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The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness
Topic: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness (Read 357568 times)
Everyone on the Same Page, Chicago Style
Reply #550 on:
May 30, 2010, 03:44:45 PM »
White House-Clinton-Sestak deal: now everyone is lying
May 30, 2:53 PM · Anthony G. Martin - Conservative Examiner
The latest revelations on the White House-Bill Clinton-Joe Sestak bribery case make it clear that the official explanation fails to pass 'the smell test' of authenticity.
Upon a close examination of the 'official version' of the story--on which all of the parties involved suddenly agree after months of stonewalling--the scenario is rife with the rank stench of dirty backroom deals.
Apparently now that the main players in the scandal have gotten their heads and stories together, everyone is now lying.
Everyone is now on the same page. The White House, Bill Clinton, and Joe Sestak all now state that at the bidding of Rahm Emanuel, Bill Clinton approached Congressman Joe Sestak and offered him an unpaid position as an adviser in the Obama Administration, if he would agree to drop out of the U.S. Senate race against Arlen Specter.
This would allow Sestak to keep his seat as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
And it is at precisely this point that something smells fishy.
Exactly how does an 'offer' of an unpaid position in the Obama Administration entice a politician to drop a bid for the U.S. Senate in a year in which the incumbent, Arlen Specter, had all of the appeal of a mangy, flea-infested dog?
Yet the White House, Bill Clinton, and Joe Sestak would have the public believe that this is all that was offered to entice the Congressman away from challenging Specter.
Even the hardened Chicago mobster himself, Rahm 'Dead Fish' Emanuel, knows that in this game 'you gotta come up with somethin' bettah than dat.' Politics is a game of hardball. And when you play with the big guys you don't deal with measly 'unpaid positions.'
Such a suggestion is laughable, and the mere fact that these buffoons expect the public to buy it is hilarious. Everyone knows that these seasoned hardball goons offered substantially more than they are saying.
And, at the very least, Joe Sestak is lying and the voters in Pennsylvania should hold him accountable.
At the very worst, a felony was committed although the offer was for an 'unpaid position.'
The following is the exact wording of the U.S. Code concerning these matters:
Crimes and Criminal Procedure - 18 USC Section 600
Sec. 600. Promise of employment or other benefit for political
Whoever, directly or indirectly, promises any employment,
position, compensation, contract, appointment, or other benefit,
provided for or made possible in whole or in part by any Act of
Congress, or any special consideration in obtaining any such
benefit, to any person as consideration, favor, or reward for any
political activity or for the support of or opposition to any
candidate or any political party in connection with any general or
special election to any political office, or in connection with any
primary election or political convention or caucus held to select
candidates for any political office, shall be fined under this
title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
1994 - Pub. L. 103-322 substituted "fined under this title" for
"fined not more than $10,000".
1976 - Pub. L. 94-453 substituted $10,000 for $1,000 maximum
1972 - Pub. L. 92-225 struck out "work," after "position,",
inserted "contract, appointment," after "compensation," and "or any
special consideration in obtaining any such benefit," after "Act of
Congress,", and substituted "in connection with any general or
special election to any political office, or in connection with any
primary election or political convention or caucus held to select
candidates for any political office" for "in any election".
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1972 AMENDMENT
Amendment by Pub. L. 92-225 effective Dec. 31, 1971, or sixty
days after date of enactment [Feb. 7, 1972], whichever is later,
see section 408 of Pub. L. 92-225, set out as an Effective Date
note under section 431 of Title 2, The Congress.
18 U.S.C. § 210 : US Code - Section 210: Offer to procure appointive public office
Whoever pays or offers or promises any money or thing of value,
to any person, firm, or corporation in consideration of the use or
promise to use any influence to procure any appointive office or
place under the United States for any person, shall be fined under
this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
18 USC 211 - Sec. 211. Acceptance or solicitation to obtain appointive public office
18 USC - U.S. Code - Title 18: Crimes and Criminal Procedure (January 2004)
Whoever solicits or receives, either as a political contribution, or for personal emolument, any money or thing of value, in consideration of the promise of support or use of influence in obtaining for any person any appointive office or place under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both. Whoever solicits or receives any thing of value in consideration of aiding a person to obtain employment under the United States either by referring his name to an executive department or agency of the United States or by requiring the payment of a fee because such person has secured such employment shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both. This section shall not apply to such services rendered by an employment agency pursuant to the written request of an executive department or agency of the United States.
It is to be noted in the actual law that the position offered does not have to be a paying job in order to qualify as a bribe. The mere offer of 'anything of value' in an attempt to influence either a primary election or a general election is a felony under this section of the law. (H/t to Lotus Talk).
The Code does NOT state that the candidate has to be 'officially declared,' as some 'legal experts' have suggested. Whether Sestak had actually filed to run at the time the offer was made is a non-issue. He had made it known that he was interested in Specter's Senate seat. And the White House knew it.
Thus, the White House attempted to tamper with a primary election by enticing a sitting Congressman to drop his plans to make a bid for a Senate seat--the very act that the law specifically refers to as a felony.
Although it is fairly obvious everyone involved in this scandal is now lying about a 'unpaid advisory post' being enough to entice a candidate to drop out of the Democratic primary, the very thing to which they have admitted is in direct violation of the U.S. Code as cited above.
Felonies have been committed, and a full investigation is absolutely imperative.
For commentary on the issues of the day, visit my blog at The Liberty Sphere.
Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness
Reply #551 on:
May 30, 2010, 04:41:05 PM »
"Everyone is now on the same page. The White House, Bill Clinton, and Joe Sestak all now state that at the bidding of Rahm Emanuel, Bill Clinton approached Congressman Joe Sestak and offered him an unpaid position as an adviser"
The author leaves out the most crucial entity also now on board the "same page".
And that is the MSM. It is obnoxious to high heaven watching the Democrat media saying how there is NO scandal, this is business as usual and on and on and on.
If I see that punk Jonathan Alder one more time.....
Everything is so dumbed down. Everything is poltical. Nothing is sacred anymore (or even the prestense of being so).
We can't even rely on media to be reasonable. What is left?
After watching all this slime, the MMS in bed with the oil industry they are supposed to regulate. It is just like Copyright Office in bed with the monied people in entertainment they deal with. Some there take bribes, look the other way, say nothing, don't want scandals, don't want to risk their jobs, get their friends in trouble, or want to get jobs with the those in the biz with money.
It is all the same.
Even our highest government people commit felonies and lie and cover it up. What was such a huge deal over Watergate? A minor burglary of some political documents. That was so much worse than this? Oh it was the cover up. I get it. Yet Jonathan Alter doesn't see a cover up here. Just takes the characters in the middle at their word.
I just wish I had enough money and could retire and go get a cabin in a quiet place somewhere and leave the garbage to the world. Our government, our media, they all make me sick.
Reply #552 on:
May 30, 2010, 04:42:01 PM »
Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness and the Israelis
Reply #553 on:
June 01, 2010, 10:56:05 PM »
Speaking of that special relationship between the US and Israel (over on the Israel thread), I never heard anything about that state dinner the Obamas held for Prime Minister Netanyahu. Did anyone here attend or know what they served? Did the President bow or is that reserved for unelected leaders?
Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness
Reply #554 on:
June 01, 2010, 11:36:17 PM »
I'm confused; I thought Prime Minister Netanyahu had to canceled his meeting (dinner?) with Obama this week to run home and try to resolve the flotilla debacle.
State Dinner for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Reply #555 on:
June 02, 2010, 10:29:17 AM »
Sorry JDN for my lame attempt at humor. There isn't/wasn't ever going to be an Obama White House State Dinner for this Israeli leader. Those are saved for great world leaders like Calderon (sarcasm). Netanyahu would be lucky to get in and out the White House side door without being publicly berated by Obama.
"sociopaths are quite charismatic and glib" - GM on Martial Arts thread today.
A better indicator than appearance on sociopaths is the trait that they have difficulty differentiating between friends and enemies.
Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness
Reply #556 on:
June 02, 2010, 10:39:20 AM »
I disagree, Obama knows exactly who his friends are, unfortunately the UK, Israel and the United States aren't on the list.
Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness
Reply #557 on:
June 02, 2010, 05:14:16 PM »
The silver lining is that Bamster will set the liberal/progressive agenda back to Woodrow Wilson. The bad news this country is going to be hurt bad till we can climb our way out of this mess. The people going around saying he is doing a good job are deniers. Sorry assholes. You are not going to get your reparations. Maybe you as well as the rest of us will have to work our butts off to get out of this mess.
And yes. He does call to mind Jimmy Carter - but like I said - on steroids. It can't be just coincidence the world's hot spots are exploding into turmoil while the ONE sits at the helm. Remember big mouth Biden said Bamster would be tested? Well what is the One going to do now that Israel may go to war with Turkey, we are closer to war in Korea in my lifetime, Iran is almost with nuclear weapons? I guess he can continue to blame the F* Jews which he all but come out and done (its their faults because of a few housing projects). Or he can blame Bush again which he has continued (to this day) to do. Or of course he blame corporate American or BP. Or he can continue to travel around the world as our fearless leader apologizing to the world for all its problems all the while saying the US is at cause of them. When willl the MSM come out of their delusional state? They will have to. Kicking and screaming yes. But they will eventually have to. But when?
***By Dick Morris 06.2.2010 Published on TheHill.com on June 1, 2010
Conservatives are so enraged at Obama’s socialism and radicalism that they are increasingly surprised to learn that he is incompetent as well. The sight of his blithering and blustering while the most massive oil spill in history moves closer to America’s beaches not only reminds one of Bush’s terrible performance during Katrina, but calls to mind Jimmy Carter’s incompetence in the face of the hostage crisis.
America is watching the president alternate between wringing his hands in helplessness and pointing his finger in blame when he should be solving the most pressing environmental problem America has faced in the past 50 years. We are watching generations of environmental protection swept away as marshes, fisheries, vacation spots, recreational beaches, wetlands, hatcheries and sanctuaries fall prey to the oil spill invasion. And, all the while, the president acts like a spectator, interrupting his basketball games only to excoriate BP for its failure to contain the spill.
The political fallout from the oil spill will, indeed, spill across party and ideological lines. The environmentalists of America cannot take heart from a president so obviously ignorant about how to protect our shores and so obstinately arrogant that he refuses to inform himself and take any responsibility.
All of this explains why the oil spill is seeping into his ratings among Democrats, dragging him down to levels we have not seen since Bush during the pit of the Iraq war. Conservatives may dislike Obama because he is a leftist. But liberals are coming to dislike him because he is not a competent progressive.
Meanwhile, the nation watches nervously as the same policies Obama has brought to our nation are failing badly and publicly in Europe. When Moody’s announces that it is considering downgrading bonds issued by the government of the United States of America, we find ourselves, suddenly, in deep trouble. We have had deficits before. But never have they so freaked investors that a ratings agency considered lowering its opinion of our solvency. Not since Alexander Hamilton assumed the states’ Revolutionary War debt has America’s willingness and ability to meet its financial obligations been as seriously questioned.
And the truth begins to dawn on all of us: Obama has no more idea how to work his way out of the economic mess into which his policies have plunged us than he does about how to clean up the oil spill that is destroying our southern coastline.
Both the financial crisis and the oil come ever closer to our shores — one from the east and the other from the south — and, between them, they loom as a testament to the incompetence of our government and of its president.
And, oddly, to his passivity as well. After pursuing a remarkably activist, if misguided and foolhardy, agenda, Obama seems not to know what to do and finds himself consigned to the roles of observer and critic.
America is getting the point that its president doesn’t have a clue.
He doesn’t know how to stop the oil from spilling. He is bereft of ideas about how to create jobs in the aftermath of the recession. He has no idea how to keep the European financial crisis contained. He has no program for repaying the massive debt hole into which he has dug our nation without tax increases he must know will only deepen the pit.
Some presidents have failed because of their stubbornness (Johnson and Bush-43). Others because of their character flaws (Clinton and Nixon). Still others because of their insensitivity to domestic problems (Bush-41). But now we have a president who is failing because he is incompetent. It is Jimmy Carter all over again.
Who would have thought that this president, so anxious to lead us and so focused on his specific agenda and ideas, would turn out not to know what he is doing?***
Another Illegal Job Offer Emerges
Reply #558 on:
June 02, 2010, 10:22:08 PM »
Maybe we can hear that Stanley Brand quote again:
Andrew Romanoff details contacts with White House over potential jobs
Updated, 9:39 pm
Former Colorado state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff released a detailed statement tonight detailing his contacts with the White House last fall in which a top aide to President Barack Obama sought to convince him to leave the state's Senate race.
Romanoff said that he received a call in September 2009 from White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina making clear that the White House would be supporting appointed Sen. Michael Bennet in the Colorado Senate Democratic primary.
"Mr. Messina also suggested three positions that might be available to me were I not pursuing the Senate race. He added that he could not guarantee my appointment to any of these positions. At no time was I promised a job, nor did I request Mr. Messina's assistance in obtaining one."
(Romanoff'sstatement is available after the jump.)
The three jobs floated to him by Messina via email, according to Romanoff, were: Deputy Assistant Administrator for Latin America and Caribbean for USAID, Director of Office of Democracy and Governance at USAID and director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.
Romanoff said he followed up with a phone message in which he declined the potential job offers.
The Romanoff statement comes less than two weeks after questions about what job (if any) was offered to Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak in hopes of driving him from the race against Sen. Arlen Specter.
The White House ultimately released a report from Counsel Bob Bauer in which it was revealed that former President Bill Clinton had approached Sestak about leaving the race but that no formal contact between the Obama Administration and the candidate had ever occurred.
The simple fact that the White House -- via Messina -- made clear that they would be supporting Bennet in the August Democratic primary is not, in and of itself, particularly shocking. White Houses -- no matter which party is in control -- play favorites in primaries and do their level best to clear fields for the candidate they believe is best positioned to hold the seat for their side in a general election.
At issue is whether the White House's statement on the matter accurately portrayed the entirety of the situation.
In a September 27, 2009 Denver Post piece a White House spokesman is quoted saying that "Mr. Romanoff was never offered a position within the administration."
Romanoff, in his own statement tonight, reiterates that point; "At no time was I promised a job, nor did I request Mr. Messina's assistance in obtaining one," he said.
California Rep. Darrell Issa (R), who has led the charge against the White House on the Sestak and Romanoff matters, issued a sweeping condemnation of the Administration in the wake of the Romanoff statement asking "how deep does the Obama White House's effort to invoke Chicago-style politics for the purpose of manipulating elections really go?,".
Republicans will almost certainly attempt to make an issue of the White House's carefully worded statement about its conversations with Romanoff--questioning whether dangling three specific positions is tantamount to a job offer.
Andrew Romanoff statement
I have received a large number of press inquiries concerning the role the White House is reported to have played in my decision to run for the U.S. Senate. I have declined comment because I did not want - and do not want - to politicize this matter.
A great deal of misinformation has filled the void in the meantime. That does not serve the public interest or any useful purpose.
Here are the facts:
In September 2009, shortly after the news media first reported my plans to run for the Senate, I received a call from Jim Messina, the President's deputy chief of staff. Mr. Messina informed me that the White House would support Sen. Bennet. I informed Mr. Messina that I had made my decision to run.
Mr. Messina also suggested three positions that might be available to me were I not pursuing the Senate race. He added that he could not guarantee my appointment to any of these positions. At no time was I promised a job, nor did I request Mr. Messina's assistance in obtaining one.
Later that day, I received an email from Mr. Messina containing descriptions of three positions (email attached). I left him a voicemail informing him that I would not change course.
I have not spoken with Mr. Messina, nor have I discussed this matter with anyone else in the White House, since then.
Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness
Reply #559 on:
June 04, 2010, 09:58:13 AM »
Though I'm waiting for more authoritative data, I've read a couple blog posts stating that the census worker hiring data is skewed because a lot of the workers were hired, trained, laid off, and then rehired, which left them counted twice in the recent jobs report. Also read a couple places that 285,000 Americans have stopped seeking work in the current, abysmal, job climate. If this is so, it appears to me the administrations current sleight of hand efforts speak of a desperation that is an indicator in and of itself.
95% of new jobs from Census hiring
The Labor Department released sobering news this morning. Payrolls rose by 431,000 last month. That may sound good on the surface, but is far less than the median forecast of 536,000 jobs. But it gets worse: of the 431,000 jobs, 411,000 of them were census workers. Those are government jobs, not private sector jobs -- and are temporary. That means the private sector hired a mere 41,000 more workers in the past month. The unemployment rate fell a bit -- but only because of the way that figure is calculated. The unemployment rate only measures those people seeking work. If people give up hope (and remember Obama's campaign was all about "Hope" and "Yes We can") they drop out of the labor force and are not included in the unemployment rate.
Two days ago, Barack Obama said that he thought there would be good news on Friday when then employment were released. I suppose if, like Obama, a person only looks at government payrolls as a measure of an economy's health, that would be good news (since there are so many census workers).
Of course, this figure again illustrates (as all unemployment figures have over the last 16 months) that the drop in unemployment we were promised by Barack Obama and the Democrats (to 8%) when TARP was rushed into being has been a broken promise. One of many that can be chalked up to Barack Obama and his Democratic minions.
Now we have the worst of all worlds -- a massive deficit and debt because of TARP that will be a drag on our nation's growth for many years to come, a despairing work force, and massive unemployment among teens that will affect their future employability.
Maybe if Barack Obama and the Democrats would enact pro-growth measures and stop demonizing private enterprise, stop erecting a regulatory regime that strangles business, abolish their healthcare reform bill that will add hundreds of billions of dollars to our deficit, stop taxing us to penury, stop rewarding union allies at the expense of entrepreneurs, maybe... maybe we might get the engines of our economy moving again.
The cap-and-tax bill won't help matters as businesses contemplate the steep rise in energy costs facing them if that monstrosity comes to pass. These sorts of schemes have helped sink the European economies, the California economy -- and economies around the world who are now engaged in crash programs to tend them (see Spain's about-face).
Meanwhile, blind to reality but beholden to an ideology (and political allies in the green energy movement who are earning billions from government programs) Obama goes full steam ahead into disaster.
This number will not help Democrats come Election Day.
No wonder Mr. Yes We Can delivered his own malaise speech a couple days ago where he spoke of the "feeling of not being in control of your own economic future -- that sense that the American dream might be slowly slipping away"
That is his own political epitaph. And that of his fellow Democrats come November.
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at June 04, 2010 - 09:50:45 AM CDT
Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness
Reply #560 on:
June 04, 2010, 10:10:53 AM »
Another example of the dissonance of immigration debate. We have huge unempolyment yet we also have at the same time 20 million people here illegally because they need the work.
Using the phrase I am hearing from more and more people (friends, patients, talk shows, blogs etc.)
"this country is upside down".
At least Newt on Greta a night or two ago admitted the Right seems to like the cheap labor and thus has also not been going after the other half of the immigration problem - the employers.
Fox, Meet Henhouse
Reply #561 on:
June 08, 2010, 05:03:10 PM »
National Deficit-Reduction Commissioner: "The market-worshipping, privatizing, de-regulating, dehumanizing American financial plan has failed and should never be revived"
Matt Welch | June 8, 2010
It's hardly surprising that President Obama's deficit commission has become a font of unintented (if wince-inducing) hoo-larity. Nor is it a shocker that diabolically effective labor organizer Andy Stern would be brazen about re-molding government to benefit public sector workers at the direct expense of the rest of us. Still, there's something irritating about seeing a presidentially appointed deficit commissioner and inner circle FoB uncork statements like these:
"America needs a 21st century economic plan because we now know the market-worshipping, privatizing, de-regulating, dehumanizing American financial plan has failed and should never be revived, worshipping the market again," Stern said in remarks at the annual conference of the liberal activist group Campaign for America's Future in Washington on Monday.
"It has failed America and everyone that works here," Stern said.
Stern said the changes that Obama and Democrats in Congress have made are nothing short of a "revolution" that will move the American economy from national to international.
"This not our father's or our grandfather's economy," Stern said. "We’re as far today from the New Deal as the New Deal was from the Civil War. And we cannot drive into the future looking in the rear view mirror."
He said the progressive movement must build on the past and look to the future as the economy is transformed "from a manufacturing base, to a service, finance, knowledge, green, Internet, and bio-science economy."
"This revolution's going to only take 30 years," Stern said. "No single generation of people have ever witnessed this much change in a single lifetime. [...] And as we've witnessed now in the absence of a simple and realistic way forward, people – even us – sometimes resist the future or try to turn back the clock to days that are now long gone."
You can watch the video at C-SPAN.
Once more, with feeling: 1) George W. Bush was not remotely a deregulator. 2) He was, in fact, a "big government disaster" (well, the "big government" is fact, and the "disaster" is well-considered opinion). 3) If the federal government has been busy "privatizing," this past decade, I for one haven't heard much about it, and I work for a foundation that publishes something called Privatization Watch. And I will let our friendly neighborhood commenters chew on what does and does not make a particular economic policy "dehumanizing."
An idle closing thought: Long after the public mood has soured on Obamanomics and Democrat interest-group policy, the structures and personages that keep cranking the stuff out will still be standing. Having an Andy Stern anywhere near the levers of government economic power should be a wake-up call to anyone who prefers markets to mandates, choice to control, capitalism to corporatism.
WSJ: The Alien in the White House
Reply #562 on:
June 09, 2010, 08:15:11 AM »
By DOROTHY RABINOWITZ
The deepening notes of disenchantment with Barack Obama now issuing from commentators across the political spectrum were predictable. So, too, were the charges from some of the president's earliest enthusiasts about his failure to reflect a powerful sense of urgency about the oil spill.
There should have been nothing puzzling about his response to anyone who has paid even modest critical attention to Mr. Obama's pronouncements. For it was clear from the first that this president—single-minded, ever-visible, confident in his program for a reformed America saved from darkness by his arrival—was wanting in certain qualities citizens have until now taken for granted in their presidents. Namely, a tone and presence that said: This is the Americans' leader, a man of them, for them, the nation's voice and champion. Mr. Obama wasn't lacking in concern about the oil spill. What he lacked was that voice—and for good reason.
Those qualities to be expected in a president were never about rhetoric; Mr. Obama had proved himself a dab hand at that on the campaign trail. They were a matter of identification with the nation and to all that binds its people together in pride and allegiance. These are feelings held deep in American hearts, unvoiced mostly, but unmistakably there and not only on the Fourth of July.
A great part of America now understands that this president's sense of identification lies elsewhere, and is in profound ways unlike theirs. He is hard put to sound convincingly like the leader of the nation, because he is, at heart and by instinct, the voice mainly of his ideological class. He is the alien in the White House, a matter having nothing to do with delusions about his birthplace cherished by the demented fringe.
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.One of his first reforms was to rid the White House of the bust of Winston Churchill—a gift from Tony Blair—by packing it back off to 10 Downing Street. A cloudlet of mystery has surrounded the subject ever since, but the central fact stands clear. The new administration had apparently found no place in our national house of many rooms for the British leader who lives on so vividly in the American mind. Churchill, face of our shared wartime struggle, dauntless rallier of his nation who continues, so remarkably, to speak to ours. For a president to whom such associations are alien, ridding the White House of Churchill would, of course, have raised no second thoughts.
Far greater strangeness has since flowed steadily from Washington. The president's appointees, transmitters of policy, go forth with singular passion week after week, delivering the latest inversion of reality. Their work is not easy, focused as it is on a current prime preoccupation of this White House—that is, finding ways to avoid any public mention of the indisputable Islamist identity of the enemy at war with us. No small trick that, but their efforts go forward in public spectacles matchless in their absurdity—unnerving in what they confirm about our current guardians of law and national security.
Consider the hapless Eric Holder, America's attorney general, confronting the question put to him by Rep. Lamar Smith (R., Texas) of the House Judicary Committee on May 13.
Did Mr. Holder think that in the last three terrorist attempts on this soil, one of them successful (Maj. Nidal Hasan's murder of 13 soldiers at Fort Hood, preceded by his shout of "Allahu Akbar!"), that radical Islam might have played any role at all? Mr. Holder seemed puzzled by the question. "People have different reasons" he finally answered—a response he repeated three times. He didn't want "to say anything negative about any religion."
And who can forget the exhortations on jihad by John Brennan, Mr. Obama's chief adviser on counterterrorism? Mr. Brennan has in the past charged that Americans lack sensitivity to the Muslim world, and that we have particularly failed to credit its peace-loving disposition. In a May 26 speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Mr. Brennan held forth fervently, if not quite comprehensibly, on who our enemy was not: "Our enemy is not terrorism because terrorism is just a tactic. Our enemy is not terror because terror is a state of mind, and as Americans we refuse to live in fear."
He went on to announce, sternly, that we do not refer to our enemies as Islamists or jihadists because jihad is a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam. How then might we be permitted to describe our enemies? One hint comes from another of Mr. Brennan's pronouncements in that speech: That "violent extremists are victims of political, economic and social forces."
Yes, that would work. Consider the news bulletins we could have read: "Police have arrested Faisal Shahzad, victim of political, economic and social forces living in Connecticut, for efforts to set off a car bomb explosion in Times Square." Plotters in Afghanistan and Yemen, preparing for their next attempt at mass murder in America, could only have listened in wonderment. They must have marvelled in particular on learning that this was the chief counterterrorism adviser to the president of the United States.
Obama Resells Health Law to Seniors
Lincoln Bucks Wave Against Incumbents
The Blagojevich Drama Debuts
Showdown on Fund Taxes
.Long after Mr. Obama leaves office, it will be this parade of explicators, laboring mightily to sell each new piece of official reality revisionism—Janet Napolitano and her immortal "man-caused disasters'' among them—that will stand most memorably as the face of this administration.
It is a White House that has focused consistently on the sensitivities of the world community—as it is euphemistically known—a body of which the president of the United States frequently appears to view himself as a representative at large.
It is what has caused this president and his counterterrorist brain trust to deem it acceptable to insult Americans with nonsensical evasions concerning the enemy we face. It is this focus that caused Mr. Holder to insist on holding the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in lower Manhattan, despite the rage this decision induced in New Yorkers, and later to insist if not there, then elsewhere in New York. This was all to be a dazzling exhibition for that world community—proof of Mr. Obama's moral reclamation program and that America had been delivered from the darkness of the Bush years.
It was why this administration tapped officials like Michael Posner, assistant secretary of state for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Among his better known contributions to political discourse was a 2005 address in which he compared the treatment of Muslim-Americans in the United States after 9/11 with the plight of the Japanese-Americans interned in camps after Pearl Harbor. During a human-rights conference held in China this May, Mr. Posner cited the new Arizona immigration law by way of assuring the Chinese, those exemplary guardians of freedom, that the United States too had its problems with discrimination.
So there we were: America and China, in the same boat on human rights, two buddies struggling for reform. For this view of reality, which brought withering criticism in Congress and calls for his resignation, Mr. Posner has been roundly embraced in the State Department as a superbly effective representative.
It is no surprise that Mr. Posner—like numerous of his kind—has found a natural home in this administration. His is a sensibility and political disposition with which Mr. Obama is at home. The beliefs and attitudes that this president has internalized are to be found everywhere—in the salons of the left the world over—and, above all, in the academic establishment, stuffed with tenured radicals and their political progeny. The places where it is held as revealed truth that the United States is now, and has been throughout its history, the chief engine of injustice and oppression in the world.
They are attitudes to be found everywhere, but never before in a president of the United States. Mr. Obama may not hold all, or the more extreme, of these views. But there can be no doubt by now of the influences that have shaped him. They account for his grand apology tour through the capitals of Europe and to the Muslim world, during which he decried America's moral failures—her arrogance, insensitivity. They were the words of a man to whom reasons for American guilt came naturally. Americans were shocked by this behavior in their newly elected president. But he was telling them something from those lecterns in foreign lands—something about his distant relation to the country he was about to lead.
The truth about that distance is now sinking in, which is all to the good. A country governed by leaders too principled to speak the name of its mortal enemy needs every infusion of reality it can get.
Ms. Rabinowitz is a member of the Journal's editorial board.
Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness
Reply #563 on:
June 09, 2010, 11:21:59 AM »
Wow. Great find Crafty.
Reply #564 on:
June 11, 2010, 09:00:36 PM »
36 minutes of whining and special pleading. Like FEMA had an emergency plan the wasn't deployed, oil booms that weren't deployed, but he needed more money that congress didn't give him so he could have more unused plans and equipment? This guy gives sniveling a bad name, and is too self-absorbed to realize how this is gonna play.
Obama to POLITICO: Congress shares the blame for BP
By: Roger Simon
June 11, 2010 08:12 PM EDT
President Barack Obama said Friday that some members of Congress should share the blame for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
In an exclusive one-on-one interview with POLITICO, the president said: “I think it’s fair to say, if six months ago, before this spill had happened, I had gone up to Congress and I had said we need to crack down a lot harder on oil companies and we need to spend more money on technology to respond in case of a catastrophic spill, there are folks up there, who will not be named, who would have said this is classic, big-government overregulation and wasteful spending.”
The president also implied that anti-big government types such as Tea Party activists were being hypocritical on the issue.
“Some of the same folks who have been hollering and saying ‘do something’ are the same folks who, just two or three months ago, were suggesting that government needs to stop doing so much,” Obama said. “Some of the same people who are saying the president needs to show leadership and solve this problem are some of the same folks who, just a few months ago, were saying this guy is trying to engineer a takeover of our society through the federal government that is going to restrict our freedoms.”
Obama’s comments, during a 36-minute Oval Office interview, come as the public is giving the federal government low marks for its response to the BP oil spill, according to recent polls. Obama travels to the Gulf Monday and Tuesday and has invited top BP executives to the White House for a meeting Wednesday.
As to accusations that he is not showing enough passion in fighting the oil spill, the president blamed the media.
“You know, what I think I get frustrated with sometimes, as do, I suspect, other members of my team, is that the media specifically is demanding things that the public aren’t demanding,” the president said. “What the public wants to see is us solving this problem. And that may not make for good TV.”
The president also declined to say whether the United States was winning the war in Afghanistan. “I think it’s too early to tell whether the strategy that we put forward in September is meeting all the benchmarks that we set,” he said.
Cognitive Dissonance: The experts opposed the Moratorium
Reply #565 on:
June 12, 2010, 10:12:45 AM »
Another Stumble in the Gulf
June 11, 2010 Posted by John Hinderacker
The administration has decreed a six-month moratorium on exploratory drilling in the Gulf, based on a report that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar wrote for President Obama. Salazar claimed that a panel of seven experts selected by the National Academy of Engineering had peer reviewed his report. It turns out, though, that the seven experts never saw the recommendation for a moratorium, and in fact oppose it:
The seven experts who advised President Obama on how to deal with offshore drilling safety after the Deepwater Horizon explosion are accusing his administration of misrepresenting their views to make it appear that they supported a six-month drilling moratorium -- something they actually oppose.
The experts, recommended by the National Academy of Engineering, say Interior Secretary Ken Salazar modified their report last month, after they signed it, to include two paragraphs calling for the moratorium on existing drilling and new permits.
Salazar's report to Obama said a panel of seven experts "peer reviewed" his recommendations, which included a six-month moratorium on permits for new wells being drilled using floating rigs and an immediate halt to drilling operations.
"None of us actually reviewed the memorandum as it is in the report," oil expert Ken Arnold told Fox News. "What was in the report at the time it was reviewed was quite a bit different in its impact to what there is now. So we wanted to distance ourselves from that recommendation."
Salazar apologized to those experts Thursday.
Carol Browner tried to claim that the administration did nothing wrong, but it is hard to follow her logic:
"No one's been deceived or misrepresented," Browner told Fox News, defending the moratorium as a safety measure. "These experts gave their expert advice, and then a determination was made looking at all of the information, including what these experts provided -- that there should be a pause, and that's exactly what there is. There's a pause."
That, of course, is very different from attributing the recommendation of a moratorium to the experts, or claiming that they had "peer reviewed" it. In fact, the expert panel made cogent arguments against the administration's moratorium:
In a letter the experts sent to Salazar, they said his primary recommendation "misrepresents" their position and that halting the drilling is actually a bad idea.
The oil rig explosion occurred while the well was being shut down - a move that is much more dangerous than continuing ongoing drilling, they said.
They also said that because the floating rigs are scarce and in high demand worldwide, they will not simply sit in the Gulf idle for six months. The rigs will go to the North Sea and West Africa, possibly preventing the U.S. from being able to resume drilling for years.
They also said the best and most advanced rigs will be the first to go, leaving the U.S. with the older and potentially less safe rights operating in the nation's coastal waters.
So this looks like one more instance where the Obama administration is neither honest nor competent, and where its first instinct seems to be to pursue the course that will most damage our economy.
Rolling Stone: The Spill, The Scandal and the President
Reply #566 on:
June 12, 2010, 10:25:25 AM »
Mark this as my first link to Rolling Stone. This is quite a piece ripping Obama harshly from a leftist point of view and especially Salazar. Too long to post. Note that they rip Bush even worse but to them he was a known evil. One pattern I pick up ties the oil spill to healthcare and to Arizona SB1070 in that no one in this group of elitists reads. The application to drill including risk assessment from BP is so loaded with nonsense that certainly no one in this $4 trillion dollar federal government took the time to read it.
What Happens when You Wait in Line to See Yourself?
Reply #567 on:
June 12, 2010, 11:56:55 AM »
I saw that piece, too, Doug, and think the sea change it indicates is remarkable, though the reflexive Bush bashing, post-modern arrogance throughout suggested the left hasn't examined its role in the current bit of presidential performance art. Mark Levin speaks further to this:
The Very Model of a Modern Major Generalist -- By: Mark Steyn
from National Review Online by
9 people liked this
So a man swept into office on an unprecedented tide of delirious fawning is now watching his presidency sink in an unstoppable gush. That’s almost too apt.
Unfortunately, in the real world, a disastrous president has consequences. So let me begin by citing the Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition in Canada. Whoa, whoa, don’t stampede for the exits! The Canadian thing’s just a starting point, I promise. If I’m still droning on about inside-Ottawa stuff five paragraphs down, feel free to turn the page to our exclusive twelve-page pictorial preview of Sex and the City 3, starring Estelle Getty as Kim Cattrall.
Anyway, a couple of years back, Michael Ignatieff, a professor at Harvard and previously a BBC late-night intellectual telly host, returned to his native land of Canada in order to become prime minister, and to that end got himself elected as leader of the Liberal party. And, as is the fashion nowadays, he cranked out a quickie tome laying out his political “vision.” Having spent his entire adult life abroad, he was aware that some of the natives were uncertain about his commitment to the land of his birth. So he was careful to issue a sort of pledge of a kind of allegiance, explaining that writing a book about Canada had “deepened my attachment to the place on earth that, if I needed one, I would call home.”
Gee, that’s awfully big of you. As John Robson commented in the Ottawa Citizen: “I’m worried that a man so postmodern he doesn’t need a home wants to lead my country. Why? Is it quaint? An interesting sociological experiment?”
Indeed. But there’s a lot of it about. Many Americans are beginning to pick up the strange vibe that, for Barack Obama, governing America is “an interesting sociological experiment,” too. He would doubtless agree that the United States is “the place on earth that, if I needed one, I would call home.” But he doesn’t, not really: It is hard to imagine Obama wandering along to watch a Memorial Day or Fourth of July parade until the job required him to. That’s not to say he’s un-American or anti-American, but merely that he’s beyond all that. Way beyond. He’s the first president to give off the pronounced whiff that he’s condescending to the job -- that it’s really too small for him and he’s just killing time until something more commensurate with his stature comes along.
And so the Gulf spill was an irritation, but he dutifully went through the motions of flying in to be photographed looking presidentially concerned. As he wearily explained to Matt Lauer, “I was meeting with fishermen down there, standing in the rain, talking#...#” Good grief, what more do you people want? Alas, he’s not a good enough actor to fake it. So the more desperately he butches up the rhetoric -- “Plug the damn hole!”; “I know whose ass to kick” -- the more pathetically unconvincing it all sounds.
No doubt my observations about Obama’s remoteness from the rhythms of American life will be seen by his dwindling band of beleaguered cheerleaders as just another racist, right-wing attempt to whip up the backwoods knuckle-dragging swamp-dwellers of America by playing on their fears of “the other” -- the sophisticated, worldly cosmopolitan for whom France is more than a reliable punchline. But in fact my complaint is exactly the opposite: Obama’s postmodern detachment is feeble and parochial. It’s true that he hadn’t seen much of America until he ran for president, but he hadn’t seen much of anywhere else, either. Like most multiculturalists, he’s passed his entire adulthood in a very narrow unicultural environment where your ideological worldview doesn’t depend on anything so tedious as actually viewing the world. The aforementioned Michael Ignatieff, who actually has viewed the world, gets close to the psychology in his response to criticisms of him for spending so much time abroad. Deploring such “provincialism,” he replied: “They say it makes me less of a Canadian. It makes me more of a Canadian.”
Well, yes, you can see what he’s getting at. Today, to be an educated citizen of a mature Western democracy -- Canada or Germany, England or Sweden -- is not to feel Canadian or German, English or Swedish, heaven forbid, but rather to regard oneself as a citoyen du monde. Obviously, if being “more Canadian” requires one literally to be a Harvard professor or a BBC TV host or an essayist for the Guardian, then very few actual Canadians would pass the test. What he really means is that in a post-national, post-modern Western world, the definition of “Canadian” (and Dutch and Belgian and Irish) is how multicultural and globalized you feel. The U.N., Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Bono: these are the colors a progressive, worldly Westerner nails to his mast. You don’t need to go anywhere, or do anything: You just need to pick up the general groove, which you can do very easily at almost any college campus.
This Barack Obama did brilliantly. A man who speaks fewer languages than the famously moronic George W. Bush, he has nevertheless grasped the essential lingo of the European transnationalist: Continental leaders strike attitudes rather than effect action -- which is frankly beneath them. One thinks of the insistence a few years ago by Louis Michel, then Belgian foreign minister, that the so-called European Rapid Reaction Force “must declare itself operational without such a declaration being based on any true capability.” As even the Washington Post drily remarked, “Apparently in Europe this works.”
Apparently. Thus, Barack Obama: He declared himself operational without such a declaration being based on any true capability. But, if it works for the EU, why not America? Like many of his background here and there, Obama is engaged mostly by abstractions and generalities. Indeed, he is the very model of a modern major generalist. He has grand plans for “the environment” -- all of it, wherever it may be. Why should the great eco-Gulliver be ensnared by some Lilliputian oil spill lapping round his boots? He flew in to Cairo to give one of the most historically historic speeches in history to the Muslim world. Why should such a colossus lower his visionary gaze to contemplate some no-account nickel-’n’-dime racket like the Iranian nuclear program? With one stroke of his pen, he has transformed the health care of 300 million people. But I suppose if there’s some killer flu epidemic or a cholera outbreak in New Mexico, you losers will be whining at Obama to do something about that, too.
In recent months, a lot of Americans have said to me that they had no idea the new president would feel so “weird.” But, in fact, he’s not weird. True, he’s not, even in Democratic terms, a political figure -- as, say, Clinton or Biden are. Instead, he’s the product of the broader culture: There are millions of people like Barack Obama, the eternal students of a vast lethargic transnational campus for whom global compassion and the multicultural pose are merely the modish gloss on a cult of radical grandiose narcissism. As someone once said, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” When you’ve spent that long waiting in line for yourself, it’s bound to be a disappointment.
Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness
Reply #568 on:
June 12, 2010, 07:04:54 PM »
"Why should the great eco-Gulliver be ensnared by some Lilliputian oil spill lapping round his boots? He flew in to Cairo to give one of the most historically historic speeches in history to the Muslim world. Why should such a colossus lower his visionary gaze to contemplate some no-account nickel-’n’-dime racket like the Iranian nuclear program?"
If the trend continues and republicans take back at least one house I predict the colossus of the world (not Rhodes-in his own megalomanic mind) will fold like one of those basement fold up bridge table chairs.
New Black Panther Update
Reply #569 on:
June 12, 2010, 09:34:08 PM »
Friends in High Places
The Obama Justice Department went to bat for the New Black Panther party—and then covered it up.
BY Jennifer Rubin
June 21, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 38
The case is straightforward. On Election Day 2008, two members of the New Black Panther party (NBPP) dressed in military garb were captured on videotape at a Philadelphia polling place spouting racial epithets and menacing voters. One, Minister King Samir Shabazz, wielded a nightstick. It was a textbook case of voter intimidation and clearly covered under the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
A Department of Justice trial team was assigned to investigate. They gathered affidavits from witnesses—one of the poll watchers was called a “white devil” and a “cracker.” A Panther told him he would be “ruled by the black man.” The trial team, all career Justice attorneys and headed by voting section chief Chris Coates, filed a case against the two Panthers caught on tape. Malik Zulu Shabazz, head of the national NBPP, and the party itself were also named based on evidence the party had planned the deployment of 300 members on Election Day and on statements after the incident in which the NBPP endorsed the intimidation at the Philadelphia polling station.
The trial team quickly obtained a default judgment—meaning it had won the case because the New Black Panther party failed to defend itself. Yet in May 2009, Obama Justice Department lawyers, appointed temporarily to fill top positions in the civil rights division, ordered the case against the NBPP dismissed. An administration that has pledged itself to stepping-up civil rights enforcement dropped the case and, for over a year, has prevented the trial team lawyers from telling their story.
The Panthers like to tout their “victory” and parrot the Obama Justice Department’s line that the case was unmeritorious. The party held a national convention in Atlanta over Memorial Day weekend (sponsored and attended by the once mainstream Southern Christian Leadership Conference and a grab bag of socialist and anti-Semitic figures). Its website boasts: “The New Black Panther Party has been embroiled in a battle between Republican Congressmen and the U.S. Department of Justice over a ‘voter intimidation’ scandal for the last 18 months. During these 18 months right wing and Republican Newspaper and Electronic media have gone to exhaustive lengths to discredit and slander the New Black Panther Party and its Chairman and Attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz.”
But on June 4, J. Christian Adams, a veteran lawyer in Justice’s voting section and a key member of the trial team, resigned. His reasons were spelled out in a letter that also noted that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which was investigating the dismissal, had subpoenaed him and Coates, but their superiors, in violation of federal law, had ordered them not to testify. He noted that “the defendants in the New Black Panther lawsuit have become increasingly belligerent in their rhetoric toward the attorneys who brought the case. . . . Their grievances toward us generally echo the assertions [by Justice Department officials] that the facts and law did not support the lawsuit against them.” Coates, too, has left the Voting Section, moving to South Carolina to work in the U.S. attorney’s office. Last Friday, the civil rights commission’s general counsel, David Blackwood, announced that he had received an email from Christian Adams’s attorney stating that Adams is now available to provide information to the commission. Commissioner Todd Graziano said they would schedule Adams’s appearance at a public hearing as soon as possible as the commission had been seeking his testimony for many months.
With Adams’s resignation and letter, a clearer picture is finally emerging of what led to the dismissal of the case, the actions of DoJ political appointees, the department’s misrepresentations about the case, and the Obama administration’s approach to civil rights enforcement.
Based on documents obtained by The Weekly Standard and interviews with Justice personnel, we now know far more about the sequence of events surrounding the dismissal. The then-acting assistant attorney general for civil rights, Grace Chung Becker, signed off on the case as the Bush administration was leaving office in January 2009. She confirms that the decision to file the case was an easy one. In response to my questions, she was emphatic that this was a serious case of voter intimidation. The trial team, which also included attorneys Robert Popper and Spencer Fisher, conducted its investigation and on January 8, 2009, filed suit against the NBPP. As the Panthers did not respond to the lawsuit, the department had a slam-dunk victory.
The trial team was poised to enter a default judgment in late April 2009. An order for a default of judgment was drafted and sent to the voting section management. On the morning of April 29, the acting deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights, Steven Rosenbaum, sent an email to Coates about the case. It was the first indication by any department official that something was amiss. “I have serious doubts about the merits of the motion for entry of a default judgment and the request for injunctive relief,” Rosenbaum, an Obama appointee, wrote. “Most significantly, this case raises serious First Amendment issues, but the papers make no mention of the First Amendment.” Rosenbaum asked Coates a series of questions—whether “the defendants make any statements threatening physical harm to voters or persons aiding voters,” for example, and what was the “factual predicate for enjoining the Party, as opposed to individual defendants”—which indicated that he was not familiar with the case and had not read the detailed memorandum accompanying the draft order.
The trial team was surprised by the email and answered Rosenbaum point by point in a response sent that same evening. They corrected his misstatements and explained in answer to his First Amendment concerns, “We are not seeking to enjoin the making of those (or any) statements. We plan to introduce them as evidence to show that what happened in Philadelphia on Election Day was planned and announced in advance by the central authority of the NBPP, and was a NBPP initiative.” They pointed out that dressing in military garb did not raise First Amendment concerns when “used with the brandishing of a weapon to intimidate people going to the polling station.” They concluded: “We strongly believe that this is one of the clearest violations of Section 11(b) [of the Voting Rights Act] the Department has come across. There is never a good reason to bring a billy club to a polling station. If the conduct of these men, which was video recorded and broadcast nationally, does not violate Section 11(b), the statute will have little meaning going forward.”
The trial team assumed that Rosenbaum was simply confused about the applicable law. The notion that this was a problematic case would have been outlandish. With video evidence, multiple witnesses, and clear case law, it was one the easiest cases on which any of the trial team attorneys—who had more than 75 years of collective experience—had worked.
After sending the response, Coates and Robert Popper met with Rosenbaum and the then acting assistant attorney general for civil rights, Loretta King. People familiar with the discussions describe “two days of shouting.” The trial team now knew that DoJ political appointees were serious about undermining the case by using whatever arguments they could dream up, including First Amendment concerns. The team prepared a detailed memo dated May 6 explaining the factual and legal basis for the case. In 13 pages, the attorneys meticulously analyzed the law and the facts and rebutted any notion that the First Amendment could insulate the Panthers. The memo made clear that Rosenbaum’s and King’s arguments for dismissing the case were spurious. Rosenbaum and King, for example, argued that legal precedent involving protestors at abortion clinics would undermine the case. The trial team pointed out, however, that these cases were either inapplicable or actually supported the issuance of an injunction when there was a significant government interest (such as the protection of voting rights) at stake.
The arguments continued after the May 6 memo was submitted. During one meeting in a conference room on the 5th floor of the Main Justice building, Coates became so exasperated he threw the memo at Rosenbaum who had admitted not reading the trial team’s detailed briefing on the issues.
Rosenbaum and King sent a request to the appellate section asking their opinion of the case. The appellate attorneys sided with the trial team on May 13. Coates announced this to his team with the words “Good news.” They all agreed it would be unthinkable for their superiors to nix the case. They were wrong. On May 15, Coates received an order to dismiss the case against everyone but the baton-menacing Shabazz. And they were ordered to scale back the injunction against him to cover only the display of a weapon within 100 feet of a Philadelphia polling place until 2012. (No other behavior was enjoined.)
The actions of King and Rosenbaum were unprecedented in the collective experience of the trial team. They were not alone in that assessment. A former associate attorney general for the civil division Greg Katsas testified before the civil rights commission on April 23, 2010, and termed the Panthers’ actions a blatant case of voter intimidation. He said it was a “straightforward and overwhelmingly strong case” and that the Panthers’ conduct was “egregious and intentional.” As for the party itself and its leadership, Katsas said that under “general principles of agency law” they were liable.
From the onset, Justice has denied that any political appointees were involved in the decision to dismiss the case. This line was repeated in multiple letters to and face-to-face meetings with Republican representatives Frank Wolf and Lamar Smith and in statements to the media. We now know that this is incorrect. In interrogatory answers supplied to the civil rights commission, the department acknowledged that Attorney General Eric Holder was briefed on the decision to dismiss the case and that the number three man in Justice, Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli, was consulted as well. Katsas testified, “Certainly DoJ’s decision to abandon all claims against the party, Malik Shabazz, and Mr. Jackson [the second polling place intimidator], despite their refusal to even defend the case, would have qualified as important enough for the leadership of the Civil Rights Division to raise with [Perrelli].” The same is true of the decision to seek only a narrow injunction against the billy club-wielding defendant. He notes that the filing of the case may have been routine, but the decision to dismiss it was so extraordinary that someone of Perrelli’s rank must certainly have played an “active role.”
The department is, moreover, trying to characterize King and Rosenbaum, who instructed the trial team to dismiss the case, as “career attorneys with over 60 years of experience.” It is true that they both served in career positions at Justice in the past. But under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, as soon as someone is appointed to fill a political position—as Rosenbaum and King were early in the Obama administration—they are political appointees.
Neither King nor Rosenbaum has directly worked on a voting rights case since the mid-1990s and both have received sanctions of hundreds of thousands of dollars by federal court judges for bringing unmeritorious cases and for failing to respond to court orders. In January 2010, a federal court judge in Kansas fined King and Rosenbaum for failing to respond to interrogatories in a housing discrimination case. Former civil rights division attorney Hans von Spakovsky has written: “That particular sanction is also very unusual—I have never seen a sanction order directed at individual lawyers that specifically says their employer is not responsible for paying the costs. . . . During the Bush administration, when liberals claim there was politicization going on in the division, I am not aware of a single such sanction.” King and the Justice Department were also ordered to pay $587,000 in attorneys’ fees and fines for bringing an unmeritorious claim during the Clinton administration in Johnson v. Miller. (In that case the court also took DoJ and King to task for allowing the ACLU to unduly affect the litigation decisions of the department.)
The administration’s internal investigation also appears to have been fraudulent. Under ongoing pressure from Representatives Smith and Wolf, an investigation by the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) was finally ordered to commence in July 2009. Until a few days before Adams’s resignation, however, none of the trial team had been interviewed by OPR investigators.
Furthermore the department has been less than candid in congressional testimony. In December 2009, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez testified before the House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, and he either did not understand the case fully or chose to disregard the documentation the trial team had put together. Perez said, for example, that Shabazz had received the “maximum penalty.” An experienced voting rights lawyer scoffs at the statement. “The maximum penalty is Leavenworth.” Perez then suggested that the attorneys on the trial team might have violated Federal Rule 11, which prohibits lawyers from bringing frivolous actions. The trial team was angered at the public insinuation that they had been derelict in their professional responsibilities.
In written responses to the civil rights commission, the Justice Department has claimed there was no evidence of involvement by outside groups—specifically the NAACP. Yet there is substantial reason to doubt this assertion. An attorney for the NAACP, Kristen Clarke, has admitted that she spoke to department attorneys about the case and shared the complaint with others. (In a deposition she also said that a department lawyer sent her news clippings of the case.) She spoke to a voting section attorney Laura Coates (no relation to Chris Coates) about the case at a Justice Department function. Clarke asked Coates, who she assumed was sympathetic, when the Panther case was going to be dismissed. The comment suggested that the NAACP had been pushing for such an outcome, and Coates reported the conversation to her superiors. Under oath in a deposition with the civil rights commission, however, Clarke denied six times that she had any conversations with Justice Department attorneys. When shown an email from a department attorney to her calling a Washington Times report on the NBPP case nothing but “lies” and declaring “This is CC’s doing” she incredibly denied (despite her long association with him) that she understood the reference was to Chris Coates.
While the interference by political appointees in the NBPP case has been egregious, there is a critical issue with implications far beyond this single case: Whether the attorneys who populate the civil rights division of the Justice Department believe that civil rights laws exist only to protect minorities from discrimination and intimidation by whites. In a farewell address to his colleagues before his reassignment to a U.S. attorney’s office, Coates spoke about this widespread sentiment and why it was antithetical to the department’s mission to seek equal enforcement of federal laws.
Former voting rights attorneys confirm that the belief is omnipresent in the Justice Department. DoJ attorneys openly criticized the Panther case, objecting not to any lack of evidence or to the legal arguments but to the notion that any discrimination case should be filed against black defendants. There are instances of attorneys refusing to work on cases against minority defendants. In 2005, for example, Coates pursued, filed, and won a case (upheld on appeal to the Fifth Circuit in 2009) of egregious voter discrimination by black officials in Noxubee County, Mississippi. Colleagues criticized Coates for filing the case and refused to work on it.
Liberal civil rights lawyers argue that because “a history of official discrimination” can be one subsidiary factor in voting cases it “wipes out every other factor” and prohibits cases from being brought against blacks. And further, that since “socio-economic” factors can be considered in determining whether voting discrimination has occurred, these cases cannot be brought against black defendants until there is economic parity between blacks and whites. Such attorneys use phrases like “traditional civil rights cases” and “traditional civil rights victims” to signal that only minority victims and white perpetrators concern them. Justice sources tell me that career attorneys have been “assured” that cases against minority defendants won’t be brought. In testimony before the civil rights commission, Thomas Perez denied he was aware of any such conversations or sentiments.
To date the Democratic Congress has exercised virtually no oversight over either the Panther case or the department’s civil rights enforcement approach generally. The OPR investigation shows no sign of completion. Neither Holder nor Perrelli has been questioned in depth about his participation in the case or about the allegations that Justice attorneys don’t intend to enforce civil rights laws against anyone other than white defendants.
Smith and Wolf, who just this week fired off two-dozen questions to Attorney General Eric Holder, continue to pursue the case, but without Democratic support they cannot subpoena either witnesses or documents. That may change after the November election. If the House of Representatives or Senate flips to Republican control and new committee chairmen decide to engage in actual oversight, Perrelli and Holder may find themselves forced by subpoenas to tell the complete NBPP story and explain why Obama’s Justice Department believes the civil rights laws exist only to protect citizens of certain races.
Jennifer Rubin is a contributing editor to Commentary magazine.
Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness
Reply #570 on:
June 13, 2010, 09:38:49 AM »
The shamelessness of BO, Holder, et al in this case is extraordinary, as is the silence of the MSM. Change the races and the politics of those involved and we surely would be seeing different results.
Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness
Reply #571 on:
June 17, 2010, 09:42:21 AM »
He is too "professorial". He is too cool, calm, and not "emotional" enough. He needs to show "anger". These are examples of the left's 'criticism' of their guy. It is never the message. Just how it is delivered. When the tax increases hit next year the economy will be crushed. Hopefully the lame duck Congress will not be able to pass a host of more expensive legislation that will make the economy even more stressed as Marc Levin thinks. Though I fear he is probably right that they will try to do this.
****Language guru: Obama speech too 'professorial' for his target audienceBy the CNN Wire Staff
June 17, 2010 10:23 a.m. EDT
Obama lays out Gulf strategySTORY HIGHLIGHTS
Speech may have gone over heads of audience
Plaudits for "oil began spewing"
"Not Obama at his best"
(CNN) -- President Obama's speech on the gulf oil disaster may have gone over the heads of many in his audience, according to an analysis of the 18-minute talk released Wednesday.
Tuesday night's speech from the Oval Office of the White House was written to a 9.8 grade level, said Paul J.J. Payack, president of Global Language Monitor. The Austin, Texas-based company analyzes and catalogues trends in word usage and word choice and their impact on culture.
Though the president used slightly less than four sentences per paragraph, his 19.8 words per sentence "added some difficulty for his target audience," Payack said.
He singled out this sentence from Obama as unfortunate: "That is why just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation's best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge -- a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation's secretary of energy."
Video: Stupak: Apology 'not good enough' for BP
Video: BP's $20 billion cleanup fund
Video: Obama faces moratorium backlash
Video: Cleaning the Gulf's oil-soaked birds
The White House
"A little less professorial, less academic and more ordinary," Payack recommended. "That's the type of phraseology that makes you (appear) aloof and out of touch."
The monitor's chief word analyst found these three sentences insensitive: "Already, this oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced. And unlike an earthquake or a hurricane, it is not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days. The millions of gallons of oil that have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico are more like an epidemic, one that we will be fighting for months and even years."
"You shouldn't be saying that in Katrina land," said Payack, referring to the 2005 hurricane that devastated the Gulf Coast. "New Orleans lost a third of its population; it's still recovering."
But he praised Obama's phrase "oil began spewing" as active and graphic.
iReporter:Obama's speech too fuzzy on details
At a micro level, the average word in the speech contained 4.5 letters, a bit longer than is typical for the former constitutional law professor, Payack said.
Obama's nearly 10th-grade-level rating was the highest of any of his major speeches and well above the Grade 7.4 of his 2008 "Yes, we can" victory speech, which many consider his best effort, Payack said.
"The scores indicate that this was not Obama at his best, especially when attempting to make an emotional connection to the American people," he added.****
Degeneration of Democracy
Reply #572 on:
June 22, 2010, 12:21:23 PM »
The central question here could have gone under constitutional issues, if and when we find someone who thinks his governance is constitutional.
Degeneration of Democracy (excerpted)
By Thomas Sowell June 22, 2010
... a democracy needs informed citizens if it is to thrive, or ultimately even survive. In our times, American democracy is being dismantled, piece by piece, before our very eyes by the current administration in Washington, and few people seem to be concerned about it.
The president's poll numbers are going down because increasing numbers of people disagree with particular policies of his, but the damage being done to the fundamental structure of this nation goes far beyond particular counterproductive policies.
Just where in the Constitution of the United States does it say that a president has the authority to extract vast sums of money from a private enterprise and distribute it as he sees fit to whomever he deems worthy of compensation? Nowhere.
And yet that is precisely what is happening with a $20 billion fund to be provided by BP to compensate people harmed by their oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Many among the public and in the media may think that the issue is simply whether BP's oil spill has damaged many people, who ought to be compensated. But our government is supposed to be "a government of laws and not of men." If our laws and our institutions determine that BP ought to pay $20 billion-- or $50 billion or $100 billion-- then so be it.
But the Constitution says that private property is not to be confiscated by the government without "due process of law." Technically, it has not been confiscated by Barack Obama, but that is a distinction without a difference.
With vastly expanded powers of government available at the discretion of politicians and bureaucrats, private individuals and organizations can be forced into accepting the imposition of powers that were never granted to the government by the Constitution.
If you believe that the end justifies the means, then you don't believe in Constitutional government. And, without Constitutional government, freedom cannot endure. There will always be a "crisis"-- which, as the president's chief of staff has said, cannot be allowed to "go to waste" as an opportunity to expand the government's power.
That power will of course not be confined to BP or to the particular period of crisis that gave rise to the use of that power, much less to the particular issues.
If the agreement with BP was an isolated event, perhaps we might hope that it would not be a precedent. But there is nothing isolated about it.
The man appointed by President Obama to dispense BP's money as the administration sees fit, to whomever it sees fit, is only the latest in a long line of presidentially appointed "czars" controlling different parts of the economy, without even having to be confirmed by the Senate, as Cabinet members are.
Glibness and the Blago trial, filling the Obama seat
Reply #573 on:
June 25, 2010, 10:46:09 PM »
Drudge ran a series of strong headlines from the trial this week that seem to have faded off. One was the Chicago Sun Times story the Blago Chief of Staff Harris testified that Obama knew of the plot:
I'm ready to pin all this on Obama if deserving but there are a couple of problems: a) Harris didn't follow that with any info showing how he knows that, b) Obama never got his choice picked, and c) Obama never appointed Blago to the cabinet or anything else.
As I wrote from the beginning, Obama comes out of this smelling like a rose when it comes out that he was the one who blew the whistle on all that Chicago-Springfield corruption.
The funniest part is to see how surprised the governor of Illinois was to find out that ordinary corruption and backroom dealing is a crime. Who knew?
What's wrong with him?
Reply #574 on:
June 26, 2010, 02:14:57 PM »
June 11, 2010 A Shrink Asks: What's Wrong with Obama? *By* *Robin of
So what is the matter with Obama? Conservatives have been asking this
question for some time. I've written a number of articles
solve the mystery.
Even some liberals are starting to wonder. James Carville
Obama's blasé attitude after the catastrophic oil spill. The New York
Times' Maureen Dowd revamped Obama's "Yes We Can" motto into "Will We Ever?"
The liberal women of the TV show "The View" have expressed sympathy for
Michelle Obama's living with a man so out of
Peggy Noonan, hardly a vehement Obama foe, recently pronounced him
Obama's odd mannerisms intrigue a psychotherapist like me. He also presents
a serious diagnostic challenge.
For one, Obama's teleprompter and the men behind the Blackberry keep him
well-scripted. We know so little about the facts of his life.
But it's more than just a lack of information. Obama himself is a strange
bird. He doesn't fit easily into any diagnostic category.
Many people attribute Obama's oddness to his narcissism. True, Obama has a
gargantuan ego, and he is notoriously thin-skinned.
Yet a personality disorder like narcissism does not explain Obama's
strangeness: his giggling while being asked about the economy; his
continuing a shout-out rather than announcing the Ft. Hood shootings; or his
vacations, golfing, partying and fundraising during the calamitous oil
Take also Obama's declaring on the "Today Show" that he wants to know whose
ass to kick <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXBSotezfc4>. Consummate
narcissists would never stoop to this vulgar display of adolescent machismo.
Obama is flat when passion is needed; he's aggressive when savvy is
required. What's most worrisome is that Obama doesn't even realize that his
behavior is inappropriate.
So if it's not just simple narcissism, what is wrong with Obama? Since I've
never evaluated him, I can't say for sure. But I can hazard some educated
If I saw a client as disconnected as him, the first thing I would wonder: Is
something wrong with his brain? And I'd consider the following theoretical
--*Physical problems*: There are a multitude of physiological conditions
that can cause people to act strangely. For instance: head injuries,
endocrine disturbances, epilepsy, and toxic chemical exposure.
It makes me wonder: Did Obama ever have a head injury? His stepfather in
Indonesia was purportedly an alcoholic abuser. Was Obama subject to any
-- *Drugs and alcohol*: Damage to the brain from drugs and alcohol can also
cause significant cognitive impairments. Obama once said that there were 57
states -- and didn't correct himself. Memory problems can be caused by both
illicit and prescription drug use.
Obama admits to a history of drug use in his youth. Did his usage cause some
damage? Does Obama still use?
--*Asperger's Syndrome*: Also known as high-functioning autism,
deficits in social skills. A person with Asperger's can't read social cues.
Consequently, he can be insensitive and hurtful without even knowing it.
Could Obama have Asperger's? He might have some mild traits, but certainly
not the full-blown disorder. In contrast to Obama, those with Asperger's get
fixated on some behavior, like programming computers. Obama lacks this kind
of passion and zeal.
*--Mental Illnes*s: Obama's family tree is replete with the unbalanced. His
maternal great-grandmother committed suicide. His grandfather, Stanley
Dunham, was particularly unhinged: He was expelled from high school for
punching his principal; named his daughter Stanley because he wanted a boy;
and exposed young Barry to not just drunken trash talk, but unrestricted
visits with alleged pedophile Frank Marshall Davis (who might or might
Obama's biological father). Barack Sr. was an abusive, alcoholic
Since mental illness runs in the family, does Obama have any signs? Yes and
no. No, he is not a schizophrenic babbling about Martians. But there are red
flags for some other conditions.
While Obama doesn't appear to hallucinate, he seems to have delusions. His
believing he has a Messiah-like special gift smacks of grandiose delusions.
His externalizing all blame to conservatives, George W. Bush, or the
"racist" bogeyman hints at persecutory delusions.
Along with a delusional disorder, Obama may fit for a mild psychotic
disorder called schizotypal
It may explain some of Obama's oddness.
People with schizotypal disorder hold bizarre beliefs, are suspicious and
paranoid, and have inappropriate and constricted affect. They have few close
friends and are socially awkward. A schizotypal is someone like your strange
cousin Becky who is addicted to astrology, believes she is psychic, and is
the oddball at social gatherings.
Schizotypal Disorder does ring some bells vis-à-vis Obama. One way the
diagnosis doesn't fit, however, is that schizotypals are generally harmless,
odd ducks. Not so with Obama.
--*Trauma:* My gut tells me that Obama was seriously traumatized in
childhood. His mother disregarded his basic needs, dragged him all over the
place, and ultimately abandoned him.
But I think there may be something even more insidious in his family
background. While I can't prove it, the degree of Obama's disconnect reminds
me of my sexually abused clients.
With serious sexual abuse, the brain chemistry may change. The child
dissociates -- that is, disconnects from his being -- in order to cope. Many
adult survivors still dissociate, from occasional trances to the most
extreme cases of multiple personality disorder.
Apparently, young Barry was left in the care of Communist Frank Marshall
Davis, who admitted to molesting a 13-year-old girl. As a teenager, Obama
wrote a disturbing
"Pop," that evoked images of sexual abuse -- for instance, describing dual
amber stains on both his and "Pop's" shorts.
Would trauma explain Obama's disconnect? In many ways, yes. A damaged and
unattached child may develop a "false self." To compensate for the enormous
deficits in identity and attachment, the child invents his own personality.
For Obama, it may have been as a special, gifted person.
Let's return now to my original question: What is wrong with Obama? My guess
is a great deal. The answer is complex and likely includes some combination
of the above.
Along with the brain issues are personality disorders: narcissism, paranoia,
passive-aggressiveness. There's even the possibility of the most destructive
character defect of all, an antisocial
Untreated abuse can foster antisocial traits, especially among boys.
If my assessment is accurate, what does this mean?
It means that liberals need to wake up and spit out the Kool-Aid...and that
conservatives should put aside differences, band together, and elect as many
Republicans as possible.
Because Obama will not change. He will not learn from his mistakes. He will
not grow and mature from on-the-job experience. In fact, over time, Obama
will likely become a more ferocious version of who he is today.
Why? Because this is a damaged person. Obama's fate was sealed years ago
growing up in his strange and poisonous family. Later on, his empty vessel
was filled with the hateful bile of men like Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers.
Obama will not evolve; he will not rise to the occasion; he will not become
the man he was meant to be. This is for one reason and one reason alone:
He is not capable of it.
This article is not intended to offer any definitive diagnoses, but for
educational purposes only.
*A frequent AT contributor, Robin is a psychotherapist in Berkeley and a
recovering liberal. You can e-mail Robin at
regrets that she may not be able to acknowledge your e-mail. *
*Page Printed from:
June 22, 2010 - 08:17:35 AM CDT
Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness
Reply #575 on:
June 26, 2010, 04:00:10 PM »
I like the psychanalytic thoughts. I don't like psychobable for purposes of excusing behavior. Like, "well the guy was abused as a child" so child abusing as an adult is therefore forgivable.
But I do think this kind of analysis is necessary to help understand what we are dealing with in this case. Particularly for those of us who are convinced this guy is hell bent on destroying the country.
The ONE is certainly some sort of megalomaniac. I am convinced he has some sort of personality disorder as well.
I think most personality disorders typically include lack of insight to oneself and thus a real inability to see when one is wrong. It is always "someone elses" fault.
Schizotypal is interesting. I guess I could read up on this one but I doubt this fits him as much as something more like narcisstic,, or psycopathic personality disorder. Bamster doesn't strike me so much as weird, eccentric or odd, as widely overconfident that he can fix the world, that he always knows what is best, true lack of guilt, true lack of real compassion, grandiosity, he is smarter than the entire world,
deceit, pathological lying, overt charm, and ability to lull people into like some sort of web, manipulative, using of other people's for one's own purpose until no longer convenient.
These are all characteristics of personality disorders. I think the author is thinking that his delusions of grandeur are so fantastic he almost has to be somewhere along the scale of psychotically delusional. Perhaps. But shcizotypals are not I don't think likely to manipulate and charm others so easily. And true of psychopaths they are often very charming and such good liars that one does not know how much damage they have inflicted on those around them until - it is too late. Sound familiar???
Clinton certainly had some of the narcistic personality disorder traits with regard to self love, pathologic lying, deceit, phoney emotion or empathy except when such displays suited his goals. I don't think he ever had any guilt for any of his behavior. It was all the fault of his political enemies. His only remorse was clearly only insomuch as it annoyed or irritated him personally or affected his image. I could never completely say he was totally a narcisstic personality disorder though.
At least my take anyway.
As for this:
"Because Obama will not change. He will not learn from his mistakes. He will
not grow and mature from on-the-job experience. In fact, over time, Obama
will likely become a more ferocious version of who he is today."
So far this is proven correct. He has only gotten away with it because of large majorities in both houses. The MSM loves to shout about his acheivements at getting through health care and now financial reform. We all know this happened not because of him but rather *despite* him.
And this is precisely why, if the Republicans can even win one house and stop his agenda I believe and have posted that IMO he will fold like an injured pelican stuck in oil. I think he is incapable of anything other than pursuing his delusions. And that makes him even more dangerous and ever more the reason he must be stopped.
Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness
Reply #576 on:
June 26, 2010, 08:26:58 PM »
June 26, 2010 7:01 A.M.
The Unengaged President
Obama’s lack of interest in the world is evident in his handling of the oil spill and the Afghan War.
Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness
Reply #577 on:
June 27, 2010, 02:30:21 AM »
Anohter zinger from Steyn.
The damage being done by Baraq Hussein Obama is incalculable.
Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness
Reply #578 on:
July 07, 2010, 12:07:09 AM »
Aren't you Obama voters proud of him and his appointees?
Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness
Reply #579 on:
July 07, 2010, 04:06:46 AM »
I am beginning to think of Obama as a modern Nero- He is fiddling with his own agenda while everything else burns............
Who's side is Obama on?
Reply #580 on:
July 07, 2010, 12:00:43 PM »
CASA GRANDE, Ariz. - Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, a strong supporter of Arizona's new immigration law, is receiving threats against his life.
He's been very outspoken about the need to secure the borders, and the topic is a controversial one.
Outside law enforcements have been brought in to investigate the threats and have found them credible.
Chief Deputy Steve Henry said some of the threats come from the Mexican mafia and drug cartel members.
Sheriff Babeu declined personal security detail. He decided not to request funding for security detail at this time, because the county resources are already stretched.
**Nice to have Obama's Justice Department acting on behalf of the Black Panthers and Mexican drug cartels, isn't it.**
Rev. Wright's DOJ
Reply #581 on:
July 07, 2010, 01:37:02 PM »
Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness
Reply #582 on:
July 08, 2010, 04:46:12 AM »
Like I said the justice of the king- not of America...........
Cognitive Dissonance: Meet Donald Berwick, Wealth Redistribution Appointee
Reply #583 on:
July 08, 2010, 02:33:09 PM »
Berwick is a recess appointee not because Republicans won't allow a vote. Just the opposite, Republicans were dying to hold hearings with this ideologue.
America does NOT have the best health care system. He favors central planning, opposes free markets... "in the darkness of private enterprise". In his own words: "Britain, you chose well"
Last Edit: July 08, 2010, 03:13:42 PM by DougMacG
Reply #584 on:
July 08, 2010, 08:18:35 PM »
This guy is exactly case in point from my multiple posts on the academic liberal elite who behind the scenes has been plotting government take over of health care for decades. These guys have been publishing their liberal and essentially marxist views for many years in NEJM and other liberal med journals.
He and his cohorts have explained to bamster the ideal of great cheap health care to everyone and anyone.
The details are not for bamster. He has no clue. Bamster's job was to go out and lie about it and get passed the first step towards the ultimate 100% government control. He pretends to be an expert in the details yet the reality is Bamster couldn't explain anything in the bill. He is the "front" man.
Berwick and other academic ivory league elites are the masterminds of the the health care bill - notwithstanding the political and lawyerly aspects of it.
Bamster is definitely some sort of personality disorder
Reply #585 on:
July 10, 2010, 01:05:52 PM »
Some would say blaming everything on something, or someone else is "politics" as usual. It is also a red flag for some sort of personality disorder or even a psychopathic personality. This guy is such an incredible liar that he can get up and say things that he knows are NOT true, that he knows listeners know are NOT true and yet he says them anyway without a wince, a pause, a blush, and with the convincingness of a cold blooded con artist. He has to be some sort of personality disorder.
I think he is a psychopath with narcissistic, delusional megalomanic like features. He is also a very angry man.
****Obama: Israelis suspicious of me because my middle name is Hussein
U.S. president tells Channel 2 Israel is unlikely to attack Iran without coordinating with the U.S.
By Haaretz Service
Tags: Barack Obama Benjamin Netanyahu Middle East peace Israel news U.S. President Barack Obama told Channel 2 News on Wednesday that he believed Israel would not try to surprise the U.S. with a unilateral attack on Iran.
In an interview aired Thursday evening, Obama was asked whether he was concerned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would try to attack Iran without clearing the move with the U.S., to which the president replied "I think the relationship between Israel and the U.S. is sufficiently strong that neither of us try to surprise each other, but we try to coordinate on issues of mutual concern."
U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walking at the White House, on July 6, 2010.
Photo by: Reuters
Obama spoke to Channel 2's Yonit Levy one day after what he described as an "excellent" meeting with Netanyahu at the White House. The two leaders met alone for about 90 minutes Tuesday evening, during which time they discussed the peace process with the Palestinians, the contested Iranian nuclear program, and the strategic understandings between their two countries on Tehran's efforts to achieve nuclear capabilities.
Netanyahu promised Obama during their meeting that Israel would undertake confidence-building measures toward the Palestinian Authority in the coming days and weeks. These steps are likely to include the transfer of responsibility over more parts of the West Bank over to PA security forces.
During the interview Wednesday, when confronted with the anxiety that some Israelis feel toward him, Obama said that "some of it may just be the fact that my middle name is Hussein, and that creates suspicion."
"Ironically, I've got a Chief of Staff named Rahm Israel Emmanuel. My top political advisor is somebody who is a descendent of Holocaust survivors. My closeness to the Jewish American community was probably what propelled me to the U.S. Senate," Obama said.
"I think that sometimes, particularly in the Middle East, there's the feeling of the friend of my enemy must be my enemy, and the truth of the matter is that my outreach to the Muslim community is designed precisely to reduce the antagonism and the dangers posed by a hostile Muslim world to Israel and to the West," Obama went on to say.
Obama added that he believed a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians could be achieved within his current term. "I think [Netanyahu] understands we've got a fairly narrow window of opportunity… We probably won’t have a better opportunity than we have right now. And that has to be seized. It’s going to be difficult."
The American President entirely sidestepped the question of whether the U.S. would pressure Israel to extend a current 10-month moratorium on construction in West Bank settlements, failing to give a clear answer. The moratorium is set to expire in September, and Netanyahu has announced that he would not extend the timeframe. The U.S., however, views continued Israeli settlement construction as a serious obstacle to peace efforts.
When asked whether he thought Netanyahu was the right man to strike a peace deal with the Palestinians, the U.S. President said that "I think Prime Minister Netanyahu may be very well positioned to bring this about," adding that Israel will have to overcome many hurdles in order to affect the change required to "secure Israel for another 60 years"
In a separate interview with another Israeli media outlet, Obama proclaimed that he was not "blindly optimistic" regarding the chances of a Middle East peace agreement.
Israel is right to be skeptical about the peace process, he said in another yet-to-be-aired interview that was taped on Wednesday. He noted during the interview that many people thought the founding of Israel was impossible, so its very existence should be "a great source of hope."
Meanwhile on Wednesday, Netanyahu told U.S. Jewish leaders that direct Palestinian-Israeli talks would begin "very soon", but warned that they would be "very, very tough."
Netanyahu told his cabinet earlier this week before flying to Washington that the time had come for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to prepare to meet directly with the Israelis, as it was the only way to advance peace.
Israelis and Palestinians have been holding indirect talks mediated by Obama's special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell. Aides to Obama sounded a hopeful tone regarding the negotiations last week, telling reporters that the shuttle diplomacy between the two sides had paid off and the gaps have narrowed.
At a meeting with representatives of Jewish organizations at the Plaza Hotel late Wednesday, Netanyahu discussed the efforts to promote Middle East peace. "This is going to be a very, very tough negotiation," he said, adding "the sooner the better."
"Direct negotiations must begin right away, and we think that they will," he said.****
Cognitive Dissonance: Obama and the G20
Reply #586 on:
July 11, 2010, 01:42:27 PM »
I didn't want to let the occasion of the G20 go by without pointing out this glaring, unreported irony:
It was not just that Obama was wrong with his economic advice that all nations should print borrow or steal to 'stimulate' their economies... it is that he ran against that kind of arrogance - presuming that we always know what is best for other nations.
I wonder how many perfectly good Muslim teenagers around the world will now become terrorists due to that kind of American arrogance...
This incongruety is another sign of a personality disorder
Reply #587 on:
July 12, 2010, 11:26:55 AM »
Good point. An irony I didn't think of.
He has historically criticized the US as being "arrogant" yet who is more arrogant than the ONE who goes around the world lecturing everyone as the professor King who is teaching a world of children on right and wrong?
Another sign of psychopathic lack of self insight. This guy is far from normal.
Charles also notes the One's "modesty"
Reply #588 on:
July 12, 2010, 03:44:21 PM »
***The selective modesty of Barack Obama
By Charles Krauthammer
| Remember NASA? It once represented to the world the apogee of American scientific and technological achievement. Here is President Obama's vision of NASA's mission, as explained by administrator Charles Bolden:
"One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math; he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science and math and engineering."
Apart from the psychobabble -- farcically turning a space-faring enterprise into a self-esteem enhancer -- what's the sentiment behind this charge? Sure America has put a man on the moon, led the information revolution, won more Nobel Prizes than any other nation by far -- but, on the other hand, a thousand years ago al-Khwarizmi gave us algebra.
Bolden seems quite intent on driving home this message of achievement equivalence -- lauding, for example, Russia's contribution to the space station. Russia? In the 1990s, the Russian space program fell apart, leaving the United States to pick up the slack and the tab for the missing Russian contributions to get the space station built.
For good measure, Bolden added that the United States cannot get to Mars without international assistance. Beside the fact that this is not true, contrast this with the elan and self-confidence of President John Kennedy's 1961 pledge that America would land on the moon within the decade.
There was no finer expression of belief in American exceptionalism than Kennedy's. Obama has a different take. As he said last year in France, "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism." Which of course means: If we're all exceptional, no one is.
Take human rights. After Obama's April meeting with the president of Kazakhstan, Mike McFaul of the National Security Council reported that Obama actually explained to the leader of that thuggish kleptocracy that we, too, are working on perfecting our own democracy.
Nor is this the only example of an implied moral equivalence that diminishes and devalues America. Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner reported that in discussions with China about human rights, the U.S. side brought up Arizona's immigration law -- "early and often." As if there is the remotest connection between that and the persecution of dissidents, jailing of opponents and suppression of religion routinely practiced by the Chinese dictatorship.
Nothing new here. In his major addresses, Obama's modesty about his own country has been repeatedly on display as, in one venue after another, he has gratuitously confessed America's alleged failing -- from disrespecting foreigners to having lost its way morally after 9/11.
It's fine to recognize the achievements of others and be non-chauvinistic about one's country. But Obama's modesty is curiously selective. When it comes to himself, modesty is in short supply.
It began with the almost comical self-inflation of his presidential campaign, from the still inexplicable mass rally in Berlin in front of a Prussian victory column to the Greek columns framing him at the Democratic convention. And it carried into his presidency, from his posture of philosopher-king adjudicating between America's sins and the world's to his speeches marked by a spectacularly promiscuous use of the word "I."
Notice, too, how Obama habitually refers to Cabinet members and other high government officials as "my" -- "my secretary of homeland security," "my national security team," "my ambassador." The more normal -- and respectful -- usage is to say "the," as in "the secretary of state." These are, after all, public officials sworn to serve the nation and the Constitution -- not just the man who appointed them.
It's a stylistic detail, but quite revealing of Obama's exalted view of himself. Not surprising, perhaps, in a man whose major achievement before acceding to the presidency was writing two biographies -- both about himself.
Obama is not the first president with a large streak of narcissism. But the others had equally expansive feelings about their country. Obama's modesty about America would be more understandable if he treated himself with the same reserve. What is odd is to have a president so convinced of his own magnificence -- yet not of his own country's.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment on Charles Krauthammer's column by clicking by clicking here.****
Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness
Reply #589 on:
July 14, 2010, 12:54:17 PM »
The only thing worse than the damage Obama is doing to this nation would be if he were to suddenly triangulate and become popular again ala Clinton. I hope his enlisting Clinton is not a signal he is doing just that. Clinton proved that swing voters have short memories and will vote for the popular message of the day and forgive everything else. IF bamster does this he could regain his popularity which is not good for the US. I hope he keeps up the lefitst agenda till he gets booted out. Just my take anyway. From the man whose strategy kept the best con in chief in office a second term:
****By Dick Morris 07.14.2010 Published on TheHill.com on July 13, 2010
Any president facing a recession has a basic conundrum to resolve: If he doesn’t try to make people believe that a recovery is in progress, nobody will. But if he tries to make them believe that all is getting better, he risks being seen as out of touch at best or insensitive at worst.
It was just such a predicament that landed George H.W. Bush in trouble in 1991 when he preached that the economy was emerging from the recession, only to be seen as rich and elitist for his efforts. Things got so bad that this verbally challenged president once blurted out his staff’s strategy memo by saying, “Message: I care.” That was about as well-received as Nixon’s statement that “I am not a crook.”
Now Obama is trying to sell the unsellable — that the economy is getting better. In Nevada, he said: “But the question is, No. 1: Are we on the right track? And the answer is, yes.” Presumably those who are gullible enough to think they can beat the casino odds in Vegas are ripe for this form of self-delusion, but it leaves the rest of us cold. The fact is that, when asked directly in polls whether the U.S. is on the right or the wrong track, by more than two to one, Americans feel the nation is on the wrong track.
Fifteen million are unemployed and, adding in underemployed, part-time workers and those who have given up looking, the total is 26 million. So Obama’s statements of confidence are a bit like Herbert Hoover’s ritual incantation that “Prosperity is just around the corner.”
Polls show that 70 percent of Americans do not believe that the stimulus program has worked and a similar percentage feel the best thing we could do to create jobs is to cut taxes.
But Obama’s conundrum is that if he is not the font of optimism, who will be? Economists are increasingly coming to see that the so-called recovery was, in fact, a false dawn and that we are entering a double-dip recession (if, indeed, we ever left the initial downturn). In our book 2010: Take Back America — A Battle Plan, we predict a false dawn followed by a double dip — and now it is upon us.
It is now time for the Republicans to counterattack against Obama by calling him out of touch with the realities of the economy and to take advantage of the commonly held idea that the president doesn’t know what is going on in the streets. In Obama’s case, the GOP cannot then turn “out of touch” into an accusation of insensitivity (as the Democrats did to Bush-41). But they can push the idea that Obama is so wrapped up in his liberal ideology that he cannot see the reality in front of him — that big spending stimulus hasn’t worked and won’t work.
The Fox News poll now shows that 55 percent of all likely voters feel that it is appropriate to call Obama a socialist. This epithet, which most Americans did not see fit to use even a few months ago, fits him well. Republicans should make the point that he is willing to sacrifice all for his ideology and that he is blind to the reality of the damage his spending and borrowing are causing.
When a president runs around the country saying things that two-thirds of America does not believe, it is time to counterattack vigorously and show how out of touch he really is.
Then, with every invocation of optimism, Obama will be digging himself deeper and deeper into the hole.****
Cognitive Dissonance: DIck Morris - Triangulation?
Reply #590 on:
July 14, 2010, 04:02:32 PM »
"I hope he keeps up the lefitst agenda till he gets booted out."
Nothing in his character tells me 2012 will be a contest between a Republican and an honest liberal named Obama. I'm sure they have the confusion all planned just like the announcement 20 days before the explosion to expand offshore drilling:
There are damaging policies (IMO) in place right now such as automatic tax increases and healthcare legislation that can not be undone for a very long time, if ever, unless we see the Democrat party turn quickly away from far-leftism. Even if Republicans take the House this year and the Presidency and the Senate in 2012, they will not have 60 votes in the senate (ever?) necessary to enact or repeal much of anything without Dem. support. OTOH, I would think a Republican House could fail to fund any program, any year, and at least cause negotiation.
Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness
Reply #591 on:
July 15, 2010, 12:26:53 PM »
Yes he is as dishonest as they come.
Probably your right. He will continue to demogague and deceive the public to the bitter end rather than moving to the middle in actions as well as phoney rhetoric to garner more "independents" or otherwise voters who change their minds from one day to the next.
I don't think Repubs could ever get 60 votes on ideology alone, ie. Reaganism and that is why I am calling on a leader who can give more of a roadmap and be able to convince Americans that the bama way is the wrong way, not just for America as a whole but all of us - if anything is to be left.
My Model or Your Lying Eyes?
Reply #592 on:
July 15, 2010, 02:33:16 PM »
Obamanomics and my Seven Steamy Nights with the Gals from Victoria’s Secret
Posted by Daniel J. Mitchell
The White House is claiming that the so-called stimulus created between 2.5 million and 3.6 million jobs even though total employment has dropped by more than 2.3 million since Obama took office. The Administration justifies this legerdemain by asserting that the economy actually would have lost about 5 million jobs without the new government spending.
I’ve decided to adopt this clever strategy to spice up my social life. Next time I see my buddies, I’m going to claim that I enjoyed a week of debauchery with the Victoria’s Secret models. And if any of them are rude enough to point out that I’m lying, I’ll simply explain that I started with an assumption of spending -7 nights with the supermodels. And since I actually spent zero nights with them, that means a net of +7. Some of you may be wondering whether it makes sense to begin with an assumption of “-7 nights,” but I figure that’s okay since Keynesians begin with the assumption that you can increase your prosperity by transferring money from your left pocket to your right pocket.
Since I’m a gentleman, I’m not going to share any of the intimate details of my escapades, but I will include an excerpt from an editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal about the Obama Administration’s make-believe jobs.
President Obama’s chief economist announced that the plan had “created or saved” between 2.5 million and 3.6 million jobs and raised GDP by 2.7% to 3.2% through June 30. …We almost feel sorry for Ms. Romer having to make this argument given that since February 2009 the U.S. economy has lost a net 2.35 million jobs. Using the White House “created or saved” measure means that even if there were only three million Americans left with jobs today, the White House could claim that every one was saved by the stimulus. …White House economists…said the unemployment rate would peak at 9% without the stimulus (there’s your counterfactual) and that with the stimulus the rate would stay at 8% or below. In other words, today there are 700,000 fewer jobs than Ms. Romer predicted we would have if we had done nothing at all. If this is a job creation success, what does failure look like? …All of these White House jobs estimates are based on the increasingly discredited Keynesian spending “multiplier,” which according to White House economist Larry Summers means that every $1 of government spending will yield roughly $1.50 in higher GDP. Ms. Romer thus plugs her spending data into the Keynesian computer models and, presto, out come 2.5 million to 3.6 million jobs, even if the real economy has lost jobs. To adapt Groucho Marx: Who are you going to believe, the White House computer models, or your own eyes?
re. Obamanomics and my Seven Steamy Nights
Reply #593 on:
July 15, 2010, 04:51:00 PM »
"President Obama’s chief economist announced that the plan had “created or saved” between 2.5 million and 3.6 million jobs … the U.S. economy has lost a net 2.35 million jobs."
"I started with an assumption of spending -7 nights with the supermodels. And since I actually spent zero nights with them, that means a net of +7"
Excellent! It's unbelievable what they keep trying to pull over us with a straight face. I wonder what the conversation is before the spokesman goes to the podium: Are we really going to keep running with this worthless drivel?
Red is gray and
But we decide
Which is right
Which is an Illusion
- From the Moody Blues
Krauthammer: don't underestimate Obama
Reply #594 on:
July 16, 2010, 03:42:19 PM »
I don't agree with Charles on this one. He gives Bamster way too much credit comparing him to Reagan with regards to accomplishments in putting into law their ideologies. Reagan never had majorities in either houses (I don't think). Bamster started out with super majorities in both. They barely could squeek out legislation despite having big majorities. It is overrated to state Bamster got the legislation through. No one was listening to him later in the discourse. No one is listening to him now. Additionally, Bamster has an adoring media, and of course the liberal academia. Reagan never had this. Reagan got his policies through despite these oppositions. With Bamster the policies got through despite his failures. Once Bamster has one or both houses against him he will fold. I do agree though that great damage is already done and will be hard if at all possible to reverse once we trun back Bamsterism. It doesn't help that Bamster was lucky to have the opportunity to pick two Justices already in his first term.
So in short the problem is not over-estimating Bamster. He is way overrated. The point is not to over-estimating the Republicans to straighten out this mess.
In that regard I agree with Charles - Republicans be careful!
****Obama's next act
By Charles Krauthammer
| In the political marketplace, there's now a run on Obama shares. The left is disappointed with the president. Independents are abandoning him in droves. And the right is already dancing on his political grave, salivating about November when, his own press secretary admitted Sunday, Democrats might lose the House.
I have a warning for Republicans: Don't underestimate Barack Obama.
Consider what he has already achieved. Obamacare alone makes his presidency historic. It has irrevocably changed one-sixth of the economy, put the country inexorably on the road to national health care and, as acknowledged by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus but few others, begun one of the most massive wealth redistributions in U.S. history.
Second, there is major financial reform, which passed Congress on Thursday. Economists argue whether it will prevent meltdowns and bailouts as promised. But there is no argument that it will give the government unprecedented power in the financial marketplace. Its 2,300 pages will create at least 243 new regulations that will affect not only, as many assume, the big banks but just about everyone, including, as noted in one summary (the Wall Street Journal), "storefront check cashiers, city governments, small manufacturers, home buyers and credit bureaus."
Third is the near $1 trillion stimulus, the largest spending bill in U.S. history. And that's not even counting nationalizing the student loan program, regulating carbon emissions by Environmental Protection Agency fiat, and still-fitful attempts to pass cap-and-trade through Congress.
But Obama's most far-reaching accomplishment is his structural alteration of the U.S. budget. The stimulus, the vast expansion of domestic spending, the creation of ruinous deficits as far as the eye can see are not easily reversed.
These are not mere temporary countercyclical measures. They are structural deficits because, as everyone from Obama on down admits, the real money is in entitlements, most specifically Medicare and Medicaid. But Obamacare freezes these out as a source of debt reduction. Obamacare's $500 billion in Medicare cuts and $600 billion in tax increases are siphoned away for a new entitlement -- and no longer available for deficit reduction.
The result? There just isn't enough to cut elsewhere to prevent national insolvency. That will require massive tax increases -- most likely a European-style value-added tax. Just as President Ronald Reagan cut taxes to starve the federal government and prevent massive growth in spending, Obama's wild spending -- and quarantining health-care costs from providing possible relief -- will necessitate huge tax increases.
The net effect of 18 months of Obamaism will be to undo much of Reaganism. Both presidencies were highly ideological, grandly ambitious and often underappreciated by their own side. In his early years, Reagan was bitterly attacked from his right. (Typical Washington Post headline: "For Reagan and the New Right, the Honeymoon Is Over" -- and that was six months into his presidency!) Obama is attacked from his left for insufficient zeal on gay rights, immigration reform, closing Guantanamo -- the list is long. The critics don't understand the big picture. Obama's transformational agenda is a play in two acts.
Act One is over. The stimulus, Obamacare, financial reform have exhausted his first-term mandate. It will bear no more heavy lifting. And the Democrats will pay the price for ideological overreaching by losing one or both houses, whether de facto or de jure. The rest of the first term will be spent consolidating these gains (writing the regulations, for example) and preparing for Act Two.
The next burst of ideological energy -- massive regulation of the energy economy, federalizing higher education and "comprehensive" immigration reform (i.e., amnesty) -- will require a second mandate, meaning reelection in 2012.
That's why there's so much tension between Obama and congressional Democrats. For Obama, 2010 matters little. If Democrats lose control of one or both houses, Obama will probably have an easier time in 2012, just as Bill Clinton used Newt Gingrich and the Republicans as the foil for his 1996 reelection campaign.
Obama is down, but it's very early in the play. Like Reagan, he came here to do things. And he's done much in his first 500 days. What he has left to do he knows must await his next 500 days -- those that come after reelection.
The real prize is 2012. Obama sees far, farther than even his own partisans. Republicans underestimate him at their peril.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.****
Reply #595 on:
July 16, 2010, 03:52:28 PM »
Wow, as the attached graph shows, BHO's stimulus efforts have been far more successful than I thought. Perhaps one of you economics luminaries can show me where I went wrong.
Full size image here:
Cognitive Dissonance of the Glibness: Obama's Golf Game
Reply #596 on:
July 19, 2010, 12:53:25 AM »
I believe strongly in the right of the Commander in Chief to have a little R&R, but something in this story is weird. There were a couple of posts in the last month speculating about what is wrong with this guy. In this case, there is nothing wrong with being lousy at golf, what is weird is 41 rounds so far! During your Presidency. On Father's day with the wife and kids at home. While the gulf blackens, etc. In light of all they know and all they do just for appearances sake, out he goes for another round. Each is typically a 5-hour outing. And never a score reported, which is very strange since he is obsessed with playing the full 18, every time, not just hitting balls or sneaking out over a lunch hour for 4 or 5 holes. Games like golf can reveal character such as by whether you count all of your mistakes and penalties and report an accurate score - or take Billigans as they were called under the last Democratic President. Here are the leaders of the free world on the White House putting green:
Here is a video of his swing, called Potus Shankapotomus, with some unflattering amateur commentary:
Unfair comparison (Tiger Woods' swing), but the link below shows what a good swing looks like . The arms and the club rotate through the ball together on a smooth plane while the head stays still.
Obama Has Shot 41 Rounds of Golf as President
by Keith Koffler on July 16, 2010, 3:30 pm
President Barack Obama has played a remarkable 41 rounds of golf since becoming president, easily outpacing his predecessor and possibly damaging his ability to portray himself in 2012 as a populist advocate of average folks.
With the excursions lasting on average at least five hours, the president has devoted a total of more than 200 hours to golf, not counting time spent on the White House putting green. That’s the equivalent of twenty five eight-hour work days, or five work weeks spent smacking golf balls.
The former community organizer’s 41 trips around the links – a standard of recreational activity well beyond the budgets of most Americans – compares to only 24 total outings for former President George W. Bush, according to statistics compiled by White House chronicler Mark Knoller of CBS News. Bush, whose golf outings were used to help deride him as a callow, lazy, rich boy, played his 24th and last round on Oct. 13, 2003, saying he was ending the practice out of respect for the families of Americans killed in Iraq.
Since the April 20 explosion that killed 11 rig workers and started the Gulf oil spill, Obama has teed up seven times, according to White House Dossier’s count. This includes back to back sessions April 23 and 24 while on vacation at the Grove Park Resort & Spa in Asheville, NC, just days after the crisis began.
Obama’s focus on golf borders on obsession. Startled reporters follow him out to the course in the motorcade in the broiling Washington heat and then wait in the air conditioning while he puts in 18 holes. Rarely does he play any less.
On June 19, he dragged the 67 year old Vice President Biden onto the course for a sweltering 18 holes, calling into question whether he was trying to commit murder-by-golf in order to free the 2012 VP slot up for Hillary.
From a period stretching from April 3 to May 22 of this year, the president went golfing eight of nine weekends. WOULD YOUR WIFE LET YOU DO THAT?? WOULD YOU LET YOUR HUSBAND? Michelle, what gives?
He went out only once in June when, with the Gulf of Mexico slowly becoming the new U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve and accusations of presidential inattention at their height, White House image counselors appeared to think the golf needed scaling back. But he’s back with a vengeance, having made his way out on the course both weekends so far this month.
Since he’s officially on vacation this weekend in Bar Harbor Maine, there appears to be little holding him back from heading out to the greens at least once.
Obama golf While on the course, Obama for the most part likes to keep it nice and light, often playing with a youngish crowd. No deep discussions of policy on the links.
One of his companions on nearly every outing is Marvin Nicholson, the affable, White House trip director. Nicholson, a former “body man” to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), is the perfect guy for getting away from it all, having worked as a golf caddy, a bartender, and in a windsurfing shop – where he met Kerry.
Also generally on hand is David Katz, a former Obama campaign photographer.
Emphatically not invited for the most part are members of Congress or senior White House aides.
The White House is of course sensitive to the awkward look of the whole thing. A search of of the word “golf” on the White House page or the photo sharing site Flickr brings back only nine official White House photo results, three of which are neither of Obama nor golf. A search for “basketball,” the everyman’s game, brings back 39 photos.
Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 01:13:56 AM by DougMacG
Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness
Reply #597 on:
July 19, 2010, 12:37:35 PM »
He certainly pursues an active social life.
Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness
Reply #598 on:
July 19, 2010, 01:56:49 PM »
"He certainly pursues an active social life." - True but the golf thing seems the opposite. He doesn't entertain equals or dignitaries; it is all about him. Nice golf courses are usually lined with private homes. Imagine the planning of the secret service during the week, 41 times, even if he only golfs on the weekend. The video was obviously unknowingly shot from the deck of someone's home along a course. The scope of an assassin's rifle would easily find the same range. Are the homes all searched and are the guests of all the homes screened and monitored along all 18 holes, every round, as they would be for a campaign event or Presidential address?
Accelerated Shuttering on Parade
Reply #599 on:
July 21, 2010, 01:05:48 PM »
Dealergate: Destroying Jobs in the Name of “Shared Sacrifice”
Dealergate exposes the nightmare of government-controlled businesses.
Everything you need to know about the nightmare of government-controlled businesses can be found in a damning new inspector general’s report on Dealergate. The independent review of how and why the Obama administration forced Chrysler and General Motors to oversee mass closures of car dealerships across the country reveals grisly incompetence, fatal bureaucratic hubris, and Big Labor cronyism. No wonder you won’t hear much about the report’s in-depth details in the so-called mainstream media.
Under the guise of “saving” the American auto industry through a bipartisan, taxpayer-funded bailout now topping $80 billion, President Obama’s know-nothing bureaucrats pushed the car companies to eliminate thousands of jobs — with unjustified haste using dubious economic models.
Obama ordered the bailout recipients to “prove” their long-term viability by submitting restructuring plans. But White House and Treasury Department “experts” rejected the auto manufacturers’ proposals, citing the too-slow pace of their plans to reduce their dealership networks over a period of five years. Once the auto companies modified those plans to meet government-backed timelines, the money flowed.
But Neil Barofsky, the federal watchdog overseeing the bank-auto-insurance-all-purpose bailout fund, found that the White House auto-industry task force and the Treasury Department “Auto Team” had no basis for ordering the expedited car-dealership closure schedules. They relied on a single consulting firm’s internal report recommending that the U.S. companies adopt foreign auto-industry models to increase profits — a recommendation hotly disputed by auto experts, who questioned whether foreign practices could be applied to domestic dealership networks.
Team Obama’s government auto mechanics also ignored the economic impact of rushing those closures. According to Barofsky, they discounted counter-testimony from industry officials that “closing dealerships in an environment already disrupted by the recession could result in an even greater crisis in sales.”
The inspector general also noted that “it is clear that tens of thousands of dealership jobs were immediately put in jeopardy as a result of the terminations by GM and Chrysler.” After extensive investigation, the watchdog concluded that “the acceleration of dealership closings was not done with any explicit cost savings to the manufacturers in mind.” Only after Capitol Hill critics — both Republicans and Democrats — started questioning the Dealergate decisions did Obama’s auto “experts” come up with market studies and estimated job-loss data to assess the impact of their reckless, arbitrary orders.
In sum, the inspector general found:
At a time when the country was experiencing the worst economic downturn in generations and the government was asking its taxpayers to support a $787 billion stimulus package designed primarily to preserve jobs, Treasury made a series of decisions that may have substantially contributed to the accelerated shuttering of thousands of small businesses and thereby potentially adding tens of thousands of workers to the already lengthy unemployment rolls — all based on a theory and without sufficient consideration of the decisions' broader economic impact.
This is no surprise, of course, considering the amount of actual business expertise among Obama’s auto czars and key staff. That is: zero. Obama’s first auto czar, Steve Rattner, ran a private-equity firm in New York before resigning his position amid a financial ethics cloud.
Rattner’s chief auto-expert adviser, Brian Deese, is a 30-something former Hillary Clinton/Barack Obama campaign aide and law-school graduate with no business experience, who openly boasted that he “never set foot in an automotive assembly plant.”
And Rattner’s auto-czar successor, Ron Bloom, is a far-left union lawyer who cut his teeth under Big Labor boss John Sweeney, has ideological ties to the corporate-hating Labor Zionist movement, and opined that “the blather about free trade, free-markets and the joys of competition is nothing but pabulum for the suckers.”
In search of the rationale for Team Obama’s bizarre, job-killing exercise of power over thousands of small car dealerships, the TARP inspector general may have stumbled onto the truth from Bloom. On page 33 of its report, Barofsky writes:
No one from Treasury, the manufacturers or from anywhere else indicated that implementing a smaller or more gradual dealership termination plan would have resulted in the cataclysmic scenario spelled out in Treasury's response; indeed, when asked explicitly whether the Auto Team could have left the dealerships out of the restructurings, Mr. Bloom, the current head of the Auto Team, confirmed that the Auto Team "could have left any one component (of the restructuring plan) alone," but that doing so would have been inconsistent with the President's mandate for "shared sacrifice."
“Social justice” chickens coming home to roost.
— Michelle Malkin is the author of Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies
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