, which catalogues the ways in which modern-day conservatives share the same agenda as radical Jihadists in the Islamic world. But I found myself making certain claims about Republicans that I didn’t know if they could be backed up. So I thought, “why don’t we ask them directly?” And so, this massive poll, by non-partisan independent pollster Research 2000 of over 2,000 self-identified Republicans, was born.
    The results are nothing short of startling.

    It’s a long poll, so the results are summarized below the fold. For a direct link to the poll’s crosstabs, click here.

    Ultimately, these results explain why it is impossible for elected Republicans to work with Democrats to improve our country. Their base are conspiracy mongers who don’t believe Obama was born in the United States, that he is the second coming of Lenin, and that he is racist against white people. They already want to impeach him despite the glaringly obvious lack of high crimes or misdemeanors. If any Republican strays and decides to do the right thing and try to work in a bipartisan fashion, they suffer primaries and attacks. Even the Maine twins have quit cooperating out of fear of their homegrown teabaggers.

    Given what their base demands, and this poll illustrates them perfectly, it’s no wonder the GOP is the party of no.

    “Given what their base demands, and this poll illustrates them perfectly, it’s no wonder the GOP is the party of no.”

    Wow! It’s almost like the poll knew exactly what you wanted it to say, dude!

    Man did you get lucky!!!

  178. Larry King to announce he’s ending his nightly show in Autumn tonight after what seems a lifetime. Wonder who’ll replace him?

    Larry King says he’s stepping down this fall from the prime-time show that has anchored CNN’s lineup for 25 years.

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