Zuckerberg And Steele – Lessons On Misogyny and Race

Mark Zuckerberg, the boy responsible for Facebook, has been named Time Man Of The Year. We’re not surprised. The sexists and the misogynists are two peas in a pod.

Time magazine lards its essay on Zuckerberg with blather about the “cerebral neocortex” and evolutionary biology. Also fascinating to Time’s editors are the “narcissism and voyeurism” of “social media” of which the editors confess on behalf of the human race “Most of us display a combination of the two….”

What Time magazine does not mention is the sexism and misogyny of their boy of the year. In all likelihood, Time magazine does not mention the sexism and misogyny of their boy because the editors don’t see as worth mentioning something they themselves display regularly.

Let’s recall a bit of Zuckerberg history which we wrote about in October of this year:

“This week we learn, via Aaron Sorkin as he defends the woman hate displayed in his latest film about the founding of Facebook, about Chris Hughes and his frat-boy friends:

“It’s not hard to understand how bright women could be appalled by what they saw in the movie but you have to understand that that was the very specific world I was writing about. Women are both prizes [and] equal. Mark’s blogging that we hear in voiceover as he drinks, hacks, creates Facemash and dreams of the kind of party he’s sure he’s missing, came directly from Mark’s blog. … Facebook was born during a night of incredibly misogyny. The idea of comparing women to farm animals, and then to each other, based on their looks and then publicly ranking them. …

More generally, I was writing about a very angry and deeply misogynistic group of people. These aren’t the cuddly nerds we made movies about in the 80’s. They’re very angry that the cheerleader still wants to go out with the quarterback instead of the men (boys) who are running the universe right now. The women they surround themselves with aren’t women who challenge them (and frankly, no woman who could challenge them would be interested in being anywhere near them.)”

The “Mark” that Aaron Sorkin describes above, is now Time’s Man of the Year – Mark Zuckerberg.

We’re not surprised that the geeks at Time magazine would choose Mark Zuckerberg as their Man of the Year. Two reasons for our lack of surprise that bear mentioning. The first is that Time magazine editors are well aware that their long time competitor Newsweek magazine was sold for one dollar. Time magazine editors know their days are numbered and they will soon join defunct Newsweek in the ash heap. So why not suck up to the boy with billions who might one day hire them? Career before anything to these creeps.

Careers and self advancement are what is important to these geeks. That’s part of the reason why they fell in love with the boy raised by wolves whose only goal has been self-advancement and his career – Barack Obama.

The second reason why Time magazine’s editors did not view Mark Zuckerberg’s sexism and misogyny as worth mentioning in their recognition essay is that they in all likelihood share, and therefore cannot see, the sexism and misogyny of the boy they hope to work for after the front cover fellatio.

Big Media is still a boys game and these little boys just don’t like girls as equals. The little boys of Big Media are big sexists and misogynists who admire other sexists and misogynists:

“Eight Jobs That Are Still Sexist.

1. Journalism
2. Law
3. Business
4. Science and Engineering
5. Film and Entertainment
6. Politics
7. Nursing
8. Academia

In March 1970, 46 NEWSWEEK employees became the first group of media women to sue for employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Time, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, and a number of other publications would follow. But 40 years later, how much has changed? We may have two female anchors on network television, but in print journalism, male bylines still outnumber female bylines by a rate of seven to one—despite women being the majority of journalism graduates since 1977. They’re in the minority when it comes to sources, too: the Global Media Monitoring Project found that worldwide, women make up only 24 percent of the people “interviewed, heard, seen, or read about in mainstream broadcast and print news.”

The Tea Party, loathed by Big Media, won big in 2010 but was only a runner up to the boy sexist and misogynist.

Michael Steele

Michael Steele has been a spectacular success and a spectacular failure. Steele, like his Obama Dimocrat counterpart, Tim Kaine, was chosen as a token race symbol.

Tim Kaine is not really worth discussing. He has been a spectacular failure and nothing but a failure. Kaine was the Governor of Virginia who endorsed Barack Obama in February 2007. The hope was that Tim Kaine who had won in red state Virginia and who shilled shamelessly for Barack Obama would continue to turn Virginia “purple” and be a symbol to White people, particularly White Working Class people, that the Obama Dimocratic Party cared about them.

The White Working Class proved to be too discerning to fall for that fake posturing and Virginia elected a Republican governor to replace Kaine. Whites of all social strata have abandoned Obama’s Dimocratic Party. Kaine has been a mess and a total failure. Tim Kaine who once thought he would be Obama’s Vice President is a total loser.

Michael Steele was also chosen as a token race pick. After the 2008 elections Republicans knew they needed to play the race game and play it they have with amazing adroitness.

Having a Black Guy as the top guy at the Republican National Committee made it easier to criticize Barack Obama. Remember, back in November of 2008 and into January 2009, it appeared that Barack Obama would forever be protected by Big Media and that anyone who dared attack Obama would be punished and called a “racist”. By getting their own Black Guy to slap around the other Black Guy the Republicans managed to get a little space to go after Obama.

As we have written, the Republicans reacted creatively and energetically to the losses in November 2008:

“The obvious mistake that the massive “creative class” brains made when they created the Obama monster in a Chicago laboratory was that Republicans would remain static in their strategies and candidates. The stupidity was to think that Republicans would go to sleep and stick to an outdated playbook.”

As we will outline in days to come Republicans adjusted. Republicans became the party of diversity. Women, Blacks, Latinos, not only ran as Republicans but they won in 2010. Republicans also expanded their base in dramatic fashion as they grabbed senior citizens and women majorities to their now increasingly diverse appearing party. Obama Dimocrats increasingly retreated to the core Obama “situation comedy” demographics – blacks, gentry white liberals, and the temporarily young.

Like the “trophy wife” airhead who is selected to be “arm candy” for a powerful man Michael Steele had only one job – be a Black man. Like the “trophy wife” who gets in trouble by opening her mouth instead of just looking good, Michael Steele tried to turn his race-based job into something else. Steele talked and deluded himself into thinking he was hired to do more than be window dressing.

We doubt it was the presence of Michael Steele that helped the Republican Party get good candidates who are other than white males. But we will credit him for that diversity of skin color and skin shape which the Republican party is absorbing. That the Women, Blacks, and Latinos elected as Republicans have a more or less Republican/conservative philosophy and still managed to get elected is an achievement which should be respected and even admired. We’ll give Michael Steele, deserved or not, credit for all these achievements and call him a spectacular success.

But Michael Steele is also a spectacular failure. Politico has detailed some of Steele’s biggest flubs which include a recent dose of race-baiting:

“Those stumbles have come at such frequent intervals that it’s easy to forget some of his biggest doozies.

Forget the more serious criticisms of his tenure — the operational problems such as a cash crunch, the resignation of the respected political director and the flight of large donors. Or the embarrassing episodes that unfolded under Steele’s watch such as the revelation that the committee spent about $2,000 on “meals” at a bondage-themed club in West Hollywood, where topless women imitated lesbian sex. [snip]

“You know who needs a little leadership? Michael Steele and those at the RNC,” Limbaugh said on his show. “It’s time, Mr. Steele, for you to go behind the scenes and start doing the work that you were elected to do instead of trying to be some talking-head media star, which you’re having a tough time pulling off.” [snip]

At a July fundraiser, Steele questioned America’s involvement in Afghanistan, setting off a media firestorm.

The episode started with a criticism of Obama for relieving Gen. Stanley McChrystal of his command over controversial remarks he made to a Rolling Stone writer. [snip]

Using the language of the abortion rights movement, Steele told GQ magazine that he would oppose a constitutional ban on abortion.

“Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?” GQ’s Lisa DePaulo asked in a Feb. 24, 2009, interview in his office.

“Yeah. I mean, again, I think that’s an individual choice,” he said.

“You do?” he was asked.

“Yeah. Absolutely,” he said.

Under fire from anti-abortion activists, Steele later issued a statement through the RNC saying, “I am pro-life, always have been, always will be.” [snip]

On Fox News, Steele said he would consider supporting primary challengers against Republican senators who voted for Obama’s stimulus package in early 2009.

“Oh, yes, I’m always open to everything, baby, absolutely,” Steele told host Neil Cavuto.[snip]

Vincent Jericho, the Missouri-based conservative talk show host, went off on a diatribe against Rep. Roy Blunt, a former member of Republican leadership running for Senate.

The host said Blunt epitomized why the party had lost its way and even accused Blunt of adultery, arguing that “guys like Papa Blunt makes us sick to our stomach.”

Steele, Jericho’s guest for the August 2009 segment, piled on.

“I agree with you,” Steele said. [snip]

In November 2009, on NewsOne’s Washington Watch, Steele was asked about criticism that some “white Republicans” are “scared of black folks.”

Steele answered in the affirmative.

“I’ve been in the room, and they’ve been scared of me,” the first African-American chairman said in an interview. “I’m like, ‘I’m on your side.’”

Michael Steele made the mistaken assumption that anyone cares what he thinks. That’s not why he was chosen. Steele was chosen as window dressing. Steele was chosen as a black shield from which to attack Barack Obama and to send a signal that the Republican Party was able and willing to adjust tactics to win the war. Michael Steel was the black in the box who tried to get out of the box and be just like Jack. But that is not what he was hired for. His job was to stay in the box.

Michael Steele as been a spectacular failure:

“We admire his pluck, but not his judgment. It’s time for someone else to run the RNC.

Steele is an infectiously likeable guy with an inspiring personal story. The adopted son of a laundress and a truck driver who credits his bootstrapping mother and Ronald Reagan with leading him to the GOP, Steele became one of the first in his family to attend college, and spent years at the Catholic seminary of Villanova before leaving to pursue a career in law and public service that would see him become the first African American to hold statewide office in Maryland and the first to chair the Republican National Committee.

We don’t doubt he will continue to be an asset to the party and to the conservative cause in any number of ways, but he has turned out to be ill suited to the RNC job.

His engaging manner on TV was one of his attractions as a chairman two years ago. It quickly went sour. Steele doesn’t have the discipline of a party operative. Whether it was lashing out at Rush Limbaugh or calling Afghanistan “a war of Obama’s choosing,” his gaffes distracted from the work at hand. Meanwhile, the $20,000-apiece corporate speeches, the Regnery book, and the accompanying media plugs all gave Steele, fairly or not, the whiff of the political profiteer.

Likewise, his tactical choices seemed at times driven as much by personal exigencies as by party priorities. In September, with midterms kicking into high gear and every piece of data indicating that Republicans could make substantial incursions into key blue districts, where was Steele? Speechifying and fundraising in Guam — no doubt in part because the party committeemen of Guam and other U.S. territories in the Pacific and Caribbean broke heavily for Steele in 2008. A similar calculus could explain why Steele sent $20,000 from his state parties’ budget to the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, which has no voting members of Congress, zero electoral votes, and a population roughly the size of Scranton’s.

Steele has claimed credit for the historic midterm victories, but believing that he substantially contributed to Republican successes is no less delusional than Nancy Pelosi believing that she didn’t. In his resignation letter, RNC political director Gentry Collins — now a candidate for the chairmanship himself — painted a devastating picture of the fundraising mismanagement at the committee. The RNC raised $284 million for the mid-terms in 2002 and $243 million in 2006, a far better performance than the roughly $170 million for this cycle. The party’s neglect of big donors and its reliance on mass solicitations of small donors meant it spent a lot to raise this smaller amount of money.

This left it to third-party conservative groups to close the money gap and expand the field of seats in play. Even so, the RNC’s anemic grassroots mobilization and voter-turnout efforts — the kind of “ground game” that pushed Obama across the finish line in 2008 — almost certainly cost Republicans seats. No, Republican candidates had a big night despite the RNC, not because of it.”

We are very generous and will give Steele credit for the successes under his watch even as we agree with the Steele critics that it is unlikely Steele deserves the credit. But we are generous and kind. In either case Republicans do not care one whit, and they should not care, what Democrats have to say about their leadership choices. Republicans should care what their Big Donors think and many Republican Big Donors don’t think much about Steele:

“Some of the Republican Party’s most prominent donors reacted Tuesday with shock — and then fury — to Michael Steele’s decision to seek re-election, bluntly warning that they would not raise money for the party if the controversial chairman wins another term. [snip]

Al Hoffman, a longtime GOP contributor in Florida who did two separate stints as RNC finance chairman in President Bush’s first term, was just as withering: “The donor community has virtually no faith or confidence in Michael Steele’s to be the keeper of the keys.”

Originally a supporter of the chairman, Hoffman said he and many of his fellow contributors would sit on their checkbooks in a Steele sequel.

“The long and short of it is I have a hard time finding any major donor who would trust him to straighten out the RNC and run a principled and ethical fundraising operation,” said the Floridian. “Whose going to give to him as long as he’s at the helm? Not me. My own slogan is now, Anybody But Steele.”

Michael Steele, like Clarence Thomas and many white men for many years, got his job in large part based on the color of his skin. Hey, it happens. Sometimes that type of racial hiring works out, sometimes it does not.

In the case of Barack Obama, the racial hire has clearly not panned out. In the case of Michael Steele, the racial hire was a smart move. But Republicans don’t need Michael Steele anymore. Barack Obama is on the run, and there are smarter and elected Black Republicans that can now carry the fight. Michael Steele, like Barack Obama, has outlived his usefulness.

Both Barack Obama and Michael Steele are pawns in a game. Michael Steele leaves a stronger Republican party in his wake. Barack Obama leaves a devastated Dimocratic party in his wake.

For Michael Steele, the game is almost over. Barack Obama will soon enough also fall to defeat. Perhaps Mark Zuckerberg will hire them someday. Barack Obama will have the inside track for the job however.

Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg have a lot in common. They have both been Time Man of the Year. They are also sexists and misogynists.

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288 thoughts on “Zuckerberg And Steele – Lessons On Misogyny and Race

  1. A flogging in Sudan that Zuckerberg and Obama can both enjoy (graphic and sign in required to view):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVXRuAaCVlY&feature=player_embedded

    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/12/15/video-a-flogging-in-sudan/

    We’re a day late to this but it shouldn’t be missed. The scene: A street protest in downtown Khartoum (or is it Tehran, or post-U.S. Kandahar?), organized to fight … violence against women.

    The flogging is initially to her back, in keeping with the Sharia code, or Islamic law, governing flogging, but when she turns to ask for mercy, the whipping continues to the front part of her body, including her face, hands and legs…

    On late Sunday, Sudan’s Judiciary Authority, which oversees the legal system, announced it had launched an inquiry to see if the punishment had been administered improperly. The authority said nothing about the punishment itself

    Flogging is common in northern Sudan, where Islamic law is often enforced arbitrarily under the Public Order Act. Police and “public order units” have powers to enforce what is inappropriate dress or behavior. Local human rights organizations have long accused police of abusing their authority to mistreat women.

    It’s not the flogging — and laughing — that’s problematic, in other words, it’s whether they flogged her “the right way.” And lest you think the Sudanese regime somehow doesn’t realize that this is barbaric, here’s how the local police/gang reacted when a BBC reporter tried to record the beating:

    Less than two minutes after getting my microphone and recording equipment out of my bag, I was surrounded by hostile men.

    They wore plain clothes, but were clearly from a branch of the security forces. One grabbed my arm. Another gripped the microphone, trying to wrench it from my grasp.

    ‘I’m a journalist,’ I said. ‘I have a right to record this.’

    But a third man, wiry, tough, with a moustache, kicked at my legs. The move was so neatly executed, he might have been a judo champion.

    They confiscated his equipment. Given that they were trying to suppress coverage from foreign media, the only way I can explain the existence of this clip is that the cops trusted whoever was recording it. Which is to say, it might not have been intended as an expose but as a trophy video, to be circulated either as some sort of quasi-snuff film or as a warning to Sudanese women to knock off the protests pronto. Unbelievable. Needless to say, it’s difficult to watch, so please observe your official content warning.

  2. Will Obama ‘talk’ to the Sudanese to stop such inhuman acts? He was ready to negotiate with Iranians and he got the Nobel peace prize. Can he use his ‘Muslim’ upbringing and charm with the Sudanese men to stop behaving like vile animals?

  3. They really do enjoy it, they enjoy abusing women and treating them as nothing more than house slaves and baby makers.

    No other species on earth treats women like this, only the humans, in every other species, the female is either dominant or revered.

  4. Two state House Democrats are switching over to the Republican party.

    Texas State Representatives Allan Ritter of Nederland and Aaron Peña of Edinburg announced their decisions Tuesday standing alongside GOP leadership in Austin.

    Their move gives the GOP a two-thirds, 100-member super majority.

    Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie says the Republican Party will not be there for Ritter’s constituents, adding that Peña has abandoned Hidalgo County voters.

    Richie is calling for both representatives to resign and run as Republicans in a special election.

    Ritter was first elected to serve District 21 in 1998, while Peña was first elected in District 40 back in 2002.

  5. White House says VP Biden made unannounced visit to NY hospital where Saudi King Abdullah is recovering from surgery. Biden met with the King’s family, delivered a personal letter for the King from President Obama.

    …….did he bow?

  6. Dennis Miller tells a joke that the real estate company, Century 21, is called Century 4 in Islamic countries.
    As hard as it was I watched the video, I want to know exactly who my enemies are.

  7. Pingback: World Spinner
  8. I cannot watch the video that admin posted. Just reading the description is enough to piss me off!

    As for Steele, he is ok, not that competent, there is a woman who very well may win the RNC chairmanship, and I hope she wins. She sounds like a very accomplished woman. Wouldn’t surprise me that the repubs elect a woman chairmanship before the sexist idiots in the undemocratic party.

  9. Obama can’t be trusted.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46407.html

    Getting 535 politicians to give away more than $850 billion in tax breaks and benefits should not be a heavy lift for any president. The fact that it’s a drama for President Barack Obama shows the extent to which his relations with Congress, and especially his own party, are a shambles.

    In an effort to recover from an election beating — and to salvage START — Obama last week jumped into a grand bargain with Republicans without allowing time to vet the choices. The White House insists that its decisions weren’t tailored to court START opponents in the Senate. But the rush to judgment clearly was, and in the process, Obama trampled on a long Democratic history of trying to find a lasting reform of the estate tax.

    Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.), a tax writer who spent years on the tax debate, said with dismay: “I can’t let this be the last vote of my career in Congress.” And he and other House Democrats, now driven from power, have less to lose by making a stand this week, even if it comes at the expense of the president.

    Senate Democrats, haunted by their own failure to address the same Bush-era tax issues prior to November’s elections, don’t have the same luxury.

  10. I find this hilarious. I know no small business owner that trusts this guy. NONE, me included.
    Those that trusted him before no longer trust him, those that had never trusted him will never ever trust him.

    Obama to CEOs: ‘I’m a Collaborative Guy, Help Me Do It.’

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/40683586

  11. Obama to CEOs: ‘I’m a Collaborative Guy, Help Me Do It.’

    See, its ME, ME, ME, all about ME, the Messaih, the community oraganizer with no experience.

    Clinton, or Bush: “How can I help you succeed in your business, how can my policies help, what can I do to help? What policies of my administration are hindering your businesses?”

  12. “Women are both prizes [and] equal.”

    Meanwhile, I’ve got some beachfront property in Wyoming I can let you have real cheap.

    Moononpluto, I agree with you. Males truly do enjoy treating the half of the species that produces them like garbage … and if they don’t, they still just don’t see the big deal. Although women like seeing the REST of half of the species treated like garbage — as long as it’s not them or one of their friends, then they’re sure the stupid bitch deserved it. Where a male can beat a woman to death, rape her, deny her rights, and the female can complain about it … we are members of a species where the woman is the one who will be judged as hating the other gender because she’s complaining.

    If you “aren’t like that,” then you can demonstrate by displaying more outrage over this horrifying horseshit than over my statement. You can tell what people truly abhor by what they express outrage over. Come on, let’s see what outrages you more: a man treating women like beatable, barely sentient farm animals, or a woman who’s angry about it.

  13. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/12/gallup-poll-congress-approval-record-low.html

    Stunning new Gallup Poll finds 13% of Americans still approve of Congress

    A fresh Gallup Poll released this morning reveals that somehow 13% of Americans still approve of the job being done by Congress.

    The new Gallup survey did not identify those people, understandably.

    However, even though it is a surprisingly high number given the work not done there in recent years, the 13% is a record low job approval for Congress since Gallup began compiling such data in 1974.

    The same Dec. 10-12 survey finds a record high 83% of Americans disapprove of the job being done by the folks on Capitol Hill, also the worst recorded by Gallup in more than three decades.

    The previous low approval of Congress was 14% in July of 2008.

    Coincidentally, both record lows have occurred while Democrats controlled both houses of Congress.

    According to Gallup’s analysis, “Americans currently hold Congress in lower esteem for the job it is doing than at any point in the last 36 years. In the past month, many of the supporters it had, largely Democrats, appear to have become frustrated with its work. That frustration seems to be taken out more on the Democratic congressional majority…”

  14. In the case of Barack Obama, the racial hire has clearly not panned out. In the case of Michael Steele, the racial hire was a smart move. But Republicans don’t need Michael Steele anymore. Barack Obama is on the run, and there are smarter and elected Black Republicans that can now carry the fight. Michael Steele, like Barack Obama, has outlived his usefulness.
    ****************************
    Steele’s hire definitely panned out for Steele in the only way that matters for Repub conservative, it’s put alot of money in his personal pockets, as you noted earlier in the post. I think he’s thumbing his nose at the repubs who want to shove him aside by running again and not leaving quietly. I’ll enjoy the show while the fatcats scream about ‘ethical’ fundraising.

  15. Biden went to visit the Saudi King in the hospital? probably not to only wish him well, I’m sure. What deal is he making or is that his reward for the stupid tax cut deal he made with McConnell.

  16. 8 jobs that are still sexist.
    These aren’t jobs, they are careers. The ‘jobs’ (secretary, clerk, fast food, etc.) have always been and still are also sexist. So which careers/jobs are not sexist?

  17. Obama says not passing tax deal would be ‘end of his presidency’

    Well there you go Dems, you know what to do to end all our suffering………….

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/12/15/dem-obama-says-not-passing-tax-deal-would-be-end-of-his-presidency/

    Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon, on Wednesday claimed that President Obama put pressure on Democrats to vote for a controversial extension of Bush-era tax cuts, saying it would be “the end of his presidency.”

    In an interview with CNN’s Eliot Spitzer on “Parker Spitzer,” DeFazio said “The White House is putting on tremendous pressure, making phone calls; the president’s making phone calls saying that’s the end of his presidency if he doesn’t get this bad deal.”

    Asked by CNN’s Kathleen Parker if he had personally received such a phone call, DeFazio said he had not, adding, “I won’t name the members cause they said this to me, you know, not for public disclosure, I talked to one member who had that call.”

    DeFazio argued the plan would harm the administration, and called the deal with Republicans a “trap.”

    “I think this is potentially the end of his possibility of getting reelected if he gets this deal and it’s a trap,” DeFazio said. “It’s a trap on social security and on progressivity in our tax system, and a tax on huge cuts to programs we care about because this adds half a trillion bucks to the deficit next year.”

    On Wednesday, the Senate passed the $858 billion tax cut package, which includes a two-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts set to expire December 31. The measure would also extend unemployment benefits for 13 months, cut the payroll tax by 2 percentage points for a year, restore the estate tax at a lower level and continue a series of other tax breaks. The measure, which passed the Senate with a vote tally of 81-19, now advances to the House of Representatives. The House will take up the bill Thursday, according to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland.

  18. Defazio says if it passes it is the end of Obama’s presidency. Whereupon Obama says it not pass it is the end of his presidency. Let us hope they are both right.

  19. Have you noticed that a new word has crept into the vocabulary of the creative class. That word is “mulling” and it is used routinely to characterize the aimless deliberations of congress–and Messiah Obama. Like they mulled over Obama care and as a result they absorbed every detail of that 3000 page toxic legislation before they passed it. Then they mulled again over so called tax compromise and passed it in the senate like good stooges. And now they are at it again– mulling over a new trillion dollar budget larded with wasteful pork. The one thing they do not seem to mull over 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 over. Better to buy the election, and if you cannot buy the election then buy the electors, and if you cannot buy them then buy the men above them.

  20. You know, when I heard that I had to wonder. He is a cockey little son of a Bxxxh. In addition, he acts like he is entitled.

  21. Next year the Twitter man will get his award from Time. It is all incestuous, isn’t it? Obama, media, blogger boys, google geeks, facebook nerds..

  22. MoonOnPluto, re Fazio, Obama is going to be saying “it’s the end” frequently come next year as he repeatedly asks Obama Dimocrats to “save me”:

    The end of our elaborate plan….

  23. Still reading Admins post, but as always, commenting as I go…

    First, I will not repeat my comments on the word, ‘geek’.

    Second…
    ““Eight Jobs That Are Still Sexist.

    1. Journalism
    2. Law
    3. Business
    4. Science and Engineering
    5. Film and Entertainment
    6. Politics
    7. Nursing
    8. Academia

    ———-
    As a woman that has worked in many fields, wouldn’t it just be easier to name the fields that women are not anchored to the bottom, or held back specifically because they are women?

    So far…………I can’t think of any field.

  24. Michael Steele was also chosen as a token race pick.

    Yup, he was the one that wouldn’t get the ‘race card’ played against him.

  25. Didn’t Obama pull the same “end of his presidency” threat when he went after the stimulus and then again when he forced the health care debacle on everyone?

    “Boy who cried wolf” anyone???

  26. On the last thread I was asked if I knew why Charles Krauthammer is not a Hillary fan. I do not. However, I can think of two reasons that may be the case. First, as a doctor, I assume he was not supportive of the health care approach she offered in 1994. Many doctors were not. Second, he believes the Obama foreign policy is highly problematic, and he gave a speech to that effect several months back. Inasmuch as Hilllary is the nations first diplomat, he would associate her with those policies. In response to his criticism, I would simply say this. Charles is an expert on many different subjects, but Hillary Clinton is not one of them. I discount his views on that subject accordingly.

  27. pm317

    I don’t think I can watch the video. Just reading about is turning my stomach and my BP is through the roof.
    ————–
    I could only watch about half of the video and I was wondering when a gang of women toting machine guns would show up and mow these whipping assholes down. Teach them a thing or two.

  28. This will be the end of Obama if this tax bill does not pass–or so he says. He said the same thing about Obama care, they passed it and that turned out to be the end of many of them–especially the4 lame duck blue dogs. Ergo, turnabout is fair play. How many times is he going to say silly shit like that. It invites others to call his bluff. This is amateurish stuff. In fact, the Obama presidency is best described as the Unoriginal Amateur Hour–starring bobo rather than Major Bose.

  29. I could only watch about half of the video and I was wondering when a gang of women toting machine guns would show up and mow these whipping assholes down. Teach them a thing or two.
    ————————–
    But that would violate Sharia law, and Obama has decreed that we must accept massive muslim immigration and not offend their glorious customs. Multi culturalism uber alles.

    When the white Russian group I mentioned before was allowed to emigrate to the United States they built a village near Anchor Point down the Kenai Peninsula from Anchorage. They too were allowed to maintain their glorious customs.

    One of their villagers had a severe alcohol problem, and by custom, they stripped him from the waist up, tied him to a telephone poll and left him outside in sub zero temperature to repent for his sins.

    By the morning he was dead.

    I arrived in their village the very next day, along with the Alaska State Troopers. Since I was there on other business, I never did find out whether anyone was ever prosecuted. But custom was honored.

  30. Julian Assange Bailed Out of Jail—by Michael Moore

    But the WikiLeaks founder will remain in custody in London until the high court hears the appeal filed by Swedish prosecutors
    *********

    Old news I am sure but it doesn’t surprise me

  31. I think my distaste for bambi has been outdone by casey.
    Why even bother to spend the money on the salaries for the elected Senators and their very large staffs if they do not think for their constituents or even read a frigging bill before voting on it. They vote party with no regard to the voters sentiment. Do they think they are smarter and gifted to lead. I don’t care how smart you are if you have not read something you should not vote on it. I would wager money on the fact that I have read more of the health scam than most senators.

    I am pissed off as I attempted to write to my senator expressing my opinion about several bills and found it very difficult, but today I got a Hoorah for health care scam from casey and I felt like screaming WTF? Won’t respond to my emails and make it a chore to express my opinion to you but you have no problem emailing me your propaganda.

    Am I mistaken in my belief that the man’s job is to listen to his constituents. I think every congressperson should have to take a test on the subject matter voted on. Too much work? Well then get another job. I have always thought that we have nearly a hundred people holding an office which is mostly ceremonial and they like it that way. HRC rocked that boat as she busted her behind. The august chamber probably frowned upon her work ethic as being unbecoming.
    Sorry for the rant but I am livid.

  32. I can’t watch the video. Not even a few seconds of it.

    On a happier note, the State Department Quadrennial Diplomacy & Development Review (QDDR) has now been published and is available at the State website. It’s 150 pages but worth the read (I’ve downloaded it in text format and will be reading it over the coming days). I’ve been waiting for this for 1 1/2 years, if not decades, and Hillary originally said it would be out in November.

    Anyway, it comes late. But it shows what Hillary has already done and plans to do in order to bring US foreign policy into the 21st century with a whole new approach. With Gates’ acquiescence, State is taking over much of US foreign activities from Defense.

  33. gonxotx
    there is a scene in michael moore’s Roger and Me in which he lampoons an obviously challenged woman who happens to sell rabbit product. Her status was not contingent on economy but rather on how she fits into the world. I was beyond disgusted watching that cheap moment and her plight had zero to do with the financial situation. One thing I have learned since 08 is that the progressive contingent is cruel and tasteless yet somehow in their tiny little brains addled with confusion and privledge they exhibit anger towards mommy and daddy who loved their jobs maybe more than their kids. Cannot hate mom and dad so by proxy hate the concept of America. Something is hurting inside you so lets try a little game called projection,

  34. Can I say I think Rick Scott is an ass. A parent paying property taxes is getting a great bargain by the existence of public schools. Give vouchers based on what? What you have paid? I have no kids and I have to pay property tax for public schools. No way in hell can I process vouchers. Wrong from my perspective in every way shape and form. The taxpayer in this case is getting a grrat bang for the buck. If you decide to send your child to a Friends school outside of Philly go ahead but do not expect the hard earned dollars of te averge american to give your kid a break/

  35. Court Rebuffs Obama on Warrantless Cell-Site Tracking

    A federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected the Obama administration’s contention that the government is never required to get a court warrant to obtain cell-site information that mobile-phone carriers retain on their customers. … The case that concluded Wednesday concerns historical cell-site location information, which carriers usually retain for about 18 months. The data identifies the cell tower the customer was connected to at the beginning of a call and at the end of the call — and is often used in criminal prosecutions and investigations. … The Stored Communications Act, the appeals court ruled in September, granted judges the discretion to require a warrant under the Fourth Amendment for the government to obtain the cell-site information.

  36. i think a great ad in 12 against casey would be — Pennsylvania you said no to health care no to dream act but the man who pretends to represent you voted yes.

  37. Dursday December 16th 2010 Public Schedule for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
    December 16, 2010
    tags: Hillary Clinton, State Department, Secretary of State, Afghanistan, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Daily Appointment Scheduleby stacyx

    SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

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

    10:15 a.m. Secretary Clinton hosts the annual Department of State Retirement Ceremony, at the Department of State.

    11:30 a.m. Secretary Clinton attends President Obama’s statement to the press on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Annual Review in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House.

    3:30 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with leaders from civil liberties organizations, at the Department of State.

    5:15 p.m. Secretary Clinton hosts a farewell reception for OMB Director Jack Lew, at the Department of State.

    Share this: 1 Commentfrom → Hillary Clinton, Diplomacy, Secretary of State, President Obama, State Department, Daily Appointment Schedule, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s QDDR Town Hall *updated*
    December 15, 2010
    tags: Current Events, Development, Diplomacy, Foreign Policy, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, news, QDDR, State Department, Town Hall, USAID, Videoby stacyx
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s QDDR Town …, posted with vodpod

    The transcript:

    UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: Good morning, everyone. Before beginning this Secretary of State town hall meeting on the QDDR, I would like to ask all of you to rise for a moment in a moment of silence and memory of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who so sadly passed away on Monday evening.

    (A moment of silence is observed.)

    UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: Thank you very much.

    Before proceeding, I would like to remind everyone that this session is being carried live and by the media and thus is on the record. So please remember – (laughter) – that in your questions, which should relate to the QDDR, that the world is watching and listening. (Laughter.)

    It is now my distinct honor and personal pleasure to introduce the Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Madam Secretary. (Applause.)

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you very much. And there are a lot of people standing. There are some seats down here. I know it’s a little bit like coming late to church, but you can come down to the front if you wish to. And I appreciate the very great interest that this turnout evidences. I want to welcome all of our guests from Congress, other agencies, NGOs, and think tanks. I want to thank all of my colleagues from State and USAID for taking time out of your very busy day to join us. I would especially like to thank USAID Administrator Dr. Raj Shah, Deputy Administrator Don Steinberg, Director of Policy Planning Anne-Marie Slaughter, who, along with Pat Kennedy and myself, will be fielding your questions when they begin.

    It’s also a special pleasure to welcome back OMB Director Jack Lew, our former but not forgotten deputy. (Applause.) We’re especially pleased he could break away from budgeting and pass-backs and be reminded about how important the missions of State and USAID are. (Laughter.)

    Before we get into what this report says and how we will implement it, I want to thank all of you for your vision, inspiration, and perspiration that made it possible.

    Jack, Raj, and Anne-Marie led a great team, including Karen Hanrahan, Bill Burke-White, Marisa McAuliffe, and so many others. Hundreds of people from the State Department and USAID, and especially from the field, along with other agencies of our government, Congress, and outside organizations, contributed your ideas and suggestions. And I thank each and every one of you for your energy and your commitment.

    I also appreciate Pat reminding us that we lost one of our most respected colleagues and one of America’s most distinguished diplomats with Ambassador Holbrooke’s passing. We are dedicating this first-ever QDDR to his memory. Because every day, I see many of the qualities that I saw in Richard over the years in so many of you – love of country, intellect, determination, fearlessness, and insistence that we back up our words with our actions. And I thank you for holding yourselves to the highest standards of excellence.

    You and your colleagues posted around the globe are among the finest public servants our country has ever produced. And from my very first day here at the Department, I have been honored to serve with you and humbled by your efforts.

    So I’m very pleased that many of you could join us, and those who are not here in person joining via the internet, for this substantive and sustained conversation about how we can work better and smarter on behalf of the American people.

    To drive that conversation, I am proud today to unveil the first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, the QDDR. This is a sweeping effort that asks a simple question: How can we do better? How can we adapt to a world of rising powers, changing global architecture, evolving threats, and new opportunities? How can we look ahead, prepare for, and help shape the world of tomorrow?

    The QDDR is a blueprint for how we can make the State Department and USAID more nimble, more effective, and more accountable, a blueprint for how our country can lead in a changing world through the use of what I call “civilian power” – the combined force of all of the civilians across the United States Government who practice diplomacy, carry out development projects, and act to prevent and respond to crisis and conflict.

    Leading through civilian power saves lives and money. With the right tools, training, and leadership, our diplomats and development experts can defuse crises before they explode and create new opportunities for economic growth. We can find new partners to share burdens and new solutions to problems that might otherwise require military action. And where we must work side by side with our military partners in places like Afghanistan and Iraq and in other fragile states around the world, we can be the partner that our military needs and deserves.

    Now, as you dig into this report, you’ll see that it is driven by two overarching factors.

    First is President Obama’s emphasis on fiscal responsibility and efficiency throughout the federal government. Through the QDDR, we have tried to minimize costs and maximize impacts, avoid overlap and duplication, and focus on delivering results. Across our programs, we are redefining success based on results achieved rather than dollars spent. And this will help us make the case that bolstering U.S. civilian power is a wise investment for American taxpayers that will pay off by averting conflicts, opening markets, and reducing threats.

    The second factor is a rapidly shifting global landscape. Once, only a handful of great powers had the clout to shape international affairs. Now, power is shared by a wide array of states, institutions, and non-state actors. The information revolution has brought millions of people all over the world into an ongoing global debate – and they, too, can influence events, unleash new threats, or devise new solutions to global problems.

    As you see at State and USAID and across our government every day, today’s challenges and opportunities spill over borders and they blur traditional bureaucratic divides. They are complex and interconnected. For example, advancing democracy, promoting sustainable economic growth, and strengthening the rule of law in fragile states are all overlapping and mutually reinforcing endeavors. They cut across bureaus and offices and agencies. They demand not just the skills of our State Department diplomats and USAID development experts, but also the expertise of civilian specialists across the U.S. Government.

    For example, professionals at the Department of Agriculture know how to boost crop yields and irrigate fields in Kansas and in Kandahar. Justice Department experts are adept at strengthening rule of law in countries whose democracies are young and vulnerable. To achieve our goals, such as tipping a fragile state away from conflict and towards stability, all elements of American civilian power must be prepared and empowered to work together.

    The QDDR will help the State Department and USAID adapt to, shape, and stay ahead of these trends. This is a program of reforms that will fundamentally change the way we do business. Let me outline four broad areas of change.

    First, we will adapt to the changing diplomatic and development landscape of the 21st century. The State Department and USAID will direct and coordinate integrated civilian operations that draw on the skills and strengths from across the U.S. Government to make a real difference on the ground. This will require working far more closely and collaboratively with other agencies that are also active overseas, from planning to implementation.

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

    At the heart of this effort will be our ambassadors and chiefs of mission, who are responsible for directing and coordinating U.S. Government personnel in their countries. We will empower them and hold them accountable as CEOs of multi-agency missions, enhance their training, allow them to contribute to the evaluation of all personnel who serve at their posts, and engage them more fully in policymaking in Washington. We will also consider experience with the interagency as one factor for selecting chiefs and deputy chiefs of mission.

    Here in Washington, we will reorganize ourselves to better address clusters of related issues that need greater attention, for example, by creating an under secretary for economic growth, energy, and the environment. We will be reconfiguring, more than adding. And where we are adding, we will work with Congress to make a very specific case for that addition, such as a proposed new bureau for counterterrorism, which will help us counter violent extremism and manage counterterrorism partnerships better around the world.

    To embrace the potential for civilian power, we will also draw on the personnel of other federal agencies, when appropriate, before turning to private contractors. Sometimes contracting makes sense and does make us more efficient and flexible. But there are core governmental functions that should always be performed by public servants, not private companies. And we don’t necessarily have to develop these functions in-house at State or USAID. They can often be provided by professionals from other government agencies. This change will allow us to build on existing relationships and restore proper government oversight of core functions.

    We also believe it will, over time, save us money. And in a time of tight budgets and greater scrutiny, that is one of my highest priorities, so that we clearly can make the case for everything we do to any taxpayer in America.

    The second major area of reform is in development. I will say more about this at USAID on Friday. But a core message of the QDDR, following the President’s policy directive on development, is that development is a strategic, economic, and moral imperative, and that we must elevate it alongside diplomacy as a pillar of American civilian power. To do this we will focus our investments in key sectors where we have special expertise and the ability to make the biggest impact: in food security, global health, climate change, sustainable economic growth, democracy and governance, and humanitarian assistance. And we will emphasize the rights of women and girls throughout.

    At USAID, Raj, Don, and their team are practicing high-impact development, investing in game-changing innovations that can scale up and potentially transform millions of lives. USAID’s new venture capital-style fund called “Development Innovation Ventures” has already invested in solar lighting in rural Uganda, mobile health services in India, and an affordable electric bicycle that doubles as a portable power source. And that’s just the beginning.

    The United States used to take the lead in such technological innovations, and I want to see us do so again. We are determined to rebuild USAID as the world’s premier development agency. The USAID forward agenda, which grew out of the QDDR process, is helping the agency recruit, train, and retain top development professionals, reduce dependency on contractors, and improve oversight and accountability.

    USAID has established a new Bureau of Policy Planning and Learning to promote innovation, research, and evaluation, and has created a new office charged with developing the agency’s annual budget proposal and overseeing budget execution.

    We will make our aid more transparent by, among other steps, creating a new web-based dashboard that will publish data on State and USAID foreign assistance. And starting immediately, USAID will assume the leadership of Feed the Future, the Administration’s Global Food Security Initiative.

    With the Global Health Initiative, we are targeting the end of 2012 to transition its leadership to USAID, provided that USAID and its partners meet the benchmarks that we have set.

    These are important steps that will help our development experts around the world do their job more effectively.

    The third key area of change deals with how we work to prevent and respond to crisis and conflict. A hard-learned lesson of recent years is that the failure of even the most remote state can have serious implications for our national security in this interconnected world. America’s civilian power must be able to strengthen fragile states, stop conflicts before they start, and respond quickly when prevention fails. We will make conflict prevention and response a core mission of the State Department and USAID.

    For starters, we are uniting our own capabilities here at State under an Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, which will consolidate the diplomatic and operational capabilities needed to prevent and resolve conflicts, and to respond to disasters. We are creating a new Bureau of Crisis and Stabilization Operations – CSO in State parlance – that will coordinate early efforts at conflict prevention and rapid deployment of civilian responders.

    As we make these organizational changes, we will be strengthening State and USAID’s ability to lead, support, and coordinate civilian operations that use skills from across the federal government. And we are also going to be strengthening our cooperation with partner nations and multilateral organizations like the United Nations.

    Supporting our efforts in diplomacy, development, and conflict and crisis, the fourth set of reforms will help us all work smarter and better to deliver results. This is always critically important, but especially now. So we will improve the way we manage contracts and procurement by rebalancing our workforce, enhancing oversight and accountability, and emphasizing local leadership. We will create strategies for regional and functional bureaus. And at the country level, we will unite planning for diplomacy, development, and broader foreign assistance under a single, overarching strategy. We will modernize our planning and budget processes to ensure that we fund our highest priorities, set benchmarks for performance, and establish metrics to ensure each dollar spent has the greatest potential impact.

    The changes in the way we work will affect everyone at State and USAID every day. For example, as part of the QDDR review, we surveyed staff at dozens of posts around the world, and found that they are too often tied to their desks, fulfilling hundreds of reporting requirements mandated by both Congress and the Department. I know. Try to contain your shock at that fact. (Laughter.) We believe this can and must change. So we are consolidating or eliminating duplicative reports, making reports shorter, and streamlining workloads. At every level, we will ask again and again: How can we do better?

    As we move forward with these reforms, we will harness the power of innovation, applying new technologies, testing new approaches, and searching for creative solutions to entrenched bureaucratic problems. We will practice what you’ve heard me call 21st century statecraft, embracing not just new tools and technologies, but also the innovators and entrepreneurs behind them. We will expand and accelerate our public-private partnerships because we recognize that both government and the private and not-for-profit sectors bring important skills to the table. We will protect ourselves, our networks, and our confidential correspondence through reforms like the creation of a new coordinator for cyber issues.

    In short, we are changing the way we do business from top to bottom, but the story does not end here. The reforms included in the QDDR will only make a difference if we all work hard to put them into practice. Implementing the full vision of the QDDR – building capabilities, changing mindsets, and modernizing approaches – will take time, focus, and sustained leadership. But I am determined that this report will not merely gather dust like so many others before it; it will be a priority at both State and USAID.

    I will ask the next Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, which we hope will get confirmed – hopefully, Tom Nides – this – before Congress goes out – to bring his enormous talent and energy to the task of overseeing the QDDR’s implementation at State. Administrator Shah will oversee implementation at USAID. But we won’t get very far without your help. So I ask you first to read this report, which is 200-odd pages or so. And we’ve got an executive summary – (laughter) – for those of you who don’t have time to read 200 or so pages. And then I hope you will put your talents, your enthusiasm, your ideas, and your practical suggestions, and your expertise to work to help us turn this vision of reform into a reality.

    The important question that we’re asking and we want you to ask and help us answer is: How can we do better? And the QDDR will be up online shortly or imminently. We wanted to make sure we talked together at the time it went up. And we’re going to look for your suggestions and perspectives. It’s a little holiday reading. (Laughter.) I want this to be a two-way conversation and a robust exchange of ideas. We may have overlooked something in the thousands of hours that have been spent over now nearly two years, and we want this to be a very open, candid conversation. But I believe strongly in what State and USAID stand for.

    And I also believe strongly that we have to do better, what is clearly our mission to advance American interests and values, to protect our national security, to create greater opportunity for people living around the world, and to do so in a way that justifies the confidence that the people of the United States have in our foreign policy. So with that, let me open the floor up to your questions and discussions, and we’ll call on Under Secretary Kennedy to get us started.

    UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: Thank you very much, Madam Secretary. (Applause.) The Secretary has time for a few questions before she has to leave for her next appointment. But just a reminder, even though she does have to leave, Dr. Shah, Don Steinberg, and Dr. Anne- Marie Slaughter, and I will remain behind should there be any other questions you might have.

    We have two microphones set up plus we’re also receiving questions from our colleagues overseas via the Secretary’s forum. And again, a final reminder, remember, this is a live feed to the world – (laughter) – and so please keep your questions cogent and relevant to the QDDR. We’ll start here, please.

    QUESTION: Thank you very much, Pat. I’m Susan Johnson, the president of the American Foreign Service Association, the professional association and union of the foreign services of our five civilian agencies. And I would like to take this opportunity, first, to say that AFSA is also looking to see how we can do better. So we very much identify and support this overall thrust, Madam Secretary. I’d also like to take this public, on-the-record opportunity to state that AFSA welcomes the QDDR and its call for America’s diplomats and development experts to be the first face of American power abroad. So we are fully, fully behind that.

    We concur strongly in the need to increase the efficiency and the effectiveness of the State Department, USAID, and our sister foreign affairs agencies, all the more so because we’re facing a competitive world in which, if we want to continue American leadership, we need to do better, not stay where we are. We – AFSA – want to be partners with the QDDR process as it unfolds, so we will be open to and looking for ways that we can contribute to effective implementation.

    The QDDR section on recruiting, hiring, and training addresses the mid-level experience gap among other things, now estimated at 200 to 300 positions at the State Department and expected to peak at about 600 positions before closing by 2014 or 2015. AFSA strongly recommends that greater and focused use of Foreign Service retirees, our de facto Foreign Service reserve, be used to fill vacant, mid-level positions until this gap is closed. Our retirees represent an asset that we can’t afford to overlook or ignore. They cost less, they’re quickly available, they need no training, and they can provide badly needed mentoring and coaching.

    Secondly, AFSA sees increased professional education and training as critical to developing the premier diplomatic service and development experts that we need, and therefore we’re strong advocates for seeing a training flow not as a luxury, but as a core requirement for the exercise of smart power. And I’d like to know what your views are on these two issues. (Laughter.) Thank you.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think we are in agreement. We have highlighted the problem of the gap of mid-level diplomats, and we are moving rapidly over the last two years to hire very qualified people for the pipeline who are beginning their career. But we have this gap, and we will certainly look at the suggestion of using retired Foreign Service officers. I think that’s an excellent idea. There will be some consideration given to that, and we will work with you to do so.

    And I think in general, we’ve had good cooperation and a very good working relationship with AFSA during this process. We have appreciated your suggestions. And we’re partners, and we want to be as successful in changing the trajectory that we face of this gap and of a likely challenge to our continuing to fill the pipeline for budgetary reasons. So we want to look at a number of different approaches, and you will certainly be part of our effort to do so.

    UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: A question from the field.

    MS. GREENBERG: Good morning. Our first Sounding Board submission comes from Andrew Miller of Consular Affairs. He asks: Will we be revisiting the American Presence Posts concept? Could we consider single-mission American Presence Posts? More than just flying the flag, but have a focus based on an area of need; for instance, one focused solely on development with an AID presence, one focused solely on rule of law with an INL presence, one focused solely on consular work in India or China, lean and mean, virtual as much as possible, but still with some brick-and-mortar requirements?

    DR. SLAUGHTER: I will field that one. Thank you for the question from the field. What we provide is exactly to explore, partly through the new public diplomacy strategy that Under Secretary McHale has outlined, a range of posts, including American Presence Posts. This particular vision would be one that we would consider an implementation. But we’ve also emphasized that for experts of the type you’re talking about, whether somebody focused on law enforcement or on women’s issues or on public-private partnerships, they would be regional circuit riders, where they would be based at regional hubs and they would travel around the different embassies of the region to cross-fertilize information, to provide expertise, and to help us think regionally on specific issues.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: I want to add that we are both looking, as I said in my remarks, to better unify and focus the physical presence at posts of different agencies under chief of mission authority. I know in my prior lives as First Lady and as senator, it was often clear as I traveled around the world that even in countries where we had State, USAID, and many other U.S. Government agencies represented, there wasn’t the level of cooperation and partnership, so that you sometimes found that people who were working on a different aspect, say, of development didn’t even know who else was in the country from a different American agency. That has absolutely got to end.

    And so what we’re trying to do is physically better coordinate under chief of mission authority all of the American Government efforts. But we’re also looking at ways of supplementing posts, as Anne-Marie was saying, with virtual interventions, with regional hubs and circuit riders, because not every post can have a rule of law expert, but there are certainly many places where we would like to further the rule of law as part of our democracy and governance agenda.

    So I think this will be somewhat of an implementation demonstration in different places to best see what works, but our goals are very clear.

    MODERATOR: On my left.

    QUESTION: Madam Secretary, I am Daniel Hirsch. I’m the State Department vice president of the American Foreign Service Association, and I hope that you will allow me to make two additional comments regarding correcting the mid-level staffing gap.

    UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: If you could, if we could phrase them as a question, please.

    QUESTION: I’ll do my best. I will.

    First, one tool for fixing the gap that seems to have been overlooked in the QDDR is the retention value of overseas comparability pay. As you know, comparability pay was created in the government as a means for ensuring that the government has access to the best and the brightest talent which might otherwise go elsewhere. If people leave the Foreign Service due to compensation issues or fail to consider the Foreign Service as a career, it will exacerbate the mid-level gap. I hope that you will not allow this important retention tool to be treated as a benefit or mischaracterized as a benefit or as a bonus to the Foreign Service, as some people have done so.

    And I hope that you will comment on that after my next comment, which is I would also like to repeat Susan’s – well, to express AFSA’s opposition to mid-level hiring as a means to address this gap. America needs a strong Foreign Service, and whatever other qualifications a mid-level candidate might bring to a job, there is no substitute for experience. Moreover, in our system, it’s expected that more junior members will learn from more senior members, and that is part of the education of an American diplomat. For every mid-level candidate that comes in without experience, that is a supervisor or an office director who cannot pass on needed experience to more junior members. And I hope that you’ll comment on that as well.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’ll start, and then Raj wants to add.

    Look, we want to take advantage of the experience that is available. And our first preference is, of course, to take advantage of Foreign Service experience. And we will look at ways of reaching out and attempting to do so. But we will not stop there if we cannot find the experience. And I just think you need to recognize that we are very respectful and – (applause) – and deeply grateful for the level of experience, expertise, and dedication that we have in our Foreign Service family, but we also have a job to do. And so we will give every effort to try to find people, whether they’re willing to come out of retirement or what else we can entice them to do. But at the end of the day, I’m responsible for making decisions that are in the best interests of the United States of America, and that’s what I will do. (Applause.)

    ADMINISTRATOR SHAH: I’ll just add that that question, obviously, was specific to the State Department Foreign Service, but the same issue, of course, is something we’ve tried to be very thoughtful about, at the Secretary’s guidance, with respect to USAID. And we’ve had a chance to both quantify the needs at mid-level and explore how what we’ve learned from the Development Leadership Initiative, which has now brought in 625 new Foreign Service officers at USAID over the last several years. And we have proposed this – a limited but focused and skill-based targeted increase with the mid-level career hiring. And – but we want to do it in a way that’s respectful of all the points you raised, that allows for training, that protects the career growth opportunities for especially new entrants into the Foreign Service, and that enhances our capacity to deliver the types of results the Secretary spoke about. So thank you.

    QUESTION: Thank you. (Applause.)

    QUESTION: Thank you. I’m Steve Clemons with the New America Foundation. I publish the Washington Note. And I want to congratulate Anne-Marie Slaughter and the whole team for producing this. And we’re really going to miss Anne-Marie when she heads off to Princeton, because I hope the deployment of the report has as much gusto as Anne-Marie has shown in producing it.

    My question about the QDDR –

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes. We fully agree. (Applause.)

    QUESTION: Yeah. My question about the QDDR – and I don’t mean to sort of offer a sort of provocative constructive question –

    SECRETARY CLINTON: I would expect no less. (Laughter.)

    QUESTION: — is where do the Pentagon and Pentagon resources fit into the picture? General Anthony Zinni at a New America Foundation program offered a critique, and he said as much as he wanted to see USAID and State more fully deployed in this arena, he continued to run into the notion that when it came to thinking like the Pentagon does in simulating crises and how one responds and thinking through every dimension of a challenge to figure it out, he says State and USAID aren’t resourced or even disciplined to operate in that way. And he said he wanted them to, but he saw it as a big deficit.

    And so I’m interested, given your close relationship and your many kind of mutual supportive comments with Bob Gates about deploying people and getting them to work, how do you reach across – kind of like Richard Holbrooke was doing in his interagency group. How do you reach across into Pentagon resources and Pentagon personnel and make them – conform is the wrong word, but be good partners with your vision on the development side.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Steve, that’s a very important question and one we spent a lot of time in analyzing, and there’s really three approaches that I would commend to you.

    First, we have to be a good partner, and we are well aware that we have a ways to go before we are organized and deployable in a manner that meets the legitimate needs of the kind of civilian- military partnership that both Bob Gates and I believe in. What you will see in the QDDR is our effort to begin to better organize ourselves, to better coordinate between State and USAID, so that we’re not trying to determine, well, who gets deployed and how they get deployed and who they respond to. We can’t keep reinventing the wheel in every crisis. And we’ve learned a lot from what has happened in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we really believe that we are putting forth a better organizational sense. Now, some might say, “Well, that’s just moving the boxes on the organizational chart of the bureaucracy.” That matters. It really matters how we describe how we are organized in order to relate to our friends at the Pentagon. So there are specific organizational reforms.

    Secondly, we are trying to build a core of expertise. And one of the, I think, important recommendations that both Anne-Marie and Raj and Don can expand on is that we are looking at what the Congress created, the Conflict Resolution Stability Office. We are trying to create a core of experts who can be on call and deployable. I mean, look, the problem we have is we have a relatively small work force. We’re trying to expand it by having a kind of auxiliary core and also creating better partnerships with the rest of the U.S. Government, very similar to what Richard did with SRAP, which I know created a lot of questions and people wondering what it was, but it was a model of an interagency operational office to deal with one of our highest needs. And so we are looking at how best to do that.

    And finally, there is money that has been made available in accounts for State and Defense to work together to expend. We’re trying to, frankly, get back a lot of the appropriation authority that was lost during the 2000s – I guess that’s a word – and that because of the military emphasis in Afghanistan and in Iraq, it just was easier, quicker for the military to do a lot of things. And so you found the military doing development. You had young captains and colonels with discretionary funds, the so-called Commander Emergency Response Funds, the CERF funds, that they were literally able to call on $50- or $100,000 to repair a school outside of Mosul or help build a road in Afghanistan without any of the bureaucratic checks and balances that we go through at AID and State.

    So we are well aware that first we have to be a better partner. Secondly, we have to be more operational and expeditionary. And thirdly, we have to win back from the Congress the authority we should have as the coordinators and lead on civilian power in the United States. You cannot work with the Pentagon as multitudes of agencies. That does not work. And one of the key messages in the QDDR is that the State Department has the statutory authority to lead. That doesn’t mean that we’re not in partnership with Justice and Treasury and Ex-Im and everybody else who has a role to play, but you’ve got to have someone accept the responsibility. And that’s what we are offering and, frankly, demanding that we be given in order to make this civilian-military partnership something more than just a phrase.

    QUESTION: Thank you. (Applause.)

    UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: I think that is – Madam Secretary, I think that is –

    SECRETARY CLINTON: I can stay a little longer.

    UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: Very good. From the field.

    MS. GREENBERG: Thank you. Our next Sounding Board submission comes from Thomas Goffus, a senior military advisor in EUR. He writes: At Main State, the PM bureau is the likely default contact point for coordinating DOD issues. Under QDDR, State is envisioned as the lead coordinator for multiple domestic agencies that increasingly engage abroad. Will there be a bureau created for coordinating with the scores of U.S. federal agencies other than DOD, for example USDA, Treasury, FAA, et cetera?

    DR. SLAUGHTER: Every bureau will be coordinating with all those other civilian agencies. The watchword is exactly inclusive and collaborative leadership. And as the Secretary said, one of the hallmarks of a new way of doing business is precisely that we are not looking out and saying this is only the State Department, this only USAID. We are to be measured on how collaborative and how inclusive we are in every bureau reaching out to our partners across the interagency and making them work better. So if PM is there for DOD, we’re all there for both the civilians in DOD and all the other civilian agencies.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: But I think also it’s important to add that we are well aware that PM has been the default reach-out. And PM has very specific, important functions that it performs. And one of the reasons we’re creating a new corps with a new under secretary. We’re taking what is called G, Democracy and Global Affairs, and we’re turning it into Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights. Because we think there has to be synergy among what we do on behalf of stabilization, conflict prevention, refugee flows, human rights work. Because what’s important, and we often have this discussion with our DOD friends, is that you have to have a broader perspective than just the immediate trying to staunch the bleeding. You’ve got to figure out, okay, what happens next and what are the consequences and how do we try to create a more stable environment.

    And so what Anne-Marie said is absolutely right. We are tasking everyone at State and USAID to be much more open and collaborative and outreaching to the rest of our government, including DOD, of course, because we cannot expect to produce the best results if we don’t have that attitude.

    Take the Global Health Initiative. It’s USAID, PEPFAR, which is part of the State Department, and the Centers for Disease Control, which is part of HHS. We have this triumvirate partnership, and in part because people have not been used to working together in the way that we are going to expect everyone to do so. People bring their own experience, they bring their own expertise, and we are deeply appreciative of that. But we’ve got to listen to each other better. We have to bring to the table the people who are going to be making the decisions that will impact the success of American policy.

    So in all of these areas, part of it is organizational, part of it is operational, part of it is funding, but a lot of it is attitude and mindset. And it doesn’t take anything away from State or AID or DOD or HHS or anybody else if we recognize the value added that everybody brings. And so that’s my goal. Because frankly, we – if you look at sort of the problems we face and the challenges we will have in funding our responses, we’ve got to work together and we also have to create this partnership, as Steve was saying, with DOD to kind of enhance what each of us can do more effectively.

    Raj, you want to add?

    ADMINISTRATOR SHAH: It’s hard to add to that because that’s a very clear and effective point of guidance. But I think to go back to a phrase Anne-Marie used, and the Secretary’s asked us to really build into the core management of USAID in this case, is the concept of inclusive leadership. So to give you a very specific example, we just completed – we’re in the process of doing the senior management group assignments for USAID. We restructured how we do that process so that each senior manager gets evaluated on their interagency performance and skill. That’s basically how we interpret inclusive leadership. And the resulting set of recommendations I got for the top priority mission leadership posts were substantively different. Different people were chosen because we changed the criteria, and the group that came together to debate who’s going to perform well against these new criteria came up with different answers.

    We’re going to take that even further by building that criteria into actual performance reviews for the Foreign Service and the SES Civil Service. And we’ve actually had a lot of great conversation at different levels of the agency and amongst the new Development Leadership Initiative members of the Foreign Service about what that means and how that – how we need to have a shift in our mindset as it relates to that point. So I would just add that it’s a very clear aspiration in the document. No document gets you the outcome. We have to manage to that in very specific and concrete ways.

    DR. SLAUGHTER: Yes, Don.

    MR. STEINBERG: Just to be very specific, we’ve been – Anne-Marie and I have been talking with all of our ambassadors around the world and all of our mission directors together, and we’ve done it specifically together to communicate the same message. And one of the things that we’ve been communicating to all of our AID mission directors is you will no longer be rewarded for being a good infighter. It’s not about fighting for turf. It’s not about AID-centric activities. It’s about the results that you produce; and recognize that in order to produce those results, you need to be working as an inclusive leader with the interagency process. And one of the clear messages that the QDDR communicates is that the AID mission director is the development advisor within the missions overseas. But it also says, with that designation, comes the responsibility for changed behavior. (Applause.)

    QUESTION: Well, Madam Secretary, I’m Paul O’Brien. I’m with Oxfam America. We’re an organization that doesn’t take U.S. Government funding precisely so that we can engage in a useful dialogue with the U.S. Government. So thank you very much for staying and thank you very much for inviting us here and all the other NGOs. It reflects the spirit of openness of this Administration and your leadership.

    When President Kennedy founded USAID, one of the rationales that he gave was a recognition of the inherent tension between our immediate diplomatic political priorities and our long-term development goals. And as we look at the QDDR and all the discussions around the QDDR, we’ve been very comforted and pleased by the recognition of the need for synergy in a resource-constrained world using our dollars as well as possible. So we’re very confident that that’s going to emerge from the document and from its execution.

    The question I have is really around what President Kennedy was thinking about: Does it also recognize the inherent tensions that we face in a resource-constrained world when you can’t do everything with your dollars? I’m sure we’re going to be working years from now in contexts where we both need to achieve immediate economic growth in those contexts, which might be a political imperative, and to make that economic growth as inclusive and broad based as possible, which is more of the developmental imperative. And you’ll do different programs and fund different projects when you have either one in mind.

    So are you confident that the QDDR and the execution of the QDDR will do enough to recognize that inherent tension and, while we find the synergies, also resolve those tensions in a way that will honor both our diplomatic goals and our longer-term development goals?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, let me thank Oxfam for the tremendous work that you do around the world, and we are happy to partner with you in so many difficult and dangerous settings.

    You’ve accurately described the tension, and I don’t think there is any way to resolve it. It is not going to disappear, but it can be diminished. And part of the way we hope to diminish it is by being tough evaluators of what we are doing and the results from both our diplomatic and development efforts, because lots of times the tension arises because there is no recognition about the common goal we are seeking. And there is often an impatience to get something short term done at the detriment of the long term, or a frustration that the long term – in the long term, we’ll all be dead and we’re not getting anything done in the short term. So I am well aware of the tension and the absolute healthy debate that this tension represents.

    This QDDR is coming at an appropriate time because we are also working with the international community to do a better job of outlining evaluative metrics and measurements and models for what works in development. As you know, DFID is having its own internal review. There will be a global meeting about development in Seoul at the end of 2011. So everyone is facing the same set of questions: In a resource-constrained world, how do we proceed on both tracks simultaneously? We want to stabilize. We want to create the conditions for economic growth. We want it to be inclusive. We want democracy and good governance to improve. And some days, the balance may tip one way or the other. But what we’re trying to do is to keep in mind that tension and try to figure out the best ways moving forward.

    It is something we spent a lot of time talking about. We’ve got a perfect example in Haiti right now. We have a dreadful humanitarian crisis with the cholera epidemic that the world is attempting to help Haiti deal with. I’m very proud of the work that CDC, AID, and everybody is doing on the ground. We have the continuing suffering and instability caused by the failure to get enough done since the earthquake to relieve that. And we now have an electoral crisis. So which do you address first? I think that’s a perfect example. If you ignore the legitimate questions raised about the election, you create conditions for longer-term instability. If you don’t continue to provide assistance on the humanitarian side while you try to deal with the questions posed by the election, then you hurt the people you’re trying to help. I mean, so we are well aware of the tensions, the trade-offs, the difficulties, and part of what the QDDR is attempting to do is to better lay out what we expect from ourselves.

    And so as we address these inherent tensions, we have a clearer organizational and operational understanding of what we’re capable of doing and what we’re not. Because I think it’s also important to say that the United States cannot wave some magic wand and solve these problems by focusing on either development or diplomacy. We can’t do it alone. The world can’t do it without us. And so my goal is to make sure that this QDDR represents our best efforts at addressing these very difficult challenges.

    UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: Before I take the next question — (applause) –

    SECRETARY CLINTON: One more? One more? One more. Okay, one more.

    UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: One more. Is the field ready? No. Sir.

    QUESTION: Madam Secretary, my name is Zachary Teich. I am a retired Foreign Service Officer. I currently work in nonproliferation. I’m curious how you’re going to extend the QDDR approach to the other civilian agencies of government. We have at least three foreign services that are not represented here today – the Agricultural Department’s Foreign Agricultural Service, the Commerce Department’s Foreign and Commercial Service, and then, of course, there is the intelligence community. Each of these has a separate legislative mandate. Each of them cooperates in a country team exercise overseas. But each has a separate mission, and it’s very difficult to tell them – just because the ambassador has the authority to do so – that they’re going to do something beyond that legislative mandate. So I’m very curious to hear your views on how we will get the other agencies on board in this approach.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m going to let Anne-Marie start.

    DR. SLAUGHTER: Well, the first thing I would say is through this process we actually embodied what we’re aiming to achieve in the sense that I think for the first time ever, the Department of Agriculture, and certainly the USTR, the intelligence community, all had extensive comments on what we were proposing, precisely to put input into what do we mean by chief of mission authority of a multiagency mission. How is that going to work going forward? We’ve spent a month working with other agencies, pages and pages of comments, precisely to work that out in a way that they can sign off on so that we go forward. So I would begin by saying this is –this process is the beginning of that different way of working together.

    SECRETARY CLINTON: I think your question is a very important one, and a lot will depend upon getting the buy-in, changing the mindset. But I think as we look out across the government – and having served for eight years in the Senate, I have something of an idea of the political debate that we will have around budgets – and it will be very difficult for all of these agencies, including ours, to continue doing what we have done without getting efficiencies, without being smarter about delivering on whatever their statutory mandate might be.

    So the timing on this is, I believe, fortuitous because, as Anne-Marie said, we’ve worked really hard to take into account everyone’s concerns. But we’ve got to have somebody in each country who actually speaks for the entire government. We’ve had examples – and I see some heads nodding – where you have contradictions about American policy between the presence of intel personnel, DOD personnel, State, USAID, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And we can’t afford that. We have to work out whatever differences there are among the United States Government representatives behind closed doors and, under chief of mission authority, present a unified front.

    Otherwise, as we now know, it’s not the world of 10 years ago, let alone 50 or 100 years ago. Everybody is a potential source. Everyone is a potential blogger. Everyone is a potential leaker. (Laughter.) And therefore it would be, I think, beneficial for American foreign policy if we demonstrated as strong a presence as possible in a country after having worked through all the various and sundry jurisdictional turf problems that we know exist. This is a work in progress. It’s not going to happen overnight. But we have had enough examples in the past whereas if we don’t have that unified U.S. Government position, we are working at cross-purposes to our own ends, and that is just not going to cut it in the 21st century.

    So we are pressing very hard on one of the key ideas which I mentioned in my remarks: Our ambassadors and chiefs of mission are truly the CEO of the American presence, and that includes everybody. We feel that way about the military’s CINCs. If you’re a regional commander in the United States military and you are going to be operating in a country in your region, the ambassador in that country needs to know and needs to approve. And we feel that that has to be the way we proceed, and I’m looking forward to the many challenges of implementation that that presents. (Laughter and applause.)

    UNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: Okay. Since the Secretary stayed much longer than was anticipated, thank you all very much for coming. You can find the full text of the QDDR on the website, the State Department website, this afternoon. And also, a reminder that on the Secretary’s Sounding Board, you will be able to find a location to post specific questions that you might have about the QDDR and you will get answers. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

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    Call Senator DeMint and Tell Him to Stop Playing Politics with the new START treaty
    December 15, 2010
    tags: Arms Control, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Jim DeMint, National Security, Obstructionism, Politics, Republicans, Secretary of State, START Treaty, Tea Partyby stacyxThe Republicans have devised a new stunt to delay the vote on the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (new START) thanks to obstructionist-in-chief Jim DeMint:

    Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) will force readings of both a nuclear arms treaty and $1.1 trillion spending bill that could eat up hours of the remaining lame-duck Congress.

    DeMint will invoke a senatorial privilege to ask that texts of both the New START Treaty and the 2011 omnibus spending bill be read aloud on the Senate floor.

    The readings could take seven to 12 hours to verbalize the START Treaty, while the omnibus could take 40 to 60 hours, according to a spokesman for DeMint.

    The readings could eat up a substantial amount of time in the closing days of the lame-duck Congress, in which Senate Democrats are racing against the clock to pass through a number of priorities. Democrats hope to pass a tax-cut bill, on which they’ll vote Wednesday afternoon, along with a repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” the START Treaty and the DREAM Act immigration bill.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) “hoped” in a floor speech Wednesday that DeMint would not force a full reading, calling the move a “colossal waste of time.”

    Floor readings of measures before the Senate are typically waived by unanimous consent without any objections. But if a senator were to require that lengthy bills be read, the delay could take hours. (The omnibus is over 1,900 pages.)

    DeMint’s maneuver will no doubt cause a headache for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) as he figures out how to fit all of the remaining legislative items into the waning days of the lame duck. Lawmakers had been set to leave Washington on Friday, but that deadline appears flimsy at this point. Reid had sought to avoid working the week of the Christmas holiday, as lawmakers had done last year, and has now threatened work after the holidays if necessary.

    That session was delayed after a similar tactic last year by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who’d forced a lengthy reading of an amendment to the healthcare reform bill that led to the withdrawal of that amendment.

    The fact is, the party that claims to be the sole protector of our national security has finally been revealed to be the party of empty, patriotic bumper-sticker slogans and political posturing. But at the end of the day they are really more concerned with taxes, taxes, taxes and they are going to hold up everything else simply to deny this administration anything that could be considered a legislative victory or success, even if the legislation is in the best interest of the U.S.

    Secretary Clinton has worked tirelessly to make the case for immediate ratification of new START.

    Please consider calling or emailing Senator Jim DeMint’s office and telling him that the political games need to stop. His 15 minutes of Tea Party fame has gone on long enough. His contact information is here.

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    December 15th 2010 Public Schedule: SOS Hillary Clinton
    December 15, 2010
    tags: Foreign Policy, Hillary Clinton, Diplomacy, State Department, Secretary of State, Daily Schedule, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Video, Holidays, QDDRby stacyxThe big rollout of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) is today:

    SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON

    9:30 a.m. Secretary Clinton meets with her senior management team, at the Department of State.

    10:30 a.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Quartet Representative Tony Blair, at the Department of State.

    11:15 a.m. Secretary Clinton hosts a town hall meeting to discuss the release of the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, “Leading Through Civilian Power,” with Department of State employees, in the Dean Acheson Auditorium of the Department of State.

    12:45 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, at the Department of State.

    2:15 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with U.S. Forces Iraq Commander Gen. Lloyd Austin, at the Department of State.

    4:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with President Obama, at the White House.

    4:40 p.m. Secretary Clinton meets with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, at the White House.

    This is from last night’s Diplomacy at Home for the Holidays event last night at the State Dept.:

    Home for the Holidays: SOS Hillary Clinton, posted with vodpod
    SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I am thrilled to see all of you here and I see reindeer – Rudolph is here. It is absolutely a delight to welcome all of you to the Benjamin Franklin Room on the eighth floor of the State Department. And I’m so glad to hear children’s voices and we’re so happy to have the Children’s Chorus and the ballet dancers, who you will see in a minute.

    But I wanted to welcome all of you and to tell you how happy I am that you could come and be with us this holiday season, and to welcome all of the ambassadors, the diplomatic representatives, and then the – most important to me are all the families who can’t have someone that you love with you for the holidays. It is the reason why I started this party last year and it’s grown, which is the good news. The bad news is that means there are more people who don’t have a mother or a father or a sister or a brother or a husband or a wife or a child. I mean, there’s just – unfortunately, in the world that we find ourselves in now, there are so many parts of the world that you cannot go to be with your family member.

    Now, I want to also thank Time Inc. and InStyle Magazine, which very generously partnered with us to decorate this year. And I’m delighted that these wonderful decorations were designed by a renowned designer by the name of David Stark. And I am particularly pleased that we have so many people here who are part of what we try to do in the State Department to entertain and create a sense of holiday spirit and particularly for those of you at this party.

    The Family Liaison Office team has done so much to reach out to family members and to support you, and I want to thank them in particular. And I also want to thank the Military District of Washington and the Foreign Affairs Recreational Association and so much more. But let’s give a round of applause for the Children’s Chorus of Washington and the Ballet Theatre of Maryland. (Applause.)

    Now, how many of you have never been up here before? Oh. Well, then this is a special, special occasion, and I want to tell you just a little bit about these rooms, because you first walked in to the Adams Room. And in the Adams Room, there is the desk that was used to sign the treaty ending the American Revolution. And then the Jefferson Room, which is named for Thomas Jefferson. And then of course, Benjamin Franklin, who is up there celebrating with us. And there are people around these rooms who know all about the rooms and all about the wonderful furnishings and paintings that you will see. So if you have any questions, find somebody who can be sure to answer them for you.

    And I want to tell you how proud I am that I get to meet your moms and dads and your husbands and wives and your family and friends. I’ve seen the work that they do firsthand, from South Central Asia to the Middle East, Africa. There are so many places that they are serving our country. And they perform their duties far from home and far from you. And I can imagine how they often feel alone, and hearing from you helps them because they tell me that. And now that we have technology that they can actually see you, that is a special treat. But then I know how important it is for you to hear from them.

    I want you to know how much your country and President Obama and I appreciate your understanding and support. For those who are serving far from home every day, but particularly during the holiday season, we know that this is a big sacrifice; we know how much you miss them, and we thank you because you’re also serving our country because of what they are doing.

    Now, I want you to hear from two special people. The first is Bonnie Buckhiester, a family member who will share her personal story. She will then be followed by Ambassador Capricia Marshall, who has some thoughts to share as well.

    So before they come to talk, let me wish all of you a very, very happy holiday season, a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year. And I hope that this year, you have all the blessings of health, and that those of you who are in school really take it seriously – (laughter) – and that your loved one comes home safely to you. And on behalf of our country, I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and welcome you once again to the State Department, and welcome to the podium, Bonnie. (Applause.)

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    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Remarks at Holiday Reception for the Chiefs of Diplomatic Missions to the United States
    December 14, 2010
    tags: news, Diplomacy, State Department, Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Richard Holbrooke, President Barack Obama, Holidaysby stacyx

    Video: Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at Holiday R…, posted with vodpod
    This is from last night and it’s particularly sad because both Secretary Clinton and President Obama pay tribute to Ambassador Holbrooke prior to his death which occurred later that evening. In addition to the video above, I have the transcripts of both Secretary Clinton’s statement and also President Obama’s remarks at the holiday reception. They are both very touching with respect to Ambassador Holbrooke but it was also nice to see President Obama give Secretary Clinton much-deserved credit for her work as Secretary of State:

    SECRETARY CLINTON: Good evening, everyone and a very happy holiday season to you. It is wonderful to welcome so many distinguished guests here to the State Department, where we have some festive cheer, holiday traditions that are made special by the people who gather together. And I’m delighted that so many of you could come and be with us.

    But one very dear friend in particular is not with us, and our thoughts are with him tonight. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke has been a giant of the diplomatic corps for almost 50 years. He is practically synonymous with American foreign policy of that time period. He’s taken on the hardest assignments, from Vietnam to the Balkans to Afghanistan and Pakistan. And this week, his doctors are learning what diplomats and dictators around the world have long known: There’s nobody tougher than Richard Holbrooke. He’s a fierce negotiator. I’m sure there are some shoulders here tonight that are still a little bit sore from his arm-twisting.

    But he is a fiercer friend and a beloved mentor and an invaluable counselor. He has been a friend of mine for many years and I am deeply grateful for his presence and support. When I came to the State Department, I was delighted to be able to bring Richard in and give him one of the most difficult challenges that any diplomat can face. And he immediately put together an absolutely world class staff. It represents what we believe should be the organizational model for the future – people not only from throughout our own government, but even representatives from other governments all working together. And we know that with Richard, loyalty runs deep and it runs both ways. So tonight, our thoughts and prayers are with Ambassador Holbrooke, his wife Kati, their family, who are here with us as well.

    We’re going to have a couple of surprises tonight, and one I will save, but I’m going to thank some of the Cabinet members who are here – Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Transportation LaHood, Ambassador Rice, as well as, I’m told, the outgoing mayor, Mayor Fenty, who has interacted with so many of you over his time in service here. We, of course, welcome all of our diplomats who are with us, and the dean of the diplomatic corps, His Excellency Roble Olhaye and his wife, Amina. Where are they? There you are. Thank you very much once again. (Applause.)

    Now, in a moment, you will be treated to another holiday delight, a musical performance from the incomparable Marvin Hamlisch and J. Mark McVey. You’ve already heard the World Children’s Choir and the Air Force, Army, and Navy musicians from the Military District of Washington. But I want to also thank you. Thank you for the great cooperation that we’ve had, the partnerships we’ve built, the commitments that we have undertaken together. And I look forward to extending and deepening those relationships as we move into 2011.

    Now, many of you have had a chance to travel this year and see the opportunities for cooperation that exist beyond Washington. The Experience America trips, including one to Chicago and one to Atlanta, have helped connect you, ambassadors from around the world, with entrepreneurs, educators, artists, and others who are outside the beltway. And I know the “State of the Administration” briefings have also been of particular interest. And USAID Administrator Raj Shah will be participating in o

  38. S
    orry for the long paste I am out of practice and need more time to overcome that creeping short term memory bug. Two things remain on my plate.

    1 DRAFT Hillary

    2 IMPEACH TWO-TONE Now

  39. Admin and friends on this site…have you seen the movie ‘Precious”…..its almost as bad and that is happening right here in the good ole USA. I almost didn’t watch it when I saw that Oprah was involved, but it is very worthwhile…based on a true story.

  40. Does anyone know if a misogynist can be rehabilitated? Or is he forever doomed to a warped life beating up on women either physically or through demeaning, hurtful words, pretending he is by far pure and superior to women.

  41. You’ll never stop an abuser, once they do it, the thrill and power they get from it is like a drug high, its in their nature.

    Like i tell every woman who i’ve ever know as being a domestic violence victim, they make excuses, leave the first time he does it because staying just makes him think you condone it.

  42. Now what was that about Death panels, its started…..

    http://biggovernment.com/capitolconfidential/2010/12/16/exclusive-sources-confirm-fda-moving-ahead-with-rationing/

    Sources on Capitol Hill have informed Capitol Confidential that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will indeed begin rationing late-stage cancer drugs. The FDA will make an 11am (EDT) announcement that it will begin denying Avastin to breast cancer patients but will graciously offer the creator of the drug a final show trial of a hearing in 60 days.

    The FDA will be judge, jury and executioner. Unfortunately, the victims of breast cancer will be the ones punished and harmed.

    The FDA has never before limited access to a drug based upon cost considerations. Yet there are some within the agency that are intent on breaking new ground to justify a rationing regime designed to drive down the cost of health care. Avastin is the test case. There is no evidence that the pending show trial will temper their enthusiasm for thie rationing scheme.

    In essence, the Avastin decision is the first battle in ObamaCare. Opponents of ObamaCare warned of the implications of a government take-over of our health care system — first and foremost was rationing. And that is what has happened.

    The pending FDA show trial is designed to provide political cover so America can take the final leap toward denying women, seniors and the sick access to the drugs and treatments they do desperately need to survive. Josh Turnage, whose mother has been fighting breast cancer has eloquently described what this issue is all about when he wrote

    “Since January 2009, my mom has been on an Avastin-only regiment. And she is cancer-free. Given that it helped save my mom’s life, you can imagine how upset I was to hear that Avastin might lose its FDA approval for treating breast cancer. How could this happen?”

    The time has come for Congress to intervene and prevent the Avastin rationing regime from becoming commonplace. Rep. Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Government Reform Committee should kick off a inquiry into the FDA’s use of cost in the deliberations of the decision. The House Appropriations Committee needs to limit the funding of the FDA to prevent them from implementing ObamaCare by proxy.

    Republicans are talking a good game about repealing ObamaCare but the battle has now truly been joined and it is a fight we cannot afford to lose.

  43. The Real Boston Tea Party, Dec. 16th, 1773

    “Friends! Brethren! Countrymen!

    “That worst of plagues, the detested tea, shipped for this port by the East India Company, is now arrived in this harbor. The hour of destruction or manly opposition to the machinations of tyranny stares you in the face. Every friend to his country, to himself, and posterity, is now called upon to meet at Faneuil Hall, at nine o’clock this day, at which time the bells will ring, to make a united and successful resistance to this last, worst and most destructive measure of administration.” (From a handbill, Boston, Nov. 29, 1773)

    The town meeting, called by the patriot leaders of Boston that day, occurred just after the first of three ships carrying East India Company tea had anchored off Long Wharf in Boston harbor. More than five thousand people crowded in and around Faneuil Hall to hear what could be done to stop the tea from being landed, and prevent the hated tax paid to support the East India Company’s monopoly.

    This was much more than a resistance to an unjust tax. It was a battle against an oligarchic system, which was now increasingly dominated by private financiers, such as the East India Company, who used the power of the English Crown to enforce its policies.

    In 1772, the India Act in Parliament had brought the East India Company officially into the British government for the first time, granting the company the right to appoint four members to the British Board of Trade, in exchange for the government’s right to appoint four members of the company’s Board of Directors. The act also extended the East India Company’s monopoly on the India trade for another 50 years.

    Prior to this act, American colonial leaders and English Whigs had often attacked the brutal policies of the company in the hope that the Crown would rein them in. That hope was now gone, and a bolder course of action need be taken.

    Since 1763, at the end of the Seven Years War, the British had continually attacked and restricted the economic development of America, using the Stamp Act, the Iron Act, the Townshend Acts, and now in 1773, a new act granting a tea tax and total monopoly on the tea trade in America.

    Since the Stamp Act in 1765, the colonial leadership had established committees of correspondence between the various patriot groups in America, and these had been used to organize the non-importation movement, whereby no English-made goods would be bought in trade, and the Americans would make what they needed, including clothes, tools, iron, paper, and an almost universal refusal to drink English tea would be observed. George Washington introduced into the Virginia House of Burgesses an agreement supporting non-importation, which every member signed.

    The non-importation movement in America was so successful, that in 1770, the hated Townshend Acts* were repealed, but the Ministry kept the tax on tea. The colonial legislatures sent resolutions in protest to Lord North, who arrogantly answered them, writing, “It is to no purpose making objections, the King will have it so. The King means to try the question with America.”

    In October of 1773, East India Company ships tried to land the tea at Philadelphia. This was met by local companies of militia, drilling and training every day in sight of the East India tea agents, who would have to successfully land the tea to collect the tax. The large town meetings in Philadelphia demanded that the tea be returned to England, and refused unloading of the ships.

    The East India Agents then tried to take the tea to New York, but were met by an even fiercer opposition from the Sons of Liberty there. Even the Governor asked that the ships remove themselves from the harbor, to avoid a possible riot. The committees of correspondence quickly reported to the patriot leaders in Boston, that the ships were now headed their way. Boston would now become the site of the final test of the resolve of the patriot leaders to defy the British Crown and the East India Company.

    At the November 29th town meeting at Faneuil Hall, Sam Adams offered a resolution that the tea should be refused and not landed, and the ships returned to England, with no tax paid. This was unanimously agreed to, and John Hancock offered to guard the tea ships along the wharves with militia composed of members of the Sons of Liberty to ensure that no secret unloading would occur. He also posted six horsemen, to be able to ride and sound the alarm if necessary to the surrounding towns, and chose Paul Revere to lead that group. The guard, consisting of 34 men, rotated on shifts for 24 hours a day, for 19 days, until the evening of December 16th.

    The 16th of December began with a call for the largest town meeting ever seen, and over seven thousand people came to Old South Meeting House, most not being able to fit inside. The main speakers were Sam Adams, Dr. Thomas Young, and Josiah Quincy Jr. All knew the action to be taken next could draw severe punishment or death.

    Josiah Quincy rose to speak last, saying, “It is not, Mr. Moderator, the spirit that vapors within these walls that must stand us in stead. The exertions of this day will call forth the events which will make a very different spirit necessary for our salvation. Whoever supposes that shouts and hosannas will terminate the trials of the day, entertains a childish fancy. We must be grossly ignorant of the importance and value of the prize for which we contend; we must be equally ignorant of the power of those who have combined against us; we must be blind to that malice, inveteracy and insatiable revenge which actuates our enemies, public and private, abroad and in our bosom, to hope that we shall end this controversy without the sharpest, the sharpest conflicts. To flatter ourselves that popular resolves, popular harangues, popular acclamations, and popular vapor will vanquish our foes. Let us consider the issue. Let us look to the end. Let us weigh and consider before we advance to those measures which must bring on the most trying and terrific struggle this country ever saw. Now that the hand is at the plough, there must be no looking back.”

    Soon after he had finished, an Indian war cry was heard outside, and someone exclaimed that “the Mohawks have come!” Outside, a crowd of young men, dressed in partial Indian costumes, marched by the meeting house. The Sons of Liberty had divided up into three groups of about 25 men, with one group disguised crudely as Indians.

    As the night went on, the three groups marched in silence toward the wharves where the East India Company ships lay at anchor, with several other ships of the Royal Navy not far off in the harbor. One of the groups came upon a British officer as they approached the wharf, and he drew his sword, as the men were armed with axes and a few muskets. One of the Indians drew a pistol, and said to the officer,’The path is wide enough for us all; we have nothing to do with you, and intend you no harm; if you keep your own way peaceably, we shall keep ours,” and with that the officer hurried away.

    Now the men boarded the three ships in silence, and on several found the captain and the night guards, and told them they would not harm anything but tea and had no quarrel with them. The ship crews opened up the hatches, and the men worked quickly, breaking open tea chests, and tossing them into the water. Another group of men in small boats quickly drowned chests that floated away, and on the shores, even small children helped stamp the tea into the mud.

    The operation was highly organized, and not that of a mob. The whole job was done in less than three hours, and the men even swept the decks of the ships to get rid of the loose tea, and even replaced a lock they had broken on one of the ships. While the ships did contain other cargo, none of it was damaged, and once the work was finished the three groups of men marched away in silence.

    The message to the Crown and the East India Company could not have been clearer. The Americans had organized a united resistance in all of the colonies, and the Boston Tea Party marked the point of no return on the road to independence.

    – Colin M. Lowry

    And today?

  44. Unfuckingbelievable… Democrat Asks for $48 Billion Earmark to Redistribute Wealth to Inner Cities: …

    No, this is not a joke.

    The Mother of All Earmarks…
    Liberal Representative Emanuel Cleaver has proposed a whopping $48 BILLION EARMARK that would redistribute wealth to the inner cities.

    Rep. CLeaver will lead the Congressional Black Caucus next year. (CBC Blog)

    Democrats push for one last humongous earmark.

    The Southeast Missourian reported:

    Rep. Cleaver has proposed a $48 billion earmark
    When absurdity gives way to hilarity, you must be talking about politics.

    In the midst of a colossal global concern for the economic stability of our great nation, Emanuel Cleaver, Missouri’s 5th Congressional District representative, has one small earmark on his wish list that deserves some attention.

    Cleaver has listed a new earmark — one of several — and he promises to “fight for every one.” But this is a whopping $48 billion package that must go down as the grandaddy of all earmarks.

    Proposed by a gentleman named Lamar Mickens, president of the not-for-profit Quality Day Campus, the $48 billion earmark would funnel money into the inner cities to give money to the poor and thereby produce a much larger consumer class to buy the goods and services produced in this country.

    Just call this redistribution on steroids.

    Cleaver’s office says this of the proposal:

    “The Epicenter is a proposed estimated $48 billion (Phase One) mass scale urban reclamation project for combating, reducing, reversing and/or eliminating poverty within under served communities by utilizing mass scale economic redevelopment to bring about stability and self reliance.

    http://biggovernment.com/jhoft/2010/12/16/unbelievable-democrat-asks-for-48-billion-earmark-to-redistribute-wealth-to-inner-cities/

  45. Dec 15, 2010

    Army doctor who questions Obama’s citizenship is court-martialed

    An Army doctor who refused to deploy to Afghanistan because he challenged President Obama’s eligibility for office has pleaded guilty to refusing orders.

    Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin of Greeley, Colo., pleaded guilty to one of two charges against him, and his court-martial continues today in a military court in Maryland. Lakin faces up to 18 months in prison and dismissal from the service.

    The trial deals with Lakin’s actions, not Obama’s citizenship — Obama was born Aug. 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

    Lakin, who has become a cause celebre among those who do not believe Obama was born in the United States, told the court he should not have refused to meet with superiors.

    “I was praying and soul searching,” Lakin told the court. “I believed there was a question that needs to be answered to ensure a valid chain of command. But I had asked every question, done everything else I could short of disobeying orders, without success.”

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2010/12/army-doctor-who-questions-obamas-citizenship-is-court-martailed/1

  46. wbb

    I was wondering when a gang of women toting machine guns would show up and mow these whipping assholes down. Teach them a thing or two.
    ————————–
    But that would violate Sharia law,

    ————
    Yup, that’s one in-your-face sexist law that should unite women to stand up and fight.

    I guess they will be encouraged right after American women learn to stand together and fight with each other, not against each other.

    Only when women stop hiding behind men and accepting their submissive role in society, will women have equal rights.

    We can’t wait for someone to fight the good fight for us, we have to fight each day in our own lives…whether men like it or not!! Alice Paul and other suffragettes are not dead, they are in our DNA. Prime example is our girl, Hillary!

  47. moononpluto
    December 16th, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Unfuckingbelievable… Democrat Asks for $48 Billion Earmark to Redistribute Wealth to Inner Cities: …
    _________________

    Sounds like a vote buying expedition!

  48. moononpluto

    TYT Interviews: ‘Obama Gave Away The Store’ – Rep. Jim McDermott

    ————
    Guess what McDermott and other’s elected in the House, Obama is not Tinker Bell. Just ‘believing’ that he is for the Democratic principles doesn’t make it so.
    Over two years of disappointments hasn’t made these ‘intellectuals’ see the forest though the trees.

    They hope Obama is a Democrat, they hope he will grow coconuts that weren’t picked from a tree, they hope that unicorns and lasting rainbows are real……….

    Take you heads out of your A$$e$ you nitwits and face the master bamboozler you are supporting!!!!

  49. “The White House’s little helpers? America’s media elites are still batting for Barack Obama”

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100068533/the-white-houses-little-helpers-america%E2%80%99s-media-elites-are-still-batting-for-barack-obama/

    Media watchdog NewsBusters published an important story on Tuesday describing how The Washington Post had failed to highlight in its news coverage a key finding of the latest ABC News-Washington Post poll which showed unprecedented levels of public opposition to the White House’s controversial health care reform proposals: [snip]

    The Post had another major piece on its survey on Wednesday morning, headlined “In poll, many still skeptical of GOP”, which went to great lengths to outline how:

    Republicans may have made major gains in the November elections, but they have yet to win the hearts and minds of the American people.

    The article strikingly failed to make any mention of the fact that 52 percent of those surveyed in the ABC-Post poll opposed the changes to the health care system that have been enacted by Congress and the Obama administration, a centerpiece of President Obama’s policy agenda. According to the poll, 37 percent strongly opposed the changes, while just 22 percent strongly backed them, down from 32 percent in March. In addition, the poll found that 59 percent of Americans believe that Obama’s health care reform law should be either fully repealed or partly repealed.

    This kind of omission really does matter at a time of intense public debate over a key policy issue, and is a reflection of an overwhelmingly liberal bias in what is commonly referred to as America’s “mainstream media.” It is perfectly understandable for The Washington Post or The New York Times to avoid referencing a key finding from a poll commissioned by another news organisation. But to ignore a hugely significant piece of information from its own survey? That is surely a bridge too far, and I very much doubt that major British publications of the same stature would do the same in a similar situation.

    This episode also demonstrates a continuing unwillingness on the part of America’s liberal elites to acknowledge the sheer scale of public opposition to President Obama’s Big Government agenda, even after the massive electoral defeat for the Left in the midterm elections. They remain in a state of denial in the face of momentous political change, modern day Luddites in an increasingly conservative America.

  50. Geez, it seems that stealing and murder/suicide is on the rise out here in the sticks….Its the economy! No one has a job.

    Looks like Assauge is free! Lets all hope he stays safe!

  51. I’m wondering if loading billions of pork into the ‘compromise’ bill is a plan……

    1. Get all the goodies before the gravy train pulls out of the station in Jan.

    2. Or, if loaded with soooo much pork it smells to high Heaven, the Rethugs will refuse the ‘compromise’ from Barry? The tax cuts will go back to preSadam, er Bush and then the unfunded unemployment and further cuts will be blamed on the wealthy Rethugs?

    It’s just a chess game, a poor game that the working class can only lose.

  52. This episode also demonstrates a continuing unwillingness on the part of America’s liberal elites to acknowledge the sheer scale of public opposition to President Obama’s Big Government agenda, even after the massive electoral defeat for the Left in the midterm elections. They remain in a state of denial in the face of momentous political change, modern day Luddites in an increasingly conservative America.
    *****************************
    I really don’t think they are in a state of denial about the opposition to Obama’s agenda, they just believe that the ‘folks’ are too dense to understand. If you talk to an obot the stubborn belief that only they understand is mindboggling.

  53. ‘folks’ are too dense to understand. If you talk to an obot the stubborn belief that only they understand is mindboggling.

    ——
    Yup, only the wealthy, ‘elite’, privileged are intelligent enough to understand highly detailed bamboozlement.

    😡

  54. Obama is telling members of Congress that failure to pass the tax-cut legislation could result in the end of his presidency, Rep. Peter DeFazio (Ore.) said.

    ————–

    Lord have mercy, load that sucker up with Trillions of pork!!!!

    Make it absolutely unacceptable for passage.

  55. Obama is telling members of Congress that failure to pass the tax-cut legislation could result in the end of his presidency, Rep. Peter DeFazio (Ore.) said.
    ******************************
    He’s just trying to make it their fault that he’s a failure (again) because it’s never his fault, is it? This works because no party wants to give up the White House after waiting years to get it back. So believe it or not, this strategy might actually work to get anything passed that he wants. At least they are making the stategy public, so the WH may have to change it.

  56. according to drudge Gingrich is fighting not to let the bill pass?? Is this for real or just politics?? Do the rethugs they can get a better deal next year…or is the real reason is that they don’t want to pass the unemployment benefits.

    Well who the hell knows who is telling the truth or playing freaking politics….the rethugs are good at playing politics….they did it will Bill C. and Obama is such a dumbass he can’t manuever crap around them….where’s Bill??

  57. confloyd

    where’s Bill??

    😆 😆

    Holy cow, without Bill or Hillary there is no Democratic Party left.

    I wonder if they are getting sick of riding to the rescue of the party that wanted the Clinton’s out of DC?

  58. WOO-HOO! The plot thickens!
    ________________________

    GOP will paralyze Senate floor with reading of 1,924-page spending bill

    By Alexander Bolton – 12/16/10 11:41 AM ET

    Republicans will paralyze the Senate floor for 50 hours by forcing clerks to read every single paragraph of the 1,924-page, $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill.

    Senate clerks are expected to read the massive bill in rotating shifts around the clock — taking breaks to drink water and pop throat lozenges — to keep legislative business on track, according to a Democratic leadership aide.

    The bill is so long that it took the Government Printing Office two days to print it.

    The Senate is currently debating the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty. It is expected to take up the omnibus spending bill on a separate and parallel track later Thursday.

    If Republicans follow through on their threat, legislative business couldn’t resume until late Saturday in order to give the staff enough time to read the bill aloud, according to a Democratic leadership estimate.

    Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), the Senate Republican Steering Committee chairman, vowed not to back down.

    “If they bring this up, they’re going to read it. It’ll take them a day or two to read it,” DeMint said on Fox News. “Again, we’re trying to run out the clock. They should not be able to pass this kind of legislation in a lame-duck Congress.”

    Snow began blanketing the Capitol on Thursday and the forecast calls for more on Sunday, when the Senate is expected to be in session. It’s a scenario that recalls the hectic finish to the healthcare reform debate last year.

    “Well, here we go again,” said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) on the Senate floor Thursday. “All of this is eerily familiar to anyone who remembers the healthcare debate. We’ve even got snow in the forecast — just like last year, when we voted on the healthcare bill in a blizzard.”

    McConnell has offered as an alternative a one-page continuing resolution that would fund the government through Feb. 18 at current levels.

    Meanwhile, Sen. Jon Kyl (Ariz.), the lead GOP negotiator on START ratification, argued the Senate should not be trying to rush the treaty and spending bill through the Senate simultaneously.

    “To suggest that we can dual-track an issue as important as the funding of the government with this almost 2,000-page, $1 trillion-plus bill at the same time that we are seriously debating the START treaty is a fantasy,” Kyl told reporters Wednesday.

    Kyl said Republicans want to offer amendments and “there’s no way they could adequately be considered in the time that we have.”

    Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.), however, rejected the possibility of delaying START until January or February.

    “If you have new senators coming in, you can hear the cries right now: ‘We haven’t had time to do this, we don’t know the treaty backwards and forwards, we have to take hearings, we have to have more briefings,’” Kerry told reporters Thursday, noting that the Senate has spent a year and a half reviewing the treaty.

    “The really appropriate question is not ‘Why not wait?’ It’s ‘Why delay?’” Kerry said.

    Kerry said the treaty will enhance national security, noting that 150,000 American troops will be in harm’s way and arguing the Senate should do its part to protect the country in the days before Christmas.

    Kerry said Democrats are ready to vote on the treaty and predicted there would be 67 votes to ratify if Republican centrists are given enough time to debate and offer amendments.

    The Massachusetts Democrat said his party would move to hold a vote on the treaty in the next few days when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) determines it’s appropriate. He noted that Republicans have circulated about 15 amendments.

    Kerry also rejected the prospect of shelving the omnibus to allow colleagues to focus on the START debate.

    “Absolutely not,” he said. “There’s a reason the omnibus is on the floor today — because the Republicans have delayed everything.”

    “The irony, the hypocrisy of us sitting here with them standing up and saying ‘Oh my Gosh, it’s the last minute,’ ” he added. “It’s the last minute because they haven’t let us do anything. The game plan is usually to keep preventing things from happening.”

    read more at link:

    http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/134021-senate-clerks-prepare-for-50-hour-reading-of-the1924-page-spending-bill

  59. “The irony, the hypocrisy of us sitting here with them standing up and saying ‘Oh my Gosh, it’s the last minute,’ ” he added. “It’s the last minute because they haven’t let us do anything. The game plan is usually to keep preventing things from happening.”
    ***********

    What a jerk, they have had 2 yrs and all year to to pass a budget but refused before he elections.

  60. Same old Obama

    GOP rubbing Obama’s nose in his own anti-earmark words as WH signals Obama would side pork laden trillion dollar spending bill with regret.

    GOP reminds that when Obama signed earmark-laden bill in 3/09, he said “it must be the end to the old way of doing things”

    Regret my ass, he’s doing exactly the same thing over and over, its one last massive money grab.

  61. Listen to this bullshit, oh really

    WH indicates Obama may have to sign pork laden massive spending bill at urging of DefSec Gates and needs of Pentagon budget.

    What a load of old horseshit, if i ever heard it.

  62. Senator Coburn Lists Every Bit of Pork In New Omnibus
    They are all in it. Next election will be interesting…CAN YOU HERA US NOW!!!!!!
    ***********

    Spending Bill
    —Ace

    Drew just mentioned this, and Bennett (Appropriator, UT) attempting to get all the sweet sweet pork he can before leaving office.

    Coburn’s database has all the pork for your inspection.

    Here are two that Slublog has called out so far:

    $500,000: Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, Boston, MA, for educational program development, including an endowment
    Requested by Marky in the House and Kerry in the Senate.

    From Debbie Stabenow:

    $800,000: Crim Fitness Foundation, Flint, MI for a youth program to combat obesity in Flint school
    But a little funnier, this from Senatrix Kay Hagan of North Carolina:

    $750,000: Bennett College for Women, Greensboro, NC to establish a Center for Women
    Slublog asks increduously: A college for women needs a special federal grant to establish a center for women? Really?

    And a cool million for La Raza, thanks to Jeff Bingaman:

    $1,000,000: National Council of La Raza, Washington, DC, for the Institute of Hispanic Health
    Oh wait, another million for La Raza:

    $1,000,000: Capitalization of a Revolving Loan Fund to be Used for Nationwide Community Development Activities (La Raza is the actual recipient)
    That’s requested by two Congressmen, Gutierrez and Hinojosa.

    Funny how so many of those voting to “ban” earmarks are requesting millions of dollars’ worth of them.

    The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, requested nearly $86.1 million for Kentucky, including $18 million for a railroad upgrade at Fort Knox, $1 million to build a Kentucky Blood Bank Center and $1 million for waterfront development in Paducah.
    Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, one of seven Democrats who voted with Republicans to ban earmarks, had $30 million in requests, including $8 million to move the main gate of Patrick Air Force Base and $400,000 to create a research park in Sebring.

    The spending bill also contained dozens of earmarks for projects in the home states of Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, and Senator John Thune, Republican of South Dakota, who appeared at a news conference Wednesday to criticize Democrats for what they called a pork-laden spending bill.

    Mr. Cornyn requested nearly $93.5 million, including $1 million for a National Wind Resource Center. Along with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, another Texas Republican, he asked for $2 million for the Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program, which transfers the knowledge and technology of the space program to small businesses, according to the group’s Web site.

    Mr. Thune requested nearly $38.5 million, most of it with his fellow South Dakota senator, Tim Johnson, a Democrat. About $25 million was for construction at military installations.

    It’s a pet theory of mine that if a culture supports a particular kind of corruption, wars on corruption are the wrong way to go, because the culture doesn’t support it, and will undermine it at every turn.

    And the way you have to deal with that is to create a safe-harbor for corruption, and allowable level, and the escalating penalties and reductions regarding what’s permitted by the safe-harbor, over time, so that you give the culture time to adapt, and actually adopt the new rules as real rules. So, if the police are corrupt, first you really start cracking down on the big stuff, while continuing to let the small stuff slide. Then you start going after the medium stuff. Then finally you really start going after all sorts of corruption.

    This is based on the idea that only 10% of the population is truly, incorruptibly good, and only 10% truly, incorrigibly bad, and that the other 80% will be either good or bad depending on what it seems they can get away with, what the culture will allow. You can’t prosecute the 90% of cops who will be corrupt in a corrupt system, so you escalate enforcement slowly, so that the 80% ethical swingers catch up and begin behaving like the 10% who are always good behave. Now that you’ve cleaved between the situationally-bad and innately-bad, and gotten the situationally-bad to begin acting situationally-good, you start throwing the book at everyone you catch.

    Something like that might be needed with earmarks. A flat ban just seems unacceptable to these jerkoffs. Maybe some cap, based on state size, which is reduced every year until it’s a very small little slush fund.

  63. On December 16th, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Michelle Bachman explains why the tax bill has locked up the Democrat’s bowels. It was initiated in a way not prescribed by the Constitution:

    It was orginated in the Senate not the House.
    ___________________________

    This bill could be DOA-

  64. lol…Mrs. Smith,

    Did you watch the video clip below at the link? He can’t answer the tough questions so he leaves it to Hillary and Gates. His speech is scripted for him so he has nothing else to do. 🙂

  65. Jan H, Holy Cow! How long did Hillary speak…the video only goes as far as Holbrooke…what the heck did she say.

    BTW, Obama looked like sheat! What is up! Where the hell is that insider??

  66. Jan H,

    He’s lost it! I think he really has and I think the puppeteers know he has….per Bill and Hillary talking more! I wonder how long Gates talked, do you know???

  67. JanH,
    Yeah, I guess so….he’s just the “star”, he has to have stunt men and women to do the real scary stuff…like answering questions…LOL!

  68. Obama is probably going to ‘chew out’ whoever submitted the Tax Bill to the Senate, rather than the House… Nancy, is that YOU, laughing your butt off in the cloak room?
    _____________

    Hillary was smirking as she took the podium.. She knows the Little Kahuna playing president is in a peck of trouble.

  69. Mrs. Smith,

    You noticed that too….LOL! Did you also notice that Obama looked just like he’d been castrated? LOL!

  70. confloyd
    December 16th, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    There’s not a lot of pork in the bill actually, less than 1%. The real problem with the bill is that it enshrines Bush tax policy.

  71. If you are more upset about the small amount of pork than the huge giveaways to millionaires and their descendants in this bill (something your heroes Bachmann and Coburn completely support) than I suggest you have a few screws loose. These people are a total joke, crying about pork and the deficit while the the tax cuts exclusively for the rich will do thousands times more damage to the deficit than the so-called pork.

  72. mj,
    I totally agree….I don’t have a problem with the little pork in the bill…I was talking about giving more money to the rich….after we’ve bailed out all the companies….made sure they still got their bonus’s and now we have to make sure they don’t pay any taxes….that’s the pork I was talking about.

    Without some pork in these bills, very good things could not get done in states that need to get done.

  73. McCain is just politicing again….I just want to go back to the tax code that Bill Clinton put in, so we can pay our debt down….the rethugs don’t want the debt down because they want to break the country so they can lower the wage…which is what I’ve been saying since 2007′.

  74. Moon,

    We can only hope that’s what is happening….maybe their going back to Chi-town, where all his buddies are!

  75. or as it was described earler, Obama is now like the crap opening act before the main act comes on in a concert tour.

    A bit like the runner up of American idol opening for Madonna.

  76. House Democrats starting their meeting at this hour on Bush tax rates deal; translation….they need more votes

  77. Shadowfax
    December 16th, 2010 at 2:33 pm
    http://www.c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN/

    House talking about the bill.

    Mentioned that 111 billion would be raided in Social Security funds over the next 2 years?????????????????
    ***************************
    The 2% cut in the Social Security payroll tax is for only one year, but the concern is that when the repubs take over the House, the tax will not be restored at the end of a year. I have to agree that this is a very likely scenario to begin to dismantle social security.

  78. Neil Cavuto is really worried on Fox tv that the bill will not be passed and his rich buddies will not get their tax cut. He started the show by saying that the slam dunk tax bill is beginning to look like it’s in trouble. If he thinks so, there may be a real chance that the House won’t cave, but it’s more likely they will try to make changes. Or it could just be a bluff.

  79. I suppose you have all heard the latest allegations re Rev Jackson that his 1984 Pres campaign was funded by Libya…. now i wonder where Obama got his money ideas.

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1210/Feds_probed_JacksonLibya_tie_in_1984.html

    Feds probed Jackson-Libya tie in 1984

    I wondered earlier today which presidential campaign federal officials allegedly believed had recieved “unlawful cash payments from Libyan diplomats in 1984, when Libya’s pariah status was at its peak.

    The claim emerged in the messy dispute between AIPAC and an ex-employee, Steve Rosen, and Rosen answered the question in an email just now: Jesse Jackson’s campaign.

    A very important caveat: Ron Kampeas notes that “Rosen told JTA that at the time he tried to leak the Libya story to the media with the approval of his bosses. Reporters never were able to confirm the story with a second source, however, and this week’s court filings mark the first time that the information has been made public.”

    And if it wasn’t confirmable, that may well be because it wasn’t true. Certainly, charges were never brought.

    Justin Elliott has more detail on ’80s investigations of ties between Jackson’s organization, PUSH, and Libya.

    An email to the press office of Jackson’s group wasn’t immediately returned.

    UPDATE: Rosen offered some more detail in an interview this afternoon. He had been approached, he said, by “a U.S. government official in a very sensitive area.” The official told him that “American counterintelligence had the Libyan Mission to the U.N. under surveillance because of a threat to the life of Jeanne Kirkpatrick.”

    “In the course of the surveillance they, somewhat by chance, witnessed two officials of Jackson’s presidential campaign receiving $100,000 – apparently in cash – from these Libyan agents,” he said.
    “They followed them to the bank, they had the bank deposit numbers and everything.”

    But, according to Rosen’s source, counterintelligence officials had decided to bury the information. They were operating in the shadow of the revelation that the FBI had wiretapped Martin Luther King, Jr. and “they didn’t want what they called a ‘racial incident,'” Rosen said. “My source was upset by that decision.”

    The source had asked Rosen to pass the information to a Senate Intelligence Committee staffer he was close to, which he did. The pro-Israel community, meanwhile, considered Jackson a threat, and so Rosen says AIPAC’s leadership also encouraged him to take it to the press. He told two Washington Post reporters, who dug around for a month but, he says, couldn’t confirm the story.

    Rosen’s friend on the Intelligence Committee, meanwhile, had reported the leak to the FBI, which sought to question Rosen. AIPAC hired a lawyer, he says (and here’s where it’s relevant to his case), who told them that there was no crime in receiving classified information, and advised AIPAC to rebuff the FBI and refuse to let them interview Rosen which, he says, they did.

  80. JanH
    December 16th, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Here is what Hillary said after:

    Press Briefing on Afghanistan-Pakistan Annual Review
    ——-
    Either Hillary is dead tired working 24/7 (but she looks great) or she is really bored reading this report…

  81. What a cesspit.

    Feds indict ex-Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick AGAIN in city corruption probe along with dad, pals.

    http://www.freep.com/article/20101215/NEWS01/101215008/1321/Feds-indict-Kilpatrick-dad-pals-Ferguson-and-Miller-in-city-corruption

    A federal grand jury today indicted former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his father and three former top aides on racketeering charges, accusing them of turning the mayor’s office into a criminal enterprise to enrich themselves, families and friends.

  82. according to drudge Gingrich is fighting not to let the bill pass?? Is this for real or just politics?? Do the rethugs they can get a better deal next year…or is the real reason is that they don’t want to pass the unemployment benefits.
    *****************************
    What can Gingrich do to block the bill, he’s not in Congress anymore (if we’re talking about Newt). If we’re talking about another Gingrich, ignore this question.

  83. BigCat

    Mentioned that 111 billion would be raided in Social Security funds over the next 2 years?????????????????
    ***************************
    The 2% cut in the Social Security payroll tax is for only one year, but the concern is that when the repubs take over the House, the tax will not be restored at the end of a year. I have to agree that this is a very likely scenario to begin to dismantle social security.

    ——–
    Did the Rethugs propose it, or did little BarryBoy just offer up the Social Security like a sacrificial lamb?

    With Barry and the Rethugs willing to help underfund SS, to pretend to ‘help’ the working class with tax breaks, this bill it as dirty as Bin Ladens pet goat’s ass!!

  84. Big Cat @4:27

    This seems to be the problem. When the Tax Bill was submitted it was submitted to the Senate rather than as the Constitution dictates… originatin in the House.
    __________________

    “Michelle Bachman explains why the tax bill has locked up the Democrat’s bowels. It was initiated in a way not prescribed by the Constitution:

    It was orginated in the Senate not the House.”
    _______________

    The Tax Bill would need a huge do-over..

  85. The Tax Bill would need a huge do-over..

    I would rather pay the extra taxes in Jan. and have a good bill passed without pork, without SS payroll cuts, fund unemployment, give the top 2% a kick in the ass, give a break to only those that hire 10 or more people and keep them for a year or longer…but that will never happen with these politicians.

  86. Did the Rethugs propose it, or did little BarryBoy just offer up the Social Security like a sacrificial lamb?
    *****************
    Damn good question!

  87. Fox News Poll: Just 29 Percent of Voters Think Obama Will Win Re-Election

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/12/16/fox-news-poll-just-percent-voters-think-obama-win-election/

    Barack Obama’s second year as president is ending on a low note in the eyes of American voters, according to a Fox News poll released Thursday.

    The president continues to suffer from upside-down job ratings, and the number who thinks he will be re-elected is down significantly. A slim majority now says the country would be better off with someone else as president. Even so, more voters would still rather have Obama as president right now than George W. Bush.

    These are just some of the findings from the latest Fox News national poll of registered voters.

    Expectations for Obama’s presidency have declined: 29 percent of voters expect Obama to rate as either “one of the country’s greatest” or as a “good” president. That’s down from 43 percent who felt that way a year ago — and down dramatically from 62 percent who had similarly high expectations soon after he was elected (December 2008).

  88. Texas Congressman John Carter says “Let’s shut this place down!”

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 16, 2010 Carter Calls for Reluctant Yes on Tax Cuts; Absolute No on Omnibus Spending “Let’s shut this place down”

    (WASHINGTON, DC) – House Republican Conference Secretary John Carter advised fellow House Members to pass the compromise tax cut agreement negotiated by Speaker-elect John Boehner as the best possible deal conservatives could get to block a massive tax increase in two weeks, but to defeat the Democrat’s Omnibus spending package to finance the federal government through 2011.

    The tax relief package preserves all of the Bush-era tax cuts, including the child tax credits and estate tax relief, and includes a new 2% reduction in social security taxes for one year. While adding an objectionable further extension of unemployment benefits, Carter says taxpayers and the national economy cannot afford to wait through months of legislative battle next year while withholding taxes increase by up to 50% on January 1.

    “Working families, small businesses, and our national economy simply cannot withstand that kind of economic blow for months on end while a Republican House fights a Democrat Senate and President, and that’s exactly what happens if we don’t immediately take this deal. I will hold my nose on the cost of the unemployment extension and vote yes, as giving taxpayers a break is the greater good.”

    But Carter says the pork-laden Omnibus spending package passed by the Senate is absolutely unacceptable, and a prime example of why Democrats lost control of Congress. “These people haven’t learned a thing from the beating they took in November, and it is obvious they never will listen to the voters,” Carter says. “Instead of letting the last act of Speaker Pelosi to be adding another $1.1 trillion dollars and 6,714 Democrat earmarks to our national debt, I say let’s shut this place down.”

  89. Mrs. Smith
    December 16th, 2010 at 4:55 pm
    McConnell submitted a Joint Resolution to postpone the bill until February 18, 2011. I have the Resolution here:

    Which bill is he delaying?

  90. Bigcat, he is proposing extending the funding to the Govt until Feb 18th so that they dont have to pass this huge spending pork trough.

  91. “The trial deals with Lakin’s actions, not Obama’s citizenship — Obama was born Aug. 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

    Lakin, who has become a cause celebre among those who do not believe Obama was born in the United States, told the court he should not have refused to meet with superiors.

    “I was praying and soul searching,” Lakin told the court. “I believed there was a question that needs to be answered to ensure a valid chain of command. But I had asked every question, done everything else I could short of disobeying orders, without success.”

    I never considered myself a birther, but this whole nonsense makes me think Waffles is hiding something, why the hell won’t he release his damn birth certificate?? and spending all these millions blocking all inquiries into basic questions that anyone in America has to answer if they apply for jobs, passports, enroll in school?? so now senior military personnel no longer can even question the CIC? have they read George Washington’s articles when he was betrayed by General Benedict Arnold?!?

  92. Mrs. Smith
    December 16th, 2010 at 2:53 pm
    On December 16th, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Michelle Bachman explains why the tax bill has locked up the Democrat’s bowels. It was initiated in a way not prescribed by the Constitution:

    It was orginated in the Senate not the House.
    &&&&&&&&&

    Yeah, I was wondering why the Senate passed it first…

    Didn’t they have some ditty for kids, “Here’s How a Bill is Made into Law”, with cartoon characters and all?

    Apparently they didn’t have Sesame Street in Kenya where Obama was born.

  93. This looks interesting

    House GOP considers constitutional test for all new legislation

    http://thehill.com/homenews/house/134111-house-gop-mulls-constitutional-test-for-all-bills

    House GOP transition team leaders will recommend a change to the lower chamber’s rules that would require all members to prove that their legislation is constitutional.

    GOP members who are leading the party’s transition to the majority unveiled a series of changes they will implement in the 112th Congress on Thursday, with many mirroring promises made in the GOP’s “Pledge to America.”

    Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), the head of the House Rules Working Group, on Thursday said the GOP transition team will recommend the adoption of a rule requiring lawmakers to provide constitutional authority for every bill.

    “The Constitution is not that long. The operating manual for a Toyota Camry is more than five times longer, so it should not be that difficult,” Bishop said.

    GOP leaders intended to send out a memo later Thursday providing guidance to members of the 112th Congress on how to deal with the new requirement, and suggest “resources they can go to to assist,” said Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), the chairman of the transition team.

    “The Constitution will suddenly become en vogue again” in the next House, Bishop said.

    Bishop confirmed that the transition team will recommend adding term limits for committee chairmen to the House rules — a provision that was in place when Republicans were in power from 1995 to 2007.

    But Walden said the transition team will not recommend similar term limits for House leadership members.

    “There’s a term limit for those [leaders] … they get to go before their conference after the election,” Walden said at a briefing with leaders of several transition team sub-panels, including Bishop and Reps. Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio) and Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.)

    Under the GOP-dominated House, the practice of using unrelated bills to move major measures will also come to an end, the transition leaders said.

    “We are going to make sure that one issue comes up at a time,” Bishop said. “No longer will we marry totally separate issues on the same piece of legislation. So that if we are going to vote on college loans … it won’t be added to some separate legislation.”

    A number of other rule changes are in the works — all bills and major amendments headed to the floor for a vote must be available online for a minimum of three days, and committees will have to announce mark-up meetings at least three days in advance so that the public knows they will happen, the Republicans said.

  94. “Rosen told JTA that at the time he tried to leak the Libya story to the media with the approval of his bosses. Reporters never were able to confirm the story with a second source, however, and this week’s court filings mark the first time that the information has been made public.”
    [….] But, according to Rosen’s source, counterintelligence officials had decided to bury the information. They were operating in the shadow of the revelation that the FBI had wiretapped Martin Luther King, Jr. and “they didn’t want what they called a ‘racial incident,’” Rosen said. “My source was upset by that decision.”

    The source had asked Rosen to pass the information to a Senate Intelligence Committee staffer he was close to, which he did. The pro-Israel community, meanwhile, considered Jackson a threat, and so Rosen says AIPAC’s leadership also encouraged him to take it to the press. He told two Washington Post reporters, who dug around for a month but, he says, couldn’t confirm the story.

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

    Sounds like a job for … Wikileaks!

  95. AIPAC hired a lawyer, he says (and here’s where it’s relevant to his case), who told them that there was no crime in receiving classified information, and advised AIPAC to rebuff the FBI and refuse to let them interview Rosen which, he says, they did.

    ===========

    No crime for a US citizen … perhaps then no crime for a foreigner?

  96. Moore donated $20,000 toward Assange’s bail. The total required was 300,000+ (don’t recall whether this was pounds or dollars).

    Later Sweden denied appealing the bail decision, said it was a higher Brit agency who appealed.

    Conditions of bail very strict: live in one house, police see him every day, wear tracking bracelet, his passport kept by police, etc.

  97. There are a long list of dems on the House floor talking against the tax cut bill. Is this bluff or will they actually vote against it.

  98. Those speaking on the House floor are saying they will vote against the bill: Jerry Nadler, Jesse Jackson jr., Mel Watt, Marcy Kaptur and others.

  99. Would be just political death for Obama if they vote it down.

    Obama is shooting all his party political capital on this.

  100. Michelle Malkin exposes massive land grab in Omnibus land bill

    Dec 15, 2010

    Michelle Malkin says that along with this omnibus spending bill is a 300 page omnibus public lands bill that amounts to a massive land grab of hundres of thousands of acres. She says that this land would be off limits to economic activity and to the border patrol, which she says represents a major threat to national security:

    In a last-ditch lame duck push, eco-lobbyists have been furiously pressuring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to pass a monstrous 327-page omnibus government lands bill crammed with more than 120 separate measures to lock up vast swaths of wilderness areas. Despite the time crunch, Senate Democrats in search of 60 votes are working behind the scenes to buy off green Republicans. House Democrats would then need a two-thirds majority to fast-track the bill to the White House before the GOP takes over on Jan. 5.

    Yes, the hurdles are high. But with Reid and company now vowing to work straight through Christmas into the new year (when politicians know Americans are preoccupied with the holidays), anything is possible. The Constitution is no obstacle to these power grabbers. Neither is a ticking clock.

    The Democrats’ brazen serial abuse of the lame-duck session is as damning as the green job-killing agenda enshrined in the overstuffed public lands package. Earlier this month, Reid assigned worker bees on three Senate committees — Energy and Natural Resources, Commerce, and Environment and Public Works — to draw up their public lands wish list. All behind closed doors, of course. House Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., rightly dubbed it a “Frankenstein omnibus of bills” and pointed out that the legislation “includes dozens of bills that have never passed a single committee, either chamber of Congress, or even been the subject of a hearing.”

    The sweeping bill bundles up scores of controversial proposals, including:

    – A stalled land transfer and gravel mining ban in Reid’s home state of Nevada.

    – The designation of the Devil’s Staircase Wilderness in Oregon as a federally protected wilderness where logging and road development would be prohibited.

    – Multiple watershed and scenic river designations that limit economic activity and threaten private property rights.

    – The creation of massive new national monument boundaries and wilderness areas along the southern border opposed by ranchers, farmers, local officials and citizens.

    “One New Mexico activist, Marita Noon, said the federal plans to usurp nearly a half-million acres in her state would result in an “illegal immigrant superhighway” off-limits to border security enforcement.

    Security analyst Dana Joel Gattuso pointed to a recent General Accounting Office report on how environmental permitting rules and land-use regulations have hampered policing efforts at all but three stations along the border.

    This jumbo green goodie bag would be a threat to financial security for untold numbers of workers in the demonized mining, logging and construction industries already reeling from economic hardship.

    Vigilant GOP Sen. James Inhofe has also called attention to how the Democrats’ ambitious water protection schemes would enhance the “broad, and unprecedented, scope of authority it grants EPA over state permitting programs.” In addition, restrictions on public access to newly expanded wilderness areas would hit hunters, fishermen and others in the recreation and tourism businesses.

    http://www.therightscoop.com/michelle-malkin-exposes-massive-land-grab-in-omnibus-land-bill

  101. Congression Quarterly pundit on c-span says the House does not expect the final vote on the tax cut bill until after midnight.

  102. Congress: No to Palestinian statehood declaration

    House of Representatives unanimously decides to remind Obama it supports Israel, passes motion saying US will not recognize Palestinian state declared without Israel’s approval, veto UN resolution to this effect if it is brought forth

    Yitzhak Benhorin Published: 12.16.10,

    The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a motion opposing a move being promoted by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, for recognition of a state within the 1967 borders without Israel’s agreement.

    The decision, which was reached by general consensus rather than a vote among house members, states that the US would not recognize a unilaterally declared Palestinian state and would veto any resolution for recognition brought forward in the UN Security Council without an agreement between the two sides.

    The Chairman of the House’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Howard Berman, initiated the decision. The precise wording states that the US “reaffirms its strong support for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    “The US reaffirms strong opposition to any attempt to establish or seek recognition of a Palestinian state outside of an agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians,” the motion says, also stating that “real and lasting peace could only be achieved through direct negotiations between the two sides”.

    The house mentioned that Palestinian leaders were threatening to make a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state and were requesting recognition from the UN and other international forums.

    “On November 24 2010 Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas wrote to the Brazilian President requesting that she recognize a Palestinian state, hoping that his actions would encourage other countries to recognize a Palestinian state.”

    Following the request, Brazil Argentina and Uruguay recognized a state within the 1967 borders. Berman’s decision includes a call on the government to lead diplomatic efforts to convince other countries to oppose such moves.

    The house also called on the Palestinian leadership to cease all efforts at circumventing the negotiation process, including efforts to gain recognition of a Palestinian state.

    It also calls on Abbas to resume direct negotiations with Israel immediately and expresses support for the Obama Administration’s opposition to a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.

    Mitchell proposes ‘parallel’ talks

    Meanwhile, US special envoy George Mitchell has proposed six weeks of “parallel” negotiations with Israeli and Palestinians negotiators, a Palestinian official said on Wednesday.

    Mitchell, who met Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas on Tuesday, suggested the US administration hold “parallel talks with the Palestinian and Israeli sides separately, and not negotiations,” he told AFP, on condition of anonymity.

    Over six weeks from Sunday, the two sides would meet US officials to discuss the issue of security, and from Monday for talks on border arrangements for a peace deal, as well as any other issues requested by the two parties.

    “What is discussed with each side will not be divulged to the other, but the aim is for the US administration to form an idea of what the two parties want with a view to drawing up a strategy to re-launch direct negotiations at the time it deems appropriate.”

    http://www.worldjewishdaily.com/toolbar.html?4t=extlink&4u=http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3999994,00.html

  103. JanH
    December 16th, 2010 at 7:07 pm
    Congress: No to Palestinian statehood declaration

    House of Representatives unanimously decides to remind Obama it supports Israel, passes motion saying US will not recognize Palestinian state declared without Israel’s approval, veto UN resolution to this effect if it is brought forth.
    __________________________

    If Obama had to be reminded who’s side we’re on- means he made another promise he couldn’t keep-

    When, oh when, is someone going to take this president to the woodshed?

  104. pm317
    December 16th, 2010 at 7:31 pm
    **************

    Too funny, kinda like the Nobel peace prize. All these prizes are bought and paid for, nothing to do with merit. Time was told NOT to give it to Assange by the powers that be, and surprise, we have a ‘winner’ ladies and gentlemen…now if you please follow me, I have a bridge I want to sell you.

  105. BigCatLover
    December 16th, 2010 at 6:57 pm
    Congression Quarterly pundit on c-span says the House does not expect the final vote on the tax cut bill until after midnight.
    ***********

    Of course, when we are tucked into bed…in the dead of the night…there ought to be a law!

  106. moononpluto
    December 16th, 2010 at 6:36 pm
    Would be just political death for Obama if they vote it down.

    Obama is shooting all his party political capital on this.
    ***********

    We thought that on heath care, but like Freddie the 13th, he just keeps coming. A freaking nightmare

  107. Mrs. Smith
    December 16th, 2010 at 2:53 pm
    On December 16th, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Michelle Bachman explains why the tax bill has locked up the Democrat’s bowels. It was initiated in a way not prescribed by the Constitution:
    ***********
    Didn’t seem to bother them passing the heath care fiasco or from numerous other bills stealing and mandating American citizen’s to give up their freedoms and liberties!

  108. Carter says. “Instead of letting the last act of Speaker Pelosi to be adding another $1.1 trillion dollars and 6,714 Democrat earmarks to our national debt, I say let’s shut this place down.”
    ***********
    Amen

  109. Dem. Senate leader Harry Reid abandons effort to pass $1.1 trillion spending bill; extend current funding instead – Reuters

    and come the next senate, it aint gonna get passed

  110. Kerry: Why Should We Read The Bill When We Could Be Passing It?
    —Ace

    Almost president, you know.

    He is talking specifically about the reading of the bill, aloud, on the Senate floor that DeMint is going to force, but that is really a chance to read it for the first time.

    I can’t believe the whining here about “wasting time,” by which he means wasting vacation time — the sooner he’s done with work, he gets to go to Cape Cod or wherever.

    If you don’t want to take the time to read the bill, pass a stupid one-month continuing resolution as Mitch McConnell proposed and then you get to go home early. Okay?

  111. “That’s our job. That’s what we’re supposed to do,” Mr. Reid

    Preparing for a final showdown on the massive $1.1 trillion spending bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid defended the thousands of earmarks in the measure as the basic function of Congress.

    “That’s our job. That’s what we’re supposed to do,” Mr. Reid, Nevada Democrat, said as he chastised fellow senators who, while having requested pork-barrel spending earlier this year, are now decrying their inclusion in the spending bill.

    Mr. Reid challenged those senators to voluntarily agree to strip their own earmarks out of the bill, and said so far, nobody has taken him up on that.

  112. “If Obama had to be reminded who’s side we’re on- means he made another promise he couldn’t keep-

    When, oh when, is someone going to take this president to the woodshed?”

    ——————
    Exactly.

  113. I see, MM


    thehotjoints‎: RT @michellemalkin: Reid just filed cloture for DREAM and DADT.
    Twitter – 2 minutes ago

    candi_taylor68‎: RT @michellemalkin: Omniporkulus, R.I.P.: The tombstone. GOP obstructionism trumps Dem destructionism.
    Michelle Malkin » Lame-duck all-nighter watch: Open thread …‎ – michellemalkin.com
    Twitter – 2 minutes ago

    helpmerhonda61‎: RT @michellemalkin: MT @JimDeMint: 2 embarrassed 2 read their spending bill, Ds agree 2 shortterm CR, funding govt @ current lvls w/o ea …

  114. Rep. Peter DeFazio is on Parker/Spitzer and says Democrats misjudged the number of votes they had for the Bush tax rates bill and those opposing want to change more than the estate tax provision. He says things are up in the air about whether they will vote on the bill. Parker/Spitzer verifies that Reid pulled the spending bill.

  115. “Didn’t seem to bother them passing the heath care fiasco or from numerous other bills stealing and mandating American citizen’s to give up their freedoms and liberties.”
    _______________________

    Of course not- No one had read it yet. Plus the Federal Judge just ruled they can’t penalize people or use enforcement for not “buying” Obamacare.

  116. CNN is reporting that 100 plus antiwar demonstrators were arrested at the WH fence. Supposedly anti war Obama has protestors at his door. Ain’t life strange.

  117. I can only believe it was the pressure of the people that prevented this.
    ********************

    Senate Dem leader drops nearly $1.3T spending bill
    Dec 16 07:55 PM US/Eastern

    McConnell Offers 1-Page Resolution In Place of 1924-Page Spending Bill

    WASHINGTON (AP) – Democrats controlling the Senate have abandoned a 1,924-page catchall spending measure that’s laced with homestate pet projects known as earmarks and that would have provided another $158 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Nevada Democrat Harry Reid gave up on the nearly $1.3 trillion bill after several Republicans who had been thinking of voting for the bill pulled back their support.

    GOP leader Mitch McConnell threw his weight against the bill in recent days, saying it was in his words “unbelievable” that Democrats would try to muscle through in just a few days legislation that usually takes months to debate.

    Reid said he would work with McConnell to produce a short-term funding bill to keep the government running into early next year.

    THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

    WASHINGTON (AP)—The top Senate Republican has offered a one-page bill to prevent a government shutdown on Saturday as an alternative to a 1,924-page catchall spending measure offered by Democrats.

    Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell says it’s unbelievable that Democrats want to pass the measure in just a few days as Christmas approaches. He says Congress should pass a less costly bill next year—when Republicans will have more leverage.

    McConnell had earlier quietly backed the effort to produce the nearly $1.3 trillion bill, but he’s now trying to kill it. McConnell also obtained $85 million in so-called earmarks for Kentucky.

    Democrats say they’ll take up the bill later Thursday. It bankrolls every Cabinet agency for the budget year that started Oct. 1.

  118. .

    URGENT URGENT Sen Harry Reid (D-NV) says he won’t force vote on earmark-filled Senate Omnibus budget bill
    Various reports are now saying Reid is going to talk to McConnell about a short term Continuing Resolution (which is what McConnell demanded earlier today).

    Reid says he had commitments from 9 Republicans to vote for Omnibus but they walked away from it.

    Well, they may not be committed to fiscal discipline but it seems they are scared. That’s good enough.

    On the downside…Reid is filing cloture on DADT and DREAM Act. He’s likely to get DADT passed.

    On the floor now…McCain and Mark Kirk are gloating over the death of the Omnibus. Kirk asked McCain, “Did we win?” McCain said yes in an oblique, not rub it in kind of way.

    Apparently the GOP put together another letter that they all signed saying, ‘no’. And so it died.

    Now McCaskill is whining about how the GOP is taking all the credit for this. Heh. This is delicious.

    Related: House passes rule and is now debating tax cut deal. It sounds like there will be no change except to perhaps allow a separate vote on the Death Tax and the overall package.

    It will pass later tonight.

  119. Looks like Obama has lost complete control of the house and senate and party, it really is a political shitstorm for him.

  120. Kerry sleeping on a cot? 😆

    I bet the Tax Dodger hasn’t paid the Sales Tax on his new yacht as of yet. Probably has it anchored in Barbados for the holidays.

  121. Is this the tax compromise which Obama said if it does not pass it is the end of his presidency. If so then his presidency is on life support. Funny though, because FOX has not caught up because their blog says the tax compromise is back on track. Or are we confusing the tax compromise with the pork laden trillion dollar budget. I have been away today/
    —————————————-

    Panic: House Dems yank tax deal rule off floor; Update: “What a screw-up”
    By Michelle Malkin • December 16, 2010 12:55 PM

    Interesting goings-on in Washington. On the House floor just now, Democrats have just withdrawn the rule on the tax deal and moved on to a different bill providing technical corrections for the bankruptcy law.

    Jo Maney from GOP Rep. David Dreier’s office explains: “Dems just pulled tax bill rule…they can amend it on the floor without having to go to back to committee. But it’s unclear how they will proceed at this point.”
    ***
    Jamie Dupree is on the House floor interviewing Dems about the mess. He tweets: “What a screw up” one floor staffer just told me; House Dems “in the process of discussing” said one top Dem…Some Dems say a confusing rule & parliamentary situation has led to lack of votes for tax deal.”

  122. Political commentators are wondering where the WH head is at.

    A big political opportunity is missed for WH: it might as well have opposed the omnibus bill if it was doomed anyway. Just exactly are the communication lines from the WH to congress….are they not talking.

    …………………………………………..

    I have a niggling feeling there is a frosty relationship between congress and the WH, they really do think Obama is off doing stuff on his own and not consulting, this is the feeling i am getting. If so Obama is really cutting his own throat.

  123. Reid says he had commitments from 9 Republicans to vote for Omnibus but they walked away from it.

    Well, they may not be committed to fiscal discipline but it seems they are scared. That’s good enough.
    *****************************
    They’re just kicking it down the road until they can take over and put all their pork in there and shut the dems out, unless they play nice.

  124. Not to be forgotten:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46520.html

    With Washington facing a funding cutoff Saturday night, the result is a genuine fiscal crisis — at once serious and rich in political farce.

    Democrats have only themselves to blame for failing to pass any of the 12 annual appropriations bills that fund the day-to-day operations of the government. At the same time, Republicans contributed mightily to this failure and are going through their own culture war — torn between the Senate’s old-bull pork-barrel ways and the more temperate fiscal gospel of their new tea party allies.

  125. Reid is a lying sack of shit. In this case however he may be telling the truth. After all you do have quislings like Hatch, Brown, Collins and you aint nothing but a hound dog Snow. Obama–did somebody say snow? Lets build a superhighway to the poppy fields, we will use eminent domain and life will be good. No silly goose–we mean Olympia Snowe and she sends her regards and reminds you that valentines day is less than two months away so gather ye rosebuds while ye may. Euch.

  126. could we say OMNI-BUSTED.
    ———————-
    Let us hope that mcconnell does not do something stupid, that boehner holds to line, that we find all all the little dirty things the dims were trying to rush through in the eleventh hour without anyone knowing about it. To all those who oppose tyranny I would say this: when you have the bad guys on the ropes, NEVER EVER let them up. And that FOX updates its website. Filing the bill in the wrong chamber is certainly a mishap for Obama.

  127. Obama is the Third Bush Term only much worse than the first two.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46514.html

    Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who will be the top Democrat on the Budget Committee come January, tried to funnel frustration with the overall bill into a focus on just the estate tax, which he portrayed as a political and policy winner for his caucus. But in the end, liberals viewed too many elements of the bill as odious — as painful giveaways to the rich—to target just one for change.

    Republicans, on the other hand, remained on the sideline, giddy at the deal they were destined to secure.

    I’m trying to remember something that we passed under Bush that was this good,” one senior House Republican aide said.

    Indeed, the bill combines a series of tax breaks that Bush didn’t dare to put in one piece of legislation during his presidency – a cornucopia that took him several years to attain.

    But with Democrats tripping over their own feet, Republicans enjoyed a view from the sidelines.

  128. Olympia Snow is a nothing but a sell out and a coward. Her vote was the one that let that awful deathcare bill out of committee, she “wanted to make history”, when she found out that Reid lied to her, she later voted against it… by then it was too freaking late.

    Oh yes, she will enjoy the best healthcare America still has to offer, after all Congress is exempt from all the crap they passed on the deathcare bill that the rest of America has to suffer through.

    She is the one person who is hugely responsible for that awful disgusting deathcare bill, as much as she wants to now pretend she didn’t participate in forcing it on the American people.

  129. AAAAAW poor diddums cant go on his holiday

    Saturday was the day Pres. Obama had hoped to begin his Hawaii vacation. WH says he wont leave as long as Congress is in session.

    ……………………………………………………

    Nah he’ll probably ask Bill and Hill to step in while he runs off to Hawaii.

  130. I never remember being this afraid of what other crap politicians, demonRat politicians would force onto the American people.

    Even when Bush was president, I don’t ever remember being this afraid at what more crap they were going to throw at the American people.

  131. CNN update banner headline: Procedure problem delays House vote on tax bill.
    ———————-
    These propandaists shrink from using the right word. It aint a procedural problem. It is a monumental and unprecedented screwup which is part political farce and part fiscal madness. A low level staffer or intern knows this much–but not Harry Reid. If Byrd were still kicking this would not have happened. It is a good thing for the country that he is no longer kicking–at least not this side of the grave.

  132. From gods mouth to Bagdad Jim’s ear: ” Obama gave the store away”. Maybe not if this thing does not get back on track. But I would give Obama all the credit in the world for trying. He made a good faith effort to give the store away.

  133. I never thought I would see the day when another President made Bush look competent and in record time too.

  134. wbboei
    That’s the HOUSE tax bill not the Senate spending bill CNN is talking about.
    ———————————————–
    Thanks BigCatLover. What is the procedural problem in the House bill? And why does the FOX website saying the house bill is back on track?

  135. wbboei
    Sorry, I don’t know, but the person on the House floor that was controlling the dem time during the debate that’s going on about the bill left the floor and another Rep. took over. Maybe the dems are meeting again about rounding up the votes before the final vote.

  136. I never thought I would see the day when another President made Bush look competent and in record time too.
    ———————————–
    Nor did I moon. Evidently, competence is a relative term. That goes for Chuck Todd as well. I read his wiki yesterday and learned that among his other estimable qualities he is a college drop out. I think that may be a distinction he shares with Brian Williams. When you have as much “talent” as they do, more learning would just hold them back from achieving their true potential.

  137. chuckie todd is a college dropout?? really? I didn’t not know that! brian williams as well?

    wow, that’s a lot of arrogant and elitism from 2 jerks that are college dropouts.

    a story that was only ever published in a few articles and kept from the public, John Hardwood was having an affair with Senator Maria Cantwell (spelling?), only a few media sources published it, the rest protected Hardwood.

    Yes, the state of “journalism”, lovely, isn’t it?

  138. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/bernie-sanders-puts-barack-obama-to-shame-20101215

    I can live with the president fighting for something and failing; what I can’t stand is a politician who changes his mind for the sake of expediency and then pretends that was what he believed all along. You just can’t imagine someone like Sanders doing something like that; his MO instead would be to take his best shot for what he actually believes and let the chips fall where they may, budging a little maybe to get a worthwhile deal done but never turning his entire face inside out just to get through the day. This idea that you can’t be an honest man and a Washington politician is a myth, a crock made up by sellouts and careerist hacks who don’t stand for anything and are impatient with people who do. It’s possible to do this job with honor and dignity. It’s just that most of our politicians – our president included, apparently – would rather not bother.

  139. wbboei
    Sorry, I don’t know, but the person on the House floor that was controlling the dem time during the debate that’s going on about the bill left the floor and another Rep. took over. Maybe the dems are meeting again about rounding up the votes before the final vote

    I guess it is what I posted above–re. the bankruptcy bill. I thought the procedural defect was the bill was not initiated in the right venue. That must be something else.

    wbboei
    December 16th, 2010 at 8:24 pm

  140. I can live with the president fighting for something and failing; what I can’t stand is a politician who changes his mind for the sake of expediency and then pretends that was what he believed all along. You just can’t imagine someone like Sanders doing something like that; his MO instead would be to take his best shot for what he actually believes and let the chips fall where they may, budging a little maybe to get a worthwhile deal done but never turning his entire face inside out just to get through the day. This idea that you can’t be an honest man and a Washington politician is a myth, a crock made up by sellouts and careerist hacks who don’t stand for anything and are impatient with people who do. It’s possible to do this job with honor and dignity. It’s just that most of our politicians – our president included, apparently – would rather not bother.
    ==========================
    It takes character.

  141. moononpluto
    December 16th, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    as my nephew would say… BWAHHHHHHH

    Kate and William are afraid they will get another stupid Ipod as wedding presents.

  142. tim
    December 16th, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    chuckie todd is a college dropout?? really? I didn’t not know that! brian williams as well?

    wow, that’s a lot of arrogant and elitism from 2 jerks that are college dropouts.
    ———————————–
    Yes on both points. Here is the relevant information from Wiki . . . Both poli sci majors. Neither one of them studied journalism. But then again neither did Pumpkin Head Russert. De mortimus nisi malum.

    1. Brian Williams: “After high school, he attended Brookdale Community College, before transferring to George Washington University, and then to The Catholic University of America.[8] He did not graduate, instead taking an internship with the administration of President Jimmy Carter. He now calls leaving college one of his “great regrets.”

    2. Chuck Todd: He attended George Washington University from 1990 to 1994; although he majored in political science and minored in music, he did not graduate.[11] Todd is an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University.[12]”

  143. and oh wait for it…. Waffles and the Mrs. Waffles will send out the race-goons to play the race card against Kate and William, I would bet money on it. By next week, “the royals are racist”.

  144. He ran on ‘character’. He told them he had character better than any other politician..and everybody who voted for him got punked.

  145. Rolling thunder and racism. Now its tinsel towns turn to attack Obama. The African American community needs to separate itself from this guy. He aint army and he aint one of them. He is an elitist, and has no connection to the civil rights movement. There are many other role models who walk the walk/
    ——————————————————————

    Hollywood’s Growing Chorus of Obama Criticism

    Hollywood’s adoration for President Obama has never really been all that shocking, but what may be surprising is how famous singers and actors are increasingly saying they aren’t so happy with the commander-in-chief.

    The latest comes from singer Barbra Streisand, who on Thursday was asked if she’s disappointed in Obama.

    “At first, maybe a little, because I would have liked to have him use his executive privilege to, if that’s possible legally, to get rid of something like ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,'” she said. “I think people admire real strength, even though it’s misguided,” she told CNN’s Larry King.

    Streisand actually skipped town for the midterms and slammed Democrats for not getting their message out well enough.

    She did add one final accolade though, “Obama. And he’s cool. And he’s very smart.”

    It’s Obama’s stance on gay issues that seems to really get the Hollywood crowd going.

    “Glee’s” Jane Lynch railed against the president’s stance on gay marriage earlier this year (Obama’s opposed to it, but supports something like civil unions). “Shouldn’t there be safeguards against the majority voting on the rights of a minority? If people voted on civil rights in the ’60s, it would have never happened. It took somebody like [President] Lyndon Johnson going, ‘F all of you! I’m going to do this.’ Obama won’t do it. He’s a huge disappointment to me,” Lynch said to Britain’s The Guardian.

    In September, comedian and “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart was asked by Fox’s Bill O’Reilly if he had Obama remorse.

    “I think people feel a disappointment in that there was a sense that ‘Oh Jesus will walk on water,’ and now you’re looking at it like, ‘Look at that, he’s just treading water,'” Stewart said.

    But Stewart noted, he’s still not quite measuring up, “I thought he’d do a better job.”

    KISS singer Gene Simmons even went so far as to say he wants to take back his vote.

    “I voted because the man that was running was a moment in history. I–in the back of my mind I wanted to show the world that America, the land of slaves…the land that tortured its black population for hundreds of years is also the place of hope that can give an African American the chance to lead the most powerful place on the face of the planet. However, if you take a look at the resume, you couldn’t find somebody–in retrospect–more unqualified.” on CNN’s “Parker/Spitzer” this month.

    Actor Matt Damon, who was a very early supporter of candidate Obama, also said he’s “disappointed” with the president’s progress, telling the New York Daily news in February, “Everyone feels a little let down.” “Because on some level, people expected all their problems to go away,” Damon said.

    And it’s those high expectations that might just be part of the problem and something the White House has been working earnestly to address over the last year.

    The tax cut compromise has been the latest example of the White House trying to ease their annoyed base. Obama and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs have both been trying to point out all the administration has accomplished, and attempting to get the Democrats and the far-left to tamper down the negativity.

    Obama had a star-studded inaugural weekend, with a concert featuring Bruce Springsteen and Sheryl Crow among others, and Beyonce singing “At Last” for the first couple’s kick-off dance.

    Many in Hollywood of course still support and praise the president, but the chorus of critics seems to be increasing.

    Filed In White House

  146. On LKL, Bill Maher asked Bill Clinton why he had never done Bill’s M’s show. Can you believe that Maher creep?

  147. I’d piss myself if Kate and William invited the Clintons, after all they were great friends of Diana’s.

    The Wookie would be beside herself.

  148. moononpluto
    December 16th, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    LOL, they can invite chelsea and hillary’s mom dorothy, that would make Mrs. Waffles rip off more sleeves!

  149. Harry hairy Reid couldn’t get his airheads to pass the tumbleweed infested, porky earmark Onotmebus bill passed. Yippie!!!!

    Close the darn government down. Don’t pay any of them.

  150. Posted on PUMApac

    Dear Friends of the Alice Paul Institute,

    Exciting news from Washington today!!!

    CONTACTS:
    Menendez Press Office 202-224-4744

    MENENDEZ TAKES THE SENATE LEAD ON EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT
    Equal protection under the law for women has never been added to the Constitution
    Companion bill in House sponsored by Rep. Maloney

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today introduced the Equal Rights Amendment in the Senate, taking the baton on this landmark women’s equality legislation from the late Senator Edward Kennedy. The ERA would add a simple 52 word amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing equal rights under the law, regardless of gender.

    As a Constitutional amendment, the ERA would require Congressional passage and ratification by 38 states. Companion legislation in the House of Representatives has been introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-13), a long-time sponsor of the ERA. The Senate version is co-sponsored by Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), John Kerry (D-MA), Carl Levin (D-MI), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Christopher Dodd (D-CT).

    “Most people are surprised when they find out that, in the 21st Century, American women still are not constitutionally guaranteed equal rights under the law,” said Menendez. “It’s a sign of the great advancements made in public attitudes, but also of the distance we still must go to ensure that women’s rights continue to advance and never backslide. It is time to bring our laws in line with our times by guaranteeing equality for women.”

    “Though women have a significant patchwork of legal protections today, nothing compares to protection under the U.S. Constitution,” Rep. Maloney said. “These 52 words, when passed by Congress and ratified by 38 states, would ensure women’s rights as nothing else would. I’m grateful that Senator Menendez, a like-minded man, is re-introducing the Equal Rights Amendment in the Senate, as I have already done in the House.”

    The Equal Rights Amendment dates back to 1848, and in 1970, it passed Congress and was ratified by 35 of 38 states necessary to amend the Constitution.

    A few of the ways the amendment would guarantee the equal rights of men and women are:

    Clarifying the legal status of sex discrimination for the courts by making sex a suspect category subject to strict judicial scrutiny, similar to race, religion, and national origin.

    Guaranteeing equal footing for women in the legal systems of all 50 states.

    Ensuring that government programs and federal resources benefit men and women equally.

    Fact sheet on the ERA, from the office of Rep. Maloney: http://maloney.house.gov/documents/women /era/AUGUST%2012%20Facts%20About%20the%20ERA%20in%20the%20111th%20Congress.pdf

  151. wbboei, this right here showed what the man was made of, in a small way:

    and Beyonce singing “At Last” for the first couple’s kick-off dance.

    Puhleeeze. If you are going to have “At Last” sung at your inaugural ball, then you get the REAL DEAL to sing it, because the woman is still alive and kicking and singing her heart out. You get the great ETTA JAMES to sing her signature song, not freaking Beyonce.

    Lame, wanna-be pretenders, more worried about what’s now and cool and hip, rather than true greatness.

  152. The excuse for Porkulus is always that “it doesn’t matter, even 8 billion is a tiny drop in the bucket – cutting all earmarks would not make a dent in the budget”.

    I say BULLSHIT. It’s the principle and discipline of the thing. When money gets tight and I have to budget, I KNOW that it’s really the house payment and gas and other things that eat up the biggest chunks. And no, cutting out sodas and Starbucks is really not going to make a huge dent in what I owe. But I do it anyway. I cut where I can, even if it’s a few dollars. I don’t sit on my ass buying sodas and lattes, telling myself “it really doesn’t matter, it’s such a piddling amount.” Lalala, no point giving up that little crap – just resign myself to the hopelessness of it all….

    Any idiot that has ever had to budget knows that you CUT PENNIES WHERE YOU CAN, even if the big ticket stuff can’t be touched yet. It’s as much for the discipline and mental exercise as anything. It gets your head on straight so that when the big cuts come, you are ready.

  153. Poll: Most see Obama losing in 2012
    172 Comments RSSEmailPrint

    Views of whether Obama deserves a second term also broke down along partisan lines. | AP Photo Close
    By JENNIFER EPSTEIN | 12/16/10 3:57 PM EST Updated: 12/16/10 4:04 PM EST

    Most voters don’t believe President Barack Obama will win reelection, or that he deserves to, according to a new poll released Thursday.

    Just 29 percent of the registered voters surveyed by Fox News and Opinion Dynamics said they believed Obama would win in 2012; 64 percent said they expected him to lose.

    Continue Reading
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    POLITICO 44

    Views of Obama’s ability to get reelected broke down along party lines, with 49 percent of Democrats and 10 percent of Republicans saying Obama would win.

    In a similar poll a year ago, 44 percent of the voters said Obama would win.

    In a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released earlier this week, Obama led a generic Republican presidential candidate, 43 to 39 percent, and specific candidates by even larger margins.

    Views of whether Obama deserves a second term also broke down along partisan lines.

    Overall, 35 percent of those surveyed said he deserves reelection. Among Democrats, it was 67 percent and among Republicans just 7 percent.

    Among independents, 32 percent said Obama deserves reelection.

    The national telephone survey of 900 registered voters poll was conducted Dec. 14-15, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46499.html#ixzz18L42EQU0

  154. Jan, I was with him up to a point, because this thing can be spun. However he loses me with this latest diatribe. He has gone too far down the rabbit hole. He is absolutely pissed at the republicans for not driving a harder bargain and so am I. That is where he is coming from. He detests Obama and would not drink the koolaid. But he has no respect for establishment republicans and believes that they are the ones who are aiding him right now, without realizing it.

  155. To me the proposition is very simple: if borders do not count then property rights in general do not count. Fine. If those are the rules, then we need to take over the vast estates, occupy the Kennedy compound, move into the Pelosi digs. Without property rights there is no equitable principle to permit people like Nancy to live like Marie Antoniette, when there are thousands of homeless in the bay area where she lives. For the same reason, you cannot reward illegal immigration. This misnamed dream act is a toxic thing. Any legislator who votes for it should be run out of office with pitchforks. It is a magnet for more illegal immigration.
    ————————————————————————

    Tuesday Update on Senate Effort to Pass DREAM Act Amnesty
    By Roy Beck, Tuesday, December 14, 2010, 12:00 PM EST

    My gut feeling is still that we ought to be able to defeat the House-passed Dream Act amnesty when it comes up for a vote in the Senate later this week.

    But . . .

    Do you really want to rely on my gut?

    The PRO-amnesty TV network Univision is reporting that the DREAM Act amnesty is 4 votes short of the 60 needed for passage. Mass. Sen. Brown’s courageous announcement of his NO vote at a Salvation Army fundraiser yesterday puts Senate passage of the House-passed amnesty farther out of reach. But the PRO-amnesty forces claim they have already processed 160,000 phone calls into Congress. And groups of PRO-amnesty clergy are meeting with Undeclared Senators to explain how a moral person would vote. Sen. Reid is threatening to bring the Senate back after Christmas to try to ensure that the amnesty passes.

    Here’s my full update for today . . .

    Pro-amnesty forces claim they are only one vote short of victory. I really believe this is part of their two-year-long bluff to try to make themselves seem like they have momentum in order to perhaps frighten some Senators to join the “winning” team. Nonetheless, their claim is unnerving. We can’t afford to do anything but take it seriously. The pro-amnesty TV network Univision is reporting 4 votes short of 60, with several still Undeclared. That is scary enough.
    Sen. Brown says NO! That’s the best news from yesterday. He was the Republican whom the pro-amnesty forces claimed was going to get them to the 60-vote victory mark. (See more details below.) Congratulations to all you activists in Massachusetts.
    Senate isn’t going home at end of week. Senate Majority Leader Reid had earlier indicated he wouldn’t keep Senators in session until Christmas Eve like he did last year. Typically, Congress adjourns before Thanksgiving to allow the nation to feel safe at least for the month of December. Reid was supposedly going to let the Senate go home at the end of this week. (The newly elected Congress takes over Jan. 5.) If the Congress adjourned at the end of this week, it was going to be hard to shoe-horn the DREAM Act amnesty debate and vote in between all the giant have-to business. But now, it looks like the Senate is staying in session until next week and maybe until next Thursday the 23rd. Bad news for us.

    Amnesty vote unlikely before LATE this week. Yesterday, we were saying the amnesty vote might happen as early as Wednesday (tomorrow). With the extended Senate session, it is difficult to see the amnesty coming up before this weekend and probably next week. That gives the various contingents of illegal-alien students and clergy coalitions a lot more time to lay guilt trips on Undeclared and squishy-NO Senators back home. More bad news.
    We apparently have only one chance instead of two to defeat on cloture votes. Previously, Sen. Reid had to get 60 votes to pass cloture to START debate on the DREAM amnesty. If we lost that one, we would have another chance to keep him from getting 60 votes to pass cloture to STOP debate and have a final vote. That has changed. Because the House has sent over its own DREAM amnesty, Reid can bring it up for debate at any time WITHOUT a cloture vote. We expect that he will immediately file cloture to STOP the debate even before it begins. Once he does that, he can’t hold the cloture vote until two days later. This isn’t a big deal, but the change does disadvantage us somewhat from our ability to kill the amnesty

  156. The Pomeroy amendment has failed in the House. Final passage is expected soon. As we predicted all the whining from the Obama Dimocrats in the House led to a great big fail.

  157. JanH
    December 16th, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    He’s a conservative Republican, and Obama just enshrined the Bush tax policy with a Democratic majority. What did you expect Krauthammer would think?

  158. wbboei,

    What kind of better deal did you expect Republicans to get than extending Bush-era taxes, thereby leaving Democrats basically giving up on mildly progressive taxation? What better deal is that? This is the best tax cut for the wealthy in at least 100 years. Not sure what you think constitutes a “better deal” from a conservative Republican stand point.

  159. admin
    December 16th, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    They are not all Obama democrats. Lots of those people supported Hillary. They are all a bunch of weak kneed fools who just basically undermined the entire reason for the Democratic Party to even exist though.

  160. Like Admin said, this was all a show. We should nominate them for an Oscar. All they wanted to do was to Appear to fight the issue, and stand up for what the voters want. In the end they will stick their noses where they always have, up Os you know what.

  161. Olympia Snow is a nothing but a sell out and a coward. Her vote was the one that let that awful deathcare bill out of committee,
    ********
    I think that she was just following orders from the rethug Senate leadership. Both parties have the rotating designated mavericks or “bad guys”. The leadership got their marching orders from the “Big Health” lobbyists to pass the law. I can guarantee that Pharma didn’t give $150 million to pass the health scam without it being “wired” at the beginning with both parties leadership. Just like “financial” reform, TARP II, Stim. Bill, etc., put on a show but pass the law that benefit the Big Money groups.

  162. Well, it’s done. Without a shred of dignity, like thieves in the night, they just made Bush economics the law of the land.

  163. What kind of better deal did you expect Republicans to get than extending Bush-era taxes, thereby leaving Democrats basically giving up on mildly progressive taxation? What better deal is that? This is the best tax cut for the wealthy in at least 100 years. Not sure what you think constitutes a “better deal” from a conservative Republican stand point.
    ———————————
    mj: I wanted a 10 year tax freeze– for small businesses who employ people only. That is where the job creation will come from. I do not want to give any tax freeze to people who just make alot of money, and do not employ people. If they employ illegals, I would hit them with a tax substantial tax penalty–because if we do not punish that behavior, their competitors will be compelled to employ illegals as well. When it comes to Republicans I draw a sharp distinction between big business repubilican whom generally I have no use for vs small business republicans–and no less democrats who are the backbone of our economy. I am still struggling with Poseners book, but when I finally wade through it I will understand what we need to do to restore the economy, and I am convinced that neither party is proposing the right plan now. The financial reform bill was a pre emptive move by the elites to head off and thwart real reform. Judge Posener does agree with my and La Rouche one of the things that must be done is to restore Glass Steegle. You may or may not recall I worked on that effort while it was pending in congress, just calling around and noting that a diverse group of courageous people like Cantwell from my state, Tom Harkin, Russ Feingold whom I like, and even McCain pressed for it, but Obama and his cronies like the detestable motor mouthed rodent Chris Dodd were death on it. I got upset with Bachelor at another site last night because he was pronouncing economic recovery and job prosperity are right around the corner. If you read Posener you know that is not true.

  164. wbboei
    December 17th, 2010 at 12:20 am

    There was no Party suggesting that at all. The Republicans certainly were not going to. But I have to tell you, it depends on what your definition of small business is, my brother-in-law owns what you may consider a small business, and he doesn’t need a tax break to employ people. Indeed, he sits on wads of money as it is. He probably spends about 20% of his income. A tax break wouldn’t have him employing anyone else. Only when demand exceeds what his staff can do will he employ people. For the truly small business, those that do a few of million or less in revenue, I agree with your theory, because these businesses are often struggling to keep up with demand. But, Krauthammer wasn’t suggesting that when he said Republicans should have got a better deal. The deal he wants is the same ole same ole from the GOP.

  165. wbboei, I understand your frustration. I feel the same way. But the truth is neither of these Parties is going to do anything other than see who can suck up to the super wealthy the best, and the washington editorialist live in the past where they think that’s the way it ought to be.

  166. There was no Party suggesting that at all.
    ——————————-
    That is true. But there were some centrist voices, like Joe Sestak who came pretty close to saying it. I assume from your comments that your brother in law has good margins. Jbstonesfans posts suggests that he does too. But that is not true of many small businesses, particularly start-ups. For example, my friend in Indiana has a friend who owns two or three Wendy’s hamburger restaurants. She has devoted the last two decades to building those businesses up to the point where she employs 120 people. She works long hours herself, as most small businesses do. She told my friend that if her taxes go up she will have to lay off half those people, and that will leave them and their families in the lurch–or on unemployment and public assistance. That is what I want to protect–the ability of those people to survive and grow, and tax cuts can help. I have no interest in helping the plutocrats, although if we tax them too heavily you will encounter capital flight.

  167. wbboei
    December 17th, 2010 at 12:47 am

    Yes, yes, that’s very different from my brother-in-law. And, I agree, we could write policy in a way that supports people like your friend, particularly like your friend, who don’t have great margins and are labor heavy. But these clowns in Washington, like Obama and Bush, and their friends in the press, don’t really give a crap about people like your friend or the people she employs. I hope someday that isn’t true.

  168. wbboei, I understand your frustration. I feel the same way. But the truth is neither of these Parties is going to do anything other than see who can suck up to the super wealthy the best, and the washington editorialist live in the past where they think that’s the way it ought to be.
    ————————–
    mj: what is really going on here in my opinion is that the party labels are no longer definitive or predictive of what they will do. Within both parties you have people who are working class, conservative or liberal, patriotic and want to keep jobs here. And within both parties you have other people who are wealthy, see themselves as citizens of the world, have big business ties, etc. If you believe in the doctrine of class struggle, as I do, then you could have two parties–the wall party on the one hand and the international party on the other. As long as we see them only as democrats or republicans however it will be much harder to understand much less predict what they are apt to do. If by any stretch of the imagination the left and the right could stop hating eachother long enough to realize that they have major interests in common then a powerful alliance could be forged but as things now stand they are separated by misleading party labels which may represent what democrats and republicans stood for historically, but no more–not since Obama.

  169. By the way it was not just Obama. It was also Bush. By what sophistry of reason could a party which stood for small government and isolationism morph into an internationalist party with big government neocon agenda? That is not the traditional republican party. It was a party that was taken over by the same kind of elites who took over the Democratic party in the following cycle. Part of the explanation lies with the development of a global economy where the historical principle that trade follows the flag reverses itself–national borders melt away and empire becomes the prerogative. Capital seeks to produce goods in the lowest cost venues, and transport them into the highest revenue market via supply chain economics. Part of it is the priorities of the national security state which builds a bumbling security apparatus which is ostensibly designed to protect the public from some new bete noire but is ultimately intended to control the public and to diminish our civil liberties. That is why new alliances at the political level are important, but the missing ingredient between similarly situated parties with different colored hats is trust.

  170. Listening to Michael Steele tonight–we took the gavel from Pelosi/ What a crock/ The truth is Pelosi spit in the face of the American People and they are the ones took the gavel away from Madame DeFarge. And the same thing will happen to the Republicans when they forget the lessons of the 2010 election. Both political parties must be kept on the defensive and they must not be allowed to collude under the pretense of bi partisanship.

  171. From: Roy Beck, President, NumbersUSA
    Date: Friday 17DEC2010 1 a.m. EST

    TODAY (FRI.) IS YOUR LAST DAY
    TO STOP DREAM ACT AMNESTY

    Sen. Reid Is Shoe-Horning Vote on Saturday Morning
    As Other Senate Efforts Are Falling Apart

    PLEASE PICK UP YOUR PHONE TO COUNTER
    THE GIANT SURGE OF PRO-AMNESTY LOBBYING

    Here Are Today’s Target Lists For Phoning

    Sen. Reid’s change of plans was announced suddenly Thursday evening.

    Does that mean he thinks he has the 60 votes to pass this amnesty? Not necessarily. Our NumbersUSA whip count says he doesn’t have the votes. But votes could change over the next 24 hours under the barrage of last-minute personal appeals from poster-child illegal-alien students and groups of local clergy all saying the amnesty is a moral requirement. Pres. Obama put out an appeal for clergy to help him round up the last votes needed.

    So, the moment of truth is upon every one of us. Will we rise to the occasion and help our allies in the Senate defeat this amnesty?

    Your most important phone calls are to your own two Senators.

    Following are the lists that show the kinds of calls each Senator needs to get.

    TOP PRIORITY: Encourage These 12 Senators
    To Stick With Leanings or Pledges To Vote NO

    This is the group that we HAVE to win. Fortunately, they are all leaning toward voting NO and their staff may even be saying they probably will vote NO. But our allies in the Senate don’t feel absolutely sure of these votes. The dozen Senators are under enormous lobbying pressure intended to make them feel inhumane if they vote NO.

    Give them quick phone calls to thank them for their intention to vote NO on the DREAM Act amnesty. And note that a key reason they are right is that DREAM provides zero enforcement to stop future millions of illegal workers from coming and taking jobs from hard-pressed Americans.

    Florida
    George LeMieux (R)
    Washington, DC ph: 202-224-3041 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 205100001
    Coral Gables, FL ph: 305-418-8553 adr: 8669 NW 36th St.,, Coral Gables, FL 33166
    Jacksonville, FL ph: 904-398-8586 adr: 1650 Prudential Drive,, Jacksonville, FL 32207
    Pensacola, FL ph: 850-433-2603 adr: 1 N. Palafox St., Pensacola, FL 32502
    Tampa, FL ph: 813-977-6450 adr: 3802 Spectrum Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33612

    Kansas
    Sam Brownback (R)
    Washington, DC ph: 202-224-6521 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 205100001
    Topeka, KS ph: 785-233-2503 adr: 612 S. Kansas Ave., Topeka, KS 66603
    Garden City, KS ph: 620-275-1124 adr: 811 North Main St., Garden City, KS 67846
    Overland Park, KS ph: 913-492-6378 adr: 11111 West 95th – Suite 245, Overland Park, KS 66214
    Wichita, KS ph: 316-264-8066 adr: 245 N. Waco, Wichita, KS 67202
    Pittsburgh, KS ph: 620-231-6040 adr: 1001-C N. Broadway, Pittsburgh, KS 66762

    MAINE

    Susan Collins (R)
    Washington, DC: ph: 202-224-2523 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510
    Augusta: ph: 207-622-8414 adr: 68 Seawall Street, Augusta, ME 04330
    Bangor: ph: 207-945-0417 adr: 202 Harlow Street – Room 204, Bangor, ME 04401
    Biddeford: ph: 207-283-1101 adr: 160 Main Street, Biddeford, ME 04005
    Caribou: ph: 207-493-7873 adr: 25 Sweden Street – Suite A, Caribou, ME 04736
    Lewiston: ph: 207-784-6969 adr: 11 Lisbon Street, Lewiston, ME 04240
    Portland: ph: 207-780-3575 adr: 1 City Center, Portland, ME 04101

    Olympia Snowe (R)
    Washington, DC: ph: 202-224-5344 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510
    Auburn: ph: 207-786-2451 adr: Two Great Falls Plaza, Auburn, ME 04210
    Augusta: ph: 207-622-8292 adr: 68 Sewall Street – Suite 101C, Augusta, ME 04330
    Bangor: ph: 207-945-0432 adr: 1 Cumberland Place, Bangor, ME 04401
    Biddeford: ph: 207-282-4144 adr: 231 Main Street, Suite 2, Biddeford, ME 04005
    Lewiston: ph: 207-784-6969 adr: 11 Lisbon Street, Lewiston, ME 04240
    Portland: ph: 207-874-0883 adr: 3 Canal Plaza – Suite 601, Portland, ME 04112
    Presque Isle: ph: 207-764-5124 adr: 169 Academy Street, Presque Isle, ME 04769

    MONTANA

    Max Baucus (D)
    Washington, DC ph: 202-224-2651 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510
    Billings: ph: 406-657-6790 adr: 202 Fratt Building, Billings, MT 59101
    Bozeman: ph: 406-586-6104 adr: Federal Building, Bozeman, MT 59715
    Butte: ph: 406-782-8700 adr: Silver Bow Center, Butte, MT 59701
    Great Falls: ph: 406-761-1574 adr: 18 5th Street South, Great Falls, MT 59401
    Helena: ph: 406-449-5480 adr: 225 Cruse Avenue – Suite D, Helena, MT 59601
    Missoula: ph: 406-329-3123 adr: 211 North Higgins – Room 102, Missoula, MT 59802

    Jon Tester (D)
    Washington, DC: ph: 202-224-2644 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 205100001
    Billings: ph: 406-252-0550 adr: 222 North 32nd Street, Billings, MT 59101
    Helena: ph: 406-449-5401 adr: 208 North Montana Avenue, Helena, MT 59601
    Missoula, MT ph: 406-728-3003 adr: 116 West Front Street, Missoula, MT 59802
    Butte, MT ph: 406-723-3277 adr: 125 West Granite, Butte, MT 59701
    Great Falls, MT ph: 406-452-9585 adr: 321 First Avenue North, Great Falls, MT 59401
    Kalispell, MT ph: 406-257-3360 adr: 1845 Highway 93 South, Kalispell, MT 59901

    NORTH CAROLINA
    Kay Hagan (D)
    Washington, DC: ph: 202-224-6342 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510
    Greensboro: ph: 336-333-5311 adr: 701 Green Valley Rd, Greensboro, NC 27408
    Raleigh: ph: 919-856-4630 adr: 310 New Bern Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27601

    NORTH DAKOTA
    Kent Conrad (D)
    Washington, DC: ph: 202-224-2043 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510
    Bismarck: ph: 701-258-4648 adr: Federal Building, Bismarck, ND 58501
    Fargo: ph: 701-232-8030 adr: Federal Building, Fargo, ND 58102
    Grand Forks: ph: 701-775-9601 adr: Federal Building, Grand Forks, ND 58203
    Minot: ph: 701-852-0703 adr: 100 First Street SW, Suite 105, Minot, ND 58701

    OHIO
    George Voinovich (R)
    Washington, DC ph: 202-224-3353 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 205100001
    Nelsonville, OH ph: 740-441-6410 adr: 78 West Washington Street, Nelsonville, OH 45764
    Columbus, OH ph: 614-469-6697 adr: 37 West Broad Street – Room 310, Columbus, OH 43215
    Toledo, OH ph: 419-259-3895 adr: 420 Madison Avenue – Room 1210, Toledo, OH 43604
    Cincinnati, OH ph: 513-684-3265 adr: 36 East 7th Street – Room 2615, Cincinnati, OH 45202
    Cleveland, OH ph: 216-522-7095 adr: 1240 East 9th Street – Suite 2955, Cleveland, OH 44199

    Texas
    Kay Bailey Hutchison (R)
    Washington, DC ph: 202-224-5922 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 205100001
    Harlingen, TX ph: 956-412-1468 adr: 222 East Van Buren Street, Harlingen, TX 78550
    Dallas, TX ph: 214-361-3500 adr: 10440 North Central Expressway – Suite 1160, LB 606, Dallas, TX 75231
    Houston, TX ph: 713-653-3456 adr: 1919 Smith Street – Suite 800, Houston, TX 77002
    Austin, TX ph: 512-916-5834 adr: Federal Building, Austin, TX 78701
    San Antonio, TX ph: 210-340-2885 adr: 145 Duncan Drive, San Antonio, TX 78226
    Abilene, TX ph: 325-676-2839 adr: 500 Chestnut Street – Suite 1570, Abilene, TX 79602

    West Virginia
    Joe Manchin (D)
    Washington, DC
    ph: 202-224-3954 adr: 311 Hart Office Bldg., Washington, DC 20510

    Vermont
    Judd Gregg (R)
    Washington, DC ph: 202-224-3324 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 205100001
    Berlin, AL ph: 603-752-2604 adr: 60 Pleasant Street, Berlin, AL 03570
    Portsmouth, NH ph: 603-431-2171 adr: 16 Pease Blvd., Portsmouth, NH 03801
    Manchester, NH ph: 603-622-7979 adr: 41 Hooksett Street, Manchester, NH 03104
    Concord, NH ph: 603-225-7115 adr: 125 North Main Street, Concord, NH 03301

    2nd PRIORITY: Pound These 3 Senators Up For Re-Election in 2012 Who Are Leaning YES on Amnesty

    There is no logical political reason for these Senators to vote YES on amnesty . . . if the people of their states know what they are doing. All three of these have good tendencies in our direction on amnesty in the past. But they are acting like this amnesty is somehow different.

    Your job with these Senators is to persuade their staffs that voting for an amnesty without any enforcement will definitely be a key issue in the 2012 elections during what all experts predict will be continuing high unemployment for U.S. workers.

    All three of these are Democrats in states that swung heavily Republican in last month’s elections. A vote for amnesty might look like political suicide.

    MICHIGAN
    Debbie Stabenow (D)
    Washington, DC: ph: 202-224-4822 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510
    Detroit: ph: 313-961-4330 adr: 243 West Congress, Detroit, MI 48226
    East Lansing: ph: 517-203-1760 adr: 221 W Lake Lansing Rd, East Lansing, MI 48823
    Flint: ph: 810-720-4172 adr: 2503 South Linden Road, Flint, MI 48532
    Grand Rapids: ph: 616-975-0052 adr: 3230 Broadmoor Street, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
    Marquette: ph: 906-228-8756 adr: 1901 West Ridge, Marquette, MI 49855
    Traverse City: ph: 231-929-1031 adr: 3335 South Airport Road W, Traverse City, MI 49684

    MISSOURI
    Claire McCaskill (D)
    Washington, DC: ph: 202-224-6154 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510
    Cape Girardeau: ph: 573-651-0964 adr: 555 Independence Ave., Cape Girardeau, MO 63703
    Columbia: ph: 573-442-7130 adr: 915 East Ash Street, Columbia, MO 65201
    Kansas City: ph: 816-421-1639 adr: 4141 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO 64111
    Springfield: ph: 417-868-8745 adr: 324 Park Central West, Springfield, MO 65806
    St. Louis: ph: 314-367-1364 adr: 5850 A Delmar Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63112

    VIRGINIA
    Jim Webb (D)
    Washington, DC: ph: 202-224-4024 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510
    Falls Church: ph: 703-573-7090 adr: 7309 Arlington Boulevard, Falls Church, VA 22042
    Richmond: ph: 804-771-2221 adr: 507 East Franklin Street, Richmond, VA 23219
    Roanoke: ph: 540-772-4236 adr: 3140 Chaparral Drive, Roanoke, VA 24018
    Virginia Beach: ph: 757-518-1674 adr: 222 Central Park Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23462

    3rd PRIORITY: These 3 Senators Do NOT Face 2012 Re-Election But Are On The Fence And Leaning YES

    All three of these have voted with us against amnesty in the past.

    Tell their staffs that you don’t understand how the Senator could oppose “comprehensive immigration reform” in the past when amnesty and enforcement were wrapped together, but now they are willing to pass an amnesty with NO enforcement.

    ALASKA
    Lisa Murkowski (R)
    Washington, DC: ph: 202-224-6665 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510
    Anchorage: ph: 877-829-6030 adr: 510 L Street, Anchorage, AK 99501
    Fairbanks: ph: 907-456-0233 adr: 101 12th Avenue, Fairbanks, AK 99701
    Juneau: ph: 907-586-7400 adr: 709 West 9th Street, Juneau, AK 99802
    Kenai: ph: 907-283-5808 adr: 130 Trading Bay Road, Kenai, AK 99611
    Ketchikan: ph: 907-283-5208 adr: 540 Water Street, Ketchikan, AK 99901
    Wasilla: ph: 907-376-7665 adr: 851 East Westpoint Drive, Wasilla, AK 99654

    LOUISIANA
    Mary Landrieu (D)
    Washington, DC: ph: 202-224-5824 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510
    Baton Rouge: ph: 225-389-0395 adr: U.S. Postal Building, Baton Rouge, LA 70801
    Lake Charles: ph: 337-436-6650 adr: One Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, LA 70629
    New Orleans: ph: 504-589-2427 adr: Hale Boggs Federal Bldg, New Orleans, LA 70130
    Shreveport: ph: 318-676-3085 adr: U.S. Courthouse, Shreveport, LA 71101

    NORTH DAKOTA
    Byron Dorgan (D and retiring)
    Washington, DC: ph: 202-224-2551 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510
    Bismarck: ph: 701-250-4618 adr: Federal Building, Bismarck, ND 58501
    Fargo: ph: 701-239-5389 adr: 112 Roberts Street, Fargo, ND 58102
    Grand Forks: ph: 701-746-9126 adr: 102 North 4th St, #108, Grand Forks, ND 58201
    Minot: ph: 701-852-0703 adr: 100 First Street South West, Suite 105, Minot, ND 58701

    4th PRIORITY: These 6 Senators Lean Strongly YES On Amnesty But Will Have To Face Voters In 2012

    Most of these Democrats have had very little interest in hearing from us in the past.

    But after last month’s cataclysmic results, these Senators find themselves in states where they could have a really competitive race in 2012. Thanks to all of you who phoned them today. Now, we need another round of calls telling them how much an amnesty vote Saturday will be like an albatross around their necks during the 2012 campaigns.

    CONNECTICUT
    Joseph Lieberman (D)
    Washington, DC: ph: 202-224-4041 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510
    Hartford: ph: 860-549-8463 adr: One Constitution Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103

    FLORIDA
    Bill Nelson (D)
    Washington, DC: ph: 202-224-5274 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510
    Coral Gables: ph: 305-536-5999 adr: 2925 Salzedo Street, Coral Gables, FL 33134
    Davie: ph: 954-693-4851 adr: 3416 South University Drive, Davie, FL 33328
    Fort Myers: ph: 239-334-7760 adr: 2000 Main Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901
    Jacksonville: ph: 904-346-4500 adr: 1301 Riverplace Boulevard, Jacksonville , FL 32207
    Orlando: ph: 407-872-7161 adr: 225 East Robinson Street, Orlando, FL 32801
    Tallahassee: ph: 850-942-8415 adr: U.S. Courthouse Annex, Tallahassee, FL 32301
    West Palm Beach: ph: 561-514-0189 adr: 500 Australian Ave, West Palm Bch, FL 33401

    MINNESOTA
    Amy Klobuchar (D)
    Washington, DC: ph: 202-224-3244 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510
    Minneapolis: ph: 612-727-5220 adr: 1200 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55415
    Moorhead: ph: 218-287-2219 adr: 121 4th Street South, Moorhead, MN 56560
    Rochester: ph: 507-288-5321 adr: 1134 7th Street NW, Rochester, MN 55901
    Virginia: ph: 218-741-9690 adr: 820 9th Street North, Virginia, MN 55792

    NEW MEXICO
    Jeff Bingaman (D)
    Washington, DC ph: 202-224-5521 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510
    Albuquerque: ph: 505-346-6601 adr: 625 Silver Ave SW, #130, Albuquerque, NM 87102
    Las Cruces: ph: 575-523-6561 adr: Loretto Town Centre, Las Cruces, NM 88001
    Las Vegas: ph: 505-454-8824 adr: 118 Bridge Street – Suite 3, Las Vegas, NM 87701
    Roswell: ph: 575-622-7113 adr: 105 West Third Street – Suite 409, Roswell, NM 88201
    Santa Fe: ph: 505-988-6647 adr: 119 East Marcy – Suite 101, Santa Fe, NM 87501

    OHIO
    Sherrod Brown (D)
    Washington, DC: ph: 202-224-2315 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510
    Cincinnati: ph: 513-684-1021 adr: 425 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
    Cleveland: ph: 216-522-7272 adr: 1301 East Ninth St., Cleveland, OH 44114
    Columbus: ph: 614-469-2083 adr: 200 N High St., Columbus, OH 43215
    Lorain: ph: 440-242-4100 adr: 205 West 20th St., Lorain, OH 44052

    WASHINGTON
    Maria Cantwell (D)
    Washington, DC: ph: 202-224-3441 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510
    Everett: ph: 888-648-7328 adr: 2930 Wetmore Avenue, Everett, WA 98201
    Richland: ph: 509-946-8106 adr: 825 Jadwin Avenue, Richland, WA 99352
    Seattle: ph: 206-220-6400 adr: 915 Second Avenue, Seattle, WA 98174
    Spokane: ph: 509-353-2507 adr: U.S. Federal Courthouse, Spokane, WA 99201
    Tacoma: ph: 253-572-2281 adr: 950 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98402
    Vancouver: ph: 360-696-7838 adr: 1313 Officers Row, Vancouver, WA 98661

    WISCONSIN
    Herb Kohl (D)
    Washington, DC: ph: 202-224-5653 adr: U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510
    Appleton: ph: 920-738-1640 adr: 4321 West College Ave., Appleton, WI 54914
    Eau Claire: ph: 715-832-8424 adr: 402 Graham Ave, #206, Eau Claire, WI 54701
    LaCrosse: ph: 608-796-0045 adr: 425 State Street – Suite 202, LaCrosse, WI 54601
    Madison: ph: 608-264-5338 adr: 14 West Muffin Street – Suite 312, Madison, WI 53703
    Milwaukee: ph: 414-297-4451 adr: 310 W Wisconsin Ave – #950, Milwaukee, WI 53203

    Friends, you will need to start phoning as soon as you get up Friday and see this. And your phone calls will be good all day.

    Very few Senate offices are likely to keep their phones open Friday evening or Saturday morning. So, you need to make the calls before this evening.

    THANKS FOR ONE LAST FLURRY OF CALLS,

  172. wbboei
    December 17th, 2010 at 1:21 am

    I agree, but I think centrist is a label too that often means corporatist today. Also, I think there are people who call themselves liberals and would embrace your policy proposal. I just think the elite in DC don;t care and reject actual solutions so they can contiune to ingratiate their donors.

  173. STOP DREAM ACT AMNESTY
    Sen. Reid Is Shoe-Horning Vote on Saturday Morning
    ————–
    And from my observations last night and this morning, broadcast TV is not even mentioning the phrase DREAM Act in their coverage.

  174. It would be easier disseminating your posts if they were broken up into paragraphs.. thanx-
    ______________________________

    “Part of the explanation lies with the development of a global economy where the historical principle that trade follows the flag reverses itself–national borders melt away and empire becomes the prerogative. Capital seeks to produce goods in the lowest cost venues, and transport them into the highest revenue market via supply chain economics. Part of it is the priorities of the national security state which builds a bumbling security apparatus which is ostensibly designed to protect the public from some new bete noire but is ultimately intended to control the public and to diminish our civil liberties. That is why new alliances at the political level are important, but the missing ingredient between similarly situated parties with different colored hats is trust.”
    _______________________________

    We have graduated well beyond that point. You have elucidated years long predictions that have become reality over the last two years. A blending of the Neocons New World Order championed by GHWB and The Global Economy supported by the Obamacrats, culminating into ONE Party, Republicrats. A congressional blending of like minded Republicans and Democrats as players in this scheme.

    Yes, the original selling points of a Global Economy and a New World Order could not exist unless we have a complicit Congress led by a complicit head of government. The LIE covertly sold as, we will be one big happy family under a single Global Government. Or at least the idea promoted for years ensuring smaller countries signing up, relinquishing their independence and sovereignty for a greater good will be rewarded as recipients from the spreading of wealth from richer countries turning over their technologies and medical research jump starting the economies of poorer countries into the mainstream.

    However, the original premise was promoted as producing goods in the lowest cost venues (sending jobs overseas to third world countries) creating an economy for them and reducing costs for goods to citizens throughout the world. A win-win for all countries.

    How soon we discovered, their selling points weren’t exactly true. Food and energy costs have risen throughout our stagnant economy. The country most affected to our detriment by these lofty ideas is America’s economy and the Middle Class. The institution of new Taxes on Health Care, Pollution of every kind; earth, air and water, reduction to elimination of major safety nets precluding poverty put in place as far back as the mid thirties ensuring an income between jobs and twilight retirement for Americans based on never reliving the suffering and austerity endured by Americans in the 30’s..

    It’s all been a ruse and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Just as Cap n’ Trade was the end result after a dramatic indoctrination of an Inconvenient Truth promoting a false claim, humans are responsible for CO2 emissions causing Global Warming. This as the excuse for the forthcoming CO2 Tax by the FDA on people.

    What we are witnessing and party to is a slow death of the American Dream.

  175. What is with this Krauthammer guy? (it’s a rhetorical question) he has been tooting Obama’s horn for a while now and it is all so oddly transparent. He did that to the lead up to the GE in 2008 too. What does he know that we don’t? Did Obama ensure he gets his billions for his 2012 reelection?

  176. Next UP: The insidious planned elimination of Small Businesses not through a tax this time but through new insurance regulations amounting to a tax.

    Colorodo will be used as the model as was Massachusetts for HCR.
    _____________________________

    Unemployment insurance cost hikes slam Colorado firms

    December 03, 2010

    The Denver Post

    DENVER — Businesses are being hit with large premium increases to prop up Colorado’s broke unemployment-insurance fund.

    In notices that went out over the past two weeks, some firms are facing rates that have more than quadrupled from last year.

    Greg Howard, owner of McCabe’s Tavern on South Tejon Street, said his premiums are skyrocketing. Even though he’s never had an unemployment claim, his rate will go up 600 percent next year.

    “It’s enough to T you off a little bit,” Howard said. “The dollar amount isn’t tremendous, but it’s going up six times.”

    Howard is the president of the Pikes Peak Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association and he said the increases are a major concern for local restaurateurs. He and other members are planning to sit down with a representative of the state Unemployment Insurance program next week to talk about the situation and see if anything can be done to ease the burden on businesses.

    The Colorado Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund covers the cost of payments to jobless workers. Record numbers of unemployment claims caused the fund to go broke this year, forcing Colorado to borrow, so far, $368.5 million from the U.S. government.

    At least 40 other states also are borrowing from the federal government to cover their fund deficits.

    Colorado’s unemployment-benefit payments rose from $305 million in 2005 to $1.06 billion in 2009.

    As recently as June 2009, the insurance fund had a balance of $340 million. But persistent weakness in the economy and resulting layoffs caused the fund to suffer a $20 million shortfall this past June.

    In prior years, firms that never had laid off workers had relatively low premiums.

    But for 2011, those businesses are facing big increases along with companies that have histories of layoffs.

    Don Mares, executive director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, said many companies with higher claims histories already are near the state’s maximum rate of 5.4 percent of the first $10,000 a worker earns.

    As a result, businesses with low claims histories are being required to pay higher rates to make up the deficit.

    Mares said he has convened a task force to suggest reforms in the unemployment-insurance program.

    “We want to minimize the impact on employers so that they can hire more workers,” he said. “But for 2011, our hands effectively are tied.

    Read more:

    http://www.gazette.com/articles/firms-108971-hikes-insurance.html#ixzz18NMf29z7

  177. These people just flat out lie with impunity anymore. The truth means nothing to these “progressives”, they are so filled with hate for anyone and anything on the right. They can’t just disagree on some issues, they have to paint anyone not as left as them as sheer DEVILS, and ascribe every bad thing in the world to the right and only the right. Even if they have to lie. Mike Malloy on his radio show:

    MALLOY (10:41): So, another Glenn Beck killer on the loose today, this time in Panama City… how does it feel, Glenn, huh to know your rat bastards are out there doing exactly what you are telling them to do, eh? Those dirty school board members right with their atheistic science and history and all this other stuff that Beck and these vermin don’t like! Just remember, when the lights go out, I get him!

    Sorry, Mike, but the shooter was a stone cold Leftist, not a Beck fan. He was a fan of MEDIA MATTERS. He listed nothing but “progressive” web sites on his facebook page, and ranted a lot about class warfare and the evil rich. You’re a hateful liar, Mike.

  178. A Lost Decade for Jobs

    Private sector job growth was almost non-existent over the past ten years. Take a look at this horrifying chart:

    http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2009/06/a_lost_decade_f.html

    Between May 1999 and May 2009, employment in the private sector sector only rose by 1.1%, by far the lowest 10-year increase in the post-depression period.

    It’s impossible to overstate how bad this is. Basically speaking, the private sector job machine has almost completely stalled over the past ten years.

    Over the past 10 years, the private sector has generated roughly 1.1 million additional jobs, or about 100K per year. The public sector created about 2.4 million jobs.

    But even that gives the private sector too much credit. Remember that the private sector includes health care, social assistance, and education, all areas which receive a lot of government support. I’ve been talking about the HealthEdGov sector.

    Upon review, the only job creation of any note are the 177,000 jobs created by Obama hirings for his administration. Most likely responsible for his touting of job creation by TARP’s temporary construction jobs created in the spring of 2010 which are now ended joining the lines of the unemployed.

  179. Not a surprise but Larry King said Clinton was his favorite President to interview because of his intelligence and big personality.

  180. HillaryforTexas
    December 17th, 2010

    These people just flat out lie with impunity anymore
    ________________________

    They always did, we just didn’t know to what degree. Now we know.

    Mike Malloy is grasping at straws. The idea is to attack anyone, as the last resort of scoundrels, with a smear campaign denegrating the truth teller telling it the way it is…

  181. DC [shark]feeding frenzy

    (isn’t that what sharks do when they smell blood in the water? In this case, this is the life blood of Americans betrayed by our elected representatives.)

    By DANIEL J. MITCHELL December 15, 2010 New York Post

    The weeks since Election Day have provided nauseating confirmation of Mark Twain’s observation: “There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.”

    Exhibit A is the “omnibus” spending bill Harry Reid is trying to push through the Senate. This monstrosity contains about 6,500 earmarks — special provisions inserted on behalf of lobbyists to benefit special interests. The lobbyists get big fees, the interest groups get handouts and the politicians get rewarded with contributions from both.

    It’s a win-win-win for everyone — except the taxpayers who finance this carousel of corruption.

    Defenders of earmarks and other forms of pork-barrel spending argue that this behavior can’t possibly be corrupt because it’s legal. But not everything that’s immoral is illegal and not everything that’s illegal is immoral — and earmarks definitely belong in the first category. Normal people would call it bribery, but it’s business as usual on Capitol Hill.

    Equally troubling, earmarks and pork-barrel spending are the gateway drug that turns good legislators into big spenders. The new members may not take office until next month, but most are in Washington, and they’re seeing how this process works. One hopes that they are shocked by this unseemly behavior — but how long will it take before they get jaded and decide to play the game?

    The bill’s backers call it “fiscally responsible” because it increases spending by “only” 2 percent compared to last year — but that’s no sign of austerity when spending for these programs jumped by 20 percent in the last two years, as the national debt soared by about $3 trillion in the same period.

    If politicians were serious about fiscal responsibility, they’d impose across-the-board cuts to bring spending back down to 2008 levels — and then cut more from that new baseline.

    And Reid’s bill is just the spending for the parts of the budget that are funded by “appropriations.” Entitlement spending, which is the lion’s share of the federal budget, continues on auto-pilot — and the auto-pilot’s on course to turn the United States into Greece.

    Exhibit B is the tax deal. This Congress has been in session for almost two years, with every single member fully aware that a failure to act would result in a huge tax increase next month. Yet the politicians apparently didn’t care that a lengthy delay would create uncertainty and discourage much-needed investment and entrepreneurship.

    The delay did make it harder for the Democrats to raise tax rates on investors, entrepreneurs, small business owners and other so-called rich taxpayers. But that doesn’t mean the wait-until-the-last-moment tax bill isn’t ugly. Regardless of what you think of its core elements, it’s also packed with provisions — known as “extenders” — that reek of corruption and special-interest deal making.

    Extenders are the tax version of pork-barrel spending: special tax breaks put in the law by powerful politicians in exchange for campaign cash and other support.

    The biggest extender is the ethanol credit, a boondoggle that distorts agriculture markets and causes considerable economic and environmental damage, but is popular with politicians because big agribusinesses recycle some of their undeserved profits back to Washington in the form of contributions.

    The dozens of other extenders include special loopholes for solar and wind power, education spending, bonds for Louisiana and NASCAR racing.

    There are strong policy arguments against these kinds of special tax breaks, especially since we could use the revenue to finance lower tax rates — but most people are even more upset by the dead-of-night process used to put these goodies into the tax bill.

    The behavior on Capitol Hill reminds me of the movie classic, “Animal House”: After their fraternity has been placed on “double-secret probation,” John Belushi and the rest of guys at the Delta House decide to go out in a blaze of glory with a toga party.

    Likewise, the politicians on Capitol Hill just got placed on the equivalent of probation by a Tea Party uprising. Yet rather than mend their crooked ways, they’re throwing a massive party with our money.

  182. Mrs. Smith, what pisses me off is that I’m not a big fan of Beck. I don’t think he’s the devil – he’s no worse in his bias and truth-stretching than many on the left, but I think he’s over the top. That said, I don’t get why people can’t just say, “He’s wrong about X issue”, or “He has a point on that, but he takes it to a ludicrous extreme”. Why make his out to be some evil demon with nefarious intent?

    I’m sick of lying liars. They exist on both sides of the aisle, but in the past 2 years the Left wins the prize for just outright LYING. I’m tired of hearing that anyone on the right hates poor people, and is a selfish un-empathetic asshole. NO, they are not. They disagree on what the limits of the proper role of govt is. They don’t disagree that society (as individuals) should care for the poor, they just think that a vast and very powerful centralized govt is not the way to do it, and leads to loss of liberties and other dangers that are not worth the trade-off.

    I’m comfortable with more govt involvement than many of my conservative friends and family members. But I don’t think they are motivated by selfishness. We just DISAGREE. But don’t tell me they “don’t care, they’re just selfish”. I know these people. They are NOT selfish bad uncaring people.

  183. What is with this Krauthammer guy? (it’s a rhetorical question) he has been tooting Obama’s horn for a while now and it is all so oddly transparent. He did that to the lead up to the GE in 2008 too. What does he know that we don’t? Did Obama ensure he gets his billions for his 2012 reelection?
    —————————————–
    Let me offer an alternative explanation without presuming to defend him on this point. I have been thinking about his comments ever since Jan posted them. This is the second article he has written predicting a comeback for Obama in succession. I do not believe he is trying to be a contrarian. I think he is watching what is occurring, the short term successes which the Republicans are achieving, or think they are achieving right now and saying to his audience and no less to them beware of greeks bearing gifts.

    The Obama propaganda machine is operating in high gear right now. It is busy promoting an alternative explanation for the disastrous mid term elections. It was not Obama care, it was a failure to communicate their message. And even if it was Obama care, it was not the core principle but the excesses of Pelosi and to a lesser extent Reid. Obama is actually very popular despite the low poll numbers. In sum, it is a moving target.

    If you watch NBC this is very much the theme which is being promoted by Chuck Todd, who is not a college graduate, not a journalist, and very much a propagandist who plays to a left wing audience who will fall in line when someone like him–or Mike Malloy offers up more hatred of Republicans, and when the election draws near they will fall in line. As for Obama he is a pure chameleon and the insights Canan provided the other night were spot on, as they always are.

    The target audience right now is the independent voter. The legislators who backed Obama on health care, etc. and lost their jobs will disappear from the scene. They will not re appear as the ghosts of Christmases past. They will claim that the economy is improving, he saved us from a depression, he will hold the republicans at arms length and sucker punch them in the clinches, and they will be too dumb to realize it. Trust me the people running the party right now are not smart, nor are they on the side of the American People.

    Krauthammer is a student of American politics and a well regarded medical doctor–in fact an award winning psychiatrist credited with discovering a new medical disorder. That is not to say he is infallible. It is merely to suggest that the explanation he is advancing now must be taken seriously. Why? Because things change. At the height of our glory we are already at our decline, as Brutus said.

    To show you how things change, when the Wermacht swept over the steps of Russia in 1941, and were greeted by white russians who wanted to be liberated from the bolsheviks in Moscow, they greeted the Panzer divisions as heroes. But an ss officer who was later killed watched as they hoisted the Nazi flag over the conquered land, rather than the Ukranian flag and he wrote in his diary that at that point, long before Stalingrad the war was lost. By the same token, Krauthammer is a sober voice in the midst of all the revery of the republicans and the despair of the left.

    You will soon hear of an improving economy, but the job situation will not improve. That is why I think this Posener book is important. His premise is the administration is not advancing the proper cures. That must be understood. What Obama may do between now and 2012 to ingratiate himself to Republicans and to reposition himself as a centrist must be discounted in light of what he did, and failed to do when he had both chambers. The republicans in general and Issa in particular must use their full investigatory powers to keep the fraud in Obamacare front and center in the nations consciousness. And we must continue to show the country that he is a puppet and is destroying the country. If this is done, there is no hope for Obama. And only then is there any real hope for the country.

  184. “I’m not a big fan of Beck. I don’t think he’s the devil – he’s no worse in his bias and truth-stretching than many on the left, but I think he’s over the top. That said, I don’t get why people can’t just say, “He’s wrong about X issue”, or “He has a point on that, but he takes it to a ludicrous extreme”. Why make his out to be some evil demon with nefarious intent?”
    _____________

    If they can prove he’s wrong about one statement, then they’re attacking his credibility for all his statements. The same thinking as it is when someone is under oath in a court of law but severe punishment for the embellishment or falsehood in this case is not with standing. Beck is the least of our problems.
    _____________________

    “I’m tired of hearing that anyone on the right hates poor people, and is a selfish un-empathetic asshole. They disagree on what the limits of the proper role of govt is. They don’t disagree that society (as individuals) should care for the poor, they just think that a vast and very powerful centralized govt is not the way to do it, and leads to loss of liberties and other dangers that are not worth the trade-off.”
    _________________________

    I agree with you, H4T. However, under the Obama administration the government has grown in tremendous proportions to what government once was in the 90s and has never been this oppressive as is now and with the new taxes in the offing being levied on the Tax payer.

    It’s the total destruction of all three elements of the middle class. The lower and (middle) middle class, (gone due to job loss and foreclosures)now the focus will be on the upper middle class, who rely on good paying jobs of $200,000+ for income, who will eventually be phased out by mergers from bigger corporations in the same line of work or added as a compatible industry with a parent company downsizing workers employed by the subservient corporation, as part of their merging package.

    Then you have the planned destruction of 401k retirement funds for those who derive their income from SS and from their retirement accounts. Most upper class retirees could not subsist on just their social security income alone without the offset income of their 401K’s.

    It’s happening and happening so fast the ordinary tax payer cannot fathom or process the destruction awaiting us by Congress and the president at this time.

    God Save Us All!

  185. Mrs. Smith, there are snakes in BOTH parties, and a handful of honest reps who care about their constituents in both parties.

    There are really three parties:

    1) The corporatists/big govt types, both Dem and Repub, who like the status quo and want more power to skew the rules for their powerful cronies – whether they be big unions, big banks, or big anything. They are all in bed together. It’s an unholy alliance, whether its face be corporate or govt, it’s the same machine. They are all about power.

    2) The honest small-govt Repubs – who want rule of law, the unholy alliance of big finance and govt broken, and are responsive to the People. They want less govt than me, but they do not want govt in service to the powerful interests.

    3) The honest liberal Dems – who want more services, but want honesty, transparency and oversight in how the govt operates, to the benefit of the little guy.

    Re: groups 2 and 3, I may agree/disagree on some particulars, but I think their heart is in the right place. Which is why I can respect both socialist Bernie Sanders and libertarian Ron Paul. It’s group 1, comprised of power players in BOTH parties, that is the enemy.

    The old Left/Right, Dem/Repub divide is not the point anymore. You have to read between the lines. Who is feeding the shadow powers, and who is resisting, whether from the left or right?

  186. That is why I think this Posener book is important. His premise is the administration is not advancing the proper cures.
    ______________________

    Does Posner offer solutions or is his only theme is telling us what is wrong with government politics.

    I still think Krauthammer is an Obama ass kisser and the other day when Bill Clinton recommended him during the press conference was just shoving Krauthammer’s positive response to Obama’s governance down everyone’s throat who remain true believers of Obama’s policies and Krauthammer’s BS.

    We only need one reason to not like Krauthhammer. He hates Hillary and is not shy about delivering misogynist comments about her whenever her name is mentioned any day of the week. If that is not enough of a signal, Krautherhammer is not on our side, then I don’t know how hard of a knock in the head you need to figure it out for yourself.

  187. HillaryforTexas
    December 17th, 2010 at 11:56 am

    I agree with you H4T- There is good and bad on both sides of the aisle. Our problem is, the good hearted representatives with altruistic motives are overwhelmed by the rampant corruption of Congress in general. We won’t live long enough to witness election after election sorting out the good from the bad…

    The solution of last resort is what’s coming… and it won’t be pretty if we have to throw the baby out with the bath water.

  188. I personally don’t know why all is shocked that Krauthammer is suddenly singing Obama’s virtue’s.

    First of all I’ve always believed that Obama is the brain child of Rove/Brazille! Secondly Obama is doing what the rethugs hired him for. Thirdly the rethugs are happy that Obama has put Hillary & Bill in a choke hold and has kept them there.

    Now I know that I’m going to get a lot of crap for saying this, but this is what I’ve always thought and NOTHING has of yet changed my mind….all the way up to Bill C. saying this tax giveaway to the uber rich is the “best deal Obama could get”, and “it will hold of over with jobs”. I did notice he did NOT say it was the best deal anyone could get out of those nastyass rethugs….he said “it was the best deal Obama could get” which is like saying “Confloyd did her best at the jump shot at the Lakers game”, but they still lost the game. He also said that “it would hold us over as far as jobs goes”…he did not say it would give us the same kinds of “jobs numbers” he himself got.

    So reading in between Bill’s lines, to me he was forced to give that speech for Obama, which makes me hate Obama that much more…. Sorry if you all don’t agree, but we will all see the light sooner or later and who is/was right!

  189. This is good but why is the Tea Party teaming up with CNN.

    CNN and Tea Party Express to host first-of-its-kind Tea Party presidential primary debate.

  190. confloyd
    December 17th, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Nail on head, confloyd. I agree completely. What a wonderful analogy you draw. Very funny, wonderful analysis.

  191. Mrs. Smith
    December 17th, 2010 at 11:57

    I still think Krauthammer is an Obama ass kisser and the other day when Bill Clinton recommended him during the press conference was just shoving Krauthammer’s positive response to Obama’s governance down everyone’s throat who remain true believers of Obama’s policies and Krauthammer’s BS.

    —-

    An excellent point. Yes, I thought something was a bit screwy when Bill called Krauthammer “brilliant”. I think you’ve got it.

  192. Moon,
    Maybe CNN has finally realized that the previously lame American people a woke up to the BS that going on in Washington and are trying to get ahead of the game….

    The sleeping giant of the American people have suddenly and rudely awakened to the lies and cheating that is taking place in D.C.!

  193. Palin is soooo right about this!
    ——————-

    Sarah Palin, making an appearance on “Good Morning America” as part of her new embrace of the mainstream media, says there’s a double standard when it comes to politicians crying in public.

    In an interview with interview with Robin Roberts of “GMA,” the ex-Alaska governor was asked about incoming House Speaker John Boehner’s tendency to get weepy. While Palin said she had “respect” for her fellow Republican’s emotional side, she suggested he gets a “pass” because he’s a man.

    “I don’t know if a woman would be given a pass necessarily,” Palin said. “That’s one of those things where a double standard is applied. I’m sure if I got up there and did a speech, and I started breaking down and cried about how important it is to me that our children and grandchildren are provided great opportunities, I’m sure I would be knocked a little bit for that.”

    But Palin said it was OK, since double standards only encourage women in politics “work that much harder” and “be that much tougher

  194. I just wish his numbers would drop out as fast as the Dow does! So they only thing he has left is to leave the WH in the dead of night and go back to Chicago where the rest of the other mobsters live.

    I really have my doubts if this country will still be here with two more years of Obama and his rethugs buddies….I know we can kiss Social Security goodbye and I can tell you….there aren’t going to be anymore jobs than we have now…the uber rich want America for themselves and their peasant/slaves!

  195. confloyd
    December 17th, 2010 at 12:04 pm
    I personally don’t know why all is shocked that Krauthammer is suddenly singing Obama’s virtue’s.

    First of all I’ve always believed that Obama is the brain child of Rove/Brazille! Secondly Obama is doing what the rethugs hired him for. Thirdly the rethugs are happy that Obama has put Hillary & Bill in a choke hold and has kept them there.

    _____________

    I see the Rove/Brazile connection in a different light. Rove lives or lived in Chicago and I believe his helping Donna was self-serving. I don’t believe he drank the kool-aid one tiny bit. I believe he knew that Obama was an empty suit and because the Dems were sure to win the Presidency (the anything but Bush scenario), Rove was just ensuring that they would have a one-term president and that the Republicans would take the presidency back in 2012. He knew Hillary would win two terms and he snookered poor old Donna. Just saying, but that is my take.

  196. AFAIC- There are only 2 politicos we can TRUST right now and those remain to be Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin. We might not agree with all their policies but they are the only two politicians who have demonstrated
    they honor the ‘will of the people’ and will work towards making the country a better place by and for the people, through their public service.

  197. confloyd
    December 17th, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    I just wish his numbers would drop out as fast as the Dow does! So they only thing he has left is to leave the WH in the dead of night and go back to Chicago where the rest of the other mobsters live.

    I really have my doubts if this country will still be here with two more years of Obama and his rethugs buddies….I know we can kiss Social Security goodbye and I can tell you….there aren’t going to be anymore jobs than we have now…the uber rich want America for themselves and their peasant/slaves!
    ______________________

    Well said, confloyd. Well said!

  198. I call bullshit on this

    http://politicalwire.com/archives/2010/12/17/obama_not_vulnerable_in_new_hampshire_primary.html

    A Magellan Strategies poll in New Hampshire finds President Obama in little danger in the unlikely event he’s challenged in a Democratic presidential primary.

    He leads Hillary Clinton by 31 points, 59% to 28%, and tops Howard Dean by 68 points, 78% to 10%.

    ………………………………………………………….

    Me thinks somone is doing some funny fixing business.

  199. It is always really a shame that the good has to be destroyed in order to trash the bad…

    Hillary Clinton Urges Passing of Spending Bill

    Gray Rohrer’s blog | Posted: December 17, 2010

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is hoping congressional leaders can rework the $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill that failed Wednesday. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., pulled it after it failed to get enough support.

    Clinton said that without the spending bill, national security, diplomatic and humanitarian efforts overseas will be disrupted.

    “The omnibus provides critical funding to achieve our key national security objectives in Afghanistan and Pakistan; provides sufficient funding for the transition in Iraq; funds vital development programs including global health, food security, and climate change; and gives us the necessary resources to respond to humanitarian emergencies,” Clinton said.

    President Barack Obama relied on Hillary’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, to help garner Democratic support of the tax-cut compromise that recently passed both chambers of Congress. But now Obama is quickly running out of Clintons to help him coax bills through Congress.

    http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/blog/hillary-clinton-urges-passing-spending-bill

  200. you can call BS on it for me too-
    ___________________________

    A Magellan Strategies poll in New Hampshire finds President Obama in little danger in the unlikely event he’s challenged in a Democratic presidential primary.

    He leads Hillary Clinton by 31 points, 59% to 28%, and tops Howard Dean by 68 points, 78% to 10%.
    ___________________________

    Well after the steller review by Krauthammer on Obama’s brilliant manauvering in Congress, why who could doubt it. Krauthammer is a regular on msnbc with Morning Joe and shMica Brezinski singing the praises of a US President throwing Americans under the bus. heh!

  201. He leads Hillary Clinton by 31 points, 59% to 28%, and tops Howard Dean by 68 points, 78% to 10%
    ==================================
    I read that poll very differently. I think that is a strong vote of no confidence in Obama. Why? Because Hillary has said she will not run. And yet 1/3 of the democrats say they prefer him, who promises that he will run. In other words, whatever other defects there may be in that poll, it is predicated on a false assumption. If Hillary announced that she was running tomorrow, then there would be another poll, perhaps not by this shop, but by some other which shows she was leading. Look at this as part of a marketing effort aimed at 2012 rather than a reliable indicator. It is just like a Chuck Todd piece masquerading as objective journalism. The real question in each case is whether the lie gains traction. Hitler famously said it was important to get people to believe the big lie. And if the left for example fails to believe it, then they cannot count on the enthusiasm and push we saw in 2008. The wild card in all this is the stupidity of the Republicans and their failure to stand up for what they believe in. This so called tax compromise was a second stimulus, and all they got for it was a 2 year reprieve.

  202. House Speaker John Boehner’s tendency to get weepy.
    ————————————–
    Please . . . . I know him and I guarantee you that is theater. And he will go back to his office, sit around with his staffers and have a good laugh over it. What I worry about him is not that. I worry that he will roll for the opposition too easily. He was not always that way. Hatch wasn’t always the boob he is now. They are like old gunfighters who turned to sand and looked for a softer existence as sheriffs in some sleepy town.

  203. The only problem is Washington is not a sleepy town, so the question is will they fight, or the better question is there anything worth fighting for besides their own perks. Someone–I think it was DeCarte who said a man is incapable of understanding any argument which interferes with his income.

  204. the shooter was a stone cold Leftist, not a Beck fan. He was a fan of MEDIA MATTERS. He listed nothing but “progressive” web sites on his facebook page

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

    And Lee Harvey Oswald was a Communist, not a Dallas Rightwinger. Still, if Media Matters was the worst thing on his facebook page….

    The shooter’s page, I mean, not Oswald’s.

  205. In other words, that poll is offered up by Obama whores to demonstrate that he is the inevitable nominee, whereas when it is properly interpreted it demonstrates the very opposite, i.e. that even though she says she will not run, 1/3 of the democrats (to say nothing of republicans and independents) prefer her over him. In a court of law that point would be brought out on cross examination, but in the hands of an ideologue like Todd it will be used to promote the big lie. The little bearded jackass two eyes like piss holes in the snow even when he reaches 70 years old will still look like an aging pre pubescent will never deviate from the party line. His daughter is a democratic operative or so I am told. He looks too young to have a daughter that old but its hard to tell with aging pre pubescents.

  206. Why would Bonehead/Mitch fight?? He’s doing everything possible for the rethugs now…there is no need to fight….they all probably go back to Bonehead’s office and get Bambi on the phone and laugh and laugh at their acting ability.

    IT IS FIXED! ROVE THE ARCHITECT FIXED IT BEFORE BUSH WAS OUT OF OFFICE!

  207. because the Dems were sure to win the Presidency (the anything but Bush scenario), Rove was just ensuring that they would have a one-term president and that the Republicans would take the presidency back in 2012.

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

    Or a DINO who would do things the Republicans wanted.

  208. And Lee Harvey Oswald was a Communist, not a Dallas Rightwinger. Still, if Media Matters was the worst thing on his facebook page….

    The shooter’s page, I mean, not Oswald’s.
    ————————————–
    Those were Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onasis’s exact words. She told James “Scotty” Reston of NYT why couldn’t he have been killed by some right wing nut instead of a dirty little communist? She wanted to make JFK a martyr to the civil rights movement, even though there is little evidence that he was greatly interested in it, other than in response to clear violations of the law. Bobby was a different story. Jackie orchestrated the funeral to make of him a martyr. The vile Teddy Kennedy tied to fill their shoes and failed. That is part of the reason why he supported the jerk in the white house and treated him like a son.

  209. Its no doubt that dumb Donna was duped….but Rove and his rethugs have pulled the greatest hoax in American history….if this country survives it will be know as the “great hoax”, and we just thought the Beatles record played backwards said “Paul is Dead” was the greatest hoax…hmmm, hmmmm! The rethugs are as crafty as they come….the real democrats can’t keep up…unless their last name is Clinton! The rethugs can’t outsmart a Clinton without lots of help from the racist DOnna Dumbass Brazille!

  210. confloyd

    all the way up to Bill C. saying this tax giveaway to the uber rich is the “best deal Obama could get”, and “it will hold of over with jobs”. I did notice he did NOT say it was the best deal anyone could get out of those nastyass rethugs….he said “it was the best deal Obama could get” which is like saying “Confloyd did her best at the jump shot at the Lakers game”, but they still lost the game.

    ——–
    😆

    I have been saying the same thing about, “this is the BEST that BarryBoy can get”, because he is gettimg butt rubs from the Rethugs and he has NO frickin’ skills as a negotiator nor President. He is a waste of space in the Oval.

    Loved your jump shot analogy. High fives *****

  211. We can secede from the Union, pitch into the pot and form our own volunteer government. Shutting down those Congressional representatives from further taking a paycheck and throwing us under a bus.

    Well thats my best bet for now- Nothing else seems to be working before BO shuts down the Internet. Stay in touch my friends, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

  212. Confloyd

    I really have my doubts if this country will still be here with two more years of Obama and his rethugs buddies….I know we can kiss Social Security goodbye and I can tell you….there aren’t going to be anymore jobs than we have now…the uber rich want America for themselves and their peasant/slaves!

    ——–
    I agree, if the extended Bush tax cuts were to stimulate the economy and create more jobs for the serfs…then why the Hell haven’t they been doing this for the past 3 years when the ubers have continued to have their big tax breaks for ten years???

  213. I was just thinking what we could do as the backbone of the country…..We all know the media is picking our representative whether it be Potus or a lowly state representative. Barcrack is a media invention, just like the American Idol is.

    So if we could get a national “do not turn on your TV for a week”, I wonder if we could get the media’s attention?? In the other countries they are rioting, having work stoppages, but here in America….if we had a national “no TV week” as payback…would we get their attention??

  214. Shadowfax,
    I agree, this freaking “trickle down” theory doesn’t work…if it did then why didn’t it during the 12 years of Reagan and Bush I? Clinton who raised the taxes just a bit was the winner…he got the economy, of coarse the nastyass rethugs try to claim credit for it. Bill and Hillary turned Arkansas from an Appalacion outback hillbilly country to a modern state with money in the bank and good schools and btw. excellent healthcare….Bill and Hillary did that! Something the retards/rethugs don’t want to talk about!

    I was furious last night watching this fiasco tax bill coverage on C-span..Steny Hoyer was the one who pist me off the most….I sort like what Nasty said….it was the first time I’d ever seen her make sense when she spoke…she must of laid off the xanex for a couple of hours before that speech,LOL!

  215. Moon

    He leads Hillary Clinton by 31 points, 59% to 28%, and tops Howard Dean by 68 points, 78% to 10%.

    ——–
    This looks like a poll taken on daily Kooks.

  216. Mrs. Smith,
    Please don’t wish old Dean off on sick people….Dean just needs to go somewhere and count his money and leave everyone alone….I can’t imagine Dean as a Dr., I mean would you go see him for your hemorroids???

  217. Shadowfax,
    The pollsters are taking the same kickbacks and Big media….the making of a President…this is what has happened and is still happening….the voting machines are fixed, the media promotes the highest bidder, the pollster sell their numbers to the highest bidder too, so what will Americans do to get their country back….well it sure isn’t voting for the rethugs!

  218. Mrs. Smith,
    Please don’t wish old Dean off on sick people….
    ______________

    Sometimes it’s better to stick with what you. Of course, if you die twice and comeback again, all bets are off. 🙂

  219. I sort like what Nasty said….it was the first time I’d ever seen her make sense when she spoke…she must of laid off the xanex for a couple of hours before that speech,LOL!

    ———
    I hope Nasty is starting to see she was used as a tool and is ready to be discarded. She had better come out fighting against her Barry Boy or her future is over!! She is getting what she deserves for all her corruption, she needs to spend a lot of weeks in the confessional and a truck load of rosary prayers won’t fix what she did to Hillary or our party.
    Take your licks Nasty, start mending your ways.

  220. I’m watching the DeCaprio movie, ‘Inception’ for the third time. It’s quite a quasi-complicated movie and it’s alright watching it, if you have no other interruptions.

    And planning dinner and doing laundry.

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