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Author Topic: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness  (Read 175362 times)
DougMacG
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« Reply #100 on: January 11, 2009, 11:18:34 AM »

Rachel wrote:  "GM-- This is the third or fourth time you have posted a poorly sourced smear regarding  Obama and Israel . "

From my observations so far, even quoting Barack Obama from the campaign, the debates or positions posted on his campaign website would also not be reliable sources for predicting what Obama would do as President.

Why would he meet freely with the leaders of Iran but not have 'low level contacts' with Hamas.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #101 on: January 12, 2009, 12:26:36 PM »

Continuity We Can Believe In
By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Published: January 11, 2009

Barack Obama made news Sunday on ABC’s “This Week”: The White House dog will likely be a Labradoodle or a Portuguese water dog.

I’ve got to say I’m a little disappointed. These are nice, friendly, generally obedient breeds (or in the case of the Labradoodle, a crossbreed). But what a missed opportunity! Obama could have made a bolder, edgier choice, like a mini-Australian shepherd. I happen to know one well. He’s very smart, a bit neurotic, devoted to his master (if sometimes confused about whether he or the master is the master), and always looking for people to herd. A mini-Aussie would have fit right into a White House populated by Rahm Emanuel, Larry Summers, Joe Biden et al. Instead, Obama’s going with a no-drama canine alternative.

And he seems to be going for the no-dramatic-change-in-policy-in-the-White-House alternative as well. Consider Obama’s reaction when George Stephanopoulos played a clip of Dick Cheney counseling Obama not to implement his campaign rhetoric until he’s fully briefed on the details of the Bush administration’s counterterrorism policy.

“I think that was pretty good advice, which is I should know what’s going on before we make judgments and that we shouldn’t be making judgments on the basis of incomplete information or campaign rhetoric. So I’ve got no quibble with that particular quote,” said Obama. Usually, presidents pretend their campaign positions are more than “campaign rhetoric.” Not Obama.

Obama did note that he differs with Cheney on “some things that we know happened,” including waterboarding. And he did reiterate his pledge to close Guantánamo. But he warned that it was “more difficult than I think a lot of people realize,” explaining that while he was committed to the rule of law, he wasn’t interested “in releasing people who are intent on blowing us up.”

And at one point he returned, unbidden, to the much-maligned vice president, commenting, “I thought that Dick Cheney’s advice was good.”

Perhaps the president-elect was just being polite. Or perhaps he just enjoys torturing (metaphorically!) some of his previously most ardent supporters who want Dick Cheney tried as a war criminal.

In fact, Stephanopoulos asked about that. He pointed to a popular question on Obama’s Web site about whether he’ll appoint a special prosecutor to investigate “the greatest crimes of the Bush administration, including torture and warrantless wiretapping.” Obama stipulated that no one should be above the law. But he praised C.I.A. employees, and said he didn’t want them “looking over their shoulders and lawyering.” He took the general view “that when it comes to national security, what we have to focus on is getting things right in the future, as opposed to looking at what we got wrong in the past.”

With respect to the Middle East, Obama didn’t even say we’d gotten much wrong in the past. Asked by Stephanopoulos whether his policy would build on Bush’s or would be a clean break, Obama answered, “if you look not just at the Bush administration, but also what happened under the Clinton administration, you are seeing the general outlines of an approach.” So: No break.

Meanwhile, the Obama transition team’s chief national security spokeswoman, Brooke Anderson, was denying a press report that Obama’s advisers were urging him to initiate low-level or clandestine contacts with Hamas as a prelude to change in policy. Anderson told The Jerusalem Post that the story wasn’t accurate, and reminded one and all that Obama “has repeatedly stated that he believes that Hamas is a terrorist organization dedicated to Israel’s destruction, and that we should not deal with them until they recognize Israel, renounce violence and abide by past agreements.”

On Iran, Obama did say he’d be taking “a new approach,” that “engagement is the place to start” with “a new emphasis on being willing to talk.” But he also reminded Stephanopoulos that the Iranian regime is exporting terrorism through Hamas and Hezbollah and is “pursuing a nuclear weapon that could potentially trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.” He said his willingness to talk would be combined with “clarity about what our bottom lines are” — one of them presumably being, as he’s said before, no Iranian nuclear weapons. And he demonstrated a sense of urgency — “we anticipate that we’re going to have to move swiftly in that area.”

So: After talks with Iran (if they happen) fail to curb Iran’s nuclear program, but (perhaps) impress other nations with our good faith, we’ll presumably get greater international support for sanctions. That will also (unfortunately) fail to deter Iran. “Engagement is the place to start,” Obama said, but it’s not likely to be the place Obama ends. He’ll end up where Bush is — with the choice of using force or acquiescing to the idea of a nuclear Iran.

And he’ll probably be calling Dick Cheney for advice.
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ccp
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« Reply #102 on: January 12, 2009, 03:13:18 PM »

***He’ll end up where Bush is — with the choice of using force or acquiescing to the idea of a nuclear Iran.***

Well, does Kristol think BO would use force against Iran?
There is zero indication of that.  He already said that any use of nucs by Iran against Israel would be met with a disprotionate nuclear response.  This tells us right there he is not going to use force to stop Iran from acquiring nukes and is using the deterrant of assured destruction. 

Anything else is "diplomacy".  Iran knows this.  That is why they will get what the nukes they want.  Unless they fold from within first.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #103 on: January 14, 2009, 10:12:06 AM »

"The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of the public moneys." --Thomas Jefferson
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #104 on: January 17, 2009, 12:42:29 AM »

Speak of cognitive dissonance, the leader of the free world is about to be inaugurated in a city that is going to be locked down tight.

"Something Will Happen"
January 14, 2009 12:02 PM by S.M. Oliva | Other posts by S.M. Oliva | Comments (6)

Armed thugs attacked a Chicago commuter train this morning, brandishing semi-automatic weapons and forcing passengers off the train before they were forcibly searched. The siege lasted nearly two hours.

The thugs, of course, called themselves "police," who said they were looking for a "suspicious" man, so identified by a Metra ticket agent because he was asking "unusual questions that were security based" and reportedly boarded the train carrying a firearm. The suspicious man, of course, also belonged to the police - specifically, the U.S. Secret Service.

This doesn't bode well for next Tuesday, when the Washington DC subway system will be pushed to the brink of collapse by the coronation of Barack Obama. The outgoing president has already declared a "state of emergency" in DC, extending that designation beyond the usual hurricanes and other natural disasters. As Kathryn Muratore noted at LewRockwell.com,

Welcome to the inauguration of the "leader of the free world." You may only enter the city through these designated roads and transit systems. You will only have access to the inauguration after passing through a security checkpoint, where you will be treated with suspicion. There will be thousands of armed men surrounding you at the ceremony and parade. But, hey, that's the price of freedom!

John Catoe, the general manager of Washington Metro, said "something will happen" to the subway system on January 20. He's not being vague for the sake of scaring people. Catoe has the impossible task of accommodating the largest one-day increase in demand in the transit system's history without any of the tools that would be available in a market economy. He can't increase prices beyond the normal "rush hour" ceiling imposed by Metro's politician-dominated board of directors. He's been told to increase the system's operating capacity far beyond its normal limits - maximum train service for 17 consecutive hours - and local politicians are demanding even more service hours. To add further pressure, "security" officials continue to close individual subway stations and major roadways - remember, the government has a road monopoly for a reason - to maximize the chance the system will collapse under its own weight.

Now just think what will happen if there's a repeat of this morning's Chicago incident, and heavily-armed "police" storm an overcrowded Metro train. The first day of Barack Obama's reign could be very costly indeed.

http://blog.mises.org/archives/009239.asp
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G M
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« Reply #105 on: January 17, 2009, 08:40:21 AM »

So police are armed thugs?
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #106 on: January 17, 2009, 01:57:05 PM »

So police are armed thugs?

Think there's some hyperbole in the article's lead, but you have to admit that a train being evacuated at gunpoint because a Secret Service agent was doing his job makes for a Charlie Foxtrot.

The article's larger point that BHO's inauguration has lead to unprecedented security precautions. I'm a member of an area Medical Reserve Corps assigned to an evac center about 20 miles outside the city and so have been tracking the preparations. They are projecting crowds of 2 million, and predict 200 hospital admissions off that sized crowd. Every hotel room in the city is booked, a lot of hospital staff lives in Virginia, but all roads from VA are closed down so staffing DC hospitals is proving to be a logistics problem.

I work a lot of first aid at concerts/charity events where the weather is mild, the conditions good, and access to climate controlled treatment areas easy to find. Never ceases to amaze me how many people show up to these events in inappropriate footwear and don't have their hydration and other environmental needs covered. Switch to DC where a lot of folks will be walking in from several miles out, temps are anticipated to be in the 20s, folks won't be allowed to carry anything larger than a fannypack or large containers of fluids, and most are expecting to spend the day in DC. Sound like a recipe for disaster to me.

I can't speak to the legal justifications and mechanisms for creating this logistics nightmare, but a lot of elements are in place for an unpleasant day on a large scale. For a candidate who spouted a lot of egalitarian boilerplate, BHO's inauguration incorporates a lot of limitations that are going to make for a very interesting day.


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #107 on: January 17, 2009, 03:14:49 PM »

May I suggest we return to the coming 8.3+% of GDP deficit spending? And the near complete absence of free market response to it? WTF!?! Even guys like Martin Feldstein are caving in!
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #108 on: January 17, 2009, 09:33:53 PM »

Steve Forbes hasn't:

"With all thy getting get understanding."
Steve Forbes 02.02.09, 12:00 AM ET
Yay, Stocks!

Amazingly, equities will end the year up. Most shareholders will experience something they've forgotten existed: capital gains. True, the economy is now in a bad slump, and the Obama initiatives (see below) will do little, if any, long-term good. But the forces of recovery will break through. As they always do, stocks will rise before the economy does. There will be volatility aplenty, but imperturbable bulls will be smiling a year from now.

Other Comments

Big Bar to Robust Recovery: Bad Ideas

The U.S. is enacting a "stimulus" program of gargantuan peacetime proportions to rejuvenate our recessed economy. We are not alone in this. Japan, China, Europe and numerous other nations are doing the same--not yet as big as our program but based on the idea that governments can rekindle growth.

It's all mostly wasted effort.

Governments are indeed critical to economic growth--but not in the manner we see unfolding here. While times and circumstances change, principles of economic growth do not. The basic ones have stood the test of time:

--The rule of law, especially property rights.

--Money that is stable in value, which the dollar manifestly has not been.

--Low tax rates.

--Ease of starting a new business.

--Minimal barriers to doing business, whether overseas (low or no trade barriers) or domestic (no internal cartels or onerous licensing procedures).

Despite its sheer size, the impact of the new President's fiscal program, after the initial euphoria, will be painfully limited. Instead of a jolt like from downing a six-pack of Red Bull, we'll get the economic equivalent of a tepid cup of decaffeinated tea. In fact, the waste and misuse of much of the money--inevitable in any quick, massive government-managed or -directed program--will negate much of the good in parts of this infrastructure-spending package.

While the economy will start to grow again in a few months--because of extra liquidity now being pumped in by the Fed, lower energy costs and very low inventory levels--the Obama programs could well impede or retard the pace of this nascent expansion. It could be a minor version of the way FDR's incessant experiments in the 1930s--price and wage controls, massive regulation, huge tax increases, forced unionization--severely damaged the U.S.' climb out of the Great Depression.

The blunt truth is that government spending is a poor substitute for private business and consumer investing and spending. Were it otherwise, the Soviet Union would have won the Cold War, and Japan, which had numerous Obamaesque stimulus packages in the 1990s, would have boomed instead of remaining dead in the water in what was a 12-year recession.

Why this belief in government spending? After surveying the wreckage of the Great Depression, British economist John Maynard Keynes posited that markets left to themselves were inherently unstable and that government intervention could prevent debilitating economic slumps.


"In the long run we are all dead," Keynes once famously quipped. Alas, Keynesian dogma never dies.

If entrepreneurs and businesses are not investing and consumers are not spending adequately, the idea goes, then government can come in and fill the void. "Voilà!" The economy will bounce back. In short, government can mobilize idle money via higher taxes and borrowings (Obama's money would all come from borrowing) and put it to work. It might even print some extra money--Keynesian economists still see a little bit of inflation as a positive for economic growth. The economic battery is recharged. Businesses recover their animal spirit, consumers their propensity to spend.

So why did such an approach fail so miserably in the 1930s? Economists such as Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke would say it was because Washington didn't spend enough.

What about Japan's spending binge in the 1990s that still left its economy stagnant? That's waved away because of Japanese peculiarities, such as the intimate ties between banks and cabals of affiliated Japanese companies, or something like that.

What about western Europe, which has had a massive government presence during the last 30 years but has created only a small fraction of the private-sector jobs that the U.S. has? Spenders just ignore that and prattle on about the wonderful quality of life western Europeans enjoy.

Despite adverse experience, the Keynesian stimulus idea has a viselike hold on policymakers, pundits and academics. It ignores the actual reasons that we experience slowdowns. As Joseph Schumpeter, the 20th century's foremost economist, observed, dynamic growth in the standard of living requires constant innovation--and volatility. One example of innovation leading to volatility is traditional media. Even without the current economic slump, this area would still be undergoing Internet-generated convulsions.

Events can also roil economies, as we experienced after 9/11. But most often, bad government policies bring on the most damaging downturns. The Great Depression was ignited by trade wars, high taxes and bad monetary policies. The great inflation of the 1970s was caused by the Federal Reserve's excessive money printing. The current crisis was brought on by the weak dollar, the reckless extravagances of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and regulatory errors, such as mark-to-market accounting.

Government spending doesn't deal with any of these things.

There Are Tax Cuts, and Then There Are Tax Cuts

One hopeful sign of the new President's pragmatism is his call for a $300 billion tax cut, although the bulk of it would consist of refundable tax credits--giving people money even if they owe no federal income tax. That's still better than Uncle Sam's shoveling out money quickly and wastefully on dubious "infrastructure" projects. Liberal Democrats, though, are criticizing the idea--they can't stomach the thought of letting individuals instead of bureaucrats have direct control over the money.

While Obama's trial balloon has some good parts to it, such as small businesses' being able to expense most capital expenditures up to $250,000, the proposal's effectiveness is mitigated by Keynesian ideology. Giving people money is not the way to get sound, long-term economic growth. The Bush rebates of early last year were a dud in that respect. People liked getting the money, but they used it to pay down debt or stashed it in their savings accounts. Even if they had spent it, the impact would have been a one-time shot.

The flaw here is that such tax changes ignore incentives. Tax rates affect behavior enormously. Low tax rates provide incentive for people to work more productively, entrepreneurs to take more risks and business executives to boost their capital expenditures. Rebates or refundable tax credits have minimal impact in boosting risk-taking and rewarding success.

Obama's idea also ignores the increasing deadweight-overhang of the expiration of the big reductions in the capital gains levy and personal taxes on dividends passed in 2003. If Obama were to announce that these low rates would stay in place and that our business profits tax (the second highest in the developed world) would be sharply cut--say, from 35% to 25%--and that the typical middle-class tax bracket of 25% would be permanently reduced to 15%, that would give the economy a really powerful positive kick upward. And it would end up generating new revenue instead of massive gone-forever outlays.

Earth to Bernanke

Another bad idea that continues to hurt us is the federal Reserve's belief in the Phillips curve, which posits that there's a tradeoff between inflation and unemployment. If you want more prosperity, you have to accept higher inflation; if you want less inflation, you have to accept a less robust economy. Experience has repeatedly shown this theory to be hokum. In both the 1980s and 1990s inflation came down--and we had one heck of a run of prosperity as well.

Yet Ben Bernanke and his fellow Fedsters cling to the idea like King Kong to Fay Wray. The latest example: The Fed let it be known at its December meeting that it was considering establishing an inflation target rate. In Bernanke's strange world the big bugaboo is that a deflationary mind-set might take hold in the U.S. as the recession deepens. Setting a target for inflation "might help forestall the development of expectations that inflation would decline below desired levels."

What planet are these people on? Most folks know that the current price-cutting frenzy of retailers and other producers is intended to move inventory. Deflation comes about when the real value of the dollar goes up sizably and permanently. There's no danger of that happening right now. And as for a "desired level" of inflation--if the Fed did its job correctly and kept the dollar strong and stable, it wouldn't have to worry about inflation or deflation. The Fed's target should be "flation." Period.

http://www.forbes.com/opinions/forbes/2009/0202/013.html
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #109 on: January 20, 2009, 09:08:10 PM »

So the standard leftist anti-second amendment gibberish is already up on the whitehouse.gov web site, according to NRO. I wish one of these fools was able to tell me what an assault weapon is. . . .

Christ, this feels like a rerun:

Now Obama Debuts Pledge to Make Guns 'Childproof'
Surprising very few of us, we see that once in office, Obama is more open about his gun control efforts at WhiteHouse.gov:

Address Gun Violence in Cities: Obama and Biden would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent.

How, precisely, does the Obama Administration plan on "making guns in this country childproof"? Mandatory trigger locks?

http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com/post/?q=OWNiNjhjYTUxZTNhMjNlZTQ1OTcwNWJhZjMxZDM4Njg=
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #110 on: January 20, 2009, 09:22:36 PM »

Would you please post that on the "We the well armed people" thread?

I am thinking it is time to bring this thread to a close now that BO is President.
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G M
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« Reply #111 on: January 21, 2009, 07:21:13 AM »

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aOYw.awwsNSg&refer=worldwide#

U.S. Stocks Slide in Dow Average’s Worst Inauguration Day Drop


By Elizabeth Stanton


Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks sank, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its worst Inauguration Day decline, as speculation banks must raise more capital sent financial shares to an almost 14-year low.

State Street Corp., the largest money manager for institutions, tumbled 59 percent after unrealized bond losses almost doubled. Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp. slumped more than 23 percent on an analyst’s prediction that they’ll need to take steps to shore up their balance sheets. The Dow’s 4 percent slide was the most on an Inauguration Day in the measure’s 112-year history, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and the Stock Trader’s Almanac.

“All the banks are going to have to recapitalize,” said Greg Woodard, portfolio strategist at Manning & Napier Advisors Inc., which manages $16 billion in Fairport, New York. “That’s not done. That’s in front of them, and we don’t want to try to get in front of that trade.”

The S&P 500 plunged 5.3 percent to 805.22. The S&P 500 Financials Index fell 17 percent to below its lowest closing level since March 1995 as concern European banks need more capital also weighed on the group. The Dow average slid 332.13 points to 7,949.09. Both the Dow and S&P 500 retreated to two- month lows.

The S&P 500 is off to its worst start to a year, shattering the biggest rally since World War II, as analysts cut earnings estimates by a record 83 percentage points and companies signal worse to come.

The S&P 500 is down 11 percent in the first 12 trading days of 2009, exceeding last year’s 9.2 percent drop, according to data compiled by Bloomberg going back to 1928. The decline helped erase more than two-thirds of a 24 percent rally since Nov. 20 as optimism that government spending would revive the economy evaporated.

‘Effectively Insolvent’

U.S. financial losses from the credit crisis may reach $3.6 trillion, according to New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini, who predicted last year’s economic and stock-market meltdowns.

“If that’s true, it means the U.S. banking system is effectively insolvent because it starts with a capital of $1.4 trillion,” Roubini said at a conference in Dubai today. “This is a systemic banking crisis.”

Europe’s Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index retreated 2.1 percent today, led by banks and technology companies. It fell almost 2 percent yesterday after Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc forecast the biggest-ever loss by a U.K. company. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index retreated 2.1 percent today.

Obama Sworn In

Barack Obama became the 44th U.S. president today, inheriting the most severe economic crisis since Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn in 76 years ago. The turmoil has dragged the world’s largest economies into recession, caused more than $1 trillion of losses at financial institutions and prompted a sell-off in global stock markets.

Treasuries fell for a second day on speculation Obama will sell record amounts of debt to battle the recession. The dollar strengthened for a second day against the euro.

State Street lost $21.46 to $14.89 for the biggest drop in the S&P 500 and the stock’s steepest tumble since at least 1984. Unrealized losses on fixed-income investments rose to $6.3 billion at Dec. 31 from $3.3 billion at Sept. 30, the company said. Unrealized losses on assets held in conduits increased to $3.6 billion from $2.2 billion.

Bank of New York Mellon Corp., the world’s largest custodian of financial assets, fell 17 percent to $19, its lowest closing price since 1997.

Financials Tumble

Financial companies posted the biggest drop among the S&P 500’s 10 main industry groups as all 81 shares fell.

Wells Fargo, the largest bank on the U.S. West Coast, slid 24 percent to $14.23. Friedman Billings Ramsey Group Inc. analyst Paul Miller lowered his earnings estimates and price target, in addition to predicting a dividend cut.

Bank of America, the biggest U.S. lender by assets, fell the most in the Dow average, sliding 29 percent to $5.10. FBR’s Miller estimated Bank of America needs at least $80 billion of additional capital.

“You don’t want to be anywhere close to these common stocks because you don’t know how much new stock is going to be issued,” said Wayne Wilbanks, who oversees $1.1 billion as chief investment officer at Wilbanks Smith & Thomas in Norfolk, Virginia. “If one wants to invest in this space I would focus almost exclusively on the preferred shares,” he said, because that’s the same type of stock the government is purchasing.

The U.S. government has taken preferred equity stakes in at least 257 banks including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Bank of New York and State Street since October under its Troubled Asset Relief Program aimed at stabilizing the banking system.

‘Aggregator’ Bank

Regions Financial Corp. fell 24 percent to an almost 24- year low of $4.60 after reporting a record fourth-quarter loss. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lost 21 percent to $18.09, the lowest since October 2002.

Obama’s advisers are considering options for dealing with troubled assets still clogging banks’ balance sheets, according to people familiar with the matter. Among alternatives: setting up a government-backed “bad” or “aggregator” bank to hold the securities, or leaving the assets on banks’ books and providing a government guarantee.

‘Atmosphere of Cynicism’

“The risk of investing in financials remains relatively high,” said Alan Gayle, senior investment strategist at RidgeWorth Capital Management in Richmond, Virginia. “There’s an atmosphere of cynicism and disbelief with regard to a lot of these turnaround stories.” RidgeWorth manages $70 billion.

Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. slid 9.4 percent to $37.25. Goldman Sachs advised selling the designer of the U.S. Olympics team’s official uniform as consumer spending shifts from “aspirational to desperational.”

Alcoa Inc., the largest U.S. aluminum producer, sank 11 percent to $8.35. Aluminum declined for the seventh straight day in London on speculation that demand will weaken as the housing slump worsens.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Stanton in New York at estanton@bloomberg.net.

Last Updated: January 20, 2009 16:47 EST
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G M
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« Reply #112 on: January 21, 2009, 07:23:58 AM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/01/20/inaugural-benediction-pray-that-white-will-embrace-what-is-right/

Feel the post-racial healing!
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ccp
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« Reply #113 on: January 21, 2009, 10:13:33 AM »

Last night Rachel Maddow the flaming liberal whose mo is to bash republicans was beaming ear to ear while quoting Pat Buchanan passionately claiming a passage from BOs speech was glorious and great.

She fails to note that the passage was clearly the reiteration of conservative values, honesty, hard work, self reliance, etc.

The question is still out whether BO is serious about this stuff or is this stealing conservative philosophy for his rhetoric while at the same time he builds up the huge nanny entitlement state?

Time will tell.

Rachal Maddow would have been disgusted and critical if a republican said the exact same thing.  But as long as its their guy the democrat leftist most liberal guy in the Senate saying it....

Now that she doesn't have W to kick around anymore watch her now go into protect and promote "down all our throats" BO and the crat agenda.  Though I admit she criticized him for his picking Warren because that was against her personal gay agenda which spills out and drenches all her so called reporting/journalism or whatever one wants to call it.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #114 on: January 21, 2009, 10:30:19 AM »

Now that he is President, I've deleted the word "Coming" from the title of this thread.

The Lord helps those who help themselves.  Time to man up and do what we can to protect America from the Keynesian clusterfcuk that I fear cometh and so much more.



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G M
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« Reply #115 on: January 21, 2009, 09:52:33 PM »

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/WEnotrich1.wav

Who says Obama voters don't understand economics.....
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #116 on: January 21, 2009, 10:18:48 PM »

I'm hearing that the CBO is saying by BO's own numbers, the stimulus package will cost $6,700 per family and assuming they create every job they say they will  rolleyes each job will cost $217,000 to create.  rolleyes rolleyes rolleyes Oh, and most of the stimulus won't begin for two to ten years.  rolleyes

We are so fornicated , , ,
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G M
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« Reply #117 on: January 22, 2009, 08:39:48 PM »

- Pajamas Media - http://pajamasmedia.com -

Obama Snubs Medal of Honor Recipients
Posted By Mr. Wolf On January 22, 2009 @ 10:46 am In . Column1 01, History, Media, Politics, US News | 42 Comments

Here it is less than 72 hours into a new administration and the blogs have already been burning up the internet over a major snub by our new president.

What is the slight that they’re feeling? What’s got them all bunched up? A party — one the new president failed to show up for.

Every four years during inauguration evening (the galas began in 1809), groups vie for a visit from the incoming president, his wife, and anyone from his ticket. For decades, the “official” and “unofficial” galas have hoped to get a short visit from the president. He would take a few turns on the dance floor, say a few words to those gathered, and move on to the next one. Typically, these galas and balls consist of groups of people that have a common theme or background — from youth groups (H.O.P.E. Inaugural Youth Ball) to the National Council on Women ball. Which ones the new president attends say much about his priorities (right or wrong) and which demographics he may hold in high esteem.

In this case, the American Legion, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and the Paralyzed Veterans of America, as well as other veteran’s groups, were sponsoring their gala that has coincided with the inaugural evening since Eisenhower took office in 1953. In total, nine presidents and 56 years have gone by, and each inaugural evening the new president arrived to thank the veterans and Medal of Honor recipients in attendance. As one of the “unofficial” balls, it meant quite a bit to have the president show up and make an appearance.

Except this time.

The president and first lady, for the first time in those ensuing 56 years, did not make an appearance at the Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball. In attendance at the gala were 48 of the 99 living recipients of our nation’s highest honor. Of the 99 who are still with us, not even half are in any condition or possess the wherewithal to travel to such an event. And by the next inauguration, likely half of those won’t be with us.

Making this evening even more special was the fact that it is the 50th anniversary of the Medal of Honor Society, which has been working hard to reach out to people to educate them about its members.

The new president’s perceived “slights” against the military have made veterans and military members quite sensitive to how President Obama treats them. From calling for a pullout from Iraq during the campaign to forgoing a visit to injured GWOT vets in Germany, we have kept an eye on his every move and decision with regards to our nation’s finest. This “change” appears to have set the tone for the rest of his administration. To forgo a tradition of greeting the veterans who’ve received the highest honor in order to attend galas featuring Hollywood elites was just a bit too much to bear.

Even in his inaugural address to the nation, he mentioned the sacrifices of veterans of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, but failed to mention (or deliberately ignored) the veterans of our current sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan. That gives more credence to the feeling that he just no longer cares about the sacrifices being made on behalf of our country and the service that so many Americans have made over the years.

In the blogsphere, reaction was swift and vocal. At the blog [1] This Ain’t Hell But You Can See It from Here, which was one of the first to post on this issue, writer “TSO” writes about his getting to meet and interview six of the Medal of Honor recipients at the gathering. He was there to meet the heroes and also to get a chance to see the president (given the former tradition of his attending). Jonn Lilyea, of the same blog, then calls attention to the fact that the president did not attend. The negative comments were swift in coming, with most of them being unprintable.

In a fair and just world this country would accept no excuse and no reason for this snub and he’d be held in scorn for this. But since he has no honor, nor do many/most of his supporters they’ll overlook this issue. (Shovelhead)

And that was just one of the nicer ones.

From commenters at [2] Ace of Spades:

The judgment question isn’t that he should’ve gone to this and didn’t; it’s that he could’ve gone to this and didn’t. (Firehorse)

Little Green Footballs had over one thousand comments on the issue. Suffice it to say, none were any prettier than those above.

The fact that all the other presidents, of both parties, were able to attend the ball and not be seen as choosing Hollywood and rappers over sacrifice and honor says volumes about our new president and the direction he is taking us.

Two days into his job as president and he’s already got a lot of ground to make up with those who truly count — the ones who’ve laid down their lives for their country.

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/obama-snubs-medal-of-honor-recipients/

URLs in this post:
[1] This Ain’t Hell But You Can See It from Here: http://www.thisainthell.us/
[2] Ace of Spades: http://pajamasmedia.comwww.ace.mu.nu
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G M
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« Reply #118 on: January 23, 2009, 08:05:39 PM »

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090123/pl_afp/usattacksjusticepoliticsobamasign/print;_ylt=AuIoQulg7kEXYlvMD2S9_FCtOrgF

Obama 'declared end' to war on terror: media

Fri Jan 23, 6:58 am ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama "declared an end" to his predecessor's "war on terror" and began to heal the US reputation abroad when he ordered the Guantanamo Bay prison to close, US editorialists wrote Friday.
Obama's order to close the detention facility within a year, end coercive interrogations and shut secret overseas CIA prisons sent a strong signal to the world and presented a new post-September 11 era, wrote The Washington Post.
"President Obama yesterday eliminated the most controversial tools employed by his predecessor against terrorism suspects," the Post said.
"With the stroke of his pen, he effectively declared an end to the 'war on terror,' as President George W. Bush had defined it, signaling to the world that the reach of the US government in battling its enemies will not be limitless," it said.
"In a broad swipe at the Bush administration's lawyers, Obama nullified every legal order and opinion on interrogations issued by any lawyer in the executive branch after September 11, 2001," the Post added.
"It was a swift and sudden end to an era that was slowly drawing to a close anyway, as public sentiment grew against perceived abuses of government power."
The Los Angeles Times pointed out the ambiguities that remain: it was still not clear what would be done about the 245 prisoners languishing in the jail, nor how their court cases would be resolved.
But the paper hailed Obama for having reversed Bush policies.
"President Obama has begun the rehabilitation of this country's reputation when it comes to the treatment of suspected terrorists," the Times wrote.
"Obama deserves credit for ending the worst of the Bush administration's excesses in the 'war on terror' ... But the orders contain ambiguities that demonstrate how hard it will be to unwind the tangle that President Bush created."
The Chicago Tribune mulled the possibility of holding the remaining Guantanamo terror suspects "as prisoners of war for the duration of the conflict or until they no longer pose a threat."
The fight against violent extremism remains fraught with difficulty, it noted.
"Assuring fairness and civilized conditions for the accused, while protecting the nation from bloodthirsty enemies, is harder in this war than in most," the Tribune wrote.
"But the new administration can do better than the last one did."
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #119 on: January 23, 2009, 08:46:55 PM »

Concerning GM's post on the snub to Medal of Honor recipients, it may be worth noting that the most recent war whose veterans he praised in his Inaugural was Vietnam.

What of our troops in Iraq?!?   Afghanistan?!?
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ccp
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« Reply #120 on: January 24, 2009, 09:42:28 AM »

As a moderate Republican I have been critical of some of the rhetoric from the likes of Rush, Hannity, Inghram, Coulter.  I don't necessarily disagree with their philosophy but more their strategy.  I don't feel that just talking about freedom, less government, less taxes, more capitalism alone as the end all answer to all our problems is correct.  It is too simplified and certainly not going to appeal to wider audiences.  There must be a better way of redefining this in a way that also sends a message to the majority of people out there that they are included in this view. Most people just see the rich getting richer, they see thier health premiiums rising, they see the their bills, their debts piling up and the above rhetoric, as a truly great American and human being, Colin Powell said, ain't going to win them over.  And that *IS ALL* that the Repbulcian pundits are offering.  That is why we lost and lost big.

That said about the conservative pundits BO is not winning me over with this kind of talk.  That does not mean I am all for his agenda of huge big government and an expanded welfare state and soaking form some to pay for the failures of other.  BO ain't going to win me over with this kind of talk.  There is no honeymoon for me.  I now agree with the likes of Mark Levin that Republicans need to come out swinging and keep swinging.  They must not get steamrolled.  BO's policies will fail.  We are pouring good money after bad.  We will have weak kiss ass foreign policy built on celebritism, pomp, and bullshit.  That is not to let W and the previous group of Republicans off the hook.  Thye helped get us into this mess and BO inherited it. 

With all that I said about my reservations of some of the simpleton rhetoric from Rush et al, the following  from BO pisses me off and ain't goin to make me a fan of him (not that I ever was).  Rush et al are certianly correct that BO is big time socialist and is right to hope he fail in some ways with his huge country destroying socialist programs (although not that we otherwise would want him to fail):

(PS the conservative George Will to me look like fools to have met with BO.  He is used them hook line and sinker.  I thought they were smarter than that.  I guess they fall for fanfare and celebritism like most everyone else.) 


***January 23, 2009

WASHINGTON -- President Obama warned Republicans on Capitol Hill today that they need to quit listening to radio king Rush Limbaugh if they want to get along with Democrats and the new administration.

"You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package.

One White House official confirmed the comment but said he was simply trying to make a larger point about bipartisan efforts.

"There are big things that unify Republicans and Democrats," the official said. "We shouldn't let partisan politics derail what are very important things that need to get done."

That wasn't Obama's only jab at Republicans today.

In an exchange with Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) about the proposal, the president shot back: "I won," according to aides briefed on the meeting.

"I will trump you on that."

Not that Obama was gloating. He was just explaining that he aims to get his way on stimulus package and all other legislation, sources said, noting his unrivaled one-party control of both congressional chambers.

"We are experiencing an unprecedented economic crisis that has to be dealt with and dealt with rapidly," Obama said during the meeting.

Republicans say the $825 billion price tag is too big a burden for a nation crippled by debt and that it doesn't do enough to stimulate the economy by cutting taxes.

"You know, I'm concerned about the size of the package. And I'm concerned about some of the spending that's in there, [about] ... how you can spend hundreds of millions on contraceptives," House GOP Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) later said.

"How does that stimulate the economy?"

But White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs countered: "There was a lot of agreement in that room about the notion that we're facing an economic crisis unlike we've seen in quite some time ... that we must act quickly to stimulate the economy, create jobs, put money back in people's pockets."

Gibbs disagreed with those who called the meeting window dressing.

"The president is certainly going to listen to any ideas," he said.

"He will also go to Capitol Hill the beginning of next week to talk to Republican caucuses and solicit their input and their ideas."

With Post Wires***

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DougMacG
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« Reply #121 on: January 25, 2009, 11:48:36 AM »

Obama last week: "I won" [we'll do it my way!]   Bush in 2004: "Let me put it to you this way: I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, ... I've earned capital in this election -- and I'm going to spend it ..."
---
CCP regarding Rush, Hannity, Coulter: "[I am] a moderate Republican...I don't necessarily disagree with their philosophy but more their strategy."  - I agree, and I'm not a moderate Republican.  But these people are not R. strategists.  They are entertainers and pundits.  They are selling viewership and listenership, not hope, change or electoral success.
---
The argument that the rich keep getting richer I think is moot after this present downturn.  The rich get richer in an up economy because they are invested.  The rich get poorer in a collapse because they are invested.  Look at the famous quote from JFK about rising tides lift all boats.  For the rich it lifts a bigger boat.  We simply don't have a way to lift all but the rich though we keep trying to concoct schemes.
---
I was moved by a post about 'Soviet Britain' where in some areas the government is 70% of the economy.  The move towards socialism by both parties, but in this case, Obama-Pelosi, is not rhetoric or scaremongering.  It is the elephant in the room.
---
"...conservative George Will to me look like fools to have met with BO.  He is used them hook line and sinker.  I thought they were smarter than that.  I guess they fall for fanfare and celebritism like most everyone else."   - No, they aren't smarter than that and they aren't smarter than Obama.  And me neither.  My first reaction was that he is reaching out... A day later I think I read it more accurately, that he had a pro-life evangelist at a ceremony, that he broke bread with a few conservatives, etc. These are attempts to inoculate himself against the inevitable repeat of affiliations and liaisons with people like Jememiah Wright, Ahkmad 'dinejad etc.
---
While I rant about 'His Glibness', I am constantly reminded that Sarah Palin didn't answer a question about what she reads, but Barack Obama to my knowledge has never been asked what book he has EVER read about the free-enterprise system that is not anti-free-enterprise.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2009, 11:54:51 AM by DougMacG » Logged
G M
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« Reply #122 on: January 25, 2009, 01:18:45 PM »


SHERMAN FREDERICK: The ugly side of the inauguration

Obamamania's mean streak
Ironic that on Inauguration Day, when President Barack Obama told Americans it was time to take personal responsibility and "grow up" as a country, some of his supporters behaved like spoiled children in booing George W. Bush.

And, sadly, neither Obama nor any leader in the public spotlight that day seized the moment to admonish the boorish behavior.

It would have been nice had Obama had the presence of mind in his inaugural speech to not only allude to scripture in saying it's time to put away "childish things" but to also have told the boo-birds that their behavior was inappropriate and the embodiment of those "childish things."

He might have said: "Isn't it enough to be just happy for me? When you boo the former president, you fail to understand what this solemn event is all about -- the peaceful transition of power. This is not a football game. Nor is it a Third World bloodless coup. This is American democracy at work. If you can't respect that, then leave. Now."

But no one mustered the courage to say that. While I thought Obama's speech was otherwise thought-provoking and worthy, he missed an opportunity to call out these boors and chastise their behavior. By not doing so, I am afraid that Obama essentially condoned this kind of mob intolerance. There is already a hateful mean streak among some Obamamaniacs. Left unchecked, it can fester into something quite un-American and un-democratic.

In case you missed it, when President George W. Bush was announced to the crowd, some booed loudly, shocking even the commentators on the official Obama network, MSNBC. One section of onlookers sang, "Nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey, goodbye." And, finally, as Bush left the White House, one deep thinker took the opportunity to give the "one-finger salute," thus saying more about himself than anything else.

This from a movement that fancies itself all about peace, love and global karma.

Now look, it would be a mistake to paint all Democrats and Obama supporters with the actions of these few on Inauguration Day. And, according to news reports, some in the crowd tried hard to shush the boo-birds. That is a hopeful sign.

But let's also not ignore the obvious. There is a growing faction of the American left that seeks revenge more than righteousness.

Intolerant of dissenting views, this faction thinks as comedian Janeane Garofalo does that some members of the opposing political party should be "jailed." Terrorist acts (such as mailing envelopes of white power to Mormon temples because the gay marriage vote in California went the church's way) are seen by this faction as understandable and acts of legitimate political expression.

There is also an ugly racial component to it. We first saw it with Obama's pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who said, among other things, that white America had deliberately inflicted black Africa with AIDS.

When the Rev. Wright first hit the national stage, we hardly knew what to make of his irrational and separatist statements. Consequently, we pretty much ignored the substance of Wright's racially divisive rhetoric and focused on it as a day-to-day political story. It made us more comfortable, I think.

But in light of the things we saw at the inauguration, it may be time to revisit the dangers of intolerance and hate -- no matter the color of the person who makes them -- and nip this ugly mean streak in the bud.

As our president said, it is time to grow up.

Sherman Frederick (sfrederick@reviewjournal.com) is publisher of the Review-Journal and president of Stephens Media.

 

 
 
Find this article at:
http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/38291659.html
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #123 on: January 26, 2009, 08:23:25 AM »

As the piece points out, what if it had been Bush?

Sunday, January 25, 2009
And on the fifth day, subpoenas were served to Obama's senior staff

On Saturday morning, the list of subpoenas served by the U.S. Attorney's office in the Governor Rod Blagojevich case was made public. The list included one major surprise for the new administration.

A veritable "who's who" of Obama staffers, surrogates and affiliates were among those served with subpoenas. Put simply, within one week of President Barack Obama's administration taking office, it is already under significant legal scrutiny that will -- at a minimum -- take precious time away from dealing with the country's monumental economic and foreign policy challenges.

And, once again, the mainstream media is AWOL, unwilling to report on this very newsworthy story.

Among those served with subpoenas were:

David Axelrod, Obama's "Karl Rove" and the biggest surprise on the list. Obama's team issued a report in December that said his staff had no "inappropriate contact" with Blago, so the inclusion of Axelrod is a bit of a shock.

Valerie Jarrett, Blago's "Senate Candidate 1", a real estate management executive and political hack of the first order. Her ties to failed and fraudulent real estate deals in Chicago were the subject of numerous investigations and should have instantly disqualified her for any public office.

Rahm Emanuel was already deeply involved in the case with some reports describing as many as 21 conversations with Blago's office during the period in question.

Tony Rezko, Obama's first advocate, fundraiser and adviser, was convicted last year on numerous charges related to kickbacks, and is now awaiting sentencing. Rezko is "cooperating with authorities, FBI Agent Daniel Cain said in an affidavit."

Others served include:

• Patricia Blagojevich, first lady
• River Realty, her former employer
• Friends of Blagojevich, the governor's campaign committee
• Citizens for Blagojevich, his former committee
• Robert Blagojevich, the governor's brother and campaign chairman
• Christopher Kelly, former adviser and fundraiser for governor
• Alonzo Monk, former Blagojevich chief of staff, now a lobbyist
• Milan Petrovic, lobbyist and campaign fundraiser
• John Wyma, former Blagojevich adviser, now a lobbyist
• Paul Rosenfeld, lobbyist
• J.B. Pritzker, wealthy Chicagoan whom Blagojevich might have considered to replace Obama in U.S. Senate
• Gery Chico, former Chicago school board president and one-time U.S. Senate candidate
• Doug Scofield, former Blagojevich adviser, now a consultant
• Scofield Communications
• Service Employees International Union
• Tom Balanoff, SEIU Illinois president
• Change to Win, an SEIU-affiliated activist group
• Sam Zell, owner of the Chicago Tribune
• Nils Larsen, an adviser to Zell
• The Chicago Tribune
• The Tribune Co., the newspaper's parent company
• Michael Vondra, owner of asphalt and construction companies
• Gerald Krozel, vice president of a concrete company
• John Johnston, president of Balmoral Park racetrack
• Fred Yang, Washington, D.C.-based Blagojevich consultant
• Garin Hart Yang Research Group, Yang's firm
• William Knapp, Washington, D.C.-based Blagojevich consultant
• Squire, Knapp & Dunn, Knapp's firm
• Doug Sosnick, political consultant

Blago's "Senate Candidate 3", Jan Schakowsky, was not served with a subpoena, but will have some questions of her own to answer in the days to come.

Let's recap, shall we? In the first week, Obama has not cut taxes -- the only proven way to revive the economy -- despite promising to do so for "95% of working Americans" (which was almost certainly a lie, but let's wait and see); signed an order to close Gitmo, certain to make America less safe; and promoted abortion on a global scale.

Oh, and most of his senior staff was served with subpoenas.

I can hardly wait for week two.

Update: Thomas Lifson offers the critical thought experiment: imagine if Rove, and not Axelrod, had been the subject.

Hat tips: Don Surber (for the title as well as the story) and Larwyn. Linked by: Thomas Lifson at the invaluable American Thinker, The Anchoress, SondraK, The Real Barack Obama, CannonFire, DequalsS, Bill Baar's West Side and The Astute Bloggers. Thanks!
Labels: Crime, Democrats, MSM, Obama

http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2009/01/and-evening-and-morning-were-fifth-day.html
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ccp
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« Reply #124 on: January 26, 2009, 10:38:50 AM »

***CCP regarding Rush, Hannity, Coulter: "[I am] a moderate Republican...I don't necessarily disagree with their philosophy but more their strategy."  - I agree, and I'm not a moderate Republican.  But these people are not R. strategists.  They are entertainers and pundits.  They are selling viewership and listenership, not hope, change or electoral success.***

Hi Doug. Yes but the msm always points to them as spokespeople for Republicans.  They are out there everyday reaching out to Republicans in a way no one else in the party can.  Yes occasionally we see Rove, Newt  or a few others on FOX but otherwise the party has no one. 
So while a I do agree some of what they say I am not sure if it is more hurtful or helpful.  They are the most heard spokepeople for the party right now.  We see a few senators (Boehner) and what not, but otherwise that's it.  With so few MSM voices.....

I really do think BO is conning the right and everyone else.  I think he is a giant far lefty in heart, theory, and practice and he is playing the middle and right for fools.   I've seen enough to think this guy is playing the part, "make you think you are one of them and you will be able to change them" (right out of the Saul Alinsky writings).

My impression he will subtly slide in all the big government programs he can get away with.
And the George Wills of the world will idly sit and smile like Timothy Leary.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #125 on: January 26, 2009, 05:07:32 PM »

January 26, 2009
Green Stimulus: Tying Economic Package to Energy and Environment Plan Is Not Workable
by Ben Lieberman
WebMemo #2245
There is plenty of reason to believe that Congress's proposed stimulus package will not work. A recent Heritage Foundation analysis noted that such government spending "cannot be stimulative because every dollar that government spending 'injects' into the economy must first be taxed or borrowed out of the economy. Rather than create new purchasing power, these policies merely redistribute existing purchasing power."[1]

Even worse than being a zero-sum game, government spending creates less economic activity than if the money had been left in the private sector.[2]

This misallocation of resources is only worsened with the attempt to fashion a green stimulus, as the spending projects deemed environmentally acceptable tend to be ones that are especially questionable from an economic standpoint. A better approach would involve removing the impediments to private investment rather than substituting them with misguided public investment.

A Green Stimulus Is a Contradiction in Terms

First and foremost, it should be noted that a green stimulus is an inherent contradiction in terms. The environmental movement itself is, by design, anti-growth. After all, these are the individuals and organizations that regularly fight to stop new factories, power plants, and construction projects. For them, environmental concerns, real or exaggerated, almost always trump economic ones, and it is rare for them to be lacking an excuse to oppose a project. Several leading environmentalists even admit that reduced economic growth is part of their strategy. For example, scientist and activist John Holdren, President Obama's choice for chief science advisor, once stated that "[a] massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States."[3]

The environmental movement's many successes in imposing this agenda has for decades been a drag on the economy and a net destroyer of jobs, especially high-wage blue-collar jobs in such areas as manufacturing and energy production. And even when environmental obstructionists do not ultimately prevail, their routine use of protracted litigation and other delay tactics would almost certainly negate any attempts at an immediate boost to the economy.

Granted, the environmental community does support some politically correct projects for things like renewable energy, public transportation, and efficiency improvements in buildings. These types of endeavors will comprise the green component of the stimulus package. But in terms of economic activity and jobs, these items are miniscule compared to the myriad activities environmentalist continue to oppose, including virtually all heavy industry, the production and use of the fossil fuels, and many if not most major construction projects such as new roads and housing developments.

Overall, an economy that tries to operate to the satisfaction of environmental activists will be a substantially weakened one, and an attempt at a stimulus via a greening of the economy will always be self-defeating and a net job killer.

To the extent the new Administration and Congress pay heed to the wishes of environmental activists, they will be embarking on an anti-stimulus package that will swamp even the largest stimulus. This will be even truer if the 800-pound gorilla of anti-stimulus packages--a crackdown on fossil energy use in the name of combating global warming--is ever imposed.

Renewable Energy Is Anti-Stimulus

Part of the green stimulus involves using taxpayer dollars to subsidize renewable energy, especially wind and solar for electric generation and biofuels for transportation. This would backfire and hurt the economy. It is well established that affordable energy is critical to economic health, and higher energy costs will hurt the prospects for an economic recovery and post-recovery growth. But virtually all of the alternative energy sources that are part of the green stimulus are more expensive than their conventional counterparts.[4]

If renewables like wind and solar energy or biofuels were economically competitive, they would already be in growing use without federal subsidies. The fact that they currently enjoy many government handouts and apparently need even more from the stimulus package is a red flag that they cost too much. Indeed, this is why federal efforts to pick winners and losers among energy sources invariably end up backing losers: The winners are the ones that do not need Washington's help.

Support for renewables would likely cost more jobs than are created. For example, subsidies for wind and solar energy would, at least from the narrow perspective of the wind and solar industries, create new jobs as more of these systems are manufactured and installed. But the tax dollars needed to help pay for them cost jobs elsewhere, as would the pricey electricity they produce.

The only reason to consider promoting these renewables is for their environmental benefits, which are questionable in most cases. But the economic argument for saddling the nation with this costlier energy falls completely flat. Some suggest that an entire "new" economy could be based on renewable energy sources, but the only thing new about it would be how weak and globally uncompetitive it is.

Throwing New Money After Old

Most of the ideas that comprise the green stimulus are not new. Things like public transit and energy efficiency programs have long been accorded politically correct status and have been the favorites of Washington spenders for decades--with little to show for it.

There already are a host of federal laws providing subsidies for public transportation as well as tax code provisions encouraging its use. And the 2005 and 2007 energy bills added to the array of existing programs encouraging energy efficiency, from new home appliance and automobile efficiency standards to tax breaks encouraging the use of insulation and other energy-saving devices in homes and commercial buildings.

As is the case with renewable energy, such past federal efforts have a mixed track record. For example, decades of generous federal funding has propped up a number of transit systems with inadequate ridership (less than 2 percent of all passengers and 5 percent of commuters use public transit), which along with other problems negates any economic and environmental benefits.[5] And while market forces have led to increased energy efficiency in nearly all energy-using products and industrial processes, there are a number of federally mandated efficiency measures that have backfired, from energy-saving clothes washers whose performance was panned by Consumer Reports to automobile fuel economy standards that were found by the National Academy of Sciences to make vehicles less safe.[6]

Removing Environmental Impediments: A Real Stimulus Package

There are better options for creating worthwhile economic activity. The real way toward a stimulus is through the private sector, and much could be done by streamlining environmental impediments to private sector growth and job creation.

For example, consider the benefits of removing the legal and regulatory roadblocks to increased domestic oil and natural gas production.[7] Vast energy-rich onshore and offshore areas are currently off-limits, and energy companies are eager for the opportunity to expand into them. In sharp contrast to the renewable energy expenditures in the stimulus package, the jobs created by increased domestic oil and natural gas drilling would be paid for entirely by the private sector. And the extra production would lower oil and natural gas prices, thereby providing further economic benefits that accompany affordable energy--the exact opposite of what happens when the government tries to foist uncompetitive renewables onto the market.

The Wrong Stimulus

A stimulus package can create makework jobs, including green makework jobs, but since these jobs require federal funding that must come from somewhere else where jobs are being lost, the exercise is zero-sum at best. And after the green stimulus money is spent, the end result is primarily boondoggles with little long-term economic value. The private sector could better use those resources, especially if legal and regulatory impediments are removed.

Trying to spend ourselves rich has always proven to be a bad idea. And trying to simultaneously spend ourselves rich and green would be even more disappointing.

Ben Lieberman is Senior Policy Analyst in Energy and the Environment in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.


[1]Brian M. Riedl, "Why Government Spending Does Not Stimulate Economic Growth," Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 2208, November 12, 2008, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Budget/bg2208.cfm.

[2]Ibid.

[3]John Holdren, Paul Ehrlich, Anne Ehrlich, Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1973), p. 279.

[4]See International Energy Agency, "Projected Costs of Generating Electricity: 2005 Update," Executive Summary, at http://www.iea.org/Textbase/npsum/ElecCostSUM.pdf (January 26, 2009).

[5]See Ron Utt, "Washington Metro Needs Reform, Not a Federal Bailout," Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 1665, October 16, 2007, at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Budget/wm1665.cfm; Randall O'Toole, "Does Rail Transit Save Energy or Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions?" Cato Institute Policy Analysis, April 14, 2008, at http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-615.pdf (January 26, 2009).

[6]ConsumerReports.org, "Washers & Dryers: Dirty Laundry," June 2007, at http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/appliances/washing-machines/
washers-and-dryers-6-07/overview/0607_wash_ov_1.htm (January 26, 2009);National Academy of Sciences, "Effectiveness and Impact of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards," 2002, p. 3.

[7]David Kreutzer, "The Economic Case for Drilling Oil Reserves," Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 2093, October 1, 2008, at http://www.heritage
.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/wm2093.cfm.

http://www.heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/wm2245.cfm
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« Reply #126 on: January 27, 2009, 10:58:05 AM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/01/27/the-obama-al-arabiya-interview/

The Obama al-Arabiya interview
posted at 10:06 am on January 27, 2009 by Ed Morrissey   


Barack Obama decided to give al-Arabiya the honor of getting his first one-on-one interview as President of the United States, and while that might have been a good strategic decision, Obama’s performance didn’t cash in on it.  Instead of offering both openness and a tough assessment of the problems the Arabs have to solve for themselves, Obama seemed more interested in feelings than national security.  And in at least one instance, Obama accepted a strange paradigm from his interviewer that underscored his naiveté:

Q: I want to ask you about the broader Muslim world, but let me – one final thing about the Palestinian-Israeli theater. There are many Palestinians and Israelis who are very frustrated now with the current conditions and they are losing hope, they are disillusioned, and they believe that time is running out on the two-state solution because – mainly because of the settlement activities in Palestinian-occupied territories.

Will it still be possible to see a Palestinian state — and you know the contours of it — within the first Obama administration?

THE PRESIDENT: I think it is possible for us to see a Palestinian state — I’m not going to put a time frame on it — that is contiguous, that allows freedom of movement for its people, that allows for trade with other countries, that allows the creation of businesses and commerce so that people have a better life.

And, look, I think anybody who has studied the region recognizes that the situation for the ordinary Palestinian in many cases has not improved. And the bottom line in all these talks and all these conversations is, is a child in the Palestinian Territories going to be better off? Do they have a future for themselves? And is the child in Israel going to feel confident about his or her safety and security? And if we can keep our focus on making their lives better and look forward, and not simply think about all the conflicts and tragedies of the past, then I think that we have an opportunity to make real progress.

But it is not going to be easy, and that’s why we’ve got George Mitchell going there. This is somebody with extraordinary patience as well as extraordinary skill, and that’s what’s going to be necessary.

I included the entire question and answer to give the entire context of this exchange, in which Obama faltered badly.  The main driver of Israeli-Palestinian conflict isn’t settlements, and hasn’t been for some time.  It’s the rocket launches coming from Hamas in Gaza, and to a lesser extent from Islamic Jihad there as well.  How can we know this?  Israel hasn’t had to conduct a military exercise in the West Bank for years, where the settlements are located.  On the other hand, they’ve had to conduct several military operations in Gaza in the few years since Ariel Sharon dismantled the settlements there.

Obama should have reminded his interviewer of those facts.  That’s a big failure, and a missed opportunity to get the record straight in the Arab world.  And there’s more, as Scott Johnson points out:

Q: President Bush framed the war on terror conceptually in a way that was very broad, “war on terror,” and used sometimes certain terminology that the many people — Islamic fascism. You’ve always framed it in a different way, specifically against one group called al Qaeda and their collaborators. And is this one way of –

THE PRESIDENT: I think that you’re making a very important point. And that is that the language we use matters. And what we need to understand is, is that there are extremist organizations — whether Muslim or any other faith in the past — that will use faith as a justification for violence. We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith’s name.

And so you will I think see our administration be very clear in distinguishing between organizations like al Qaeda — that espouse violence, espouse terror and act on it — and people who may disagree with my administration and certain actions, or may have a particular viewpoint in terms of how their countries should develop. We can have legitimate disagreements but still be respectful. I cannot respect terrorist organizations that would kill innocent civilians and we will hunt them down.

But to the broader Muslim world what we are going to be offering is a hand of friendship.

Again, the naiveté comes through clearly in this exchange.  The terrorist organizations themselves have a wide base of support among Muslims in the Arab world, as well as with the Iranian government, if we include Hamas and Hezbollah.  Obama makes al-Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah sound like the Baader-Meinhofs or the tax-resister militias here in the US.  They’re not.  They’re well-funded and strongly supported, at least until that support starts costing people more than they’d like.  Terrorism doesn’t begin and end with AQ at all, and if Obama doesn’t understand that, then he’s extremely ill-prepared for his task in the next four years of stopping terrorists, a task at which Bush succeeded after 9/11.

Unlike some others, I didn’t mind Obama’s decision to grant al-Arabiya this honor.  Obama has a great deal of popularity in the Muslim world, and that can be a great asset to the US if used properly.  Obama could have taken the opportunity to explain some hard truths while extending the hand of friendship.  Instead, he took the opportunity to pander.
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« Reply #127 on: January 27, 2009, 11:28:41 AM »

I agree 100% concerning the remaining "satanic verses" within Islam.  Until these dark strands in Islam are rejected by Muslims, there is a fundamental problem.    One of the many thoughts I have on "all this" is that success/victory will come when the struggle is defined as Civilization vs. Barbarism instead of Civilization vs Islam.  Having kicked the butt of "AQ Prime", it strikes me that PART of a coherent strategy is to allow/encourage the Muslim world to define itself in a new way, so taken by themself we might finesse our way into saying that the President's words are not THAT bad.  Unfortunately the larger context is that President O seems determined to throw away success in Iraq and enable Iran to go nuke while meandering pointlessly in Afg-Pak, so I fear the net result will be a return to pre-Bush weak horse status-- which will be seen -- correctly?--  as an utter surrender of American will.
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« Reply #128 on: January 27, 2009, 11:41:34 AM »

A lot of Americans, and other innocents around the world will suffer and die because of Obama and the left. We are not going to cower our way to victory.
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« Reply #129 on: January 27, 2009, 11:58:28 AM »

I fear you are right.
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« Reply #130 on: January 27, 2009, 12:03:39 PM »

I was just in another law enforcement training class last week where we were getting trained for responding to domestic jihadist attacks. There is good intel the savages plan to butcher our children in large numbers. Think the world changed on 9/11/01, just wait....
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« Reply #131 on: January 27, 2009, 12:15:57 PM »

I agree 100% concerning the remaining "satanic verses" within Islam.  Until these dark strands in Islam are rejected by Muslims, there is a fundamental problem.   

The rejecting of the "dark strands" in Islam would include rejecting Mohammed himself and most of his teachings.
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« Reply #132 on: January 27, 2009, 01:55:41 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/01/27/good-news-iran-to-be-nuke-capable-this-year-says-think-tank/

Good news: Iran to be nuke-capable this year, says think tank
posted at 2:10 pm on January 27, 2009 by Allahpundit   

I laughed when Drudge put the siren up for this, not because the news is predictable but because the think tank that issued the report actually has been predicting it for years. How slow has this slow-motion trainwreck been? May 2006: IISS pronounces Iranian nukes “inevitable.” January 2007: IISS warns that Iran could have the bomb in two years. May 2007: IISS describes how Iran’s built its own nuclear black market, one which, if the Times of London is to be believed, is now suddenly running low on yellowcake. Too late, alas:

Iran will have enough enriched uranium to make a single nuclear weapon later this year, the prestigious International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) predicts…

However, the survey reports doubts over US Intelligence estimates that Iran halted its work on nuclear weapons six years ago.

This points to Tehran’s continued development of long-range ballistic missiles able to reach targets in Israel and beyond.

The IISS recommends a mixture of carrot and stick as the best international response.

The boldfaced part is, of course, a reference to the garbage NIE that tied Bush’s hands by claiming Iran no longer had a weapons program, even while the classified version acknowledged suspicions that they had fully a dozen or so covert nuclear sites that had never been visited by inspectors. Now it’s The One’s mess, and while we keep hearing about carrots, we don’t hear so much about sticks. Here’s the most significant exchange from his otherwise Bushian Al-Arabiya interview. What’s missing?

Q Will the United States ever live with a nuclear Iran? And if not, how far are you going in the direction of preventing it?

THE PRESIDENT: You know, I said during the campaign that it is very important for us to make sure that we are using all the tools of U.S. power, including diplomacy, in our relationship with Iran.

Now, the Iranian people are a great people, and Persian civilization is a great civilization. Iran has acted in ways that’s not conducive to peace and prosperity in the region: their threats against Israel; their pursuit of a nuclear weapon which could potentially set off an arms race in the region that would make everybody less safe; their support of terrorist organizations in the past — none of these things have been helpful.

But I do think that it is important for us to be willing to talk to Iran, to express very clearly where our differences are, but where there are potential avenues for progress. And we will over the next several months be laying out our general framework and approach. And as I said during my inauguration speech, if countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us.

Not so much as a perfunctory “Iranian nukes are unacceptable.” In fact, Reuel Marc Gerecht pleads with Leon Panetta today in WaPo to beef up the CIA’s Iran intelligence, not in the expectation that it’ll stop Iranian nukes but in the belief that those nukes are now unstoppable and that we’d better get good at containment fast. Exit question: Do we dare start a pool for when news first breaks that Iran’s got the bomb? I’m guessing October.
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« Reply #133 on: January 27, 2009, 02:14:05 PM »

Exit question: Do we dare start a pool for when news first breaks that Iran’s got the bomb? I’m guessing October.
We will figure out they have one when it goes off.  Obama is going disarm Iran with puppy dogs, hugs, sun shine and counseling.  None of it will work but we wont find out until its to late.
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« Reply #134 on: January 27, 2009, 02:28:18 PM »

The last time I recall this much disrespect to a former President from active top government officials was after Nixon.  Naturally, it is the same liberal left which used every opportunity to destroy the Republicans even while destroying the morale of our country.  Here we go again.   Destroy the morale of our nation to prove that you are the chosen ones as opposed to the other political party.
BO is doing nothing to stop this.  Shove it down our throats that we were at fault for all the ills of the world, that everything wrong with the world was due to the Republicans, that we disrespected everyone, we don't speak French, we all think all Muslims are terrorist murderers, and on and on.  Does anyone else see the similarities?  If history repeats itself we will see an eventual resurgence of nationalism like Reagan brought to the USA in 1980.  I guess that might not happen if in four years the majority of people here are either born elsewhere and or on the public dole and beholden to their Democrat masters.

The real reason the world might be happy (if even true vs Clinton style BS) with BO is only that they might get something from us that they wern't going to get before.  I am not in any mood for handing out more of our sovereignty.


***Clinton says world "exhaling" with Obama at top
Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:22pm EST
By Sue Pleming

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested on Tuesday the world was breathing a sigh of relief that President Barack Obama had replaced George W. Bush and was working to fix the damage he had caused.

In her first news conference as top U.S. diplomat, Clinton said excitement over the change in power was "reinforced time and time again" during her welcome calls in recent days with foreign counterparts.

"There is a great exhalation of breath going on in the world as people express their appreciation for the new direction that's being set and the team that is put together by the president," Clinton said.

"We have a lot of damage to repair."

Pressed, Clinton said her remarks should not be viewed as a wholesale repudiation of the Bush administration, adding there would be continuity on some policies.

"It not any kind of repudiation or indictment of the past eight years so much as an excitement and an acceptance of how we are going to be doing business," she said.

Many Arab and European allies opposed the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq and its human rights record, especially the treatment of terrorism suspects at the Guantanamo Bay prison, which Obama has promised to close within a year.

Clinton said, without being specific, there were areas of the world that also felt they had been either overlooked under Bush or had not been given the appropriate attention.

Generally, world leaders have praised Obama's election but analysts say his honeymoon could be short-lived as he tries to grapple with the global economic crunch, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Arab-Israeli conflict and other challenges.

Some allies have already shown resistance to Obama's early requests. For example, France has indicated it will not send more troops to Afghanistan and the European Union failed on Monday to agree to offer any concerted aid to help Obama close down Guantanamo Bay prison.

"In Europe and elsewhere, there is a disconnect between Mr. Obama's popularity and receptiveness to his likely policies," The Washington Post commented in an editorial on Monday.



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« Reply #135 on: January 27, 2009, 10:30:21 PM »

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/rwj/2009/01/27/how-much-i-support-our-president/

How Much I Support Our President
by R.W.J.
America wanted change and we got it. Apparently the first thing that changed is that dissent is no longer the highest form of patriotism. Rush Limbaugh found that out when he was accused of wanting the President to fail. How dare he not support our President! According to Jon Stewart what Rush said was almost treasonous.

As someone who did not vote for President Obama, I don’t want to be lumped in with the haters, so here is a list of examples showing just how much I support our President:
I support him as much as Code Pink supports our troops.
I support him as much as N.O.W. supports Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
I support him as much as the Hollywood community supported Theo Van Gogh.
I support him as much as Nancy Pelosi supports the Catholic Church’s teachings on life.
I support him as much as Al Gore supports cutting down on his personal carbon footprint to save the world.
I support him as much as John Edwards supports The National Enquirer’s right to publish pictures of his girlfriend and baby.
I support him as much as Western gay rights groups support Mehdi Kazemi.
I support him as much as the Castro brothers support Oscar Biscet’s right to free speech.
I support him as much as Ted Kennedy supports renewable wind energy off the coast of his summer mansion.
I support him as much as Bill Clinton supports Hillary’s ambitions for higher office.
I support him as much as the National Education Association supports the rights of students and parents to get a quality education over the security of a teacher’s job.
I support him just as much as he supports the right of a baby who survives an abortion to not spend its only living moments waiting to die in a storage room.
I hope that clears everything up. Now could someone please tell what time the oceans are going to start receding because I’d really hate to miss that one.
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« Reply #136 on: January 28, 2009, 05:32:25 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/01/28/ahmadinejad-to-obama-apologize/

Kneel, kafir!
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« Reply #137 on: January 28, 2009, 09:56:09 PM »

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/boot/52431

20 or 30 Years Ago?
Max Boot - 01.28.2009 - 9:35 AM

“America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that. And that I think is going to be an important task.”

So said our new president in his interview Tuesday with Al Arabiya, the Arabic-language satellite news channel. At first the words washed over me. Then I did some simple math. Let’s see… 20 or 30 years ago… that would be 1989 or 1979.

What was happening in relations between America and the Muslim world back then? Not relying on memory alone, I consulted Bernard Grun’s reference book, The Timetables of History.

It turns out that in 1989 U.S. fighters shot down two Libyan jets over the Gulf of Sidra. The last Soviet troops left Afghanistan, creating a vacuum that would eventually be filled by the Taliban. Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for Salman Rushdie’s death for “blasphemy.” Hundreds died in Lebanon’s long-running civil war while Hezbollah militants were torturing to death U.S. Marine Colonel William “Rich” Higgins, who had been kidnapped the previous year while serving as a UN peacekeeper in Lebanon.

And 1979? That was an even darker year-in many ways a turning point for the worse in the Middle East. That was, after all, the year that the shah of Iran was overthrown. He was replaced by the Ayatollah Khomeini, who launched a war against the West that is still unfolding. One of the first actions of this long struggle was the seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran and all of its personnel as hostages. The same year saw the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which led to the growth of the mujahideen, some of whom would later morph into Al Qaeda and the Taliban. This was also the year that Islamic militants temporarily seized control of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, an event that drove the Saudi royal family to become ever more fundamentalist.

In other news in 1979,  Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the former prime minister of Pakistan, was hanged by General Zia al-Hak, inaugurating a long period when Pakistan would be under the effective control of the army in alliance with Islamic militants. That year mobs also attacked U.S. embassies throughout the Muslim world from Kabul and Islamabad to Tripoli. The one bright spot in 1979 was the signing of the Camp David Accord between the US, Egypt, and Israel, which did not, unfortunately, auger a “new” Middle East as many optimists hoped.

So this is the sort of “partnership” between the U.S. and the Middle East that President Obama would like to see? If his predecessor had suggested any such thing he would by now be a subject of ridicule for late-night comedians and daytime talk show hosts, and rightly so.

This is actually a revealing slip. To wit, it reveals two things: First, Obama’s profound ignorance about most aspects of foreign policy, including the recent history of the Middle East. A second, and related point, is his tendency to blame the ills of the region on the previous administration-something that is only possible if you started following the Middle East around 2001 and have little idea of what came before. It is then all too easy to claim, as Obama did on the campaign trail, that it was George W. Bush’s “disengagement” from the peace process and his “disastrous” war with Iraq that messed up the Middle East. Only someone with a longer view would realize how profoundly messed up the region was long before Bush came into office.

Even if we go back before the current era of religious extremism that began in earnest in 1979 we find evidence that from the American perspective the Middle East was hardly a happy place. Think of the OPEC oil embargo that began in 1973, the numerous wars between Israel and the Arabs, Eisenhower’s landing of marines in Lebanon in 1958, the Suez Crisis of 1956, the overthrow of Iran’s prime minister in 1953, and so on.

To the extent that we had any stability in the region it was purchased at the expense of alliances with distasteful regimes like those of the Shah of Iran and the Saudi royal family, once considered the “twin pillars” of American policy in the Middle East. Obama is dreaming if he thinks there was a wonderful “partnership” with Arab or Muslim regimes that he can “restore.”

UPDATE: In the comments section, “Elen” writes: “I wonder if Columbia/Harvard education is overrated or Obama is simply an idiot. I think the answer is both.” I think the answer is neither. From everything I have seen, Obama is a smart man who received a good education at Columbia and Harvard. The problem is that he spent his entire career in domestic policy and politics. He has little knowledge or background in national security affairs—probably about the same amount as anyone who was kind of paying attention in college more than twenty years ago but hasn’t paid much attention since. My guess is that when it comes to foreign policy he knows only marginally more than Sarah Palin—another smart person who simply didn’t have to bone up on this subject before running for national office. You can see the difference when Obama is talking—he is crisp and confident on domestic issues, halting and uncertain on foreign issues. I only hope for all of our sakes that he is a fast learner.
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« Reply #138 on: January 29, 2009, 08:36:49 AM »

Change Terrorists Can Believe In   
By Joseph Klein
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, January 29, 2009

As he promised during the campaign, President Obama has signed an executive order directing the closure of the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay within a year. This is clearly an offering to his leftist base of supporters, who will be immensely grateful. It's also a move that has been well received at the United Nations, where UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay described Obama’s action as representing a good day for the rule of law.

As it happens, Obama signed the order on the same day it was reported that a Saudi-born Guantanamo terror detainee named Said Ali al-Shihri, who had been released and sent back to Saudi Arabia to enroll in a Saudi "rehabilitation program" for former jihadists, has returned to his old terrorist ways instead. That should be no surprise, naturally, in the incubator of terrorism that is Saudi Arabia.

Al-Shihri left Saudi Arabia and resurfaced in Yemen where he has been restored to a prominent position in terrorist circles. He is now an al-Qaeda commander in Yemen, which is re-emerging as a terrorist safe-haven. Last September, he proved his terrorist mettle with his involvement in a car bombing outside the American embassy, killing 16 people.

Al-Shihri is not the only Guantanamo alumnus who has resumed terrorist activities. The Pentagon believes that dozens of former Guantanamo detainees have “returned to the fight” against America.

There are 245 prisoners still being held at Guantanamo. Obama is embarked on a course that will either release them or try them under the full constitutional protections afforded criminal defendants in American courts. What is to be done with dangerous captives who cannot be brought to trial for risk of revealing intelligence secrets or because evidence against them was elicited under coercive interrogation techniques? Some may be released on legal technicalities and if no other country agrees to take them, possibly permitted to remain in the United States, where they will be able to set up sleeper al-Qaeda cells on our soil.

Apparently, it is now more important to make sure that foreign terrorist suspects enjoy all of the rights guaranteed to the American people by our Constitution than it is to ensure to the American people the security in their lives, liberties, and property that the Constitution lays down as a primary obligation of the federal government.

And if the United Nations has its way, the former captives may even be awarded damages for their ‘pain and suffering’ while they were detained. UN torture investigator Manfred Nowak has claimed, for example, that inmates eventually freed from Guantanamo should be entitled to sue the United States if they have been "mistreated" according to his notion of what constitutes torture or other forms of cruel, inhumane, or degrading punishment.

President Obama has kept another of his campaign promises by signing an executive order making the Army Field Manual govern interrogation techniques for all United States Government personnel including the CIA. While leaving the door slightly ajar for very limited undefined exceptions, the enhanced interrogation techniques that have helped keep us safe since 9/11 are a thing of the past.

According to the outgoing director of national intelligence, Admiral Michael McConnell, the intelligence community needs interrogation techniques beyond what are contained in the Army Field Manual. They will not get such flexibility under the new executive order, however, which also prohibits the CIA from holding prisoners in third countries.

The Army Field Manual for Human Intelligence Collector Operations is a publicly available document posted on the internet. It provides the terrorists with a roadmap as to how they are likely to be interrogated and the expected psychological outcomes. Some portions resemble a psychology textbook. With a bit of role-playing as part of their training, hardened terrorists will have little problem in learning how to manipulate their interrogators.

Obama’s primary mistake is to virtually remove the element of surprise from future interrogations. Keeping the enemy guessing on what we may or may not do and how we do it is essential in the kind of asymmetric war we are fighting with the terrorists, who capitalize on their own use of surprise. Acting in calculated, predictable steps within a set of publicly available rules that signal exactly what the terrorist suspects can expect while in detention removes any incentive on their part to cooperate.

The toughest sanction in the Army Field Manual is the limited separation of an unlawful enemy combatant from his fellow detainees, which requires higher levels of approval before it can be imposed. It will have little effect on terrorists trained to handle such conditions.

Separation of enemy combatants can mean solitary confinement. It may also include psychological feelings of isolation and loss of a sense of control brought on by perceptual or sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, the induction of fear and hopelessness, and the use of sensory overload, temperature or environmental manipulation.

However, the Army Field Manual prohibits the use of "excessive noise"; "excessive dampness"; or "excessive or inadequate heat, light or ventilation." And the manual bans any program of sleep deprivation that does not permit a detainee at least four hours of sleep a night. Just to put this into perspective, consider how many college students regularly get less than four hours a night of sleep.

The manual does permit some detainees to be blind-folded and to be given earmuffs for up to 12 hours at a time under medical supervision when physical isolation is not feasible.

These measures are about as bad as it gets for the terrorist suspects under the Army Field Manual. They are a snap to prepare for during terrorist training sessions.

Everything that is permitted and prohibited is spelled out in great detail. There are no potential surprises.

The Army Field Manual states that "all prisoners and detainees, regardless of status, will be treated humanely. Cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment is prohibited. The Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 defines ‘cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment’ as the cruel unusual, and inhumane treatment or punishment prohibited by the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. This definition refers to an extensive body of law developed by the courts of the United States to determine when, under various circumstances, treatment of individuals would be inconsistent with American constitutional standards related to concepts of dignity, civilization, humanity, decency and fundamental fairness."

Under the Army Field Manual’s application of this sweeping prohibition, interrogators cannot even mock the passages in the Koran that serve as the basis for the most dangerous jihadists’ fanatical beliefs, much less deprive these captives of their incendiary religious tracts altogether.

Yet UN officials such as its torture investigator Manfred Nowak are not satisfied. He believes, for example, "[W]hen isolation regimes are intentionally used to apply psychological pressure on detainees, such practices become coercive and should be absolutely prohibited." Since Nowak thinks that virtually all instances of detainee isolation constitute mistreatment, he will assert that detainees subjected to isolation under the Army Field Manual’s interrogation methods must be compensated for any supposed "psychological damage."

Terrorist rights groups such as the National Lawyers Guild and the ACLU are of the same mindset as Nowak. They believe that the Army Field Manual’s interrogation methods, even those governing the carefully controlled use of isolation and requiring that the use of sleep deprivation last for no more than 20 hours a day during any 30 day period, constitute cruel and unusual punishment. These misguided leftists are more concerned about the psychological welfare and comfort level of their terrorist suspect clients, whom they fear will become depressed, irritable and disoriented, than they are about the lives of their fellow citizens. Claiming that such treatment is inhumane and therefore illegal under the Geneva Conventions, the U.N. Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the advocates for terrorist suspects threaten to go to court on behalf of their clients whom they believe should be treated as conventional prisoners of war with full constitutional and Geneva Convention protections.

The Geneva Conventions do require that "[P]risoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind." (Emphasis added.) A prisoner of war would have to be treated as if he or she were in the U.S. military, with the same living conditions as our own military forces.

The Army Field Manual follows this protocol for detainees who actually qualify as prisoners of war. Detainees eligible for POW status are provided with privileges and procedural protections that go beyond the baseline prohibition of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment that extends to all detainees including unlawful enemy combatants. However, it is simply laughable to think that denial of POW status as so defined under the Geneva Conventions to terrorist suspects can equate to torture or any other form of truly inhumane treatment. On the contrary, it means only denying special privileges and procedural protections to individuals who refuse to abide by even the most minimal set of civilized norms and laws of war, not to mention the same norms set forth in the Geneva Conventions themselves. Al Qaeda and other Islamic fanatical terrorists come nowhere close to qualifying for POW status and the advantages that come with it.

As a rational society, we should be able to agree that being "exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind" in the course of an interrogation is not torture or otherwise inhumane treatment but rather a reasonable if unpleasant burden imposed on foreign terrorist suspects caught in connection with hostilities aimed against the United States and who may have valuable information on more planned attacks. The Army Field Manual already gives them far more sanctuary than they are worth by prohibiting interrogators from using the kind of physical and mental stress that is everyday practice in boot camp for our own soldiers.

President Obama has said that he signed the executive orders closing Guantanamo and ending the use of enhanced interrogation methods to demonstrate to the world that the United States will not sacrifice its core democratic values in order to achieve national security. In fact, he is on a path toward sacrificing both. In his desire to please his political base and opinion-makers at the United Nations and other elite forums, Obama may unfortunately be giving our mortal enemies the tools to undermine our democratic values and to continue their hostilities against us with renewed strength.

Joseph A. Klein is the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom.
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« Reply #139 on: January 29, 2009, 11:01:05 AM »

Obama's bold first week
President Obama succeeded in eliminating four of Bush's 'wars' in his first days in office.
Rosa Brooks L.A. Times
January 29, 2009
Barack Obama ended four wars during his first week as president. With just a few words and strokes of his pen, the president ended the war on terror, the war on Islam, the war on science and the war on women.

In his first executive orders, Obama effectively dismantled the elaborate structures that supported the Bush administration's "war on terror." On Jan. 22, he ordered the closure of the Guantanamo prison and a halt to the much-criticized military commission trials. He closed secret CIA prisons, required that the Red Cross have access to detainees and mandated that interrogations of detainees -- whether by the military, the CIA or anyone else -- comply with the rules laid out in the Army Field Manual.

That means: No more torture. No waterboarding, beatings, sexual humiliations or deprivation of food or medical care. And in case anyone's confused, the order makes it clear that those seeking guidance "may not rely on any interpretation of the law governing interrogation ... issued by the Department of Justice between September 11, 2001, and January 20, 2009." (That means you, John Yoo).

The war on Islam is also over. Officially, of course, it never existed. But that's how the "war on terror" looked to many around the world, a misunderstanding fueled by the war in Iraq and the irresponsible rhetoric of many Bush administration officials.

After 9/11, the United States had widespread international support -- including within the Islamic world -- for military action in Afghanistan to destroy Al Qaeda and oust its Taliban hosts. But when that morphed into an open-ended U.S. effort to go to war in more "target-rich" environments (read: Iraq), regardless of the lack of connection to 9/11, U.S. actions struck many Muslims as motivated by generic hostility to Islam. The fact that U.S. officials from George W. Bush on down seemed fuzzy about the differences between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, and tended to ignore the very different ideologies that motivate different militant organizations, added to the sense that the U.S. considered Islam itself the problem.

But by giving his first televised interview to Al Arabiya, a channel watched throughout the Arab world, Obama made it clear that the U.S. isn't at war with Islam itself. "The Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives," he said. "There are extremist organizations -- whether Muslim or any other faith ... that will use faith as a justification for violence. We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith's name.... Our administration [will] be very clear in distinguishing between organizations like Al Qaeda -- that ... espouse terror .... and people who may disagree with my administration" in legitimate ways.

Obama also ended the undeclared Bush administration war on science. In his inaugural speech, he promised to "restore science to its rightful place." Reversing years of Bush administration disregard of scientific evidence on global climate change, Obama ordered the Transportation Department to set new fuel-efficiency standards and ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to rethink its Bush-era refusal to allow states such as California to impose anti-pollution standards more stringent than federal ones.

The undeclared war on women? Also over. On Jan. 23, Obama reversed the "Mexico City policy," which prohibited recipients of U.S. foreign-assistance funds from providing abortions or even providing information about abortions. Family planning groups worldwide will no longer have to choose between providing honest information and receiving crucial funding.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that these assorted "wars" were only metaphors, incapable of producing real harm. The "war on terror" was practically a gift to Osama bin Laden: Our detention and interrogation policies probably fueled far more terrorism than they prevented. Ditto for the Bush administration's undeclared war against Islam.

The Bush administration's replacement of science with ideology was equally devastating: How many lives will be lost or blighted as we all pay the price for a decade of denial about the human causes of global warming? And some estimate that as many as 500,000 women worldwide have died since 2001 as a result of botched abortions, many of which might have been prevented if the Mexico City policy hadn't pushed abortions and abortion counseling underground in many countries.

Obama's job is just beginning. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will be far harder to end.

Still, not bad for a week's work.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #140 on: January 29, 2009, 11:54:31 AM »

Tis rare to find so much specious reasoning packed in so little space.
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JDN
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« Reply #141 on: January 29, 2009, 12:42:46 PM »

Since you live in the LA area, I thought you might like it and I didn't want
you to miss it.   evil


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #142 on: January 29, 2009, 12:56:38 PM »

The Left Angeles Times is very much a part of the political ecosystem in which I live and it torments me on a regular basis, thank you very much  tongue  cheesy
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G M
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« Reply #143 on: January 29, 2009, 02:30:35 PM »

Remember this phrase "At least Bush kept us safe". The next mass casualty attack on US soil is all on the Empty-suit now.
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G M
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« Reply #144 on: January 29, 2009, 02:50:21 PM »

JDN,

Keep in mind that LAX, LA and Orange county sites are known to be targets for al qaeda. Imagine the irony of a newly released Gitmo terrorist butchering someone dear to you in your hometown. The blood will be on your hands just as much as on Barry's.
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ccp
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« Reply #145 on: January 30, 2009, 11:28:50 AM »

Well here is the union payoff.  So BO Is telling us that the big union perks that US auto makers got was not part of the problem with the US auto industry's financial woes.  I supose he is telling us that union members create jobs and help to stimulate the economy too.  I don't recall ever reading Abe Lincoln speaking such propaganda.  This guy ain't no Lincoln irregardless of what his cratic base of fans claim.  The idea of "middle class" task force is a great political maneuver though it is obvious their solutions will all include big government and angles to lock in a Democratic party stranglehold on voters.  The Republicans need to come up with a counter middle class plan.  Let BO show his cards first though.  I still agree with the likes of Colin Powell and Mort Kondrake in that Repbulcians are not addressing issues in a way that is going to attract new faces to the party.  That is where I believe Rush is wrong.   

***Obama touts middle-class task force lead by Biden
Reuters  AP – President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, speaks in the East Room of the White … WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama issued a series of executive orders Friday that he said should "level the playing field" for labor unions in their struggles with management.

Obama also used the occasion at the White House to announce formally a new White House task force on the problems of middle-class Americans, and installed Vice President Joe Biden as its chairman.

Union officials say the new orders by Obama will undo Bush administration policies that favored employers over workers. The orders will:

_Require federal contractors to offer jobs to current workers when contracts change.

_Reverse a Bush administration order requiring federal contractors to post notice that workers can limit financial support of unions serving as their exclusive bargaining representatives.

_Prevent federal contractors from being reimbursed for expenses meant to influence workers deciding whether to form a union and engage in collective bargaining.

"We need to level the playing field for workers and the unions that represent their interests," Obama said during a signing ceremony in the East Room of the White House.

"I do not view the labor movement as part of the problem. To me, it's part of the solution," he said. "You cannot have a strong middle class without a strong labor movement."

Signing the executive orders was Obama's second overture to organized labor in as many days. On Thursday, he signed the first bill of his presidency, giving workers more time to sue for wage discrimination.

"It's a new day for workers," said James Hoffa, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, who attended the White House ceremony with other union leaders. "We finally have a White House that is dedicated to working with us to rebuild our middle class. Hope for the American Dream is being restored."

Of the White House Task Force on Middle Class Working Families, Obama said, "We're not forgetting the poor because they, too, share our American dream."

He said his administration wants to make sure low-income people "get a piece" of the American pie "if they're willing to work for it."

The president and vice president said the task force includes Cabinet departments whose work has the most influence on the well-being of the country's middle class, including the departments of education, commerce, health and human services and labor.

"With this we have a single, highly visible group with one single goal: to raise the living standards of the people who are the backbone of this country," Biden said.

He pledged that the task force will conduct its business in the open, and announced a Web site, http://www.astrongmiddleclass.gov, for the public to get information. He also announced that the panel's first meeting will be Feb. 27 in Philadelphia and will focus on environmental or "green jobs."***


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #146 on: January 30, 2009, 12:23:01 PM »

Not of much significance compared to the clusterfcuk coming down the rails, but a little factoid which speaks volumes:

Speaking of heat, Barack Obama is feeling it in the Oval Office. But that's just because the thermostat is cranked up. "He's from Hawaii, O.K.?" said his senior adviser, David Axelrod. (Wait, we thought he was from Indonesia. Er, Chicago. Oh, never mind.) "He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there." So what about Obama's admonition in May? "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times," he said, "and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK." Obviously, he didn't mean that he couldn't keep his home at 72 during the winter.
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JDN
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« Reply #147 on: January 30, 2009, 01:04:12 PM »

I'm confused, I mean I like the guy, but "He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there."

Yet a few days ago, he said,

"My children's school was canceled today, because of what? Some ice," Obama said, and all at the table started laughing.
"As my children pointed out, in Chicago school is never canceled," he continued. He said that in their old hometown, "you'd go outside for recess in weather like this. You wouldn't even stay indoors."
The President said he would have to bring "some flinty Chicago toughness" to Washington.
Asked if he was calling Washingtonians wimps, Obama responded: "I'm saying that when it comes to the weather, folks in Washington don't seem to be able to handle things."

So does he like it hot or cold?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #148 on: January 30, 2009, 01:07:21 PM »

Hence the title of the thread  cheesy
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HUSS
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« Reply #149 on: January 30, 2009, 04:24:50 PM »

Suddenly Obama has Muslim roots
Steven Edwards: Suddenly Obama has Muslim roots

Posted: January 28, 2009, 10:45 AM by Kelly McParland
Full Comment, U.S. Politics, Steven Edwards


During the U.S presidential campaign, Barack Obama’s handlers vigourously pointed out his Christian faith whenever the misconception arose he may be Muslim (even though the politically correct response should have been his religion doesn’t matter).

The handlers also roundly denounced any conservative commentator who might mention (mischievously, admittedly) his Arabic middle name, Hussein.

They charged that such usage was "fear mongering."

Once elected, however, he personally insisted on his middle name being spoken at his swearing-in ceremony.

And now – in a gesture to the Muslim world – he has not only granted the first sit-down interview of his presidency to a pan-Arab television network, but uses the occasion to gush about his Muslim ties.

"I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries," Obama tells Hisham Melhem, the Washington bureau chief of Saudi-owned Al Arabiya, which is based in Dubai.

Indeed, Obama’s Kenyan father, Barack Sr., was born into a Muslim family – though he became an atheist before arriving in Hawaii, where Obama Jr. was later born.

Obama also famously spent four years as a boy in Indonesia – the world’s most populous Muslim country.

All that’s fine, except why was no one allowed to talk much about it before he snagged the Electoral College majority?

Obama’s unprecedented decision to shun American domestic networks over his first sit-down appeared aimed at sending a signal to the Muslim world that his administration marks a distinct break with that of George W. Bush.

Like we didn’t get that message from his pledge to close the detention camps at the U.S. Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba without so much as a plan for where he’ll transfer its terror suspects.

But much of the interview, broadcast Tuesday, offered troubling stuff for anyone who believes the West isn’t to blame for the Islamic world’s wrath.

Obama agreed with Melhem’s inference that Bush’s use of terms like "war on terror" and "Islamic fascism" demonized all Muslims.

"I think you’re making a very important point, and that is the language we use matters …" Obama said.

"We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith’s name."

True. But there was nothing particularly Bushist about the "war on terror" term, and a helpful Wikipedia entry explains how it dates at least to the 19th century.

Obama confirmed he intends to address the Muslim world from a Muslim capital during the first 100 days of his presidency, but resisted Melhem’s bid to know which one.

Of course, the smart money is on the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, while you can pretty much rule out Baghdad.

"You're going to see me following through with dealing with a drawdown of troops in Iraq, so that Iraqis can start taking more responsibility," he said.

Obama explained he is going to educate people in both the United States and the Muslim world on how to get along.

"My job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives," he said.

"My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy." I thought the presidents sole responsibility was to the american people and protecting american interests?Huh?

So that’s the simple formula we’ve been we’ve been missing. Stay tuned to the new president for a couple of deftly worded, and theatrically delivered speeches – and centuries of Western-Islamic division will miraculously disappear.

Citing Iran’s threats towards Israel, and its "pursuit of a nuclear weapon," Obama said the Islamic republic had "acted in ways that [were] not conducive to peace and prosperity."

"But I do think it is important for us to be willing to talk to Iran," he added.

Better hurry. Iran will have enough uranium to make a single nuclear weapon later this year, the prestigious International Institute for Strategic Studies said Tuesday at the launch of its annual global review of military powers.

The fact is there have been plenty of talks, incentive packages and UN Security Council resolutions calling on Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions.

After the interview was broadcast Tuesday, Iran responded to the "extended hand" Obama said he was offering the Islamic republic.

"We are awaiting concrete changes from new U.S. statesmen," said an Iranian government spokesman. "On several occasions our president has defined Iran’s views and the need for a change in U.S. policies."

Even by Obama’s account, there will be no effective "change in U.S. policies." Washington and the West will still want to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb. Hence, don’t expect Tehran to see the offer of "more diplomacy" to be anything more than a gift of the time they still need to perfect the nuclear process.

Key parts of Obama’s interview to the Muslim world were a collective mea culpa.

"We sometimes make mistakes; we have not been perfect," he said as one explanation as to why there is so much hate in the Muslim world for the United States.

In other words, it’s America’s and, by extension, the West’s fault we’ve been under attack these past years.

He offered a similar apology when explaining his instruction to George Mitchell, the former Senator he appointed to begin seeking a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

"What I told him is start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating …" he said. "So let’s listen."

Oddly, the interviewer Melhem came across as the most honest of the pair when he admitted that, throughout the Muslim world, there was a "demonization of America" that’s become "like a new religion" – complete with "converts and high priests."

That’s the sort of reality Obama needs to get his head around – instead of saying the equivalent of: "We’re wrong, you’re right."

National Post

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/b...lim-roots.aspx
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