Obama's first 100 days II

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Unionist

Here's the next paragraph - is this for the religious folk?

Quote:
Obama does not intend to call for the repeal of the Dickey-Wicker amendment, which bars the use of federal funds to conduct research on embryos directly.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

No, I just think Obomba loves the name Dickey-Wicker so much he's reluctant to get rid of the amendment.

LeighT

i just wish people would be respectful

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Jay Leno did his Monday night headlines routine tonight. He ended with this one:

Republicans Turned Off By Size Of Obama's Package

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

NorthReport wrote:

This should be good as Rove is going to testify under penalty of perjury.

Just to put this little nugget of "good news" (no. 26 above) into perspective:

Quote:

There has been a flutter of congratulatory noise in some quarters about the recent "compromise" brokered by the White House regarding Karl Rove's criminal refusal to heed Congressional subpoenas requiring his testimony on the Bush Administration's transformation of the Justice Department into a goon squad targeting -- and imprisoning -- political opponents.

Whereas mere mortals can go to prison for ignoring a Congressional summons, Rove has been allowed to roam free, appearing on national television, writing for national publications, and carrying on his life's work of polluting and degrading the nation's political culture. This unelected, porcine bullshit-slinger is apparently so powerful that the new President of the United States felt compelled to step in and negotiate the very gentle terms under which said porcine polluter would deign to appear before Congress.

This whole spectacle, by the way, is yet another stunning example of what a completely lawless state the United States of American Empire has become -- at least for those in the bosom of imperial power. Think of it: a legally binding subpoena from the Congress of the United States is blithely ignored -- a clear act of criminal contempt. But the scofflaw suffers not the slightest penalty. Instead, he is serviced by the most powerful institution in the land, which intervenes to make sure his appearance before Congress holds no dangers for him. He is to appear in private, will not have to answer any questions about the most important point at issue -- George Bush's involvement in the Justice Department scandal -- and he will not be required to testify under oath. (It is all very much like the remarkable conditions under which his former boss "testified" to the 9/11 Commission.)

This is the deal brokered by the current administration, with Obama's hand-picked White House counsel, Gregory Craig, and his aides playing a "critical role," as Newsweek reports.

 [url=Source:">http://www.counterpunch.org/floyd03062009.html][u]Source: not the New York Times[/url]

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Quote:

It is tempting to defend the president and congressional Democrats when Republicans set out to destroy and make illegitimate their electoral victory. Republican legislators in Missouri and Tennessee have publicly questioned Barrack Obama's American citizenship, joining up with the right wing "birthers" who continue to make hay out of an issue that is dead to everyone else. When CNBC attacks the Obama stimulus plan while neglecting to mention that it served as a lying mouthpiece for failing financial services companies, it is easy to want to take the Obama side.

The attacks are insidious, and are meant to weaken Democrats' ability to pass legislation that has already been eviscerated by a misguided desire for bipartisan comity and the Democrats' usual propensity to be spineless. Yet for all the storm and fury playing out on cable news networks, it is important to know that none of this drama really matters. The corporate media always prefer sensationalism and distraction over substantive news reporting. Democrats should be less upset about Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh rants and more upset because the economic crisis is showing the tip of a very deep iceberg and because Obama doesn't want them to look below the water line.

The economic meltdown will continually worsen and it will do so in large part because the Obama administration will not do what it needs to do in order to stop it. The financial system could be saved if the nation's military budget were to be drastically reduced.... Americans cheer because Obama proposes the type of high speed rail system that has existed in Japan and Europe for decades. There are no resources left for innovation when defense spending eats up the budget. It is truly pathetic to celebrate when "the greatest country in the world" finally catches up to the 1970s....

When Republicans attack the Obama administration remember that Democrats could have done the same thing to George W. Bush. Even in the minority, Senate Democrats had enough votes to hamper any and all Bush administration initiatives. They refused to do it and now the Republican minority has no qualms about showing them the art of political war.

[url=Margaret">http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/freedom-rider-when-republica... Kimberley[/url]

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Unionist wrote:

This is amazing:

[url=Obama">http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7925240.stm][b]Obama renews Zimbabwe sanctions for one more year[/url]

... the continuation, without amendment, of the foreign policy of G. W. Bush.

Quote:

By extending for another year U.S. sanctions against Zimbabwe, Barack Obama has removed all doubt that his Africa policy is essentially the same as George Bush's: regime change and the deliberate creation of so-called "failed states." It is the same story in Somalia, Sudan and the Congo, where Obama's Democrats pursue identical objectives to Bush Republicans: to undermine and overthrow any African government that does not bow to Washington's will, and to encourage the effective dismantling of inconvenient African nation-states. This is imperialism in the raw.

[url=Glen">http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/obamas-african-policy-same-g... Ford[/url]

Unionist

Another historic departure from Bush's foreign policy:

[url=Obama">http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7941031.stm][u]Obama renews U.S. sanctions on Iran[/url]

Quote:

The US sanctions against Iran would have lapsed without Mr Obama's formal notice of renewal.

"The actions and policies of the Government of Iran are contrary to the interests of the United States in the region and pose a continuing and unusual and extraordinary threat," Mr Obama's message to Congress said.

 

DrConway

You have to admire the man's chutzpah in claiming that Zimbabwe's a threat to the USA in any way.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Are Obama's speeches being written by a computer?

[url=Obama">http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7925240.stm][u]Obama on Zimbabwe:[/url]

Quote:
These actions and policies pose a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States

[url=Obama">http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7941031.stm][u]Obama on Iran:[/url]

Quote:
The actions and policies of the Government of Iran ... pose a continuing and unusual and extraordinary threat..

[thanks to Unionist for the links]

Unionist

M. Spector wrote:

Are Obama's speeches being written by a computer?

Yes, a neo-computer.

 

NorthReport

Obama says if you want to blame someone, blame him. Laughing

 

 Obama Accepts Blame for AIG Bonuses

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123742582093579655.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

 

DrConway

Maybe he should start clamping down a little more on those fatcats who just can't resist getting their grubby little fingies in the federal till, long after such attitudes have become socially unacceptable.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Obama will be the first sitting US president to appear on a late night talk show - he's on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno at 11:35 pm tonight. Yes, I'll be watching. Maybe I'll post a running commentary.Wink

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Heard on the radio that tonight on the Leno show Obama will make a poor choice of words about the Special Olympics in reference to him bowling a 129.  Looking for a link.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Quote:

It was then, according to Olbermann, that Obama said the 129 was akin to a score in a Special Olympics competition. Olbermann, live on the air this evening, said his producers were watching the feed of the Tonight Show taping. The AP says Obama's remark was that the score was "like the Special Olympics or something."

Olbermann guest Craig Ferguson, of CBS-TV's Late Late Show, said the White House may want to beg NBC to cut that comment from the Tonight Show broadcast.

 

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2009/03/64385677/1

NorthReport

DrConway wrote:

Maybe he should start clamping down a little more on those fatcats who just can't resist getting their grubby little fingies in the federal till, long after such attitudes have become socially unacceptable.

 

I agree.

Why are they not identifying the person that shoved these AIG bonuses through.  

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

These AIG bonuses represent only about 1% of the federal bailout money.

Funny nobody seems to care about what the company plans to do with the other 99%.

Unionist

M. Spector wrote:

These AIG bonuses represent only about 1% of the federal bailout money.

Funny nobody seems to care about what the company plans to do with the other 99%.

That's an issue to be handled by financial experts - viz., the ones who are getting the 1% in bonuses.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Obamas to Plant Garden on White House Lawn

excerpt:

For more than a decade, food activists have rallied, cajoled, even pleaded for a vegetable garden on the White House lawn. Now they're finally going to get it.

Today, first lady Michelle Obama will host a groundbreaking for a White House kitchen garden on the South Lawn. She will be joined by students from Bancroft Elementary in Northwest Washington, , whose participation in the project will continue past today, as they help with planting in the coming weeks and harvesting later this year.

The 1,100-square-foot garden will include 55 kinds of vegetables, including peppers, spinach and, yes, arugula. (The selection is a wish list put together by White House chefs.) There will also be berries, herbs and two hives for honey that will be tended by a White House carpenter who is also a beekeeper. The chefs will use the produce to feed the first family, as well as for state dinners and other official events.

(the Prez will be on Leno's show in about ten minutes...)

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Good grief. Garth Brooks is going to be the musical guest! Yell

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

band leader Kevin Eubanks in a horrible suit! Yell

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Leno was going to have the VP come out and say a few words, but it's only an hour long show...Laughing

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Everyone's Simon Cowell  :)

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Leno is wasting time talking about AIG and the bonuses. Isn't there other things to talk about already!!! Yell

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

RevolutionPlease wrote:
Everyone's Simon Cowell  :)

That was a good one = Washington is like American Idol.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

"commonsense regulation in the financial markets, including credit cards"

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Obama sounds like a smart guy - he seems to have a good understanding of the financial problems and what to do. He exudes confidence I must say.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Yes, he fools a lot of people that way.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

He does seem almost human.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

"If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog".Laughing

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Quote:

Professor Michael Hudson ([url=CounterPunch">http://www.counterpunch.org/hudson03172009.html][u]Cou..., March 18[/url] ) is correct that the orchestrated outrage over the $165 million AIG bonuses is a diversion from the thousand times greater theft from taxpayers of the approximately $200 billion "bailout" of AIG. Nevertheless, it is a diversion that serves an important purpose. It has taught an inattentive American public that the elites run the government in their own private interests....

Yet, Obama's White House economist, Larry Summers, on whose watch as Treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration financial deregulation got out of control, invoked the "sanctity of contracts" in defense of the AIG bonuses.

But the Obama administration does not regard other contracts as sacred. Specifically: labor unions had to agree to give-backs in order for the auto companies to obtain federal help; CNN reports that "Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday [March 10] that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance"; the Washington Post reports that the Obama team has set its sights on downsizing Social Security and Medicare.

[url=Source[/url]">http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts03192009.html][=mediumblue][u]So...

Unionist

[url=Obama">http://www.cbc.ca/arts/tv/story/2009/03/20/obama-apology-disabled.html][... apologizes for crack about Special Olympics[/url]

Quote:

Toward the end of the approximately 40-minute taping of the Tonight Show in Los Angeles, Obama spoke about how he was becoming better at bowling and was practising in the White House bowling alley.

"I bowled a 129," he told Leno.

And then he added: "It's like the Special Olympics or something."

The White House released a statement shortly after the gaffe to clarify the president's comments.

"The president made an off-hand remark making fun of his own bowling that was in no way intended to disparage the Special Olympics," said White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton.

"He thinks the Special Olympics is a wonderful program."

 

 

Ghislaine

Unionist wrote:

[url=Obama">http://www.cbc.ca/arts/tv/story/2009/03/20/obama-apology-disabled.html][... apologizes for crack about Special Olympics[/url]

Quote:

Toward the end of the approximately 40-minute taping of the Tonight Show in Los Angeles, Obama spoke about how he was becoming better at bowling and was practising in the White House bowling alley.

"I bowled a 129," he told Leno.

And then he added: "It's like the Special Olympics or something."

The White House released a statement shortly after the gaffe to clarify the president's comments.

"The president made an off-hand remark making fun of his own bowling that was in no way intended to disparage the Special Olympics," said White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton.

"He thinks the Special Olympics is a wonderful program."

 

 

 Special Olympian, Kolan McConiughey, says [url=http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/WeirdNews/2009/03/20/8826836-ap.html] he can beat the President [/url] at bowling and challenges him.

 Not a very nice comment by Obama - pretty dumb actually.

NorthReport

Administration Seeks Increase in Oversight of Executive Pay

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/22/us/politics/22regulate.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

The new rules will cover all financial institutions, including those not now covered by any pay rules because they are not receiving federal bailout money. Officials say the rules could also be applied more broadly to publicly traded companies, which already report about some executive pay practices to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

During the presidential campaign, Mr. Obama repeatedly urged regulators to adopt new rules to give shareholders a greater voice in setting executive pay for all public companies. And last month, as part of the stimulus package, Congress barred top executives at large banks getting rescue money from receiving bonuses that exceeded one-third of their annual pay.

The regulatory plan is being put together ahead of the meeting of the Group of 20 industrialized and developing nations in London. The meeting, which begins April 2, is expected to be dominated by the global financial crisis and discussions about better oversight of large financial companies, whose problems could threaten to undermine international markets.

An important part of the plan still under debate is how to regulate the shadow banking system that Wall Street firms use to package and trade mortgage-backed securities, the so-called toxic assets held by many banks and blamed for the credit crisis.

Officials said the plan would also call for increasing the levels of capital that financial institutions need to hold to absorb possible losses. In a sign of the economic system’s fragility, officials said the administration would emphasize that those heightened standards should not be imposed now because they could discourage more lending. Rather, they would be put in place after the economy began to rebound.

 

Jingles

[url=http://wsws.org/articles/2009/mar2009/bonu-m21.shtml]Obama maneuvers to protect Wall Street bonuses[/url]

Quote:
During the presidential campaign, candidate Obama joined with the Bush administration in opposing any serious executive pay restrictions in the original TARP bailout legislation. As president elect, he lobbied to block attempts to attach meaningful compensation limits in the congressional authorization for the second $350 billion installment of TARP funds. And his administration intervened in the final stages of congressional action on his economic stimulus bill to sanction bonuses at AIG and other firms receiving government cash by exempting bonuses agreed to before the February 11 enactment of the stimulus legislation from limits on executive compensation.

Quote:
The real attitude of the Obama administration was spelled out by the Wall Street Journal, which reported Friday that "privately, there's concern within the Obama administration that the angry political atmosphere now surrounding the federal bailout program will scare away private participants the government needs to help bolster the financial system."

The newspaper added that administration officials "are looking for ways to blunt the bill's impact if it becomes law..."

 

Quote:
Yet, Obama’s White House economist, Larry Summers, on whose watch as Treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration financial deregulation got out of control, invoked the “sanctity of contracts” in defense of the AIG bonuses. But the [url=http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22262.htm]Obama administration[/url] does not regard other contracts as sacred. Specifically: labor unions had to agree to give-backs in order for the auto companies to obtain federal help;

wage zombie

I agree with M. Spector that the bonuses are a red herring to distract from the rest of the plunder.

BUT--it is the Republican hacks who are making a stink about the bonuses, not the Obama administration.  So whose red herring is it? 

banned

So whose red herring is it? The bankers, the federal reserve. It is a private bank. research it, it will blow your mind. 

wage zombie

oh my mind's been blown, the federal reserve is most certainly not our friend.

Doug

As completely unsurprising an outcome as this is, it's still going to piss a lot of Americans off:

There was plenty of outrage on Capitol Hill last week over the executive bonuses paid out by AIG after getting federal bailout money. But another money trail could make voters just as angry: the campaign dollars to members of Congress from banks and firms that have received billions via the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/190363

Ghislaine

I am interested in how NorthReport will spin [url=http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE52L19G20090322?feedType=RS... this [/url]:

 

Quote:

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez said on Sunday his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama was at best an "ignoramus" for saying the socialist leader exported terrorism and obstructed progress in Latin America.

"He goes and accuses me of exporting terrorism: the least I can say is that he's a poor ignoramus; he should read and study a little to understand reality," said Chavez, who heads a group of left-wing Latin American leaders opposed to the U.S. influence in the region.

Chavez said Obama's comments had made him change his mind about sending a new ambassador to Washington, after he withdrew the previous envoy in a dispute last year with the Bush administration in which he also expelled the U.S. ambassador to Venezuela.

"When I saw Obama saying what he said, I put the decision back in the drawer; let's wait and see," Chavez said on his weekly television show, adding he had wanted to send a new ambassador to improve relations with the United States after the departure of George W. Bush as president.

In a January interview with Spanish-language U.S. network Univision, Obama said Chavez had hindered progress in Latin America, accusing him of exporting terrorist activities and supporting Colombian guerrillas.

 

 

 

NorthReport

I don't know who else heard Enright's interview this morning with the guy who was talking about the bailouts and all the guns in the USA. For 99% of us, if we screw up in business we pay the price by losing our financial shirt and by even going bankrupct. Not for people like the Wall Sreet executives. It almost seems like the more they fuck up the more government money is provided to them in bonuses and other perks. These incompetent business gurus are being rewarded for very bad behaviour. 

I think there will be a financial recovery because the alternative would be one of the bloodiest civil wars that ever took place on our planet. 

 

Friendly fire: NYT hits Obama

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20325.html

Jingles

I think the AIG guys deserve their bonuses. After all, they succeeded in siphoning off billions and billions from the federal treasury. They did their jobs brilliantly, and deserve every penny Obama gives them.

ceti ceti's picture

There is a rising tide of anger and angst about Obama's Wall Street cronyism from both right and left. Whether he is beholden to Wall Street, is an actual agent of financial capital, or is just as tone-deaf as his godawful economic team, is where the debate lies.

Check these stories:

Matt Taibbi

Frank Rich

David Michael Green

Paul Krugman

 etc...

Regardless, the man is creating a perfect Weimar-like storm for the rise of fascism in the US.

DrConway

The Obama Administration would have had a great red herring to wave in front of the US population by ruthlessly trashing the Republicans in every forum possible and going after all the Bush Administration for war crimes trials, because all that ready-made fodder would have distracted peoples' attention from the constant miscues and screwups being made regarding the bailouts and illicit misuse of taxpayer funds which were handed over in good faith to the likes of AIG.

Now, of course, if Obama does go ahead with it, he'll be rightly accused of trying to deflect attention from a national crisis, so the man can't win by trying that trick now.

It would still give me unbounded pleasure to watch every high-level cabinet member, along with Cheney and Bush, being crammed into a courtroom to be tried for violations of the Geneva Convention, as well as for negligent acts leading to the murder of all the soldiers sent into Iraq who have died since going to that country.

Such a trial would be a humbling reminder to all future Presidents that accountability for their actions is not simply mealy-mouthed platitudinous crap they'll never have to deal with.

 

ceti wrote:
Regardless, the man is creating a perfect Weimar-like storm for the rise of fascism in the US.

Speaking of this: You're likely right. The Republicans already had a nice trial run at creating their own stab-in-the-back legend by creating all kinds of lies and falsehoods about the Clintons, and that tactic did work to the extent that it poisoned US politics (and to some extent, international politics, as well, since the US's economic policies tend to drive the rest of the world's) to the point of legitimizing open verbal warfare as acceptable political discourse.

Now, Obama may be creating a chance for them to have a second kick at the can. You know what the Repubs will say in 2012 - they'll whisper that a black man wasn't competent to be a US president and that he ran the country into the ground. They're already gearing up for something like it by hauling out all that crap about how the government is the problem, not the solution, never mind that luminaries like Krugman have explicitly pointed out that it *is* the solution, but then he's a mental giant compared to those moronic mouth-breathing troglodytes that think giving tax cuts to rich people and kicking everybody off welfare is sound economic policy.

One way or another, the Repubs'll try to come back on a falsehood and a lie that the Democrats stabbed the USA in the back. And enough people still believe anything a Republican has to say that they might just win at the ballot box in 2012.

I am starting to fear for the future of Canada and the USA if this happens.

 

Jingles

Quote:
illicit misuse of taxpayer funds which were handed over in good faith to the likes of AIG.

There was no misuse. The Bush/Obama joint administration knew then and know now exactly what they are doing. The very same people are responsible, and the very same banks benefit. The only good faith was that Goldman Sachs can count on Obama to drive the getaway car.

Ghislaine

The best part of all of this that Obama received over $100,000 in campaign donations from AIG.

Did anyone else read about Obomba's [url=http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20339.html] appearance on 60 minutes [/url] last night?

 

Quote:

His remarks came in a“60 Minutes” interview in which he was pressed by Steve Kroft for laughing and chuckling several times while discussing the perilous state of the world’s economy.

“You're sitting here. And you're— you are laughing. You are laughing about some of these problems. Are people going to look at this and say, ‘I mean, he's sitting there just making jokes about money—’ How do you deal with— I mean: explain. . .” Kroft asked at one point.

“Are you punch-drunk?” Kroft said.

 Shocking that a reporter has actually asked him a somewhat tough question!

 

 

wage zombie

Jingles wrote:

There was no misuse. The Bush/Obama joint administration knew then and know now exactly what they are doing. The very same people are responsible, and the very same banks benefit. The only good faith was that Goldman Sachs can count on Obama to drive the getaway car.

OK--so what i don't understand is why Bush's biggest backers have spent the last year doing everything they can to slag Obama.  Is it all just theatre? 

Jingles

Bush's biggest backers all supported Obama over Mcain. Ironically, Obama's worst critics were the Clinton camp.

Otherwise, it was the two bit hucksters of the Fox media level left to slag Obama over meaningless triva, in order to keep up the appearance of "democracy". 

wage zombie

Links please.  Which backers supported Obama over McCain?

 

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