The New Testament

Sunday. Bill Clinton’s birthday. His age is the same as his last Gallup favorable rating.

Sunday. Admin is still ticked off and on strike until Romney decides to actually fight and fight hard. “Why fight for someone who won’t fight as hard as we are – for himself????????”

Sunday. We’re feeling Biblical, as in seven plagues Biblical. We beg the indulgence of non-Christians, believers of other faiths, and non-believers as well, as we borrow – for our own non-theological non-historic purposes – one of our favorite parables of Jesus.

The story is of a father with two sons. The father, presumably without the benefit of modern surveillance devices, has tasks that must be done that very day. The father goes to the first son and tells him what needs to be done.

That first son tells his dad “O.K., will do.” Having told his father what he wanted to hear, the son instead does what he pleases not the required task.

The second son had also been approached by the father with a list of tasks that had to be done that day. The second son was furious. He had other things to do, other priorities. The second son did not tell his father “O.K”, quite the contrary. The second son said he was going to do other things.

However, like a short story by O’Henry, there is a surprise. That second son after telling his father what he did NOT want to hear, actually gets the job done.

The question Jesus posed at the end of his parable is: Which son did the will of the father?

* * * * * *

This is a Hillary Clinton supporter website. That’s something some have forgotten. We don’t write about Hillary Clinton as much these days but we try to mention her and what was done to her in 2008 as much as possible and inject 2008 into the current campaign cycle whenever even remotely possible.

We do write quite a bit about Barack Obama. That’s because step 1 in bringing back a sane Democratic Party of Hillary Clinton/FDR, not the current Obamination of Dims, is the removal of Barack Obama and his treacherous enablers.

To that end, sending the trash back to Chicago, we have opinionated frequently on what the Republicans could/should do. We understand if Republicans tell us to “f*ck off, we don’t need your help”. But thus far we have provided good advice to Republicans some of which we know has been utilized.

But we have never been “Newt supporters” or “Romney supporters” or “Perry supporters” or “Rubio supporters” or “McCain supporters” or “Santorum supporters” “Christie supporters”….. Our opinions have always been based on who and what strategies provide the strongest opposition to Barack Obama. We know how our former brethren think, the personalities and competitions involved, we know how Democratic campaigns are organized and where the stress points are – that is our value.

Getting Obama out is our first priority – first because it will be best for America and second to allow for the resurrection of the Democratic Party – which someday will be needed to speak up against Republican excesses (just as the Republicans are always needed to speak up against Democratic/Dimocratic excesses).

We have not always written what people wanted to hear. We did write what we thought they needed to hear and done the work that needed to be done.

In September 2007 there were some commenters who posted here who thought we were too negative. Our vocabulary was too “fierce” we were informed by email. We were told to desist from inflammatory rhetoric against the “other candidates” and their supporters. We were all Democrats after all and Big Pink was too incendiary and Hillary was going to win anyway so please, please, please stop the attacks on the Chicago candidate.

Soon they announced here in the comments section that they were starting a wonderful new blog with only “positive” news about Hillary Clinton. There would be no Obama “bashing” at their Panglossian blog.

We had no quarrel with the blog they created. Quite the contrary. We were happy to see more blogs in support of Hillary Clinton.

In April 19, 2007 when we published our first article and debuted this website there were NO, NONE, Hillary Clinton support blogs. There were hundreds, thousands of pro-Obama websites but not one for Hillary.

In May of 2007 it was presumed that Hillary Clinton would be the nominee of the Democratic Party. She was brilliant. She would be well-funded. She had a good organization. She was the favorite in every poll by a wide margin.

But well before May 2007 we knew something was very wrong. We analyzed the strategic landscape and saw danger. We didn’t know exactly what but we looked at a fact here and there, we investigated, we talked to high level fundraisers and activists from the Hillary camp, the Edwards camp, and the Obama camp – and we smelled a rat.

We didn’t know back then about the Kennedy treacheries, the Kerry treacheries, the Harry Reid/Tom Daschle secret support for Obama, the Chuck Schumer 2×4, the Patti stabs in the back, the total corruption of mainline women’s groups (NARAL anyone?), the Charlie Rangel muzzle on Hillary’s campaign, the Soros’ schemes, the JournoListers, the cynicism and corruption at the very heart of the DNC. But we knew something was not right. And we spoke up. It was what was needed to be said.

Immediately, the DailyKooks went rabid on us (many at that time did not like it when we used the term “nutroots” and “DailyKooks” to describe the Obama online Hopium dens). Meet the Press and Politico devoted time and investigation on us instead of vetting Barack Obama. Republican Peggy Noonan repeatedly attacked us because she knew we threatened her favorite candidate, Barack Obama. Donna Brazile was not happy and eventually asked Hillary to shut us down.

Then there was Big Media. Barack Obama had proved hapless in debates against Hillary Clinton who outshone him at every turn in every way. Then in November Big Media stepped in. We called it exactly right the minute we saw it in The Real Danger, published on November 1, 2007:

“What is The Real Danger for Hillary Clinton and her supporters from Tuesday night’s mugging debate?

Hillary and her campaign and her supporters must now look at our fundamental premises and strategies for winning the nomination and the general election. Are our fundamental premises and strategies developing as we anticipated? Are our fundamental premises and strategies for this campaign in need of complete revision or minor adjustment or right on target? Is the campaign organization functioning as required? [snip]

The Real Danger

The real danger for Hillary Clinton, the Hillary Team and Hillary supporters is that after Tuesday night’s debate there is now a template for attacking Hillary. Big Media, the debate “moderators” – Russert in particular, and other candidates for the Democratic Party nomination attacked Hillary in a united probably coordinated manner.

Our counterattack has to be clearheaded and aware that the announced primary campaign opponents are not the only nor the most dangerous opponents. Any doubts in the Clinton campaign or the Hillary Team or among Hillary supporters that Big Media (Russert and Matthews in particular) and/or Big Blogs are our friends or allies or fair must be rejected. Any question that Obama and Edwards’ personal attacks against Hillary are anything but personal attacks have to be quickly rejected. [snip]

We have sounded the alarm about Big Blogs and Big Media well before this debate. Some questioned our analysis and aggressive “no unilateral disarmament” posture out of honest disagreement. Many more sought to distract us from what we see as a clear and present danger.”

We tried to avert disaster. We strongly urged Big Media outlets such as NBC/MSNBC not be allowed to “moderate” muggings debates. We urged a full out assault on Obama using every weapon available to beat back the snakes (Rezko, Wright). But we understood the limitations placed on the Hillary campaign and why there were reasons for not doing as we suggested.

We worked behind the scenes to replace staff at the campaign that were not reliable. We worked with big dollar donors to air independent expenditures attacking Barack. But most, for instance Susie Buell, only wanted “positive” ads. We did get some ads to air in the most important states at the most important time but not enough and not with the ferocity we sought.

We were hamstrung because we would not publish anything in any way that could be used by Big Media to attack Hillary. We did not want a headline or articles saying “see, even Big Pink thinks the campaign stinks”.

We have no such compunction this election cycle. When we see a blunder we will yell from the rooftops at the highest screechy-est levels imaginable.

When we saw that Romney was about to make his Veep pick we made a strong case for Marco Rubio. That’s because we thought Rubio on the ticket would be a disaster for Obama and we knew the Obama people lived in fear of Rubio. But that was not to be.

We are Hillary Clinton supporters (which does not mean we treat her word as gospel). After we posted outrage at the massive stupidity of the Romney decision some tried to paint our anger as some sort of personal preference. In defense of the Romney decision some trashed the Rubio marriage as a possible reason for the non-selection.

We didn’t tolerate it when busybodies inflicted themselves on the Hillary Clinton/Bill Clinton marriage. Now the same ugliness was used to attack Marco Rubio entirely without evidence other than a televised interview with his wife. This was done to explain/excuse the Romney choice.

We never trashed Romney’s veep pick on a personal level. He is a decent man, who works hard and fights hard for what he believes. Our quarrel is with the damage this choice does to the prospects of Romney beating Obama. We posted not only reasoned arguments about why we thought this choice was a disaster we posted what we think needed to be done – before the counterattack by Obama’s nefarious forces begins. We even proposed scripts for suggested Romney advertisements. [Read Jerry Della Femina and his advice for Romney ads in Democrats for Romney.]

We told Romney he needed to realize the danger he was in and fight harder by a factor of ten.

But applauding seals want to hear what applauding seals want to hear, not what they need to hear. We slapped them with a cold fish. We spoke out clearly and without reservation. It was not the first time.

There were many Hillary Clinton supporters who wanted Big Banks and Big Business held to account. When Occupy Wall Street came about we trashed them with vigor and denounced them as Obama plants. Our contempt for Occupy Wall Street was unfettered and some were very unhappy with what we were writing. We think we have been proven right.

We were one of the very first, certainly on the left we probably were the first, to praise the Tea Party. We declared that the Tea Party would prove to be a major force. Right again.

In October 2009 we wrote the results of health care legislation would not matter anymore because the entry of AHIP money into the debate meant 2010 would be judgement day for Obama’s health scam. 2010 proved to be a catastrophe for Obama and his minions.

We stated early in January 2011 that the Obama campaign finance strategy was going to be a bust and a major liability. Tomorrow when Obama by law must release his finance data for July we will see how true that prediction has been. At this point Mitt Romney as moneyraiser is the penultimate hope to beat Obama.

We opposed TARP as a bailout of the speculators that needed to be punished not assisted. We opposed the “stimulus” as a waste of money that would not bring back prosperity. As each phony “recovery” was announced we stated it would not work because Obama was only spending money not presenting a plan like Bill Clinton and FDR prepared. And we have always repeated “It’s the economy, stupid” and JOBS, not a debate on Medicare that would win this election.

As many celebrated the “Arab Spring” we warned that it would be a disaster. Egypt was the entire ball of wax. But “Arab Spring” fever infected many. We were told the Muslim Brotherhood would not run Egypt. We wrote detail by detail what would happen and it has happened as we predicted. Now the Muslim Brotherhood controls the Egyptian legislature, the presidency and the military. The Iron Veil has fallen.

We stood by principles and let those principles and experience form our analysis.

With all these disasters Big Media is still on the job for Barack Obama. Boston Globe: Biden’s “chains” remark sign of tiresome double standard for Democrats; Team Obama: So what? Even the so-called fact checkers are still in the tank for Barack Obama.

Cue Mark Halperin: Media pretty much does what Obama wants:

And Mitt Romney thinks putting Medicare front and center of the campaign is a good strategy? We assumed and suggested Romney stay focused on the economy and jobs. It’s the economy, stupid. Instead we go what we got.

Every one of our contacts, especially those in Iowa and Florida are warning of great danger. In the Florida senate race the impact of Medicare is felt. If Romney loses Florida he loses the election and the Republicans will not win the senate seat. It’s not what any of us want to hear:

“It’s a tight race and it’s in flux. Florida campaign consultants from both parties agree that the undercard race depends largely on whether Floridians choose Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. And that in turn may hinge on who wins the Medicare messaging war in a state with one of the biggest senior populations in the country.

“I think these races get completely tied together,” said Tre’ Evers, a prominent Republican consultant in Orlando. “I think that Mack needs Romney to do well to win.”

Florida Democratic strategist Todd Wilder agreed — although he wasn’t so bullish on Romney’s chances.

“Democrats have made a living off of Medicare, promoting Medicare, protecting Medicare. It’s going to take more than an obscure congressman from Wisconsin to undo that,” Wilder said, referring to Ryan. “I just think the tide goes to the president. They don’t have the money or the time to turn that aircraft carrier around.

But Evers, Wilder and other Florida politicos don’t think that Medicare will be the decisive issue. It will be part of the mix, but will fade in prominence as the campaign moves forward.

“I don’t think that they’re going to want to talk about it as much as you might think,” said Susan MacManus, a political science professor at the University of South Florida.”

Every day not talking JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, is a win for Obama. Lately Obama is scoring lots of wins. It’s not what any of us wants to hear but it’s what needs to be said so that the work of defeating Obama can be done.

It’s the economy, stupid:

“New Gallup unemployment data suggest an increase in the government’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August when it is reported on Friday, Sept. 7. During recent months, Gallup’s measurements have been more optimistic than those of the BLS. Barring a sharp reversal in this relationship, the government’s unadjusted unemployment rate might be expected to stay the same or increase in August.”

Unemployment up in 44 states – it’s the economy, stupid.

Barack Obama will use MediScare to bamboozle the American voter. Obama is an experienced flim-flam man and this battle will be played on his terrain of lies and deception. Hopes to win by exposing Obama lies on Medicare are a vain hope. There will be, the the professor acknowledges, no depth, no depravity, no filth the Obama campaign will leave behind:

“You know it’s going to happen.

They’ll claim she’s being used as a prop. Then they’ll try to dig up whatever dirt they can — it won’t be anything of substance, but it will be spread quickly. Then they’ll hack her e-mail. A friendly government employee will take a peek at tax and other files.”

We’re not concerned about this week or the week of the Republican convention. We’re looking around the corner and around the corner of that corner. We’re looking ahead when the full depravity of the Obama campaign will choke the nostrils of the decent.

It’s not what applauding seals tolerate however. They want to hear what confirms their world view and nothing else. But we won’t hoist the colorful rubber ball and balance it on our noses and flap our fins. No, we will never do that.

We’ll speak in brutal language about brutal truths. We won’t say yes and ignore the work to be done.

The work that must be done is to get rid of Barack Obama and his destruction of America. The job is not to coddle the Romney campaign.

Those who say “yes” to Romney mistakes are leading him to defeat. Those who say “no” and call out Romney mistakes are the ones that will get the job done


83 thoughts on “The New Testament

  1. This article goes right to the heart of what has made hillaryis44 — and its commenters — so interesting for 4 years now.

    It’s a loose confederation of enemies-of-our-enemy. Everyone here wants to get rid of Barack Obama. The division is between those who want to surgically lop Barack Obama off the Democratic party and those who want to take a flame-thrower to the entire Democratic party until it’s a pile of charred wreckage ground into the salted earth where nothing grows. Ever.

    So my question is, If the price of backslapping Barack Obama into orbit, through deep space and into the depths of Uranus is smashing the Democratic party beyond repair — to the point where Hillary Clinton can’t possibly win because the party will be too brutally crippled in 2016 to support her — then how does that affect your choice?

    Admin is getting a little freaked out and I’m wondering if there’s a little nervousness about the possibility of an utter rout and what that would mean to Hillary long-term. The admonition comes to mind: Be careful what you ask for!

  2. Susie Buell, only wanted “positive” ads
    I believe Susie feels different today.

    God bless her, she picketed Obama when he was in San Francisco a year ago.

  3. Admin: your research, insights and instincts have been consistently correct, and at times uncanny. You know the Obama playbook, like no one else does. Long ago, when you were still on email, you mentioned your hope for the people on this blog, that they would think about things strategically, and not emotionally. It is a tough discipline to learn, but it is the one thing that wins wars. It is the difference between putting on the war paint and charging the thickest part of the wall vs. finding the weak point in the wall and pushing it in. As you know, I wanted Rubio for the reasons you mention. Now we must figure out how to win with Ryan–for whom I have the greatest respect. You have shown them the way, and I have passed your thoughts along to Rove, just as Shorttermer has passed it along to the Romney organization. I hope the people who left the blog come back. There is no harm in that. A few years ago a couple people suggested that I was a Republican mole because I disappeared mysteriously in the middle of the primary. When they learned that I was on the campaign trail for Hillary, they were non plussed. So I left and came back. I hope those who left do the same. We need them in the battle that lies ahead.

  4. Looks like the Los Angeles Times is echoing your concerns about the shifting strategies of the Romney campaign:,0,463523.story

    N.B. the following quote:

    “Stu Spencer, who was a top campaign strategist for President Reagan, suggested that Romney’s main problem was that VOTERS LIKED OBAMA MORE than his opponent. There remains enough time to overcome that challenge, he said, but tighter focus on a coherent campaign theme is essential.” (Note: likeability is the last resort of the ignorant voter of whom there are many.)

    Which is why Admin. opined:


    “Do you like Barack Obama? Do you think Barack Obama is nice? Does a nice man call his political opponent a felon? Does a nice man call his political opponent a murderer? Barack Obama is not nice. Barack Obama is nasty.

    This advice is solid gold. It is the way to win the election.

  5. jms
    August 20th, 2012 at 12:26 am
    I favor the meat axe over the scapel.

    In 2008, the hard left took over the party. Hillary–the centrist, argued to the superdelegates that if Obama–the left wing extremist became the nominee, then the party would lose the general election. The response of Brazille and others was it is more imporant now for us to get control of the party, even if it means losing the election.

    Now that they have that control, and have decimated the country, the same question is presented in reverse. It is more imporant for the centrists to regain control of the party, and to repatriate the Reagan Democrats and the white vote than it is to win the next election.

    Furthermore, having worked with both parties, and looking at what Romney will be faced with it is not inconceivable that Hillary will get the nomination and win the general election in 2016. But first, the hard left tumor within the party must be excised forever. Which is why I for one favor the meat axe.

  6. ” Barack Obama is not nice. ”
    Obama is a nice guy but..Obama the Academic, Professorial, “did the best that he could”, learning on the job….”would have been ready in “X” years…etc., etc.,

    All bullshit, people still feel the need to preface criticism of Barry with some “verbal talisman” to show that they aren’t racist.

    Obama isn’t nice, he’s a sociopathic thug, he is no Academic-Professor, he’s as dumb as a box of rocks, “learning on the job”..he has no interest in learning or job…that’s for suckers…he could be President for life and he would be behaving the same but worse.

    Romney is and will be called a racist and worse; so might as well tell the truth about Obama; otherwise he is going to loose in a close election.

  7. Admin is getting a little freaked out and I’m wondering if there’s a little nervousness about the possibility of an utter rout and what that would mean to Hillary long-term. The admonition comes to mind: Be careful what you ask for!
    I have been back and forth on this. In the darkest days I hope for a rout. In sunnier times I am more cautious. The electoral map as it stands today still favors Obama. Millions are dependent on government for a paycheck or a welfare check. Those people would vote for Hitler if he was a democrat. If you think that is an overstatement, think again. And the lack of singular focus on jobs by Romney and the treachery of big media. And the cheating. I no longer anticipate a route. I say that with the caveat, I am going to be wrong about something, let it be that.

  8. Obama isn’t nice, he’s a sociopathic thug, he is no Academic-Professor, he’s as dumb as a box of rocks, “learning on the job”..he has no interest in learning or job…that’s for suckers…he could be President for life and he would be behaving the same but worse
    Amen. Therein lies the truth. And a good trial laywer never asks a jury to infer something which he or she is not willing to say to the jury himself. Play it again Sam:

    “Do you like Barack Obama? Do you think Barack Obama is nice? Does a nice man call his political opponent a felon? Does a nice man call his political opponent a murderer? Barack Obama is not nice. Barack Obama is nasty.”

    Mitt: here is your homework assignment. Read the above. Commit it to memory. Life it. Say it. Act on it. If you do not, then you will lose. That is the bottom line. And the funny thing is, the more you do so, the more you will innoculate yourself against the vicious personal attacks which will be coming at you from him, his campaign and the hissing snake pit known as big media.

  9. And then there is Akin in MO. Replay of NV, Reid was a dead man walking and the idiot Rethugs run Angell…now Claire has likely won a second term. Fucking idiots!! I also believe in the meat ax for the Dims but the Rethugs aren’t helping the cause.

    Political options for the future are pretty grim. Third party is hopeless in US election system; best option is ground up rebuild of Dem party. Both parties are working for same interests, just from different angles. The question is who will pick up the pieces as the economy continues to tank??? The current options are print money and give it to the financial system or cut taxes, print money and give it to financial system. Both parties agree, however, that there should be no legal consequences for “fixing” the system.

  10. The work that must be done is to get rid of Barack Obama and his destruction of America. The job is not to coddle the Romney campaign
    I agree. Mitt has had enough coddling in his life. He needs to man up. He wanted the job, he fought to get it, and now he must take off the gloves and knock the spindly armed pot bellied boom box afficionado through the ring ropes, past the bleechers and into the next country. He must reject the gentlemen do not read other peoples main axiom of the British foreign ministers office during world war I, and wage war as he never has had to do, as if his life depended on it. It is not just his life, but the life this country that hangs perilously in the balance. And for gods sake get rid of that staff, and get some people in their who know how to fight dirty.

  11. (sic) gentlemen do not read other people’s MAIL. While the Kaisers men conducted an aggressive espionage operations including but not limited to the wiles of Mata Hari, Lockhart and the rest of the British Foreign Service observed the quaint Victorian notion that gentlemen do not read other peoples mail. Lives were lost as a consequence.

  12. Hi there, I haven’t posted for a long, long time. Admin, what a great article. Thank you.

    I am so afriad if obama gets in for another term. It scares me so much to even consider another four years of him and his hoodlums running this country into the ground.

    I was also hoping for Rubio, but it didn’t happen.

    The last election, my sister treated me badly because she stuck up for the dims and obama, and I voted for McCain. This time around she has actually cut me out of her life (“without any guilt”) and blocked me in email.

    I told her that family should matter more than any politician, but she obviously doesn’t see it that way, so now I’ve lost a sister because of this hooligan we have living in the White House. I had told her that no other president in our lifetime has ever divided the country and families before this one.

    I agree with you that Romney has to fight. I really don’t think he knows how, or at least he doesn’t seem to. I fear for this country like I’ve never feared for it in my lifetime.

    I’m glad to have this site to come to where everyone is all in the same boat with how we feel about this “president”.

    Thank you again for all that you do and for giving us all a place to come to and to vent.

  13. In families, in business, in the military and in government, we have all seen examples of people who are thrust into leadership positions, only to find that they are not up to the task. The organization begins to suspect their intentions, and their capablilities. Suddenly, the people they supposedly lead defy them, covertly at first and openly at a later time. When those people disparage those they lead, and take away what is theirs mutiny will soon be at hand. I personally believe that is many if not most people are today with Obama. Winning an election is one thing. Having a mandate is something else. In the absense of a mandate, governing effectively becomes well nigh impossible and the presumed leader becomes a target for ridicule and revenge in one form or another. This is the pattern of history, and the downfall of that leader. He may seem powerful in the beginning but when he reaches that point you could push him over with a feather.

  14. I just received this from Paula Abeles in email.

    This needs to be more widely shared. Erskine Bowles (of Obama’s Simpson-Bowles Commission) talks about how and why Obama failed to act upon any of his own commission’s recommendations.
    As you will see from the clip, Republicans HAD signed on, but Obama preferred the ‘political advantage’ of having the Republicans take the lead, over making necessary and substantive reforms.

    To be clear: Bowles is NOT a Republican, but a former budget director and adviser to Bill Clinton.

    I have seen a lot of hysteria and criticism this week of Ryan and his budget in the mainstream media, most of it based more on fantasy than fact. But whether you agree with providing ‘premium supports’ (i.e….vouchers) to seniors in the future or not (as you know Ryan’s plan does not affect anyone over 55), what should be clear to everyone is that the medicare program is financially unsustainable in its present incarnation. Obviously a real leader is someone who takes on these challenges, not someone who shirks them for political advantage.

    When you hear Democrats say Obama couldn’t get anything done because of the opposition of republicans in Congress, it is contradicted by the direct statement of Bowles that the Commission’s work had bi-partisan support:

    Please share this video with your friends.

    Unfortunately, a balanced and objective appraisal of these reforms appears to be no longer possible by the mainstream media.

  15. In a complex society such as ours, nobody wants to see a leader fail. But when that leader has no regard for the people and wins an election through base and manipulative means he cannot expect support and cooperation from the population. At that point, he may resort to force in one form or another, but force against a domestic population which is well armed and mobilized is a game of diminshing returns. It is unwise for Obama to run the kind of campaign he is running because it invites a day of reckoning which no sane person hopes for. It is naive for Obama to think he can tansmorgify this county into something which serves the interests of Soros and no one else. Sooner or later everyone will wake up. What will happen at that point is an imponderable, but the stage is set.

  16. God bless Paulie. Thanks for posting. This reluctance to take a position, this preference for leading from behind is the imprimatur of Obama. At a time when the country needs principled decisions and certainty he hangs between in doubt to act or rest. He hopes the other side will go first and slip so he can pounce on them rather than the problem. A leader who cannot make a decision when a decision is needed is no leader at all. He is a PATHETIC JOKE.

  17. The same goes for Harry Reid. Another picture of incompentence. That mister peepers look, than enervated voice, the sheer stupidity of the man, and his remarkable ability to evade responsibility, to avoid passing budgets and to let this country slide off a financial cliff, make him public enemy number 2, second only to Obama.

    Pelosi would be number 3. Hyper partisan, ignorant as hell, and delusional. Beyond that there is no there there.

  18. Obama, Reid, Pelosi–are the architects of the great American decline. They are, as Raymond Chandler would say, as inconspicuous as a taranchula on a slice of angel food cake. The best hope we have to defeat them is Ryan. If this country values someone who will fight that needs to be fought with honor and integrity and guts then he is the guy.

  19. nomobama (last thread)
    “… Hillary “bots” exist, too. There are those that swear allegiance (sometimes it appears to be blind allegiance) to everything Hillary, or everything Bill, or everything Clinton. Well, I don’t behave that way. The Clintons have their faults.”

    admin today: “This is a Hillary Clinton supporter website. That’s something some have forgotten… (which does not mean we treat her word as gospel)…”


    I suppose this perceived “blind allegiance” applies to me among others here, so I hasten to explain how I behave:

    On the issues and in their public statements, I have always felt that I agree 95% with Billary. That is a very high percentage of agreement for me, and it is due to the fact that Billary always does its homework and comes to conclusions that jive with mine. For example, I agree less with Romney, and even less – let’s say 70% – with Ryan. On the issues, I still feel quite comfortable supporting Romney-Ryan despite the fact that I am a socialist. My “allegiance” to Billary is thus earned by them but subject to my own judgment, and comes out to about 95%.

    But far more important than the issues are the matters of character and competence – integrity, love of country, ability to inspire and work across the proverbial aisle, and executive skills. In these terms, I think of Hillary as a model of what a president should be; but I also intuit that Romney is worth as much.

    Concerning your criticism of Hillary – that she should bear some blame for the Arab Spring that you see as all bad – I see it the other way around, i.e. that she should bear some credit for the Arab Spring, which I see as generally a good thing in which we have to engage the new leadership in these countries. We should realize that we cannot control foreign democracies by threatening or preaching at them or “control” at all, actually. We can only do our best to prevent them from turning against us. “Doing our best” to me means Hillary’s “soft power” approach.

    Either way, whether you see the results as good or bad, Hillary is indeed partly accountable for what happens; but that comes with the turf – any secretary of state or president would be partly accountable for this even though it is ultimately beyond their power to control.

    Turning your thumbs down on Hillary because you don’t like the turn of events in Syria or elsewhere smells of the ivory tower or Monday-morning quarterbacking. Perhaps because I am a little more aware of the situation in Syria than you are, I think Hillary has done better so far than I could ever have done in her place. I’m certainly not going to think worse of her for it. I don’t call that allegiance, but rational assessment.

  20. wbboei: “… looking at what Romney will be faced with it is not inconceivable that Hillary will get the nomination and win the general election in 2016.”

    “Not inconceivable” but highly unlikely, IMO. We know Romney will be faced with a huge task, but we also know he has quite a good track record with difficult situations. I still think that, with Romney as the incumbent in 2016, the GE will be a repeat of 1984.

  21. Sites like this one are the reason that Obama says that his “story” needs improvement. His “story” is propaganda and mind control of the population. His “popularlity” and “likeability” is a marketing and social construct to stop criticism, opposition, and full blown rebellion. The media will continue to front for him because they have already bought in too deep just to walk away. Their will be courses taught one day in business school on the media’s bargain with the devil and the

  22. … “a repeat of 1984” and that is why I would not like to see HRC ram her head into a wall. Better to leave 2016 to another Dimocrat, let’s say some dazzling freshman Senator with a good speechwriter.

    In the meantime, Bill and Hillary can spend 2014, 2016, 2018 rebuilding what was once the Democratic Party, and put a Clintonista on the ticket in 2020 – let’s say, the Junior Senator from NY top the ticket in 2020. That would suit me just fine, though I don’t think I’ll be here to enjoy the show.

  23. Cont.
    sunk costs that hastened their economic implosion.

    I don’t like Romney and I don’t like Ryan. But it is not personal. I disagree with them. I don’t like Obama and it is personal because he is an asshole. I said earlier that I thought that Romney was holding back because he doesn’t have access to all of his funds until after the convention. I hope that is the reason and that he has the stomach to fight the thugs which currently dominate the Democratic Party.

    Where I live Obama is hated. Not disliked but hated. Carter was intensely disliked as was GW at the end. Through social conditioning by the media (and common courtesy) it is not permitted to be spoken openly but privately it is expressed more and more. The media has driven away their viewers and readers not to mention their credibility. Local media is still viable because of weather, local business ads and high school sports. We see occasional glimmers of ass covering by the media when they will publish take downs of Obama such as Niall Ferguson’s new one dissecting the boobery of Obama-nomics.

    I have no idea what Romney will do. Sometimes I think his campaign is slow witted and clumsy and other times I think they are doing the old rope a dope. I can see why they picked Ryan because he is high energy and quick and makes the slacker-in-chief and Uncle Dopey look bad. But Romney is the head of the ticket and he needs to get really mean very fast. Obama is a bully and the only way to take one down is to hit them hard, fast and then ridicule them. And if they want this old ex-Democrat’s vote he needs to humiliate Obama.

  24. FYI: I hit enter when I spilled coffee on my knee, cussed, and woke up the dog. I am an early riser but not coordinated until cup of coffee II.

  25. nomobama: admin comes to your aid by describing the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as a failure of Obama and thus of Hillary.

    Insofar as this situation is a failure in any way, it all came down to a decision early on either to keep Mubarak in power or to let the people have their say.

    Keeping Mubarak in power would not have been beyond consideration by a more unscrupulous US president or Secretary of State, and was indeed Hillary’s knee-jerk reaction at the outset: You can keep a dictator in power with money and diplomatic/military backing, and that is what we were set to do at the get-go.

    After all, “Freedom and Democracy” were not important to us in the Cold War when Mubarak first came to power. We overthrew democracies all over Latin America, in Asia and in Africa, replacing them with dictatorial regimes friendly to “capitalism” and well armed against Marxist revolutionaries.

    But since the Cold War, “Freedom and Democracy” have been the American slogan for quite some time now. Even when Dubya used “hard power” to invade Iraq, he clearly stated that America’s goals were to bring Freedom and Democracy to the country, and went about setting up a constitutional democratic regime. The stated goal of keeping the Taliban out of control in Afghanistan is exactly the same: Freedom and Democracy pretty much in the American mold.

    So, keeping Mubarak in power contradicted America’s stated world view, and the democratic aspirations of the Egyptian people had to be accommodated.

    Problem is, once the people in Egypt express themselves and get what they want, it is not always what we want. It is impossible to dictate our own world view to the elected officials of a foreign country of 60 million souls. You and admin may see this as a failure; but what other course would you have had us follow? Back to the Cold War approach? I think not.

    The only thing we can or should do is to follow Hillary’s “soft power” approach, which generally means engaging intensely with the leadership and also with Egyptian civil society. Much may yet be gained, or saved, by this approach, and in any case there is no other viable approach.

  26. Mormaer: I’d be interested in knowing the perimeter of your disagreements with Romney & Co, not on the conduct of the campaign but on the issues.

    For my part, I had some serious doubts about Romney’s sanity when I heard him say something to the effect of “Our rights are given to us by God, not by the government!”

    I had my doubts about Hillary when she said the same thing in front of a religious group: God-given rights. Worse: Hillary has a JJD and should know better.

    Rights are granted to us by the government, and taken away by the government if we don’t watch out. As long as our rights are respected, you don’t have to believe in any god to preserve them; and when the government moves to take away our rights, no god is going to help us reinstate them.

    And supposing some god gave us our rights, then why would he give different numbers and kinds of rights to different people and countries? Why did god give us the right to bear arms, but to nobody else on the planet?

  27. But well before May 2007 we knew something was very wrong.
    I knew it after that speech on 04
    As soon as everyone started touting him as the best thing since sliced bread.
    like you Admin Smelled a RAT!!!
    Excellent post Admin and thank you.
    We really need a rude wake up call now and then. 🙂

  28. admin: “…well before May 2007 we knew something was very wrong.”

    foxyladi14: “I knew it after that speech in 04.”

    You are both claiming prescience that I certainly did not have. For me, the moment came in about Sept 07 (I think) when I learned (on this site) about Obama’s relations with Tony Rezko, the freezing residents in South Chicago and Obama’s mansion. I realized at that point that Obama was corrupt and had to be stopped. Corrupt politicians are the scourge of the planet. A corrupt politician is necessarily a sociopath – i.e. cares only about himself and his constituents can go to hell. Blagojevich is a sociopath too. It was no surprise to hear Obama branded a narcissist and sociopath by Krauthammer.

    Incidentally, you’ve got corruption in almost every African country, and these people have kept the continent in the dark ages. When CGI undertakes an initiative in any given country, it insists on no corruption right off the bat. European trading partners are also insisting on following UN anti-bribery and anti-extortion rules. Eventually, perhaps in 20-30 years, African countries will be on their feet.

    Now we have the corrupt Chicago mob in DC and in control of the D party. It must be wiped out.

  29. I’m not sure who started this thread since ‘admin’ is ‘on strike’……but thanks for explaining in more detail admin’s reasoning lately.

    I agree with the strategy and for everyone’s sake I hope this strike doesn’t last long.

    Many of us are not used to thinking in ‘war strategy’, and may have tried like Hell to find something ‘good’ about the Mitt/Ryan combo just to stomach the vote we need to pull out in November.

    Do what you have to do admin and thank you.

  30. Consistent with the Biblical theme: “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”

    Thank you, Admin, for speaking the truth to all who have and would attempt to subvert it.Thanks also for the reminder that this is “a Hillary Clinton blog”, whose primary focus is to get Barack out of office.

  31. Break Up The Banks

    Posted by Erick Erickson (Diary)

    Monday, August 20th at 10:11AM EDT

    I hope the Romney campaign seriously takes on this idea. We have created a financial situation in this country, with Dodd-Frank and other policies, that have stacked the banks against the American people. They have become so massive that they can do pretty much what they want because they can hire all the lobbyists they need to get what they want from Washington and if they falter or fail, the nation goes belly up.

    It is absolutely a conservative imperative to break up the big banks. Conservatism should eschew public-private partnership at this level. The banks have, in effect, become an extension of the government in that they now exist in a wholly symbiotic and unhealthy relationship with Washington. If we want smaller government, we need smaller banks too

  32. Truman said THE BUCK STOPS HERE!!!
    Obama says it stops everywhere except here!! 🙄

    As to blaming HRC for problems?? I ask who do you blame the Employee or
    THE BOSS??? 🙂

  33. It was no surprise to hear Obama branded a narcissist and sociopath by Krauthammer.
    Now and then you see some doctor who has discovered a partial cure for cancer, a archeologist who has discovered the missing link, some astronomer who has discovered a planet beyond Pluto, some mathmetician like Newton who has unravelled the mystery of the universe and defined it in a formula. In those cases, there is the concomitant sense of elan, that sense of transcendance, that sense that we have reached a milestone in the march of the human species from the caves to the outer limits of the universe. Such was the reaction of the faux conservative David Broooks, and the PT Barnum of the NYT not to be confused with deep thinker Tom Freidman when first they laid eyes on the scion of Chicago, the flotsam and jestsome of the most corrupt political machine in the country. They were awe struck and totally taken in–and like the dumbest rube at an old west Patent Medicine Show they swallowed everything without asking one serious question. Today, to the sentient part of the population they look like gullible idiots, but rather than admitting their error they double down. They are sickening to watch, and impossible to listen to.

  34. If you watched Brooks on PBS during the primary for example he could hardly contain himself about Obama and when he was not heeping praise on Beelezebub Prince of Devils he was giggling like a little girl. The little girl defense does not work when you hold yourself forth to the world as the mature conservative voice at the NYT, and are, for that reason, a living, breathing oxymoron. Oh, why mince words. A moron. Nothing more. Nothing less. End of the wonderful one horse shay. Logic is logic that’s all I say.

  35. gonzotx
    August 20th, 2012 at 5:29 am
    Scary times at Hillary High

    More like a sign of the times. Fasten your safety belts. Air traffic control has reported rough air for the next few months.

  36. I don’t like Obama and it is personal because he is an asshole
    . . . an asshole alright, on steroids, and choom.

  37. “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”

    That was the verse my confirmation pastor gave me to think over and live by. The strength of it never leaves anyone who lives by it, and they are truly free.

  38. Some of the postings reacting to the criticism of R’s campaign did have a hopium-addled quality to them. The point is ABO, and whatever it takes to achieve it. I can’t imagine the folks who left will stay gone for very long, though. They were great contributors and there’s no other place with such wit and focus as H44.

  39. I agree Adm. I often tell my family that I am generally speaking liberal on most social issues and have voted democratic my whole life until 2008. I don’t particularly like Romney or any of the republican candidates, but my goal, as you stated, is to remove Obama from office. As a lawyer, I often deal with clients who don’t want to hear the reality/facts that hurt their cases. I council them, hold their hands, and do all in my power to prevail, but in the end, you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken s–t. The reality is we are in a horrendous economic period and Obama has successful shifted the issue, along with his aiders and abetters, the MSM, to Medicare and other issues. Ryan is not the poster boy for medicare here in Florida. My opinion is that his choice hurts more than helps. With that said, we will do our best to support Romney. In the end, I expect the worst and hope for the best.

  40. jbstonesfan: You are a lawyer in Florida and I need a lawyer in Florida (inheritance). If you are interested at all in taking my case, please contact me at jeswezey at or give me your email.

  41. The Political Bust of TV Ads

    Posted by Ned Ryun (Diary)

    Monday, August 20th at 10:00AM EDT
    1 Comment

    Let’s be honest: as a medium, television just isn’t what it used to be. We live in a digital age, where the glowing screen in our living rooms that once dominated information and entertainment now has competition from a myriad of sources. From Facebook to YouTube and tablet publications to on-demand streaming video, to the existence of DVRs and TiVo, television is being challenged from all fronts. And it’s losing.

    Yet, as the 2012 campaign rages on, billions of dollars will be spent on television advertising. In 2008, more than $2 billion was spent on political television advertisements including expenditures by candidates, parties, and advocacy groups according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group. In this year of the ubiquitous SuperPACs, the number will probably be twice as high. Yes, $4 billion dollars on TV ads.

    But look at the bright side: at least consultants and TV stations will be doing well in this economy.

    Donors really need to consider how to invest in the political process this year and in the future, and they would do well to treat their decisions like investments. When looking at effectiveness and Return on Investment (ROI), TV is more of a bust than ever before. If donors want to invest to really impact elections, it’s time for a paradigm shift.

    Our politics would be more dynamic, more participatory and more representative if big political donors, outside groups and campaigns spent even a fraction of the money they do on TV on actual ground operations. And by ground operations, I don’t mean rallies or bus tours. I mean real, targeted door-to-door, with some live phone banking thrown in. Consider this: a million dollars will get you roughly a thousand points of statewide coverage in Ohio. That’s about 10 ads a day for a week. Then poof, it’s gone. On the other hand, investing in grassroots infrastructure is also about investing in the future. Training, organizing and deploying precinct canvassers, setting up phone banks and handing out literature tailored to specific voting blocks will move the needle for pennies per voter rather than dollars.

    A good ground game using reliable voter data has proven to increase turnout for candidates significantly (in 2010, in the precincts American Majority Action did GOTV in, turnout increased 8-10% over previous elections). New mobile campaign management, survey and voter contact software is making it even more effective (think Gravity, and for truth in advertising, yes, Gravity is a joint project of Political Gravity and American Majority Action). That’s exactly why traditional grassroots tactics are still the best bet to get voters to the polls. Put simply, what’s old should be new again. It just works better.

    In the marketplace, one doesn’t usually increase investment in a product that continually has decreasing market share, but in the political world, it seems that return on investment has little relevance. Television advertising may make consultants, strategists and the TV stations a fortune; which by the way, has anyone really thought about the fact that by dumping hundreds of millions into the mainstream media, we’re actually feeding the hand that bites us?Beyond that, I’m of the opinion that an over-reliance on “the air war” can have a depressing effect on the process as a whole.

    You have to ask yourself: how many people are even really watching TV anymore? A 2011 study showed that less than 60% of people now consider watching TV as their primary source of video content. Of those, almost a third admits they no longer watch any live television, relying instead on DVR recordings and TiVo where they can skip over the ads.

    The real kicker according to Google’s recent analytics is that an astonishing 80% of smartphone users say they actively use their mobile devices while watching television. So even if voters are watching TV, logic would dictate they’re using their phones more during commercials rather than during programming. Even the explosion in tablet users is competing with traditional TV ad buys.

    None of these statistics by itself is enough to say that TV commercials aren’t at all effective, but it is clear that spending on the medium will have to increase continually in order to compete for audience mindshare more effectively. Spending on television may go up, but effectiveness will continue to trend downward.

    Of course, it just so happens that the most expensive tactic with perhaps the lowest ROI is the one that makes consultants the most money – and donors should be wary.

    You can do all the targeting on cable television you want, but you can’t make people pay attention if they don’t want to. If your 18-35 year old male baseball fan recorded the game on DVR, he’s probably not watching the commercials. If he’s watching it live, according to the trends he’s more likely checking or texting in between innings. So consultants can buy thousands of points of advertising, but the impact of that buy is not nearly what it used to be even just a few years ago.

    This isn’t a knock against commercials particularly when leveraging online video. Video isn’t dying. YouTube is the second most used search engine in the world behind its parent company Google. Video and other visuals are driving traffic on social media and online generally.

    The issue at hand is whether the billions donated and then spent on television is a good value for the dollar. Here’s a subtle hint: it’s not. As digital mediums become increasingly more pervasive in our daily lives, our on-demand society is becoming more specialized but also more impersonal.

    The biggest difference between grassroots ground war and the traditional air war is telling about the process as a whole. More personal, human contact tactics like block walking, phone banking, voter surveying and get-out-the-vote efforts are harder because they involve organizing and deploying people. They are also less lucrative for consultants and strategists.

    Television commercials are easier because they are transactional. A consultant in DC can produce a commercial, buy air time, and collect his 15% fee for a campaign in northern Michigan without setting foot outside his office.

    Sure, TV can help with name identification and driving some perceptions – but it simply doesn’t mobilize voters. The sound of the doorbell and personal interaction is still far more efficient and effective at getting candidates over the finish line than the inevitable white noise of interminable political commercials.


    The Killing Fields of Chicago. A 30 minute discussion on why and what can be done. About midway through they talk about Os repsonsibility. However, as usual, they think it is a local issues. They only want him to put more light on the problem.

    Interesting, since he had a local problem, and ignored it. O is no friend to Chicago, and the youth that are dying there. If He did not care about them freezing in the winter, why would he care about them killing each other at significant rates.

  43. “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”
    For those who can handle the truth, yes. For those addicted to magic thinking it is either a bridge too far, or the transition is too devastating.

  44. there’s no other place with such wit and focus as H44.


    And wide range of topics and opinions! Thank you again, Admin!

  45. In the sewer culture of modern American society, we have the wonderful sterotype of those reverends like Garner Ted Armstrong, Amy Semple McPherson, Jim and Tammie Fae and Elvis Relative Jimmy Swaggert, who fleece their congregation in the name of eternal salvation, while living lavishly and on the large. In such cases, the harm is between those sky pilots and their flock. The damage to society as a whole is marginal. In the black church you have something quite similar actually, with reverends like Wright and Sharpton. They are worse by degree however, because they do not stop at simply deluding and fleecing their followers, through a form of mind control. They surive on hate, and they use the leverage which the pulpit gives them to extract a randsome. But the worst of the worst are organizations like the Southern Poverty Insitute and its founder attorney Morris Dees. He lives like a middle eastern potentate, and he draws what he calls hate maps across the country against Christian organizations. He takes credit for Butlers demise at Haden Lake but by the time he intervened Butler was on the way down. This guy Morris Dees is a prime example of the phenomenon which Tom Sowell talks about–the idea that a group was founded originally to deal with a specific ill in society, they work to eliminate that ill, and once they prevail, they never go away. Instead, they evolve, broaden their mandate and look for new targets. As they do so, they become more and more rutheless in their tactics to the point that they eventually become the very kind of evil they were originally established to eliminate. The modern NAACP is guilty of this as well.

  46. Problem is, once the people in Egypt express themselves and get what they want, it is not always what we want.


    Is what’s happening in Egypt now really what the people want? Even what the Tahir people wanted?

    They got together and got rid of Muburak, but weren’t together on who to put in his place. That left a vacuum, powers floating around — and so the factions that were best prepared (and toughest?) stepped in and grabbed the power.

    I don’t know whether Hillary could have done anything about this, but I’m sure she’s trying to get ahead of similar situations when they come up in other Arab countries. Helping the rebels may be a good move for that, as the Egyptian rebels were pretty mad at us for not helping them.

  47. wbboei: Good observation about “the truth shall set you free.” I had never thought of it that way. For addicts of magic thinking, then, the motto would be “and the truth shall drive you mad.”

    Also, thanks for the article on the decreasing relevance of TV and especially TV ads. It sounds encouraging on the face of it, for someone like me who gave up on TV decades ago; however, the actions of Obama’s ground troops in 2008 tell me that “getting in their faces” may be even worse than fighting the air war. The ground war this time will probably be different, though, because Obama doesn’t have any troops left.

  48. wbboei
    August 20th, 2012 at 1:06 pm
    This phenomenon is not confined to religious organizations of the divine or secular sort–the Southern Poverty Insitute being an example of the latter. You see it in other areas as well. A friend of mine was a union leader in the AWPPU–the pulp and paper workers union. Somewhere along the line, he deduced that the national union had become self serving to its own and unresonsive to its members. Therefore, he and his confederates decided to break away from the national union, and form their own union along the west coast. In the course of doing so, he staggered one night into the hotel room of Senator Jackson just as he was putting on his pajamas. With some difficulty, Jackson managed to get him out of the room, and years later when Muskie came to Seattle Jackson introduced him to my friend with the caveat if this son of a bitch comes knocking at your hotel room door at midnight never let him in. Jackson did help him, and so did one of our local attorneys. They succeeded in forming the new union. But the big takeaway from all this for my friend was a conversation he had with a Professor at Cornell School of Labor Relations who helped guide the process, from behing the scenes. He told my friend, John you think you are better than the people in the national union and at this point you are. But in the fulsomeness of time you and your organization will become just like them. Those words were prophetic.

  49. “Is what’s happening in Egypt now really what the people want? Even what the Tahir people wanted?”


    The people at Tahir square were a splinter of the Egyptian population, and who is to judge if popularly elected officials are not exactly what the people want? (We elected Obama, but did we really get what we wanted?)

    The point I am making is that the situation as it stands is not what we want, regardless of what the Egyptian “man in the street” thinks, and that the only alternative we had early on in the protests was to support Mubarak and assure the people that Mubarak would himself bring about the desired change and then leave power willingly. The people did not believe this, and continued their protests.

    Additionally, Mubarak had spent much of his efforts over the decades trying to disenfranchise the Muslim Brotherhood, to keep them out of power by any means. The people also knew this, because it was the main reason there were protests at all: Mubarak stamped out all opposition and the people didn’t want any more of him. So the people bear ultimate responsibility for the fall of Mubarak and the rise of the Brotherhood.

    So, when we let Mubarak go as we really had to, we knew there was a strong possibility that the Brotherhood would take the reins of power and all we could do not stick our head into the lion’s mouth, recognize them and deal with them, i.e. engage with them on every level. This is an ongoing process with no clear-cut victories for the American principles of Freedom and Democracy in Egypt. We can only do our best to save our own skins.

    Again, I say that there is not and has never been any viable alternative to Hillary’s “soft power” approach.

  50. I can think of no better argument for limited goverment and term limits than that. Frankly, it is what makes Paul Ryan attractive to me. He may have spent 14 years in congress, but he has not lost the edge, the commitment, the sense of the possible. Politics after all is the art of the possible.

  51. fulsomeness of time” don’t you mean the “fullness of time”?
    No, I mean the latter. It is a phrase I have heard other lawyers use. It is probably arcane. The only way to know for sure, is to test it with a jury advisor. I am sure Frank Lunz has an opinion on this–not to use it.

  52. By the way, the reason my friend staggered into Jackson’s room was because in those days, martini time started at 10:am and ended at 10:am the following day.

  53. Again, I say that there is not and has never been any viable alternative to Hillary’s “soft power” approach.


    Fine. But ‘soft power approach’ is a broad description, and that power can be applied in different ways. In Libya she applied it by helping the rebels.

  54. “… all we could do not stick our head into the lion’s mouth…” = “… all we could do was to stick our head into the lion’s mouth…”

  55. “Politics after all is the art of the possible.”

    Hillary’s phrase (commencement address) was “Politics is the art of making what seems impossible possible.” Différence!

  56. Libya was not a totally soft power approach. Using military means is hard power, even though it was principally the means of our allies. There was never any question of using the military in Egypt.


    Obama has a track record of implementing too much governmental intervention where less is needed. He also has a track record of not doing enough, of being too “cautious” and/or “pragmatic” where more government oversight/intervention is needed.

    Here, the NY Times shows how his incompetence helped prevent the economy from rebounding.

    My $$$ comments interspersed.

    Cautious Moves on Foreclosures Haunting Obama

    Published: August 19, 2012

    WASHINGTON — After inheriting the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, President Obama poured vast amounts of money into efforts to stabilize the financial system, rescue the auto industry and revive the economy.

    But he tried to finesse the cleanup of the housing crash, rejecting unpopular proposals for a broad bailout of homeowners facing foreclosure in favor of a limited aid program — and a bet that a recovering economy would take care of the rest.

    During his first two years in office, Mr. Obama and his advisers repeatedly affirmed this carefully calibrated strategy, leaving unspent hundreds of billions of dollars that Congress had allocated to buy mortgage loans, even as millions of people lost their homes and the economic recovery stalled somewhere between crisis and prosperity.

    The nation’s painfully slow pace of growth is now the primary threat to Mr. Obama’s bid for a second term, and some economists and political allies say the cautious response to the housing crisis was the administration’s most significant mistake. The bailouts of banks and automakers are now widely regarded as crucial steps in arresting the recession, while the depressed housing market remains a millstone.

    “They were not aggressive in taking the steps that could have been taken,” said Representative Zoe Lofgren, chairwoman of the California Democratic caucus. “And as a consequence they did not interrupt the catastrophic spiral downward in our economy.”

    Mr. Obama insisted the government should help only “responsible borrowers,” and his administration offered aid to fewer than half of those facing foreclosure, excluding landlords, owners of big-ticket homes and those judged to have excessive debts.

    He decided to rely on mortgage companies to modify unaffordable loans rather than have the government take control by purchasing the loans, the approach advocated by his chief political rivals in the 2008 presidential race, Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain.

    The administration did not push for legislation to make mortgage companies help borrowers. The financial incentives it offered were often insufficient. And it responded slowly to warnings, including those in letters homeowners sent to Mr. Obama, that companies were not cooperating.

    The result was a plan that failed to meet even its own modest goals, data shows. Mr. Obama said in Arizona a few weeks after taking office that the government would help “as many as three to four million homeowners to modify the terms of their mortgages to avoid foreclosure.” As of May, 4.3 million people had applied for aid, but only one million had received government-sponsored modifications, according to the most recent data. About a third of those turned away lost their homes, were facing foreclosure or filed for bankruptcy.

    In June 2011, Mr. Obama conceded that his administration had not done enough. “And so,” he said, “we’re going back to the drawing board.”

    $$$ Incompetent. Is this who the lefties electing, and are willing to vote for again??

    The government has since enriched incentives for companies and found new ways to press them to take action. More people are getting help, and the housing market has finally begun to recover, leading some of the president’s allies to wonder what might have been.

    “If the program they have now had been used at the beginning, it would have had a tremendous impact,” said John Taylor, chief executive of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, an umbrella group for housing advocates.

    But it is impossible to know whether a more forceful response would have produced better results. Administration officials argue that the missed opportunity was relatively small because mortgage companies were unprepared to help homeowners even if the government had pushed harder — and the government was unprepared to take the companies’ place.

    “We operated at the frontier of what was possible,” Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, whose department oversaw the housing plan, said in a statement. “These programs helped millions stay in their homes and millions more refinance to take advantage of lower interest rates.”

    $$$ Timmy, might we want to rephrase this, as “these programs helped thousands….”?

    Help Wanted

    The president gets a purple file each day holding 10 letters selected from the thousands that arrive at the White House. Almost as soon as the administration started its housing plan, he began to see complaints.

    “I get letters every day,” Mr. Obama said at a June 2009 news conference, “from people who say, ‘You know, I appreciate that you put out this mortgage program, but the bank is still not letting me modify my mortgage, and I’m about to lose my home.’ And then I’ve got to call my staff and team and find out why isn’t it working for these folks, and can we adjust it, can we tweak it, can we make it more aggressive.”

    Some of the letters came from people the administration was not trying to help. But in Arizona the president had also made promises that the government was not ready to keep.

    Mr. Obama had emphasized that borrowers with financial problems could get mortgage modifications even before missing a payment. But the administration did not define eligibility for that kind of pre-emptive aid, and more than 4,000 people called the Treasury Department during the first year to complain they had been turned away on the grounds they had not missed a payment.

    People who lost their jobs generally could not qualify for modifications, but more than 18 months would pass before the White House persuaded mortgage companies to let people skip a few payments while looking for work.

    And there were unsettling stories about mortgage companies repeatedly losing paperwork, rejecting qualified applicants and, with surprising frequency, foreclosing on the very customers they had just agreed to help.

    The president’s advisers, including Mr. Geithner and Lawrence H. Summers, then director of the National Economic Council, played down the significance of these anecdotes. They saw no evidence of widespread problems, and besides, the broader strategy was working: the recession ended in June 2009, and housing prices posted the first monthly increase in three years.

    In late July, eager to claim credit, the president bounded onto a high school stage in Raleigh, N.C.

    “We knew that ending our immediate economic crisis would require ending the housing crisis, where it began, or at least slowing down the pace of foreclosures,” he said. “We didn’t stop every foreclosure. We couldn’t help every single homeowner who had gotten overextended, but folks who could make their payments with a little bit of help, we were able to keep them in their homes.”

    $$$ Typical Obama rhetorical trick, of course you can’t stop EVERY foreclosure. But the point is that they had a very low batting average. If he was a baseball player batting .091, he’d “Even Ted Williams didn’t get a hit every time at bat…”. What a liar.

    The celebration was premature. By the end of 2009 only 66,465 borrowers had received government-backed mortgage modifications, and the pace of foreclosures continued to rise: more than 900,000 homes in 2009 and more than a million in 2010, more homes than in any American city save New York.

    Peter P. Swire, Mr. Obama’s special assistant for economic policy in 2009 and 2010, said both the administration’s successes in repairing financial markets and its shortcomings in helping homeowners could be traced to the president’s reliance on Mr. Geithner and Mr. Summers.

    “They were the most experienced financial crisis team that you could have,” said Mr. Swire, an Ohio State University law professor. “But when you have economists like Larry Summers working on things — well, Larry Summers is a macroeconomist. He’s not a case worker.”

    $$$ So he’s saying Obama is a bad manager, picking the wrong guy for the job, and relying on bad advice, and then not willing to change once it became obvious that things weren’t working.

    Mr. Summers declined to comment on the record, but other current and former officials echoed Mr. Geithner’s view that the administration had done well under the circumstances. Some said they underestimated the complexity of helping millions of people. Some said they tried too hard at first to protect taxpayers from unnecessary losses. But they agreed that the most important problem was beyond their control: the mortgage industry was set up either to collect payments or to foreclose, and it was not ready to help people.

    “They were bad at their jobs to start with, and they had just gone through this process where they fired lots of people,” said Michael S. Barr, a former assistant Treasury secretary who served as Mr. Geithner’s chief housing aide in 2009 and 2010. “The only surprise was that they were even more screwed up than the high level of screwiness that we expected.”

    Let Them Eat Carrots

    Former Representative Jim Marshall, a centrist Georgia Democrat who lost his House seat in 2010, was a staunch advocate of the administration’s economic policies. He supported the banking bailout. He opposed a similar bailout for homeowners.

    The administration made just one mistake, he said in a recent interview: it failed to rewrite the bankruptcy code.

    Congressional Democrats wanted to change the law to permit “cramdown” — a term that meant letting bankruptcy courts cut mortgage debts — to put pressure on mortgage companies to modify loans and to provide a backup plan for borrowers who could not get the help they needed.

    “There was another way to deal with this, and that is what I supported: forcing the banks to deal with this,” Mr. Marshall said. “It would have been better for the economy and lots of different neighborhoods and people owning houses in those neighborhoods.”

    Mr. Obama sponsored cramdown legislation as a senator, endorsed it as a presidential candidate and called on Congress to pass it in the Arizona speech.

    But he also repeatedly pressed the pause button. When proponents sought to add a cramdown to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act in September 2008, Mr. Obama, who had flown back to Washington from the campaign trail, persuaded them to postpone the “partisan” effort as an example to Republicans, who said the measure would violate existing contracts.

    In February 2009, after Mr. Obama became president, the White House asked Democrats not to attach the measure to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, fearing it would cost votes. In March, a watered-down version finally passed the House, but the mortgage industry rallied opposition to block it in the Senate.

    Some officials said the White House had tried and failed. But other officials and participants, including Mr. Marshall, said it simply was not a priority.

    “There wasn’t enough political capital, time or energy,” said Mr. Barr, the former Treasury deputy.

    Mortgage companies, mostly owned by large banks, had ample resources to improve their treatment of troubled borrowers. But in the absence of any significant threat of punitive government action, they made little progress.

    “Here we are in 2011, looking at high levels of foreclosures on the horizon, looking at significant failures in process, and nothing much has changed,” Sarah Bloom Raskin, a Federal Reserve governor, said at a housing finance conference in February 2011.

    “It seems to me we have reached the point where this sign of failure is hindering our economy’s ability to rebound.”

    How Far a Trillion Goes

    A stone-faced building just north of the Capitol testifies to the federal response to the last national housing crash in the 1930s. The block-long office building housed the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, which bought and refinanced roughly 20 percent of outstanding mortgages, most within two years of its creation in 1933, to help a million families avoid foreclosure. It even turned a modest profit before closing in 1951.

    Mr. McCain surprised Mr. Obama during their second debate in October 2008 when he proposed investing $300 billion in such a program, echoing prominent Democrats. Some economists argued that debt reduction would hasten recovery not just by preventing foreclosures, but by spurring consumer spending, the nation’s primary economic activity.

    Mr. Obama, leading in the polls, dismissed the idea as a “risky” giveaway to mortgage companies. “Taxpayers shouldn’t be asked to pick up the tab for the very folks who helped to create this crisis,” he said at a rally two days later in Dayton, Ohio.

    After the election, top economic advisers led by Mr. Summers told the president-elect that debt reduction was not the best policy. Mr. Obama hoped to secure about $1.1 trillion from Congress to arrest the recession — a stimulus package of about $750 billion and the second half of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program bailout fund Congress had created in September. In a blueprint delivered at a mid-December meeting in Chicago, the advisers recommended that nearly all of the money be used to stabilize the financial system and for a package of tax cuts and government spending programs. That, they said, would stimulate growth more than paying down mortgage debts and hoping homeowners spent their savings.

    Mr. Geithner told Mr. Obama that if even if an additional $100 billion were available, he still would not spend it on housing.

    $$$ More “sage” advice…way to go, Timmy.

    As for foreclosures, the advisers said more modest forms of aid would work just as well in most cases. Indeed, some economists argued that debt reduction would counterproductively persuade other borrowers to stop making payments in pursuit of a better deal.

    But the decision ultimately was political. Mr. Obama and his advisers were convinced that even in the depths of an unyielding crisis, most Americans did not want their neighbors rescued at public expense. Several cited the response to the Arizona speech — including the televised diatribe by a CNBC personality, Rick Santelli, that helped give rise to the Tea Party — as proof that they were wise not to do more.

    “There’s a lot of risk aversion in Washington,” said James B. Lockhart III, who participated in some discussions as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, administrator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, “and I don’t think anybody knew how bad it was going to get.”

    End of the Beginning

    Eighteen months later, the administration’s hopes for a rapid economic recovery had faded. By summer 2010, it knew that the recession had been deeper than initially understood and that the effects of the financial crisis were lingering longer than expected. The housing market still showed no signs of life.

    Frustrated allies — including Congressional Democrats and liberal advocacy groups not normally focused on housing, like the National Council of La Raza — were shouting for new action to prevent foreclosures.

    Still the White House held firm to its strategy. “The most important thing I can do right now to keep people in their homes is to make sure the economy is growing,” the president said in Albuquerque in September 2010. “That’s probably the thing that’s going to strengthen the housing market the most over the next couple of years.”

    Two days later, an important deadline passed quietly. The $700 billion bailout fund Congress had created in 2008 expired. The administration could no longer use the money to finance new programs even if it wanted to. It had left more than $300 billion unspent.

    In November, Democrats lost control of the House, further constraining the administration’s ability to address the housing crisis.

    And right about then, in the fall of 2010, Mr. Obama began to reconsider. The frustrated president told his advisers that what they were doing was not good enough. He told them to revisit old ideas and to find new ones.

    Mr. Obama was particularly incensed by mounting evidence that mortgage companies were breaking the law in some foreclosure cases. There was also new research underscoring the costs of foreclosures and the benefits of measures like debt reduction.

    $$$ Incensed, but not incensed enough to do anything about. Too much effort. Another round of golf!!

    But perhaps most important was the simple reality that housing, left to fester, had become Mr. Obama’s biggest economic problem.

    At a virtual town hall in April 2011, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook read a question that began, “The housing crisis will not go away.”

    The president, perched on a stool, listened gravely and nodded. “Well, it’s a good question,” he said, “and I’ll be honest with you — this is probably the biggest drag on the economy right now.”

    $$$ Translation: “I care about you losing your home because it just might make me lose my humble abode here at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.”

  58. Re: jeswezey
    August 20th, 2012 at 7:15 am

    I do not mean to be argumentative, but you are running contrary with your posts to the majority of Americans. I have worked hard to get Republicans to come here and learn from us and our amassed gold mine of research. You just killed that with your posts. Thanks.
    I think it is time to take a deep breath and make an exit now. IF it is truly ABO for even avowed socialists like you…….then why in the hell are you bashing the ground group of the one that is opposing him; and that is our only hope for SAVING any little piece of America? I love Hillary, less now than in the past, but I love this country more. It is about saving the country….and that has to be accomplished before any potential candidate can even be given a thought. Fact.

  59. Hee, hee, heee! You sure gave this blog it’s “snap- out-of-it” moment, Admin. Didn’t think for a moment the body snatchers had taken you away. Can’t argue with your stellar track record – and for keeping this site true to its mission. That’s why so many keep coming back even when things get a little rough on occasion. Let’s just say our cheeks are a little pinker for the better:

    “Snap out of it!” (MOON STRUCK)

  60. Rights are granted to us by the government

    That is the view of legal positivists, but not those who subscribe to natural law. The legal positivist view was stated succintly by Holmes in an early case: “The common law is not some brooding omnipresence in the sky but the articulate voice of some sovereign or quasi sovereign who will defend them.” Those who subscribe to the notions of natural law will argue that in the absense of government, such rights can be asserted at the end of a bayonette if necessary. In that case, the presence or absense of such rights depends on how proficient one is with a bayonette.

  61. Learned Hand in a eulogy to Oliver Wendell Holmes decribed him as the elderly gentleman with whom you could argue until the cock crowed, but he also forwarned the reader do not get in the way of his work, because in that area, he brooks no interruption. Admin is like that. But it is for a righteous cause.

  62. The legal positivist view was stated succintly by Holmes in an early case: “The common law is not some brooding omnipresence in the sky but the articulate voice of some sovereign or quasi sovereign who will defend them.” Those who subscribe to the notions of natural law will argue that in the absense of government, such rights can be asserted at the end of a bayonette if necessary. In that case, the presence or absense of such rights depends on how proficient one is with a bayonette.


    Or perhaps, how many people are willing to assert them at the end of their pens.

  63. This is a Hillary Clinton supporter website. That’s something some have forgotten.”


    Excellent article, Admin…..and glad you’re back!!!

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