America And World Agree: Obama Is A Failure

Treacherous, incompetent, a tall boob, who once dared advertise himself as a world historical figure of earth shaking importance. The Barack Obama assassination porn purveyors sold the flabby Barack as the great leader too. But we had his number.

By late 2009 most all were in Agreement: Obama Is A Harmful Narcissist. Obama realists always saw Obama as the simpering boy in front of the mirror trying to forget both his parents dumped him as soon as they took a look at him. Obama was the Rodney Dangerfield joke come to life: when he was born the doctor slapped his mother.

As 2014 comes to a close there is universal agreement that Obama is a failure. Once the fanboys and fangirls believed Obama was all he was cranked up to be. But now even his most avid fans can’t help but express “disappointment”:

Will.i.am led the charge of celebrities supporting then-senator Barack Obama on his run for the White House in 2008.

Seven years later, it appears the Black Eyed Peas singer is reconsidering whether his efforts were worth it.

In an interview with Larry King, previewed in a clip shared with Buzzfeed, will.i.am said he is ‘disappointed’ with the current administration and the sentiment is reflected in his despondent facial expressions. [snip]

But will.i.am’s disenchantment shows that Mr Obama is losing the support of even his biggest fans.

Will.i.am was one of Mr Obama’s secret weapons in capturing the youth vote for his 2008 campaign, volunteering to produce an album in support of the candidate called Change is Now: Renewing America’s Promise.

The first single off the album, Yes We Can, featured Mr Obama’s speech following the New Hampshire presidential primary election and appearances by a slew of celebrities including Scarlett Johansson, John Legend and Nick Cannon.

The song went on to garner over four million views on YouTube and win a daytime Emmy award. Another single featured another array of celebrities changing ‘O-BA-MA’.

It does not matter that warblers who praised Obama in 2008 are now disappointed. We certainly don’t care what they think. However it is proof that Obama is acknowledged by even his biggest fans to be a failure.

Like him or hate him, Bill Clinton forces respect even from his enemies. Republicans might say “oh, it was the economic cycle” or “it was the Republican congress” when they discuss Bill Clinton. But even the haters admit that Bill Clinton’s presidency was a success and that Bill Clinton himself was a success.

Ronald Reagan haters might detest Reagan all they want. But even those of us who give credit to the Pope for the collapse of the Soviet Empire of Evil or those of us who despise his economic policies have to admit through gritted teeth that Ronald Reagan’s presidency was a success and that Ronald Reagan himself was a success.

Rudolph Giuliani haters, hate themselves for admitting that Rudolph Giuliani was a successful mayor of New York City. “Rudy” haters can quibble with crime statistics and try to grab some of the credit for other mayors but there is no doubt that Rudy Giuliani was a successful mayor.

After the attacks on the World Trade Center Rudy Giuliani was dubbed “America’s Mayor” – he was that successful. Hate Rudy all you want but love him or hate him there is no doubt that Rudy Giuliani’s mayoralty was a success and Rudy Giuliani himself was a success.

Barack Obama has two more years to go and only then can the final epitaph be written on his tombstone. But there can be no doubt that Barack Obama’s presidency has been a failure. A colossal failure.

We saw the colossal failure of Barack Obama this last weekend of 2014.

In New York City this past weekend tens of thousands lined the streets to bid farewell to a fallen police officer. The butchered cop was laid to rest as the tears of his family watered the soil that will hold his remains.

Along with the dead cop we saw buried the last possible notion of the Obama presidency as in any way a success. Back in 2007 the Obama acolytes wrote paeans to “his face”. Obama, it was argued back then would unify the races and bring us all together on a world wide basis.

Grown men and women who should have known better promised an entirely different world once Obama was the leader. Truly dumb promises about the healing powers of Obama spouted from the mouths of fools.

The Obama ‘yes we can-ites’ thought Barack was a Black Moses that would lead the nation and the world to a new enlightenment and era of racial harmony. Instead, a funeral, a failure:

This is the year when the public began to give up on President Obama and concluded that he has been a failure as president. In September, I noted some revealing poll results. [snip]

Respondents were asked: “On balance, do you feel that Obama’s presidency so far has been more of a success or more of a failure?” More than half, 52%, said “failure.” Only 42% said “success.” And it gets worse. Only 22% were “strongly” convinced Obama is a success, while 39% are strongly convinced he’s a failure. And the American people have pretty much made up their minds on this; only 6% of respondents had no clear opinion….

On behalf of long-time critics of Obama, let me say to the American people: welcome to our world.

I went on to count down all the valid reasons for marking Obama down as a failed president. Morning again in America this ain’t.

The Obama disasters are many as some of the most avid Obama fans are forced to admit. In the bars and vacant Hopium drug dens the call is to bring back Clinton, er, Truman Democrats:

Democrats are pushing race and environmental issues when they should be embracing the lunch-bucket themes that once built party dominance. Meanwhile, voters flee.

Once giants walked this earth, and some of them were Democrats. In sharp contrast to the thin gruel that passes for leadership today, the old party of the people, with all its flaws, shaped much of the modern world, and usually for the better. Think of Franklin Roosevelt or Harry Truman, John Kennedy, or California’s Pat Brown, politicians who believed in American greatness, economic growth, and upward mobility.

For more than 40 years, the Democratic Party has drifted far from this tradition, its policies increasingly a blend of racial and gender politics combined with a fashionable brand of environmental fanaticism. No longer does it constitute a reliable, middle class-based alternative to the corporatist mindset of the Republicans. “Today’s Democrats have no more in common with Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson ,” notes author Michael Lind, “than today’s Republicans have in common with Abraham Lincoln or Dwight Eisenhower.

To regain their relevancy, Democrats need to go back to their evolutionary roots. Their clear priorities: faster economic growth and promoting upward mobility for the middle and working classes.

The Obama failure is so acknowledged that we find our words regurgitated from precincts that once viewed us as living in the past and condemned to the dustbin of history. Instead our views, our analysis, is the prevailing wisdom even if today’s leaders don’t have the guts to embrace it on a practical political level.

Barack Obama is a failure. Internationally he is mocked. John F. Kennedy spoke of the eagle on the presidential seal as holding both arrows of military might and an olive branch of peaceful intent. Barack Obama flings arrows at our friends, like Israel, and bows before despots and enemies. At every level, internationally Obama is a joke.

At Obama apologist left redoubts too, such as The Atlantic,
Obama is a failure:

Editor’s Note: Executive Dysfunction
President Obama has done next to nothing to build confidence in government. [snip]

Republicans—at the national level, anyway—run against the government, of course, and any screwup only supports their case. For Democrats the situation is rather different, as Bill Clinton understood. With greater passion even than the Tea Party, his top aides used to call the bureaucracy their enemy; they saw their role as battling the agencies to get action, often via executive order. [snip]

That’s why Clinton was able to stage a comeback after the Republicans shut down the government. Republicans offered Obama a similar opening by shutting the government down again in fall 2013. At almost the same moment, the president rolled out the digital exchange for his cornerstone initiative. Fate could not have contrived a more dramatic opportunity to prove government’s efficacy. Instead, only six people in the country were able to sign up for health care the first day, and, though the system now works and shows signs of controlling costs, its image has never recovered. In that instance, Obama held the central element—the quality of the exchange itself—in his own hands. Though that can’t be said of all the other ways the government has stumbled on his watch, a pattern of inattention, if not disregard, is unmistakable, from the failure of the Minerals Management Service to check on oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, to the sloppy efforts to sort out what to do about children illegally crossing the border.

It’s all a failure. The Obama left will try to concoct excuses for Obama, but on the key points on which his presidency was based Obama has already proved himself a failure. Racial strife is worse than ever in post-racial America. Muslim nut-jobs hate America as much as ever. Trust in government? Try to find it.

Barack Obama is a failure. As 2014 ends Obama’s signature “achievement” ObamaCare is all out poison. His executive diktats now welcomed by Obama Dimocrats will soon prove to be as deadly as Ebola. Nothing can save Obama from the stink of failure oozing from every pore of his being and presidency.

In 2015 Barack Obama will be seen as an even bigger failure than he is today.

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174 thoughts on “America And World Agree: Obama Is A Failure

  1. ObamaCare is such a success:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2014/12/29/nyt-those-temporary-medicaid-reimbursement-rates-really-are-temporary/

    One doctor interviewed by the New York Times about the upcoming cut in Medicaid reimbursement rates calls it a “bait and switch,” in which a seller promises one thing but replaces it with something less valuable. That label, however, misstates the situation with ObamaCare and its supposed cost-curve control. The bait-and-switch took place at the beginning, when the White House and Democrats temporarily suspended reimbursement cuts to Medicare and boosted Medicaid reimbursements, while using them both to paint ObamaCare as deficit neutral and attractive to doctors. This is more of a chickens-coming-home-to-roost moment:

    Just as millions of people are gaining insurance through Medicaid, the program is poised to make deep cuts in payments to many doctors, prompting some physicians and consumer advocates to warn that the reductions could make it more difficult for Medicaid patients to obtain care.

    The Affordable Care Act provided a big increase in Medicaid payments for primary care in 2013 and 2014. But the increase expires on Thursday — just weeks after the Obama administration told the Supreme Court that doctors and other providers had no legal right to challenge the adequacy of payments they received from Medicaid.

    The impact will vary by state, but a study by the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan research organization, estimates that doctors who have been receiving the enhanced payments will see their fees for primary care cut by 43 percent, on average.

    Stephen Zuckerman, a health economist at the Urban Institute and co-author of the report, said Medicaid payments for primary care services could drop by 50 percent or more in California, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania, among other states.

    Doctors have already bailed out of Medicaid even at the higher reimbursement rates.

  2. Amen Admin!!!

    You perfectly summed up the last 6 disastrous years and the dominoes that are set to keep falling for the next two years.

    It’s really hard to believe that it is taken 6 years for some of the most foolish of our population to finally see the truth. Looks like the media and the PokeHerHontas fans have two more years to try and paint a happy face on their puppet jesters.

    Thanks to all your tireless postings Admin, helping us make sense of this political chaos.

  3. If Hillary doesn’t run, then we are all doomed to at least another 4 years of buffoonery no matter which party runs.

  4. I think it was on one of the Sunday shows…could have been Fox…all days seemed mixed up with the holidays…and literally dancing cares away…

    i digress…I happened to hear I think on Fox someone quoting Andrea Merkel on O’s leadership…I was in a rush so did not get it all…but something about her saying that he looks good on the surface but essentially does not have the goods and he cannot lead on charisma alone (or in other words, he is a phony with no there there)… I tried to find it and could not…maybe someone else can find what she said…it was definitely throwing major ‘shade’ on O…

    chalk that one up in the International world category

  5. In an email from Ready4Hillary…

    HUGE news — a new CNN poll released just yesterday shows that if Hillary were to run, she’d win the Democratic nomination with two-thirds of votes.

    Of course, they are asking for donations, just like all the spam from the DNC and MO and BO these days.

    I will only donate to Hillary’s campaign – if she runs.

  6. Hillary has been doing nothing but supporting and protecting the fraud and his actions
    I for one am not in support of this Hillary. Who knows which one would rule?

    The media is out in full force supporting the fraud and saying how popular he is, Gallup..don’t trust anything they push . They and the media absolutely refuse to do their job, they refuse to connect his racist policy with the murder of cops and whites, his betrayal of the American constitution, Israel, his willingness to give Iran a nuclear weapon..This is so insane.

  7. Something to ponder……

    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/2015-elections-113869.html?hp=t2_r

    The 15 political questions for 2015

    Hillary 2.0, wide-open GOP field will dominate politics next year.

    1. Can Hillary change?
    2. Who emerges as the left’s Hillary alternative?
    3. How far will Hillary distance herself from Obama?
    4. Does Jeb scare anyone off from running?
    5) What is Rand’s ceiling?
    6. Can Christie get his outbursts under control?
    7. Will the Republican play to limit presidential debates work?
    8. Does the Supreme Court invalidate the Obamacare subsidies?
    9. Will Boehner’s life be easier?
    10. Can McConnell control his conference?
    11. How often will Obama break out the veto pen?
    12. Will Democrats finally get credit for the booming economy?
    13. Will Obama put more “boots on the ground” in Iraq?
    14. Will Brian Sandoval challenge Harry Reid?
    15. Will Senate retirements put any seats in play?

    Have a read, its a good read….

    Hope you are all well.

  8. a JOY TO SEE……

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2014/12/30/msnbc-closes-2014-in-last-place-hemorrhaging-viewers/

    MSNBC Closes 2014 In Last Place, Hemorrhaging Viewers

    How bad was 2014 for MSNBC?

    So bad, the left-wing cable news network lost the 2014 ratings war to CNN. Yes, that CNN.

    According to Deadline, MSNBC is hemorrhaging viewers, especially in the all-important news demo (viewers aged 25-54):

    [T]hrough December 22, MSNBC lost 17% of its primetime news demo viewers, clocking a worst-since-’05 169,000 of them. To put this in perspective, this is roughly the size crowd as that of the Porcupine Caribou Herd in Alaska, Yukon and Northwest Territories, according to a recent photo census (which, unlike MSNBC, represents an increase in number — the largest population for the Porcupine Caribou Herd since the early 1990s.)

    For the 13th consecutive year, Fox News annihilated its left-wing counterparts at CNN and MSNBC. In total viewers, Fox beat MSNBC and CNN combined.

    In some areas, MSNBC barely beat Headline News:

    2014 total day viewers — total and news demo viewers, respectively:

    Fox News: 1,052,000 – 214,000

    CNN: 399,000 – 126,000

    MSNBC: 347,000 – 108,000

    HLN: 257,000 – 105,000

    2014 primetime viewers — total and news demo viewers, respectively:

    Fox News: 1,756,000 – 301,000

    CNN: 516,000 – 181,000

    MSNBC: 590,000 – 169,000

    HLN: 334,000 – 117,000

    …..

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Msnbc dead in the water

  9. Another great one, Admin. The Atlantic, which was so pro-Obama they should have changed their name to O’s Atlantic, now seeing the light (not the “light bringer” as some called Obama). For every article The Atlantic (and other like-minded media outlets) publishes in which there is recognition of Obama’s inability to make the heavens open and those celestial choirs sing, there needs to be an apology, or at least an acknowledgement of the magazine’s culpability in placing this dud in the oval. Even a simple caveat at the end of each article stating the following would suffice: “We know we helped elect Obama. We’re a bunch of dumb-asses”

    Even Andrea Mitchell has seen the light, as S mentioned. Amazing. If she had any damn sense, she would be too embarrassed to comment on Obama’s failures – without also issuing an apology. She propped him up at every opportunity. And, in 2008, her dagger was one of many belonging to various media personalities (not journalists – not by a long shot) shoved into Hillary’s back. Every time Andrea, MoDo, Soledad, Tingles, and all the other Obama shills in media open their vile, smug, arrogant mouths, the public should just see their words as one long stream of bullshit . The fact that these so-called journalists could not see exactly who Obama was, what he represented, and his numerous limitations is proof positive that their judgement was and is impaired. They are irrelevant. They’re not honest. They’re not insightful. They have no credibility. Nothing they say is worth listening to – unless they first apologize to the American public for misleading those who actually trusted them and listened to them. On second thought, not even an apology would ever make them relevant again. Anyone capable of being so duped and bamboozled is too stupid to bother with.

  10. In the movie The Night of the Generals, there is the scene where a German Police Officer tells his French counterpart, that he is unimpressed by the belated decision by a group of senior Wermacht officers including Rommel and the Military Governor of France to condemn and plot against Hitler, because, as he put it they were all for Hitler when they were winning the war, but now that they are losing the war they are all keen to save themselves.

    How ironic/

    How similar to the reaction by certain members of big media–by not their overlords in New York, to distance themselves from Obama, in ways that Hillary will not—she will stand by him to the end, which is a classic mistake, by the way. If these scions of big media recant their faith in this liar–four elections later, to quote Hillary in a different context: what difference does it make, or journalists do not create the news, the administration does.

  11. It will be a cold day in hell—like minus 457 degrees farenheit, before I donate a penny to Hillary’s campaign.

    Goldman Sacks et al. will provide all the money she needs to win the nomination.

    And they will get from her more than they paid for.

    Just like all the rest of the establishment politicians.

    There again is the truth–with the bark off.

    Let me reverse the polls.

    Hillary says businesses do not create jobs.

    I thought they did, but obviously I am wrong.

    But there is one thing you can take to the bank.

    Government can create jobs in China.

    Through the crony capitalism practiced by the bi partisan political establishment.

    And though that same crony capitalism, they can create open borders and a race to the bottom.

    That, more than anything else, is where this damned thing is heading.

  12. If it took 6 years for the public to wake up to the fraud called Obama, it will take them another 10 to realize that the establishment wing of both parties has brought this nation down in order to reward their donors. That is how the game is played and all the incentives and all the contraints compel that result. All we will get from Hillary is a year of the woman fairy tale, and no relief for the real problems that plague this nation, and its future. Anyone who tells you otherwise is clueless. The entire momentum is in the wrong direction and Hillary will not reverse it any more than she will oppose Obama. And anyone who thinks Bush or Christy is the answer is crazier than a march hare.

  13. Free

    Even a simple caveat at the end of each article stating the following would suffice: “We know we helped elect Obama. We’re a bunch of dumb-asses”

    ——
    You always brighten my day.

  14. Wbb

    All we will get from Hillary is a year of the woman fairy tale

    —-
    Good thing you’re not a woman or you might find statements like this real damn offensive!

  15. Its total insanity….where will this insanity end……so tragic…

    AP: A two-year-old boy has accidentally shot and killed his mother at a Wal-Mart in the U.S. state of Idaho.

    Good lord, honestly. I’d never carry a gun near a child.

  16. http://www.krem.com/story/news/local/kootenai-county/2014/12/30/deadly-shooting-kills-hayden-walmart-shopper/21058855/

    HAYDEN, Idaho—Employees evacuated the Hayden Walmart on Tuesday following a shooting inside the store.

    Authorities on the scene around 11:15 a.m. described the shooting as “accidental.”

    A woman was shopping with four kids, when one of the kids reached into her purse and accidentally discharged the weapon, according to Kootenai County Sheriff’s Deputies at the scene.

    The gunshot killed the 29-year-old woman. Deputies on scene said the child who accidentally fired the handgun was about 2-years-old.

    Deputies said the woman and children were in the back of the store near the electronics area when it happened. Deputies said the woman was in town for holidays and is not from the area.

    Video surveillance in the store, along with eye witness testimony helped deputies determine that this was an accident.

    Authorities said the woman did have a concealed weapons permit.

  17. freespirit,

    I appreciate your comment above re: the Atlantic…

    however it is worse than that…the person I was actually referring to was Angela Merkel (I made a mistake calling her Andrea)and I have found something that I think referred to the comments I heard Sun morning

    in Jan 2015 Vanity Fair

    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/2015/01/angela-merkel-profile#

    snip…

    From the beginning of his first presidential campaign, when all of Germany seemed to develop a mad, passionate crush on Barack Obama, Merkel, perhaps because she is no orator, was highly suspicious of Obama’s appeal. First she was against his giving a campaign speech at the Brandenburg Gate in 2008, which seemed intended as a kind of encore to Reagan’s “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” and an echo of J.F.K.’s “Ich Bin ein Berliner.” Instead, candidate Obama spoke before 200,000 people, the largest crowd of the entire campaign, at the nearby Tiergarten. Dirk Kurbjuweit says that, at the time, Merkel told him that Obama’s charisma—the very idea of which is antithetical to everything that is Angela Merkel—was overrated: “When he’s running, he can shine, but when he is in office he will have very different tasks. You can’t solve the tasks with charisma.”

    *********************

    Angela and Hillary have a common analysis of O’s leadership

  18. Obama Adviser Jonathan Gruber In 2009: Obamacare Will NOT Be Affordable

    President Obama’s health care adviser Jonathan Gruber said that the Affordable Care Act would definitely not be affordable while he was writing the bill with the White House.

    As Gruber continues to withhold documents while he awaits a call-back for more testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the new year, more shocking information is coming to light detailing the deceptions that went into the writing of the health-care law.

    Gruber said that Obamacare had no cost controls in it and would not be affordable in an October 2009 policy brief, presented here exclusively by TheDC. At the time, Gruber had already personally counseled Obama in the Oval Office and served on Obama’s presidential transition team. Obama, meanwhile, told the American people that their premiums would go down dramatically.

    “The problem is it starts to go hand in hand with the mandate; you can’t mandate insurance that’s not affordable. This is going to be a major issue,” Gruber admitted in an October 2, 2009 lecture, the transcript of which comprised the policy brief.

    “So what’s different this time? Why are we closer than we’ve ever been before? Because there are no cost controls in these proposals. Because this bill’s about coverage. Which is good! Why should we hold 48 million uninsured people hostage to the fact that we don’t yet know how to control costs in a politically acceptable way? Let’s get the people covered and then let’s do cost control.”

    Gruber also said that the only way to control costs is to effectively deny treatment.

    “The real substance of cost control is all about a single thing: telling patients they can’t have something they want. It’s about telling patients, ‘That surgery doesn’t do any good, so if you want it you have to pay the full cost.’”

    “There’s no reason the American health care system can’t be, ‘You can have whatever you want, you just have to pay for it.’ That’s what we do in other walks of life. We don’t say everyone has to have a large screen TV. If you want a large screen TV, you have to pay for it. Basically the notion would be to move to a level where everyone has a solid basic insurance level of coverage. Above that people pay on their own, without tax-subsidized dollars, to buy a higher level of coverage.”

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/12/30/obama-adviser-jonathan-gruber-in-2009-obamacare-will-not-be-affordable/

  19. wbboei
    December 30, 2014 at 12:50 pm
    ————————————

    I think it is way too early to count Hillary out. She stood up to the Othugs until her supporters started getting murdered in 2008. She has lived to fight another day.

    We have yet to see, for what.

  20. National Journal writes the conventional:

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/white-house/barack-obama-had-a-really-terrible-year-20141230

    Barack Obama Had a Really Terrible Year
    ISIS, Ferguson, the Senate, Ukraine, Ebola, border kids. Really, this was a pretty awful sixth year for the president. Not that he’s acting like it.

    December 30, 2014 You can make a compelling case that 2014 was the worst year for President Obama since, well, the year before. And, in fact, the president spent much of this year trying to recover from some body blows he took in the final months of 2013, when, in short order, Congress rebuffed him on Syria and the federal health care exchange imploded.

    Those setbacks ate away at Obama’s public support. According to Gallup, the president began 2014 with a 41 percent approval rating, and he’s ending it a tick or two higher. He’s also ending the year as a certified lame duck, facing two final years with a hostile Congress and the political conversation centering around the likes of Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, and Rand Paul.

    Losing the Senate punctuated a year when Obama again saw more bad moments than good, and largely garnered more criticism than praise, especially from fellow Democrats, who were quick to blame him as the party’s political fortunes declined. More that that, though, it was a year of stomach-churning uncertainty, with one airliner disappearing over the Pacific and another being shot down over Europe, a savage terrorist threat on the march in Iraq, continued civil war in Syria, and Ebola raging through Africa and touching the U.S.

  21. Reality won’t go away:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-30/greenspan-throws-a-wet-blanket-on-hopes-for-u-s-growth-breakout.html

    Just when you thought the U.S. economy was roaring back to health, Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is here to tell you otherwise.

    “The United States is doing better than anybody else, but we’re still not doing all that well,” Greenspan, 88, said today in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop” with Betty Liu. “We still have a very sluggish economy.”

    Greenspan said the economy won’t fully recover until American companies invest more in productive assets and the housing market bounces back.

    “Almost all of the weakness in the last four, five, six years has been in long-lived investments” in capital goods and real estate, Greenspan said. “Until these pick up, we’re not going to get the kind of vibrant growth that everyone is hoping for.

    Greenspan, who retired from the Fed’s helm in January 2006, said he expects growth to dip below a 3 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of this year. His forecast is in line with the estimate of 2.5 percent in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

    He spoke a week after revised figures showed gross domestic product expanded at a 5 percent rate in the third quarter, the fastest pace since 2003. The data helped drive the Dow Jones Industrial Average above 18,000 for the first time.

  22. The Gruber ObamaCare news is worth a repeat:

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/12/30/obama-adviser-jonathan-gruber-in-2009-obamacare-will-not-be-affordable/

    “The problem is it starts to go hand in hand with the mandate; you can’t mandate insurance that’s not affordable. This is going to be a major issue,” Gruber admitted in an October 2, 2009 lecture, the transcript of which comprised the policy brief.

    “So what’s different this time? Why are we closer than we’ve ever been before? Because there are no cost controls in these proposals. Because this bill’s about coverage. Which is good! Why should we hold 48 million uninsured people hostage to the fact that we don’t yet know how to control costs in a politically acceptable way? Let’s get the people covered and then let’s do cost control.”

    Gruber also said that the only way to control costs is to effectively deny treatment.

    “The real substance of cost control is all about a single thing: telling patients they can’t have something they want. It’s about telling patients, ‘That surgery doesn’t do any good, so if you want it you have to pay the full cost.’” [snip]

    And despite the president’s pitches to the contrary, Obama also knew that his health care bill was unlikely to control costs, Gruber said.

    “I wish that President Obama could have stood up and said, ‘You know, I don’t know if this bill is going to control costs. It might, it might not. We’re doing our best. But let me tell you what it’s going to do…” Gruber said on a San Francisco podcast in 2012.

    “If he could make that speech? Instead, he says ‘I’m going to pass a bill that will lower your health care costs.’ That sells. Now, I wish the world was different. I wish people cared about the 50 million uninsured in America…But, you know, they don’t. And I think, once again, I’m amazed politically that we got this bill through.

  23. Shadowfax
    December 30, 2014 at 2:34 pm
    Wbb

    All we will get from Hillary is a year of the woman fairy tale

    —-
    Good thing you’re not a woman or you might find statements like this real damn offensive!

    —–
    Before you get too offended consider what this article says.

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090503_buying_brand_obama

    Now granted this is not about Hillary, but the same forces are in play.

    Only now, this time, its the gender card rather than the race card.

    The system we have is corrupt and the American People are the losers.

    More so than ever.

    In 2008, I believed the problem could be solved by Hillary.

    Watching her praise and mimic Obama however has disabuse me of any such notion.

    Seeing her accept $250,000 stipends for speeches to Wall Street audiences

    Seeing her campaign planned in the offices of Goldman Sachs

    All lead me to the same conclusion

    Sadly, I no longer believe the system can be reformed by an insider.

  24. From the beginning of his first presidential campaign, when all of Germany seemed to develop a mad, passionate crush on Barack Obama . . .
    ——-
    They had the same reaction to Hitler/

    I promise you, the kind of blind passion and uncritical judgment of the charismatic leader which they have is genetic.

    And the world pays for it.

  25. bstonesfan
    December 30, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Unfortunately his poll numbers are on the rise.

    It makes you realize how our country has really changed in terms of it’s core beliefs.

    ——-
    Maybe.

    But that assumes the country had core beliefs to begin with.

    I am not sure they do any more.

    To the elite class, the American Public is no different than any other market which they manipulate through lies etc.

    Jb I think that Chris Hedges, an honest man of the left, identifies the root cause of this shift in a few paragraphs:

    1. Celebrity culture has leeched into every aspect of our culture, including politics, to bequeath to us what Benjamin DeMott called “junk politics.” Junk politics does not demand justice or the reparation of rights. Junk politics personalizes and moralizes issues rather than clarifying them. “It’s impatient with articulated conflict, enthusiastic about America’s optimism and moral character, and heavily dependent on feel-your-pain language and gesture,” DeMott noted. The result of junk politics is that nothing changes – “meaning zero interruption in the processes and practices that strengthen existing, interlocking systems of socioeconomic advantage.” It redefines traditional values, tilting “courage toward braggadocio, sympathy toward mawkishness, humility toward self-disrespect, identification with ordinary citizens toward distrust of brains.” Junk politics “miniaturizes large, complex problems at home while maximizing threats from abroad. It’s also given to abrupt unexplained reversals of its own public stances, often spectacularly bloating problems previously miniaturized.” And finally, it “seeks at every turn to obliterate voters’ consciousness of socioeconomic and other differences in their midst.”

    2. An image-based culture, one dominated by junk politics, communicates through narratives, pictures and carefully orchestrated spectacle and manufactured pseudo-drama. Scandalous affairs, hurricanes, earthquakes, untimely deaths, lethal new viruses, train wrecks—these events play well on computer screens and television. International diplomacy, labor union negotiations and convoluted bailout packages do not yield exciting personal narratives or stimulating images. A governor who patronizes call girls becomes a huge news story. A politician who proposes serious regulatory reform, universal health care or advocates curbing wasteful spending is boring. Kings, queens and emperors once used their court conspiracies to divert their subjects. Today cinematic, political and journalistic celebrities distract us with their personal foibles and scandals. They create our public mythology. Acting, politics and sports have become, as they were during the reign of Nero, interchangeable.

    3. In an age of images and entertainment, in an age of instant emotional gratification, we do not seek reality. Reality is complicated. Reality is boring. We are incapable or unwilling to handle its confusion. We ask to be indulged and comforted by clichés, stereotypes and inspirational messages that tell us we can be whoever we seek to be, that we live in the greatest country on Earth, that we are endowed with superior moral and physical qualities, and that our future will always be glorious and prosperous, either because of our own attributes, or our national character, or because we are blessed by God. Reality is not accepted as an impediment to our desires. Reality does not make us feel good.

    4. In his book “Public Opinion,” Walter Lippmann distinguished between “the world outside and the pictures in our heads.” He defined a “stereotype” as an oversimplified pattern that helps us find meaning in the world. Lippmann cited examples of the crude “stereotypes we carry about in our heads” of whole groups of people such as “Germans,” “South Europeans,” “Negroes,” “Harvard men,” “agitators” and others. These stereotypes, Lippmann noted, give a reassuring and false consistency to the chaos of existence. They offer easily grasped explanations of reality and are closer to propaganda because they simplify rather than complicate.

    5. Pseudo-events—dramatic productions orchestrated by publicists, political machines, television, Hollywood or advertisers—however, are very different. They have, as Daniel Boorstin wrote in “The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America,” the capacity to appear real even though we know they are staged. They are capable, because they can evoke a powerful emotional response, of overwhelming reality and replacing reality with a fictional narrative that often becomes accepted truth. The unmasking of a stereotype damages and often destroys its credibility. But pseudo-events, whether they show the president in an auto plant or a soup kitchen or addressing troops in Iraq, are immune to this deflation. The exposure of the elaborate mechanisms behind the pseudo-event only adds to its fascination and its power. This is the basis of the convoluted television reporting on how effectively political campaigns and politicians have been stage-managed. Reporters, especially those on television, no longer ask if the message is true but if the pseudo-event worked or did not work as political theater. Pseudo-events are judged on how effectively we have been manipulated by illusion. Those events that appear real are relished and lauded. Those that fail to create a believable illusion are deemed failures. Truth is irrelevant. Those who succeed in politics, as in most of the culture, are those who create the brands and pseudo-events that offer the most convincing fantasies. And this is the art Obama has mastered.

    5. A public that can no longer distinguish between truth and fiction is left to interpret reality through illusion. Random facts or obscure bits of data and trivia are used to bolster illusion and give it credibility or are discarded if they interfere with the message. The worse reality becomes—the more, for example, foreclosures and unemployment skyrocket—the more people seek refuge and comfort in illusions. When opinions cannot be distinguished from facts, when there is no universal standard to determine truth in law, in science, in scholarship, or in reporting the events of the day, when the most valued skill is the ability to entertain, the world becomes a place where lies become true, where people can believe what they want to believe. This is the real danger of pseudo-events and why pseudo-events are far more pernicious than stereotypes. They do not explain reality, as stereotypes attempt to, but replace reality. Pseudo-events redefine reality by the parameters set by their creators. These creators, who make massive profits peddling these illusions, have a vested interest in maintaining the power structures they control.

    6. The old production-oriented culture demanded what the historian Warren Susman termed character. The new consumption-oriented culture demands what he called personality. The shift in values is a shift from a fixed morality to the artifice of presentation. The old cultural values of thrift and moderation honored hard work, integrity and courage. The consumption-oriented culture honors charm, fascination and likability. “The social role demanded of all in the new culture of personality was that of a performer,” Susman wrote. “Every American was to become a performing self.”

    7. The junk politics practiced by Obama is a consumer fraud. It is about performance. It is about lies. It is about keeping us in a perpetual state of childishness. But the longer we live in illusion, the worse reality will be when it finally shatters our fantasies. Those who do not understand what is happening around them and who are overwhelmed by a brutal reality they did not expect or foresee search desperately for saviors. They beg demagogues to come to their rescue. This is the ultimate danger of the Obama Brand. It effectively masks the wanton internal destruction and theft being carried out by our corporate state. These corporations, once they have stolen trillions in taxpayer wealth, will leave tens of millions of Americans bereft, bewildered and yearning for even more potent and deadly illusions, ones that could swiftly snuff out what is left of our diminished open society.

    Chris Hedges’ new book, “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle,” will be out in July and can be preordered on Amazon or at your local bookstore.

  26. This also explains what happened in Ferguson. And the question the bewildered public asks is who should we hang: Sharpton or the cops. But either way we need a hanging. Not because it will solve the problem—which is precisely what Hedges talks about. The reason is we need the spectacle and we need to live in the world of illusion where we are in control. We are being played. Bear in mind, as bad as he is, a demogogue of the lowest order, Sharpton is royalty in the democrat party and he a host of corporate America–NBC news cable affiliate. We are being played, not only to attract audiences, but to control how we perceive the world, or as Hedges puts it, their empire of illusion.

  27. Before you get too offended consider what this article says.

    ——-
    Too late, I already am offended and was the last time you said it and we had a conversation about it.

    This is something that Hillary has worked very hard on for women, for decades and some comment by whoever doesn’t change or diminish her hard work.

    Don’t forget Wbb, women make up half of the population of the planet, and damn, we still are fighting for equality. That might be some token fairy tale to you, but it isn’t to millions of women. Yes, and women make up the working class too, besides having to be the primary caretaker of their children and families. How many working mothers make less then there male counterparts and still rush home, cook, clean and keep their families together.

  28. OT

    Gonzotx – I watched The Fall per your recommendation. I was happy to see that Scully from the XFiles was in it. What did you think of the finale?

  29. Shadowfax
    December 30, 2014 at 9:10 pm
    —–
    The mere fact that half the population is female means that half the population would be offended as you are at the suggestion that promoting Hillary because she is a woman is acceptable. Just remember, she herself said in 2008 when she made sense to me that she was not running because she was a woman, but that is not how the table will be set this time. At that time, she could say she had the experience for the job, and the agenda that people like me on the front line could go out and promote to the public when we canvassed. Our demographic was at the middle and lower half of the population, and it took me into old factory towns, superstitious people, laid to ruin by the rise and fall of corporate actions. This world was far afield from the world of Goldman Sachs and I mentioned before I set up a campaign office in Kitani at the old democatic party headquarters and somewhere nearby a female pundit for ABC news Linda (?) who later went to work with Obama and her husband held a million dollar dinner for Obama. Two different worlds. In the world of advertising this year of the woman stuff is called branding, and branding is no substitute for the customer experience with the product. The cliche is branding is for cattle. History proves that I have been willing to promote women I have confidence in and nowhere has that been more true than in politics. But the problem any more, as I perceive it is systemic and beyond the capacity of any establishment politician to rectify it.

  30. The deception endemic to our system is to promote someone as new and difference when they are just part of the system. That is where the bait and switch comes in. Professor Sheldon Wolin calls our politics managed democracy and inverted totalitarianism, controlled by the corporate state, e.g. Goldman Sachs. Elections are decided at the superficial level of personality, rather than a substantive differences. Why do you think Goldman supported Obama in 2008? Was it because it made them feel good about themselves? Or was it because they saw him as a vehicle to bamboozle the public while they looted billions from taxpayers. In effect, as the Spanish elites saw Generalissimo Franco when they brought him back from North Africa to protect them against the communists who were killing priests and burning churches: a general willing to fire on his own troops. That is Obama in a nutshell.

  31. Linda Douglas was that phony elitist ABC reporter’s name who threw lavish fundraisers for candidate Obama, and went on to become a media regulator in the White House after he was elected–as part of the revolving door between this white house and big media.

  32. S, I know. I realized it as I was skimming through the comments again. I was referring to Andrea Mitchell, obviously. My bad. Shoulda known she had not suddenly developed insight. The other Angela exhibited insight and backbone.

    _______

    Shadow

    ——-
    Too late, I already am offended and was the last time you said it and we had a conversation about it.

    This is something that Hillary has worked very hard on for women, for decades and some comment by whoever doesn’t change or diminish her hard work.

    Don’t forget Wbb, women make up half of the population of the planet, and damn, we still are fighting for equality. That might be some token fairy tale to you, but it isn’t to millions of women. Yes, and women make up the working class too, besides having to be the primary caretaker of their children and families. How many working mothers make less then there male counterparts and still rush home, cook, clean and keep their families together.

    _________

    I totally agree Shadow. Wbb, you have great insights and superior knowledge about many things. But, I’m not sure you fully grasp the seriousness of the gender equality issue.

    I think most men would be surprised at the level of anger many women feel because of the cumulative effect of hundreds upon hundreds of implicit and explicit put downs women either experience personally and directly, or witness other women experience, individually and collectively .

    The fact that In the 21st century some very large, very prominent religious organizations continue to assert that even their gods consider women second-rate, is pretty appalling – also pretty telling.

  33. freespirit
    December 30, 2014 at 10:17 pm
    ———-
    What I am understanding you to say is that women feel oppressed and electing Hillary would be a way to get even?

    Well then, if I were a Republican establishment figure I would counter by electing a younger woman with executive experience as vice president.

    My choice would be Nikki Haley.

    Its the wrong game in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Maybe gender politics or racial politics wins elections.

    But if the end game is always the same, i.e. rewarding donors at the expense of the American People

    It is an exercise in futility.

    At this point, I have seen damned near everything, and the only thing I believe is that Hedges speaks the truth.

    I could disagree with him as to the solution, but sure as god made little green apples, he has nailed the problem.

  34. What I am understanding you to say is that women feel oppressed and electing Hillary would be a way to get even?

    ———–

    Somehow women supporting Hillary because she fights for rights of American’s and has fought for women’s rights for decades…has been interpreted by you and some other men that women will support Hillary just because she is a woman.

    You really don’t understand what I was saying at all.

    I have never supported Hillary because she was JUST a woman.

    Just like I never supported Bill Clinton because he was JUST a man.

  35. I would counter by electing a younger woman with executive experience as vice president.

    My choice would be Nikki Haley.

    —–
    Well, that is the cherry on the top. A younger woman than Hillary…

    I am going to step away from the blog before I blow a fuse.

  36. Well, that is the cherry on the top. A younger woman than Hillary…

    I am going to step away from the blog before I blow a fuse.
    ___________

    Priceless!

    wbb, like Shadow, I won’t vote for Hillary solely because of her gender. I would like to see a woman in the WH – but not just any woman. The mere fact that we are discussing the potential election of the first female president of this country should not go unnoticed. Certainly, the reason that her election, should it happen, would place the first woman in the history of this country into the WH cannot be attributed to the fact that there is a shortage of smart, capable women in American. It can be attributed to gender inequality. That’s an inescapable fact. It’s a wrong that needs to be righted.

  37. Well, that is the cherry on the top. A younger woman than Hillary…

    I am going to step away from the blog before I blow a fuse.

    ——
    You blanch at the idea that the Republicans would use age to their advantage?

    They may write off a certain number of votes if they do.

    Yours and mine perhaps because we are part of Hillary’s generation.

    But younger people will say what they said about Obama—my generation.

    This is the whole problem with identity politics.

    It is why I said it is the wrong game in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Read my next line.

    Gender politics like racial politics is the wrong game at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    And it should be obvious that if you go down that path then age is the next step.

    Notice I also said executive experience.

    The only question that counts is can an establishment candidate reform a system badly in need of it.

    Can a candidate whose candidacy is conceived in the offices of Goldman Sachs and funded by same be independent

    That is the question to focus upon.

    That is the mistake I see in Hillary’s 2016 strategy.

  38. I am sorry if you are mad at me for pointing this out.

    However, it is the obvious chess move by the Republican.

    It is part of the same logic which induces them to work with Obama

    Despite what they promised the voters who elected them.

    Their goal is not to advance the interests of the American People

    It is to advance the interests of the party

    By proving that they can govern, thereby rebutting the charge that they are obstructionist.

    This is where political logic takes us.

    And as a female candidate I was close to said, it ain’t bean bag.

  39. The only question that counts is can an establishment candidate reform a system badly in need of it.

    Can a candidate whose candidacy is conceived in the offices of Goldman Sachs and funded by same be independent

    —————-
    That is a fair question to both candidates in 2016.

    Since the RINO who is the Republican nominee will be courting Wall Street as well.

    In 2008, I applauded Hillary for questioning whether venture capitalism had gone too far.

    And I despised Obama, because his candidacy was conceived by Soros and his lieutenant Robert Wolfe (UBC)

    In those days, she had some support on Wall Street, but the good sense to hold them at arms length.

    At a high value donor dinner I attended for her in 2007 she said she would look to business to help her address the problems of the nation.

    At the same time, it was clear to me that Obama would look to those business interests for an entirely different purpose which was and has proven to be hostile to the interests of the nation—payola.

    Now, I see her emulating Obama more than herself six years ago in that respect as well.

  40. In a controlled political system like we have the process of winning elections has been reduced to black art. Meaningful discourse and citizen input has been discarded. The polls and the pollsters we have today are part of the control mechanism, and do not reflect the interests of the people. For better or for worse, the scales have fallen from my eyes.

  41. Before we get into New Year’s celebrations, just one more word about Christmas (the ‘season’ isn’t really over yet for many).

    Just coming back today after spending Christmas in the UAE, I find a debate here about the value of wishing a Merry Christmas to everyone even if they don’t celebrate it themselves. That debate seems quite pertinent to me, since I spent 2 hours on Christmas day visiting the huge, garish Mosque in Abu Dhabi where the guide studiously avoided mentioning Christmas at all.

    On the other hand, the hotel, which is staffed only by foreigners from India and Bangladesh and the Philippines, set up a huge artificial fir tree with lights, ornaments and fake snow in the hotel lobby, surrounded it with empty boxes brightly wrapped to look like Christmas gifts, made out a special Christmas menu in the restaurant and had all the staffers go around wishing people a Merry Christmas — again, making sure they said it only to foreigners like us.

    There is Christmas the religious event and Christmas the social event, involving brightly lit streets, Christmas carolers, a bearded Santa Clause with his ho-ho-ho and a huge commercial bonanza. To those who claim to be atheists or non-religious, or those who simply point out that nobody really knows when Jesus was born, I don’t feel there is any hypocrisy taking part in the ‘social event’ considering that the “Christmas spirit” is one of giving, and anyone can take joy in giving gifts to friends, children, or even adversaries.

    On the other hand, while I don’t understand why anyone would take offense at a misdirected “Merry Christmas”, I do fully understand why some people don’t celebrate Christmas — even religious people — as the ‘social event’ that it is.

    That comes from my Grandma, who was pastor of her own evangelical church and all she would ever do at Christmas was to deliver a service on Christmas eve and then stay at home and read or visit with friends all the following day. She never gave any gifts, and never accepted any. She was mortified by the commercial bonanza of Christmas. I feel the same way.

    Anyway, I got what I was asking for in the UAE — no Christmas celebration forced on me other than a respectful “Merry Christmas” from the concierge and paid staff.

    But (a little off-topic) there was another thing about these UAE holidays — they began with a big bang: While I was waiting in the check-in line at the airport, I noticed a tall slender Arab woman flitting around behind and in front of the check-in desks, talking with clerks and passengers. She seemed to be in charge.

    When I got to the counter, we asked for seats at the emergency exits so I could stretch my legs during the flight. The clerk looked on the screen for a few seconds and then called the sleek Arab woman for help. When she came up behind the check-in counter, she looked at me and took my breath away: Could she possibly be who I thought she was?

    I said, “Excuse me for gawking, ma’am, but you look exactly like someone I know from magazines and books….” She laughed and said, “I’ve been told that before: you’re thinking of Huma Abedin, right?”

    She had never met Ms. Abedin, but she had “met” Hillary once in Oman because Hillary made the same mistake I did — breaking rank with her coterie to come ask ‘Huma’ why she was standing on the sidelines. She said about a half-dozen people had taken her for Huma Abedin.

    She said her job was similar to Huma’s, since she was Etihad staff manager at CDG. She then told me I was the first American she had met boarding Etihad out of CDG, bid goodbye and left the desk. The clerk gave us our tickets, marked “Business Class”, and told us “Aisha” had upgraded us to Business because there were no Emergency Exit seats left. It was a perfect Christmas gift, because those were the best flight accommodations I’ve ever had.

    Now that Christmas is out of the way and we are at the last day of the year, here’s hoping you all have a great New Year’s celebration!

  42. Jason Horowitz published an in-depth article in the NYT Magazine entitled “Can Liberal Zionists Count on Hillary Clinton?”, based on an interview with Rabbi Daniel Zemel, a ‘liberal’ American Zionist.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/21/magazine/can-liberal-zionists-count-on-hillary-clinton.html?_r=0

    A very good read and I find it to be clear-eyed. It explains the support of liberal American Jewry for Obama. I think jbstonesfan in particular would be enlightened by that. Zemel is frustrated by the fact that some American Jews think you have to toe the Likud line (i.e. Netanyahu) or else they consider you to be anti-Israel.

    Zemel claims that he is bewildered by HRC’s apparent hard-line views on Likud-driven Israel, aligned with the increasingly right-wing turn of the country’s population, which Zemel finds to be appalling. Zemel also says he feels HRC is taking the hard line because that has to be her public position, whereas her “real” position is closer to his and to liberal J Street.

  43. wbboei December 30, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    It will be a cold day in hell… before I donate a penny to Hillary’s campaign.

    Wow, talk about opposition! Isn’t there anything HRC could do to win back your love from Shrub3? Or is it the two-headed dentist you’re rooting for?

    Hillary says businesses do not create jobs. I thought they did, but obviously I am wrong.

    Well, we had a little row over that a few weeks ago. Do I have to go through that explanation all over again?

    Government can create jobs in China.

    Yeah, we can agree on that. But my question is: Which Government? In fact, it is the Chinese government, working hand in hand with American business interests, that creates jobs in China. So governments can create jobs, but businesses create jobs only as a sideline — Their object is not to increase their operating expenses with more employees, but to make money for themselves and their shareholders.

    HRC, both as Senator and as Secretary of State, followed the example of German, French and British prime ministers and spent a good deal of her time and energy promoting American products and services overseas. Her efforts brought rewards in in terms of exports for dozens of American businesses, and those businesses (and their employees) are far more ready than you are to donate to Hillary’s campaign.

  44. wbboei December 30, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    … All we will get from Hillary is a year of the woman fairy tale, and no relief for the real problems that plague this nation, and its future. Anyone who tells you otherwise is clueless. The entire momentum is in the wrong direction and Hillary will not reverse it any more than she will oppose Obama. And anyone who thinks Bush or Christie is the answer is crazier than a March hare.

    This thick stream of negativity is hard to counter, perhaps because I am clueless or crazier than a March hare. But what I would first point out in reaction is simply that you seem to be totally bummed out, as I was on the day after the midterm elections. It’s all negative: the future is black and there’s no way out.

    Today’s article provides the setting. After an all-positive Christmas article, we get an all-negative New Year’s article. Everything about Obola has been, is, and will be bad forever and ever, and the stupid American people are just catching on now. Oh, woe is us.

    And yet, as I have tentatively predicted several times since the midterms, we are now getting:

    jbstonesfan December 30, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Unfortunately his poll numbers are on the rise.

    This at least helps to explain why HRC is not going negative on Obama. Calling for this incessantly, seeing it as the only way out, is pointless. HRC is simply not going to do it.

    Plus, as I’ve said before and will repeat as often as you like, it is not in her panoply of political arts to define herself negatively from anyone else. She’s an adult and personally I resent people saying that she has to act like an adolescent in order to please them.

    If you would like to have a happier New Year, think of it this way.

    What she needs — and what she is looking for as we speak — is a campaign rationale that fits in with a national and global vision for America; and one of the fundamental components of this rationale already is, and will be, the economic and political empowerment of women and the well-being of girls, both at home and abroad. You call this a “fairy tale”, but I wouldn’t dare call it that. It’s far too important.

    What she does not need is to shadowbox with a sitting president of her own party. Nobody ever does this, with the exception of Teddy K versus Jimmy Carter in 1980, and we all know how that turned out.

  45. Lu4PUMA December 30, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    (wbboei
December 30, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    I think it is way too early to count Hillary out.

    Say it like it is, girl!

  46. admin December 30, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Reality won’t go away:

    Greenspan said the economy won’t fully recover until American companies invest more in productive assets and the housing market bounces back.

    Quite true. What Greenspan does not say, though, is that companies have all the money they need to invest, but will not do so unless there is adequate demand for their products. They’re not crazy, nor are they into philanthropy. No demand = no investment.

    The Savings = Investment equation does not hold since 2008. Companies are sitting on a $1.6 trillion stockpile of cash (savings) that they are not investing because investment would be suicidal with no one to buy their products.

    The economy is driven by demand, and supply-side economics is a load of bullshit. It’s why, when I hear Republicans talk economics, I get the impression I’m listening to some guy who dropped out of Economics 101 after the first two weeks.

    There are only a few ways for the government to shore up demand: One is deficit spending, which is the one reason the economic hasn’t collapsed completely since 2008; and another is a minimum wage increase, which the Dems are now actively calling for.

    With the Republicans now in power, there is little hope for a minimum wage increase and there is a lot of pressure to curb the deficit spending. This is the big challenge for the Dems over the coming two years.

  47. moononpluto December 30, 2014 at 3:48 pm
    Its total insanity….where will this insanity end……so tragic…

    AP: A two-year-old boy has accidentally shot and killed his mother at a Wal-Mart in the U.S. state of Idaho.

    Good lord, honestly. I’d never carry a gun near a child.

    Authorities said the woman did have a concealed weapons permit.

    Every time people start calling for gun control, the NRA keeps saying that it’s not the gun that’s guilty for crimes, but the user. Concentrate on the user.

    Here we have a licensed gun-owner but the user is a 2-year-old. I wonder what the NRA has to say about that.

    You speak of insanity… do you think the 2-year-old is insane? What’s insane is the second amendment surviving into the 21st century. This “insanity” doesn’t happen in any other country because hand guns are banned outright. Generally, the only guns allowed outside the US are hunting guns, and they are strictly controlled.

    Why can’t hand guns, assault rifles, machines guns and so forth be banned in the US? Because it’s a big business with lobbyists who channel funds to guess who?

  48. wbboei: HRC’s 2016 campaign will prioritize women’s issues in a way her 2008 campaign did not. To quote her directly, the basic rationale will be:

    “If women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations will flourish.”

    Since early this year, the Clinton Foundation has joined forces with the Gates Foundation to generate gender-specific data in support of the above statement. This is an extension and intensification of decades of work by Hillary and those around her, including her time at State.

    There is no way HRC is going to shy away from the empowerment of women and girls going forward. With a bank of data at her fingertips, she will drive home the points relentlessly by A + B = C and no woman, even the younger Nikki Haley, can do it better than she. It’s no fairy tale.

    When you praise HRC for not putting this foot forward in 2008, and pledge to withdraw your support if she does so in 2016, I hope you’re just in a bad mood, because you are actually taking a stand against gender equality, allowing such a token nigger as Nikki Haley, and then only as VP, as a sop to the feminine world.

  49. Jes, you tend to think in extremes, or believe the rest of us do. Hillary doesn’t have to “act like an adolescent” to do the smart thing and distance herself from Obama, his failures, his lies and mistakes. At one point, according to national polling, Hillary would have garnered a decent number of Republican votes in 2016 election. I doubt that would be the case today.

    Americans are anxious about the direction O has taken the country, and more importantly, about the way in which he has done it – misrepresenting the facts, usurping the power of congress, treating the constitution as if it were nonexistent – or worse – irrelevant.
    Americans want to know that their next president will have more respect for this country and for the laws and traditions that help define and govern it than Obama and his WH have had. People don’t want the country to be transformed overnight as Barack has sought to do. There’s a good reason for radical changes to happen slowly – even desirable change. People need time to adapt in order to accept drastic changes. When nothing feels familiar and there is a “new normal” so to speak, people get anxious.

    The manner in which Obama has governed – his style, or lack thereof – is as offensive as the policies he has put in place to many people. So, yes. Anyone who seeks to become president must cast themselves as different from Obama in a number of ways. That includes Hillary. That doesn’t mean she has to burn him at the stake in the proverbial town square. But, the Dim candidate for president in 2016, whether Hillary or someone else will have to convince the country that her/his presidency would not be an extension of Obama’s.

    If she or any other Dim presidential candidate chooses not to do so, she/he simply won’t be elected. Period.

    I don’t get why that’s hard for you to see. The Republicans understood that the unpopular W had greatly diminished the party’s chances of winning in 2008. Similarly, Obama has diminished the chances that the country will elect a far left presidential candidate in 2016.

  50. I think it is a very positive sign that Hillary has gone silent. What we have been seeing is Hillary the Good Democrat, supporting her Party. This may not have been the wisest thing for her to do, but it IS Hillary. Hopefully she will go on her Listening Tour and follow the good advise from Admin here at Pig Pink.

    I believe Hillary will go on that listening tour and be considering her candidacy from the point of view of winning and what she will win and how she will handle it. This is not a woman who would seek the office to serve Wallstreet and amass more wealth. How can you even imagine she would be willing to spend the next 4-8 years of her life that way? This is a woman who would have multiple objectives and plans for achieving them. They would not only include Wallstreet, they would include Mainstreet and Women. And if she does not think she can do it her way, she will pass.

    Now, I could be all wrong and we will see. But I will be watching and if she even remotely seems to be doing what I think she will, I will go to the mat for her.

    Maybe you will not be able to understand, unless you are a woman. But I understand that women’s rights are human rights and our society will not grow and evolve into something better while they are oppressed. It is a fight for the future.

  51. Lu4PUMA December 31, 2014 at 11:14 am

    …. This is a woman who would have multiple objectives and plans for achieving them. They would not only include Wallstreet, they would include Mainstreet and Women. And if she does not think she can do it her way, she will pass.

    … women’s rights are human rights and our society will not grow and evolve into something better while they are oppressed. It is a fight for the future.

    Hear! Hear!

    Btw, I’m sorry if my jab about Nikki Halley as a “token nigger” ruffled any feathers, but that is the way wbboei was proposing her and that is the way my African-American friends in NYC referred to the noblesse oblige of American companies hiring a “nice colored person” to break the color line in their company. Those same friends in NYC referred to Obama as a “white nigger” in 2008 (but I think they voted for him anyway).

  52. admin

    December 30, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    The Gruber ObamaCare news is worth a repeat:
    ****************************************

    what a fraud the O admin and the dims have pulled on the American people…

    I was listening to Washington Journal and they had callers calling in with their experiences with O care after the first year…

    the majority of people simply cannot afford the insurance and the out of pocket costs plus the extra costs they have to pay because what they once had with their insurance is no longer covered by the insurance that is now available with Ocare…

    people are complaining the cost for health care could be a car payment, or towards others bills and needs they have…

    people are also complaining about how unbelievably complicated Ocare is, particularly if they switch jobs, their income changes, they work part time…and the effect this has on how they file their taxes…and what the IRS will withhold… the whole freaking thing sounds like some fake scheme…reminds me of the guys on the streets of NY with those cups asking people to find the coin…

    people are also concerned that they can also be penalized if they gain weight, etc…more rules running their private lives…

    there were a few callers that are happy…and big surprise, these are the people getting big subsidies and not having to worry about premiums and out of pocket costs…so in effect, the people everyone else is paying for…

    the calls that were coming in, including from angry and frustrated democrats echo what is spelled out in that Breitbart article above that quotes ‘Grubber’ and what O knew and when he knew it…

    in the second year the penalties are going to be over $300 for nothing in return
    in addition, many people are finding out that they cannot even keep the Ocare insurance they had in the first year because that insurance has already changed and costs more and offers less

    so these people have to start all over again and find a new plan

    there is no guarantee of coverage for specific health needs or drugs and instead people are mandated to take coverage they don’t want or need…

    and the other big secret that is starting to come out is that “pre-existing conditions” do not cover everyone…there is this trickery that goes on with medicare and if you choose a different medicare plan, i think advantage ? then you lose out on being protected by prexisting conditions…

    even the spokesperson for Ocare had to admit this problem when seniors started calling in complaining about this hoax

    Ocare offers no stability, no real health care, no cost controls, no guarantee of your doctor or even a hospital available to you

    it is junk…and sold by a party and President that make the Wizard of Oz look like the Pope…

  53. When you praise HRC for not putting this foot forward in 2008, and pledge to withdraw your support if she does so in 2016, I hope you’re just in a bad mood, because you are actually taking a stand against gender equality, allowing such a token nigger as Nikki Haley, and then only as VP, as a sop to the feminine world.
    —————
    Everyone it seems is missing the point of my comments.

    You assume we are living in the 1950s, when there was no civil rights act, no affirmative action, no women ceos, no women governors, no pregnancy leave, no provision for children and no women in law school.

    Whereas today, we have had two civil rights acts, massive affirmative action programs, women CEOS of major companies, the Fed, the judicial bench, women heading up major agencies, women governors, international agencies, pregnancy leave, free contraceptives, and over half the students in law school today are women.

    You also have partisans of gender politics pushing views like 20% of the women on campus get raped and any allegation of rape is assessed not through due process, but a kangaroo court. The real percentage is less than 2%.

    If you are going to point to statistical evidence that women are paid less than men, and infer rampant invidious discrimination from that, be my guest. But for me, I would prefer to dig deeper to determine whether that was the real cause.

    This campaign will be modeled after the Obama campaign. The only difference is the central premise will be gender as opposed to race. The question to be considered is how much has any of this strum and drang benefited the average black man, as opposed credentialed black elites.

    If you believe as I do, that the game is rigged in favor of the elites, and to maintain their power they get the American People fighting among themselves, then you realize that the real problem here is class warfare.

    My experience is in dealing with unions. And when you ask a union man what he wants the answer is always more. And it is that way with every segment of society. But show me a case of serious discrimination, and I will get no argument from me.

  54. I should also add that we have the Equal Pay act of 1963, which I have implemented in a work place environment. So I am no stranger to these concerns. I have also litigated in that area.

  55. oh…I forgot one very important point that the callers were agreeing on..

    because of the high cost of out of pocket costs and the high deductibles, many of the people are not going to the doctors at all…they have the Ocare but cannot afford to go to the doctors to pay co-pays, etc so their health insurance is useless and a big drain on their yearly income…

    one woman broke it down to Ocare amounting to @ 20-25% of her yearly income and she could not even afford to use it because of the out of pocket

    thanks O and Dims…you gave the middle class health care they cannot afford and cannot use…great job

    nightmares…

  56. Lu, I agree. Keeping a low profile, followed by a listening tour would be Hillary’s best approach at this point.

  57. When you praise HRC for not putting this foot forward in 2008, and pledge to withdraw your support if she does so in 2016
    ———–
    No that’s not it.

    All I am saying is I liked what I saw in 2008 and I supported her to the hilt with every resource at my disposal.

    And what I am seeing now is not that.

    What I see now is a candidate who is too close to Wall Street, follows in the footsteps of Obama, who cannot understand why Benghazi is important, and thinks that gender politics and entitlements will carry the day.

    I pledge my support to no candidate unless I can see credible evidence that he or she is willing to reform this system. The corruption of Washington DC blights the country, and that is where we must focus./

  58. Wbb, I don’t doubt that you support women’s rights. Your staunch support of Hillary in 2008 is evidence of that. Not to speak for Shadow, since she is more than capable of doing that herself, but I think most of us who feel strongly about the gender equality issue tend to get worked up about the lack of concern by many people, especially men, about the soft sexism that exists in this country – unnoticed and unchallenged by most people.

  59. wbboei
    December 31, 2014 at 11:34 am

    I should also add that we have the Equal Pay act of 1963, which I have implemented in a work place environment. So I am no stranger to these concerns. I have also litigated in that area.
    —————————————
    What we have now is judges who sit on cases where they hold special interests and rule with “summary judgment” for them instead of upholding civil rights laws.

  60. Liberals’ Use of Black People
    Walter E. Williams | Dec 31, 2014

    Back in the day, when hunting was the major source of food, hunters often used stalking horses as a means of sneaking up on their quarry. They would walk on the opposite side of the horse until they were close enough to place a good shot on whatever they were hunting. A stalking horse not only concealed them but also, if their target was an armed man and they were discovered, would take the first shot. That’s what blacks are to liberals and progressives in their efforts to transform America — stalking horses.

    Let’s look at some of the ways white liberals use black people. One of the more obvious ways is for liberals to equate any kind of injustices suffered by homosexuals and women to the black struggle for civil rights. But it is just plain nonsense to suggest any kind of equivalency between the problems of homosexuals and women and the centuries of slavery followed by Jim Crow, lynching, systematic racial discrimination and the blood, sweat and tears of the black civil rights movement.

    White liberals in the media and academia, along with many blacks, have been major supporters of the recent marches protesting police conduct. A man from Mars, knowing nothing about homicide facts, would conclude that the major problem black Americans have with murder and brutality results from the behavior of racist policemen. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there are about 200 police arrest-related deaths of blacks each year (between 300 and 400 for whites). That number pales in comparison with the roughly 7,000 annual murders of blacks, 94 percent of which are committed by blacks. The number of blacks being murdered by other blacks is of little concern to liberals. Their agenda is to use arrest-related deaths of blacks to undermine established authority.

    Liberals desperately need blacks. If the Democratic Party lost just 30 percent of the black vote, it would mean the end of the liberal agenda. That means blacks must be kept in a perpetual state of grievance in order to keep them as a one-party people in a two-party system. When black Americans finally realize how much liberals have used them, I’m betting they will be the nation’s most conservative people. Who else has been harmed as much by liberalism’s vision and agenda?

    Walter E. Williams

    Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of ‘Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?’ and ‘Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.’

  61. Lu4PUMA
    December 31, 2014 at 1:57 pm
    wbboei
    December 31, 2014 at 11:34 am

    I should also add that we have the Equal Pay act of 1963, which I have implemented in a work place environment. So I am no stranger to these concerns. I have also litigated in that area.
    —————————————
    What we have now is judges who sit on cases where they hold special interests and rule with “summary judgment” for them instead of upholding civil rights laws.
    ————–
    Which judges and which cases are you talking about.

    The legal standard for issuance of a summary judgment is that there is no genuine issue of material fact and the defendant is entitled to summary judgement as a matter of law.

    Elite control of our judicial system and the k street control over our political system suggest to me that what you are saying is at least possible.

    The only way we will know for sure is to examine the specific facts of each case.

  62. freespirit
    December 31, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Wbb, I don’t doubt that you support women’s rights. Your staunch support of Hillary in 2008 is evidence of that. Not to speak for Shadow, since she is more than capable of doing that herself, but I think most of us who feel strongly about the gender equality issue tend to get worked up about the lack of concern by many people, especially men, about the soft sexism that exists in this country – unnoticed and unchallenged by most people.
    ——-
    Thank you freespirit.

    One other thing I should add, I have represented women in clear cases of sexual harassment on two separate occasions in the City of Boston during the early 1990s and in both cases, I prevailed for them. Both times these women were traumatized by what had occurred. In one case, it involved a physical assault and in the other gross indecent behavior which shocked the conscience. And the defense was this is a freight barn, boys will be boys and the women were as bad as the men. Justice demanded that both cases be prosecuted vigorously and they were to a successful conclusion. And its a good thing they were because one of the victims happened to be the girl friend of the underboss of the Patriarca Mafia family in Federal Hill. The word put out to the Teamster Union from the family through the Iron Workers union, was as follows: you Irish fucks had better lay off because if you don’t there will be blood in the streets. As you can see, it is easier to deal with credible set of facts, than the power of allegations. We see this danger now in this Dunn fairy tale, the guilty until proven innocent, the assertion that 20% of the co-eds on campus get raped and the lemming behavior that ensues.

  63. Want more proof that Messiah Obama is a lying horses ass?

    Behold, St Gruber speaks.

    The only thing that amazes me about this is that St. Gruber is amazed that they got this toxic bill through Congress, and that John Roberts found it to be a lawful tax after Obama’s attorneys swore that it was not a tax.

    Revelle revelle St Gruber. When the system is as corrupt as this one is, then whatever the special interests wants the special interests get and the public be damned.

    ————-
    Obama Knew Obamacare was not affordable and he lied through teeth:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/12/30/obama-adviser-jonathan-gruber-in-200-obamacare-will-not-be-affordable/

    President Obama’s health care adviser Jonathan Gruber admitted that the Affordable Care Act might not be affordable while he was writing the bill with the White House.

    As Gruber continues to withhold documents while he awaits a call-back for more testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the new year, more information is coming to light detailing what went into the writing of the health-care law. (RELATED: Daily Caller Publishes First Video Of Gruber Calling The American People ‘Stupid’).

    Gruber said that ObamaCare had no cost controls in it and might not be affordable in an October 2009 policy brief, presented here exclusively by TheDC. At the time, Gruber had already personally counseled Obama in the Oval Office and served on Obama’s presidential transition team. Obama, meanwhile, told the American people that their premiums would go down dramatically.

    “The problem is it starts to go hand in hand with the mandate; you can’t mandate insurance that’s not affordable. This is going to be a major issue,” Gruber admitted in an October 2, 2009 lecture, the transcript of which made up the policy brief.

    “So what’s different this time? Why are we closer than we’ve ever been before? Because there are no cost controls in these proposals. Because this bill’s about coverage. Which is good! Why should we hold 48 million uninsured people hostage to the fact that we don’t yet know how to control costs in a politically acceptable way? Let’s get the people covered and then let’s do cost control.”

    Gruber also said that the only way to control costs is to effectively deny treatment.

    “The real substance of cost control is all about a single thing: telling patients they can’t have something they want. It’s about telling patients, ‘That surgery doesn’t do any good, so if you want it you have to pay the full cost.’”

    “There’s no reason the American health care system can’t be, ‘You can have whatever you want, you just have to pay for it.’ That’s what we do in other walks of life. We don’t say everyone has to have a large screen TV. If you want a large screen TV, you have to pay for it. Basically the notion would be to move to a level where everyone has a solid basic insurance level of coverage. Above that people pay on their own, without tax-subsidized dollars, to buy a higher level of coverage.”

    And despite the president’s pitches to the contrary, Obama also knew that his health care bill was unlikely to control costs, Gruber said.

    “I wish that President Obama could have stood up and said, ‘You know, I don’t know if this bill is going to control costs. It might, it might not. We’re doing our best. But let me tell you what it’s going to do…” Gruber said on a San Francisco podcast in 2012.

    “If he could make that speech? Instead, he says ‘I’m going to pass a bill that will lower your health care costs.’ That sells. Now, I wish the world was different. I wish people cared about the 50 million uninsured in America…But, you know, they don’t. And I think, once again, I’m amazed politically that we got this bill through.”

  64. wbboei,

    The case I am most familiar with is mine, but it is like so many others. I have been sanctioned in the 5th Circuit for asserting my case and I have been banned from filing judicial misconduct complaints. That was, after the second one, where I documented that half the judges that ruled on my base case and the subsequent appeals, had interests in the opposing party that violated judicial codes of conduct.

    Don’t tell me that sanctions are for attorneys and not litigants. Don’t tell me the legal standards. They do what they want.

    The evidence I had included a legal tape recording of my boss sexually harassing me. The guy at the EEOC was horrified. My case was scheduled for trial but thrown out by the judge, citing only evidence supplied by the defendant.

    When was the last time you took a gender discrimination civil rights case to court?

  65. Wow, talk about opposition! Isn’t there anything HRC could do to win back your love from Shrub3? Or is it the two-headed dentist you’re rooting for?
    ————–
    Either you do not read what I say, or you do not retain anything very well.

    I have been very clear on how I feel about Bush and Paul.

    Neither one of them is an acceptable alternative to Hillary.

    Question: where do you get this shit–that I like Bush or Paul?

  66. If you follow the logic of my argument that the system needs reform, then it should be obvious that I could never support Bush. And the same goes for Paul–he is as naive about foreign policy as Obama, and besides that he is unelectable. I believe in small government, but the libertarian kick is a bridge too far. It cannot answer the problems of the inner city and we have seen more than enough privatizing of public services for my lifetime. If you had been paying attention at all, you would realize that apart from Obama himself, the thrust of my opposition has focused on the RINO in general and Boehner/McConnell in particular.

  67. Lu4PUMA
    December 31, 2014 at 3:20 pm
    ————-
    The reason such cases do not go to court as often as they once did is because the law in this area is well settled, and the evidence is the critical factor. If you have competent relevant and material evidence then the other side has a strong incentive to settle, and that is what typically happens. I cannot speak to the facts of your case, therefore the grounds for sanction are not clear. If you tape recorded the conversation with your boss without his knowledge and consent that would probably be deemed a violation of state law and grounds for sanction. If that was the case, then that evidence would be excluded and if you did not have additional evidence to establish a prima facie case, then that could be the basis for summary judgement under the definition set forth above. I just don’t know enough about your case. But I will say this much. The Fifth Circuit was different when Judge Brown was chief judge, and I suspect that in the intervening years, Bush seeded that court with oil men who were more congenial to business interests.

  68. Lu4PUMA
    December 31, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    ———–
    A friend of mine who used to blog here was the assistant dean of a major academic institution and she was victimized by the Dean who was an unreconstructed male chauvinist. She ended up leaving under circumstances which could have been characterized as a constructive discharge, due and owing to sexual harassment. She saw Obama with his little flipping the bird and condescending remarks toward Hillary the same way I did. And she saw Hillary as a champion of her cause. And her mother knew Hillary personally. When Hillary conceded the primary, my friend became despondent and she has not returned. I wish she would because I am sure she could relate better than I can to the ordeal you went through.

  69. When you praise HRC for not putting this foot forward in 2008, and pledge to withdraw your support if she does so in 2016, I hope you’re just in a bad mood, because you are actually taking a stand against gender equality, allowing such a token nigger as Nikki Haley, and then only as VP, as a sop to the feminine world.
    ————–
    A token nigger?

    Are you kidding?

    The old boy school in South Carolina did not want her and made fun of her Indian heritage.

    It was a pitch battle for her to be elected.

    She had to swim upstream against the Republican establishment.

    And she has been a very successful governor.

    Has she done something specific to offend you?

    I an not into the p.c.crap, but you are way off base with that one.

  70. Not only this, but I wrote a 50 page paper deploring the sexism that was directed against Hillary by big media and others during the 2008 campaign, I dedicated my book on executive leadership to her and had a chapter on her leadership in re. the Iraq problem and her husband complimented me and her husband wrote a nice letter to me on this as did Hillary.

    Therefore, it would be wrong for anyone to question my bona fides. I am reacting to what I see now, and the observation of Keynes–change the facts I change my answers–what do you do?

  71. The first judicial misconduct complaint was against the Judge Thad Heartfield who ruled in summary judgment for the defendant with an opinion that exclusively cited the defendants case. He also had a son who was an attorney who did work for the defendant and was attorney of record for them upon occasion. And he and his family held an interest in the business of the defendant. The Judge withdrew, but the damage was done and the case went to appeals. Then I found out that the new Judge Leonard Davis assigned the case had similar interests in the business of the defendant. I got his FDR and investigated. He had not reported it and he had to revise his FDR but would not withdraw. My attorney and I were sanctioned for raising objections to Judge Heartfield’s ruling

    Two sets of appeal and petitions all the way to the USSC. The first time my attorney did it, but then resigned for fear of being disbarred after being sanctioned. I filed the next round of appeals and the final petition. I summarized the interests of the judges that ruled on my case, along with the Code if Conduct it violated and made a second misconduct complaint. That got me banned from further filings.

    They say the 5th circuit has a recusal problem in that if the judges there recused from their special interests, there would not be enough judges to hear the cases at hand.

    The final opinion issued to my complaint was to the effect that there was no law that required judges to recuse so that was just too bad for anyone who objected to them.

    If judges have no recusal requirements under the law they should not have the power of summary judgment.

  72. I’m sorry if my jab about Nikki Halley as a “token nigger” ruffled any feathers, but that is the way wbboei was proposing her
    ————–
    Stick to the facts for a change.

    I am not proposing I am predicting what the Republican will do to counter the year of the woman sequel to the year of the black man melodrama which the elites use to manipulate public opinion.

    I endorsed Hillary with all my heart in 2008, lost several friends over it. I have not done anything like that for Niki.

  73. Lu4PUMA
    December 31, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    The final opinion issued to my complaint was to the effect that there was no law that required judges to recuse so that was just too bad for anyone who objected to them.
    ————————–
    No law?

    Well, let’s see . . .

    How about:

    28 U.S. Code § 455 – Disqualification of justice, judge, or magistrate judge

    (a) Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States SHALL disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.

    (b) He SHALL also disqualify himself in the following circumstances:

    (4) He knows that he, individually or as a fiduciary, or his spouse or minor child residing in his household, has a financial interest in the subject matter in controversy or in a party to the proceeding, or any other interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding;

    (5) He or his spouse, or a person within the third degree of relationship to either of them, or the spouse of such a person:

    (iii) Is known by the judge to have an interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding;

    Question: did you seek a second legal opinion?

  74. Wbboei,

    My experience with the court system has convinced me that the rights of the individual have been sacrificed to the interests of Big Business. It is not limited to gender discrimination.

    The summary judgement laws empowered abusive judges with special interests to be a lot more abusive. Courts unloaded their calendars at the expense of the individual, not the special interests and Big Business.

  75. I checked the bio of the two judges you mentioned. One is a Bush appointee and the other a Clinton appointee. Neither one of them have particularly impressive professional backgrounds before going on the bench. Therefore, political considerations may have had something to do with it. One of them was top of his class at Baylor and is a specialist in patent law. The other went to a college and law school I had never heard of. One of the great philosophers of the modern age, Kant, taught at an obscure school so I am loathe to make any further assumptions about either one of them as to their ability which may be very high even though they did not go to Harvard. I have been through Beaumont on my way to Galveston with friends who had a small beach house on the coast. and it seems like a nice enough community with good people. I can understand the reactions of your attorney in not wanting to alienate the judges he appears before on other cases. Nevertheless, his first duty is to you, the client, and the ethical cannons of the profession are clear about that. And so it the statute. That is why a second opinion may have been advisable.

  76. Question: did you seek a second legal opinion?

    No, I ran out of resources. So I used some creative justice. I was also in a bad marriage. I tried to get him to work through a business I ran at home, but he was a bum. I ran up huge debt, mortgaged my house for more than it was worth and declared bankruptcy. I had five years at home with my kids that was precious to me.

  77. wbboei
    December 31, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    I checked the bio of the two judges you mentioned. One is a Bush appointee and the other a Clinton appointee. Neither one of them have particularly impressive professional backgrounds before going on the bench. Therefore, political considerations may have had something to do with it.
    ————————————–

    The case was against Exxon-Mobil. They are Oil&Gas Whore Judges.

  78. Lu4PUMA
    December 31, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    ———
    Your reaction is perfectly understandable.

    It hearkens back to the final scene in the movie The Verdict where the broken down lawyer who is suing the Arch Diocese for the malpractice its hospital committed on his client, and is thwarted at every turn by a biased and corrupt judge, and he rises for the last time to deliver his closing statement to the jury.

    He says courts do not deliver justice. All they deliver is a chance at justice. I am damned sorry the federal judicial system did not work for you in this instance. Clearly, you deserved better. And so do other clients who look for help. I have made no secret of my misgivings about Roberts, but in that case it was not corruption, but the lack of courage.

  79. The case was against Exxon-Mobil. They are Oil&Gas Whore Judges.
    ———
    I suspected but did not know. That is what I meant by oil men in my comments above. I met Judge Brown who was the head of that court a generation ago. He was an expert on admiralty law and civil rights. He set the tenor of the court in those days.

  80. Wbboei,

    I worked for them for 20 year, climbing up the ranks to the glass ceiling. But I probably stayed too long because the money was good. I am a tree hugger at heart. Mobil was an OK company to work for, but when the Exxon merger came along, it was as if they were assimilated by the Borg. Open season on women and minorities.

    I have been employed these last 8 years in Environmental Public Health. No so much money, but more time for my family.

    In both places the gender discrimination is real and harmful. Women in Engineering reached 11% and has been on the decline since the Bush years. They are coming out of the schools at 20% but the work environment is hostile and a lot take related employment. Men rule the hostile work environment because they are the more aggressive gender, not because they are better or work harder. It is subtle, pervasive and the laws will not protect you.

    I hope it gets better. I consider myself the first wave as I had the dubious distinction of attending the Engineering School at the University of Virginia, the second year women were “allowed” to attend.

    My daughter want to be a aeronautical engineer. Yes, if there is any hope that Hillary Clinton will make things better for her, I will fight for her like a junk yard dog.

  81. He says courts do not deliver justice. All they deliver is a chance at justice.

    —–

    Before the Law

    Before the Law stands a doorkeeper on guard. To this doorkeeper there comes a man from the country who begs for admittance to the Law. But the doorkeeper says that he cannot admit the man at the moment.

    The man, on reflection, asks if he will be allowed, then, to enter later. ‘It is possible,’ answers the doorkeeper, ‘but not at this moment.’

    Since the door leading into the Law stands open as usual and the doorkeeper steps to one side, the man bends down to peer through the entrance. When the doorkeeper sees that, he laughs and says: ‘If you are so strongly tempted, try to get in without my permission. But note that I am powerful. And I am only the lowest doorkeeper. From hall to hall keepers stand at every door, one more powerful than the other. Even the third of these has an aspect that even I cannot bear to look at.’

    These are difficulties which the man from the country has not expected to meet, the Law, he thinks, should be accessible to every man and at all times, but when he looks more closely at the doorkeeper in his furred robe, with his huge pointed nose and long, thin, Tartar beard, he decides that he had better wait until he gets permission to enter.

    The doorkeeper gives him a stool and lets him sit down at the side of the door.

    There he sits waiting for days and years.

    He makes many attempts to be allowed in and wearies the doorkeeper with his importunity. The doorkeeper often engages him in brief conversation, asking him about his home and about other matters, but the questions are put quite impersonally, as great men put questions, and always conclude with the statement that the man cannot be allowed to enter yet.

    The man, who has equipped himself with many things for his journey, parts with all he has, however valuable, in the hope of bribing the doorkeeper. The doorkeeper accepts it all, saying, however, as he takes each gift: ‘I take this only to keep you from feeling that you have left something undone.’

    During all these long years the man watches the doorkeeper almost incessantly. He forgets about the other doorkeepers, and this one seems to him the only barrier between himself and the Law.

    In the first years he curses his evil fate aloud; later, as he grows old, he only mutters to himself. He grows childish, and since in his prolonged watch he has learned to know even the fleas in the doorkeeper’s fur collar, he begs the very fleas to help him and to persuade the doorkeeper to change his mind.

    Finally his eyes grow dim and he does not know whether the world is really darkening around him or whether his eyes are only deceiving him. But in the darkness he can now perceive a radiance that streams immortally from the door of the Law.

    Now his life is drawing to a close. Before he dies, all that he has experienced during the whole time of his sojourn condenses in his mind into one question, which he has never yet put to the doorkeeper.

    He beckons the doorkeeper, since he can no longer raise his stiffening body. The doorkeeper has to bend far down to hear him, for the difference in size between them has increased very much to the man’s disadvantage. ‘What do you want to know now?’ asks the doorkeeper, ‘you are insatiable.’

    ‘Everyone strives to attain the Law,’ answers the man, ‘how does it come about, then, that in all these years no one has come seeking admittance but me?’ The doorkeeper perceives that the man is at the end of his strength and that his hearing is failing, so he bellows in his ear: ‘No one but you could gain admittance through this door, since this door was intended only for you. I am now going to shut it.’ ”

    By Franz Kafka

    Lu4PUMA, I am sorry that you not only were sexually harassed but also found your hard earned bank account drained trying to seek justice.

  82. Shadowfax,

    Thanks, do not feel too bad for me. My bad choices in life drained my bank account. I have holes in my pockets, anyway. In the end the banksters paid. I got my share of the bailout early. In reality, I was at the forefront of the socioeconomic trends that swept the nation. The rise of the corporation and the loss of the rights of the individual, deindustrialization and the loss of good jobs. I needed to start over with the things most important to me – my daughter, my cat and what I have learned in life. I have been happy and productive. Now if I could just get rich. But I am working on that. Darn this down economy.

    Worst would have been if I spent my life working for evil people.

  83. On this last night of 2014 Politico readers discover what our readers read about in 2007:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/2014-american-voter-elections-113883.html?hp=t2_r

    What we learned about the American voter in 2014

    Have Republicans disrupted Democrats’ demographic advantage?

    Working-class white voters continued their decades long defection from the Democratic Party. [snip]

    The 2014 Republican landslide has both parties poring over the data, hoping to glean insights about the current state of the electorate before the 2016 elections. [snip]

    After a series of discussions with political experts, pollsters and strategists, here are the five things we learned about American voters this year.

    1. The Democrats’ working-class-whites problem is serious.

    After two years of warnings about Republicans’ woeful performance among nonwhite voters in 2012, the midterms showed that Democrats have their own significant demographic vulnerability: working-class white voters. Republicans won white voters without a college degree by 30 points, 64 percent to 34 percent, according to exit polls, equal to their margin in the wave election of 2010. Polling data show that support for President Barack Obama among working-class whites has dropped 8 points since 2010.

    A new and potentially more popular steward of the Democratic Party — most notably, Hillary Clinton — might boost those numbers. But some say the party needs to embrace economic populism after an administration that has prioritized the Affordable Care Act and the environment over a platform focused on wages and other “pocketbook” issues.

    Democrats have chosen to focus on issues that the liberal base of the party really likes, but the working-class person in West Virginia or Arkansas or Louisiana or Alaska doesn’t necessarily identify with,” said political analyst Charlie Cook.

    Cook pointed to those four states — where Republicans captured Democratic-held Senate seats this year — to argue that Democrats are a “marginalized party” across much of the country.

    This is more than just a bad year for Democrats,” he said. “The challenge that the Democratic Party has in parts of the country appears to be even more formidable than it was two years ago.”

    Added former Rep. Dan Glickman (D-Kan.): “Democrats really gave up on small towns and exurban America.”

    And even though Republicans have yet to make significant inroads among minorities, the GOP could make up for those losses by further enhancing its performance among white voters.

    “Given what’s happening with working-class voters and how disenchanted they are with the Democratic Party … Republicans still have a chance to win the presidency without [making] significant changes to policy,” said GOP consultant Ford O’Connell.

    Democrats won’t necessarily be able to count on the same level of minority turnout in 2016 without Obama. At the same time, Mitt Romney in 2012 won a larger share of the white vote than any GOP nominee since George H.W. Bush and still lost the presidency. [snip]

    3. Even the best turnout machine needs a message.

    Democratic operatives earned considerable praise for their turnout operation in 2012, but again the party suffered a midterm thrashing in large part because young and minority voters again stayed home.

    You can’t win on turnout when you have already lost on message,” said Republican pollster Glen Bolger. Referring to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s “Bannock Street Project” turnout operation, he added, “Tactics are important, but if the voters are against you, it doesn’t matter what cool street name you give your turnout project, it’s not going to overcome anger among independents and apathy among your base.”

    Turnout in the midterm elections was at its lowest level since 1942, a major point of concern for Democrats.

    Experts note that the “boom-and-bust” Democratic coalition — a term used by Ronald Brownstein to note the great disparity between turnout in the presidential and midterm years — suggests 2014 might have little bearing on 2016 turnout.

    The 36.4 percent turnout rate in November is yet another sign of an American electorate that has all but given up on Washington and federal institutions.

    Voters were upset and disillusioned in 2014, and experts warn of the deleterious effects that can have on Washington moving forward.

    “The dramatic drop in turnout could be an anomaly. Or it could be new normal. Either way, it demonstrates that the lack of faith in the process and in politics is at an epic low,” said Democratic pollster Jefrey Pollock. “And that’s bad for all of us in politics.”

    4. Americans factor in the president when they vote for Congress.

    Republicans across the country did everything they could to tie their opponents to Obama, whose low approval ratings — particularly in the South — proved costly to many in his party. Of the nine Republican Senate pickup states, only two — North Carolina and Iowa — gave Obama an approval rating of 40 or above, according to exit polls.

    Those same exit polls show one-third of voters nationally said their House vote was meant to express opposition to Obama.

    Democrats who thought they could outrun the president — pols like Mary Landrieu, Mark Pryor and Mark Begich, who thought their personal favorability could trump the national tide — were swept out because of high disapproval of Obama in red states.

    “We know it intellectually, we say it frequently,” said Pollock, “but when you see how Democratic candidates did in places where we know the president’s numbers, it’s clear that they were linked.”

    Pollock also argued that future occupants of the White House need to continue their “constant campaign” to boost their party in years when the president isn’t on the ballot.

    5. The 2014 electorate may tell us very little about 2016.

    Is the net 12-point drop in Hispanic support for Democratic House candidates in 2014 cause for concern in the upcoming presidential cycle? Have Republicans effectively fought to a draw among Asian voters, as they did in the 2014 exit poll?

    The somewhat reductive, but still largely truthful, narrative is that there are two electorates in America. There’s the smaller, older, whiter electorate that gave Republicans big wins in 2010 and 2014; there’s the larger, younger, more diverse one that helped congressional Democrats and Obama in 2008 and 2012. It’s tempting — and perhaps accurate — to suggest flatly that the 2014 election told Washington nothing it already doesn’t know.

    Experts say, more precisely, that the Dual Electorate phenomenon simply makes identifying long-term voter shifts more difficult. Some experts, for example, warned that expecting young and minority voters to turn out in high numbers in 2016 ignores both Obama’s singular popularity among those groups and the Democratic Party’s declining popularity.

    “Democratic turnout was so low in 2014 you can’t just attribute it to the midterm slump,” said political analyst Larry Sabato. “The energy is gone.”

  84. A New Year’s Eve prediction: this story is part of a well thought out Bush narrative that will be used in 2016 if Hillary runs:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/jeb-bush-donates-10000-nypd-officers-113913.html?hp=l1_3

    Jeb Bush donates $10,000 for slain NYPD officers

    Likely 2016 GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush gave $10,000 to a charity that’s raising money to help the families of the two NYPD officers murdered in their patrol car earlier this month.

    Bush and his wife Columba made the donation Tuesday night, according to Catherine Christman, a spokeswoman for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. The group is trying to raise $800,000 to outright purchase the homes of Detectives Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, who were killed point-blank in broad daylight in Brooklyn nearly two weeks ago. The shootings prompted tensions between the New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, and the NYPD to boil over.

    Bush has not discussed the shootings, but in the past he’s been deeply critical of de Blasio, who was elected on a wave of progressivism in 2013.

    There was “no fanfare, no nothing,” said Christman of the Bush gift. A Bush aide confirmed he made the donation. The foundation supports first responders, and was created in honor of Siller, a firefighter who ran through a tunnel connecting Brooklyn to Manhattan after it had been closed to vehicles the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, with his gear strapped on his back, to respond to the scene.

  85. Lu4PUMA
    December 31, 2014 at 5:53 pm
    Wbboei,

    ____________

    I am not sure that I will be in Hillary’s corner in 2016, but based on your account I would certainly be in yours pro bono.

    But when it comes to politics, for me now, the overarching issue is transformation of our government from representative democracy to oligarchy, along the lines of that article by Christopher Hedges which I posted above.

  86. New Year’s Eve wouldn’t be complete without a discussion of death dealing ObamaCare:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/obamacare-echo-chamber-grown-quiet-113884.html?hp=t1_r

    Obamacare PR push goes silent

    Health care reform advocates who struggled for decades to pass Obamacare left the job half-undone.

    They failed to sell it. They also underestimated the unrelenting intensity and duration of the opposition that makes the law so vulnerable to legislative and legal challenges even now, nearly five years after its passage.

    The White House and its allies are trying fresh messaging strategies for 2015 enrollment, including a lower-key sales pitch and narratives from real people who are happy with their coverage. Those success stories didn’t exist before coverage began one year ago.

    Yet the messaging missteps and rhetorical guerrilla war since 2010 have taken their toll. Obamacare is now working better — but it’s still not popular. Come January, it will be under renewed attack by the incoming Republican majority in Congress, a majority attained partly by the GOP’s persistent opposition to the health care law.

    And advocates now have far less money to defend the law politically. The sources they tapped to push for the law’s passage in 2010 have largely been exhausted. Some leading pro-Obamacare organizations have shut down or quietly merged.

    The funding community has dramatically and almost uniformly abandoned health care advocacy,” said Rachel Rosen DeGolia, executive director of the Universal Health Care Action Network, a national organization that links pro-health reform groups. “Good architects think about how their masterpiece will be maintained before construction. … Good builders consider keeping termites away from the woodwork.” [snip]

    Advocates thought they could declare victory and move on. [snip]

    The disastrous HealthCare.gov rollout in fall 2013, along with outrage over plan cancellations, brought the law’s popularity to another low.

    By then, the supportive infrastructure of health law advocacy was seriously weakened. [snip

    Because of the law’s cost and complexity, many of its benefits didn’t kick in until this year. That left the field wide open for foes to keep pummeling its shortcomings. The Democrats stuck to a “try it, you’ll like it” strategy — to the extent that they had a strategy at all. [snip]

    Yet both the government and insurers have spent several hundred million dollars on outreach and enrollment ads, with some messages specifically about the health care law and some more generally about health coverage. [snip]

    The administration is also using a #GetCovered theme on social media, and it is partnering with groups ranging from shopping malls to Monster.com to push coverage. Portraits of the newly insured sometimes appear on the White House blog, like “Peter M,” whose lower insurance bills freed up money for his kid’s college tuition, or “Lynnette J,” a small-business owner who was able to see a doctor for the first time in five years.

    And volunteers working Enroll America’s phone banks now include people who have themselves been covered for the past year, Filipic said.

    But while enrollment is creeping up — so smoothly that the weekly HHS updates scarcely register in the news — the law still faces political and legal trouble that won’t be erased even if HHS blows past its sign-up target.

    The Republicans still don’t have the votes in the Senate to repeal the law, but they will keep battering it. Plus they may well be able to pick off a few unpopular pieces, in ways that don’t gut the law but do undermine its financing or create more upheaval and uncertainty.

    The ACA is also being challenged, again, in the Supreme Court. If successful, the King v. Burwell case could cut off subsidies to millions of Americans living in states that opted to use the federal exchange instead of creating their own. Such a ruling would create chaos for Obamacare and cause disruption throughout the insurance industry in ways that would likely reduce coverage and boost premiums.

    At the Universal Health Care Action Network, DeGolia remains concerned about how advocates can fight back without funding. “There are huge attacks under way,” she said last week. “It’s sort of like death by 1,000 cuts.”

    Politico tries to spin away the disaster that is ObamaCare but even they are forced to acknowledge ObamaCare is face to face before a death panel.

  87. Any more, I see politics through that lens, which is why I may not have a long future on this or any other blog. It is too discouraging to watch this bullshit unfold in such predictable ways and to see people you trusted succumb to the temptations of power and money, when you finally see the light.

  88. Jeb Bush donates $10,000 for slain NYPD officers

    ————-
    The Denny family were the founders of Seattle. They came up from Portland and settled here in 1852. That generation are buried at the Lakeside Cemetery along with Bruce Lee and other well known people. One of their daughter was Sara Louise Denny who was a dedicated school teacher, who gave away most of her share of the family fortune to charities, in anonymous gifts. She wanted to do good in the world, without advertising or seeking public acclaim. I admire her greatly for that.

    That fucking Pillsbury dough boy is not like that. He dedicates $10,000 of his vast Fortune to the slain police officers and wants to pretend this was done through a detached and disinterested generosity and is not keen for the world to know about it. This is not charity. It is a crass political world, who wants to gain control so he can sell off the county.

    It kills me that one of the commentators here accused me of liking this prick.

  89. wbboei
    December 31, 2014 at 8:30 pm
    ———————————
    Thanks. But where were you 10 years ago? That is when I filed my last petition to the USSC. Send me your email at my blog name at AOL and I will email you a copy of it.

  90. Where was I ten years ago? I was involved in an acquisition of our company by a German industrialist who told the Wall Street Journal that he aspired to become the “Bismark of the world post office” and ended up stepping down after he was charged with tax evasion. He told us that we would be running the combined company, and after the deal closed, he fired all our officers–I was one of the last to go. They laid off 15,000 people and lost $10 billion over the next six years, at the end of which their new chairman declared that the reason they failed in North America was because the fired the wrong management team. The cultures of the two companies were as different as the Spartans and the Athenians. We believed in operational excellence, customer intimacy and low cost. The believed that they were a premium brand, spent money lavishly and the market should bow down and worship them. With FedEx and UPS as our competitors it did not take the market long to tell that management team to take a hike. So as you see, we have something in common, and reason to be skeptical of the evils of unfettered capitalism and crony capitalism.

  91. ” company by a German industrialist”
    *****
    Sounds like the takeover of the Dalsey-Hillblom_Lynn company by Deutsche Post. IIRC, DP ran the DHL US operations into the ground by ~2008.

  92. It amazes me that people in CA shoot off their ding dong guns when it turns midnight, and all the house pets scramble to get under the bed.

  93. admin
    December 31, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Politico conveniently left out the penalties, subsidy overpayments, increased tax prep costs that will show up this tax filing year. If these “health advocacy” groups have bailed already wait until the fury is unleashed in April. They will be running for the hills since they agitated for the coming disaster. IRS is already hated (and politicized) but wait until their enforcement of Obamacare kicks in. Expect errors, screwed up computer systems, crashed telephone centers, disrupted refunds, nasty dun letters, and traumatized IRS employees. The rollout was a mess in fall 2014. The enforcement in spring 2015 will be worse.

  94. Logically, I should have been the first or second (after moononpluto) to wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR! (It’s been 2015 for half a day already, here) but I slept through all the hoopla. Anyway:

    Everyone please have a prosperous and pleasant 2015 !!!!!!

  95. freespirit December 31, 2014 at 11:13 am

    You tend to think in extremes, or believe the rest of us do.

    Hillary doesn’t have to “act like an adolescent” to do the smart thing and distance herself from Obama, his failures, his lies and mistakes.

    People don’t want the country to be transformed overnight as Barack has sought to do. There’s a good reason for radical changes to happen slowly – even desirable change. People need time to adapt in order to accept drastic changes.

    Anyone who seeks to become president must cast themselves as different from Obama in a number of ways. That includes Hillary. That doesn’t mean she has to burn him at the stake in the proverbial town square.

    The Dim candidate … will have to convince the country that her/his presidency would not be an extension of Obama’s.

    I don’t get why that’s hard for you to see. The Republicans understood that the unpopular W had greatly diminished the party’s chances of winning in 2008.

    As usual, you make excellent points in rational, orderly fashion. However, it’s not so hard for me to see what you’re driving at: you’re actually making half my point for me.

    I confess I do think in extremes, but also in middles, compromises and outside-the-box analyses, which is where I place this debate about Hillary’s distance from Obama. From what I read on this forum, it seems to me that most of the bloggers here expect her to establish this distance by, yes, “burning him at the stake in the proverbial town square” because Obama’s wrongs are so many and deep that nothing less will do.

    I take this not only as (i) an extreme viewpoint that is impossible for Hillary to live up to, but also as (ii) a stupid approach that would lose her more votes than it would gain, so that it is not in keeping with her best political interests; (iii) would therefore lose her the nomination or at least the general election, and most importantly and generally (iv) is not in keeping with her own personal character, as the adult in the room.

    Furthermore, these criticisms of mine would also apply to a more moderate or even-handed rejection of Obama. That is, whether by political necessity or not, HRC is simply not going to go negative on Obama, Period. It is simply not in her character, nor is it in her best interest.

    You’re right to point out the Republicans’ (and McCain’s) avoidance of Dubya in 2008. Dubya’s ratings at the time were in the low 30’s, and McCain avoided him like the plague, as did any down-ticket Republicans. No mention was made of Dubya in 2008, 2010, 2012 or even 2014. It was like he never existed. McCain did do a (wordless) photo op with Dubya at one point, in a bid for the Republican base; but it did McCain no good.

    But I repeat that McCain did not challenge Dubya, and that the only time a sitting president has been challenged in recent history was in 1980, at which time the challenge did no good either to the challenger or to the president.

    My overriding point, though, has nothing to do with the political advantages or drawbacks of going negative on the president. It is rather the fact that HRC is going to conduct this campaign on her own terms, on her own issues and strengths, with her own vision of America’s future. That’s going to be hard enough going as it is, without worrying about how it compares with Obama’s presidency.

    Ergo, in defining this campaign, she is not going to, and does not have to, go negative about anyone, least of all the President.

    That doesn’t mean that some of her statements won’t stand as exceptions to Obama’s actions, inaction or attitude. Bits and pieces of this will come out from time to time, such as her admonition to conduct a thorough investigation of the IRS scandal. Or her criticism of “Don’t do stupid shit,” or arming Syrian rebels and so forth. She may make statements at times that are at variance with those of the White House.

    But don’t expect her to actively seek ways of distancing herself from Obama. That’s neither her style nor character, and it’s not in her best interest either.

  96. I just realized the NH primary is set for a little over a year from now, February 9, 2016.

    I agree with wbboei. the wind has been taken out of my sails. most likely i will watch the circus from the sidelines. total apathy on my part. unless, of course, they pay me this time :).

    happy 2015 from NH!

  97. HAAAAAAAAPPPPPPYYYYYYYYY NNNNNEEEEEEEWWWWWWW YYYYEEEEEAAAAARRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Welcome 2015!!!!!!!!! Special thanks to you admin for bringing a bit of clarity to the unclear world. Thanks to all the regulars posters for thoughtful debate and a general sense of sanity. May we all end 2015 more prosperously than 2014!

    Be safe Big Pinkers!!!

    Hillary 2016

  98. Clinton and 2016 raise other questions beyond ‘will-she-won’t-she?’

    HOLLYWOOD, FLA. — Even as Democratic insiders laud Hillary Clinton as a solid choice should she become the party’s 2016 presidential nominee, many also worry that skepticism from some party activists could weaken her by the time the campaign is underway.

    They’re concerned about relentless pressure from the party’s liberal wing, which wants Clinton to be more outspoken against corporate greed and more passionate about tackling income inequality. They also see a threat from centrists frustrated with Washington’s inertia who can paint her as captive of the entrenched establishment.

    The 2016 presidential race was a key topic when the Democratic Party leaders – state chairs and national committee members – met in December at South Florida’s Diplomat Resort & Spa to discuss the party’s future.

    Clinton is expected to decide early next year on whether to mount a second run for the White House. If she does, party regulars said in interviews that she’s got to play to her strengths to be successful.

    [snip]

    A December McClatchy-Marist poll showed the former secretary of state a strong favorite for the nomination and far ahead of every potential Republican challenger. But the survey also revealed that by 58-38 percent, Democrats found it important to have a nominee who will move in a different direction from Obama.

    While reluctant to raise doubts about Clinton publicly, Democratic insiders privately expressed concerns about whether she can unify the party.

    more…

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/12/31/251726_clinton-and-2016-raise-other-questions.html?rh=1

  99. “While reluctant to raise doubts about Clinton publicly, Democratic insiders privately expressed concerns about whether she can unify the party.”
    ————————
    She needs to cleanse it by expelling from the party all of the kooks that betrayed her in 2007 and 2008 in favor of The One.

  100. “They’re concerned about relentless pressure from the party’s liberal wing, which wants Clinton to be more outspoken against corporate greed and more passionate about tackling income inequality. They also see a threat from centrists frustrated with Washington’s inertia who can paint her as captive of the entrenched establishment.”

    ____________________

    “The party’s liberal wing” has apparently not yet received the memo. And, of course, they lack the ability to be pragmatic and realistic, so they haven’t figured it out. Someone should really tell them just how irrelevant they have become. They had their way in 2008. Traded in every shred of credibility and integrity in order to place their “light bringer” in the WH. He screwed over the country and the party. But, they’re still beating their entitled, progressive drums?! How sad and pathetic. They don’t get it, but their 15 minutes are over. Time’s up kooks and kiddies. Stop pretending the centrists are mere intrusions into the Dim Party. They are the party, now. You pathetic progressives are the intrusions.

  101. The Kooks are still riding high on how they cheated their despised lame duck into the Oval. They are the left wing crackpots that think they are saviors of the effin’ 99%.

    They have had 6+ years to save the minorities and poor, and all American’s are spitting mad at the mess they have created.

    Even the MSM is over him. Baracko back in Hawaii and no slowmo shots of him prancing in the surf with a shave ice dripping from his chin.

  102. Reid out of hospital after breaking ribs, facial bones
    Published just minutes ago.
    Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid was discharged from a Las Vegas hospital Friday, after sustaining some nasty injuries during his home exercise routine.
    Kristen Orthman, Reid’s deputy communications director, said Reid is on his way home to Henderson, Nev., after an overnight stay at University Medical Center in Las Vegas.
    The Senate’s top Democrat, 75, will return to Washington this weekend and is expected to be ready to do battle with Mitch McConnell and the Republican majority when the 114th Congress gets sworn in Tuesday.
    “He spent the day with his wife, Landra, talking to fellow senators, friends and staff preparing for the Senate’s return,” Orthman said. “He sends his thanks to all those who sent him warm wishes and is ready to get back to work.”
    Reid broke several ribs and bones in his face when a piece of exercise equipment broke and he fell….
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/01/02/harry-reid-accident-senate-democrat/21182151/

    Happy New Year Big Pink.

  103. Barack sending FBI head to service of slain officer Wenjian Liu, according to article at The Hill. Well I guess that’s better than sending Sharpton. Also, two representatives from NY disapprove with officers turning their backs on di Blasio at the funeral service for officer Remos last week. One called their actions disrespectful.

    Well, hell. I thought that was the whole point – to show their disrespect. Bill got what he deserved and these Public officials have no right to criticize the NYPD officers. It’s the police who are being targeted because of the race baiting of di Blasio and others – not members of congress. Did these representatives publicly criticism the race baiters? Did they demand that the mayor or any of the other race baiters call upon the protestors to stop calling for “dead cops” ? If not, they need to STfU about the response of NYPD officers to the mayor.

  104. Shadowfax
    January 2, 2015 at 2:47 pm
    ————————————-

    The Kooks obviously need to see what is going to play out this year, as the country turns from them to look for something better, counting down the days until they can get rid of their anointed one. Next New Years Day we will sing them, “The Party’s Over”. Their Party is over.

    Dead Party Talking.

  105. Lu4PUMA
    January 2, 2015 at 10:00 pm
    Shadowfax
    January 2, 2015 at 2:47 pm
    ————————————-

    The Kooks obviously need to see what is going to play out this year, as the country turns from them to look for something better, counting down the days until they can get rid of their anointed one. Next New Years Day we will sing them, “The Party’s Over”. Their Party is over.

    Dead Party Talking.
    –––––––––––––––

    Shadow and Lu, I love it!

  106. Until I saw Donna Brazille’s rant about the Scalise meeting with David Duke around 12 years ago, I was not aware that it was in the headlines now. Initially, I ignored it because … well, it was Donna Brazille. Then I saw this article at Daily Beast comparing and contrasting Scalise’s meeting with Duke and group to Obama’s association with the Rev. goddamn America Wright. I don’t really know much about Scalise or the meeting in question. He may have been totally wrong or totally innocent, as he claims. Nor do I know anything about Ron Christie, except that he’s African American, and he makes some pretty good points.

    ________

    Reverend Jeremiah Wright Was Worse Than Scalise
    Liberals are outraged over the Steven Scalise scandal—but the left has selective amnesia.

    (by: Ron Christie)

    One of the great joys from having been out of the country the past week is that I haven’t been subjected to the suffocating din of the 24/7-cable news cycle.  No ‘Breaking News’ alerts have disturbed me over the course of the holidays until I happened to hear that there was a brewing race scandal in America regarding the House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA).

    Naturally, my interest got the better of me and I discovered that some 12 years ago, Scalise spoke before the European-American Unity and Rights Organization run by renowned racist David Duke (R-LA).  I do not know the Whip personally but he has a solid reputation within the House Republican Caucus for his integrity, intelligence and wisdom.  If Scalise says that he had no idea he was speaking before a group of white supremacists, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. 

    In fairness, my alarm bells would have been ringing off the hook if I received an invitation to speak before an organization run by Duke. Again, Scalise has expressed his regret for a “mistake” and that he had no idea of the group’s leadership.  For his part, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has expressed his “full confidence” in Representative Scalise.  I’ve known the Speaker of the House for nearly 25 years and he has a zero tolerance for racism and bigotry.  If Boehner has looked into the incident and said that his colleague made a mistake more than a decade prior, I will certainly show deference to someone who knows and works with Scalise personally. 

    Can you imagine the outrage if Representative Scalise had spoken before a group in Louisiana whose attendees vowed fealty to a “white value system?”

    What has struck me about the American media coverage I’ve been able to catch is that many are eager to paint the GOP as racist with a broad brush without any measure of perspective or introspection.  Scalise offered his contrition that he had made a mistake and apologized for appearing before a group some 12 years ago.  And yet The Washington Post’s Dan Balz was quite eager to remind his readers that: “The Scalise episode…is more than a case of one politician and one event.  It is also a reminder of the complexities of race and politics in the Old and New South as that region has made a long transition from one-party Democratic rule a generation ago to today’s one-party Republican dominance.”  

    As I reflected upon Balz’s words, I couldn’t help but remember another politician embroiled in his association with someone with not only with a racist past but one who continued to preach racism from the pews to the present day.  A politician who attended the congregation at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago for some 20 years, a man who referred to his Pastor as his second father—a Pastor who officiated his wedding and baptized his children. 

    Yes, I’m referring to the association between Barack Obama and his since disavowed Pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright.  What I find ironic is that Scalise is being excoriated for one speech before one group in which the gentleman in question professed no knowledge of white supremacist ties—while the current occupant of the Oval Office had to have known about the racist invective Pastor Wright issued from his pulpit each Sunday.

    Have you ever heard of the “Black Value System” adopted by the Trinity Church in 1981, some seven years before President Obama joined their congregation? Chances are you haven’t, as I hadn’t either.  Scrolling through this hate-filled manifesto for the first time made the hairs on my arm tingle with discomfort.  There is reference after reference to the “black community,” “black worth ethic,” and adherence to the “black value system.”

    Can you imagine the outrage if Representative Scalise had spoken before a group in Louisiana whose attendees vowed fealty to a “white value system?”  Calls for his resignation and an investigation from the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice would have been swift and immediately forthcoming.

    Again, I do not know House Majority Whip Scalise or President Obama personally.  What I do know is that for the media to dismiss our President’s 20-year association with a racist pastor, while expressing moral outrage over one speech given 12 years ago before a group Scalise claims he knew little about, reeks of rank hypocrisy by a Pretorian Guard interested in protecting Obama at all costs while tearing down Scalise for what appears to be an honest and genuine mistake.  How far the media have fallen. 

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/02/reverend-jeremiah-wright-was-worse-than-scalise.html

  107. hold’um
    Reid out of hospital after breaking ribs, facial bones

    ———
    I just don’t know. Sounds like Reid was taken out to the woodshed.

    Elastic band breaks, hits him so hard in the eye area that many bones are broken, making him fall so hard that he breaks several ribs?

    If Nasty soon reports that she has run into her ironing board and has a black eye and broken ribs…we will know the higher ups are pist.

  108. hadowfax
    January 3, 2015 at 12:21 am
    hold’um
    Reid out of hospital after breaking ribs, facial bones

    ———
    I just don’t know. Sounds like Reid was taken out to the woodshed.

    Elastic band breaks, hits him so hard in the eye area that many bones are broken, making him fall so hard that he breaks several ribs?

    If Nasty soon reports that she has run into her ironing board and has a black eye and broken ribs…we will know the higher ups are pist.

    ________

    It does sound like his injurious are more numerous and serous than you would expect from an elastic band. I’ll bet Dirty Harry has more secrets than we could ever guess.

  109. People don’t just want Hillary to be president. They want a date with her. lol Go Hill!!

    _______

    December 29, 2014, 01:31 pm
    Poll: Clinton is top New Year’s Eve date choice among New Yorkers

  110. freespirit January 2, 2015 at 10:49 am

    “The party’s liberal wing” has apparently not yet received the memo.

    Yup, exactly my reading of the tea leaves.

  111. wbboei December 31, 2014 at 11:32 am

    If you are going to point to statistical evidence that women are paid less than men, and infer rampant invidious discrimination from that, be my guest. But for me, I would prefer to dig deeper to determine whether that was the real cause.

    I have to agree with you that the current statistical evidence is superficial and misleading; but here are two things you should consider:

    (1) HRC recognizes this fact and, as I pointed out in a previous post, has engaged a project coordinated by the Clinton and Gates foundations to generate gender-specific economic data on a world scale (including the US, of course) coupled with expert analysis not only of the causes for gender inequality, but of effective ways and means to redress the situation. In keeping with HRC’s inimitable debating style, these analyses and proposals will be built into her campaign and driven home point-by-point, with no way for her opponents gainsay them.

    (2) Empowering women does not consist in whining about inequalities. It means a shot for power, and power in the social sense of the word can be equated with leadership — economic and political leadership. HRC herself is a prime example of what it means to be a leader, male or female, and has been so all her life. She is not afraid (as, sorrowfully, many women are) to stand in the exposed position of a leader, take the hits that come with the job, and ‘fight’ for what she thinks is best.

    Elsewhere, you complain:

    wbboei December 31, 2014 at 11:46 am

    What I see now is a candidate who is too close to Wall Street, follows in the footsteps of Obama, who cannot understand why Benghazi is important, and thinks that gender politics and entitlements will carry the day.

    I pledge my support to no candidate unless I can see credible evidence that he or she is willing to reform this system.

    As Lu4Puma pointed out above, Wall Street may be seen as a problem, but it is also necessarily part of any solutions that can be found. HRC will stress the responsibilities of Wall Street and the needs of Main Street too. It is not hard to see the potential of women’s leadership on Main Street.

    As for “following in the footsteps of Obama,” you’re out of step with the population at large, and with me. HRC has made a few statements that show a divergence of views; but I believe this issue of showing up major differences between the two is of little consequence because the country already views Obama and HRC as distinct entities.

    Benghazi is important? For whom? HRC is not proud of that tragedy of more than two years ago; but it was not her fault either, even though, leader that she is, she took responsibility for it. She has said all she could about the incident, and when the Gowdy committee comes out with its report, the country will yawn.

    She “thinks that gender politics and entitlements will carry the day”? In view of my remarks (1) and (2) above, it can be said that the effect of getting women involved in the economy and politics will be beneficial for the whole country, not a zero-sum game with men losing ground to women. As far as “entitlements” go, women do have special needs that have to be taken care of, related to child-bearing, early childhood, and other concerns for which there are special doctors (gynecologists). I guess you can view such things as special “entitlements” for women, but I don’t see how you can be against them.

    So, you want a candidate who “is willing to reform this system”? A Hope & Change candidate? How about one with soaring rhetoric and a new skin color?

    You talk about a Revolution, well, you know, we’d all love to see your plan.
    You tell us that it’s Evolution, well, you know, we’re all doin’ what we can.

    Look, let’s get real, here: To get anything done in DC, you need someone with character who knows his way around town and can talk straight with people on both sides of Shadowfax’s proverbial “isle.” Now, whoever could that be?

  112. wbboei December 31, 2014 at 11:32 am

    If you are going to point to statistical evidence that women are paid less than men, and infer rampant invidious discrimination from that, be my guest. But for me, I would prefer to dig deeper to determine whether that was the real cause.
    ——————————————————

    Wbboei – Women are excluded from employment opportunities by men who do it because (1) It is easier and (2) They can get away with it. The pervasive problem is their mutual validation system. This is enabled through the corruption of the judicial system for the corporations who do not want to pay damages.

    When I lost my job, the plant manager told me that, although I was a very good engineer, I was, “not worth the trouble”. This trouble being the conflicts I got into with my male co-workers. One major problem I had was when I had to report to a manager who was a card carrying member of the KKK. He overtly discriminated against women and blacks. The second major controversy was the woman hater who actually resorted to sexual harassment. After I lost my job, I found evidence that he had 2 other work related harassment complaints including a secretary that had to go to have him arrested when he violated a peace bond she got against him.

    But as I told you, none of this got to a jury. The Exxon attorney claimed I cried discrimination every time I got in trouble for poor work performance.

    Now this was 14 years ago, but it got worse during the Bush years and has gone unchallenged during the Obola years. Today, women in engineering face hostile work environments and the percentage of women in engineering is on the downward trend.

    Just now I got lucky because the department manager has a wife who is also an engineer. He boo-hoos the discrimination claims, while watching the boys clubs exclude women. But he himself is pro-women and so I have some support. I still get in controversy and almost lost my job again over a lower manager who decided to wage war on women. He currently has only one woman out of 12 in the group that used to have 5. He is a lousy manager and finds it easier to manage men.

  113. Late 1970’s, I was hired by Western Electric as an EIT (engineer in training)to help fulfill a court ruling stating they discriminated against women. I qualified because I had female body parts and a 4 yr Bachelor of Science degree [physics – worst decision of my life BTW]. Life had already put me at financial jeopardy, and I was grateful for the pay and benefits. I stayed the 20 years but it was pure hell because it quickly became obvious that I was not to take too much for granted regarding equality. And my moral code was definitely not appreciated. At one point I was assigned to a high school entry level clerical position which would have prevented all possible chance of my attaining their engineering criteria within 18 months of hire. A black women who later came to work under my direction, was also slated to be transferred to that low level. But she had a mouth, and she never came over. 4 months into this hell, I was miraculously whisked back to my original position. But the scruples were always a problem. Government, private. All the big boy clubs have it. I see now.
    ————–
    Which connects to Lu above, and this:

    GOP calling on courts to block Obama
    By Michael D. Shear NEW YORK TIMES JANUARY 04, 2015
    WASHINGTON — As Republicans prepare to take full control of Congress on Tuesday, the party’s leaders are counting on judges, not their newly elected majority on Capitol Hill, to roll back President Obama’s aggressive second-term agenda and block his executive actions on health care, climate change, and immigration….
    http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2015/01/04/gop-turns-courts-aid-agenda/emjXWFSKR3AlG2qD9eSi7L/story.html

    Can this strategy help, or is it another GOP Uniparty ploy?

  114. Lu4PUMA January 3, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    holdthemaccountable January 4, 2015 at 7:36 am
    ****

    Wow! Tough personal histories! I’m wondering if any of this will come out in the wash of HRC’s campaign or presidency.

    I won’t bore anybody with details of my own travails with finding working in the US in the 70’s. I was a man, with high qualifications, but nobody appreciated me. My parents said it was because I was bad at “selling myself”, which is indeed the case.

    From several statements HRC has made, “selling oneself” seems to be a problem frequently encountered among women: “Gee, I don’t know if I can do that…” which you will never get from a man (except me).

    BTW, holdthemaccountable’s experience seems to match that of the “token niggers” who benefitted from the affirmative action of the 70s.

  115. …experience seems to match that of the “token niggers” who benefitted from the affirmative action of the 70s.
    —————–
    Exactly, and I never forgot those young men already proficient, who coached me with civility, good humor, in the aspects of line engineering. Because of me, some were held back. Considering that, they took it very well.

    About selling oneself. Second grade vote for class president. I thought it was rude to vote for myself so I didn’t.
    The first vote ended in a tie.
    Second time, I voted for myself and I lost.
    Yeah. Come on, Hillary. 🙂

  116. There is an editorial in today’s WSJ highlighting a case in California where the Holder Justice Department went after a company that was not politically connected, fabricated evidence against them and forced them to turn over 22,000 acres of timberland to the US Forest Service, for a fire they did not commit. As more exculpatory evidence has come forward, that company has gone back into court to set aside that settlement on the grounds that it was based on fraud and material misconduct.

    Clearly, this is not the first case of prosecutorial abuse by Holder. On the contrary, it is part and parcel of a pattern and practice of abuse which stretches from the US Forest Service in California, to the IRS in Washington, to the Mexico and back into the United States with ATF, to Benghazi, to the court rooms and prosecutors offices across the land which are now under the boot of progressive aka totalitarian thinking. The WSJ is hoping for an epiphany, but what I anticipate is a white wash.

  117. Here is the Jeffersonian perspective on the matter:
    ————
    The fundamental question is this: Does government and its bureaucracies serve the people, or does it serve its own interests? Do elected officials use their powers honestly to meet the needs of all their constituents, or do they reserve their efforts to further their own interests and those of their supporters?

    This much is certain: we know that the tendency in all governments is for their agents to use their powers for their own enrichment. As Jefferson wrote,

    “No other depositories of power [but the people themselves] have ever yet been found, which did not end in converting to their own profit the earnings of those committed to their charge.” –Thomas Jefferson to S. Kercheval, 1816.
    This is why our Founding Fathers designed our government so that the people can exercise as much control as possible over their agents. They realized that…

    “No government can continue good, but under the control of the people.” –Thomas Jefferson to J. Adams, 1819.
    But to exert that control, it is necessary that the people be attentive to how their agents are conducting the public affairs, for as Jefferson said in another place,

    “If once [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.” –Thomas Jefferson to E. Carrington, 1787.
    So, it should not be surprising if sometimes public officials do not heed the voice of the people and go about doing whatever they wish, using their power and authority to enrich themselves and those closely allied to them. But what are their constituents to do when that happens?

    The first remedy is to petition those officials, either individually or as a group. And if they are unheeding, the next remedy is to educate the people and to make the power of the people felt at election time. Interested citizens should band together and identify the elected officials who are not performing properly, make an issue of their inattention to the public will, run candidates to oppose them on these issues in the next election, and throw them out of office. That is the way our system should work. Here is Jefferson again:

    “What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?” –Thomas Jefferson to W. Smith, 1787.
    Elected officials are ordinary humans, and like people everywhere, they will often do whatever they can get away with, whatever their power seems to allow them to do with impunity. Fortunately, in this blessed country, we are provided with remedies to right the wrongs perpetrated by government officials and agencies.

    “A jealous care of the right of election by the people–a mild and safe corrective of abuses which are lopped by the sword of revolution where peaceable remedies are unprovided–I deem [one of] the essential principles of our Government.” –Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural, 1801.

    The purpose of our government is to do what is for the best interests of the people. Not what is best for business, or for the economy, and especially not what is best for elected officials themselves and their supporters, though we would hope that what is good for all the people will in the long run be good for those other interests also. It is a matter of first priorities, and the best interests of the people should certainly be the first concern. Unfortunately, when elected officials get into power, they too often forget these things and need to be reminded from time to time by the people who elected them. They sometimes think that because they were able to garner to themselves government power, they are entitled to use it for the benefit of whoever got them where they are. “To the victor goes the spoils.”

    If the people make a petition for a redress of grievances and it is ignored, that should be considered a breach of the public trust. If there are provisions for a recall election, that might be the proper remedy. But surely at the very least, in the next regular election, those with leadership ability should campaign in opposition to the offending officials, and especially they should run on the very issue of a violation of the public trust and an ignoring of the public will.

    All too often, elections are run as a popularity contest, and candidates avoid issues because issues turn some people away. But when an issue is as strong as ignoring what is the will of the people, surely this should be the focus of a campaign. If those who feel strongly will band together and persuade one of their number to run and then support them vigorously, such a situation could be turned around.

    There is much talk these days about limited government, and the need for government bureaucracy to be made smaller and less pervasive. But the limits that our Founding Fathers were chiefly concerned about were that government be limited by the will of the people.

    “The will of the people… is the only legitimate foundation of any government.” –Thomas Jefferson to B. Waring, 1801.
    And also,

    “The fundamental principle of the government is that the will of the majority is to prevail.” –Thomas Jefferson to W. Eustis, 1809.

    When government is not limited by this principle, there arises a distrust of government and a prevalence of the anti-government sentiments that we see and hear so much today. Therefore, the best thing we can do for our country and for our communities is to stand up against these misuses of power, to educate the people, and to replace these agents with those who respect the people’s will, which is the foundation of government.

    http://eyler.freeservers.com/JeffPers/jefpco21.htm

  118. It is with great reluctance that I have come to the unavoidable conclusion that the corruption of the federal government which we see now every day can be remedied through a change of party or personality. On the contrary it is a force of nature against which it is vain to repine. How Hillary bobs and weaves to make her way to the nomination is the grist of insider betting and fascination for the political class and the media. But it holds no allure for me any longer because I do not think the answer to the dilemma of unrepresentative government lies with her, or any other politician of merit who the elites will tolerate.

    The solution for me lies in the curtailment of the reach of the federal government and the rise of local government to fill the vacuum. I wrote something to someone yesterday which shows how local government is moving in the right direction and becoming more responsive to the people at the very moment that the federal government is moving in the opposite direction, with this cromulus bill and others connived in secrecy and passed without an opportunity to read it, with provisions that reward insiders, reinforce the notion of too big to fail, and allow billionaires to contribute 10 times as much to the political parties, aided and abetted by a big media that anesthetizes the American People to what is happening.

    I wrote something about this yesterday which bears on the issue:

    A couple years ago, a friend of mine and I met with a newly appointed City Manager to offer our labor relations services to him. In the course of those discussions, he told us that he hoped to develop a set of performance metrics for his municipality, and to address the public trust in government deficit which cost the careers of four prior city managers. We agreed to help him.

    We spoke with Howard Rhom (BSI), and learned about the Balanced Scorecard concept. We interviewed world class practitioners including xxx Police Chief xxx who transformed the culture of his organization and increased the level of public trust and satisfaction in measurable ways—by striking a new balance between crime fighting and community resources, by focusing on outcomes (reduction in traffic accidents) rather than inputs (tickets written), by striking a new balance between crime fighting and community support/involvent, and conducting polls to measure the level of public support for the police on an ongoing basis to make sure the police are seen as a part of the community rather than an occupying force.

    Thereafter, we interviewed the Financial Director of that city who brought citizens into the process of setting government goals and costs through an innovative program called Budgeting By Priorities, while government Departments devise the strategies to implement them in a cost effective manner. This is not just polling and focus group outreach. This is hands on participation in defining the priorities and costs of government, because, as Jefferson’s comments above suggest, if we leave that power soley in the hands of the bureaucrats they will set the priorities in a manner most beneficial to themselves.

    Far be it from me to suggest that this brief dalliance made me an expert on government reform. I am, at best, a rookie. However, what it did show me was that beyond the dysfunction of a profligate federal government, where the agenda is set by lobbyists, implemented by unresponsive bureaucrats, with no credible scoring mechanism, and an out of control federal debt, such that the very concept democracy is honored more in the breach than in the observance, there is a better model, whereby trust, functionality, and accountability are possible. The City Manager in question failed to pursue the project. More is the pity for that. But it is good to see that other municipalities here and elsewhere across the country are rising to the challenge.

    If we must have obligarchy at the federal level let us at least hope that we can have some level of democracy at the local level.

  119. This accelerated descent into obligarchy and tyranny which we see at the federal level if we are paying attention is the direct result of the failure of Obama, big media and both political parties to abide by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But in the political Purgatory of my imagination, the place of honor is reserved for the latter day Pontius Pilate—John Roberts, because he more than anyone is the individual charged with preserving constitutional government. That is failed as he did, in upholding Obamacare, on grounds which were waived in open court was a moral failing writ large. Contrary to what some assume, it was not because he was being blackmail. To get to the real reason you need to evaluate the comments of the law clerks. And what those commments depict is a vain man fearful of adverse publicity who lost his courage. As Confucius said: the worst failing of all is knowing what the right thing is and failing to do it. If some green grocer commits such an offense, it is of no moment. But when the man who sits at the pinnacle of the judical branch loses his nerve, it weakens the entire legal system. To err is human and all that. But some mistakes are unforgivable because they are precedent setting and an inducement to more bad behavior, more tearing down of the edifice of republican government.

  120. Another Dim expresses frustration with Obama. This time, the Dim is Sen. Amy Klobuchar from MN, and the issue about which she is frustrated is Keystone.

    http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/228442-dem-very-frustrated-with-obama-on-keystone-xl

    Amy Klobuchar, senior Dim Senator from Minnesota, another female who chose to support Obama over the qualified female candidate in 2008, was one of 60 Dims, including that idiot Claire McCakill, who in January, 2014, endorsed Hillary for president in 2016. (Big woop – too little, too late). During the 2008 primary, Klobluchar was pressured by some of Hillary’s female supporters in MN to endorse Hillary. Klobuchar implied that she might, never told the women that she would not support Hillary, altho they sensed that she was “waffling”. Klobuchar, in the end, ignored her female supporters and surprised them with an announcement of her O endorsement. http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2008/04/klobuchars-obama-support-miffs-some-state-women

    So, is she really frustrated, or is she just posturing for the folks back home. With these backstabbing, Dims, nothing is ever as it appears at first glance. I guess she deserves props for calling O out before his decision – unlike some of the others who have fought for O’s initiatives, edicts, and policies, only to criticize them for them after the fact.

    With our elected officials from both parties, it’s all about posturing, pandering, and bamboozling. Like their leader, they can’t be trusted.

  121. Bob Menendez, the outgoing head of Senate Foreign Relations Committee and son of Cuban immigrants was not informed that O was considering normalizing relations with Cuba. He’s not crazy about the idea.

    _________________

    “Menendez says he knew nothing about the talks, which reportedly took place for a year and a half”.

    “So we subverted, in my view, the standards that are important for us to uphold globally in a way that we could have — if you’re going to make a deal with the regime, then get something for it,” Menendez told Bash. “But at the end of the day, they got absolutely nothing for giving up everything that the Castro regime wants to see and has lobbied for.”

    http://thehill.com/policy/international/228436-foreign-relations-chairman-in-dark-on-cuba-deal

  122. wbboei – Hillary is no Messiah. No unicorns dance is going to fix what is wrong with this country. But another Bush will be the end of the middle class. Maybe that is what it will take for country to see rock bottom and some rebellion to take place. Maybe that will be a third party. Maybe riots and ruin. The stinkin’ banksters have been sucking off the middle class instead of building the nation. They are parasitic and JEB is one of them. These last years he has spent among them building his own net worth from $2 million to $10 million. JEB is one of the parasites.

    I asked my brother, who is an international bankster, to explain to me what is going on in the financial world. He told me that the best he could explain it is that it is as in the movie, “Too Big To Fail”. He does not let his wife watch Fox News. Our financial system is a freakin’ Ponzi scheme. And these guys don’t care as long as they can keep doing what they have been doing.

    The salaries we are getting do not support the prices of the housing they are keeping inflated and the stocks they are selling are grossly overpriced. The wealth of the country has been looted and things go on as if nobody has noticed.

    Now, who do you want to handle this situation, a smart, hard working Hillary or the JEBidiah Doe Boy?

  123. Now, who do you want to handle this situation, a smart, hard working Hillary or the JEBidiah Doe Boy?
    ——————-
    That is an easy choice.

    By default, it would have to be Hillary.

    But if the problem is systemic, as you, me and your brother have concluded, after looking at it closely.

    Then a smart, hard working leader of the federal government will be thwarted at every turn.

    The parasite is killing the host literally.

    The 18 trillion dollar debt is just one more symptom.

    Sooner of later, the federal system will implode–and most people know it.

    The only uncertainty is when will this happen and what will prove to be the catalyst.

    What matters at that point is what will replace it?

    A more diabolical form of tyranny?

    Or, perhaps, a functioning democracy?

    And that is where I find some basis for optimism in the model of government that is emerging at the local level.

    The examples I gave are from the town that is home to Microsoft.

    Therefore, you are dealing with an unique and somewhat idiosyncratic slice of the demographic and cultural pie.

    And the domicile of the city manage who decided not to embrace the model resides in a similar venue.

    But if you look at these municipalities as laboratories for new ideas then a better form of government may emerge over time.

    Perhaps not in my lifetime, and not without a bumper ride, but the thing to remember is its always dawn.

    I jumped into the Hillary campaign with both feet.

    For me, it was never a case of identity politics—but I was willing at the time, but not now, to appeal to the gender factor.

    It was first, last and always, a conviction with as you say a smart, determined leader we could regain the prosperity of the Clinton years.

    Where all boat would rise with the tide.

    Whether that was possible then or not is an imponderable, because for the nation it was the path not taken.

    What is undeniable now however is that under Obama, the move toward oligarchy which the elites have been lusting

    Ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and that end of history meme where the future belongs to markets

    Which is the uber capitalist manifesto is now in full bloom

    And as I said above this is a force against which it is vain to repine

    You can wake up every morning and go to bed every night mad about it

    But all you will get from it is high blood pressure.

    The corruption of the federal government is a force of nature and it will end

    Not through the intervention of any politician, but when it implodes.

    Jennifer Rubin made a comment that she would not want to be living in Washington DC

    On the belle de when that happens.

    Obama now says he will govern by executive order, congress will object, and nothing will happen

    Except perhaps it will hasten the demise of the current system, and whatever replaces it.

    When Sowell was asked whether he could find anything to be cheerful about as he looked ahead he gave the right response.

    I am 8o years old.

  124. Let us pray that this is nothing trivial . . .

    Harry Reid injured in the gym and sent to the hospital when a rubber band he was holding snapped back and hit the no good son of a bitch in the face breaking some bones and those wire rim specs that cover his jeeper creepers peepers. He is a peep without portfolio since losing the majority leader job, albeit to another peep not of the same party. This refutes earlier rumors that in is salad days dirty harry was a feather weight boxer, as well as a featherweight intellect because it is now obvious that he can’t take a punch. Where’s my charity you ask. Let me answer that question with one of my own: where is Harry Reid’s strategy. It is like the equitable doctrine of unclean hands which says he who seeks equity must do equity.

  125. I have heard that when the Rabble of Paris descended on Tuileries palace and dragged King Louie and his German Wife Marie Antoinette to the guillotine, along with other nobles of the old order, peasant women waited for the heads to role, and then descended on the male corpses and chewed off their testicles, to commemorate the end of white privilege. Well, the feminists of the modern era are at it again. Today, they proclaim that on the college campus no woman is safe, tell us that 20% of them get raped, and they target vulnerable white males who hide out in their man caves in a futile attempt to escape the gestapo. Until now the motive for all this has been unclear. But now we know that some of it is driven by a desire for social status, recognition and upward mobility since feminist doctrine is now holy writ in our elite class. And it isn’t just the campuses either. A 29 year old actress was asked whether she was a feminist, her answer was ambivalent, and the wrath of Hollywood descended upon her. Speech codes are now in the ascendant and woe betide those who violate them. When I was in law school I had a friend who had been the heavyweight boxing champion. He practiced an exaggerated form of chivalry which include opening doors for women, until one day his courtesy was greeted with a shrill fuck you by one of the more vocal female students and he became apoplectic. She was a bully of the same ilk, and her claim to fame was that she and her significant other who was a compliant sort put together a marriage contract specifying in great detail what their reciprocal obligations would be in the marriage. She went on to become a judge, and today she is probably advising those brands of feminists to take no prisoners. The problem with all this is that marriage is not merely a legal contract, it is an emotional bond and over the course of time that is what sustains it. On the political front the same is true. During the dark days of World War II, Chief Judge Learned Hand delivered a long remembered speech in Central Park entitled The Spirit of Liberty. In it, he made two points relevant to this discussion: first, the spirit of liberty is the spirit that is not too sure it is right. And, second, the spirit of liberty lies not in the constitution, but in the hearts and minds of the people and when it does not exist there no constitution—or speech code can save it. Meanwhile, the prospects for marriage which is always a gamble have increased, and in Japan where this thing has gone even further it has been said that the young men are more dug in in their foxholes than the Japanese marines on Iwo Jima. What got me thinking about all this was not the canary in the cave sounds of Camile Paglia, David Horowitz or Professor Jacobsen, so much as the following essay by the brilliant writer and thinker Richard Fernandez which appear in the following link:

    http://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2015/01/04/escape-from-planet-earth/#more-41283

  126. wbboei January 4, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    The solution for me lies in the curtailment of the reach of the federal government and the rise of local government to fill the vacuum… local government is moving in the right direction and becoming more responsive to the people at the very moment that the federal government is moving in the opposite direction.

    Well, I have to admit that the Founders intended the States and local governments to be the principal seats of power in a federal system with enumerated powers, without the creation of a National State per se.

    However, the only other country in the world to adopt such a federal system is Switzerland, which shows what the rest of the world thinks of our federal system. Not that I think we should be swayed entirely by world public opinion, but I think we should realize that the US at the time of the Founders was actually a very small country with no real ties to the rest of the world, and reacting to the centralized power of the English king.

    Our system was intended to invert the pyramid of sovereignty from the king-down type to a citizen-up type, where “a man’s home is his castle” and the government had as little to say about a man’s (btw, not a woman’s) private life as possible.

    Now, we have come a long way over these last 200-odd years, and much if not all of the path we have followed has involved righting the wrongs of one community of citizens against another, most of those wrongs being enforced by the States. Every step forward, marked by federal laws or constitutional amendments, has been driven by the national community striving for “a more perfect union,” usually — no, always — with the States dragging their heels. I take the 14th and 20th amendments as hardcore evidence of this.

    This is not to belittle the efforts you describe with a City Manager who had his head in the right place. Indeed, such local efforts can bear fruit. But such local efforts can be stymied if the people, city or state do not support it, or if no support is offered from higher authorities at the state or national levels.

    My point is that, even if local governments seem to be moving in the right direction as you say,

    (1) the federal government can help and is not in and of itself a hindrance to such efforts. There is thus no systemic reason for curtailing the powers of the federal government as if it were a zero-sum game.

    And

    (2) just as Obola seems to be all-responsible for the authoritarian drift of today’s fed, Obola is just one person and another person in his place could very well have a different approach toward “the more perfect union.”

    So, I beg you to reconsider your statement that the outcome of 2016…

    … holds no allure for me any longer because I do not think the answer to the dilemma of unrepresentative government lies with [HRC], or any other politician of merit who the elites will tolerate.

    I have much more faith than you that HRC can turn this ship around.

  127. I have much more faith than you that HRC can turn this ship around.
    ————–
    She could start by ditching Goldman Sachs.

  128. And, by the way, given the way the system is structured that is impossible.

    She needs them to finance her election.

    And they need her to protect their interests.

    It is all one big quid pro quo.

    If she ditched them, then they would go straight to the other party.

    Which underscores my original point.

    The problem here is systemic.

    Sheldon Wolin, Chris Hedges and now me have tapped our way to this conclusion.

    It is the truth, which most people do not want to hear.

    They want to believe their vote and their support counts.

    Would that it were so.

  129. This is not to belittle the efforts you describe with a City Manager who had his head in the right place. Indeed, such local efforts can bear fruit. But such local efforts can be stymied if the people, city or state do not support it, or if no support is offered from higher authorities at the state or national levels.

    My point is that, even if local governments seem to be moving in the right direction as you say,

    (1) the federal government can help and is not in and of itself a hindrance to such efforts. There is thus no systemic reason for curtailing the powers of the federal government as if it were a zero-sum game.

    And

    (2) just as Obola seems to be all-responsible for the authoritarian drift of today’s fed, Obola is just one person and another person in his place could very well have a different approach toward “the more perfect union.”

    ——————
    If the system were structure properly, the tax dollars currently committed to the federal government which are re-cycled to local government with strings attached would go directly to city, county and local government, where citizens, not lobbyists or bureacrats would decide how those monies were applied. Today, the most chilling thought imaginable is that knock on the door in the middle of the night, by a federal bureaucrat who says greetings, I am from the federal government and I am here to help.

    As for Obama, he is symptomatic of all that is wrong with the federal government. If he did not exist already, they would have to invent him.

  130. even if local governments seem to be moving in the right direction as you say,
    ——————
    Here is where the proposition gets dicey.

    The Balanced Scorecard methodology is the latest iteration of the industrial engineering concept of efficiency, accountability and cost control. The predicate is a change in culture. If you look at the venues where it has been most successful, they tend to be non union. In a union environment, there is institutionalized resistance to change, a duty to bargain, and in many instances prohibitive language. The union message is clear: you are management, you manage and if we don’t like it we grieve.

    I wrote a book on the subject on executive leadership. In one of the chapters, I dealt with the need to motivate people–and if you cannot do that then you are not a leader, merely a manager. How do you command the continuing loyalty of the workforce. During the industrial age, this was done through a carrot and stick approach, which is the same way you motivate a donkey. The problem with that approach is people do not like being micromanaged, and they find perverse ways to get more carrots and avoid the sticks. It becomes at some point a game of chicken.

    The better approach is for a manager to get to know her people well–in terms of their personal goals, psychology, and competencies. And then that manager must find ways to meld the goals of the organization with those of the individual, and give them a chance to show what they are capable of with appropriate rewards and incentives. That is the challenge which local government who hopes to improve its internal efficiency, and public support must solve. And the union must buy in.

  131. On the subject of culture change, the Police chief’s comments were insightful and instructive. He told me that when he took over the department there was a strong emphasis on crime fighting, even though in his community the rate of violent crime was virtually zero. Their approach to the public was reactionary in the sense that they appeared only when there was trouble or had a ticket quota to fill. They had community resource officers as well, who could get to know the citizenry, deal with long term problems, but the police and the community resource officers were in separate silos and rarely spoke to each other. His goal was first to get them talking and then to merge those two functions into a single police mindset. They talk about the New York Police Department as being the best in the nation and that may be true. But it is based on the inputs vs outputs paradigm of the Comstock study, which measures productivity and results in terms of tickets written and cases cleared rather than the reduction in overall crime statistics, and public satisfaction. There is a message in that for the nation as well. Only the perverse effect of big money and the megalomania of elite idiots like Zuckerberg, Styne and Soros, kind of, sort of, gets in the way. Simply put, the federal government is a lost cause, when it moves beyond its core responsibilites of protecting the borders and raising armies.

  132. The Seduction of Appeasement

    Candidate Obama originally campaigned on the idea of the U.S. should pull all troops out of Iraq by 2008. Once president, he waited a bit until he removed all American peacekeepers at the end of 2011 from a seemingly quiet Iraq.

    That move was understandably popular with the public, especially during the reelection year 2012. But as soon as the U.S. garrison left Iraq, there was not quiet appreciation from Islamists. Instead, jihadists of the Islamic State overran half the country. Tens of thousands have died who probably would not have had U.S. forces still controlled Iraqi air space and been on the ground to monitor the Maliki government.

    Obama’s reset with Russia was originally also popular, especially when contrasted with George W. Bush’s bitter estrangement with Vladimir Putin over the Russian invasion of Georgia. But resetting the reset with Russia only green-lighted further aggression in Crimea and Ukraine — with more probably to follow in the next two years. So far the oil crash, not necessarily sanctions, has weakened Putin. He knows that chance not resoluteness has stymied his next move. And he also appreciates that fortune is fickle, but Western complacency is predictable. We have not seen the last aggression of Putin’s Russia.

    Recently the president hinted that one day the United States might open an embassy in Iran, given his hopes that he can achieve a breakthrough deal with the Iranian theocracy that might lead to new mutual understanding. Unfortunately, the theocracy in Iran probably sees American well-meant outreach as appeasement that will fast-track their efforts to get a bomb — and with it a new Middle East hegemony. If deadlines to stop enrichment in the past were negotiable, if tough sanctions were relaxed, if America was silent when demonstrators took on the theocracy, why would Iran now assume that anything the U.S. advised should be taken very seriously?

    Obama unilaterally and by executive order ceased the half-century U.S. isolation of Cuba — but without achieving any mutual concessions from the tyrannical Castro regime. After six years of empty red lines and deadlines in the Middle East, and prisoner swaps from Guantanamo Bay for a U.S. military deserter, the impression grows that the United States will do anything in the short term to alleviate tensions, without much worry about the consequences in the years to follow.

    Years ago Obama promised to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan, regardless of events on the ground. Now they are almost gone. But the ascendant Taliban is responding not with commensurate concessions. Instead, it is confident that there will soon be no obstacle to overrunning Afghanistan and returning it to the medieval theocracy that once hosted Osama bin Laden as he planned 9/11. Hundreds of thousands of Afghans who took seriously Western liberalization and reform will soon likely flee for their lives to places like Bakersfield or Minneapolis — or end up dead as the country sinks to the status of a post-American Iraq or Libya.

    The more the United States cuts it defense budget to historic lows not seen in over a half century, the more the administration talks of outreach, the more America boasts of its smart diplomacy and soft power, the more in the next two years there will be a likelihood of war. Obama might have been able to get away with appeasing our enemies had he vastly increased our defense capability. Or he could have worked with our allies to issue genuine and enforceable deadlines, even in the midst of a defense cutback. But lowering our guard while backing off from self-created crises is a prescription for disaster.

    Even Nobel Peace Prize laureates can cause wars — or rather especially Nobel laureates can cause wars.

    http://pjmedia.com/victordavishanson/seductions-of-appeasement/

  133. wbboei January 4, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Look, you talk about the superficiality of “feminist” statistics, which I agreed with, and then you throw this supercilious bullshit at us in lieu of any intelligible analysis of your own as to the whys and wherefores — or even the non-existence! — of gender inequality.

    Even the life journeys of Lu4Puma and holdthemaccountable seem to have gone in one ear and out the other.

    Let me try to dig behind the statistics and find some reasons for gender inequalities, from my own direct experience:

    I am owner or partner in 11 firms, five of which are consulting firms in the fields of:

    Engineering & technologies
    Legal strategies & jurist analyses
    Financial & auditing
    Marketing & business strategy
    Human resources & personnel

    Due to overlapping clientele needs, these firms work frequently hand-in-hand, so I tend to think of them as a single unit. This “unit” currently employs 92 people in all, and calls upon as many as 50 outside consultants to stop the gaps during work overloads, or for given specialties.

    Already at this overall level, I can see a significant difference between men and women: There are 71 women on staff (77%), but only one woman among the outside consultants, the other 49 (round figure) being men.

    Since our policy is to recruit the best talent at the lowest price, regardless of gender or anything else like nationality, race, religion and so forth, this disparity is not due to employer prejudice. I can find only one reason for this difference between 77% female staffers and 98% male free-lancers, and that reason is that women prefer a steady job with lifelong stability and benefits (mainly for pregnancy, child-rearing) and bonuses, and eschew the instability of free-lance work.

    It should be understood, in digesting this, that a free-lancer earns up to four times the hourly rate of a staffer, but does not have the benefits (they rarely get a bonus) and has absolutely no guarantee of being hired for another project once the current project is over. But earning 3-4 times as much, an independent consultant can work just 4 or 5 months per year and go on vacation the rest of the year; or he can also work another day job; or start his own business; or get speaking fees for seminars or director’s fees on a company board.

    Theoretically, a woman could and sometimes does undertake such sideline activities; but several women have explained this situation to me, particularly at times when I pointed out the free-lancers’ hefty paychecks. Women have a very strong preference for a stable paycheck, even if much smaller, and don’t like the exposure to risk and insecurity that comes with the high-paying free-lance activity.

    I emphasize that this is not whimsical on women’s part. They need the security of four months’ paid maternity leave, the possibility of taking off more than four months (as much as two years) if they want, while having their job waiting for them when they get back; plus, they almost always have family duties that require them to leave work on time — it’s a rare thing when a woman will put in an extra effort in the evening or weekend, unless she’s single or the kids are already college age.

    So the bigger bonuses that come from overtime duties go to the men, and women accept that situation because: theirs is almost always the second paycheck in the household, the proverbial “icing on the cake.”

    What is the final result of this preference for staff work, the short-as-possible workday and the subsidiary status of the woman’s paycheck?

    First, the men make up only 23% of the staffers but their take-home pay is almost 40% of the total payroll because of: (1) overtime pay, (2) heftier bonuses and the resulting (3) faster advancement in the firm, and (4) men’s greater drive or ambition as the primary or sole breadwinner in the household.

    But to complete the picture, I would have to consider the incomes of free-lancers and count them in with the staffers. Of course, I don’t have access to the free-lancers’ income statements. I can only guess intuitively that, over a given year, independent consultants earn about 2.5 times what the staffers earn.

    Adding the 50 independents to the 92 on staff, we get 140 people, only 50% of whom are women, and both the men on staff and the male free-lancers earn significantly more than the women. So, in the final analysis, we probably come down to the “76 cents to the dollar” that we find in the overall statistics.

    It should be said that this applies to Europe, which is certainly different from the US: the overwhelming majority of our staff, our clients, and all the independents, are European. There is a significant body of labor law in Europe generally, which protects women (though there is no affirmative action for racial or gender purposes).

    Does that mean there’s no discrimination?

    Quite frankly, as sensitive as I am to the subject, I have not witnessed any discrimination in training, recruitment or advancement policies in our firms or in our client companies in Benelux, France, Sweden or Bulgaria. I can’t really say anything about Poland or Russia, and have no experience at all with Spain or Greece.

    The big surprise, however, is that there is a very clear absence of women in the labor force in Italy and especially Germany. I can only ascribe this to social norms: the man is supposed to be the breadwinner and the woman is supposed to stay at home. This has been analyzed in a number of magazine articles: German women accept this blindly. Apparently, Italian women are staunch believers in this norm — they adore their “machos”.

    Starting with the above “snapshot” of the present situation in our consulting firms and the clientele that surrounds them, to go any further in the analysis and what is to be done, if anything, I should look to the long-term picture. Again, the consulting firms are good indicators, I think, of women’s career views, objectives and behaviors.

    While we have 92 employees now, with the turnover of the past 25 to 35 years, we have employed over 400 people since 1979, and called upon perhaps 150 independent consultants. This broadens the database both in number and over time.

    The first of the firms we started was the ‘Human Resources’ firm, 35 years ago. Women have a gift for this sector of activity, both as headhunters, in screening job candidates, and for perfecting and implementing the “job-saving plans” that are legally required when a company is down-sized or re-engineered

    Indeed, all but the first two people we hired in this firm were women. Today, everyone (except me) including the head partner is a woman. If there is any discrimination at all, it is in favor of women. Salaries are moderate to high, depending on the firm’s annual income, so that bonuses are generous in a good year. Independent (male) consultants are sometimes called in to help on the “job-saving plans”.

    We called upon the services of this firm when recruiting members of the other firms, the second of which was the ‘Engineering & technologies’ firm that did a booming business in the 80’s and 90’s. But here, all but one of the staffers during that time, and all the independents hired on a temporary basis, were men.

    Discrimination? I doubt it, since the recruiters were all women and I personally signed recommendations for several young women who, I thought, had promise. Rather, there were two drawbacks:

    (1) Both traditionally and even up to today, science and technology were masculine subjects. I’m convinced (so is HRC) that it doesn’t have to be this way; but that’s the way it is.

    (2) In science and technology in particular, you recruit consultants from people who have a lot of experience under their belt. That’s true of consultants in all fields, but especially in engineering, and crackerjack female engineers were not to be found during those years — they’re still as common as hen’s teeth.

    In the other three firms — ‘marketing & business strategy’, ‘financial & auditing’ and ‘legal and paralegal services’ — women showed promise and got hired at about parity. Over the 25 or so years that these firms have existed, the women have made nice careers for themselves, especially in marketing, auditing and corporate legal strategy.

    In these fields, we were willing to bet on women fresh out of school, and other young women who were struggling to make headway in the liberal professions or as a cog in the wheel of a large organization. We gave them an opportunity, and by and large they made good on it. It’s a good sign and I take it as a success story — a path for other companies to follow, in their own self-interest.

    The other component of a career is advancement, and here the women came off well, but the reason for this is that, in fact, the men came off better. The basic routine went like this:

    A young man would be hired in at ground level. He would be interested in the job, work late hours or weekends, master the field, take home big bonuses, and eventually buy into the partnership. Then he would get the idea that he could earn more, and the way to earn more (assuming he was honest) was to sell himself to a higher bidder, to strike out on his own as a free-lance, or to start a firm of his own.

    Then off he went, and: a woman took his place. (So there is advancement for both.)

    This is how, after 25-35 years, we got to the point of 77% female staff, 98% male subcontractors, and “76 cents to the dollar.”

    Looking at all this, I must once again agree with your admonition:

    If you are going to point to statistical evidence that women are paid less than men, and infer rampant invidious discrimination from that, be my guest.

    Indeed, in the European context, there is no “rampant invidious discrimination” from what I can discern in my companies and in their wide-ranging clientele.

    However:

    I don’t want to leave it at that. If

    I would prefer to dig deeper to determine whether that was the real cause

    then I think what I’ve explained above determines only some of the causes of gender inequality, and those causes are on the whole due to women themselves; but I would rather dig deeper still, and see if there’s anything that can or should be done about these inequalities.

    The important point for me here is not to shatter the 76-cent rule. From the differences I outlined above, I can say we may never achieve equal pay. The important point is not to achieve parity in each profession, either. Men or women may have inherent proclivities for different professions.

    What is important is to put women in leadership positions because, while not all women are born leaders, when they get to the top, they have something very special to offer: a mind and heart, with a gut feeling for what’s happening at ground level — not just because they spend most of their lives in a subordinate position, but because they don’t work for themselves in the first place, but for others; and that is true of virtually every woman in the world.

    Not so much for men.

    I can see that in the Human Resources firm, but also all the other firms in which, not surprisingly, women are the head bananas. The companies keep an even keel, don’t bite off more than they can chew, do top-quality work and hand it in on time, and don’t overwork the underlings. Maybe we could make more money doing it differently, but long-term survival is a blessing, especially when the going gets tough.

    Even in the engineering consultancy, the one woman in that firm is in charge of the Observatory, an intellectually demanding position that is the heartbeat of the firm — a major position that is arguably the key to the firm’s success. When the firm filed for bankruptcy in 2002, the “job-saving plan” (developed by human resources) called for the administrator’s scalp and offered the job to that woman, who refused because the Observatory was too important. The current administrator is paid less than the Observatory chief, and actually has less power.

    So, I think HRC’s plans for empowering women are important, economically and politically, and should be part of her campaign — anyway, they will be whether you like it or not. If she wins the presidency, we might not see any new laws or programs, but there will be the ripple effect of “Sisters are doin’ it for themselves”: With women in leadership, everyone will benefit.

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