Tuesday Mid-Morning News and Views

A confused-looking President Obama meets with NSC chief Denis McDonough about failed underwear bombing

Good Morning Conflucians!!! Dakinikat has jury duty this morning and Riverdaughter is tussling with the charts at Survey Monkey, so I’m going to get us started today with a few links to stories that interested me this morning. As always, post your own choice links in the comments.

First up, Joseph Cannon has provided more information and background on the Afghan bombing that I was speculating about yesterday. My head is spinning after reading that, but I plan to keep following this story anyway.

President Obama has finally returned from vacation and will be getting updated on all the latest crotch-bomber intel, according to CNN.

Obama will meet with FBI Director Robert Mueller, Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano Tuesday, an administration official told CNN.

Obama will get an update from Mueller on the FBI’s investigation. Obama will get information from Holder on the prosecution of the suspect in the botched Christmas Day airline bombing. And he will get an update from Napolitano on her review on detection capabilities, the official said.

After the meeting, Obama will make public statements about his findings and an initial series of reforms to improve the country’s ability to thwart future attempts to carry out terrorist attacks, according to the official.

The president met with Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan for 90 minutes on Monday and is scheduled to meet with him again Tuesday, the official said.

And then I suppose Obama will be headed back to the golf course?

Mickey Kaus wants to know: Wherein lies the greatness of Janet Napolitano?

She gave an awful public performance in the wake of the Flt. 253 terror incident–assuring air travelers that “the system worked” when the one obvious thing was that for whatever reason the system didn’t work, as President Obama acknowledged a few days later. She then seems to have panicked and pressed the “Friends, Save Me” button.

Then he links to a lot of articles by smarmy villagers like David Broder and MoDo defending Napolitano. Will she stay or will she go?

The U.S. embassy in Yeman is open again, according to the LA Times.

U.S. officials said they reopened the embassy today because a Yemeni counterterrorism operation on Monday “addressed a specific area of concern.”

Yemeni officials reportedly killed two and injured two suspected Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula operatives Monday. The Interior Ministry today said it had arrested five other “terror elements” in and around the capital and Hudaydah province.

The ministry said it had beefed up security measures around foreign embassies and residential districts favored by the international community in Sana, according to Yemen’s official Saba news agency. An unnamed official told Saba that security forces had imposed a “cordon” and round-the-clock surveillance around Al Qaeda militants.

Commenter Laurie posted this piece by John Pilger in the New Statesman: Welcome to Orwell’s world Pilger argues that the US is Oceania and I guess Obama is Big Brother. It would be hard to pick an except from this piece–you need to read the whole thing.

Here’s an interesting piece by Professor James Petras on how China and South Korea are beating the pants off U.S. in economic terms while our government focuses on military power and empire building.

The story told by the articles and headlines in a single day’s issue of the Financial Times reflects a deeper reality, one that illustrates the great divide in the world today. The Asian countries, led by China, are reaching world power status on the basis of their massive domestic and foreign investments in manufacturing, transportation, technology and mining and mineral processing. In contrast, the US is a declining world power with a deteriorating society resulting from its military-driven empire building and its financial-speculative centered economy….

[....]

To become a ‘normal state’ we have to start all over: Close all investment banks and military bases abroad and return to America. We have to begin the long march toward rebuilding industry to serve our domestic needs, to living within our own natural environment and forsake empire building in favor of constructing a democratic socialist republic.

When will we pick up the Financial Times or any other daily and read about our own high-speed rail line carrying American passengers from New York to Boston in less than one hour? When will our own factories supply our hardware stores? When will we build wind, solar and ocean-based energy generators? When will we abandon our military bases and let the world’s warlords, drug traffickers and terrorists face the justice of their own people?

What are you reading this morning?

HAVE A TERRIFIC TUESDAY, CONFLUCIANS!!!!!!!

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168 Responses

  1. Bringing this link over from the previous thread in hopes that Confluencers will take a look.

    An afghan woman needs help avoiding a forced marriage. She posted anonymously. It’s heartbreaking.

    http://awwproject.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/i-am-for-sale-who-will-buy-me/

  2. I can imagine that after each and every briefing meeting, Obama either assigns the task of decision-making to someone in his closest circle, or tells the other people in the room to “go forward and do what you feel is best; just be sure I know enough to explain it in my next speech.”

    I love BB’s prediction that he heads back to the golf course. Suppose he cuts through the vegetable garden to say “hey” to the perfect First Lady?

    • Obama seems to golf a lot more than Bush did even. I wonder if his game is improving at all. He’s supposed to be really terrible at it.

    • Methinks you give the Spokesmodel-in-Chief too much credit. He won’t know what he thinks until he gets his lines. The briefings are what’s known in show biz as a “read around,” where the actors read through the script draft so the writers and producers can hear how it sounds. In Obie’s case, it’s not even that, it’s just a photo-op.

      • It’s a pretty weak-looking photo. I guess the others were worse.

        • Do you think he could have posed any better for the picture?

          As if didn’t know he was being watched…”look at me, I’m actually working!”

          PFFFFTTTTT!!!!

    • Well, at lest he’s following one of his campaign promises. He did clearly state that he’s a big believer in delegation and that he would not be that detailed on day to day operations. That is, he’s going with the Reagan/Bush II model vs. the Clinton model. So it’s not like this is a surprise.

    • He certainly needs a lot of tutors.

  3. Well, it appears there won’t be any conference committee meetings between House and Senate on the HCR bill. Apparently, Reid and Pelosi don’t want any Repub participation in the process, since it’s now all about passing a bill in time for Obama’s State of the Union speech. So Reid, Pelosi and “the White House” will decide on the format of the final bill. So much for democracy in action.

    • They won’t be able to pass anything before the state of the union. The Republicans still have to vote on the bill.

      • hi, bb, thx for covering for me. There’s a wifi here in the jury lounge so at least I’m not totally thrown in this basement with no contact with the outside world.

        • Haven’t they rejected you yet? :)

          Yay for wifi!

        • Hey, I’m glad you could check in. Good luck getting rejected.

          • we’re just getting speeches now. First, a judge, now a clerk. I intend to tell any one in the jury selection process why I think any one that had any police work done by NOPD or the criminal sheriff probably had their civil rights violated in the process based on my experience and I’d let them off on that experience alone. believe me, any judge I can see is going to get an earful from me.

          • oh, lord the first one is a murder trial and they sending 50 people up there … first degree murder … won’t do death penalty so that’ll get me thrown out of that process

          • You tell ‘em, Dak!

          • If all else fails, wave your bitter knitting and yell “GUILLOTINE!”

            Defense’ll scratch you every time.

          • I’ve become quite good at getting rejected from juries. It scares the daylights out of me to have such a major say in something so critical to people’s lives. Everyone is innocent in my view….otherwise I risk living in terror that I sent someone to prison for something they didn’t do.

          • I’m great at getting rejected for jury selection. I always tell them something absolutely outrageous and come off looking like a lunatic ( well, I’m just being myself ). It has never failed.
            I have no sense of civic duty. :)

          • well, that was a 5 hour clusterfuck but I got my 5 minutes in a judge’s quarters with 2 DAs and one of my best friends who was the defendant’s public defender … it was a sexual abuse of a minor case, needles to say the asst DA’s let me go with cause once I said I see every nopd officer as mark furhman now

          • Nice work! Too bad there couldn’t be some questionnaire right at the start that could make that process more efficient.

          • I had to sit through a 1 1/2 hour lecture by the judge on 4 constitutional amendments first. I couldn’t believe it!

          • You should have told him that maybe he should be giving that lecture to the police instead.

          • That so crossed my mind. But I’ve already had the Orleans Parish Prison violate my civil rights enough for lifetime. This judge seemed very fond of the bill of rights but i think if I’d have exercised my first one he would’ve considered sassing a judge to not be included in the possible range of free speech.

      • The Repubs will be able to vote on the final bill, naturally; but they won’t be able to hold up the vote by drawing out committee proceedings. Reid and Pelosi still control the scheduling of what comes up for a vote, so they can certainly bulldoze through a bill. Just rushing to Democrat Armageddon.

      • If they don’t include the Repubs they then have to take complete blame for the aftermath! ;)

        • Jane Hamsher is a stupid sucker

          • Somebody yesterday was guessing that if necessary the GOPers will have Olympia Snowe vote for it to ensure it passes.

            They don’t want to block it, they are chortling with glee hoping it passes so they can use it against the Democrats.

    • I was just reading that Michael Green rant … the bit about the bill is priceless:

      This bill alone could mobilize legions of people to go to the polls and vote for whichever party didn’t do it, and I’m pretty sure the GOP won’t be shy about reminding Americans who that is. I mean, if Democrats were searching for legislation less likely to win them votes, why didn’t they just bring back slavery or the debtor’s prison? Why not come out for pedophilia? It would have been so much more efficient. At least they wouldn’t have spent the last year looking like idiotic bunglers who, in addition to sponsoring really unpopular ideas, also inadvertently left their testicles at the coat check and have spent the last thirty years trying to find their way back to the gala.

      • I found this comment (by a conservative, no less!) on that article insightful:

        As a conservative, I (obviously) disagree with liberal ideology, but with Obama something else is wrong.

        Most of my fellow “sociopaths” on the right think that Dennis Kucinich’s ideas are just plain bat poop nuts, but many of us kinda like the little guy anyway. He seems so sincere. You can just tell that he’s fighting for a better America (as he sees it) come hell or high water. I disagree with Kucinich, but I respect him.

        Obama is no Dennis Kucinich. With Obama, I can’t tell what he is fighting for. Is he trying to improve the country? Is he trying to help his party? Is he trying to build his legacy?

        I can’t tell what he wants, and I think that’s the key.

        Everyone was asking during the campaign “who is Barack Obama? What does he really believe?” It’s now a year into an Obama administration and people are still asking the same questions.

        I think it’s time we consider the increasingly likely possibility that we can’t find the answers because there aren’t any.

        We don’t know who he is because he hasn’t decided yet. We can’t tell what he believes because he doesn’t know either.

        He is eloquent, charming, highly educated and completely empty.

        by Robert Mayo (0 articles, 0 quicklinks, 0 diaries, 1 comments [3 recommended, 1 rejected]) on Monday, Dec 28, 2009 at 3:04:02 AM

        Yeah, we tried to tell them that – there’s no there, there, no moral compass at all. The perfect vessel for the handlers and behind-the-scenes powers to do their thing. That’s why they picked him, way back when.

        • The problem is not so much that the emperor has no clothes, it’s that the clothes may have no emperor.

          • Maybe, it’s because the emperor knows he has no clothes and still doesn’t care. Cuz what he does have is the power of being the emperor.

          • Maybe. I really think it’s that he’s an empty suit, hence an emperor without clothes, though. Michelle Obama, like her or not, has more substance when she talks. When Obama’s not doing one of his soaring lines, he just sounds like he’s reading the phonebook, and that only captures his fans who can watch him read a phonebook. The rest of us look at him and wonder–ok so you liked the way he delivered it but WHAT did he say?

            Take his joint address to Congress on health insurance reform, for example. What I took away from the speech was that Obama was not going to defend liberalism at all in the legislative process, that this was all kabuki to frame things a certain way and change the goal posts and make people happy with a mandate to buy insurance w/o real competition. Yet, the left swooned and the Rachel Maddows and the rest thought, while he wasn’t strong enough on the public option, he made “the case for reform” and delivered a defense of liberalism. They were hearing him read the phonebook and attributing substance/commitment to it where it didn’t exist.

            There was actually a really interesting line at the beginning, though. Where he said, “I am not the first President to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last.” That is key because if he is so determined to be the last, he should be determined to get it RIGHT and not just pass whatever he can get through that he can call “reform.”

        • Yes, lots of interesting comments. I liked this one:

          Obama hope

          I truly do feel sorry for those who placed their hope on Obama. Man, what a let down that must be!

          The dude is the same as Bush only he can say it better.

          by Trailing Begonia

        • Great comment. Of course, 1 reader rejected the comment :)

      • But, really, are you going to spend the next three interminable years perfecting your whiney victim persona? I don’t really think I could bear that. Hearing you complain about how rough it all is, when you have vastly more power than any of us to fix it? Please. Not that.

        LOL Prezidentin’ is hard work.

      • Yup. Mr. Green has finally had enough of Prez Hope and Change … he now feels now feels rage.

        I followed his posts for the last year plus and he started out as a Obama supporter who seemed very pleased w. Obama’s victory. Then reality came and he refused to remain in denial as many Obamafans have.

        The following reminds me of the kind of emotion Obama instilled in many on his non-supporters, except it happened for many already during the end of the Primary when many of us had more than enough of the Dem party and THE ONE and decided not to vote Dem etc. etc.

        It took Mr. Green a bit longer but no doubt his rage is 100%.:

        “How much rage? I find myself thinking that the thing I want most from the 2010 elections is for his party to get absolutely clobbered, even if that means a repeat of 1994. And that what I most want from 2012 is for him to be utterly humiliated, even if that means President Palin at the helm. That much rage.”

        Doesn’t that sound awefully familiar?

        • I just read another great article full of interesting bits by David Michael Green and I am sure others will appreciate it as well.
          Basically it is about the weak and wimpy Prez Obama and his Dem party … and the Perils of Passivity.

          How to Know You’re Toast (yes, he will explain that sad fact, too)

          The Perils of Passivity

          By DAVID MICHAEL GREEN

          I have to laugh – in-between the tears, of course – when I listen to regressives speak of the likes of Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi in terms of Stalinesque autocrats or thuggish mafia bosses.

          I’m pretty sure that the elites who propagate this nonsense through mouthpieces such as Limbaugh or Beck know just how absurd and contradictory to pesky reality those assertions are. But the regressive hoi polloi – as idiotic and ill-informed a bunch of bots as you’ll find anywhere this side of the Borg – well, they eat this stuff up whole hog.

          It’s really astonishing, because I can hardly think of three wimpier or more politically anemic drenched noodles than these Democratic buffoons, along with the rest of their pathetic pity party. And also because America actually has had some pretty tough progressives in its history. Harry Truman would eat Harry Reid for breakfast, and still be hungry again before lunch. Lyndon Johnson could teach Barack Obama a few (thousand) things about how to move a legislative agenda through a balky Congress, and it wouldn’t involve getting his ass kicked by Joe Lieberman, I can tell you that. Franklin Roosevelt would surely be able to school Nancy Pelosi on the finer points of national leadership. … read on

          http://www.counterpunch.org
          Januar 4

          (P.S. thought the following so v. true Dem noodle description is worth repeating :-):

          “…because I can hardly think of three wimpier or more politically anemic drenched noodles than these Democratic buffoons, …

          • Harry, Nancy, Barack, and Howie didn’t wimp out when it came to throwing the old coalition under the buss.

            “Failure is a feature not a bug.”

    • http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/74297-c-span-asks-dems-to-televise-health-negotiation

      C-SPAN has asked them nicely to please let them bring cameras into the meetings so there is some transparency from the Dems.

    • I just read that Brian Lamb has offered Cspan for this meetings of the minds. I doubt that there will be any takers.

  4. Government workers salaries at new highs and also bankruptcies of many American citizens are up.
    Uppity woman has a post about it.
    I guess close enough for government work is paying better today.

    WOMEN WITH INTELLIGENCE AND EXPERIENCE,MEN WHO SUPPORT THEM AND COUNTRY BEFORE PARTY ALWAYS

    PUMAS,BUBBAS,EQUALISTS AND THOSE PEOPLE RULE

    • I was amazed when the salary increases for government workers went through with almost no comment. I could see the 3.4% for the military (separate legislation). I definitely do not begrudge our military given what we ask them to do. But government workers all get fat pensions, great benefits and annual “experience” increments, not to mention opportunities for salary class upgrades, plus they have jobs. They get a 3.4% increase when the Fed determines there is actually a decrease in the cost of living and no increases for Social Security folks who get hit with increases in their medicare payments costs.

      I think that increase is greased because there are a lot of top dogs who are connected to it too.

  5. PS

    Those government salary increases are not for the people who are in the military and are fighting and leaving families that now need food stamps or the National Guard who were working in good paying jobs before being deployed over and over again.

  6. The Prez needs to button his shirt. What a slob.

    • I hadn’t noticed. Thanks catarina! :smile:

    • First thing he did was lower the dress code of the oval office to business casual. Well, maybe that wasn’t actually the first place he diminished the office….not caring about the people at all was.

      • I would have no problem with a Prez wearing shorts and a T-shirt in the Oval Office providing (1) said Prez was not receiving visitors so dressed or otherwise on public view and (2) said Prez was working her/his butt off and felt more comfortalble and therefore more productive without the suit, the tie,the heels, etc..

    • Oh, but he’s working hard – sweating up a storm, needed to loosen his collar :?

      • In his golf polo shirt….more likely he just raced in for the photo op and was actually asking the man, “does this look serious enough; I’ve got a tee time, you know.”

  7. Rasmussen on the MA special Senate election:

    A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the state finds Coakley ahead of Brown 50% to 41%. One percent (1%) prefer some other candidate, and seven percent (7%) are undecided.

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections2/election_2010/election_2010_senate_elections/massachusetts/election_2010_massachusetts_special_senate_election

    • I’m surprised Brown is doing even that well. It is Rasmussen though.

      • Brown generated quite a bit of buzz over the holidays with a controversial ad that used footage of a JFK speech.
        The Democrats were livid. Which generated more buzz.
        Coakley has been pretty scarce, except to smear him.

        Since promising to vote against the health care bill if elected, national groups have been sending Brown money.

        If he wins I’m opening the “good champagne.” :-)

        Maybe I’ll open it anyway..

        • Coakley blew it bigtime by saying she would vote for the bill. She should have stuck to her guns and told the DNC to go to hell.

          • Coakley’s flip flop was a mistake and she deserves to be called out for it, but I also think the political reality is crap right now and she would have been in for a SHIT STORM had she gone against the bill. None of her colleagues in the Senate, not even Al Franken have the guts to go against it. Nobody wants to be tarred and feathered as the one to destroy O’s presidency.

          • No one can serve two masters. She decided to serve the party, not the voters, so she’ll be the first to face the consequences.
            I hope it serves as a warning to the rest of the dimcongresscritters who are thinking of voting for this.
            November will be a bloodbath for them of this passes.

          • this is going to pass… hope the voters do make them pay for it.

          • Even Bernie Sanders supported the POS “health care reform” bill.
            That was the last straw for me.
            I agree with Wonk. This bill has come too far for it not to pass now. We’re all going to pay for it.

          • If just one of them stood up against it others would have followed but there doesn’t seem to be a leader in the bunch :mad:

        • I saw the ad and didn’t see anything controversial about it. Kennedy would probably be closer to a moderate republican on many policies that a dem today.

  8. Darwin Awards are out. Some of these are priceless.

    http://www.darwinawards.com/

    • One of my favorites was this one:

      But the “Dummies” series has gone too far, has jumped the shark, with this title. Pregnancy for Dummies. Do we really need to encourage dummies to reproduce…?

  9. Sally does her best “LEAVE BAWACK ALONE!” wail.

    Time for accountability at the White House
    By Sally Quinn

    One of the first lessons any administration needs to learn is that somebody has to take the hit for whatever goes wrong. If another culprit is not identified, the president gets the blame. One incident after another in the past few months has shown that members of this administration would rather lay low and let Barack Obama be the target. This has got to stop.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/04/AR2010010402722.html

    • LOL When has he ever shouldered the blame? People are speculating over whether Napolitano will go.

    • More–

      Obama has had some real successes this fall. He did a masterful job of bringing together incredibly disparate positions to craft a strategy for Afghanistan. He put himself on the line and will probably come up with a reasonable health-care plan. He left Copenhagen with at least promises of cooperation from other world powers regarding climate change. But he is not getting credit that he deserves because he is being ill served by those around him who will not step up as needed and take the fall for him.

      What a joke. Nobody put gold stars on Barack’s paper. Whaaaa.

    • I loathe Sally Quinn.

      • Me too.

        She is always introduced on the tv as “a leading feminist” and I always throw something at the tv out of anger at her being falsely elevated to said position.

        She absolutely hated the hayseeds from Arkansas when they arrived in D.C., especially that woman that came with Bill.

        F*ck her and the jackass she rode in on.

        • I still remember Sally’s “our town” piece. Somehow Sally fancied herself to be above the Clintons, especially Hillary. To even think that, much less put it in print, makes it an impossible assumption and simply spotlight what an utter imbecile she is.

        • I am so relieved that I am not the only one who gets a visceral spasm of anger when I see her arrogant persona on some “news” show. I never understood her animosity toward the Clintons.

      • She’s probably mad that nobodies are crashing the A-list White House parties.

        • GMA had a photo of the third crasher this morning.

          Wonder if they all were being paid by others (the R’s, etc.) to show how lame the administration would be at security.

          They had a backup in case one didn’t get through.

      • The Clintons never invited Sally Quinn and hubby Ben Bradlee to a WH party. It was a social snub that was not to be forgiven.
        Sally knows how to hold a grudge.

        • iirc, Hillary declined an invite from Sally to some luncheon and that set Sally off to be vengeful in her column– that’s why she wasn’t invited to the WH.

  10. Democrats Reid, Pelosi ponder crafting Obama’s final healthcare bill behind closed doors

    Since it’s basically one-party rule in Washington nowadays, Democratic leaders including Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are seriously considering pushing President Obama’s beloved healthcare legislation through Congress without the normal conference committee work involving both party’s members from both houses.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2010/01/healthcare-senate-house-democrats-obama.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+topoftheticket+%28Top+of+the+Ticket%29


    Dems intend to bypass GOP on health compromise

    House and Senate Democrats intend to bypass traditional procedures when they negotiate a final compromise on health care legislation, officials said Monday, a move that will exclude Republican lawmakers and reduce their ability to delay or force politically troubling votes in both houses.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/ap/politics/2010/Jan/04/dems_intend_to_bypass_gop_on_health_compromise.html

    • Either Pelosi & Reid are eager to return to minority party status or (tinfoil hat on) BO has promised them a “paradigm changing event” before the midterms that will scare voters into voting Dem.

      • Perhaps Obama sees the upside of losing Congressional seats as being all the more easy to say he really wish he could do the things he said he would but Congress won’t let him.

        • Obama’s in a win-win whatever happens — he’s got a cushy job until 2012, after which he’ll probably run for King of Hawaii.
          But I can’t understand how Reid & Pelosi are being so suicidal.

          • I may be totally offbase but just don’t the impression that he has any motivation to promise them anything… I just sense a whole lotta inertia from him… nobody on the left wants to be tarred and feathered as the one to ruin O’s historical presidency–imho that helps to explain some of the self-destructive behavior of the Ds.

          • The “historic” presidency and the tremendous amount of money they expect him to raise explains almost all of it.

          • Oh yeah … they still think he’ll bring in the money.
            I hope he hogs the lobbyist funds and lets them rot. It would be so typical of him.

    • Basically one-party rule but they “pretend” the rethugs make them put in the nasties and take out the good.

    • They can not rename the bill: The Obama, Democrat Party Health Insurance Act.

      I think branding is important.

  11. Herbert continues on his Kool Aid detox—he populist advocacy is consistent these days:

    An Uneasy Feeling
    By BOB HERBERT

    This is a society in deep, deep trouble and the fixes currently in the works are in no way adequate to the enormous challenges we’re facing.

    What’s needed are big new innovative efforts to fashion an economy that creates jobs for all who want and need to work. Just getting us back in fits and starts over the next few years to where we were when the recession began should not be acceptable to anyone. We should be moving now to invest aggressively in a new, greener economy, leading the world in the development of alternative fuels, advanced transportation networks and the effort to restrain the poisoning of the planet. We should be developing an industrial policy that emphasizes the need for America to regain its manufacturing mojo, as tough as that might seem, and we need to rebuild our infrastructure.

    We’re not smart as a nation. We don’t learn from the past, and we don’t plan for the future. We’ve spent a year turning ourselves inside out with arguments of every sort over health care reform only to come up with a bloated, Rube Goldberg legislative mess that protects the insurance and drug industries and does not rein in runaway health care costs.

    Now we’re escalating in Afghanistan, falling back into panic mode over an attempted act of terror and squandering a golden opportunity to build a better society.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/05/opinion/05herbert.html?ref=opinion

    • That Hebert column pissed me off.
      The O Administration couldn’t possibly be part of the problem?

      You’re right Bob, you Obot jerk-we’re not “smart” as a nation-or this asshole wouldn’t have been elected president.

      • You’re right that there is some Obama apologia in there and shifting the blame to “everyone” — but electing Bush redux after 8 years of Bush really wasn’t one of our smartest moves as a nation. I often wonder why people did not learn anything from the media selling them Bush and the Iraq war and not see the pattern emerge again with Obama.

    • Hope Herbert doesn’t relapse. His stuff has been good lately.

      • I want Bob to grovel! :-)

        • lol! I still don’t trust him or any of the other Obot writers… just would rather read Herbert’s version of “everyone’s to blame” rather than Sally Quinn’s “everybody but Obama is to blame!”

          • that Sally piece was looking pretty gross.
            read a bit this a.m. and thought better of it.

        • I would love to see some all grovel! But I’m not holding my breath. Come the next election they’ll still be telling their readers to hold their noses and vote for the lesser evil.

  12. Much Talk, But Little Changed on Wall Street

    Some significant changes have been made, such as slashing Wall Street’s debt, scrutinizing compensation, simplifying financial products and potentially increasing surveillance of financial markets.

    But more than a year after Lehman Brothers, American International Group Inc., Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Washington Mutual collapsed or were saved by the government and financial markets swooned, it is striking how little on Wall Street has changed.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704876804574628863431014416.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsTop

  13. More flying pigs. Jeralyn on TL actually has a post titled “Obama and the War on Terror: Where’s the Change?”

    • The change is right where Jeralyn’s opposition to Biden on the ’08 ticket is.

    • These Obots crack me up.

      For gods sake JM, it’s an empty, meaningless slogan. Duh. One the hell did you see in Obama’s record that led you to believe he would do otherwise? I mean, it was fricken obvious.

      I just want to hit them all in the head and say wake up already.

    • I think I have the distinction of both having been a cynical person who did not believe in the whole “change you can believe in” nonsense (remember “not a dime’s worth of difference?”) who also feels cheated (making me a sucker). I thought that with the mandate he won in November 2008 – Obama would actually make a bigger difference. I was wrong. So I am a new species of citizen – the cynical sucker.

      And, BTD posted the above!! I do remember “not a dime’s worth of difference,” but it was between Hillary and Obama – NOT as being connected to “Change you can believe it”….that compares Obama to Bush. Sheesh….

      And, h/t to commenter, Anne, for the link to this gem of a post:

      http://www.regressiveantidote.net/Articles/Now_I'm_Really_Getting_Pissed_Off.html

      • On BTD’s bit about thinking with the mandate Obama would make a bigger difference. That’s not being a sucker. That’s ignoring data in front of your face. As with my comment about re: JM, what in his past record would lead you to believe any of that stuff? If he based all this on his speeches, then that’s stunning, and very sad, and well, frankly lazy. The data was there. The record, though slim, was there. The associations where right in front of our faces. It was clear who he was if you looked.

        And good point gweema, the dimes worth of difference was about the last two candidates for the nominee, between the real Democrat who everyone acknowledged could likely pull off a miracle like Bill did in the 90’s and someone with no record who surrounded himself with bigots and homophobes.

        And frankly, given how stunningly wrong he was about a dimes worth of difference, I’m not sure I would be bragging about that.

      • Good catch about the “not a dime’s worth of diff”

        The link is broken, though… I tried copy/pasting but still turns up “Not found.”

  14. Michael Steele says GOP not ready to lead:

    “I can’t give a number [of seats the GOP will win] yet, because like I said, we’re just now beginning to look at the races,” Steele said. Asked if GOPers will take back the House, Steele confessed: “Not this year.”

    “I don’t know all the candidates yet,” Steele continued, according to a transcript of the show. “We still have some vacancies that need to get filled, but then the question we need to ask ourselves is: If we do that, are we ready?”

    In fact, when Hannity followed up on the point, Steele said he doesn’t know if the GOP is ready to take back the reins of power.

    “I don’t know. And that’s what I’m assessing and evaluating right now. Those candidates who are looking to run have to be anchored in these principles,” he said, referring to 5 conservative ideals he lays out in his new tome. “If they don’t [anchor themselves], then they’ll get to Washington, and they’ll start drinking that Potomac River water, and they’ll get drunk with power and throw the steps out the window.”

    • I think a LOT of GOP challengers will be begging that woman in red to campaign for them. And Steele et al are afraid of that — they don’t want her proving her leadership.

      • The GOP establishment is scared to death they are going to lose their grip on the party entirely. It could happen this time and I’d love to see a populist rebellion succeed in the GOP.

      • Oh and a lot of that fear is of that woman in red.

  15. Interesting article about the MoveYourMoney initiative:

    http://tinyurl.com/yarefj4

    “Does Boycotting Big Banks Make Sense?
    No. (Sorry, Arianna.)”

    By Martha C. White

    “This is a great example of populist indignation made practical (HuffPo says it does its banking with a smaller bank that specializes in startups). It’s also a great example of why populist indignation shouldn’t drive policy. We get the outrage: The banks did something bad, so let’s spank the banks. But let’s also look at the math. Would it even be possible for the roughly 72 million American families who hold checking or savings accounts to appreciably diminish banks’ holdings just by closing their accounts?”

    • So basically this person is arguning that we’re powerless and have to kneel before Zod? Screw her, they would notice if the $38.5 billion in “fees” disappeared.

  16. If Coakley were to lose the special election in Mass. to the Republican, would that lose the 60th vote necessary to pass the health insurance lotto bill?

    • Yes, but I wonder if Reid would try to flip one of the senators from ME.

    • Yes and wouldn’t that be grand. Of course, the GOP might have President Snowe vote for it just to make sure it passes.

      • Coakleys not gonna lose, but my immediate thought was that someone would cut some deal to get Snowe to flip if that happened. Snowe’s only objection was the timing anyway.

    • Some detail on that latest poll Rasmussen MA Senate It’s a shame there aren’t more Independents in MA. Wonder if this shows the “enthusiasm” gap since Rasmussen uses a likely voter model?

      “Twenty-one percent (21%) of those likely to vote in the special election have a very favorable opinion of Coakley, while 22% have a Very Unfavorable view. For Brown, the numbers are 25% very favorable and 5% very unfavorable.

      Special elections are typically decided by who shows up to vote and it is clear from the data that Brown’s supporters are more enthusiastic. In fact, among those who are absolutely certain they will vote, Brown pulls to within two points of Coakley. That suggests a very low turnout will help the Republican and a higher turnout is better for the Democrat.

      Brown leads 65% to 21% among voters not affiliated with either of the major parties.

      • I hate to say it, but I wouldn’t mind seeing an upset there just so Dems would get a wake-up call. But even with her stand on the insurance, I’d like to see another woman in the Senate. What a horrible choice to have to make: a woman who might be pretty good otherwise but is on the side of Obama completely destroying the country, or a horrible repub who could even do worse. I’m glad I don’t have to make that choice.

        • Scott Brown-horrible??

          He’s in his third term as a State Senator, also served three terms as a State Rep, and prior to that he was a selectman in his town.
          Spending that much time in the MA legislature, he *gets* Bipartisan.

          His Dem constituents keep voting for him because he’s a good guy and he has consistently kept his promises. No flip flopping bullshit for Brown-it’s actually pretty amazing.

          Take that, Coakley, you lying snake! :-)

          Brown would make a great Senator. Too bad the brainwashed are more likely to vote against their own interests and elect Coakley.

  17. ayup!

  18. one of the most effective messages of the Brown campaign is that a vote for him could kill the health care bill. I can tell you it is resonating STRONGLY with pissed off Massachusetts democrats.

    if I werent committed to voting for the woman I’d vote for him just to attempt to derail obama(doesnt)care.

    • I’m glad I don’t have to face that choice.
      Here in PA all the incumbents on my ballot will be male. I’ll be happy to vote against them.

    • Doesn’t that message cut both ways though? The Obama/Kennedy people who don’t like Coakley will say, “well then I have to vote for her.”

      • The Obots still stupid enough to support the health care bill would have voted for Coakley anyway.

      • No, because Obots never have any obligation to do anything. They just create obligations for everyone else. You don’t understand the difference between generals and foot soldiers, Obamacrat style.

        • I wasn’t talking about the bots though. I was talking about old-fashioned party loyalists.

          • I don’t know about that–MA Dems aren’t always the brightest. :) I think they think health care will pass regardless, thanks to Snowe or somebody. And they may not be smart enough to figure that Brown is the next Romney–not repulsive, looks more moderate than he is, etc–and that once in, he’d be very hard to get out and cause a lot of problems for them, especially when he discovers his national aspirations and turned hard to the right. I don’t know. Part of me thinks Coakley brought this on herself by quenching her supporters’ enthusiasm and putting her in a position where she’s more dependent on Dems who didn’t support her in the first place, though I concede your point that destroying Obama’s Presidency as her first vote is a hell of a burden to put on someone after everyone else whiffed, including Franken and Sanders. So I feel sorry for her, but I don’t, and I’m angry, but Brown is a yutz, and…. Etc. :)

    • I can’t face voting for Coakley after her collapse. I don’t know what I’ll do.

      • what are your choices? You get a mediocre male or a mediocre female…. vote Girl power and hope we get more and more of us in office so we won’t have to compromise with the big boy gangs.

  19. OMG rofl… I just stumbled upon the new Big Cheeto “let’s finish health care reform right” banner. how long have they had that?

    • Oh and of course Markos left out the word CARE and just said “health reform”

    • Are those idiots actually supporting the bill? I never go to the big orange satan anymore so I have no idea.

      • they’re still on the public option push… the banner links to some dinky “let’s finish reform right” petition that pretty much says,”Dear Obamalosi, make healthcare affordable and hold the insurance companies accountable. You have our full support in addressing these issues before you sign something. Love, the left.”

  20. I was just thinking — this midterm is a great opportunity for PUMAs to flex their voting bloc power. I hope we can pick a few strategic candidates to support who will not be afraid to dance with us once elected.

  21. You have to watch this video of 0bama using a note to read from to order 4 snow cones in Hawaii. Imagine using a crib sheet to order a few snowcones!

    I guess it was impossible for the teleprompter to be set up for such a simple task. It makes one wonder about his brain. Is this a man with a brain problem? I thought 0bama was so freakin’ brilliant. Pathetic, if you ask me!

    • he needs a snowtus!!!

    • In all fairness he did it without TOTUS. What you expect him to do? Ad lib in front of all those cameras?

    • His attitude toward people is so aloof and superior. I don’t believe he even partially smiled when he spoke to anyone!

      Mobile teleprompter – I’ll bet he reads trashy romance novels to Michelle in bed so he doesn’t have to think of anything himself.

      • yes, aloof and superior. where I come from, we call those type of people snobs…..Snobama.

      • The Perils of Passivity will catch up with Obama v. soon.

        Re the bomber on the plane (note that weakling Obama waited as long as possible to acknowledge it publicly)
        David Michael Green wrote the following:

        “Undoubtedly the Obama administration could have handled the national hand-holding circus that follows such events a lot better than they did. He waited too long to say something, and when he did, it took his usual passionless form that could put the audience to sleep at a Rage Against The Machine concert. (Doesn’t this guy ever get pissed off at anything? He makes Mike Dukakis look like a meth-crazed pro wrestler by comparison.)”

        I never understood all this charisma talk re Obama. Always thought right from the start that he had no passion, and he certainly put me to sleep esp. during the Primary debates and after a couple Obama speeches you couldn’t pay me enough .
        During the debates Obama made Hillary look like a leader, for heavens sake. But if Oprah said he is the One, I guess then everyone had to follow the One. YAWN!!!

        P.S. I think the only time when he seemed “pissed off” was when he” acted “as if Hillary had done him so very wrong during the debate in S. Carolina. I still have it on tape. Well, it was carefully choreographed that way to make HC look bad so he could win over every single AA who still was on HC’s side. And it worked .

        • Hillary is NOT a leader? Who is your idea of a leader, Mitt Romney, George Bush?

          • Teresa,
            I am afraid you misunderstood my sentence re Hillary.

            I meant to say that Obama appeared completely weak and inexperienced compared to Hillary during the debates and that made her look even more like a leader.

            I read that sentence again and I can see that you could have understood it the way you did. But “for heaven’s sake” was supposed to emphasize the fact that she was a leader. And Obama not even the slightest bit.

            I write in several languages and sometimes when I am not in English mode for the day my posts lack the good writing :-))

          • okay, I wondered because the way I read it was this: “Obama was so bad that he made even HILLARY look like a leader.”

            No harm done = )

    • he’s very cold in that video… Snowbama indeed

    • When I was very young my father would take us to the ice cream parlor and order cones. He managed to remember what all of us (family of 4) wanted without a list. BTW, he had to quit school in the 1930s (Great Depression) to help support his widowed mother so he couldn’t fall back on his college degree.

  22. Pelosi to Lamb: We haz been transparent

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) defended Congress’ work on a healthcare bill Tuesday saying the process has displayed historic transparency as C-SPAN mounted an effort to open negotiations to TV cameras.

    C-SPAN wrote a letter to congressional leaders today asking that TV cameras be allowed to film negotiations to reconcile the House and Senate bills.

    Pelosi said Congress had been transparent throughout the process.

    “There has never been a more open process for any piece of legislation,” Pelosi said at a press conference.

    But she also hinted that holding informal negotiations–likely without TV cameras–might be the most practical way to push the legislation through.

    “We will do what is necessary to pass the bill,” she said.

    • Pelosi might be correct…”There has never been a more open process for any piece of legislation,” Pelosi said at a press conference.” I guess the in your face, closed door secret negotiations after the lobbyists craft the bill has been the norm. And it might as open a process as ever before….. Sad but maybe true.

  23. From Ann Lewis at No Limits:

    HILLARY SPEAKS ON WOMEN’S HEALTH THIS FRIDAY, JANUARY 8: TUNE IN!

    Every minute a woman dies from complications related to childbirth, pregnancy, or unsafe abortion. Nearly all – 99 percent – of these deaths occur in developing countries. And for every woman who dies in childbirth another 20 to 50 survive, but suffer from devastating injuries such as obstetric fistula.
    – EngenderHealth

    Hillary will speak about women’s health, and what we can do to reduce maternal mortality and save women’s lives this Friday, January 8th. Her speech marks the 15th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development, which adopted international goals for increased access to education, especially for girls; reductions in infant, child and maternal mortality; and support for reproductive health care. What are we doing to reach these goals – and what more can be done?

    Watch Hillary’s speech live from the State Department at about 2:30 pm EST on Friday! It will be streamed live or posted afterwards here.

    • Think we could get her to send a copy of that speech to Obama? Frankly, I’m starting to think she’s gonna be like Colin Powell as SOS. The country doesn’t need another good soldier at this point.

      • I’d be surprised to hear Obama give a speech where he talks about obstetric fistula. Favreau would have a helluva time trying to turn that into one of O’s both-and rhetorical zingers.

  24. “President Obama said that the United States had sufficient information to uncover the terror plot to bring down an airplane on Christmas Day, but intelligence officials “failed to connect those dots.”” NYT

    I don’t understand continuing to pay people who fail to connect dots while spending additional money for full body scanners to catch their mistakes/oversights. If the alphabet soup contingent can’t do their jobs, then use their pay packets to pay for the scanners.

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