Saturday, December 27, 2008


Obama, as the darling of a biased and dishonest media and the product of a corrupt Democratic primary and convention, was elected President as the beneficiary of Republican incompetence over the last 8 years. But he still comes to office as the most underqualified person to ever be elected President.

But with the naming of his cabinet appointees, (with the exception of Gates at Defense and Schapiro to head the SEC), his choices have been good ones and a huge improvement over the farce that was the Bush Administration. His choices also reflect that he is listening to his advisors in making these choices, most notably Biden. But even more than that, Obama's choices seems to reflect that, in the words of Dirty Harry, he knows his limitations.

Anyone with even a casual look at his background can see that his primary interest has always been his own ambitions. And he comes out of the morass of corrupt Chicago and Illinois politics, the same morass that produced Blagojevich. And like Nixon before him, the swamp of Illinois politics that produced him may eventually catch up with him.

But for now his cabinet appointees reflect his knowledge that this isn't going to be a four year book signing tour. His choices for his cabinet are highly opinionated and accomplished people who are capable of not only implementing policy but in formulating it. And that is probably what is going to happen.

The Obama Administration seems to be shaping up as a multiheaded Executive Branch with Obama playing the part he plays best -- the front man, making speeches and playing the part of President while the real work is done behind the scenes by people who actually know what they're doing. The public will get to see Obama taking the credit ( unless the Democrats screw up royally which is not beyond the realm of possibility) and listen to him make the same nonsensical speeches that sent a thrill up Chris Matthews leg.

In the last few days we have heard Obama tell us that "we are going to take a 21st century approach to agriculture" and that "we are going to take a 21st century approach to the economic crisis". Given that we are actually living in the 21st century that doesn't exactly sound like the product of a lot of brain power. Its exactly the kind of nonsense that made the news media act like a bunch of 13 year olds at a Hannah Montana concert.

It still remains to be seen what the Democrats will do once Obama is sworn in. Unfortunately,its been the Republicans so far, Shelby and Corker to be specific, who sound like they make the most sense when it comes to a bailout of Detroit.

But Obama has a lot of expertise close at hand. With Hillary Clinton Secretary of State can Bill as an off the record advisor be far behind?

Obama has always given every indication that he is not so interested in governing as he is in being President. His cabinet picks shows he knows and understands this and his limitations.That doesn't mean Democratic policies are going to work. The $700 billion bailout Pelosi rammed through the House and agreed to by the Senate has so far failed. It was supposed to stop the bleeding and restore confidence in the US economy. So far it hasn't worked. The Dow is down more than 1,000 points since the TARP was created and half of it has already been spent. So far its done nothing but outrage taxpayers.

But with Obama choosing people who have their own agendas, whether its Gates at Defense, Clinton at State or Daschle overseeing health care reform, Obama is essentially stepping aside and letting others run the show behind the scenes. And as long as he continues to do that there is the likelihood of success since Obama has a cabinet that can make his day.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Yesterday in Iraq a disgruntled Iraqi reporter did something about 300 million Americans would probably like to do and something American journalists never had the courage to do in print. He threw not one but two shoes at Bush's head who was standing at a podium with Malakey. The Iraqi missed with both shoes but I think throwing shoes at a cardboard figure of Bush's head might catch on at carnivals and county fairs all over the US. Id love to have the concessions.

But while the shoes missed there is something else that could be thrown at Bush by the Congress that wouldn't miss. And that is denying Bush his golden parachute.

No President in history has visited more disaster on the United States than George W. Bush. ( lets hope Obama doesn't come in a close second).

Bush's actions and inaction were responsible for getting at least 8000 Americans killed during his Presidency, Americans who'd be alive today if it weren't for his ineptitude and his policies not to mention all the other disasters and hardships he has caused this country.

Any one of the disasters brought on by Bush would be enough to condemn any Presidency. But there were not one but four. And they were the four of the biggest catastrophes to ever hit the country. And they happened not just during the Bush administration but because of it.

Thanks to Bush and Rice and their incompetent decision making in trivializing and dismissing terrorism as a threat to national security, privately expressing the belief that Clinton's warning that Al-Qaeda was the biggest threat to US national security in the world was overblown, and then ignoring 8 months of warnings that a terrorist attack against the US was imminent and doing nothing about it, New York was hit on Sept 11 with, the worst attack and worst loss of life on American soil committed by a foreign enemy in US history. This from the national security chest thumping Republicans who focused their attention on getting out of the ABM treaty with Russia so they could pursue a Star Wars initiative. and ignoring the terrorist threat ( it was the Republicans who accused Clinton of Wag the Dog when he ordered a missile attack on Al-Qaeda training camps trying to kill Bin Laden.)

There is enough evidence to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that 911 could have and would have been prevented by any President who took terrorism seriously. The dirty little secret never talked about and not touched by the press is that 911 could have been stopped, something I will prove in a subsequent post. But neither Bush nor Rice did a thing about the threat of Al-Qaeda until it was too late and 3000 people were killed.

Then there was Iraq, a totally dishonest war sold by dishonest means with a President, Vice President, National Security Advisor (Rice) and Secretary of Defense lying through their teeth every day for months ( helped by the same dishonest, incompetent cowardly press who gave Bush a pass on 911) trying to drum up support for a war that wasnt neccessary.

Not only was this the first pre-emptive war in American history violating American policy for 200 years, it was also, thanks to Bush the most mismanaged, and incompetently conceived war and post war occupation in history. There was a necessary war to be fought and every military and intelligence knew it was in Afghanistan. Instead Bush went for Iraq.

Then if that wasn't enough there was Katrina, a natural disaster that no one could have prevented except that a category 4 hurricane hitting New Orleans is one of five major disasters the NSC tells every incoming President he has has to have plans in place to deal with. Despite having a two day heads up that Katrina was going to hit New Orleans, it took Bush and his administration 5 days to get food, water and medicine into the city after Katrina hit. Not getting help to that city was responsible for people dropping dead on a US interstates, dying in hospitals and nursing homes or on the streets of New Orleans because they had no food,water, medicine or shelter.

Now the country is dealing with what most economists are calling the worst economic crisis since the Depression, also caused by Bush and Republican policies of deregulation and a Bush appointed Republican chairman of the SEC who never did his job. Bush let the foxes guard the chicken coop and the results are the mess the country is in now.

No President in history has deserved to have a shoe thrown at him more than Bush. But there is one the taxpayers, through the Congress can throw themelves.

Every President once they leave office gets the governments version of a golden parachute at taxpayers expense. The taxpayers provide a lifetime pension at full salary.The taxpayers provide for an office and full staff maintained forever. All transition expenses are paid for by the taxpayers. All travel expenses to anywhere in the US or abroad is paid for by the tax payers. A former President has use of private jets and all kinds of additional perks all at taxpayers expense..

Bush should receive none of this. Let Bush keep his Secret Service protection. But the tax payers should not be asked to provide him with a lifetime pension, an office, a staff and all the other perks that former Presidents get. He should be denied these things for the unprecedented mess he has caused and the disasters his Presidency has caused. He deserves no perks and they are not required except for Secret Service protection.

So how to do the taxpayers go about throwing this shoe at Bush? The place to start is with Charlie Rangel Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. There should be demands that the Congress deny Bush his golden parachute.

It would have to go for a vote on the floor and politics being what it is, mealy mouthed Democrats like Pelosi and Reid might very well stand in the way, but given the economic catastrophe Bush has caused along with all the other catastrophes of his administration, the taxpayers should not be footing the bill for a lifetime pension and other perks for Bush.

Calling and writing Charlie Rangel is the place to start demanding no golden parachute for Bush. He doesn't need the money anyway, but that's besides the point. It is a statement that the taxpayers can make about the Bush Presidency. And it would be the taxpayers way of letting the other shoe drop. And this one wouldn't miss.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


The Democratic Governor of Illinois,and one of Obama's biggest political supporters was arrested and taken into custody today along with his chief of staff on corruption charges for trying to benefit financially by naming Obama's successor to the US Senate. It comes as no surprise to anyone that Illinois politics, the politics that spawned Obama and his political career is a hot bed of corruption.It is also almost inconceivable that Blagojevich who had been a staunch supporter of Obama didn't discuss the naming of his successor with Obama though I have no doubt both will deny it.

Obama hasn't even been inaugurated yet but now a cloud is descending. It still remains to be seen if Republicans will call for an investigation into what Obama knew and when he knew it. Certainly the press wont. And maybe Obama and Blagojevich didn't discuss it but that's unlikely.

This might end with Blagojevich simply going to prison with that being the end of it, but that is unlikely also. In fact, Blagojevich is so corrupt if he did have anything on Obama he would certainly use it to get a deal for himself in some way. The question would be who he cuts it with -- the prosecutors or Obama himself.

There have only been three elected Presidents who, even as candidates seemed like a bad joke to me as Presidential material. The first was Nixon, the second George W Bush and the third is Barack Obama. None of them ever seemed Presidential in any way. Nixon and Bush lived down to my expectations.

Ive had the same feeling about Obama. He still seems like a bad joke. And the fact that he is the President-elect because the DNC was willing to rig the primary process to insure his candidacy in the most corrupt process and dishonest Presidential convention in history may yet come back to haunt all of them. Just as it always does.


The other day in an interview after outlining his economic proposals Obama said this about his intention to invite jazz musicians to the White House.

"Thinking about the diversity of our culture and inviting jazz musicians, and classical musicians, and poetry readings in the White House so that once again we appreciate this incredible tapestry that's America, you know, that, I think, is going to be incredibly important, particularly because we're going through hard times," Obama said.

Now I happen to think that having jazz musicians and other cultural events at the White House is a nice idea, and too often people miss the importance of art and culture to a society, but it brings up the old Zen question, if jazz musicians play at the White House and people on an unemployment line cant hear it does it make a sound?

As they say, there is a time and a place for everything but was that the right time and the right place to be talking about jazz musicians in the White House?

Obama said practically at the same time, that things will probably get worse before they get better. That isn't his assessment, that is the assessment of everyone who understands economics. He just went out there and said what he was told to say by people who know. And I don't think people who are being hurt are going to take much comfort in the Obama's inviting jazz musicians to the White House.

Culture is important and simple things like music and art can help people get through hard times, but given that most people are not going to be attending a concert at the White House (The Axelrod of Evil's days of giving out free food and concert tickets are over), it's probably not a good idea for Barack and Michelle to try and play Jackie Kennedy right at the moment. There will be time for that if the economic plan works. For now, talk of jazz musicians at the White House will remind people a lot more of Marie Antoinette than Jackie Kennedy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Amid all the turmoil surrounding the economy, a few days ago there was an interesting news release. The release read: "Law enforcement sources have said that President-elect Barack Obama has been the target of more threats than any President-elect in history."

What's most telling about this release is that this information would never have been released without Obama deciding that he wanted it released. Law enforcement would never issue such a press release on their own. It would not be in their interest to do so. But Obama obviously felt it was in his political interest to do so. And so he ordered it to be disseminated.

Even amid a financial crisis, it seems that Obama can't help but continue to play the kind of cheap politics reminiscent of Richard Nixon. In this case, before he is even inaugurated he is looking for brie and sympathy.

But even Nixon never stooped to the level of trying to play on public sympathy by using threats of bodily harm against him,threats everyone knows are mostly insignificant since 99.99% of them come from harmless but deluded crackpots who pose no real threat at all. Which is not to say each threat shouldn't be investigated by the Secret Service and the lunatics arrested. After all it is a federal crime to make such threats. But it is telling and very much in character that Obama would want that information released when no President before him thought it mattered much.

But releasing that information gave him the political pretense to do his scheduled TV interview with Barbara Walters and play the tin hero, making sure the subject was brought up and then showing that he is oblivious to the mounting threats and danger around him, showing the world that he is not afraid, that he is a person of courage who will do his job despite the threats. That is pretty much what he said. Whatta guy. Even before taking office Obama thinks that being President is all about him. I wonder if it gave Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann goosebumps.

Another aspect of how cheap a political play this really was, is the unintentionally revealing use of the word"more". The release said Obama has received "more" threats than any other President-elect in history, What that word tells us is what we already knew. That every other President-elect in history received threats like these from the usual collection of unhinged lunatics around the country. They always do.

But none of them, not Bush, not Clinton, not Bush 41, not Reagan, not Carter, none of them decided to use these threats for PR or political purposes by releasing news of them to the public. Not saying anything in the face of these lunatic threats is real courage. Instead Obama decided to prey on public sympathy by having that information released and in the process went one step further by playing the race card while at the same time being able to say "who me"?

Because " more threats than any President in history" translates into only one thing -- "because I'm black". (Actually half black) And everyone, including Obama, knows it.

In wanting to play hero before he even takes the oath of office, Obama seems to have no problem with suggesting to people that despite the fact that the country elected the first person of color in history to the Presidency, we are still a racist society and he is still a victim of that racism even though he happens to have been elected President of the United States. Again, whatta guy.

Underhanded Nixonian politics is not new for Obama. What is new is that he is playing it as President-elect.

One always hopes, politics being the dirty business that it is, that once a politician gets elected they stop being a politician and start being a statesman. Very few rise to that level and Obama, Mr. Change, is no exception.

Except to use threats against him, most of them meaningless, for his own political use is somewhat lower than any President has gone before. No President before him felt it necessary to release information about threats against them. Law enforcement would never do it on their own. Obama instructing them do it so he can play Braveheart is just more political games at a time when that is the last thing the country needs.

Whatever time Obama spent with his advisers discussing this and then making the decision to go ahead and issue the press release was time wasted.

The one bright spot so far is that he is appointing capable people to fill his administration. One can only hope that when it comes to actually governing, he does what he knows how to do best - get out of the way and allow people who actually know what they are doing to formulate and follow through on policy. And so far it looks like he may be doing just that while he handles being the front man and doing what he does best. Nothing.

For those who havent seemed to be able to find any of the articles related to these stories about the rise in threats to Obama, here is one from the Associated Press. The release was also read on CNN and was talked about as mentioned in the interview Barbara Walters did with Obama.