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Protest 3 February 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, DC Politics, Democrats, Europe, Greece, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, U.S. Senate, UK, Viva La Revolucion!.

Three people were injured Monday when Greek riot police officers clashed with hundreds of farmers from the southern island of Crete who sailed to the Greek mainland and tried to drive tractors and other farm vehicles to the capital to push demands for financial aid. [Orestis Panagiotou/European Pressphoto Agency]

this from an emailer (full text)... a quick snapshot of global protest… a couple I had not heard of, Guadeloupe for one… Madagascar I had not gotten around to reading about, but had followed (in a sense) thru photos in the media.

In terms of the UK protests, Lenin has had some troubling posts.  It seems that right wing, nationalist issues are making use of the times.   My stars!  What a shock!

FACTBOX-Global financial crisis sparks unrest

02 Feb 2009 12:17:59 GMT

FACTBOX-Global financial crisis sparks unrest

(Reuters) – Here are some details of protests and developments as a result of the global financial crisis:

* FRANCE — Hundreds of thousands of strikers marched in French cities on Thursday to demand pay rises and job protection. Some protesters clashed with police, but no major violence was reported. — The one-day strike failed to paralyse the country and support from private sector workers appeared limited. Labour leaders hailed the action, which marked the first time France’s eight union federations had joined forces against the government since President Nicolas Sarkozy took office in 2007.

* RUSSIA — Thousands of opposition supporters rallied in Moscow and the far east port of Vladivostok on Saturday in a national day of protests over hardships caused by the financial crisis. On Sunday hundreds of demonstrators in Moscow called for Russia’s leaders to resign. — Street rallies were held in almost every major city over the weekend. The pro-Kremlin United Russia party also drew thousands to rallies in support of government anti-crisis measures. — About 100 protesters were arrested in Vladivostok last month during protests against hikes in second hand car import duties aimed at protecting jobs in the domestic car industry.

* MADAGASCAR — More than 100 people were killed in civil unrest in Madagascar last week, according to the U.S. ambassador. Police previously confirmed 44 deaths, with most of those in a store burned during looting when an anti-government protest degenerated into violence. — The mayor of Antananarivo, Andry Rajoelina, galvanised popular frustrations to spearhead demonstrations and strikes against President Marc Ravalomanana’s government. The violence came amid an oil and minerals exploration boom in Madagascar.

* ICELAND — Parties forming a new coalition for the crisis-hit island decided on Sunday its new prime minister will be former Social Affairs Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir. — Prime Minister Geir Haarde resigned last week after a series of protests, some of which had turned violent. He was the first leader to fall as a direct result of the credit crunch. — The collapse of the country’s fast-expanding banks under a weight of debt forced the country to take a $10 billion IMF-led rescue package and sparked widespread anger.

* DAVOS — Hundreds of people rallied in Geneva and Davos on Saturday to protest against the World Economic Forum, saying the elite gathered for its annual meeting are not qualified to fix the world’s problems. — In Geneva, where the WEF has its headquarters, police in riot gear fired teargas and water canon to disperse a crowd.

* BRITAIN — Up to 900 contractors at the Sellafield nuclear plant walked off the job on Monday, joining hundreds of other contract workers who have gone on strike in recent days over the use of foreign labourers as recession bites. — Thousands of energy workers staged walkouts on Friday, two days after contractors at a refinery owned by France’s Total began protests at the award of a construction contract to Italian firm IREM. Unions say it has brought in workers from Italy and Portugal and deprived Britons of work.

* GREECE — Greek farmers removed roadblocks last week which caused 11 days of travel chaos across the country as they protested against low prices. They kept their blockade on Bulgaria’s border and central Greece. — High youth unemployment was a main driver for rioting in Greece in December, initially sparked by the police shooting of a youth in an Athens neighbourhood. The protests forced a government reshuffle.

* GUADELOUPE — France sent a minister to the Caribbean island on Sunday for talks aimed at ending a 13-day general strike over pay and prices that has paralysed the French territory. — An alliance of 47 unions and local bodies launched their protest on Jan. 20 over the cost of living. They have drawn up a list of 146 demands including a 200 euro ($257) increase in the minimum salary, a freeze on rents and a cut in taxes and food prices. Island authorities have rejected the demands.

* BULGARIA — Hundreds of Bulgarians demanded economic and social reforms in the face of a global slowdown in anti-government rallies last month, calling on the Socialist-led government to act or step down. — Earlier in January, hundreds of protesters clashed with police, smashed windows and damaged cars in Sofia when a rally against corruption and slow reforms in the face of the economic crisis turned into a riot.

* LATVIA — A 10,000-strong protest in Latvia on Jan. 16 descended into a riot, with protesters trying to storm parliament before going on the rampage. Government steps to cut wages, as part of an austerity plan to win international aid, have angered people.

* LITHUANIA — Also on Jan. 16, police fired teargas to disperse demonstrators who pelted parliament with stones in protest at government cuts in social spending to offset an economic slowdown. Police said 80 people were detained and 20 injured. — Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said the violence would not stop an austerity plan launched after a slide in output and revenues.


And… this was so drearily predictable:

[E]very four or eight years a new president arrives in town, declares his determination to cleanse a dirty process and invariably winds up trying to reconcile the clear ideals of electioneering with the muddy business of governing. Mr. Obama on his first day in office imposed perhaps the toughest ethics rules of any president in modern times, and since then he and his advisers have been trying to explain why they do not cover this case or that case.

The language, however, was always more sweeping than the specifics. He spoke of refusing campaign money from lobbyists but took it from the people who hired them. The ethics plan he outlined, and eventually imposed on his administration, did not ban all lobbyists outright but set conditions for their employment and did not cover many who were lobbyists in everything but name.

“This is a big problem for Obama, especially because it was such a major, major promise,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “He harped on it, time after time, and he created a sense of expectation around the country. This is exactly why people are skeptical of politicians, because change we can believe in is not the same thing as business as usual.”

Several Democrats, including some who have advised Mr. Obama, said privately that he had only himself to blame for delivering such an uncompromising message as a candidate without recognizing how it would complicate his ability to assemble an administration.

In the campaign, Mr. Obama assailed Washington’s “entire culture” in which “our leaders have thrown open the doors of Congress and the White House to an army of Washington lobbyists who have turned our government into a game only they can afford to play.” He vowed to “close the revolving door” and “clean up both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue” with “the most sweeping ethics reform in history.”

It is so sands thru the hourglass, days of our lives utter drooly tripe…  Or as a friend of mine hilariously (and perhaps not originally) dubbed it, As the World Squirms.

Go for it Golden Man.

Marie Cocco :

[D]aschle isn’t indispensable. But he is indefensible.

Not many Americans manage to underpay their taxes by the whopping sums Daschle overlooked. The $140,000 he paid in January to satisfy the taxes and interest is nearly triple the median household income. That is, the median income of $50,233 reported by the Census Bureau before the layoffs, pay cuts, reduced hours and other hardships of the current economic crisis burdened average families. The free use of a chauffeured limousine provided by a business associate who happens to be a big Democratic donor — the source of the unreported income at the root of Daschle’s tax troubles — is a joy ride to political hell. I hope Daschle enjoyed it.

Some Democratic senators have rallied to defend their former leader. The demonstration merely reinforces the narrative that the rules can be bent by, and for, a member of their club.

This is all uncomfortably reminiscent of the Bush administration’s abhorrent interpretation of what constitutes proper ethics. Perhaps no laws have been broken — but since when is that the standard for holding high public office?

When Vice President Joe Biden said during the presidential campaign that it is a patriotic duty to pay taxes, I agreed. So did most of us who believe in the ability of government to better Americans’ lives. But we also believe this responsibility is to be born by plumbers and power brokers alike.

If Daschle and the Senate Democrats still believe this, they have their own duty: It is to end this sorry spectacle now.

I’ll be petty, at the least (because the Boys and Girls Club of the senate will still likely confirm his sorry ass) he needs to take off the effete glasses frames.  It, on top of everything else, is irritating the hell out of me.

Dick Polman:

[T]he Democratic-run Senate Finance Committee, in a report on Daschle released Friday, included this gem of a sentence: “Senator Daschle told staff that in June 2008, something made him think that the car service might be taxable, and disclosed the arrangement to his accountant.”

Something made him wake up…Well, it’s not hard to determine what that something was. On June 3, 2008, Obama clinched the Democratic nomination. That same week, Daschle told the press that he was “interested” in being “helpful” to an Obama administration on the health care issue. Translation: With his dream of an influential Obama post becoming more real by the day, with his ambitions on the line, he suddenly developed religion about the tax laws.

Reportedly, however, he didn’t share his new-found religion with the Obama transition team until mid-December, after he was tapped for the HHS job; only then did he share the news about the car-and-driver matter.

The result today, of course, is that he has badly embarrassed Obama. The new president has set a high bar on ethics and accountability, yet here’s another prominent Cabinet nominee (with baggage worse than Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner) who can’t seem to hurdle it.

On the other hand, it was Obama’s decision to nominate Daschle in the first place; presumably, he knew all along that this guy was a classic Beltway animal. Scads of lawmakers have left Capitol Hill and promptly cashed in on their connections and expertise by signing up with the deep-pocket companies that they once regulated. Daschle epitomizes that traditional Washington two-step. He has taken in roughly $5.3 million in the last two years alone – including $300,000 from health-care companies that he would have to regulate if he is confirmed as HHS secretary. And he was savvy enough to elude the strictures that are imposed by lobbyists, because, while he has been giving “policy advice” to private sector clients, he has never registered as a lobbyist.

Will Daschle be confirmed? A Senate Democratic spokesman said yes, citing Daschle’s “long and distinguished career and record in public service.” Translation: Daschle is a member in good standing of the Senate club, and it’s hard to imagine that club members will sandbag one of their own, for the behavior that they too would indulge in the private sector if given the chance.

Obama has signaled that he is sticking with Daschle. No doubt Daschle believes that the president is sincere. Last June, Daschle offered this praise for his patron: “Those who accomplish the most are those who don’t make perfect the enemy of the good. Barack is a pragmatist.”  [that was borrring drivel months ago, now it is just SUSPECT  – Mcat]

Daschle, demonstrably less than perfect, appears to be reading Obama correctly.

Let me shorten that:  hack reads hack.  IF Obama had believed any of his stump drool, he would withdraw the Daschle nom.

NOR will we be getting any sort of decent health care… nor, as Schumer let drop on Rose last night, is that upper most in the pols minds… no!…it’s all about “Health IT” which is putting medical records online to accommodate the insurance companies.  They can then DENY MORE.


Works for me!

+ CitizenFarmer I’m a fan of this user permalink

If he keeps him, I’m planning to cheat on my taxes a bit. As a farmer, I have some cash income from a road-side stand where my kids sell some tomatoes, sweet corn, jam, etc. I also sell one or two steer a year that the people pay cash for; then they pay the butcher for processing. The IRS does not need to know about either any more. Daschel and Geither have a lot more money than me. I think I’ll just take the savings on tax as my personal stimulus package.

Carry on!



1. marisacat - 3 February 2009

hmm the early news says Daschle is “fighting to keep his nom alive” Jonathan Karl, ABC.

Who knows.

Politico has a story up on Daschle and Hindery. the story describes Hindery as “left leaning”… Geesh no… these people are SELF leaning.

Seems LH was all tied in knots with Freddie Ferrer and the Edwardses… both of them. Aside from everything else in the piece.


2. marisacat - 3 February 2009

I see Sully at the Atlantic… and Scott Horton at Harper’s are mad and are not going to take it anymore. Rendition, being kept by ObRama, is NOT “Extraordinary Rendition” and does not mean condoning third party torture. No we just drop people off at the Eqyptian door step and assume they will be served pizza and have 24 hour TV. And of course the ICRC checks all the time.

http://harpers.org/ several entries….

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/ two entries (so far, but that is a loquacious boychick)

3. marisacat - 3 February 2009

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) – Suspected militants blew up a bridge in northwestern Pakistan’s Khyber Pass on Tuesday, cutting the main route for supplies bound for Western forces in Afghanistan, Pakistani government officials said.

Separately, a military spokesman said security forces killed at least 35 Taliban insurgents and wounded many more in an attack on Monday night in the Swat Valley, northeast of the Kyber Pass. …

4. marisacat - 3 February 2009

😆 what on earth can anyone say.

Mob museum doing just fine — take that, Mitch

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and others helped purge the Las Vegas mob museum (officially it’s called “The Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement”) from the stimulus, throwing around words like “wasteful.”

Fine. Be that way.

The $50 million museum (which hopes to score Tony Soprano’s black T-shirt) is going to make it with or without Washington, hear that Mr. Minority Leader? At least that’s what the museum’s organizers are telling the Las Vegas Sun:

5. marisacat - 3 February 2009


White House says chief performance-officer designate Nancy Killefer withdraws her nomination to the OMB.

NBC reports she’s backing out due to tax problems.

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hmm I do remember one night when she was on with Rose, Andrea Mitchell laughed when Charlie asked her “what happened with Richardson”…. and she said, “They really did not vet him.”

Ya think?

iirc Killefer was from the SF Neo Liberal (IMO) consulting agency, McKinsey.

Good riddance, ahead of time.

6. mattes - 3 February 2009

Computerized health records was Bush’s baby, too. I wonder what companies are waiting on the sidelines to jump in.

All it will do is increase the cost to us. Each office will need new hardware, data entry people and computer software experts…and will there be hard copies in case something happens to the computers or they are not available when you go in for your appointment?

On top of that, it will only be a matter of time before credit companies and employers get the records. Nice.

7. mattes - 3 February 2009

The NHIN Cooperative participants include:

* CareSpark
* Cleveland Clinic Foundation
* Community Health Information Collaborative
* Delaware Health Information Network
* Department of Defense
* HealthBridge
* HealthLINC (Bloomington Hospital)
* Indian Health Service
* Indiana University (Regenstrief Institute)
* Kaiser Permanente
* Long Beach Network for Health
* Lovelace Clinic Foundation
* MedVirginia
* New York eHealth Collaborative
* North Carolina Healthcare Information and Communications Alliance, Inc.
* Social Security Administration
* Veterans Administration
* West Virginia Health Information Network
* Wright State University

Together, these organizations collaborated and achieved consensus to specify, build, and test demonstrate a core set of capabilities to enable basic exchange of health information between the different HIE networks, patients, and other stakeholders.

Core Capabilities

* Ability to look up, retrieve and securely exchange health information
* Ability to apply consumer preferences for sharing information
* Ability to apply and use the NHIN for other business capabilities as authorized by the health care consumer


8. mattes - 3 February 2009

….Forgot to include. Department of Defense needs my medical records? Right.

9. NYCO - 3 February 2009

Daschle out.

10. marisacat - 3 February 2009

Daschle withdraws……………


11. marisacat - 3 February 2009

oops NYCO sorry… still half asleep and just heard it on the radio.

What a hoot!

12. marisacat - 3 February 2009

6, 7

yeah mattes.. both sides, for years now… rankles with me everytime it comes up. Schumer just happened to be off hand and blatant that night on Rose.

13. marisacat - 3 February 2009

What ever Ob’s statement means… via Ambinder

Daschle Withdraws

President Obama, in a statement: “Tom made a mistake, which he has openly acknowledged. He has not executed it, nor do I.” Daschle told NBC News’s Andrea Mitchell that the New York Times editorial this morning made him realize that passing health care reform would be made all the more difficulti if he were a distraction.

14. catnip - 3 February 2009

I wake up, turn on the teevee, and there’s Grassley in congress with a pic of Bill Murray and a groundhog behind him (Groundhog Day) and then I read that Daschle has withdrawn. Looks like it’s going to be a fun day!

What will the so-called progressives do now? Daschle was THE MAN. There is NO ONE else who can run HHS. Oh noes!

15. catnip - 3 February 2009

Robert Gibbs is Very Stiff Strictly Talking Points Man today during his press conference.

16. Intermittent Bystander - 3 February 2009

Buh-bye, Tom! Don’t hurry back, eh?

What will the so-called progressives do now?

Comfort themselves with a Duckworth nomination, perhaps?

17. catnip - 3 February 2009

Gibbs is saying that the WH isn’t involved with who would get Gregg’s senate seat. Sure. Right. (Especially after we know that Rahm was on the phone with Blago several times about Obama’s possible replacement.)

Duckworth? Has she paid all of her taxes?

18. Intermittent Bystander - 3 February 2009

I’m sure someone will ask about her taxes . . . eventually!

19. Intermittent Bystander - 3 February 2009

Kyrgyzstan closing US base key to Afghan conflict

The United States is preparing to deploy an additional 15,000 troops in Afghanistan and Manas is an important stopover for U.S. materiel and personnel.

Ending U.S. access would be a significant victory for Moscow in its efforts to squeeze the United States out of Central Asia, home to substantial oil and gas reserves and seen by Russia as part of its strategic sphere of influence.

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev spoke on a visit to Moscow minutes after Russia announced it was providing the poor Central Asian nation with billions of dollars in aid.

20. BooHooHooMan - 3 February 2009

And Yesterday The Messiah backed Daschle “Obsolutely”. LOL.

21. marisacat - 3 February 2009

Gibbs is saying that the WH isn’t involved with who would get Gregg’s senate seat. Sure. Right.

LOL Gov Lynch of NH openly refuted Gibbs statements yesterday. Said he i s in conversation wtih WH Gregg and whoever else.

One f the Schnauzers suggested yhesterday, time for Gibbs to go. That the model of keeping old friends, useful campaigners etc on as press guy just does not work, when it does not work. And cited whatshisname from the Bush WH… The one that preceded Perino

22. CSTAR - 3 February 2009

I guess “tax cuts” (or as W used to mumble, tass custs) is getting a whole new meaning.

23. catnip - 3 February 2009

21. Gibbs was much more casual last week but he was very defensive today in response to questions about a possibly flawed WH vetting process. From beginning to end, he kept parroting that O has confidence in his nominees. He was clearly uncomfortable. He knew that he was damned if you do, damned if you don’t because he was getting questions about Obama reportedly not asking Daschle to withdraw – thus violating the spirit of his new ethics rules while – as you noted – standing firmly behind his man. Gibbs had some line about the rules being new or some such thing. I’ll post the quote when it’s up. It was a weak defense and he knew it.

The press honeymoon is over in that room.

24. marisacat - 3 February 2009

Well yes… Tell it to Obster tho… Ethics Man. Or so the promo went.

Russ Feingold Statement on Gregg as Commerce Pick

Statement of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold
On the Nomination of Senator Judd Gregg to be the Next Secretary of Commerce

“I congratulate Senator Gregg on his nomination to be the next Secretary of Commerce. I served with Senator Gregg on the Budget Committee for many years and worked together with him to advocate several budget reforms. Moreover, his service for several years as Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and State has given him a solid grounding on Commerce Department programs. He is well qualified for this position.

“But the apparent behind-the-scenes deal-making that went on to determine who will fill Senator Gregg’s vacancy is alarmingly undemocratic. Once again, Americans will be represented in the Senate for nearly two years by someone they had no hand in electing. As the number of Senators appointed to their seats continues to rise, it’s increasingly clear that we need to fix this constitutional anachronism. It is time to pass a constitutional amendment to end appointments by governors and the political gamesmanship they encourage.”

25. marisacat - 3 February 2009

I think more came up about Daschle. i posted a politico article, think yesterday, on Daschle and Hindery… it was not so much WHAT It said, it was the tone. Laughing all the way thru.

26. BooHooHooMan - 3 February 2009

From what I heard – 🙄
about 20 of the hardest-ass White House Lawyers now,
half of of them literally dogs and cats,
(affirmative access I suppose)
are thoroughly grilling every prospective presidential pooch.
{Only ONE dog for the job, don’ cha know…}

Poor Malia. Poor Sasha. The Cat/Lawyers, particularly, are said to suffer No Bullshit Whatsoever from the new lot of pound puppies…


27. bayprairie - 3 February 2009

but he was very defensive today in response to questions about a possibly flawed WH vetting process.

he should “shock and awe” the presscorpse by demoing the fantastic system the vetting database runs on.

28. marisacat - 3 February 2009

gah. And I see Kerry iw whining about what a Loss Daschle Is. Loss to the insruance cos and teh Huge Medical Facilities. Maybe.

They link back to TMP Muckraker:


Has the Democratic Governors Association been subpoenaed as part of the federal criminal investigation into the pay-to-play allegations in New Mexico that derailed the Richardson nomination?

The DGA declined to tell the Albuquerque newspaper, so we gave it a try. The group — which is currently chaired by Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (and whose executive director happens to be Tom Daschle’s son Nathan) — basically stiffed us, too. Zack Roth reports.

–David Kurtz

29. marisacat - 3 February 2009

I raise my hand. I would normally say, at times like this, Pretzel needs to take charge, initiate a nuanced second roll out!. But [cough choke strangle]… He Never Was!

Despite the all the campaign claims that he was.

Again, what is his background? Remember the man claimed living in Indonesia as FP experience.

Which is not to say you get it running from non existent sniper fire in Bosnia. And that one went to State. And now everyone talks of that one’s Vast Experience and Great Global Name and Rep.

We are so blessed!

30. marisacat - 3 February 2009


Don’t go dissing the Kitties. If they were six feet tall they’d rule the Whirled.

😆 As it is I used to say in our house the cats were Republicans. As they had a troop of Democrats cleaning up after them…

31. Intermittent Bystander - 3 February 2009

Hey, at least the Brits are still our BFFs, and we got those damn Beanie Babies to back down!

32. marisacat - 3 February 2009

I think somethiing more came up… but no matter, it was not tragic. Geesh.

Baucus: Daschle had the votes

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) just told reporters that Tom Daschle had enough votes to be confirmed, calling his withdrawal “tragic.”

From Thrush at Politico

33. mattes - 3 February 2009

How Israel successfully derailed peace in 2007, by massacring a family on a Gaza beach:


34. catnip - 3 February 2009

27. the fantastic system the vetting database runs on.

Actually, that might be an improvement over the abacus they’re apparently using now to check out the nominees’ taxes.

35. marisacat - 3 February 2009

I read somewhere last night that one reason obster and Oblings are anxious to rush the Stim thru is that Banks are lining up for another Big Bailout. I wonder when the American people will rise up. Maybe a little bit then.

Via Thrush (when I was there I see Cantor has a long list of new talking pts, items to diss in the Stim. Well the sun did come up today. So why not):

He [Barney Frank] then illustrated his point — that banks will improve their chances of getting more aid if they accept limits on executive compensation and golden parachutes — in Borscht Belt fashion.

“Man goes to the doctor and says, ‘Doctor, it hurts when I go like this.”

Barney raises his hand over his shoulder, bends at the elbow and wiggles it.

“The doctor says, ‘Don’t go like this.’

He wiggles again.

“The banks have got to stop going like this,” he concludes, with more wiggling.

36. marisacat - 3 February 2009

Barbara Lee and The Black Caucus raise THEIR hand:

“Two of the most important responsibilities of the Commerce Department are to ensure that minority-owned businesses are fully integrated in our nation’s economic recovery and to conduct the decennial census.

“In this light, Sen. Gregg’s record of previously voting to abolish the Commerce Department and his attempts to block President Bill Clinton’s efforts to secure adequate funding for the 2000 census raise troubling concerns regarding his commitment to the department’s core missions.

Vetting? Embarrassments? Voting records?

37. catnip - 3 February 2009

Well, at least Grassley has an imagination.

38. aemd - 3 February 2009

The Obama, Gregg, Lynch stuff is very entertaining. Heads exploding on the right and on the left. LOL.

Ray Buckley and Kathy Sullivan are on Blue Hampshire working the Good Democrat talking point of how Obama NEEDS Greggs help on the economic crisis and Lynch is helping out Obama like a good little Democrat. LOL, looks like Newman is in the bag.

As long as the pork gets air expressed up here….

Too much fun.

39. Intermittent Bystander - 3 February 2009

catnip – I see Harper’s on board with Grassley’s presentation tech-a-neeks!

But could you possibly translate the meaning of this?
Calgary Herald caption does not entirely explain the goose-stepping or the snowman:

Protectionist clause facing Obama review
Ignatieff warns Canada ‘a force to be reckoned with’

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday he believes the U. S. Congress, not President Barack Obama, is behind the “Buy American” stimulus provision.

40. Intermittent Bystander - 3 February 2009

36 – Is this an enduring new trend in cabinetry? Didn’t W appoint a few folks to head departments or agencies they had previously advocated eliminating?

41. Intermittent Bystander - 3 February 2009

Bailed-out Wells Fargo Plans Vegas Casino Junkets

Wells Fargo, once among the nation’s top writers of subprime mortgages, has booked 12 nights at the Wynn Las Vegas and its sister hotel, the Encore Las Vegas beginning Friday, said Wynn spokeswoman Michelle Loosbrock. The hotels will host the annual conference for company’s top mortgage officers.

The conference is a Wells Fargo tradition. Previous years have included all-expense-paid helicopter rides, wine tasting, horseback riding in Puerto Rico and a private Jimmy Buffett concert in the Bahamas for more than 1,000 employees and guests.


“Recognition events are still part of our culture,” spokeswoman Melissa Murray said. “It’s really important that our team members are still valued and recognized.”


In previous years, top loan officers were treated to performances by Cher, Jay Leno and Huey Lewis. One year, the company provided fortune tellers and offered camel rides, Rickard said. Every night when employees returned to their rooms, there was a new gift on their pillows, she said.

42. catnip - 3 February 2009

39. lol..I hadn’t seen that one. Obviously, Steve thinks he has something to teach Bonhomme Carnival (and les Quebecois) about goose stepping along behind him.

43. marisacat - 3 February 2009


😆 too true

BUT Republicans always want to do away with Departments. So hard to avoid picking a posy of abolitionists… (in a sense)

Musical Chairs. 13 years ago No Commerce, today Hello! Commerce!



I read Hodes will run in two years for the (now) Newman seat.

44. marisacat - 3 February 2009

😆 Of course Compton is a pure R propagandist, so much so that ABC years ago just assigned her to the R beat, tho she seems now to be part of the Obama pool reporters. At least she mentions the damned legalities.

ABC News’ Ann Compton Reports: Michelle Obama has a blackberry and all the legal complications that come with living in the White House. Her staff confirms that the First Lady’s official business has to be preserved by law, just as the President’s text messages have to be.

“Mrs. Obama does use a blackberry,” press secretary Katie McCormick Lelyveld tells ABC News, “and any emails relating to the carrying out of the official or ceremonial duties of The First Lady would be subject to the Presidential Records Act.” …cutoff…

AND Mom-in-chief has announced she will be visiting all of the various agencies. They did ed PR today by reading to and pushing the Stim Bill on second graders. It’s for Education!

Sooo blessed.

45. marisacat - 3 February 2009

hmmm And then there is the real business of being pretzel (the embedded link to NPR is Tapper’s own):

TAPPER: I’m sorry, and then follow-up question — not follow-up question — a new question, which is: There are a lot of military experts who think that the recent incursions into Pakistan constitute a new a separate war that the president should address the nation on, and not just an aspect, a side war in Afghanistan. Does the president view the new CIA attacks in Pakistan as a — as a new — as a new war?

GIBBS: I haven’t seen those reports, and I’m — I’m not going to comment from here on — on intelligence matters. But I have not seen the reports that you refer to.

— jpt

From the NPR link… of course the naysayer is Bacevich…

The drones have been used occasionally in other countries, including Yemen and Somalia. But the use of the drones in Pakistan is sustained and shows no sign of letting up. The attacks violate Pakistan’s sovereignty.

Retired Army Col. Andrew Bacevich, a professor of history and international affairs at Boston University, says the U.S. needs to admit it’s opened another front and another war.

“This is a war that is mostly conducted by remote control, unmanned aerial vehicles launching missiles at targets on the ground,” Bacevich says. “But it is a war … that deserves very critical scrutiny by the new administration.”

Bacevich says there’s been very little debate or dialogue about the growing U.S. military offensive in Pakistan — whether in Congress, in the public realm or the UN. For the most part, the aerial attacks on Pakistan’s soil are still seen as an appendage to the Afghan conflict, rather than an independent issue. …snip…

46. marisacat - 3 February 2009

FAIR has a round up of the critical media. Some signs of life


47. Intermittent Bystander - 3 February 2009

45 – Drone incursions and cross-border bombings = mere dingleberries in the war zone(s).

I’m sure conventional wisdom in DC is that the drones are there under special dispensation/agreement with Zardari, so everything’s hunky-dory, as long as it’s all on the down-low, QT, hush-hush, etc.

Just stopped over to the Orange Glowball, and a diarist sez BofA did big layoffs today. Post-Superbowl party (high-profile sponsorship), and post-Dec-31-expiration of a severance-protection deal worked out for employees back when the bank ate MBNA.

And David Sirota is muttering darkly about the Obster economic team.

And that’s the big story here: Leo Hindery, one of the few business leaders to use his wealth to challenge deregulation, corporate trade deals and anti-worker policies was blacklisted by the Obama administration well before the Daschle flap ever happened – and he was blacklisted because he dared to clash with the same Wall Street Democrats whose corporate-backed policies destroyed the economy.

Finally, if anyone (with or without frozen hockey pucks) is suffering from Blago Withdrojal Syndrome, apparently He-Bangs will be on Letterman tonight.

48. marisacat - 3 February 2009

hmm did nto hear of the BoFA layoffs.. maybe report came out of N Carolina. Will check local media.

Oh on the Economic Team.. I think we are just scrood. No question. WRONG PEOPLE.

49. Intermittent Bystander - 3 February 2009
50. marisacat - 3 February 2009

OR you could speed things up and start at the top. There is a thought:

“I campaigned on changing Washington from the bottom up,” Obama says.



BofA coming after all the tech layoffs and teh Macy’s, 1400 Bay Area jobs, but not shutting any BA stores, they say.

Thanks for the Dkos diary…

51. Intermittent Bystander - 3 February 2009

Protests Stop New York Mayor Bloomberg’s Speech

NEW YORK — Shouting “This is what democracy looks like!” about 100 protesters stormed a hotel ballroom Tuesday where Mayor Michael Bloomberg was addressing an economic forum and accused him of ignoring the concerns of working-class New Yorkers.

A few minutes into the mayor’s speech at a Manhattan hotel, the demonstrators charged in, chanting and waving signs that said, “Mayor Bloomberg, talk to us about the future of NYC!”

Protesters said the demonstration was organized by a coalition that advocates for communities. They said Mr. Bloomberg has ignored the concerns of working-class New Yorkers, favoring the rights of rich developers instead.

Unclear if there were arrests, but the Mayor was rather huffy in the aftermath. Probably still on edge from that groundhog bite yesterday, the poor dear.

52. marisacat - 3 February 2009

Ridiculous, nothing in SFGATE.com on BofA layoffs. Lots on WF and Vegas flingola.

53. marisacat - 3 February 2009

Boo Hoo BLoomie!

54. marisacat - 3 February 2009


Good Dkos diary… he’s added a couple of MS media links, Chic Trib and marketwatch…

How awful… no numbers yet I gather (did not make it to either of the links)

SO glad PuxPhil (NY Zoo version) just hauled off and bit Bloomberg.

55. Intermittent Bystander - 3 February 2009

NYT Blog on protest (and it does sound like at least 5 or 6 were “detained” in the aftermath):

Mr. Bloomberg was about five minutes into his remarks when at least 100 people barged into the main ballroom at the Grand Hyatt New York hotel in Midtown, holding signs that read, “Mayor Bloomberg, Talk to All New Yorkers,” and chanting, “This is what democracy looks like.”

He stood stone-faced as the protesters filed in and surrounded several of the tables packed with bankers, developers and other business leaders who had paid up to $249 a head to hear him and others speak.

Suspect the AP story above was based on the NYT item.

The protest was organized by the Right to the City Coalition, an alliance of grass-roots groups. It was unclear how they were able to enter the hotel undetected, as they had been stationed outside for at least an hour before Mr. Bloomberg took to the stage.

Asked after his speech about the protesters’ claims that the poor were being left out of discussions on the future of the city, Mr. Bloomberg said: “I would suggest just if they feel that way, the ways to influence the dialogue is hardly to walk in and disrupt someone’s speech.”

He added: If you don’t like wealthy people or successful, attractive businesses, then you don’t have a tax base. We’re really all in this together.”

Somebody needs to sign on Chuck the Groundhog for future events. (The mayor baited the critter with food, and then snatched it away several times.) Maybe the next crowd of protesters could look into costume rentals and giant cobs of corn.

56. Intermittent Bystander - 3 February 2009

From the NYT comments:

The Groundhog that bit our dear Mayor,
Just answered a civic soul’s prayer,
Hope the Groundhog was treated,
An antidote meted,
And that his condition is fair.

— Larry Eisenberg


57. aemd - 3 February 2009

Ms Cat, I read that too. Looks like Katrina Swett is gonna run for Hodes seat. LOL. Dems up here have gotten real cocky since the last two election cycles. Will be interesting to see if it’s merited. 😉

58. marisacat - 3 February 2009

In case you want to skip the round robin interviews. via The Page.

“I’m here on television saying I screwed up,” Obama says in round robin of interviews Tuesday.

NBC: Says two appointees stepping aside due to tax issues “is something I have to take responsibility for.” Details here.

ABC: Admits it has been an embarrassing day for the administration. Details here.

CBS: Insists he’s still “absolutely convinced” Daschle would have been the best person to push through health care legislation. Calls nominees’ withdrawals “self-inflicted wounds.” Details here.

Fox: Says he can’t send a message “that we have two sets of rules — one for prominent people and one for ordinary people.” Details here.

CNN: Asked whether he’s lost some moral high ground with the whole situation says, “I think I screwed up.” Details here.

59. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 February 2009

The Looming Crisis at the Pentagon: How Taxpayers Finance Fantasy Wars – by: Chalmers Johnson

Like much of the rest of the world, Americans know that the U.S. automotive industry is in the grips of what may be a fatal decline. Unless it receives emergency financing and undergoes significant reform, it is undoubtedly headed for the graveyard in which many American industries are already buried, including those that made televisions and other consumer electronics, many types of scientific and medical equipment, machine tools, textiles, and much earth-moving equipment – and that’s to name only the most obvious candidates. They all lost their competitiveness to newly emerging economies that were able to outpace them in innovative design, price, quality, service, and fuel economy, among other things.

A similar, if far less well known, crisis exists when it comes to the military-industrial complex. That crisis has its roots in the corrupt and deceitful practices that have long characterized the high command of the Armed Forces, civilian executives of the armaments industries, and Congressional opportunists and criminals looking for pork-barrel projects, defense installations for their districts, or even bribes for votes.

Given our economic crisis, the estimated trillion dollars we spend each year on the military and its weaponry is simply unsustainable. Even if present fiscal constraints no longer existed, we would still have misspent too much of our tax revenues on too few, overly expensive, overly complex weapons systems that leave us ill-prepared to defend the country in a real military emergency. We face a double crisis at the Pentagon: we can no longer afford the pretense of being the Earth’s sole superpower, and we cannot afford to perpetuate a system in which the military-industrial complex makes its fortune off inferior, poorly designed weapons.

This self-destructive system of bloated budgets and purchases of the wrong weapons has persisted for so long thanks to the aura of invincibility surrounding the Armed Forces and a mistaken belief that jobs in the arms industry are as valuable to the economy as jobs in the civilian sector.

Recently, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen began to advocate nothing less than protecti’g the Pentagon budget by pegging defense spending to a fixed percentage of gross domestic product (GDP, the total value of goods and services produced by the economy). This would, of course, mean simply throwing out serious strategic analysis of what is actually needed for national defense. Mullen wants, instead, to raise the annual defense budget in the worst of times to at least 4% of GDP. Such a policy is clearly designed to deceive the public about ludicrously wasteful spending on weapons systems which has gone on for decades.

It is hard to imagine any sector of the American economy more driven by ideology, delusion, and propaganda than the armed services. Many people believe that our military is the largest, best equipped, and most invincible among the world’s armed forces. None of these things is true, but our military is, without a doubt, the most expensive to maintain. Each year, we Americans account for nearly half of all global military spending, an amount larger than the next 45 nations together spend on their militaries annually.

60. mattes - 3 February 2009


The military-industrial complex is today so confident of its skills in gaming the system that it does not hesitate to publicize how many workers in a particular district will lose their jobs if a particular project is canceled. Threats are also made – and put into effect – to withhold political contributions from uncooperative congressional representatives.

As Spinney recalls, “In July 1989, when some members of Congress began to build a coalition aimed at canceling the B-2, Northrop Corporation, the B-2’s prime contractor, retaliated by releasing data which had previously been classified showing that tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in profits were at risk in 46 states and 383 congressional districts.” The B-2 was not canceled.

61. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 February 2009

the Chalmers is just scary, though I suppose not surprising:

The inevitable day of reckoning, long predicted by Pentagon critics, has, I believe, finally arrived. Our problems are those of a very rich country which has become accustomed over the years to defense budgets that are actually jobs programs and also a major source of pork for the use of politicians in their reelection campaigns.

Given the present major recession, whose depths remain unknown, the United States has better things to spend its money on than Nimitz- class aircraft carriers at a price of $6.2 billion each (the cost of the USS George H. W. Bush, launched in January 2009, our tenth such ship) or aircraft that can cruise at a speed of Mach 2 (1,352 miles per hour).

However, don’t wait for the Pentagon to sort out such matters. If it has proven one thing over the last decades, it’s that it is thoroughly incapable of reforming itself. According to Christie, “Over the past 20 or so years, the DoD and its components have deliberately and systematically decimated their in-house technical capabilities to the point where there is little, if any, competence or initiative left in the various organizations tasked with planning and executing its budget and acquisition programs.”

62. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 February 2009

Oh, they just lie like they breathe: Michael Steele:

STEELE: Of course.

How does it work when you’re spending a third — you’re putting a third in tax cuts and two-thirds in new spending?

How does that work?

BLITZER: But if there’s an economic recovery and there are jobs created…

STEELE: Are you taking into account inflation?

And, first off, the government doesn’t create jobs. Let’s get this notion out of our heads that the government create jobs. Not in the history of mankind has the government ever created a job.

It’s like a fucking religion.

Small business owners do, small enterprises do, not the government. When that government contract runs out, that job goes away. That’s what we’re talking about here. And those two to four million jobs that are projected won’t happen. Trust me.

63. marisacat - 3 February 2009

God knows what will happen Feb 17. Local NBC just ran a test… and while the screen told me the TV in this room is “NOT REady” (and it is not) the audio reassured me the TV WAS ready.

What if we used to go to the moon and now we can’t change the broadcast mode.

64. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 February 2009

D.L. Hughley: A Man Can Take Us To War and Lie and We Won’t Do a Damn Thing About That

Hughley: Now I listened to those tapes and I’m not going to hide my affinity for this guy. I never met him before then but to me we have become such a trivial place that we will impeach a man for having sex, or lying about having sex with a woman. In California we will impeach a guy because he raises taxes on license plates because energy gets out of control. We’ll impeach a guy for saying some things on tape. But a man can take us to war and lie and we won’t do a damn thing about that. That makes me so mad.

65. marisacat - 3 February 2009

It’s like a fucking religion.

But it IS a religion. And I love all the ELECTEDS telling us the Government does not create jobs.


Just heard that House takes up a senate bill tomorrow, the switchover may be put off til June. (Moon shot delayed!)

LOL I would be reprieved again… (tho I did find a TV to buy)

66. NYCO - 3 February 2009

Senate Approves Tax Break for New Car Buyers

The Senate voted Tuesday to give a tax break to new car buyers, setting aside bipartisan concerns over the size of an economic stimulus bill with a price tag approaching $900 billion. The 71-26 vote came as President Barack Obama said he lies awake nights worrying about the economy, and signaled opposition to congressional attempts to insert ”buy American” provisions into the legislation.

The president lies awake nights worrying about the economy? I feel so reassured…

67. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 February 2009

America, It’s Time To Say Goodbye To Wall Street

Some of you may have previously read Korten’s 1995 international bestseller, When Corporations Rule the World. Longtime readers/listeners of the Intrepid Liberal Journal may also recall my August 2007 podcast interview with Korten about his book, The Great Turning: From Empire To Earth Community. You can learn more about Korten’s background by clicking here and reading the introductory text to that podcast.

Korten’s current book is organized in four parts: Part I, The Case for a New Economy; Part II, The Case for Eliminating Wall Street; Part III, Agenda for a Real Wealth Economy and Part IV, Change the Story, Change the Future. Essentially, Korten divides the economy into “Wall Street” and “Main Street.” The first half of Korten’s book is dedicated to indicting Wall Street for generating “phantom wealth” at the expense of society’s quality of life. In the second half, Korten promotes twelve concepts to empower a “Main Street” economy that facilitates the exchange of tangible goods and services among citizens living within their means.

His diagnosis and prescriptions are jarring. Korten postulates that Main Street is far closer to the original vision of Adam Smith while Wall Street capitalism is the antithesis of a free market economy. Reform-minded liberals, who believe we can work within America’s established financial credit markets banking system and stabilize our economy with band-aids and bailouts, will likely be just as opposed to his book as Wall Street apologists. Conservatives will likely dismiss Korten’s solutions because he believes in government regulation to ensure that businesses and citizens behave within agreed upon social norms.

As Korten sees it, corporations in a Wall Street economy are given incentives to destroy the planet’s environment and inflate its financial statements by taking a wrecking ball to the middle class. In a true market economy, business entities that inflict harm on the environment and their community’s overall quality of life could not survive. Hence, Korten writes that under a Wall Street economy, corporations,

“If it were a real person, it would fit the clinical profile of a sociopath.”

Sadly, in American society, sociopathic behavior was rewarded as the proper spoils of capitalism. Hence, one of Korten’s twelve concepts to empower a Main Street economy is to “Reclaim the corporate charter” so that the public has a means of ensuring accountability and social responsibility.

68. marisacat - 3 February 2009

Thunderspin. Packer in The New Yorker. gah.

Whenever this kind of mini-scandal erupts, there are several ways for a President to react. Clinton showed that he was ready to cut anyone loose who caused him political trouble, and this opportunism weakened him more than the troubled appointee could have. Bush responded with stubborn loyalty, which became the same thing as indifference to competence and integrity, poisoning his Presidency. There’s a third way, projecting true strength, and that’s to live up to your principles, which is what Obama just did.

69. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 February 2009

Medea reports from the Border of Gaza

CODEPINK Co-Founder Medea Benjamin and former US State Department official and retired Col. Ann Wright are traveling on a 10-day diplomacy trip to Gaza where they hope to learn, firsthand, the needs of the Gaza people, meet with Hamas, and to demonstrate what Special Envoy George Mitchell needs to do – visit Gaza and meet with Hamas. In addition, the women are meeting with several Palestinian aid groups to discuss plans for CODEPINK’s new worldwide call to action “International Women’s Day 2009: Dedicated to the Women of Gaza” to send aid to Gaza on International Women’s Day, March 8th.

70. Intermittent Bystander - 3 February 2009

And I love all the ELECTEDS telling us the Government does not create jobs.

Oooh ooh – health plan comparison opportunity!

Won’t even mention salaries, perks, or taxes, promise!

71. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 February 2009

Follow up on the Amazon anti-Davos:

Leftist forum ends in Amazon; capitalism seen dying

72. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 February 2009

my first thought is the 535 members’ jobs in that big building, and staff and security and etc. Those aren’t jobs? Soldiers? Police? The trucking industry that depends upon the federal interstate system?


73. marisacat - 3 February 2009


No no no… Hillary today said all that matters is that Hamas must learn not to shoot the missiles. And she smiled when she said it.

74. marisacat - 3 February 2009

72 Considering federal subsidies to universities… I can count whole campuses as Government Jobs.

75. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 February 2009

hell, the entire internet was created by the government.

76. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 February 2009
77. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 February 2009

The Whole World Is Rioting as the Economic Crisis Worsens — Why Aren’t We?

Notably absent from the list of countries where the economic crunch is rending the social fabric is the good ole US of A, a state with the greatest level of economic inequality in the wealthy world.

Outside of a few scattered and quickly contained protests, the citizens of the U.S. — a country born of revolution, but with an elite that’s been terrified of that legacy since immediately after its founding — have been calm, despite opinion polls showing that Americans are more dissatisfied with the direction in which the country has been headed since they began measuring such things.

It’s a baffling disconnect, considering that real wages for all but the top 10 percent of the economic pile haven’t increased in 35 years.

It’s more bizarre still when you consider that while European governments have handled their own bailouts relatively transparently, the U.S. government has doled out close to $10 trillion in bailouts, loan guarantees and fiscal stimulus — if there were a million-dollar bill, that would be a stack of 10 million of them — with a stunning lack of oversight or accountability.

Even the congressional commission charged with overseeing key parts of the banking bailout can’t get answers to basic questions like “who’s getting what?”

Americans are rightfully angry about that state of affairs, but with a few small exceptions, quietly so. Why? It depends on whom you ask.

In a 2006 interview with Harper’s, Barack Obama shared a subtle, but rather fundamental observation about America’s political culture: “Since the founding,” he said, “the American political tradition has been reformist, not revolutionary.” If there is to be positive change, Obama has argued, it must be gradual; “brick by brick,” as he put it in one of his final campaign speeches.

Mark Ames, author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion — From Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine and Beyond, argues that Americans have been beaten down to a degree that they’re now a pacified population, largely willing to accept any economic outrage its elites impose on them.

In a 2005 interview with AlterNet, Ames said the “slave mentality” is stronger in the U.S. than elsewhere, “in part because no other country on earth has so successfully crushed every internal rebellion.”

Slaves in the Caribbean for example rebelled a lot more because their oppressors weren’t as good at oppressing as Americans were. America has put down every rebellion, brutally, from the Whiskey Rebellion to the Confederate rebellion to the proletarian rebellions, Black Panthers, white militias … you name it. This creates a powerful slave mentality, a sense that it’s pointless to rebel.

Anyone who has witnessed the brutal police riots that have become so common since the infamous “Battle in Seattle” protests against the World Trade Organization in 1999 can tell you there’s some merit to the argument.

78. mattes - 3 February 2009

Obama implements McCaskill’s executive pay rules!

Tomorrow Obama and Geithner will implement new rules for executives whose company/bank takes taxpayers’ money.

$500,000 per executive pay and bonuses no more than their pay base.


Bernie Sanders:

79. catnip - 3 February 2009

Blago Withdrojal Syndrome, apparently He-Bangs will be on Letterman tonight.

Oh Blago, my Blago. (You be nice to him!) 🙂

Just catching my favourite elf on Larry King’s show. You just know he has to be writing a book.

80. catnip - 3 February 2009

I think I’m suffering from Shortbread Cookie Deficiency Syndrome. I’ll have to address that tomorrow before I keel over.

81. catnip - 3 February 2009

I don’t know how the Pentagon’s budget can honestly be addressed until the CIA’s is unclassified.

82. catnip - 3 February 2009
83. catnip - 3 February 2009

This is your pilot slurring: Garbled message from cockpit sparks passenger rebellion

Spending 10 hours aboard a plane is never a particularly fun prospect, but it becomes downright terrifying when the pilot appears to be so drunk that he can’t speak properly.

It has emerged that passengers aboard an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to New York were greeted by a welcome announcement from the pilot, Alexander Cheplevsky, that was so garbled it was impossible to tell what language he was speaking. They became so scared that a group of passengers demanded to see the man at the controls to check whether or not he was drunk.

Mr Cheplevsky refused to leave the cockpit to reassure the passengers, who were told by the crew they should either stop complaining or get off the plane. The Moscow Times, which had a reporter on board the plane, claimed that an Aeroflot representative boarded the aircraft and told the passengers it wasn’t a big deal if the pilot was drunk.

“Really, all he has to do is press a button and the plane flies itself,” the representative allegedly said. “The worst that could happen is he’ll trip over something in the cockpit.”

Unsurprisingly, this did not reassure the passengers, but the crew simply told them to “stop making trouble”. The incident, on 28 December, was only resolved with the help of Ksenia Sobchak, a television presenter, who happened to be on the plane. She made a few phone calls and after a delay of several hours, the pilots were replaced and flight 315 took off.


84. catnip - 3 February 2009

Gibbs on Tuesday:

Q Can you also say whether or not President Obama or anyone at the White House spoke with Governor Lynch of New Hampshire about nominating a Republican to replace Senator Gregg?

MR. GIBBS: Well, when news reports surfaced of Senator Gregg’s interest in, or that we were looking at him as a possibility for Secretary of Commerce — did the Governor of New Hampshire call the White House and voice his support? Yes. Did this White House have anything to do with the selection of who might be picked to replace a standing senator if he were selected? No.



Q Robert, if loopholes and exceptions are built in for various appointees who have lobbied in the past, and if key appointees are shown to have had problems in terms of not having paid back-taxes, is there a risk that this administration, in its ethics practices, begins to look like every other that preceded it?

MR. GIBBS: No. I think if — I’ll be happy to provide you the names of the people that have already said that this administration has laid forward, in executive orders, the strongest ethics and accountability rules of any administration in the history of this country.

Q But Robert, didn’t he say that before the exemptions and loopholes were —

MR. GIBBS: No. No, in fact, the very same people that said that applauded the fact that you are going to have a few exemptions to allow people that are uniquely qualified to serve their country. I’ll be happy to provide you the quotes from Norm Ornstein and Thomas Mann that both address the fact that we’ve — the bar that we’ve set is higher than any administration in the country’s history has ever set, and their quotes for understanding —

Q Would you acknowledge difference of opinion among government watchdog groups on this particular question of loopholes and exemptions?

MR. GIBBS: Well, you know, I have read the quotes of government watchdog groups much like you have for many years, and I think those two are —

Q More now than the others.

MR. GIBBS: No, I’m not saying — golly, I don’t — we should play the Jeopardy version of this. You guys will give — (laughter.) No, I think — I would hazard to guess that your network has shown either or both of those as experts on congressional reform. I’m simply holding them to the very same fair and balanced standard that many in your network have.

So the rationale is: Hey, just because we came up with this ethics reform stuff that doesn’t mean we have to follow it. The magic was in the creation of it. Now get with the program.

85. marisacat - 4 February 2009

But I’ll tell you what probably sealed it for most folks: the commercial of Daschle when he ran for the Senate bragging about driving his own car around Washington, D.C.


Hypocrisy is the scarlet letter in politics. … Mark McKinnon/The Daily Beast

Yeah probably is what did it… If you haven’t seen it, McK has the vid.

86. marisacat - 4 February 2009

nu post


…………. 🙄 ………….

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