Tuesday, September 28, 2010

White House whines and complains about Democrats whining and complaining

Recently Vice President Biden ( with obviously the full support of Obama) told Democrats that they should "buck up" and "stop whining" over their complaints about Obama's failures as the most dishonest, disingenuous, ineffective, politically deceitful, inept,unqualified convictionless and wasteful president the Democrats have ever had.

Obama then chimed in with this:

"The idea that we've got a lack of enthusiasm in the Democratic base, that people are sitting on their hands complaining, is just irresponsible," Obama told Rolling Stone magazine. "We have to get folks off the sidelines. People need to shake off this lethargy, people need to buck up.

Then there was Robert Gibbs whining and complaining about what he called "the professional left", obviously wishing that the left could be as unprofessional as the White House. And Obama's tepid speech in Wisconsin to a bunch of disillusioned students revealed more of why Obama has been so ineffective. He continued whining about Republicans not going along with his wishes. He talked about how he "hoped" Republicans would work with him. But leaders dont hope, they lead. And Obama is not a leader. As for wanting to work with Republicans to solve problemsm the question is why? Obama had the biggest congressional majority any president has had in 100 years. He didnt need Republicans. That he allowed them to block his agenda because they didnt want to play ball with him is his own fault, his own lack of convictions and his own political ineptness.

After Obama and Biden's latest salvo against Democrats ( most are sure to wonder why they havent been able to be as tough with Republicans) they may very well stop whining and feel even more motivated to join the 61% of independents who say they are so disgusted with Obama over what he's failed to deliver they will vote against Democratic congressional candidates or stay home as retribution. The number of rank and file Democrats ready to give Obama and Biden a "teachable moment" is growing which is putting Democratic congressional candidates in a real bind.

What's needed, as usual, is for Obama to simply do what he seems to be incapable of doing -- just stop talking. No one cares what he says anymore, and for good reason. It has been Obama who has been irresponsible and incompetent, putting the country and congressional Democrats through a year of unncessary political angst because he didn't have the backbone, conviction or political know how to take a stand against Republicans and get a public option passed using reconciliation in the summer of 2009 and then again in early 2010 when his lackluster healthcare bill was passed. It was Obama who watered down the financial reform bill which did nothing to get rid of derivatives, the instrument that caused the economic melt down in the first place. And it was Obama who didnt deliver on his promises to bring unemployment below 8% admitting that he "underestimated" the economic situation.

It is time for Obama to realize that he is the cause of the lack of enthusiasm, and his inept handling of his job, showing that he not only had no convictions, he had no backbone when it came to standing up to Republicans to get what was needed done. And his lying about having accomplished what he promised is only making Democrats and independents angrier.

Rather than admit his failures, admitting he hasnt been all that he hoped to be and asking for forgiveness and promise that with a Democratic congress he will do better, he and Biden whine about the lack of enthusiasm over the tepid "better than nothing" bills they passed when it was possible to do so much more.And they whine about Republicans standing in their way.

There will be real irony if Republicans gain the majority. From the beginning Obama has blown the biggest congressional majority any president has had in 100 years by kowtowing, bowing and capitulating to Republicans. Every tepid ineffectual watered down bill passed by the Democratic congress from healthcare to financial reform, was watered down and made toothless by Obama in order to try and curry favor with Republicans.

Since Obama has spent more time trying to mollify a Republican minority instead of putting to the best possible use the Democratic majority, and since its clear he doesn't have a clue as to what to do with such a large majority in the first place, instead always telling us how "hard" everything is to do, then it might be poetic justice as well as self-fullfilling prophecy for him to spend the last two years of his presidency dealing with a Republican majority ( anyone in the DNC who thinks Obama has any chance of being re-elected needs their heads examined) since he's acted like that's what he's had for the last two years anyway.

The only solution for Democratic political candidates in close races , the only chance for those Democrats in trouble, is to do what Russ Feingold did in Wisconsin -- distance themselves as far as they can from Obama and realize that voter disgust is not because the Democratic bills that were passed went too far or added to the deficit, but that they didn't go far enough. And that was because of Obama.

The other thing they need to do is send a message to the White House and tell them to just shut up. The more they talk the worse they make it, like Biden deciding this was a good time to thank George W. Bush for supporting the troops and giving him credit for the war that caused the bulk of the deficit. Then they turn around and accuse Democrats of "whining and complaining" simply because they are fed up with Obama's lack of character , his political disengenousness, his ineptitude and his well documented lying ( like the auto bailout saving GM from "liquidation" when "liquidation" was never even remotely a possibility or threat). And they just cant understand why Democrats are angry.

A really smart Democratic candidate for congress would immediately come to the defense of rank and file Democrats who Obama has accused of "whining and complaining" and point out that they have a lot to complain about and vow to change it,to stand up to Obama as well as the Republicans, and deliver what Democrats expected in the first place. Then there will be some real enthusiasm.

Democratic candidates need to acknowledge what is obvious to Democrats -- that Obama has been a catastrophic failure in executing his office, in not delivering on his promises, by always trying to play both ends against the middle with half way measures, and creating a long and documented record of lying and reneging. But then they have to promise that a Democratic congress now chastened by Obama's lack of convictions and failures will take the reins and get it done.

And then deliver on that promise. Even though it will leave Obama whining and complaining.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Dow had its best Sept. since 1939.So will the Democrats blow the best news they've had all year?

The latest figures show that the 8.6% increase in the Dow during the month of September was the best September showing, a month where the Dow usually is in the doldrums, since 1939.

Its news that any Democratic candidate and strategist could use to put a hammer lock on Republicans and turn the Democrats fortunes around. But so far Democrats have not shown that anyone except for Al Franken, Alan Grayson, Anthony Weiner and a few others know how to get tough, tell the truth, and stand up against both Obama and the Republicans which is what Democratic candidates need to do to get elected.

So here are a few tips to help Democratic candidates and strategists:

1. Beg Obama to shut up. Every time he opens his mouth he reminds people, especially independent voters who are turning against him, of all the promises he's reneged on, all the lying about what he claims he's accomplished, all his bait and switch tactics (healthcare reform became health insurance reform when he dropped the public option) half way measures on financial reform, the stimulus and everything else. The political reality is Obama has the credibility of a junk bond salesman and its about time Democrats realized it.

2. Do what Republicans do to win elections. Run on fear. Now that the stock market is showing strength and gathering momentum and the economy is at least growing albeit slowly, instill in voters the fear that the Republicans would derail the recovery and cause another economic train wreck.

3. Remind people again that Republicans are the source of the all the economic problems in the first place. Admit the unemployment problems are taking longer to fix than it should but blame the slow recovery on Obama's capitulation to Republicans, making the stimulus too small but point out that if Obama's capitulation to Republicans slowed the unemployment picture imagine what the problems would be if the Republicans were making policy.

4. Make the point that like the 1930's, the recovery of the market pointed to better times ahead and the fact that this September was the best since 1939 has both real and symbolic significance. Then ask the country if they want to let the Republicans undo the progress that's been made the way they undid all the economic progress of the Clinton years when they came to power in 2000, destroyed the balanced budget, blew a $5 1/2 trillion surplus and ground a booming economy to a halt.

5. Acknowledge Obama's failures and that while unemployment is still an issue a Democratic congress aware of Obama's mistakes will take the reins and do what is necessary to get people back to work.

6. Beg Obama to shut up.

7. Beg Obama to shut up.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Democrats: poltical strategist as oxymoron

With the elections a little more than a month away and the Democrats seemingly losing traction every day, one thing has stayed the same -- Democrats and Democratic political strategists don't seem to have a clue as to what to do or how to win.

Most refuse to acknowledge what is painfully obvious -- they are in big trouble for only one reason --Barack Obama and his half baked, convictionless presidency of disappointments and deceit, a presidency that has Democrats, moderates, liberals and independents, everyone from the Congressional Black Caucus to school teachers and liberal bloggers, fed up with him. And for very good reasons.

He makes policy that always puts his own political standing first, (or, to show how inept they are at the White House, what they thought would help his political standing) which is why he always sells out, pushes for half way measures, and has shown no real ability or even desire, political or otherwise to accomplish any of the things that people who voted for him had elected him to do.

I said in 2008 after hearing him speak a few times that he was a classic snake oil salesman who had nothing real to say, pitching himself as being "good for what ails ya" with nothing genuine in the bottle. He's proved that to be true. Even a former supporter like Matt Taibii of Rolling Stone accused Obama of a bait and switch on healthcare reform. But unfortunately many Democrats and 90% of the news media thought the color of his skin alone was what America needed. It wouldnt have made Martin Luther King happy.

Obama has sold out, watered down, or corrupted every major initiative the Democrats had promised in order to get Republicans off his back. And it seems everyone knows it but Democratic strategists and the candidates involved in the coming election. They wrongly think that people, especially independents are turning away from Democrats because they are buying Republican arguments. They arent. Its not the deficit that has caused a hemmorage in independent support, and it isnt the supposed health care reform or the stimulus. Its that none of these things worked because none of them went far enough because of Obama.

There are strong and compelling arguments Democrats can make for retaining control of congress but in continuing to prove that Democrats, and especially the White House makes the Marx Brothers look like Bill Clinton when it comes to politics, Joe Biden, recently making an appearance on The Colbert Report thought it was a good time to give Bush "a lot of credit" for supporting the troops. Biden's exact words were, " you deserve a lot of credit Mr. President".

This is how the White House thinks Democrats are going to win an election. And excuse me, but credit for what? For lying the country into a war it didn't need to fight? For initiating the first pre-emptive war in American history? A war based on lies and the fabrication of "evidence" of Sadaam's non-existant ties to Al-Qaeda to use as an excuse to go to war? Credit for a war they didn't pay for and cost the taxpayers $1 trillion over the last 8 years which exploded the deficit? For being the first president in history to go to war and cut taxes at the same time? For having the unpaid for war be accountable for $1 trillion of the $1.7 trillion deficit that the Republicans are now tying around the Democrats neck like a noose? Have you heard one candidate or Obama make this simple point? What the Republicans did by invading Iraq and the fiscal policies surrounding it alone could be used to discredit them.

So what is wrong with these guys? As Casey Stengel once said of the 1962 Mets, cant anyone here play this game?

Biden went on to say about Bush: "Mr. President, thank you. You've honored these guys. You've honored these women. You've honored these troops." Saying that a month before the congressional elections is certainly going to turn people out for the Democrats in the fall isnt it?
As long as Democratic politicians and their advisors and "strategists" continue to deny that their problem is Obama and the fact that it was his tepid half way measures that didn't go far enough to solve problems that is the cause of voter disillusionment, they dont have a chance.

Obama and his administration both politically and with policy, has made the staff of Mad Magazine look like a think tank, and if the Democrats dont admit it they are going to get whacked. Again not because the bills the congress passed went too far a Republicans try and sell, but because of Obama they didn't go far enough. If unemployment was 6 or 7% instead of close to 10% no one would care about the deficit and a bigger stimulus would have accomplished that.

The voters that elected Obama and a Democratic congress wanted and expected more. Instead what they got from Obama was the sell out of the public option and real healthcare reform because he couldn't stand the heat from Republicans, and the same with financial reform.
His stimulus was too little, because, like his Afghanistan policy, he was more interested in a half way measure to try and mollify both sides for his own political well being

According the latest Gallup poll only 25% of Democrats are "enthusiastic" about voting this year. And who can blame them? But this doesn't mean Democrats have to lose. They are compelling arguments to be made for keeping the Democrats in control of congress. Its having Obama in control that people are now "enthusiatically" against.

But how many Democratic strategists have the guts to say the way to win is to distance yourself from Obama? To say they too are disappointed and angry about the Presidents performance but vow not leave it to the president? The answer is none. But that is the only way Democrats retain control of congress.Whether they like it or not. Any Democrat in a relatively close election supporting Obama will likely lose. They will have all sides against him or her. Those who would oppose Obama no matter what, those Democrats who voted for Obama and are fed up, and those Democrats who didn't want him in the first place and are saying to the rest of the Democratic establishment, "I told you so".

There is the strongest possible case to be made that the best way out of the sagging economy is with a Democratic congress. A congress willing to take the reins from Obama and do it themselves. And to point out that given the Republican track record of total failure since 1993, the best hope to get the economy going is a Democratic congress, not a Republican one.

But the only way that message has credibility is to turn away from Obama.

If people accept that a Democratic member of congress understands and agrees with their anger and frustration over Obama's weaknesses and failures, the best case in the world can be made that a Republican congress would make it worse and that a Democratic congress no longer willing to let Obama set the agenda is the best chance the country has to recover from the economic problems the Republicans caused.

But now as in the past, "Democratic strategist" has been an oxymoron going back to Al Gore's presidential campaign. The Democrats have the right policies but the wrong president and no strategists who know how to frame an argument courageously. They need to speak with one voice, admit Obama's failures and promise to deliver what should have been done in the first place. Then they may get the chance to do just that.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Obama tells liberals to wake up while asleep at the switch

In a recent speech extolling his own fabricated virtues, Barack Obama told Democratic liberals to "wake up".

What he wants them to wake up from is their criticism and grumbling over the fact that even with the biggest majority any president has had in 100 years he hasnt been able to get the kind of legislation through that would have really made a difference. He has been tepid, ineffective, amateurish, inept, disingenuous, deceitful, and based on what could have been accomplished has been a miserable failure and cant seem to understand why people aren't more appreciative of that and all the half way measures he's signed into law as a result of his attempts to capitulate to Republicans who are now laughing their heads off at him and the Democrats behind closed doors.

Jim DeMint had boasted that healthcare reform would be Obama's Waterloo. It may prove to be but not because of the Republicans or what the Democrats wanted to do but because of Obama and what he failed to do.

There is nothing that Obama pushed for, whether it was his watered down financial reform bill or his tepid watered down healthcare reform bill, that Democrats who voted for it haven't called "better than nothing".

His biggest long range failure ( unless a Democratic congress can salvage it next year) and one for which there will never be an excuse is blowing the only -- repeat, only -- meaningful aspect of health care reform which was the public option.

In his latest speech at a Democratic fundraiser, Obama whined that the left was complaining because he blew the public option. Well, why not? Given that he had a propositon 72% of the country said they wanted in June of 2009 and that 57% said they wanted in December of 2009 after all the Republican disinformation, and given that he had the votes to pass it with reconciliation and didn't because he wimped out to Republicans, is more than enough reason for not just liberals, but independents to give up on him. If anything, Obama has proved what was apparent when he was running for president -- he had nothing to recommend him for the job. And its been amateur night at the White House ever since.

Healthcare reform and a public option was supposed to do two things -- gets costs under control and provide alternative coverage run by the government that would lower costs and provide better and more humane coverage. It also would have provided coverage for people who couldn't afford it. That would have transformed healthcare in America but the candidate who snookered people into believing that he stood for change when all he has ever stood for was getting himself elected sold out the public option because he didn't have the conviction or political will or know how to get it done. It wasnt his bowing to the Saudi prince that was the problem, it was his bowing to Joe Lieberman and the insurance companies. And he doesn't understand why people are complaining.

Now congressional Democrats may pay the price for Obama's non accomplishments and half way measures.

He blew healthcare reform, pushed for a tepid financial reform bill that didn't do a thing to stop derivatives, the instrument that caused most of the financial crisis in the first place, pushed through a stimulus that wasn't enough even though economists told him from the beginning it wasn't enough, lied about the success of the auto bailout, lied about never having campaigned for a public option, reneged on a promise to veto any financial reform bill that didn't adequately deal with derivatives, screwed up the "don't ask don't tell " repeal, and initiated a Marx Brothers "hello, I must be going" policy in Afghanistan ordering 30,000 additional troops while at the same time giving a date for their withdrawal to try and curry favor with both sides. And now commanders and soldiers on the ground are saying that withdrawal date is making their job close to impossible.

As Biden admitted almost a year ago, they badly miscalculated the unemployment situation and the condition of the economy which is inexcusable, and the unemployment situation along with other Obama failures threatens to lose the congress for Democrats unless they can convince people they are as angry at Obama as they are.

But still Obama wants Democrats and liberals to wake up and extol his virtues. Which proves its Obama who will never wake up. The Democrats better hope they do wake up because it may be their only chance of keeping the congress from being turned over to the people who caused all the problems in the first place. And the president who has been incapable of fixing it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Tea Party Constitution: We the Crackpots of the United States...

So what are Christine O'Donnell's ads going to say? "Send a crook and a witch to the US Senate"? Does the Tea Party think she has a magic potion to eliminate the deficit?

The revelations courtesy of Bill Maher's film clips which show O'Donnell admitting she dabbled in witchcraft back in the 1990's actually reveals more about the Tea Party who backed her, and the lunatics in the Republican party who voted for her than it does about O'Donnell who even before the witchcraft problems was being investigated for campaign fraud for using campaign money to pay her rent and other personal items when she wasn't even running for anything.

Then you have the Tea Party backed candidate and current governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, and her claim about "hundreds of headless bodies" in the Arizona desert, none of which have ever been found and of which she now refuses to talk about. One can only imagine how Brewer and O'Donnell would handle immigration and the economy if they ever got together. Maybe O'Donnell thinks the energy problems can be solved by issuing broomsticks to everyone instead of cars.

And its not just O'Donnell and Brewer. The crack pot label can easily be pinned on other mainstream Republican right wingers like Newt Gingrich who recently demanded Nancy Pelosi resign after she said the CIA had misled her. Gingrich shut up and slinked away when Leon Panetta said Pelosi was right.

So now Democrats who have been on the run have been handed headless bodies, and a senate candidate being investigated for campaign fraud and who dabbled in witchcraft to go with the Hitler signs and swastikas of the town hall meetings on healthcare. Is there a Democratic political strategist out there with two cents for a brain who realizes they have enough ammunition to destroy Tea Party candidates all over the country and discredit, not only their candidates but the entire movement as being led by nothing but a bunch of partisan right wing crackpots?

If the shoe were on the other foot there would be Republican strategists who would bury the Democrats and Democratic candidates with revelations like this. Marco Rubio for example would be forced to either repudiate the Tea Party and their judgments with candidates like O'Donnell or embrace the party that backs both him and O'Donnell. ( "Mr. Rubio, are you now or have you even been a warlock"?)

Mainstream Republicans were worried enough about O'Donnell before this. There are legitimate questions to be asked as to whether a party that would nominate people as whacko as O'Donnell for as serious a job as United States senator or back someone who makes the preposterous claims that Brewer did can really be trusted to walk a dog much less handle the country's problems.

With their rented Revolutionary War costumes, fringe speakers like Tom Tancredo, and their Hitler signs and swastikas comparing healthcare reform to Nazis Germany, not to mention that none of them from Dick Armey the Tea Party organizer to any of the people showing up at rallies with their misspelled and illiterate signs, uttered a word of protest about the deficit when it mattered -- when Bush and the Republicans were blowing the budget to pieces. What they have always shown is that most have been nothing more than a collection of right wing partisan crackpots who still harbor the same old resentments and hatred of liberals and Democrats for anything that moves the country forward. Or anything that keeps them from trying to force their agenda and beliefs, many of which are medieval, down the throats of people who dont want it.

What the Democrats have to really worry about now is not so much the crackpots in the Tea Party but the crackpots in their own party, otherwise known as political strategists who for 15 years have been making great money showing Democrats how to lose elections and who have been for 15 years, handed the easiest political targets in history with the Republicans and haven't known what to do with it.

Now's their chance. And if they cant do anything with this, they deserve to be called crackpots too.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Obama lies again to Democrats and the country about healthcare reform

Barack Obama is proving again that without question, that in the history of the presidency no one has ever lied as extensively or brazenly as he does. He looks people in the eye and uses the technique of The Big Lie -- saying something so clearly untrue that some people -- notably the press -- will back down and believe it. And while his lies are not to cover up criminal activity as Nixon's were, most of his lies are to cover up what many Democrats and liberals would still consider criminal in terms of his performance as president. And his recent lie about healthcare reform is typical.

Obama said in a speech a few days ago that he had "delivered" on the healthcare reform he "promised during his campaign". The brazenness of this lie is as stupefying as the news media ignoring it.

Obama didn't deliver on what he promised and didn't deliver on what the overwhelming majority of the people wanted, a public option, because he didn't have the courage or the conviction to stand up against the Republicans, a minority party or have the political ability and courage to ignore them and do what was needed. And yet he had the gall to claim that he "delivered" on what he had promised during the campaign even though he had promised countless times and in countless places, not just during his campaign but during his presidency, that he would deliver a healthcare reform bill that contained a public option . That the press is too cowed to point this out shows that Obama is confident that the press will stay mum. But it also shows he has contempt for the press and the American people as well, thinking he can get away with such a lie.

Obama botched the entire healthcare reform debate, mangled it, beyond anything anyone though was possible, and more that any other Democratic politician could have. He was duplicitous, dishonest, underhanded, disingenuous and showed no convictions as even many Democratic members of congress privately pointed out, and even an Obama supporter in the press like Matt Taibii of Rolling Stone accused Obama of pulling a bait and switch on healthcare which is another way of saying Obama double crossed everyone. And he did. Half way through the debate he gave speeches subtly trying to change the words "healthcare reform" to "health insurance reform" and hope no one would notice.

Even Nancy Pelosi the day after the weak and tepid bill was passed, said that the reason there is no public option was because Obama didn't stand up for it. The votes in congress were there to pass it.

Obama has lied about delivering on what he promised on health care reform more than once before which is probably why he felt he could lie again and get away with it. After the current bill passed much to everyone's disappointment, and Jim Leherer asked Obama if he felt it was less than what he wanted because it had no public option Obama said that "the bill is 95% of everything I wanted. I never campaigned for a public option".

That incredible lie, ignored by the mass media, was quickly exposed when sites like TPM and other liberal blogs, most of whom, like the Huffington Post, had been in Obama's pocket during the 2008 Democratic primary campaign, started posting videos of Obama speeches in 2007 and 2008 where he campaigned and promised everything from universal health care to a government run public plan to compete against private insurance - the public option. His own 2008 presidential campaign literature, available online and posted on a liberal blog, also promised a public plan and said so in so many words.

Obama caved in on the public option even though the Democrats had the biggest congressional majority any president has had in 100 years because he cant stand any political heat. The votes to pass it with reconciliation were there, but Obama's own spinelessness in the face of Republican attacks became more important to him than what the country needed. Its the same reason the stimulus which has not stimulated much was too small. And why financial overhaul left out the most important aspect -- banning derivative

Adding to his lie that he delivered what he had promised during the campaign is the mandate in the current bill that people must have health insurance, something that creates 32 million new customers for the insurance companies.

That mandate was part of Hillary Clinton's proposed health care plan during the 2008 primary campaign and at the time, Obama tore it to peices, calling it unfair, claiming it wouldn't work, would be a burden on people. It said it was something he'd never do and made a point of saying it was one of the major differences between Clinton's healthcare plan and his own. Now that its part of his plan instead of a public option, he takes credit for it.

A few months ago Ed Rendell admitted Obama botched the healthcare debate beyond recognition and couldn't understand why that happened. But all Rendell or anyone else had to do was look at who Obama was both before the Democratic primary and during it for the answer. Obama has never actually accomplished anything in his political life except get elected. He voted "present" over 100 times in the state senate to avoid having to vote for or against something.

Since he's been president he has lied about healthcare reform, financial reform, the auto bailout ( as was profiled here not too long ago), the economy, the stimulus, unemployment, his response to the Gulf spill, and instituted a Marx Brothers-like " Hello I must be going" strategy in Afghanistan.

It's a big reason why Democrats have an uphill fight in the fall, and what Democrats need to do is not only publicly reject Obama's performance and tell Democrats, liberals and independents that they feel their pain, but to understand they are in trouble not because Obama's bills went to far but because they didn't go far enough and so were not what they needed to be. And vow to do something about it. And, unlike Obama, tell them the truth.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Media still ignores Bush gross negligence in 911 attacks

Not too long ago on MSNBC, Lawrence O'Donnell tried to point out the real truth about the 911 attacks, the truth that the press and Republicans have been running from for 8 years but a truth that has been there for all to see all along; the same truth that has been pointed out here before a number of times. It is a truth that is irrefutable and not a matter of opinion or interpretation. Yet the news media, Republicans and Democrats too, have run from it the way a vampire runs from a crucifix. No one has wanted to deal with it. Perhaps because it is too painful.

And that truth is that anyone with half a brain given the information and intelligence Bush and Condoleeza Rice had could have prevented the 911 attacks and that they succeeded because of the ineptitude, incompetence and gross negligence bordering on the criminal, of Bush, Condoleeza Rice and Dick Cheney. It was their dismissal of Al-Qaeda and terrorism as a real threat against the United States that allowed the attack to succeed.

The 911 attackers were not that shrewd. In fact they were as bumbling as they were lethal. They left obvious and blatant clues for months wherever they went. Bush and Rice blamed intelligence failures for the success of the 911 attack. That was the political spin they hoped people and the news media would swallow.And most did. But the only real intelligence failure occurred at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

It was their catastrophic lack of judgement and incompetence and conservative ideology that dismissed terrorism as a threat in the face of clear and convincing intelligence that a massive terrorist attack was imminent that resulted in 3000 deaths and the event that changed the course of the country.

Joe Scarborough didn't let O'Donnell continue his diatribe against a former member of the Bush Administration over 911 who was also a guest. People just dont want to face it. And the press, more interested in pandering to popular opinion than in reporting the truth also buried it.
They say that in war the first casualty is truth and nowhere was the more true than with 911.
On the anniversary of the attack there have been more documentaries and rememberances but not one focusing on the failures of George W. Bush and Condoleeza Rice, their ignoring of constant warnings of an imminent attack, the flimsy excuse of Condoleeza Rice that the August 6 2001 PDB which warned them that Al-Qaeda planned on hijacking US airliners as part of a terror plot was a "historical overview" when everyone knows the PDB is based on actionable intelligence. The problem was they took no action.

The irrefutable evidence, as revealed by testimony under oath and official documents presented to the 911 Commission is that Bush Rice and Cheney had been warned repeatedly of an impending terrorist attack against the United States. They had been told during the transition period in January of 2001 that Al Qaeda was the single biggest threat to US national security in the world. They were told this by Bill Clinton, outgoing national security advisor Sandy Berger, Bob Mueller of the FBI and George Tenant of the CIA. Bush, Rice and Cheney chose to ignore them. Bush ignored them all.

Proof that Bush ignored them is the fact that one of Bush's first acts as president was to demote Richard Clarke, the anti-terrorism czar under four presidents from the cabinet level position he had under President Clinton to a sub cabinet position with no real authority.

More proof is that despite Clarke's constant pleas and those of CIA director George Tenant, Bush refused to have a single meeting with Clarke or Tenant to discuss Al-Qaeda in the 8 months that led up to the 911 attacks.

On August 6, 2001, Bush and Rice were given a Presidential Daily Briefing that said that Al-Qaeda was determined to strike within the United States. The brefing said that there were 40 active Al-Qaeda cells within the United States, It also said on page 2 that Al-Qaeda planned on hijacking US airliners. The August 6,2001 PDB also said that buildings in New York city were under surveillance by Al-Qaeda. Clarke testified that he and Tenant told Rice in August of 2001 that the intercepts of Al-Qaeda chatter were the highest Clarke had seen in 20 years an indication something big was up. And the translations of the chatter indicated that a "spectacular" terrorist attack against the US was "imminent". Bush and Rice did nothing.

Clarke testified that in August of 2001 the warnings were so ominous that he and Tenant were "running around the White House like men with their hair on fire", trying to get Bush's attention. They told Rice they had to have a meeting with Bush to inform him of the impending terror attack. Bush refused to see them while he was vacationing in Crawford.

Bush had also disbanded the Principles Meeting on terrorism which Clarke chaired where the cabinet heads of all the agencies met daily to discuss the latest terrorists threats, and then, in Clarke's words, everyone went back and would "shake the trees" to get the latest intelligence on terrorist activities to bring to the meeting the following day. This overcame the problem during the Clinton Administration of agencies sharing intelligence, a failure cited by the 911 Commission during the Bush Administration and a failure caused by Bush and his decision to disband the Principles Meeting.

Had Bush not disbanded that meeting the memo from the Phoenix office of the FBI that contained the information that two middle eastern men were taking flying lessons at a Phoenix flying school, wanting to learn how to fly jumbo jets but not wanting to learn how to take off or land, would have made it to the Principles Meeting. One of those two men was Mohammad Atta.
Given all the other information available what do you think Clarke, Tenant, the FBI and the Justice Department would have done with that little peice of information? But to Bush and the Republicans, terrorism was not a major threat.

Instead Bush decided the biggest national security threat was China. Bush focused his administration on trying to get out of the 1972 ABM treaty with Russia so they could restart Reagan's Star Wars program and ignored 8 months of warnings about Al-Qaeda including the warning of an imminent attack against the United States. This is why you see that dumb deer-caught-in-the-headlights look on his face at the Florida school when Andy Card tells him about planes crashing into the twin towers. At that moment he knew that everyone trying to warn him about an attack was right and he was wrong.

But as the 911 Commission hearings showed, even without the FBI memos 911 could have been prevented. Had Bush heeded the warnings that an attack was imminent and that part of Al-Qaeda's plan of attack was to hijack US airliners, he could have ordered the FAA to issue a high level alert to all US air carriers and airports to be on alert for possible hijackings by middle eastern men. If had done only that 911 would have been prevented.

How? The morning of 911, 9 middle eastern men all bought one way transcontinental tickets at Logan and Dulles airports. None of the men had luggage. Some of the tickets were bought with cash, others with the same Visa card. Almost the same modus operandi Republicans were screaming should have been enough to have stopped the Christmas bomber from ever getting on a plane.

Multiply that by 9 on the morning of Sept 11,2001. It wouldn't have been difficult to pay special attention to middle eastern passengers for suspicious activity had an alert been issued. And there was a lot of suspicious activity. The ticket taker at Maine airport was suspicious of the two middle eastern men buying two one way tickets to San Francisco connecting at Logan for $2500, the top price without buying tickets in advance. He was also suspicious that the men had no luggage. But no one ever gave him a reason to be suspicious about anything.

Bush Rice and Cheney were never held accountable for ignoring those warnings, not even authorizing an FAA alert against possible hijackings which alone would have stopped 911. The closest thing to an admission was Rice's own admission that went over the heads of everyone in the press, an admission made more by her subconscious mind. And that was her admission that the Bush Administration "couldn't connect the dots". Rice is a highly educated woman with a sophisticated vocabulary. That she chose say they "couldnt connect the dots" was telling because of how true it was. But the press never got it. Connecting the dots is a child's game. Anyone can do it. A collection of dots consecutively numbered is in front of you and all you have to do is draw a line from one to the other in consecutive order and you get to see the whole picture. The dots were all there for Bush and Rice to see. They were right in front of them. The problem was Bush, Rice and Cheney chose to ignore the dots and that's why they couldnt do what a child could have done.

The press thought and thinks to this day, that the expression was just some cute, clever, esoteric analogy and they repeat the phrase " not able to connect the dots" without having a clue as to the true meaning of those words. A tacit admission that the Bush Administration failed to do what just about anyone could have done and which would have prevented 911. It's no wonder that Bush at first refused to cooperate with the 911 Commission and only did so after he extracted a promise that the final Commission report wouldnt point fingers or lay blame for the attacks. The Commission agreed since it was the only way Bush would allow Rice to testify.

The big lie the press has swallowed for 9 years is that 911 couldn't have been prevented. It could have easily been prevented. And shoul have.

Bush's catastrophic mistakes were a result of incompetence,. bd judgement and Republican ideoology, characteristics that would rear its head again in Iraq, Katrina, and the economic crisis,all caused by Bush.

The country is in the position its in now largely because of the press' willful refusal, even now to hold Bush, Rice and Cheney accountable for the bad judgment that allowed for 911. Instead they swallowed Bush's explanations like a collection of trained seals.

The failure of the press in holding Bush accountable is directly responsible for the debacle in Iraq, Bush's failures in Afghanistan and all the economic problems the country has been facing. Because had the press been as focused on Bush's irresponsibility and negligence regarding 911 as they were with Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, Bush, Rice and Cheney would have had to resign after 911.

And the failures of the press, along with the failures of Bush Rice and Cheney and their accountability in the 911 attacks, is the real 911 truth. A truth that has been there for all to see in the 911 Commission Report. It's the 911 truth the press is still afraid to tell while their ratings, circulation and credibility continue to collapse just like the twin towers did. And they actually wonder why.
The fact that the worst atrocity committed against the United States on American soil by a foreign enemy, with the biggest loss of life could not only have been prevented but easily prevented by responsible, competent leadership in the White House is probably too much for many people to face. And if they cant face it, certainly the media wont.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Austan Goolsbee, complicit in NAFTAgate to head economic advisors.

President Obama has named Austan Goolsbee to head the Council of Economic Advisors.

For those who don't remember, Goolsbee is the economic advisor that Obama denied even knowing during the 2008 primary campagin in Ohio when it was revealed that Obama had sent Goolsbee to the Canadian Embassy in Chicago to tell them to ignore everything Obama was saying publicly about getting rid of NAFTA. Goolsbee told the Canadians that Obama was only posturing politically and had no intention of getting rid of NAFTA. Translation: Obama is lying about NAFTA and so ignore it.

It was probably the most cynical and politically dishonest lie by a presidential candidate since Richard Nixon. Obama obviously had no misgivings about preying on and manipulating the fears of the people of Ohio over jobs, a state that had already lost almost 300,000 jobs before the economic crisis, and blaming all their misfortunes on NAFTA which he tried to pin on Hillary Clinton.

During his Ohio campaign Obama pledged that if they elected him he would get rid of NAFTA but sent Gooslbee to the Canadian Embassy to tell them to ignore what he was saying publicly, that he had no intention of getting rid of NAFTA. And Goolsbee did just that. What Obama and Goolsbee didn't plan on was the notes of the meeting being leaked to the Associated Press.

That set Obama off on a week of serial lying, first saying he didn't even know who Goolsbee was and that he didn't work the campaign. When that was proved to be untrue Obama changed the story and said well, Goolsbee worked for the campaign but he wasn't sent to the Embassy, he went there on his accord to discuss matters unrelated to the campaign.. When that was proved to be a lie, Obama changed the story again and said well ok he works for me and we sent him there but we never told him to say that. By the time that was proved to be a lie untrue the primary was over and Obama had been buried by Clinton in a landslide.

Notably, it was a scandal largely ignored by the press that would have destroyed the candidacy of anyone else had the press not been in the tank for Obama. To lie so brazenly to people would have been the end for most candidates. But the press made a choice from day one to ignore it every time Obama was caught in a lie because they had an agenda to see him elected. And the incident is still being ignored as the recent blurb about Goolsbee's promotion by Lynn Sweet at Politics Daily proves.

Sweet only describes Goolsbee as "witty and telegenic" and writes about him as if she was writing his profile for Match.com, but says nothing about his role in Obama's lying in Ohio about getting rid of NAFTA

As an aside, it was also proved by Politifact.com that every word Obama had to say about NAFTA being the cause of the unemployment in Ohio in 2008 was factually wrong. Or to put it more bluntly,a lie.

The fact that Obama lied in Ohio about getting rid of NAFTA is also evident by the obvious fact that after 18 months of being president, high unemployment and economic distress, he hasn't gotten rid of NAFTA. Which proves Obama knew he was lying about NAFTA at the time.

Its nice to know that the Council of Economic Advisors is now being led by someone who was so willingly complicit in Obama's political lies about the economy. And its nice to know the news media, people like Lynn Sweet, are still turning a blind eye.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stimulus: the dirty old man from Ancient Rome?

President Obama has proposed a $50 billion infrastructure plan to help create jobs but neither he nor anyone around him want to say "stimulus".

It seems that the word "stimulus" is being treated like it's the name of an ancient Roman sex expert or some kind of dirty word the way the White House is trying to avoid calling anything to boost the economy a stimulus.

The reason of course is that the Republicans are pounding away at Obama over the first stimulus, which stimulated about as much as a 70 year old topless dancer. In other words, too little too late.

Obama was warned by just about every economist that supported the stimulus the first time that what he was proposing was too little. In other words size mattered. And Obama's stimulus was too small. ( make your own analogies).

So now Obama is getting it from both sides. His stimulus wasn't big enough in the beginning because he wanted it to be good for the Republicans too. That guaranteed that, like health care and the financial reform bill, it would be watered down and ineffective.

What Obama could have and should done with all 3 bills is what the Republicans, who know how to play politics but not to govern, would have done -- ram them all through the way they needed to be crafted using reconciliation since they were all budgetary issues and reconciliation could have been used to pass them with a simple majority.

But Obama, who has shown from day one he doesn't possess the political skills, commitment or conviction to get anything done if it faces stiff Republican opposition, is now proposing a $50 billion program to improve the transportation infrastructure to create jobs, something he could have and should have proposed more than 6 months ago.

What was he waiting for? The Republicans to warm up? Where was this $50 billion infrastructure program when Scott Brown beat Martha Coakley and Obama was ready to scrap health care reform to focus on "jobs, jobs jobs"?
It didn't happen because Obama never does anything unless he has a political, not policy motive to get something done. And his motive now is his own sinking poll numbers and that of the Democrats.

Most economists believe that what is needed is another stimulus because Obama's first time was a bust leaving a lot to be desired. But facing Republican opposition, Obama is afraid of another stimulus. He knows the Republicans will whack him with a ruler if he tries, or worse even though its the right thing to do. So for now, in its place is a $50 billion infrastructure job bill, not unlike a $48 billion transportation bill that passed months ago that was supposed to do the same thing and result in "Recovery Summer". Instead it left the economy and jobs market limp, largely because the money didnt get out fast enough.

So now Obama is trying again to stimulate the economy and create jobs without calling it a stimulus but it is probably too small.

The one thing Obama did do in his speech announcing the jobs bill was finally stand up to the Republicans. But like the first stimulus that didn't work, this temporary display of political Viagra wont be enough unless Democrats running for congress take matters into their own hands and go back to wise old Stimulus. Then at least they'll be able to respect themselves in the morning.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Why the Tea Party must lose: part II

The Tea Party claims that they are in a war for the soul of the country. If that's true, the Tea Party and their un-American, anti-American roots and beliefs must be defeated.

They claim to be against higher taxes but since the Democrats took office there have been no tax increases for them to protest. Maybe they just didnt know. So it can't be about taxes as their signs proclaim.

They also protest against the deficit and debt but ask any of them where they were during the 8 years George W. Bush and the Republicans destroyed the balanced budget, blew a $5 1/2 trillion budget surplus, exploded the deficit and used economic policies that turned the country into an economic disaster and they will look at you with an expression as dumb as some of their signs. They have no answer to that and have no answer as to why they said nothing and didnt protest then, because their protests are organized by Republicans and are all about politics and conservativism and nothing about taxes and the economy. Even if some well meaning people dont know it. The deficit stands now at $ 1.7 trillion. George Bush waged war in Iraq but didnt want to pay for it. He became the first president in history to take the country to war and cut taxes at the same time when he should have raised them to pay for the war. The war cost the treasury $1 trillion and was not paid for. Add in the prescription drug program the Republicans initiated also without paying for it, and there is the deficit. The people with the flags and signs who are whining now about debt and socialism wanted war and wanted the prescription drug benefit but they didnt want to pay for it. That's their idea of patriotism. These are the same people who didn't want people who couldn't afford it to have access to health care.

There have been three major fights for the soul of the country between liberals and conservatives since the country was founded. The first was the Revolution itself where it was the crazy liberals who wanted independence from Great Britain and the staunch conservatives, known as Tories who wanted to make nice with King George and not upset the status quo and remain part of Great Britain.

What is so ironic and even satirical about the Tea Party is that they take their name and inspiration from the Boston Tea Party, a revolt against King George's taxes because the colonists had no representation in the British Parliament. It was the country's liberals who were throwing the tea over board in Boston Harbor. It was conservatives who thought they were crazy and would ruin everything. The British lost that war and so did the colonies conservatives, conservatives who still bristle to this day that Thomas Jefferson defined the United States as "a liberal democracy". One of the reasons Texas dropped Jefferson from their curriculum on political history.

The second fight for the soul of the country was the Civil War where the conservative southern aristocracy who owned slaves and needed them for economic reasons convinced white southern boys most of whom didn't own slaves, that they should get their heads blown off to fight for "southern honor" so the aristocracy could keep their slaves which was the bedrock of southern aristocratic wealth. The conservatives lost that war also and,as is evident by so many confederate flags at Tea Party and anti-Democratic party rallies, they still resent their crushing defeat to this day.

The third battle for the soul of the country took place in the Sixties where Vietnam, civil rights, the Voting Rights Act, women's rights, sexual freedom, and a rejection of blind belief in the government and everything they told us turned society on its head. Again its both ironic and hypocritical that during the Sixties it was the left rejecting the government and conservatives supporting a powerful central government.

Conservatives who now claim they love America but hate the government, like to accuse the liberals whose ideology, philosophy and beliefs created this country, of hating the country but loving the government. Yet it was conservatives who stood with the government and the status quo during the Vietnam War and were called Nixon's Silent Majority, while the liberals, as they did in 1776, took to the streets, demonstrated against the government, and demanded that things must change. Those demonstrations led to Nixon's Watergate abuses which changed the way government was viewed and operated forever. Another victory for liberals.

The liberals won the Sixties war, and like the Civil War which many southerners and conservatives are still fighting, conservatives saw their desire to impose their values on everyone else go down the drain. And they have been holding a grudge ever since in spite of the irrefutable proof that they were wrong about everything from race to equal rights for women, to sexual freedom, to Vietnam. Many of them never got over losing that war and have been fighting it ever since, and are still fighting the Sixties, which was at the core of their resentment and anger at Bill Clinton.

Its not likely that a journalist will emerge who has the backbone to expose the cynical exploitation of those in the Tea Party who have legitimate concerns, by those only interested in political power, and those who use it as an excuse to try and impose their way of thinking on others, the hallmark of conservatism as practiced in this country which is a form of fascism.

That kind of fascism shows itself in the preposterous and provably false belief that many conservatives spout, that the country was founded on Christian values when the evidence is most of the Founders from Jefferson to Thomas Paine and most in between had nothing but contempt for the church. Most were theists who believed in a supreme being but not in Christianity or the church and the purpose of the first amendment was to insure that the United States would never have anything like the church of England and that the church would never have an official influence in the United States government.

So if the Tea Party and the next election is about the "soul of the country" then its clear the Tea Party and what they are about must lose.

They like to wrap themselves in the constitution, but like John Boehner proved one day on the capitol steps, few conservatives actually know what's in it. And the ones who do would change it in a second if they could. Does anyone really believe that conservatives embrace the premise that its better for ten guilty men to go free rather than one innocent man go to jail? That is the basis for every constitutional protection and procedure followed in every courthouse in every trial in the country. But most conservatives believe the opposite and if they could, the people waving their American flags at Tea Party rallies would tear it up in favor of exactly the opposite -- having one innocent man go to jail if it meant convicting 10 guilty.

The Tea Party is showing that their primary influence is among right wing Republican voters . Their candidates will lose in the general election if the soul of the Tea Party is exposed for what it is and Democratic strategists, most of whom are weak and inept, can find some ability and expose the Tea Party conservatives for what they are.Fascism by any other name is still fascism. And so is hypocrisy. And no amount of signs and costume rentals will change that.