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Author Topic: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness  (Read 199405 times)
G M
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« Reply #800 on: March 22, 2011, 10:24:50 AM »

Operation "I'm not Jimmy Carter"

Operation "End Clinton's primary challenge before it starts"
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DougMacG
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« Reply #801 on: March 26, 2011, 12:42:21 PM »

Complete amateur hour at the White House.  Is this part of the Hoax? I get the impression this young fellow has never met the President, doesn't know how to reach him and is a million miles away from being able to confront him on a tough question before a press briefing.  Someone told him to just say the President is commited to corporate tax reform, over and over and over.  It is f*kcing YEAR THREE in the Obama administration and YEAR FIVE of being in power in Washington.  His not the least bit committed to any kind of ANY kind of tax reform that is complet b*llSh*t.  GE is a highly powered lobbying company immersed in industries that are heavily subsidized by a target-this and target-that form of government that we replaced our equal protection system with.  The head of G.E. is Obama's CHAIR of the 'Competitiveness Council'.  News story: GE is a FORMER American company with $14 billion in profit, makes most of it overseas ande pays no US tax.  This kid is aware of the story, it isn't the first year this has happened, he has no idea how to reach the President or what to say if he did.  (And we talk about Republicans having no one ready for leadership??) April 1, US will have the highest corporate income tax rate in the developed world - highest incentive to dodge, hide, move and pay none.  What part of supply-side policies that increases revenues do these anti-capitalism clowns not get? All of it!  (G.E. off course pays enormous taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, payroll taxes, excise taxes, state taxes, local taxes, etc. etc. but they don't get that either.)
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/03/25/tapper_asks_whs_carney_about_obama_adviser_immelt_of_ge_not_paying_taxes.html
This is the SPOKESMAN for the President!
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #802 on: March 26, 2011, 02:21:54 PM »

Those comments would also fit in the Fascism thread btw, for this sort of nonsense is exactly what one gets with the Mussolini approach to economics.

Anyway, speaking of GE, also worth noting is that it has a rather hideous record of doing business with Iran involving technology that it might not be a good idea for the Iranians to have.  Sorry I don't have any citations on this, but someone with good google fu could find it I bet.
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G M
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GE
« Reply #803 on: March 26, 2011, 02:31:06 PM »

http://www.911familiesforamerica.org/?p=646

General Electric has admitted that it has contracts in Syria and Iran for electric power plants, oil and gas, lighting, and medical equipment (that latter is humanitarian stuff not subject to sanctions and no one is citing them). GE claims that none of it is being used for military purposes by “Iranian forces” or “Syrian forces.” Here is an excerpt from GE’s response to a 2006 inquiry by the SEC, Office of Global Security Risk:

“In addition to diagnostic, monitoring and life science medical products, our products and services that are sold or otherwise distributed include power generation systems and parts, oil & gas equipment, power control/supply and lighting products in Iran, each of which is sold or distributed pursuant to legal obligations entered into prior to February 2005. We sell our products and services directly and through distributors located in Iran and elsewhere. Our customers include private companies, government-owned electrical utilities and refineries, the Ministry of Oil, public/private hospitals and universities. To the best of our knowledge, none of the products or services we provide has been, or could be, employee in any military application or used by the armed forces of Iran for strategic, tactical or training purposes.”

How about the foreign insurgents financed by Iran, flying into Damascus, being trained in Syrian camps and crossing through the Syrian-Iraq border, what our troops call the “rat line?”

Apparently, General Electric either does not get or care that Iran has been violating international law for 30 years with impunity. Iran has engaged in proxy wars through its terrorist arm Hezbollah and through its Revolutionary Guards. It has kidnapped and killed American citizens and the citizens of its neighbors. It has provided foreign fighters, arms, and money to fight the US and Coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. It defies the international community in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. It declared war on the US — its enemy — and advocates its destruction, along with Israel.

The purpose of economic sanctions against Iran is to provide the world community with some leverage, to let the ayatollahs know that their murderous, outlaw conduct comes with a price, that there will be consequences. When companies like GE, an iconic American company founded by Thomas Edison, find legal loopholes to do business with the people who call America and its allies their sworn enemies, that not only gives comfort and life support to the ayatollahs, that sends a signal that America and its allies do not even have the support of their own people.

Some time ago, GE changed its corporate slogan from “We bring good things to life,” to “Imagination at work.” The latter is a good description of the mendacity of GE’s lawyers, who told the SEC Office of Global Security that GE’s old contracts were okay. Yet President Bill Clinton put US sanctions against Iran in place in 1995, more than twelve years ago.

When we see Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling for “death to America” and watch Iranian fast boats charging US Navy ships, we see the enemy. General Electric sees a customer in good standing.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #804 on: March 27, 2011, 11:03:37 AM »

"this sort of nonsense is exactly what one gets with the Mussolini approach to economics"

Yes.  My anger in this case is aimed personally and professionally at the President.  We have 3 wars going on, a 3 year economic collapse, 50 states with revenue shortfalls, U6 unemployment approaching 20% and borrowing / mostly printing more than a trillion a year to keep a bloated government open while a 10 vehicle motorcade heads out for his 64th, 6 hour round of golf.  (I love golf and G.E. is a fine, government directed company, doing exactly as they are told.) This clip was my first time seeing his new spokesmodel. Nothing but lies about what his direction has been for over 2 years as President, over 4 years in power and over 6 years since he became the rock star of the movement and the direction he is still headed.  Communist China with a lower rate already than ours lowered their rate in Jan. 2008 and took a much softer hit in the downturn.  Japan, the only country in the developed world with a rate higher than ours has their s coming down next week, April 1, 2011.  GE is doing fine under punitive taxation, proving that a global company can adjust.  Obama is completely stuck on stupid, still talking about taxing the rich harder while dishing out more and more tax incentives for this and tax incentives for that, a soft 'Mussolini' style of government directing what our no-longer-private businesses do with their products and investments.  Then send out a paid mouthpiece to step up and say exactly the opposite.  No attempt to tell the truth, no clue what is going wrong and no curiosity or interest whatsoever about how to solve it - or WHEN?!  If there is reform it will be with the President dragged and screaming. 

GE for their part is just doing as directed, building wind turbines etc. (offshore) and controllers for subsidized seasonal golf carts to replace the automobile. No different than offering to pay an inner city mom to drop out of school, stay unmarried, stay out of productive work, and have more children, and then find out she dropped out of school, stayed unmarried, unemployed and is having more children.

Sargent Schultz to Colonel Klink: "I know nothing, I know NOTHING!"

Herr Zeller: I've not asked you where you and your family are going. Nor have you asked me why I am here.
Captain von Trapp: Well, apparently, we're both suffering from a deplorable lack of curiosity.

Jake Tapper, ABC: 'G.E. made $14 billion in profits and paid no taxes the last 2 years...'
White House Spokesman: "The President is committed to corporate tax reform."

What President? Where?  There is no business in the world that heard that 'commitment' and acted on it to move productive and profitable operations back to the U.S.  We all know it is complete BS and yet 48% approve of the job he is doing huh

The honest answer was, "Jack, our tax code is no longer intended to tax evenly or even to collect the revenues we need to pay for our government.  It is designed only as a complex experiment in government directed social engineering; it barely pays for 60% of our expenditures.  We print the rest.  Can't you see that?  Next question."
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ccp
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« Reply #805 on: March 28, 2011, 09:31:17 AM »

"and yet 48% approve of the job he is doing"

This is what we get when 50% pay no Federal Income Tax.

What do they care?

And an estimated get more money then they pay in.

The real middle class, that actually works AND pays taxes continues to run faster and faster on the treadmill.

Many of the wealthy continue to enjoy gaming the system.  Yes they create wealth but they also have the system gamed.

Nothing ever changes.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #806 on: March 28, 2011, 12:06:56 PM »

[48% approve]' This is what we get when 50% pay no Federal Income Tax.'

True, I thought about the CCP doctrine ) as I wrote that.  I would just point out the the G.E. phenomenon proves their thinking to be wrongheaded.  It is actually the supply-siders who are trying to maximize growth and revenues that would be available to spend on those goodies for the unproductive 50%.  Once again high tax rates were just proved to chase away production and not raise revenues.  At the time Pelosi, Reid and Obama took the majority in congress promising to raise taxes, companies like GE were rearranging their affairs to limit exposure, the polar opposite of maximize growth and hiring.

Obama et al partially understand that you don't raise taxes in a recession.  With all those ivy league smarts, why don't they recognize the corollary of that 'law' that it has the same dragging effect on the economy all the time.
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ccp
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« Reply #807 on: March 28, 2011, 12:27:49 PM »

The GE-no income tax- thanks to Charles Rangel- a congressional tax cheat-yet re-elected- and GE payoff to Rangel- with Obama demogogary about corporate greed-etc.

Indeed, it is beyond infuriating.  And the 48% who still approve of Bamster are similar to the same croud that re elects a criminal - Rangel.  They are all into stealing tax payer moenies.

Everyone is bribed with government money or tax loop holes.

Did you see on Stossel how Bruce Springstein pays no property tax in NJ, the highest property tax state in the country because he has an "organic" gardener/"farm" on his huge spread?

Or Bon Jovi, another one who sings Katherine's song lyrics and claims he writes them (I allege wink) and pays no property tax because he breeds bees on his property )http://biggovernment.com/tag/charles-rangel(Or actually they might pay like $200 I think Stossel said).

This is why I am so pessimistic and look at it all like a joke.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #808 on: March 30, 2011, 12:44:36 PM »

I would like to have it both ways.  We need to be careful criticizing the President needlessly on Libya or anywhere at water's edge where the choices are certainly difficult, yet free speech and the search for truth goes on...  smiley   This starts out about Libya but drifts to historical context and then all things glibness.  Obama's thinking in the crisis needs inspection since his final decisions really aren't yet made and since we certainly face another hundred years of crises to deal with in the region.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/03/30/measuring_force_109390.html
Incoherent Policy
By Thomas Sowell

You don't just walk up to the local bully and slap him across the face. If you are determined to confront him, then you try to knock the living daylights out of him. Otherwise, you are better off to leave him alone.

Anyone who grew up in my old neighborhood in Harlem could have told you that. But Barack Obama didn't grow up in my old neighborhood. He had a much more genteel upbringing, including a fancy private school, in Hawaii.

Maybe that is why he thinks he can launch military operations against Moammar Qaddafi, while promising not to kill him and promising that no American ground troops will be used.

It is the old liberal illusion that you can measure out force with a teaspoon, not only in military operations micro-managed by civilians in Washington, like the Vietnam war, but also in domestic confrontations when the police are trying to control a rioting mob, and are being restrained by politicians, while the mob is restrained by nobody.

We went that route in the 1960s, and the results were not inspiring, either domestically or internationally.

The old saying, "When you strike at a king, you must kill him," is especially apt when it comes to attacking a widely recognized sponsor of international terrorism like Colonel Qaddafi. To attack him without destroying his regime is just asking for increased terrorism against Americans and America's allies. So is replacing him with insurgents who include other sponsors of terrorism.

President Obama's Monday night speech was long on rhetoric and short on logic. He said: "I believe that this movement of change cannot be turned back, and that we must stand alongside those who believe in the same core principles that have guided us."

Just what would lead him to conclude that this includes the largely unknown forces who are trying to seize power in Libya?

Too often in the past, going all the way back to the days of Woodrow Wilson, we have operated on the assumption that a bad government becomes better after the magic of "change." President Wilson said that we were fighting the First World War to make the way "safe for democracy." But what actually followed was the replacement of autocratic monarchies by totalitarian dictatorships that made previous despots pale by comparison.

The most charitable explanation for President Obama's incoherent policy in Libya-- if incoherence can be called a policy -- is that he suffers from the long-standing blind spot of the left when it comes to the use of force.

A less charitable and more likely explanation is that Obama is treating the war in Libya as he treats all sorts of other things, as actions designed above all to serve his own political interests and ideological visions. Whether it does even that depends on what the situation is like in Libya when the 2012 elections roll around.

As for the national interests of the United States of America, Barack Obama has never shown any great concern about that.

President Obama started alienating our staunchest allies, Britain and Israel, from his earliest days in office, while cozying up to our adversaries such as Russia and China, not to mention the Palestinians, who cheered when they saw on television the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Many people in various parts of the political spectrum are expressing a sense of disappointment with Obama. But I have not felt the least bit disappointed.

Once in office, President Obama has done exactly what his whole history would lead you to expect him to do-- such as cutting the military budget and vastly expanding the welfare state.

He has by-passed the Constitution by appointing power-wielding "czars" who don't have to be confirmed by the Senate like Cabinet members, and now he has by-passed Congress by taking military actions based on authorization by the United Nations and the Arab League.

Those who expected his election to mark a new "post-racial" era may be the most disappointed. He has appointed people with a track record of race resentment promotion and bias, like Attorney General Eric Holder and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Disappointing? No. Disgusting? Yes. The only disappointment is with voters who voted their hopes and ignored his realities.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #809 on: April 01, 2011, 10:51:55 AM »

"Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm." --James Madison

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ccp
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« Reply #810 on: April 01, 2011, 03:20:09 PM »

What is also disgusting watching and hearing the liberal media calling Bamster complimentary names like "genius", "cunning", "cautious".

There are no lenghths to whcih they will not go to cover for him.
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ccp
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« Reply #811 on: April 02, 2011, 01:20:58 PM »

Shmeidrec

Shabtsitvaynik

means:

http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Glossary/Yiddish_Words/yiddish_words.html#Sh
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ccp
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« Reply #812 on: April 06, 2011, 02:04:57 PM »

"Quit playing games".

I assume he means college basketball picking, golf, soccor etc...

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/04/06/obama_to_gop_on_budget_getting_your_way_is_not_how_it_works.html
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #813 on: April 06, 2011, 04:48:24 PM »

Several things here I have not seen before , , ,


http://www.westernjournalism.com/exclusive-investigative-reports/the-mystery-of-barack-obama-continues/
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G M
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« Reply #814 on: April 06, 2011, 06:58:25 PM »

Very, very interesting. It is a federal felony to use any SSN aside from your own.
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G M
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« Reply #815 on: April 07, 2011, 08:14:05 PM »



Magic!
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ccp
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« Reply #816 on: April 11, 2011, 10:13:48 AM »

He is used to adulation, being the one, everyone listening and bowing to him in awe.  Now his bluff is called he has no where to turn.

The Chosen One is now the Phoney One.  Even the MSM can't cover for him now.  So what's in his thesis???  I want to know.  I demand to know.  We the American people have a RIGHT to know.  Keep it up Trump.

****WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama wants you to know that he is not a golf addict.

He spends so much time unwinding on the links because security restrictions mean he can't go out for long walks or go to the carwash or the grocery store.

The president's comments came during a session with editors and publishers from Hearst Magazines in which he described life behind the scenes in the White House.

The president said he loves his life in the White House but doesn't enjoy some of the ways of Washington, such as the "kabuki dance" among political partisans before serious policy discussions begin. He also regrets his loss of personal privacy.

"I just miss - I miss being anonymous," he said at the meeting in the White House. "I miss Saturday morning, rolling out of bed, not shaving, getting into my car with my girls, driving to the supermarket, squeezing the fruit, getting my car washed, taking walks. I can't take a walk."

He says he enjoys golf but is not the fanatic that some have portrayed.

"It's the only excuse I have to get outside for four hours at a stretch," he said.

His impossible dream: "I just want to go through Central Park (in New York) and watch folks passing by ... spend the day watching people. I miss that."****

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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #817 on: April 11, 2011, 09:33:45 PM »

The Obama Administration’s FOIA Compliance

Posted by David Rittgers

Jim Harper has done a lot of work on the Obama administration’s efforts to be more transparent, especially with regard to “sunlight before signing ,” earmark data , and FOIA compliance . The Obama administration could do a lot more on the FOIA front.

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC ) recently added a FOIA Project , which lists all FOIA requests that have become the subject of federal litigation since October 1, 2009. This includes an interactive FOIA Map  that lets you zoom in and locate lawsuits across the United States.

TRAC has proven an invaluable resource for tracking federal government activities, and has been litigating FOIA requests for years . A recent Supreme Court decision, Milner v. Department of the Navy , reduced the ability of government agencies to withhold data under FOIA exemptions. Undeterred, an ICE official “informed TRAC that those who had requested and been denied access to documents under the FOIA prior to the court’s ground-breaking decision was rendered had no right to obtain them .” More details are available here .

It’s pretty bad when ICE is hiding behind procedural barriers to sidestep FOIA requests; it’s another ballgame entirely at DHS. DHS officials tried to turn the objective standard of FOIA – disclosure to one is disclosure to all – into a subjective one, looking into the political beliefs of the requester  to avoid embarrassment for DHS. An email trail shows how a former Obama staffer asked DHS employees to redact “politically sensitive ” details from FOIA releases. Obama officials defended DHS’s FOIA policy  in congressional hearings, and a DHS attorney tried to remove exhibits from the hearings. His explanation :

“As counsel for DHS, I object to counsel for the committee’s refusal to allow exhibits they had shown to the witness and that all are e-mail messages from DHS personnel to DHS personnel on their official DHS-issued accounts and use of e-mail services. These are not committee records, these are, rather, DHS records; and so there is no reason the committee should be able to prevent us from taking them, since they have shown them to the witness and used them in this interview.”

The Obama administration declared that it would be “the most open and transparent in history .” It is falling well short of the mark.

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/the-obama-administration’s-foia-compliance/
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DougMacG
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« Reply #818 on: April 16, 2011, 12:44:27 AM »

Continuing the coverage and criticism of the incumbent:

1) For his budget speech this week (where Biden snoozed) touted to be serious and news making (turns out it was a speech, not a plan), he invited and Paul Ryan among others came and sat in the front row, only to be personally trashed by the President in a Presidential address, in a partisan rant, without getting his facts correct. 

2) Recall that he did that to the Supreme Court Justices at a State of the Union, got them all invited in and seated and then trashed them in front of the nation, their colleagues and the other branches of government, without getting his facts right.

3) Already covered, but his insensitivity to the questioner about gas prices means he is out of touch to the declining standard of living under his watch and flippant about it.  He says buy a hybrid (he used to say inflate your tires).  They need more vehicle so he says buy an SUV hybrid.  He has no idea how old their car is or what they drive or what their income or employment status is, but if they had bought a hybrid at the start of his Presidency based on the gas cost savings, with or without a subsidy, that savings was already swallowed up by the price increases from failed energy policies under his watch.  Specifically, this ignorant jerk's refusal to allow real domestic energy production commensurate with our consumption.  JMHO.
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ccp
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« Reply #819 on: April 16, 2011, 12:10:52 PM »

"Presidential address, in a partisan rant, without getting his facts correct"

but Doug, MSNBC called his speech a home run??? rolleyes
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #820 on: April 16, 2011, 12:23:54 PM »

Stripping Congress of its Power of the Purse?
David Bernstein • April 16, 2011 9:19 am

Via Althouse, I learn the following from Jake Tapper:

One rider [to the bill] – Section 2262 — de-funds certain White House adviser positions – or “czars.” The president in his signing statement declares that he will not abide by it.

“The President has well-established authority to supervise and oversee the executive branch, and to obtain advice in furtherance of this supervisory authority,” he wrote. “The President also has the prerogative to obtain advice that will assist him in carrying out his constitutional responsibilities, and do so not only from executive branch officials and employees outside the White House, but also from advisers within it. Legislative efforts that significantly impede the President’s ability to exercise his supervisory and coordinating authorities or to obtain the views of the appropriate senior advisers violate the separation of powers by undermining the President’s ability to exercise his constitutional responsibilities and take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

Therefore, the president wrote, “the executive branch will construe section 2262 not to abrogate these Presidential prerogatives.”

This raises an extremely serious constitutional question: if Congress has refused to fund the “czars,” where exactly does President Obama get the authority and funding to pay them?

Remember Iran-Contra? The problem for the Reagan Administration there was that Congress banned the president from allocating money to the Contras. The Administration, quite illegally in my view, tried to get around that ban by using funds from arm sales to Iran to subvert the Congressional ban.

At least the Reagan Administration had the decency to do this secretly, knowing that it was acting unconstitutionally. Moreover, the Reagan folks at least were able to claim that they technically weren’t violating the Congressional ban, because they weren’t using Congressionally allocated funds, but the proceeds from arms sales.

The Obama Administration, by contrast, seems to be brazenly violating the Constitution. As I tell my constitutional law students, Congress’s ultimate power is the power of the purse. If Congress objects, for example, to military action engaged in by the president, it can simply refuse to allocate funds.

But the Obama Administration’s position seems to be that so long as it issues a signing statement refusing to abide by restrictions on funding that it deems to interfere with executive prerogatives, it can simply create the funding out of thin air. If there is no statutory funding for the czars, where exactly is the money coming from?

This is a very dangerous position for the Executive branch to take, and I hope even Obama partisans will recoil at this. Imagine if a future Republican president gets the U.S. involved in a deeply unpopular war. A Democratic Congress passes a military spending bill that specifically denies the president authority to spend any additional money on that war after a 60 day period to get the troops out. The president signs the bill, but with a signing statement that says that the bill’s ban on war funding violates the separation of powers and therefore “the executive branch will construe the relevant section not to abrogate these Presidential prerogatives.” Democrats, and anyone concerned with the Constitution for that matter, would be up in arms, and rightly so.

If Obama had such serious constitutional objections to Section 2262, he had only one constitutionally proper move to make, and that was to veto the bill.

UPDATE: A commenter points out that the signing statement doesn’t explicitly state that Obama would/will fund “czars” against a Congressional ban on such funding. I read “legislative efforts that significantly impede the President’s ability to exercise his supervisory and coordinating authorities ... violate the separation of powers” to mean such, but I suppose it’s possible the administration wouldn’t take it that far. Apparently, also from the comments, the administration is claiming that the defunding language won’t have any practical impact, so I guess we won’t find out.

I would hope, however, for a clarifying comment from the White House that it is NOT asserting the authority to fund positions/actions when Congress has passed a bill signed by the president specifically banning such funding.

Also, I’m not asserting that funding a secret war and paying presidential advisors is on the same level of practical malfeasance. As a matter of simple policy, the former is obviously more important.

What I am arguing is that the principle that Obama seems to be asserting, that the president can allocate money from budgetary funds even when the law says he can’t, goes beyond the constitutional sins of the Reagan Administration. Under Reagan, when Congress refused to allow funding for the Contras from normal budgetary funds, Reagan didn’t say, “this violates the separation of powers, so I’m going to spend the money anyway.” Rather, he authorized a secret operation to use funds from arm sales to Iran to fund the Contras. That was itself, in my view, illegal and otherwise problematic, but it still paid fealty to the idea that the president cannot spend funds budgeted by Congress in a way that Congress has explicitly prohibited. Unless we get a contrary clarification from the Obama Administration, its signing statement threatens to become a precedent that erodes or even eviscerates that principle. The long-term endpoint would be that the president, once he ariculates separation of powers concerns, could simply take money that’s been allocated for one thing and spend it not just on something else, but on something else specifically prohibited by law. And I don’t want ANY president, Republican or Democrat, to have such authority.

http://volokh.com/2011/04/16/stripping-congress-of-its-power-of-the-purse/
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G M
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« Reply #821 on: April 16, 2011, 12:30:54 PM »

"But Obama is awesome".







 rolleyes
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #822 on: April 17, 2011, 12:34:12 AM »

Comments BD?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #823 on: April 26, 2011, 03:02:49 PM »

He keeps defining cognitive dissonance:

Obama wants us to be out of oil/gas for our cars, nudged and forced into making other choices.  He wants the price to go up - gradually over time - which is to foster scarcity, limit physical supplies so they fail to keep up with economic demand.

He wants us on the edge starving for enegy, vulnerable to even the smallest faraway disruption, unable to handle for example the 'oil shock' of something as small as the war in Libya.  Then he started the war.
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ccp
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« Reply #824 on: April 27, 2011, 09:33:19 AM »

I am satisfied with the birth certificate.

I wonder why the ONE refused to release it till now though.

Hats off to Trump!  I agree wholeheartedly that he accomplished what no one else could/would do and I absoulety maintain a position that it was absolutely necessary.

As for the school records or how he got into columbia and harvard I personally care less.  Affirmative action or not what's the difference?

I would like to know more about the One's political activities and positions while a political science major at Columbia.
One can only imagine the radical America, European, possibly white, capatilism, hating stuff he surrounded himself with.

If not true than why is it kept so secret?

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #825 on: April 27, 2011, 10:17:57 AM »

Breaking News Alert
The New York Times
Wed, April 27, 2011 -- 9:24 AM ET
-----

White House Releases Long Form of President Obama's Hawaii Birth Certificate

President Obama posted a copy of his "long form" birth
certificate, hoping to finally end a long-simmering
conspiracy theory among some conservatives that he was not
born in the United States and was not a legitimate president.

The birth certificate, which is posted online at the White
House website, shows conclusively that Mr. Obama was born in
Honolulu, Hawaii, and is signed by state officials and his
mother.

Read More:
http://www.nytimes.com?emc=na

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DougMacG
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« Reply #826 on: April 27, 2011, 10:30:29 AM »

"I am satisfied with the birth certificate."

What a bizarre chapter in American history this was.  What is the significance of keeping the long form in the vault if not to answer a question like eligibility to serve as President?  Turns out that for ten bucks he can just order a copy.

I guess The Unifier's handlers wanted this story to fester and divide us by exposing 'racists' who would doubt him - until it approached 70% of Americans doubting his eligibility to serve as President.

I never doubted his eligibility to serve; I oppose the direction he is taking us.
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ccp
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« Reply #827 on: April 27, 2011, 11:44:32 AM »

ONe of the talk radio heads, Smirkonish, I believe had a theory that Bamster was waiting for a debate wherein he would sucker a Repubic into asking him where is the long form at which point he would pull it out and say, "it is right here" in an attempt to embarras him/her.

In any case this should point out the One's *lack of judgement*, and as Crafty eluded to (the "unifier") how he does more to divide us than unify us by being the pompous guy he is.

The anchor gals on CNN who are flaming liberals were outright relieved this AM with obvious giddiness.
I do commend Anderson Cooper for repeatedly asking (the last few days only) why Obama rama just doesn't release the form while very single guest was dreaming every single argument why he doesn't and shouldn't.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #828 on: April 29, 2011, 01:24:47 PM »

"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily." --George Washington


Government & Politics
The Birther Blather

The Obama birth certificate"I can't spend all of my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead." --Barack Hussein Obama in August 2010

Of course, Obama never spent any time with his birth certificate plastered to his forehead, the subterfuge has been part of a successful political charade.

Since Obama's election, we have received some complaints that Mark Alexander has never devoted an essay to the controversy concerning Obama's birth certificate or nationality. The issue has received the mention it deserved in our analysis (not much) but mostly it has been featured in our humor section (e.g., Jay Leno's quip, "Obama's overseas trip has been such a disaster that people in Kenya now claim that he has an American birth certificate.").

Alexander responded to the issue early on, noting that he believed Obama was born in Hawaii, and the birth certificate controversy was one facet of Obama's campaign strategy to divide up opposition resources. In other words, it was a ploy to divert the political capital of some well-meaning Obama detractors, and lead them to focus on the question of where Obama was born, rather than much more important questions about his qualifications to be president.

Alexander noted that at some point, Obama would release his original birth certificate, thus discrediting the so-called "birthers." By extension, and by design, this undermines the credibility of other legitimate concerns about Obama, first and foremost, his socialist agenda for the "fundamental transformation" of our nation.

Apparently this week, Obama's handlers determined they had squeezed all the political juice out of this issue, now that Jerome Corsi's book was out and Donald Trump released his birth certificate. (Was Trump actually born in this galaxy?) Finally, Obama did what any humble and respectable candidate should have done the first day the question was asked -- he released his long form birth certificate. Of course, "humble and respectable" are not characteristics of Obama's Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

For the record, we were as interested as any conservatives should be about the constitutional question of Obama's eligibility to run for president, but understood that even if definitive evidence was produced that Obama was born in Kenya, the question then becomes a statutory debate about eligibility based on the fact that at the time of his birth, his American mother was below the statutory age for recognition of her child as a U.S. citizen.

Further, it was clear two years ago that no matter what form of birth certificate Obama released and when, it would still be seen as a fraud by those claiming he was born in Kenya, and make no difference one way or the other to his sycophantic lemmings.

We still demand that Obama release other information that presidential candidates should release -- transcripts, passport and travel information, etc., but don't expect to see that information in this election cycle.

Finally, we offer this advice to grassroots conservatives: Caveat Emptor! Beware of organizations like WorldNetDaily and other "conservative news" sources, which build readership by hyping issues such as Obama's nationality in order to sell advertising. Many of those controversial stories are based on 10 percent substance and 90 percent fragrance. Hyping political issues serves only their self-interest, and distracts from serious concerns about Obama and his cadres of Leftists, which is precisely what Obama wants.

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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #829 on: April 30, 2011, 02:44:59 PM »

You Call This a Recovery? Obama Offers More Excuses Than Solutions
By John Lott
Published April 29, 2011 | FoxNews.com
   
Call it the "excuses recovery." President Obama  and his administration have been warning for the last week that the just announced first quarter GDP growth rate of 1.8 percent  would be weak, and they have been quick to blame it on the recent spike prices in oil. The problem is that this whole recovery has been anemic, not just one or two slow quarters of economic growth.

Seven quarters into the Obama recovery, GDP growth has averaged an annual rate of only 2.8 percent. In contrast, since 1970, the first seven quarters of previous recoveries averaged 4.6 percent. The poor growth rate is especially surprising since the preceding recession was so severe, there should have been ample room for high growth as the unemployed returned to work. For example, the Reagan recovery followed a similarly high unemployment rate and saw the economy grow at an average annual growth rate of 7 percent (see graph here ).

The slight decrease in unemployment – currently at 8.8 percent -- has been touted as good news. Yet that slight drop has largely been the result of job-seekers giving up looking for work and leaving the labor force. On top of that, the new jobs that have opened up have primarily been temporary jobs, the number of permanent jobs has actually fallen.

Given all that, Americans are understandably pessimistic about the economy. By an incredible 68 percent to 26 percent margin, The Real Clear Politics average  of polls shows that Americans think that the country is headed in the wrong direction, which is the pessimism people experienced at the depths of the recent recession. By a 56 to 40 percent difference , even the liberal Talking Points Memo average of selected surveys finds that Americans disapprove of Obama's handling of the economy.

High oil prices can only explain a small portion of the recent low GDP growth. While some companies, such as those in the transportation sector suffer, others – most notably energy producers – benefit. As workers and capital investments cannot instantly move across states and from one set of jobs to another, the resulting unemployment means that output is temporarily reduced.

Ironically, however, this problem from shifting resources is no different than what happened from Obama's stimulus spending and all his new regulations. By moving money from where companies and consumers would have spent the money to where the Obama and the Democrats wanted it spent, jobs and resources were also moved.

Take a large sector of the economy such as housing. The most recent numbers show that median house price has fallen back to where it was in April 2002. Not surprisingly, with existing housing prices so low, it doesn't pay for anyone to build new housing. But even at those low prices the seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales is back to where it was over a decade ago.

But rather than blaming high oil prices, for housing, possibly the Obama administration might want to look in the mirror and ask what impact its regulations have had. On top of previous attempts to force mortgage companies into accepting write downs on the value of mortgages, the Huffington Post recently reported on the Obama administration's new "shock and awe" approach to reviving the housing market:

"The Obama administration is seeking to force the nation's five largest mortgage firms to reduce monthly payments for as many as three million distressed homeowners in as little as six months as part of an agreement to settle accusations of improper foreclosures and violations of consumer protection laws, six people familiar with the matter said."

Would you want to make a new loan if you were one of these mortgage companies? Companies might find huge drops in the value of their loans just a year or two after they are made. Fewer loans mean a drop in the number of purchases and a drop in house prices.

At some point even Democrats are going to have concede that President Obama's "cure" has made the economy worse. How many more quarters of slow growth are Americans going to have to endure?

John R. Lott, Jr.  is a FOXNews.com  contributor. He is an economist and author of the just released revised edition of "More Guns, Less Crime."

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/04/29/recovery-obama-offers-excuses-solutions/
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G M
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« Reply #830 on: April 30, 2011, 02:56:06 PM »

Another 4-5 trillion of deficit spending and it would be all better.  rolleyes
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #831 on: May 04, 2011, 07:56:25 AM »

Hmm, this is a New Yorker piece with plenty of lines to read between. The term "damned by faint praise" comes to mind.

THE CONSEQUENTIALIST
How the Arab Spring remade Obama’s foreign policy.
by Ryan Lizza
MAY 2, 2011 Obama has said that his foreign-policy ideas defy traditional categories and ideologies. Photograph by Martin Schoeller.PRINT E-MAIL SINGLE PAGE

Barack Obama came to Washington just six years ago, having spent his professional life as a part-time lawyer, part-time law professor, and part-time state legislator in Illinois. As an undergraduate, he took courses in history and international relations, but neither his academic life nor his work in Springfield gave him an especially profound grasp of foreign affairs. As he coasted toward winning a seat in the U.S. Senate, in 2004, he began to reach out to a broad range of foreign-policy experts––politicians, diplomats, academics, and journalists.

As a student during the Reagan years, Obama gravitated toward conventionally left-leaning positions. At Occidental, he demonstrated in favor of divesting from apartheid South Africa. At Columbia, he wrote a forgettable essay in Sundial, a campus publication, in favor of the nuclear-freeze movement. As a professor at the University of Chicago, he focussed on civil-rights law and race. And, as a candidate who emphasized his “story,” Obama argued that what he lacked in experience with foreign affairs he made up for with foreign travel: four years in Indonesia as a boy, and trips to Pakistan, India, Kenya, and Europe during and after college. But there was no mistaking the lightness of his résumé. Just a year before coming to Washington, State Senator Obama was not immersed in the dangers of nuclear Pakistan or an ascendant China; as a provincial legislator, he was investigating the dangers of a toy known as the Yo-Yo Water Ball. (He tried, unsuccessfully, to have it banned.)

Obama had always read widely, and now he was determined to get a deeper education. He read popular books on foreign affairs by Fareed Zakaria and Thomas Friedman. He met with Anthony Lake, who had left the Nixon Administration over Vietnam and went on to work in Democratic Administrations, and with Susan Rice, who had served in the Clinton Administration and carried with her the guilt of having failed to act to prevent the Rwandan genocide. He also contacted Samantha Power, a thirty-four-year-old journalist and Harvard professor specializing in human rights. In her twenties, Power had reported from the Balkans and witnessed the campaigns of ethnic cleansing there. In 2002, after graduating from Harvard Law School, she wrote “A Problem from Hell,” which surveyed the grim history of six genocides committed in the twentieth century. Propounding a liberal-interventionist view, Power argued that “mass killing” on the scale of Rwanda or Bosnia must be prevented by other nations, including the United States. She wrote that America and its allies rarely have perfect information about when a regime is about to commit genocide; a President, therefore, must have “a bias toward belief” that massacres are imminent. Stopping the execution of thousands of foreigners, she wrote, was, in some cases, worth the cost in dollars, troops, and strained alliances. The book, which was extremely influential, especially on the left, won a Pulitzer Prize, in 2003. Critics considered her views radical and dangerously impractical.

 
FROM THE ISSUE CARTOON BANK E-MAIL THIS
After reading “A Problem from Hell,” Obama invited Power to dinner. He said he wanted to talk about foreign policy. The meal lasted four hours. As a fledgling member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and an ambitious politician with his sights set on higher office, Obama agreed to have Power spend a year in his office as a foreign-policy fellow.

In his first news conference after winning election to the Senate, the press asked whether he intended to run for President, but he assured reporters, as well as his aides, that he would not even consider it until 2012 or 2016. He knew that he could not have a serious impact on issues like Iraq or the Sudan as a junior committee member, but he was determined to learn the institution and to acquire, as Hillary Clinton had, a reputation not for celebrity but for substance. In foreign affairs, as in so much else, he was determined to break free of the old ideologies and categories. But he would take it step by step.

bama entered the Senate in 2005, at a moment of passionate foreign-policy debate within the Democratic Party. The invasion of Iraq was seen as interventionism executed under false pretenses and with catastrophic consequences. Many on the left argued that liberal interventionists, particularly in Congress and in the press, had given crucial cover to the Bush Administration during the run-up to the war. Hillary Clinton, who often sided with the humanitarian hawks in her husband’s White House, and who went on to vote for the Iraq war, in 2002, seemed to some to be the embodiment of all that had gone wrong.

One reaction among liberals to the Bush years and to Iraq was to retreat from “idealism” toward “realism,” in which the United States would act cautiously and, above all, according to national interests rather than moral imperatives. The debate is rooted in the country’s early history. America, John Quincy Adams argued, “does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all,” but the “champion and vindicator only of her own.”

In 1966, Adams’s words were repeated by George Kennan, perhaps the most articulate realist of the twentieth century, in opposing the Vietnam War. To Kennan and his intellectual followers, foreign-policy problems are always more complicated than Americans, in their native idealism, usually allow. The use of force to stop human-rights abuses or to promote democracy, they argue, usually ends poorly. In the fall of 2002, six months before the invasion of Iraq, Kennan said, “Today, if we went into Iraq, as the President would like us to do, you know where you begin. You never know where you are going to end.”

As Obama sorted through the arguments, other foreign-policy liberals were determined to prevent Iraq from besmirching the whole program of liberal internationalism. Humanitarian intervention—which Power helped advance, though she vigorously opposed the Iraq War—should not be abandoned because of the failures in Baghdad. Nor should American diplomacy turn away from emphasizing the virtues of bringing the world democracy. Anne-Marie Slaughter, a professor of international affairs at Princeton and a Democrat, wrote in the liberal journal Democracy that an overreaction to the Bush years might mean that “realists could again rule the day, embracing order and stability over ideology and values.”

After little more than a year in the Senate, Obama was bored, and began to take seriously the frequent calls to run for President. To be a candidate, he needed to distinguish himself from his foremost potential opponent, Hillary Clinton, as well as from President Bush. One of the clearest paths to distinction, especially in the primaries, was to emphasize his early opposition, as a state senator, to the Iraq war. He started to move away from the ideas of people like Power and Slaughter. He pointedly noted that George H. W. Bush’s management of the end of the Cold War was masterly. The President had sometimes kept quiet about the aspirations of pro-democracy activists in Russia, Ukraine, and elsewhere, in order to maintain the confidence of Mikhail Gorbachev in the Kremlin. It was just the sort of political performance to which Obama aspired.

In making the case against Hillary Clinton, Obama slyly argued that the George W. Bush years were in some ways a continuation of the Bill Clinton years, and that the United States needed to return to the philosophy of an earlier era. The proselytizing about democracy and the haste to bomb other countries in the name of humanitarian aid had “stretched our military to the breaking point and distracted us from the growing threats of a dangerous world,” Obama said in a speech in 2006, a few weeks before he announced his Presidential candidacy. He spoke of “a strategy no longer driven by ideology and politics but one that is based on a realistic assessment of the sobering facts on the ground and our interests in the region. This kind of realism has been missing since the very conception of this war, and it is what led me to publicly oppose it in 2002.”

In 2007, Obama called Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s national-security adviser and the reigning realist of the Democratic foreign-policy establishment. Obama told him that he had read his recent book, “Second Chance,” in which Brzezinski criticized Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush and their handling of the post-Cold War world. They began to speak and exchange e-mails about policy, and Brzezinski travelled with Obama during a stretch of the campaign. In September, 2007, Brzezinski introduced Obama at an event in Clinton, Iowa, where the candidate discussed the failures in Iraq. “I thought he had a really incisive grasp of what the twenty-first century is all about and how America has to relate to it,” Brzezinski told me. “He was reacting in a way that I very much shared, and we had a meeting of the minds—namely, that George Bush put the United States on a suicidal course.”

As he campaigned in New Hampshire, in 2007, Obama said that he would not leave troops in Iraq even to stop genocide. “Well, look, if that’s the criteria by which we are making decisions on the deployment of U.S. forces, then by that argument you would have three hundred thousand troops in the Congo right now, where millions have been slaughtered as a consequence of ethnic strife, which we haven’t done,” he said. “We would be deploying unilaterally and occupying the Sudan, which we haven’t done.”

At a campaign event in Pennsylvania, Obama said, “The truth is that my foreign policy is actually a return to the traditional bipartisan realistic policy of George Bush’s father, of John F. Kennedy, of, in some ways, Ronald Reagan.”

n the end, Barack Obama overcame Hillary Clinton’s campaign warnings that he was too callow, too naïve about dealing with rogue regimes, too untested to respond to the “3 A.M.” emergencies from all corners of the globe. Obama entered the White House at a moment of radical transition in global politics, and one of his most significant appointments was Clinton as his Secretary of State. Although he had made plain in the campaign that he disagreed with some of her foreign-policy views, he admired her discipline and believed that, as a member of the Cabinet, she wouldn’t publicly break with the President. And he would need her. Obama faced economic catastrophe at home and American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; serious regional threats from Pakistan and Iran; global terrorism; the ascendance of China and India; and a situation that was almost impossible to discuss—a vivid sense of American decline.

American values and interests are woven together, and no President is always either an idealist or a realist. Officials who identify with the same label often disagree with one another. Humanitarian interventionists were divided over the Iraq war; Cold War realists had split over détente with the Soviet Union. The categories describe only broad ideological directions and tendencies. But, as Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, observed, “the battle between realists and idealists is the fundamental fault line of the American foreign-policy debate.”

After the Inauguration, the realists began to win that debate within the Administration. The two most influential foreign-policy advisers in the White House are Thomas Donilon, the national-security adviser, and Denis McDonough, a deputy national-security adviser. Donilon, who is fifty-five, is a longtime Washington lawyer, lobbyist, and Democratic Party strategist. McDonough started out as a congressional staffer and campaign adviser to Obama, a role that has given him a reputation as a non-ideological political fixer.

The National Security Council is a bureaucracy that helps the President streamline decision-making, and Donilon seems to have thought extensively about how that system works. Like the President, he values staff discretion. His rule for hiring at the N.S.C. is to find people who are, in his words, “high value, low maintenance.” Obama’s N.S.C. adopted the model of the first Bush Administration. “It’s essentially based on the process that was put in place by General Brent Scowcroft and Bob Gates in the late nineteen-eighties,” Donilon told me, speaking of Bush’s national-security adviser and his deputy, the current Secretary of Defense. The most important feature, Donilon said, is that the N.S.C., based at the White House, controls “the sole process through which policy would be developed.”

One of Donilon’s overriding beliefs, which Obama adopted as his own, was that America needed to rebuild its reputation, extricate itself from the Middle East and Afghanistan, and turn its attention toward Asia and China’s unchecked influence in the region. America was “overweighted” in the former and “underweighted” in the latter, Donilon told me. “We’ve been on a little bit of a Middle East detour over the course of the last ten years,” Kurt Campbell, the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said. “And our future will be dominated utterly and fundamentally by developments in Asia and the Pacific region.”

In December, 2009, Obama announced that he would draw down U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan by the end of his first term. He also promised, in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly last year, that he was “moving toward a more targeted approach” that “dismantles terrorist networks without deploying large American armies.”

“The project of the first two years has been to effectively deal with the legacy issues that we inherited, particularly the Iraq war, the Afghan war, and the war against Al Qaeda, while rebalancing our resources and our posture in the world,” Benjamin Rhodes, one of Obama’s deputy national-security advisers, said. “If you were to boil it all down to a bumper sticker, it’s ‘Wind down these two wars, reëstablish American standing and leadership in the world, and focus on a broader set of priorities, from Asia and the global economy to a nuclear-nonproliferation regime.’ ”

Obama’s lengthy bumper-sticker credo did not include a call to promote democracy or protect human rights. Obama aides who focussed on these issues were awarded lesser White House positions. Samantha Power became senior director of multilateral affairs at the N.S.C. Michael McFaul, a Stanford professor who believes that the U.S. should make democracy promotion the heart of its foreign policy, landed a mid-level position at the White House.

Most of the foreign-policy issues that Obama emphasized in his first two years involved stepping away from idealism. In the hope of persuading Iran’s regime to abandon its nuclear ambitions, Obama pointedly rejected Bush’s “axis of evil” terminology. In a video message to Iranians on March 20, 2009, he respectfully addressed “the people and leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” In order to engage China on economic issues, Obama didn’t press very hard on human rights. And, because any effort to push the Israelis and Palestinians toward a final settlement would benefit from help from Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, Obama was not especially outspoken about the sins of Middle Eastern autocrats and kings.

Despite the realist tilt, Obama has argued from the start that he was anti-ideological, that he defied traditional categories and ideologies. In Oslo, in December of 2009, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama said, “Within America, there has long been a tension between those who describe themselves as realists or idealists—a tension that suggests a stark choice between the narrow pursuit of interests or an endless campaign to impose our values around the world.” The speech echoed Obama’s 2002 address to an antiwar demonstration in Chicago’s Federal Plaza. In Chicago, he had confounded his leftist audience by emphasizing the need to fight some wars, but not “dumb” ones, like the one in Iraq. In Oslo, he surprised a largely left-leaning audience by talking about the martial imperatives of a Commander-in-Chief overseeing two wars. Obama’s aides often insist that he is an anti-ideological politician interested only in what actually works. He is, one says, a “consequentialist.”

eanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton turned her department into something of a haven for the ideas that flourished late in the Clinton Administration. She picked Anne-Marie Slaughter as her director of policy planning—a job first held by George Kennan, in the Truman Administration. She also brought in Harold Koh, the State Department’s legal adviser and a scholar on issues concerning human rights and democracy. Walking around the mazelike building in Foggy Bottom, you get the sense that if you duck into any office you will find earnest young women and men discussing globalization, the possibility that Facebook can topple tyrannies, and what is called “soft power,” the ability to bend the world toward your view through attraction, not coercion.

Not long ago, I met with Kris Balderston, the State Department’s representative for global partnerships. He started working with Clinton ten years ago, when he guided her through the politics of upstate New York during her Senate race. Now he works on an array of entrepreneurial projects that complement traditional diplomacy. He talked excitedly about working with Vietnamese-Americans to build stronger ties to Vietnam and about distributing vaccines in partnership with Coca-Cola. He pointed to a bookcase stocked with devices that looked like a cross between a lantern and a paint bucket. These were advanced cookstoves. “This is a problem that the Secretary saw when she was First Lady,” Balderston said, explaining how lethal cooking smoke can be. “One half of the world cooks in open fires. Two million people die a year from it—that’s more than malaria and tuberculosis combined, and nearly as much as H.I.V.” On a trip to Congo in 2009, Clinton met a woman in a refugee camp who had been raped in the jungle on the outskirts of the camp while gathering wood for her stove. Telling the story at the State Department, Clinton was angrier than Balderston had ever seen her. “We have got to do something about this,” she said. Balderston spends much of his time trying to build a market for inexpensive, clean-burning cookstoves in the developing world.

But Clinton’s involvement in soft-power initiatives was matched by the kind of hardheadedness about foreign policy she had displayed during her Presidential campaign. She has repeatedly aligned herself with the most consistent realist in the Obama Administration: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who was deputy national-security adviser in the first Bush Administration and Secretary of Defense under George W. Bush. Clinton’s advisers told me that, during her first two years in Foggy Bottom, Clinton agreed with Gates on every major issue.

“Secretary Clinton can push the agenda she pushes because she is tough and people know she is tough,” Slaughter said. “It’s very interesting—you’ve had three women Secretaries of State, and she’s the first one who can stand up and say publicly, ‘We are going to empower women and girls around the world. We are going to make development a priority of foreign policy. We are going to engage people as well as governments.’

“Madeleine Albright believed in the importance of those issues, but she could never have made it the core of her public agenda. She was the first woman Secretary of State, which meant that she had to out-tough the tough guys. She did that on the Balkans. Condi Rice helped double foreign aid, but she was first and foremost a Cold Warrior, and she could throw around ‘I.C.B.M.’s and ‘S.L.B.M.’s and ‘MIRV’s with the best of them. That was the only way she could make it, not only as a woman in the nineteen-eighties but as an African-American woman. You had to be way tougher and way more knowledgeable about weapons than any man.” A former Administration official said, “Hillary has to guard her flank. And one of the ways she guards her flank is she rarely deviates from Gates. If she and Gates both weigh in, they are much more likely to get their way.”

bama’s first test at managing the clashing ideologies within his Administration came during the review of Afghanistan policy in 2009. During the campaign, Obama said that he would add troops in Afghanistan, a war, he argued, that Bush had neglected. But Obama’s campaign promise bumped hard against the judgment of several new advisers, including Richard Holbrooke, who tried to convince the President that sending forty thousand more troops to Afghanistan, as the military urged, was counterproductive. It would prevent Obama from rebalancing American foreign policy toward the Pacific, and it would have little impact on Al Qaeda, which is based largely in Pakistan. Obama had appointed Holbrooke his Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Holbrooke, a brash and influential diplomat, found himself in the unusual circumstance of being ignored. He wanted to send far fewer troops and reënergize regional diplomacy, including reconciliation talks with the Taliban. He believed that the lesson of Vietnam was that the diplomats, rather than the generals, needed to be in charge, but he could rarely penetrate the insular world of Obama’s White House to make that case to the President.

Holbrooke had been a devoted supporter of Hillary Clinton during the Presidential campaign, and she protected him from Obama aides who viewed with suspicion his sizable ego and stream of positive press clippings. When a top official at the White House tried to push Holbrooke out, in early 2010, Clinton intervened on his behalf. But Holbrooke still could not get a one-on-one meeting with the President. And at the crucial national-security meetings on Afghanistan Clinton did not adopt Holbrooke’s views. She sided with Gates and the generals in calling for the maximum number of soldiers to surge into Afghanistan. Obama agreed to send thirty thousand more troops, although he insisted that they would start coming home in July, 2011. Holbrooke’s widow, the writer Kati Marton, who has been reviewing her husband’s memos and archives, told me that they “tell a dramatic story of a fractured relationship between the State Department and White House.”

On December 11, 2010, while meeting with Clinton at the State Department, Holbrooke suffered a split aorta, and he died forty-eight hours later. Bill Clinton spoke at Holbrooke’s memorial service, held on January 14th at the Kennedy Center. “I loved the guy—because he could do,” Clinton said. “Doing in diplomacy saves lives.” He went on, “And I never did understand how people would let a little rough edges, which to me was so obvious what he was doing, it was so obvious why he felt the way he did—I could never understand people who didn’t appreciate him.” Several people told Marton they thought that Bill Clinton was sending a message to Obama.

In the end, Obama made a decision about Afghanistan that was at odds with his own goal of rebalancing toward Asia and the Pacific. “The U.S. has been on a greater Middle East detour largely of its own choosing through a war of choice in Iraq and what became a war of choice in 2009 in Afghanistan,” Haass said. “Afghanistan is entirely inconsistent with the focus of time and resources on Asia. If your goal is to reorient or refocus or rebalance U.S. policy, the Administration’s commitment to so doing is at the moment more rhetorical than actual.”

Obama came into office emphasizing bureaucratic efficiency, which he believed would lead to wise rulings. But the Afghanistan decision, like all government work, was driven by politics and ideology. Obama’s eagerness to keep his campaign promise, the military’s view that reducing troops meant a loss of face, Clinton’s decision to align with Gates, and Holbrooke’s inability to influence the White House staff all ultimately conspired to push Obama toward the surge.

bama’s other key campaign promise—to engage with the leaders of countries hostile to the U.S.—sometimes meant deëmphasizing democracy and human rights, which had been tainted by Bush’s “freedom agenda” in the Middle East. Tyrannical regimes are less likely to make deals with you if you talk persistently about overthrowing them. Obama’s speech in Cairo, delivered on June 4, 2009, and devoted to improving America’s relationship with the Muslim world, was organized as a list of regional priorities. He discussed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Arab-Israeli peace, and Iran’s nuclear ambitions. He then gave a hesitant endorsement of America’s commitment to democracy in the region. He began, “I know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy in recent years, and much of this controversy is connected to the war in Iraq. So let me be clear: no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other.”

A week later, however, a disputed Presidential election in Iran triggered large demonstrations there, which were soon labelled the Green Revolution. For the first five months after his Inauguration, Obama had tried to engage with the regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in an effort to persuade Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions. Now he faced the choice between keeping his distance and coming to the aid of the nascent pro-democracy movement, which was rallying behind Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who had finished second behind Ahmadinejad. Obama chose to keep his distance, providing only mild rhetorical support. In an interview with CNBC after the protests began, he said that “the difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi in terms of their actual policies may not be as great as has been advertised.”

During the peak of the protests in Iran, Jared Cohen, a young staffer at the State Department who worked for Slaughter, contacted officials at Twitter and asked the company not to perform a planned upgrade that would have shut down the service temporarily in Iran, where protesters were using it to get information to the international media. The move violated Obama’s rule of non-interference.

White House officials “were so mad that somebody had actually ‘interfered’ in Iranian politics, because they were doing their damnedest to not interfere,” the former Administration official said. “Now, to be fair to them, it was also the understanding that if we interfered it could look like the Green movement was Western-backed, but that really wasn’t the core of it. The core of it was we were still trying to engage the Iranian government and we did not want to do anything that made us side with the protesters. To the Secretary’s credit, she realized, I think, before other people, that this is ridiculous, that we had to change our line.” The official said that Cohen “almost lost his job over it. If it had been up to the White House, they would have fired him.”

Clinton did not betray any disagreement with the President over Iran policy, but in an interview with me she cited Cohen’s action with pride. “When it came to the elections, we had a lot of messages from people inside Iran and their supporters outside of Iran saying, ‘For heaven’s sakes, don’t claim this as part of the democracy agenda. This is indigenous to us. We are struggling against this tyrannical regime. If you are too outspoken in our support, we will lose legitimacy!’ Now, that’s a tough balancing act. It’s easy to stand up if you don’t worry about the consequences. Now, we were very clear in saying, ‘We are supporting those who are protesting peacefully,’ and we put our social-media gurus at work in trying to keep connections going, so that we helped to provide that base for communicating that was necessary for the demonstrations.”

One suggestion that came up in interviews with Obama’s current and former foreign-policy advisers was that the Administration’s policy debates sometimes broke down along gender lines. The realists who view foreign policy as a great chess game—and who want to focus on China and India—are usually men. The idealists, who talk about democracy and human rights, are often women. (White House officials told me that this critique is outlandish.)

Slaughter, who admired Clinton but felt alienated by people at the White House, resigned in February, and in her farewell speech at the State Department she described a gender divide at the heart of Obama’s foreign-policy team. She argued that in the twenty-first century America needed to focus on societies as well as on states. “Unfortunately, the people who focus on those two worlds here in Washington are still often very different groups. The world of states is still the world of high politics, hard power, realpolitik, and, largely, men,” she said. “The world of societies is still too often the world of low politics, soft power, human rights, democracy, and development, and, largely, women. One of the best parts of my two years here has been the opportunity to work with so many amazing and talented women—truly extraordinary people. But Washington still has a ways to go before their voices are fully heard and respected.”

n August 12, 2010, Obama sent a five-page memorandum called “Political Reform in the Middle East and North Africa” to Vice-President Joseph Biden, Clinton, Gates, Donilon, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the other senior members of his foreign-policy team. Though the Iranian regime had effectively crushed the Green Revolution, the country was still experiencing sporadic protests. Egypt would face crucial parliamentary elections in November. The memo began with a stark conclusion about trends in the region.

“Progress toward political reform and openness in the Middle East and North Africa lags behind other regions and has, in some cases, stalled,” the President wrote. He noted that even the more liberal countries were cracking down on public gatherings, the press, and political opposition groups. But something was stirring. There was “evidence of growing citizen discontent with the region’s regimes,” he wrote. It was likely that “if present trends continue,” allies there would “opt for repression rather than reform to manage domestic dissent.”

Obama’s analysis showed a desire to balance interests and ideals. The goals of reform and democracy were couched in the language of U.S. interests rather than the sharp moral language that statesmen often use in public. “Increased repression could threaten the political and economic stability of some of our allies, leave us with fewer capable, credible partners who can support our regional priorities, and further alienate citizens in the region,” Obama wrote. “Moreover, our regional and international credibility will be undermined if we are seen or perceived to be backing repressive regimes and ignoring the rights and aspirations of citizens.”

Obama instructed his staff to come up with “tailored,” “country by country” strategies on political reform. He told his advisers to challenge the traditional idea that stability in the Middle East always served U.S. interests. Obama wanted to weigh the risks of both “continued support for increasingly unpopular and repressive regimes” and a “strong push by the United States for reform.”

He also wrote that “the advent of political succession in a number of countries offers a potential opening for political reform in the region.” If the United States managed the coming transitions “poorly,” it “could have negative implications for U.S. interests, including for our standing among Arab publics.”

The review was led by three N.S.C. staffers: Samantha Power, Gayle Smith, who works on development issues, and Dennis Ross, a Middle East expert with a broad portfolio in the White House. Soon, they and officials from other agencies were sitting in the White House, debating the costs and benefits of supporting autocrats. A White House official involved said the group studied “the taboos, all the questions you’re not supposed to ask.” For example, they tested the assumption that the President could not publicly criticize President Hosni Mubarak because it would jeopardize Egypt’s coöperation on issues related to Israel or its assistance in tracking terrorists. Not true, they concluded: the Egyptians pursued peace with Israel and crushed terrorists because it was in their interest to do so, not because the U.S. asked them to.

They tested the idea that countries with impoverished populations needed to develop economically before they were prepared for open political systems—a common argument that democracy promoters often run up against. Again, they concluded that the conventional wisdom was wrong. “All roads led to political reform,” the White House official said.

The group was just finishing its work, on December 17th, when Mohamed Bouazizi, a vegetable vender in Tunisia, set himself on fire outside a municipal building to protest the corruption of the country’s political system––an act that inspired protests in Tunisia and, eventually, the entire region. Democracy in the Middle East, one of the most fraught issues of the Bush years, was suddenly the signature conflict of Obama’s foreign policy.

n January 25th, the first, crucial day of the protests in Egypt, and eleven days after the removal of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, in Tunisia, Secretary Clinton declared her support for free assembly, but added, “Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people.” That evening, Obama delivered his State of the Union address, in which he praised the demonstrators in Tunisia, “where the will of the people proved more powerful than the writ of a dictator,” and expressed support for the “democratic aspirations of all people.” But he did not mention Egypt. Shady el-Ghazaly Harb, one of the leaders of the coalition that started the Egyptian revolution, told me that the message the protesters got from the Obama Administration on the first day of the revolution was “Go home. We need this regime.”

A number of familiar ex-diplomats and politicians, led by Dick Cheney, Henry Kissinger, and Zbigniew Brzezinski, criticized the treatment of Mubarak, and Israel and Saudi Arabia called on the Administration to stick with him. But, as the protests strengthened, it became clear that Mubarak was doomed. According to a senior Administration official, “The question in our mind was ‘How do you manage that?’ ”

Obama’s instinct was to try to have it both ways. He wanted to position the United States on the side of the protesters: it’s always a good idea, politically, to support brave young men and women risking their lives for freedom, especially when their opponent is an eighty-two-year-old dictator with Swiss bank accounts. Some of Obama’s White House aides regretted having stood idly by while the Iranian regime brutally suppressed the Green Revolution; Egypt offered a second chance. Nonetheless, Obama wanted to assure other autocratic allies that the U.S. did not hastily abandon its friends, and he feared that the uprising could spin out of control. “Look at all the revolutions in history, especially the ones that are driven from the ground up, and they tend to be very chaotic and hard to find an equilibrium,” one senior official said. The French Revolution, for instance, he said, “ended up in chaos, and they ended up with Bonaparte.” Obama’s ultimate position, it seemed, was to talk like an idealist while acting like a realist.

This wasn’t an easy balance to maintain, and the first major problem arose when State Department officials learned that if Mubarak stepped down immediately, the Egyptian constitution would require a Presidential election in sixty days, long before any of the moderate parties could get organized. Egyptian officials warned the Administration that it could lead to the Muslim Brotherhood’s taking over power. “My daughter gets to go out at night,” Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Egypt’s then foreign minister, told Secretary Clinton during one conversation. “And, God damn it, I’m not going to turn this country over to people who will turn back the clock on her rights.”

Obama decided not to call for Mubarak to step down. Instead, the U.S. would encourage a transition led by Mubarak’s newly installed Vice-President, Omar Suleiman. The strategy was to avoid the constitutional process that the State Department feared would lead to chaos. The senior official told me in the midst of the crisis, “I don’t think that because a group of young people get on the street that we are obliged to be for them.”

On January 29th, the White House made two major decisions: the U.S. would announce that it supported a transition in Egypt, and Obama would send an emissary to Mubarak to explain that, in the judgment of the United States, he could not survive the protests. The emissary would tell Mubarak that his best option was to try to leave a positive legacy by steering the country toward a real democratic transformation. Frank G. Wisner, the former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, who has long known Mubarak well, would deliver the message. The next day, Clinton appeared on five Sunday-morning talk shows to announce that Obama supported an “orderly transition” in Egypt. That afternoon, Wisner boarded a U.S. government plane for Cairo.

On January 31st, Wisner met with Mubarak in Cairo. The next day, word leaked out that Mubarak would address the country. That afternoon, Obama’s national-security advisers met in the Situation Room to discuss two issues: whether Obama should call Mubarak and whether Obama should make a public statement. Obama joined the meeting unexpectedly. As the discussion continued, Mubarak’s speech appeared on television, and the President and his aides paused to watch. “I am now careful to conclude my work for Egypt by presenting Egypt to the next government in a constitutional way which will protect Egypt,” Mubarak said. “I want to say, in clear terms, that in the next few months that are remaining of my current reign I will work very hard to carry out all the necessary measures to transfer power.”

In Tahrir Square, the protesters erupted in rage at the meandering and confusing speech. Obama now seemed to be uncomfortable taking an attitude of cool detachment from the people in the street. He called Mubarak, and tried to find a graceful way for the Egyptian President to exit that would also take care of the constitutional concerns Egyptian officials kept raising. He asked Mubarak if there was a way to alter the constitution to allow for a stable transition. He asked if there was a way to set up a caretaker government. A White House official summarized Mubarak’s response as: “Muslim Brotherhood, Muslim Brotherhood, Muslim Brotherhood.”

Obama then made a public statement that was more confrontational: “An orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful, and it must begin now.” The urgent message alienated Israel and Saudi Arabia, among other allies. It also startled some people in the State Department. Clinton “walked a very narrow line and managed to do it without making the Egyptians too angry on either side,” a senior State Department official said. “After the President gave his statement, the people surrounding Mubarak began to get quite angry.”

The inherent contradictions of an Administration trying to simultaneously encourage and contain the forces of revolution in Egypt broke into the open on February 5th, when Wisner, who was then in New York, participated via videoconference in an international-affairs conference in Munich. After outlining the constitutional argument for keeping Mubarak in power, he said, “I therefore believe that President Mubarak’s continued leadership is critical; it’s his opportunity to write his own legacy. He’s given sixty years of his life to the service of his country.” According to friends, Wisner, who had talked with Obama before he went to Cairo, believed that his statement was consistent with the policy he was told to follow.

Clinton was at the conference in Munich, and, shortly after Wisner made his remarks, a senior Administration official gathered the press corps travelling with her in a small dining room at the Charles Hotel to brief us on the Secretary’s meetings. The official hadn’t heard Wisner’s comments, but when a reporter read a long excerpt off his BlackBerry the official blanched, his mouth agape.

“Wisner,” the official said, “was not speaking for the U.S. government or the Obama Administration. He was speaking as a private citizen.”

The public and private components of the Administration’s Egypt policy were at odds, and Wisner had risked blowing everything up. His tenure as an envoy was over. “They threw me under the bus,” a close friend remembers him saying.

Wisner referred dismissively to the “reëlection committee” at the White House, according to the friend. But in this case Obama’s political interests—needing to be seen as on the side of the protesters—aligned with the policy views of the idealists. An Obama adviser declared, “Obama didn’t give the Tahrir Square crowds every last thing they sought from him at the precise moment they sought it. But he went well beyond what many of America’s allies in the region wished to see.”

n March, I travelled to Cairo with Secretary Clinton. One evening, she was scheduled to meet with Egyptians who had been prominent in the protests that brought down Mubarak. However, one group, called the Coalition of Youth Revolution, which includes leaders from the activist movements and opposition parties in Egypt, boycotted the meeting. As Clinton talked with other civil-society members upstairs at the Four Seasons Hotel, four members of the abstaining coalition agreed to talk with me and three other journalists in the lobby.

I asked why they weren’t upstairs with the Secretary of State. “Hillary was against the revolution from the beginning to the last day, O.K.?” Mohammed Abbas, of the Muslim Brotherhood, said. “Obama supported this revolution. She was against.”

Abbas and Shady el-Ghazaly Harb, a member of the liberal Democratic Front Party, said that if Obama was upstairs they would meet with him. Abbas lit up at the idea. “We respect Obama’s attitude toward our revolution, and when we were in Tahrir Square we were following all of the leaders all over the world and what were their views,” Abbas said.

“His speeches were more understanding and more appreciative of what we were doing, especially his second one,” el-Ghazaly Harb said, referring to Obama’s demand that the transition “begin now.” He added, “We were in Tahrir Square and people were cheering for Obama’s speech, because they felt he was saying that we”—America—“were inspired by the Egyptian people and we understand what the teen-agers were saying. Maybe he’s using us, but that’s what I see.”

Later, when I relayed these comments to Clinton, she told me she didn’t take the snub personally. She said, “Many years ago, I was active against the Vietnam War, and I was involved in all kinds of student politics, and so I understand there’s always a full range of people in movements like this. And I remember refusing to meet with people.” She was unmoved by the fact that these protesters had been integral to starting the revolution. “The people who start revolutions may or may not be the people who actually end up governing countries.”

The activists she did meet with were not as organized as she had hoped. “As incredibly emotional and moving and inspiring as it was,” she said, speaking of the demonstrations, “I looked at these twenty young people around the table, and they were complaining about how the elections are going to be held, and the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamists are so well organized, and the remnants of the old National Democratic Party are so well organized. I said, ‘So, well, are you organizing? Do you have an umbrella group that is going to represent the youth of Egypt? Do you have a political agenda?’ And they all looked up and said no. It made my heart sink.”

n March 16th, Clinton flew from Cairo to Tunis to continue her tour of revolutionary North Africa. The route took us over the Mediterranean just off the coast of Libya. The G.P.S. maps in the cabin of Clinton’s Air Force plane lit up with the name “Benghazi,” reminding everyone that, on the ground, Muammar Qaddafi’s men were marching on that city. Earlier in the day, Qaddafi had gone on the radio to warn the citizens of Benghazi. “It’s over. We are coming tonight,” he said. “We will find you in your closets.”

Protesters had started to gather in Benghazi on February 15th. Qaddafi’s security forces reacted with violence four days later, firing on a crowd of some twenty thousand demonstrators in Benghazi and killing at least a hundred of them. On February 26th, the United Nations passed a resolution that placed an arms embargo and economic sanctions on the Libyan regime and referred Qaddafi to the International Criminal Court. Two days later, the U.S., through lobbying led by Clinton and Power, helped remove Libya from its seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council. By tightening an economic noose around Qaddafi and isolating him diplomatically, Obama and the international community were beginning to use the tools that Power had outlined in “A Problem from Hell.”

The debate then narrowed to whether the United States and others should intervene militarily. The principal option was to set up a no-fly zone to prevent Libyan planes from attacking the protest movement, which had quickly turned into a full-scale rebellion based in the eastern half of the country. The decision about intervention in Libya was an unusually clear choice between interests and values. “Of all the countries in the region there, our real interests in Libya are minimal,” Brent Scowcroft told me. For a President whose long-term goal was to extricate the U.S. from Middle East conflicts, it was an especially vexing debate.

Within the Administration, Robert Gates, the Defense Secretary, was the most strenuous opponent of establishing a no-fly zone, or any other form of military intervention. Like Scowcroft, Gates objected to intervention because he did not think it was in the United States’ vital interest. He also pointed out a fact that many people didn’t seem to understand: the first step in creating a no-fly zone would be to bomb the Libyan air defenses. Clinton disagreed with him and argued the case for intervention with Obama. It was the first major issue on which she and Gates had different views.

The days leading up to Obama’s decision were perplexing to outsiders. American Presidents usually lead the response to world crises, but Obama seemed to stay hidden that week. From the outside, it looked as though the French were dragging him into the conflict. On March 14th, Clinton arrived in Paris, but she had no firm decision to convey. According to a French official, when Clinton met with President Nicolas Sarkozy she declined to endorse the no-fly zone, which Sarkozy interpreted as American reluctance to do anything. “We started to wonder where, exactly, the Administration was going,” the official said.

Late that evening, at her suite at the Westin hotel in Paris, Clinton met for forty-five minutes with Mahmoud Jebril, a representative from the Libyan opposition. I waited in the lobby with a number of reporters, hoping to talk to Jebril after the meeting. But all we got was Bernard-Henri Lévy, the French philosopher, who had taken up the cause of the Libyan opposition and was shepherding Jebril to his meetings with diplomats. We later learned that Jebril was dejected by Clinton’s unwillingness to commit to the no-fly zone and, not wanting to face the press, left the hotel by another exit.

The next evening, Obama held a meeting in the Situation Room. By then, it had become clear that the rebels, who had once seemed on the verge of sweeping Qaddafi out of power, were weak, and poorly armed; they had lost almost all the gains of the previous days. In New York, the Lebanese, the French, and the United Kingdom had prepared a U.N. resolution to implement a no-fly zone, and the world was waiting to see if Obama would join the effort. The White House meeting opened with an assessment of the situation on the ground in Libya. Qaddafi’s forces were on the outskirts of Ajdabiyah, which supplies water and fuel to Benghazi. “The President was told Qaddafi is going to retake Ajdabiyah in twenty-four hours,” a White House official who was in the meeting said. “And then the last stop on the train is Benghazi. If he got there, he would complete the military offensive, and that could be the place where he goes house to house and where a massacre could occur.”

Obama asked if a no-fly zone would prevent that grim scenario. His intelligence and military advisers said no. Qaddafi was using tanks, not war planes, to crush the rebellion. Obama asked his aides to come up with some more robust military options, and left for dinner. At a second meeting that night, he was presented with the option of pushing for a broader resolution that would allow for the U.S. to protect the Libyan rebels by bombing government forces. He instructed Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., to pursue that option.

On March 17th, I interviewed Clinton in Tunis. She was sitting under a canopy by the hotel pool, eating breakfast. Although she had been noncommittal with the diplomats in France two days earlier, she now made it clear that the Obama Administration had made a decision. It was well known that she favored intervention, but she was frank about the difficulty in making such decisions. “I get up every morning and I look around the world,” she said. “People are being killed in Côte d’Ivoire, they’re being killed in the Eastern Congo, they’re being oppressed and abused all over the world by dictators and really unsavory characters. So we could be intervening all over the place. But that is not a—what is the standard? Is the standard, you know, a leader who won’t leave office in Ivory Coast and is killing his own people? Gee, that sounds familiar. So part of it is having to make tough choices and wanting to help the international community accept responsibility.”

Clinton insisted that the U.S. had to have regional support before it took action, and emphasized that it was crucial that U.N. action had been supported by the Arab League. “So now we’re going to see whether the Security Council will support the Arab League. Not support the United States—support the Arab League. That is a significant difference. And for those who want to see the United States always acting unilaterally, it’s not satisfying. But, for the world we’re trying to build, where we have a lot of responsible actors who are willing to step up and lead, it is exactly what we should be doing.”

The French and the British were shocked by the quick turn of events. Instead of the President announcing the Administration’s position from the East Room of the White House, the U.N. envoy quietly proposed transforming a tepid resolution for a no-fly zone into a permission for full-scale military intervention in Libya. Some officials thought it was a trick. Was it possible that the Americans were trying to make the military options appear so bleak that China and Russia would be sure to block action?

Gradually, it became clear that the U.S. was serious. Clinton spoke with her Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, who had previously told her that Russia would “never never” support even a no-fly zone. The Russians agreed to abstain. Without the cover of the Russians, the Chinese almost never veto Security Council resolutions. The vote, on March 17th, was 10–0, with five abstentions. It was the first time in its sixty-six years that the United Nations authorized military action to preëmpt an “imminent massacre.” Tom Malinowski, the Washington director of Human Rights Watch, wrote, “It was, by any objective standard, the most rapid multinational military response to an impending human rights crisis in history.”

As the bombs dropped on Libyan tanks, President Obama made a point of continuing his long-scheduled trip to South America. He wanted to show that America has interests in the rest of the world, even as it was drawn into yet another crisis in the Middle East.

his spring, Obama officials often expressed impatience with questions about theory or about the elusive quest for an Obama doctrine. One senior Administration official reminded me what the former British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan said when asked what was likely to set the course of his government: “Events, dear boy, events.”

Obama has emphasized bureaucratic efficiency over ideology, and approached foreign policy as if it were case law, deciding his response to every threat or crisis on its own merits. “When you start applying blanket policies on the complexities of the current world situation, you’re going to get yourself into trouble,” he said in a recent interview with NBC News.

Obama’s reluctance to articulate a grand synthesis has alienated both realists and idealists. “On issues like whether to intervene in Libya there’s really not a compromise and consensus,” Slaughter said. “You can’t be a little bit realist and a little bit democratic when deciding whether or not to stop a massacre.”

Brzezinski, too, has become disillusioned with the President. “I greatly admire his insights and understanding. I don’t think he really has a policy that’s implementing those insights and understandings. The rhetoric is always terribly imperative and categorical: ‘You must do this,’ ‘He must do that,’ ‘This is unacceptable.’ ” Brzezinski added, “He doesn’t strategize. He sermonizes.”

The one consistent thread running through most of Obama’s decisions has been that America must act humbly in the world. Unlike his immediate predecessors, Obama came of age politically during the post-Cold War era, a time when America’s unmatched power created widespread resentment. Obama believes that highly visible American leadership can taint a foreign-policy goal just as easily as it can bolster it. In 2007, Obama said, “America must show—through deeds as well as words—that we stand with those who seek a better life. That child looking up at the helicopter must see America and feel hope.”

In 2009 and early 2010, Obama was sometimes criticized for not acting at all. He was cautious during Iran’s Green Revolution and deferential to his generals during the review of Afghanistan strategy. But his response to the Arab Spring has been bolder. He broke with Mubarak at a point when some of the older establishment advised against it. In Libya, he overruled Gates and his military advisers and pushed our allies to adopt a broad and risky intervention. It is too early to know the consequences of these decisions. Libya appears to be entering a protracted civil war; American policy toward Mubarak frightened—and irritated—Saudi Arabia, where instability could send oil prices soaring. The U.S. keeps getting stuck in the Middle East.

Nonetheless, Obama may be moving toward something resembling a doctrine. One of his advisers described the President’s actions in Libya as “leading from behind.” That’s not a slogan designed for signs at the 2012 Democratic Convention, but it does accurately describe the balance that Obama now seems to be finding. It’s a different definition of leadership than America is known for, and it comes from two unspoken beliefs: that the relative power of the U.S. is declining, as rivals like China rise, and that the U.S. is reviled in many parts of the world. Pursuing our interests and spreading our ideals thus requires stealth and modesty as well as military strength. “It’s so at odds with the John Wayne expectation for what America is in the world,” the adviser said. “But it’s necessary for shepherding us through this phase.”

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/05/02/110502fa_fact_lizza?currentPage=all
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« Reply #832 on: May 04, 2011, 08:00:48 AM »

Obama argued that what he lacked in experience with foreign affairs he made up for with foreign travel: four years in Indonesia as a boy, and trips to Pakistan, India, Kenya, and Europe during and after college. But there was no mistaking the lightness of his résumé. Just a year before coming to Washington, State Senator Obama was not immersed in the dangers of nuclear Pakistan or an ascendant China; as a provincial legislator, he was investigating the dangers of a toy known as the Yo-Yo Water Ball. (He tried, unsuccessfully, to have it banned.)

Now this is about his speed. Should have stuck with this.
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« Reply #833 on: May 06, 2011, 11:13:45 AM »

While I watched the speech I also thought the personal pronoun use was pretty telling and far less than magnanimous.

The First-Person Presidency
President Obama takes credit for operations that would have been impossible had Senator Obama’s views prevailed.

Here are a few excerpts from President Obama’s speech on Sunday night about the killing of Osama bin Laden.

“Tonight, I can report . . . And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta . . . I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden . . . I met repeatedly with my national security team . . . I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action. . . . Today, at my direction . . . I’ve made clear . . . Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear . . . Tonight, I called President Zardari . . . and my team has also spoken. . .These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief . . . Finally, let me say to the families . . . I know that it has, at times, frayed. . . .”

Most of these first-person pronouns could have been replaced by either the first-person plural (our, we) or proper nouns (the United States, America). But they reflect a now well-known Obama trait of personalizing the presidency.

The problem of first-personalizing national security is twofold. One, it is not consistent. Good news is reported by Obama in terms of “I”; bad news is delivered as “reset,” “the previous administration,” “in the past”: All good things abroad are due to Obama himself; all bad things are still the blowback from George W. Bush.

Two, there is the small matter of hypocrisy. The protocols for taking out Osama bin Laden were all established by President Bush and all opposed by Senator and then candidate Obama. Yet President Obama never seeks to explain that disconnect; indeed, he emphasizes it by the overuse of the first person. When the president reminds us this week of what “over the years I’ve repeatedly made clear,” does he include his opposition to what he now has institutionalized?

Guantanamo proves to have been important for gathering intelligence; Barack Obama derided it as “a tremendous recruiting tool for al-Qaeda.”

Some key intelligence was found by interrogating prisoners abroad; Barack Obama wished to end that practice: “This means ending the practices of shipping away prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in far-off countries, of detaining thousands without charge or trial, of maintaining a network of secret prisons to jail people beyond the reach of law.” “That will be my position as president. That includes renditions.” Renditions have not ended under Obama, but expanded.

In some cases we are trying suspects through military tribunals; here again, Barack Obama used to deplore the practice he now has adopted: “a flawed military-commission system that has failed to convict anyone of a terrorist act since the 9/11 attacks and that has been embroiled in legal challenges.”

Senator Obama complained about airborne attacks on the Afghanistan-Pakistan borderlands. President Obama increased Predator assassination attacks fivefold. He has killed four times as many terrorist suspects by Predators in 27 months than did President Bush in eight years.

In January 2007 — three weeks after President Bush announced the surge — Senator Obama introduced the “Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007.” If it had passed, that law would have removed all troops from Iraq by March 2008. Obama derided the surge in unequivocal terms both before and after its implementation: “I don’t know any expert on the region or any military officer that I’ve spoken to privately that believes that that is going to make a substantial difference on the situation on the ground.” “Here’s what we know. The surge has not worked.”

Candidate Obama criticized warrantless wiretaps, in accusing the Bush administration in the harshest terms: “This administration acts like violating civil liberties is the way to enhance our security. It is not.” A disinterested examination of present policy regarding both wiretaps and intercepts would show no change from the Bush administration, or indeed considerable expansion of the use of these tools.

If one wonders why former President Bush did not attend ceremonies with President Obama this week in New York, it might be because of past rhetoric like this about policies Obama once derided and then codified: “I taught constitutional law for ten years at the University of Chicago, so . . . um . . . your next president will actually believe in the Constitution, which you can’t say about your current president.” George Bush did not believe in the U.S. Constitution?

In sum, Senator Obama opposed tribunals, renditions, Guantanamo, preventive detention, Predator-drone attacks, the Iraq War, wiretaps, and intercepts — before President Obama either continued or expanded nearly all of them, in addition to embracing targeted assassinations, new body scanning and patdowns at airports, and a third preemptive war against an oil-exporting Arab Muslim nation — this one including NATO efforts to kill the Qaddafi family. The only thing more surreal than Barack Obama’s radical transformation is the sudden approval of it by the once hysterical Left. In Animal Farm and 1984 fashion, the world we knew in 2006 has simply been airbrushed away.

Times change. People say one thing when they are candidates for public office, quite another as officeholders with responsibility of governance. Obama as president naturally does not wish to be treated in the manner in which he once treated President Bush. Conservatives might resent Obama’s prior demagoguery at a critical period in our national security, as much as they are relieved that he seems to have grown up and repudiated it.

Okay, the public perhaps understands all that hypocrisy as the stuff of presidential politics. But I think it will not quite accept the next step of taking full credit in hyperbolic first-person fashion for operations that would have been impossible had his own views prevailed.

— NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, the editor of Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome, and the author of The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/266580/first-person-presidency-victor-davis-hanson
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« Reply #834 on: May 24, 2011, 01:48:27 PM »



http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_theticket/20110524/ts_yblog_theticket/obama-code-named-smart-alec-in-britain
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G M
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« Reply #835 on: May 24, 2011, 02:04:47 PM »


What's the Punjabi word for "empty-suit"? Just asking.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #836 on: May 25, 2011, 04:11:16 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tfaPhnQrsU&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WCRC9tHyoQ&feature=player_embedded

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/these-are-obamas-top-10-insults-against-britain/
« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 04:27:05 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
G M
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« Reply #837 on: May 25, 2011, 04:29:58 PM »


What if Bush/Palin/any other republican had done this?

At least he brings that same level of skill and competence to every aspect of his presidency.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #838 on: May 26, 2011, 11:32:22 AM »

By Conn Carroll
Created May 24 2011 - 4:26pm
The truth behind Chrysler’s fake auto bailout pay back

It is not every day that the White House and Democratic National Committee celebrate a supposedly private company’s debt restructuring plan, but such is the marriage of big government and big business under the Obama administration. The New York Times reports: “Chrysler said Tuesday that it had paid back $7.6 billion in loans from the American and Canadian governments, marking another significant step in the revival of the company, the smallest of the Detroit automakers.”

But as The Truth About Cars reports, the loan pay back is just another Obama con job:

Back in November of 2009, when GM announced that it would repay its government loans, it didn’t take much investigation to realize that The General was simply shuffling government money from one pocket to the other and that true “payback” was still a ways off. … And now that our government finds itself “contemplating a runaway deficit and getting rid of its 8 percent of Chrysler’s equity,” would you believe that a similar federal money-shuffle is under way? Believe it.

American taxpayers have already spent more than $13 billion bailing out Chrysler. The Obama administration already forgave more than $4 billion of that debt when the company filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Taxpayers are never getting that money back. But how is Chrysler now paying off the rest of the $7.6 billion they owe the Treasury Department?

The Obama administration’s bailout agreement with Fiat gave the Italian car company a “Incremental Call Option” that allows it to buy up to 16% of Chrysler stock at a reduced price. But in order to exercise the option, Fiat had to first pay back at least $3.5 billion of its loan to the Treasury Department. But Fiat was having trouble getting private banks to lend it the money. Enter Obama Energy Secretary Steven Chu who has signaled that he will approve a fuel-efficient vehicle loan to Chrysler for … wait for it … $3.5 billion. TTAC comments:

Now, technically the DOE loan program is supposed to be used for specific, qualifying retooling projects, so Fiat can’t literally take the DOE money and use it to pay back the government loans. But freeing up $3.5b in capital that would otherwise be spent on retooling with low-cost loans will make it infinitely easier for Chrysler to secure the $3.5b in debt refinancing it needs. And, in light of the GAO’s pointed criticisms of the DOE loan program’s fairness and transparency, it’s hard to overlook the coincidental nature of Chrysler’s need for $3.5b and the government’s allocation of extra funds to apparently guarantee a low cost loan to Chrysler for precisely the same amount. After all, we’ve seen this movie before..

So, to recap, the Obama Energy Department is loaning a foreign car company $3.5 billion so that it can pay the Treasury Department $7.6 billion even though American taxpayers spent $13 billion to save an American car company that is currently only worth $5 billion.

Oh, and Obama plans to make this “success” a centerpiece of his 2012 campaign.

Beltway Confidential audacity auto bailout Chrysler Fiat
Source URL: http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/05/truth-behind-chrysler-s-fake-auto-bailout-pay-back
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DougMacG
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« Reply #839 on: May 26, 2011, 12:42:37 PM »

"Obama plans to make this “success” (auto bailouts) a centerpiece of his 2012 campaign"

BBG, maybe his fund raisers can be called Cash for Clunkers...
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http://detnews.com/article/20110524/MIVIEW/105240374/Payne--SUVs-saved-Chrysler

"But there is one inconvenient truth you won't hear ... Chrysler wouldn't be here had it not defied its green White House masters. Chrysler's return to profitability is a direct result of the fabulous success of its SUVs.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110524/MIVIEW/105240374/Payne--SUVs-saved-Chrysler#ixzz1NTuNqtlB
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #840 on: May 29, 2011, 02:46:38 PM »


http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/2011/03/27/

http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/2011/04/10/

« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 02:54:42 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #841 on: June 01, 2011, 10:14:03 AM »


The words speak for themselves:

George W. Bush speech after the capture of Saddam Hussein:

The success of yesterday's mission is a tribute to our men and women now serving in Iraq . The operation was based on the superb work of intelligence analysts who found the dictator's footprints in a vast country. The operation was carried out with skill and precision by a brave fighting force.  Our servicemen and women and our coalition allies have faced many dangers in the hunt for members of the fallen regime, and in their effort to bring hope and freedom to the Iraqi people. Their work continues, and so do the risks. Today, on behalf of the nation, I thank the members of our Armed Forces and I congratulate them.

Barack Obama speech after the killing of bin Laden:

And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network. Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan . And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice. Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad , Pakistan ..

 
Obama used the words I, me, or my over a dozen times in his entire speech.  George Bush used them twice to say "I thank" and "I congratulate".
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ccp
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« Reply #842 on: June 02, 2011, 04:23:39 PM »

Good post.

The distinction is succinct and clear.

Yet the present Prez is supposedly "personally" popular according to *poll*sters (many of whom are *huck*sters).  I have to wonder. huh

The cognitive dissonance of the American Public?   shocked

How anyone could like this man is beyond me.  sad
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DougMacG
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« Reply #843 on: June 06, 2011, 10:18:03 AM »

President Obama is now saying that high energy prices are part of what is holding back our economic growth.  IMAGINE THAT!
-----
Step one on my 'what would you do' discussion is to open up energy production.  A good time to start that would have been in the FY1996 budget reconciliation bill (H.R. 2491, §§5312-5344) would have opened ANWR to energy development, but the measure was vetoed: http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/100215.pdf

A good time to energize a national strategy of increased energy development on all fronts the next decade came from the Cheney task force. Instead they attacked it ad hominem.  Had we implemented that plan then, Obama might have a better shot at reelection now.  I doubt if the incumbent can see that even now.  Hindsight is not always 20/20.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #844 on: June 15, 2011, 01:45:49 PM »

Editorial: Obama's Job-Killing Jobs Council
 
Posted 06/13/2011 06:41 PM ET

Economy: President Obama says he's 100% focused these days on creating jobs. So why is he taking advice from a bunch of CEOs whose companies have been shedding jobs for years?

In February, Obama chartered the Jobs and Competitiveness Council with a mission of leaving "no stone unturned" in the search of ways to boost the country's anemic job growth. But you could tell from the start that this council would have trouble even finding those stones, let alone turning them over.

After all, Obama stuffed the group full of Fortune 500 CEOs — General Electric, American Express, DuPont, Time Warner, Eastman Kodak and Xerox, among them. While these may be good companies, they've hardly been roaring engines of job growth. In most cases, in fact, the opposite is true. Some examples:

• GE's domestic workforce shrank by 25,000 — almost 16% — between 2001 and 2010, according to the company's annual reports. (The number of overseas GE jobs climbed over those years.)

• AmEx employed 28% fewer workers in 2010 than it did a decade ago.

• Kodak's workforce cratered to just 18,800 last year from 75,000 in 2001.

• Xerox's employee base shrank by nearly a third between 2001 and 2009, before it acquired Affiliated Computer Services and its 74,000 workers in 2010.

• Even Intel has trimmed the number of workers it employs over the past decade.

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Beyond this, the board is made up of the heads of two big unions, an energy company, a railroad, an airline, a couple investment firms, and the like.

Just one business represented on the board — Facebook — is a genuine growth company. And the council is all but devoid of the kind of small- and midsize firms responsible for two-thirds of the nation's new jobs.

It's little wonder, then, that the list of immediate must-do, job-creating ideas the council came up with — and outlined in a Monday op-ed signed by GE's Jeff Immelt and AmEx's Ken Chenault — is so uninspiring.

More money to retrain workers? More tax dollars retrofitting commercial buildings to boost energy efficiency? More government loans passed out by the Small Business Administration? That's the best the council could come up with after almost four months' work?

At least the board did give a nod to job-choking red tape, calling on the administration to streamline permitting processes. But what about the three job-creating free-trade agreements Obama has locked up in his desk drawer? How about an immediate cut in corporate and capital gains taxes? Or for that matter any of the many other job creation ideas we detailed in this space last week?

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/575237/201106131841/Do-As-They-Say.htm
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #845 on: June 16, 2011, 01:16:58 PM »



http://www.theblaze.com/stories/canada-turns-away-obamas-old-pal-1960s-domestic-terrorist-bill-ayers/
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DougMacG
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« Reply #846 on: June 18, 2011, 10:48:28 AM »

The Nation (fair and balanced) pulled its Wikileaks story.  Hard not to go 'Media Issues' with this, but the cognitive dissonance of this administration is breathtaking.  Big corporations over workers?  Markets set prices over government?
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http://www.cjr.org/the_audit/a_pulled_scoop_shows_us_booste.php
Columbia Journalism Review

A Pulled Scoop Shows U.S. Fought to Keep Haitian Wages Down

By Ryan Chittum

The Nation has a scoop—or had, actually—from Wikileaks cables showing that the Obama administration pressured Haiti not to raise its minimum wage to 61 cents an hour, or five bucks a day.

The magazine posted the story the other day and has now pulled it, saying it will repost it next Wednesday “To accord with the publishing schedule of Haiti Liberté,” its partner on the piece.

But you can’t stuff the news genie back in the bottle. They already put it in my browser and many others, so I’ll summarize what it said (and I’ll link to it once The Nation republishes it).

Two years ago, Haiti unanimously passed a law sharply raising its minimum wage to 61 cents an hour. That doesn’t sound like much (and it isn’t), but it was two and a half times the then-minimum of 24 cents an hour.

This infuriated contractors for American corporations like Hanes and Levi Strauss that pay Haitians slave wages to sew their clothes. They said they would only fork over a seven-cent-an-hour increase, and they got the State Department involved. The U.S. ambassador put pressure on Haiti’s president, who duly carved out a $3 a day minimum wage for textile companies (the U.S. minimum wage, which itself is very low, works out to $58 a day).

The Nation:

    Still the US Embassy wasn’t pleased. A deputy chief of mission, David E. Lindwall, said the $5 per day minimum “did not take economic reality into account” but was a populist measure aimed at appealing to “the unemployed and underpaid masses.”

Well, hey. Imagine Haitians doing things for their “unemployed and underpaid masses” rather than rich Yankee corporations. The outrage! No wonder we have 9.1 percent unemployment and 16 percent underemployment here while the folks who sent the economy in the tank are back making millions.

Let’s do a little math. Haiti has about 25,000 garment workers. If you paid each of them $2 a day more, it would cost their employers $50,000 per working day, or about $12.5 million a year.

Zooming in on specific companies helps clarify this even more. As of last year Hanes had 3,200 Haitians making t-shirts for it. Paying each of them two bucks a day more would cost it about $1.6 million a year. Hanesbrands Incorporated made $211 million on $4.3 billion in sales last year, and presumably it would pass on at least some of its higher labor costs to consumers.

Or better yet, Hanesbrands CEO Richard Noll could forego some of his rich compensation package. He could $10 million package last year He could pay for the raises for those 3,200 t-shirt makers with just one-sixth of the $10 million in salary and bonus he raked in last year.

And that five dollars a day? The Nation reports that a Haitian family of three (two kids) needed $12.50 a day in 2008 to make ends meet.
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ccp
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« Reply #847 on: June 18, 2011, 11:52:16 AM »

I walk into a doctor's lounge this morning and the TV is on showing the talking heads discussing Boehner's, Biden's, and the One's golf game.

Talk about dissonance with Americans!  sad

Why when I think of Boehner I freely associate to the word "idiot"?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #848 on: June 18, 2011, 12:47:20 PM »

CCP,  I agree and it goes both ways.  Obama shouldn't be drawing attention to his hacker addiction.  Golf is a wonderful game, a skill game and a strategy game - something to be played when you are done with your work.  Lousy golf is meaningless, a walk in the park with guys who are not your friends or your peers and with the secret service, instead of time spent with the two young daughters (they grow up so fast) and loving wife back home, if not on budget matters or the laser focus on jobs.  Obama already has amazing amounts of time logged on the golf course, a potential flag if/when the media or the public ever catches up with him.  Boehner should not have walked into Obama's trap.  This weekend meeting should have been in the budget room.  Worst case is that they should be playing openly for who gets to speak first and for how long at the Sunday budget meeting.

Approval of congress is at 21% RCP/ 17% Gallup for a whole lot of reasons.  This is not part of the solution.
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G M
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« Reply #849 on: June 18, 2011, 01:18:12 PM »

Real men spend time shooting and training to win. Any reports on how many times Boehner cried on the outing?
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