Saturday, June 27, 2009


People had been waiting for President Obama to take a tough stance on Iran and he finally did. He revoked an invitation to Iran to attend a 4th of July celebration to which he had originally invited them.

Ahmadinejad, not to be outdone, seems to have gotten the last laugh, accusing Obama of meddling after Obama took heat all week for his tepid responses because he didn't want to be seen as "meddling".

It seems that the tougher events in Iran become, the more inadequate Obama's responses are exposed to have been and the more foolish he looks. He gave weak and tepid responses supposedly to keep the Iranian government from using it as an excuse to crack down on demonstrators and they crack down harder than ever anyway. He says he doesn't want to be seen as meddling and then is accused by Iran of doing just that. And as events continue to unfold in Iran, those trying to defend Obama's position reveal not only how weak his position actually is, but the rationale they use to defend his position exposes the weakness even more.

The latest example is a piece on CNN where the writer, once again, invokes the "walking a tightrope" analogy ( there is no tightrope, only one of Obama's own making) but takes it to another level of bizarre when she talks about the tightrope Obama must walk as being between, "U.S. interests and being on the right side of history".

Funny but I always thought that being on the right side of history was based on the interests of the United States and that the interests of the United States was always supposed to be on the right side of history. But I suppose when you are a media sycophant twisting yourself into a pretzel to defend a White House that has performed abysmally during the Iranian crisis, its any port in a storm.

From the beginning of the Iranian crisis Obama was never guided by principle, something we've seen repeatedly since he took office and was evident in the back and forth over the torture memos, prosecutions and photos. It cant even be said he was guided by pragmatism because there was no rational reason to think given the dishonesty and brutality of the current Iranian regime that there could be any effective and genuine negotiation.

And now, given events, any offer of negotiation by Obama would not only be a sign of weakness, it would in fact be weakness and Amadinejad knows it. In any negotiation it would be Obama who would need to come away with something to show the American people, and not Amadinejad who knows that too.

It always seemed to me that Iran's hinting at being agreeable to talks was a diplomatic trap that Obama hasn't seen, since to engage in talks with the United States and then break them off or refuse any compromise and let the status quo remain would only strengthen the hand of Ahmedenejad and make Obama look weaker.

But getting tough on Iran now and imposing harsh economic sanctions would, if Obama did want to negotiate,at least give Obama something to give -- easing of sanctions -- in return for a nuclear deal.

Ahmadinejad's statement accusing Obama of meddling and warning him to stay out of Iran's affairs is only the latest example of how ineffectual and wasteful Obama's approach has been since Obama's tepid responses to the plight of the demonstrators in Iran was supposedly to keep him from being accused of "meddling". And now he has the worst of all worlds. And that's what happens when you shirk from acting on real principles and behave only like a politician instead of being a real leader.


Monday, June 22, 2009


Protestors and demonstrators in Iran took to the streets defying orders from the Ayatollah Kahmanei to stay off the streets and were heard chanting "Death to Kahmanei".

What most observers who understand internal Iranian politics are saying is that what we are now seeing in Iran is unprecedented. It is the single biggest taboo to challenge the authority of Iran's supreme leader and that is exactly what the demonstrators are doing.

The consensus among those who understand the culture and politics of Iran is the demonstrators have crossed a point of no return. Robin Wright, who has written extensively on Iran for years said on CNN that she believes Kahmanei is fighting for his political life. And she as well as others have said this is no longer about the election. It's become much bigger. It has become what the system of government in Iran is going to be.

And while other European leaders and even the US Congress have made their condemnation of the current government and their actions clear and have voiced clear support for the demonstrators, Obama has chosen to take the " I don't want to be seen as meddling" approach and has watched it all from the sidelines. As events in Iran become more dramatic, Obama's position has gotten to the point where it's becoming increasingly irrelevant.

Iran has already come out and condemned France, Great Britain and Germany for their "meddling" statements. So what does Obama think? That by trying to stay in the good graces of an oppressive and now murderous regime he is somehow going to affect change through negotiation?

Change is occuring within Iran without Obama.With the protestors having crossed a line of no return experts say it is not going to be possible for the ruling mullahs in Iran to hold onto power without unleashing the worst violence against their own people that the middle east has seen since Sadaam used chemical weapons to put down a revolt of the Kurds.

So one of two things are going to happen. Either the demonstrators are going to succeed in overthrowing the current government which has already become destabilized, or the conservatives in Iran will unleash an unprecedented bloodbath against the protestors. Either way Obama's position of trying to stay in their good graces for the sake of negotiation has become obsolete, a situation that neither he nor his advisors have been able to recognize.

The other argument being made for Obama's soft pedaling is he doesnt want to be used as a "foil" or an excuse by the current governement to unleash more violence against the demonstrators.

Is he kidding? All he has to do is warn Iran publicly against doing just that and make it clear publicly that the safety of the demonstrators is the responsibility of the Iranian government and that any attempts to use the United States as an excuse to commit murder or human rights violations against its own people will be just that -- an excuse.

To see and read and hear these fumbling excuses by the Obama Administration and Obama himself as to why he has chosen "not to meddle" in an unprecedented revolution by the moderates and liberals in Iran is too reminiscent of the ineptness of George Bush to be believed.

As events continue to unfold in Iran, Obama's position is becoming more and more absurd each passing minute.

The Congress, in response to what they saw as a tepid response from Obama overwhelmingly passed resolutions of support for the demonstrators and condemnation of the current Iranian government. In response, Obama yesterday decided to issue a statement that was stronger than those of the past few days. But his statement that " the whole world is watching" was still typical Obama -- stating the obvious, borrowing the chants of the anti-war demonstrators in the US in the 1960's and telling us what everyone has known for days and hardly needs to be pointed out --- yes the world is watching.

But Obama's decision to sit on the sidelines in order to preserve some future attempt at negotiating with the current regime has been usurped whether he likes it or not. There are already reports that anywhere from 19 to 150 people have been killed by government police and militia. If this continues and the present government cracks down harder on the demonstrators and the violence increases it will be impossible for Obama to "negotiate" anything with the current Iranian government if they succeed in quashing the revolution. Any outstretched hand to this government after a bloodbath will look like the worst kind of appeasement.

Yet all of this represents a golden opportunity for the United States. If the current government becomes destabilized or even toppled, that, and not Obama's "outstretched hand" to a government that chants "Death to America" would be the best chance of a non-nuclear Iran which would be a benefit to the world.

But so far Obama has not seized the opportunity. He insists on giving legitimacy to the current government..The world seems ready to line up against the current Iranian government and their actions as the statements of condemnation from other European countries have shown. Obama could be the one to rally them. Instead he doesn't want to "meddle".

People are taking their lives into their hands to stand up against a repressive government that poses a threat to the whole world and Obama is worried about Iran's reaction to his own response, which when one thinks about it, doesn't bode well for how Obama would handle negotiations with Ahmedenjad anyway.

It should be clear by now that there is a revolution taking place and so far, Obama's approach in trying to preserve a "negotiating" position with the present oppressive government has made him look weak and foolish. Events in Iran will make any attempts at negotiating with the current government impossible in the future. Instead Obama should try and seize this opportunity to rally and lead the rest of the world to condemn the actions of the Iranian goverment . He could call for new supervised elections. He could do a lot of things but he isn't.

The revolution has started without him. Millions of Iranians are demanding change and putting their lives on the line to try and achieve it. .But so far it doesn't seem like change Obama can believe in.

UPDATE: Not to put too fine a point on this, but today (Sunday June 21) Hillary Mann Levit a former foreign policy advisor to the Bush Administration in an interview with CNN said that Obama's earlier statements and his "not meddling" position was the right one to take. She went on to say that his first statement saying that there was no difference between Ahmedenjad and Mousavi and it made no difference to him who was also the right thing to say.

History has shown that George W Bush was without a doubt the most inept and incompetent President in history. He was wrong on every foreign policy decision he ever made and when you have one his advisors saying that Obama has done the right thing, that alone should give Obama cause to reconsider.

Friday, June 19, 2009


For days since the results of the Iranian elections, hundreds of thousands of protestors have taken to the streets to protest what they believe was a rigged election in Iran. So far seven protestors have been killed by the government police of Ahmadinejad.

As demonstrators have taken to the streets, Ahmadinejad has cut off cell phone service to prevent text messages, pictures and video from cell phones showing images of the demonstrations from getting to the outside world. He has banned international media from covering the demonstrations..And demonstrators have been beaten, arrested, and imprisoned and are risking life and limb to be on the streets protesting what seems obvious is a dishonest outcome.

And what has been President Obama's response to all this? His response came from p.15 of the Politician's Handbook of Hackneyed Responses. He said he was "deeply troubled". Not exactly awe inspiring.

He also said, as demonstrators were being shot and killed, that it just wouldn't do for the United States to "be seen meddling in the affairs of Iran." This practically redefines the expression, "mealy mouthed".

So why doesn't Obama want to make statements that might seem like he is meddling in the affairs of country that is now in turmoil over what may have been a rigged election that keeps a lunatic dictator in power? Is he afraid that if he speaks out too forcefully Ahmadinejad won't take his phone calls? Is he afraid Ahmadeinejad will get mad at him and wont meet with him if he offers an unconditional meeting? What exactly does Obama think is going to happen if he speaks out forcefully on the side of democracy and the Iranian demonstrators? That Ahmedinejad will accuse him of meddling?

Ahmadinejad himself doesn't seem too concerned about being seen as meddling in the affairs of another country when he threatens to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Maybe Obama doesn't want to meddle in that either. But as hundreds of thousands of Iranians take to the streets defying the tyranny of Amadinejad and the forces in Iran responsible for what is certainly a rigged election, Obama says he doesn't want to be making statements that would be seen as "meddling".

Not exactly a beacon of courage and democracy. But here is what Obama could have said.

"Even by the official count, more than 14 million Iranians voted for Moussavi and hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Iranians are taking to the streets to protest what they believe was a rigged election. It is up to the responsible parties in Iran to investigate and prove to their own people, that either the election results were completely fair and accurate or, if they find that there were any irregularities or fraud as the demonstrators believe, to hold new free and fair elections".

Now does that sound like meddling?

Of course President Obama did say he believed that voices must be heard and every vote must count ( as long as you don't live in Florida and Michigan and vote against him in a primary) and one has to wonder if being the product of a rigged Democratic convention that secured his nomination, has made him a little gun shy when it comes to protesting too much over a rigged election in Iran.

But so far his response to the turmoil in Iran and the uprising of so many of its people over what looks like a stolen election and a protest against a dictator who is a threat to the rest of the world, has been less than inspiring, Chris Matthews goose bumps over Obama's speeches notwithstanding.

The White House has tried to portray this as a "balancing act" with President Obama walking a tightrope. Nonsense. If he is walking a tightrope it is one of his own choosing for reasons that have no real substance other than perhaps he doesn't want to get Ahmedenejad mad at him. It has no diplomatic value.It is just someone afraid to take a stand.

So if being"deeply troubled" is all President Obama can muster, if that's all he can give the Iranian demonstrators, if he continues to watch the demonstations in the streets as the protestors stand up to Ahmedenejad, maybe there is something they can give him. Courage.
UPDATE: On Saturday June 20th, Obama decided to issue a more forceful statement concerning Iran, perhaps feeling the pressure and the criticism for his original tepid response. And given the last statement I made about perhaps the demonstrators would give Obama the courage to speak out, part of Obama's new statement referred to the courage of the demonstrators. So maybe they did.
The Congress also chose to speak out on Friday passing overwhelming resolutions in both houses, condemning the government of Iran for it's crackdown on the demonstrators and expressing solidarity with the protestors demonstrating on behalf of democracy.
Perhaps this has made Obama feel like he is being left out of the loop. Either way he has now decided a little meddling is in order.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


According to a new book on the Obama campaign, written with his cooperation, its reported that Obama during the primary battle with Hillary Clinton, called Bill Clinton a "bald faced liar".

That is somewhat amusing considering that if anyone checks Obama's record during the primary one would come to the inescapable conclusion that Obama was probably the most blatantly dishonest candidate to run for President since Richard Nixon.

Candidate Obama was caught in more lies during his primary campaign than any candidate in memory but the press simply chose to let him get away with it because they had an agenda and no amount of truth was going to interfere with their agenda. In fact it became so ludicrous Saturday Night Live did a satire on it.

For those who don't remember, Obama was caught red handed lying to the people of Ohio when he told them that, if elected, he would get rid of NAFTA. while at the same time sending an emissary from his economic team to the Canadian Embassy in Chicago to tell them to ignore what he was saying publicly, that it was all political posturing. The notes of that meeting were leaked to the Associated Press and became public and Obama and his campaign invented story after story, each proving false about who that emissary was and what he was doing there until facts made any more lying about it impossible. Had there not been an obvious cause celebre among the media to elect Obama, that would have been enough to sink most candidacies. As it was he lost Ohio to Clinton in a landslide.

Obama was also caught lying every day for seven straight days about his relationship with Reverend Wright when news of Wrights anti-American sermons first broke. Something even more relevant now given Wrights recent anti-Semitic tirade about Obama "being controlled by the Jews". Obama lied consistently about what he knew about Wrights anti-American anti-white sermons until,as each fact became public, he had to change his story which he did by some accounts as many as seven times.

But, like Billy Mays, he wasn't done. During the primaries, Obama also publicly promised he would filibuster and vote against the FISA bill if it contained retroactive immunity for the telecoms who had illegally given information about their customers to the Bush Administration. Obama reneged on both promises, first not filibustering the bill and then actually voting for the bill he promised to vote against. Not surprisingly telecoms helped pay for renting out Invesco Field for his acceptance speech.

Obama also made a public pledge in an interview with a group of the country's newspaper editors in a round table interview, to use public financing if he were the Democratic nominee. To underscore the point even made the pledge in writing and signed it. He reneged as soon as he had the nomination.

So what would cause someone with a track record like Obama's to call a former President a bald faced liar? It was Obama's assertion that his opposition to the Iraq invasion proved he had superior judgement that Clinton called a "fairy tale" that seems to have gotten under Obama's skin the most. Probably because Clinton was absolutely right and Obama was angry about the possibility of exposing one of his cornerstone campaign points as fraudulent.

Obama's assertion was based on the fact that when he was a state senator he publicly opposed the Iraq invasion. But the problem with his position is that his reasoning had nothing to do with questioning the intelligence that turned out to be false. There were many good reasons to question the validity of the intelligence that Bush used as a justification to invade, especially considering the source -- George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. But Obama never questioned the validity of the intelligence. Instead he opposed the invasion on the grounds that it would create hostility towards America from Muslim countries.

The problem with that assessment is that had the intelligence been correct, that would have been the worst reason in the world not to invade Iraq. You don't compromise the national security of the United States because other countries wont like what you do.

The other reason that Obama's assertion was completely bogus was that at the time of the vote he was not in the US Senate, he was not exposed to any of the classified national security briefings given other Senators, many of which turned out to be bogus, (and which need to be investigated by this Congress) that indicated Sadaam was a threat to the United States. Obama was 1000 miles away, like a football fan watching it all on TV and making his calls from his arm chair without any relevant information.

Bush and Rice were telling the American people that we couldn't wait for the UN weapons inspectors to finish their work because we couldn't take the chance that "the smoking gun could come in the form of a mushroom cloud". That was completely bogus but none of this factored into Obama's position on why we shouldn't invade Iraq.

Obama's assertion that he had the judgement to oppose the war and that events proved him right, is every bit the fairy tale that Clinton said it was. When Obama did get to the Senate he voted for every war resolution sent to the Senate when he could have voted against it as some did.

There were 13 Democratic Senators like Carl Levin who voted against the original war resolution who can claim they had the judgement to know from the beginning the invasion was not justified and was a mistake. Barrack Obama was not one of them.

Obama calling Clinton a bald faced liar may simply be what many psychiatrists call projection, when a person feels on the defensive after a truth they are in denial about gets exposed and then projects the flaw in their own character onto other people.

Though I haven't read the entire book,based on some excerpts the book sounds more like something you'd get from a vanity press. It was supposedly written with Obama's cooperation attempting to emulate the Theodore White book "The Making of the President" about JFK. But if anyone decides to write a completely honest account of the 2008 Democratic primary campaign, in the end it might end up being seen as "The Unmaking of the President".

Friday, June 12, 2009


The answer to health care reform is simple. How to pay for it may be more complicated but what needs to be done isn't.

It's a government run single payer universal health care system which can stand side by side with current insurance plans for those who want to keep them.

Obama has lately come out in favor of such a single payer system side by side with private insurance, but it wasn't that long ago that he opposed it.

In a town hall meeting more than a month ago in response to a question about health care reform Obama said that "while the present system is not what we would want if we were starting from scratch it's the system we have and it's the system I will work with." Meaning he was more interested in making changes in the present system than initiating universal health care.

Now Obama seems to have reversed himself (so what else is new?) as polls show most Americans favor the universal single payer system. Certainly most doctors who aren't concerned with their own financial bottom line first, favor it.

But Obama still can't be trusted to follow through. Any change in the political wind can blow Obama along with it. But Congress can be trusted to do what the majority of Americans want them to do. The ball is really in their court anyway, and Obama is much more of a rubber stamp regarding health care since it's a bill that will come out of congress, and is something that has been on the Democratic Party agenda for 15 years. Whatever comes through Congress simply needs Obama's signature and it will get it.

The Republicans oppose a single payer system because it will put a big dent in the profits of insurance and drug companies. And they will be out in force with their usual brand of hollow and unsubstantiated scare tactics.
They have said that a public option is a deal breaker, but so what? Obama wants them on board for political cover but in reality they are not needed. And besides, they had 6 years controlling all branches of government and another two as a substantial minority and everything they did was a disaster. There is no need for bi-partisanship and the Republicans have shown they can't be trusted either to do what is in the best interests of the country.

This is what John Bohener said about a universal single payer system:

"Listen, if you like going to the DMV and you think they do a great job, or you like going to the post office and think it's the most efficient thing you've run into, then you'll love the government-run health care system that they're proposing because that's basically what you're going to have."

Actually I think the post office does a pretty good job so that isn't going to work for them. And any DMV is a state run agency so Bohener can't get his beaucracies straight. But this is the way Republicans think and who can blame them? They are so inept at running anything, their vision of anything run by the government is a disaster. But only if they run it.
By their reasonng you would think that NASA is just bumbling inept buracracy. I'm sure Boehner thinks the photographs from the Hubble telescope are just a mess.

How much Republican noise will influence Obama though, is hard to tell. But the way to insure a single payer system as an option is for people who support it to let their members of congress know.

There is an alternate plan being discussed called co-ops which would be privately run by its own members, like a food co-op, as a replacement for a single payer system. It is a bad idea and mostly cosmetic. It is designed more for the benefit of the insurance and drug companies and a compromise with Republicans and it should be rejected. In fact based on their track record, anything the Republicans like should be rejected until it's shown that what the Democrats do fails.

For now, people need to take matters into their own hands. They need to take everything Obama says with a grain of salt or aspirin, and most importantly, if they want real healthcare reform, call their member of congress in the morning.

Monday, June 8, 2009


On May 12th a group of doctors and nurses were thrown out of a Senate hearing on health care reform when they got up to protest the hearings. What they were protesting was, that not a single witness before the committee was there to advocate universal single payer health care which is the only real kind of health care reform that matters and is the kind that is in place in most other western countries.

One doctor who was part of the protest and was ejected shouted "this is a sham!" while another shouted, "why isn't a single payer at the table"?

Single payer universal health care is the one that the majority of the American people want according to polls. It is the reform that the insurance companies and drug companies don't want. '

So what does it say about Obama and his approach to health care that, so far the Senate Finance committee has held three hearings on health care reform and to date there has not been one single witness advocating a single payer universal health system? Instead the only witnesses have been the health care industry,the drug companies and insurance companies, the same people who stood behind Obama when he announced his laughable and pathetic "breath through" by insurance companies to limit the amount of increase in their premiums by 1.5% a year. As I wrote when it happened, as a step towards health care reform it was more disappointing than the secret message from Little Orphan Annie to buy Ovaltine in A Christmas Story.

Chuck Idelson who represents the California Nurses Association who advocates a universal single payer government run system said, "Somehow the advocates for nurses and doctors have been shut out of the process. They're hearing from businesses, insurers and even the Heritage Foundation, but not from the people who actually provide health care to patients."

This is largely due to Obama and what has been his approach to health care which is why I had been writing that the way to get the kind of universal health care that is meaningful, is for each person to let their member of congress know what it is they want and insist on it.

The doctors and nurses who stood up in protest did so because the only witnesses being heard from were those who created the problem in the first place.

President Obama had made it clear that he didn't support universal health care which is the what most health care providers support and most Americans want. As I pointed out more than a month ago, Obama said in a town hall meeting that he would work with modifying the present system. He conceded the present system "is not the system we would want if we were starting from scratch but its the system we have and the one we will work with". This is change you can believe in?

The basic problem with health care in the United States is that health care costs are market driven and based on capitalistic principles which have no place in health care. Its as stupid a system as privatizing police and firefighting.

It all comes down to one simple idea -- when you have a system that doesn't make a distinction between a doctor of orthopedic surgery and Dr. Pepper you have a problem. And the insurance companies,hospitals and drug companies have turned health care into big business making healthy profits, not people, their first priority.

It is going to be up to individuals to let Obama and their own members of congress know that single payer universal health care is the system they insist on, not what Obama has been offering which is more snake oil than a real overhaul of the health care system.

Health care providers protesting Senate hearings on health care reform says more about Obama's approach than anything else. Most of them advocate a single payer universal system. Anything less is exactly what those protesting doctors say it is
-- a total sham.

And when the Republicans begin their onslaught against universal health care on behalf of the drug and insurance companies, they will call it "government run" health care. But its not. There is a difference between "government run" and "government paid for".

When it comes to health care reform its time for people to do what they've always done -- take the advice of their doctors, not Obama's and not the Republicans. Health care should be more about healthy people than healthy profits.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Newt Gingrich apologized for calling Sonia Sotomayor a racist because of remarks she made in 2001, which if read in context do not in any way display even a shred of racism. Gingrich's attack was ludicrous,even ridiculous and he backed off and essentially admitted as much by saying he made a poor choice of words.

But Gingrich succeeded in doing one thing. He made fools out of a lot of people. The first person he made a fool of was of course himself but his apology now takes him off the hook. The second was a group of people who go by the term of "journalist" who jumped all over Gingrich's remarks for the sake of controversey.

This was done relentlessly at CNN who discussed, analyzed, reported, and got constant reactions to Gingrich's remarks pretending they were anything but ludicrous and empty. And they did it because it suited their purposes to stir controversy over Sotomayor. Now of course with Gingrich admitting he went overboard CNN is left with egg on all their faces for giving credence to the ridiculous accusation in the first place although CNN didn't miss a beat talking about Gingrich's apology as if they knew all along his accusation was nonsense.

But the person Gingrich made a fool of the most was Barrack Obama, who when faced with having to defend his court nominee in the face of an empty, vicious, uncalled for, ludicrous and dishonest charge of being a racist, essentially caved in and gave credibility to the attack by saying Sotomayor had used a poor choice of words in her 2001 speech. In other words, it was her fault.

Now, in admitting he went overboard with his attack and that it was uncalled for and retracting it, Gingrich has shown up Obama as someone who just folded in the face of the most empty kind of political pressure and who virtually defended Gingrich's over the top attack by placing the blame on Sotomayor and her "poor word choice" in 2001.

So while Gingrich has now apologized and retracted his remarks, now its Obama's turn. He should stand up and publicly apologize to Sotomayor for being so spineless in the wake of the attacks made by Gingrich, Limbaugh and Tancredo and he should tell her "as clearly as he can", that he hopes she will display more courage as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court than he did in defending her nomination against a ridiculous Republican attack.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


It didn't take long after Obama chose Sonia Sotomayor as his Supreme Court nominee before Newt Gingrich went to work doing the only thing he knows how to do with any real expertise -- throw mud.

Gingrich was joined in his attack on Sotomayor, calling her a "racist", ( we all know Gingrich was up nights in the 60's wondering what he could do to bring about racial equality) by Tom Tancredo, another former Republican congressmen and Rush Limbaugh.

The Republicans know that the news media are suckers for attacks and mud slinging no matter how specious and unjustifed (can anyone spell "impeachment"?) and mud is something the news media always loves to play in.

CNN as always took the bait on the "racist" charge, not because it has any credence but because CNN has been wanting to promote a "battle" for Sotomayor's confirmation from the beginning and this fit the bill. And CNN has been the mud pit ever since.

What seems to almost comically go over the heads of CNN and "the best political team on television" is what looks suspiciously like the Republicans playing "good cop,bad cop" since the mud slinging is coming from former Republican members of congress like Newt "I hate to be ignored" Gingrich and Rush Limpbaugh, ( no, not a typo), while current members act like they are shocked, shocked, that anyone would call Sotomayor racist. So Gingirch calls her a racist and McConnell says the language is over the top and he doesn't agree with it.

But it's pretty obvious that Gingrich, Limpaugh, and Tancredo have been sent out to do the dirty work in what looks like a coordinated attack, while Orin Hatch, Jeff Sessions and Mitch McConnell publicly throw up their hands and say "not me, I didn't say it", then hold their hands up to the camera to show everyone how clean they are.

Obama so far, has not done Sotomayor or Senate Democrats any favors either, doing what he does best -- ducking responsibility and controversy. His tepid attempts at defending Sotomayor took the form of suggesting that maybe Gingrich, Limpbaugh and Tancredo's attacks were understandable and if only poor inarticulate Sonia had just used better words like he does there wouldn't be this problem in the first place. In other words, the way Obama sees it, it's all Sotomayor's fault.

If CNN had any real journalistic standards they wouldn't have given so much air time to the attacks by Gingrich, Limpy and Tancredo in the first place. After all none of them have votes in any of this and in the end nothing they have to say matters. Except CNN was hoping for a "battle" over Sotomayor and Gingrich and Limpy threw them a bone and they took it. So CNN has been hosing down the mud pit every day making the mud easier to throw and roll around in and even at times getting in the mud pit themselves.

They had a hilarious sort of round table "discussion" between Tony Harris, Rick Sanchez and Dana Bash,trying to "analyze" Sotomayor's remarks which obviously the Republicans saw as an opening to start throwing the mud and make themselves heroes to the "angry white male" constituency they need to get anyone elected dog catcher.

But the more Harris, Sanchez and Bash spoke the more ridiculous it became with Sanchez going so far as saying, "well gee maybe she meant it as a joke". Sure, Rick. Atta boy.

Anyone who read her remarks in context knows there wasn't a shred of racism in them.If we had had the kind of "racism" that Sotomayor supposedly was representing in her remarks we never would have needed a civil rights movement.

She correctly pointed out that not until 1972 had the Supreme Court ever ruled in favor of a woman bringing a discrimination suit. Its hard to imagine that would have been the case had there been more women on the court who might have applied the 14th amendment a little more equally and a little more wisely.

Sotomayor's remarks needed no defending, but Obama gave credence to the accusations of "racist" by suggesting the fault was hers saying she should have stated it differently, and then Robert Gibbs in a press briefing talking about "her poor word choice".

Reports are that Sotomayor has had the small knife Obama put in her back successfully removed though it still hurts when she laughs. On the other hand it could take her a bit longer to wash off all the mud that Obama and CNN have allowed the Republicans to sling at her and in some ways have joined in and thrown themselves.

UPDATE: As of 9:56 a.m. eastern Newt Gingrich issued a statement backing off his original charge of "racist" against Sotomayor and taking it back, saying that calling her a racist was too strong. No thanks to Obama and his non-defense defense, who Gingrich in the same statement, pointed out had given some justification to his original remark by saying that Sotomayor had used a poor word choice.

Gingrich's statement now takes heat off of Senate Republicans who no longer have to deal with his remarks, while at the same time making a fool out of Obama who gave some justification to Gingrich's original accusation.