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Author Topic: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness  (Read 187014 times)
ccp
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« Reply #350 on: June 03, 2009, 06:26:33 PM »

Who is/are the biggest donors to the democratic party?

Anyone care to guess?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #351 on: June 03, 2009, 10:41:26 PM »

Who is/are the biggest donors to the democratic party?" "Anyone care to guess"

Rich Limosine Liberals?  White Guilt? Second and third generation wealth? Buffet, Soros, rich movie directors like Al Gore and Spielberg?

Recently appointed interim Senators and their families?

Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae? Lehmann Brothers? LOL

The PRC, DPRK, PSUV, KGB, and the PLO??
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #352 on: June 04, 2009, 12:13:11 AM »

Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, et al from Wall Street?

The UAW?

The Teacher's Union?

The Trial Lawyers Ass'n?

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ccp
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« Reply #353 on: June 04, 2009, 02:45:36 PM »

Thanks for your opinion.

The answer is staring us straight in the face.

The biggest donors to the Democratic party is

Every American tax payer.

Without us they have nothing.

Without them we would have taxes, but nothing like what we do have.

The thought of wrking for several months out of the year so they can take my money to redistribute......
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #354 on: June 05, 2009, 08:51:28 AM »

WSJ:

By DANIEL SCHWAMMENTHAL
On his way to the 65th D-Day commemorations in France, President Obama plans a curious stop-over in Germany, my home country. He will travel to Buchenwald, the concentration camp his great uncle helped liberate, a visit that makes personal and historical sense. It is his other German destination, Dresden, that seems out of place. Will the president, who likes to apologize for America's alleged sins, now also apologize for World War II?

For many Germans, the destruction of Dresden in February 1945 has become a symbol of Allied "bombing terror." Many still believe the true number of deaths is closer to the Nazi propaganda of 200,000 than the 20,000 to 35,000 historians believe is correct.

Google "Dresden" and "Kriegsverbrechen," the German word for "war crimes," and you'll get almost 26,000 results. Neo-Nazis marched through the streets of Dresden this February commemorating the "Bombing Holocaust." A flood of recent books, articles and documentaries has shifted Germany's historical debate from its war crimes to its own war victims. As part of this trend, in 2006 public TV station ZDF broadcast "Dresden: The Inferno," the most expensive German television production at the time. Its graphic display of carnage and burning people is at odds with German movie tradition. Films about the Holocaust tend to be more subtle and less emotional.

Mr. Obama's visit to Dresden is an unfortunate gesture. Even if the president were not to make an outright apology for the allied bombings, he could hardly not mention them in this city so preoccupied with its wartime history. And even if he were not to give any speech at all and just toured the city, he'd inevitably be led to the many landmarks that were once reduced to rubble.

His mere presence in Dresden -- on the heels of a visit to Buchenwald and just before attending the Normandy commemorations -- would boost the revisionist cause. It would suggest a sort of moral equivalence between industrialized genocide and the bombings of German cities -- bombings, remember, that were designed to bring an end to the genocidal regime.

Mr. Obama's encounter with the reality of governing does not seem to have tempered his appetite for second-guessing past U.S. presidents. Having already come close to a mea culpa for America's use of atomic bombs against Japan, he may now add Dresden to the revisionist charges against the U.S. Even if the president doesn't say that America lost its moral bearings by bombing Dresden, people will read between the lines of his visit.

Mr. Schwammenthal is an editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal Europe.






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ccp
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« Reply #355 on: June 07, 2009, 11:51:26 AM »

Is this some sort of joke?
Is this routine for presidents to have someone test the food for poison?

Do we have a king or a President?
 
"President Obama's French food tested by 'taster' 
 
Jun 7 10:12 AM US/Eastern
A US "taster" tested the food being dished up to President Barack Obama at a dinner in a French restaurant, a waiter said on Sunday.
"They have someone who tastes the dishes," said waiter Gabriel de Carvalho from the "La Fontaine de Mars" restaurant where Obama and his family turned up for dinner on Saturday night.

"It wasn't very pleasant for the cooks at first, but the person was very nice and was relaxed, so it all went well," he said on the Itele news channel.

Asked by AFP to comment, the restaurant confirmed the report.

Copyright AFP 2008, AFP stories and photos shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium"
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #356 on: June 07, 2009, 01:29:01 PM »

I figure he'd be stupid if he didn't-- and the Secret Service derelict in its duty.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #357 on: June 07, 2009, 09:15:07 PM »

As a practical matter it would seem that no one - Republican or Democrat, enemy of the U.S or ally, marksman or biochemist - would prefer Joe Biden be President.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #358 on: June 07, 2009, 10:28:26 PM »

ROTFLMAO.
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G M
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« Reply #359 on: June 07, 2009, 10:49:09 PM »

Very funny Doug.

CCP,

Whatever it takes to protect the President. No matter who is in the office.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #360 on: June 12, 2009, 12:53:05 PM »

Obama's "Gift" May Have a Downside
By Tom Bevan, Real Clear Politics

Barack Obama is good at giving speeches. So good, in fact, he once referred to it as his "gift." More than any other factor, Obama's rhetorical skills are responsible for his rapid rise to the presidency, beginning with his blockbuster speech at the 2004 convention and continuing through a nearly two year primary and general election campaign. Obama's penchant for soaring oratory remains a political asset, but signs are emerging there may be a political downside to all of the President's speechifying.

The first warning sign is that Obama is already pushing the limits of exposure. It seems Obama is everywhere and always speaking. It became apparent early on that the president's combination of charisma, eloquence, and popularity made it a political imperative that he become the Salesman in Chief. No other figure inside the administration had the star power and the persuasiveness to sell the transformational policy changes sought by this White House.

That said, in the first five months of his presidency Obama has held three prime time news conferences, twelve formal Q&A sessions and has delivered a number of high profile policy addresses (in addition to other exposure like interviews and appearances), each one amplified by extensive coverage by the media. The President's willingness to step inside America's living room at every possible opportunity may help cause the early onset of Obama fatigue.

Not only does Obama speak often, but his speeches also appear to be growing longer. And here we thought Joe Biden was the loquacious one. But Obama is proving the one to be incapable of brevity. The president's answers to questions at press conferences and in interviews can sometimes run upwards of five minutes of more. His remarks at daily public events can routinely run over 1,000 words. In the past month Obama has delivered 8 speeches running at least two thousand words each, including a nearly hour long address in Cairo last week and a mammoth 6,500 word discourse on national security on May 21.

Another issue is that Obama's oratory is starting to sound very formulaic. During the campaign, Obama excelled by repeating a well-honed stump speech about hope and change at hundreds of rallies across the country. Obama has adopted a similar approach as President, and the sheer volume of speeches he's given makes the pattern quite noticeable. In almost every speech, Obama bemoans the extremes on both the left and the right, predictably employing straw man arguments to discredit his opposition and position himself in the "reasonable" middle.

Lastly, Obama's speeches are often strikingly self referential. Clearly, Obama sees unique background and his life experiences as an asset and a rhetorical tool, which helps explain why his recent speech in Cairo was peppered with 68 first person references (I, me, my, or mine). But the habit carries over to other speeches as well, leaving the impression that Obama is often interested in talking about Obama.

In his speech honoring the 65th Anniversary of D-Day, for example, Obama made 10 first person references. While not a huge number in itself, it was eight more than Gordon Brown made and nine more than Stephen Harper made in their respective speeches that day. In his aforementioned national security speech on May 21, President Obama made an astounding 147 first person references.

Most important, however, Obama's high profile speechmaking on a range of big issues from restructuring GM to solving Middle East peace has dramatically increased the pressure on him to deliver results. As the Wall Street Journal put it on Monday, Obama is finding that "his own oratory laying out an ever-more-ambitious agenda, both in foreign and domestic policy, is ratcheting up demands for concrete achievements."

Obama's "gift" propelled him to the White House. He's now relying on it heavily to sell the American people on his vision of change. But at some point the public is going to get tired of hearing speeches from Obama, no matter how eloquent or well delivered. They will expect results. If Obama can't deliver those results, his "gift" will become a handicap in the form of a reputation as the president who talked the talk but couldn't walk the walk.

Tom Bevan is the co-founder and Executive Editor of RealClearPolitics.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #361 on: June 12, 2009, 01:20:06 PM »

Thanks for compliments but I was dead serious with my Biden comment.  In my quest for more positive things to say about our President, Barack Hussein Obama, here are the top 5 reasons I toast his good health, safety and security, hoping for a full Obama term:

Order of Presidential Succession
 The Vice President:  Joseph Biden
 Speaker of the House: Nancy Pelosi
 President pro tempore of the Senate:  Robert Byrd
 Secretary of State:  Hillary Rodham Clinton
 Secretary of the Treasury: Timothy Geithner

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sgtmac_46
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« Reply #362 on: June 14, 2009, 05:59:57 PM »

Thanks for compliments but I was dead serious with my Biden comment.  In my quest for more positive things to say about our President, Barack Hussein Obama, here are the top 5 reasons I toast his good health, safety and security, hoping for a full Obama term:

Order of Presidential Succession
 The Vice President:  Joseph Biden
 Speaker of the House: Nancy Pelosi
 President pro tempore of the Senate:  Robert Byrd
 Secretary of State:  Hillary Rodham Clinton
 Secretary of the Treasury: Timothy Geithner


Do they all ride to work in the same clown car?
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sgtmac_46
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« Reply #363 on: June 14, 2009, 06:01:28 PM »

Is this some sort of joke?
Is this routine for presidents to have someone test the food for poison?

Do we have a king or a President?
 
"President Obama's French food tested by 'taster' 
 
Jun 7 10:12 AM US/Eastern
A US "taster" tested the food being dished up to President Barack Obama at a dinner in a French restaurant, a waiter said on Sunday.
"They have someone who tastes the dishes," said waiter Gabriel de Carvalho from the "La Fontaine de Mars" restaurant where Obama and his family turned up for dinner on Saturday night.

"It wasn't very pleasant for the cooks at first, but the person was very nice and was relaxed, so it all went well," he said on the Itele news channel.

Asked by AFP to comment, the restaurant confirmed the report.

Copyright AFP 2008, AFP stories and photos shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium"

Folks are surprised Papa Doc Barack thinks he's a king?
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HUSS
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« Reply #364 on: June 15, 2009, 08:18:38 AM »

Obama launches ocean protection plan

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama launched a plan on Friday to protect the oceans, U.S. coasts and Great Lakes from the threats of climate change, pollution and overfishing.

"The oceans are critical to supporting life," Obama said in statement designating June as National Oceans Month. "The base of the oceanic ecosystem provides most of the oxygen we breathe, so oceans are critical to our survival."

Obama set up a task force led by chief White House environmental adviser Nancy Sutley to recommend a national policy to protect and restore "the health of ocean, coastal and Great Lakes ecosystems and resources" within 90 days.

The initiative comes as Obama is pressing Congress to pass sweeping new legislation to reduce the use of fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases blamed for global climate change.

Oceans cover 70 percent of the Earth's surface and are a major source of jobs, food and energy resources. They are also critical to the transportation of people and goods and the mobility of U.S. armed forces.

Oceans "not only affect climate processes, but they are also under stress from the impacts of climate change," the White House said in a statement.

Other challenges are pollution, degraded coastal water quality, habitat loss, fishing impacts, invasive species, disease, rising sea levels and acidification, it said.

The environmental group Oceana praised Obama's action, hoping it would bring a "unifying vision" to the 140 U.S. laws and 20 federal agencies involved in oceans management.

"With the oceans facing the triple threats of overfishing, pollution and climate change, they need attention at the highest levels of government," Oceana chief executive Andy Sharpless said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE55B6CJ20090612
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #365 on: June 20, 2009, 06:18:47 PM »

Hmm, Newsweek is noticing, too:

Obama Closes Doors on Openness
Michael Isikoff
NEWSWEEK
From the magazine issue dated Jun 29, 2009
As a senator, Barack Obama denounced the Bush administration for holding "secret energy meetings" with oil executives at the White House. But last week public-interest groups were dismayed when his own administration rejected a Freedom of Information Act request for Secret Service logs showing the identities of coal executives who had visited the White House to discuss Obama's "clean coal" policies. One reason: the disclosure of such records might impinge on privileged "presidential communications." The refusal, approved by White House counsel Greg Craig's office, is the latest in a series of cases in which Obama officials have opted against public disclosure. Since Obama pledged on his first day in office to usher in a "new era" of openness, "nothing has changed," says David -Sobel, a lawyer who litigates FOIA cases. "For a president who said he was going to bring unprecedented transparency to government, you would certainly expect more than the recycling of old Bush secrecy policies."

The hard line appears to be no accident. After Obama's much-publicized Jan. 21 "transparency" memo, administration lawyers crafted a key directive implementing the new policy that contained a major loophole, according to FOIA experts. The directive, signed by Attorney General Eric Holder, instructed federal agencies to adopt a "presumption" of disclosure for FOIA requests. This reversal of Bush policy was intended to restore a standard set by President Clinton's attorney general, Janet Reno. But in a little-noticed passage, the Holder memo also said the new standard applies "if practicable" for cases involving "pending litigation." Dan Metcalfe, the former longtime chief of FOIA policy at Justice, says the passage and other "lawyerly hedges" means the Holder memo is now "astonishingly weaker" than the Reno policy. (The visitor-log request falls in this category because of a pending Bush-era lawsuit for such records.)

Administration officials say the Holder memo was drafted by senior Justice lawyers in consultation with Craig's office. The separate standard for "pending" lawsuits was inserted because of the "burden" it would impose on officials to go "backward" and reprocess hundreds of old cases, says Melanie Ann Pustay, who now heads the FOIA office. White House spokesman Ben LaBolt says Obama "has backed up his promise" with actions including the broadcast of White House meetings on the Web. (Others cite the release of the so-called torture memos.) As for the visitor logs, LaBolt says the policy is now "under review."

URL: http://www.newsweek.com/id/202875
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ccp
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« Reply #366 on: June 23, 2009, 09:01:18 AM »

Gee, the great one who was going bring us all together and change poiitcs as we know it.  So what's his plan?  steal and conficscate everything he and hsi party can get away with from the producers to buy votes from those that are not producing and rely on the former group.  Expand entitlements, government ownership, control, ranks, taxes (as soon as thye think they can get away with it), demoralize the nation domesticaly at home and abroad to the delight of his minority supporters and our enemies and competitors and then claim he is going to bring us together.  He will crash and burn sooner or later in the polls.  His core 40% of die hards will defend him to the death.  As will the new 9.7 million illegals he will grant amnesty to leading to another 10 mill Democrat voters.
The inceasingly smaller group of producers that for now, still make up a majority will catch on and he will plummet in the polls.
Hopefully it will be before it is too late.  And it will not happen easily if we have not viable alternative from the Republicans.

LOL:

***Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
Tuesday, June 23, 2009 Email to a Friend ShareThisAdvertisementThe Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 33% of the nation's voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-three percent (33%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of 0 (see trends).

Seven percent (7%) rate the economy as good or excellent while 59% say it’s poor. A Rasmussen video report notes that 55% believe business leaders will do more than government officials to get the economy moving again.

Sixty-nine percent (69%) say that volunteer activity is more important that political action. But, people are evenly divided as to whether or not volunteerism or government policies are the best way to bring about the change that America needs.

The Presidential Approval Index is calculated by subtracting the number who Strongly Disapprove from the number who Strongly Approve. It is updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily e-mail update). Updates also available on Twitter.

Overall, 55% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance so far. Forty-four percent (44%) disapprove. For more Presidential barometers, see Obama By the Numbers and recent demographic highlights.

Most oppose the “Cash for Clunkers” plan that’s been approved by Congress and 50% believe that hate is on the rise in America.

(More Below)

 

Most voters still place the blame for our nation’s economic woes on the Bush Administration, but a growing number say it’s Obama’s economy now. The number blaming Bush has fallen to 54%. That’s down eight points from a month ago.

Americans remain evenly divided as to whether or not health care reform should wait until the economy is better.

Check out our weekly review of key polls from last week to see “What They Told Us.” You might also try our Daily Prediction Challenge to predict the results of upcoming polls.

When comparing Job Approval data from different firms, it’s important to keep in mind that polls of likely voters and polls of all adults will typically and consistently yield different results. In the case of President Obama, polls by all firms measuring all adults typically show significantly higher approval ratings than polls of likely voters. Polls of registered voters typically fall in the middle. Other factors are also important to consider when comparing Job Approval ratings from different polling firms.

If you’d like Scott Rasmussen to speak at your meeting, retreat, or conference, contact Premiere Speakers Bureau. You can also learn about Scott’s favorite place on earth or his time working with hockey legend Gordie Howe.

A Fordham University professor has rated the national pollsters on their record in Election 2008. We also have provided a summary of our results for your review.

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. The margin of sampling error—for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters--is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Results are also compiled on a full-week basis and crosstabs for full-week results are available for Premium Members.

Like all polling firms, Rasmussen Reports weights its data to reflect the population at large (see methodology). Among other targets, Rasmussen Reports weights data by political party affiliation using a dynamic weighting process. While partisan affiliation is generally quite stable over time, there are a fair number of people who waver between allegiance to a particular party or independent status. Over the past four years, the number of Democrats in the country has increased while the number of Republicans has decreased.

Our baseline targets are established based upon separate survey interviews with a sample of adults nationwide completed during the preceding three months (a total of 45,000 interviews) and targets are updated monthly. Currently, the baseline targets for the adult population are 40.1% Democrats, 33.1% Republicans, and 26.7% unaffiliated. Likely voter samples typically show a slightly smaller advantage for the Democrats.

A review of last week’s key polls is posted each Saturday morning. Other stats on Obama are updated daily on the Rasmussen Reports Obama By the Numbers page. We also invite you to review other recent demographic highlights from the tracking polls.***

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G M
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« Reply #367 on: June 23, 2009, 01:57:18 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/06/23/ramirez-on-obama-iran/

Perfectly captures our President on Iran.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #368 on: June 28, 2009, 09:35:55 AM »

I'm not literary analyst enough to assess the conclusions of this piece and think that, rather than smoking guns, this article depends on frequency analysis; a measurement of commonalities that defy coincidence. With that said, if these allegations are true, then the implications are profound.

June 28, 2009
Breakthrough on the Authorship of Obama's 'Dreams'
By Jack Cashill
 
 Within days of my going public last September with the speculation that terrorist emeritus Bill Ayers helped Barack Obama write his acclaimed memoir, Dreams From My Father, I learned that I was not alone in that intuition.

Since then, I have received helpful contributions from serious people in at least five countries and any number of states and have integrated many of their observations into my ongoing narrative, summarized here.  If you are unfamiliar with this research, please read this before going forward.

About a week ago, however, I heard from a new contributor.  I will refer to him as "Mr. West." Like most contributors, he prefers to remain anonymous.  The media punishment that Joe the Plumber received has much to do with this nearly universal reticence.

A week before that, I heard from another excellent contributor, Mr. Midwest.  Their collective contribution should dispel the doubts of all but the willfully blind that Ayers played a substantial role, likely the primary role, in the writing of Dreams.

As a reminder, there is no reliable computer science for determining authorship.  In assessing the value of the existing science, think polygraph, not DNA.  Polygraph-level scholarship may suffice for harmless speculation about the authorship of Midsummer's Night Dream, but not for Dreams From My Father.  Too much is at stake for the latter.

The experts in the field have told me to stick with old-fashioned literary detective work, and I have done just that.  Mr, Midwest has helped.  His most recent contribution is a good example of keen-eyed detection.

Going forward, I will be referring to five books.  These include Ayers' 1993 To Teach, his 1997 A Kind and Just Parent (shorthand: Parent), his 2001 memoir Fugitive Days, and Obama's 1995 Dreams From My Father (Dreams). Casual critics of this research have repeated the canard that I attributed both Obama books, Dreams and the 2006 Audacity of Hope (Audacity), to Ayers.  I never have.  From the beginning, I have asserted that the two books appear to have two different authors, and so I will leave Audacity out of the equation until the end.

What Mr. Midwest noticed recently is that both Ayers in Parent and Obama in Dreams make reference to the poet Carl Sandburg.  In itself, this is not a grand revelation.  Let us call it a C-level match. Obama and Ayers seem to have shared the same library in any case.  Both talk of reading the books of Malcolm X, James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Dubois and Frantz Fanon among others.  In fact, each misspells "Frantz" as "Franz."

Ayers and Obama, however, go beyond citing Sandburg.  Each quotes the opening line of his poem "Chicago."  From Dreams:

He poured himself more hot water. "What do you know about Chicago anyway?"

I thought a moment. "Hog butcher to the world," I said finally.

From Parent:

"At the turn of the century, Chicago had a population of a million people and was a young and muscular city - hub of commerce and industry, the first skyscraper city, home of the famous world exposition, "hog butcher to the world" - bursting with energy."

This I would call a B-level match.  What raises it up a notch to an A-level match is the fact that both misquote "Chicago," and they do so in exactly the same way.  The poem actually opens, "Hog butcher for the world."

Last week, the first email I received from Mr. West had in the message box "759 striking similarities between Dreams and Ayers' works."  This claim seemed so outsized I did not take it seriously.  When I was unable to open the documents, I emailed Mr. West back, asked him to reformat, and then forgot about the email.  He resent his documents a few days later.

This time I was able to open them and was promptly blown away.  Mr. West's analysis was systematic, comprehensive, and utterly, totally, damning.  Of the 759 matches, none were frivolous.  All were C-level or above, and I had no doubt of their authenticity.  I had been gathering many of them in my own reserve waiting for a book-length opportunity to make my case.  Mr. West had done the heavy lifting.  He even indexed his matches.  This represented months of works.  As I learned, he had been patiently gathering material since November when he first began building on my own research.

I read through all 759 matches and culled out those that I would consider B-Level or above.  There were 180 of these.  As a control, I tested them against my own 2006 book Sucker Punch, like Dreams and Fugitive Days a memoir that deals extensively with race.  In that I am closer to Ayers in age, race, education, family and cultural background than Obama is, our styles should have had more chance of matching.  They don't.  Of the 180 examples, I matched, strictly speaking, on six.  Even by the most generous standard, we matched on only sixteen.

Let me just cite a few matches between Ayers' work and Dreams that I found intriguing.  Rather astonishingly, as Mr. West points out, at least six of the characters in Dreams have the same names as characters in Ayers' books: Malik, Freddy, Tim, Coretta, Marcus, and "the old man." Many of the stories involving these characters in Dreams seem as contrived as their names.

In one instance, Obama reflects on his own first days as a ten year-old at his Hawaiian prep school, a transition complicated by the presence of "Coretta," the only other black student in the class.

When the other students accuse Obama of having a girlfriend, Obama shoves Coretta and insists that she leave him alone.  Although "his act of betrayal" buys him a reprieve from the other students, Obama understands that he "had been tested and found wanting."

Ayers relates a parallel story in Parent.  He tells of a useful reading assignment from the 1992 book, The Kind of Light That Shines on Texas, by black author Reginald McKnight.  The passage in question deals with the travails of Clint, the first black student in a newly integrated school, who repudiates Marvin, the only other black boy in the school.  Upon reflection, Clint thinks, "I was ashamed.  Ashamed for not defending Marvin and ashamed that Marvin even existed."

As Mr. Midwest pointed out in a recent missive, Ayers' interest in education bleeds into Dreams.  The tip-off once again is the contrived name, in this case "Asante Moran," likely an homage to the Afro-centric educator, Molefi Kete Asante.  Moran lectures Obama and his pal "Johnny" on the nature of public education.

"The first thing you have to realize," he said, looking at Johnnie and me in turn, "is that the public school system is not about educating black children. Never has been. Inner-city schools are about social control. Period."

"Social control" is an Ayers' bugaboo.  "The message to Black people was that at any moment and for any reason whatsoever your life or the lives of your loved ones could be randomly snuffed out," he writes in Fugitive Days.  "The intention was social control through random intimidation and unpredictable violence."

In Dreams, "Moran" elaborates on the fate of the black student,  "From day one, what's he learning about? Someone else's history.  Someone else's culture. Not only that, this culture he's supposed to learn is the same culture that's systematically rejected him, denied his humanity."

If this character were real, and Obama had actually met him, there would be no reason to phony up his name.  In fact, however, Moran is spouting exactly the same educational philosophy that Ayers does in To Teach.

"Underneath it all," Ayers says of standard school textbooks, "the social studies and literature texts reflected and promoted white supremacy.  There were no pictures or photographs of African Americans . . . there was throughout an assumed superiority and smug celebration of the status quo."

Both authors, by the way, use the phrase "beneath the surface" repeatedly.  And what they find beneath the surface, of course, is the disturbing truth about power disparities in the real America, which each refers to as an "imperial culture."  Speaking of which, both insist that "knowledge" is "power" and seem consumed by the uses or misuses of power.  Ayers, in fact, evokes the word "power" and its derivatives 75 times in Fugitive Days, Obama 83 times in Dreams.

More exotically, both authors evoke images of a "boy" riding on the backs of a "water buffalo" and prodding the beast not just with sticks, but with "bamboo sticks."  Ayers places his boy in Vietnam.  Obama puts his in Indonesia.

Both authors link Indonesia with Vietnam. In each case, clueless officials - plural -- with the "State Department" try to explain how the march of communism through "Indochina" will specifically imperil "Indonesia." The Ayers account, however, at least sounds vaguely real.  The Obama account sounds like an Ayers' memory imposed on Obama's mother.  She allegedly discussed these geo-political strategy sessions in Indonesia with her pre-teen son.

Ayers and his radical friends were obsessed with Vietnam.  It defined them and still does. To reflect their superior insight into that country, they have shown a tendency to use "Mekong Delta" as synecdoche, the part that indicates the whole.

In Fugitive Days, for instance, Ayers envisions "a patrol in the Mekong Delta" when he conjures up an image of Vietnam.  Ayers' wife, Bernadine Dohrn, pontificated about "a hamlet called My Lai" in a 1998 interview, but to flash her radical chops, she located it "in the middle of the Mekong Delta," which is in reality several hundred miles from My Lai.

Given Obama's age, "Mekong Delta" was not likely a part of his vocabulary, but that does not stop him from writing about "the angry young men in Soweto or Detroit or the Mekong Delta."  Ayers, of course, would also have had a much deeper connection than Obama to "Detroit," whose historic riot took place shortly before Obama's sixth birthday.  Ayers worked in Detroit the year after those same riots.

Returning to the exotic, in his Indonesian backyard Obama discovered two "birds of paradise" running wild as well as chickens, ducks, and a "yellow dog with a baleful howl."

In Fugitive Days, there is even more "howling" than there is in Dreams.  Ayers places his "birds of paradise" in Guatemala.  He places his ducks and dogs together in a Vietnamese village being swept by merciless Americans.  In Parent, he talks specifically about a "yellow dog."   And he uses the word "baleful" to describe an "eye" in Fugitive Days. For the record, "baleful" means "threatening harm."  I had to look it up.

Ayers is fixated with faces, especially eyes.  He writes of "sparkling" eyes, "shining" eyes, "laughing" eyes, "twinkling" eyes, eyes "like ice," and people who are "wide-eyed" and "dark-eyed."

As it happens, Obama is also fixated with faces, especially eyes.  He also writes of "sparkling" eyes, "shining" eyes, "laughing" eyes, "twinkling" eyes, and uses the phrases "wide-eyed" and "dark-eyed." Obama adds "smoldering eyes," "smoldering" being a word that he and Ayers inject repeatedly. Obama also uses the highly distinctive phrase "like ice," in his case to describe the glinting of the stars.

If Ayers is fixated on eyes, about eyebrows he is positively fetishistic. There are six references to "eyebrows" in Fugitive Days -- bushy ones, flaring ones, arched ones, black ones and, stunningly, seven references in Dreams -- heavy ones, bushy ones, wispy ones.  It is the rare memoirist who talks about eyebrows at all.

On three occasions in Dreams, Obama speaks of people with "round" faces.  On four occasions in Fugitive Days, Ayers does the same.  Both speak of "grim-faced" people, people with "soft" faces, and, most unusually, people with "tight" faces.

Both Ayers and Obama describe acquaintances who smile like a "Cheshire cat."  Some of their characters have a countenance -- grin, squint, or scowl -- that is "perpetual."  Others are "suppressing" their smiles or their grins.

To this point, I have just skimmed the 759 items in the bill of particulars in my case against Obama's literary genius.   Not familiar with the term "bill of particulars?"  Uncertain myself, I looked that one up too.  It means a list of written statements made by a party to a court proceeding.  Ayers and Obama each refer knowingly to a "bill of particulars." Doesn't everyone?

The answer, of course, is no.  In Audacity of Hope, Obama does not use this phrase or most of the distinctive words or combinations of words in Dreams.  In Audacity, for instance, there are virtually no descriptions of faces or eyes, and the few that the author does use are flat and clichéd -- like "brave face" or "sharp-eyed." In Dreams, seven different people "frown," twelve "grin," and six "squint."  In Audacity, no more than one person makes any of these gestures.

Mr. West independently came to the same conclusion that I did, namely that Ayers was not meaningfully involved in Audacity.  These two Obama books almost assuredly had different primary authors.   What should be transparent to any literary critic is that the author of Audacity lacked the style and skill of the author of Dreams.  There are a few pockets in Audacity that evoke the spirit of Dreams but without the same grace.

A likely suspect for these imitative passages, perhaps the whole of Audacity, is Obama's young speechwriter, Jon Favreau.  Favreau joined the Obama team in 2005, time enough to play that role.  The London Guardian reports that Favreau carries Dreams wherever he goes and can "conjure up his master's voice as if an accomplished impersonator."  If so, in Audacity he played the classic role of the ghostwriter -- one who absorbs his client's thoughts and relates them in a refined version of his client's voice.

Bill Ayers was no one's ghostwriter.  The now overwhelming evidence strongly suggests that he used the frame of Obama's life and finished it off with his own ideas, his own biases, his own experiences, his own passions, his own friends, even his own romances, all of this toned down just enough to keep Obama viable as a potential candidate.

I would argue that Ayers played Cyrano to Obama's Christian.  His personal history was too ugly for him to woo Roxane/America himself.  But Obama -- "articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," as Joe Biden reminded us -- could and did make America's heart melt.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/06/breakthrough_on_the_authorship_1.html
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« Reply #369 on: June 28, 2009, 02:24:25 PM »

fascinating.
I never heard the theory that Ayers may have written the
Bama books.
Certainly there is No doubt they think alike.
Certainly there is No doubt that BO governs from the premise that he has to get even for his perceived injustices done on the world by the white man.
He does this not only with regard to domestic policy but his foriegn policy also reflects this.
It is really obvious and thus

I don't understand how so many people feint surprise by his lefist leanings.

Indeed he would take us much farther left immediately if he could keep power.

Thus he cons us while he makes the changes.
Unfortunately media is on his side.  That coupled with a lack of reasonable alternative keeps his plans alive. (I guess)

What BO is better at is not only pushing his arguments but discussing both sides of the arguments (including the right's) and then dispelling his opponent's position with ridicule, lies, distortions, "we can dispense with that" [it is wrong], "that it is obivous the rights policies of the last eight years do not work" [we need change] and even saying he agrees with the opposition, while he does the opposite.  For example stating ouright lie, like "big government is over" etc [while he expands it at a faster and greater rate then anyone in history].

What I still don't hear from the rights' politicians is this laying out of the arguments from BOTH sides and convincing the listeners that their's is the best way vs simply throwing out "less government", "lower taxes" etc.

The only one forceful is Gingrich.  But the MSM has done a good job of blunting him since he went after Sottomyer for her racist comments.  Her repeated comments were racist as he said of course but our politically correct media apparantly were successful in making him look bad for saying so.

Hannity and Limbaugh still don't quite get it.
Marc Levin is closer IMO but not quite there either.

Anyway Crafty is right, we are all screwed unless as Dick Morris points out BO's policies can be held at bay till he falls in the polls coming August or the fall on his calculations.  I agree.  It is only a matter of time before the independents finally see how much they are going to suffer from this guys policies.  He is giving it all away to his favorite constuents which include the rest of the non European world. 
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« Reply #370 on: June 29, 2009, 10:34:42 AM »

Obama Could Work for The New York Times
Townhall.com | June 29, 2009 | Burt Prelutsky

Back in 2008, New York Times correspondent David S. Rohde, along with Afghan reporter Taki Luden, were abducted in Pakistan by the Taliban. Because they felt it might adversely affect hostage rescue efforts, the Times requested a news black-out. The Associated Press and other news agencies respected the request and only broke the story recently, after Rohde and Luden had scaled a wall and made their escape. It would be nothing other than a story with a happy ending, except that the Times has time and again ignored the government’s requests that it not report the specific ways in which we were combating Islamic terrorists.

It’s enlightening to know that so far as the New York Times is concerned, censorship is not only moral, but mandatory, when the life of one of its employees might be at risk, but is not to be condoned when the lives of thousands of soldiers and civilians might hang in the balance.

However, when it comes to hypocrisy, the Times isn’t alone. For instance, when George W. Bush fired eight U.S. attorneys, the outrage voiced by the media would have had you believe that he’d personally ripped the Constitution into a thousand tiny pieces. Compare that to the silence that greeted Obama’s dismissal of Inspector General Gerald Walpin. It had been Walpin’s responsibility to oversee government-subsidized volunteer programs, such as AmeriCorps. Walpin’s team of investigators discovered serious irregularities at St. Hope, a California non-profit run by former NBA star Kevin Johnson. It seems that an $850,000 grant, which was supposed to go towards tutoring Sacramento students and supporting theater and art programs, instead was used to pad staff salaries, meddle in a local school board election and pay AmeriCorps members to perform personal services for Mr. Johnson, including washing his car.

When Walpin recommended that Johnson, an assistant and St. Hope, itself, be cut off from federal funds, he was fired by the president. Did I mention that Mr. Johnson is a friend and was an early supporter of Barack Obama? I guess you can take the man out of Chicago, but you can’t take Chicago out of the man. Not even when he’s sitting in the Oval Office.

Some of us have been puzzled by the personal animosity that Obama has shown towards those, like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, who oppose his radical left-wing agenda. Clearly, the man is so narcissistic and thin-skinned that he can’t conceal his contempt for anyone who doesn’t openly adore him. I don’t entirely blame him, though. Like a little brat who is never disciplined by his parents when he misbehaves, Obama is the inevitable result of a media that has mollycoddled him ever since he came on the scene.

Frankly, I can’t figure out what it is that people find admirable about the president. I, myself, was profoundly upset that he couldn’t even muster up a few inspirational words for those brave souls in Tehran who were standing up to the murderous mullahs and their hand puppet, Ahmadinejad. But, on further reflection, it occurred to me that maybe he just didn’t want Americans to get any funny ideas about freedom and liberty.

In fact, I found myself wondering if the spark that ignited the demonstrations in Iran wasn’t supplied by the example of democracy taking hold in nearby Iraq, in much the same way that the French revolution was inspired by our own.

Some people have suggested that the reason Obama kept silent during the popular uprising is because he is a Muslim. The truth is, I have no idea how much he was influenced by his early years in Indonesia or by the wish to please his absentee Islamic father. I figure it’s bad enough that he calls himself a Christian, but attended a racist church for his entire adult life, spending a thousand Sundays listening to a creepy minister heap curses on Jews, white Christians and America. While I don’t know what the man believes in his heart, I do know that he would have heard the exact same message if he’d been kneeling on a prayer mat for all those years in a Baghdad mosque.

It appears to me that Obama is bent on destroying our economy, our military and our missile defense system; while, at the same time, he promotes socialized medicine, hires a racist attorney general and nominates a Supreme Court nominee who parrots the party line of La Raza. This is a man who brags about nonexistent Muslim accomplishments, while taking every opportunity to denigrate America’s character, her sacrifices and her awe-inspiring achievements.

Ronald Reagan saw America as a shining city upon a hill. President Obama sees it as a slum that needs to be torn down as part of a massive reconstruction project.

If there were ever a site like Mt. Rushmore, dedicated not to heroic leaders, but rather to those who were unfaithful to their nation’s highest ideals, Barack Hussein Obama could take his rightful place alongside the likes of Vidkun Quisling, Henri Petain and Benedict Arnold.

http://townhall.com/columnists/BurtPrelutsky/2009/06/29/obama_could_work_for_the_new_york_times
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« Reply #371 on: July 09, 2009, 09:00:32 AM »

KARL ROVE
In February, President Barack Obama signed a $787 billion stimulus bill while making lavish promises about the results. He pledged that "a new wave of innovation, activity and construction will be unleashed all across America." He also said the stimulus would "save or create up to four million jobs." Vice President Joe Biden said the massive federal spending plan would "drop-kick" the economy out of the recession.

But the unemployment rate today is 9.5% -- nearly 20% higher than the Obama White House said it would be with the stimulus in place. Keith Hennessey, who worked at the Bush White House on economic policy, has noted that unemployment is now higher than the administration said it would be if nothing was done to revive the economy. There are 2.6 million fewer Americans working than Mr. Obama promised.

The economy takes unexpected turns on every president. But what is striking about this president is how quickly he turns away from his promises. He rushed the stimulus through Congress saying we couldn't afford to wait. Now his administration is waiting to spend the money. Of the $279 billion allocated to federal agencies, only $56 billion has been paid out.

Mr. Biden has admitted that the administration "misread" the economy. But he explained that away on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" on Sunday by saying the administration had used "the consensus figures and most of the blue chip indexes out there" to draw up its stimulus plan. That's not true.

The Blue Chip consensus is an average of some four dozen economic forecasts. In January, the consensus estimated that GDP for 2009 would shrink by 1.6% and that unemployment would top out at 8.3%. Team Obama assumed both higher GDP growth (it counted on a contraction of 1.2%) and lower peak unemployment (8.1%) than the consensus.

Instead of relying on the Blue Chip consensus, Mr. Obama outsourced writing the stimulus to House appropriators who stuffed it with every bad spending idea they weren't previously able to push through Congress. Little of it aimed to quickly revive the economy. More stimulus money will be spent in fiscal years 2011 through 2019 than will be spent this fiscal year, which ends in September.

On Sunday, Mr. Biden, backpedaling from his drop-kick comments, said that "no one anticipated, no one expected that the recovery package would in fact be in a position at this point of having to distribute the bulk of the money."

This fits a pattern. The administration consistently pledges unrealistic results that it later distances itself from. It has gotten away with it because the media haven't asked many pointed questions. That may not last as the debate shifts to health care.

The Obama administration wants a government takeover of health care. To get it, it is promising to wring massive savings out of the health-care industry. And it has already started to make cost-savings promises.

For example, the administration strong-armed health-care providers into promising $2 trillion in health savings. It got pharmaceutical companies to promise to lower drug prices for seniors by $80 billion over 10 years. The administration also trotted out hospital executives to say that they would voluntarily save the government $150 billion over 10 years.

None of this comes near to being true. On the promised $2 trillion, everyone admits that the number isn't built on anything specific -- it's an aspirational goal. On drug prices, a White House spokesman admitted that "These savings have not been identified at the moment." It is speculative that these cuts will actually be made, when they would begin, or whether they would reduce government health-care spending.

None of this will stop the administration from arguing that its "savings" will pay for Mr. Obama's $1.5 trillion health-care plans. By the time the real price tag emerges, it will be too late to do much more than raise taxes and curtail spending on urgent priorities, such as the military.

The stimulus package is a clear example of how Mr. Obama operates. He is attempting to employ the same tactics of bait-and-switch when it comes to health care, only on a much larger scale.

Mr. Obama has already created a river of red ink. His health-care plans will only force that river over its banks. We are at the cusp of a crucial political debate, and Mr. Obama's words on fiscal matters are untrustworthy. His promised savings are a mirage. His proposals to reshape the economy are alarming. And his unwillingness to be forthright with his numbers reveals that he knows his plans would terrify many Americans.

Mr. Rove is the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.
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« Reply #372 on: July 09, 2009, 10:25:49 AM »


 
Billions in aid go to areas that backed Obama in '08
By Brad Heath, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Billions of dollars in federal aid delivered directly to the local level to help revive the economy have gone overwhelmingly to places that supported President Obama in last year's presidential election.
That aid — about $17 billion — is the first piece of the administration's massive stimulus package that can be tracked locally. Much of it has followed a well-worn path to places that regularly collect a bigger share of federal grants and contracts, guided by formulas that have been in place for decades and leave little room for manipulation.

"There's no politics at work when it comes to spending for the recovery," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says.

Counties that supported Obama last year have reaped twice as much money per person from the administration's $787 billion economic stimulus package as those that voted for his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, a USA TODAY analysis of government disclosure and accounting records shows. That money includes aid to repair military bases, improve public housing and help students pay for college.

The reports show the 872 counties that supported Obama received about $69 per person, on average. The 2,234 that supported McCain received about $34.

Investigators who track the stimulus are skeptical that political considerations could be at work. The imbalance is so pronounced — and the aid so far from complete — that it would be almost inconceivable for it to be the result of political tinkering, says Adam Hughes, the director of federal fiscal policy for the non-profit OMB Watch. "Even if they wanted to, I don't think the administration has enough people in place yet to actually do that," he says.

"Most of what they're doing at this point is just stamping the checks and sending them out," Hughes says.

The stimulus package Obama signed in February includes about $499 billion in new spending, and to date, the Obama administration has allocated about $158 billion to specific projects and programs. Most of that money has gone directly to state governments, which then disperse the money to prevent school layoffs, repair roads and fund social services. That contrasts with the $17 billion that Washington distributes directly to local communities.

Including the larger chunk of money given to state governments, the aid favors states that voted for Obama, which have received about 20% more per person

Not all of the money favors places that supported Obama. About a third of the $17 billion, or $5.5 billion, in contracts that the federal government has signed for projects ranging from repaving runways to cleaning up nuclear waste has gone overwhelmingly to counties that supported McCain.

Jake Wiens, an investigator with the non-profit Project on Government Oversight, says it's too soon to draw meaningful conclusions about whether the type of aid in the stimulus favors Obama's constituents.

But, he says, "it will be important to pay close attention as the data come in to ensure that political favoritism plays no role."

The imbalance didn't start with the stimulus. From 2005 through 2007, the counties that later voted for Obama collected about 50% more government aid than those that supported McCain, according to spending reports from the U.S. Census Bureau. USA TODAY's review did not include Alaska, which does not report its election results by county.

 

 
 
Find this article at:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-07-08-redblue_N.htm
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« Reply #373 on: July 10, 2009, 01:04:09 PM »

this is all well and good but I don't believe for one second Pelosi did not know about the waterboarding and did not lie and cover up her knowedge so crats could gain political advantage.

****Lawmaker says CIA director ended secret program
PAMELA HESS, Associated Press Writer Pamela Hess, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 32 mins ago
WASHINGTON – CIA Director Leon Panetta has terminated a "very serious" covert program the spy agency kept secret from Congress for eight years, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a House Intelligence subcommittee chairwoman, said Friday.

Schakowsky is pressing for an immediate committee investigation of the classified program, which has not been described publicly. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has said he is considering an investigation.

"The program is a very, very serious program and certainly deserved a serious debate at the time and through the years," Schakowsky told The Associated Press in an interview. "But now it's over."

Democrats revealed late Tuesday that CIA Director Leon Panetta had informed members of the House Intelligence Committee on June 24 that the spy agency had been withholding important information about a secret intelligence program begun after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Schakowsky described Panetta as "stunned" that he had not been informed of the program until nearly five months into his tenure as director.

Panetta had learned of the program only the day before informing the lawmakers, according to a U.S. intelligence official. The official spoke on condition of anonymity Friday because he was not authorized to discuss the program publicly.

Panetta has launched an internal probe at the CIA to determine why Congress was not told about the program. Exactly what the classified program entailed is still unclear.

The intelligence official said the program was "on-again/off-again" and that it was never fully operational, but he would not provide details.

Schakowsky, D-Ill., said Friday that the CIA and Bush administration consciously decided not to tell Congress.

"It's not as if this was an oversight and over the years it just got buried. There was a decision under several directors of the CIA and administration not to tell the Congress," she said.

Schakowsky, who chairs the Intelligence subcommittee on oversight and investigations, said in a Thursday letter to Reyes that the CIA's lying was systematic and inexcusable. The letter was obtained by The Associated Press on Friday.

She said Reyes indicated to her the committee would conduct a probe into whether the CIA violated the National Security Act, which requires, with rare exceptions, that Congress be informed of covert activities. She told AP she hopes to conduct at least part of the investigation for the committee.

She said this is the fourth time that she knows of that the CIA has misled Congress or not informed it in a timely manner since she began serving on the Intelligence Committee two and half years ago.

In 2008, the CIA inspector general revealed that the CIA had lied to Congress about the accidental shoot down of American missionaries over Peru in 2001. In 2007, news reports disclosed that the CIA had secretly destroyed videotapes of interrogations of a terrorist suspect.

She would not describe the other incident.

Schakowsky said she thinks Panetta is changing the CIA for the better, adding that the failure to inform Congress was indicative of "contempt" the Bush administration and intelligence agencies under him held for Congress.

"Many times I felt it was an annoyance to them to have to come to us and answer our questions," she said. "There was an impatience and a contempt for the Congress."

The House is expected to take up the 2010 intelligence authorization bill next week. It includes a provision that would require the White House to inform the entire committee about upcoming covert operations rather than just the "Gang of Eight"_ the senior members from both parties on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees and the Democratic and Republican leaders in both houses.

The White House this week threatened to veto the final version of the bill if it includes that provision.

Democratic aides said the language may be softened in negotiations with the Senate to address the White House's concern.

But Schakowsky said the wider briefings are the best remedy to avoiding future notification abuses.

Republicans charge that Democratic outrage about the Panetta revelation is just an attempt to provide political cover to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who in May accused the CIA of lying to her in 2002 about its use of waterboarding.

What Pelosi knew about the CIA's interrogation program and when she knew it — and why she did not object to it sooner — is expected to be emphasized by Republicans during debate over the intelligence bill.****


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« Reply #374 on: July 13, 2009, 07:38:11 AM »

Obama Rewrites the Cold War
The President has a duty to stand up to the lies of our enemies.Article Comments (44) more in Opinion »Email Printer
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By LIZ CHENEY
There are two different versions of the story of the end of the Cold War: the Russian version, and the truth. President Barack Obama endorsed the Russian version in Moscow last week.

Speaking to a group of students, our president explained it this way: "The American and Soviet armies were still massed in Europe, trained and ready to fight. The ideological trenches of the last century were roughly in place. Competition in everything from astrophysics to athletics was treated as a zero-sum game. If one person won, then the other person had to lose. And then within a few short years, the world as it was ceased to be. Make no mistake: This change did not come from any one nation. The Cold War reached a conclusion because of the actions of many nations over many years, and because the people of Russia and Eastern Europe stood up and decided that its end would be peaceful."

The truth, of course, is that the Soviets ran a brutal, authoritarian regime. The KGB killed their opponents or dragged them off to the Gulag. There was no free press, no freedom of speech, no freedom of worship, no freedom of any kind. The basis of the Cold War was not "competition in astrophysics and athletics." It was a global battle between tyranny and freedom. The Soviet "sphere of influence" was delineated by walls and barbed wire and tanks and secret police to prevent people from escaping. America was an unmatched force for good in the world during the Cold War. The Soviets were not. The Cold War ended not because the Soviets decided it should but because they were no match for the forces of freedom and the commitment of free nations to defend liberty and defeat Communism.

It is irresponsible for an American president to go to Moscow and tell a room full of young Russians less than the truth about how the Cold War ended. One wonders whether this was just an attempt to push "reset" -- or maybe to curry favor. Perhaps, most concerning of all, Mr. Obama believes what he said.

Mr. Obama's method for pushing reset around the world is becoming clearer with each foreign trip. He proclaims moral equivalence between the U.S. and our adversaries, he readily accepts a false historical narrative, and he refuses to stand up against anti-American lies.

The approach was evident in his speech in Moscow and in his speech in Cairo last month. In Cairo, he asserted there was some sort of equivalence between American support for the 1953 coup in Iran and the evil that the Iranian mullahs have done in the world since 1979. On an earlier trip to Mexico City, the president listened to an extended anti-American screed by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and then let the lies stand by responding only with, "I'm grateful that President Ortega did not blame me for the things that occurred when I was 3 months old."

Asked at a NATO meeting in France in April whether he believed in American exceptionalism, the president said, "I believe in American Exceptionalism just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism." In other words, not so much.

The Obama administration does seem to believe in another kind of exceptionalism -- Obama exceptionalism. "We have the best brand on Earth: the Obama brand," one Obama handler has said. What they don't seem to realize is that once you're president, your brand is America, and the American people expect you to defend us against lies, not embrace or ignore them. We also expect you to know your history.

Mr. Obama has become fond of saying, as he did in Russia again last week, that American nuclear disarmament will encourage the North Koreans and the Iranians to give up their nuclear ambitions. Does he really believe that the North Koreans and the Iranians are simply waiting for America to cut funds for missile defense and reduce our strategic nuclear stockpile before they halt their weapons programs?

The White House ought to take a lesson from President Harry Truman. In April, 1950, Truman signed National Security Council report 68 (NSC-68). One of the foundational documents of America's Cold War strategy, NSC-68 explains the danger of disarming America in the hope of appeasing our enemies. "No people in history," it reads, "have preserved their freedom who thought that by not being strong enough to protect themselves they might prove inoffensive to their enemies."

Perhaps Mr. Obama thinks he is making America inoffensive to our enemies. In reality, he is emboldening them and weakening us. America can be disarmed literally -- by cutting our weapons systems and our defensive capabilities -- as Mr. Obama has agreed to do. We can also be disarmed morally by a president who spreads false narratives about our history or who accepts, even if by his silence, our enemies' lies about us.

Ms. Cheney served as deputy assistant secretary of state and principal deputy assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs from 2002-2004 and 2005-2006.
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« Reply #375 on: July 19, 2009, 12:43:07 PM »

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j4PYGKun8FwQE1yOv3xp0SYIgM9AD99GNCF00

Obama losing some support among nervous Dems
By BETH FOUHY (AP) – 1 day ago

NEW YORK — Could it be that President Barack Obama's Midas touch is starting to dull a bit, even among members of his own party?
Conservative House Democrats are balking at the cost and direction of Obama's top priority, an overhaul of the nation's health care system. A key Senate Democrat, Max Baucus of Montana, complains that Obama's opposition to paying for it with a tax on health benefits "is not helping us."

Another Democrat, Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma, tells his local newspaper that Obama is too liberal and is "very unpopular" in his district.

From his first days in office, Obama's popularity helped him pass the landmark $787 billion stimulus package and fueled his ambitious plans to overhaul the nation's health care system and tackle global warming.

Obama continues to be comparatively popular. But now recent national surveys have shown a measurable drop in his job approval rating, even among Democrats. A CBS news survey out this week had his national approval rating at 57 percent, and his standing among Democrats down 10 percentage points since last month, from 92 percent to 82 percent.

With the economy continuing to sputter and joblessness on the rise, many of Obama's staunchest Democratic supporters are anxious for his agenda to start bearing fruit.

"We are eager and impatient, so you're seeing a little bit of that," said Chris Redfern, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party. "Elections have results, and those in the base are the most anxious to achieve what's promised in the election. That's why Democrats are showing some impatience in reaching our goal."

Obama won Ohio, a key swing state, by 4 percentage points in 2008 over Republican John McCain. But the one-time industrial powerhouse has been hit hard by the weak economy, and a Quinnipiac University poll released this month showed Obama with a lackluster approval rating of 49 percent.

Redfern argued that the stimulus program has begun to show tangible results in his state and people shouldn't expect the economy to turn around instantly.  A similar argument came from Nevada, another swing state Obama carried. Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Ross counseled patience, saying that voters in his state want Obama to succeed and that their support would be solidified once they saw stimulus-driven building projects under way.

"Generally, folks in Nevada are waiting to see the effects of the stimulus package," Ross said. "I think the president is probably just as impatient to get this money out in the country to employ people as anyone."

In Missouri, which Obama narrowly lost to McCain, Democratic strategist Steve Glorioso said hardcore base voters were as enthusiastic as ever for Obama but that there was a sense of disappointment about him among less committed Democrats and independents.

"People are scared," Glorioso said. "This is the worst economic time anyone under the age of 80 has ever experienced, and you can't discount people being afraid. Now that we are in July, the fear is turning to disappointment that the president hasn't fixed everything yet. I don't know why they thought he could change everything by now, but some did."

Glorioso said an open Senate race next year in Missouri, where Democrat Robin Carnahan is likely to face former Republican Rep. Roy Blunt, will be a crucial test of Obama's appeal.

"If the economy gets better and they pass a reasonable health care bill, his popularity will be way back up and Carnahan will win," Glorioso said. "If none of that happens, it's a moot point."

In Michigan, where the near-collapse of the auto industry has driven the unemployment rate to 14.1 percent, the nation's worst, the state's Democratic chairman, Mark Brewer, said support for Obama among Democrats has remained strong.

"People are very worried and concerned, I don't want to dispute that," Brewer said. "But they voted for the president in overwhelming numbers and want to support the things he's trying to do."

Obama traveled to Michigan this week to unveil a $12 billion program to help community colleges prepare people for jobs. There, he made an audacious declaration.

"I love these folks who helped get us in this mess and then suddenly say, 'Well, this is Obama's economy,'" the president said. "That's fine. Give it to me!"

Redfern, the Ohio Democratic Party chairman, said he welcomed that statement but cautioned it came with a price.

"When it's the president's economy, it's the president's trouble," Redfern said. "Americans are eager for the change that they voted into office. They support him, they just want to see results sooner rather than later."
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #376 on: July 20, 2009, 08:59:54 AM »

In depth breakdown of a recent ABC/WaPo poll regarding BHO's performance:

http://abcnews.go.com/images/PollingUnit/1092a1ObamaatSixMonths.pdf
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #377 on: July 20, 2009, 09:06:44 AM »

It is only natural that the high numbers decline somewhat.  While I certainly hope that the trend continues and accelerates, IMHO it remains to be seen. 

Also worth noting is that the cowardice and incoherence of the Republican response is there for all to see.
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Wow
« Reply #378 on: July 20, 2009, 09:32:20 AM »

RASMUSSEN 2012 poll released at 10:30AM ET

Obama 45% Romney 45%
Obama 48% Palin 42%

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« Reply #379 on: July 20, 2009, 11:06:32 AM »

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090720/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_midsummer_s_budget_nightmare/print

White House putting off budget update
By TOM RAUM, Associated Press Writer Tom Raum, Associated Press Writer
1 hr 1 min ago
 
WASHINGTON – The White House is being forced to acknowledge the wide gap between its once-upbeat predictions about the economy and today's bleak landscape.

The administration's annual midsummer budget update is sure to show higher deficits and unemployment and slower growth than projected in President Barack Obama's budget in February and update in May, and that could complicate his efforts to get his signature health care and global-warming proposals through Congress.

The release of the update — usually scheduled for mid-July — has been put off until the middle of next month, giving rise to speculation the White House is delaying the bad news at least until Congress leaves town Aug. 7 on its summer recess.

The administration is pressing for votes before then on its $1 trillion health care initiative, which lawmakers are arguing over how to finance.

The White House budget director, Peter Orszag, said on Sunday that the administration believes the "chances are high" of getting a health care bill by then. But new analyses showing runaway costs are jeopardizing Senate passage.

"Instead of a dream, this routine report could be a nightmare," Tony Fratto, a former Treasury Department official and White House spokesman under President George W. Bush, said of the delayed budget update. "There are some things that can't be escaped."

The administration earlier this year predicted that unemployment would peak at about 9 percent without a big stimulus package and 8 percent with one. Congress did pass a $787 billion two-year stimulus measure, yet unemployment soared to 9.5 percent in June and appears headed for double digits.

Obama's current forecast anticipates 3.2 percent growth next year, then 4 percent or higher growth from 2011 to 2013. Private forecasts are less optimistic, especially for next year.

Any downward revision in growth or revenue projections would mean that budget deficits would be far higher than the administration is now suggesting.

Setting the stage for bleaker projections, Vice President Joe Biden recently conceded, "We misread how bad the economy was" in January. Obama modified that by suggesting the White House had "incomplete" information.

The new budget update comes as the public and members of Congress are becoming increasingly anxious over Obama's economic policies.

A Washington Post-ABC News survey released Monday shows approval of Obama's handling of health-care reform slipping below 50 percent for the first time. The poll also found support eroding on how Obama is dealing with other issues that are important to Americans right now — the economy, unemployment and the swelling budget deficit.

The Democratic-controlled Congress is reeling from last week's testimony by the head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Elmendorf, that the main health care proposals Congress is considering would not reduce costs — as Obama has insisted — but "significantly expand" the federal financial responsibility for health care.

That gave ammunition to Republican critics of the bill.

Citing the CBO testimony, House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, on Monday accused Democrats of "burying this budget update until after Congress leaves town next month." He called the budget-update postponment "an attempt to hide a record-breaking deficit as Democratic leaders break arms to rush through a government takeover of health care."

White House budget office spokesman Tom Gavin disagreed, noting the delay was "really not something out of the norm" and is typical for a president's first year. Gavin noted that President George W. Bush's budget office did not release the mid-session review in his first year until August 22; in President Bill Clinton's first year, it did not come out until Sept. 1.

Obama also didn't release his full budget until early May — instead of the first week in February, when he put out just an outline

Late last week, Obama vowed anew that "health insurance reform cannot add to our deficit over the next decade and I mean it."

The nation's debt — the total of accumulated annual budget deficits — now stands at $11.6 trillion. In the scheme of things, that's more important than talking about the "deficit," which only looks at a one-year slice of bookkeeping and totally ignores previous indebtedness that is still outstanding.

Even so, the administration has projected that the annual deficit for the current budget year will hit $1.84 trillion, four times the size of last year's deficit of $455 billion. Private forecasters suggest that shortfall may actually top $2 trillion.

Budget updates in previous administrations have given rise to charges that the White House was manipulating its figures to offer too rosy an outlook. Critics will be watching closely when the White House's Office of Management and Budget releases the new numbers.

Still, the update mainly involves plugging in changes in economic indicators, not revising program-by-program details. And indicators such as unemployment and gross domestic product changes have been public knowledge for some time.

Standard & Poor's chief economist David Wyss said part of the problem with the administration's earlier numbers is that "they were just stale," essentially put together by budget number-crunchers at the end of last year, before the sharp drop in the economy.

Wyss, like many other economists, says he expects the recession to last at least until September or October. "We're looking for basically a zero second half (of 2009). And then sluggish recovery," he said.

Even as it prepares to put larger deficit and smaller growth figures into its official forecast, the administration is looking for signs of improvement.

"If we were at the brink of catastrophe at the beginning of the year, we have walked some substantial distance back from the abyss," said Lawrence Summers, Obama's chief economic adviser.
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« Reply #380 on: July 20, 2009, 11:21:54 AM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/07/20/wapo-poll-has-obama-under-water-on-health-care/

WaPo poll has Obama under water on health care
posted at 9:26 am on July 20, 2009 by Ed Morrissey


Pollster Scott Rasmussen first reported that support for Barack Obama and the Democrats in general had begun to seriously slip over a month ago, especially on the economy.  At first, other pollsters didn’t catch the trend, but now almost all surveys show Americans losing confidence in the administration’s efforts on fiscal matters.  Now the bleeding also has begun on health care, as the new Washington Post poll shows:
Heading into a critical period in the debate over health-care reform, public approval of President Obama’s stewardship on the issue has dropped below the 50 percent threshold for the first time, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Obama’s approval ratings on other front-burner issues, such as the economy and the federal budget deficit, have also slipped over the summer, as rising concern about spending and continuing worries about the economy combine to challenge his administration. Barely more than half approve of the way he is handling unemployment, which now tops 10 percent in 15 states and the District.
The president’s overall approval rating remains higher than his marks on particular domestic issues, with 59 percent giving him positive reviews and 37 percent disapproving. But this is the first time in his presidency that Obama has fallen under 60 percent in Post-ABC polling, and the rating is six percentage points lower than it was a month ago. …
Since April, approval of Obama’s handling of health care has dropped from 57 percent to 49 percent, with disapproval rising from 29 percent to 44 percent. Obama still maintains a large advantage over congressional Republicans in terms of public trust on the issue, even as the GOP has closed the gap.
The erosion in Obama’s overall rating on health care is particularly notable among political independents: While positive in their assessments of his handling of health-care reform at the 100-day mark of his presidency (53 percent approved and 30 percent disapproved), independents now are divided at 44 percent positive and 49 percent negative.
Bear in mind that this poll has a rather odd partisan split.  Unlike the CBS poll, which got deliberately tweaked to emphasize Democrats, this poll appears to have a natural sample that overemphasizes independents.  According to the raw data, the poll only has 22% Republicans, 33% Democrats, and 41% independents.  In that case, Republicans are significantly undersampled, and Democrats slightly undersampled.  The independents lean slightly Democratic, which was certainly true in the last election, but the double-digit gap between Democrats and Republicans didn’t exist in the presidential election and certainly doesn’t reflect the electorate — and this sampling bias still can’t mask the decline Obama has seen in his polling.
One of the most interesting questions in which this can be seen is in question 15: Is Obama a new-style Democrat who will be careful with the public’s money, or an old-style tax-and-spend Democrat?  Obama still gets a majority saying new-style Democrat, 52%-43%, but that metric shows a lot of erosion.  Four weeks ago, that was 58%-36%, and four months ago 62%-32%.  Trending on Obamanomics is also heading south.  Confidence in its ability to improve the economy has fallen to 56%-43%, down from 64%-35% in March.
However, as the Post reports, the most remarkable numbers come from the trendline on health care.  In April, Obama had a 57%-29% approval-to-disapproval rating on this issue.  By June, it was 53%-39%, at about the time the CBO began scoring ObamaCare.  Now it’s at 49%-44%, almost within the margin of error, and that was before the CBO rated the House version of ObamaCare as a deficit buster.
Obama will hold another prime-time press conference on Wednesday to try to sell ObamaCare to the nation.  These numbers show why he’s going back to the well, but they also show that he’s rapidly losing credibility.  More jawing at the cameras may not help much.
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« Reply #381 on: July 20, 2009, 11:56:19 AM »

Wow, the parallels here between the CPUSA view and BHO's policies are downright scary:


Change is Here, Change is Coming
   
  Archive   Front Page
Author: Sam Webb, National Chair

First published 07/01/2009 00:54 by {article_topic_desc}

 
(Remarks to National Committee Meeting June 20, 2009)

Download the PDF version.

I make no attempt to be comprehensive in these remarks. My aim is much more modest, as you will see.

Let me begin with a simple observation: If the last 30 years were an era of reaction, then the coming decade could turn into an era of reform, even radical reform. Six months into the Obama presidency, I would say without hesitation that the landscape, atmosphere, conversation, and agenda have strikingly changed compared to the previous eight years.

In this legislative session, we can envision winning a Medicare-like public option and then going further in the years ahead.

We can visualize passing tough regulatory reforms on the financial industry, which brought the economy to ruin.

We can imagine the troops coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan while U.S. representatives participate in a regional process that brings peace and stability to the entire region.

In the current political climate, the expansion of union rights becomes a real possibility.

Much the same can be said about winning a second stimulus bill, and we sure need one, given the still-rising rate, and likely long term persistence, of unemployment.

Isn’t it possible in the Obama era to create millions of green jobs in manufacturing and other sectors of the economy in tandem with an attack on global warming?

Can’t we envision taking new strides in the long journey for racial and gender equality in this new era, marked at its beginning by the election of the first African American to the presidency?

And isn’t the overhaul of the criminal justice and prison system – a system steeped in racism – no longer pie-in-the sky, but something that can be done in the foreseeable future?

All these things are within reach now!

I make this observation because in the ebb and flow of the first six months of the Obama presidency, it is easy to lose sight of the overall dynamics and promise of this new era.

Obama’s role

The new conditions of struggle are possible only – and I want to emphasize only – because we elected President Obama and a Congress with pronounced progressive and center currents.

So far Obama’s presidency has both broken from the right-wing extremist policies of the Bush administration and taken steps domestically and internationally that go in a progressive direction.

At the same time, the administration hasn’t gone as far as we would have liked on a number of issues. On economic matters as well as matters of war and occupation we, along with others, advocated bolder actions.

All and all, however, the new President in deeds and words – and words do matter – has created new democratic space for peace, equality, and economic justice struggles. Whether this continues and takes on a consistently progressive, pro-people, radical reform direction depends in large measure on whether the movement that elected him fills and expands this space.

The struggle going forward, much like the New Deal, will be the outcome of a contested and fluid process involving broad class and social constituencies, taking multiple forms, and working out over time.

It will pivot on the expansion of social and economic rights, the reconfiguring of the functions of government to the advantage of working people, and the embedding of a new economic architecture and developmental path into the nation’s political economy.

No less importantly, it will also entail the recasting of the role of the U.S. in the global community along egalitarian and non-imperial lines.

“What’s all this talk about reform?” you may be asking. “Aren’t we radicals? Isn’t socialism our objective?”

Yes, socialism is our objective and, according to recent public opinion polls, it is increasingly attractive to the American people. But clearly it is not on the immediate political agenda. Neither the current balance of forces nor the thinking of millions of Americans – the starting point in any serious discussion of strategy and tactics – has reached that point.

That socialism isn’t on the people’s action agenda, however, doesn’t mean that we should zip our lips. Quite the contrary! We should talk it up and bring our modern, deeply democratic Twenty-First-Century vision of U.S. socialism into coalitions and mass movements. And with the use of the Internet we can reach an exponentially bigger audience than we could in the past.

As for our radicalism, we should be as radical as reality itself. And reality strongly suggests that our main task is to bring the weight of the working class and other democratic forces to bear on the reform process with the aim of deepening its anti-corporate content and direction.

Current phase of struggle

How do we understand the current phase of struggle? On the one hand, our strategic policy of defeating right wing extremism doesn’t quite fit the new correlation of class forces. On the other hand, neither have we arrived at the anti-monopoly stage of struggle – a stage in which corporate class power is confronted on every level of struggle.

In short, we are in transitional phase that contains elements of both.

In the course of this struggle, political conditions – consciousness, organization, unity, and alliances, including temporary and conditional alliances – will hopefully mature to the point where corporate power emerges as the main hindrance to radical democracy and socialism in the minds of tens of millions.

We can conjure up pure forms of struggle and direct and unencumbered paths to socialism in our impatient minds, but they don’t exist in real life. The struggle for a socialist future is complex, contradictory, roundabout, and goes through different phases/stages of struggle.

Propaganda and agitation by themselves won’t bring people to the threshold of socialism. They need their own experience in struggle for their essential (what is essential is variable and expands over time) needs.

The question

People aren’t sitting on their hands. Anger is out there, hardship is widespread, and the fight back is taking shape.

And yet, it is fair to ask: does the level of mobilization of the diverse coalition that elected President Obama match what is necessary to win his administration’s immediate legislative and political agenda – let alone far-reaching reforms, such as military conversion to peacetime and green production, a shorter work week, a “war” on poverty and inequality, democratic ownership of critical economic sectors, and a retreat from empire?

I think the answer is no – not yet. A favorable alignment of forces exists and mass sentiments favor change. But political majorities and popular sentiments are consequential only to the degree that they are an active and organized element in the political process.

And herein lays the role of the Left. Its main task, as it has been throughout our country’s history, is to persistently and patiently assist in reassembling, activating, uniting, educating, and giving a voice to common demands that unite this broad majority.

The Left's political analysis, its solutions to today's pressing crises, and its vision of radical democracy and socialism, rooted in national realities, will receive a fair and favorable hearing from millions of Americans to the degree that Left activists are active participants in the main labor and people’s organizations struggling for vital reforms today — jobs, health care, retirement security, quality public education, equality and fairness, immigration reform, a foreign policy of peace and cooperation, and a livable environment and sustainable economy.

Those who narrow down the role of the Left to simply being a critic of every move of the Obama administration or insist on Left demands as the only ground for broad unity cut down the Left’s capacity to be a growing part of a much larger coalition that could remake America.

Some on the Left dismiss the new President as simply another centrist or a right social democrat, or an unabashed spokesperson of Wall Street. Still others call him the new face of imperialism.

I find it unwise for many reasons to put President Obama into a tightly sealed political category. We should see the President and his administration as a work in progress in an exceptionally fluid situation.

Let’s remember that he is the leader of a diverse multi-class coalition and a party with different currents. Let’s not forget about the balance of forces in Congress that has to enter his – and hopefully our – political calculus.

Let’s not turn any one issue into a litmus test determining our attitude toward the administration and Congress. Let’s be aware that he has to keep a coalition together for his long-term as well as immediate legislative agenda. Let’s give President Obama some space to change and to respond to pressures from below.

Finally, we should resist pressures from some sections of the Left, and a few in our Party, to define the current struggle as one that arrays the people against President Obama. That’s not Marxism; it’s plain stupid.

The American people and their main mass organizations have good reason to be angry and frustrated, but few embrace an approach that turns the Obama administration into the main roadblock to social progress.

That we have spurned such an approach too is to our credit. (Read the outstanding speech of AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka to the national convention of CBTU, in which he speaks of labor’s positive view of the new administration and the new openings for class and democratic struggles that now exist.)

We can help re-bend the arc of history in the direction of justice, equality, and peace. But only if we, and millions like us, pursue a sound strategy that unifies broad sections of the American people and looks for alliances no matter how temporary and conditional. Majorities make history, not militant minorities.

President Obama and progressive Congresspeople can’t be the only change agents and will be change agents only up to a point.

Our responsibility is to support them, prod them, and constructively take issue with them when we have differing views.

But more importantly – and this is the heart of the matter – we have to reach, activate, unite, educate, and turn millions of Americans into “change agents” who can make the political difference in upcoming struggles.

Our parents and grandparents were such bottom-up change agents in the Depression years. Unhappy with the pace and substance of change, they sat down in plants and in the fields, marched for veteran benefits, petitioned local relief agencies, lobbied for a social safety net, established unemployed groups, organized industrial workers into the CIO, opposed discrimination and racism, turned multi-racial unity into an organizing principle, and, we should note, re-elected Roosevelt and a New Deal Congress in a landslide in the 1936 elections.

The American people today would do well to follow their example.

Likewise, communists of our generation should draw from the example of our Depression-era comrades. Because they were guided by a sound strategy that accented struggles for economic and social reforms and because they employed flexible tactics, and because they didn’t conflate their mood with the mass mood, they were a vital part of this process too.

Struggle for health care reform

The mobilization that the labor movement and others carried out tirelessly last year in the elections is exactly what is needed now. How else can health care for all, the Employee Free Choice Act, economic relief, comprehensive immigration reform, a transfer of funds from military spending to massive green job creation, and a tax policy that weighs heavily the wealthiest families and corporations be won?

The Right Wing, the American Medical Association, the pharmaceutical and insurance companies have drawn a line in the sand on health care. They hope to defeat any legislation in the near term and in doing so to fatally weaken the administration’s legislative program in the longer term, much like they did in the Clinton years.

The core of this struggle, whether we like it or not, turns on the inclusion of a public option in a health care bill. President Obama reaffirmed his support for such an option and the Congressional Progressive Caucus recently expressed its full support for a public option that is government run, covers everyone, and goes into effect right away.

Meanwhile, Republicans, with help from some Democrats, are ganging up against any public option, while at the same time introducing measures to weaken health care reform and confuse the American people.

True to form, the right-wing media is the megaphone of this effort.

Mass mobilization is needed

Over the summer this fight will be waged like an election campaign by the labor movement and progressive forces. Across the country activists will be asked to knock on doors and make phone calls to build a massive groundswell for health care reform.

This campaign provides a great opening to strengthen our clubs and build the broader movement. Some of our clubs are in the thick of the fight; some are looking for ways to become engaged.

Each district and club should discuss how to carry this fight forward in a way that results in new friends, new readers of the People’s World, and new members of the Party and Young Communist League. A few ideas:
• speak to neighbors and friends about their health care stories and suggest what they can do.
• share coverage of the Peoples World in either its print or electronic form and ask if they would like the paper every week in one or another form.
• prepare a special agenda for your club meeting with invited guests.
• help build participation in rallies and events of unions and other organizations.
• organize speak-outs and town hall meetings with others.
• collect signatures on petitions, make phone calls, employ the internet, and organize visits to your elected officials.

While we support HR 676 as the most advanced demand in the current debate, it should not be counterpoised to a Medicare-like public option. In the single payer movement and the campaign for a public option, our role isn’t to sharpen differences, but rather to build maximum unity against the health care industrial complex and its supporters (Democratic as well as Republican) in Congress and for meaningful health care reform.

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« Reply #382 on: July 20, 2009, 11:56:39 AM »

Economic crisis over

Another observation that I want to make is to beware of talk of better economic times around the corner. We may be over the worst of it; we may have avoided a 1930s-type depression; but it’s quite another thing to suggest that we are on the road to recovery.

Yes, there have been some indicators that show improvement in the economy; but we shouldn’t read too much into them (as the business press does).

After all, there are more signs that suggest that we haven’t reached bottom yet, that the recovery is still not in sight; and that more government intervention is necessary.

Unemployment hasn’t peaked, even though the official rate is nearly ten per cent. Poverty is growing, and among the long-term poor, the crisis is dire. Manufacturing is hemorrhaging jobs – none more so than the auto industry. Banks, as quiet as it is kept, hold mountains of toxic assets. Debt is nearly off the charts. Credit markets are far from fluid. Business investment is off. And housing prices fall and foreclosures rise.

On a global level, signs of renewed economic activity are few. Maybe the best we can say is that the decline of the economy is slowing down, thanks to massive government intervention, but hasn’t bottomed out.

If this is so then three questions follow: first, when will the economy hit bottom? Second, when will the economy begin a vigorous and sustained renewal? Third, is the economic crisis reconfiguring the geography of economic power on a global level?

On these questions there is no consensus.

Some say that the economy will bottom out soon to be followed by a recovery early next year. Other economists are more pessimistic. Citing the enormous piling up of debt over the past 20 years, overcrowded world commodity markets, technological displacement, capital flight, downward pressures on profitability, and so forth, they predict little economic bounce for some time to come.

Months ago it was said that the downturn could be “L-shaped” rather than “V-shaped.” In other words, the crisis begins with a steep decline in economic activity followed by long period of economic stagnation.

I suspect that this is what will happen, thus making sustained government and people’s intervention an imperative. In my view this should take at least three forms:

First, more economic stimulus: the economy is underperforming and nearly 30 million workers are unemployed or underemployed and that number hasn’t peaked yet.

Second, restructuring is imperative. The old economic model that rested on bubble economics, cheap labor, financial manipulation and speculation, deregulation, capital outsourcing, environmental degradation, and so forth, has to be replaced by a new model that expands and restructures the productive base and is “people and nature” friendly.

Finally, the economy has to be democratized. The wizards of Wall Street and inside the Beltway failed miserably, in fact, so miserably those economic decisions that affect the welfare of millions shouldn’t rest in their hands.

The resistance to such measures will be massive. It will take a labor-led coalition far bigger than what exists now to drive the process.

Furthermore, even in the event that such a coalition materializes and pushes through such measures, the organically embedded economic contradictions and crisis tendencies of capitalism will erupt in one form or another. There is no such thing as a crisis-free capitalist developmental model. Sooner or later, it exhausts its potential and gives way to sharp and ultimately irresolvable contradictions located at every level of the capitalist economy.

In the meantime, the struggle for immediate public sector jobs and relief should command our attention. We, along with the labor movement, the nationally and racially oppressed, women, youth and others, have to help the unemployed find their voice and forms to express their demands and organize their struggle.

In addition to articulating class wide demands, we have to argue for special measures that address the catastrophic situation in the African American, Latino, Asian American, American Indian, immigrant, and other minority communities. The lack of jobs is at the heart of this dire situation, but it also includes malnutrition and hunger, poor health care, shabby housing, high dropout rates, homelessness, racial profiling, police brutality, criminalization, and so on.

The job crisis requires special discussion and initiatives with our allies. They should be concrete and realistic.

As for the impact of the current crisis of capitalism on the geographical distribution of economic power on a global level, it is enormous and consequential. While the U.S. and European market economies report negative growth rates, the economies of the emerging giants – China, India, and Brazil – are expanding this year and this trend will continue at a faster rate next year. If this trend continues – and there is no reason to think that it won’t – the implications and consequences will be profound and long lasting.

An end to violence

Still another observation that I would like to make is this: against the background of the bloodiest century in human history and this decade of war, genocide, boycotts, and threats and counter threats, thanks in large measure to the Bush administration and our own imperialism, humanity is seeking a new world order in which peace and justice are its organizing principles.

The vast majority of people desire the easing of tensions, an end to violence, and the normalization of relations between states. They want dialogue and negotiation, not war and threats. And they hope that the U.S. government will choose a constructive role in world affairs.

President Obama has captured this sentiment well in several speeches before vast audiences. His emphasis on human solidarity, diplomacy, cooperation, and peaceful settlement of outstanding issues is striking an emotional chord worldwide. In nearly every region of the world, the President has expressed a readiness to engage with countries that during the Bush years were considered mortal enemies – Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, and others. In Latin America, he indicated that the administration would like to put relations between our government and others in the region on a different footing. In a historic speech in Prague, he voiced his desire to reduce and ultimately abolish nuclear weapons. Earlier this month, in an unprecedented address in Cairo he indicated his eagerness to reset relations with the Muslim world, sit down with the Iranian government, and press for a two state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

And only this week, he has been circumspect with regard to the massive social explosion in Iran over the rigged election and right-wing theocratic rule. He has quietly made his allegiances clear, but not in a way that would play in to the hands of the ruling reactionary regime.

While the administration has yet to fully match its words with practical deeds, what it has said and done so far constitutes a qualitative turn compared to the previous administration.

Nevertheless, more needs doing before we are on a distinctly new course.

In Afghanistan and North Korea, a negotiated solution to both conflicts that includes increased economic and humanitarian aid is urgently needed. Military occupation and troop buildup in Afghanistan and the imposition of sanctions against North Korea are extremely dangerous and will postpone any resolution of those crises.

To go further, if one or the other (or both) metastasizes into a bigger conflict, it could be the undoing of this administration. Don’t get me wrong: terrorist activities and nuclear proliferation are both enormous dangers, but the solutions to these have to be sought along other lines and involve regional and international players.

In Iraq, the U.S. withdrawal plan is proceeding, with the first stage being withdrawal from Iraqi cities by July. President Obama has reiterated his intention to stick with the pullout deadlines. Even with the caveats about what U.S. forces might remain, this is a major victory for the peace movement. The struggle over what forces remain will depend in large part on the Iraqi people's democratic and progressive forces, as well as our own peace movement.

In the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Netanyahu, in an about-face, said he could live with a two-state solution. And even with all the caveats and demagogy surrounding the “concession,” I believe that it signifies recognition, albeit forced, on Likud’s part that public opinion is shifting against them in Israel, Europe, and the U.S.

In this country the peace movement has to note particularly the changing dynamics in U.S. opinion, including in the White House and Congress, including Jewish members of Congress. Netanyahu got a different reaction than he expected when he met with Congressional leaders when he was in Washington recently. While he wanted to focus on Iran, they pressed him on the settlements. And, that pressure will only grow if the new Israeli government continues in its actions to pursue its present policy.

As far as Cuba is concerned, we are at a crucial moment in U.S.-Cuba relations. The Obama administration has indicated its readiness to reset relations with Cuba and has taken some very modest steps in words and deeds in that direction. But obviously much more needs to be done to end all travel restrictions, lift the blockade, resume trade, and free the Cuban 5, who languish in maximum security prisons. That said, the good news is that diverse groups have an interest in normalizing the relations between our two countries, including in the Congress.

Finally, we are in a moment when our ability to change our foreign policy will bear directly on our capacity to address economic and social problems at home. Currently, 53 percent of the discretionary spending of the federal budget goes to the military.

Thus, ending wars, closing military bases, and cutting military spending coupled with diplomacy, cooperation, and respect for international law and national sovereignty is good economic as well as good foreign policy.

But there is a hitch. Both Republicans and Democrats are upset at the minimal steps the administration is proposing to cut specific “unnecessary” or useless weapons systems.

So we have a struggle on our hands. And it will be fought out in “the court of public opinion,” at the ballot box, and in the economic trenches.

So far the peace movement has an array of plans to challenge the military appropriations process, including town hall Congressional meetings on foreign policy during the August recess. We should participate and support them.

Bottom line: the country and the Obama administration need a more vocal peace movement in order to reconfigure our role in world affairs and address the economic crisis.

Mentality of marginalization

Another observation that I want to make is that because of McCarthyism, the Cold War, and the long economic expansion following WW II, the Left has been on the edges of politics for more than a half century. During this time, our ability to impact on broader political processes in the country has been narrowly circumscribed – nothing like the 1930s, nothing like the Left in many other countries.

While we stubbornly fought the good fight and made undeniable contributions over the past half-century, we were not a major player; we didn’t set the agenda or frame the debate; we didn’t determine the political direction of the country; we were not a decider.

But this could change. Because of the new political, economic and ideological landscape, the Left has an opportunity to step from the political periphery into the mainstream of U.S. politics. It has a chance to become a player of consequence; a player whose voice is seriously considered in the debates bearing on the future of the country; a player that is able to mobilize and influence the thinking and actions of millions.

Whether we do depends on many factors, one of which is our ability to shake off a “mentality of marginalization” that has become embedded in the Left’s political culture over the last half of the Twentieth Century.

How does this mentality express itself? In a number of ways – in spending too much time agitating the choir; in dismissing new political openings that if taken advantage of could create the conditions for mass struggle; in thinking that partial reforms are at loggerheads with radical reforms; in seeing the glass as always half empty; in conflating our outlook with the outlook of millions; in turning the danger of cooptation into a rationale to keep a distance from reform struggles; in enclosing ourselves in narrow Left forms; and in damning victories with faint praise.

In this peculiar mindset, politics has few complexities. Change is driven only from the ground up. Winning broad majorities is not essential. There are no stages of struggle, no social forces that possess strategic social power, and no divisions worth noting. Finally, alliances with unstable allies and distinctions between the Democratic and Republican parties are either of little consequence or disdainfully dismissed.

Unless the Left – and I include communists – sheds this mentality, it will miss a unique opportunity to grow and leave a distinct imprint on our country’s direction.

A final observation before closing is that I wholeheartedly welcome the proposals to reconfigure our work that you received and that we are going to discuss later today.

I don’t have any of the reservations about this that some have. The upside of this new means of communication, education, organization, and fund raising is that it is nearly limitless.

I think it is going to make a huge difference in our ability to reach, influence, and interact with a mass audience – something that we haven’t ever been able to do in a systematic way so far.

Every aspect of our work will experience new potentials, including grassroots organizing and club building.

I hope we enthusiastically adopt these proposals. Assuming for the moment that we do, it is fair to say that we will have our work cut out for us. But as is often said, we have a world to win! Thank you.

http://www.cpusa.org/article/articleview/1054/1/27/
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ccp
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« Reply #383 on: July 20, 2009, 02:07:38 PM »

I can't wait till he crashes in the polls.
I can't wait to see that strut and pompous grin wane.
I can't wait to see the crats go after Cheney, the CIA.
I do hope we get a huge repudiation of their socialistic idealogy.
I can only hope.

That said the repubs still need better and clearer application of conservative values to todays problems in my view.
 
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #384 on: July 21, 2009, 08:58:18 AM »

July 21, 2009
Surprise! Gitmo report delayed

There will be no report from either of the two task forces set up by the Administration to figure out what to do about the detention center at Guantanamo as well as how to proceed with the detainees there.

The deadline, according to Newsweek's Michael Isikoff's source has slipped "a few months."

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The postponement of the two reports is sure to raise fresh questions about whether Obama will be able to shut down Guantánamo by next January as he pledged immediately after taking office. While publicly saying they remain committed to next January's deadline, officials privately acknowledge that a host of political and diplomatic problems-including the reluctance of foreign countries to accept detainees and fierce opposition from members of Congress to moving them to the United States-has made closing the facility far more daunting than they had anticipated.

Three administration officials familiar with the process said the detention task force, which is jointly run by aides to Attorney General Eric Holder and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, did agree that the Obama administration should continue to claim the right to hold some Guantánamo inmates indefinitely as "combatants" under the "laws of war,"  without charging them either in criminal courts or in military commissions. That proposal is sure to prove controversial among human-rights groups, which say any such "indefinite detention" violates civil liberties and is virtually indistinguishable from legal claims made by President Bush.   

But the officials say that, as much as the concept of indefinite detention is distasteful to the president and his legal advisers, there is simply no alternative for dealing with potentially dozens of detainees whom the administration doesn't want to release because they are thought to be too dangerous, but can't bring to trial for lack of evidence.
This is what happens when you play politics with national security. Obama wanted to score brownie points with the far left by announcing on his second day in office that Gitmo would be closed and detainees get trials. Non-partisan security people told him he couldn't do it, that letting some of those terrorists go would be tantamount to inviting an attack.

Now the president is stuck in a morass of his own making. The danger now is that he'll think more of honoring his promise to his liberal friends rather than thinking of the security of the United States and her people.

And Obama, always with one eye on the polls, may conclude the political fallout just isn't worth it and do something really stupid in order to please his base.


Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/07/surprise_gitmo_report_delayed.html at July 21, 2009 - 09:54:57 AM EDT
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #385 on: July 21, 2009, 10:37:04 AM »

By the way, speaking of Cheney CCP, remember how the Dems and the Pravdas went after him for "secret meetings with Big Oil"?

Where are they now that Big Pharma and His Glibness are meeting in private to discuss the health care plan?
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #386 on: July 21, 2009, 10:41:35 AM »

Where are they now that Big Pharma and His Glibness are meeting in private to discuss the health care plan?

& Chrysler & GM & who knows what else?
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #387 on: July 22, 2009, 09:08:27 AM »

If Bush did this the press and the left--often one in the same--would be excoriating him.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2009/07/22/report_obama_ordered_cbo_chief_to_wh.html
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« Reply #388 on: July 23, 2009, 05:34:17 PM »

Isn't there a separation of powers issue here too?
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #389 on: July 23, 2009, 06:13:21 PM »

Big time, though I expect the White House would say they were merely consulting or somesuch.
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« Reply #390 on: July 24, 2009, 02:23:31 AM »

Open Letter to President Obama on Healthcare and the Economy


Dear Mr. President,

Wednesday evening we heard you address the nation on health care and the economy. I was hoping to hear some tough answers to tough questions. Instead we were treated to one hour of tap dancing on eggshells where it seemed your primary intent was not to break any eggs.

You spoke of the need for sacrifices but failed to mention any. You said Medicare benefits would not be reduced and everyone would be covered.

Mr. President where are the sacrifices? By who? (sic)

The press seemed concerned with a fear of rationed health care. Some republicans have raised the issue as well.

Mr. President I am concerned there will be no rationing of health care. It is axiomatic that there is unlimited demand for free services.

Here are some tougher questions I am sure everyone would like to know.



Will the plan cover a transplant procedure with a $50,000 cost for someone who is 80 years old with a life expectancy of two years? One year? Who decides? Or is everything free for everyone regardless of the odds of success?

Will the plan cover fertility treatments? Abortion?
Will the plan address issues that arose in the Terri Schiavo case?
To what extent must doctors provide generics instead of prescription drugs?


Mr. President, is health care free or subsidized for illegal aliens? Aren't free services one of the primary reasons we have such a problem in the first place?

Mr. President, unless something is done to rein in costs taxpayers will be footing the bill for a lot of things they shouldn't. In every country that has a single payer system, there is some degree of rationing.

Somehow you have us believe benefits will not be reduced, everything will be covered for everyone, there will be no rationing and somehow health care will cost less because of reduced paperwork. Mr. President, no one believes that, not even the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Mr. President, to prevent costs from spiraling out of control rationing is mandatory. Unfortunately, you do not have the courage to admit it. Yet until you do, it can't happen.

Mr. President, a heart operation in the US might cost $100,000 whereas the same operation in India, in a world class hospital might cost $20,000. Will we fly people to India for non-emergency medical operations if they save taxpayer money? If not, why not? Shouldn't the primary concern be getting the most benefits for the least cost?

Mr. President, you noted that the AARP and doctor's groups were in favor of your plan. You failed to mention the $245 billion "sweetener" it took to get them to do so. Moreover, you did not even count that $245 billion while calling your plan "budget neutral".

Mr. President, with numerous states blowing up over the issue, it should be clear the US cannot afford the defined benefit programs promised government workers. Starting with Congress, what is your proposal pension reform?

Similarly, when does Congress share the pain of this recession?

Mr. President, you called the cancellation of additional F-22 planes a victory. This strikes me as odd given the Pentagon does not even want more of them. Why is canceling a military program that the military does not want such a big victory?

Mr. President, the savings on the F-22 program is $2 billion. The 2010 Pentagon budget is $534 billion, a $21 billion, four percent increase over 2009. Total defense spending is $780 billion. Mr. President, is this sustainable?

Mr. President, history is replete with examples of great nations spending themselves into oblivion attempting to maintain their empires. It should be crystal clear the US can no longer afford to be the world's policeman. So, Mr. President, when will you start bringing the troops home from Europe, Japan, and the Mid-East?

Mr. President, I did not vote for you nor did I vote for Senator McCain. I voted for Ron Paul. However, I did expect and frequently said that I expected you to get some things correct.

Instead, I see you carrying out the same failed stimulus and bailout plans of President Bush. You promised transparency on spending and did not deliver.

The proposal to Audit The Fed is languishing in Congress even though it has overwhelming support of both Congress and the public. You broke a promise to release details of military torture. Where are significant charges against anyone? I was positive you would handle the torture issue correctly, but I was wrong.

Mr. President, you placed your faith in the same set of folks at the Fed and Treasury as President Bush, in spite of the fact they all failed to see this coming.

Mr. President it frequently appears as if Goldman Sachs is running your administration just as it ran the last.

Mr. President, other than a sketchy health care plane with no details and no cost constraints, exactly what change have you delivered?

Thank you Mr. President, now can we have some answers please?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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G M
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« Reply #391 on: July 24, 2009, 08:51:30 AM »

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

SS Obamatanic meets the icy edge of reality.
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ccp
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« Reply #392 on: July 24, 2009, 01:28:23 PM »

Kind of interesting isn't it that BO's comments over the Gates Crowley flap stirred up the emotions of so many.
It was OK for him to circumvent the globe insulting the United States and the previous President without hardly a peep except from rightest radio and Fox. 

But offend a policeman and suddenly we have a whole new ballgame.

Here we go again with the races taking sides like they did with OJ.


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G M
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« Reply #393 on: July 24, 2009, 01:49:42 PM »

Obama's mask slipped, and America caught a glimpse of what was underneath.
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« Reply #394 on: July 24, 2009, 04:59:00 PM »

Who'da thunk that someone that was a disciple of Rev. Wright and Weatherman Ayers would be a cop bashing, race baiter? Gee, I never saw this coming.  rolleyes
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #395 on: July 24, 2009, 05:53:49 PM »

Also part the mix I think is that inside he feels the insecurity of the oreo.
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« Reply #396 on: July 25, 2009, 09:18:33 AM »

July 25, 2009
Did Obama have a personal vendetta against Cambridge cops?

Newsmax may have stumbled upon the real reason President Barack Hussein Obama (D) was so critical of the performance of the Cambridge police. 

Quote
One reason Barack Obama may have been so critical of the Cambridge Police Department is that he might have a grudge against the law enforcement agency.

Obama, who attended Harvard Law School from 1988 to 1991, lived in Cambridge and apparently didn't like the fact he was frequently hit with parking tickets.

In all, Obama received 17 tickets for parking violations, and he did not pay 15 of them until a local newspaper exposed him as a scofflaw.

(snip)

Obama received 17 parking tickets in Cambridge between 1988 and 1991, mostly for parking in a bus stop, parking without a resident permit and failing to pay the meter, records from the Cambridge Traffic, Parking and Transportation office show.

Racial profiling by ticketing cars parked in the wrong place and failure to pay a meter. Ask Professor Gates about this.
 
But never fear.  Our president is scofflaw no longer.  More than 17 years after receiving his tickets, and being dunned for them

Quote
The Illinois senator shelled out $375 in January - two weeks before he officially launched his presidential campaign - to finally pay for 15 outstanding parking tickets and their associated late fees.

Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the Obama campaign, dismissed the tickets as not relevant. (snip)"He didn't owe that much and what he did owe, he paid," Psaki said on Wednesday. "Many people have parking tickets and late fees. All the parking tickets and late fees were paid in full."

Oh, Obama didn't owe that much so he could at his convenience and only when he ran for public office.

Definitely a case of racial profiling.  Not!

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/07/did_obama_have_a_personal_vend_1.html at July 25, 2009 - 10:16:19 AM EDT
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« Reply #397 on: July 25, 2009, 10:50:51 AM »

July 24, 2009, 0:30 p.m.

Promoting Racial Paranoia
In his comments Wednesday, Obama recycled long-discredited anti-cop fictions.

By Heather Mac Donald

Henry Louis Gates Jr. has threatened to make a documentary on “racial profiling” in the wake of his highly publicized arrest for disorderly conduct on July 16. It’s going to be a very long film, given the Harvard professor’s exceedingly expansive definition of what counts as biased policing. Unfortunately, Pres. Barack Obama’s take on police work is no more reality-based than Gates’s. Obama’s ill-considered lecture on the Gates arrest controversy during his Wednesday prime-time press conference was replete with ACLU misinformation about policing, misinformation that has been repeatedly refuted by the federal government itself.

But whereas Gates’s rantings about police bias might ultimately be dismissed as standard ivory-tower posturing, Obama has now put the presidential imprimatur on a set of untruths that will only fuel disrespect for the law and impede the police in their efforts to protect inner-city residents from crime. His belated recognition Thursday night that the arresting officer in the Cambridge incident was performing his duty hardly undoes the damage from his previous distortions.

Let’s acknowledge up front that Gates endured a bizarre and humiliating experience. Being escorted out of your home in handcuffs for what you perceive as no offense at all would feel like a grotesque invasion of privacy, due process, and property rights. Gates’s anger is therefore understandable. But just because an incident is — from one’s subjective perspective — unjustified does not make it racial. Gates was almost certainly not arrested because he was black, but quite possibly because he committed “contempt of cop,” an extralegal offense that can greatly affect the outcome of officer-civilian interactions.

Gates, however, sees race and racism in every aspect of this unfortunate episode, thus exemplifying the racial paranoia that can make police work so difficult. He accuses the witness who called in a possible burglary incident of “racial profiling” for merely describing what she saw. Here, in Gates’s own words, is what the caller observed: Gates and his “regular driver” from his “regular car service” were both on his front porch, “fiddl[ing] with the door.” (The New York Times recasts this delicious nugget from Gates’s limousine-liberal lifestyle as an interaction with a mere “taxi driver.”) Next, says Gates, “[m]y driver hit the door [which was jammed] with his shoulder and the door popped open.”

The caller’s 911 report, according to Gates, “said that that two big black men were trying to break in with backpacks on.” Such a description, provided undoubtedly under stress, is accurate enough under the circumstances. “My driver,” acknowledges Gates, “is a large black man.” But Gates calls it “the worst racial profiling I’ve ever heard of in my life.” Why? Simply because Gates himself is not “big.” But a rough description of individuals engaged in what to most observers would appear to be suspicious behavior, no matter the race of the individuals, is not “racial profiling,” it is simply ordinary crime reporting. Gates undoubtedly means to imply that the 911 caller, in her timorous white racism, sees every black man as “big,” but it is he who is engaged in racial stereotyping, not her.

Gates’s interpretation of the actions of the officer who answered the 911 call is just as narcissistic and deluded. As soon as the officer asked Gates to step onto the porch to speak with him, Gates started a long tirade against the officer’s racism, according to the police report. Nothing provides stronger corroboration of this allegation in the report than Gates’s own racially fevered account of the episode. There was nothing  inappropriate, much less racist, in the officer’s request.

Confronting unknown suspects in dwellings and cars, where the officer cannot see the suspect’s full environment or hands, is the most dangerous activity that cops undertake. Six officers have been seriously wounded, two fatally, by suspects holed up in houses in Oakland and Jersey City this year; in 2007, an NYPD officer was shot dead by three thugs during a car stop. In the Cambridge burglary investigation, the officer was working by himself, without back-up. He had no idea whether he was confronting two armed suspects.

But Gates sees himself as the victim of police bias from the beginning of the interaction through its end. He shoehorns the incident into the standard racial-profiling narrative that the ACLU has honed to dishonest perfection over the years, in which the police allegedly grab any black man they can get their hands on just to make an arrest: “You can’t just presume I’m guilty and arrest me. . . . He just presumed that I was guilty and he presumed that I was guilty because I was black. There was no doubt about that. . . . I would hope that the police wouldn’t arrest the first black man that they saw.”


Gates seems not to understand that he was arrested for disorderly conduct, not for burglary. He was not “the first black man that [the officers] saw” committing what they viewed as disorderly conduct; he was the only man they saw committing disorderly conduct. If arresting a man for an offense committed in the officer’s presence constitutes “racial profiling,” then the most legally unimpeachable aspect of police work has been discredited.

It is certainly possible to debate whether Gates’s escalating verbal abuse of the investigating officer and refusal to cooperate with his requests rose to the level of criminal conduct. Most certainly, it lay within Sgt. James Crowley’s discretion not to make the arrest —  and in retrospect, it would have been preferable if he had thanked Gates for his cooperation and walked away from the provocation. I would guess that Sergeant Crowley simply snapped under Gates’s taunts and chose to teach him a lesson for the informal offense of contempt of cop — an understandable, if less than ideal, reaction, but not a racist one. Crowley, even by Gates’s account, acted politely throughout the interaction.

Gates’s post-incident rantings were bad enough before President Obama made this otherwise trivial incident a matter of presidential attention. Obama does not seem to understand the power of his office. If he is going to weigh in on something as crucial to the health of cities as policing, he had better get his facts straight. But everything that he said about the Cambridge confrontation was untrue. He presents a highly telescoped version of the events that echoes Gates’s implication that he was arrested on the burglary charge: “The Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home,” Obama intoned. But Gates was arrested for disorderly conduct; his being in his own home is irrelevant.

Obama then decided he was going to give us a history lesson: “What I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That’s just a fact.”

This statement has many possible meanings, all of them untrue.

The ACLU and other anti-police activists have alleged for years that blacks are the victims of disproportionate and unjustified traffic stops, a charge that has become received wisdom among large swathes of the population. It happens to be contradicted by drivers themselves. The Bureau of Justice Statistics regularly polls tens of thousands of civilians about their contacts with the police. Virtually identical proportions of white, black, and Hispanic drivers — 9 percent — report being stopped by the police, though in 2005, the self-reported black stop rate — 8.1 percent — was nearly a percentage point lower than the self-reported white stop rate (8.9 percent). The stop rate for blacks is lower during the day, when officers can more readily see a driver’s race.

As for urban policing — where the police have victim identifications and contextual and behavioral cues to work with — blacks are stopped more, but only in comparison with their proportion of the entire population. Measured against their crime rate, they are understopped. New York City is perfectly typical of the black police-stop and crime rates. In the first three months of 2009, 52 percent of all people stopped for questioning by the police in New York City were black, though blacks are just 24 percent of the population. But according to the victims of and witnesses to crime, blacks commit about 68 percent of all violent crime in the city. Blacks commit 82 percent of all shootings and 72 percent of all robberies, whereas whites, who make up 35 percent of the city's population, commit about 5 percent of all violent crimes, 1 percent of shootings, and about 4 percent of robberies.

These figures are not police-generated; they come from the overwhelmingly minority victims of crime in their reports to the police. Such crime reports mean that when the police respond to community demands for protection against crime, information-based police deployment will send officers to minority neighborhoods where crime is highest. When the police respond to a call about a shooting, they will almost never be told that the shooter was white, and thus will not be searching for a white suspect.


National crime patterns are the same. Black males between the ages of 18 and 24 commit homicide at ten times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined. Such vastly disproportionate crime rates must lead, if the police are going after crime in a color-blind fashion, to disproportionate stop and arrest rates. To criticize the police for crime-determined enforcement activity is to blame the messenger.

Obama has no one around him who could disabuse him of his ignorance about the police. Attorney General Eric Holder enthusiastically participated in the reign of unjustified federal consent decrees that the Justice Department slapped on police departments during the Clinton administration. Worrisomely, Obama gestures towards those days when he says that “we’re working with local law enforcement to improve policing techniques so that we’re eliminating potential bias,” as if Justice Department lawyers know a thing about “policing techniques.”

Obama’s prime-time recycling of advocate-generated myths about policing will only make inner-city neighborhoods more dangerous for their many law-abiding residents. No one benefits more from proactive policing than the poor, who have as much of a right to public safety as Cambridge residents. Officer Crowley was only doing his job, without any manifestation of racial bias. Now, if an officer investigates a 911 call in good faith, who knows if the president will say he acted “stupidly?” Why bother putting your reputation on the line? The blow to police morale from Obama’s gratuitous remarks is enormous.

Worse, Obama has only increased the racial paranoia that Gates put so vividly on display. Officers of all races say that the first thing out of a black driver’s mouth during a traffic stop for speeding or running a red light is often: “You only stopped me because I’m black,” a reaction ginned up by decades of anti-cop agitating and now bolstered by Obama’s recycled fictions. The advocate-fueled resentment of the police in inner-city neighborhoods makes crime fighting more difficult and more dangerous. Obama’s hope for reviving urban economies rests on a crucial precondition: that cities stay safe. He has just put that precondition in jeopardy. 

— Heather Mac Donald is a contributing editor at City Journal and the author of Are Cops Racist?
National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YTU4MGE4MDkwYzhiYjY4OTk2OWRlZjcyMWY0MjFkNmE=
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #398 on: July 25, 2009, 11:05:44 AM »

When I was in my early 20s, I was the only white guy in a 9 man band.  We had three percussion players and did originals, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, and the Funkadelics and played gigs where I was the only white person in the room.  Also during this era I shared an apartment with a friend who was black.  All this was in Philadelphia.

In this context, even though white, I experienced racially tinged stops on several occasions.  For example, calm driving, calm behavior when stopped, yet dragged out of the car and searched.  It REALLY does happen and it is a bummer.
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G M
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« Reply #399 on: July 25, 2009, 11:07:26 AM »

Without being too much of a smartass, how long ago was your 20's?
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