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G M
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« Reply #250 on: December 18, 2008, 08:47:26 PM »

http://www.1adsi.com/Pics.htm

Slalom 36-42 Mph

The Slalom drill allows the student to learn and practice many skills however the most important of these lessons would be to experience the lateral forces acting on the car. By forcing the student to keep there speed stable we are isolating the steering wheel. As the speed increases more and more steering input needs to be used. When the student becomes comfortable and proficient with controlling the forces produced by a certain speed the instructor will increase the speed by just two miles an hour. This does not feel like much of an increase, but remember small increases of speed act greatly on forces applied to the vehicle. This rule is especially true when reaching the vehicle's maximum limitations. A proficient driver who understands vehicle dynamics will be able to use a higher percentage of the vehicles capabilities.

This does not imply higher speeds, since potential accidents need to be avoided at all speeds. Notice the top speed in our slalom videos only reaches 40 MPH. 42 MPH. is impossible for even the best driver in the world. Successfully completing our 60-foot slalom with a police package Crown Vic. would be an act that defies the laws of physics.

As you look at the following video pics take notice to the small speed increases and the dramatic differences in the forces acting on the car. (All speeds and reactions based on maximum limit .85G 's Police Package Crown Vic) At 36 MPH you will hear a slide tire squeal and see moderate lateral weight transfer. At 38 MPH that tire squeal will become much more apparent as the added force causes the tires to begin to lose adhesion. At 40 MPH the vehicle will actually be on the edge of control. As the vehicle starts to lose control (sliding sideways) an aggressive and fast reacting driver will be able to regain control. At 42 MPH it is not possible to for the best driver in the world to negotiate the 60' slalom in our .85 G Crown Vics.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #251 on: December 21, 2008, 05:07:48 PM »

Fascinating stuff.  As I think about it a bit, it seems to me that driving skills and related issues would be a good thread for the Martial Arts forum.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #252 on: December 22, 2008, 04:25:05 PM »

Sweet Caroline

It wasn't his idea. He may be irritated at being pressured into it. But it appears New York Governor David Paterson is moving towards appointing Caroline Kennedy to the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Clinton.

The dynamics are complicated. Normally, Mr. Paterson would have selected someone like Andrew Cuomo, the state's attorney general. Not only would that have removed Mr. Cuomo as a possible primary challenger to Mr. Paterson when he seeks a full term in his own right in 2010. Appointing Mr. Cuomo also would have given New York a proven operator with instant clout and credibility in the Senate.

But Mr. Cuomo's supporters were blindsided by the Kennedy boomlet, which was pushed by allies of Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Within days it was made clear to Governor Paterson that if he appointed Ms. Kennedy, he would have no trouble raising money against any possible primary opponent and would be looked on with great favor by an Obama White House.

All of this leaves both Mr. Cuomo and allies of Hillary Clinton sputtering. They are unhappy with the blitzkrieg campaign waged on behalf of Ms. Kennedy but realize there's little they can do to thwart it.

The only thing that could gum up the works now is Ms. Kennedy's possible overexposure in coming weeks -- i.e., if she answers too many questions. The perils of having this political Greta Garbo reveal too much about her opinions showed up even in the tentative answers she gave to Politico.com about some key policy positions.

Her answers had to be carefully calibrated to navigate the turbulent waters of New York special interest politics. She indicated support for same-sex marriage, opposition to school vouchers and sympathy with Governor Paterson's refusal (so far) to seek broad-based tax increases on wealthy New Yorkers. In other words, she showed herself to be a loyal Democrat, except on one question. When asked if she would support the Democratic nominee for mayor of New York next year against her friend Mr. Bloomberg, who may run as an independent, she took a pass. While that might anger some Democrats, it's certainly smart politics for her in the short run.

-- John Fund

'That Fifth CD Thing'

The legal team of President-elect Barack Obama will release a report this week clearing incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel of any involvement in a scheme to sell the U.S. Senate seat held by Mr. Obama. The report will find that Mr. Emanuel had only one phone conversation with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and it was mostly a "pro forma" talk in which a list of candidates acceptable to Mr. Obama was conveyed.

What that doesn't mean is that all the questions about Mr. Emanuel's role will have been answered. The federal criminal complaint against Mr. Blagojevich says that about a week after last month's election, Mr. Blagojevich expressed interest in having a top Obama adviser be told of the governor's interest in creating a non-profit group that would need "10, 15 million" dollars in funding. Mr. Blagojevich says, in reference to the Obama adviser, "When he asks for the Fifth CD thing, I want [the funding] to be in his head."

The adviser in question is likely either Mr. Emanuel or someone intimately concerned with the special election that would pick a replacement for Mr. Emanuel in the House when he resigns his seat to go to the White House. But House seats, unlike Senate seats, aren't filled by gubernatorial appointment. So what exactly might Mr. Emanuel and the governor have to talk about?

Possibly, a great deal. Mr. Blagojevich held Mr. Emanuel's seat in Congress before becoming governor and exercises a great deal of clout in the North Shore of Chicago, where the district is located. Mr. Emanuel is known to be wistful about giving up his seat in the House, where he planned to stay for decades and eventually become Speaker. The speculation among political observers in Chicago is that Mr. Emanuel was keen on Mr. Blagojevich using his influence to back a "placeholder" to run for the seat -- i.e. someone who would serve in Congress but be willing to step aside in exchange for some other job when Mr. Emanuel wanted to reclaim his House seat.

One would hope the internal Obama report discusses the curious references to the Emanuel House seat in the criminal complaint. If not, we may never learn the full story. Mr. Obama has stopped short of pledging to release emails or other information relevant to the inquiry. A gap in government disclosure laws blocks presidential transition offices from having to make their records public under the Freedom of Information Act. That exemption may prove very handy to Mr. Obama, who obviously hopes his internal report will close out discussion of the relationship between his office and Governor Blagojevich.

-- John Fund

Memo to Pelosi

President-elect Barack Obama took off for a 13-day Christmas vacation in Hawaii on the weekend, leaving supporters stewing over his selection of Pastor Rick Warren to perform at next month's inauguration. Yesterday, Rep. Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat and the first openly gay Member of Congress, blasted Mr. Obama's choice, saying: "Mr. Warren compared same-sex couples to incest. I found that deeply offensive and unfair."

The media naturally have hyperventilated over the seeming breach between Mr. Obama and a powerful Congressional Democrat, though Mr. Obama is likely not losing sleep over it. Mr. Frank, who has spent 27 years in Congress and endured revelations of a relationship with a gay hooker, survives politically because he represents one of the most liberal districts in one of the nation's most liberal states. He's hardly somebody most voters in America identify with. Meanwhile, with the Warren pick, Mr. Obama is building bridges to "values voters," some of whom helped him get elected by staying home in November. He also shows he's personally comfortable around conservative Christians, even when he disagrees with them on policy.

Besides, it's not too early to demonstrate who's on top in the Democratic Party. In a piece entitled "Pelosi lays down the law with Rahm," Politico.com reported last week that, in a private communication with incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried to "set parameters" on her expectations from the new White House, including "no surprises" and "no backdoor efforts to go around her and other Democratic leaders by cutting deals with moderate New Democrats or conservative Blue Dogs."

Mr. Warren's selection may be Mr. Obama's answer to Ms. Pelosi, whose House Democrats had even lower approval ratings on Election Day than George Bush.

-- Brendan Miniter

Quote of the Day

"Dr. Holdren, now a physicist at Harvard, was one of the experts in natural resources whom Paul Ehrlich enlisted in his famous bet against the economist Julian Simon during the 'energy crisis' of the 1980s. Dr. Simon, who disagreed with environmentalists' predictions of a new 'age of scarcity' of natural resources, offered to bet that any natural resource would be cheaper at any date in the future. . . . In 1980 Dr. Holdren helped select five metals -- chrome, copper, nickel, tin and tungsten -- and joined Dr. Ehrlich and Dr. Harte in betting $1,000 that those metals would be more expensive ten years later. They turned out to be wrong on all five metals, and had to pay up when the bet came due in 1990. Now, you could argue that anyone's entitled to a mistake, and that mistakes can be valuable if people learn to become open to ideas that conflict with their preconceptions and ideology. That could be a useful skill in an advisor who's supposed to be presenting the president with a wide range of views. . . . But I haven't seen much evidence of such open-mindedness in Dr. Holdren" -- New York Times columnist John Tierney, on the selection of John Holdren as President-elect Obama's science advisor.

Bailout Nation North

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Saturday announced a complementary auto bailout, following the one announced by President Bush. In fact, the troubled asset Mr. Harper is trying to rescue is his own administration.

"I will not fool you," Mr. Harper told voters in discussing the $3.29 billion lifeline. "There may be, well, more money as we go forward."

Recall that, after winning re-election in October, Mr. Harper faced a vote of "no confidence" in Parliament, with opposition parties banding together ready to form a coalition government. Recall that, rather than negotiating a solution to the impasse, the Conservative premier chose to "prorogue" the legislature -- or suspend Parliament until Jan. 26 so it couldn't pass a no-confidence resolution.

By authorizing the bailout, Mr. Harper now hopes to pressure left-leaning members of the opposition into dropping the effort dissolve his government. Both New Democratic Party Leader Jack Layton and Liberal Party Leader Michael Ignatieff hail from vote-rich Ontario, center of the Canadian auto industry. The bailout was also strongly applauded by Canadian Auto Workers union chief Ken Lewenza, who nonetheless insists the Big Three's problems are all south of the border. Canadian workers, he says, "could work for nothing and we wouldn't sell another vehicle" thanks to trouble caused in Detroit and Washington.

He's got a point, since the cheap Canadian dollar and Canada's national health system have helped keep Canada's labor costs more competitive than the UAW's. Mr. Harper's move may be a shrewd attempt to save his government, but it puts Canada in line to pour potentially unlimited sums down a mismanaged U.S auto industry.

-- Adrian Ho



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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #253 on: December 23, 2008, 11:51:07 AM »

Note to Readers

PD will be busy deactivating its missile defenses in anticipation of Santa's arrival. We wish our readers a joyous and safe holiday. We'll be back on Monday.

-- The Mgmt.

A Christmas Miracle for Ted Stevens?

It's wise always to be careful of prosecutorial overreach, even if -- or perhaps especially if -- it involves a case where the evidence appears to be overwhelming.

An FBI agent assigned to the Alaska corruption investigation of GOP Senator Ted Stevens has filed a complaint of misconduct against fellow agents and at least one prosecutor involved in the pursuit of Mr. Stevens on charges he failed to report $250,000 in gifts from an oil-services company executive. Mr. Stevens was convicted on the charges in October, subsequently lost his re-election bid the next month by a few hundred votes, and is currently awaiting sentencing.

The FBI whistleblower's complaint was heavily redacted by Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan, who presided over the trial, but was nonetheless released publicly last night.

The name of the whistleblower along with the names of the agents he accused of misconduct were withheld by the court. In releasing the redacted complaint, Judge Sullivan said yesterday he would consider a request by Mr. Stevens's lawyers to release more of the document later.

"I have witnessed or learned of serious violations of policy, rules and procedures as well as possible criminal violations," the whistleblower asserted in his complaint to the Justice Department. He alleges that FBI agents became cozy with sources in the corruption probe, took gifts and favors from some of them and revealed confidential grand jury and investigation information to the media.

Even more seriously, the whistleblower says at least one prosecutor withheld "exculpatory" information from the Stevens defense team despite a legal requirement that it be turned over. He also said the government concocted a "scheme" by which it allowed Rocky Williams, a potential witness in the case, to return home just before the trial began. Mr. Williams had been subpoenaed by both sides to testify, but prosecutors decided he would make a weak witness and came up with the excuse that he was too ill to testify and should be sent thousands of miles away from Washington back to Alaska.

The charges by the FBI whistleblower will have to be vetted by Judge Sullivan, but it certainly seems Mr. Stevens has a fair chance of having his conviction overturned or winning a new trial. However, the verdict of the voters must stand. They had to vote on Mr. Stevens's fitness and effectiveness for the office of Senator only ten days after he was convicted in federal court. He wound up losing by less than one percentage point to Democrat Mark Begich. No doubt if the FBI whistleblower's charges had been known before the election, the minds of some voters would have been changed.

-- John Fund

Gift Horse

The good news for Caroline Kennedy in a new Quinnipiac University poll is that nearly half of New York State voters expect Governor David Paterson to appoint her to Hillary Clinton's vacated Senate seat, as opposed to 25% who don't think it will happen.

The bad news is that, by 41% to 40%, New York voters don't think the 51-year-old social activist and fundraiser is qualified to be senator. Nor does she get any special break from women, among whom she had only a slight one-percent edge on the matter of whether she is "qualified." Even Geraldine Ferraro, a former New York congresswoman who was the 1984 Democratic vice-presidential candidate, told me yesterday that, while she supports the idea of a woman taking Hillary Clinton's place in the Senate, she isn't sold on Caroline Kennedy. "With the problems and financial crisis we have, we need a Senator who can jump in from Day One and tackle the problem," she told me. "I think one of New York's six Democratic congresswomen are most likely to have that ability right away."

Nor is Ms. Kennedy exactly running away from the competition in the Quinnipiac Poll. Though she is a big favorite among New York City voters, who like her by 42% to 27% over state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, suburban voters are split evenly between the two candidates, while Mr. Cuomo has a four-point lead among upstate voters.

-- John Fund

Sanford v. Keynes

Not every state and local politician in America is sprinting to the federal trough for free money out of Washington. One of the few stimulus skeptics is South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, who is saying "no thanks" to federal bailout money for states. Mr. Sanford is one Republican who hasn't forgotten his fiscal conservative principles as so many other pols in the GOP have. "Out-of-control spending in Washington is the problem with the economy. So why spend more?" he said in an interview, sounding a lot like Ronald Reagan.

Mr. Sanford spoke with Mr. Obama when the governors met in Philadelphia and both reportedly agreed that the increased national debt was a problem. That's where the consensus ended. Mr. Sanford says he's no disciple of the Keynesian economic thinking that says spend now, save later, which has become the economic operating philosophy of Obamanomics. "Everybody is like, 'The budget can go up this year, but next year it's going down.' The conclusion I've come to is the only budget you've got is this year."

Mr. Sanford has a stimulus idea that could not be more diametrically opposed to Mr. Obama's. Last week he called for a complete phase-out of South Carolina's 5% corporate income tax, while chopping the individual income tax in half. These ideas are needed "now more than ever," he says. Though his plan would be partially paid for by increasing the cigarette tax from 7 cents to 37 cents, on balance he would be instituting a giant tax cut at a time when most other governors want handouts to fatten government spending programs and avoid tough budget choices.

Mr. Sanford is widely touted as a conservative rising star among state leaders -- much in the mold of a Fife Symington of Arizona, John Engler of Michigan or William Weld of Massachusetts in the 1990s. "Mark is unquestionably one of our top-tier guys," says Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. The Cato Institute rates Mr. Sanford as the second most fiscally conservative governor in the nation. And the National Taxpayers Union says that during his six years in Congress, he racked up one of the best anti-spending records of any of his House colleagues.

No wonder last week a new Web site was launched: "DraftSanford2012.com."

-- Stephen Moore

Quote of the Day I

"The three most prominent Democrats in national politics during the past two years -- Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton -- are all ascending from the U.S. Senate to the executive branch, creating open Senate seats for Democratic governors to fill. And, oh, what a spectacle it is -- of corruption, insider dealing, treacly dynastic politics and rank nepotism. . . . We might be witnessing the most brazen bout of cronyism since Napoleon made his relatives and minions rulers of conquered Europe. Or at least since the Kennedy family arranged in 1960 to have John Kennedy's pliable Harvard roommate keep his Massachusetts Senate seat warm until Ted turned 30 and could inherit -- er, get elected to -- it" -- National Review editor Rich Lowry.

Quote of the Day II

"The only way [the late Mark Felt, Watergate's 'Deep Throat'] could have the knowledge he did was if the FBI had been systematically spying on the White House, on the Committee to Re-elect the President and on all of the other elements involved in Watergate. Felt was not simply feeding information to Woodward and Bernstein; he was using the intelligence product emanating from a section of the FBI to shape The Washington Post's coverage. . . . Nixon was as guilty as sin of more things than were ever proven. Nevertheless, there is another side to this story. The FBI was carrying out espionage against the president of the United States, not for any later prosecution of Nixon for a specific crime (the spying had to have been going on well before the break-in), but to increase the FBI's control over Nixon. . . . The Washington Post created a morality play about an out-of-control government brought to heel by two young, enterprising journalists and a courageous newspaper. That simply wasn't what happened. Instead, it was about the FBI using The Washington Post to leak information to destroy the president, and The Washington Post willingly serving as the conduit for that information while withholding an essential dimension of the story by concealing Deep Throat's identity" -- Stratfor CEO George Friedman, on the passing of Mark Felt, the former FBI No. 2 who served as a secret Watergate source for reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

Getting Used to Senator Franken

The endless battle over Minnesota's Senate seat reconvenes today when the state's Canvassing Board meets to decide what to do with as many as 1,500 absentee ballots that may have been mistakenly rejected as well as some 130 ballots that Republican Norm Coleman's lawyers claim were double-counted.

The decisions the Canvassing Board makes will be crucial since it has almost completed its review of challenged ballots. At this point, Democrat Al Franken has a 48-vote lead out of well over two million votes cast.

No matter who wins the Canvassing Board's final count, the race is going to court. The Coleman campaign is upset that the Board, which is supposed to supervise a recount of the votes, nonetheless included in its totals 133 ballots that were cast on Election Day but wound up missing when the time came to recount them. "If the recount is supposed to come up with a new number, adding in ballots that are missing from the original count and can't be verified doesn't make sense," Coleman spokesman Erin Rath told me.

All of these issues are likely to wind up in court. Today, the Minnesota Supreme Court is hearing arguments on whether the rejected absentee ballots should be counted.

Bob Williams, president of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation in Washington State, says the whole process reminds him of the recount in that state's 2004 governor's race, which was ultimately won by Democrat Christine Gregoire by 133 votes. Minnesota's recount has been far more orderly and transparent than Washington's, but in both states the final result was determined by a series of controversial judgment calls that consistently pointed in the direction of counting suspect ballots.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #254 on: December 29, 2008, 11:58:06 AM »

December 29, 2008

In today's Political Diary:

- Not Ready for SNL
- Overslept at Oversight
- A Transition to Remember (Quote of the Day I)
- Obama and the Age of Miracles (Quote of the Day II)
- Health Care, Chicago-Style


Caroline's 168 'You Knows'

When Sarah Palin gave a disastrous interview to CBS's Katie Couric, the national news media quickly jumped on the Alaska governor to declare her "not ready for prime time." Her verbal tics -- unusual sentence construction and a broad accent -- were skewered week after week on "Saturday Night Live."

Caroline Kennedy has largely avoided such ridicule in her quest to be appointed to replace Hillary Clinton as New York's Senator. The 51-year-old author and fundraiser has studiously ducked the media for years. Finally, barraged by criticism that she wasn't answering questions, she surfaced over the weekend to give a series of media interviews. They didn't go well. In fact, if the Palin standard were applied, Ms. Kennedy would be roundly judged unsuited for the national political stage.

Ms. Kennedy told the cable channel New York One that much of what makes a U.S. Senator effective are skills at "communication." But she utterly failed to articulate a reasonable case for why she should be placed in the U.S. Senate with no elective experience. "It's really, you know, it's not about just the Kennedy name," she said. "It's about my own work and what I've done with those values. . . . I just hope everybody understands that. . . . I have a lifelong devotion to public service."

But what raised the eyebrows of many people were Ms. Kennedy's verbal tics. In the space of the 30-minute NY One interview, she used the words "you know" a total of 168 times. In some sentences, she would employ that "filler" phrase three times.

A speaking problem such as hers can be cured and it's nothing to be made fun of. But as speech specialist Susan Ward notes: "Using excessive fillers is the most irritating speech habit. . . . They distract your listener often to the point that he doesn't hear anything you say. Your message is entirely lost."

Nor was her NY One interview an exception. Both the New York Daily News and the New York Times, which published reports on interviews with her on Sunday, noted her excessive use of "you know" and "um." But columnist Michael Goodwin of the Daily News was one of the few media analysts to report clearly on the problems surrounding her candidacy: "Her quest is becoming a cringe-inducing experience, as painful to watch as it must be to endure. Because she is the only survivor of that dreamy time nearly 50 years ago, she remains an iconic figure. But in the last few days, her mini-campaign has proved she has little to offer New Yorkers except her name."

Although critics have largely tiptoed around her liabilities, the general public is catching on that Camelot's Empress is under-dressed for her role. The Web site InTrade, which takes bets on the likelihood of political events, had her odds of being appointed by Governor Paterson at 85% just ten days ago. Now they are listed at just over 50%.

Ms. Kennedy is lucky that her status has spared her most of the verbal abuse that was heaped on Sarah Palin, but her qualification problems are big enough that she must now realize that the level of criticism -- especially from resentful New York Democrats -- is about to ramp up dramatically.

-- John Fund


While Edolphus Slept

President-elect Barack Obama has vowed a new war on "waste, fraud and abuse" within the federal government when he takes office.

But government reformers on both the left and right aren't expecting a major player in that fight to be the new chairman of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee. Rep. Edolphus Towns, a 74-year-old Democrat from New York, is set to take over from Rep. Henry Waxman in January, after the California Democrat moves over to take the helm of the powerful Commerce Committee.

While Mr. Waxman was viewed as an often-partisan figure, no one doubted his energy as he conducted dozens of hearings into management of the Iraq war, pay packages on Wall Street and conflicts of interest within the Bush administration. But Mr. Towns was seldom a part of those meetings. USA Today reports that he attended only 12 of the committee's 74 oversight hearings in the last two years. That included skipping four of the six sessions recently on the country's economic meltdown.

Mr. Towns, who has been in the House since 1982, blames his poor attendance on overlapping duties related to another committee assignment. But every member of Congress serves on two or three committees and usually manages to reconcile their demands.

Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the new ranking Republican on the investigative committee, told me he is revamping the GOP staff by recruiting group of new investigators to make up for what he expects will be a lack of aggressive oversight of the incoming Obama administration. "Congressional oversight hasn't been handled well under both Democratic and Republican administrations in recent years," he told me. "I hope the media and public demands a higher standard going forward."

-- John Fund


Quote of the Day I

"You can't move the ball forward if you don't have a team working together. That's a big challenge for every president. You know, you look at George W. Bush's first year in office: There was not a single leak, not a single story written in the Washington Post or the New York Times, not a single one quoting unattributed, unnamed White House sources. And that's an incredible testament to everybody pulling on the same oar at the same time that you have to have to move your agenda forward in this very complex policy environment in Washington" -- Terry Sullivan, executive director of the University of North Carolina's White House Transition Project, on what President-elect Barack Obama could learn from his predecessor, in a Q&A with National Journal magazine.


Quote of the Day II

"By July, we will come to feel that 2009 will be one of the most upbeat years in our history, as what used to be the news media begins to get behind America and report on all the mysteriously wonderful things that are suddenly taking place . . . . 'Depression' will transmogrify into 'recession' which in turn by July will be a 'downturn' and by year next an 'upswing' on its way to boom times. Indeed, almost supernaturally crises will be solved with the departure of the hated Bush. . . . Static, same-old, same-old government policy will, of course, be said to have altered radically ('hoped and changed'), but it will also be refashioned in the media as 'sober' and 'judicious', as the administration moves 'in circumspect fashion' to probe and explore 'complex' and often 'paradoxical' matters of national security that 'indeed at the end of the day have no easy answers'" -- historian Victor Davis Hanson, writing at RealClearPolitics.com on the next phase of Obama cheerleading in the media.


Blago's Health-Care Model

If Barack Obama hears footsteps, it might just be shoes dropping in Gov. Rod Blagojevich's pay-to-play scandal.

On Saturday, The Wall Street Journal dug this little nugget out of the 76-page criminal complaint filed against Mr. Blagojevich a few weeks ago: Allegedly as part of his scams, Blago exploited an "ethics reform" law that was ushered through the state legislature in 2003 by . . . Mr. Obama. Back then, Mr. Obama was a mere state senator and his reform -- cutting the number of people who serve on a government board overseeing hospital construction -- seemed innocuous at the time. Now it seems it may have allowed the governor to stack the board with individuals willing to hold up construction projects on his say-so, allegedly while he extracted campaign contributions in exchange for green lighting the projects.

No one has credibly claimed wrongdoing on Mr. Obama's part. But sensational corruption allegations are only part of the story unfolding in Illinois. Mr. Blagojevich came into office six years ago promising clean government and also made a signature issue of expanded government health care. The governor saw the two issues -- ethics and government health care -- as intertwined. He even announced his biggest health-care initiative from the pulpit of a downtown church in Chicago two years ago. His plan was to enact a massive tax increase to pay for the creation of a nearly-universal health-care program, but it floundered in the legislature in no small part because of the personal animus he had built up with legislative leaders. That was a lucky break for Illinois taxpayers in more ways than one: Imagine the pay-to-play boodle that his office might have extracted from billions of dollars in new health-care contracts his administration would have been writing these past two years.

All this circles back to Mr. Obama on the policy level. The Chicago pol will be sweeping into Washington next month with the intention of enacting a massive new universal health-care program. On both sides of the aisle in recent years, massive government expenditures from highways to defense contracts have almost invariably led to wasteful earmarks and even out-and-out corruption of the sort behind the bumper crop of recent indictments and convictions of federal lawmakers. Back in Illinois, Mr. Blagojevich reminds us that the altruistic intentions of politicians aside, pricey new government run health-care programs are likely to be no exception.

-- Brendan Miniter
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DougMacG
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« Reply #255 on: December 29, 2008, 02:52:11 PM »

Hard to compare a Kennedy with Sarah Palin. Besides the Alaska energy commission and the nation's largest state, what had she ever run...  Palin never inspired a Neil Diamond song.  Kind of creepy though, in 1969 Neil Diamond was pushing 30 and Caroline was going on 12.

"Who'd believe you'd come along -
Hands, touching hands, reaching out
Touching me, touching you
Oh, sweet Caroline"


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #256 on: December 30, 2008, 02:06:20 PM »

In today's Political Diary:

- Note to Readers
- Obama Senate Seat Becomes a Test of 'Chicago Politics'
- Republicans vs. Bailout Nation
- Fannie, Freddie and Hankie (Quote of the Day I)
- Nosey Parker (Quote of the Day II)
- Advice from Voters for the GOP


Note to Readers

PD will be getting an early start on goofing off in '09. We'll be back on Monday. Happy New Year!

-- The Mgmt.


Where Obama Comes From

Barack Obama's Senate seat has been vacant for a month now and looks like it will remain vacant as long as embattled Governor Rod Blagojevich resists efforts to remove him from office or persuade him to resign. The governor has said he won't be naming anyone to fill the Obama vacancy because the U.S. Senate wouldn't likely seat such a tainted appointee.

A special election to fill the vacancy was initially proposed by leading Democrats such as U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Lt. Governor Pat Quinn and Senate President Emil Jones. But they backed off as realization dawned that Republicans might actually have a chance of winning a special election in the person of Congressman Mark Kirk, a respected moderate from the Chicago suburbs who has $5 million in his campaign fund.

So Democrats are stuck. As long as Mr. Blagojevich remains in office, Illinois will have only one senator and the voting public will be upset at the failure to call a special election.

That's why one Democratic state legislator is proposing a stopgap solution. Chicago Democrat Will Burns is introducing a bill that would require anyone Governor Blagojevich might appoint to the Senate to undergo hearings before both houses of the state legislature, followed by a confirmation vote. "Balancing the fiscal problems the state is facing with the need for more disclosure and a better process, I thought that this hybrid proposal provides the public with more transparency," Mr. Burns told Illinois Public Radio.

But his bill doesn't envision any long-term change in the process by which vacated U.S. Senate seats are filled in Illinois. The new bill would be a "one ride only" piece of legislation applying solely to the Obama vacancy.

Illinois pols can come up with any number of Rube Goldberg solutions to avoid a straightforward special election that would put the choice in the hands of voters. But if a special election were called, it could be held in conjunction with local elections already scheduled for most of the state in February or April. The cost would be minimal and voters would have real input in who will be representing them in Washington. Of course, that would mean the pols would lose control of the process, something which can't be allowed to happen in machine-dominated Illinois.

-- John Fund


The Bush Hangover

The Republican National Committee, which consists of two representatives from every state and territory, is technically the governing body of the Republican Party. In reality, it has normally been a rubber-stamp for the incumbent president whenever the White House is in GOP hands. "I've never seen much of any debate, much less a contested vote, in the years I've been on it," one RNC member told me.

But the debacle of the last two election cycles, coupled with an increasingly erratic set of policy choices by the Bush White House, is finally prompting a mini-revolt. A group of RNC members has initiated a special meeting to hear presentations from the six candidates running for the job of chairman. Even more significantly, the RNC's vice chairman and other officials are sponsoring a resolution that will oppose the Bush White House's support of seemingly bottomless bailouts for Wall Street and the auto industry.

"We can't be a party of small government, free markets and low taxes while supporting bailouts and nationalizing industries, which lead to big government, socialism and high taxes at the expense of individual liberty and freedoms," Solomon Yue of Oregon, a cosponsor of the resolution, told the Washington Times. The resolution was written by James Bopp, a noted constitutional law attorney who is the RNC's national vice chairman.

"Articulating a political philosophy is equally important as applying it consistently," says Mr. Yue. "Failing to do so, we have today's identity crisis, which resulted in our losses in 2006 and 2008."

The resolution is scheduled to be presented during the RNC's next general meeting in Washington D.C., which will be held between January 28 and 30. While the fact that some RNC members have finally developed a policy backbone is commendable, their declaration of independence comes a bit late. The Bush administration will be safely out of town by the time the resolution comes up for a vote.

-- John Fund


Quote of the Day I

"By mid-2006 there was a new actor in this long-running drama: Hank Paulson, the former Goldman Sachs C.E.O. who had just become Treasury secretary. Unlike the advisers who surrounded Bush, Paulson did not believe that the G.S.E.'s [government-sponsored enterprises, notably Fannie and Freddie] were the bogeymen of the financial system. After all, they had been major clients of his for years, and the ties between Goldman and Fannie ran deep. Nor did Paulson want any part of what he called 'the closest thing I've witnessed to a Holy War.' Paulson quickly began to move away from what one observer calls the 'extreme rigidity' of the administration's position. . . . 'I was aghast,' says a longtime G.S.E. foe, expressing a common attitude. 'Here we were fighting trench warfare with Fannie and Freddie, and Paulson says, "Let's cut a deal and say we won." Some of us really did believe they were a house of cards''' -- Vanity Fair writer Bethany McLean, on the federal government's failure to rein in mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.


Quote of the Day II

"Given the holidays and the press of business in preparation for the new administration, we have not reconstructed the circumstances behind each ticket. However, Congressman Rangel is confident that the National Leadership PAC and Rangel for Congress complied with all applicable laws and regulations in connection with these expenses, which were fully reported consistent with FEC requirements" -- Emile Milne, spokesman for Rep. Charlie Rangel, on revelations that Mr. Rangel used campaign funds to pay $1,540 in parking tickets in the District of Columbia, an illegal use of donations unless the fines were incurred as part of campaign events.


The GOP's 12 Steps to Recovery

The first comprehensive poll on why voters voted the way they did in November has just been released by the communications firm Target Point Consulting. I received a full briefing from the pollster Alex Lundry on what these 1,000 voters think of Republicans. The short answer is: not much.

The GOP is "in great disfavor with the electorate right now. Republicans are blamed for fiscal mismanagement, overspending, and the bad economy," says Mr. Lundry. "Democrats are seen as a center-right party, while Republicans are seen as dominated by the right."

That's a big problem because even though 84% of voters say they are center or right on the ideological spectrum, the 48% in the middle, i.e., independents, are tilting heavily toward Democrats. The fairly narrow victory by Barack Obama in the popular vote disguises an "enthusiasm gap" among Democratic and Republican voters. Some 65% of Obama voters "strongly supported" him, whereas only 33% of John McCain voters "strongly supported" the Arizona Republican. This helps explain the river of money for Mr. Obama and the massive grassroots advantage for the Democrats.

But the biggest problem revealed by the poll for Republicans is that "voters no longer believe that the party cares about the middle class in a meaningful or credible way," Mr. Lundry explains. "Democrats cleverly frame every issue as for the middle class."

What issues have Republicans hurt themselves most on? Three that jump out are immigration, where Republicans are seen as too strident; the War in Iraq, where voters are eager for closure; and bailouts, where voters have become angry and resentful at throwing money at failing giant corporations. Furthermore, as economic anxieties have escalated, independent voters are now more favorably inclined toward protectionist trade policies. Free marketeers need to make a better case for the positive benefits of international trade or more restrictions are certainly on the way.

The good news is that voters are very fearful that Democrats will go too far with their liberal agenda. When voters are asked what they "like least about the Democrats," the most common answers volunteered were: "taxes going up," "big government," "liberal," "raise spending," and even "socialism." These broad economic and fiscal principles appear to present the GOP with its biggest opening.

The poll also reveals that Republicans can win back voters by opposing Democrats on several specific policies coming down the pike in 2009: card-check labor union elections, bailouts for banks and auto makers, welfare expansions and affirmative action.

The key for the months ahead is for Republicans to posture themselves, advises Mr. Lundry, "not as obstructionists, but as a check on the Obama agenda."

-- Stephen Moore
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« Reply #257 on: January 02, 2009, 11:51:21 AM »

Why not Sean Penn or Barbra Streisand?

Some can rightly question would W have ever been President if it wasn't for his father but he was a governor first and he did run and win an election.  This is certainly not the same as being handed a seat because of your name and strings being pulled for ya.

***HEY CAROLINE - YOU’RE NOT ENTITLED
By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann 12.23.2008 Caroline Kennedy apparently thinks that she is entitled to be appointed as the next junior Senator from New York.

She shouldn’t be. Think about it.

Her qualifications? Her name is Kennedy and she can raise a lot of fat-cat money for herself and for New York democrats who support her.

Her strategy? Ignore the voters and the press and meet with the political bosses behind closed doors to convince them to pressure Governor David Patterson to appoint her to Hillary Clinton’s seat.

Is there a more cynical message in the Age of Obama?

Who’s supporting her? Among her chief backers is New York City’s billionaire Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg who recently decided to ignore a legitimate and binding citywide referendum that prohibited him from seeking a third term. In one of the most appalling examples of an arrogant “the public be damned” attitude, Bloomberg convinced the City Council to overrule the will of the people so he could stay in City Hall. He’s a big contributor to many of the folks who supported this brazen move. Legendary Tammany Hall boss Carmine De Sapio would love both Bloomberg and Caroline for bringing back the old “power to the bosses” style of politics.

Her position on issues that will face the next Senator? She won’t tell you. She’s adamantly refused to speak about any issues. In her first foray outside Manhattan, she declined all questions from the press. She wouldn’t even say whether she had ever been to Syracuse before. Does that suggest what the answer would have been? Her handlers finally provided written answers to some of the questions posed by The New York Times. She picked out the questions she wanted to answer and ignored some of the tough issues - like whether she supports increased taxes for rich people. She’s not saying. Now, SHE WON’T DISCLOSE HER PERSONAL FINANCES OR PROVIDE A LIST OF COMPANIES THAT SHE HAS A STAKE IN!

Sound like the good old days? Is this woman kidding?

Her involvement in politics? Not much. She campaigned for Obama and worked on his committee that recommended the Vice-Presidential candidate. She’s never been active in New York politics and she hasn’t even voted in about half the contested elections in New York since 1988. Over the past fifteen years, she’s contributed to her uncle, Senator Ted Kennedy, her cousin Rep. Patrick Kennedy, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Al Gore, Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd, and Connecticut wanna-be Ned Lamont, and former Pennsylvania Senator Harris Wofford (1991) Not much interest in New York’s candidates or issues!

Her experience?

• She is a long time patron of the American Ballet Theatre

• She is active in her father’s presidential library

• She was a part-time volunteer fund raiser for the NYC schools for less than two years

• She’s co-authored two books on civil liberties

• She’s written five books. She is her most derivative in her published works. Of four New York Times bestsellers; three of them were compilations of other peoples’ work. One was The Patriot’s Handbook: Songs, Poems, Stories, and Speeches Celebrating the Land We Love. The only thing these songs, poems, stories, and speeches had in common was that she didn’t write any of them. Then followed, The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. In this book she not only didn’t write the poetry, she didn’t even choose it. Her third best seller was A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children, again a compilation of works that were not her own. Then there’s A Family Christmas, another anthology of her favorite short stories, poems, etc about Christmas (all written by other people). In another book, Profiles in Courage For Our Time, she swiped only the title from her late father but wrote the copy herself.

• She hasn’t had a job since before she went to law school in the 1980’s.

So, why should Caroline be appointed Senator?

Does anyone seriously believe that her audacious grab for the New York Senate seat is based on anything more than a misplaced and somewhat grandiose sense of entitlement coupled with a cynical claim of access to big money for the next election?

If her name wasn’t Kennedy, would anyone give any consideration at all to someone without any experience to prepare her for the job or to even inform the voters about what she stands for?

ANSWER: NO

Is there a single person in the United States who doesn’t wish Caroline Kennedy well and hope that she’s spared from further tragedy?

Probably not.

But affection, sympathy, and nostalgia shouldn’t be the basis for appointing this woefully inexperienced woman to a key Senate seat in these troubles times.

Her father’s and uncle’s names are the only thing that makes her a contender.

Doesn’t anyone in New York politics use their own names anymore? Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the former president, wants to take the Senate seat of Hillary Clinton, the wife of the former president. But some people are pushing for Andrew Cuomo, the son of the former governor. Are we stuck in political dynasties? And who will make the decision? New York’s David Patterson, the son of Basil Patterson, the former New York State Senator, Secretary of State, and Deputy Mayor of New York City.

Don’t we have any talented people who don’t feel entitled to inherit a seat? Can’t we stop the political dynasties?

At least Cuomo has his own accomplishments. He was the Secretary of HUD in the Clinton Administration, and as the elected New York State Attorney General, he’s done an outstanding job. Caroline Kennedy has done absolutely nothing to deserve elevation to the United States Senate. A review of hundreds of newspaper articles mentioning her name over the past twenty years shows rare substantive issues: her books and book tours, awarding the Profiles in Courage Award to Lowell Weicker for instituting an income tax in Connecticut, very part-time fund raising for the city schools. Even in that regard, her influence is questioned and others are given as much or more credit. The majority of the articles are about her wedding, her mother, her brother, her socialite activities, and her lucrative auction of her mother’s old blankets, picnic baskets, and other household effects.

No, Caroline has not been heard from on any of the important issues facing New Yorkers.

Patterson is a talented politician. He will probably appoint Cuomo anyway for one simple reason: To get him out of the way. Acutely aware that he was not elected governor but only got the job when Eliot Spitzer self-destructed, Governor Patterson would probably face an uphill primary fight against Cuomo in 2010 if he doesn’t shunt him off into the Senate. Other than the Attorney General, there is nobody with the stature to offer Patterson serious opposition in the Democratic Party.

Patterson should not succumb to the lobbying of the bosses and the fat cats for Caroline. She’s not entitled.***

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #258 on: January 06, 2009, 10:19:20 AM »

With the choice of Clinton retread Panetta for CIA, one wonders what other retreads are in the pipeline. 

Anyone know what Monica Lewinsky is up to these days? cheesy
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« Reply #259 on: January 06, 2009, 10:27:55 AM »

If Lewinsky wants to....um...."Lewinsky" Obama, she'll have to get into the line behind Chris Matthews and the rest of the MSM.
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« Reply #260 on: January 06, 2009, 12:51:29 PM »

 grin


GOP: Bailouts R Not Us
New and Improved at the DNC
Harry Reid Climbs Down
Towards a Self-Selected Senate (Quote of the Day)
Vegetarians v. Madoff


Bush Mutiny

President Bush's handling of the economic crisis came in for sharp criticism during Monday's debate between candidates vying to become the next chairman of the Republican National Committee. Five of the six contenders said they would support a pending RNC resolution criticizing both the auto bailout and the bailout of the financial industry passed by Congress in September.

"The bailout was a bust. It should never have happened," former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele told the audience at the debate sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform. "Republicans should have had a little bit more you-know-what to withstand the pressure. They didn't and we're paying for it. I absolutely support the resolution because it reflects the frustration of our base." Mr. Steele's position was seconded by four of the five other candidates vying for the RNC chairman's post.

The lone dissenter was Mike Duncan, the current RNC chairman who has worked closely with the Bush administration. He said that "as a banker" he understood the problem better than the other candidates and it couldn't be summarized with "a simple yes or no answer." He did admit the bailouts have clearly created "a lot of problems."

Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, told ABC News that the anti-bailout resolution was vital to get Republicans "back into the swing of having an opinion as a party" on an issue that involved "giving $750 billion of other people's money to people whose claim to fame is that they lost their money."

The election for RNC chairman, along with a vote on the anti-bailout resolution, will be held in Washington on January 29.

-- John Fund

Kaine League

President-elect Barack Obama will tap Virginia Governor Tim Kaine to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee this week. Any Republican who was hoping for a kinder, gentler opponent than outgoing DNC Chief Howard Dean had better think again.

Mr. Kaine will tackle the role on a part-time basis until January 2010, when he'll be out of a job as Virginia's governor and can assume the party chairmanship full-time. The post is a reward for an early Obama supporter who helped deliver the Old Dominion to a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time in nearly 50 years. Mr. Kaine is viewed as an up-and-comer and emblematic of a new breed of Democratic politicians who have succeeded by appealing to suburban voters -- often by stressing more middle-of-the-road social positions.

That occasional moderation should not, however, be confused with partisan meekness. If Mr. Kaine has become known for anything, it's his relish for an old-fashioned partisan brawl. He proved himself an able attack dog for Mr. Obama during the presidential campaign, jabbing at Senator John McCain and the Bush Administration. In Virginia, if anything, he's been criticized for engaging in too many political fights, which some voters see as a reason why he's failed to enact most of his campaign promises -- such as universal preschool, or more roads.

His aggressive style, in some ways, is similar to that of the gregarious Mr. Dean -- save one important way. Whereas Mr. Dean routinely got into scraps with his own party, Mr. Kaine is personally close to Mr. Obama and can be counted on to serve as a supporter of the new administration's agenda. As the GOP mulls its own choice to head the Republican National Committee, Mr. Kaine's appointment means Republicans had better prepare themselves for a feisty opponent with a track record of winning races in a state Republicans badly need if they hope to return to power.

-- Kim Strassel

Burris in the Saddle

Senate Democrats are working to tone down the threat of a spectacle over two disputed Senate seats. Apparently, no one wants the Senate's first day to become known for bitter and acrimonious argument.

Dispute aplenty is present in the fight over whether Roland Burris, who was appointed by scandal-tarred Illinois Rod Blagojevich, and Al Franken, the former comedian who narrowly won a recount in Minnesota, should be seated. Apparently Majority Leader Harry Reid has decided to avoid having his preferred solution imposed on the Senate. He would like Mr. Burris blocked because he lacks a certificate of appointment from Illinois' Secretary of State, but wants Mr. Franken seated even though he lacks a certificate of election from Minnesota's Secretary of State. Lawyers for Republican Norm Coleman are mounting a court challenge against Mr. Franken's alleged recount victory that will block the issuance of an election certificate for weeks.

As for Mr. Burris, it has been amusing to watch Majority Leader Reid climb slowly down from his position that Mr. Burris's appointment by a politically tainted governor was illegitimate. Mr. Reid now says he is willing to "negotiate" over the matter of his eventual seating.

The reason is clear: Mr. Reid has been under intense pressure from members of the Congressional Black Caucus to seat Mr. Burris, who was not a player in Mr. Blagojevich's alleged pay-to-be-appointed scheme. Rep. Donald Payne, a New Jersey Democrat and former CBC chairman, put in blunt terms how much trouble Mr. Reid will be in if he ultimately denies Mr. Burris a seat. "I think race comes into it because the Senate lacks diversity," Mr. Payne told reporters. "It doesn't reflect America."

Mr. Reid has clearly realized that rejecting the Burris appointment outright might involve a high political price. The dispute, along with the issue of Al Franken's eligibility, will be referred to the Senate Rules Committee. That body will simply stall for time and hope events in Illinois and Minnesota play out in a way that reconciles conflicting Democratic priorities.

-- John Fund

Quote of the Day

"Like it or not, Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich has the legal authority to appoint Roland Burris to the U.S. Senate, and Burris, the state's former attorney general, should be allowed to take the seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama. . . . Allowing the Senate to exclude Burris on any except the narrowest of grounds would create a dangerous precedent. It could open the door to the Senate or the House overturning the will of the people and excluding representatives under one or another pretext. If Burris -- whose appointment meets the legal test, no matter what you think of Blagojevich -- is not seated, other properly elected (or appointed) representatives also are at risk" -- Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the UC Irvine School of Law, writing in the Los Angeles Times.

Bernie Madoff, Tofu King

HONG KONG -- It didn't take long for Hongkongers to come up with a nickname for Bernard Madoff in their eminently punnable native Cantonese. "Mai dou fu" they call him, in a phrase that approximates the sound of his name in English. It means "sells tofu," and is even more biting since it includes an implied "instead of real meat" at the end.

Mr. Madoff's alleged scam seems to have hit Americans, and particularly Jewish investors and charities, the hardest. But it hasn't left Asia untouched. Among other victims, Nomura and Aozora, both Japanese financial institutions, have announced exposures in the hundreds of millions of dollars. And Mr. Madoff or his promoters reportedly took emergency jaunts through Asia trying to drum up fresh suckers as the fund was beginning to collapse.

Fortunately for those investors, they appear mostly to have ignored the pitch. Still, the scandal is rippling here in other ways. China's government has floated plans to crack down on domestic pyramid schemes by tightening enforcement of a 2005 law banning Ponzi-style rackets. They mean business: In November, China executed one man convicted of promising 60% returns to 10,000 investors who bought ant-breeding kits.

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« Reply #261 on: January 07, 2009, 11:09:39 AM »

Wednesday Chronicle
Vol. 09 No. 01
7 January 2009

THE FOUNDATION
"All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree." --James Madison

THE DEMO-GOGUES
Hope 'n' change: "The number one goal of my plan ... is to create three million new jobs, more than 80 percent of them in the private sector." --Barack Obama on creating 600,000 new government jobs

"Potentially we've got trillion-dollar deficits for years to come, even with the economic recovery that we are working on at this point. We're going to have to stop talking about budget reform. We're going to have to totally embrace it. It's an absolute necessity." --Barack Obama on "budget reform," by which he means slashing national defense spending

The Democrats finally have the country where they want it: "The economy is in much worse shape than we thought it was in. There is no short run other than keeping the economy from absolutely tanking. That's the only short run." --Joe Biden

Life's rough: "I can't go to my own barbershop now. I've got to have my barber come to some undisclosed location to cut my hair." --Barack Obama

Everybody's innocent: "I'm here to tell you right off the bat that I am not guilty of any criminal wrongdoing, that I intend to stay on the job, and I will fight this thing every step of the way. ... As governor I am required to make this appointment." --Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on appointing professional narcissist Roland Burris to fill Barack Obama's Senate seat

Power play: "[T]here's clearly legal authority for us to do whatever we want to. This goes back for generations. ...[There is] a cloud over anyone that comes from the state of Illinois being appointed by [Gov.] Blagojevich." --Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Hurt feelings: "[Rick] Warren compared same-sex couples to incest. I found that deeply offensive and unfair. If [Barack Obama] was inviting the Rev. Warren to participate in a forum and to make a speech, that would be a good thing, but being singled out to give the prayer at the inauguration is a high honor. It has traditionally given as a mark of great respect. And, yes, I think it was wrong to single him out for this mark of respect." --Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)

UPRIGHT
"According to a just published report (from the Pew Research Center), more Americans today call themselves conservative than liberal, and the relative percentages in each category has hardly changed since George W. Bush was elected to his first term in 2000. Thirty-eight percent of Americans self-identify as conservative, 21 percent as liberal, and 36 percent as moderate." --columnist Star Parker

"From the dawn of the Progressive Era, politicians have sought to minimize the Constitution whenever it got in the way. When the Supreme Court rejected President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal programs, he threatened to expand and pack the court with more progressive minds. Suddenly, what was previously unconstitutional became constitutional. After seventy years of emasculating the Constitution, it is time for politicians to respect it rather than roll it out as a media prop." --columnist Matt Mayer

"Republicans can be successful by having better ideas than Pelosi, Reid and the Democrats in the House and Senate, not by just being opposed to what the majority is proposing." --Rich Galen

"Bernard Madoff, who stands accused of bilking sophisticated investors out of $50 billion, is reported to have told two of his executives that his business was 'a giant Ponzi scheme.' Politicians go on and on about Wall Street 'greed' and 'irresponsibility.' But Madoff's scam was small compared to Ponzi schemes the government itself runs: Social Security and Medicare. In reality, our money, rather than being invested and kept in an actual 'trust fund,' is immediately given to current retirees in Social Security benefits or to their healthcare providers in Medicare benefits. The government's promise to pay for your retirement pension and medical care is just a promise. And a lie." --John Stossel

"It's often pointed out that Hamas does not recognize Israel's right to exist. It's more than that. Hamas, with Iran's backing, is committed to Israel's violent destruction." --columnist Mona Charen

INSIGHT
"A lie would have no sense unless the truth were felt dangerous." --Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

"Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favor." --American Poet Robert Frost (1874-1963)

"Life is not holding a good hand; Life is playing a poor hand well." --Danish proverb

EDITORIAL EXEGESIS
"Many of those who voted for [Barack Obama] either dismiss the terrorist threat, or believe none exists. Still worse, some think we should placate our enemies, not vanquish them. That's why a new report from Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff is more than a little disquieting. It suggests that the U.S. faces a real prospect of a serious terror attack sometime in the next five years, particularly from a biological weapon of some sort. 'The threat of terrorism and the threat of extremism has not abated,' Chertoff recently said. And that's not just rhetoric. The Homeland Security Threat Assessment for 2008-2013, leaked to the Associated Press late last week, predicts that terrorists will try some sort of biological weapon on the U.S. in the next five years -- an attack that could overwhelm our health care system, leading to devastating consequences for our economy. The report goes on to warn of outside terror groups such as al-Qaida using our porous borders and poor controls to place terrorist cells inside the United States. Sound unlikely? Recall that just two days before Christmas, five Muslim immigrants were convicted for plotting to kill U.S. soldiers at Fort Dix, N.J. It's already here. ... The worst thing that could happen, we fear, is that Obama comes in with a mandate to spend upward of $1 trillion on a stimulus package and then decides to at least partly finance it by cutting defense and anti-terror measures to the bone. There are already warning signs in Obama considering abandoning missile defense and other advanced defense systems, while our potential foes plunge full speed ahead. And his aides suggested the Pentagon's request for 30,000 more troops might be rejected. With Russia boosting its defense outlays by 40% while it builds its nuclear arsenal, China intent on having a blue-water navy to challenge the U.S., and the terrorist threat unabated, it wouldn't be wise to cut back on defense or anti-terrorist efforts right now." --Investor's Business Daily


 

DEZINFORMATSIA
Gag reflex kicking in: "The sun glinted off chiseled pectorals sculpted during four weightlifting sessions each week, and a body toned by regular treadmill runs and basketball games." --Washington Post reporter Eli Zaslow on Barack Obama's workout habits

Like, dude, he's so awesome: "We're actually talking about how a lot of people think that President-elect Barack Obama is the epitome of cool. Look at that guy. Everything, I mean, even in a baseball cap. Don't you think?" --CBS's "Early Show" co-host Tracy Smith

You asked for it, you got it: "Obama has spent most of his vacation secluded in his oceanfront rental home, some days emerging only to get in that daily workout, where he always draws crowds. In an interview with 60 Minutes just after his election, Obama was already lamenting the loss of the simple things." --NBC correspondent Savannah Guthrie

Wouldn't want to "distract": "Obama's coming into office with a very ambitious agenda, and if you add together what's going on with [Bill] Richardson right now with the [Rod] Blagojevich scandal, is that going to be a distraction in the key early days?" --ABC anchor Dan Harris

Sad commentary: "Quietly, as the United States presidential election and its aftermath have dominated the news, America's three broadcast network news divisions have stopped sending full-time correspondents to Iraq." --The New York Times

Newspulper Headlines:

Our New Year's Resolution: Watch More Television: "Reading Raises Property Taxes 5 Percent" --Reading (PA) Eagle

We Blame Global Warming: "Twin Cities Streets an Icy Mess; Who's to Blame?" --Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Not to Mention Guns and Religion: "In Tough Times, Americans Cling to Christmas Trees" --Reuters

Wow, That Is Turbulent!: "Oil Rises on Quiet Trading to Cap Turbulent Year" --Associated Press, Dec. 31 ++ "Oil Falls on Quiet Trading to Cap Turbulent Year" --Associated Press, Dec. 31

News You Can Use: "Forget the Economy: Killer Asteroids Could Pose Real Danger" --McClatchy Newspapers

Bottom Stories of the Day: "Obama-Inspired Hope Goes Only So Far in Kenya" --Los Angeles Times

(Thanks to The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto)

VILLAGE IDIOTS
Days of Our Lives -- Minnesota: "After 62 days of careful and painstaking hand-inspection of nearly 3 million ballots, after hours and hours of hard work by election officials and volunteers around the state, I am proud to stand before you as the next senator from Minnesota." --wannabe comedian Al Franken

As the World Turns -- Illinois: "I am a United States senator. They can't stop me from doing my senatorial duties." --Illinois Senator-appointee Roland Burris with reference to the Senate Democrat leadership unwilling to allow him to be seated ++ "We are hoping and praying that they will not be able to deny what the Lord has ordained. I am not hesitating. I am now the junior Senator from the state of Illinois. Some people may want to question that and that is their prerogative." --Roland Burris

Young and the Restless -- New York: "I'm really coming into this as somebody who isn't, you know, part of the system, who obviously, you know, stands for the values of, you know, the Democratic Party. ... I know how important it is to, you know, to be my own person. ... It's really, you know, it's not about just the Kennedy name. It's about my own work and what I've done with those values." --Caroline Kennedy, who is almost as eloquent as Barack Obama, on seeking Hillary Clinton's Senate seat **Kennedy used the words "you know" an astounding 168 times in this interview.

Strange comparisons: "I don't think it's appropriate. It's like putting, you know, [Dick] Cheney in charge of gun control. It's wrong ... it's just wrong." --co-host of "The View" Joy Behar on Barack Obama's choice of pastor Rick Warren for the invocation at his inauguration

"The destruction of the Jews in Israel has been assured with this inhuman attack on civilians in Gaza. Exactly as its Nazi mentors did to the Jews of Warsaw, Israel now bombs innocent civilians who have been imprisoned in concentration camps in Gaza! ... The Zionists look German! The Palestinians look like the Jews of Poland!" --"comedienne" Roseanne Barr

SHORT CUTS
"Observes a perceptive author of a letter to the editor of the New York Times: 'It's amusing that Andrew M. Cuomo, who owes his whole career to his dad, may not get the Senate seat of Hillary Rodham Clinton (who owes her whole career to her husband) because David A. Paterson (who owes his whole career to his dad) may give it to Caroline Kennedy (who owes her whole career to her dad). You would think a state as large as New York could find someone who deserves something on his or her own." --Washington Times editor Wesley Pruden

"n the past few years, we have seen any number of rather obnoxious individuals called to our nation's capitol so that members of the House and Senate could grill them in front of the TV cameras. And while I would normally enjoy watching tobacco, oil and car company CEOs, along with steroid-using baseball cheats, publicly embarrassed, that's not how it's worked out. Instead, because the politicians are so disgustingly arrogant and self-righteous, it's hard not to view their victims in a sympathetic light. All I know is if I were ever guilty or even suspected of a crime, I would certainly want to be attacked by the likes of Christopher Dodd, Charles Schumer and Barney Frank." --columnist Burt Prelutsky

"A question for you in the Drive-By Media. Why do you think Israel would attack Gaza? Is it for their national treasure? Is it because they want all of the scientific discoveries that are being made by Hamas intellectuals?" --radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh

"Barack Obama's Hawaii vacation compound was ringed Monday by Palestinians who are angry about his support for Israel. You can imagine their disappointment. Not only is he the first black president, he's the first guy named Hussein to back Israel." --comedian Argus Hamilton

Jay Leno:

For the next two weeks, President-elect Barack Obama will be living full-time at a hotel right across the street from the White House. This is historic because this is the first time a Democrat has checked into a Washington hotel room under his own name.

Bernie Madoff has been charged with swindling people out of $50 billion. I don't want to say he's unpopular, but [over Christmas] as he was walking in New York, he passed a manger scene and Joseph threw a sandal at him.

Congress says they're looking into the Bernie Madoff scandal. So the guy who made $50 billion disappear, is being investigated by the people who made $750 billion disappear.

In an interview with The Washington Times, Vice President Dick Cheney said he is not a big fan of rap music. I was stunned by that. He gets driven around in a limo; he's surrounded by bodyguards; he shot a guy in the face -- he is a rap star!


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« Reply #262 on: January 07, 2009, 01:11:44 PM »

Second post of the day

Dianne Speaks Her Mind

Depending on which Democrat you talk with, California Senator Dianne Feinstein is either becoming the conscience of the Senate or Majority Leader Harry Reid's biggest headache.

Ms. Feinstein is 76 years old and rumored to be considering leaving Capitol Hill to run for governor in 2010, a job she almost won two decades ago before quickly switching gears and winning a special election for Senate. Her possibly short time horizon when it comes to Washington may explain some of her recent feistiness.

This week, she bristled when Barack Obama picked fellow Californian Leon Panetta to be CIA director. She bluntly noted he lacked any intelligence experience and that she had not been consulted even though she chairs the Intelligence Committee. An irritated Senator Reid told Politico.com yesterday: "I think you need better reasons for coming out against somebody than somebody didn't call you."

Mr. Reid was also not happy that Ms. Feinstein, a key member of the Rules Committee, openly bucked the party line on whether Illinois Democrat Roland Burris should be seated despite the fact he was appointed by scandal-implicated Governor Rod Blagojevich. Ms. Feinstein challenged the position of Democratic leaders who rejected Mr. Burris, saying their move called into question the validity of "gubernatorial appointments all over the country."

Mr. Reid is clearly of another view. "It's not valid, her statement," he told Politico. "I told her that. OK?" Nonetheless, many observers expect Mr. Burris to be quietly seated in coming days.

Ms. Feinstein has proven time and time again that she exercises independent judgment on many issues. She gave a moving speech on the Senate floor in 2004 explaining why she was breaking with teacher unions to support a school voucher program in Washington D.C. In 2007, she angered liberals by backing some key Bush judicial nominations along with the appointment of Michael Mukasey to be attorney general.

"She'll take political heat to find common ground," says GOP Senator Lindsey Graham, who has often been criticized by members of his own party for apostasy. "I think she'll be one of the key players in this Congress, quite frankly."

The bottom line is that while Majority Leader Reid is tantalizingly close to having the 60 Democrats he needs to break GOP filibusters, he clearly will have to spend some time to keep the ornery Ms. Feinstein in the party corral.

-- John Fund

Holder's Baggage

The confirmation hearing on Eric Holder's nomination to be Attorney General will be a spirited affair. Arlen Specter, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, let colleagues know yesterday he will scrutinize very closely Mr. Holder's record during his time as the No. 2 man in the Clinton Justice Department.

In a 25-minute floor speech, Mr. Specter said he was worried that Mr. Holder's willingness to follow the lead of President Clinton rather than that of career professionals at Justice invited comparisons to past attorneys general such as Homer Cummings (who backed FDR's court-packing plan) and Alberto Gonzalez (who allowed Bush-era underlings excessive authority). Mr. Specter said both men were unfortunate examples of Justice chiefs who proved to be more loyal to the presidents who appointed them than to the rule of law. "Sometimes it is more important for the attorney general to have the stature and the courage to say 'no' instead of to say 'yes,'" the Pennsylvania Senator told his colleagues.

Mr. Specter listed three decisions during the Clinton presidency that he said demonstrated Mr. Holder's insufficient independence from his political patron: the controversial pardon of fugitive Marc Rich in 2001, the unusual 1999 granting of clemency to 16 members of a Puerto Rican terrorist group despite their lack of remorse for their crimes, and the 1997 rejection of an independent counsel to look into then-Vice President Al Gore's fundraising calls from the White House.

Mr. Holder will no doubt strenuously assert counter examples in which he clearly pursued an independent course, especially in his prosecution of former House Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski when Mr. Holder served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia in 1993. But the battle lines are clearly drawn. Mr. Holder will almost certainly be confirmed by an overwhelmingly Democratic Senate, but he has been put on notice it will be a bumpy ride.

-- John Fund

Quote of the Day I

"[Leon Panetta] is an excellent choice [for CIA director] because he will be loyal to the president first, not to the CIA. Mr. Obama needs someone who can be trusted, a person who will support him when the going gets tough. A 'safe' choice, viewed as inoffensive by the CIA's top bureaucrats, would have been dangerous. . . . The superbly run Obama campaign showed that the Obama people know how to manage an effective organization. Reform of the CIA can begin simply by requiring the CIA to obey existing laws and directives: 1) The CIA must get its clandestine-service officers out of the United States and spying in and on foreign countries. The great majority of CIA employees now live and work within the U.S. 2) Its clandestine operations should move away from embassies because, unlike the old Soviet targets, terrorists and nuclear proliferators do not attend diplomatic cocktail parties. Congress has already funded this move, but the CIA has not complied. 3) Ruthlessly streamline the bloat. Terrorists have flat chains of command and no bureaucratic turfs" -- "Ishmael Jones," a former deep-cover officer with the Central Intelligence Agency and author of a book critical of agency failures, in an interview with National Review.

Quote of the Day II

"If Democrats begin this new Congress with the arbitrary and capricious attitude of 'our way or the highway,' Republicans will not only have no incentive to cooperate, but it virtually guarantees an obstinate minority and that the cycle of partisanship and dysfunctionality will continue. . . . The seating of Rep. Frank McCloskey by House Democrats after the contested election in Indiana's 8th District in 1984 was one of the major contributing factors to creating the current vicious cycle and led to the rise of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga. Republicans who had been institutionalists became militants. With what it ultimately cost Democrats, it wasn't worth a single seat" -- political handicapper Charlie Cook, writing in Congress Daily, on why the Obama honeymoon will be short if Congressional Democrats resort to "steamrolling" Republicans to place Al Franken in the Senate.

Buckeye Bailout

It wasn't exactly a recording of "an actual Onstar conversation" call for emergency help, but it sounded like one. Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland recently left the following message on the answering machine of his former congressional colleague and incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel: "Rahm, it's Ted. You've never failed me and I need $5 billion."

What's $5 billion of taxpayer money between old chums anyway? Even in the new Obama era of ending business as usual inside the beltway, it's still not what you know, it's who you know. Expect a lot more politicians and high-priced K Street influence peddlers to be cashing in on their relationships as the Obama team prepares to dole out $800 billion in free money. This is a very good time to be a friend, or a friend of a friend, of Mr. Obama.

Mr. Strickland's plea for money symbolizes all that is wrong with this "economic stimulus" jackpot scheme. The Buckeye State has a $7.4 billion budget deficit, or almost 25% of its 2010 operating budget. "We're not crying wolf," Mr. Strickland whined last week. What he didn't say is that pols in Columbus have mostly themselves to blame. During the boom years of 2003-2007, Ohio went on a hog-wild government spending binge. The latest Census Bureau data finds that total Buckeye spending rose by a fat $10 billion, even as family incomes in the state were falling. A lot of that largesse was ladled out under Republican Gov. Bob Taft, but Mr. Strickland has been no skinflint either. Ohio University economist Richard Laffer, an expert on the state's finances, moans that Ohio is a "shining model of what a state should not do to fix its economy. We have one of the worst tax systems with high tax rates and a runaway budget culture."

Mr. Strickland wants taxpayers in other states to bail out Ohio, so it won't have to tighten its belt after its wild shopping spree. The bailout of the states creates the same classic moral hazard problem that has arisen from bailing out irresponsible banks and subprime home buyers and investment houses. Those who acted the most recklessly are first in line for a federal check to reward their financial malfeasance.

In this era of bailout fever, no one is responsible for their own bad decisions, least of all governors. Even while Mr. Strickland is begging his old friends for dollars and the state is up to its eyebrows in red ink, he recently told the Cleveland Plain Dealer: "I think we've acted very reasonably and managed the people's money in a very conservative way." Of course, that all depends on "reasonable" and "conservative" meaning the opposite of what they usually do.

-- Stephen Moore and Robert Costa



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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #263 on: January 08, 2009, 12:44:04 PM »

He Can Outsmart Harry Reid, But Can He Outsmart Voters?

Yesterday, Senator-in-waiting Roland Burris made clear to reporters that he hasn't cut any deal with Senate Democrats to refrain from running for election in his own right in exchange for being seated as an appointive Senator. The Illinois Democrat indicates he doesn't intend to be a placeholder and will run for a full six-year term in 2010, when he turns 73.

What kind of a candidate would Mr. Burris be? On the one hand, he has exhibited both craftiness and chutzpah this week that would serve him well in politics. Given the power of incumbency, it would be tough to lose a March 2010 Democratic primary unless a marquee name took him on one-on-one.

The general election may be a different story. Mr. Burris has a weak political team led by Fred Lebed, his partner in a lobbying firm, who managed Mr. Burris's recent failed races for governor. Don Rose, a noted Democratic political consultant, told Politico.com that Mr. Burris is often hurt by his "clownish ways" and is a weak campaigner. He would also still retain the stain of having been appointed by Governor Rod Blagojevich, who will likely be out of office and disgraced by the time of the 2010 election.

For that reason, Republicans are preparing for a rare competitive race in normally Democratic Illinois. Their leading candidate for the Senate is Mark Kirk, a five-term congressman from the northern suburbs of Chicago who has a history of winning Democratic and moderate voters in a swing seat.

Mr. Kirk, who has $5 million in campaign funds in the bank, won't be hurt by his high-profile return last week after serving with the U.S. military in Afghanistan, the first time a U.S. House Member has been deployed to a combat zone since World War II.

Although he has a strong interest in foreign affairs, Mr. Kirk says he knows the real challenge in Illinois is cleaning up the state's corruption problem. "Over the next two years, we are going to take on the State of Illinois, the most corrupt state of the union and clean up the Blagojevich excesses," he told reporters last year. It wasn't said, but he may well view one of those excesses to be Mr. Burris and his likely occupancy of a U.S. Senate seat.

-- John Fund

Harry Reid Is Losing

The good news for Majority Leader Harry Reid is that he has more Democrats than ever in the Senate. The bad news is that some of his Democratic colleagues are wondering about his political skills. Mr. Reid found himself completely outmaneuvered this week by Roland Burris, the man appointed to the Senate by scandal-tarred Governor Rod Blagojevich. Left-wing bloggers openly made fun of him, with Jane Hamsher declaring she would love nothing more than to play poker with Mr. Reid.

Other Democrats are openly acknowledging Mr. Reid was outflanked. Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told MSNBC's "Hardball" that he could not help but admire the brilliance of the Blagojevich ploy.

"You gotta hand it to Blagojevich," said Mr. Dean said. "What a maneuver! What a maneuver! When his back was against the wall, he outsmarted a lot of people." Mr. Dean also acknowledged the obvious, that the governor will "probably end up in really bad trouble," but in a final burst of enthusiasm Mr. Dean added, "But he'll have something to tell his grandchildren."

Mr. Reid now finds himself preparing to defend his Senate seat in Nevada. While voters in his state trended Democratic last fall, Mr. Reid isn't popular back home and will be vulnerable to a GOP challenge. Like former Majority Leader Tom Daschle, who lost a re-election bid in 2004, Mr. Reid may be further challenged by having to push through high-visibility liberal legislation that will further erode his standing at home.

-- John Fund

Blago Is Winning

With President-elect Barack Obama and Sen. Harry Reid now climbing down from their opposition to seating Roland Burris in the U.S. Senate, one thing is becoming clear: Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is winning.

On Dec. 9, when Mr. Blagojevich was led from his home in handcuffs and U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald unveiled a criminal complaint detailing allegations that the governor conspired to sell Mr. Obama's Senate seat, it was hard to imagine the Democrat would be able to withstand the intense pressure to resign for long. But Mr. Blagojevich has proven to be an adept political infighter.

He's done three things to turn the tide. The first was to reshape the battleground by asking the people of Illinois to give him the same presumption of innocence provided anyone else accused of wrongdoing. His quoting of Rudyard Kipling at a press conference has been roundly pilloried on late-night TV, but the governor's remarks have appealed to voters' basic sense of fairness. The second was to hire a crack legal team headed up by uberlawyer Ed Genson, who quickly demanded that the state cover the governor's legal bills. This at first seemed a shameless move, but reinforced the argument that the governor was wrongly targeted because of the office he holds (helped by whispers that Prosecutor Fitzgerald himself may have political ambitions).

The third thing the governor did was decide to fight for every inch of ground. The state legislature is moving to impeach him, but the governor is forcing the House first to conduct a mini trial. His lawyers also have criticized House leaders for bowing to Mr. Fitzgerald's wishes in not making some information and witnesses available for public inspection. "We're fighting shadows," Mr. Genson complained to reporters. Likewise, the governor's decision to appoint Mr. Burris was shocking to Washington leaders who might have hoped that Blago would simply pack his bags and disappear. But it forced a public admission at the highest levels of government that Mr. Blagojevich remains the governor of Illinois with full powers of the office.

Meanwhile, Mr. Fitzgerald has yet to indict the governor on a single charge, leading to accusations that he was too quick to unveil his evidence consisting mostly of conversational bluster. If Mr. Fitzgerald fails to bring an indictment, the governor will almost certainly survive in office. And if he fails to win a conviction, the legislature will likely be unable to remove Blago.

-- Brendan Miniter

Quote of the Day

"[F]or the various 'green' politicians who see a nationalized U.S. auto industry as the path toward ubiquitous hybrids, their stridency may well be environmentalism's Vietnam. Whatever the truth about 'global warming,' one sure way to turn voters off when it comes to the theory of climate change will be for our nationalized carmakers to produce green cars that constantly need repairs" -- economist John Tamny, on the poor record of government-owned auto makers, writing at RealClearMarkets.com.

Bair's Reward

"There are some people in the Republican Party who resent the idea of helping others," FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair sniffed recently to the New York Times. Ms. Bair, who has become a discordant Bush administration voice in favor of a taxpayer bailout of underwater homeowners, sounds like nothing so much as a community organizer, which may explain her appeal to President Obama, who reportedly will ask her to stay on in the new administration.

But the President-elect should keep in mind Ms. Bair actually has a serious job to do. According to the FDIC, the mission of her agency is "insuring deposits, examining and supervising financial institutions, and managing receiverships." This job description says nothing about using taxpayer money to subsidize homeowners in an attempt to prevent foreclosures, potentially at a high cost in future default losses judging from the appalling experience so far of modified mortgages.

But the FDIC now directs visitors to a study by Credit Suisse finding that default rates would likely be only 15% under modifications featuring only interest-rate reductions. Not so fast. Even Rod Dubitsky, lead author of the Credit Suisse report, says the 15% rate is "not a really good benchmark" for analyzing the Bair plan, since it applies to borrowers who were current when their loans were modified, not the already delinquent borrowers Ms. Bair would target. Mr. Dubitsky also foresees high failure rates if lenders don't do loan-by-loan analysis when modifying mortgages. Yet Ms. Bair's plan offers a "streamlined" process which skips rigorous evaluation of a borrower's assets and non-mortgage debt.

By keeping on Ms. Bair, Mr. Obama would be all but committing himself to a mortgage bailout. He'll likely find it's not just Republicans who resent having their tax dollars shoveled at a no-win attempt to "help" the mortgage market. The Bush Administration has been unstinting in throwing hundreds of billions at the financial crisis, but recognizes (as do most analysts) that a housing bailout is nearly impossible to design that wouldn't just encourage more homeowners to default.
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« Reply #264 on: January 08, 2009, 05:51:32 PM »

First, thanks for posting.  The WSJ editorialists are generally spot-on. Now the criticism...

'Burris outsmarted Harry Reid' - Okay..... If I had any pets I would say my dog could do that, lol.  Burris was appointed by the sitting gov. The gov is accused, not convicted.  Obama and Reid were fools to think they could block anything.  They could intimidate with the threat of impeachment but the impeach is already scheduled so there is no threat.  Dems in March 2010 will do whatever the Chicago/Obama machine wants - maybe there will be an endorsement fight. No big deal IMO.  'He will be 73'.  That makes him roughly one generation younger than their oldest member.  After endorsement he (or the new guy) will have the full backing of the sitting President and the political machine unless a world war breaks out in the party and IL is a Dem state by 16 pts.

My point is that Republicans and Conservatives better start thinking about Democrats and Liberals serving in Red States and districts and recruit, train and prepare a winning battle plan starting yesterday or they will fail and fail and fail again.  IL politics and Democrat scandals are a side show.  They have the media on their side and will never be held to the same standard.

Blagojevich is winning(?)... [Howard Dean] "could not help but admire the brilliance of the Blagojevich ploy." - NO.  Blagojevich is going to prison unless the charges are false or unprovable.  Winning this fight means nothing since he can't get paid for it.
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« Reply #265 on: January 14, 2009, 10:19:01 AM »

Wednesday Chronicle — Vol. 09 No. 02
14 January 2009

THE FOUNDATION
"The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of the public moneys." --Thomas Jefferson

EDITORIAL EXEGESIS
"There are more fundamental reasons to doubt whether throwing more money at a problem largely if not entirely caused by loose money and government incentives and mandates to overspend and over lend will yield the kind of recovery that President-elect Barack Obama and most Americans would dearly love to see. In his speech on the economy and his stimulus package Thursday -- a speech still notably short on details -- the president-elect declared that 'only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe.' The unspoken assumption behind such a statement is that government has a virtually inexhaustible supply of money that can be deployed without having deleterious side effects, only beneficial ones. The problem, of course, is that government has no money of its own, only the money it takes by force from the productive sector of society or it borrows and must pay back with taxes extracted from our children and grandchildren. In the private marketplace economic transactions take place only if both (or all) parties believe they benefit. Such private, profit-making activity, as most of American history demonstrates, involves not simply the redistribution of existing wealth but creation of new wealth. Increased government spending, however financed, takes money from the private wealth-generating sector of society and allocates it to projects not on the basis of their capacity to be economically self-sustaining, but on the basis of their political attractiveness. ...[A] government 'stimulus' can only be accomplished by taking money away from genuinely economically productive activity. Pumping dollars that will eventually be worth less than they are today into various projects may provide some short-term relief or appearance of relief. But only the private sector can actually create wealth and thereby stimulate genuine economic growth. This seems pretty elementary, but most people in Washington have powerful incentives to ignore elementary truths." --Orange County Register

 
UPRIGHT
"[T]his is no time to throw good (borrowed) money after bad. If all this spending was going to get the economy growing, it would be working. Yet nobody expects things to improve soon. ... In times of uncertainty, it's natural that people will look to government for answers. Yet the long-term solutions to our current economic problems don't lie in more government spending, controls or regulations." --Heritage Foundation president Edwin Feulner

"I didn't expect Obama to know what to do about the economy; Obama's knee-jerk Keynesianism and allegiance to the disproved New Deal mythology ensure that he will try the Big Government solution, even when Big Government is the problem." --columnist Ben Shapiro

"In fairness to Obama, there is a huge consensus around the notion that government must do, well, something -- something big. ... It's the consensus that scares me. ... Obviously, consensus can be good. But it also can lead to dangerous groupthink. ... Everyone knows everything is right, until everything goes wrong. If that's not one of the great lessons of the financial collapse of 2008, I don't know what is." --National Review editor Jonah Goldberg

"President Elect Obama and his congressional henchmen are in the midst of swiping another $1 trillion-plus from American taxpayers. And Republicans -- who once upon a time professed concern for taxpayers -- could apparently care less. Either they believe stealing from our grandkids makes for sound policy, or they're too afraid to second-guess the second coming of Jimmy Carter." --radio talk show host Laura Ingraham

"No phrase represents more of a triumph of hope over experience than the phrase 'Middle East peace process.' A close second might be the once-fashionable notion that Israel should 'trade land for peace.' Since everybody seems to be criticizing Israel for its military response to the rockets being fired into their country from the Gaza strip, let me add my criticisms as well. The Israelis traded land for peace, but they have never gotten the peace, so they should take back the land." --Hoover Institution economist Thomas Sowell

INSIGHT
"Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." --American Industrialist Henry Ford (1863-1947)

"In the final analysis there is no solution to man's progress but the day's honest work, the day's honest decisions, the day's generous utterances and the day's good deed." --American playwright and journalist Clare Booth Luce (1903-1987)

"Not the owner of many possessions will you be right to call happy: he more rightly deserves the name of happy who knows how to use the Gods' gifts wisely and to put up with rough poverty, and who fears dishonor more than death." --Roman poet Horace (65-8 BC)

"No Man's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session." --American lawyer, editor, politician, Judge Gideon Tucker (1826-1899)

DEZINFORMATSIA
You wouldn't understand: "We also acknowledge that a tax increase on the rich, though feasible, could backfire in these tense times. Because it is hard to explain and easy to demagogue, it could foster a confusing debate that might impair confidence just when confidence needs to be revived." --New York Times editorial **"The Times editorialists find their own position 'hard to explain'? Couldn't it be that it's just wrong, or that the editorialists aren't very good at their jobs?" --James Taranto

Clueless: "Do you really believe those business tax cuts are going to work to create jobs?" --ABC's George Stephanopoulos to Barack Obama

Loving Obama: "[D]o you feel a sense of giving [Obama] the benefit of the doubt, or at least a period of a kind of honeymoon, which is a bad word, but an opportunity to show his best and see what he can do and a willingness to sort of hold your fire for a while?" --PBS's Charlie Rose to NBC's Andrea Mitchell

Hating Bush: "I think this has been a profoundly un-American administration." --Time's Joe Klein **Change it to "will be un-American" and he may have it right.

So sorry: "Many of us in the media owe a mea culpa to [President] Bush -- and to [the public] -- for failing to properly inform of the possible consequences of [his] major misdeeds." --USA Today founder Al Neuharth

Arrested development: "In the past week, I've twice been close enough to Dick Cheney to kick him in the shins. I didn't. It's probably a federal crime of some sort. But a girl can fantasize. I did, however, assume the Stay-away-from-me-you've-got-cooties stance that Jimmy Carter used when posing with Bill Clinton at the presidents' powwow in the Oval." --New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd

Newspulper Headlines:

Bad News for John McCain: "Grizzlies Maul Mavericks in Memphis" --Associated Press

'F--- This Impeachment S---': "Blagojevich to Swear in Senate, Then Members Start His Trial" --Chicago Tribune

We Blame Global Warming: "Deutsche Bahn ICE Train Brakes Freeze" --Local (Germany)

Everything Seemingly Is Spinning Out of Control: "Bat, Maggot Invasion Ruins Australian Couple's $30,000 Wedding" --FoxNews.com

News You Can Use: "Financial Crisis: Boring Jobs Are Still Jobs -- So Be Thankful" --Daily Telegraph (London)

Bottom Stories of the Day: "New Jersey UFO Likely a Hoax" --LiveScience.com

(Thanks to The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto)


 

THE DEMO-GOGUES
Learning all the wrong lessons: "Well, a lot of economists tell us that what [Franklin] Roosevelt failed to do was to spend as much money as was needed to get people back to work and get the economy moving again. It wasn't until World War II when we had major expenditures that the Depression was finally resolved. We're going to be looking at that experience." --incoming House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA)

And the shirt off your back: "Everybody is going to have to give. Everybody is going to have to have some skin in the game." --Barack Obama

Making Congress respectable is another story: "
  • ne of the things that we're trying to set a tone of is that, you know, Congress is a co-equal branch of government." --Barack Obama

National insecurity strategy: "We are going to close Guantanamo and we are going to make sure that the procedures we set up are ones that abide by our Constitution. That is not only the right thing to do but it actually has to be part of our broader national security strategy because we will send a message to the world that we are serious about our values." --Barack Obama **Or more likely, the message that we are weak.

Getting it completely wrong: "I want a repeal of the tax cuts for the highest-income people in America. I don't think we can wait until they expire. I think they need to be repealed. ...[T]hat is the biggest contributor to the national debt than any other subject..." --House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) So why has tax revenue gone UP since the tax cuts took effect?

Just keep spending: "We should not allow our disappointment at the Bush administration's poor handling of the TARP program to prevent the Obama administration from using the funds in more appropriate ways." --Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)

VILLAGE IDIOTS
A bailout for smut: "Congress seems willing to help shore up our nation's most important businesses, we feel we deserve the same consideration. In difficult economic times, Americans turn to entertainment for relief. More and more, the kind of entertainment they turn to is adult entertainment." --Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt and Girls Gone Wild CEO Joe Francis in a joint letter to Congress asking for $5 billion "just to see us through the hard times" ++ "Sex toys and novelties are gathering dust on the shelves, and so I think the government has responsibility to get out there and rejuvenate the libido and let us start enjoying the one thing left that's free." --Larry Flynt

This week's "Quid Pro Homo" Award: "I think it's anti-American. In any given election in the state of California, you can put some commercials on the air and convince [the voters] of anything. But it won't last. Fear not; this is America. We are going to be OK, and we are going to do the right thing." --actor Tom Hanks on his disappointment of the passage of California's Prop 8

Obama saves the day: "The Bush nightmare is over. How well Obama succeeds, or does not succeed, in the coming term, we can rest assured that on a spiritual level, the worst is over for this country, at least for now." --delusional actor and spiritualist Alec Baldwin

World ends, blacks hardest hit: "The economic downturn has been double trouble for black Americans. They already were at the bottom of every category, such as access to capital and life expectancy. The consequences of the economy are serious for most Americans but disastrous for African Americans." --Rev. Je$$e Jack$on, founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, touting the upcoming 12th Annual Rainbow PUSH Wall Street Project Economic Summit themed "Fallout from the Bailout: A New Day in Washington"

SHORT CUTS
"We are in the midst of a crisis caused by so many financial institutions borrowing too much money. Somehow, a critical mass of policy makers now believes that the correct response is for the U.S. government to borrow too much money." --American Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Kevin Hassett

"According to the Treasury website you, too, can qualify for TARP funds. All you have to do is convince them you are like: 'Bank holding companies, financial holding companies, insured depository institutions and savings and loan holding companies that engage solely or predominately in activities that are permissible for financial holding companies under relevant law.' Pretty much anyone with a kid in college qualifies, seems to me." --Rich Galen

"Whatever the benefits of peace for the Palestinian population, what are the terrorists going to do in peacetime? Become librarians and furniture salesmen?" --Hoover Institution economist Thomas Sowell

"Years ago, the French philosopher Rene Descartes said, 'I think, therefore I am.' Today, I'm afraid an American would be likelier to remark 'I text, there4 I be.'" --columnist Burt Prelutsky

"Barack Obama's presidential limo was reported to be an armored Cadillac hybrid made in Detroit. It's a new first. History will record that Barack Obama is the first black man to ride in an armored Cadillac limousine without his own record label." --comedian Argus Hamilton

Jay Leno:

Hey, did you all see Barack Obama's speech about the economy [Thursday]? Very sobering. He told Washington, "We've arrived at this point due to an era of profound irresponsibility." Of course, there's only one way out of it. Spend more money we don't have.

The chief of staff for embattled Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich spoke to Illinois state workers on issues of ethics in the workplace. How ironic is that? Was Bernard Madoff not available?

Lawmakers in Illinois voted 114-1 to impeach the governor. So apparently, Blagojevich was only able to bribe one person.

And, you know, I don't think he gets it. When he found out he was impeached, Blagojevich said he has a replacement governor already picked out. He's got somebody ready to move in.

I think President-elect Barack Obama is starting to get an idea of just how hard this job is going to be. [Tuesday] he said he wanted to bring a "sense of accountability to Washington." I think they realize actual accountability is never going to happen. So if you just bring a "sense" of it, that would be fantastic.
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ccp
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« Reply #266 on: January 19, 2009, 09:57:45 AM »

drudgereport is reporting its Carolin Kennedy.

The country has turned into a total democrat love fest.

All the parade of characters are back.

All the liberal celebs and the BO parties.

We will see but it surely is the most depressing time for Republicans in my lifetime.

Amazing how the party was in power just 8 years ago and threw it all away.

W tried to expand the base and it worked in 2004 but it all just vanished with the wind.

I don't want huge nanny state government.  But government without some regulation of the private sector is no good either.







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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #267 on: January 21, 2009, 06:21:16 PM »

Kennedy Is Said to Withdraw Senate Bid

Caroline Kennedy has decided to withdraw from consideration
for Hillary Rodham Clinton's vacant Senate seat in New York,
according to a person told of her decision.

Read More:
http://www.nytimes.com/?emc=na
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« Reply #268 on: January 23, 2009, 12:19:14 PM »

http://www.nypost.com/seven/01232009...o_151502.ht m

ALBANY - Gov. Paterson, defying the liberal wing of his Democratic Party, has chosen little-known, NRA-backed, upstate Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as New York's junior senator, it was learned last night.

The surprising - and, for many Democrats shocking - decision to pick the conservative Gillibrand, 42, from Hudson in Columbia County, was disclosed by the governor in calls to party officials and some members of the state's congressional delegation, many of whom said they were unhappy with the selection, sources said.
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« Reply #269 on: January 26, 2009, 11:58:07 AM »

FOR THE RECORD
"The other incontrovertible truth about this massive wealth transfer [plan to rescue the economy] is that Washington cannot stop the inevitable lard-up. The original concept of spending on 'roads and bridges' has morphed into spending on anything and everything that moves or can be moved. ... Public radio and public television -- already funded with your money to the tune of some $400 million in direct federal handouts and tax deductions for contributions made by individual viewers, not to mention untold state grants and subsidies -- are demanding a hugetastic chunk of the stimulus pie. That's right: Government-supported NPR and PBS want even more of a bailout than they've lived off of for the last 40 years. According to , which covers public TV and radio, the two entities along with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have petitioned Obama for $550 million in funding to help create more workers suckling on the public teat. Watching TV is apparently critical to rescuing the American economy. Already stuffed into the Democrats' package is a $650 million bailout -- call it the Boob Tube boondoggle -- to pay for $650 million worth of digital TV upgrade coupons in the wake of the official, government-mandated transition to digital television next month. Not to be left out, the National Endowment for the Arts is on the Santa stimulus list for an additional $50 million cash injection. Oh, and there's another $50 million earmarked 'to make up for a lack of philanthropic support for the arts.' ... Wake up, taxpayers: This nearly $1 trillion plan is nothing but future-mortgaging ornaments and tinsel boxed in self-delusion. It is time, as President Obama lectured us, to put away childish things -- starting with this epic fail." --columnist Michelle Malkin

INSIGHT
"A wise prince will seek means by which his subjects will always and in every possible condition of things have need of his government, and then they will always be faithful to him." --Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527)

THE GIPPER
"We who live in free market societies believe that growth, prosperity and ultimately human fulfillment, are created from the bottom up, not the government down. Only when the human spirit is allowed to invent and create, only when individuals are given a personal stake in deciding economic policies and benefitting from their success -- only then can societies remain economically alive, dynamic, progressive, and free." --Ronald Reagan

GOVERNMENT
"Obama's faith in himself -- and by extension, faith in the government he leads -- is unshakeable. In his inaugural address, Obama dismissed the question of 'whether our government is too big or too small.' Instead, he suggested, we should focus on 'whether it works.' Yet there is apparently no situation in which Obama believes the government, led by Barack Obama, doesn't work. The free market requires 'a watchful eye'; 'a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.' The government must build us 'new roads and bridges,' 'restore science to its rightful place,' 'transform our schools and colleges and universities.' The government must bring about global equality via international redistribution: 'poor nations ... we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds.' In Obama's mind, the government he runs solves all problems and rights all wrongs. What will happen when government fails?" --columnist Ben Shapiro

POLITICAL FUTURES
"[M]ore than any predecessor except the first, the 44th president enters office with the scope of its powers barely circumscribed by law, and even less by public opinion. Obama's unprecedented power derives from the astonishing events of the last four months that have made indistinct the line between public and private sectors. Neither the public as currently alarmed, nor Congress as currently constituted, nor the Constitution as currently construed is an impediment to hitherto unimagined executive discretion in allocating vast portions of the nation's wealth. He acquires power just as the retreat of the state has been abruptly reversed." --columnist George Will

OPINION IN BRIEF
"I was talking to Peter Robinson, who helped write the immortal 'Tear Down This Wall, Mr. Gorbachev' speech delivered in Berlin by my dad, Ronald Reagan. He told me he went back to the archives for 1981 and pulled out a couple of my dad's quotes from the 1981 inaugural address and compared them with a couple of quotes from Barack Obama's inaugural address. He noted that while my dad said it was 'morning in America,' with Obama it almost went back in tone to Jimmy Carter's infamous 'malaise' speech, which pictured an America down in the dumps. For Obama it was more like 'mourning' in America. You can hear echoes of that malaise speech in Obama's inaugural address when he said, 'These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land -- a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.' There were, however, striking similarities between Ronald Reagan's speeches and those of both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, Robinson said, because the Democrats have long been big students of my dad's speeches, going back time and again to the archives to read the words of the Great Communicator and learn from his techniques in communicating. If you listen to Barack Obama you hear his programs and policies described the way Ronald Reagan would have described them had they been his agenda. The difference between the two men was that my dad believed everything he said all the way to the core of his being, while Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats use speeches to mask what they really believe." --radio talk show host Michael Reagan

RE: THE LEFT
"It will not be easy for President B. Hussein Obama. More than half the country voted for him, and yet our newspapers are brimming with snippy remarks at every little aspect of his inauguration. Here's a small sampling of the churlishness in just The New York Times: -- The American public is bemused by the tasteless show-biz extravaganza surrounding Barack Obama's inauguration today. -- There is something to be said for some showiness in an inauguration. But one felt discomfited all the same. -- This is an inauguration, not a coronation. -- Is there a parallel between Mrs. Obama's jewel-toned outfit and somebody else's glass slippers? Why limousines and not shank's mare? -- It is still unclear whether we are supposed to shout 'Whoopee!' or 'Shame!' about the new elegance the Obamas are bringing to Washington. Boy, talk about raining on somebody's parade! These were not, of course, comments about the inauguration of the angel Obama; they are (slightly edited) comments about the inauguration of another historic president, Ronald Reagan, in January 1981. Obama's inaugural address tracked much of Reagan's first inaugural address -- minus the substance.... Obama was also not as fulsome in his praise of his predecessor as Reagan was. To appreciate how remarkable this is, recall that Reagan's predecessor was Jimmy Carter. Under Carter, more than 50 Americans were held hostage by a two-bit terrorist Iranian regime for 444 days -- released the day of Reagan's inauguration. Under Bush, there has not been another terrorist attack since Sept. 11, 2001. But I gather that if Obama had uttered anything more than the briefest allusion to Bush, that would have provoked yet more booing from the Hope-and-Change crowd, which moments earlier had showered Bush with boos when he walked onto the stage. That must be the new tone we've been hearing so much about. So maybe liberals can stop acting as if the entire nation could at last come together in a 'unity of purpose' if only conservatives would stop fomenting 'conflict and discord' -- as Obama suggested in his inaugural address. We're not the ones who booed a departing president. ... Liberals always have to play the victim, acting as if they merely want to bring the nation together in hope and unity in the face of petulant, stick-in-the-mud conservatives. Meanwhile, they are the ones booing, heckling and publicly fantasizing about the assassination of those who disagree with them on policy matters. Hope and unity, apparently, can only be achieved if conservatives would just go away -- and perhaps have the decency to kill themselves. Republicans are not the ones who need to be told that 'the time has come to set aside childish things' -- as Obama said of his own assumption of the presidency. Remember? We're the ones who managed to gaze upon Carter at the conclusion of his abomination of a presidency without booing." --columnist Ann Coulter

CULTURE
"Those who doubted that a black man could be elected to the highest office in the land no longer have a leg to stand on. That can be a force for good, when young blacks can no longer be told that there is no point in their trying to get ahead in this society because 'the man' is going to stop them. In another sense, the Obama presidency may not be nearly as big a change in the country as some might think. Colin Powell could probably have been elected eight years ago. But you don't know it can happen until it happens. No doubt the race-hustling industry will continue, and no doubt their chief victims will be blacks, especially young blacks, who buy the paralyzing picture of victimhood and the counterproductive resentments which sap energies that could be better used to improve their own lives. Now that we have the first black President of the United States, maybe we can move ahead to the time when we can forget about 'the first' whatever to do what. There is too much serious work to do to spend more time on that." --Hoover Institution economist Thomas Sowell


 

LIBERTY
"President Obama can be forgiven for celebrating the hypocrisy of Abraham Lincoln because the victors of wars write their history and glorify the winners. The recognition that slavery is a despicable institution does not require hero worship of a president who made the largest contribution to the unraveling of our Constitution. After all when it is settled by brute force that states cannot secede, as they thought they had the right to in 1787, then the federal government can ride roughshod over states and their people's right -- in a word make meaningless the Ninth and Tenth Amendments." --George Mason University economics professor Walter E. Williams

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
(To submit reader comments visit our Letters to the Editor page.)

"My family had the privilege and blessing of being on the Mall when President Reagan's horse-drawn caisson and coffin, slowly came up Constitution Avenue to lie in state at the Capitol. What a thrilling spectacle! The large numbers of people lining Constitution Avenue were incredibly courteous and friendly. The remarkable thing about this huge crowd was how tidy it was. Every trash receptacle was overflowing, however, there was no litter. All the overflow trash was neatly stacked around the full bins. On the other hand, the litter on the mall after Obama's coronation does not surprise me. The two crowds are very different dimensions of America. One crowd was very sensitive to its personal duty of stewardship, and the other was a crowd of socialists who believe in letting someone else clean up after it. This is classic and predictable." --Sacramento, California

"Is it just me being cynical or is there nothing to the White House 'pay freeze?' These guys just started and shouldn't be expecting a raise quite yet. My guess is that the pay freeze will be rescinded six or eight months hence we won't hear a word about it." --Springfield, Virginia

"I do not think you can include Colin Powell any longer in the list of black conservatives as you did in the 09-03 Brief." --Jackson, Mississippi
Editor's Reply: We agree, but were just checking to see that readers were paying attention! We have cleansed the Colin from our list to prevent any future references.

Editor's Note: A correction for the 09-03 Digest: Kirsten Gillibrand is a U.S. Representative, not a New York state representative as we said Friday.

THE LAST WORD
"From the New York Times: 'The local food movement has been all about buying seasonal food from nearby farmers. Now, thanks to the Web, it is expanding to include far-away farmers too. A new start-up, Foodzie, is an online farmers market where small, artisan food producers and growers can sell their products. Foodies in Florida, say, can order raw, handcrafted pepperjack cheese from Traver, Calif., or organic, fair-trade coffee truffles from Boulder, Colo.' What a great idea! And why not take it one step further? Farmers could band together and form large organizations -- call them 'corporations' -- to grow and distribute mass quantities of food. Retail operations could be set up in every town; they would be sort of super farmers markets, or 'supermarkets' for short. Soon everyone everywhere would be able to buy local food from all over the world!" --The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto
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« Reply #270 on: January 28, 2009, 11:08:34 AM »

Wednesday Chronicle
Vol. 09 No. 04
28 January 2009

THE FOUNDATION
"Beware the greedy hand of government, thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry." --Thomas Paine

UPRIGHT
"The stimulus package being discussed is politically smart but economically stupid. It's that bedeviling, omnipresent Santa Claus and Tooth Fairy problem again. ... A far more important measure that Congress can take toward a healthy economy is to ensure that the 2003 tax cuts don't expire in 2010 as scheduled. If not, there are 15 separate taxes scheduled to rise in 2010, costing Americans $200 billion a year in increased taxes. In the face of a recession, we don't need that." --economist Walter E. Williams

"Bashing Rush Limbaugh last week, Obama urged GOP lawmakers to ignore the voices of obstructionism and sign on to his behemoth stimulus package: 'We shouldn't let partisan politics derail what are very important things that need to get done.' ... History has shown us that 'Get Things Done' is mindless liberal code for passing ineffective legislation and expanding government for government's sake." --columnist Michelle Malkin

"More government spending by Hoover and Roosevelt did not pull the United States economy out of the Great Depression in the 1930s. More government spending did not solve Japan's 'lost decade' in the 1990s. As such, it is a triumph of hope over experience to believe that more government spending will help the U.S. today." --two hundred economists in an open letter disseminated by the Cato Institute

"We all know how we got into this economic mess. We spent too much, borrowed with abandon, and acted like the bills would never come due. So what's the prescription for getting out? Spending more, borrowing more, and acting like the bills will never come due." --columnist Steve Chapman

"For those of you not shouting hosannas, it might have occurred to you that we are suffering from a rampant sickness in American life that casts government as the author of your dreams and an Illinois politician as the linchpin of your hopes." --Denver Post columnist David Harsanyi

INSIGHT
"Employment gives health, sobriety and morals. Constant employment and well-paid labor produce general prosperity, content and cheerfulness." --American statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

"Too bad all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxis and cutting hair." --comedian George Burns (1898-1996)

EDITORIAL EXEGESIS
"Ah, the dirty little secret is out. That $700 billion TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) bill was in part simply a variation on congressional pork -- except this time the recipients were banks with friends in high places. One of those powerful friends was Rep. Barney Frank (D-[MA]), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. And one of the recipients of a $12 million infusion of federal cash was the troubled OneUnited Bank in Boston -- a bank that had already been accused of 'unsafe and unsound banking practices.' Its CEO, Kevin Cohee had also been criticized by regulators for 'excessive' pay that included a Porsche. Frank admits he included language in the TARP legislation specifically designed to bail out OneUnited. He also acknowledges contacting officials at the Treasury Department about the bank's bailout application. 'I believe it would have been a very big mistake to put the only black bank (in Massachusetts) out of business,' Frank said. Besides, he insists, 'It was a case of the federal government causing the problem.' Causing the bad loans OneUnited made? Or would that go back to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which Frank so staunchly defended earlier on? Frank has never failed to amaze us with his ability to defend the indefensible and to staunchly uphold the double standard. It's his special talent." --Boston Herald

 

 
 

DEZINFORMATSIA
Not that there's anything wrong with that!: "n a meeting [last week] with senior White House staffers, President Obama showed a lot of love. That's right. The president is a man hugger. We counted nine man-to-man hugs. ... We think the president could be setting a new trend here." --CBS's Julie Chen

Just doesn't get it: "y far the lion's share of the [federal budget] surpluses went into the tax cuts. It was the most profoundly un-conservative act of the Bush presidency. Rather than pay down the debt or save in the good times for the inevitable bad times, Bush squandered it all, so that all of us, particularly the high-income earners, could indulge in a bit more consumption." --Newsweek editor Fareed Zakaria, who must have missed the fact that federal revenue increased faster than inflation because of the tax cuts

Right analysis, wrong goal: "As he has done so often, Obama pronounced debates about the size of government as irrelevant. What matters is 'whether it works.' Quietly but purposefully, he was overturning the Reagan revolution." --Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne

Partisan divide: "Does President Barack Obama finally have the cajones, that some Democrats haven't had in the past, in saying to other Republicans 'you don't have to listen to Rush Limbaugh'?" --MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell

Wrong label: "Now, the [Kristen] Gillibrand pick [for U.S. Senate from New York] is not without controversy itself. She is a conservative Democrat, favoring gun rights. And the pick has upset some more liberal Democrats." --ABC's "Good Morning America" reporter John Berman **Gillibrand has an American Conservative Union rating of 8, and a NARAL endorsement. That's conservative?

And proud of it: "I'm a liberal, I was born a liberal, I'll be one 'til I die, what else should a reporter be when you see so much and when we have such great privilege and access to the truth?" --White House reporter Helen Thomas

On the inauguration crowd: "From above, even the seagulls must have been awed by the blanket of humanity." --ABC's Bill Weir **Yeah, awed by the amount of garbage dropped by the Obamaniacs and the huge feast they were about to make of it.

Newspulper Headlines:

Looks as if the Honeymoon's Over: "Rotten Canned Fish Linked to the Democrats" --Bangkok Post

And You Thought College Was Expensive: "Full-Day Kindergarten Will Cost Millions" --Muskegon (MI) Chronicle

News of the Tautological: "A New Day Dawns for America, World" --St. Petersburg Times

Everything Seemingly Is Spinning Out of Control: "Former French President Chirac Hospitalised After Mauling by His Clinically Depressed Poodle" --Daily Mail (London)

We Blame Global Warming: "As Challenges Mount, Ardor for Obama Cools Abroad" --Associated Press

Except for the Northern Hemisphere, Where It's Winter: "Study: Antarctica Joins Rest of Globe in Warming" --Associated Press

Bottom Stories of the Day: "Surveyed Scientists Agree Global Warming Is Real" --CNN.com

(Thanks to The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto)

THE DEMO-GOGUES
Translation: more government: "We begin this year and this administration in the midst of an unprecedented crisis that calls for unprecedented action. ...f we do not act boldly and swiftly, a bad situation could become dramatically worse." --President Barack Obama

It's all about retaining power: "If we don't get this done we [the Democrats] could lose seats and I could lose re-election. But we can't let people like Rush Limbaugh stall this. That's how things don't get done in this town." --Barack Obama, more concerned with re-election that America

Stumbling out of the gate: "What I told [Middle East 'envoy' George Mitchell] is start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating. ... My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy." --Barack Obama in his first official presidential TV interview -- with Saudi-owned, Dubai-based Al Arabiya news channel Al Arabiya

The earth is renewed: "There is a great exhalation of breath going on in the world as people express their appreciation for the new direction that's being set and the team that is put together by the president. We have a lot of damage to repair. It not any kind of repudiation or indictment of the past eight years so much as an excitement and an acceptance of how we are going to be doing business." --the new secretary of state, Hillary Clinton

Says the kettle to the pot: "For too long, international family planning assistance has been used as a political wedge issue, the subject of a back and forth debate that has served only to divide us. I have no desire to continue this stale and fruitless debate." --Barack Obama on reversing the ban on federal funding for international "family planning" (read: abortion)

Non Compos Mentis: "[C]ontraception will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government." --House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) saying that fewer births would save the government money

Socialism 101: "Well, whatever you want to call it…. If we are going to put money into the banks, we certainly want equity for the American people. In other words, if we are strengthening [the banks], then the American people should get some of the upside of that strengthening. Some people call that nationalization. I'm not talking about total ownership.... Now how big that investment becomes is -- would we have ever thought we would see the day when we'd be using that terminology? Nationalization of the banks." --Nancy Pelosi when asked if it's a good idea to "have nationalization or partial nationalization of the banks"

Bursting with pride: "If there was no Martin Luther King Jr. and no Roland Burris, there would be no Barack Obama in the White House today." --Sen. Roland Burris, who was appointed to take Obama's Senate seat

VILLAGE IDIOTS
Social engineering: "I am concerned, as I'm sure many of you are, that these jobs not simply go to high-skill people who are already professionals or to white male construction workers. I have nothing against white male construction workers. I'm just saying that there are a lot of other people who have needs as well..." --former Labor Secretary Robert Reich

From the peacenik files: "I have believed for some time that military power is no solution to terrorism. ... So let me suggest a truly audacious hope for [the Obama] administration: How about a five-year time-out on war -- unless, of course, there is a genuine threat to the nation?" --former presidential candidate George McGovern advising Obama on appeasement

Mindless hope: "I know just coming back from Egypt and Abu Dhabi and other places in Europe that the world is so happy that we've changed direction. They're so hopeful. They are as hopeful as we are, and they are really impressed with the American people that they have taken on this guy and that uh, he's going to be -- they hope, managing things in a different way." --actress Susan Sarandon

Thugs for Obama: "He is a man with good intentions; he has immediately eliminated Guantanamo prison, and that should be applauded. I am very happy and the world is happy that this young president has arrived ... [We] welcome the new government and we are filled with hope." --Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez on Obama

Looking for a one-way plane ticket to Gaza: "Yes, I do. I think [Hamas can be trusted]. Because of their own self-interest. Not because they're benevolent or kind or that sort of thing. But yes, I do. I think they can. And they've never betrayed any commitment that they've made to me or publicly, as a matter of fact." --chief Village Idiot Jimmy Carter

 

 
 

SHORT CUTS
"More than 144 hours into Barack Obama's presidency, the economy is still in recession, the country is still at war, and in many parts of the country it's still cold outside. Citizens are growing impatient: Wasn't President Obama supposed to bring change?" --Wall Street Journal columnist James Taranto

"During his upcoming administration, Obama has promised to out-do FDR by putting an additional 2.5 million people on the federal payroll. He has also threatened -- I mean, promised -- to create some sort of civilian paramilitary group that sounds suspiciously like Hitler's brown shirts, but I could very well be mistaken. For all I know, Obama may dress them in blue." --columnist Burt Prelustsky

"This week the Left arrived in Washington, excited about the wonderful things it will do to us -- I mean, for us. They always do it for us." --ABC "20/20" co-anchor John Stossel

"Let's start a new group: PETT: People for the Ethical Treatment of Taxpayers." --political analyst Rich Galen

"If Nancy Pelosi wants fewer births, I have the way to do this, and it won't require any contraception. You simply put pictures of Nancy Pelosi in every cheap motel room in America. That will keep birth rates down, because that picture will keep a lot of things down." --radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh

Jay Leno:

President Obama said when it comes to passing the stimulus package we can't afford distractions and delays. You know who took offense to this in Congress? The head of the Senate Distractions and Delays Committee.

President Obama has signed an executive order closing Guantanamo Bay. Well, the big problem, how do you get these inmates back to their home countries? They're all on the "do not fly" list.

Well, I mean, what'll they do with them? I mean, look, most politicians don't want them in their state or their district. Other countries don't want them. Although, today, New York City's Yellow Cab Company said, "Hey, we'll take them."

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's impeachment trial got under way [Monday]. But he was not there. He didn't go. He went on "The View" instead, which is a pretty smart move, because it will help his case when he pleads insanity.

Former French President Jacques Chirac was rushed to the hospital after being mauled by his clinically depressed poodle. See that's how you know that the French are not fighters, okay -- when their leader is attacked by a maniacal poodle.
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« Reply #271 on: January 30, 2009, 12:12:06 PM »

New & notable legislation
"All U.S. taxpayers would enjoy the same immunity from IRS penalties and interest as Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner under a bill introduced Wednesday by Republican Rep. John Carter of Texas," reports CNSNews.com. "If we don't hold our highest elected officials to the same standards as regular working folks, we owe it to our constituents to change those standards so everyone is abiding by the same law," said Carter, a former Texas judge, who realizes his bill stands no chance of passing. The bill, called the "Rangel Rule Act of 2009," would allow any taxpayer paying back taxes to write "Rangel Rule" on their return in order to be immune from penalties and interest.

Speaking of Charlie Rangel (D-NY), the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee is supposed to be preparing to dole out hundreds of billions of dollars from the upcoming stimulus package. Instead he is under the shadow of a growing ethics inquiry that could embarrass him and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who refused his earlier offer to step down from his post. Rangel was already under investigation for failing to pay $10,000 in taxes on a rental villa he owns in the Dominican Republic. Now he's under investigation for allegedly accepting a $1 million donation from a local businessman for his eponymous Harlem public policy center in exchange for his favorable vote on a tax bill that protected the donor's offshore accounts. Culture of corruption, anyone?

The Senate voted this week to postpone the conversion to digital television, scheduled for 17 February. President Obama urged the four-month delay because of evidence by the Nielsen Co. that indicates some 6.5 million households are not prepared for the switch. However, the House failed to reach the required two-thirds vote to override the original law. House leaders plan to bring it back for a simple majority vote next week. A delay would cost broadcasters millions of dollars.

The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is back, and headed to Barack Obama's desk for his signature. Both the House and the Senate passed the bill this week. This time around, though, SCHIP has two items conspicuously absent from the legislation. The first is a requirement to provide a photo ID and proof of legal residency or citizenship; the second is a cap that would deny benefits to families earning more than 300 percent of the federal poverty level. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) would not give straight answers when asked about the wisdom of removing these provisions, which would greatly reduce the opportunity for abuse of the program. That was probably because they knew that the truth -- removing these provisions takes us one step closer to universal taxpayer-abusing health care -- might not fly with the public. Yet.

Barack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act on Thursday, which makes it easier to sue employers for pay discrimination. "It is a story of women across this country still earning just 78 cents for every $1 men earn, women of color even less, which means that today in the year 2009, countless women are still losing thousands of dollars in salary, income, and retirement savings over the course of a lifetime." Oddly enough, Obama's female Senate staffers earned 78 cents for every $1 his male staffers earned.

Reps. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Rick Boucher (D-VA) introduced HR 197, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2009, which would provide national recognition for all valid state right-to-carry licenses. In other words, states would be required to recognize other states' permits as they do drivers' licenses.

This week's 'Alpha Jackass' award

"The heart and soul of this has been a struggle of me against the system. Under these rules, I'm not even getting a fair trial; they're just hanging me. And when they hang me under these rules that prevent due process, they're hanging the 12 million people of Illinois who twice have elected a governor. I took that system on. I challenged that system." --former Illinois Gov. Rod "F." Blagojevich

Blogojevich was removed from office Thursday by the Illinois senate, which voted 59-0 to oust the "devious, cynical, crass and corrupt" governor. He derided the verdict as "un-American." Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn became Illinois' 41st governor.

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« Reply #272 on: January 31, 2009, 08:42:15 AM »

And as you have probably already seen you can add another hypocrit to the list of, as long as they got their stash.... liberals:

Editorials Columns Advertise on NYTimes.comUse of Free Car Lands Tom Daschle in Tax Trouble
 Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Tom Daschle, the latest Obama cabinet pick to face a snag, at a Senate confirmation hearing.

Published: January 30, 2009
WASHINGTON — President Obama’s pick for health and human services secretary, Tom Daschle, failed to pay more than $128,000 in taxes, partly for free use of a car and driver that had been provided to him by a prominent businessman and Democratic fund-raiser, administration officials said Friday.
Election Results | More Politics NewsMr. Daschle, concluding that he owed the taxes, filed amended returns and paid more than $140,000 in back taxes and interest on Jan. 2, the officials said.

The car and driver were provided by Leo Hindery Jr., a media and telecommunications executive who had been chairman of YES, the New York Yankees regional sports network. In 2005, Mr. Hindery founded a private equity firm known as InterMedia Advisors. Mr. Daschle was chairman of InterMedia’s advisory board.

In a financial disclosure statement filed this month with the Office of Government Ethics, Mr. Daschle reported that he had received large amounts of income from InterMedia, including more than $2 million in consulting fees and $182,520 in the form of “company-provided transportation.”

The belated tax payments help explain delays in the confirmation of Mr. Daschle, a former Senate Democratic leader who had been expected to win swift approval. Despite the embarrassing admission, the second for one of Mr. Obama’s cabinet choices, the White House and Democratic senators issued statements on Friday supporting Mr. Daschle.

In an e-mail message, Mr. Daschle referred questions to Jenny Backus, a spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services Department. Ms. Backus said that he had cooperated with the Senate Finance Committee, was answering its questions and expected to be confirmed.

It was not immediately clear whether Mr. Daschle’s tax problems would derail his nomination. The confirmation of Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner was held up only briefly after the disclosure that he had failed to pay more than $34,000 in taxes owed to the federal government.

On Friday, members of the Finance Committee received a report on the vetting of Mr. Daschle, done by members of the committee staff from both parties. The report says that he paid back taxes and interest totaling $32,090 for 2005, $38,507 for 2006 and $69,570 for 2007.

The Finance Committee document said Mr. Daschle had amended his tax returns to show “unreported income from the use of a car service in the amounts of $73,031, $89,129 and $93,096 in 2005, 2006 and 2007, respectively.”

An administration official said Mr. Daschle’s failure to pay the taxes was “a stupid mistake.” But, the official said, Mr. Daschle should not be penalized because he had discovered the tax liability himself, paid up and brought it to the committee’s attention.

The committee report said, “Senator Daschle filed the amended returns voluntarily after Barack Obama announced his intention to nominate the senator to be the secretary of health and human services.”

The committee report said Mr. Daschle had told the committee staff that “in June 2008, something made him think that the car service might be taxable, and he disclosed the arrangement to his accountant.”

“Under Section 132 of the Internal Revenue Code, the value of transportation services provided for personal use must be included in income,” the report said. “Senator Daschle estimated that he used the car and driver 80 percent for personal use and 20 percent for business.”

The car and driver were not Mr. Daschle’s only problems. The Finance Committee said he failed to report consulting income of $83,333 on his 2007 tax return and overstated the deductions to which he was entitled for charitable contributions from 2005 to 2007. In his amended tax returns, he reduced the deductions by $14,963.

Under his consulting arrangement with InterMedia, the report said, Mr. Daschle received $1 million a year, or $83,333 a month. The payment to Mr. Daschle for May 2007 was omitted from the annual statement of income sent to him by InterMedia. Ms. Backus said the omission resulted from “a clerical error by InterMedia.”

The White House and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, affirmed their support for Mr. Daschle.

James P. Manley, a spokesman for Mr. Reid, said: “Senator Daschle will be confirmed as secretary of health and human services. He has a long and distinguished career in public service and is the best person to help reform health care in this country.”

The tax problem is the latest road bump for Mr. Obama’s cabinet selections. His nominee for commerce secretary, Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, withdrew his name amid a federal investigation into state contracting, and Mr. Obama has yet to name a replacement. His designated attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., has also not been confirmed.

Mr. Hindery and family members have contributed money to many Democratic candidates, including at least $42,000 to Mr. Daschle from 1997 to 2004.

Mr. Daschle is still waiting for the Finance Committee to hold a hearing on his nomination. Members of the committee staff from both parties have been examining a number of other issues, including his relationship with EduCap, a student loan company.

Some members of the staff have also been asking whether Mr. Daschle should have registered as a lobbyist while working at the law firm Alston & Bird, which itself was registered as a lobbyist for EduCap and for many health care companies.

In his financial disclosure report, Mr. Daschle said he received compensation of more than $5,000 for providing “policy advice” to EduCap. The exact amount was not disclosed.

In reports to the Internal Revenue Service, EduCap says it does business as the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation. The foundation is the principal underwriter of annual meetings held by the American Academy of Achievement, which has honored Mr. Daschle on several occasions.

In its report, the Finance Committee said its staff was still reviewing “whether travel and entertainment services provided to the Daschles by EduCap Inc., Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation” and the Academy of Achievement “should be reported as income.”

In his financial disclosure statement, Mr. Daschle said he had received $2.1 million in “wages and bonuses” from Alston & Bird and more than $390,000 for speeches to groups like America’s Health Insurance Plans. He also said he had received more than $5,000 for giving “policy advice” to the insurer UnitedHealth.

An aide to Mr. Daschle said he had been preoccupied in recent days with the need to help a brother who was being treated for a brain tumor.

Asked about the delay, Carol Guthrie, a spokeswoman for the Finance Committee, said, “There’s been a lot on the committee’s docket.”

Carl Hulse, Ron Nixon and Sheryl Gay Stolberg contributed reporting, and Kitty Bennett contributed research.

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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #273 on: January 31, 2009, 10:27:49 AM »

And there is more:

Daschle's Tax Dodging: (Of Course) There's Even More Than Originally Reported

By Tom Blumer
Created 2009-01-31 10:03
Sleep a little, miss a lot.

As noted Friday evening (at NewsBusters
  • ; at BizzyBlog [1]), Jake Tapper at ABC's Political Punch blog revealed that former South Dakota senator Tom Daschle, Barack Obama's nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, had failed to pay over $100,000 in federal income taxes for 2005, 2006, and 2007, because he did not originally report the "the services of (a free) car and driver" provided to him by his employer, private equity firm InterMedia Advisers.

At 11:24 last night, Tapper posted a separate update [2] (HT to NB commenter "slickwillie2001 [2]") indicating that Daschle's tax problems involve larger amounts, go well beyond the matter of a "mere" car and driver, and are not completely resolved (bolds are mine):

Mr. Daschle also didn't report $83,333 in consulting income in 2007.

The Senate Finance Committee Report also notes that during the vetting process, President Obama's Transition Team "identified certain donations that did not qualify as charitable deductions because they were not paid to qualifying organizations. Daschle adjusted his contribution deductions on his amended returns for 2005, 2006 and 2007 to remove these amounts and add additional contributions." This adjustment meant a reduction in the amount he contributed to charitable foundations of $14,963 from 2005 through 2007.

With the unreported income from the use of a car service in the amounts of $73,031 in 2005, $89,129 in 2006 and $93,096 in 2007; the unreported consulting income of $83,333 in 2007; and the adjusted reductions in charitable contributions, Daschle adds a total of $353,552 in additional income and reduced donations, meaning an additional tax payment of $128,203, in addition to $11,964 in interest.

On January 2 of this year, Daschle filed amended tax returns to pay the $140,167 in unpaid taxes.

The Finance Committee staff still is reviewing whether travel and entertainment services provided Tom and Linda Daschle by EduCap, Inc., Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation, Academy Achievement, and Loan to Learn should be reported as income. Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Daschle made use of the jet belonging to EduCap, a non-profit student loan organization.

The timing of these revelations smacks of "clever" Obama administration news management that I believe would have brought howls of outrage from establishment media if it had occurred during the previous administration:

The car and driver item that was trotted out first, while admittedly large, can be (and was) framed as somewhat understandable (poor guy, "he thought it was a gift").
Failure to report income, which ABC apparently had to find on its own once Team Obama dangled the driver angle, is quite another matter. Daschle almost certainly received a Form 1099 relating to that income. Barring unusual circumstances, he should have reported the amount listed. It appears that he didn't.
The charitable deductions problem, while smaller, could also be more embarrassing, especially if we ever get to learn the identities of the organizations that really weren't qualifying charities.
Given that there are four separate different organizations that provided "travel and entertainment services" to the Daschles, there may be a web of relationships that, if uncovered, might reveal conflicts of interest.
The news release strategy appears to have been to get the media to focus on the car and driver, and make them dig up the rest over the weekend while no one is paying attention. I suspect the media outrage over this degree of apparent news management will be a big, fat zero.

The potentially most odious aspect of the Daschle dodge is that even a Senate turndown may not keep him out of the Obama administration. In a post last Sunday (at NewsBusters [2]; at BizzyBlog [3]), I noted a Politico.com report on the Obama adminstration's unprecedented concentration of power in non-Cabinet positions that report directly to the President. As Tapper reiterated in his original post yesterday, Daschle has one of those positions:

Should Daschle have difficulty being confirmed -- a prospect that seems unlikely given the benefit of the doubt senators frequently extend to one another, not to mention the Senate's Democratic majority -- he doesn't have to worry about finding another job in the administration, since President Obama has also appointed him to serve as director of the new White House Office on Health Reform.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com [4].

Source URL:
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2009/01/31/daschles-dodging-course-theres-even-more-originally-reported
Links:
[1] http://www.bizzyblog.com/2009/01/30/hhs-nominee-daschle-has-100000-geithner-problem/
[2] http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/01/more-daschle-ta.html
[3] http://www.bizzyblog.com/?p=7951
[4] http://www.bizzyblog.com/2009/01/31/daschles-dodging-of-course-theres-even-more-than-originally-reported/
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rachelg
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« Reply #274 on: February 01, 2009, 09:37:34 AM »



I  don't think who surrounds the President when he signs the bill   is  a great indication  of the value of the bill.



However---
2 pieces of legislation with great impact to Women

President Bush signing Partial Birth Abortion Ban in 2003



President Obama signs the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in  2009



If the republican party wants to have continued relevance they will have stop being the old  white guy party and they may be heading in that direction.


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G M
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« Reply #275 on: February 01, 2009, 10:10:41 AM »

I still don't get how abortion is a quasi-sacrament to you, Rachel. Maybe if he had big screens showing footage of babies in the midst of the procedure as he signed the bill? Oh yeah, infants can't vote, so no need to pander to them.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #276 on: February 03, 2009, 10:13:14 AM »

With reference to Rachel's bill signing photos, I see your point regarding political skill.  I also see a group of white conservative men more concerned about those most needing our protection than the most powerful liberal women in the country.

Obama's pay equity concern is empirically false.  His campaign payroll had the exact same percentage disparity as the nation.  I prefer if people clean up their own act before mandating 'change' on others.

The fitting crowd to assemble for the partial birth abortion ban photo should have been a visiting classroom of smiling black school children since abortion hits black children at THREE TIMES the rate of white children.  Yet we celebrate this Auschwitz style tradition in the cloak of "Reproductive Rights".
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #277 on: February 13, 2009, 10:50:01 AM »

Hillary's Incredible Shrinking Cabinet Role


Tuesday, February 10, 2009 11:56 AM

By: Dick Morris and Eileen McGann

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is finding that her job description is dissolving under her feet, leaving her with only a vestige of the power she must have thought she acquired when she signed on to be President Obama’s chief Cabinet officer.

Since her designation:


Vice President Joe Biden has moved vigorously to stake out foreign policy as his turf. His visit to Afghanistan, right before the inauguration, could not but send a signal to Clinton that he would conduct foreign policy in the new administration, leaving her in a backup role.



Richard Holbrooke, the former Balkan negotiator and U.N. ambassador, has been named special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. He insisted on direct access to the president, a privilege he was denied during much of the Clinton years.



Former Sen. George Mitchell, D-Maine, negotiator of the Irish Peace Accords, was appointed to be the administration’s point man on Arab-Israeli negotiations.



Samantha Powers, Obama’s former campaign aide, who once called Hillary Clinton a “monster,” has been appointed to the National Security Council as director of “multilateral affairs.”



Gen. James L. Jones, Obama’s new national security adviser, has announced an expansion of the membership and role of the security council. He pledges to eliminate “back channels” to the president and wants to grow the council’s role to accommodate the “dramatically different” challenges of the current world situation.



Susan Rice, Obama’s new United Nations ambassador, insisted upon and got Cabinet rank for her portfolio, and she presumably also will have the same kind of access to Obama that she had as his chief foreign policy adviser during the campaign.


So where does all this leave Secretary of State Clinton?


While sympathy for Mrs. Clinton is outside the normal fare of these columns, one cannot help but feel that she is surrounded by people who are, at best, strangers and, at worst, enemies. The competition that historically has occupied secretaries of State and national security advisers seems poised to ratchet up to a new level in this administration.


Hillary’s essential problem is that she is an outsider in the current mix. She was the adversary in the campaign, and Rice and Powers — at the very least — know it well, having helped to run the campaign that dethroned her. Can they — and she — be devoid of bitterness or at least of normal human trepidation? Not very likely.


The fact is that the power of the secretary of State is not statutory, nor does it flow from the prestige of the post’s occupant. Former Gen. Al Haig, once supreme commander of NATO and chief of staff to President Nixon, found that out when he was undercut as secretary by the White House troika of Mike Deaver, James Baker, and Ed Meese.
Bill Rogers, Eisenhower’s attorney general and Nixon’s California confidant, found himself on the outs from the moment he became secretary of State, with Henry Kissinger soaking up all the power through his direct access to Nixon as national security adviser.


The power of the secretary of State flows directly from the president. But Hillary does not have the inside track with Obama. Rice and Powers, close advisers in the campaign, and Gen. Jones, whose office is in the White House all may have superior access. Holbrooke and Mitchell will have more immediate information about the world’s trouble spots.


So what is Hillary’s mandate? Of what is she secretary of State? If you take the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan out of the equation, what is left? One would have to assume that the old North Korea hands in the government would monopolize that theater of action. What, precisely, is it that Hillary is to do? The question lingers.


And for this she gave up a Senate seat?

© 2009 Dick Morris and Eileen McGann
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #278 on: February 23, 2009, 11:46:49 AM »

Monday Brief
Vol. 09 No. 08
23 February 2009

THE FOUNDATION
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..." --The Declaration of Independence

 
We are "a nation of cowards," says Eric Holder
RE: THE LEFT
"Hey, black folks, do you know any white folks? Good. OK, I want you to go up to them right now and, as politely as you can, start sharing your most deeply held racial views. Hey, white folks, you're not off the hook. I want you to go and do likewise with any black people you know. Don't want to do that? Really? Well, then, you're a coward. That's the short version of Attorney General Eric Holder's speech this week celebrating Black History Month. Holder says we are 'a nation of cowards' because we're unwilling to discuss race to his satisfaction. ... Usually, when I hear a liberal call for a national conversation on race, I translate it as: 'People who disagree with me need to be instructed why they are wrong.' Indeed, in a sense it's no wonder America is a nation of cowards when it comes to race, because so many of us are terrified of being called racist the moment we step out of line with liberal orthodoxy. ... [Holder] says of the debate over affirmative action ... that, 'This debate can, and should, be nuanced, principled and spirited. But the conversation we now engage in as a nation on this and other racial subjects is too often simplistic and left to those on the extremes, who are not hesitant to use these issues to advance nothing more than their own narrow self-interest.' Perhaps. Or perhaps calling views you disagree with 'extreme' and accusing those who hold them of having dishonorable motives is just a clever way of saying that you don't want an 'honest conversation' at all." --National Review editor Jonah Goldberg

CULTURE
"The problem is not that we talk too little about race but that our discussion is often irrelevant to the problems at hand. When Holder and Clinton talk about confronting racial issues, what they really want is a national therapy session in which whites admit that their prejudice and discrimination -- past and present -- is responsible for all the ills that beset blacks today. Well, sorry, it just isn't so. ... If Attorney General Holder is really interested in improving the status of blacks, he could begin by addressing the issue of personal responsibility. The decision to have a child out of wedlock has enormous consequences for single moms and the children they bring into the world. If there is one factor above others that explains the huge differences between the well-being of whites and blacks in this society, it is that so many black children grow up in homes with no fathers. Those children do more poorly in school, are more likely to get in trouble with the law, and become single parents themselves, thus perpetuating a destructive cycle of despair. So, by all means, let's have some honesty in our discussions of race during Black History Month. Let's begin by having our most prominent black elected and appointed officials show a little courage by speaking out on the real problems in the black community, not the chimera of white oppression and unacknowledged guilt." --columnist Linda Chavez

INSIGHT
"You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot establish security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves." --Presbyterian minister William J.H. Boetcker (1873-1962)

THE GIPPER
"Government has only two ways of getting money other than raising taxes. It can go into the money market and borrow, competing with its own citizens and driving up interest rates, which it has done, or it can print money, and it's done that. Both methods are inflationary." --Ronald Reagan


 

POLITICAL FUTURES
"America is not great because of the size of our government, but because of the vision and values of our people. I am convinced that those who believe in big government have little faith in self-governance. Their philosophy says that government should do what a man can't -- or won't -- do for himself. Perhaps I'm jaded, but I believe that the gush of taxpayer dollars issuing forth from Washington is not driven by compassion, but from an unspoken belief that Americans are not smart enough to govern their own lives, strong enough to take some risk or compassionate enough to help neighbors in need. Conservatism has gotten a black eye over the past few years, not because our core principles are less true, but because so many of our leaders lost their way. When conservatives forget the values that got them elected and morph into big-spending, favor-trading politicians, voters will simply vote for whoever offers change, and, in 2008, they did. I don't think such an outcome dictates a redefinition of conservatism. If anything, it is a stark reminder that we need to return to our fiscally conservative roots. Not just in Washington, D.C., but in every state in the nation." --Texas Gov. Rick Perry

GOVERNMENT
"[C]reating jobs is not difficult for government. What is difficult for government is creating jobs that produce wealth. Pyramids, holes in the ground and war do not produce wealth. They destroy wealth. They take valuable resources and convert them into something less valuable. Instead of iPods, great art, cures for diseases and machines that replace back-breaking work, we get the equivalent of digging holes and filling them up. Under President Obama's 'stimulus' plan, jobs will be created to weatherize buildings, construct schools and wind turbines, and repair roads and bridges. But outside the market process, there is no way to know whether those are better uses of scarce capital than whatever would have been produced had it been left in the private economy. Since government services are paid for through the compulsion of taxes, they have no market price. But without market prices, we have no way of knowing the importance that free people would place on those services versus other things they want. So although we'll see the government putting people to work and even some new schools and bridges, we won't be able to calculate how much wealth we've lost because scarce resources were misallocated by the politicians. Nevertheless, we can be sure we will have lost. If the government's projects were truly worthwhile, they would be undertaken by private efforts, and in their quest for profits, entrepreneurs would handle them more efficiently. Remember this when President Obama begins to boast about how successful his stimulus plan is." --ABC's 20/20 co-anchor John Stossel

FOR THE RECORD
"[N]ot all jobs are created equal. Valuable jobs provide products and services the free market supports; useless jobs provide products and services the free market would not support. Valuable jobs provide products and services that enrich quality of life, making it cheaper to live better; useless jobs provide products and services that have minor impact on quality of life. Here's the magic of private sector jobs. Imagine Bill owns a fruit stand. He sells his fruit for $2 per pound. Herman sees that Bill is doing well, and decides to open a fruit stand of his own. He figures he can undercut Bill and live on less of a profit margin, so he sells his fruit at $1 per pound. Pretty soon, Herman runs Bill out of business. It's tough for Bill. But meanwhile, customers are spending $1 less for their fruit than they were. They're spending that extra money at Bob's clothing store, keeping Bob employed -- and Bob can now hire Bill. The bottom line is this: The power of free enterprise creates competition that raises production, lowers prices, and makes lives better for consumers and producers. And that's true even if employment declines in the fruit stand business." --columnist Ben Shapiro

LIBERTY
"[W]hat is the driving force that explains how millions of people manage to cooperate to get 60,000 different items to your supermarket? Most of them don't give a hoot about you and me, some of them might hate Americans, but they serve us well and they do so voluntarily. The bottom line motivation for the cooperation is people are in it for themselves; they want more profits, wages, interest and rent, or to use today's silly talk -- people are greedy. Adam Smith, the father of economics, captured the essence of this wonderful human cooperation when he said, 'He (the businessman) generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. ... He intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain.' Adam Smith continues, 'He is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. ... By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it.' And later he adds, 'It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.' If you have doubts about Adam Smith's prediction, ask yourself which areas of our lives are we the most satisfied and those with most complaints. Would they be profit motivated arenas such supermarkets, video or clothing stores, or be nonprofit motivated government-operated arenas such as public schools, postal delivery or motor vehicle registration? By the way, how many of you would be in favor of Congress running our supermarkets?" --George Mason University economics professor Walter E. Williams

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ccp
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« Reply #279 on: February 26, 2009, 05:04:09 PM »

Moved to "The Electoral Process" thread:  Marc
« Last Edit: February 26, 2009, 06:26:56 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #280 on: March 05, 2009, 12:14:39 PM »

As Newt has pointed out, we need some common sense conservatism to emerge among Democrats and independents as well.  Looking to 2010, the entire House is up for election, but the recidivism rate is around 98-99% due to the advantages of incumbency.  The senate is even tougher to turn over because only about a third are up for election each cycle and of those, there are very few vulnerable, red-state Democrats.  Running the same calculations are those red-state Democrats who are up for reelection and wanting not to be vulnerable.  First to triangulate away from Pelosi-Obama is Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana.  Watch for North Dakota's Byron Dorgan to follow and for Harry Reid of Nevada to just continue to look confused. - Doug

Update: Russ Feingold (D-WI) also plans to vote no, not because he is centrist but because he is running for reelection in a state with mixed politics, where welfare reform began.
---

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123612545277023901.html

Deficits and Fiscal Credibility
A Democratic senator says no to a huge federal spending bill.

By EVAN BAYH

This week, the United States Senate will vote on a spending package to fund the federal government for the remainder of this fiscal year. The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 is a sprawling, $410 billion compilation of nine spending measures that lacks the slightest hint of austerity from the federal government or the recipients of its largess.

The Senate should reject this bill. If we do not, President Barack Obama should veto it.

The omnibus increases discretionary spending by 8% over last fiscal year's levels, dwarfing the rate of inflation across a broad swath of issues including agriculture, financial services, foreign relations, energy and water programs, and legislative branch operations. Such increases might be appropriate for a nation flush with cash or unconcerned with fiscal prudence, but America is neither.

Drafted last year, the bill did not pass due to Congress's long-standing budgetary dysfunction and the frustrating delays it yields in our appropriations work. Since then, economic and fiscal circumstances have changed dramatically, which is why the Senate should go back to the drawing board. The economic downturn requires new policies, not more of the same.

Our nation's current fiscal imbalance is unprecedented, unsustainable and, if unaddressed, a major threat to our currency and our economic vitality. The national debt now exceeds $10 trillion. This is almost double what it was just eight years ago, and the debt is growing at a rate of about $1 million a minute.

Washington borrows from foreign creditors to fund its profligacy. The amount of U.S. debt held by countries such as China and Japan is at a historic high, with foreign investors holding half of America's publicly held debt. This dependence raises the specter that other nations will be able to influence our policies in ways antithetical to American interests. The more of our debt that foreign governments control, the more leverage they have on issues like trade, currency and national security. Massive debts owed to foreign creditors weaken our global influence, and threaten high inflation and steep tax increases for our children and grandchildren.

The solution going forward is to stop wasteful spending before it starts. Families and businesses are tightening their belts to make ends meet -- and Washington should too.

The omnibus debate is not merely a battle over last year's unfinished business, but the first indication of how we will shape our fiscal future. Spending should be held in check before taxes are raised, even on the wealthy. Most people are willing to do their duty by paying taxes, but they want to know that their money is going toward important priorities and won't be wasted.

Last week I was pleased to attend the president's White House Fiscal Responsibility Summit. It's about time we had a leader committed to addressing the deficit, and Mr. Obama deserves great credit for doing so. But what ultimately matters are not meetings or words, but actions. Those who vote for the omnibus this week -- after standing with the president and pledging to slice our deficit in half last week -- jeopardize their credibility.

As Indiana's governor, I balanced eight budgets, never raised taxes, and left the largest surplus in state history. It wasn't always easy. Cuts had to be made and some initiatives deferred. Occasionally I had to say "no."

But the bloated omnibus requires sacrifice from no one, least of all the government. It only exacerbates the problem and hastens the day of reckoning. Voters rightly demanded change in November's election, but this approach to spending represents business as usual in Washington, not the voters' mandate.

Now is the time to win back the confidence and trust of the American people. Congress should vote "no" on this omnibus and show working families across the country that we are as committed to living within our means as they are.

Mr. Bayh, a Democratic senator from Indiana, served as governor of Indiana from 1989 to 1997.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2009, 01:13:12 PM by DougMacG » Logged
G M
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« Reply #281 on: March 07, 2009, 06:20:19 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/03/07/great-news-obama-fumbled-brown-visit-because-hes-in-over-his-head/comment-page-1/#comments

Great news: Obama fumbled Brown visit because he’s in over his head
posted at 4:19 pm on March 7, 2009 by Ed Morrissey   


After insulting Gordon Brown during the British prime minister’s visit this week by ignoring protocol and cheaping out on the traditional gift exchange, the UK media has erupted in outrage.  The Obama White House has now started to recognize the firestorm the new President created with our closest ally, and wants to assure the Brits that he meant no disrespect.  Instead, Obama apparently wants to assure them that he’s simply in over his head and floundering (via Radio Equalizer):

Sources close to the White House say Mr Obama and his staff have been “overwhelmed” by the economic meltdown and have voiced concerns that the new president is not getting enough rest.

British officials, meanwhile, admit that the White House and US State Department staff were utterly bemused by complaints that the Prime Minister should have been granted full-blown press conference and a formal dinner, as has been customary. They concede that Obama aides seemed unfamiliar with the expectations that surround a major visit by a British prime minister. …

Allies of Mr Obama say his weary appearance in the Oval Office with Mr Brown illustrates the strain he is now under, and the president’s surprise at the sheer volume of business that crosses his desk.

A well-connected Washington figure, who is close to members of Mr Obama’s inner circle, expressed concern that Mr Obama had failed so far to “even fake an interest in foreign policy”. …

The American source said: “Obama is overwhelmed. There is a zero sum tension between his ability to attend to the economic issues and his ability to be a proactive sculptor of the national security agenda.

“That was the gamble these guys made at the front end of this presidency and I think they’re finding it a hard thing to do everything.”


I’m not sure which is worse.  At least if he meant to snub Brown, it would suggest a certain competence at this brand of diplomacy.  Instead, we’re told that the Obama White House and their staff are just a bunch of incompetents who got in over their heads.

Which is, of course, the point we made continuously over the last two years.
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G M
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« Reply #282 on: March 08, 2009, 08:18:19 PM »

http://formerspook.blogspot.com/2009/03/scary-stuff-indeed.html

Sunday, March 08, 2009

"Overwhelmed"

From Jim Geraghty at NRO's Campaign Spot. Every new administration--and president--goes through an adjustment process, but this is ridiculous. Mr. Geraghty notes that President Obama is "overwhelmed" by the demands of his new office, as reported by the U.K. Telegraph:

Sources close to the White House say Mr Obama and his staff have been "overwhelmed" by the economic meltdown and have voiced concerns that the new president is not getting enough rest.

British officials, meanwhile, admit that the White House and US State Department staff were utterly bemused by complaints that the Prime Minister should have been granted full-blown press conference and a formal dinner, as has been customary. They concede that Obama aides seemed unfamiliar with the expectations that surround a major visit by a British prime minister.

But Washington figures with access to Mr Obama's inner circle explained the slight by saying that those high up in the administration have had little time to deal with international matters, let alone the diplomatic niceties of the special relationship.

Allies of Mr Obama say his weary appearance in the Oval Office with Mr Brown illustrates the strain he is now under, and the president's surprise at the sheer volume of business that crosses his desk.

Equally disconcerting, the Telegraph goes on to say that the commander-in-chief has failed to "even fake an interest in foreign policy." That assessment came from a Washington "insider" with close ties to the administration.

This account is troubling, on a couple of levels. First, in regard to Obama's meeting with Gordon Brown, there is no excuse for the diplomatic faux pas. Both the White House and the State Department have permanent, professional protocol staffs who work these events on a daily basis. If the Obama team was unsure of how to "handle" a meeting with a British Prime Minister, all they had to do was ask.

Apparently, no one did, since Mr. Brown was not afforded the press conference or formal dinner that normally accompany a U.S.-British summit. Additionally, protocol experts could have prevented the embarrassment over those cheesy DVDs given by Mr. Obama to the British leader.

More disturbing is the notion that Mr. Obama is exhausted by his new job--only two months after taking the oath of office. True, the president entered the Oval Office during trying times, but he is not the only chief executive to face such circumstances. FDR inherited the worst economy in U.S. history; Ronald Reagan faced a severe economic downturn and an expansionist Soviet Union; George W. Bush confronted the twin challenges of 9-11 and war only nine months into his administration.

While each man used different approaches in facing their respective crises, all had something in common. To our knowledge, none complained about the burdens of office so early in their tenure. Each man understood that such comments would do nothing to resolve the challenges they faced, or enhance their reputation as a leader.

To be fair, none of these complaints have come directly from President Obama. But the Telegraph's sources are well-placed, lending credence to their account. So, it's not hard to imagine a new president and administration discovering that governance is far harder than campaigning.

It also seems clear that Mr. Obama and his advisers are focused on the economy, at the expense of everything else. But we also recall a famous maxim from President George H.W. Bush, who observed that "what you don't know about domestic policy can prevent your re-election; what you don't know about foreign policy can get a lot of people killed."

As President Obama is about to discover, his sabbatical from international issues will soon come to an abrupt end, with potentially disastrous consequences. His recent decisions on Iraq and Afghanistan were comparatively easy, following courses already established by the Bush Administration.

Now comes the hard part. North Korea is about to launch a long-range ballistic missile over South Korean and/or Japanese territory. Will he order U.S. forces to shoot it down, or allow the test to proceed and (possibly) jeopardize relations with our most important regional allies?

Mr. Obama also faces tough choices on Iran. Recent assessments indicate that Iran has the material and the technical know-how to build an atomic bomb within the next two years. Does he stick with the diplomatic track--despite years of failure--consider U.S. military options, or give Israel a green light to strike Iran's nuclear facilities?

But the list of potential crises doesn't end there. Is the administration prepared for a possible energy crises, in response to the Iranian nuclear issue, or as a separate issue? With oil still trading below $50 a barrel, countries like Venezuela, Iran and Russia would welcome a run-up in prices, generating billions more for their economies. Iran in particular could "manufacture" a crisis, leading to months of higher oil prices, at a time when our economy can least afford it.

If Mr. Obama is already overwhelmed by the requirements of his office, just wait a few months. His learning curve is just beginning.
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« Reply #283 on: March 10, 2009, 03:10:12 PM »

Pelosi Made Repeated Requests for Military Aircraft, Documents Show

Representatives for Judicial Watch, which obtained e-mails and other documents showing the requests, say House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has treated the Air Force as her "personal airline."

FOXNews.com
Tuesday, March 10, 2009

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly requested military aircraft to shuttle her and her colleagues and family around the country, according to a new report from a conservative watchdog group.

Representatives for Judicial Watch, which obtained e-mails and other documents from a Freedom of Information request, said the correspondence shows Pelosi has abused the system in place to accommodate congressional leaders and treated the Air Force as her "personal airline."

The e-mails showed repeated attempts by Pelosi aides to request aircraft, sometimes aggressively, and by Department of Defense officials to accommodate them.

"I think that's above and beyond what other members of Congress are doing and what is expected of our elected officials," said Jenny Small, a researcher with the group.

The group reported that Pelosi was notorious for making special demands for high-end aircraft, lodging last-minute cancellations, and racking up additional expenses for the military.

In one e-mail, aide Kay King complained to the military that they had not made available any aircraft the House speaker wanted for Memorial Day recess.

"It is my understanding there are NO G5s available for the House during the Memorial Day recess. This is totally unacceptable ... The Speaker will want to know where the planes are," King wrote.

In another, when told a certain type of aircraft would not be available, King wrote: "This is not good news, and we will have some very disappointed folks, as well as a very upset Speaker."

Pelosi's office has not yet responded to requests for comment.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/10/study-pelosi-repeated-requests-military-aircraft/
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« Reply #284 on: March 14, 2009, 12:30:44 PM »

I know Bo doesn't care about polls or the direction of the stock market rolleyes but FWIW the recent Zogby on the "direction" of the country:


****Released: March 06, 2009
Zogby Poll: 40% Now Believe the U.S. is Headed in the Right Direction

Survey finds 56% view President Obama favorably while his positive job approval ratings hold steady at 52%

UTICA, New York - Forty percent of likely voters now have positive feelings about the direction the U.S. is headed, a slight gain over the 36% who said the same in late January and a significant increase over the 14% who said the country was on the right track at the beginning of the year, a new Zogby Interactive poll shows.

Even as slightly more believe the country is headed in the right direction, there has also been a slight increase in those who believe the county is on the wrong track - 48% this month compared to 45% in late January, though significantly fewer than the 70% who had negative feelings about the country's direction at the start of the year.

The survey shows a stark contrast along political lines, with Democrats significantly more optimistic (71%) about the country's direction under President Barack Obama's administration than are political independents (35%) or Republicans (6%). Democrats and independents are more positive about the country's direction than in late January, while Republicans are now more likely to believe the U.S. is on the wrong track - 86% of Republicans feel this way, compared to 76% who said the same in late January. Just over half of independents (52%) feel the same, compared to only 14% of Democrats. The Zogby Interactive survey of 3,365 likely voters nationwide was conducted March 2-5, 2009, and carries a margin of error of +/- 1.7 percentage points.

Congressional job performance ratings slowly climb as President Obama's job approval numbers hold steady

Obama enjoys strong personal popularity, with 56% who have a favorable opinion of the President - most notably among fellow Democrats, with 93% who view the President positively. More than half of political independents feel the same (52%), compared to only 14% of Republicans.

Obama maintains a 52% "excellent" or "good" job performance rating in this latest survey, unchanged from our polling in late January, while 46% rate his job performance as "fair" or "poor." There is a dramatic partisan split when it comes to Obama's job performance, with 90% of Democrats who give the President positive ratings, compared to just 11% of Republicans - political independents fall in the middle with 47%.

Congressional job performance ratings have climbed to 24%, up from 20% in late January and a vast improvement over the 4% of likely voters who gave Congress a job performance rating of "excellent" or "good" at the beginning of the year. Positive Congressional job performance marks from Democrats continue to climb - 46% this month compared to 39% in late January, while ratings from political independents (17%) and Republicans (2%) have changed little.

Perception of U.S. economic policy still overwhelmingly negative, but continues to show improvement

The vast majority of likely voters - 77% - give negative ratings to U.S. economic policy, a decline from the 85% who said the same in late January and an even larger drop from the 95% who viewed U.S. economic policy negatively in the weeks just before President Obama's inauguration. This latest poll shows 18% now give the nation's economic policy a positive rating, up from 8% who said the same in late January. When it comes to their personal financial situation, just 35% give it a positive rating, compared to 65% who paint their personal financial picture as "fair" or "poor" - only a slight change from polling early in the year. One in five (22%) express insecurity about their current job, which is largely unchanged from Zogby International polling at the beginning of the year.

For a detailed methodological statement on this survey, please visit:

http://www.zogby.com/methodology/readmeth.cfm?ID=1391

(3/6/2009)

 ZOGBY INTERNATIONAL
901 Broad Street, Utica, New York 13501 USA
1600 K Street, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20006 USA
150 SE 2nd Ave., Suite 600, Miami, Florida 33131 USA
NY phone 315.624.0200
Toll Free in the U.S. and Canada 1-877-GO-2-POLL | 1-877-462-7655
fax 315.624.0210
Contact sales and marketing
Contact our web manager with any comments regarding this web site.

Copyright 2009 by Zogby International.****





 
 
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« Reply #285 on: March 25, 2009, 04:34:13 PM »

Wednesday Chronicle
Vol. 09 No. 12
25 March 2009

THE FOUNDATION
"Here comes the orator! With his flood of words, and his drop of reason." --Benjamin Franklin

 
Switching from teleprompter to big-screen TV
THE DEMO-GOGUES
Lies and statistics: "n this budget, we have made the tough choices necessary to cut our deficit in half by the end of my first term -- even under the most pessimistic estimates." --President Barack Obama, who doubled the budget deficit before he could halve it

Says the pot to the kettle: "
  • ne of the things that I'm trying to break is a pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame." --Barack Obama

Mentally challenged: "I bowled a 129. ... It's like -- it was like Special Olympics or something." --Barack Obama making fun of the Special Olympics on "The Tonight Show"

Pick socialism: "[W]e need not choose between a chaotic and unforgiving capitalism and an oppressive government-run economy. That is a false choice that will not serve our people or any people." --Barack Obama

Regulatory Commissars: "I think the most important thing that we can do is make sure that we put in a bunch of financial regulatory mechanisms to prevent companies like an AIG holding the rest of us hostage. Because that's â??- that's the real problem." --Barack Obama

This week's "Quid Pro Homo" Award: "At some point, [the Defense of Marriage Act] is going to have to go to the United States Supreme Court. I wouldn't want it to go to the United States Supreme Court now because that homophobe Antonin Scalia has too many votes on this current court." --Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), an open homosexual **Scalia has more than one vote?

Global warmism: "When we talk about drilling, the new thing we have to think about is the Arctic. There is a dangerous irony occurring. We are drilling, burning oil, sending CO2 up into the atmosphere, creating global warming -- and it's melting the Arctic making it possible for people to drill. Now there is this gold rush to start punching oil wells in a place we just desecrated because of global warming. That's one place we have to get a new moratorium where there hasn't been one before, because there has always been ice there before." --Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA)

Vocabulary police: "This Administration prefers to avoid using the term 'Long War' or 'Global War on Terror' [GWOT]. Please use 'Overseas Contingency Operation.'" --email from Dave Riedel of the Office of Security Review

UPRIGHT
"The more the Fed takes on its balance sheet, the more the long-run independence of the central bank is damaged. Monetizing so much government debt is what Third World nations do. Draining the new money from the system will someday be a problem. It may introduce a round of 'beggar-thy-neighbor,' central bank-engineered currency depreciations." --economist Tyler Cowen

"[treasury] Secretary Geithner wants AIG and executives at other companies that receive tax dollars to be paid according to performance. That is a standard most of us would like to see applied to Congress, which enjoys annual pay increases no matter how much incompetence, malfeasance and misfeasance it demonstrates." --columnist Cal Thomas

"This whole AIG fiasco -- where the entire political class is suddenly screaming over bonuses paid to derivative traders in AIG's financial-products division -- is just a complete farce. What it really shows is how the government has completely bungled the AIG takeover. Blame the Bush administration and the Obama administration. It also shows, once again, why the government shouldn't run anything, because it cannot run anything." --economist Lawrence Kudlow

"What do we learn about Obama from the 'Special Olympics' gaffe? We learn, first and foremost, what we already knew: Obama is an elitist with a high school sense of humor." --columnist Ben Shapiro

"This country no longer has any enemy combatants to worry about. There, don't you feel better? Probably not, because you know that, although the new administration has decided to drop the legal designation Enemy Combatants, they're all too real. Only the name is gone." --columnist Paul Greenberg

"[W]hen I think of my children and my grandchild, I'm not worried that they will suffer for lack of money. I worry they'll suffer a much worse fate: lack of freedom. ... We have to fight our way -- not back, but forward -- to a country in which self-dealing politicians control less of our economy and less of our lives." --columnist Paul Jacob

"We can recall that the founders of our country intended the role of government to protect our lives and property, not violate them. And that in times when we have respected that proper use of government, our country has prospered." --columnist Star Parker

INSIGHT
"The main vice of capitalism is the uneven distribution of prosperity. The main vice of socialism is the even distribution of misery." --former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

"There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers." --American physicist Richard Feynman (1918-1988)

"When small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set." --Chinese writer Lin Yutang (1895-1976)

EDITORIAL EXEGESIS
"There should be no hurdles to restoring freedom. But when Congress attempts to restrict it, the hurdle should be high, if not impossible to clear. It's chilling to watch as men with authority and influence prefer to instead crash their way through. The power to tax is the power to destroy, as is the power to regulate and limit choices. These powers should be wielded judiciously, and only within a system that safeguards against excess and demands accountability. The overly ambitious and unelected can't be allowed to govern by walking over the governed." --Investor's Business Daily

DEZINFORMATSIA
Wipe the drool off your chin: "Whether it's creating commissions for women and girls, ordering the investigation of President Bush's use of signing statements, or jamming a huge stimulus package through Congress, the man is working his tail off. And he seems to be loving every minute of it. It's almost as though our president was born to do exactly what he's doing. He's leading, and boy, is that refreshing." --CNN's Jack Cafferty

 
Bringing dignity to his office?
Obamamania: "When I heard [Obama] was going to [be on "The Tonight Show"] I thought, should a president really do that? Then I actually stayed up and watched it and he calmed me down. I've really been getting pretty upset in the last week, just like every other American I think. And he calmed me down. And he was presidential. I thought it was just a masterful performance." --NPR's Nina Totenberg

Covering the president: "Nothing goes unescaped when it comes to the president. He did talk about the Special Olympics. Some people took that as an offensive remark. However, this morning on a radio show, the director of the Special Olympics for the state of Illinois, a man by the name of Doug Snyder, talked about that, and he thinks he knows where all this came from, because he remembers a couple years back introducing the president to a little girl named Caitlyn, who showed the president how to bowl, and did a darn better job of doing it at the time than the president was able to do it. He thinks Caitlyn is actually perhaps the inspiration for the president deciding to be a bit better as a bowler." --MSNBC's Alex Witt covering for Obama's tasteless "Special Olympics" comment on the "Tonight Show"

Getting it right: "Obama is on track to accomplish exactly what he promised to change during the campaign, creating a massive burden for the next generation to fund politically popular policies in the short term." --Time magazine writer Michael Scherer

Newspulper Headlines:

Now He Tells Us!: "Obama Asks Americans Not to Expect Too Much From Him" --Associated Press

What an Insensitive Headline: "Chinks Exposed in Obama's Taliban Plan" --Asia Times

No One Knows for Sure: "Guess Profit Falls 13 Percent" --Los Angeles Business Journal

Drinking and Driving Don't Mix: "Wild Turkey Sends Maine Motorcyclist to Hospital" --Associated Press

News You Can Use: "Scientists: We're Doomed. Or Are We?" --Greenpeace UK Web site

Bottom Stories of the Day: "Animal Rights, Circus Lawyers Differ on Elephants" --Associated Press ++ "Gore to Revisit Climate Crisis in New Book" --New York Times Web site

(Thanks to The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto)

VILLAGE IDIOTS
Name that standard: "The desirable goal of reforming the international monetary system, therefore, is to create an international reserve currency that is disconnected from individual nations and is able to remain stable in the long run, thus removing the inherent deficiencies caused by using credit-based national currencies." --Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China **Didn't that used to be called "gold"?

Village Academic Curriculum: "If you make it a practice of killing other people's babies for personal gain ... eventually they're going to give you a taste of the same thing." --former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, who once called the victims of 9/11 "little Eichmanns" after one of the architects of the Holocaust, testifying in his lawsuit seeking to get his job back

Non Compos Mentis: "Barack Obama is the first Hispanic president the same way Bill Clinton was the first black [president]." --Geraldo Rivera discussing immigration

Say what?: "The kids love to say SheetzuCacaPoopoo. Well, that was the key. But, the book is really about Barack Obama. Okay? Let me explain. ... The dog -- Max is in trouble. They send him to obedience school, okay? When he's in obedience school is when he becomes Barack. He becomes a community organizer. And he organizes the big dogs around the little dogs. 'Cause at first, the big dogs, also known as the Republicans, don't like him. See? And so, he finds ways, pragmatically, to help the big dogs. ... They can reach itches for them. They can go underneath to get to spots. They can scare the cats away. And so, he becomes popular. And everybody loves each other. ... It's all about pragmatism and change, and trying to find a solution in your situation, which is Barack Obama." --Joy Behar of "The View" promoting her new children's book **Well, SheetzuCacaPoopoo IS the perfect name...


 

SHORT CUTS
"[Obama] might be 'a fairly sensitive and compassionate man.' Alternatively, he could be a mean, self-absorbed S.O.B. who regards anyone other than himself as intellectually disabled. The truth is we don't know, because in the course of the presidential campaign the press declined to do even the most elementary due diligence on him. And, like Congress with the stimulus, the electorate didn't bother to find out what's in there before they voted for it." --columnist Mark Steyn

"One of the things that concerns me about Obama's presidency is that every time he opens his yap, he sounds so darn naive. Just recently, he spoke about reaching out to moderates in the ranks of the Taliban. A moderate in that society is a cretin who wants to murder Christians, Jews and any woman who refuses to wrap herself in a bed sheet before leaving the house, but who draws the line at beheading his victims for Al-Jazeera's TV cameras." --columnist Burt Prelutsky

"I can't believe we've decided to do battle with al-Qaida by vernacular-ing them to death." --comedian Dennis Miller

"The New York Times reported Sunday that President Obama is planning to regulate salaries paid by every company in the financial services industry. Already he's insulted Britain and Special Olympians while making nice to Iran and North Korea. One more week of this and everybody's going to be searching for the birth certificate." --comedian Argus Hamilton

Jay Leno:

People made a big deal out of the fact this is the first time a sitting president has done a late-night show. We tried to have other presidents on, but President Bush went to bed every night at 9:00. And President Clinton always seemed to have other late-night plans.

More problems for AIG: It turns out that the bonus money was actually $218 million, not $165 million as originally reported. AIG says they misplaced $53 million in bonus money. Today Sen. Chris Dodd said, "You mean that wasn't a campaign contribution?"

Senator Chris Dodd -- or 'Chris Dodge,' as they're calling him now -- after first denying it, now admits he's the one who eliminated the provision in the stimulus package that outlawed excessive bonuses. And coincidentally, he just happened to receive $280,000 from AIG in campaign contributions. What are the odds of that?

Congress is now investigating the special treatment that "Senator Dodge" ... received from Countrywide Mortgage for a couple of mortgages. Senator Dodd has contended he didn't know he was getting special rates on the mortgages. And, really, to be fair, how would the Senate chairman of the banking committee have any idea what the normal lending rate would be?
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« Reply #286 on: April 22, 2009, 01:22:16 PM »

Freddie Mac chief financial officer found dead in apparent suicide

David Kellermann, 41, was found dead in his home in Vienna, Virginia before dawn

Daniel Nasaw in Washington
guardian.co.uk,
Wednesday 22 April 2009 15.37 BST


The acting chief financial officer of troubled US mortgage giant Freddie Mac was found dead in an apparent suicide this morning.

David Kellermann, 41, was found dead in his home in Vienna, Virginia on the outskirts of Washington, before dawn. Fairfax county, Virginia police said no foul play was evident and that the cause and manner of death was under investigation by the state medical examiner. CNN reported Kellermann had hung himself, citing a law enforcement source. Police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell said police responded to the house just before 5am (10am BST). She would not say who called police but said others were in the house.

Kellermann was named acting chief financial officer in September, after Anthony Piszel resigned following a government-takeover of the firm and a dramatic internal shake-up of the management. He reported directly to Chief Executive Officer John Koskinen. Before that he was senior vice-president and led the company's accounting and finance operations.

Kellerman had been with the company 16 years in a variety of positions.
As acting chief financial officer, Kellermann was charged with certifying the truth and accuracy of the company's financial statements and certain regulatory filings.

The company remains under government conservatorship and has received billions in loans from the US treasury department to help keep it afloat.

But the company has complained that requirements from the treasury department and other US government offices conflict with its long-term business objectives, and last month warned investors that the conflict could lead to "suboptimal outcomes".

The McLean, Virginia-based company finances home mortgages by purchasing loans from mortgage lenders. It has been battered by floods of loan defaults caused by the credit crunch and plummeting home values. In 2008, the company lost $50.1bn (£34.4bn), compared to $3.1bn in 2007.

The company was chartered by the US Congress in 1970. At the end of 2008, Freddie Mac held $1.8tn in single-family home loans.

At least six other financial services executives have committed suicide under stress from the current credit crisis. Those include Germany's fifth richest man, Adolf Merckle, who in January threw himself under a train in an act his family blamed on his company's "desperate situation". In December, a French fund manager who had lost $1.4bn of clients' money to Bernard Madoff's ponzi scheme was found dead at his desk in New York.

In a statement, Koskinen praised Kellermann's "extraordinary work ethic and integrity".

"The Freddie Mac family is truly saddened by the news this morning of David Kellermann's death," he said. "We extend our deepest condolences to David's family and loved ones for this terrible personal tragedy."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...nn-freddie-mac
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« Reply #287 on: May 10, 2009, 02:29:50 PM »

this was meant for the politics thread and inadvertently got misplaced:
 
    He was just an "aid" who was acting on his own accord
« on: May 09, 2009, 08:25:52 AM » 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
About the White House Military Office whose director, excuse me, I mean "aid", Loius Caldera, reportedly acting without any knowledge from anyone higher up ordered the Airforce One fly over of NYC.  He is taking the fall.  He will probably get another cushy consulting job somewhere to go away, resign, and be quiet:

THE WHITE HOUSE MILITARY OFFICE
The White House Military Office (WHMO) provides military support for White House functions, including food service, Presidential transportation, medical support and emergency medical services, and hospitality services. The office, led by WHMO Director Louis Caldera, oversees policy related to WHMO functions and Department of Defense assets and ensures that White House requirements are met with the highest standards of quality. The WHMO Director oversees all military operations aboard Air Force One on Presidential missions worldwide. The Deputy Director of the White House Military Office focuses primarily on the day-to-day support of the WHMO.

The WHMO's operational units are the most visible part of the WHMO's support to the President. The WHMO units include the White House Communications Agency, Presidential Airlift Group, White House Medical Unit, Camp David, Marine Helicopter Squadron One, Presidential Food Service, and the White House Transportation Agency. To assure proper coordination and integration, the WHMO also includes support elements such as operations; policy, plans, and requirements; information and technology management; financial management and comptroller; WHMO counsel; and security. Together, WHMO entities provide essential service to the President and help maintain the continuity of the Presidency.
 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #288 on: August 06, 2009, 06:04:10 AM »

"[R]espected economists like Donald Marron, Keith Hennessey, Bruce Bartlett and Kevin Hassett have all carefully chronicled the fact that the Obama stimulus package does not feature any real fiscal multipliers. They say the bulk of the package consists of transfer payments to individuals and states, along with tax credits that will produce no real incentive effects to spur economic growth. But the fact remains that numerous signs are now pointing to economic recovery. And the GOP needs to craft a smart political response to this. Obama and Biden will surely take credit for the better economic news, just as any White House would. It's the way the political game is played. But Republicans have to play the game, too. A tremendous summer rally is going on in stocks, and it's being driven by better corporate profits and improved leading indicators -- including a possible upturn in housing starts and sales, and a major downward spike in weekly initial jobless claims. So you have to believe the stock market is calling the tune for recovery. And while politics is not everything, I do believe that the shrinking prospects for Obamacare have been a big contributor to the stock market's recent surge. This sweeping new government insurance plan would lead to high-tax-and-spend-and-borrow-and-regulate nationalized health care, a big economic negative. Ditto for nationalizing energy through cap-and-trade-and-tax. If these initiatives fail, it is very bullish for stocks and the economy. ... But the White House is going to take credit for economic recovery anyway, and that's the newest political challenge for the GOP." --economist Lawrence Kudlow
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« Reply #289 on: August 21, 2009, 12:05:16 PM »

(Crafty: Lets continue this conversation on the Politics thread.) - Ok, but as I proof read this looks a lot like a rant.  smiley

CCP:"...unless we all start sacrificing now this country is headed for a total collapse...all this spending will destroy us...We need to stop giving life ling pensions to people who retire at 50 and then get other jobs...Medicare and social security ages will have to increase to 70...some skeptics decry that THIS IS the MO of BO. Destroy the country so it has to be rebuilt from the bottom up - as a socialist state. I am short of personally subscribing to this but I don't discount it altogether."
---
As GM pointed out, Obama is tanking and support for the policies tanked earlier and stronger. You don't re-acquire to Messiah status or hope and change euphoria after being exposed as a mere mortal and an ordinary liberal / Marxist.  I agree that Obama doesn't know his policies will tank the country and our economy.  I think liberals and anti-capitalists take our amazing past economic successes for granted.  I have long challenged any supporter or Obama biographer to tell me any book the young leader has read about economics that wasn't in opposition to capitalism.  He thinks investors will invest anyway, even if you threaten, berate them publicly and punish them.  After empirical result after empirical result to the contrary, this Ivy League elitist still believes building up the public sector and tearing down the private sector shows good promise for the country.

Obama also has shown more adherence to his convictions than former Pres. Clinton who was happy to jump ship and sail a different direction whenever his poll analysts gave him the green light.  Obama instead will cling to incrementalism toward his goals versus abandonment.

Tanking public support affects congress and Obama's ability to get things done.  Democrat majorities exist because some liberals are representing conservative leaning districts.  For example, R's would win at the Presidential level in South Dakota by 30 points while Tom Daschle would hold his senate seat by 30 points, bringing power and money to the state.  But cross the line with the electorate and he is gone.  (I wonder if Harry Reid knows that story, lol.)  In North Dakota, 2 senators are liberal in a state that is typically a 30 point margin to the conservative side.  They can't stay in lock-step with a tanking, exposed agenda and hold power.  Small states sound trivial, but their senator's vote has the same weight as Boxer, Schumer, Kennedy, Durbin, et al.  Same goes for house districts.  Watch these representatives squirm at their townhall meetings and ACORN invented the show up and voice your concern tactic.  I heard one new D-congressman assuring his outraged townhall that he won't vote for the healthcare bill if it contains liberal provision x or y.

The current power structure in this country took hold on election night of Nov. 2006, when Pelosi-Reid-Hillary-Barney Frank, with Obama took control, not in Jan. 2009 when Pres. Obama took office, (and this mess was not created by free markets "running wild").  The liberal machine also controlled certain aspects of Washington before that to the extent that willing Republicans sided with the liberal agenda on spending and the atrocities of Fannie Mae etc.

CCP, I agree with your point about control the spending and I think that has the crossover appeal, not tax cuts or social issues at this juncture.

To finish Cheney's famous alleged interrupted statement that deficits don't matter, a family making good money might run a deficit when a couple of the kids are off to college.  Same goes for my daughter in braces, lol, but I won't be running a deficit on her forever or without limits.  Reagan brought down a Soviet empire and re-built our economy, and his legacy is that this growth led to balanced budgets (Bill Clinton aligned with Newt Gingrich)  within a reasonable time.  The aftermath of 9/11 had similar emergency conditions, but just like Obama, R's took their eyes off the emergency and paid the price economically and politically.

So we have a spending and debt-caused crisis and were told the solution is new spending on steroids with new debt beyond anyone's comprehension.  sad

Crafty wrote recently that we have to offer more than just 'no' (to healthcare in particular).  To govern with a mandate and accomplish positive things in the future that is true, but to immediately stop this train wreck I think the message, outside of the far left, we can all agree on is just - 'NO'!

« Last Edit: August 21, 2009, 12:11:58 PM by DougMacG » Logged
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« Reply #290 on: August 21, 2009, 01:15:53 PM »

***Obama also has shown more adherence to his convictions than former Pres. Clinton who was happy to jump ship and sail a different direction whenever his poll analysts gave him the green light.  Obama instead will cling to incrementalism toward his goals versus abandonment.***
"cling to incrementalism"

He appears to be doing just that.

Those of us who are opposed to big government have no choice but to not give one inch.
He is not about compromise.  He is about suckering the right.

If we continue to stand up to him his fellow Dems will really start jumping ship when his numbers continue to tank.

I fear we are going to witness a gigantic counter offensive from the left with all sorts of smears, distortions, frenzy and the rest very soon.
"we need to hit back twice as hard"

This includes bribing more voting blocks.

I am surprised we have not seen more violence yet.
Just wait till we start getting double digit inflation.




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« Reply #291 on: August 21, 2009, 02:10:12 PM »

CCP, agree but... it is the middle with the moderates that he was suckering, not so much the right. 

Obama had huge support but didn't get all his 53% or 57% or more to buy fully into the agenda.  His coalition requires him to wink to ACORN and the far left and talk reasonably to the center, like Sotomayor did - totally different to activists than in confirmation. 

Campaigns might be run on generalities but these bills cannot be written without specifics and the specifics fly in the face of the reasonable and prudent sounding salesmanship.

In other words, the radical 'war' worked from the outside but is exposed in victory.  Now the pendulum swings the other way and right wingers will hopefully be exposed for trying to ram freedom, liberty and a constitutionally-based version of limited government down our throats, lol.

Here is one satirist's view, in song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9HS8n8Y4qo
"The day Obamacare Died" to American Pie on the Rush L. show.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2009, 02:14:22 PM by DougMacG » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #292 on: September 03, 2009, 08:19:29 AM »

By KARL ROVE
August was the worst month of Barack Obama's presidency. And he seems to know it—he is now planning to deliver a speech to a joint session of Congress 232 days into his administration in a desperate attempt to save his biggest domestic priority, overhauling health care.

He has already had the budget-busting $787 billion stimulus package, a budget that doubles the national debt in five years, an earmark-laden appropriations bill that boosted domestic spending nearly 8%, and a cap-and-trade energy tax that limped through the House with dozens of Democratic defections (and which has stalled in the Senate). These achievements are unpopular, so they are boomeranging on him.

Mr. Obama's problems are legion. To start with, the president is focusing on health care when the economy and jobs are nearly everyone's top issue. Voters increasingly believe Mr. Obama took his eye off the ball.

In addition, Mr. Obama is trying to overhaul health care without being able to tap into widespread public unhappiness. Nearly nine out of 10 Americans say they have coverage—and large majorities of them are happy with it. Of the 46 million uninsured, 9.7 million are not U.S. citizens; 17.6 million have annual incomes of more than $50,000; and 14 million already qualify for Medicaid or other programs. That leaves less than five million people truly uncovered out of a population of 307 million. Americans don't believe this problem—serious but correctable—justifies the radical shift Mr. Obama offers.

View Full Image

Associated Press
 .Moreover, he's tried to sell it with promises Americans aren't buying. He says ObamaCare will save money, but Americans believe it comes with a huge price tag because the Congressional Budget Office has said it will.

Workers are also rightly concerned they won't be able to keep their current coverage. Many businesses will drop their health plans and instead pay a fine equal to 8% of their payroll costs, which is less than what they pay for employee coverage.

Families believe they will be pushed into a government plan as the "public option" drives private insurers out of the market.

Health-care providers fear they'll be forced to follow one-size-fits-all guidelines drafted by bureaucrats, instead of making judgments for specific patients.

And seniors are afraid of Mr. Obama's plan to cut $500 billion from Medicare over the next decade, including $177 billion for Medicare Advantage. It's simply not possible to cut that much from Medicare without also cutting services seniors need.

Each of these concerns is energizing opposition among many previously uninvolved voters and political independents. Members of Congress, especially those in closely contested districts, saw this firsthand when they returned home in August.

The administration's problems have been compounded by tactical mistakes. Allowing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to push for a Democrat-only bill shatters any claim Mr. Obama can make to bipartisanship, a core theme of his candidacy. Leaving the legislation's drafting to Congress has tied the president's fortunes to Mrs. Pelosi, who has a 25% approval rating nationwide, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, whose approval rating is 37% in Nevada.

About Karl Rove
Karl Rove served as Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush from 2000–2007 and Deputy Chief of Staff from 2004–2007. At the White House he oversaw the Offices of Strategic Initiatives, Political Affairs, Public Liaison, and Intergovernmental Affairs and was Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, coordinating the White House policy making process.

Before Karl became known as "The Architect" of President Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaigns, he was president of Karl Rove + Company, an Austin-based public affairs firm that worked for Republican candidates, nonpartisan causes, and nonprofit groups. His clients included over 75 Republican U.S. Senate, Congressional and gubernatorial candidates in 24 states, as well as the Moderate Party of Sweden.

Karl writes a weekly op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, is a Newsweek columnist and is now writing a book to be published by Simon Schuster. Email the author at Karl@Rove.com or visit him on the web at Rove.com.

Or, you can send him a Tweet@karlrove.
.Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.) was inartful but basically correct when he said if Mr. Obama loses on health care, "it will be his Waterloo." It would destroy confidence in the ability of Democrats to govern. Mr. Obama knows this, which is why he will stop at nothing to get a bill, any bill, on which the label "health-care reform" can be stuck.

Given the Democratic congressional margins, Mr. Obama has the votes to do it, but at huge costs to him and his party. Legislation that looks anything like the bill moving through the House will contain deeply unpopular provisions—including massive deficit spending, tax hikes and Medicare cuts—and create enormous ill will on Capitol Hill. This will be especially true if Democrats rely on parliamentary tricks to pass a bill in the Senate with 51 votes. The public's reaction in August showed that the president is creating the conditions for a revolt against his party in the 2010 elections.

On the other hand, if Mr. Obama jettisons the public option, he may spark a revolt within his party. The Democratic base is already grumbling and could block a bill if it doesn't include a public option.

Presidents always encounter rough patches. What is unusual is how soon Mr. Obama has hit his. He has used up almost all his goodwill in less than nine months, with the hardest work still ahead. At the year's start, Democrats were cocky. At summer's end, concern is giving way to despair. A perfect political storm is amassing, and heading straight for Democrats.

Mr. Rove is the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #293 on: September 03, 2009, 11:38:19 AM »

One of Pres. George W. Bush worst off-teleprompter moments, Nov. 30, 2004 just after reelection he said: "I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style."  From that moment on he accomplished nothing domestically and then lost the house, the senate and the Presidency for his party.

Pres. Obama also needed a little humility in the job, instead adopted a larger than reality view of himself, his popularity and his agenda.

See if this chart comes through regarding the most important problem people see.  Throughout the decade, the economy and the wars were intertwined as number one even when the economy was going gangbusters and the wars were going terribly.  Then the Iraq situation improved and housing and financial sectors collapsed and the economy soared to 80% - by the nations most important problem.  Meanwhile healthcare hovered in single digits even during the campaign and the election, before the new President told us it was our biggest problem.  Then it still only soared to 20% which includes people like me thinking that defeating the current proposal is the biggest problem facing the republic.

Source: Pew Research
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ccp
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« Reply #294 on: September 14, 2009, 12:25:10 PM »

As of 08/31.  Awaiting to see what bounce he is getting and calling those who disagree with him the fringe, liars, deceivers, bogus and all paid off special interests:

http://www.zogby.com/features/featuredtables.cfm?ID=171
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Freki
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« Reply #295 on: September 14, 2009, 06:16:35 PM »

Good article about the 9/12 protests.  Great Pictures!

http://www.lookingattheleft.com/2009/09/conservative-woodstock-rocks-the-capital/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #296 on: September 14, 2009, 07:43:24 PM »

 cool cool cool
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ccp
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« Reply #297 on: September 16, 2009, 04:30:27 PM »

Of course the day after Obama's off the record calling West a "jackass" was publicized TIME CNN puts this out (No, of course they aren't on the OBama train):
 
What Presidents Say In Private: Bush and Obama Unplugged 
Posted by Michael Scherer
September 15, 2009 at 10:48 am 
ABC's Terry Moran looks kinda like a, um, donkey this morning, after reporting via Twitter that President Obama had called Kanye West a "jackass" yesterday, after West disrupted the MTV music awards in a typical fit of self-absorption. Obama's "jackass" utterance came during an off the record exchange with CNBC. ABC News has apologized for Moran's breach of protocol, announcing steps "to ensure that it will not happen again." (Will Moran lose his Twitter? Doubtful. He does it so much.)

Meanwhile, Bush aides are reportedly in white knuckle suspense over the revelations to come in an upcoming book, Speech Less, by former George W. Bush speechwriter Matt Latimer. Among the revelations, according to early leaks:

Bush says of Obama:

"He came in one day to rehearse a speech, fuming," Latimer writes. "'This is a dangerous world,'" he said for no apparent reason, "and this cat [Obama] isn't remotely qualified to handle it. This guy has no clue, I promise you."

Bush says of Biden:

"If bull---- was currency," he said, "Joe Biden would be a billionaire."

Bush says of Sarah Palin:

"I'm trying to remember if I've met her before. What is she, the governor of Guam?"

Bush says of Hillary Clinton:

"Wait till her fat keister is sitting at this desk."

Wam. Bang. Kaboom. The New York Daily News has more.

UPDATE: GQ has excerpts from the book here, including a great scene of disharmony in the White House in response to the financial crisis last fall.
Hours before the president was to speak to the country, Senator John McCain's presidential campaign informed Josh Bolten that McCain was going to phone the president and urge him to call off the address and instead hold an emergency economic summit in Washington. If the president did speak that night, the McCain campaign didn't want him to outline any specific proposal.Of course, this threw the proverbial monkey wrench into our plans—and at the eleventh hour. I overheard the president call McCain's plan “a stunt.” Dana Perino said the negotiations were nearly over, and suddenly he was going to swoop in and muck things up? The president's political adviser, Barry Jackson, was blunt, calling McCain a “stupid prick.” . . . .Bush seemed to feel considerable unease with the choice of McCain as well. I think he liked Romney best. (The rumor was that so did Karl Rove.) My guess was the president hadn't so easily forgotten the endless slights he'd suffered, but there was little he could do. To him, McCain's defeat would be a repudiation of the Bush administration, so McCain had to win. The president, who had quite a good political mind, was clearly not impressed with the McCain operation. I was once in the Oval Office when the president was told a campaign event in Phoenix he was to attend with McCain suddenly had to be closed to the press. The president didn't understand why when the whole purpose of holding the event had been to show Bush and McCain together so the press would stop asking why the two wouldn't be seen together. If the event was closed to the press, the whole thing didn't make sense.“If he doesn't want me to go, fine,” the president said. “I've got better things to do.”

Eventually, someone informed the president that the reason the event was closed was that McCain was having trouble getting a crowd. Bush was incredulous—and to the point. “He can't get 500 people to show up for an event in his hometown?” he asked. No one said anything, and we went on to another topic. But the president couldn't let the matter drop. “He couldn't get 500 people? I could get that many people to turn out in Crawford.” He shook his head. “This is a five-spiral crash, boys.”

CNN International 

© 2009 Time Inc. All rights reserved.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #298 on: September 16, 2009, 05:35:48 PM »

Reads rather plausibly to me , , ,
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DougMacG
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« Reply #299 on: October 08, 2009, 11:14:28 AM »

"U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will travel to three Central European countries to discuss ballistic missile defense infrastructure and bilateral security ties. The purpose of Biden’s visit is twofold: to reassure Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania that the United States is still a powerful security guarantor, and remind Russia that the United States has clout in its geopolitical backyard."

Russia must bee worried to see Obama send Biden to Poland, lol.

Yes, our very highest official to reassure our wonderful allies that we will never let down or sell out (sarc).  It is our very highest priority to reassure them of our commitment, after just blindsiding them with surprise missile defense site cancellations, but first Biden must attend his even higher priorities, visiting the home of MN Twins owner to raise 8k a plate for the DNC.  Who pays 8k a plate to dine with Biden that isn't looking for a corporate backscratching?  Pohlad owns hundreds of banks - I don't suppose their are TARP funds in the banking industry...

Joe Biden to visit Twin Cities next week
Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio  October 6, 2009

St. Paul, Minn. — Vice President Joe Biden will travel to the Twin Cities next Thursday for a fundraising dinner at the home of Robert Pohlad, son of the late Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad.  The Democratic National Committee and Organizing for America will host the $7,600 a plate fundraiser. 
This will be Biden's second visit to Minnesota since the inauguration. He visited a bus manufacturing facility in St. Cloud in March.
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Whoops, no mention of the layoffs that followed at that mfr where he bragged about 'stimulus' money and its coming affects on the local economies across the heartland.
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