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Author Topic: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness  (Read 198010 times)
G M
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« Reply #150 on: January 31, 2009, 06:48:23 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/01/31/iran-to-obama-your-willingness-to-talk-proves-your-weakness/

Iran to Obama: Your willingness to talk proves your weakness
posted at 6:15 pm on January 31, 2009 by Allahpundit   

Like CJ says, that fist sure looks clenched.

US President Barack Obama’s offer to talk to Iran shows that America’s policy of “domination” has failed, the government spokesman said on Saturday.

“This request means Western ideology has become passive, that capitalist thought and the system of domination have failed,” Gholam Hossein Elham was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.

“Negotiation is secondary, the main issue is that there is no way but for (the United States) to change,” he added.

Surprised by the knock on capitalism from jihad HQ? Don’t be. The enemy of Iran’s enemy is its friend, which is why they’ve buddied up to anti-American socialist regimes via the Nonaligned Movement with a special emphasis on Chavez. International opinion matters, especially to Democrats, and digs at capitalism help advance Iran’s cause internationally even if they’re not exactly a raison d’etre for Islamic fundamentalists. (See also Bin Laden talking up Noam Chomsky and dumping on corporations in his last video message.) The significance of this isn’t that they’re using The One’s outreach to their own ends; self-aggrandizing propaganda is what Islamists do, after all, which is why Israel kicking the hell out of Hamas for a few weeks somehow gets spun as a Hamas victory. The significance is that it shows how obsessed the regime is with the perception that it’s winning its ideological battle with the west, to the extent that even rare attempts at rapprochement from the U.S. are sneered at as crude concessions of defeat. Like I’ve said before, that bodes very, very ill given how much national pride they’ve invested in the nuclear program. How can they make a deal with America to give up nukes when they’ve built their identity on defiance of America? Why, it’s practically a national slogan.
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G M
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« Reply #151 on: February 01, 2009, 12:35:04 AM »

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/01/obamas_hypocritical_law.html

January 31, 2009
Obama's Hypocritical Law
Andrew Thomas

In a windfall for trial lawyers nationwide, President Obama struck a blow for employees who want to sue their employers for alleged pay discrimination.  However, an inconvenient report from CNSNews.com last September indicates that candidate Barack Obama paid the women on his staff 78% of the salaries of his male staff members from October 2007 through March 2008.  Coincidentally, this is almost exactly the same pay disparity that President Obama himself decries in the "Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act" he just signed into law Thursday. 

Two questions arise:  1) Will the mainstream media pick up this story of presidential hypocrisy?  2) Will any of Obama's female staff members sue him for discrimination?  Sadly, the answer to both of these questions is most likely NO.
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G M
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« Reply #152 on: February 01, 2009, 12:39:48 AM »

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/01/obama_hates_white_people_and_w.html

January 31, 2009
Obama hates white people and wants them to die
Rick Moran

With nearly 1.5 million people in the mid-west without power during a cold snap, what other possible reason is there that this new "competent" administration and FEMA would be failing so spectacularly in helping in this natural disaster?

It's got to be that Obama hates white people and wants them to die!

Of course, I am just aping what lefty blogs were saying about Bush less than 24 hours after Katrina's hurricane winds stopped blowing. But AP is reporting that Midwest disaster relief people are none too pleased with our new president's FEMA.

In Kentucky's Grayson County, there are 25 National Guardsmen there to help - but no chain saws to cut away fallen limbs and trees. EM Director Randell Smith is quoted as saying, "We've got people out in some areas we haven't even visited yet," Smith said. "We don't even know that they're alive."

Smith is also quoted as saying that FEMA is a "no show."

What's that? Here we are 5 days after the storm ended and still no FEMA? I demand a Congressional investigation. And let's get all the anchors and media people down here pronto. People's lives are at stake. For all we know, there are babies being eaten and people jumping off their roofs committing suicide because FEMA is nowhere to be found.

And where is our president? Shouldn't he be visiting these ravaged areas? It must be that he HATES WHITE PEOPLE AND WANTS THEM TO DIE. That is the only possible explanation for this incredible failure of our national government to relieve the suffering of these people.

Isn't it interesting that now that we have a Democrat as president that all of a sudden, disaster relief is a state and local matter and the federal government should stand aside and allow them to do their jobs?

Just wondering...
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #153 on: February 01, 2009, 02:13:39 PM »

I guess the good news it that any single payer scheme may be DOA with Daschel in the saddle (assuming he dodges his tax troubles.

Piece has foul language I'm too lazy to redact.

The Daschles: feeding at the Beltway trough

Even for the most cynical observer of Washington sleaze, Tom and Linda Daschle's exploits are quite striking.
Glenn Greenwald

Feb. 01, 2009 |

(updated below - Update II)

When Barack Obama announced in early December that he had selected Tom Daschle to be his Secretary of Health and Human Services as well as his "health care policy czar," Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi -- who had spent several months studying the inner workings of the 2006 Congress in order to profile its limitless corruption -- wrote the following reaction on his blog:

I know several reporters who are either officially or unofficially on "Whore Factor" duty, watching the rapidly kaleidoscoping transition picture and keeping track of the number of known whores and ghouls who for some reason have been invited to befoul the atmosphere of the next administration.

Obviously there has been some dire news on that front already. When Obama picked Tom Daschle to be the HHS Secretary, I nearly shit my pants. In Washington there are whores and there are whores, and then there is Tom Daschle. Tom Daschle would suck off a corpse for a cheeseburger. True, he is probably only the second-biggest whore for the health care industry in American politics — the biggest being doctor/cat-torturer Bill Frist, whose visit to South Dakota on behalf of John Thune in 2004 was one of the factors in ending Daschle's tenure in the Senate.

But in picking Daschle — who as an adviser to the K Street law firm Alston and Bird has spent the last four years burning up the sheets with the nation's fattest insurance and pharmaceutical interests — Obama is essentially announcing that he has no intention of seriously reforming the health care industry. . . .

Regarding Daschle, remember, we're talking about a guy who not only was a consultant for one of the top health-care law firms in the country, but a board member of the Mayo Clinic (a major recipient of NIH grants) and the husband of one of America's biggest defense lobbyists — wife Linda Hall lobbies for Lockheed-Martin and Boeing. Does anyone really think that this person is going to come up with a health care proposal that in any way cuts into the profits of the major health care companies?

How serious Obama is about health care reform remains to be seen.  Obama supporters argue that Obama needs someone like Daschele, with credibility within the health care industry, in order to achieve real reform.  That's the standard explanation for most of what Obama does (he's only courting the establishment in order to change it), and though highly skeptical, I'm personally willing to withhold judgment until the actual evidence is available regarding what Obama actually does.

But there's no need to withhold judgment on Daschle himself.  He embodies everything that is sleazy, sickly, and soul-less about Washington.  It's probably impossible for Obama to fill his cabinet with individuals entirely free of Beltway filth -- it's extremely rare to get anywhere near that system without being infected by it -- but Daschle oozes Beltway slime from every pore.

Before he was elected to Congress 30 years ago from South Dakota, he had very, very few skills outside of the political arena.   He was an Air Force intelligence officer for three years in the early 1970s, then worked for six years as an aide to South Dakota Sen. James Abourezk, then was elected to the House and then the Senate, where he became Majority Leader.  So he's spent virtually his entire adult life working on Capitol Hill.

Despite that (or rather:  precisely because of it), after being defeated for re-election to the Senate in 2004, he was able almost immediately to begin earning millions of dollars every year from firms and companies that depend on exerting influence in Congress:

The release of the financial statement [Daschle] submitted to the Office of Government Ethics [] details for the first time exactly how, without becoming a registered lobbyist, he made millions of dollars giving public speeches and private counsel to insurers, hospitals, realtors, farmers, energy firms and telecommunications companies with complex regulatory and legislative interests in Washington.

Daschle's expertise and insights, gleaned over 26 years in Congress, earned him more than $5 million over the past two years, including $220,000 from the health-care industry, and perks such as a chauffeured Cadillac, according to the documents. 


Other than his ability to know how to swing doors wide open in Congress, what "expertise and insights" worth that level of compensation does Tom Daschle have?  It's pure legalized influenced peddling, and -- upon being booted out of the Congress -- he ran right to it as quickly as he could and engorged himself at the trough as hungrily as possible. 

In doing so, he followed perfectly in the footsteps of his second wife, Linda, who served as the Clinton administration's Acting Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, and then, once she left her position running the agency that regulates the airlines industry, returned to her extremely lucrative lobbying practice with her largest clients being American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Boeing, Lockheed and various airports and airport executive associations -- the very companies that she had been regulating.  She began lobbying the Senate on behalf of those clients as soon as Tom left the Senate, where -- needless to say -- he has many "friends" and others who remain loyal to him, and she is continuously successful in defeating measures to impose greater regulations on the airline industry and to obtain other massively beneficial legislation for them.

In 2002, Washington Monthly editor Stephanie Mencimer wrote a thorough exposé detailing how the couple has spent many years in Washington intertwining their political power and private-sector interests, including their joint role -- he as a Senator and she as FAA administrator -- "to reduce safety inspections of an air-charter company owned by a family friend," one which, in 1993, "crashed in a snowstorm in Minot, North Dakota, killing the pilot and three doctors on their way to a reservation clinic" (after numerous accusations of serious wrongdoing, an Inspector General report cleared her of wrongdoing).  Time and again, companies with a very substantial stake in legislation before the Daschle-run Senate paid huge fees to his wife.  As Mencimer wrote:

So here's a case where a senator's wife gets a high-ranking government job, which in turn boosts her earning power as a lobbyist. She then represents clients who have business with and give money to her husband. Those clients pay her big bucks to help fight safety regulations and to win government money -- money which helps pay the senator's mortgage. Yet so far, the press and congressional ethics hawks have largely given the Daschles a pass. So why isn't this a bigger story?

Mostly because no one in Congress has the slightest interest in raising it. Democrats certainly don't want to attack one of their own, and as they point out in defending the Daschles, Republicans are married to lobbyists, too. In addition, both Republicans and Democrats are beneficiaries of Linda Daschle's clients. "This town is so bizarre that Linda Daschle may even deliver campaign contributions to Trent Lott," says the Heritage Foundation's Ron Utt. Indeed, she freely admits to giving campaign contributions to Republicans.

So who's left to scrutinize the relationship? The answer is the press. But Daschle has them covered too. Unlike Hillary a decade ago, Linda Daschle is a Beltway insider who understands the rules of the game. The main rule is that the effects of your actions, no matter how dubious---say, weakening airline safety---are never grounds for a scandal so long as you first, disclose your actions, and then, don't violate the ethics rules in the process. If Tom or Linda Daschle had secretly taken a free pair of Superbowl tickets from Northwest Airlines and then pushed the airline bailout plan, that would be a big story. But the fact that Tom Daschle takes thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Northwest and his wife's firm collects $200,000 a year to lobby for them is no problem at all.


As Mencimer points out, they know how to stay on the right side of what is strictly legal.  There's no evidence they did anything illegal, but it is still blatantly sleazy and corrupt -- exactly the sort of legalized sleaze and corruption that Barack Obama, as a centerpiece of his campaign, vowed to combat.  And it's unlikely to matter for exactly the reason Mencimer said:  there are very few people in Washington who could criticize this sort of behavior without being guilty of the most extreme hypocrisy imaginable.  The oh-so-sophisticated media stars are far too worldly to care about any such access-buying.  And when one adds on to that the fact that Daschle is a member in good standing of the incestuous Senate club that must confirm him, it is difficult to see anything happening here other than easy confirmation, no matter how many more incriminating details are revealed (and this is to say nothing of the fact that Daschle was Senate Majority Leader from 2001-2004 when the Democrats perfected the art of submission to the Bush agenda, including the 2002 vote for the Iraq War, which Daschle supported).

Other than his being more extreme than most, and the fact that he and his wife work in tandem as a public-private team, there isn't anything particularly unusual about how Tom Daschle functions.  He's quite emblematic of the Beltway syndrome.  But that's the point:  while it's unreasonable to expect that Obama will be able to avoid all ethically questionable individuals, it seems rather unnecessary to take one of the most ethically compromised Beltway mavens and place him in charge of a massive industry, one that has been lavishing him with undeserved wealth for the past several years.

 

UPDATE:  I also can't help but contrasting this passage detailing how Tom and Linda ended up married, from The Washington Monthly article . . . :

Yes, it's true: Before Mrs. Daschle was Mrs. Daschle, she was Miss Kansas, 1976.

Petite and blond, with perfect, straight white teeth, Daschle is still strikingly beautiful at 46. But she has a vise-like handshake you wouldn't expect from a beauty queen that suggests the steely interior necessary to survive in Washington power circles. . . .

She met Tom Daschle on a work trip to South Dakota. At the time, Tom Daschle was a freshman congressman, married to the woman who in 1978 had helped him ring 40,000 doorbells and go on to unseat an incumbent by 14 votes. By 1984, Tom had divorced his first wife, with whom he had three children, and married Linda . . .

. . . . with this 2003 clip of Tom Daschle, explaining to Jon Stewart that gay marriage must not be allowed because "a man and a woman have a sacred and a traditional cultural bond within this country. . . it's a statement of fact:  society is embracing the marriage of a man and a woman, and by and large, that's the way it should be . . . DOMA is the statute and I don't think it's unconstitutional":

 

 
 
Tom Daschle Pt. 2
More Funny Videos
Comedians on Tour Get Funny Ringtones
Stand-Up Comedy
 
 
When they met, Tom was 33 and married with three children, and Linda was 23 and single.  They married once he divorced his first wife.  It's amazing how many politicians love to self-righteously tout what a "sacred and traditional cultural bond" is the male-female marital union even as they parade around with their much-younger latest wife, whom they met while still enmeshed in a "sacred and traditional bond" with their first wife.

 

UPDATE II:  Back in June, 2008, when Barack Obama violated his clear commitment to filibuster any bill containing telecom immunity by doing the opposite:  voting for cloture on such a bill and then voting of the bill itself, it was -- as Matt Stoller noted at the time -- Tom Daschle who defended Obama's behavior in The Washington Post, by invoking the two leading all-purpose, Obama-justifying clichés:  "Those who accomplish the most are those who don't make the perfect the enemy of the good.  Barack is a pragmatist."

What Daschle (and The Washington Post) didn't note, but Stoller did, is this:

The kicker of course, is that [Daschle's firm] Alston and Bird did work lobbying on immunity for telecoms on FISA  [they were AT&T's FISA lobbyist - .pdf], even serving as a recruitment bed for the McCain campaign. And that's what is really going on. Bribery. Tom Daschle goes in the Washington Post and makes the argument that Obama is being pragmatic by caving to big business on a core issue of civil liberties. He preaches the virtues of bipartisanship while working at a firm whose McCain supporting lawyers also support immunity for telecom interests. Meanwhile, Daschle and his wife are and did make enormous sums of money lobbying for the firms benefiting from Obama's so-called pragmatism. It's a sick, perverted, corroded system whereby perpetual political losers like Matt Bennett and affable status quo lobbyists like Tom Daschle push their agenda through journalists like Jonathan Weisman, without any disclosure whatsoever about possible conflicts of interest. And it's bipartisan and flows through the leadership of both parties.

Tom Daschle is going to end up in a powerful position within the Obama administration, either head of HHS or Chief of Staff. He's going to use the millions he and his wife have made to throw parties, give gifts, have a wonderful life, go to important conferences like Davos, and generally preach in favor of "moderation' and 'bipartisanship". What's important here is that we on OpenLeft and in the blogs in general be educated about who these people really are. Tom Daschle's belief is that moderation and moving to the center is pragmatic, and it is. Or at least it is for Tom Daschle. How else would he make a million dollars a year with his friend Bob Dole [who recruited him to join Alston & Byrd]?

In comments, Jim White wrote:  "After reading this post, the only response is to go take a shower.  The filth comes through the screen."  As Matt Taibbi put it:  "In Washington there are whores and there are whores, and then there is Tom Daschle."

-- Glenn Greenwald

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/02/01/daschle/
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JDN
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« Reply #154 on: February 02, 2009, 09:32:23 AM »

GM posted: "However, an inconvenient report from CNSNews.com last September indicates that candidate Barack Obama paid the women on his staff 78% of the salaries of his male staff members from October 2007 through March 2008."

But the Ledbetter matter addressed the issue of SAME pay for SAME job. Without job descriptions, experience, etc. one cannot
make a comparison.  That's the trouble with numbers... especially in a small sampling. 

By the way; in the same the same CNSNews.com blog that you referenced, you "forgot" to finish and post;

NOW President Kim Gandy did not view the pay disparity as a problem.

“It depends on what positions they’re in,” Gandy told CNSNews.com. “Certain positions are paid more than other positions. I do know quite a number of women very high up in his staff and in his campaign who are extraordinarily strong supporters of women’s rights. We don’t advocate people be hired because of their gender. We advocated people be hired and paid without regard to their gender.”



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G M
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« Reply #155 on: February 02, 2009, 11:47:21 AM »

GM posted: "However, an inconvenient report from CNSNews.com last September indicates that candidate Barack Obama paid the women on his staff 78% of the salaries of his male staff members from October 2007 through March 2008."

But the Ledbetter matter addressed the issue of SAME pay for SAME job. Without job descriptions, experience, etc. one cannot
make a comparison.  That's the trouble with numbers... especially in a small sampling. 

By the way; in the same the same CNSNews.com blog that you referenced, you "forgot" to finish and post;

**I did not "forget" anything. I posted the entire article from http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/01/obamas_hypocritical_law.html which was at the top of the post.**

NOW President Kim Gandy did not view the pay disparity as a problem.

“It depends on what positions they’re in,” Gandy told CNSNews.com. “Certain positions are paid more than other positions. I do know quite a number of women very high up in his staff and in his campaign who are extraordinarily strong supporters of women’s rights. We don’t advocate people be hired because of their gender. We advocated people be hired and paid without regard to their gender.”

**Shocking! I bet NOW was outraged at the accusations against Clarence Thomas, yet very quiet when a certain president had a exploitative relationship with an intern. Yes?**



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G M
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« Reply #156 on: February 02, 2009, 02:14:27 PM »

**A nice example of the "Do as I say, not as I do left".**

http://www.nationalreview.com/goldberg/goldberg032702.asp

March 27, 2002 4:15 p.m.
The Clinton Record
Let’s roll the videotape.


Enough already.

A while back I promised not to write any more Clinton-bashing columns. Been there, done that, got the T-Shirt. (Seriously. It reads: "My President Soiled the Country and All I Got Was this Lousy T-Shirt!") But this is getting ridiculous. In the last month or so there's been an outpouring of revisionism so profound it reminds me of the days when the Soviets would mail replacement pages for the official encyclopedia of the Soviet Union based upon who had fallen in or out of favor during any given week.

 

    
Thanks to Frank Rich, David Brock, Joe Klein, Hendrik Hertzberg, and numerous others (including Monica Lewinsky herself), we are now supposed to believe that pretty much all conservative opponents of Bill Clinton were twisted little snitches, hacks, and hypocrites, or, simply, sweaty-palmed pervs while the former president was nobly all-too-human.

Oh wait, that's what they've been saying all along.

The difference now is that conservatives have moved on — just like the liberals begged us to. There's a war on you know? Bill Clinton, no doubt, spends his time in his Harlem office eating bucket after bucket of fried-chicken skins while constantly asking his "secretary" to come in and pick up the pencils he "accidentally" dropped in front of his desk. So, most of us ask, why bother with him?

Anyway, the major problem with the new revisionism is there's very little new to it. To the extent there are any fresh revelations the bulk of them come from David Brock's bitchy new book, which seems to be intellectual Viagra for folks like Frank Rich. In the New York Times Magazine, Rich wallows in Brock's muck in order to denounce how dirty it all is (See Bill Buckley's column on this point.)

The title of Rich's coprophilic essay is "Ding Dong the Cultural Witch Hunt is Dead." Rich's thesis is a common one, which would make sense since he carved out a niche as the Bartles and James of New York liberalism — a mid-market distiller of low-potency conventional wisdom. Denouncing the majority of conservatives as "gargoyles and lunatics," Rich giddily notes "the almost unending hypocrisy of so many of Brock's circle in journalism and politics." Insert usual examples here. He continues later, "For a political movement that wanted to police sexual "lifestyles" and was pathologically obsessed with trying to find evidence that Hillary Clinton was a lesbian, the New Right of the 90's was, in Brock's account, nearly as gay as a soiree in Fire Island Pines."

WALKING IN HALF-WAY THROUGH
Without engaging in Rich's and Brock's delight in airing people's dirty laundry in order to denouncing dirty-laundry airing, suffice it to say the problem with this analysis is that it leaves out a lot of history. Indeed, a theater reviewer by training (and a good one), Rich should know that's it's not fair to judge a play if you've only seen the second act.

This may sound juvenile, but they started it. It was the cultural Left which declared that the "personal is political." Indeed, that was a feminist slogan. In the 1980s it was conservatives who argued, in effect, "boys will be boys" and it was the Left who said "not on your life." Liberals disinterred the archaic verb "womanize" in order to lay siege to John Tower. Liberals — agents of the government no less — invaded Robert Bork's private life, investigating his video rentals. Liberals chanted "you just don't get it!" with Maoist fury over the perfidy of Clarence Thomas's alleged joke about a pubic hair and for asking a longtime employee and friend to go out on a date. The whole thing was like Milan Kundera's The Joke — except liberals weren't laughing.

Liberals celebrated the most insane and dangerous ideologues of the Left who told us that "sex is rape" and that all men were horrid, lecherous evil creatures. As a result, liberals — like Hillary Clinton and her nodding husband — created a vast web of rules, laws, and secular customs designed to police the sexual lives of Americans.

And this was all against a backdrop of liberals denouncing conservatives as awful, evil, heartless, greedy, nasty people simply because of the policy positions they took. You like tax cuts and the free market? Oh, well then you're greedy and unfeeling. From homelessness to the Contras, it was the penchant of the Left to equate policy positions with ones spiritual or moral worth. This practice continues today, though perhaps with slightly less intensity.

Anyway, getting back to "sex policing," it was the conservatives — or, more broadly, the Right since libertarians have been consistent on this stuff from the beginning — who fought a losing battle against the Orwellian aims of sexual-harassment laws and the hysteria which created them. National Review, for example, remained consistent on this point before and after Bill Clinton came on the scene, repeatedly noting that while Bill Clinton was a lecherous cretin, the sexual-harassment laws he found himself ensnared in were idiotic.

Considering David Brock's narcissism (show us your nipple again Dave) and Frank Rich's prurience, it's no wonder they don't understand what Brock's role in the culture wars actually was. Brock was popular for no other reason than that he was a sign conservatives were going to start fighting back. Brock describes himself in those days as "a Jew in Hitler's army." As offensive as this is, it's between him and his therapist. But for all of the talk about how he was a "hatchet man," liberals forget that he was one hatchet-wielder against an army. If you want to say that conservatives were the author of this tawdry chapter in American history, that's fine. But, keep in mind that if you do say such things you are revealing the fact that you are either a liar or a fool.

HYPOCRISY, AGAIN
Moving on, I am at a complete and total loss as to how conservatives are the greater hypocrites in this passion play.

First, let's divide up the competing brands and strands of hypocrisy. If I say all people who drink too much beer are reprobates while I continue to go through beer like Bluto in Animal House, that is a kind of hypocrisy to be sure. But, if I pass a law or advocate the passage of a law which bans beer drinking for everybody, while I continue to drink beer, that's a whole other level of hypocrisy. It is one thing to express a fealty to a cultural norm, it is another thing entirely to try to impose that norm by force of law.

Now, let's see. As a general proposition, who was the champion of sexual-harassment laws? Hmm, seems to me it was the party of Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, and Chris Dodd. Who celebrated Anita Hill as a martyr in the cause for ever-more draconian sex laws and regulations? Seems to me it was that cadre of humorless feminist lawyers and activists lead by the likes of Hillary Clinton (who has called Anita Hill her hero), Gloria Steinem, Pat Schroeder, et al. Don't tell me I'm wrong, I went to college in a bastion of feminism in the late 1980s and I took notes.

In every measurable sense, it was the cultural Left which dropped a thick tarp of laws and regulations — from speech codes on campuses to mandatory education on how to talk to women in the workplace — over the society. And yet, what happened when Bill Clinton was revealed to be precisely the sort of sub-par person we all knew he was?

Well, golly. Gloria Steinem proposed in the pages of the New York Times a "one free grope rule," whereby male employers were now allowed a free chance to do something worse than anything Clarence Thomas was ever accused of (besides, by the time Bill Clinton had groped Monica, he'd already laid more hands on more women than a guard searching for contraband at a women's prison).

Liberals cheered Katie Roiphe when she wrote, also in the Times, "There is nothing inherently wrong . . . with [Monica Lewinsky's] attempt to translate her personal relationship with the President into professional advancement." Feminist author Jane Smiley, writing in The New Yorker, forgave Clinton because he was simply acting out of a human "desire to make a connection with another person."

Meanwhile, Ken Starr, who was nominally the man in charge of defending these laws liberals put in place, was denounced by liberals across the spectrum because, in the words of Richard Cohen, Clinton was being "mortified, subjected to an Orwellian intrusion by the gumshoes of the state." I don't remember liberals feeling that way when they picked Ken Starr to invade Bob Packwood's privacy and read his diary — an intrusion far worse than anything Clinton went through.

I could go on for hours with this kind of stuff. But here's my favorite. Carol Mosley Braun, recall, was the woman who won her Senate seat by running entirely on the "issue" of Clarence Thomas. Her opponent in 1992 had voted to confirm Thomas, and the media cited Braun's victory as exhibit A of the "feminist backlash." During the Lewinsky scandal, she appeared on Meet the Press to defend the president of the United States playing Baron-and-the-Milkmaid with an intern by sagely noting: "Thirty years ago women weren't even allowed to be White House interns."

FINALLY
And then there's Bill. The revisionists would have us believe that the Independent Counsel's final report on Whitewater, etc., is the final proof that the whole fuss over Bill was a giant waste of time.

It may have been a waste of time, I grant you, but it was not conservatives who wasted it. I will not now — nor have I ever — condoned every tactic and statement of everybody on the Right in the various Clinton battles. But, the fact remains that the Clintons sought out every opportunity to stretch their troubles out. This is a point that even the editors of the New York Times felt obliged to concede last Sunday.

It always struck me as a prime example of the dysfunction-enabling ethos of the liberal establishment; Bill Clinton would not loosen his white-knuckled grip on his deceptions and obfuscations but conservatives were the "obsessed" and "maniacal" ones for not being able to "just let it go."

But don't get me wrong here. I find the legalistic critiques of Bill Clinton to be woefully insufficient. Robert Ray's final "exoneration" is almost meaningless to me because I never thought the case against Bill Clinton should rest on such petty complaints. Oh sure, the charges were serious and relevant. Indeed, I can think of a half-dozen charges that should have warranted impeachment that were never even leveled against him. But the law should be considered the minimum standard for a president's conduct, not the only standard.

Bill Clinton was a shabby and shameless man. The rest is commentary and, frankly, he's not worth the effort to provide any more of it.
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JDN
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« Reply #157 on: February 02, 2009, 05:25:55 PM »

GM; Sorry, I sourced and quoted the original article; I guess the American Thinker did the editing not you.

As for Clinton and his intern; I find that particularly deplorable since she was in essence entrusted
into his care. I would not want my daughter "cared for" in that matter.  It's worse, if possible,
since supposedly he was the/our President; it cannot be excused as just some irrelevant dirty old man.
Money is one thing, that is much much worse.  It is a breach in trust.

I honestly don't know what NOW's reaction was at the time, but anything else but condemning the action
is wrong.
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G M
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« Reply #158 on: February 02, 2009, 11:52:50 PM »

http://www.davekopel.org/NRO/2001/The-Left's-Power-Politics.htm

When violence and harassment against women doesn't matter

Many feminists are very concerned about protecting women from sexual harassment, which they define so broadly as to include a man asking a fellow employee for a date, or two men telling a dirty joke which a woman overhears. These feminists tend to support a legal rule of always believing the alleged victim, even when there is no corroborating evidence. "Women, don't lie" about sexual harassment, they claim.

But most of these same feminists remained silent, or were actively hostile, when Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, and other women credibly accused Bill Clinton of rape, assault, and indecent exposure; the accusations were backed by substantial supporting evidence.

During the impeachment case, Stanford University Law Professor Deborah L. Rhode served as Deputy Counsel to the House Judiciary Democrats. She claimed that President Clinton's sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky did not matter because it was consensual. But in 1988, regarding allegations of Gary Hart's consensual sexual relationships, Rhode claimed, "Womanizing degrades and objectifies women in general … For positions involving moral leadership, these questions are relevant."

Feminists complained about Paula Jones using a sexual harassment lawsuit to pry into Bill Clinton's consensual sexual activities. Yet this complaint ignored the fact that the very law that allowed Jones's attorneys to question Clinton was a 1994 law that Clinton had signed, a move that they had championed.

Betty Friedan, of the National Organization of Women, fulminated that Clarence Thomas was unfit to serve on the Supreme Court because he had allegedly talked dirty to Anita Hill ten years before. When Paula Jones reported that Bill Clinton had indecently exposed himself and ordered a state employee to perform fellatio on him, Betty Friedan responded blithely, "What's the big deal? She wasn't killed, She wasn't harassed. She wasn't fired."

There were some feminists who refused to defend Clinton, but they were hardly a majority of the most-prominent leaders of the movement. For this majority, it is fair to ask whether the welfare of the victims of rape and other sex crimes is less important than the perpetuation of political power by any means necessary.
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G M
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« Reply #159 on: February 02, 2009, 11:54:20 PM »

At least the dems that love to raise and spend taxes are very dilligent about paying them, right?
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G M
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« Reply #160 on: February 03, 2009, 03:34:50 AM »

http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/archive/1998/05/williams199805

Lowering the bar
Clinton and Women

President Clinton’s sordid entanglements with Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, and now Monica Lewinsky have drawn barely a squeak of protest from the powerful writers, lawyers, activists, politicians, and academics who call themselves feminists. As they struggle with fresh allegations from Kathleen Willey, the author reveals some ugly truths about the women’s movement and the commander in chief.
by Marjorie Williams May 1998

Okay, class, let’s review: The man in question has been sued for sexual harassment over an episode that allegedly included dropping his trousers to waggle his erect penis at a woman who held a $6.35-an-hour clerical job in the state government over which he presided. Another woman has charged that when she asked him for a job he invited her into his private office, fondled her breasts, and placed her hand on his crotch. A third woman confided to friends that when she was a 21-year-old intern she began an affair with the man—much older, married, and the head of the organization whose lowliest employee she was. Actually, it was less an affair than a service contract, in which she allegedly dashed into his office, when summoned, to perform oral sex on him. After their liaison was revealed, he denied everything, leaving her to be portrayed as a tramp and a liar. Or, in his own words, “that woman.”
Let us not even mention the former lover who was steered to a state job; or the law-enforcement officers who say the man used them to solicit sexual partners for him; or his routine use of staff members, lawyers, and private investigators to tar the reputation of any woman who tries to call him to account for his actions.
Can you find the problems with his behavior? Take your time: these problems are apparently of an order so subtle as to escape the notice of many of the smartest women in America—the writers, lawyers, activists, officeholders, and academics who call themselves feminists.
When news broke that Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr was investigating whether President Clinton had lied under oath about his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, or encouraged others to lie, the cacophony that ensued was notable for the absence of one set of voices: the sisterly chorus that backed up Anita Hill seven years ago when her charges of sexual harassment nearly stopped Clarence Thomas’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
With very few exceptions, feminists were either silent or dismissive this time. “If anything, it sounds like she put the moves on him,” said Susan Faludi, author of Backlash. Betty Friedan weighed in, but only to huff her outrage that Clinton’s “enemies are attempting to bring him down through allegations about some dalliance with an intern…. Whether it’s a fantasy, a set-up or true, I simply don’t care.”
It was not until former White House volunteer Kathleen Willey appeared on 60 Minutes in mid-March to make public the allegation she had formerly made in a deposition—that Clinton had manhandled her during a private meeting in which she sought a paying job—that some feminists began to make reluctant noises of dismay. The National Organization for Women (NOW), which until then had found itself “unable to comment responsibly,” averred that “Kathleen Willey’s sworn testimony moves the question from whether the president is a ‘womanizer’ to whether he is a sexual predator.”
But NOW’s change of heart was by no means typical of feminist activists. Many others hung tough. Anita Perez Ferguson, president of the National Women’s Political Caucus—the premier group promoting female participation in American politics—described Willey’s charges as “quantity rather than quality, in terms of my feelings.” She continued, “There’s no question that it’s disturbing…. But to come to any judgment now is definitely not something that I think is timely.”
With the exception of a few Republicans, women in Congress—including several swept to power by female outrage over the Senate’s treatment of Anita Hill—have shown an equal agility of mind. Their excuses range from the procedural stonewall (“What is important for the American people to know is that there is a process in place to deal with these allegations,” in the words of Senator Barbara Boxer) to the creative inversion (What about Ken Starr’s “humiliation” of the women he dragged before the grand jury?, fumed Representative Nancy Pelosi) to the truly fanciful twist on gender politics (“Not so many years ago, a woman couldn’t be a White House intern,” said a straight-faced Senator Carol Moseley-Braun on Meet the Press).
My own sampling of feminist opinion found women offering an astonishing array of strategies for avoiding the elephant in the living room:
See no evil … “It will be a great pity if the Democratic Party is damaged by this,” the feminist writer Anne Roiphe told me. “That’s been my response from the very beginning—I just wanted to close my eyes, and wished it would go away.”
Hear no evil … “We do not know what happened in the Lewinsky case,” said Kathy Rodgers, executive director of the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund. “The only thing that is clear is that the facts are not clear.”
Speak no evil … “We’re trying to think of the bigger picture, think about what’s best for women,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
If the hypocrisy and the powers of denial are impressive, one must consider that these women have had a lot of practice. Feminists have all along muffled, disguised, excused, and denied the worst aspects of the president’s behavior with women—especially in their reactions to Paula Jones, whose sexual-harassment suit they have greeted with attitudes ranging from tepid boilerplate support to outright hostility.
In the Lewinsky case, it has fallen to their enemies to state the obvious. “The C.E.O. of a corporation wouldn’t have had time to pack up his briefcase before he was fired for this,” says Barbara Ledeen, executive director for policy at the Independent Women’s Forum, the Washington-based group that has achieved a certain cachet for its condemnations of traditional feminism.
“The president should be setting some sort of example in the workplace,” says the outrageous libertarian writer Camille Paglia, who has gained prominence in part for denouncing liberal feminists. “That’s all I’m talking about. In. The. Workplace…. Since when did the president use the interns as a dessert cart? ‘Mmmmm, she looks good!’ When did that become okay?”
The chief reason for feminists’ continued support of Clinton is clear: Clinton is their guy. Clarence Thomas was their enemy. Bob Packwood, a liberal Republican who was the next habitual boor to walk the plank, was a harder case for feminists, but in the end they tied the blindfold. Clinton, though, is the hardest case, because he is the most reliably supportive president they’ve ever had.
But if political opportunism is the main cause of their current blindness, it’s not the only one. And it’s worth examining all the reasons in detail. For you can find in them a road map to everything that ails liberal feminism today: political self-dealing, class bias, and dedication to a bleak vision of sexual “liberation” that has deprived them of what was once the moral force of their beliefs.
Feminists are quick to say that any charges of hypocrisy lodged against them are the work of the anti-Clinton right. “It’s a twofer for them,” says Smeal. “If they can get the president, great. And if they can get feminism, even greater.”
So it seems appropriate to say here that I am a feminist and a registered Democrat. Many of the feminist activists in Washington are women I’ve known for years as sources; I feel an open sympathy for much of the work they do. Yet I also feel something close to fury over their failure to call Clinton to account for his actions. My anger may be bred, in part, by my own past willingness to “put in perspective” Clinton’s questionable behavior with women—enough, at least, to vote for him twice. I can’t defend my own past complicity, but I can say that what follows is not the brief of a practiced Clinton hater.
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JDN
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« Reply #161 on: February 03, 2009, 09:09:09 AM »

GM; I get your point, but you are speaking to the choir.  I never have been a fan of NOW.  I prefer to ignore them
although sometimes they are so loud it is hard to do.

In general, though, I don't think it is a left or right issue; democrat or republican; Democratic Hart as well as Republicans have been driven from office
for their peccadilloes. 

As for Clinton, whether he committed these alleged acts or not I don't know nor did I pay much attention.  As for the
intern, that was a matter of trust and it bothered me deeply.  Her parent's trusted him to educated and protect her;
it is an honor to be an intern in the White House; instead her job duties seemed to include everything but actual "sex".   huh
I take the same attitude towards teachers that have sex with their students.  Or employers.  It's wrong.  Also, I don't respect a few local
policemen I know of who stop women on some pretense and then ask them out.  It is an abuse of authority and trust.

But I doubt if all this has much to do with The Cognitive Dissonance of his Glibness except that history has and will repeat itself; but it
is not a republican or democratic, left or right issue.  It's just wrong if you are in a position of authority and trust.

But the Ledbetter case was about equal pay for equal work for the same job.  I happen to think that is the right thing to do
whether you are republican or democrat.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #162 on: February 03, 2009, 10:29:37 AM »

GM: "At least the dems that love to raise and spend taxes are very diligent about paying them, right?"

 - I wonder if anyone other than his opponents has noticed what a pattern of disaster his appointments have been.
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #163 on: February 03, 2009, 11:08:38 AM »

Quote
- I wonder if anyone other than his opponents has noticed what a pattern of disaster his appointments have been.

I think a big part of the problem is the lack of honest individuals in D.C, and the willingness of pretty much everyone in the Capitol building to "overlook" small "mistakes" (people in glass houses, after all...)

And am I just a goody two shoes, or does no one pay their taxes these days? I must have been doing it wrong all these years...  cheesy
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ccp
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« Reply #164 on: February 03, 2009, 12:23:49 PM »

The reason I wonder about the hoopla with Phelps and post it here is because I contrast his use of marijuana with a President who additted not only to this using cocaine.  It seemed as though it was never an issue with the new Abe Lincoln ("a youthful indiscreetion").  So why should anyone care about this which in my opinion is about as serious as getting a speeding ticket?

Michael Phelps MILWAUKEE – Michael Phelps doesn't seem to be in much hot water with his sponsors despite being photographed inhaling from a marijuana pipe. From apparel company Speedo to luxury Swiss watchmaker Omega, several sponsors are standing by the 23-year-old swimming phenom — at least for now — and have accepted his public apology. Other big companies, like Visa Inc., Subway and Kellogg Co., aren't talking yet.

Experts say if Phelps doesn't stick to the straight and narrow, he could hurt his chances at future endorsements. And there's no guarantee he won't be dropped quietly once the furor dies down.

Phelps, who won a record eight gold medals at this summer's Olympics in Beijing, acknowledged "regrettable" behavior and "bad judgment" after the photo appeared Sunday in the British tabloid News of the World.

The paper said the picture was taken during a November house party while Phelps was visiting the University of South Carolina.

Phelps handled the situation well by apologizing and saying he regretted his actions, said John Sweeney, director of sports communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Phelps went a step further and promised "it will not happen again."

In 2004, after the Athens Games, a then-underage Phelps was arrested for drunken driving. He pleaded guilty, apologized and again said he wouldn't make the same mistake again.

Sweeney said if Phelps is caught transgressing a third time, he could stand to lose many sponsorships — and the public's trust. For now, the public and his sponsors could look past it. After all, he said, President Barack Obama has acknowledged using marijuana and he still got elected.

"My prediction would be that this will pass," he said with caution. "If it does happen again, it'll be twice the story and it will hurt him."

Swiss watchmaker Omega said Phelps' actions were a private matter and "nonissue" while Speedo called Phelps a "valued member of the Speedo team."

Sports performance beverage PureSport's maker, which tapped Phelps to be spokesman for its first national advertising campaign, also said Monday that it stands by him but it said it does not condone his behavior.

"We applaud the fact that he has taken full and immediate responsibility for his mistake and apologized to us, his fans and the public and we support him during this difficult time," said Michael Humphrey, chief executive of Human Performance Labs.

Hilton Hotels Corp., whose relationship with Phelps dates to 2007, likewise stuck with him.

"We continue to support Michael Phelps as an athlete whose numerous athletic feats outshine an act of regrettable behavior," the statement said.

But former sponsor Rosetta Stone, the foreign-language tutorial vendor, which had a one-year deal with the athlete that ended Dec. 31, did not like the news.

"We do not condone his activities and are disappointed in his recent judgment," Rosetta Stone said in a statement.

Both AT&T Inc. and PowerBar nutrition bar makers Nestle SA, two other big sponsors, quietly ended their relationships with Phelps at the end of 2008. Neither company would comment on the photo or describe the duration or value of their contracts.

Companies are getting pickier about their marketing and sponsorships amid the recession, when they need to get the most impact for what money they do spend on marketing, said Joe Terrian, assistant dean in the college of business at Marquette University.

It makes sense that, say, Speedo and PureSport would continue to support Phelps because their products are ones that he uses for his sport, Terrian said. But companies with products not directly linked to athletics, like foodmaker Kellogg and credit card company Visa, may not see him as kindly.

Terrian said that, given the 2004 incident, sponsors may look to cut their ties soon.

"Do you want to risk those sponsorship dollars when money is really, really tight?" he said. "I think that some of them will think twice."

Visa, Kellogg, Subway and 505 Games did not immediately return multiple messages left by The Associated Press seeking comment.

A spokesman at sports marketing agency Octagon, which represents Phelps, said the athlete is taking this seriously.

"He has spoken with his sponsors to personally apologize. We are encouraged by their support," the spokesman said.

Terrian said Phelps's sponsors could be looking in their contracts for so-called 'morality clauses' — ways that they can back out of deals if certain instances happen. Those became more widespread after Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was charged with rape in 2003. Those charges were dismissed.

More companies could choose to end their relationships with Phelps quietly. And those whose ads he stars in could publicize such a move as evidence of "their goodwill and social responsibility," Sweeney said.

But Sweeney said companies may be willing to overlook indiscretions depending on how prominent an athlete is. A minor indiscretion could get a minor athlete tossed from a sponsorship, but it could take a bigger incident to bring down a bigger athlete, he said. Considering Phelps's unique accomplishment, sponsors still may want him.

"There's only one of him," Sweeney said of Phelps. "There's only one person with eight gold medals, and there's probably going to be one for a long time."

AP Sports Writer Rob Harris in Manchester, England, contributed to this report.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #165 on: February 03, 2009, 12:42:32 PM »

There's a very funny post on the Phelps pot affair over on the Libertarian thread of the SCH forum.  I'm thinking any discussion of this will be a better fit there than on this thread here.
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G M
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« Reply #166 on: February 03, 2009, 04:35:33 PM »

GM; I get your point, but you are speaking to the choir.  I never have been a fan of NOW.  I prefer to ignore them
although sometimes they are so loud it is hard to do.

In general, though, I don't think it is a left or right issue; democrat or republican; Democratic Hart as well as Republicans have been driven from office
for their peccadilloes. 

**The difference is the double standards. When dems cross the lines, the MSM actively covers up/minimalizes the acts, and in Clinton's case most feminists put power politics over their supposed values.**

As for Clinton, whether he committed these alleged acts or not I don't know nor did I pay much attention.

**He did.**
 
As for the intern, that was a matter of trust and it bothered me deeply.  Her parent's trusted him to educated and protect her;
it is an honor to be an intern in the White House; instead her job duties seemed to include everything but actual "sex".   huh
I take the same attitude towards teachers that have sex with their students.  Or employers.  It's wrong.  Also, I don't respect a few local
policemen I know of who stop women on some pretense and then ask them out.  It is an abuse of authority and trust.

But I doubt if all this has much to do with The Cognitive Dissonance of his Glibness except that history has and will repeat itself; but it
is not a republican or democratic, left or right issue.  It's just wrong if you are in a position of authority and trust.

But the Ledbetter case was about equal pay for equal work for the same job.  I happen to think that is the right thing to do
whether you are republican or democrat.

**The Ledbetter law won't be about right or wrong, but about litigators shaking down businesses and the costs getting passed on to consumers.**

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G M
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« Reply #167 on: February 03, 2009, 04:53:03 PM »

**Remember all the outraged feminists? Oh wait, they were too busy calling Sarah Palin a c*nt.**

http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/36234

Obama only talks good game on gender pay equity
Submitted by SHNS on Thu, 09/11/2008 - 15:17.
By DEROY MURDOCK, Scripps Howard News Service
 
editorials and opinion
"Now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work," Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama said August 28 in his convention acceptance speech. He told the crowd in Denver: "I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons."

Obama's campaign website is even more specific. Under the heading "Fighting for Pay Equity," the women's issues page laments that, "Despite decades of progress, women still make only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. A recent study estimates it will take another 47 years for women to close the wage gap with men at Fortune 500 corporate offices. Barack Obama believes the government needs to take steps to better enforce the Equal Pay Act..."

Obama's commitment to federally mandated pay equity stretches from the Rockies to Wall Street and beyond. And yet it seems to have eluded his United States Senate office. Compensation figures for his legislative staff reveal that Obama pays women just 83 cents for every dollar his men make.

A watchdog group called LegiStorm posts online the salaries for Capitol Hill staffers. "We have no political affiliations and no political purpose except to make the workings of Congress as transparent as possible," its website explains. Parsing LegiStorm's official data, gleaned from the Secretary of the Senate, offers a fascinating glimpse at pay equity in the World's Greatest Deliberative Body.

The most recent statistics are for the half-year from October 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008, excluding interns and focusing on full-time personnel. For someone who worked only until, say, last February 29, extrapolating up to six months' service simplifies this analysis. Doubling these half-year figures illustrates how a year's worth of Senate employees' paychecks should look.

Based on these calculations, Obama's 28 male staffers divided among themselves total payroll expenditures of $1,523,120. Thus, Obama's average male employee earned $54,397.

Obama's 30 female employees split $1,354,580 among themselves, or $45,152, on average.

Why this disparity? One reason may be the under-representation of women in Obama's highest-compensated ranks. Among Obama's five best-paid advisors, only one was a woman. Among his top 20, seven were women.

Again, on average, Obama's female staffers earn just 83 cents for every dollar his male staffers make. This figure certainly exceeds the 77-cent threshold that Obama's campaign website condemns. However, 83 cents do not equal $1.00. In spite of this 17-cent gap between Obama's rhetoric and reality, he chose to chide GOP presidential contender John McCain on this issue.

Obama responded August 31 to Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's Republican vice-presidential nomination. Palin "seems like a very engaging person," Obama told voters in Toledo, Ohio. "But I've got to say, she's opposed -- like John McCain is -- to equal pay for equal work. That doesn't make much sense to me."

Obama's criticism notwithstanding, McCain's payment patterns are the stuff of feminist dreams.

McCain's 17 male staffers split $916,914, thus averaging $53,936. His 25 female employees divided $1,396,958 and averaged $55,878.

On average, according to these data, women in John McCain's office make $1.04 for every dollar a man makes. In fact, all other things being equal, a typical female staffer could earn 21 cents more per dollar paid to her male counterpart -- while adding $10,726 to her annual income -- by leaving Barack Obama's office and going to work for John McCain.

How could this be?

One explanation could be that women compose a majority of McCain's highest-paid aides. Among his top-five best-compensated staffers, three are women. Of his 20-highest-salaried employees, 13 are women. The Republican presidential nominee relies on women -- much more than men -- for advice at the highest, and thus, best-paid levels.

If anyone on McCain's Senate staff is unhappy, McCain's male staffers might complain that they seem to get a slightly raw deal.

In short, these statistics suggest that John McCain is more than fair with his female employees, while Barack Obama -- at the expense of the women who work for him -- quietly perpetuates the very same pay-equity divide that he loudly denounces. Of all people, the Democratic standard bearer should understand that equal pay begins at home.

(Deroy Murdock is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. E-mail him at deroy.Murdock(at)gmail.com)
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G M
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« Reply #168 on: February 03, 2009, 05:02:58 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/02/03/great-news-iran-launches-satellite-on-rocket-that-could-become-icbm/

No worries! Nothing a few "talks without preconditions" can't fix.....
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G M
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« Reply #169 on: February 03, 2009, 07:50:25 PM »

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

Tom Daschle Withdraws: Another Ethics Casualty for Obama
Posted By Jennifer Rubin On February 3, 2009 @ 10:53 am In . Feature 01, Money, Politics, US News | 73 Comments

How quickly they fall. Tom Daschle, who just yesterday had the full backing of President Barack Obama, has announced he is withdrawing his name from consideration as Health and Human Services secretary. For both Daschle and Obama, it has been a rough ride, calling into question the latter’s judgment and skill as a chief executive.

President Barack Obama rode into Washington on a veritable cloud of goodwill and sky-high expectations. The mainstream media had swooned over his transition with some justification. They had swooned over his inaugural speech with far less. But hopes, even among conservatives, were high for a break from business as usual, a degree of bipartisan pragmatism and a can-do approach to solving the nation’s economic problems. But in a mere two weeks, the thrill is gone and nagging questions have begun.

Most glaringly, we have been treated to a raft of embarrassing personnel issues. Tim Geithner made it through the confirmation hearing but Bill Richardson did not; nor did the “[1] chief performance officer” who could not perform the task of paying all her own taxes. Then Tom Daschle, who just yesterday garnered the support of President Obama and Democrats in the Senate, has now announced he is backing out. This followed a storm of criticism from not just conservatives who are aghast at the tax cheats and revolving-door-ism. [2] Marie Cocco summed up:

No need to fumble for words that sum up the stew of hypocrisy, arrogance, and insiderism that is the unfolding saga of Tom Daschle. This is the audacity of audacity. … The rationale for confirming Geithner was that he is a financial wizard — one of a handful of people, it was argued, with the experience and intellect necessary to manage the worst banking crisis since the Great Depression. But surely there is more than one Democrat capable of managing the Department of Health and Human Services. And undoubtedly there is more than one — there are perhaps, hundreds — as committed to the cause of revamping the health care system. Daschle isn’t indispensable. But he is indefensible.

And [3] Richard Cohen was no less critical:

Taken individually, the tax problems of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and the health and human services secretary-designate, Tom Daschle, don’t amount to much. Together, though, they amount to a message: If you are beloved by this administration, you don’t necessarily have to play by the rules. Both Geithner and Daschle are good men, but their appointments send the message that Washington’s new broom sweeps a bit like the old one.

The Daschle debacle is not the only problem bedeviling the Obama team. This follows a slew of ethics waivers which has made the so-called ethics rules (prohibiting ex-lobbyists from working on issues for which they previously lobbied) into Swiss cheese. The [4] good-government types are fuming. And even the MSM has noticed the pattern, which includes an ethics waiver for William Lynn, a former lobbyist for defense contractor Raytheon who has been nominated for the Pentagon’s number two job.

[5] TIME magazine explains:

But the controversy over the waivers, which have been criticized by both Democratic and Republican senators, is just one of the perception problems dogging Obama’s new ethics policy. Another issue stems from the people nominated to the administration who have worked in the lobbying business but are not technically lobbyists — people, in other words, like Tom Daschle, or former Senator George Mitchell, the new Middle East peace envoy who had previously served as the chairman of a law firm that has done lobbying and legal work for many clients in the region, including the leader of Dubai.

In short, we are back to the very same Washington, D.C., brew of sleaze, double standards, ethical lapses, and hypocrisy. That it comes from an administration which ran on such a sanctimonious platform only makes it that much more disappointing and indeed infuriating.

But that’s not all. Aside from the ethics issues, the number one priority, the Obama stimulus plan, has run aground. The administration’s stimulus bill has become the subject of widespread criticism from [6] conservatives and [7] mainstream outlets alike for its porked-up spending plans and insufficient attention to fulfill the president’s directives for a temporary and targeted response to the recession. What was supposed to garner bipartisan support has instead invigorated the Republican opposition. As ABC’s [8] The Note summed up: “Team Obama lost the early battle to define the bill — which has become a pork-stuffed monstrosity, instead of economic salvation wrapped in legislation.”

On foreign policy the record is more mixed. The president’s declaration that he will close Guantanamo, as soon as he has figured out what to do with the prisoners, brought conservative criticism and has proven to be [9] unpopular with voters who, come to think of it, don’t like the idea of moving dangerous terrorists to their neighborhoods or releasing them to the battlefield. And liberals are miffed that the Bush-era terrorist [10] rendition program has been retained or indeed expanded. President Obama’s apologetic interview with Al-Arabyia was panned by conservatives and lauded by liberals (but, tellingly, was not echoed by his new secretary of state and was greeted with contempt by Ahmadinejad.)

It is fair to ask: what’s wrong? Several things, it appears, are at work here.

First, the Obama team certainly does not place ethical standards or the appearance of ethical standards above other concerns (e.g., avoiding embarrassment or getting a key player). Now this should come as no surprise from the team which promised to work within the public campaign financing rules and then decided it was better not to. In the course of the campaign, however, against the dreaded Republicans this passed muster. In the glare of the White House press corps lights when expectations are higher, it induces biting criticism and even anger.

Second, Obama has never been an expert legislator and has, it seems, lost control of his own stimulus bill. By deferring to the House Democrats he lost the policy and political high ground. Now an astounding [11] 54% of Americans either want a major reworking of the bill or to block it entirely. The president and his advisors seem to have mistaken his own personal popularity with both the public’s and the Republicans’ willingness to accept anything he and the Democrats could dream up.

And finally, the Republicans have played their cards well on the stimulus — speaking in respectful tones about the president, displaying heretofore unheard of unity, and hammering at the excessive and unwise aspects of the stimulus bill. By holding their ground, they have forced Obama into a tight corner. He must now either revise the bill or pass it on his own. And by standing on principle, they have denied the president the chance to do what he has done successfully throughout his career; namely, to claim the mantle of bipartisanship while advocating a far-left agenda.

Now, President Obama’s approval numbers are still high, but they are [12] floating steadily back to earth. This is the messy business of governing — when rhetoric comes up against reality and the sky-high expectations of supporters are ratcheted down, bit by bit.

It was never realistic to expect President Obama would reinvent politics, but it would have been nice had he not sacrificed his principles quite so quickly. It has not earned him any brownie points. Instead, conservatives are revived, liberals are dismayed, and the general public is left wondering: Didn’t we vote for something better than this?

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

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/tom-daschle-another-ethics-casualty-for-obama/

URLs in this post:
[1] chief performance officer: http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/02/03/1778480.aspx
[2] Marie Cocco: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/02/daschle_is_indefensible.html
[3] Richard Cohen: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/02/AR2009020202054.html
[4] good-government types: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/23/william-lynn-obamas-first_n_160512.html
[5] TIME magazine: http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1876550,00.html?xid=rss-topstories
[6] conservatives: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/016/100dyjdy.asp
[7] mainstream: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/31/AR2009013101535.html
[8] The Note: http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2009/02/the-note-2309-s.html
[9] unpopular: http://www.gallup.com/poll/114091/Americans-Approve-Obama-Actions-Date.aspx
[10] rendition program: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/rubin/52402
[11] 54%: http://www.gallup.com/poll/114097/Americans-Support-Stimulus-Major-Changes.aspx
[12] floating steadily back: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/polls
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G M
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« Reply #170 on: February 03, 2009, 10:00:28 PM »

http://www.douglasfarah.com/article/447/understanding-the-islamist-agenda-and-negotiations.com

Feb 2, 15:42
Understanding the Islamist Agenda and Negotiations

There are many good reasons for wanting to talk directly to one’s enemies, particularly states that pose a direct threat to one’s security. The Obama administration, facing a host of domestic problems and inheriting the ineffective policies of the previous administration in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program, has incentives to want to get the Iran issue contained, at a minimum.

The same can be said for the Afghanistan crisis, which is lurching from bad to worse. The Taliban, flush with opium money, is making inroads while the corrupt and ineffective government fiddles, and Kabul is close to burning.

But one has to be clear that the other side wants some sort of serious back and forth. This is what is missing in both cases.

One must start from a recognition of what it is Iran wants: the abolition of Israel, the unimpeded sponsorship of armed non-state actors (Hezbollah and Hamas, with the dalliance with al Qaeda when convenient), and imposition of a global theocracy. None of these issues is negotiable.

From this Wall Street Journal piece, it is quite clear that Iran sees nothing to be gained by talks, and much to be gained by trying to humiliate the incoming administration. Perhaps they are simply recognizing the reality that their basic goals leave little room for substantive negotiations.

It seems to me that Fareed Zakaria makes serious mistake in his assessment of Afghanistan policy in calling for talks with the Taliban.

This is largely for the same reason: the lack of a understanding of what the Taliban want and what they are.

Like the Iranians (yes, the Taliban is Sunni and wahhabist, and yes the Iranians are Shi’ite and they have much disdain for each other on many issues) the Taliban has as its bottom line the establishment of a global Islamist caliphate that starts in Afghanistan and from there, the world.

The differences with al Qaeda are cultural clashes and discomfort with the way the Arab forces treat the Taliban, but not over fundamental beliefs, tactics or strategy. A world under Sharia law, as understood by both groups, is a divine mandate and therefore not negotiable.

Zakaria writes that:

The United States is properly and unalterably
opposed to al-Qaeda. We have significant differences with the Taliban on many issues—democracy and the treatment of women being the most serious. But we do not wage war on other Islamist groups with which we similarly disagree (the Saudi monarchy, for example). Were elements of the Taliban to abandon al-Qaeda, we would not have a pressing national security interest in waging war against them.

That is simply not true. As he notes later, al Qaeda (the old guard, perhaps less relevant than ever) is essentially a parasite, living off host groups and nations. But in the case of the Taliban, the host has welcomed the parasite, fed it, clothed it, protected it and embraced it.

The idea that the Taliban would, in a verifiable way, renounce and cut ties to al Qaeda, is simply not realistic. The idea that we should stand by and deal with-and likely assure the ascent to power of-a group whose basic philosophy is to return everything they can back to the Middle Ages is an abandonment of everything we claim to stand for. The fact that we tolerate Saudi Arabia’s abysmal behavior is no reason to watch another country fall under the worst kind of enslavement and barbarism.

Finally, the line about having no pressing national security interest in the Taliban repeats exactly the misguided analysis that led the Taliban to facilitate the execution of the 9/11 attacks. Every major attack (1998 East Africa bombings, USS Cole, 9/11) were carried out by non-state actors (al Qaeda) operating from a “failed” state or sympathetic state (Taliban and Sudan).

Dialogue is a useful, vital tool in international relations. But it is only useful when the bottom lines of both sides are understood and the areas of overlap can be discussed. Otherwise, it is a waste of precious time and resources.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #171 on: February 04, 2009, 07:19:38 AM »

Woof All:

This thread is in danger of becoming a ghoulash of everything about BO which annoys us. GM, I'm thinking that the piece you post better belongs in one of the threads on WW3, our strategy vs. Islamo-fascism, the Afg-Pak thread etc.   

Anyone interested in responding to it please do so in one of those threads.

Thank you,
Marc
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« Reply #172 on: February 04, 2009, 08:03:26 AM »

Well, speaking of goulash. . . .

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Impending Obama Meltdown   [Victor Davis Hanson]
Some of us have been warning that it was not healthy for the U.S. media to have deified rather than questioned Obama, especially given that they tore apart Bush, ridiculed Palin, and caricatured Hillary. And now we can see the results of their two years of advocacy rather than scrutiny.

We are quite literally after two weeks teetering on an Obama implosion—and with no Dick Morris to bail him out—brought on by messianic delusions of grandeur, hubris, and a strange naivete that soaring rhetoric and a multiracial profile can add requisite cover to good old-fashioned Chicago politicking.

First, there were the sermons on ethics, belied by the appointments of tax dodgers, crass lobbyists, and wheeler-dealers like Richardson—with the relish of the Blago tapes still to come. (And why does Richardson/Daschle go, but not Geithner?).

Second, was the "stimulus" (the euphemism for "borrow/print money") that was simply a way to go into debt for a generation to shower Democratic constinuencies with cash.

Then third, there were the inflated lectures on historic foreign policy to be made by the clumsy political novice who trashed his own country and his predecessor in the most ungracious manner overseas to a censured Saudi-run press organ (e.g., Bush is dictatorial, the Saudi king is courageous; Obama can mend bridges that America broke to aggrieved Muslims (apparently Tehran hostages, Rushdie, serial attacks in the 1990s, 9/11, Madrid, London never apparently occurred, and neither did feeding Somalis, saving Kuwait, protesting Chechnya, Bosnia/Kosovo, billions to Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinians, help in two Afghan wars, and on and on).

Fourth, there was the campaign rhetoric of Bush shredding the Constitution—FISA, Guantanamo, Patriot Act, Iraq, renditions, etc.—followed by "all that for now stays the same" inasmuch as we haven't ben hit in over seven years and can't risk another attack.

Fifth, Gibbs as press secretary is a Scott McClellan nightmare that won't go away, given his long McClellan-like relationship with Obama (McClellan should have been fired on day hour one on the job). Blaming Fox News for Obama's calamities is McClellan to the core and doesn't work. He already reminds me of Rev. Wright's undoing at the National Press Club—and he will get worse.

Six, Biden is being Biden. Already, he's ridiculed the chief justice, trashed the former VP, bragged on himself ad nauseam in Bidenesque weird ways, and it's only been two weeks.

And the result of all this?

At home, Obama is becoming laughable and laying the groundwork for the greatest conservative populist reaction since the Reagan Revolution.

Abroad, some really creepy people are lining up to test Obama's world view of "Bush did it/but I am the world": The North Koreans are readying their missiles; the Iranians are calling us passive, bragging on nukes and satellites; Russia is declaring missile defense is over and the Euros in real need of iffy Russian gas; Pakistanis say no more drone attacks (and then our friends the Indians say "shut up" about Kashmir and the Euros order no more 'buy American").

This is quite serious. I can't recall a similarly disastrous start in a half-century (far worse than Bill Clinton's initial slips). Obama immediately must lower the hope-and-change rhetoric, ignore Reid/Pelosi, drop the therapy, and accept the tragic view that the world abroad is not misunderstood but quite dangerous. And he must listen on foreign policy to his National Security Advisor, Billary, and Sec. of Defense. If he doesn't quit the messianic style and perpetual campaign mode, and begin humbly governing, then he will devolve into Carterism—angry that the once-fawning press betrayed him while we the people, due to our American malaise, are to blame.

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZDA1MTkzYTc4NjA5MWQxOGNjMzU3YmZiYTJhZDQ5YTY=
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« Reply #173 on: February 05, 2009, 05:45:39 PM »

Is the Honeymoon Over?
Share Post   PrintFebruary 5, 2009 Posted by John at 3:28 PM

Or is it just a lovers' quarrel? It's too early to tell, but things are already getting testy at Robert Gibbs' press conferences. Today one of the White House reporters [UPDATE: Jake Tapper, I believe; who, to be fair, has never been an Obama groupie] asked Gibbs about the waivers that the Office of Management and Budget gives to some cabinet and other appointees to release them from ethics constraints to which President Obama claims to be committed:

QUESTION: Robert, two questions. One's a housekeeping one. In the name of the transparency that you and the president herald so much, is there any way we could get the copies of the waivers that the OMB issues to allow certain cabinet posts or deputy posts...

(CROSSTALK)

GIBBS: I'll check.

QUESTION: ... free of the ethics constraints that you put up? And, also, the disclosure forms that your nominees put out that go to the Office of Government Ethics, that somehow they're not able to e- mail or, you know, put on the Web, is there any way we can get copies of those?

GIBBS: Yes, I will check. I don't -- I don't know how those forms are distributed.

QUESTION: Just based on listening to the president's rhetoric, I'm sure it's something he'd want to do.

GIBBS: Well...

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) question is...

GIBBS: Knowing of your crystal clarity on his opinion, I'll certainly check.

QUESTION: He doesn't believe in transparency?

GIBBS: Did you have another more pertinent question?

QUESTION: I think that's pretty -- I think it's fairly pertinent, your cabinet nominees and whether or not they pay their taxes and whether or not they have speaking fees with all sorts of industries they're suppose to regulate. I think that's fairly pertinent. You don't?

GIBBS: Obviously I do. And obviously the -- the president does.
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ccp
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« Reply #174 on: February 05, 2009, 08:56:14 PM »

 ***I can't recall a similarly disastrous start in a half-century (far worse than Bill Clinton's initial slips).***
I agree with all about this piece but in defense of BO I would say I don't recall a similarly disastrous economic situation in half a century.  People are trying to convince us the late 70s was worse when Reagan took over but that is horse feathers.

Yeah we had inflation, gas lines, unemployment but I don't remember anyone saying then that the world economy could collapse.
I don't remember this kind of fear and near panic.  It seems far worse now.  I don't remember deficits of a trillion the closing in on the financial collapse of social security, medicare, the investment banking system, healthcare systems, and the rest.
I also don't recall the impatience we see now.  I don't recall everyone hanging on every word, every breadth, every heartbeat coming out of DC like now.  The 24 hr news cycle, or maybe it isn't really "news" but the 24 hr endless information cycle has helped drive us all nuts.   If there was no FDIC, and government stimulus we would already have had 1929 all over again.  Everyone would have been stepping all over each other to withdraw every thing they had out of the banking system.  I the big question still remains - are we just delaying the inevitable or actually preventing the collapse?

So while I do agree with the criticism of BO I must admit he is taking the helm at the worst possible time in over half century.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #175 on: February 05, 2009, 09:42:54 PM »

I would offer the possiblity that what he is trying to do is scaring the bejeezus out of the market.  The collapse really got going when it became clear that McCain was going to pander and that BO was going to win.

For the record, Bush pandered too.  Virtually no one, even in the Rep party is getting the analysis right-- a classic credit bubble (the Fed's negative interest rates, the FMs, the CRA, etc and all that was leveraged from these).  The solution methinks is to be found in a blend of supply side and Austrian economics.  This not being remotely on any serious political radar screen, the market is right to freak out.  The fcukers in Washington are in the process of committing major historic errors.  The world economy is fragmenting, the uni-polar moment of the US is done, and we are led by Hamlet, a.k.a. His Glibness who throws away Iraq to depend on the Russians to supply his decision to go in heavy to the Afg quagmire in order to prove he is tough-- all the while groveling with the Iranians and their nukes, and groveling to the Russians (prediction Star Wars in easter Europe is done for and the Russian sphere of influence will recoalesce).

Fcuk!!!
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ccp
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« Reply #176 on: February 06, 2009, 09:05:20 AM »

***The solution methinks is to be found in a blend of supply side and Austrian economics***

Please tell me more of Austrian economics.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #177 on: February 06, 2009, 10:11:30 AM »

***The solution methinks is to be found in a blend of supply side and Austrian economics***

Please tell me more of Austrian economics.


All you can eat right here:

http://www.mises.org/
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #178 on: February 06, 2009, 10:45:07 AM »

Quote
The fcukers in Washington are in the process of committing major historic errors.


Amen to that. The world is collapsing around them and all they can babble on about is "partisan politics". So what happens when things really do fall apart? (that's a rhetorical question)

Disgusting...
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #179 on: February 06, 2009, 11:30:19 AM »

So when will the MSM start giving Biden the Dan Quayle treatment?

Biden douses Democrats with reality
By Jared Allen
Posted: 02/06/09 11:26 AM [ET]
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — President Obama may have fired up House Democrats at their annual retreat on Thursday night, but Vice President Biden arrived Friday morning to extinguish the flames.
 
Biden, in an overly subdued manner, repeatedly told Democrats that the challenges they face as members of Congress — as a party and as leaders of the country — are “daunting.”
 
“There has never been the constellation of crises we face right now,” Biden said. “And we have no historical precedent to look back on, other than our grit. Our determination.”
 
For his part, President Obama also struck that tone in describing the atmosphere facing the country and its elected officials. But where Obama combined reality with optimism and inspiration the previous night, Biden did anything but.
 
Recounting a conversation he had with Obama in the Oval Office earlier in the week regarding the economic stimulus bill and other matters, Biden said the two came to the realization that: “If we do everything right… there’s still a 30 percent chance we’re going to get it wrong.”
 
Biden said the doom-and-gloom manner in which he and the president have been speaking — and on a morning where the government reported a loss of an additional 598,000 jobs — was “not hyperbole.”
 
But “it’s not that things are so bad now,” Biden said, “it’s what happens if we miss.”
 
As the Senate worked toward passing its version of the economic stimulus package on Friday, Biden said he may be called on to “go see my old colleagues,” perhaps a nod to his new role in breaking tie votes in the Senate. That line yielded one of the vice president’s few standing ovations.
 
At the same time, Biden conveyed to the House Democratic Caucus that regardless of which particular chamber or which end of Pennsylvania Avenue ends up with more of its priorities in the legislation, the fate of the entire party is inextricably linked.
 
“You can do everything right in the House and we can do everything wrong in the White House, and you’re toast,” and vice versa, Biden said, alluding to future elections.
 
“We’re all in this together,” he continued. “The only thing we can get wrong is not reaching a consensus among ourselves … and showing the American people that we’re thinking small.”
 
But the former senator from Delaware credited the House for doing the opposite, and he praised House Democratic leaders for “thinking big” and passing a bill reflective of that mentality.
 
“You stepped up in a big way in the House,” the vice president said. “You were ready to take what was not always an easy pill to swallow with your votes, and you acted in a timely way.”
 
After 20 minutes of admittedly unprepared remarks on the state of the economy, Biden acknowledged that he was off message.
 
“Let me move to what I was supposed to talk about, which is foreign policy,” he said.
 
But even on the new topic, Biden returned to the dour tone and pessimistic assessment he had offered on the county’s domestic policy front.
 
Biden said real progress was visible in Iraq — he compared the situation to a football team being 20 yards away from the end zone — but admitted that any victory is far from certain, and he reiterated that a victory through military means alone is unattainable.
 
An endgame in Iraq is “doable,” he said, but it will require “a lot of hard, hard work.”
 
And he described the road ahead as “incredibly perilous,” speaking about how he, Obama and Democratic leaders must “shift our focus from Iraq to Afghanistan.”
 
The challenges facing diplomats and the military in Afghanistan are “daunting,” Biden said — challenges that he warned are “insurmountable, from a historical perspective.”
 
“[In Afghanistan] I think we’re closer to being on our 20-yard line with 80 yards to go, to continue this ridiculous metaphor.”

http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/biden-douses-democrats-with-reality-2009-02-06.html

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JDN
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« Reply #180 on: February 06, 2009, 12:59:20 PM »

 What's wrong with what Biden said?  It's refreshing to hear cold reality being bluntly spoken versus glib comments.


"But even on the new topic, Biden returned to the dour tone and pessimistic assessment he had offered on the county’s domestic policy front.
Biden said real progress was visible in Iraq — he compared the situation to a football team being 20 yards away from the end zone — but admitted that any victory is far from certain, and he reiterated that a victory through military means alone is unattainable.  An endgame in Iraq is “doable,” he said, but it will require “a lot of hard, hard work.”
 
And he described the road ahead as “incredibly perilous,” speaking about how he, Obama and Democratic leaders must “shift our focus from Iraq to Afghanistan.”
 
The challenges facing diplomats and the military in Afghanistan are “daunting,” Biden said — challenges that he warned are “insurmountable, from a historical perspective.”
“[In Afghanistan] I think we’re closer to being on our 20-yard line with 80 yards to go, to continue this ridiculous metaphor.”

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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #181 on: February 06, 2009, 02:01:06 PM »

Context, dude. He's been taken to the woodshed for running his mouth and, by his own admission, he was off message. After his "they are going to test this guy" remarks, you'd think he'd check with the boss before going extemporaneous and on the record.

But hey, don't get me wrong, I expect the next four year will be a lot more amusing with his unctuous, self-aggrandizing, and off the cuff style exhibited in front of the cameras he can't help but preen before.
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JDN
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« Reply #182 on: February 06, 2009, 03:08:43 PM »

Yeah, I understand "context" and "taken to the woodshed for running off his mouth" but you've got to (?) admit
he is on target.  To say that "victory is far from certain" in Iraq and that it still "requires a lot of hard work"
is true.  And the challenges in Afghanistan ARE truly "daunting". On another post, everyone here even seems to agree it's "daunting".
Biden is refreshing in his candor.  I prefer this approach to how Obama/Bush and his handlers carefully package their words.
But yes, you are right; I am sure he is going to be reigned in and taken to the woodshed.

Yet, I wish more politicians from both parties would simply be more blunt and honest rather than speak politicalize. 

I mean which do you want to hear; Biden's off the cuff honest style or Obama/Bush eloquent and unctuous style, while avoiding the issues?
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #183 on: February 06, 2009, 04:23:42 PM »

Yeah, I understand "context" and "taken to the woodshed for running off his mouth" but you've got to (?) admit
he is on target. To say that "victory is far from certain" in Iraq and that it still "requires a lot of hard work"
is true.

Particularly if you cut and run.

Quote
And the challenges in Afghanistan ARE truly "daunting". On another post, everyone here even seems to agree it's "daunting".

Daunting on a good day. Downright scary with a POTUS who shows scant understanding of things military, seems to seek to fight the good war in Afghanistan while ignorant of logistic challenges, as he binds the hands of intelligence gatherers and proposes to cut military budgets and programs.

Quote
Yet, I wish more politicians from both parties would simply be more blunt and honest rather than speak politicalize. 

I mean which do you want to hear; Biden's off the cuff honest style or Obama/Bush eloquent and unctuous style, while avoiding the issues?

Bush as "eloquent"? You heard it here first, folks


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HUSS
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« Reply #184 on: February 06, 2009, 04:52:26 PM »

My comopany does alot of business in Israel.  In talking to several contacts today i said "you guys must be happy to have Rahm in the white house".  Never in my life have i ever heard the F-Bomb dropped so many times, nor have i heard a man compared to poop in so many ways,  the camp david accords came up several times, im under the impression that they felt it was a bad deal for Israel......... i dont think they like him.  Our partner who runs our Israeli office told me after that he knows Rahm personally and has a national reputation of being a weasle who will sell Israel down the river for the right price.
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ccp
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« Reply #185 on: February 06, 2009, 05:05:35 PM »

Huss,

Interesting take on Emanuel.  A weasel?  No wonder he fit right in with the Clintons.  I am not as convinced BO is as wise as some give him credit for.

What are their thoughts on Netenyahu who according to drudge appears to be headed for a win to be Israeli Prime minister again?
I liked his comment that Israel's survival trunps the global economy with its implications clear.

Comments like these may just pressure the US as well as other nations like even China and Russia to pressure Iran to back down lest their economies go further down the garbage can.

I wondered if that was not his goal.  I full confidence he will have what it takes to do what is necessary.
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HUSS
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« Reply #186 on: February 06, 2009, 06:23:14 PM »

CCP,

They seem hopefull that Netenyahu will reverse the damage done to Israels integrity via the peace process.  One of them made the comment that Obama can choke on it.
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #187 on: February 06, 2009, 06:31:01 PM »

Quote
Downright scary with a POTUS who shows scant understanding of things military

Speaking of lacking eloquence...where was Bush's deep military knowledge?
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HUSS
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« Reply #188 on: February 06, 2009, 06:50:29 PM »

Quote
Downright scary with a POTUS who shows scant understanding of things military

Speaking of lacking eloquence...where was Bush's deep military knowledge?

Bush didn't surround himself with retards and pacifists....ie Obama's pick to head up the CIA, the guy is a mindless puppet.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #189 on: February 07, 2009, 10:40:22 AM »

Quote
Speaking of lacking eloquence...where was Bush's deep military knowledge?

He didn't have it. And it showed. Then he hired people who did. And that showed. Think there's a lesson there for the lame idealists currently conducting foreign policy?
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #190 on: February 07, 2009, 09:05:30 PM »

Quote
Bush didn't surround himself with retards...

We could debate this one for the next four years, so I'll leave it...

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #191 on: February 07, 2009, 09:12:09 PM »

A wise call! cheesy  Forward everyone please!
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #192 on: February 08, 2009, 09:17:10 PM »


This thread has become quite a catch-all thread and I'd like to suggest that it become more of a repository of snide commentary  cheesy and that efforts at serious discussion take place on specific issue oriented threads. 

For example, I just posted a WSJ piece on His Glibness's apparent preparations to appease Russia by sacrificing missile defense of Europe from Iran in the Big Picture WW3 thread.

Like it or not, His Glibness is the president and we need to articulate what we want FOR America, what we think America should do.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #193 on: February 09, 2009, 05:18:41 PM »

February 9, 2009
Biden's Munich Speech: Obama Administration Foreign Policy Projects Weakness and Confusion
by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D.
WebMemo #2280
In a major speech at the February 7 Munich Security Conference,[1] Vice President Joe Biden outlined the Obama Administration's foreign policy vision for the first time on the world stage. It was an address designed to reach out to leaders in both Europe and the Middle East, "on behalf of a new Administration determined to set a new tone in Washington, and in America's relations around the world."

Biden's speech should be viewed as one of the weakest projections of U.S. leadership on foreign soil in recent memory. The message was confused, apologetic, over-conciliatory, and remarkably lacking in substance and detail. It was the kind of speech, heavy in platitudes and diplo-speak, that could easily have been given by a continental European bureaucrat nestled in Brussels, Paris, or Berlin. It was not the voice of the most powerful nation on earth.

The Vice President went to great lengths in his speech to avoid offending America's enemies, such as Iran and Hamas, or her strategic competitors, such as Russia. One could have been forgiven for thinking that the world was largely at peace rather than facing the threat of global terrorism or a dangerous rogue regime aggressively seeking nuclear weapons capability.

Biden's remarks touched on several key areas, from Iran to NATO reform--all of which gave major cause for concern--and left critical questions unanswered.

Iran

The Vice President confirmed the new Administration's willingness to enter into direct negotiations with the Islamist regime in Tehran.

In essence, Biden offered a quid pro quo deal with Iran--the kind the European Union has offered for several years with absolutely nothing to show for it except spectacular failure. Such a deal is based on the naïve premise that the Iranian theocracy is a normal state actor that plays by the rules of diplomacy and can be negotiated with. What was missing in Biden's remarks was any explicit statement of consequences--actions ranging from tougher economic and military sanctions or the use of force against Iran's nuclear facilities--that could be inflicted on the dictatorial government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or the ruling mullahs if they do not comply. There was no appeal to European Union countries such as Germany to tighten their own sanctions on Tehran or calls for Russia and China to strengthen U.N. Security Council sanctions.

Missile Defense

The Vice President stated that the United States "will continue to develop missile defenses to counter a growing Iranian capability, provided the technology is proven to work and cost effective." However, Biden gave no pledge to press ahead with a third-site missile defense system in Eastern and Central Europe, sowing the seeds of further confusion in Poland and the Czech Republic, two key U.S. allies who have agreed to participate in the defense system by hosting missile interceptors and early warning radar. In addition, National Security Adviser James Jones confirmed in an interview with the British Observer newspaper that plans for third-site defenses had been "put on ice," a decision that, accord to according to a senior NATO official, is a clear overture to Moscow.[2]

Russia

Aside from a refusal to recognize the breakaway Georgian provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, there was little evidence in Biden's speech that the Obama Administration intends to adopt a tough line toward Russian aggression in its "Near Abroad" or attempts to bully and intimidate its neighbors in the Caucasus as well as Eastern Europe. Significantly, Biden made no mention of U.S. support for Georgian and Ukrainian membership in the NATO Membership Action Plan or Russia's brutal invasion of Georgia last summer.

The willingness of the Obama team to bring Moscow into its negotiations over Third Site sets a dangerous precedent and is a clear signal that the Russians may be given a bigger say over NATO expansion plans. As Biden put it in his speech, "the last few years have seen a dangerous drift in relations between Russia and the members of our Alliance--it is time to reset the button and to revisit the many areas where we can and should work together." Strategically, it would be both naïve and risky for the new Administration to turn a blind eye toward an increasingly belligerent and nationalist Moscow that is actively flexing its muscles in Europe and across the globe.

NATO

While reiterating the importance of the NATO alliance and the need for its renewal in the 21st century, the Vice President supports policies that will undermine the organization and weaken American influence within it. In Munich, Biden backed the full reintegration of France into "NATO structures," and French officers are reportedly in line to take two senior alliance command positions: Allied Command Transformation and Joint Command Lisbon.[3] Biden also made it clear in his Munich address that the United States will "support the further strengthening of European defense, an increased role for the European Union in preserving peace and security, (and) a fundamentally stronger NATO-EU partnership."

These changes would give Paris (and its key ally Berlin) an extraordinary degree of power and influence within the organization, out of all proportion to its minimal military role in alliance operations. Such a move would ultimately shift power away from Washington and London and toward continental Europe, undoubtedly paving the way for the development of a Franco-German driven European Union defense identity within NATO.

Afghanistan

Biden identified the war in Afghanistan as a top foreign policy priority for the Obama Administration, calling for close cooperation with America's allies in Europe as well as the government of Pakistan. The Vice President, however, avoided the thorny issue of many European nations' failure to pull their weight in the conflict, an oversight that projected weakness and an unwillingness to challenge European complacency and indifference.

Despite all the fashionable rhetoric in European capitals about Iraq being a distraction to the war against the Taliban, on the battlefields of Afghanistan over two-thirds of the more than 50,000 troops serving as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force are from the English-speaking countries of the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia. These nations have also taken 85 percent of the casualties. Britain has more troops (8,900) in the country than all the other major European Union powers combined, many of which, like Germany, cower under dozens of "caveats" aimed at keeping their soldiers out of harm's way.

War on Terrorism

Significantly absent from the Vice President's address was any reference to the war on terrorism or the need for the United States and its allies to be prepared for a long hard battle against Islamist terrorism. Biden spoke in soft terms of "a shared struggle against extremism" and of "a small number of violent extremists [who] are beyond the call of reason," as well as the need to seek with the Muslim world "a new way forward based on mutual interest and mutual respect." There was no indication given of the sheer scale of the global fight against al-Qaeda and its allies. Al-Qaeda is mentioned just once in Biden's speech, and only within the context of Afghanistan.

The Vice President also avoided directly mentioning terrorist attacks by Hamas against Israel. There were no words of support for Israel's recent offensive against Hamas in Gaza, suggesting a significant shift away from open support for Israel by the new U.S. Administration.

Biden also chose to ignore altogether the extraordinary success of U.S. counterterrorism operations in Iraq through the surge and the huge improvement in security in the previously war-torn country that enabled the overwhelmingly peaceful Iraqi provincial elections to take place at the end of January.

A Celebration of Soft Power

Vice President Biden delivered what was in essence a quintessentially European-style speech on German soil. It was an address that tried to be all things to all people, lacking in concrete policy prescriptions and cloaked in vague statements designed to cause minimal offense in foreign capitals, including those of America's worst enemies. Biden's address was above all a celebration of "soft power," cynically re-branded by the Obama Administration as "smart power."

American leadership is not a popularity contest but the hard-nosed projection of U.S. interests. Rather than projecting strength and decisiveness internationally, the new Administration's approach to foreign policy appears muddled and incoherent. Biden's words revealed a foreign policy with a dangerously soft underbelly, one that will quickly be exploited by America's opponents on the world stage.

Washington must stand up to the Iranian nuclear threat, the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the global menace of al-Qaeda, and Russian intimidation in Europe with strength, resolve, and conviction. A foreign policy capable of meeting such challenges must include a willingness to wield maximum force where necessary, deploy a comprehensive missile shield in Europe, and increase military spending in the defense of the United States and the free world.

Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., is director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage Foundation.


[1]Vice President Joseph R. Biden, speech at the 45th Munich Security Conference, February 7, 2009, at http://www.securityconference.d
e/konferenzen/rede.php?menu_2009=&menu_konferenzen=&s
prache=en&id=238& (February 8, 2009).

[2]Ian Traynor, "Obama Administration Offers Olive Branch to Russia and Iran," The Guardian, February 7, 2009, at http://www.guardian.co.uk/
world/2009/feb/07/us-russia-iran-biden-obama (February 8, 2009).

[3]Ben Hall and James Blitz, "Command Accord Presages French Return to NATO," Financial Times, February 5, 2009, at: http://www.ft.com/cm
s/s/0/fbc2122a-f323-11dd-abe6-0000779fd2ac.html (February 5, 2009).

http://www.heritage.org/Research/Europe/wm2280.cfm
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G M
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« Reply #194 on: February 09, 2009, 06:41:05 PM »


This thread has become quite a catch-all thread and I'd like to suggest that it become more of a repository of snide commentary  cheesy and that efforts at serious discussion take place on specific issue oriented threads. 

For example, I just posted a WSJ piece on His Glibness's apparent preparations to appease Russia by sacrificing missile defense of Europe from Iran in the Big Picture WW3 thread.

Like it or not, His Glibness is the president and we need to articulate what we want FOR America, what we think America should do.

This is a lost 4 years, President Empty-suit is going to get innocents killed and we'll be paying for decades, if not longer for the mistake of electing him.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #195 on: February 11, 2009, 11:15:37 AM »


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Republicans Shut Out of Stimulus Conference Negotiations
by  Connie Hair
02/11/2009


Republicans have caught the Democrats in a midnight “stimulus” power play that seeks to cut Republican conferees out of the House-Senate negotiations to resolve a final version of the Obama “stimulus” package.  Staff members from the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) met last night to put together the “stimulus” conference report. 

They intend to attempt to shove this $1.3 trillion spending bill through in the dead of the night without Republican input so floor action can take place in both chambers on Thursday.

I spoke with House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) moments ago about this latest version of Democratic “bipartisanship.”  Pence told me, “I think the American people deserve to know that legislation that would comprise an amount equal to the entire discretionary budget of the United States of America is being crafted without a single House Republican in the room.”


How many Senate RINOs will go along with this?  Probably, just enough for the Dems to get away with it.

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=30667
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« Reply #196 on: February 11, 2009, 05:18:55 PM »

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

Obama Hopelessly Adrift on Foreign Policy
Posted By Kim Zigfeld On February 10, 2009 @ 12:37 am In . Column2 01, . Positioning, Europe, Homeland Security, Russia, US News, World News | 36 Comments

A truly frightening exchange occurred between Barack Obama and Helen Thomas at Obama’s first press conference on Monday. Here is the [1] transcript excerpt:

All right. Helen? This is my inaugural moment here.

(LAUGHTER)

I’m really excited.

QUESTION: Mr. President, do you think that Pakistan and — are maintaining the safe havens in Afghanistan for these so-called terrorists? And, also, do you know of any country in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons?

OBAMA: Well, I think that Pakistan — there is no doubt that, in the FATA region of Pakistan, in the mountainous regions along the border of Afghanistan, that there are safe havens where terrorists are operating. And one of the goals of Ambassador Holbrooke, as he is traveling throughout the region, is to deliver a message to Pakistan that they are endangered as much as we are by the continuation of those operations and that we’ve got to work in a regional fashion to root out those safe havens. It’s not acceptable for Pakistan or for us to have folks who, with impunity, will kill innocent men, women and children. And, you know, I — I believe that the new government of Pakistan and — and Mr. Zardari cares deeply about getting control of the situation. We want to be effective partners with them on that issue.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

OBAMA: Well, Mr. Holbrooke is there, and that’s exactly why he’s being sent there, because I think that we have to make sure that Pakistan is a stalwart ally with us in battling this terrorist threat. With respect to nuclear weapons, you know, I don’t want to speculate. What I know is this: that if we see a nuclear arms race in a region as volatile as the Middle East, everybody will be in danger. And one of my goals is to prevent nuclear proliferation generally. I think that it’s important for the United States, in concert with Russia, to lead the way on this. And, you know, I’ve mentioned this in conversations with the Russian president, Mr. Medvedev, to let him know that it is important for us to restart the — the conversations about how we can start reducing our nuclear arsenals in an effective way so that …

(CROSSTALK)

OBAMA: … so that we then have the standing to go to other countries and start stitching back together the nonproliferation treaties that, frankly, have been weakened over the last several years. OK.

QUESTION: Why do you have to speculate on who has …

(CROSSTALK)

OBAMA: All right.

Sam Stein, Huffington Post. Where’s Sam? Here. Go ahead.

This may well be one of the most horrifying excerpts from a press-conference transcript in U.S. presidential history. It’s hard to know where to begin in documenting the carnage.

First, in the middle of one of the great economic crises the country has experienced, at his very first press conference, and just before being asked about Islamic terrorism and nuclear weapons, Obama is joking like a schoolboy.

Second, Obama states: “It’s not acceptable for Pakistan or for us to have folks who, with impunity, will kill innocent men, women and children.” For us? Perhaps by this bizarre statement Obama meant not only Pakistan but any country assisting terrorists must be opposed by U.S. policy, but it came out sounding as if the U.S. was somehow itself fostering terrorism.

Third, Obama states: “With respect to nuclear weapons, you know, I don’t want to speculate. What I know is this: that if we see a nuclear arms race in a region as volatile as the Middle East, everybody will be in danger.” Isn’t a nuclear arms race already underway in the Middle East? Isn’t it Obama’s job to know which countries there have such weapons, without speculating?

And then finally, inevitably, Obama jumps the rails. He states: “And one of my goals is to prevent nuclear proliferation generally. I think that it’s important for the United States, in concert with Russia, to lead the way on this. And, you know, I’ve mentioned this in conversations with the Russian president, Mr. Medvedev, to let him know that it is important for us to restart the — the conversations about how we can start reducing our nuclear arsenals in an effective way so that we then have the standing to go to other countries and start stitching back together the nonproliferation treaties that, frankly, have been weakened over the last several years.”

So Obama has announced that the U.S. can’t stop nuclear proliferation unless the U.S. itself abandons nuclear weapons, even as Obama has failed to make any strong statement in support of a missile defense shield for Europe. Essentially, then, he’s suggesting that the moral power of unilateral disarmament is the best and indeed only way to stop proliferation in the Middle East.

And that’s not the worst of it. This was the only reference to Russia that occurred in the entire press conference, and Obama injected it on his own (shame on the White House press corps for not asking him a single question about Putin’s neo-Soviet nightmare). The U.S. stands now at a major crossroads in world history. With the Russian economy facing a steep and dire recession (its stock market down 80%, its foreign reserves down 50%, and its currency down 30%), the U.S. has a massive amount of leverage to compel Russia to make democratic changes or face an arms race similar to the one provoked by Ronald Reagan which drove the USSR into the ash can of history. We’ve just seen yet another addition to the horrifying litany of political murder during the Putin years with the killing of human rights attorney [2] Stanislav Markelov and firebrand reporter Anastasia Baburova, and yet not only did Obama not announce new pressure on the Kremlin, he spoke about Dmitri Medvedev as if he were not only the legitimate ruler of the country but a trustworthy partner on the nuclear problem.

Not a word from Obama about the Markelov killing, or about Russia’s equally terrifying litany [3] of race murder, or about the fact that Medvedev’s “election” was shamelessly rigged after all serious opposition had been purged from the ballot, or about the fact that Medvedev support an extension of the presidential term widely viewed as a platform for the return of Russia’s real ruler, Vladimir Putin, to permanent formal power. Not a syllable about how Medvedev has begun abolishing the right to trial by jury, not a peep about Russia’s support for Hamas and Hezbollah terrorism, both directly and through Syria and Iran. Nothing about the fact that Russia just booted the U.S. out of a key [4] military base in Kyrgzystan, signed a [5] cooperation pact with Cuba, [6] bribed Belarus into forming an anti-U.S. air defense program and [7] started building military bases in the territory it seized from Georgia in Abkhazia.

Instead, Obama appears to let Russia off the hook, conveniently releasing the pressure of the nuclear arms race at exactly the moment the Kremlin needs him to do so. How can Russia possibly take this statement as anything other than an open invitation to escalate its crackdown on democracy and its efforts to dominate its neighbors?

Putin’s government is becoming increasingly unhinged as the pressure of economic failure and open public protests increases. It is [8] spying on opposition political groups in the same way that got Richard Nixon driven from office. Putin delivered an unsettling, [9] crazy-sounding speech at the Davos economic forum, and then made an even more delusional attack on Dell CEO Michael Dell. And when the Fitch ratings agency downgraded Russia’s debt rating because of its massive economic setbacks, Putin’s [10] only response was to call for the creation of Russian ratings agencies that would give Russia higher scores! In this light, how can we see Obama’s comment about Medvedev as being any different from George Bush’s infamous claim to have looked in Vladimir Putin’s eyes, glimpsed his soul, and found him trustworthy?

And then, for a cherry on top of this rancid sundae, Obama takes a question from, of all places, the Huffington Post, without giving a similar opportunity to any conservative blogger. So much for bipartisanship! CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, Bloomberg, Reuters, the Washington Post, the Associated Press and, of course, we can’t forget the Huffington Post in the roll call of mainstream journalism! One has to wonder, of course, if George Bush would have been allowed to get away with taking questions from Michelle Malkin.

What’s perhaps the most amazing (and ironic) of all, however, is that the Huffington Post is actually doing a better job of calling Putin’s Russia on the carpet than Obama himself. It has recently given blog space to both dissident opposition leader [11] Oleg Kozlovsky and leading Kremlin critic [12] Robert Coalson. Even the rhetoric of the [13] United Nations of late has been more convincingly pro-democracy than that of the Obama administration, and so has that of various European leaders.

Obama, meanwhile, is behaving in exactly the way one would expect a leader with no foreign policy experience or credentials to behave. In other words, he’s hopelessly and depressingly adrift.

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

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/obama-hopelessly-adrift-on-foreign-policy/

URLs in this post:
[1] transcript: http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/president/39344092.html?elr=KArks8c7PaP3E77K_3c::D3aDhU
ec7PaP3E77K_0c::D3aDhUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aULPQL7PQLanchO7DiUr

[2] Stanislav Markelov: http://pajamasmedia.com../../../../../blog/surprise-political-murders-continue-in-russia/
[3] of race murder: http://pajamasmedia.com../../../../../blog/russian-hate-crimes-on-the-rise/
[4] military base: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/06/world/europe/06russia.html?_r=1&ref=world
[5] cooperation pact: http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&ct2=us/0_0_s_0_0_t&usg=AFQjCNGoB4xFUImiS9VW5XR4UES9IzVL
gA&cid=1297918530&ei=XWODSbiLBI32Mbq80skC&url=http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-01-30-
voa31.cfm

[6] bribed Belarus: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/1016/42/374405.htm
[7] started building: http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&ct2=us/0_0_s_6_0_t&usg=AFQjCNFivvlmhB507YdAMIAZjkEuGStB
6A&cid=1297465783&ei=XWODSbiLBI32Mbq80skC&url=http://uk.reuters.com/article/gc07/idUKLQ3
6012320090129

[8] spying on opposition political groups: http://larussophobe.wordpress.com/2009/02/09/editorial-mr-putins-kitchen/
[9] crazy-sounding speech: http://larussophobe.wordpress.com/2009/01/28/special-extra-russia-is-ruled-by-a-psychopath/
[10] only response: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jj73UJWw-IDUL1HU5WqDhvPBfqcA
[11] Oleg Kozlovsky: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/oleg-kozlovsky
[12] Robert Coalson: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-coalson
[13] United Nations: http://larussophobe.wordpress.com/2009/02/06/editorial-just-say-nobama-2/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #197 on: February 11, 2009, 07:04:59 PM »

Most of the points are good, but this simply is silly:

"Second, Obama states: “It’s not acceptable for Pakistan or for us to have folks who, with impunity, will kill innocent men, women and children.” For us? Perhaps by this bizarre statement Obama meant not only Pakistan but any country assisting terrorists must be opposed by U.S. policy, but it came out sounding as if the U.S. was somehow itself fostering terrorism."

No, you moron, his obvious intended meaning is that it is unacceptable both to Pakistan and the US to have terrorists.  While I doubt the veracity of the statement with regard to Pak, the meaning taken by this piece concerning his language with regard to the US is childish.
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G M
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« Reply #198 on: February 11, 2009, 07:54:50 PM »

Remember when the Empty-suit said this:

"We've got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there."
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G M
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« Reply #199 on: February 12, 2009, 01:21:37 PM »



This is a lost 4 years, President Empty-suit is going to get innocents killed and we'll be paying for decades, if not longer for the mistake of electing him.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/12/obamas-outrageous-oversight/

EDITORIAL: Obama's outrageous oversight

Thursday, February 12, 2009


President Obama clearly didn't do his homework before ordering the suspension of military tribunals to try terrorist suspects. We have learned that even his own legal counsel admitted that Mr. Obama erred in discussing details about terrorism with families of victims last week, and that the administration was ignorant of a key point that terrorists exploit to their advantage. In his rush to fulfill a campaign promise to his more fervid anti-war supporters, the president's legal oversights risk the disclosure of some highly classified information to terrorists.

Debra Burlingame, sister of Charles Burlingame III, the pilot of American Airlines Flight 77 that was flown into the Pentagon on 9/11, was present at last Friday's White House meeting of families of terrorism victims. Her impression was that President Obama was saying the right words in general, but when it came to specifics he was uncertain, uninformed, and sometimes just plain mistaken. Ms. Burlingame is an attorney who has followed closely the legal aspects of the terrorism cases, and her detailed, probing questions were met with stammers, stares, and statements that betrayed an understanding of the law that was, she said, "flat out wrong."

Case in point: the president's knowledge of the role of the Classified Information Procedures Act or CIPA. This law governs the way in which classified information is used in trials. The Sixth Amendment guarantees defendants the right to confront their accusers and the evidence against them, but the government has an important interest in cases such as these in keeping sources and methods secret. Under CIPA rules, in cases where classified information is used, the government has the option of sharing the information with the defendant, or not using it.

The Bush administration sought to avoid this potential national security threat by resorting to other procedures in which 6th Amendment issues did not arise. But President Obama believes that the model for terrorism cases is the prosecution of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers. Of course a number of those plotters escaped justice (some were found later hiding in Saddam's Iraq, but that's another story). More important, because of the openness of that process, al Qaeda learned a great deal about how to do a much better job next time - and even the classified information from that trial was in Osama bin Laden's hands within weeks.

The terrorists have learned a great deal about conducting legal guerrilla war, using rules like CIPA to their advantage. Notice that more and more terrorists are dismissing their appointed lawyers and representing themselves. This gives them direct access to the classified documents that will be used in evidence against them. In this way they can learn about U.S. intelligence sources and methods - how they were targeted, what information was collected, and who may have been the traitors in their midst. Even if the names of sources are omitted, for example someone who was present at a key planning meeting, the terrorist defendant will know enough about the circumstances to be able to narrow it down. After all, the terrorist is familiar with every aspect of the events; he knows much more about them than the intelligence community.

The alternative to handing over the secrets is for the government to not use the evidence in question. That creates the incongruous situation in which the defense wants to maximize the amount of evidence that implicates them, and the prosecution wants to minimize it. (Our legal system was not designed to accommodate defendants who welcome being put to death.) According to Ms. Burlingame, Obama's answer to this conundrum was "there is no reason we have to give [the terrorists] everything." Evidently the former editor of the Harvard Law Review seems to think that one of his powers as president is personally to pick and choose which constitutional rights apply to terror defendants and which do not. That's the very thing they were criticizing President Bush for.

White House Counsel Greg Craig, often seen whispering in the president's ear during question periods, admitted later to Ms. Burlingame that the chief executive was getting the facts of the law wrong during the discussion with the families. Craig asked her if CIPA covers a case in which terrorists defend themselves, noting that "this is something we hadn't contemplated." If nothing else, this admission of ignorance is more evidence that the decision to rush ahead with closing Guantanamo and shutting down the military tribunals was ill-conceived, poorly planned, and may ultimately be injurious to our national security. The president may talk a good game about "swift, certain justice," but it is becoming clear that justice will not be swift, is highly uncertain, and in the end may not even be just.
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