You’ll Have To Fake It – Happy New Year!

Well we waited and waited and waited and waited and waited. But here we are, a few hours until the new year, waiting still. We thought perhaps a Christmas Miracle would occur. Perhaps Hanukkah Harry would come to the rescue. But it was for naught. The wait was in vain. The year ends as it began – Obama on a long vacation, the economy gearing up for a dive, no HOPE, no Change.

Big Media? It’s still in the shill for Boob Obama business. Richard Benedetto formerly White House correspondent for USA Today says it again:

“Over the past five months, the Republican presidential candidates participated in 13 debates where they fielded dozens of penetrating questions on every major issue facing the nation, and some not so major. [snip]

Yet, during all that time, the man they hope to defeat next November has rarely been asked by news reporters about many of these issues. [snip]

No questions on immigration, no questions on Iran or Iraq or Afghanistan or Israel or North Korea — global trouble spots the GOP candidates have been queried about repeatedly. Moreover, he was not asked about what spending cuts he would make to reduce the deficit, nothing about Medicare and Social Security reform or his health care law, all familiar questions for the Republicans seeking his job.

Obama’s ability to avoid tough questions, skate above the fray and look presidential while his potential successors appear to be futilely flailing is not by accident. It is by White House design, abetted by a press corps that seems content with being shut out by the president and being spoon-fed the message of the day, rather than clamoring for more chances to ask him questions during this critical time.”

As Benedetto points out, it has been Hillary Clinton who has spoken out regarding the potential fraud in Russian elections. The death of a North Korean parasite was left to Hillary to deal with. Hillary remains hard at work, Obama vacations.

As Bennedetto notes Obama has been silent on the Strait of Hormuz situation – perhaps he will say “pretty please” to the Iranian totalitarians. On Iran and Syria Obama has been silent yet he has found time to make “miss you” Love calls to Reggie.

Big Media still pines and shills for Obama, but Big Media is increasingly isolated. The dogs refuse to eat the dog food praised by Big Media. Meanwhile, young people have discovered their voice, their palate, and their empty wallets:

“In 2008, the youth vote helped sweep Barack Obama into office. Americans 18-29 spread the word on social media, energized fundraising and went to the polls.

In 2012, the youth vote is moving on and throwing those omnipresent “Hope” bumper stickers and t-shirts in garbage bins.

Not because of apathy. Not because another candidate generates more enthusiasm. Not because of his character. Not because they think voting is pointless. The 18-29 vote is up for grabs in 2012 because youth can’t afford cars to put bumper stickers on and those t-shirts are worn out from too many days sitting on the couch unemployed.

The sobering reality: just 55.3 percent of Americans between 16 and 29 have jobs. And earlier this year, Americans’ student loan debt surpassed credit card debt for the first time ever.”

Someone tell Claire McCaskill that young voters are not so hot for Obama now.

At every level Big Media had a rough year. It turned out that their idol is a kind of a White House recluse who moans for Reggie, not them. But all was not lost. Obama is still their most corrupt pet of all:

“For a few measly millions, Wall Street not only bought itself a president, but got the start-up firm of B. H. Obama & Co. LLC to throw a cabinet into the deal, too — on remarkably generous terms. President Obama, for a guy prone to delivering prim and smug little homilies denouncing greed, greed, greed — the only of the seven deadly sins that truly offends Democrats (though Mrs. Obama has done some desultory work on gluttony) — is strangely comfortable among the Gordon Gekkos of this world. Shall we have a partial roll call? Beat the drum slowly and call out the names: With unemployment still topping 9 percent, the catastatic world economy teetering on the brink of another, even larger financial catastrophe, and trillion-dollar U.S. deficits as far as the green-shaded eye can see, let’s hear it for Obama’s first National Economic Council director, Lawrence Summers (of hedge-fund giant D. E. Shaw and venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz), who has had some nice paydays courtesy of Lehman Bros., JPMorgan Chase, and Citigroup. Let’s hear it for Citigroup’s Michael Froman, deputy assistant to the president and deputy national-security adviser for international economic affairs, for Hartford Financial’s Neal Wolin, deputy Treasury secretary, for JPMorgan’s William Daley, Obama’s chief of staff, and for his predecessor, Rahm Emanuel of Wasserstein Perella. Let’s hear it for Fannie Mae’s Tom Donilon, national-security adviser. (No, seriously: One of the luminous interstellar geniuses who brought Fannie Mae to its current aphotic state of affairs, upside down to the tune of trillions of dollars, is running national security, and the former director of the White House Military Office, Louis Caldera, was on the board of IndyMac when it finally went toes up — sleep tight, America!) And, lest we forget, let’s have three big, sloppy cheers for economic-transition team leaders Robert Rubin (Goldman Sachs, Citigroup) and folksy tax enthusiast/ghoulish billionaire vulture Warren Buffett.

That’s a pretty fantastic lineup, from Wall Street’s point of view, but the real bonus turned out to be Treasury secretary Tim Geithner, who came up through the ranks as part of the bipartisan Robert Rubin–Hank Paulson–Citigroup–Goldman Sachs cabal. Geithner, a government-and-academe man from way back, never really worked on Wall Street, though he once was offered a gig as CEO of Citigroup, which apparently thought he did an outstanding job as chairman of the New York Fed, where one of his main tasks was regulating Citigroup — until it collapsed into the yawning suckhole of its own cavernous ineptitude, at which point Geithner’s main job became shoveling tens of billions of federal dollars into Citigroup, in an ingeniously structured investment that allowed the government to buy a 27 percent share in the bank, for which it paid more than the entire market value of the bank. If you can’t figure out why you’d pay 100-plus percent of a bank’s value for 27 percent of it, then you just don’t understand high finance or high politics.

But high finance is not the only corporate mystery to be unraveled here: President Obama’s repetitious denunciations of Big Oil have not stopped his man David Axelrod’s firm from setting up Astroturf campaigns on behalf of Exelon subsidiary ComEd, or stopped the president from appointing GE chief executive/tax-minimization engineer/offshoring guru/bailout baby Jeff Immelt to his risible White House jobs commission, or choosing former Kraft and Duke Energy board member Mary Schapiro to run the SEC.”

Yup, Exelon, again. Exelon of the radioactive leaks and the Obama lies. It’s too painful to quote any more from that article. Too painful on New Year’s Eve. Our earlier predictions hold: “elect a boob, expect boobery”. Elect the treacherous, expect treachery. Elect the selfish, expect selfishness. Elect the lazy, expect laziness.

But tonight, like a night at the theater, is a time to gaze at the stars of possibility and beauty. Ignore the broken shells and dirt at your feet. Lift a glass of cheer at midnight and drown out the night and bring on the light:

“So tonight we raise a glass full of good cheer and songs in praise of real hope for real change and unwavering love for the possibilities of tomorrow – and drink deep. We’ll think of those still with us, those in shadow, and those who one day we hope to see again.”

Happy New Year! Even if you have to fake it, Happy New Year! And it will be a happy new year – at least the last two months.


117 thoughts on “You’ll Have To Fake It – Happy New Year!

  1. This country is in a state of trauma caused by the a president called Obama and his big spender mama.They both need jobs at Waste Management the garbage in and out people.The 4 million dollar vacation in HI must be an impeachable act of a greedy pair of Red House occupants.They get no happy new year from this old Hillary Fan

  2. Glass lifted, and may this soon be the year that Baracko Bama goes home to Chicago.

    Happy 2012 admin and Big Pink.

  3. KUHNER: Will Obama steal the 2012 election?

    By Jeffrey T. Kuhner
    The Washington Times
    Friday, December 30, 2011

    Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. claims Jim Crow is returning. In a recent speech, Mr. Holder said that attempts by states to pass voter identification laws will disenfranchise minorities, rolling back the clock to the evil days of segregation. He said that a growing number of minorities fear that “the same disparities, divisions and problems” now afflict America as they did in 1965 prior to the Voting Rights Act. According to the Obama administration, our democracy is being threatened by racist Republicans. Hence, the Justice Department must prevent laws requiring a photo ID to vote from being enacted.

    Mr. Holder argues that voter ID laws disproportionately discriminate against poor blacks and Hispanics – citizens who cannot afford to acquire a driver’s license, passport or other form of photo identification. The latest victim is South Carolina; its voter ID law has been blocked by the Justice Department. Liberal Democrats – taking their cue from the White House – are portraying the national movement for election reform as an authoritarian assault upon civil liberties. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has even petitioned the United Nations, asking it to declare states’ voter ID laws human rights abuses. For the radical left, America has become Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

    This would be comical if the consequences were not so serious. South Carolina’s legislation provides for free ID cards to be given to anyone who needs it. Not one person – white, black or brown – is discriminated against or discouraged from casting a vote at the ballot box. Moreover, the Supreme Court already has ruled on the issue – upholding state voter ID laws. In the 2008 Crawford v. Marion County Election Board decision, the high court held that an Indiana law mandating photo identification at the voting booth was indeed constitutional. If it is good enough for the Supreme Court and the overwhelming majority of the states, then it should be for Mr. Holder as well.

    It isn’t. And the reason is simple: The administration is trying to whip up minority frenzy, propagating the myth of widespread ballot suppression. The goal is to foster a sense of racial persecution of blacks, intending to maximize voter turnout in November. The results, however, will be to poison race relations further. Mr. Holder is cynically playing the race card in order to achieve President Obama’s overriding ambition: re-election.

    Racism has nothing to do with states implementing voter ID laws. Rather, it is about protecting the integrity of our electoral system. Voter fraud is rampant; abuses regularly take place. In Chicago, local elections are often marred by ballot stuffing and multiple voting – including by false voters who use the names of deceased individuals. Indiana election officials have found that, during the 2008 Democratic primary, countless pro-Barack Obama and pro-Hillary Rodham Clinton signatures were falsified. In Minnesota, voter fraud enabled Democrat Al Franken to steal the election from incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman. It is precisely to preserve the fundamental basis of our democracy – one person, one vote – that voter ID laws are necessary.

    Mr. Holder evidently wants to scuttle ID laws because he knows which organization will be hurt most: ACORN. For years, community activist groups, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, have engaged in massive electoral fraud – registering illegal aliens, offering bribes to numerous politically disinterested people in the inner cities as inducements to vote and pushing underage and multiple voting. Election reform, therefore, is a stake aimed at the heart of Democratic corruption and ACORN’s power. Clean up the voter rolls and Mr. Obama’s re-election is in serious jeopardy.

    It is perverse to have a society that requires a photo ID to go through airport security, drive a car, purchase expensive consumer goods using Mastercard or Visa (as happened to me recently when I bought a stack of DVDs and the cashier asked for my driver’s license to check against credit card theft) or get a simple library card, but not to cast a ballot – the most sacred act of citizenship in a deliberative democracy.

    Mr. Holder is a shameless demagogue. He has become the Democratic Party’s new Al Sharpton: Everything is seen through the lens of race. He has refused to prosecute members of the New Black Panther Party, who in the 2008 election stood at a polling booth wielding clubs in a blatant attempt at voter intimidation. Career Justice Department lawyers admitted that Mr. Holder’s policy is not to go after black perpetrators whose victims are white. He insists that Republican criticism leveled at him over Operation Fast and Furious is because of his race – not the obvious fact that, under his watch, thousands of guns were illegally smuggled into Mexico, resulting in hundreds of deaths including a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

    Mr. Holder says his department’s aim is to “expand the franchise.” This begs the question: Expand it for whom? Jim Crow is long dead; not one single eligible voter has been turned away because of an ID requirement. In other words, minorities are not being disenfranchised. What Mr. Holder really means is to expand the vote to groups that will help ensure a Democratic victory in 2012 – ACORN and its nefarious allies.

    Stealing an election is not beyond this administration. After all, it’s the Chicago Way.

    Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute.

  4. Presumably they’re allowing drivers’ licenses? And the sort of non-driving DMV ID cards that most states give (thought they could require some hoops for getting those).

    The South Carolina law also allowed several other forms of photographic identification to be used, such as military ID cards or passports, but the state supplied no data about how many registered voters who lack a driver’s license might have one of those.

  5. Happy New Year!!!!
    More than a tad bit bombed but wanted to wish you all the best.
    Like this song and love this clip as it screams PINK. Hope it doesn’t offend as it has Victoria Secret models but the guys dancing along the side are also objectified.
    Well enjoy if you will

  6. Thought the first Best Wishes would come from moononpluto or me, given the time zones. Whatever. Best Wishes to all and a happy and prosperous 2012 to all of you and yours from Paris.

  7. You’ll Have To Fake It – Happy New Year!
    No problem admin. Buoyed by your spirit, we can do.

    To 2012 and Obama in his proper place.

  8. To a better year for us all!
    Want to report that the toasts came slowly in our ritual observance last night, almost in whispers from tight throats. Slowly, we realized we all were expressing the same prayer … That this, to be a good year, must be Hillary’s year to become POTUS. It was the strangest NY’s Eve I’ve ever experienced.

  9. I said mine yesterday. I am more than a bit drunk here in Bangkok on holiday. More sense from me on the 4th when i get back.

  10. good morning all- can’t stop yawning… dogs out and in.. breakfast tea until brunch.. later much later.. after a re-nap.. I did want to begin the NY off with ?some? good (but old) news…though-

    Barack Obama Violates Federal Law – Funding Voter Fraud To Win 2012 Election? (3 yrs later they wake up..)

    by Ulsterman on December 31, 2011

    Recent Judicial Watch investigation reveals nearly $800,000 in funding to fraudulent voter registration organization ACORN despite federal law prohibiting that very thing.

    The now infamous and proven fraudulent ACORN organization, the same group responsible for countless phony voter registrations, and who enjoyed strong support from then-candidate Barack Obama in 2007 and 2008 to the tune of a million dollars in contributions, appears to still be enjoying strong support from now President Obama despite a federal ban on funding the far left community activist group.

    In July of 2011, Judicial Watch tied nearly $80,000 in federal monies to a newly formed group calling itself AHCOA. (Affordable Housing Centers of America) This organization is actually ACORN – same group, different name. Judicial Watch then traced another $730,000 in federal money having gone to AHCOA/ACORN. It should also be noted that Barack Obama is a former employer of ACORN – having worked with its Project Vote group in the 1990′s.

    The following are shocking excerpts of the Judicial Watch Report:

    -Tens of millions of dollars in ACORN’s funds and other assets are unaccounted for. This is currently being investigated by the Louisiana attorney general’s office and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, as well as Judicial Watch
    Read more in News
    « Newt Gingrich Sheds Tears During Public Forum

    – The ACORN’s Project Vote, Barack Obama’s former employer, remains active in trying to register a “Food Stamp Army” of voters on public assistance to re-elect Barack Obama and other leftist candidates in 2012.

    -What was previously called ACORN Housing was renamed Affordable Housing Centers of America ( in early 2010. In every other respect, the organization is unchanged…AHCOA’s headquarters are located at 209 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60606, the former headquarters of ACORN Housing, and its fourteen field offices were the former locations of ACORN Housing. The new corporation also adopted the same Employee Identification Number (EIN 72-1048321)

    -Federal investigators have documented fraudulent activity by ACORN Housing/AHCOA. For example, a September 21, 2010, HUD Inspector General report notes that ACORN Housing, “now operating as Affordable Housing Centers of America,” misappropriated funds from a $3,252,399 federal grant

    -In a May 2011 interview with The Root, Bertha Lewis, former CEO of ACORN, said that she and her ACORN colleagues have created 18 new independent state organizations around the country covering 25 states – “We have created 18 bulletproof community-organizing Frankensteins that they’re going to have a very hard time attacking,” Lewis boasted.

    -In Colorado, 11,805 individuals — non-citizens at the time they obtained a driver’s license — have been identified as registered voters in 2010…In 2008, Indiana election officials discovered more than 4,000 fraudulent registrations submitted by ACORN workers. Elections board director Sally LaSota reported that “ACORN vote canvassers pulled names and addresses from telephone books and forged their signatures…Previously, in October 2008, Philadelphia deputy city commissioner Fred Voight reported that ACORN had submitted approximately 8,000 fraudulent voter registration forms… However, the Obama Justice Department, while noting that ACORN had engaged in “questionable hiring and training practices,” closed down the investigation .

    ACORN’s Impact on 2008 and 2010 Elections According to its own assessment of the 2008 election, ACORN — in conjunction with the efforts of Project Vote — submitted registration cards for 1,312,558 voters nationally. The goal was clearly partisan. ACORN and Project Vote targeted voters who were most likely to support left-wing causes and candidates, to the exclusion of others.

    The elections in 2012 will be another story. Project Vote is gearing up for the presidential election by threatening lawsuits under the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and working to oppose weaker fraud protections in voter registration and voting in a number of states.

    ACORN leaders at both the state and national levels seem to have systemically violated numerous laws, and yet, the Obama Justice Department, likely due to the president’s personal and political ties to the organization, refuses to investigate. With many former ACORN staff filling key roles in the state entities and in the ACORN affiliated organizations, these groups should be subjected to close scrutiny, as the previous corrupt practices will almost certainly continue.


    NOTE: The same difficulties Judicial Watch is having regarding battling what appears to be open violation of federal law by the Obama administration is what all others who are also attempting to make the Obama regime accountable – all similar roads must first pass through the Department of Justice – Eric Holder has and remains, Barack Obama’s firewall against any and all such investigation. Let us hope 2012 soon finds that firewall to be seriously compromised as AG Holder is almost certain to face the wrath of a culmination of Congressional investigation…

    Judicial Watch Report

  11. Lil Ole Grape, it was strange. Nobody discussed politics. In 2008 in our Democratic circles all anyone talked about was politics. Last night there was lots of worry and foreboding about how things will turn out. There was no sense of the captain of the ship knowing where we are heading.

  12. WordPress adding something new for the perpetual archivists. A year end montage of treats in review- By far, Chelsea’s Wedding was the most adored with the most viewings overall, except of course, “Is Hillary Running in 2012”-

    Going through one of the ‘Unleashed’ Blogrolls is the only way to access the ‘Chelsea Unleashed’ website. Private for now-

    Where we can watch Chelsea grow developing her own style in her newest endeavor with NBC.

  13. Good morning. Last night I was invited to a neighbors house for a
    party that included other neighbors that I had never met before. Previously, on Christmas day, I was invited to another neighbor’s house for a Christmas dinner. I live in a retirement community where most everyone is from somewhere else, particularly the northeast or Midwest (mostly northeast). These people are still gowing to vote for Obama as far as I can tell. The host and hostess from the New Years party were anti-Obama when anti-Obama wasn’t cool even though as former New Yorkers, I would have guessed them to be Democrats, but they are not. The host is actually a fairly smart guy formerly from the Netherlands, but living in the US for many years. Anyway, at this party last night, there was another neighborhood man who I recognized as the man who went door to door campaigning for BO back in 2008. He got an earful from me back then, and I know that he was not expecting that from me as he had me down on his little list as being a Democrat (which makes me wonder how he knew). Well, just a week or so ago, he was going door to door again for a local Democrat who was running for Sheriff in this county who had previously run in 2008, but loss by 1 percent. When I amswered the door, I immediately recognized the jerk. He reintroduced himself and explained that he was a Democrat supporting blah, blah, blah. I cut him short and told him “I remember you. Your the guy that came around campaigning for Obama in 2008”. I could tell that that made him a little uncomfortable, not that he wasn’t already so because I know that he remembered our previous interaction from 2008 because I could see it in his face when I answered the door. He could barely look up at me. I did not let him finish his campaigning. I told him I would not be voting for any Democrats this year, plus I made some negative comments about BO and the Democratic party in general. I also indicated that I was moving away from the Democratic party until they changed back to what they had once been. I reiterated my support for Hillary in 2008. He finally looked up at me and asked if I had changed my party affiliation to which I answered that I was still considering it. I am pretty sure that he will remember not to come to my door again in the future even if I remain a registered Democrat. Getting back to me seeing him at the party last night. We shook hands after the hostess was told that we have met before. 🙂 He was less uptight than our last encounter, but the schmuck tried to embarass me a little later while in conversation with some neighbors who had their backs toward me. They must have been talking about Obama because he loudly said that I did not like Obama. These neighbors that he was talking to happened to be black. Too bad he got my first name wrong, and since they couldn’t see me with their backs turned, they didn’t know who he was talking about. Ha, ha on that one! I feel bad for the actual “John” who was at the party since these guests
    probably think that he is the anti-Obama in the neighborhood! LOL. I just thought that kind of funny. I also disagreed with another neighbor who said ” I think Obama is an intelligent man”. I could of choked in my beer with that comment. He got a little earful from me, too. I am only telling you this to let you know that I don’t let people get away with their misrepresentations of the golden calf. I want them to think twice before they prop him up again in front of others. They need to be challenged on their faux beliefs about the unicorn jockey who spouts false platitudes of hope and change.

    One other bit of info that I find interesting. As I mentioned above, the host is from the Netherlands, and he and his wife did not vote for Obama. I do no know what their party affiliation is, but I suspect that it is either Republican or Independent. The one known Republican in the neighborhood just happens to be anothe European expatriot from Great Britain, by way of Canada. You see, there’s two men from liberal Europe who are not for liberalismin the US. I just have to wonder if their past experiences living in a quasi-socialist environment has caused their oppositon to anything of the sort here in the US?

  14. Mrs. Smith
    January 1st, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Barack Obama Violates Federal Law – Funding Voter Fraud To Win 2012 Election?

    Good morning and Happy New Year to everyone.

    I would like to know it there is anything I can do to prevent voter fraud in my small community. Can I get a list of registered voters and check them out or will I be charged with attempted voter intimidation? I read this article at and realize MN is a tough nut to crack but there must be something I can do. I went to Denver because I knew I couldn’t let that convention pass with out me putting my food down somehow no matter how ineffectual, and I feel the same way about letting democrats cheat in this next election.

    Here are a few paragraphs from the powerline article:

    “The Republican legislature passed legislation to reform the state’s voting system, in part by requiring photo identification. The law provided for issuance of free voter IDs to any legitimate voters who, for whatever reason, have no driver’s license or other form of identification. Minnesotans, aware that voter fraud has likely played a key role in recent elections, overwhelmingly support the law: the Star Tribune’s Minnesota Poll, which routinely tilts left, found 80 percent support.

    Nevertheless, Governor Mark Dayton vetoed the bill yesterday.”

    I skipped a few paragraphs

    “…Until now, Minnesota has had lax laws that facilitate voter fraud. Not only does the state have same-day registration, there is also an absurd system whereby a resident of a precinct can “vouch” for as many as 15 people who are not registered in the precinct and have no identification that would otherwise allow them to register. This means that the Democrats can station an operative at a polling place, bus in students from Wisconsin, illegal immigrants, etc., and allow them to vote illegally by having their operative vouch for the whole busload.

    For many years, Republicans have been trying to tighten up Minnesota’s voting laws to prevent voter fraud. But they have never been able to get such a bill through the legislature, since the DFL has controlled the state’s Senate since Senate races were first made partisan. This year, for the first time, the Republicans are in a position to carry out the will of the overwhelming majority of Minnesotans by reforming an electoral system that is designed to encourage fraud. The fact that the Governor Dayton felt compelled to veto those reforms confirms that voter fraud remains a significant component of the Democratic Pary’s electoral strategy.”

  15. Betty, I am from Minnesota and not a Dayton fan…it’s awful he would veto such a law. I attended the primary caucus for the first time in 2008 and I could have brought anybody with me to vote. I’m sure a lot of fraud went on that night as people could have easily gone from room to room at my high school (precinct to precinct) and voted at each place….ridiculous–shame on my state….

  16. While folks are watching the bowl games and slugging down snacks and beer today, more of our rights are being taken away on this no news Holiday break.

    This should give Ron Paul something more to slam Barry for…

    WASHINGTON — Indefinite military detention of Americans became the law of the land Saturday, as President Barack Obama signed a defense bill that codified that authority, even as he said he would not use it.

    The National Defense Authorization Act states how the military is to be funded, but also includes a number of controversial provisions on arresting and holding suspected terrorists, which at first drove Obama to threaten a veto.

    He retreated from that threat after Congress added provisions that took the ultimate authority to detain suspects from the military’s hands and gave it to the president. Congress also clarified that civilian law enforcement agencies — such as the FBI — would still have authority to investigate terrorism and added a provision that asserts nothing in the detention measures changes current law regarding U.S. citizens.

    Still, the signing on New Year’s Eve as few people were paying attention angered civil liberties advocates, who argue that the law for the first time spells out certain measures that have not actually been tested all the way to the Supreme Court, including the possibility of detaining citizens in military custody without trial for as long as there is a war on terror.

    “President Obama’s action today is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law,” said Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

    “The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield,” Romero added. “The ACLU will fight worldwide detention authority wherever we can, be it in court, in Congress or internationally.”

    The administration was especially sensitive about the law and about reaction to the president signing it. In addition to enacting the measure while few people were paying attention — and many opponents still had hopes the president would veto the bill — the White House added a signing statement specifying that the Obama administration would not detain Americans without trial. The White House also sent out a notice to its online community highlighting Obama’s complaints with the law, in a tacit admission that many of the president’s more ardent supporters despise the detention provisions.

  17. The [MN] law provided for issuance of free voter IDs to any legitimate voters who, for whatever reason, have no driver’s license or other form of identification.


    But what hoops will you have to jump through to get those free IDs? It might work out like caucuses: excluding Hillary voters (old, sick, disabled, poor, etc).

    If it’s a photo ID, you have to go somewhere to be photographed, presumably the DMV. So there’s transportation to get there, confusion, lines. Maybe you go through the line and then they want your birth certificate … next trip they want proof of residence … next try they reject the proof of residence and want a current utility bill….

    All this just to get an ID you’ve never needed before, just so you can vote? Some Hillary voters would put it off and maybe never manage to get it done.

  18. I attended the primary caucus for the first time in 2008 and I could have brought anybody with me to vote. I’m sure a lot of fraud went on that night as people could have easily gone from room to room at my high school (precinct to precinct) and voted at each place…


    Does the voter ID law apply to caucuses? If the Bots get there first and make themselves the doorkeepers, they could cheat and let other Bots in but enforce the law against Hillary voters.

  19. I am a non-driving adult and have a Minnesota ID card as I don’t have a driver’s license. I am required to have some kind of ID for check writing etc…it is just the way it is so I don’t have any other choice (except to never write checks or do anything requiring picture identification…)

    I’m not saying that a voter ID card is the best way to prevent fraud or a method that voters will accept–but clearly doing nothing, which we have now, leaving the process wide open to abuse is not the answer…

    The Democrats in my state should come up with some alternative that can achieve the same goal if they don’t like the voter ID card part…perhaps they will…

  20. Gotta go….

    My point on the voter ID laws is that they would hit the old, vulnerable Hillary voters harder than the Acorn types. The Bots and Acorns are organized and can comply or get around the laws. Bots can use those laws against us.

    Those Republicans, Rove etc, who are pushing these laws want to hamper ALL Democratic voters, including Hillary voters. Actually, being more afraid of Hillary, they’d like to hamper us more.

  21. ya TM is finally off the obama bandwagon and hotair has her featured on the front page as an example of liberal disappointment in obama.

    funny to see her mentioned at hot air.

    happy new year hopefully the end is near and we can finally get rid of zerO.

  22. Canadian or not, my one and only resolution for 2012 is to try and convince my sister that obama does not walk on water and that although I am not a Bush supporter, that he did not destroy America completely before the dolt took over.

    Happy New Year to everyone! 🙂

  23. BASIL99
    January 1st, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Yup, TM is assembling a haven for the Land of the Lost survivors.How long will it be this time before she caves and supports Obama?

    I’ve spent some time today perusing the blogs- They’re all coming up with a new schtick for followers to swallow- It only took them 3 yrs to figure it out. They ALL voted for Obama and whoa- surprise, they are all experts now. Their intransigence of listening to seasoned political operatives who understand the rough and tumble of political war games tried leading them in 08′ is why we are where we are today. Too many Chiefs and NO Indians will be the repeat scenario and problematic as well in 12’… Re-inventing the wheel is not the job of neophytes when they jump into the 3rd Q of the learning curve.

  24. If someone has the ability to show up at the polls on election day, one would think that he should be able to show up at an office to obtain some type of free picture id. I don’t buy turndownobama’s concerns. One day out of 365 days. Give me a break. Many of these people do make it out for doctor’s appointments, grocery store visits, etc. If these “burdensome” tasks can be performed, then so can the task of obtaining id if one wants to take their civic responsibility seriously.

  25. Happy New Year, Jan-

    Monday is another day off here tomorrow, because the holiday fell on the week-end.

    Canada too?

  26. tdo
    please stop being a supreme ASS. Voter ID laws prohibit no one from voting. Once upon a time I volunteered as a literacy teacher. Spent a disproportionate amount of time filling out welfare forms and guess what you need ID to get welfare. Fuck you and your noise that older voters will be disenfranchised. Crock of shit. If you cannot prove who you are you fill out a provisional ballot. Get real. You jumped the shark with this one.

  27. I just read several statutes from different states and cannot find one that does not provide for a provisional ballot. BULLSHIT that voter IS laws are racist in nature, Total hogwash. Please cite an elderly Clinton voter who lacks a state issued ID. One. I will pay for her 12 dollar ID, Bring it– Game on.

  28. I watched a little of MTP this morning- Santorum was right on- describing Obama’s reluctance to meet with Congress. Santorum said he’s running the country from the O/O and leaving Cong in the dark. He said, it’s been 6 mos since Obama has met with Bohner to discuss any legislation- He continued on in the interview spelling out Obama’s isolationist attitude but fell short of getting in the words “Emperor of Rome”… when Gregory interrupted him with another question. Santorum made the comparison of Bush to Obama. (afaic- Obama has set race relations back 75 yrs) Obama the “divider” divisive to the country. Making the point ( for the advantages of Republican leadership) Bush met weekly with various committees forging friendships with Congressional members creating a pleasant work environment. (Not entirely true considering doors were closed to Dems when Bush ran his meetings)

    Obama appears to meet with Dems on vacation using Nancy Pelosi as the conduit to deliver his message to House and Senate Dems.

    Ulsterman caught Gregory’s steering too…we can’t keep letting these well paid honchos get away with this- our spokespeople have to take control of the message during interviews..

    David Brooks was on also. An abomination is the only civil word I can think of pointing to his lack of truthfulness during that interview running cover for Obama’s mistakes and deliberate misdirection of the country recovery, further sinking it into debt.

    NBC Defending Obama To The Very End…


    Once again NBC Meet the Press host David Gregory goes to great lengths to put heavy and favorable spin on the foreign policy record of Barack Obama. Perhaps the show should be re-named “Meet the Obama White House Media Machine”

  29. henry, don’t hold your breath for a rebuttal. When the Truth is laid at her feet, she runs away googling for an answer-

    Some have said tdo is playing Devil’s Advocate- and is a healthy way to generate discussion between posters… eh.. well- I don’t think there are enough pharmaceuticals in the world for allowing that to happen.

  30. Mrs Smith
    New Years Day
    Wish you the best.
    Posted this earlier here…. Catchy tune that was a hit Rob Bass from the 90’s but Nicki Minaj reinvented and she did it in pink to the tenth power,

  31. henry
    January 1st, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Yes, I watched it this morning-

    Loved the neon angel and butterfly wings. The models looked like they were having fun with it too-

  32. Here is a follow up piece to Ulsterman’s latest headline. In addition to my interpretation watching MTP LIVE:

    David Gregory Defends President Obama Against Rick Santorum’s Accusation Of Appeasement

    On Sunday’s Meet The Press, David Gregory called out surging Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on a speech he gave last month to a Republican Jewish Coalition Candidates Forum, comparing President Obama‘s foreign policy to appeasement during World War II. “How can that possibly be accurate, if you take an objective look at the foreign policy of this administration? What on Iran, specifically, separates the approach that President Obama has taken and that of President Bush?”

    “Number one, he didn’t support the pro-democracy movement in Iran in 2009 during the Green Revolution,” Santorum responded. “Almost immediately after the election — I mean, excuse me, like within hours after the polls closed Ahmadinejad announced he won with 62% of the vote. Within a few days, President Obama basically said that that election was a legitimate one.”

    “I understand why the president would understand someone announcing the minute after the polls close that he won, I mean he comes from Chicago,” Santorum snarked. “So I get it.

    “But the problems is problem was this was an illegitimate election, the people in the streets were rioting saying ‘please support us President Obama, we are the pro-democracy movement. We want to turn this theocracy that’s been at war with the United States’, that’s developing a nuclear weapon, that’s killing our troops in afghanistan and iraq with ieds and the president of the united states turned his back on them. at the same time, a year later we have the same situation where muslim brotherhood and islamists are in the streets of Egypt opposing an ally of ours, not a sworn enemy like Iran, but an ally of ours in Mubarak and he joins the radicals instead of standing with our friends!”

    “That’s patently contradictory, if you say you support democracy,” Gregory contended. “How can you be pro-democracy in some countries but not others?”

    “No, the Muslim Brotherhood is not about democracy,” Santorum replied. “The Muslim Brotherhood are Islamists. They’re going to impose Sharia law –”

    “But I asked you about disarming Iran,” Gregory interrupted. “There is no material difference in terms of how the Bush Administration sought to disarm Iran and what the Obama Administration has done.”

    “There’s a material difference in this respect. Number one, the Bush Administration worked with me, in passing the Iran Freedom Support Act which I authored which imposed tough sanctions on the Iranian nuclear program, and provided funding for the pro-democracy movement. When President Obama came into office he cut that funding. President Obama did not provide funding in to Iran to help those folks who wanted to overthrow this democracy and when the time came to support them, he chose not to. That is a substantive difference between my policy, which I was a leader on in the Senate, and when President Bush tried to do when he was president.”

    “The reality is there is no good option to disarm Iran,” claimed Gregory.

    “Yes, there is,” Santorum maintained.

    While Santorum did not protest Gregory’s aggressive questioning, the heavy-handed way in which the Meet The Press host continued to persistently hammer him will most likely spur accusations of bias in his defense of the Obama Administration. Contrast his questioning, with Candy Crowley ‘s earlier, less-combative interview with Santorum on the same topic.

    Reading the comment section is worthwhile- People are wise to Obama inducing chaos in the ME siding with our enemies instead of consistent US policy for aiding budding democracies…

    I didn’t realize Gregory’s wife is a high paid Exec at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-

  33. I also agree that everyone should have a photo ID to vote, and making this a law may disenfranchise older voters or is racist…this is pure bullshit!

    TDO is supporting the same argument that lets dead people vote, multiple voting, illegals vote and any crooks like Barry’s ACORN gang… bus underage kids in from county to county to vote for him. It’s also the main reason neither party has gotten serious about immigration enforcement in our country.

  34. Riddle me this…All this fuel is surplus fuel in the US?..How in the world does BO get away with this subversive activity with nary a whimper from Congress?

    Gas And Other Fuels Are Top U.S. Exports, For First Time

    NEW YORK — For the first time, the top export of the United States, the world’s biggest gas guzzler, is – wait for it – fuel.

    Measured in dollars, the nation is on pace this year to ship more gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel than any other single export, according to U.S. Census data going back to 1990. It will also be the first year in more than 60 that America has been a net exporter of these fuels.

    Just how big of a shift is this? A decade ago, fuel wasn’t even among the top 25 exports. And for the last five years, America’s top export was aircraft.

    The trend is significant because for decades the U.S. has relied on huge imports of fuel from Europe in order to meet demand. It only reinforced the image of America as an energy hog. And up until a few years ago, whenever gasoline prices climbed, there were complaints in Congress that U.S. refiners were not growing quickly enough to satisfy domestic demand; that controversy would appear to be over.

    Still, the U.S. is nowhere close to energy independence. America is still the world’s largest importer of crude oil. From January to October, the country imported 2.7 billion barrels of oil worth roughly $280 billion.

  35. Shadowfax
    January 1st, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Reading around the politically oriented blogs today- In 08′ Obama bussed in 100s of Illinois voters who were allowed to vote multiple times in Iowa going from one caucus to another with no one questioning their residency, ID or if they age qualify.. I remember HS kids allowed to vote.. And Hillary finished 3rd?

  36. Mrs. Smith 8:54

    I am not an expert in IOWA Caucus, but I was at one in 08. People had to sign in, and prove that they belonged at that caucus. They also had to balance to the number signed in. They did a count and we were one person off. They discovered that the Hillary organizer was not counting herself. So I don’t know how they could have voted in a number of caucuses. In addition they were all at the same time. It was one of the problems, as shift workers etc could not make it to the caucus. So he could certainly bus people to individual caucus that they were register to vote at, but I don’t see how they could be in more than one.

  37. However, the general election could have been a different matter, as I did not observe the General.

  38. Many of these people do make it out for doctor’s appointments, grocery store visits, etc. If these “burdensome” tasks can be performed, then so can the task of obtaining id if one wants to take their civic responsibility seriously.


    That’s the argument that Bots use to justify caucuses. “If a person can go to the doctor, they can go to a caucus.”

  39. If someone has the ability to show up at the polls on election day, one would think that he should be able to show up at an office to obtain some type of free picture id.


    Polling places are more numerous and more conveniently located than the DMV office. This DMV free ID may require you to bring a birth certificate and other ID that takes time and trouble to get.

    Bots are organized and will be able to get around this. Bot dudes have drivers’ licenses already. It’s little old knitters who will be excluded.

  40. NewMexicoFan

    Too bad Lynette Long doesn’t have her site up for the public any longer, she had proof of all the caucus and voting fraud that I was talking about, and she said that the Clinton’s also have a copy of all her research too.

  41. NMF

    The information I posted was taken from a bloggers post I read today. Admittedly, the information is anecdotal but I seem to remember hearing stories of that happening at the time and didn’t have a problem with it.. Evidence that I viewed personally in 2008 via UTube videos, replaying a host of fraudulent happenings during the Iowa Caucus was embedded in my memory and felt it pertinent enough to post it here.

    What surprised me is.. the second video labeled Pt 2 has been compromised.

    At page- The info I archived from Lynette Long Pt 2 in her video of the Iowa and Texas Caucus stats has been scrubbed and replaced with a MLK rally.

    After googling around on you tube.. I could not find one video except for this one that was not accusatory of fraud per say, but beginning at minute 4:20 you can see for yourself how the caucus was manipulated by Obama’s handlers. If you scroll down and read the comments on those days… their bear out my claim the fraud and manipulation happening in Iowa.

    After the results were tallied Sen Hillary Clinton 171 votes to Obama’s 172 votes losing by one vote in this Iowa caucus. How convenient, Hillary lost by one vote.

    Luckily the video remaining on the PUMA page as Pt 1 of the Texas Caucus is still intact and the complaints of fraud are rampant and too many to mention in this writing.. better to view the video for yourself if you want to.

  42. lets dead people vote, multiple voting, illegals vote and any crooks like Barry’s ACORN gang… bus underage kids in from county to county to vote for him.


    If the Bots are that organized, they’ll supply fake IDs also.

  43. My husband the election judge 😉 says that provisional ballots are intended for situations when someone has recently moved or comes to the wrong polling place. If those ballots are allowed under the new law just because someone’s ID does not have a picture, then the cheating Bots will use them too. They may do the Alinsky thing of having so many Bots ask for provisional ballots, that it clogs up the system.

    Provisional ballots are NOT a panacea here — if they were, they would be a loophole that the new law will close.

  44. and she said that the Clinton’s also have a copy of all her research too.

    I hope Lynette sent it on a DVD and not just a link to her blog- Otherwise, consider it gone.. I wonder if she had been threatened?

  45. Many of these people do make it out for doctor’s appointments, grocery store visits, etc. If these “burdensome” tasks can be performed, then so can the task of obtaining id


    Some elderly people and others in HIllary’s voter demographic, are already spending ALL their energy and resources to do these necessary trips. There may be no resources left.

    And repeated visits to the DMV bringing more and more documentation is much more burdensome than a trip to the nearest grocery or doctor’s office.

  46. Mrs. Smith
    January 1st, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    I did not say that there was not other frauds going on, but I wanted to clarify the statement that they bussed them in, and that they could vote in seveal places.

    What I think did happen at the place I obseved was the minor candidates met in outside rooms, and the O and Hillary people were split on two sides of the auditorium. Representative of the minor candidates met with O and H people to see which would give them the best deal, so they would throw their support one way or the other. There was even I think a stagged move of people from one group to another in the auditorium. It was my understanding that is was tradition for Iowa to haggle and make these deals. However, it was obvious to me that there was a lot of pushing going on for O, almost to the point of threats.

    So I agree that fraud was happening in the Iowa caucus, but I just was disputing that based on what I saw, I did not see it happening as written on the blog.

    In addition, those people that signed in, I am not sure were asked for ID, as I did not stay in the hall to watch what was going on. So elder people that had died, could have had people taking their names, and voting.

  47. Mrs S
    Lynette Long said she had physical copies of all the fraud in voting and she send a boat load of those copies to the Clintons. It sounded much more formal and hardcore then just sending a link to her blog. I always got the impression she was helping Hillary by putting all these months of research into hard proof. Lynette is a Ph.D. and math is one of her strong fields.

  48. Nomobama: An interesting New Year’s experience (and a happy New Year’s to you!). You end your post with something confusing, though:

    “…there’s two men from liberal Europe who are not for liberalism in the US. I just have to wonder if their past experiences living in a quasi-socialist environment has caused their opposition to anything of the sort here in the US?”

    (i) Europe is not “quasi-socialist” but squarely socialist, the very definition of socialism in today’s world.

    (ii) There is a tug of opposition between “liberals” and “socialists” in the European context: The liberals want less state involvement in the economy, the socialists want to elaborate the safety net for the little guys and keep the corporate noses clean.

    I can see why you equate “liberal” and “socialist” in the United States; but it jars me and, when you refer to the situation in Europe, you should keep the distinction in mind. Don’t say things like “liberal Europe”, it doesn’t make sense.

    As to the attitudes of your English and Dutch acquaintances and the possible reasons for those attitudes, also remember that the Brits do not consider themselves to be part of Europe and continental Europeans do not consider the UK to be part of Europe. Furthermore, the only long-time faithful friends of Britain on the continent are the Dutch. It’s not surprising to find like-minded Brits and Dutch chumming it up in the US.

    To underscore this, think of Eire (Ireland). Eire, while one of the “British Isles”, is considered by its own population and by that of the continent to be a full-fledged member of the European community, while the Irish population roundly rejects any association with the English. So, it’s not a matter of being an island set off from the continent with an “insular mentality”, because the Irish, living on an island, don’t have this typically English mindset. It’s a matter of the English old boys’ club with their old notions of British Empire, sovereignty, the monarch, superior English traditions and so forth.

    The Swedes switched from driving on the left to driving on the right so that they could meld better into modern Europe, which they feel they are a part of. The English will never do so, and they will never switch to the Euro either. “Rule Brittania”

  49. Since basil99 and turndownobama mentioned Taylor Marsh, I took a look at the loon’s site. I found this one comment particularly worthwhile.

    #67 Karl K.
    January 1st, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    You lefties just KILL me. How does it feel to be totally snookered by Obama? Of course, had you exercised an ounce of critical thinking before you all swooned over him, you wouldn’t have be so soundly and thoroughly snookered.
    So why will Obama go down as a WORSE president that Jimmy Carter? Simple. He is an incompetent lazy hypocritical petulant charlatan.
    That’s right, Obama is a charlatan, with neither the temperament, attitude, or intellect — yes, I said intellect — to be president. Because in the end, Obama is simply not that bright.
    I don’t know about you, but when he got up and said “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for” and “this is the day the planet began to heal” my bullshit meter was redlining. Or when he says during the BP fiasco, “we won’t rest until…” — gimme a break. Astonishingly pretentious because, you know, we won’t be resting because we will be playing a lot of golf. Or raising a lot of campaign money. From a lot of Wall St. guys.  If the speechifying isn’t pompous, or arrogant, it’s exploring new depths of banality and demagoguery, erecting false choices and straw men in sentence after sentence after sentence. And the quantity of speechifying! For a while there he was on TV giving an address or news conference more often than Seinfeld reruns.
    Meanwhile, he’s supposed to be this intellectual giant, compared to Chimpy Bush McHitler, but then winds up shooting his mouth off about the Cambridge police and surgeon’s fees for  diabetic amputations without having any facts at hand, among other examples too numerous to mention. He lies about his mother not getting insurance because of pre-existing conditions.
    Then there are his rhetorical gaffes — 57 states, the constitution was written 20 centuries ago, “corpseman” Austrians speak Austrian — that pass by unnoticed by the fawning media but would be front page news if uttered by Dubya or, the media’s favorite whipping girl, Sarah Palin, or the favorite whipping boys, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum. Of course, even when the teleprompter provides him fully formed sentences, virtually everything Obama says has a “sell-by” date — Guantanamo, status of Jerusalem, the ground zero mosque, health care negotiations on CSPAN, shovel ready projects-, and the biggest whopper of all, deficit reduction — you name it, he’ll take one side, and then the other, or ignore what he promised, and then give us the “HOPE” upturned look, pretending that he’s actually thinking.
    Of course, the apologists put it down to other qualities — too aloof, too technocratic, too businesslike — matters of style, not substance. Of course, that’s what OBAMA thinks too – in his delusion or pretense (I’m not sure which is worse) the “shellacking” he and his party got in the 2010 mid-term election was all about not getting the message out well enough. Of course, that’s total drek. The Democrats got their asses handed to them because (1) they spent too much money — the stimulus was about as effective as dropping $100 bills randomly out of airplanes — and (2) they rammed through a 2700 page baroque health care bill whose intended and unintended consequences have yet to unfold but which reflect a kind of governmental intervention that the American electorate is, with some justification, suspicious of.
    Top that off by the fact that people are waking up to the horror that state and local governments have spun out of financial control — largely under the reign of Democrats — and for Democrats, you’ve got a 3-part formula for being summarily shown the exit door, and told not to let it hit them on the way out.
    You know, sometimes, in my most cynical moments, I think folks are swayed because Obama looks good in a suit — see the covers of Rolling Stone — especially when he does that swagger walk. 40 long is my guess. If nothing else, he has a future career as a Ralph Lauren model, which may come sooner that he wants. It’s the “glamour.”
    But when you cut through it all, Obama has revealed himself: he’s a narcissistic petulant hypocrite (“They talk about me like I am a dog.”) And then there’s the pettiness — it’s like there’s nothing else out there that rivals the menace of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, the state of Arizona and its immigration policies — or that most insidious of organizations, the US Chamber of Commerce(!!). Holy crap. Attacking the Supreme Court during the state of the union while they have to sit there, stone faced. It brings new meaning to the word “crass.”
    His policy and management mistakes are taking on epic proportions. He outsourced his legislative agenda to the Assistant Vice Principal Harry Reid and the frozen-faced Speaker Pelosi (“We have to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it;” “The health care bill will create 400,000 jobs”)…if both of them had IQs any lower we’d have to water them twice a day. And then we get Cash for Clunkers, bailing out GM with money the taxpayer will never see…rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat.
    And virtually every senior person he has put into his administration has been a joke; (the only decent one, Gates, was a Bush leftover). Salazar on the oil spill; Holder, he of the deaths from Fast and Furious, and who makes Alberto Gonzales look competent; Romer promising an amazingly unrealistic unemployment rate; Geithner the tax cheat and Goldman lackey; Napolitano and the TSA and the airport hand groping we all have to deal with; Chu the nobel prize winner who should be getting the economic BOOBY prize for flushing a half a billion dollars of taxpayer money down the Solyndra toilet….and on and on and on. His chief space guy thinks his main mission is outreach to the Islamic world. Really, it’s fucking endless.
    His foreign trips have been humiliating embarrassments: running around the Copenhagen conference, trying to broker a meaningless climate deal, while everyone avoids him; pitching Chicago for the Olympics and getting voted off the island in the first round; in the Far East, selling stimulus when no one’s buying and failing to get a trade agreement that should have been signed and sealed before he left the country. Bowing to foreign leaders. Raising his hand in the middle of a group picture of world leaders. Idiotic.
    Bottom line? Incompetence and embarrassment run wild in the clusterfuck that is the Obama administration.
    Top it all off, the media still has their noses right up his sphincter, leaving Obama completely exempt from the rabid dog inquisitiveness customary with, say, Republican candidates. Of course he will not release his college and law school  transcripts… because well, he thinks he is above it all.  And the media go ga ga anyway. Of course he doesn’t have to explain his 20 years in the pew of a racist pastor. Of course he’s never asked why he renounced public financing of presidential campaigns in the general election, why he is the first candidate  in recent memory not to have released his medical records, or the first to have raised $1 billion dollars in private cash, or the first to have played 90 rounds of golf in his first three years in office.  No wonder he turns up his nose so often in his Mussolini like pose.  He knows he will ALWAYS get a pass.
    Meanwhile, all you guys are going to hold your noses and vote for him again…you too Taylor. You wanna know why? Because you all  think Republicans are heartless devils who are going to turn the United States into a racist evangelical revival meeting, and force girls to get abortions by back alley quacks with un-sterile coat hangers.
    In other words, there are new places of stupidity that you have to visit. My advice? Bring your dramamine.
    Of course, this was the Obama strategy all along. Snooker them with visions of unicorns….and when they wake up and find nothing, snooker them by demonizing the opponents. So, come November, when you punch the card, or flip the lever, remember, you’ve been snookered again.
    God I hope there’s real change coming. Frankly, a Pentecostal snake charmer would be an improvement over this guy.

  50. Happy New Year to you, too. Interesting how liberals in Europe do not sound quite the same as liberals in the US. Well, 3:41am. I’m off to bed. Good night, or day in your case.

  51. Obamas pay tribute to family history in Hawaii
    …Following a visit to the gym, Obama joined his family on a drive across the island of Oahu on a partly-cloudy but warm Sunday morning to visit the grave of the president’s grandfather, Stanley Dunham, at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl.
    Obama visited the grave site during the family’s Hawaiian Christmas vacation last year as well. The Obamas spent about 11 minutes at the grave, then proceeded to Honolulu’s East-West Center. The East-West Arts Program is hosting an exhibition until Jan. 8 honoring the anthropological work of Obama’s late mother, S. Ann Dunham. The exhibit is titled, “Through Her Eyes: Ann Dunham’s Field Work in Indonesia.” They were joined there by the president’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, and her family.

    11 minutes with grandpa. No word about grandma.

  52. nomobama
    Funny you would mention water. I cannot drink tap. not at home not in a restaurant. Buy 5 gallon bottle once per week, Cannot drink the two gallon soft plastic either. Grew up on well water where we actually pumped it. My brothers have no problem with tap. I become ill. Can drink a soda which is made with tap but no can do if it has ice. I smell it. My brothers put me to the test on Christmas with glasses and i didn’t even need to taste to know which one came from the spicket(as my grandmother called it). Lived in London for a year awhile back and that was hell. Worst water in the world. i could taste it in soup. FYI if you order bottled water in a restaurant insist that it be opened at table. have seen many a bottle filled with tap and charged 10 dollars

  53. I don’t know about other states, but in NM the Primary was run by the Party, and not the state election office, so they called all te shots. In NM they purchased the voter registration file from the state, vs the county. Big mistake, as the State was in terrible state, and we had tons of Provisional Ballots.

    No one was asked for ID, and the hours of voting were shortened to from noon to like 6. Many arrived early and were not allowed to vote. It was a mess. We counted for a week afterwards, and H still won. However, if it were not for a few of us who watched, and observed that week, they would have stolen that election. As it was they then went after the at large delegates by proposing people who were suppose to be undecided, independent, who were known to be O supporters. The then Lt Gov brought in Lawyers, and made sure that was stopped. However, very few hardcore grassroots H delegates were elected to the convention, maybe one. Why, because they knew if they elected party old school, they would roll over at the convention. The grass roots people would have caused them a larger problem.

  54. Shadowfax
    January 2nd, 2012 at 2:09 am

    Mrs S
    Lynette Long said she had physical copies of all the fraud in voting and she send a boat load of those copies to the Clintons. It sounded much more formal and hardcore then just sending a link to her blog. I always got the impression she was helping Hillary by putting all these months of research into hard proof. Lynette is a Ph.D. and math is one of her strong fields.

    Yes, I know- The youtube on the PumaUnleashed site held a video of Lynette explaining the caucus fraud in detail. It was stunning to me last night seeing the video had been replaced with a Civil Rights video having the same web address.

    I don’t know if you subsequently scanned the youtube web for any evidence of caucus fraud in Iowa, but I can save you the trouble- It’s all been totally meticulously and methodically scrubbed from the Internet and doesn’t exist anymore anywhere in the public domain.

  55. I wish someone in IOWA would have filmed what went on at their caucuses. I don’t think that people realize the arm twisiting that went on there, and how they could threaten and intimidate people at those meetings. It is not a simple go in and vote situation. (If those videos were at one time on utube, I hope that the originals are still saved somewhere).

    Obama specializes in intimidation. However, his methods to win the election, and intimidate voters and super delegates worked a lot better than his use of it in office. He lost a lot of leverage in 2010. If that happens again in 2012, even if he is re-elected, he will be a lame duck, with nothing but gridlock in the next 4 years.

    As I have said before, the question is, will the country and economy survive that.

  56. I went back to the TM site to see if Karl K. had posted anymore comments. I was not disappointed. Here’s another gem, imo, where he answers some expected criticisms from the loony crew who post there, and it resonates with me. Two sound comments made by Karl K. on a blog normally inhabited by easily duped Obama enablers. I wonder if Karl K. has his own blog? I know that I would read it if he did.
    Karl K:
    January 2nd, 2012 at 11:08 am
    Are you fucking kidding me?   Have you seen the freak clown ass hats on your side of the aisle?  Lets run thru them shall we?
    First of all, don’t hurt you ankles jumping to conclusions that these are guys on my” side of the aisle.”  I’m a registered independent…I’m a libertarian with a small ‘l.”  To echo Glenn Reynolds, I’d like a society where gay married couples can have a closet full of assault weapons. (Oh, I forgot to mention Barack Obama’s views on gay marriage — what are they, exactly?  Another “present” vote from Mr. Hope and Change).
    Second, I live in Illinois, and I voted for Barack Obama for senate. Why? Because his opponent, Alan Keys, is insane.
    Third, I won’t disagree with you on many of the things you say about the current Republican field.  Personally, I would have liked to see Mitch Daniels run, or Paul Ryan. Guys with brains.
    Fourth, and finally, the next president of the United States has to lead this country in an entirely new direction. He has to do five things, in order of importance.
    1. Get our debt under control. We’re headed to financial oblivion if we don’t. That means cutting government TODAY, not in some hazy distant future. Whole swaths of the government should be shut down. It also means getting our entitlement obligations under control, consigning Obamacare to the ash-can (though the Supreme Court is likely to do that ), while providing a minimal social safety net.
    2. Eliminate crony capitalism. Farm subsidies, guaranteed loans to green companies, cash for clunkers, exchanging bodily fluids with Goldman Sachs… name it. It’s all gotta go.
    3. Truly reform the financial system. I work in the industry, and Dodd-Frank is a joke (like the two sponsors, now appropriately EX-members of Congress). Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be unwound (see #1). Firms need to de-leverage, and the interconnectedness of financial transactions needs to have simple rules to prevent bankruptcy cascades.
    4. Allow aggressive domestic energy development. Shale gas, pipeline, deep water drilling.
    5. Apply a muscular foreign policy (this is where I differ with many of my libertarian friends on the Ron Paul side of the spectrum).  I have no problem with the United States exercising its power, as long as Congress signs off (see; Obama and Libya). The US is a force for good in the world.  Iran is a huge menace, and we shouldn’t hesitate to apply military force to them if need be. This regime has asked for it for the last 40 years. Power is all they understand.
    So, given two choices — say, Barack Obama or MItt Romney — who is more likely to take a real run at these 5 key things?
    The answer, of course, is quite obvious.

  57. NewMexicoFan

    I wish someone in IOWA would have filmed what went on at their caucuses.
    Hopefully people will go to vote with their digital cameras recharged. Almost everyone is loaded with a recording cell phone or iPod to record in future voting.

    2008 is water under the bridge, but hopefully folks learned something from the O’cheaters.

    I think the turnout for the Brass Calf is going to be insignificant from the youngsters that had so much HOPE for the younger half-black guy. They gave the half-black guy a break and they are still paying for it with no jobs and having to drop out of college and move back home with their folks.

    Stupidity doesn’t pay, and soon these idiots will be fined for not purchasing ObamaCare unless the Supremes overturn it…

  58. What’s the deal with Taylor Marsh? Every now and then many Big Pinkers talk about that site like it is the blog of all blogs. Gaga over it, but now disappointed.

  59. Yes, in early 2008 Taylor Marsh’s blog was great for Hillary against Obama and a lot of people (now PUMAs) called it home, had close friendships there. TM and H44 were the only Hillary blogs. Riverdaughter used to frontpage for Taylor, Heidi Li did fundraising for Hillary there. It was kind of more personal than H44.

    In April iirc at TM we were discussing alternatives, what to do if Obama got the nom. The PUMA attitude was forming. I was one of the first to say “McCain, because Hillary could run against Pres McCain in 2012”. In late May, Taylor was the first to give up on Hillary and switch to Obama, “the Democrat”. We and Heidi and Riverdaughter iirc were using Taylor’s blog to organize for a fight at Denver. Taylor posted “I’m at war with my readers (ie us)”. Taylor more or less threw us out, her old regulars, inviting a lot of Bots to ridicule us.

    Camille started Bitterpoliticz as a temporary gathering place for us ‘Ex-Marshians’, and it became permanent. Pumapac was started by some people from the official Hillary site, and some of us went there too. That’s when the other PUMA blogs sprang up: Uppity etc.

    So some of us have strong memories and feelings about when TM’s blog was a good place, and strong shock at the way she’s been acting since she changed. Now she’s saying many of the same things we said in May 2008 — but as of yesterday, she was still insulting us. She’s crazy.

  60. I have to agree. Taylor Marsh is not so much crazy as she is outright stupid. She who knew it all should have known back in 2008 what most of the rest of the commenters on her blog already knew back then, and what has been expressed so clearly here on Hi44. Barack Obama is a boob. Taylor Marsh is a untrustworthy boobette.

  61. So, Karl K. fizzles:

    “So, given two choices — say, Barack Obama or MItt Romney — who is more likely to take a real run at these 5 key things?
    The answer, of course, is quite obvious.”

    The answer is neither! The question is not what’s wrong with everything. We already know what is wrong with the governement.

    The question should be, HOW DO WE FIX IT?

  62. I have the feeling, a prophetic symbol, someone who knows what the nose knows, will appear and guide us through these perilous times.

  63. It’s probably not fair for me to criticize Taylor’s current behavior when I don’t want to read the details or her side of it. I made one comment there last night (my old login, 1950democrat, still worked) but I haven’t gone back.

    The impression some of us had in 2008, which fits what I’ve heard lately, was that Taylor was pursuing a money career in independent journalism and kept her eye on that ball. In early 2008 she built a following by making a home for Hillary supporters. Then switched to Obama because he looked like winning and she wanted access to the WH. Now that doesn’t look profitable any more, so she’s backing some new horse, or casting about for one….

  64. Thanks for the details TDO on Taylor.
    I was totally new to blogging in early 2008 and was on the Hillary website reading the comments but didn’t say much then.

    When MSNBC, mainly Keith the Oberdung started trashing Hillary I was pissed and wanted to know if I was the only liberal feeling that way…that’s when I hung out mainly on Hillary’s site, then as comments started talking about her site was going to close, comments let me to safe havens for her supporters at PumaPac, Big Pink, RiverDaughter’s, Just Say No Deal and the rest of the sites.

    Somehow I didn’t know of Taylor’s site and I am glad I missed all that drama.
    I was always under the impression that RiverDaughter used to hang out originally on the orange Kook site.

  65. turndownobama, although I could no longer find her comment on the web, she did indicate that basically she was not all that much invested in Hillary Clinton as her pro-Hillary commenters might have led people to believe. She is a manipulative you-know-what who has shown that money talks while principles walk. It was all about her, and still is. Can’t wait to buy her new book. Not!!!!

  66. Mrs. Smith
    January 2nd, 2012 at 2:45 pm
    I know that Romney is not the answer, but I wasn’t talking about that one particular comment. Karl K. had a lot to say in both of the comments that I posted here. I found myself nodding in agreement with practically everything he wrote. I will admit this, though. Whoever the Republican candidate is, that person will be getting my vote regardless of anu apprehension I may have about the candidate on election day. Obama will NEVER see a vote from me.

  67. Hopefully this will come to pass, therefore truly establishing the Republican machine as a participant in the 2012 election:

    January 02, 2012
    “The Book” on Obama
    The Republican National Committee is touting an expansive new video database — which officials call “The Book” — that operatives say is their “most potent weapon for attacking President Obama in 2012,” ABC News reports. “The RNC will debut a compilation of Obama clips from the newly polished video library in a TV ad to run across Iowa on Tuesday. The montage is expected to show ‘promises’ Obama delivered in Iowa in 2008 contrasted with economic and other data on the reality now.” National Journal: “The GOP strategy is to refrain from attacking Obama personally, as polls show he is still well-liked by many voters, even if his policies aren’t. Instead, they aim to undermine him with his own words, by showing clips reflecting empty promises and lackluster economic improvement.”

  68. RiverDaughter used to hang out originally on the orange Kook site – Yes. I think she was one of the first run off for supporting Hillary. I think she used the name Goldbury. “Goldberry also known as The River-daughter is the wife of Tom Bombadil in the Old Forest at the edge of Buckland.”

  69. nomobama
    January 2nd, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Mrs. Smith
    January 2nd, 2012 at 2:45 pm
    I know that Romney is not the answer, but I wasn’t talking about that one particular comment. Karl K. had a lot to say in both of the comments that I posted here. I found myself nodding in agreement with practically everything he wrote. I will admit this, though. Whoever the Republican candidate is, that person will be getting my vote regardless of anu apprehension I may have about the candidate on election day. Obama will NEVER see a vote from me.

    If you look at how the last 3.1 yrs have panned out. You will notice there hasn’t been a whimper for the Repubicans. IOW- The shredding of our Constitution to Foreign policy, the Economy and Trade… If you read The PNAC agreement, Contract With America, all of it have just about been accomplished. The way things are today was mutually decided would be taken up by the Rs and Ds.

    The Republicans didn’t want to shoulder the blame for the sick economy, the joblessness, the home foreclosures. Basically, they wanted to walk away with ‘clean hands.’

    I do not believe they have accomplished all that included in the Contract for America papers. So, this is just another going through the motions, McCain roll-over election and things will remain the same because they will allow Obama to BE RE-Elected… unless the “flying fickle finger of fate” comes into play, as the spoiler.

    I did like the first article by Karl K- though.. the writing was stronger and written with a little more passion. Maybe KK was having a bad hair day when writing the second post…

  70. Moononpluto and I were posters on Democratic Underground. I was banned for asking a question in just one sentence, which in time was borne out to be a very touchy issue.

    “Where is Obama’s Birth Certificate?” In fact, just today my cousin mentioned the real tell all on the BC published by the WH, is where it designates ‘Race’.. on Bambi’s supposedly original BC, the race designation is filled in with the word, African American. In sixty one (1961), there was no such thing as AA/ Black. The Race designation for AA then was Negro.. aye-yeh!

  71. It’s going to be a L-O-N-G year unless Hillary gets in the race. On TV it is wall to wall coverage of who the pundits “think” will win in the vile caucuses tomorrow.

    Do most people really put much stock in what happens in Iowa? After all, these are the people who gave us Barack Obama in 2008.

  72. I truly believe that if fairness had reigned at the Iowa caucuses instead of the underhanded cheating tha actually occurred, Obama would have been luck to have finished in second place in that contest. So, in a sense Iowa gave us Obama, but not due to a fair contest.

  73. Yup, the wall to wall coverage of the Iowa voting on tv is only slightly more interesting than Barry and his MO ending their 4 Million $ vacation…10 days they shot this much of OUR money.

    41% of Iowa caucus voters don’t like any of the candidates enough to say they will vote for one individual less than 24 hours before they start meeting to vote.
    This lack of interest may lead to many staying home…another repeat for Repubs like in 2008?

    This is the Perfect Storm for our Superstar, Hillary to run….[sigh]

    Hillary…………………………we need you!

  74. That is interesting, since it is my understanding that IOWA is a Republican state. Also, if it is a republican state, why did the media make so much of an O non vitory there in 2008. If they are a Rep state it does not matter what Democrat is elected there.

    In 2008, they made it look like IOWA called the Dem shots, and in fact it did. How could this country be so bamboozeled, by a man who NEVER HELD a leadership position. In fact he still as problems with the leadership part, and probably will never catch on.

    Oh well, so goes IOWA, so goes the country. Are they not those small town people with interesting morals O talked about privately.

  75. Would it be better if the state that is first in the primaries ROTATED? Is it good to have a state that has a caucus rather than an actual vote to be FIRST every election cycle? How about allowing people in other states to occassionally get to meet and greet the candidates up close and personal like they have in Iowa for years and years?

    After what happened in 2008 in Iowa and Texas caucuses, can we say that those things are fair and honest…or maybe BO’s minions just knew how to cheat and got away with it.

  76. After my stint with the Dems in NM there is nothing fair an honest about the process, only what you can and do get away with.

  77. I think that the first primaries/caucuses should be rotated by state based on possibly region. Even so, there is the concern of big states like California or Texas having way too much influence in the beginning of the process.

  78. I think that the first primaries/caucuses should be rotated by state based on possibly region.


    Ideally, yes. Start with Florida and work northwards.

  79. RiverDaughter used to hang out originally on the orange Kook site – Yes. I think she was one of the first run off for supporting Hillary. I think she used the name Goldbury. “Goldberry


    Yes. She and others who were run off Kos for supporting Hillary went to TM, who strongly argued against Obama for a while. Then TM switched and ran off Riverdaughter and others for continuing to support Hillary’s campaign.

  80. Sorry for the lengthy post- But, why is our government allowing this to happen? Have they lost our minds?

    35 terror training camps now operating inside U.S.

    Government does nothing to impede expansion of ‘Soldiers of Allah’ network

    WASHINGTON – A radical jihadist group responsible for nearly 50 attacks on American soil is operating 35 terrorist training camps across the nation, but the U.S. government refuses to include the organization on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorists.

    In a recruitment video captured from Gilani’s “Soldiers of Allah,” he states in English: “We are fighting to destroy the enemy. We are dealing with evil at its roots and its roots are America.”

    Though Gilani and his organization is suspected of committing assassinations and firebombings inside the U.S., and is also suspected of the beheading murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, the terrorist camps spread through the country continue to expand in numbers and population.

    A documentary called “Homegrown Jihad: Terrorist Training Camps Around the U.S.” provides compelling evidence of how “Muslims of America” operates with impunity inside the U.S. In the video, producers visited some camps, attempted to visit others and interviewed neighbors and local police officials. It also include excerpts of the “Muslims of America” recruitment video.

    The recruitment video shows American converts to Islam being instructed in the operation of AK-47 rifles, rocket launchers and machine guns and C4 explosives. It provides instruction in how to kidnap Americans, kill them and how to conduct sabotage and subversive operations.

    Jamaat ul-Fuqra’s attacks on American soil range from bombings to murder to plots to blow up U.S. landmarks. A 2006 Department of Justice report states Jamaat ul-Fuqra “has more than 35 suspected communes and more than 3,000 members spread across the United States, all in support of one goal: the purification of Islam through violence.” In 2005, the Department of Homeland Security predicted the group would continue to carry out attacks in the U.S.

    “Act like you are his friend. Then kill him,” says Gilani in the recruitment video, explaining how to handle American “infidels.”

    Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was attempting to interview Jamaat ul-Fuqra’s leader, Gilani, in 2002 when he was kidnapped and later beheaded. One year later, Iyman Faris, member of both Jamaat ul-Fuqra and al-Qaida, pleaded guilty in federal court to a plot to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge.

    Gilani was at one time in Pakistani custody for the abduction of Pearl. Intelligence sources also suggest a link between Jamaat ul Fuqra and Richard Reid, the infamous “shoe bomber” who attempted to ignite explosives aboard a Paris-to-Miami passenger flight Dec. 22, 2001.

    “HOMEGROWN JIHAD” Trailer from John Eagle on Vimeo.

    Muslims of the Americas Inc., a tax-exempt organization, has been directly linked by court documents to Jamaat ul-Fuqra. The organization operates communes of primarily black, American-born Muslims throughout the U.S. The investigation confirmed members commonly use aliases and intentional spelling variations of their names and routinely deny the existence of Jamaat ul-Fuqra.

    The group openly recruits through various social service organizations in the U.S., including the prison system. Members live in compounds where they agree to abide by the laws of Jamaat ul-Fuqra, which are considered to be above local, state and federal authority.

    U.S. authorities have probed the group for charges ranging from links to al-Qaida to laundering and funneling money into Pakistan for terrorist activities. The organization supports various terrorist groups operating in Pakistan and Kashmir, and Gilani himself is linked directly to Hamas and Hezbollah.

    Gilani’s American headquarters is in Hancock, N.Y., where training is provided to recruits who are later sent to Pakistan for more jihadist paramilitary training, according to law enforcement authorities.

    A Justice Department report to law enforcement agencies, prepared in 2006, provides a glimpse into how long Jamaat ul-Fuqra or “Muslims of America” has been operating inside the U.S.: “Over the past two decades, a terrorist group known as Jamaat ul-Fuqra, or ‘Community of the Impoverished,’ has been linked to multiple murders, bombings and various other felonies throughout the United States and Canada.”

    Gilani’s “communes” are described by law enforcement as “classically structured terrorist cells.”

    Seven of the compounds have been identified as training facilities: Marion, Alabama; Commerce, Georgia; Macon, Georgia; Talihina, Oklahoma; York County, South Carolina; Dover, Tennessee and Red House, Virginia. Other compounds are located in California, Colorado, Texas, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, Michigan and West Virginia.

  81. History Channel now running an educational series beginning with the ‘Rise of the Reich’… encouraging people to watch and learn how a 20th century civilization became immune ignoring the slaughter of millions of Jews. Islam’s 21st Century rise will include Christians.

    The Octopus is an anti-Semitic propaganda symbol used against Jews by Islam to confuse Occupiers who still cannot figure out they need to Occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.. if they expect change!

    Obama playing both sides of the Occupy movement didn’t refuse a centavo of donations from Wall Streeters.

  82. The Octopus symbol should be representative of the George Soros’ grip on Global events-

    BREAKING: The George Soros – Ron Paul Connection Tea Party says NO to Ron Paul!

    by Ulsterman on January 3, 2012

    In a fascinating report just published by, author Daniel Greenfield makes a compelling case for a possible cozy working relationship between Congressman Ron Paul and George Soros.

  83. Just watched FOX’s F&F pimping away for big papa Santorum the “The Prince of Earmarkers”.Just ask PA voters why they dumped him from The Senate from a third term.I can’t believe that our once great country has been able to render itself almost useless in the hands of Otrauma and his welfare leeches.
    Hillary your country needs you now more than ever for you have the support of its honest and hardworking people and almost every world leader.We have been blessed to have you and your hard working leadership for many years but now is the time to reward you and save us from Gump and Rump before they totally drain our treasury.

    It is now DRAFT time

  84. Mrs. Smith
    January 3rd, 2012 at 8:05 am
    Obama playing both sides of the Occupy movement didn’t refuse a centavo of donations from Wall Streeters.

    Right you are.

    Now, I’ve heard that Obama’s new campaign slogan will be ‘re-occupy the White House’. He is openly and obviously associating himself with the occupiers.

  85. Mrs.Smith.Great new slogan you have come up with.

    We need more support here on Big Pink.we seem to be drifting away from our real goal of ALL HILLARY TALK

  86. Now, I’ve heard that Obama’s new campaign slogan will be ‘re-occupy the White House’. He is openly and obviously associating himself with the occupiers.


    LOL! He may be trying. But he may get some pushback from OWS, who don’t seem to want to be co-opted.

    Btw, they’re doing an Occupy Congress on Jan 17.

  87. Intersting Article on Finland’s School Success. I am posting it because if HRC gets into office, she will have to fix our educational system. However, even though I like their solution, I am not sure this will work in the US. We are too much in love with Money being able to buy you something no one else has.


    What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland’s School Success
    By Anu Partanen

    Dec 29 2011, 3:00 PM ET1097

    The Scandinavian country is an education superpower because it values equality more than excellence.

    Sergey Ivanov/Flickr
    Everyone agrees the United States needs to improve its education system dramatically, but how? One of the hottest trends in education reform lately is looking at the stunning success of the West’s reigning education superpower, Finland. Trouble is, when it comes to the lessons that Finnish schools have to offer, most of the discussion seems to be missing the point.

    The small Nordic country of Finland used to be known — if it was known for anything at all — as the home of Nokia, the mobile phone giant. But lately Finland has been attracting attention on global surveys of quality of life — Newsweek ranked it number one last year — and Finland’s national education system has been receiving particular praise, because in recent years Finnish students have been turning in some of the highest test scores in the world.

    Finland’s schools owe their newfound fame primarily to one study: the PISA survey, conducted every three years by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The survey compares 15-year-olds in different countries in reading, math, and science. Finland has ranked at or near the top in all three competencies on every survey since 2000, neck and neck with superachievers such as South Korea and Singapore. In the most recent survey in 2009 Finland slipped slightly, with students in Shanghai, China, taking the best scores, but the Finns are still near the very top. Throughout the same period, the PISA performance of the United States has been middling, at best.

    Compared with the stereotype of the East Asian model — long hours of exhaustive cramming and rote memorization — Finland’s success is especially intriguing because Finnish schools assign less homework and engage children in more creative play. All this has led to a continuous stream of foreign delegations making the pilgrimage to Finland to visit schools and talk with the nation’s education experts, and constant coverage in the worldwide media marveling at the Finnish miracle.

    So there was considerable interest in a recent visit to the U.S. by one of the leading Finnish authorities on education reform, Pasi Sahlberg, director of the Finnish Ministry of Education’s Center for International Mobility and author of the new book Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland? Earlier this month, Sahlberg stopped by the Dwight School in New York City to speak with educators and students, and his visit received national media attention and generated much discussion.

    And yet it wasn’t clear that Sahlberg’s message was actually getting through. As Sahlberg put it to me later, there are certain things nobody in America really wants to talk about.

    * * *

    During the afternoon that Sahlberg spent at the Dwight School, a photographer from the New York Times jockeyed for position with Dan Rather’s TV crew as Sahlberg participated in a roundtable chat with students. The subsequent article in the Times about the event would focus on Finland as an “intriguing school-reform model.”

    Yet one of the most significant things Sahlberg said passed practically unnoticed. “Oh,” he mentioned at one point, “and there are no private schools in Finland.”

    This notion may seem difficult for an American to digest, but it’s true. Only a small number of independent schools exist in Finland, and even they are all publicly financed. None is allowed to charge tuition fees. There are no private universities, either. This means that practically every person in Finland attends public school, whether for pre-K or a Ph.D.

    The irony of Sahlberg’s making this comment during a talk at the Dwight School seemed obvious. Like many of America’s best schools, Dwight is a private institution that costs high-school students upward of $35,000 a year to attend — not to mention that Dwight, in particular, is run for profit, an increasing trend in the U.S. Yet no one in the room commented on Sahlberg’s statement. I found this surprising. Sahlberg himself did not.

    Sahlberg knows what Americans like to talk about when it comes to education, because he’s become their go-to guy in Finland. The son of two teachers, he grew up in a Finnish school. He taught mathematics and physics in a junior high school in Helsinki, worked his way through a variety of positions in the Finnish Ministry of Education, and spent years as an education expert at the OECD, the World Bank, and other international organizations.

    Now, in addition to his other duties, Sahlberg hosts about a hundred visits a year by foreign educators, including many Americans, who want to know the secret of Finland’s success. Sahlberg’s new book is partly an attempt to help answer the questions he always gets asked.

    From his point of view, Americans are consistently obsessed with certain questions: How can you keep track of students’ performance if you don’t test them constantly? How can you improve teaching if you have no accountability for bad teachers or merit pay for good teachers? How do you foster competition and engage the private sector? How do you provide school choice?

    The answers Finland provides seem to run counter to just about everything America’s school reformers are trying to do.

    For starters, Finland has no standardized tests. The only exception is what’s called the National Matriculation Exam, which everyone takes at the end of a voluntary upper-secondary school, roughly the equivalent of American high school.

    Instead, the public school system’s teachers are trained to assess children in classrooms using independent tests they create themselves. All children receive a report card at the end of each semester, but these reports are based on individualized grading by each teacher. Periodically, the Ministry of Education tracks national progress by testing a few sample groups across a range of different schools.

    As for accountability of teachers and administrators, Sahlberg shrugs. “There’s no word for accountability in Finnish,” he later told an audience at the Teachers College of Columbia University. “Accountability is something that is left when responsibility has been subtracted.”

    For Sahlberg what matters is that in Finland all teachers and administrators are given prestige, decent pay, and a lot of responsibility. A master’s degree is required to enter the profession, and teacher training programs are among the most selective professional schools in the country. If a teacher is bad, it is the principal’s responsibility to notice and deal with it.

    And while Americans love to talk about competition, Sahlberg points out that nothing makes Finns more uncomfortable. In his book Sahlberg quotes a line from Finnish writer named Samuli Puronen: “Real winners do not compete.” It’s hard to think of a more un-American idea, but when it comes to education, Finland’s success shows that the Finnish attitude might have merits. There are no lists of best schools or teachers in Finland. The main driver of education policy is not competition between teachers and between schools, but cooperation.

    Finally, in Finland, school choice is noticeably not a priority, nor is engaging the private sector at all. Which brings us back to the silence after Sahlberg’s comment at the Dwight School that schools like Dwight don’t exist in Finland.

    “Here in America,” Sahlberg said at the Teachers College, “parents can choose to take their kids to private schools. It’s the same idea of a marketplace that applies to, say, shops. Schools are a shop and parents can buy what ever they want. In Finland parents can also choose. But the options are all the same.”

    Herein lay the real shocker. As Sahlberg continued, his core message emerged, whether or not anyone in his American audience heard it.

    Decades ago, when the Finnish school system was badly in need of reform, the goal of the program that Finland instituted, resulting in so much success today, was never excellence. It was equity.

    * * *

    Since the 1980s, the main driver of Finnish education policy has been the idea that every child should have exactly the same opportunity to learn, regardless of family background, income, or geographic location. Education has been seen first and foremost not as a way to produce star performers, but as an instrument to even out social inequality.

    In the Finnish view, as Sahlberg describes it, this means that schools should be healthy, safe environments for children. This starts with the basics. Finland offers all pupils free school meals, easy access to health care, psychological counseling, and individualized student guidance.

    In fact, since academic excellence wasn’t a particular priority on the Finnish to-do list, when Finland’s students scored so high on the first PISA survey in 2001, many Finns thought the results must be a mistake. But subsequent PISA tests confirmed that Finland — unlike, say, very similar countries such as Norway — was producing academic excellence through its particular policy focus on equity.

    That this point is almost always ignored or brushed aside in the U.S. seems especially poignant at the moment, after the financial crisis and Occupy Wall Street movement have brought the problems of inequality in America into such sharp focus. The chasm between those who can afford $35,000 in tuition per child per year — or even just the price of a house in a good public school district — and the other “99 percent” is painfully plain to see.

    * * *

    Pasi Sahlberg goes out of his way to emphasize that his book Finnish Lessons is not meant as a how-to guide for fixing the education systems of other countries. All countries are different, and as many Americans point out, Finland is a small nation with a much more homogeneous population than the United States.

    Yet Sahlberg doesn’t think that questions of size or homogeneity should give Americans reason to dismiss the Finnish example. Finland is a relatively homogeneous country — as of 2010, just 4.6 percent of Finnish residents had been born in another country, compared with 12.7 percent in the United States. But the number of foreign-born residents in Finland doubled during the decade leading up to 2010, and the country didn’t lose its edge in education. Immigrants tended to concentrate in certain areas, causing some schools to become much more mixed than others, yet there has not been much change in the remarkable lack of variation between Finnish schools in the PISA surveys across the same period.

    Samuel Abrams, a visiting scholar at Columbia University’s Teachers College, has addressed the effects of size and homogeneity on a nation’s education performance by comparing Finland with another Nordic country: Norway. Like Finland, Norway is small and not especially diverse overall, but unlike Finland it has taken an approach to education that is more American than Finnish. The result? Mediocre performance in the PISA survey. Educational policy, Abrams suggests, is probably more important to the success of a country’s school system than the nation’s size or ethnic makeup.

    Indeed, Finland’s population of 5.4 million can be compared to many an American state — after all, most American education is managed at the state level. According to the Migration Policy Institute, a research organization in Washington, there were 18 states in the U.S. in 2010 with an identical or significantly smaller percentage of foreign-born residents than Finland.

    What’s more, despite their many differences, Finland and the U.S. have an educational goal in common. When Finnish policymakers decided to reform the country’s education system in the 1970s, they did so because they realized that to be competitive, Finland couldn’t rely on manufacturing or its scant natural resources and instead had to invest in a knowledge-based economy.

    With America’s manufacturing industries now in decline, the goal of educational policy in the U.S. — as articulated by most everyone from President Obama on down — is to preserve American competitiveness by doing the same thing. Finland’s experience suggests that to win at that game, a country has to prepare not just some of its population well, but all of its population well, for the new economy. To possess some of the best schools in the world might still not be good enough if there are children being left behind.

    Is that an impossible goal? Sahlberg says that while his book isn’t meant to be a how-to manual, it is meant to be a “pamphlet of hope.”

    “When President Kennedy was making his appeal for advancing American science and technology by putting a man on the moon by the end of the 1960’s, many said it couldn’t be done,” Sahlberg said during his visit to New York. “But he had a dream. Just like Martin Luther King a few years later had a dream. Those dreams came true. Finland’s dream was that we want to have a good public education for every child regardless of where they go to school or what kind of families they come from, and many even in Finland said it couldn’t be done.”

    Clearly, many were wrong. It is possible to create equality. And perhaps even more important — as a challenge to the American way of thinking about education reform — Finland’s experience shows that it is possible to achieve excellence by focusing not on competition, but on cooperation, and not on choice, but on equity.

    The problem facing education in America isn’t the ethnic diversity of the population but the economic inequality of society, and this is precisely the problem that Finnish education reform addressed. More equity at home might just be what America needs to be more competitive abroad.

  88. although I could no longer find [Taylor Marsh’s] comment on the web, she did indicate that basically she was not all that much invested in Hillary Clinton as her pro-Hillary commenters might have led people to believe.


    Do you recall when this comment was made? Like, recently, or in 2008, or? (Don’t bother looking it up, I’m staying away from TM anyway.)

    Early in 2008 when a lot of us future-PUMAs-to-be were active at TM, I recall Marsh herself writing a lot of well-researched articles against Obama, pro-Hillary. She sure sounded sincere at that time.

    I suppose she might have flipped later.

  89. As for Karl K’s five things…. Does anyone think Hillary would choose those same five as her top priorities, or take the GOP approach to them?

  90. Btw, they’re doing an Occupy Congress on Jan 17.

    That’s great! I hope it’s covered by the media.

  91. Florida Congresswoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz was just on FOX News saying that Mitt Romney is a horrible flip flopper and that Barack Obama has kept his campaign promises and obviously does not flip flop on anything. WHAT?

    How does she say all of this with a straight face? I guess she has the same attitude that New Gingrich had when he helped impeached a president for doing the exact same thing he was doing at the time.

  92. Well, Fox and the Rethug party will hate this, Drudge has people voting for their favorite candidate, even leaving in Cain…

    Ron Paul is winning by almost 31%

  93. Southern Born
    January 3rd, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Florida Congresswoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz was just on FOX News saying that Mitt Romney is a horrible flip flopper

    She is transparently playing along with the Mitt is the only one who can beat Obama song and dance. Gosh, I hope Iowans are smarter that that.

  94. Debbie W S is such an idiot, she needs to shave her ugly hair off and get an obama tatoo on her noggin.

  95. First bambi foot in mouth moment for 2012…

    Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

    The 4th Best President in American History?

    BY MICHAEL P. RETHMAN – President Barack Obama rated himself as the 4th best president in U.S. history, behind only Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson. Many observers were left scratching their heads regarding what could possibly have motivated Obama to rank himself so highly after only three years atop an America that remains mired in a severe economic recession that accompanies unsustainable growth in the federal debt.

    And how could Obama rank himself higher than the indispensible George Washington, the indefatigable John Adams, Thomas Jefferson (the main author of the Declaration of Independence), James Madison (who along with John Jay, laid the philosophical bases for the U.S. Constitution), James Monroe, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan to name a few?

    Does Obama somehow not know that our first three presidents risked their fortunes, their physical lives and their families to establish and maintain the United States against extraordinary odds? And that they did this not to gain fame or fortune, but because they knew it was what honorable and civilized men and women ought to do? Does Obama somehow not know that James Monroe established the United States as the super-power of the New World? Does Obama not know that Theo. Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson — in the first decades of the 20th Century – fought and won wars while defining what modern America would become? Is Obama somehow unaware that an untested politician-haberdasher (Truman) from rural Missouri inherited the responsibility of fighting and winning WWII (and defining the post-WWII interval) in an era where many Americans had no adult memory of any president other than FDR (who served into his fourth term before dying in office)? Does Obama not remember a president (Eisenhower) who – as the top Allied general saved the free world from Fascism, Nazism and the Empire of Japan? And who, not long after, presided over eight years of an economic boom in a war-weary America – a run that some term the “good old days?” Can Obama somehow not recall a recent president (Reagan) who inherited a nation in severe recession and gagging on a prime rate of over 20%, who successfully cut taxes and regulations to orchestrate an economic boom – while simultaneously forcing the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the liberation of half of Europe?

    Most contemporary observers with memories of the chaotic 1960’s have no trouble understanding Lincoln and FDR making (a larger) list of great presidents. However, most marvel that Obama could rate Lyndon Johnson highly. The same Lyndon Johnson who lost over 50,000 American lives as he led the United States into America’s only defeat in war in its history (Vietnam)? A president who quit rather than run for a second full term?

    As odd as Obama’s very short list of his betters may seem, it’s not at all bizarre in light of the man who constructed the list. Consider what Lincoln, FDR and Johnson most have in common. Lincoln, FDR and Johnson – arguably these three more than any other presidents including Obama himself (so far anyhow) oversaw massive increases in the relative size and power of the federal government with regard to domestic life in America. These three presidents – like Obama today — marketed their efforts, rightly or wrongly, in the name of the downtrodden, society’s have-nots. Today it’s clear that in the case of Lincoln, the Civil War and slavery, a truly remarkable president made the correct decisions. However the profound and lasting effects of FDR’s and Johnson’s domestic legacies remain unclear. But what is clear is that Obama’s reverence for these three presidents suggests that he has been unable to grow philosophically beyond his young-adult years as a community organizer in Chicago – a job that consisted of the organized arm-twisting of businesses while slopping at the federal and state troughs in the name of a perpetual underclass — but with side benefits of fame, fortune and votes for the special few, such as Barack Obama himself

  96. That’s from a December 19 60 Minutes Interview. He hasn’t yet made any 2012 gaffes because he just got back from vacay and his handlers have him muzzled and leashed.

  97. At the rally in DC in 2007. She was there. Somebody was really upset with her cause the man went up to the main man from the DNC that was there that day and told the DNC guy that Debbie W S was not following DNC guidelines….I stopped DWS and told her, she did not make any reply. I noticed from that day forward she has made a huge public effort to be up the a$$ of those at the DNC………..and now just look where she is….she is a nasty POS.

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