More Obama Boobery Exposed: Judge Rules Obama Health Law UNconstitutional

The day ended with the death of Ambassador Richard Holbrook. It was a sad ending to a days long struggle on the operating room table to save the life of someone deemed critical to Afghanistan war strategy. Holbrook’s sad departure from life and the diplomatic scene was a personal disaster for himself and his family and friends. For those of us left behind things are about to get worse.

The long day began with other tragic comedies. The political world witnessed levels of boobery hitherto unknown. Arm in sleeveless arm, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama exhaled words about child obesity. Even those who agree on the desirability/need of children to have nutritious food will gag at the latest stretch into fear-mongering by the scowling, lantern-jawed Michelle Obama:

“Military leaders … tell us that when more than one in four young people are unqualified for military service because of their weight,” the first lady says in the prepared remarks, “childhood obesity isn’t just a public health threat, it’s not just an economic threat, it’s a national security threat as well.”

Go to the gym and do your stretches there Michelle. Childhood obesity is an important problem which parents need to address more than anyone else – but it is hardly a weapon of mass destruction which threatens “national security”. What’s next, Homeland Security buffoons scoping out kids eating Twinkies? Cut back on the fear-mongering. The problem is serious enough, without having to deal with Michelle Obama overkill.

Hamburger scarfing, ice cream licking, cigarette smoking Barack Obama should deal primarily with the “issues” on his plate and try to master competency on his job before telling parents how to do theirs. The government has an important role in safeguarding farming and food production as well as weighing in on nutritional issues but there is no need to make every issue a “national security” issue.

Along with the “national security” food scare from Michelle Obama, today a federal judge in Virginia threw a big log on the tracks of the Obama health scam railroad. With new polls showing most Americans in favor of repeal of the Obama health care scam the news for Obama cannot be worse (although with this Boob in charge do not be surprised at future boobery yet untapped).

The judges decision can be read HERE.

Not only did the judge rule the Obama mandate unconstitutional but there is a strong suggestion that many parts of the law will also be struck down. Specifically, although the judge noted that there was a presumption of severability (even though this simple boilerplate clause was not included in the legislation – ample proof of what a mess the law is) the judge poured this gravy onto the potatoes:

“However, the bill embraces far more than health care reform. It is laden with provisions and riders patently extraneous to health care-over 400 in all…. [at p. 38]

The final element of the analysis is difficult to apply in this case given the haste with which the final version of the 2,700 page bill was rushed to the floor for a Christmas Eve vote. It would be virtually impossible within the present record to determine whether Congress would have passed this bill, encompassing a wide variety of topics related and unrelated to heath care, without Section 1501. [at p. 39]”

Judge Henry Hudson, like his namesake, went on an exploration – this time to survey the vast expanse of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The survey ended with boundaries set on the previously horizon-less section of the Constitution:

“Turning to the merits, this Court previously noted that the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision appears to forge new ground and extends the Commerce Clause powers beyond its current high water mark. [snip]

In addition, the Secretary points out that sanctions have historically been imposed for failure to timely file tax returns or truthfully report or pay taxes due, as well as failure to register for the selective service or report for military duty. The Commonwealth,however, counters that most of the examples presented are directly related to a specific constitutional provision-empowering Congress to assess taxes and to provide and maintain an Army and Navy, U.S. Const. art. I, §8, or requiring compensation for exercising the power of eminent domain. U.S. Const. amend. V. In the case of the landowner sanctioned for contamination of his property, liability largely stemmed from an active transaction of purchase. In contrast, no specifically articulated constitutional authority exists to mandate the purchase of health insurance.

A well crafted bill with all the necessary boilerplate clauses was beyond the ken of Obama and Obama Dimocrats. These people are simply not fit to govern.

Hillary Clinton ideas such as regional boards would also have ameliorated Commerce Clause concerns. And if necessary a Hillary Clinton suggested idea, such as point of contact (such as when someone seeks health care) enrollment would have vacated Commerce Clause concerns even if initially there would have been negative budgetary implications. But of course, Ted Kennedy and Barack Obama did not want Hillary to be a leading voice in the senate and blocked her from committee appointments that would have had her wise voice at the table. Elect a boob, expect boobery. Boobery begets boobery.

Meanwhile in the U.S. Senate, for all the caterwauling and threats from Obama Dimocrats, the latest Obama boobery which we have dubbed “Obama’s New Deal”, moved forward in an 85-13 vote. Compare and contrast FDR’s New Deal and the Obama New Deal to get a sense of how wrong those who hailed Obama the Mess-iah as “a new FDR” were. Ha!

Obama’s efforts to alienate Republicans by calling them “hostage takers” even though he had just concocted a deal in which their support is needed and alienation of Obama Dimocrats with new insults and deprecations have borne the hapless one the expected results:

“In a curious but predictable divergence, Barack Obama’s popularity dropped while the deal he cut gained a broad political consensus. A new Marist poll shows Obama hitting his lowest approval rating yet in their survey series, dropping to 42/50 from 45/48 during Thanksgiving week. Even a ridiculously tilted sample of registered voters didn’t help:

According to this national McClatchy-Marist Poll, President Barack Obama’s approval rating has dipped to its lowest point since taking office. Currently, 42% of registered voters approve of the job the president is doing while half — 50% — disapprove. Eight percent are unsure. When McClatchy-Marist last asked this question in its November 24th survey, 45% thought his performance was on the mark while 48% thought it was subpar, and 7% were unsure. Prior to this survey, voters gave Mr. Obama his lowest approval rating in early October. At that time, 43% of registered voters thought he was performing well in office.

The change has occurred among members of the president’s own party. 74% of Democrats think Obama is performing well in office while 21% do not, and 5% are unsure. Late last month, those proportions stood at 83%, 11%, and 6%, respectively. Among Republicans, most — 87% — disapprove of Mr. Obama’s job performance while 7% approve. Six percent are unsure. Similar proportions of Republicans held these views late last month when 84% disapproved, 11% approved, and 5% were unsure. There has also been little movement among independent voters. Currently, 52% disapprove, 39% approve, and 9% are unsure. Late last month, those proportions were 54%, 38%, and 9%, respectively.

In other words, Obama gained no ground on the Right or in the middle, while losing ground on the Left. That would be a particularly difficult problem in this Marist poll, which uses a sample that gives Democrats a nine-point advantage, 37/28, with 33% independents.”

Our sympathies tonight are with the family of Richard Holbrook and us, the American people, – as well as with those lexicographers at Roget’s and other thesaurus publishers. The American people suffer at the hands of this unqualified, inexperienced Boob but let’s pity the scribes at Roget’s. Picture the long hours required to search out novel expressions for the word “boob” and “boobery”. Words fail.

As a gift to the hard workers in the thesaurus business we suggest this best expression for unsurpassed boobery: Obama.

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171 thoughts on “More Obama Boobery Exposed: Judge Rules Obama Health Law UNconstitutional

  1. And we can’t forget Rahm Emanuel’s (as John Kass points out, he’s not a “Clinton guy” he’s a Daley guy) boobery:

    http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Rahm-Emanuel-Claimed-Part-Year-Residency-in-09.html?dr

    When Rahm Emanuel originally filed his 2009 Illinois tax return, he indicated he was only a “part-year resident’’ of the state that year, since he had moved to Washington D.C. to serve as President Obama’s chief of staff.

    But after he decided to return to Chicago to run for mayor this fall — and after several people challenged whether he was eligible to run based on the fact that he hadn’t lived in the city for a full-year prior to the Feb. 2 election — he filed an amended return, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

    “The original return’s statements regarding part-year residency were not accurate,” Emanuel and his wife wrote in a return filed Nov. 24. “The amended returns make clear that we were full-year residents of Illinois in 2009. … We are also full-year residents of Illinois in 2010.”

    The tax returns were among the hundreds of documents released late Saturday in response to a Freedom of Information request by the Chicago-Sun-Times. They are meant to bolster Emanuel’s candidacy against challenges before the Chicago Board of Elections that claim he gave up his residency when he and his family moved to Washington and rented out their Ravenswood home, and is therefore ineligible to run under Illinois law.”

  2. Condolences to the Holbrook family, the man was a good public servant, I remember his staunch defense of Hillary in 2008. He was a very good advocate for America’s interest, may he rest in peace.

  3. Bill O makes all kind of excuses for Barack Obama’s behavior while taking every opportunity to bash Bill Clinton and Hillary.

    O’Reilly is the biggest egotistical blow hard around…but everyone already knows that except him!

  4. just read the judge’s decision, completely agree with him. The indiv mandate is absolutely illegal, unconstitutional. Making people buy a private product is no longer free will. Good for that federal judge for making such a concise decision, and good for VA’a atty general for being so clear on his arguments.

  5. Not only did the judge rule the Obama mandate unconstitutional but there is a strong suggestion that many parts of the law will also be struck down. Specifically, although the judge noted that there was a presumption of severability (even though this simple boilerplate clause was not included in the legislation – ample proof of what a mess the law is) the judge poured this gravy onto the potatoes:

    “However, the bill embraces far more than health care reform. It is laden with provisions and riders patently extraneous to health care-over 400 in all…. [at p. 38]

    The final element of the analysis is difficult to apply in this case given the haste with which the final version of the 2,700 page bill was rushed to the floor for a Christmas Eve vote. It would be virtually impossible within the present record to determine whether Congress would have passed this bill, encompassing a wide variety of topics related and unrelated to heath care, without Section 1501. [at p. 39]“
    ————————————————–
    When a court is called upon to interpret the meaning and or application of a statute it tries to divine the legislative intent. That intent is gleaned from the legislative record which consists of the speeches and floor debates on the contested provisions. There was no debate to speak of on Obama care. It was drafted behind closed doors, the opposition party was not invited to participate and it was passed strictly along party lines. Hence, the legislative record is bare as a goat’s ass and long as a whore’s dream. Twenty seven hundred pages of regulation with no informative legislative history. This abortive process is unprecedented except for the time when Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act in the dead of night, and took the decision making on the economy away from duly elected representatives and put it in the hands of secret banking elites, one of whom I happen to know. The same forces are in play here, and the same purposes are in evidence. This is a classic assault on representative democracy.

  6. I don’t support Obamacare which is basically a Republican plan….. inefficient, complicated and expensive, designed to keep insurers and pharma rich. However, our heallth insurance costs will not go down until everyone pays. Those who don’t pay get care anyway…but at taxpayer ecpense thru medicaid
    ————————————————-
    Obamacare a Republican Plan? Really?? If that is true then it is hard to understand why zero Republican Senators voted for it and zero Democratic Senators voted against it. I thought the Republicans wanted to target certain areas like portability, tort reform, and competition, and avoid an omnibus approach. If you mean it was a republican plan because it rewarded big pharma at the expense of the American People, both parties are in pare delicto. The real democratic plan was the one Hillary proposed which is as different as night and day from Obamacare. Hillary’s plan was the right one for the American People, which is another reason why big business and big media hated it.

  7. The Obama tax deal is toxic because it undermines social security, explodes the debt and may affect our bond rating which sustain our economy . . . .

    Moody’s Warns It May Cut US Rating if Tax-Cut Deal Becomes Law
    Monday, 13 Dec 2010 11:34 AM Article Font Size

    Moody’s warned Monday that it could move a step closer to cutting the U.S. Aaa rating if President Barack Obama’s tax and unemployment benefit package becomes law.

    The plan agreed to by Obama and Republican leaders last week could push up debt levels, increasing the likelihood of a negative outlook on the United States rating in the coming two years, the ratings agency said.

    A negative outlook, if adopted, would make a rating cut more likely over the following 12-to-18 months.

    For the United States, a loss of the top Aaa rating, reduce the appeal of U.S. Treasurys, which currently rank as among the world’s safest investments.

    “From a credit perspective, the negative effects on government finance are likely to outweigh the positive effects of higher economic growth,” Moody’s analyst Steven Hess said in a report sent late on Sunday.

    After Obama announced his plan, Treasury prices fell sharply in volatile trade last week and yields have hit a six-month high, in part due to concerns over the effect the package will have on government debt levels.

    If the bill becomes law, it will “adversely affect the federal government budget deficit and debt level,” Moody’s said.

    On Monday, the Democratic-led U.S. Congress moved toward grudging approval of President Obama’s deal with Republicans to extend expiring tax cuts, even for the wealthiest Americans,

    Last week, Moody’s and Fitch Ratings both expressed concerns about the U.S.’s rating longer term, with Moody’s fearing the impact if the tax cuts become permanent. For more, see

    In a market obsessed with the euro sovereign debt crisis, the Moody’s note reminded foreign exchange investors about their worries of growing U.S. debt and was a factor pressuring the dollar on Monday.

    The cost of insuring U.S. government debt in the credit default swap market was little changed on Monday at around 41 basis points, or $41,000 per year to insure $10 million in debt for five years, according to Markit Intraday.

    NEGATIVE IMPACT

    A negative outlook would indicate that the rating may be more likely to be cut from the top Aaa rating over the following 12 to 18 months. The United States currently has a stable outlook, indicating a rating change is not anticipated over this time frame.

    Moody’s estimates the cost of the funding the proposed tax bill, along with unemployment benefits and other policy measures, may be between $700 and $900 billion, which will raise the ratio of government debt to GDP to 72 to 73 percent, depending on the effects on nominal economic growth.

    This means that the government’s debt relative to revenues will decline much more slowly over the coming two years, to just under 400 percent from 420 percent at the end of fiscal year 2010.

    “This is a very high ratio compared with both history and other highly rated sovereigns,” Moody’s said.

  8. Mrs I didnt mean i took levaquin just another drug that had done exactly the same thing to me, made me trip like nobody’s business, i just had to stop, i think it was voltaren retard, that stuff made me go loopy.

  9. Doesn’t Obamacare closely resemble Romneycare, and the plan the GOP suggested in the 90s in opposition to Hillarycare?

    (sorry my previous went off too quick)

  10. House Dems stew over Obama’s handling of tax deal

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/14/AR2010121400507.html

    WASHINGTON — The struggle over tax cuts is seriously straining President Barack Obama’s relationship with House Democrats, who have backed him on key issues even when it cost them politically.

    Expressing hurt and bewilderment, Democratic lawmakers say Obama ignored them at crucial negotiating moments, misled them about his intentions and made needless concessions to Republicans.

    The president has responded that he acted honorably and drove the best bargain he could. But even his explanations offended some longtime allies. Aides to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi passed around news accounts of a Dec. 7 news conference in which Obama claimed that some liberals would feel “sanctimonious about how pure our intentions are and how tough we are” by refusing to compromise, even if an impasse hurt the working class.

    “Hardly anybody in the Democratic caucus here feels that the president tried hard enough to deliver on his campaign promises,” said Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida, one of dozens of House Democrats defeated in last month’s elections. Obama had House Democratic leaders “go through what turned out to be Potemkin meetings with his staff, when the real negotiations were being done elsewhere,” he said.

    Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat who has strongly supported Obama and who won re-election last month, told MSNBC the chief House representative “wasn’t even in the room, and we did feel left out” during the key tax-cut negotiations.

    read on……………………..

  11. VAT just makes everything much more expensive when you dont have it to spend and puts a lot of people out of shops and out of business.

  12. “Wouldn’t a VAT essentially destroy what is left of manufacturing?”

    Henry, yes you are correct, it would severely hurt manufacturing companies in America, the only way it would not hurt is if it replaced a national tax, but if both exist, might as well completely destroy what is left of manufacturing in America.

  13. the only way [a VAT] would not hurt is if it replaced a national tax, but if both exist, might as well completely destroy what is left of manufacturing in America.

    ================

    Unless a similar tax were put on imports to the US, and the VAT were not charged on exports from the US.

    If there were any chance of a VAT replacing the Income Tax, that would be a good trade. Think of the time and stress the IRS causes! Without the IRS, people could sleep at night and all those accountants on both sides could do something more productive.

    Of course I don’t think there’s any chance of the IRS being replaced,though. We’d just end up with both taxes.

  14. turndownobama: “Unless a similar tax were put on imports to the US, and the VAT were not charged on exports from the US.”

    That is in fact the way a VAT works – exports are not subject to it, but it is applied to everything sold domestically, thus imports, plus there are import duties.

    “If there were any chance of a VAT replacing the Income Tax, that would be a good trade.”

    No, I doubt you would like that. The income tax is progressive, whereas the VAT is regressive, even worse than a flat tax on income.

  15. wbboei
    December 14th, 2010 at 1:53 am

    Obamacare a Republican Plan?
    ——————————————
    I thought of your comment as I was reading a WaPo article that caught my eye.

    I have no expertise on this at all, and for all I know, this could be inaccurate (Whaat? wapo inaccurate?) But maybe it can somehow be helpful.

    Health reform advocates have little to fear from judge’s ruling

    [snip first 10 paragraphs]

    It might, however, be a worse world for Republicans. The individual mandate began life as a Republican idea. Its earliest appearances in legislation were in the Republican alternatives to the Clinton health-care bill, where it was co-sponsored by such GOP stalwarts as Bob Dole, Orrin G. Hatch and Charles E. Grassley. Later on, it was the centerpiece of then-Gov. Mitt Romney’s health-reform plan in Massachusetts, and then it was included in the Wyden-Bennett bill, which many Republicans signed on to.

    It was only when the individual mandate appeared in President Obama’s legislation that it became so polarizing on the right. The political logic was clear enough: The individual mandate was the most unpopular piece of the bill (you might remember that Obama’s 2008 campaign plan omitted it, and he frequently attacked Hillary Clinton for endorsing it in her proposal). But as a policy choice, it might prove disastrous.

    The individual mandate was created by conservatives who realized that it was the only way to get universal coverage into the private market. Otherwise, insurers turn away the sick, public anger rises, and, eventually, you get some kind of government-run, single-payer system, much as they did in Europe, and much as we have with Medicare.

    If Republicans succeed in taking it off the table, they may sign the death warrant for private insurers in America: Eventually, rising cost pressures will force more aggressive reforms than even Obama has proposed, and if conservative judges have made the private market unfixable by removing the most effective way to deal with adverse selection problems, the only alternative will be the very constitutional, but decidedly non-conservative, single-payer path.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/13/AR2010121305475.html

  16. wbboei
    December 14th, 2010 at 1:53 am

    Hillary’s plan was the right one for the American People, which is another reason why big business and big media hated it.
    _____

    You are so right, they stole true reform from us. They saw the threat to themselves and planed ahead, they knew exactly who they needed to enlist and what kind of shiny object they had to let twirl in the sunlight. Getting a black politically correct accessory into the White House was about the only thing that would derail health care reform. I don’t know who I hate more them or the pseudo intellectual idiots who fell for it.

    I argued with a brother and some cousins over the Fla recount. The thing I felt I knew was that our democracy was at stake and the people on the tv news were trying to stampede us. Reminded me of when Cokie Roberts and Brit Hume were telling us Americans over and over again, every chance they got how disgusted the “majority” of Americans were over Bill Clinton and all the while his approval rating was soaring. They did their bit to try to bring him down though and I can’t see either one of them with out thinking “you worthless slugs, who’s your pay master?” I noticed Cokie was on tv this Sunday telling us that the “majority” of Americans were in favor the extending the Bush tax cuts – just doing her bit. Thank God he took Timmy Russert home to what ever reward he earned.

    Then go and think about all the tv and political poeple who used the term “tea baggers”. That was a concerted, coordinated effort to suppress the American people. Not the will of the American people, as in the day of the Dakota primary when they announced that Hillary was conceding, but the actual American people. We should go back and find the name of every person who used that term and see them for what they are. Then every time their name is mentioned attach the correct adjective same as we do for Journalisters (for example: Rachel Maddow, media whore).

    How many other movements that may have benefited our public discourse or our republic have been suppressed simply by media ridicule. Have we really had an unpolluted discussion of the Patriot Act. Maybe that is something the Tea Party could do: start holding local public discussions of important issues – giving everyone a chance to have a say and to listen to our neighbors with out Brit Hume or Rush Limbaugh talking/shouting over us. I wonder if eventually the people who come and just parrot what they hear on tv would get booed and finally shamed into trying to really think.

    And as long as I am boring everyone, up tram I read something like: goats bare ass and whores long dream. How about pimps bare ass and whores long dream? Or neither.

  17. turndownobama
    December 14th, 2010 at 4:20 am
    Doesn’t Obamacare closely resemble Romneycare, and the plan the GOP suggested in the 90s in opposition to Hillarycare?

    Yes,
    I believe it does and that is what I meant by my comment.

  18. Bob Dole, Orrin G. Hatch and Charles E. Grassley. Later on, it was the centerpiece of then-Gov. Mitt Romney’s
    —————————————————————-
    Facts are facts. If it is true that Dole, Hatch and Grassley came up with the original idea of an individual mandate, then it contradicts the core principles of the party. Perhaps it was seen as an alternative to the public option which Hillary was pushing. Clearly however it is not their position now.

    I invite you to take a look at the article you posted. Who wrote it? We do not know do we. All we know is it was written by some Washington Post staff writer who does not identify himself. Clearly however it is someone with an axe to grind. For one thing, he conflates conservative with establishment Republican which is what the three names cited, plus Romney really are. Those three–or four are the epitome of big business whores and they are cozy as hell with people like Ted Kennedy and their ilk. They are social conservatives and big spenders who pretend to be fiscal conservatives. All of them have been targeted for political elimination in 2012 for precisely that reason.

    Putting aside the bias of the unknown writer, I am willing to accept the premise that those three plus Romney were early supporters. But they are not supporters now based on the current political winds, and now that the constitutional objections have been clearly defined. Whatever their shortcomings are in other areas, I think they are compelled to recognize the constitutional defects in this legislation, and if this writer, whoever he is, believes the Supreme Court will look the other way on this one, I believe he is whistling past the grave yard.

    That said, there is definite merit to what the original commenter said, and I thank both of you for providing me with this insight. Without it, it is hard to explain Romney. I believe his past, as much as his Mormon faith, will preclude him from being nominated in 2012. They try to tell us Sarah is not electable. Compared to Romney she is a shoe in. He is a younger better looking version of Dole and the best thing you can say about him is he is boring, the worst is what you see here.

  19. To be clear, Hillary was pushing the public option in 1994 which is the time frame we are talking about. By 2008 she was offering that as one of several choices which was best of all possible worlds. I am not an expert in this and although I was called upon to explain it on the campaign trail, my familiarity with the subject was not as well informed as others.

  20. Upon further reflection, I recognize that the comment is right after all. I think Hillary or someone made the point that Kennedy told her in 1994 that what we call Obamacare was in fact something the Republicans would accept at that time and she refused it because she wanted the public option. Point taken.

  21. The reason it is different now is because the Republican establishment has lost control of the issue, and if the court upholds the law over constitutional objections, the precedent could easily unravel our constitutional order, or what is left of it. And the true conservatives understand this, even if the looney left does not.

  22. I suspect this might be one of the better pieces available on Dick Holbrooke. Really a tangental topic to me, but I dove in because of the following, written by the person posting this long excerpt of a Fall ’09 New Yorker article on his website:

    R.I.P. :: “Richard Holbrooke and the war in Afghanistan”
    [I HAD READ THIS MORNING, WHEN HIS DEATH WAS ANNOUNCED, THAT HIS LAST WORDS WERE ‘GET OUT OF AFHGANISTAN’]

    There is nothing re his last words in this more than a year old article. I did a quick search which mostly seemed to point to someone’s comment at HoffPo, which I didn’t bother looking at.

    Anyway, reading this made me feel I understand what I’d heard and seen of the man and what he was about.

    http://extragoodshit.phlap.net/?p=110010#more-110010

  23. wbboeiow this may sound as dumb as it is, but is single payer
    December 14th, 2010 at 1:53 am
    **************

    Does anyone here have a copy of Hillary’s healthcare plan? And I know this may sound as dumb as it is, but is single payer paid to private insurance companies and the public option Medicare?

    Very sad about Holbrook,rest in peace

  24. ohanson

    This is in the first part of the article you posted on Holbrook, it made me gag… disciplined fraud team…IE the drunken bast*ards groping Hillary cut outs
    ********
    A week after being elected President, Barack Obama summoned Richard Holbrooke to his transition headquarters, at the Hilton Hotel in Chicago. To some members of Obama’s staff, the invitation was surprising: Obama and Holbrooke hardly knew each other, and Holbrooke had firmly supported Hillary Clinton during the primaries. Although Holbrooke, a State Department veteran, had been careful not to disparage Obama, the President-elect’s advisers saw him as a problematic, if rare, talent. Holbrooke had a reputation for creating drama—speaking ill of rivals in government, hotly pursuing the press—and it was not clear that he could play unselfishly on the fanatically disciplined Obama team.

  25. more crap from the Holbrook article…

    What’s more, in the view of several White House aides, Holbrooke epitomized something that Obama had run against: a Democratic foreign-policy establishment that had supported the invasion of Iraq more on political grounds than on substantive ones, and that had spent years warding off Republican attacks on its lack of “toughness” instead of devising a national-security strategy that recognized the limits of American power.

  26. This time, Holbrooke was never in the running. In Chicago, he spoke with the President-elect for nearly an hour. He left with the sense that he would not be excluded from serving in what could be the last Democratic Presidency of his professional life. But Obama already knew that he wanted Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State. The choice softened the blow; she was Holbrooke’s ally, and her power far exceeded that of all competitors. An Obama adviser said, “It was the one Secretary of State he could accept with peace in his heart, because it was just a wholly different species of person.”

    the article goes on to say it was Hillary that offered him to be a “special representative” aftter 3 hour meeting.

    Remember all the articles,news monster’s trying to undermine Hillary that her power was marginal and Holbrook and Mitchell were the real power? Inferring the Fraud appointed them for that purpose? Always BS.

  27. … In 1975, with Bundy in mind, Holbrooke published an essay in Harper’s in which he wrote, “The smartest man in the room is not always right.” That was one of the lessons of Vietnam. Holbrooke described his method to me as “a form of democratic centralism, where you want open airing of views and opinions and suggestions upward, but once the policy’s decided you want rigorous, disciplined implementation of it. And very often in the government the exact opposite happens.

    “I still believe in the possibility of the United States, with all its will and all its strength, and I don’t just mean military, persevering against any challenge. I still believe in that.” ♦

    Holbrook

    We are going to miss this man…

  28. DEMS TASTE THE TIRES…UNDER THE BUS

    The bus driver isn’t Ralph Kramden, it’s Barry Obama.

    The good quotes (not in order):

    * Adding insult to injury, some Congressional Democrats suggest, the White House was not completely upfront with them about how far along negotiations were with the Republicans last Monday in the hours before the deal was announced. Democrats said they had been under the impression that the parameters were not firmly set and that they could still influence the outcome. Yet within a few hours, Mr. Obama appeared in public to lay out the framework of a done deal.

    * Rank-and-file Democrats now believe a set of ultimately irrelevant negotiations was taking place with a bipartisan cast of House members and senators while more important talks were going on between the White House and Senate Republicans. “We had a representative in the room bargaining, while the deal was being cut somewhere else,” said Representative Peter A. DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat.

    * Deepening the wound is the fact that Democrats are still in charge, yet the White House struck its tax deal mainly with Senate Republicans. And, incredulous Democrats say, the administration made a bad bargain even as it left fellow Democrats out of the loop.

    * “People are just baffled that the administration couldn’t cut a better deal,”

    * House Democrats in particular feel betrayed. From their perspective, they took extraordinarily tough votes in 2009 and 2010 to advance the new president’s sweeping agenda and suffered accordingly in the election. Then he immediately turned around and did business with Republicans before those defeated in November had even vacated their Washington apartments.

    * Senator Bernard Sanders, an independent from Vermont who is part of the Democratic caucus, asserted that Mr. Obama’s “credibility has been severely damaged.” “We are caving on this issue, and we should not be.”

    * Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, spoke openly of her anger at the president for agreeing to a compromise that “for me, borders on moral recklessness.”

    * Particularly galling to Senate Democrats … the White House made its deal with Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader who has tied Democrats in knots for two years with his determined resistance to most legislation. In effect, they see the agreement as rewarding Mr. McConnell’s recalcitrance.

    nytimes.com/2010/12/13/us/politics/13memo.html

    Out of Power Soon, and Out of Sorts Now
    ==================================

    By CARL HULSE
    Published: December 12, 2010

    WASHINGTON — As House Democrats met privately to weigh the tax deal negotiated by the White House, an angry chant spontaneously rolled across the room.

    “Just say no, just say no,” rebellious lawmakers cried. Vulgar words were aimed at President Obama. Incensed members spoiled for a fight.

    The fury coursing through the meeting last Thursday in the basement of the Capitol was just the latest manifestation of the foul mood of House and Senate Democrats as they suffer through the final days of the 111th Congress, watching their power ebb while scores of them cast their last votes.

    Many are having difficulty adjusting to their abruptly changed circumstances just two years after a triumphant inauguration of a new president who sealed Democratic hegemony over Washington. Deepening the wound is the fact that Democrats are still in charge, yet the White House struck its tax deal mainly with Senate Republicans.

    And, incredulous Democrats say, the administration made a bad bargain even as it left fellow Democrats out of the loop.

    “People are just baffled that the administration couldn’t cut a better deal,” said Representative Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat and party leader who says the White House got taken in the tax talks.

    Other Democrats and party strategists say the antipathy goes much deeper than simple unrest over the proposal to extend lower tax rates to the most affluent Americans and give up on a core Democratic belief.

    House Democrats in particular feel betrayed. From their perspective, they took extraordinarily tough votes in 2009 and 2010 to advance the new president’s sweeping agenda and suffered accordingly in the election. Then he immediately turned around and did business with Republicans before those defeated in November had even vacated their Washington apartments.

    While Democrats held on to the Senate, the sentiment is not much different across the Rotunda, though Democratic senators appear more resigned to the compromise on taxes.

    There are exceptions. As he held the Senate floor for eight hours Friday, Senator Bernard Sanders, an independent from Vermont who is part of the Democratic caucus, asserted that Mr. Obama’s “credibility has been severely damaged.”

    “We are caving on this issue,” Mr. Sanders said, “and we should not be.”

    Joining Mr. Sanders in his extended protest, Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, spoke openly of her anger at the president for agreeing to a compromise that “for me, borders on moral recklessness.”

    Particularly galling to Senate Democrats who have fumed privately en masse is that through Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the White House made its deal with Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader who has tied Democrats in knots for two years with his determined resistance to most legislation. In effect, they see the agreement as rewarding Mr. McConnell’s recalcitrance.

    Adding insult to injury, some Congressional Democrats suggest, the White House was not completely upfront with them about how far along negotiations were with the Republicans last Monday in the hours before the deal was announced. Democrats said they had been under the impression that the parameters were not firmly set and that they could still influence the outcome. Yet within a few hours, Mr. Obama appeared in public to lay out the framework of a done deal.

    Rank-and-file Democrats now believe a set of ultimately irrelevant negotiations was taking place with a bipartisan cast of House members and senators while more important talks were going on between the White House and Senate Republicans.

    “We had a representative in the room bargaining, while the deal was being cut somewhere else,” said Representative Peter A. DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat who led the effort at the Capitol basement meeting of House Democrats to win a vote saying they would not support the tax agreement as written.

    Democrats are contending with a complex set of circumstances and emotions. They are reminded daily of their severe election losses because the victims — their friends and colleagues — are still among them.

    Republicans are steadily and very publicly preparing for their House ascension by making pronouncements, electing committee leaders and filling their new slots on the panels. In some cases, Republican lawmakers and top aides stop by to check out the Democratic offices they will soon occupy. Democrats are visiting the smaller quarters they will soon be working in.

    With divided government imminent, Democrats are using these final days to make a desperate push for priorities, including an immigration measure for young Americans who entered the country illegally and the repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay men and lesbians.

    But Republicans continue to confound them, denying them votes on these issues and others, choking off their hopes for a final feel-good victory. It only serves to drive home the reality of how marginalized they stand to be in the new Washington dynamic when they are stymied by Republicans and sidestepped by their own president even before they lose control of the House and six seats in the Senate.

    One top Democratic leader said that the party was no stranger to losing and that it had managed to cope with defeats like that of Senator John Kerry to President George W. Bush in 2004. But it was not as if they were being tossed from the White House. And they felt then that the party was on the rise.

    But at the moment, a resurrection of Congressional Democrats seems distant, the idea of recapturing the House in two years is a long shot, and the party is bracing for serious electoral trouble in the 2012 Senate races.

    And this year’s loss involves relinquishing something very big — the hard-won control of the House. Clearly, it hurts.

    “We only had it for four years,” one senior Democrat lamented. “It took so long to get it back, and now it is all gone.”

  29. Disgusting….
    *********

    iPhone snitch network launched

    Jason Douglass
    Infowars.com
    December 13, 2010

    A new iPhone App with the misleading name ‘PatriotApp’ attempts to draw on the power of the patriot movement, turning smartphone users into a gigantic snitch network.
    You might think an app with such a patriotic name might have useful functions like a pocket constitution or quotes from our forefathers. But contrary to the services one might expect, this app allows users to report any ‘suspicious’ behavior directly linking them with top government agencies.
    Much like the new DHS program ‘If you see something, say something’ this app is meant to turn average citizens into a network of spies feeding information back to the federal government.
    Citizen Concepts, a company formed by insiders from DHS, defines the use of such an app on their homepage:
    Citizen Concepts announces the launch of PatriotAppTM, the world’s first iPhone application that empowers citizens to assist government agencies in creating safer, cleaner, and more efficient communities via social networking and mobile technology. This app was founded on the belief that citizens can provide the most sophisticated and broad network of eyes and ears necessary to prevent terrorism, crime, environmental negligence, or other malicious behavior.
    Simply download, report (including pictures) and submit information to relevant government agencies, employers, or publish incident data to social network tools.

  30. His name is spelled ‘Holbrooke’. People glorify the dead and make them heroes. But these public figures have a mix of good and bad and we as lay people never get to know the full picture. With Holbrooke, one video clip stands out in my mind, that of a presser with Hillary and it looked like he had crossed the line and next thing you know Hillary is abruptly leaving the podium and flashing a look of ‘anger/disapproval’ at him. My gut feeling is that Hillary had to suffer through many fools who thought they could do a better job than she.

    The word in the Indian newspapers is that he was good to India but changed once he became the Afgan/Pakistan envoy.

  31. I don’t think he was a fool pm317. Egotistical, like many in those kind of position’s, maybe you to have a bit of that to be successful.

  32. Great post Admin, and the comments about how Kenny and Kerry derailed Hillary in the Senate make me think that Teddy expected to be alive to guide the empty suit though the health care drama, but when a brain tumor turned up, Nasty and BarryBoy winged it on their own by tossing in all but the kitchen sink.

    Maybe every Obamacrat just cleaned out their wish list in their desks and called it Obamacare, “We have to pass the bill before we find out the goodies what’s in it!” -Nasty

  33. pm 317

    I remember that presser too…something went on between them..perhaps a disagreement on whether to stay in Afganistan. I don’t know, but there was no doubt a little problem going on.

    I read that article that Holbrooke’s dying words were “we need out of Afganistan”, well I know Hillary is not for that, or at least she wasn’t! I personally trust Hillary’s opinion more than anyone else’s.

    As far as the bill on healthcare that Obama passed it definitely was the bill the republicans offered Hillary in 94′ which she turned down. If you can’t believe it, it just a matter of record, but more to the point, it will be hard for most republicans to think their party would put forth such a huge problem. Well if you look back towards Bush, he totally wrecked the economy, and it’s my belief that a certain part of the republican party wants this country bankrupt and are advocating for a complete breakdown to usher in a new global community. These are the folks we need to get rid of and its hard to tell them apart from some of the democrats like Obama. I still believe (which I know will cause me to be chewed out) that the republicans wholly own Obama and he is a republican puppet.

  34. From Newsflavor

    The Ulsterman Report: What Happened During The Clinton-Obama Closed Door Meeting?

    …..
    Clinton began his remarks by stating he spends about an hour a day trying to understand this economy, so he can figure out what to do. Clinton went on to expound upon the essentials of the agreement, and defend its implications – in essence, appearing to have far more understanding of the Obama tax compromise than Obama himself. There were likely more than a few members of the press wondering if Obama had yet even read his own tax proposal agreement. At the 6:35 mark, President Obama made his first attempt to cut off Bill Clinton and take back the podium. Clinton disregarded Obama’s move, and continued to speak – somehow managing to talk over President Obama while still maintaining his instantly recognizable “aw shucks” tone of voice. It is at that moment we note the first clearly visible anger come from President Obama. From this point on, Bill Clinton is completely off script. He is now effectively “running the show” – and Obama knows it.

    By the 8:20 mark, the White House Press Corps begins asking Bill Clinton questions while Obama stands next to the former president, looking increasingly uncomfortable and agitated. Clinton is likely aware of Obama’s condition, quite possibly having knowingly orchestrated this very scenario just moments prior. At the 10:28 mark Obama folds his arms across his chest, staring down the reporter who continues to pose questions to Bill Clinton. At 10:55 Obama again attempts to retake the podium – Bill Clinton does not give it up. It is at that point Barack Obama, current President of the United States, looks down at his watch and declares he is 30 minutes late for a Christmas party, and that, “Gibbs will call last question.” (Even though Obama has actually only been at the press conference for about 10 minutes) A clearly terse handshake between Obama and Clinton is undertaken, followed by Obama’s abrupt turn away from the podium and a short walk to the door.

    It is at this moment, some 11 minutes into the press conference, the situation does indeed enter into the surreal. Obama is now off camera as another reporter poses the next question to Bill Clinton while using the title “Mr. President”. For the next 20 minutes, Clinton is speaking to the nation from the White House, without the use of a teleprompter, without specific preparation of the questions being posed – and he hits it out of the park. Each Clinton response shows an indisputable depth of knowledge, with an ability to explain that knowledge in terms easily understood by all. It is the kind of presidential performance not seen at any time yet during the Obama administration.

    At about the 16:00 minute mark, a member of the press asks Clinton if Obama should be a one term president. Clinton, while briefly stating he does not believe that to be the case, spends far more time defending Democrats in Congress- the very group who now openly challenge Obama’s competence as president in now-infamous four letter terms.

    The final few minutes were given to Clinton detailing the concept of “principled compromise” – that essential element inherent within a democracy. Clinton’s final, and historically familiar declaration was that at present for the American government it must be “the economy first.” People are truly hurting, and they must be helped.

    Recent polls have Obama’s handling of the economy garnering his absolute lowest approval ratings from among the American public.

    Given his clear grasp of wide ranging subjects and all things political, it seems very unlikely Bill Clinton was unaware of that fact.

    Read more: http://newsflavor.com/politics/us-politics/the-ulsterman-report-what-happened-during-the-clinton-obama-closed-door-meeting/#ixzz1874ByGKG

  35. Obama is like the proverbial broken clock–right twice a day, or per election cycle. This can only mean he no longer considers her a threat to him politically. Let us hope he is a wrong about that as he is wrong about everything else except as noted above. Since it came from the Indian Times rather than the New York Times we can trust it. One of my better decisions he says. My only good decision would be more accurate. Furthermore, as I mentioned before this was a decision he was personally opposed to and had to be talked into by Axelrod after his machinations failed. Just anther example of the fine work of Obama bin Ly’n, cousin to you know who, with the same Saudi backing.
    ——————————————————-
    Clinton the best ever Secretary of State: Obama
    Larger | Smaller
    Agencies
    Tags : Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, US Secretary of State
    Posted: Tue Dec 14 2010, 08:57 hrs
    Washington:

    Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton walk off stage at a holiday reception for diplomats in Washington.
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    There is a growing bipartisan consensus that Hillary Clinton is the best ever Secretary of State, US President Barack Obama has said.

    His decision to appoint Clinton as the Secretary of State was one of his better decisions, the US President has said.

    Obama who made a rare appearance at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department to attend the holiday reception party hosted by the Washington’s vibrant diplomatic community by Clinton said, “I think there’s a consensus building that this may be one of the best Secretaries of State we’ve ever had in this country’s history.”

    “One of my better decisions,” he said amidst laughter.

    “It is a bipartisan view, by the way. That doesn’t happen very often,” Obama said about Clinton, who till early 2008 was one of his bitter political rivals.

    Clinton is relentless, is tough and does not quit, Obama said adding, “She recently pulled off what one journalist called “a Central Asian hat trick” — she went to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan — and then she threw in as a bonus, Bahrain,”.

  36. “Clinton is relentless, is tough and does not quit, Obama said”

    ———–
    The complete antithesis of himself.

  37. Now it’s Tiny Dancer being questioned by Queen Sister.

    —- I am not making this up. (Well, maybe the Tiny Dancer part I am) 😉

  38. The income tax is progressive, whereas the VAT is regressive, even worse than a flat tax on income.

    ====================

    Ideally a VAT could also be progressive: high rates on luxuries, little or none on necessities.

  39. U.S. Senate
    Revolt: Republicans Angry About Omnibus Spending Bill Decry ‘Total Mess’

    Republicans poring over a 1,924-page overarching spending bill proposed by Democrats to cover the rest of the fiscal year are threatening to grind the legislation to a halt, citing massive earmark spending, which, if passed, would be enacted into law without debate in the full Senate.

    Two sources who spoke to Fox News are describing the legislation as “a total mess.”

    But the head of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, said he believes the legislation must pass.

    “The twelve bills included in this package fulfill the Congress’ most basic responsibility, to exercise the power of the purse,” he said in a statement. “This measure reflects a year’s worth of work by members of both parties. Together, we have closely scrutinized the president’s budget request, held hundreds of hearings, thousands of meetings, and asked literally tens of thousands of questions to each and every federal department and agency seeking justification for how taxpayer dollars are being spent.”

    Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, responded in a statement, saying that after neglecting to pass a budget, “today we learn Senate Democrats now want to sandwich them together, totaling almost 2,000 pages, and jam them through in the waning moments of this lame duck session before anyone can read them. This political end-around reveals just how quickly my colleagues across the aisle have already forgotten the voters’ message in November.”

    Though none of the spending bills has passed the Senate, all the individual appropriations bills have been through the full committee process. In an afternoon release, the Appropriations Committee website listed all of the requested earmarks, winnowed into separate categories that go into making up the 12 separate annual spending bills.

    In total, more than 20,000 earmark requests are listed. The financial services earmark chart, for instance, lists 220 earmark requests from dozens of lawmakers, mostly in the House, each worth anywhere from $50,000 to $2.4 million. The largest sum was requested by Inouye and his Hawaii colleague Sen. Daniel Akaka for “Bank on USA” demonstration projects” in their state. The projects are designed to give underserved communities greater access to financial institutions.

    Elsewhere, the Department of Defense earmark list, mostly requests by senators, is 29 pages long and individual requests more often are worth $2 million to $5 million each. In that list, Inouye’s requests total more than $159 million, including $21 million for a Hawaii Federal Health Care Network. Cornyn’s defense spending earmarks total nearly $16 million.

    The list was released after a Republican policy lunch that a source said was devolving into pandemonium.

    “All hell is breaking loose,” the source told Fox News, noting that Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Jim DeMint of South Carolina were expected to insist the omnibus bill be read in its entirety by the clerk on the Senate floor before a vote is held. They also were expected to seek debate on all earmarks and any amendments.

    A spokesman for Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky responded that “all hell is not breaking loose just yet. But I’m sure there will be a robust conversation.”

    On top of Republican angst, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., also is revolting against the Democratic-sponsored bill, saying she will not support an omnibus spending bill unless it includes an amendment proposed by McCaskill and Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., that calls for a three-year cap in discretionary spending. Democratic leaders told McCaskill on Monday that they would meet a one-year gap, which she rejected, according to sources familiar with the conversations.

    But sources said Inouye was confident he had the votes needed to get the legislation passed and sent to the House.

    The fiscal year runs from Oct. 1-Sept. 30. Currently, a continuing resolution, the stopgap measure to keep government operational until a budget is passed, is set to expire on Saturday. If another CR or the bill itself isn’t passed and signed into law by President Obama by then, the government will shut down.

    On the House side, Republican leader John Boehner is apparently warning that if the Senate sends over the bill as it is, “We will work to kill it.” House Democrats had hoped to file a year-long CR at the previous year’s rates.

    Opponents of the package are finding support among conservative groups who describe the legislation as a Democratic attempt to lock in 2010’s $3.5 trillion budget for the next year without allowing any spending cuts.

    “Despite the dire fiscal crisis the nation faces, with a $13.8 trillion national debt that cannot be paid, and in spite of the American people who are demanding action to cut spending, Congress is busy voting to kick the can for yet another year. A vote for the continuing resolution is a vote for another trillion dollar-plus deficit, and that is simply unacceptable to all Americans. Any politician in Congress that has ever promised to reduce the deficit should vote ‘no’ on this continuing resolution,” Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson said in a statement Tuesday.

  40. the republicans wholly own Obama and he is a republican puppet.

    =============

    Pretty close, anyway. He’s a puppet with a lot of string-pullers, all of them bad for us.

  41. At 10:55 Obama again attempts to retake the podium – Bill Clinton does not give it up. It is at that point Barack Obama, current President of the United States, looks down at his watch and declares he is 30 minutes late for a Christmas party

    ==============

    That’s contradicted by a film clip that shows Bill forwarding a question to Obama, saying something like “Obama can answer that himself”, and Obama leaves instead of answering.

  42. Mark the year, 2048. My husband just said we were born a little too early, like 20 years too early, . If I were a 20+ year old today, I would never have left India.
    —————————————–
    India’s loss is America’s gain.

  43. the republicans wholly own Obama and he is a republican puppet.
    ———————————————————-
    I prefer to think of it in terms of common ownership and control. In other words, the same people who control establishment democrats and establishment republicans control messiah obama. Their interests are at cross purposes with those of the American People. The theater is in getting us to believe there is a difference, and yet for all their rhetorical flourishes and pretentions of differentiation the policy differences are de minimus. From the Patriot Act, to campaign finance reform, to Afghanistan, to tax protection for the rich are prefect examples where the two parties are in lock step. And so is the glorious Messiah who holds a Nobel Prize for rolling back the oceans and leading the truly deluded to a higher stage of delusion followed by cold turkey worse than any heroin binge.

  44. The trouble with straight line projections, however, is they assume the continuation of the straight line and assume that supervening forces will not interfere, or cause that line to deviate. That is why I have learned to not be in the business of forecasting, even though I try amateurishly.

  45. Meanwhile back at the ranch- Obama and his clique have the EPA regulating RAINWATER runoff- A new Tax for the American People, taxing them on the amount of rainwater that runs off their property- into lakes, rivers- reservoirs.
    _____________________________

    Cities slap fees on storm runoff

    New environmental regulations are prompting cities to impose fees on property owners for the cost of managing storm water runoff, the leading cause of water pollution in most of the nation.
    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has started issuing a series of limits on storm water pollution that will require local governments to spend large amounts of money on water quality and soon start slowly reshaping America’s roads, housing developments and even the traditional lawn.

    The EPA for the first time is placing specific limits on how much storm water pollution can flow into the nation’s streams, rivers, lakes and bays. Federal courts have ruled that the Clean Water Act requires more stringent regulations.

    Storm water — from roofs, roads, parking lots, farms — carries oil, manure, sediments and sometimes raw sewage. It has created problems from increased flooding to muddy rivers and a New Jersey-sized aquatic “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Most local governments pay for storm water systems from general tax revenue. Faced with budget gaps, cities and counties are moving to storm water fees — like water and utility bills — based on how much rainwater flows off a property.

    The fees have generated stiff opposition in some places. Seminole County commissioners in Florida rejected a fee after 500 people attended a hearing to protest. “It’s a tax on rain,” says anti-tax activist Douglas Bruce, who led a successful effort to have Colorado Springs voters repeal a storm water fee.

    Fees typically range from $2 to $10 a month for an average home. The amount depends on how much space is consumed by roofs, driveways and other surfaces. Large retail stores, schools and airports can pay thousands of dollars a month:

    • Hays, Kan., homeowners will start paying $4 a month in April to raise $378,000 a year for storm water improvements. Haverhill, Mass., and Urbandale, Iowa, are adding fees, too.

    • Maryland is considering requiring cities and counties to charge storm water fees.

    • The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District has been sued by business groups for trying to impose a $4.75 monthly fee in the Cleveland area.

    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2010-03-28-runoff-fees_N.htm

  46. The amount depends on how much space is consumed by roofs, driveways and other surfaces. Large retail stores, schools and airports can pay thousands of dollars a month:

    ====================

    Good idea. Now let’s see that collide with recent laws AGAINST collecting and using the water that falls on your roof.

  47. Obama sticking his nose in your child’s lunchbox- Telling you what s/he can eat… most likely food and produce grown by Monsanto- yay!
    _________________________________

    Obama signs child nutrition bill

    Washington (CNN) — President Barack Obama signed a sweeping overhaul of child nutrition standards Monday, enacting a law meant to encourage better eating habits in part by giving the federal government more authority to set standards for food sold in vending machines and elsewhere on school grounds.

    Among other things, the $4.5 billion measure provides more money to poor areas to subsidize free meals and requires schools to abide by health guidelines drafted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. To help offset the higher cost of including more fruits and vegetables, the bill increases the reimbursement rate for school lunches.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/12/13/child.nutrition/

  48. This looks more like the movie:

    “The Day After Tomorrow.” ______________________________

    WEATHER: 35,000 DEATHS FEAR IN NEW ARCTIC BLIZZARDS

    DEATH rates are set to soar “scandalously” this winter as a new Arctic blast batters Britain with temperatures on a par with Siberia.

    Experts predict a dramatic increase in cold-related fatalities as we suffer the bitterest winter in a century, causing 12 deaths every hour.

    WIN A LUXURY CRUISE FOR TWO WORTH £2,500!

    Britons face spiralling energy bills while the death toll this winter could reach 35,000.

    There are also fears some mail may not reach its destination by Christmas Day because of the freeze.

    Forecasters said temperatures could plummet to record lows in the run-up to Christmas, putting tens of thousands of vulnerable people at risk.

    Charities warned of pensioners suffering “Dickensian” conditions, resorting to riding on buses or huddling in shopping centres just to keep warm.

    Millions of Britons are being forced to turn down their thermostats as gas and electricity prices spiral.

    Jonathan Powell, senior forecaster with Positive Weather Solutions, said icy conditions were on the way back by the middle of next week after a brief weekend thaw. He said plummeting temperatures could even surpass the -27.2C (-17F) recorded in Braemar in 1982 – the coldest temperature in Britain.

    Studies show a drop in temperature of just one degree is followed by 200 heart attacks. People aged between 75 and 84 and those with a history of heart disease appear to be most vulnerable.

    Last year the number of deaths linked to the cold weather reached nearly 28,000 in four months, sparking claims that the UK has the highest winter death rate in northern Europe.

    Read more:

    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/216765/Weather-35-000-deaths-fear-in-new-Arctic-blizzardsWeather-35-000-deaths-fear-in-new-Arctic-blizzards#ixzz1883jGMl1

  49. “Our ‘neoconservatives’ are neither new nor conservative, but old as Bablyon and evil as Hell.”

    Edward Abbey

    The Reemergence of the NeoCons

    If you believed that the NeoCons disappeared after the 2008 election, how soon do you forget?

    With the next round in the never-ending beltway two-step, the Republican leadership readies their hold of the House of Representatives agenda. The Tea Party freshmen promise to bring a breath of fresh air to a stuffy chamber. Time will tell if their pledge of hope will pan out. What is known with certainty is that the entrenched GOP leadership continues with their dedication to the policies that exemplify their NeoCon mindset.

    So what is a neoconservative?

    Back in 2003 the courageous Justin Raimondo offers this description.

    “Conservatives are accustomed to liberals not understanding the zoology of our movement. But the use and abuse of the term ‘neoconservative’ has exceeded even the high allowance for cliché and ignorance generally afforded to those who write or talk about conservatism from outside the conservative ant farm.

    In fact, neoconservative has become a Trojan Horse for vast arsenal of ideological attacks and insinuations. For some it means hawk. A few still think it means squishy conservative or ex-liberal. And a few don’t even know what the word means, they just think it makes them sound knowledgeable when they use it.”

    From these comments three examples emerge, Pro Zionists, Global Interventionists and RINO Republicans. Implied is that all three wear the GOP label and adopt the badge of being a conservative. Each is not mutually exclusive and often embraces all three distinctions. The best way to view NeoCons is not by what they say but by the deeds and the policies, they champion. The true test of their impact lies in the consequences of their actions.

    The analysis in NeoCons are a terminal disease concludes.

    “The reality of current events, clearly demonstrates that our country is paying a terrible price to expand the regional domination of a country that is consistently against the best interest of our own citizens. While this is the core motivation of NeoCons, the lust for expanding the power of centralized rule, is not far behind.

    Neoconservatives are devoted Statists and detest limited government, and especially State Rights. The concept that people should be able to live their lives locally, and have the effective ability to reject the “metropolitik” of the urbane cultural of coercion, is unfamiliar to the tyrants. There is nothing remotely conservative within the cult of the NeoCon”.

    The standard to use in evaluating the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives in the next Congress should consider the varied tribes of the NeoCon specie.

    Three examples illustrate what to look for.

    1) Unequivocal endorsement of AIPAC Zionism and complete support for State of Israel

    2) Full support for “War on Terror”, ongoing Afghan/Iraq presence and future attack on Iran

    3) Backing of Patriot Act, Homeland Security, Open Borders, Federal Reserve and deficit spending

    These basic establishment viewpoints are the essence of the bi-partisan political elites. What confuses many people who target NeoCons as betrayers of genuine conservative principles is that the unholy alliance with progressive and liberal Democrats is fundamental to the existence of the NeoCon con-job. The CFR – NeoCon Connection makes the point. “Authentic conservatives have long been opponents of the Council on Foreign Relations . . . The subtle merging of the mainstream CFR elites with their Trotskyists and subrosa NeoCon cousins, continues. Both are part of the same scheme – an enemy of America”.

    Internationalists swing an elephant trunk while excreting from a donkey’s ass. Globalists share the same NeoCon core devotion to empire. There is nothing conservative in this outlook.

    The water shed excuse for systemic despotism rests upon the fairy tale of government’s version of 911. As long as the public remains mesmerized with false enemies and pointless foreign adventures, expect more body scanning, financial intrusion and electronic surveillance. Notwithstanding the election of Tea Party candidates, the reemergence of NeoCons is assured.

    The leadership in the Republican Party is solidly in the NeoCon camp. The Absurd Report warns, “It appears that the House GOP hasn’t learned their lesson from last time around because these two picks signal it is back to business as usual”.

    “STRIKE ONE: Rep. Fred Upton (RINO MI) – As chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee oversight of EPA is the number function of this committee. If any agency needs a tough watchdog it is the EPA who is dismantling our free enterprise system with meaningless regulations. Upton is your classic fence sitting RINO.

    STRIKE TWO: Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky as chairman of the Appropriations Committee. Rogers is an earmark-happy member of ‘Good Old Boys Club’ and giving him the chair in the Appropriations Committee is akin to giving a burglar the keys to the bank. This is the last guy we need in charge of Appropriations”.

    What is lost in looking to Congress to save the Republic is that bureaucrats, who may follow the lead of executive branch direction, but actually implement the rules and regulations that force compliance upon a belittled public, make real policy.

    If you think that Barry Soetoro wheels the clout of the presidency and is willing to oppose NeoCon thinking, you must believe he is a natural born citizen. The Con in NeoCon is a standalone practice, practiced by both parties.

    The only reason that a reemergence is applicable is that the faces and committee assignments are changing. What has never altered is that those same three crux NeoCon tenants continue under every Democratic administration.

    Therefore, the more accurate description might well be the NeoConJob. Alas, that would be too traumatic for the “squishy conservative” and especially would be inconceivable to the “true believer” liberal-progressive to accept that there is no real difference between the inalienable interests of the controllers, who select the Face in the Crowd.

    The headline in the Huffington Post reads: Newt Gingrich Leaning Toward Presidential Run: I’m ‘Much More Inclined To Run Than Not Run’ and cites him in Politico, “We are not going to deport 11 million people,” Gingrich said.

    The NeoCon friendly WorldNetDaily publishes, “The U.S. should support an Israeli military strike against Iranian nuclear installations if the Jewish state, fearing diplomacy has failed, ultimately takes that course of action, stated former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.”

    You should be prepared to stand with the president against Iran’s nuclear aspirations using whatever means necessary.

    [Is that why there has been no mention of Iran’s computer worm infecting and neutralizing Iran’s nuclear capabilities in mainstream media?]

    You will also have the opportunity to push job-creating free trade agreements with allies like Colombia and South Korea

    You can stand with allies like Israel, not criticize them.

    These triplet aspirer’s for Obama’s crown are typical models of national destruction. Do they really represent the views of the disenchanted groundswell that underpins the views of historic Tea Party dissenters?

    Scott McConnell in Standard Operating Procedures: How the Neocons Are Co-opting the Tea Party puts the perspective in focus.

    “A case in point is the sharp contrast between what appear to be core Tea Party beliefs and those of the neoconservatives, the political faction most closely associated with the drive to attack Iraq and a vanguard force in hawkish policy discourse.

    Add to this mix the Tea Party, an amorphous, populist, ideologically diverse explosion of anti-Obama activism, permeated with libertarian and quasi-isolationist sentiments. Could the Republicans be on the verge of a battle over foreign policy as divisive as the one Democrats experienced in the 1960s and 1970s? And will the neoconservatives emerge substantially weaker? Many on the paleoconservative and libertarian right hope so”.

    Anyone who understands the eternal spirit of America must be a defender of civil liberties. The gross betrayal of natural rights by crazed NeoCons must not resurrect its ugly treason. Keep abreast of the latest developments on NeoCon Watch and Original Dissent Neo-Con Watch forum.

    You can judge the new Congress by their willingness to repeal the Patriot Act, dismantle Homeland Security and abolish the Federal Reserve. If this latest crop of would be demigods refuse to support the legislation of Ron Paul, you know that the GOP leadership has their claws into the backbone of first timers.

    Paleoconservatives have their own message for the Congressional freshman class. Dump your leadership. Purge NeoCons from your party. Vote

    http://batr.org/reactionary/121210.html

  50. With Dream Act shelved, immigrants look to 2012

    December 12 2010

    LAURA WIDES-MUNOZ

    (AP) — The illegal immigrants who more than a decade ago were just teens hoping to forge a legal path to citizenship are vowing to make the Dream Act a campaign issue come 2012, even though they’ll likely be too old to benefit if the law ever passes.

    The measure that passed in the House on Wednesday is unlikely go anywhere in the Senate, and the House is unlikely to revisit the issue once the new Republican leadership takes over.

    Groups like The National Council of La Raza and other Hispanic and immigrant advocacy groups know the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform are dim for the time being. So they’ve turned their attention to a measure that they believe will spark more sympathy from most Americans, bringing with them a coalition of labor groups, the Conference of Catholic Bishops and even Defense Secretary Robert Gates. And come 2012, advocates say, Spanish-language media will be filled with ads slamming lawmakers who voted against the Dream Act.

    “Many of us come from families with mixed (immigration) status. We can’t vote, but our families and friends can,” said Julieta Garibay, 29, one of the original “Dreamers” who has pushed for the Dream Act since it was first introduced in Congress in 2001. “Our allies will remember who voted, and how they voted, and will hold them accountable in 2012.”

    The Dream Act would provide qualified people up to the age of 29 with a path to citizenship if they attend college or join the military, while mandating decades before they could petition for family. An estimated 2.1 million immigrants could be eligible, though it’s likely a far smaller number would meet the bill’s requirements.

    “The Dream Act is extremely powerful for that reason because it impacts kids who came at a young age, who truly did whatever was asked of them, stayed out of trouble and just want to get educated or join the military,” said America’s Voice Deputy Director Lynn Tramonte.

    Opponents have said it will hurt Americans at a time when the nation already faces 9.8 percent unemployment. Some also decried the age cap of 29.

    “Those are pretty old kids,” U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said during the House debate. Smith called the legislation “a nightmare,” predicting the U.S. government would be unable to conduct background checks on all those applying.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/9404297

  51. Evening news showing tourists in Orlando bundled up cold- in winter coats. Trading bathing suits for sweaters and scarves.

  52. PM317. India is a great place to live now, the other half wants to go back there and live but it has a long way to go on gay couples and foreigners being allowed to work and inherit and all that other stuff. I could easily live in Delhi.

  53. moononpluto, I agree that it is a stifling society in many ways. It has ways to go for nonconformists like me though the direction it is heading is good. Addressing poverty and corruption is the biggest challenge. The growing demographic is the 20-30 year olds and hopefully they will bring positive change.

    Many Indian families here with young children are torn — do they go back or stay? Which way the US will go? Will their children fare better? We tell them (when asked) it took more than a century for the UK to decline and it will take a long time for things to get bad here if that were to happen.

  54. Pres. Obama names rock star/activist Jon Bon Jovi to be a member of the White House Council for Community Solutions.

    More Celebrity advisors….jesus.

  55. moononpluto, I agree that it is a stifling society in many ways. It has ways to go for nonconformists like me though the direction it is heading is good. Addressing poverty and corruption is the biggest challenge. The growing demographic is the 20-30 year olds and hopefully they will bring positive change.

    Many Indian families here with young children are torn — do they go back or stay? Which way the US will go? Will their children fare better? We tell them (when asked) it took more than a century for the UK to decline and it will take a long time for things to get bad here if that were to happen.
    —————————
    I do not know what to believe about India, except that I have acquired a liking for Indian restaurants, which are probably not true Indian food anyway. On the one hand, I am told that they have a middle class of 300 million people. On the other hand, I hear that there are still unfortunates who were once called the untouchables. What is their status today amid all these signs of prosperity?

  56. Krauthammer takes no prisoners in that piece on this corrupt tax compromise. I knew it was bad, and I said so here. But I never thought it was that bad. On matters such as this, he is pretty objective.

  57. Tone deaf? Hell no. They just do not want to listen to the American People. We need to make them pay dearly for this.
    ——————————————————————
    Posted by James Richardson (Profile)
    Tuesday, December 14th at 4:43PM EST
    20 Comments
    Senate Democrats unveiled earlier this afternoon a 1,924-page omnibus spending bill to fund the government through fiscal year 2011. Aides to GOP legislators on Capitol Hill have already begun poring over the $1.1 trillion package, describing the proposal as “a total mess” to Fox News.

    Republican lawmakers — including those in the lower chamber, like Speaker-elect John Boehner — are already vowing to help kill the appropriations measure, which freezes 2010’s $3.5 trillion budget for the following year without allowing for any spending cuts.

    Offered in the waning days of the present congressional session, the bill designates $80 million in federal funds for the preservation of Pacific salmon and $14 million in clean water grants for Alaska’s native population. Of course, it doesn’t end there.

    We’ve obtained a copy of the lame duck legislation so that RedState’s readers might begin dissecting the bill, posting the most egregious examples of pork barrel spending in the comments section. Embedded below the fold you will find the full nearly 2,000-page document.

    UPDATE: According to a tally by Sen. John McCain’s office, the legislation includes 6,488 earmarks totaling nearly $8.3 billion. In a speech from the floor of the Senate, McCain blasted the bill, asking is his colleagues if they had been “stricken with amnesia” for appropriating such wild earmarks only weeks after a swift electoral rebuke for Democrats.

    “Enough with the spending, enough of mortgaging our children and our grandchildren’s futures. The phenomenon of the Tea Party — taxed enough already — they were against the spending, the earmarking,” McCain, who is looking to force the bill be read in its entirety from the floor of the Senate, said. “What is going on here? Are we tone deaf? Are we stricken with amnesia?”

    The senator’s aides — as well as the senator himself on Twitter — have begun circulating what they deem the most outrageous and wasteful spending measures in the bill.

    $247,000 – Virus free grapes in Washington State
    $413,000 – Peanut research in Alabama
    $125,000 – Fishery equipment for the Guam Fisherman’s Cooperative Association
    $349,000 – Swine waste management in North Carolina
    $277,000 – Potato pest management in wisconsin
    $246,000 – Bovine tuberculosis treatment in Michigan and Minnesota
    $522,000 – Cranberry and blueberry disease and breeding in New Jersey
    $500,000 – Oyster safety in Florida
    $400,000 – Solar parking canopies and plug-in electric stations in Kansas
    $165,000 – Maple syrup research in Vermont

    Continue posting those earmarks you’ve found in the comments section.

  58. Is it possible that the senate dims have overplayed their hand?

    Fox “America’s Newsroom” poll today:
    Flagstaff Tuesday, December 14th at 7:16PM EST (link)
    Cut spending 99.55%
    Increase spending 0.45%

    What part of that do the Republicans not get?

  59. In George Washington’s famous formulation, the U.S. Senate is the saucer designed to cool the drink before it becomes law. In Majority Leader Harry Reid’s rush to beat the looming expiration of the 111th Congress, the Senate has become the express lane to jam through changes in military rules, a giant spending bill and even an arms treaty—and all with virtually no deliberation. Why are Republicans putting up with it?

    The lame duck Congress was supposed to limp out of town this Friday, but yesterday Mr. Reid announced that in the dwindling days before Christmas he plans to pass the bipartisan tax deal, the New Start arms treaty with Russia, the immigration Dream Act, a “lands bill,” and a bill to let gays serve openly in the military. Oh, and yesterday he also dropped on his colleagues a 1,924-page, $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill for fiscal 2011 that no one but a few Appropriators have read, if even they have.

    Any one of these issues could warrant at least a week of debate if the Senate were playing its designated constitutional role. But the New Start pact and spending bill in particular deserve at least eight or nine legislative days of debate, with opportunities for Senators to educate the public and offer amendments. As it is, most Americans are preoccupied with their busy holiday lives and have no idea that the world’s greatest deliberative body isn’t deliberating at all.

    The rush for New Start is a special affront to Senate prerogatives under the Constitution, which requires a two-thirds vote for ratification precisely to guarantee a considered debate. The Administration claims that failure to ratify the treaty in two weeks will offend the Russians, though the Russians have said they feel no such urgency. GOP leaders have given Mr. Reid dates in either January or February to bring the treaty to the floor, and upwards of a dozen Republicans seem to be leaning in favor of the pact.

    View Full Image

    Getty Images
    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

    At a minimum the GOP ought to insist on a debate that is long enough to clarify the U.S. understanding of the treaty. That’s especially important on missile defenses because the pact’s preamble includes the major blunder of re-linking offensive and defensive weapons. At the time the pact was negotiated, the Russians claimed this language meant they could leave the treaty if the U.S. developed new missile defenses. In remarks at the time, U.S. officials did not forcefully counter that claim.

    The Obama Administration has since said the Russians are wrong, but the Senate must make this absolutely clear during the ratification debate. GOP Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl are preparing a formal “understanding” to accompany the treaty that would stipulate that specific future U.S. missile defense plans aren’t part of the deal.

    The next decade is likely to see a proliferation of nuclear weapons states with the missiles to hit U.S. or allied soil. The Senate should not tolerate a ratification debate in which Jon Kyl offers one interpretation, Democrat and missile defense opponent Carl Levin offers another, and the Russians are able to exploit the ambiguity.

    The last-minute omnibus should also offend Senators who claim to have heard the voters on November 2. This jam-job is a substitute for the 12 individual spending bills that Congress was supposed to have passed during the summer. But for the first time in modern memory, Democrats never got around to passing a budget outline, much less specific spending bills. So now they want to rush one giant bill into law when no one is paying attention.

    Congress does have to fund the government, but it can do that with a simple continuing resolution that maintains the status quo for three months or so until the next Congress gets up and running. The catch is that this would mean no earmarks, and no riders for this or that special interest that Members on the Appropriations Committee can write into a formal spending bill. This includes 10 or so GOP Appropriators, some of whom are leaving the Senate and want a last hurrah. Their fellow Senators deserve the chance to offer amendments on the floor at the very least, assuming their staff members get the time to read 2,000 pages.

    This rushed, non-transparent, all-about-the-Members brand of legislating is precisely what voters rebelled against a month ago. Senate Republicans have the power to stop this railroad exercise if they stick together and insist that the Senate do its business the right way. Pass the tax bill, fund the government into the New Year, and go home for the holidays.

  60. Mop, All narcissistic Kings have to have stars befitting a king. You can’t be a King without having super stars for buddies! LOL!

  61. I imagine that Obama has always been best buddies with those “snakepit republicans”. What is the saying? Birds of a feather flock together!

    The senate and the house…is nothing but bad theatre…its all fixed!

    Mrs. Smith,

    BTW, I’ve lost 32 lbs…have lots more to go, but am feeling lots better! Surprizing what a new lease of life will get yah? LOL!

  62. THE GOP’S TAX DEAL JITTERS
    Red State

    As the tax deal moves forward, pundits have focused on the emasculation of Nancy Pelosi’s majority. But there is fear in the ranks of Republicans, too.

    It was no surprise that the lordly Senate approved a creatively enhanced tax deal on Monday. As the bill travels to the House of Representatives today, the road gets trickier in the House cloak rooms and on the House floor, where the real hand-to-hand combat over the Bush tax-cut extension begins in earnest.

    Look not only to the Democratic caucus, where Jeremiahs and martyrs prepare to resist tax cuts for the rich, but also look to the Republican minority, where the resistance is more stealthy but no less unblinking.

    While our TV wise men are transfixed by the crucifixion of the progressives and the emasculation of Nancy Pelosi’s majority, the story in the shadows is that House Republicans are naturally suspicious of anything the White House favors, and are ready to bolt from their leadership at the first sign of blinking.

    Ask yourself why the new propaganda minister of the Republican House—the cocky cowboy Jeb Hensarling—sent a private citizen—Representative-Elect Kristi Noem of South Dakota—out on the frontlines to face the cameras in support of the Bush tax-cut deal this past weekend? Is it perhaps because the GOP leadership team is frightened to speak in public in support of a deal that they are unsure they can deliver? What does the opinion of the Annie Oakley of the Tea Party matter? Noem cannot be whipped; Noem cannot vote; Noem’s ambitions are as worthwhile as pixie dust in a twister.

    “What Boehner is doing is taking someone who is not a member, and hiding behind her,” remarks a Republican skeptic, “so she can tell everyone how good the deal is. It shows you how weak and craven the leadership is. She’s set up to take the fall, if this thing fails.”

    In other words, what does Republican Minority Leader John Boehner know that keeps him from taking to the stage himself and announcing victory? Well, here’s a clue: When Minority Deputy Whip Kevin McCarthy took time out from the green rooms of his mind to do some real work last week and whip the grizzled old minority members, the result unnerved the leadership. Boehner is so far from having the votes for the deal that he does not even have commitments from stooges like Hensarling, who offered, midweek, that he was not “thrilled” by what he had heard so far.

    The Old Bulls are too surly ever to be thrilled again; the young and the restless have not forgotten how Boehner tried to lead them into the TARP pit two years ago; and the Tea Party freshmen class is meaningless, worthless beeswax—just a bunch of cute, clueless kibitzers until January 5.

    The Old Bulls are too surly ever to be thrilled again…and the Tea Party freshmen class is meaningless, worthless beeswax—just a bunch of cute, clueless kibitzers until January 5.
    Boehner, Congressmen Kevin McCarthy and Paul Ryan “are all calling around to ask for support on the deal,” observes a doubter. “Everyone says, ‘What deal?’”

    There are hot voices in the Republican punditocracy who complain that the “framework” agreement announced abruptly by President Obama last week is not acceptable.

    Charles Krauthammer chided the deal as a repackaged, gargantuan second stimulus package that will help Obama get reelected—the GOP doing the work for the Democratic Tom Sawyer.

    There are also complaints about the estate tax portion of the framework, which, on January 1, is set to rise from 0 percent to 55 percent on estates valued at $1 million or more. The Democrats, for their part, demand a rate of 45 percent on estates of $3.5 million or over. The so-called Republican-negotiated compromise would put it at 35 percent on estates of $5 million and upward.

    But why should the House Republican minority submit to Democratic flagellation and give an inch before the end of the year, when, after Jan. 5, the GOP can write the bill completely?

    Ryan hints at the scurrying rationalizations of the Boehner team when pressed on whether he will accept a compromise on the estate tax, “The answer is no, we’re not interested in changing this deal. We’re interested in passing this through.”

    There is also the nostalgic part of the deal, a tribute to earmark feasts of yesterday, as Harry Reid loads up the Senate version like a drunkard’s Christmas tree—weighing it down with favors for NASCAR, Hollywood, rum and ethanol—and this is before the bill moves to the House, where it will attract even more eccentric (read expensive) ornaments. The deficit hawks pontificate on camera while in the wings the tradesmen of the Congress fill districts with holiday cheer.

    John Boehner has always been a fragile, uncertain leader, and his elevation to Speaker-elect has made him more hesitant, tediously more effusive, and defensively more dependent on the bonding of the Old Bulls and the adulation of the puppies.

    Why does John Boehner ask other Republican members of Congress to obey him blindly, and swallow a bill that is at best a half-baked bacon pie in December, if, by January, the House will put the country on a crash diet?

    “The pork will decimate the party’s credibility with the base and the Tea Party,” judges a conservative voice of the Senate version of the bill, even before the House hog farm opens for business.

    After a recent Washington dinner with members of the Tea Party class, who are dreamy-eyed at the significance of their big GOP class for the next Congress, a financial journalist remarked, “They have no idea how it works. In two years they’ll be standing in line for the goodies like everyone else at election time.”

  63. If it gets to the point where the leadership in both parties cannot hold the line with its own members on legislation, then the elites will have lost their death grip over the system, because they impose their will on the country through the leadership of both parties. That is why the revolt against the Republican establishment is important to us. They moved rather quickly to get Michelle Bachman and some of the other tea party voices muzzled, but I hope the dam breaks and the flood of populism deluges these fools. Where is it written that this is the best deal we can negotiate at this time. I spent over thirty years doing negotiation and supervising others who did. When someone says that to me what they are really saying is don’t look too close because we left something on the table and we made mistakes. I think McConnell, and to a lesser extent Boenher did not understand the leverage they had and were afraid to use it, so they caved. I am deeply disappointed in Paul Ryan for peddling their shit, and I hope every non establishment republican and every blue dog democrat takes Krauthammer’s wisdom under advisement. I would make the same suggestion to the looney left but it has not been proven to me that they can read. They validated that course at Harvard.

  64. Mrs. Smith,

    BTW, I’ve lost 32 lbs…have lots more to go, but am feeling lots better! Surprizing what a new lease of life will get yah? LOL!
    ___________________

    That’s fantastic, confloyd! New wardrobe, New Do, Pedicure, Waxing- A new YOU! 🙂

  65. Shadowfax
    December 14th, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Tiny Dancer is talking on his ‘living’ in Chicago.

    Let the spin begin.

    news politics
    LIVE: Emanuel Takes the Stand

    http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/politics/Rahm-Emanuel-Takes-the-Stand-111846194.html?dr

    ————–
    I know I posted this earlier, and normally I would never want to listen to Rahm………..but this was one of the most entertaining hearings I have ever listened too.

    Regular people were socking it to Rahm on everything he has or may have done since his days in Chicago. The judge and his layers were going nuts.

    One AA woman was a trip, she brought her own dictionary and was like a strict school teacher, telling the judge and attorneys not to cover for Rahm, but to let him speak for himself…it was wonderful and funny as heck.

  66. My Christmas wish: Bill Clinton’s 3rd term

    By Jack A. Chambless | Guest columnist
    December 15, 2010

    It was one of those positively surreal moments where, for a nanosecond, you thought it was the 1990s again.

    Yes, those 1990s with the sub-4 percent unemployment rates, modest inflation, tremendous economic growth and even federal budget surpluses. Yet, there he was in a presidential press conference — good ol’ Bill Clinton standing in for Barack Obama.

    To quote our current president, “Let me be clear on this point…” I never voted for Bill Clinton — even when my father chided me over the fact that Clinton and my grandfather both come from Hope, Ark.

    As a proud Reagan Libertarian, I could not, in good conscience, vote for someone who wanted to nationalize health care and who once passed the largest tax increase in our nation’s history.

    Yet, as I watched Clinton pinch-hit for Obama Friday night in defense of tax cuts and economic growth and a return to prosperity, I realized a humbling truth. That is, when taking into account his two terms in office, William Jefferson Clinton was one of the best economic presidents of the 20th — or any — century.

    Let’s add up his accomplishments:

    From 1994 until he left office, he presided over numerous tax reforms that made the country richer from top to bottom. He cut the capital-gains tax from 28 percent to 20 percent. Not only did investment in new capital increase, but the subsequent economic growth it created led to more tax revenue, not less, for politicians to spend.

    He lowered the tax on the sale of our homes to zero percent, as long as we live in them for at least two years. He ushered in the Roth IRA that allowed millions of Americans to save for retirement and avoid the false hope that Social Security would be all we would need.

    On the issue of trade, he got NAFTA ratified, lifted the embargo against Vietnam and successfully traveled the world, encouraging foreign leaders to allow American money to flow into their lands in search of businesses, infrastructure and other investments. The result was expanded world trade, increased wealth in America and our trading partners, and downward pressure on consumer prices stemming from more international competition.

    Then there is government spending. Yes, it is clear that government spending increased during his eight years in office. The key fact that my conservative friends do not want to acknowledge is that under his watch, government expenditures increased at a slower rate than under George H.W. Bush or George W. Bush. Under President Clinton, we even got major welfare reform that lowered the dependence of millions of Americans on their fellow man. The real era of fiscal conservatism — relatively speaking — was when Clinton held the checkbook.

    It would be irresponsible of me as an economist to neglect to mention that Newt Gingrich and the Reagan Republicans who took over Congress in 1994 were instrumental in forcing Clinton to go along with more pro-growth tax and spending initiatives. It would also be worth noting that Clinton was reluctant to go along with many of the laws he eventually passed.

    However, as British author Aldous Huxley wrote, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” The facts are clear: The last prosperous, pro-business, pro-growth decade America had came under the active policies of a Democrat, and our country is now broke largely under the watch of Republicans.

    I hope that either Barack Obama continues to act like Bill Clinton or that Congress will amend the Constitution so that Clinton can run again in 2012.

    Jack A. Chambless is an economics professor at Valencia Community College.

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/os-ed-bill-clinton-for-president-121520101214,0,1492243.story

  67. What is their status today amid all these signs of prosperity?
    ———————————–

    I will keep it short. There is quota-based affirmative action for them everywhere. But the problem is generational and poverty-ridden and will take time.

  68. I hope that either Barack Obama continues to act like Bill Clinton or that Congress will amend the Constitution so that Clinton can run again in 2012.

    Jack A. Chambless is an economics professor at Valencia Community College.

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/os-ed-bill-clinton-for-president-121520101214,0,1492243.story

    ===================

    That sounds naive enough to be sincere. (Congress amend the constitution? I wish thou couldst! — for Bill anyway.)

    This is the second GOP I’ve seen praising Bill for the wrong reasons: giving him credit for the booming 90s but saying he did it by de-regulating etc etc.

  69. You are so right, they stole true reform from us. They saw the threat to themselves and planed ahead, they knew exactly who they needed to enlist and what kind of shiny object they had to let twirl in the sunlight.

    ================

    You;re right, and this makes me rather pessimistic about the future. They have plenty of money and time. The corporations already hire people to sell their products. I’m afraid they’ll always be ahead of us….

  70. …”I know how much time we have before Christmas,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). “And I hate to report all of this to you. But you know, there is still Congress after Christmas.” Reid’s suggestion sent a shockwave across Capitol Hill. “We’re not through. Congress ends January 4th. So we’re going to continue working on this stuff until we get it done,” Reid warned. It’s almost unheard for Congress to work right up until Christmas, let alone the week between Christmas and New Year’s. To say nothing of the days between New Year’s and when the new Congress convenes January 5th. snip “I think that would be extraordinary,” said Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) about Reid’s idea of toiling after Christmas. “Anything that were to be done during that period of time would not have the respect of the American people….”
    http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/12/15/sands-through-congressional-hourglass

  71. The man never learns

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46406.html

    President Barack Obama has delayed the most significant staff shuffle of his presidency until after New Year’s — but the changes may be more sweeping than anticipated and could include the hiring of high-profile Democrats defeated in the midterms.

    David Plouffe, Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, who will become a senior adviser to the president as early as the first week of January, is perhaps the most significant addition to Obama’s staff. He is expected to take an expansive new role including running the embattled White House press and messaging operations, people with knowledge of the situation told POLITICO.

    —————————————————-

    Yeah real clever, hire the people in 2011 the voters fired in elections in 2010. If thats not thumbing your nose at voters, i dont know what is.

  72. Here’s the skinny on their plan for Social Security and Medicare. Grrh!
    __________________________________________

    On The Chopping Block – Social Security, Medicare And Medicaid

    By Stephen Lendman
    12-13-10

    Planned is death by a thousand cuts – aka “creeping normalcy,” defined as a way to make major changes seem normal if happen slowly, incrementally like boiling a frog unaware it’s dinner until cooked.

    Social Security and Medicare are dinner. Yet both are insurance, not welfare, programs funded by (worker-employer) payroll tax deductions. They’re contractual federal obligations to eligible recipients who qualify. You’d never know it the way both programs are publicly discussed, explaining everything but the truth. More on that below.

    On August 14, 1935, the Social Security Act became law, known as the federal Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance program (OASDI). It provides retirement, disability, survivorship, and death benefits. It’s still America’s most effective poverty reduction program that’s worked remarkably well since inception. It exists to provide secure inflation-adjusted retirement or disability income, unlike risking personal savings to create private wealth that may end up losing it.

    Despite bogus claims, it’s not going bankrupt. When properly administered, it’s sound and secure, needing only modest adjustments at times to assure it.
    On July 30, 1965, Lyndon Johnson signed the Social Security (Medicare) Act into law, enrolling Harry and Bess Truman as its first recipients.

    Medicare.gov calls it “the nation’s largest health insurance program,” covering 40 million Americans. It’s a “Health Insurance program for people age 65 or older, some disabled people under age 65, and people of all ages with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure treated with dialysis or a transplant).”

    America’s aristocracy wants Medicare and Social Security ended, citing the nation’s burgeoning debt and enormous unfunded liabilities for both programs. The web site usdebtclock.org lists them as follows:

    (1) the US National Debt: nearly $14 trillion;
    (2) Social Security Liability: nearly $15 trillion;
    (3) Prescription Drug Liability: nearly $20 trillion; and
    (4) Medicare Liability: nearly $78 trillion.
    Total: nearly $113 trillion plus the National Debt.

    Most important is that future liabilities mask today’s soundness that can stay that way if current programs are properly administered. That’s omitted from hyped scare tactics to convince future recipients to make unjustifiable sacrifices. Like them or not, they’re coming, major media reports promoting the idea as well as politicians from both parties.

    On August 9, 2010, for example, a New York Times editorial headlined,
    “The Latest on Medicare and Social Security,” saying:

    “Of course, neither program is sound for the long run. (Yet there’s) time for lawmakers to reform and strengthen both (for) the long haul. (Required is) a combination of benefits cuts and tax increases, which could be distributed fairly and phased in over decades.”

    A May 13, 2009 Wall Street Journal report headlined:

    “Social Security, Medicare Face Insolvency Sooner,” saying:

    Medicare “will be depleted by 2017,” Social Security by “2037.” In fact, neither program is endangered as explained above.

    Yet the report continues:

    “Any attempt to address long-term fiscal problems will require big changes to the way entitlements are funded or paid out.”

    False, but don’t expect major media reports to explain or side with recipients about programs too important to be weakened or lost.

    Yet in his January State of the Union address, Obama announced plans to “freeze government spending for three years,” starting in 2011, saying he’d form a bipartisan fiscal commission to cut the deficit and tackle entitlements by imposed austerity at a time massive stimulus is needed.

    Called the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (NCFRF), it’s co-chaired by two deficit hawks, former Senator Alan Simpson (R. WY) and Erskine Bowles, former Clinton White House Chief of Staff. They headed an 18-member team, stacked with like-minded members, elitists knowing their futures are secure.

    Their mandate: slash Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other social spending, continuing a decades long process of transferring wealth to America’s super-rich. On November 10, they issued their proposal. An earlier article addressed it, accessed through the following link:

    h…. sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/11/obama-teams-deficit-cutting-proposal.html
    Among other recommendations were:

    — ending or capping middle class tax breaks, including deductions for home mortgage insurance and tax-free employer provided medical insurance;

    — lowering income taxes dramatically to 9, 15 and 24%, down from six brackets ranging from 10 – 35%;

    — slashing corporate tax rates from the top 35% to 26%;

    — making deep Medicare cuts as well as increasing Medicaid co-pays; and

    — raising the Social Security retirement age to 69 by 2075 as well as reducing annual cost-of-living increases.

    A second Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) commission co-chaired by former Senator Pete Domenici (R. NM) and Alice Rivlin, former director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office, issued its own proposal called “Restoring America’s Future.”

    Its recommendations include:

    — indexing Social Security benefits to life expectancy to reduce them as longevity increases;

    — eliminating annual cost-of-living adjustments, bogusly claiming inflation is overstated, especially for retirees facing costly medical expenses;

    — instituting a one-year payroll tax holiday for workers and employers to save $650 billion, supposedly to be replenished from future general revenues; in fact, it’s a way to help kill Social Security as discussed below;

    — sharply cutting Medicare and Medicaid benefits;

    — simplifying the tax code to two brackets (15 and 27%), favoring the rich;

    — eliminating home mortgage and most other deductions and credits;

    — taxing employer provided health insurance; and

    — instituting a 6.5% national sales tax, hitting ordinary people hardest.
    An earlier article providing more details, including on Obama’s planned austerity, can be accessed through the following link:

    h…. sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/11/destructive-neoliberal-austerity.html
    Nancy Altman is co-director of Social Security Works

    (…. strengthensocialsecurity.org), an “American coalition (representing over 50 million Americans) united around the simple proposition, Strengthen Social Security…Don’t Cut It.”

    Its seven principles include:

    (1) Social Security didn’t cause the federal deficit; it shouldn’t be cut to reduce it;
    (2) it shouldn’t be privatized;
    (3) it shouldn’t be means-tested;
    (4) future revenues should come by raising the payroll tax ceiling, requiring those earning more to pay their fair share;
    (5) the retirement age shouldn’t increase further;
    (6) benefits shouldn’t be cut, including by reducing annual inflation-adjusted increases; and
    (7) benefits “should be increased for those who are most disadvantaged.”

    In short, Social Security (Medicare and Medicaid) should be strengthened to provide greater, not lower, future benefits.

    Obama’s Destructive Payroll Tax Holiday

    The proposed 2% worker earnings cut for one year is a stealth indefinite extension scheme to drain hundreds of billions from the Social Security Trust Fund. Doing so will irreparably weaken its ability to pay future benefits, the idea being to destroy the program altogether, perhaps first by privatizing it.

    Social Security Works explained how the tax holiday “could unravel” the whole system as follows:

    (1) “It’s easy to enact tax cuts – it’s very hard to end them.”

    (2) Doing so results in a substantial tax increase – $2,000 on $100,000 a year earners, $400 for those making $20,000.

    (3) “Restoring the 2% lost….would be a nearly 50% tax increase (for) 94% of all Americans….”

    (4) House and Senate Republicans oppose any increases. So do many Democrats, especially in election years or when economic conditions are weak.

    (5) Obama’s proposal undermines Social Security’s long-term solvency. Repaying what’s lost from general revenues is greatly impeded by the size of the deficit and planned austerity coming to reduce it.

    (6) Maintaining the 2% cut indefinitely will cause massive benefit cuts and eliminate any chance for improving them, notably for society’s poor and disadvantaged.

    (7) Middle class households will also be harmed, violating Franklin Roosevelt’s pledge that:

    “We put those pay roll contributions there so as to give the contributors a legal, moral, and political right to collect their pensions and their unemployment benefits. With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program. Those taxes aren’t a matter of economics, they’re straight politics.”

    FDR never met Obama or congressional Republicans and Democrats. What he gave, they’ll end, violating a government-mandated right.

    (8) A payroll tax holiday is another step toward privatization, a sure way to kill it, the way 401(k)s destroyed private pensions, leaving workers at the mercy of marketplace uncertainties that can wipe out life savings during hard times.
    Social Security Works concluded, saying:

    “There are better ways to provide stimulus to the economy – and that do less harm to Social Security – than a tax holiday.”

    According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), one way is by extending the 2009 Making Work Pay Tax Credit, adding much more stimulus than a payroll tax holiday. It gives workers a refundable tax credit, increasing the size of the paychecks. At 6.2% of earned income, it provides maximum $400 for working individuals, $800 for married taxpayers filing joint returns.

    A payroll tax holiday is a bad idea any time, besides doing little to stimulate economic growth. “The most efficient way to boost consumer spending is to put money into the hands of people who will spend it quickly rather than save it.” It’s most effective when given to low and middle-income workers, not high-end ones who’ll save, not spend, their windfall.

    “A payroll tax holiday does not score well on this front – too little of the benefit goes to lower-income households struggling to make ends meet and too much goes to higher-income taxpayers, who are likely to save a significant (portion) of any new resources they receive.”

    Besides killing Social Security, that’s the whole idea, of course, transferring more wealth to the rich, what Republicans and Democrats endorse, including Obama.

    In contrast, the Making Work Pay Tax Credit poses no threat to Social Security. The payroll tax holiday may destroy it. Republicans signing on as a concession masks their real intent, the same one they’ve had since Social Security’s enactment, a program they strongly opposed as well as Medicare in 1965. Now both parties oppose them.

    A Final Comment

    Obama’s payroll tax holiday will drive a stake into Social Security’s heart, or as Hall of Fame former baseball announcer Bob Prince used to call Pittsburgh Pirate home runs: “Kiss it goodbye.” Fans cheered. Deathly silence will greet Obama’s proposal once recipients know they’ve been scammed. Republicans and Democrats plan it unless an aroused public stops them.

    Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen(at)sbcglobal.net.

    Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

    h… w… progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

  73. Mrs. Smith,

    As per your article above….Obama said “there is no red American or blue America, there’s just America. America will be for the rich only….that is what he was talking about!

    I can’t believe the ignorant masses have not figured out how these crooks are stealing our country all for the rich. How much is “enough money”, certainly Soros Inc. has enough money to see himself thru his old age….but he wants more and so does Bush, Rockafellar and the rest of the uberrich…..this is just sickening!

  74. confloyd, it does not stop there. How long did it take Helen Thomas to retire, how much money does Barbara Walters need, sport figures who should have their nest eggs very young retire to sport commentators, and rake in more. Regis Live, Larry King, and the only reason Oprah is quiting is her audience does not like how political she became, and not for women.

    I watch these fading stars, and I wonder just how much money is enough. I feel sorry for the investors son that killed himself and his family, but many don’t have a job and are truly unemployable. Yes, many lose the trust funds for their children. There is life without limos, and his children would have trading everything to have him around.

    This country worships money and power, and I did not even start on the politcians that stay in office, too long, who cannot and don’t want to function.

  75. These people are working for power and luxuries, an don’t understand they take from others. Employers don’t understand that paying these very powerful people, and working them 24 hours a day is wrong also. Why not hire 2 or even three people and let people have a life. Funny thing is, people working those all consuming schedules don’t realize that they make less than the Janitor, and he has nights and weekends free. I will get off my soap box now

  76. I know I sounded like a socialist at my above comment, but its true, they are getting rich off the backs of reg. folks who are just scratching by. Greed is a terrible thing! Those greedy folks are the one who are ruining america.

    I just wonder how many people George Soros really employees himself? I bet its not that many yet he is accumulating massive wealth!

  77. Turndown, I can understand someone from Harpers writing something like that in 1941. It has been the rallying cry of the left ever since those dark days. William Shier, felt the United States had the same potential and wrote about it when Johnson was president. Chris Hedges writes about it today. Both were/are men of the Left. But the same causal factors are in evidence with communist revolutions. The disaffected intellectual, the displaced factory worker, economic collapse, love of the in group vs hatred of the out group (the single explanation for all history according to Maitland) are volatile mixture. Suddenly, the herd regains its ancient and evil primacy–to quote Learned Hand.

    The antecdote for this is jobs and an honest press whereas today we seem to have neither one. I marvel at a mind like Cohen who sees big media as preferable to the internet because big media is an honest gatekeeper. Nothing could be further from the truth. One could argue that in a depression the forces of social darwinism call the game, and determine who will survive. But those who do not survive typically do not go quietly into the night, and when there are enough of them with guns, computers or whatever they will destabilize a society.

    Those are merely general observations however. The specific question of who becomes a Nazi or for that matter a Bolshevik is harder to pre determine. It shares the same defects as the effort in the late 19th century to determine who would become a criminal by studying the shape and characteristics of their faces, which was as you know a form of junk science. There are too many causal factors in anyones life to gainsay whether they will follow a false god, but experience has shown, again generally, that young people, with little experience are most easily led down those paths which lead only to despair and from which no one ever returns. The Obama campaign is a classic example, and so was the Hitler Youth movement.

    Let me recommend a book to you which does a better job of explaining how serious the situation is today and how we got their. Its virtue is it is written by a brilliant judge who has no axe to grind with either political camp, and an understanding of the economic process than any economist, journalist or regulator you see today.

    “At this writing, it is more than two years since the beginning of the recession which turned into a depression in the fall of 2008, following the financial crisis in mid September of that year. The financial circuits had become overloaded; the banking industry collapsed like the light bulbs, shattered by an electrical overload. This Depression has already had profound economic, political, economic and intellectual consequences, and those consequences may continue to be felt for years to come. I am emphatic in regarding this economic downturn as a depression. The issue is more than semantic, but to explain why read chaper 6.” The Crisis of Capitalist Democracy” Richard Posner.

    “The first aim of my book is to the educated but non expert public clearly and simply–stripping away all the irrelevant detail, the economics of the business cycle and finance and the causes of the crisis, the initial responses and the dangers that lie ahead. This book seeks to equip those who need to deal with the problem–whether as lawyers, accountants, congressional staffers, civil servants, businessmen who buy financial services with the issues thrown up by the crisis.

    We need fresh economic thinking about the business cycle which builds on the original ideas of John Maynard Keynes, as distinct from their revision by practitioners of the “New Keynsian Economics” ( my own note: like Nobel Prize winning whiner Paul Krugman). I extend my criticism of present day economists emphasizing not just their failure to anticipate the crisis, but their failure to even understand it that can be summarized as the forgetfullness of Keynes.

    I canvass regulatory reforms that should be receiving serious consideration; GENERALLY THOSE ARE NOT THE REFORMS PROPOSED BY THE ADMINISTRATION AND UNDER ACTIVE CONSIDERATION BY CONGRESS. I also discuss how the role of the United States in the world is being altered, by the depression and its aftermath. IT IS NOT THAT THE ECONOMIC CHALLENGES WE FACE ARE INSURMOUNTABLE, BUT THAT WE LACK THE GOVERNMENTAL STRUCTURES, AND POLITICAL CULTURE REQUISITE FOR MEETING THEM. I do not attempt to offer a theory of political failure, but I offer plenty of evidence of it.” (Emphasis added)

  78. Something to look forward to no doubt. Why can’t we have a no confidence vote on the fraud?
    ***********

    Violence erupts in Rome after Berlusconi wins vote
    Yesterday, 07:00 pm
    Eleanor Biles

    Email StoryPrint Story
    Protesters set fire to cars, threw paint and smoke bombs at the Italian parliament and clashed with riot police on Tuesday in Rome’s worst violence for years after Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi survived a confidence vote. Skip related content

    Via del Corso, the main street stretching through the historic centre, near Berlusconi’s office and home to some of the capital’s smartest shops, was a battle scene of smoke, teargas and bloodied faces.

    Smoke rose from the Pincio Hill above the famed Spanish Steps as protesters set fire to private cars, overturned heavy trash bins and prevented fire crews from putting out the flames.

    At least 50 people were injured, including several policemen, and more than 40 protesters were detained, police said. The protesters were mostly students but also included workers and immigrants.

  79. Interesting

    http://www.mrmediatraining.com/index.php/2010/12/15/2012-election-preview-final-candidate-rankings/

    2012 Presidential Election: 18 Republican Contenders and President Obama Ranked By Communications Skills

    Better Communicator Has Won Every General Election Since Beginning of 24/7 Media Age in 1980; Marco Rubio, Haley Barbour, Mike Huckabee Rank Highest

    December 15, 2010 (Washington, DC) – Marco Rubio, Haley Barbour and Mike Huckabee are the Republican candidates most likely to defeat President Obama in 2012, according to a new analysis released today.

    The study assesses the 18 most likely Republican candidates – and President Obama – on the seven traits all winning presidential candidates have had since the beginning of the 24/7 media age in 1980. The 7,500-word series appears on the Mr. Media Training Blog, one of the world’s most visited communications training websites.

  80. As I speculated earlier, its not being greeted as a smart idea

    Obama WH to recycle defeated Dems

    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/12/15/obama-wh-to-recycle-defeated-dems/

    The idea of recycling defeated Democrats seems the most amusing strategy I’ve seen in politics since … well, since the President strategized that attending a Christmas party was more important than finishing up a joint press conference with Bill Clinton. Has it occurred to the President’s staff that voters didn’t want these Democrats in government any longer when they voted for their opponents? Instead of listening to voters, hiring a slew of defeated incumbents to run the executive branch is akin to sticking a thumb in the eye of the electorate.

    Fortunately for Obama, the lame-duck session is taking all his time at the moment, so he hasn’t moved forward with plans to hire Alan Grayson. All right, no one’s talking about hiring Grayson, except perhaps MSNBC, but Politico mentions Ted Strickland, Jennifer Granholm, and Jim Doyle, three Democratic governors who found themselves out in the cold after the elections. Of the three, only Strickland was defeated in the polls; Granholm and Doyle didn’t run for re-election, but were succeeded by Republicans in what had been considered fairly safe Democratic states. However, Obama apparently also wants job openings for defeated House incumbents Tom Perriello of Virginia and Steve Dreihaus and John Boccieri of Ohio. Given that all three got spanked in the election fairly hard, the idea of adding them to reconnect to the electorate sounds very much like a White House and President in denial.

  81. I had coffee yesterday with a friend who was a Hillary supporter, and thereafter an Obama supporter. She was head of the State Attorney Generals Association at one point in her career. Like others of her class, she has a hang-up with Sarah Palin, and she is inclined to turn the political discussion to that subject whenever she can. She told me that she spoke to some smart man who she did not name and that this smart man (pronounced pompus ass) declared that the whole Palin phenomenon is about sex. Her attitude, is that of an overachiever, who studied hard and but saw how little that counted with some men. I told her that may or may not be an element with some prehensile types, but the larger appeal is her willingness to speak for average Americans, who believe with some justification that their country is being taken away from them by the elites, and want to prevent that from happening. Unfortunately, she was not interested in hearing that explanation, but unless the elites stop and listen they will continue to misintepret and their reactions will become increasingly bizarre, because the political force she represents is larger than any single individual and will not go away. Not in this economy.

  82. confloyd
    December 15th, 2010 at 9:15 am

    I know I sounded like a socialist at my above comment, but its true, they are getting rich off the backs of reg. folks who are just scratching by. Greed is a terrible thing!
    _______________________

    confloyd- They don’t need to get rich, that is not their goal. Their purpose is to “break the backs” of the Middle Class who will then be classified as the “Working Poor.”

    I did hear something new the other day. Whoever was speaking made a slip of the tongue and for me, it all clicked into place.

    What we know and have figured out so far. There have been millions of homes foreclosured on, millions of people out of work. The devaluation of homes will continue throughout next year reducing values another 20%. Banks are dragging their feet allowing home owners selling their homes at short sales. ( “short sales” have to be approved pre-sale by the banks)

    (As of this week, the rate of interest on T-Bills is going up) When T-Bills rise, home mortgage interest rates rise.

    This is the slip I heard that is very important.

    “Only people owning their own homes will be allowed to vote.” Renters will not be considered eligible because they do not hold a vested interest (paying RE Taxes) in the city or town wherein they reside. At least that fact will be used against people who are renting the myriad of bank owned foreclosed homes.

    When this ruling will be sprung on the population was not mentioned. The ‘tongue slipper’ went silent after the association between home-owner/vote was said publicly.

    This notion is something from the middle ages- Noble/Feudal system.

  83. No Bambi. If it was dysfunctional before, you have made it more disfunctional. And just because you do not see the disconnect between what you claim and reality does not mean that the rest of us do not.

    “I don’t think there’s a sense that I’ve been successful. I think people feel that Washington still is dysfunctional.”

    — Obama in an interview with Denver’s KUSA when asked about his efforts to change Washington.

    It’s the appropriators’ last stand, as Senate Democrats roll forward a $1.1 trillion, earmark-laden spending plan to fund the government for the next year.

    Jaws dropped all over Capitol Hill as the Senate Appropriations Committee and its leader, Hawaii’s Daniel Inouye, wheeled out the 2,000-page measure that had been stitched together from a dozen smaller bills behind closed doors this week.

    The bill is so defiant of the current trend toward austerity and against pork barrel politics that it even includes $10 million to build a center in memory of Rep. John Murtha, the earmark king of Western Pennsylvania, who died amid a growing scandal over the funds he directed to his home district.

    The hope among Democratic leaders is that with a government shutdown looming on Saturday as the current spending patch expires, Republicans will be forced to accept the plan, or most of it.

    But already chafing from the deficit additions in their tax deal with President Obama, the Senate GOP is ready for a fight this time. A filibuster is possible, and a full array of delaying tactics is a certainty.

    There will also be a ripple effect across Washington.

    House Democrats say they are preparing a largely symbolic change to the estate provisions in the tax deal, slated for final passage today in the Senate. Democratic leaders had hoped to appease liberals angry over the president “caving” in his tax negotiations by setting up a year-end skirmish with the Senate over a few billion dollars from the so-called “death tax.”

    Meanwhile, the White House is looking for action by year’s end on a nuclear treaty with Russia and a repeal of the law that forbids gay service members from expressing their sexualities.

    But, as the spending bill plunges the Senate into bitter discord and a time crunch, the chances for symbolic concessions to House Democrats will darken and the time available to consider other business will disappear.

    The sense of anger among Republicans at the way Democrats have handled the appropriations seems genuine, as does the desire to show rectitude on spending after so much sniping from the right on the tax plan.

    “It’s sickening. It’s like Democrats are flipping off voters who just told them to stop the spending and stop the secrecy,” one Senate GOP aide told Power Play.

    The ire of Senate Republicans is deepened by the inclusion of GOP-backed earmarks proposed before the party’s Senate caucus voted to abjure the practice.

    By including previous requests from earmark abstainers like South Dakota’s John Thune along with GOP earmark enthusiasts like Mississippi’s Roger Wicker, Democrats may hope to keep Republicans quiet.

    “It’s pure blackmail,” said another GOP staffer.

    But Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was full of scorn for the spending bill and promised to fight it, even though it includes goodies he had previously sought for his home state of Kentucky.

    Democrats now set up a high-stakes drama for the end of this week. If Republicans can succeed in blocking the measure, the possibility of a government shutdown will loom large.

    The House has already passed a continuing resolution that would keep funding at current levels for a year, with a few tweaks. That plan has been panned in the Senate, but might again become viable if the Democratic plan in the upper chamber hits a roadblock.

    Republicans hope that Democratic overreach on spending, especially since the majority waited so long to take up budgetary issues, will give the GOP the chance to force another temporary spending patch to get the government into next year (and the new Congress) and no further.

    Obama is expected this morning to address the need for his tax compromise in remarks before his meeting with business leaders, but it’s his party’s spending plan that could cause him real headaches.

    As the president looks to shift to a posture of fiscal austerity and government reform, will he back his former Senate colleagues’ plan?

  84. moononpluto
    December 15th, 2010 at 7:54 am
    Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg is named Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

    Er why?
    &&&&&&&&&

    For being super duper rich?

    For making his web site a HUGE security risk? Which in turn means that he is “influential”?

    Or for buying the image of good will by throwing money at charities?

  85. With how silly Time’s Man of the Year has gotten, I think Time should retitle it, “Entity of the Time Period of Varying Duration”.

  86. Since I mentioned the story of Holbrooke’s last words about 24 hours ago, and suggested the story might have come from a comment at HufPo (which I hadn’t bothered to read), I should update and correct my post.

    Following Holbrooke’s death, The Washington Post, citing his family members, reported that the veteran diplomat had told his physician just before surgery on Friday to “stop this war.”

    But on Tuesday a fuller account of the tone and contents of his remarks emerged.

    As Dr. Jehan El-Bayoumi was attending to Holbrooke in the emergency room at George Washington University Hospital, she told him to relax and asked what she could do to comfort him, according to an aide who was present. Holbrooke, who was in severe pain, said jokingly that it was hard to relax because he had to worry about the difficult situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    El-Bayoumi, an Egyptian-American internist who is Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s physician, replied that she would worry for him. Holbrooke responded by telling her to end the war, the aide said.

    The aide said he could not be sure of Holbrooke’s exact words. He emphasized Tuesday that the comment was made in painful banter, rather than as a serious exhortation about policy. Holbrooke also spoke extensively about his family and friends as he awaited surgery by Farzad Najam, a thoracic surgeon of Pakistani descent.

    December 14, 2010; 2:30 PM ET

  87. rgb44hrc
    December 15th, 2010 at 10:56 am
    moononpluto

    December 15th, 2010 at 7:54 am
    Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg is named Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

    Er why?
    &&&&&&&&&

    For being super duper rich?
    _________________________

    Personal Information is KING-

    What Zuckerberg did was make it easier for Banks, Credit Card companies, Telemarketer companies, the IRS and police agencies to track your spending habits, your place of residence, your friends and relatives. As much personal information they can glean from a casual back and forth between members. They already have access to your cell phone activity, if they are so inclined.

    And they made him rich for performing a task that saved them the trouble of profiling you and everyone you know.

  88. Just like the Ignobal Peace Prize, Times “Lame Person of the Year” designation has absolutely little if any importance anymore.

  89. Barack’s not the man that Hillary is

    ELISE PATKOTAK
    Anchorage Daily News
    12/14/10

    I am now going to admit something that will cause my family to scream with horror, amusement and disbelief. But here it is. Our cousin Joe, the Joe who went to Valley Forge Military Academy and has been a conservative his entire life, the cousin Joe with whom I have agreed about pretty much nothing politically since he was marching at the academy and I was marching in the streets of the ’60s, was right about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. I should have listened to him.

    Against all that is normal and usual in our universe, my cousin Joe likes Hillary Clinton. He told me I would have buyer’s remorse with Barack Obama long before Obama’s term was anywhere near over. He suggested that if we wanted a real man in the office of president, we should elect Hillary. And dagnabit if he wasn’t right.

    As Obama “negotiated” with Republicans over tax cuts, DADT and unemployment benefits, he reminded me of nothing more than a horribly abused woman “negotiating” with her abuser to not hit her in the face. The important point to the abuser is that he still gets to hit her.

    Obama compromises by giving the Republicans everything they ask for, in return for which they graciously allow unemployed Americans to get benefits extended — benefits, it should be noted, that the unemployed paid for with every paycheck they ever earned, money that was theirs to begin with. Now, in a stunning act of noblesse oblige, the Republicans are willing to give that money back to the people who earned it, so long as their rich friends can have some too.

    I can’t see Hillary Clinton being pushed around by Republicans the way Barack Obama is.

    She’s already been through so much I can’t imagine they would scare her one bit. After all, she’s married to Bill Clinton, lived through the slings, slams and abuses of his presidency and peculiar idea of marital fidelity, and emerged not only intact but as a career woman who could stand on her own two feet and meet any man as an equal.

    I have to wonder if she doesn’t go home at night and just shake her head in weary bemusement at the facade we bought as reality when we chose Obama over her.

    He said we could believe in change and he would lead us in that change. Two years later, a period during which his party held power in all three branches of government, we still have Guantanamo, still have DADT as a misbegotten national policy, still kowtow to the rich as if we’re afraid they’ll turn on us and still have the same economic policies of the last administration that led us into this disaster in the first place.

    The current financial policy has been in place for more than 10 years and, shocking as this is to most Republicans, it’s not working. Turns out that giving the rich more money does not cause them to invest in America as much as they invest in increasing their own wealth. I view our current fiscal policy requiring tax breaks for the very rich as the Republicans’ financial version of the War on Drugs. No matter how long it continues, no matter how inefficient and costly, no matter how many studies show it is an abject failure, they will cling to it as absolutely necessary for America’s survival.

    Obama claims he “negotiated” a tax compromise with the Republicans because it was their top priority. Yet somehow the negotiations did not end up with Democrats — his party, in case he’s forgotten — getting any of their top priorities. That is one weird idea of compromise.

    At least Nancy Pelosi led the House to stand up to both the Republicans and her president and said not only no, but hell no. Once again, the Democrats seem to not have many men with enough testosterone to go around. So thank god for women and their estrogen. It gets them through childbirth, child-rearing and the childish behavior of men who are frightened by Republicans who go bump in the night.

    Joe was so right. I am definitely suffering from buyer’s remorse. I completely missed the fact that Obama would become the most effective Republican in office today.

    Elise Patkotak is an Alaska writer and author of “Parallel Logic,” her memoir of 28 years in Barrow.

    http://www.adn.com/2010/12/14/1604475/baracks-not-the-man-that-hillary.html

  90. Mrs. SMith,
    This is just horrid, only home/land owners could vote! They want a China here no doubt. Have you ever seen Z-Big eyes light up when he speaks of China?? I don’t think they’ll get that thru without making ownership of guns illegal.

    Americans better wake up before its too late!

  91. This brief excerpt perhaps makes this summary sound overdrawn, but Glenn Greenwald explains this factually with links.

    Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U.S. Army Private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, has never been convicted of that crime, nor of any other crime. Despite that, he has been detained at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia for five months — and for two months before that in a military jail in Kuwait — under conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture.

    [25 paragraph snip]

    What all of this achieves is clear. Having it known that the U.S. could and would disappear people at will to “black sites,” assassinate them with unseen drones, imprison them for years without a shred of due process even while knowing they were innocent, torture them mercilessly, and in general acts as a lawless and rogue imperial power created a climate of severe intimidation and fear. Who would want to challenge the U.S. Government in any way — even in legitimate ways — knowing that it could and would engage in such lawless, violent conduct without any restraints or repercussions?

    That is plainly what is going on here. Anyone remotely affiliated with WikiLeaks, including American citizens (and plenty of other government critics), has their property seized and communications stored at the border without so much as a warrant. Julian Assange — despite never having been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crime — has now spent more than a week in solitary confinement with severe restrictions under what his lawyer calls “Dickensian conditions.” But Bradley Manning has suffered much worse, and not for a week, but for seven months, with no end in sight. If you became aware of secret information revealing serious wrongdoing, deceit and/or criminality on the part of the U.S. Government, would you — knowing that you could and likely would be imprisoned under these kinds of repressive, torturous conditions for months on end without so much as a trial: just locked away by yourself 23 hours a day without recourse — be willing to expose it? That’s the climate of fear and intimidation which these inhumane detention conditions are intended to create.

    Wednesday, Dec 15, 2010 02:15 ET
    http://www.salon.com/news/wikileaks/index.html?story=/opinion/greenwald/2010/12/14/manning

    And we thought the Bush years were bad.

  92. ohanson
    December 15th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    —————
    I thought Bradley Manning was detained because there was steadfast evidence against him. I also thought that he was awaiting trial.

  93. Mrs. Smith
    December 15th, 2010 at 10:29 am
    This is the slip I heard that is very important.

    “Only people owning their own homes will be allowed to vote.” Renters will not be considered eligible because they do not hold a vested interest (paying RE Taxes) in the city or town wherein they reside. At least that fact will be used against people who are renting the myriad of bank owned foreclosed homes.
    *****************************
    Can you provide more context for this statement, such as:
    the context (a personal conversation, tv, other media)
    If you can’t name the source, can you give us an idea of what position the person holds in relation to govt. business or politics, etc.
    Considering the source, how much weight do you give to it’s accuracy (it sounds like you gave it some weight at the time).
    Thanks.

  94. BigCatLover
    December 15th, 2010 at 12:20 pm
    Mrs. Smith
    December 15th, 2010 at 10:29 am
    This is the slip I heard that is very important.

    “Only people owning their own homes will be allowed to vote.”
    &&&&&&&&&

    With more and more people losing their homes, such a policy would mean less voters. It also disenfranchises citizens who are too poor to vote, or for whatever reason (temporary job situation, for example) are renting.

    I find this hard to believe.

    But then again, in 2006, I would have been completely incredulous if someone told me that the newbie freshman senator from Illinois could have possibly been installed into office.

  95. confloyd
    December 15th, 2010 at 11:59 am
    Mrs. SMith,
    This is just horrid, only home/land owners could vote!
    _____________________________

    Obama and his new alliance with the Republicans will get it through- It’s the old frog theory. The frog sitting in a bucket of cold water but gradually the water is heating up to a boil but the frog doesn’t realize he is in danger.

    You can see by my earlier post this morning on SS and Medicare. They are creeping ever slowly to kill SS and Medicare, using the stagnant economy and huge deficit as the excuse for rolling back public services. Cutting service which the public, by LAW, is entitled to- The same ‘public’ they are cutting back on, responsible for bailing out the insolvent banks and investment companies who squandered their clients money gambling on commodities. aka: derivatives.

    If you’re thinking when Republicans come to power Jan6th they will move to Impeach Obama, well, I’d rather have a drink with you and pretend we’re moving to another country.

  96. Boehner: On Earmarks, It’s Time for the President to Back Up His Words With Action (you’ll be a long time waiting)

    http://gopleader.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=217525

    Washington (Dec 15)

    House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement on President Obama and Senate Democrats’ pork-filled ‘omnibus’ spending bill:

    “One month ago today, President Obama said that we can’t afford wasteful earmark spending during these tough economic times, and that he would work to end earmark spending. Now it is time for him to back up those words with action, by making it clear that he will veto the omnibus spending bill written by Senate Democrats, which includes over 6,000 earmarks.

    “At a time when the federal government is borrowing 41 cents out of every dollar it spends from our kids and grandkids, this is a ‘Christmas tree’ our nation simply can’t afford. The American people have spoken. It’s time to end Washington’s job-killing spending binge – and now the ball is in President Obama’s court.”

  97. “Only people owning their own homes will be allowed to vote.”

    ============

    Vote on what?

    On some local property tax increases, maybe? More likely, something even more limited in scope.

  98. Unconstitutional Healthcare For All

    Dec. 15 2010
    By TRAVIS COLLINS

    In the third decision out of approximately 2 dozen lawsuits, nationwide, against the constitutionality of the Obama health reform bill, US District Judge Henry Hudson has ruled that the government cannot force Americans to purchase mandatory health insurance or penalize those that fail to comply. Those opposed to the Court’s ruling like Jon Walker of FireDogLake, who appeared on DemocracyNow! on Dec. 12, 2010 are quick to point out that the judge was appointed by former President George W. Bush and that Hudson is a partial owner of Campaign Solutions, a Republican consulting firm that has worked to oppose Obama’s healthcare reform. The argument, and it is a valid one, is that Hudson should have recused himself based on this relationship.

    Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs defended the Constitutionality of the bill by pointing out that the previous two rulings (both by decisions made by Democrat Judges) were found in favor of the healthcare reform bill. This, in and of itself, is an outstandingly absurd response to the Virginia Court’s ruling. Think about it for a second, he is arguing that only one out of three US Judges find the individual mandate portion of the bill unconstitutional, IS HE SERIOUS?!? If any judge finds any piece of any legislation unconstitutional, it should be taken extremely seriously. Should the judge’s ruling be found to be completely erroneous and/or a piece of political grandstanding, it should be at the Judge’s peril, but until such a time as he/she is discredited, we should look at the merits of those decisions and move forward to with all due deference to that lofty position, Republican or Democrat.

    What is perhaps more vexing, is the short term political memories of everyone involved in this argument. The Individual mandate was essentially a lobby demand championed by republicans and favored by big business darlings like Mitt Romney and Hilary Clinton. PBS News staple Frontline reported on April 13, 2010, that the President was against the mandate, but was forced to capitulate in order to get support from private insurance companies. Remember that Pres. Obama had originally supported a public option. If the political headwinds have changed, why is the administration and healthcare reform supporters fighting it? This is an Obama administration victory waiting to happen! The administration should be supporting this ruling, making clear that it only adopted the mandate in order to move the legislation forward, and now that the republicans have come around to the President’s way of thinking, or to quote John Boehner, have found “common ground,” that he will happily amend the bill.

    There is no question that bill has some excellent elements to it, extending coverage, protecting policy holders from loopholes, eliminating the pre-existing condition clauses, things that all sides of the political spectrum can get behind. Things that should have been in place anyway. But let’s face it, this bill, as it exists today, is a backhanded tax and a large one at that. The only difference being that these taxes go directly into the hands of private industry, companies already making annual profits in the billions. While the bill provides some oversight and control of these entities, it in no way gives the level of control that we would have if they were government run. Removing the mandate would eliminate this tax-like component of the bill, still provide the much needed consumer protections, and protect the unsung victims of this bill, those living just above the Medicaid line. People who when forced to choose between insurance and basic necessities (like food, school, or gas) may need to incur the proposed penalties just to mitigate the net-loss, resulting in fewer necessities and no insurance.

    Is Free-Market Capitalism free when the government forces you to buy particular products? Is a company private when it’s services are government mandated? Does this sound constitutional to you?

    http://blogs.forbes.com/traviscollins/2010/12/15/unconstitutional-healthcare-for-all/

  99. Mrs. S.

    “Only people owning their own homes will be allowed to vote.”

    ——–
    That’s why God invented really sharply pointed pitchforks and let humans have guns.

    I don’t own a gun, but the minute something like this takes place, I will buy the biggest, Dirty Harry’est gun I can find.

  100. rgb44hrc

    Only people owning their own homes will be allowed to vote.”
    &&&&&&&&&

    With more and more people losing their homes, such a policy would mean less voters. It also disenfranchises citizens who are too poor to vote, or for whatever reason (temporary job situation, for example) are renting.
    __________________________

    What it would mean is the only people eligible to vote would be people owning real estate. If they can afford paying higher income taxes, real estate taxes, all the planned new taxes heaped on homeowners (i.e. Taxing Rainwater Runnoff under the EPA) I posted about yesterday. Then take into consideration the planned cuts on Social Security and Medicare. People owning their own homes outright without their retirement income would eventually lose they homes to foreclosure. They will not be able to afford paying all the new taxes on a fixed income. Plus the fact, the IRS is going to drop the interest you pay on your mortgage as a tax deduction.

    All you will have left is the RICH after this CLASS cleansing gradually comes about, sifting through and legislating away income sources- 401Ks are not even safe.. The RICH will be the only class left eligible to vote. They will keep the scheme going until they have penetrated every avenue of income through job losses raising the stakes for home ownership with all the new taxes Obama and the Republicans are planning on putting in place.

    We dodged a bullet when the Cap n Trade Tax was scuttled in Copenhagen. However, we are still facing the CO2 Tax Obama is planning to put through the EPA using the excuse humans are responsible for Global Warming and we need mo money to fix it. We are not responsible for Global Warming and no amount of money can change that.

    Climate change is a natural evolutionary process of the Earth.

    I don’t know if I’ve explained this clearly enough. If not, let me know.

  101. Boehner: On Earmarks, It’s Time for the President to Back Up His Words With Action (you’ll be a long time waiting)
    ———————–When keeping his word stands in the way of a campaign contribution the son of a bitch will always back down from doing what is right for the country.

  102. JanH
    December 15th, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    ohanson
    December 15th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    I thought Bradley Manning was detained because there was steadfast evidence against him. I also thought that he was awaiting trial.

    —————

    He’s been waiting seven months for an an Article 32 hearing required in order to determine whether there is enough evidence to merit a general court martial. Seven months of torturous solitary confinement. Not allowed to exercise in his cell, denied sheet and pillow, medicated… Seven months.

    ——————-

    There is a reasonable argument made 9not by Greenwald) that he is just a ‘fall guy’ in this story:

    A definitive understanding of what really happened is virtually impossible to acquire, largely because almost everything that is known comes from a single, extremely untrustworthy source: Lamo himself. Compounding that is the fact that most of what came from Lamo has been filtered through a single journalist — Poulsen — who has a long and strange history with Lamo, who continues to possess but not disclose key evidence, and who has been only marginally transparent about what actually happened here…

    [and]

    The Army does not give PFC’s the keys to the officer’s latrine unless they want the toilets cleaned.

    Private First Class is the third-lowest rank there is. Most soldiers make PFC after one year in service. (When I was in some people actually started out at that rank, such as graduates of high school Junior ROTC.) If you stay out of trouble a promotion to Spec 4/E-4 is pretty much automatic after two years.

    “Intelligence analyst” with a Top Secret clearance isn’t exactly a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) for high school drop-outs. The geekier your MOS, the faster you’ll make rank. A G-2 tech job is about as cushy as it gets in the Army. They stay “in the rear with the gear.”

    If Manning was in the service working at Divisional G-2 for three years and is only a PFC then he’s had some troubles. It couldn’t have been anything serious enough to get him kicked out but he must have been reduced in rank due to an Article 15 at least once.

    How the hell does a PFC [who got busted in rank] get that kind of access…?

    http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2010/11/bradley-lee-harvey-manning.html

    ========================

    As long as I’m posting, here are some relevant comments from others at Greenwald:

    Meanwhile, true to form, the doublespeak is deafening. As Brother Barack made clear:
    “From Europe to the Pacific, we have been a nation that has shut down torture chambers and replaced tyranny with the rule of law. That is who we are. And where terrorists offer only the injustice of disorder and destruction, America must demonstrate that our values and institutions are more resilient than a hateful ideology.”

    ——————–

    I wandered over to NPR and, what do you know, they have a story this morning on how the Obama White House is defending whistle-blowers (seriously).

    The piece actually says, “The Obama administration has taken steps to help whistle-blowers in other ways.”

    ———————-

    [Not recruiting, just pointing out this is scheduled]…

    I cannot think of a more appropriate way to protest the US government’s torture of detainees than by becoming one oneself, even if only overnight in the city jail. This is what Dan Ellsberg and others will be doing when they chain themselves to the fence that surrounds the White House tomorrow, as part of a demonstration against US government policies of illegal war and torture.

    If you would like to join Ellsberg, meet tomorrow, Thursday, December 16, in Lafayette Park opposite the White House. The event starts at 10AM.

    Some of the group will be taking part in non-violent civil disobedience, and are planning for their probable arrest. Included in the group who are taking part in this action, beside Ellsberg, are:
    Ray McGovern, writer, retired CIA officer turned activist.

    Chris Hedges a former foreign correspondent for The New York Times and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for journalism. His most recent book is The Death of the Liberal Class.

    Medea Benjamin, an American political activist, best known for co-founding the anti-war group Code Pink.
    Dr. Margaret Flowers, activist and leader in the 16,000-member Physicians for a National Health Program.

    ——————————-

    Something has gone terribly wrong when Bradeley Manning is in solitary confinement and war criminals like Bush, Cheney, Condi Rice and Rumsfeld are not.

    ——————————-

    Have you seen the helicopter gunship footage clearly showing innocent reporters and children being slaughtered? Manning is accused of releasing that to wikileaks.]

  103. Mrs. Smith
    December 15th, 2010 at 1:38 pm
    &&&&

    Yeah, that’s what I thought you meant.

    It just seems such an obvious power grab, that the rich people who already control everything would risk flaunting their obvious control and therefore incur blowback.

    The way it is, the wealthy already control the laws and the lawmakers. Us “little people” get to feel like we have any say at all by trundling out to the polls every two years. Okay, that’s totally cynical, and I am not trying to undermine the value of a person’s vote.

    I just think they couldn’t get away with REDUCING the number of voters, returning us to the good old days when only white, male, landowners could vote. And there’s no need for them to do that.

  104. http://www.rollcall.com/news/Sherrod-Brown-Poll-In-Trouble-201528-1.html

    Pollsters find Sherrod Brown in trouble for 2012 in Ohio.

    Four years after defeating Republican Sen. Mike DeWine in a nationalized race, Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown looks to be in for a tough re-election race of his own.

    In a new Public Policy Polling survey, Brown gets a 40 percent approval rating and never takes more than 43 percent of the vote against any of the four Republicans tested. In a rematch with DeWine, who was just elected to be attorney general on Nov. 2, both candidates would take 43 percent.

    Brown also led Secretary of State-elect Jon Husted 43 percent to 38 percent and Lt. Gov.-elect Mary Taylor 40 percent to 38 percent.

    Matched up against Rep. Jim Jordan, the incoming head of the Republican Study Committee who Ohio sources believe is considering a bid, Brown leads 43 percent to 35 percent.

    The survey from the Democratic-leaning firm was taken of 510 registered voters from Dec. 10-12 with a 4.3-point margin of error.

  105. wbboei said, about the 1941 article I posted:
    But the same causal factors are in evidence with communist revolutions. The disaffected intellectual, the displaced factory worker, economic collapse, love of the in group vs hatred of the out group (the single explanation for all history according to Maitland) are volatile mixture.
    [….]
    experience has shown, again generally, that young people, with little experience are most easily led down those paths which lead only to despair and from which no one ever returns. The Obama campaign is a classic example, and so was the Hitler Youth movement.

    ===============

    That’s what I expected you to see, because it’s what I saw too. (For one thing, it could have been a scene from ATLAS SHRUGGED.) Doesn’t matter what the fashionable movement is: left or right. The same people will be attracted to it. IE the people who look to some big political/economic change to solve their own personal problems, give them something to center on.

    It’s the people who are already happy in themselves, with what they’re already doing, who won’t get interested in such movement. (And maybe, those who have the sort of education that gives them a longer view, centuries longer, and interests in something way outside politics.)

  106. KRAUTHAMMER GIVES OBAMA CREDIT FOR SISTA-SOULJA’ING HIS BASE

    Sometime Krautmeister nails it. But in this one (where he gives Obama credit for outfoxing Dems and Repubs, while helping his re-election chances), I think he is one of the few people that believe Obama pulled one off.

    And he thinks the Dems have no choice but to renominate him because:

    “For decades, African Americans have been this party’s most loyal constituency. They vote 9 to 1 Democratic through hell and high water, through impeachment and recession, through everything. After four centuries of enduring much, African Americans finally see one of their own achieve the presidency. And their own party is going to deny him a shot at his own reelection?”

    Chuck, maybe you haven’t realized that Zerobama is not leading anyone toward victory; not his party, not his own sorry arse. Obama didn’t know how to govern with a majority, and he’s showing he won’t know how to deal with split government.

    So giving him an A+ for being wily seems quite odd.

    Chuck, you hitting the hopium???

    washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/09/AR2010120904472.html

    Swindle of the year
    ===================

    By Charles Krauthammer
    Friday, December 10, 2010

    Barack Obama won the great tax-cut showdown of 2010 – and House Democrats don’t have a clue that he did. In the deal struck this week, the president negotiated the biggest stimulus in American history, larger than his $814 billion 2009 stimulus package. It will pump a trillion borrowed Chinese dollars into the U.S. economy over the next two years – which just happen to be the two years of the run-up to the next presidential election. This is a defeat?

    If Obama had asked for a second stimulus directly, he would have been laughed out of town. Stimulus I was so reviled that the Democrats banished the word from their lexicon throughout the 2010 campaign. And yet, despite a very weak post-election hand, Obama got the Republicans to offer to increase spending and cut taxes by $990 billion over two years. Two-thirds of that is above and beyond extension of the Bush tax cuts but includes such urgent national necessities as windmill subsidies.

    No mean achievement. After all, these are the same Republicans who spent 2010 running on limited government and reducing debt. And this budget busting occurs less than a week after the president’s deficit commission had supposedly signaled a new national consensus of austerity and frugality.

    Some Republicans are crowing that Stimulus II is the Republican way – mostly tax cuts – rather than the Democrats’ spending orgy of Stimulus I. That’s consolation? This just means that Republicans are two years too late. Stimulus II will still blow another near-$1 trillion hole in the budget.

    At great cost that will have to be paid after this newest free lunch, the package will add as much as 1 percent to GDP and lower the unemployment rate by about 1.5 percentage points. That could easily be the difference between victory and defeat in 2012.

    Obama is no fool. While getting Republicans to boost his own reelection chances, he gets them to make a mockery of their newfound, second-chance, post-Bush, Tea-Party, this-time-we’re-serious persona of debt-averse fiscal responsibility.

    And he gets all this in return for what? For a mere two-year postponement of a mere 4.6-point increase in marginal tax rates for upper incomes. And an estate tax rate of 35 percent – it jumps insanely from zero to 55 percent on Jan. 1 – that is somewhat lower than what the Democrats wanted.

    No, cries the left: Obama violated a sacred principle. A 39.6 percent tax rate versus 35 percent is a principle? “This is the public option debate all over again,” said Obama at his Tuesday news conference. He is right. The left never understood that to nationalize health care there is no need for a public option because Obamacare turns the private insurers into public utilities, thus setting us inexorably on the road to the left’s Promised Land: a Canadian-style single-payer system. The left is similarly clueless on the tax-cut deal: In exchange for temporarily forgoing a small rise in upper-income rates, Obama pulled out of a hat a massive new stimulus – what the left has been begging for since the failure of Stimulus I but was heretofore politically unattainable.

    Obama’s public exasperation with this infantile leftism is both perfectly understandable and politically adept. It is his way back to at least the appearance of centrist moderation. The only way he will get a second look from the independents who elected him in 2008 – and abandoned the Democrats in 2010 – is by changing the prevailing (and correct) perception that he is a man of the left.

    Hence that news-conference attack on what the administration calls the “professional left” for its combination of sanctimony and myopia. It was Obama’s Sister Souljah moment. It had a prickly, irritated sincerity – their ideological stupidity and inability to see the “long game” really do get under Obama’s skin – but a decidedly calculated quality, too. Where, after all, does the left go? Stay home on Election Day 2012? Vote Republican?

    No, says the current buzz, the left will instead challenge Obama for the Democratic nomination. Really now? For decades, African Americans have been this party’s most loyal constituency. They vote 9 to 1 Democratic through hell and high water, through impeachment and recession, through everything. After four centuries of enduring much, African Americans finally see one of their own achieve the presidency. And their own party is going to deny him a shot at his own reelection?

    Not even Democrats are that stupid. The remaining question is whether they are just stupid enough to not understand – and therefore vote down – the swindle of the year just pulled off by their own president.

  107. BigCatLover
    December 15th, 2010 at 12:20 pm
    ___________________

    The only thing I can tell you is I heard it on tv probably while I was reading or posting here. I wasn’t paying attention to who it was or who the interviewer was… It was on one of the major new sources like CNN when we were watching for wikileaks. Whoever it was- was dismissed as soon as the statement was made- but it caught my ear when it was said…

    Just now, I googled ‘only the wealthy can vote’ and linked to a prediction 200 yrs ago by President John Adams. The premise of his statement begins with the election of Washington. Adams predicted what will happen in the future as many of the Founding Fathers predicted if America’s seat of power can only be gained by the wealthy. It doesn’t mention oppression of the middle class, but then again the middle class didn’t exist 200 years ago. There were only two classes, the Rich and the Poor. This is the system the Rich want to recreate. Oppressing the middle class to the point of eliminating it, so the ordinary working man doesn’t have a voice or a say in how the country is run.

  108. Breaking news…Dems selling out

    Dems Agree to Drop ‘Don’t Ask’ and Abortion Funds in Push to Pass Defense Bill.

    Looks like Dems caving for everything.

  109. Sometime Krautmeister nails it. But in this one (where he gives Obama credit for outfoxing Dems and Repubs, while helping his re-election chances), I think he is one of the few people that believe Obama pulled one off.
    —————————
    He nails it here as well, I am afraid. I agree with him. It is like the battle of Queson. The media calls it a defeat but it is not. A second stimulus it is. And that is why I hope it gets shot down. Notice how scumbag Reid is heaping all the kindling wood he can on the fire now. Are the Republicans willing to fight for anything at this point, or will they simply roll over. The question is superfluous. We know the answer. John is not a strogn leader, and the so called young guns have become Chamberlainesque in their response.

  110. Looks like Dems caving for everything.
    __________________

    No opposition to Republicans or vice versa- They all need to be eliminated, if you know what I mean.

  111. The way it is, the wealthy already control the laws and the lawmakers. Us “little people” get to feel like we have any say at all by trundling out to the polls every two years.
    [….]
    I just think they couldn’t get away with REDUCING the number of voters, returning us to the good old days when only white, male, landowners could vote. And there’s no need for them to do that.

    ===============

    THanks for good sense!

    Let the people
    Think they choose
    As long as we
    Control the news.

    —-

    “It doesn’t matter who votes. What matters is who counts the votes.”

    ——–

    Not to mention what a ridiculous change in laws would be necessary to do what’s claimed (unless in some very very limited area such as a local land tax division). Sounds more like something in a gated homeowner’s association area. Or more likely a joke!

  112. “It doesn’t matter who votes. What matters is who counts the votes.”
    __________________________

    That quote was relevant before the power grab. Hold on to your shorts and open your eyes, turndown.

    The grab cometh.

  113. and down he goes

    UTICA, N.Y. – President Barack Obama’s job approval rating has dipped to 39 percent, equaling a low since he took office two years ago, according to a newly released Zogby Interactive poll.

    A majority of likely voters – 63 percent – see the President as a weak leader, compared to just 19 percent who say he is strong. More than two thirds (68 percent) believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction.

    When asked about Obama’s negotiation with Congressional Republicans, 26 percent said that he gives in too easily, 19 percent said that he is unwilling to compromise and 18 percent said that he takes the right approach. One third did not agree with any of those three descriptions.

    http://njtoday.net/2010/12/15/obama-approval-reaches-low-of-39/

  114. Dems Agree to Drop ‘Don’t Ask’ and Abortion Funds in Push to Pass Defense Bill.
    ———————————
    That is not a concession in the current political debate because this can be done by executive order.

    You cannot play poker with confederate money.

  115. 63 percent – see the President as a weak leader
    ——————-
    Cartereque? Or a worse than Carter? I vote for door II/

  116. When everything hits the fan and more people become aware of the plans in the works; is when Hillary will rise

    Rise Hillary, Rise!

  117. No opposition to Republicans or vice versa- They all need to be eliminated, if you know what I mean
    ———————
    QED

  118. RGB: I have disagreed with Krauthammer in the past, and subsequent events have proven me wrong. The man has uncanny instincts.

  119. Mrs.Smith,
    Yes we might as well have that drink and imagine we’re all moving to Australia and taking Hillary with us….they love her there…LOL! Its the ignoramus American people who let the two parties sway them back and forth every 4 years. Both parties are paid by the same corporations….so guess who loses…US.

    I hope people wake up to the fact that rethugs and dems alike are bought and paid for and the house of representatives and the senate are nothing more than glorified broadway shows.

    I’ve joined “no Labels”, several Clintonites are in power there! No labels and the real teaparty needs to come to power and kick out the entrenced power in D.C.

    Hillary will rise when it all comes down the pipe!! People will realize they’ve been bamboozled by both sides!

  120. Mrs. Smith
    December 15th, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    When everything hits the fan and more people become aware of the plans in the works; is when Hillary will rise

    Rise Hillary, Rise!


    I second that!

    Rise Hillary, Rise!

  121. wbb-

    I wasn’t being facetious asking why Krauthammer doesn’t like Hillary. I haven’t followed his columns. Do you know? I read his latest column and he is very supportive of Obama.

  122. Shadow and Confloyd:

    All I can say about this predicament we are in is to keep the faith. No one can be more aware of what is happening and what is planned to happen in the future than the Clintons… Neither one of them is looking to retire from the political world any time soon-

    So, I’m going to hold that thought and wait- there’s nothing we can do about it anyway.

  123. ohanson
    December 15th, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    ————
    Thank you for the clarification. Seems to be the scapegoat factor here.

  124. Don’t worry obamabimbo, Hillary will save the day…

    Clinton launches reform of US diplomacy
    (AFP) – 1 hour ago

    WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday launched a reform of US diplomacy that will turn ambassadors into corporate-like CEOs tasked with helping a country develop and avoid armed conflict.

    Wary of Republican calls for cost-cutting, Clinton promised that the reforms at the State Department and the US Agency for International Development, USAID, seek to “minimize costs and maximize impacts, avoid overlap and duplication.”

    In a speech marking the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, Clinton pledged to enhance America’s civilian power overseas, drawing from experts not only in the State Department but across the federal government.

    Her speech was also a tribute to Richard Holbrooke, the US special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan who died on Monday from heart surgery, saying his work was a model for the reforms being undertaken.

    “Professionals at the Department of Agriculture know how to boost crop yields and irrigate fields in Kansas and in Kandahar,” the chief US diplomat told State Department and USAID colleagues.

    “Justice Department experts are adept at strengthening rule of law in countries whose democracies are young and vulnerable,” she said.

    “To achieve our goals — for example, tipping a fragile state away from conflict and toward stability — all elements of America?s civilian power must be prepared to work together,” Clinton said.

    “This is a program of reforms that will fundamentally change the way we do business,” she said.

    In drawing on experts from across the government, the State Department and USAID will also work more closely with US government agencies which also work abroad, she said.

    She did not name them but they include the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce as well as the intelligence agencies.

    “We will support our diplomats as they reach beyond their embassy walls to engage directly with foreign publics, the private sector, NGOs, and civil society — including with women and others who are too often on the sidelines,” she said.

    “And we will ensure that our development experts have the tools they need to lead projects themselves, not just dispense grants and manage contracts,” she said.

    “At the heart of this effort will be our ambassadors and chiefs of mission, who are responsible for directing and coordinating US government personnel in their countries,” she said.

    “We will empower them and hold them accountable as CEOs of multi-agency missions,” she said, adding they will be chosen for their posts partly based on their experience working with other government agencies.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hoBcOTzAJp9GN1krcQ3fAMGohyZQ?docId=CNG.f5101c535ed3b394f79d8c72e83edaba.6e1

  125. Consider the source NYTs…and why are they just thinking of other possibilities and exposing how poorly planned this Hell Care Bill is?

    —–

    Ruling Has Some Mulling the Necessity of Mandating Insurance

    WASHINGTON — Though they have battled for more than a year, President Obama and the health insurance industry agree that the requirement for most Americans to obtain insurance, struck down by a federal judge, is absolutely essential to the success of the new health care law.

    Without it, they say, the whole package collapses, dashing hopes for universal coverage and cost control. Ripping the mandate from the law would have “devastating consequences,” the White House said Tuesday.

    But not everyone agrees. In the wake of the decision Monday, which held that the individual mandate was unconstitutional, some lawmakers and some consumer advocates are investigating possible alternatives.

    “I am not a big fan of the individual mandate,” said Senator Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska, who voted reluctantly for the health legislation.

    Mr. Nelson said he had asked the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress, to identify possible alternatives and to analyze how effective they would be in extending coverage to the uninsured.

    Jamie Court, the president of Consumer Watchdog, a liberal advocacy group, said, “The health insurance purchase mandate is not necessary for health care reform to work.” Indeed, Mr. Court said, it was “a sop to health insurance companies,” which guarantees they will have millions of new customers, without a firm cap on how much they can charge.

    One alternative to the individual mandate would create financial incentives for people to buy insurance. For example, health policy experts said, insurers could offer discounts to people who sign up early, and they could increase premiums for people who delay enrollment. Medicare imposes such late-enrollment penalties on some people who delay signing up for Part B, which covers doctors’ services, and Part D, which covers prescription drugs.

    Another approach would be for insurers to limit enrollment to one or two months a year, so that consumers could not sign up on the spur of the moment, when they need care.

    Mr. Obama champions what he describes as progressive features of the law: subsidies to help low- and moderate-income people buy insurance; a requirement for insurers to offer coverage to anyone who applies; a ban on insurers’ charging higher premiums to people who are or have been sick.

    more…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/15/health/policy/15mandate.html?ref=politics

  126. “It doesn’t matter who votes. What matters is who counts the votes.”
    __________________________

    That quote was relevant before the power grab.

    ================

    Probably long before — at least back to Lenin or STalin, to whom it is attributed. I heard it first in 2000.

  127. Dash Away All!

    Your American Dream, that is.

    I’m running late so I’ll keep this short…

    In the News:

    Mike Bloomberg who is richer than Jesus, thinks he can buy his way to the presidency with his new schtick, No Labels. As if we need yet another centrist group teaching us how to speak softly to Republicans.

    A federal judge in Virginia thinks it is unconstitutional to force people to buy bad health insurance policies from private parasites insurance companies. This may be the first and last time we may agree with a conservative Republican about anything.

    The Senate voted for cloture on the tax bill that they’re going to stick us with while further undermining the social safety net. Sanders, Leahy, Brown, Hagan, Voinovich, Lautenberg and Gillibrand were among those who voted No on cloture. Reward good behavior. Send them a note of thanks.

    Bernie Sanders had this to say on the Obama-McConnell Deficit Increase and Social Safety Net Destruction Plan:

    “It makes no sense to me to provide huge tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires while we drive up the national debt that our children and grandchildren will have to pay. I further object strenuously to the lowering of rates on the estate tax, which only benefits the top 0.3 percent, the very, very wealthiest people in this country. I also am concerned about a significant precedent which diverts $112 billion in payroll taxes away from the Social Security trust fund. Our goal now must be to strengthen Social Security, not weaken it. Of course we must extend unemployment benefits and the tax breaks that the middle class desperately needs, but in my view we could have and should have negotiated a much stronger agreement.”

    No, it doesn’t make any sense but they’re going to do it anyway. Well, what did the Obamabots expect when they allowed 1800000 voters to be thrown under the bus by Obama and the DNC and they never raised a peep?

    Riverdaughter

  128. Shadowfax,

    I thought I read somewhere in the last few days that
    Bloomberg denied categorically that he was going to run for potus.

  129. One alternative to the individual mandate would create financial incentives for people to buy insurance.

    ==============

    So is anyone talking about Hillary’s method? Wait till someone shows up at the ER and then someone signs them up.

  130. Clinton launches reform of US diplomacy
    (AFP) – 1 hour ago

    WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday launched a reform of US diplomacy that will turn ambassadors into corporate-like CEOs tasked with helping a country develop and avoid armed conflict.

    =====================

    Wow, Hillary as CEO of the world?

  131. Have you noticed that big media has picked up a new word–mulling to characterize the aimless deliberations of congress–such as they are. Oh they sure mulled over Obama care and as a result they absorbed every detail of that 3000 page tome. Then they mulled again over so called tax compromise and passed it in the senate like good stooges. And now they are mulling again over a new trillion dollar budget larded with wasteful pork. The one thing they do not seem to mull much is the opinion of the American People. It is as if November never happened. And a 13% approval rating is just fine. Nothing to mull on.

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