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Gah. What next. 5 February 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, California / Pacific Coast, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.


Tibetan Buddhist monks wearing masks perform religious dances during the celebration of the Great Prayer Festival or the Monlam. [REUTERS]

I read a plaintive little article, somewhere or other, in the recent days… stating… for all the sturm and drang and money, couldn’t we please just have single payer health care and reform?  And mightn’t it alone do wonders for the country?

I am with that person.  That is my take.   Because in the past few days I also caught an interview with Uwe Rhinehart, the health policy guy at Princeton, that the average big city hospital has as many as 900 in back office staff, doing the insurance juggle.

Give it up.  It, that way, is failing on all fronts.  (I know they won’t.)

Instead we get governmental performance art.  And visible slippage.  Op Ed begs from the Commander in Chief.  Headlines to die or kill over.  Democrats surprised that R make repeated flanking motions.  Their front line warriors use poison tipped spears.

Well, they know the tender spots in the Democratic flanks.  They surely do.

It’s a snow storm.. but I did catch a couple of posts here and there on environmental (and transportation)  issues in the bill.  Frankly I had just grit my teeth and hoped that there were “shovel ready”, but lagging in the doing, plans that had environmental studies done and waiting.  And that they need not be done again.  As it is, I hear that most “shovel ready” (not that I know what I am talking about) is just overdue maintenance.  Well, we can use an awful lot of that, too.


From Elana Schor at TPM-DC:

Vice President Biden, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) will be appearing at a suburban Maryland train station tomorrow morning to tout the congressional stimulus bill — or in the White House press office’s words, “the need to invest in transportation infrastructure in order to build a 21st century economy.” And few thinking Americans would challenge them on that point.

But as lawmakers and the mainstream press are coming to realize, and as we noted weeks ago, the stimulus plan dedicates stunningly few resources to creating the type of transportation infrastructure that can alleviate over-taxed public transit systems while weaning the nation from its obsession with environmentally unsustainable car travel.

What’s the trouble? Why aren’t we seeing liberal Democrats, at the very least, push for the kind of groundbreaking transit projects that not only create jobs, but fulfill the president’s promise for a massive investment in public works?

And this am, Biden did head on out to that train station to lie lie lie in fine Biden fashion.  I am reminded that Perrin, just yesterday, wondered how much bullscheisse the so called Liberals will swallow, then noted, hell they already swallowed Biden.  So they have sturdy gullets.  Tank class stomaches.

Vice President Joe Biden, joining in the hard sell for the economic stimulus plan, went today to a commuter rail station in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Laurel, Md., to highlight the infrastructure spending in the bill.

Biden said that President Obama’s plan would create 400,000 jobs in the next two years by investing at least $100 billion in mass transit systems, highways, bridges, ports — what the White House calls the largest increase in infrastructure spending since the creation of the national highway system in the 1950s.

But fellow Democrats in the Senate fell two votes short on Tuesday of adding $25 billion for highways, mass transit, and water projects to the package. Republicans blocked the move, insisiting that any additional infrastructure spending be offset by spending cuts elsewhere in the package.

Critics of the $819 billion version of the stimulus bill passed by the House last week say it falls far short on infrastructure spending — which many economists say is one of the quickest ways to create jobs — compared to the pledges the president has made. Analysts computed that only 5 percent of the House legislation would go to highway, mass transit, and rail projects.

Back to Elana:

[L]et’s take Boxer first. Green transit advocates are perplexed by her decision to sign on to a amendment sponsored by mass transit critic Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) that would strike a $5.5 billion surface-transportation grant program and instead use the money for general road-building.

What’s even more distressing is the possibility that Boxer could sign on to a proposal from her GOP counterpart on the environment panel, the notorious climate-change denier Sen. Jim Inhofe (OK), to divert up to $50 billion in unspent stimulus money to road-building.

The Inhofe plan hasn’t materialized yet, and my inquiries to Boxer’s staff on the question haven’t yet been answered. But as Environmental Defense Fund transportation director Michael Reflogle told me, “this massive shift to the highways account would do nothing to enhance the system of public transportation and come with no assurances” that the money would be used first on repairing existing roads before building highways that may not be needed.

This is what’s known as a “fix-it-first” requirement — the second of my two story-lines — and it’s something that Congress has proved sadly unwilling to include in the stimulus bill. “Intense pressure has been put on senators” to pass the stimulus quickly, Reflogle explained. “We’re certainly hoping that what ultimately gets considered might look different than what was discussed initially, might reflect some of the concerns we raised.”  …

Worse, the post from Schor goes on to speculate that a possible run (I am unsure it would happen this way) between Boxer and Arnold may be influencing her.  Could be.  Dianne has her eye fixed on it, but we all know politics is what you make of it.  And people die…

But if a Democrat with Boxer’s cred isn’t pushing for a “fix-it-first” requirement in the stimulus bill, who will?

Kate McMahon, a transportation policy campaigner for Friends of the Earth, lamented the lack of a constituency for fix-it-first as “atrocious.”

When I wondered aloud about the political climate that would make such a seemingly practical provision out of reach, she observed: “The road-building lobby is pretty powerful. People just don’t want … to deal with it. At this point, [fix-it-first] would have to be something that gets voted on, and no one wants to offer an amendment that won’t pass. Right now they don’t even know if they can get the package passed entirely.”

And so we hang.

Then I read this over at Ambinder.  Which goes back to the environmental issues.

Full text:

The environmental lobby has many fires to put out and a few days worth of water left. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) opposes the stimulus package, but he wants to try and make it easier for federal agencies to build things more quickly. To do that, he’s proposed an amendment to exempt certain stimulus-related projects from the mandatory National Environmetal Protection Act review.

Sen. Barbara Boxer’s amendment would require every stimulus-related project to complete NEPA review.  Barrasso wants those projects whose reviews are taking longer than 270 days to be considered exempt or cleared; Boxer wants all projects being given stimulus money to get the benefit of a full environmental review.

NEPA can be time-consuming; critics say it is an example of liberal bureaucratic protectionism at its worst. But environmental advocates say that NEPA’s oversight is critical and ensures that programs are efficient, environmentally conscious, and don’t provide unnecessary risks to those who implement them.  The Chamber of Commerce supports Barrasso’s amendment.

The amendments are supposed to come to the floor this afternoon, and pro-NEPA forces worry that, with all the talk about money needing to be handed out quickly, attempts to slow down this down will be politically precarious.

I am told that Boxer is meeting with environmental advocates soon to plot last-minute strategy.

So… maybe a jobs bill for the re-election? Maybe.  I am not saying to ignore environmental studies (hell I am a coastal dweller, state of California too!).  But could we, maybe, survive this damned bill?


stolen from Ben Smith… all his caption said was it was taken at a “stimulus presser”.

In God We Trust.



1. marisacat - 5 February 2009

This just popped into my email box. Why oh why does it sound like the government.

– My Dear Good Friend, I am Mr Pastor Powell and i got your contact on my personal search of the person i want to will my money to. Please i willed the sum of (ONE MILLION US DOLLARS) to you ,that is the only money left in my account right now. Please if you really want to know why i have willed this money to you and you want this money to be transferred to you please contact the bank manager whose name and address i will give you as soon as you reply this mail. He will help you transfer this money that i have willed to you. Right now i am in the hospital emailing you with my lap top computer and i will tell you my story as soon as i hear from you. Pls reply me back to this email stated here: (powellpastor234@sify.com) do not write to me with this email that i sent this letter with, coz i will not receive it, i am having problem with this email box that i sent this letter with, Thank you for your understanding. God Bless you.Pastor Powell.

2. catnip - 5 February 2009

I read a plaintive little article, somewhere or other, in the recent days… stating… for all the sturm and drang and money, couldn’t we please just have single payer health care and reform? And mightn’t it alone do wonders for the country?

Was it this one by Krugman?

3. CSTAR - 5 February 2009

Dear Reverend Powell

I am a deterministic automaton.

Yours truly

DA#Series HU.

4. catnip - 5 February 2009

Raccoons Invade White House Grounds.

Apparently, they heard that a new, shiny object lived there.

5. marisacat - 5 February 2009

I am surprised the racoons were nto shot as being suspect… perhaps a masked assassination team.

6. catnip - 5 February 2009

I see the Dems are having a “retreat” in Virginia. Apropos, considering the surrendering they’ve done the past couple of weeks.

7. marisacat - 5 February 2009


I admit Mr Pastor Powell’s effort is extra looney. Of that ilk.


8. marisacat - 5 February 2009


taxpayer paid too.

9. catnip - 5 February 2009


If Obama had not given (5+ / 0-)

the Republicans a chance to show how they behave, Obama wouldn’t have something to point to. He gave them rope and showed a willingness to work with them and they showed their colors. Now he can point to their ideas as not new and them just saying no and standing in the way.

by jalenth on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 07:54:58 PM PST

Faith-based politics n/t (1+ / 0-)

by Heart of the Rockies on Wed Feb 04, 2009 at 08:20:23 PM PST

10. catnip - 5 February 2009

8. taxpayer paid too.

It’s not potluck? I’m shocked, I tell ya. Shocked!

(But the money-saving Dems are holding it in a tent, right? Gimme something to hang on to here…)


11. marisacat - 5 February 2009


or as norn/n69n said after Kerry lost (making fun of the Orange-ites)… Kerry’s loss in 2004 is brilliant preamble to 2008. You jsut know it!

12. catnip - 5 February 2009

11. lol

13. marisacat - 5 February 2009

ugh.. just heard a clip of Schumer saying…

“has bi partisaship failed? Well so far it is nto working but it takes two to tango and the R are not dancing.”

Yeah but they are. And killing the Dems in the media. AND from what I see, reducing viable votes in the senate. See MN / Franken. Gregg recuses himself from the vote. And so on.

Somebody feed the racoons. Maybe they can be dragooned into the senate.

14. marisacat - 5 February 2009

whew. Statement of Daniel Barenboim managing not to mention the weeks long war on gaza. Catch some of the signatories.

here is what Angry Arab thought of it: To Daniel Barenboin, Take your piano and go away.

[T]he implications are clear: that there is a symmetry of pain and tears and blood by both sides, that both sides suffered injustice–perhaps by nature or by some outside force from another planet which killed hundreds of children in Gaza. And is it not cute how th Zionists on this list refer to security for both people? Yes, the side with nuclear weapons and other WMDs needs the same kind of reassuances and security guarantees as the side in refugee camps being bombed from the air, land, and sea by the Israeli terrorist army. And then they call on me to transcend the past? How cute is that? If the realities on the ground favor one side (the killers, the conquerers, the usurpers, the colonizers) then any call for transcending the past is a mere call for legitimizing and accepting not only occupation, but all the massive violence and terrorism that have been used and are still being use to ensure the supremacy of Israel. I never understood why Barenboim’s piano playing or his friendship with Edward Said entitles him to offer preachments to the Palestinian people. …

One long rant with no paragraphs..

15. marisacat - 5 February 2009

Watch heads explode over this one… tho from reports I ahve read thsi afternoon, this is a vast over simplification. Then again, things are so garbled, who knows.

Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:

Obama Likely to Order Charges Dropped Against Alleged U.S.S. Cole Bombing Mastermind [5:55 p.m. ET]

16. marisacat - 5 February 2009

According to Nina Totenberg… as of now, Ginsberg plans to be back at the court for the Feb 23 session. NT mentions, similar to what bay posted last thread, the surgery is a “whallop” so… but added she can also participate in cases from home.

17. NYCO - 5 February 2009

I saw this diary title over at Kos and thought someone had finally figured out the blogger boyz’ game! Couldn’t have described it better myself…


(alas, it was not what I thought it was)

18. catnip - 5 February 2009


ABC News’ Luis Martinez reports: ABC News has learned that Defense Secretary Robert Gates has decided to delay a decision to send additional troops into Afghanistan until after the Obama administration concludes its ongoing review of the strategy for Afghanistan.

19. marisacat - 5 February 2009

… and the chrges against al Nashiri have been withdrawn.

heads are now exploding.

Tho from one report I read this is procedural. He won’t be released, and he will still be re charged and tried. In some fashion. tho the whole thing is confused right now

The charges were withdrawn without prejudice, meaning they later can be reinstated in a military commission or pursued in a civilian court. Al-Nashiri will remain in custody.

The original plan was for the announcement not to be made until after President Obama meets with the families of victims of terrorist attacks on 9/11 and on the U.S.S. Cole Friday afternoon, where he will assure them that this step was not done to be lenient towards al-Nashiri.

The move is being done to stop the continued prosecution of al-Nashiri in a court system that his administration may ultimately find illegitimate, not for any other reason, sources told ABC News. ….

20. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 February 2009

Put something new up: Learn to Divide

21. marisacat - 5 February 2009

oh for fucks sake.

Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:

U.S.A. Swimming Suspends Michael Phelps From Competition for Three Months

22. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 February 2009
23. catnip - 5 February 2009
24. marisacat - 5 February 2009

Would you trust Reid to marshall a contentious bill thru the senate? LOL Earlier he said he had the votes.. Now…. maybe not.

[N]ow would I like more votes? Of course I would,” Reid said. “But our No. 1 goal is to pass this bill. So as I explained …they cannot hold the president of the United States hostage. If they want to work constructively, we will work with them….If they think they’re going to rewrite this bill, Barack Obama is going to walk away. “ [Where is he going to go? –Mcat}

Out of deference to Reid, the White House seemed to be back-tracking from jumping into the negotiations itself. Collins said Obama had promised Wednesday his economic team would be available to her, and Thursday morning, Collins predicted the administration could be coming to Capitol Hill in the afternoon.

But Reid said, “The president instructed me to work with them if it’s going to help the legislation.” And a White House official indicated that the decision had been made to leave the matter “to Harry.”

Whether that decision will be reconsidered with the delay is not known. But some Democrats involved in the talks argue that a greater administration presence would be helpful.

Despite Reid’s confidence that he already has 60 votes, the number and range of senators participating in the Nelson-Collins group can’t be ignored. …

it’s really very funny.

25. catnip - 5 February 2009

Dana Bash had brrreaking news on CNN earlier. The gist was this: Reid was going to make the senate pull an all-nighter (which was announced around the same time Obamalama was making his chest-thumping speech about not playing games with the stimulus bill – or some such thing) and then Reid got a call from the WH this evening and went back to the senate and canceled the all-nighter.

Can you say “mixed messages”?

26. catnip - 5 February 2009
27. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 February 2009

maybe Reid realized that he’d left his Depends at home …

28. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 February 2009

Bob Johnson thinks he’s smart, until he isn’t, in his posting.

29. catnip - 5 February 2009

You’re on a roll. 🙂

30. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 February 2009
31. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 February 2009
32. Madman in the Marketplace - 5 February 2009
33. CSTAR - 5 February 2009

26 Obamalogian.

34. CSTAR - 5 February 2009

Err Bob Johnson, that is. Not Catnip.

35. catnip - 5 February 2009

Ha. Obamalama’s visit to Canada this month is being called a “5 hr fly by” and there are rumours that he might not even leave the airport. lol

36. catnip - 5 February 2009

One pundit calls it “his first foreign visit – with training wheels”.

37. lucid - 5 February 2009

The apologetics are already legendary – discourses on the profound counter-intuitiveness of the Obasmic mind and how the fact that he rides the short bus will confound partisans and bring CHANGINESS!


In other news, I’ve been damned depressed – and the basketball team I root for sucks this year, but the Nadal/Federer final at the Aussie Open was a rare treat – best tennis I’ve ever laid eyes on.

I’ve been at a loss… I’ve beaten my head against the music biz for too long.

38. wu ming - 5 February 2009
39. marisacat - 5 February 2009

oh lucid i am so sorry… the only thing to say is that so much of what is going on makes everything look worse. Be worse, not just look worse… than it is…


wu ming…

hey hey good for Kansas!

40. lucid - 5 February 2009

no worries.. just in a bad funk… will get out sooner or later – and I feel indulgent about it because others here have had much worse luck lately than their own demons.

41. catnip - 5 February 2009

40. I don’t know about you but I need cookies. (I slacked off and didn’t make any yet. Must.feed.texture.craving.)

42. lucid - 5 February 2009

I hope they’re gluten free


43. catnip - 6 February 2009

42. Umm…no. (hides)

I’m like Heston with the guns about my shortbread cookies – “from my cold, dead hands”.

44. catnip - 6 February 2009

And I usually only make them at xmas. I must have short-changed myself this last time around. (That’s my rationalization, anyway. ) 😀

45. lucid - 6 February 2009

I miss the salivation at the smell of oven baked cookies… just like coffee. Why is it that I’m left with booze and smokes but can’t consume coffee and cookies? Go figure…

46. marisacat - 6 February 2009

gah. In the Independent

Tony Blair gave an extraordinary speech about the global importance of religion yesterday, telling an audience which included the newly-inaugurated President, Barack Obama, that faith should be restored “to its rightful place, as the guide to our world and its future.”

The former prime minister also said he believed the 21st century would be “poorer in spirit” and “meaner in ambition” if it was not “under the guardianship of faith in God.” He had been invited by President Obama to lead the prestigious US National Prayer Breakfast, a spectacular event in the ballroom of the Washington Hilton Hotel. ..

Religion spit from war mongers.

47. marisacat - 6 February 2009


I can’t manage coffee every day… about every other day now… but I never would have managed to function for how ever many years I did without it…

48. marisacat - 6 February 2009


scammed this off Glenn Reynolds.. but … 😆

Daley refuses to release stimulus project list

Posted by Dan Mihalopoulos at 6:40 p.m.

Mayor Richard Daley said today Chicago has compiled a wish list of “shovel-ready projects” to spend federal economic stimulus funds on should Congress approve a plan.

Unlike hundreds of other cities, however, Daley said Chicago won’t make its list public.

“Yes, we do, we have our list, we’ve been talking to people. We did not put that out publicly because once you start putting it out publicly, you know, the newspapers, the media is going to be ripping it apart,” Daley said.

“It’s very controversial. Yes, we have ready projects from the Board of Education to the City Colleges to the Park District to the CTA and the city of Chicago. Oh yes. Us and New York decided not to do that. We thought we could go directly into the federal bureaucracies and the different departments,” the mayor added.

Later, Daley was asked why he wasn’t being more transparent.

“Read some of your newspapers. Heh heh,” he replied.

49. wu ming - 6 February 2009

i can’t fucking stand blair.

50. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 February 2009

46 – someone should tell Blair that what the 21st century needs is fewer superstitious dumbasses.

51. Intermittent Bystander - 6 February 2009

I can’t believe I have to make a decision between COBRA benefits v. another (currently cheaper, state-sponsored) health plan within the next 10 days or so, while Preying Hands like Harry Reid clown on about the magical ponies and rainbows they and their Bipartisan Brethren may or may not, in faith-hope-and-charity, ultimately bestow. If any of the House-conjured COBRA ponies actually (against all odds) materialized in a final bill, their provisions would stimulate my personal economy by a “savings” of $100/mo. But if I stick with COBRA and the ponies get slaughtered for sausage, the pleasure of betting against my own good health will cost me $175/mo MORE.

Chuck the Groundhog had it right. Fork over the corncobs, assholes, or update your tetanus shots.

52. marisacat - 6 February 2009

NPR… listening to Obey get testy with a reporter over the Bill. Bordering on nasty. We are to bow down and understand we are under an emergency… and not ask. Anything.

At one point she said to Obey, “But can’t this bill go wrong in a thousand ways?” (meaning, should we not ask?!)

And he said, “Yes, and that is not new”.

I say stuff the fucking bill. Why would it work better than other sausage they have conjured up to feed their own masters.

They rushed the damned bail out, we were to understand it was vital, it was needed, we were on the verge of The Great Depression (and we knew that was a crock, full of their vital bodily fluids).. and what happened. Wall St ate well.

ugh.. I woke up to that interview on the bedside radio.

53. marisacat - 6 February 2009

Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:

598,000 Jobs Lost in January, Most Since 1974 — Jobless Rate Jumps to 7.6%

(it was breaking at 6 am PT.. but i am just waking up)

54. wu ming - 6 February 2009

should be interesting to see how CA fared, if we’ve finally caught up with michigan. laying off all the state workers and teachers won’t help with the unemployment numbers either.

55. marisacat - 6 February 2009

We’re headed for Michigan.

The Late Great State of California.

Not just a book title. Prop 13 delivers fully, 30 years later. the great slam back against integration. from the shits in San Diego. Soon we will nto be third from the bottom in education, but Utah and MS will be ahead of us.

56. marisacat - 6 February 2009

TOO LATE! From Politico their “44” page. The text is fodder for jokes imo.

Craig to take over vetting


White House Counsel Gregory B. Craig will now be assuming control of the vetting process for replacing nominees.

Anyone who has listened closely to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs field questions lately about the White House vetting process can recite his response to skeptical reporters: “The President has confidence in the system.”

But this morning’s Washington Post suggests otherwise.

Following a series of personal revelations that have sunk nominees and complicated the president’s legislative agenda, White House Counsel Gregory B. Craig is assuming control of the vetting process.

“In the interview, Craig said he believes he will be in control of the vetting process by the time the next HHS secretary is chosen,” the paper reported. “He described Daschle’s withdrawal as a ‘massive disappointment’ and said in referring to the next nominee: ‘Obviously, this is a priority of this president, to get it right.’”

Tune into the 1:30 p.m. briefing to see whether Gibbs modifies the president’s answer – or if he still has confidence

57. marisacat - 6 February 2009

Why don’t we merge? Get the pantomime over with.

der spiegel:

Netanyahu Poised to Return to Power

By Christoph Schult

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister 10 years ago, is preparing to celebrate a comeback when Israelis go to the polls on Feb. 10. His personality is as polarizing as ever but his right-wing Likud party represents the new consensus following the recent Gaza war.

Ronald Lauder, 64, the youngest son of the deceased cosmetics entrepreneur Estée Lauder, is normally a reserved sort of person. A multi-billionaire, Lauder avoids large crowds. He is also familiar with the ins and outs of diplomacy, after having been the US Ambassador to Austria in the mid-1980s.

Last Monday, however, Lauder abandoned his diplomatic reserve for a moment. Wearing a dark pinstriped suit with a pocket handkerchief, he was standing on a stage at the Hotel Inbal in Jerusalem, introducing a “close friend.” The delegates to the World Jewish Congress, of which Lauder is the president, had gathered in the room.

Although he was identified on the screen as the “Israeli opposition leader,” when Benjamin Netanyahu walked into the room, Lauder introduced him as the “prime minister of Israel.” Whether it was intentional or a Freudian slip, the delegates did not seem particularly irritated. In fact, they applauded enthusiastically. …

58. BooHooHooMan - 6 February 2009

A big no-no, by “the rules” at least.
Definitely not Kosher regardless of the spluttered explanations.
And NOT clear if the guy is actually the assigned “hard pass” holder, a “day pass” holder, a reporter, or some type of stringer for the Jewish World News….. the frank, and frankly amusing masthead that it is.
And the guy has worked the WH beat for how many years?

Via Politico-

Rope jumping reporter ID’d
By Carol E. Lee & Josh Gerstein

A reporter who was escorted out of a White House event by Secret Service agents on Wednesday afternoon after he approached . . .

. . . President Obama to seek an autograph has been identified, officials and witnesses said.

At the end of an East Room signing ceremony for legislation funding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, a member of the media jumped the rope penning off reporters from invited guests in an apparent attempt to get Obama’s autograph, according to a White House aide.

An official familiar with the incident identified the journalist involved as Robert Feuereisen of Jewish World Review, a New York-based Web site which features primarily conservative Jewish writers. A message left at a phone listed in that name in Pikesville, Md. was not immediately returned.

The editor of the Web site, Binyamin Jolkovsky, confirmed to Politico that Feuereisen gathers information for the site and that he was the journalist who asked for Obama’s autograph Wednesday…..

Feuereisen’s 12-year-old son had bought an inaugural magazine of some sort for $8, and “his kid just drove him crazy,” said Jolkovsky. The editor said Feuereisen has been working in the White House for more than 10 years, and did not lose his credential in the incident, but received a warning not to do it again. “He’s harmless, to put it mildly,” the editor said

Witnesses said Secret Service agents swooped in and stopped him after he approached Obama.

The Obama aide said the man was held by Secret Service—but he was seen in the White House press briefing room later Wednesday under escort of a White House press aide, apparently to retrieve personal belongings and make his way out of the complex.

“We did have contact with him after he obtained the president’s autograph,” a spokesman for the Secret Service, Ed Donovan, said. “He had a hard pass so we turned the matter over to the White House press office.” Donovan referred questions about the journalist’s identity to the White House, which had no additional comment Thursday.

Other reporters at Wednesday’s event said they saw the Secret Service examining the journalist’s drivers’ license. The reporter was also said to be carrying a black, hard-sided briefcase.

Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin contributed.

LOL. The Sturm und Drang of the “Driver’s License, please ” and noting the guy carried a briefcase. But the irony is, anywhere else, you violate a perimeter, you are arrested and can expect to be drawing on the bail money fund. LOL.

So who is this guy Feuereisen working for Jewish World Review? Squat on Teh Google really, but one of the top hits already is another rubbernecker like me, LOL. With a commanding presence as frank and amusingly entitled as “Jewish World”…And Why not? We in the West are well beyond the credibility horizon.

From Unatributable.com
Hot Humor, Idle Chatter,
and Wildly Unsubstantiated Rumor

White House Press Office May Have Credentialed Israeli Spy

Supplicating to The Google turns up nary a hit for Robert Feuereisen, until his little lapse of judgment yesterday generated media coverage about him today.

So how exactly is it that a “journalist” could be a 10-year member of the White House press corps without producing regular articles on on his beat? One former US intelligence official tells me it suggests the man may be spying for Israel and just using the cover of a reporter.

Many people have a cloak and dagger impression of espionage–the type of thing propagated by James Bond and Jason Bourne. But in reality, the work of most spies is much more pedestrian. Beyond the “stealing” of state secrets or infiltrating terrorist groups that one might think dominates intelligence work, monitoring media coverage and working to sway public opinion can be just as important.

A journalist specializing in the former Soviet bloc wrote in the Atlantic a couple of months ago about how a Russian embassy official tried to recruit him by offering discrete compensation if he would produce stories reflecting Moscow’s interests. That’s no Bond-style intrigue, but it would technically be considered an attempted covert operation by Russian intelligence.

Regarding Israel, back in 2001-2002, [ Acoording to AP] dozens of Israelis were deported after US officials determined they were posing as art students in order to gain entry to federal office buildings and the homes of government employees. A draft report from the Drug Enforcement Administration, which first characterized the activities as suspicious, said the youths’ actions “may well be an organized intelligence-gathering activity.”


Like my friend who used to work in US intelligence. I asked for an opinion regarding Robert Feuereisen and the Jewish World Review, and this is what I learned:

I can’t speak to the sources of their funding–whether they’re officially underwritten by the Israeli government or not–but we do know there have been contacts, signs of coordination. The JWR effectively serves the cause of Israel in a public communications sense. This makes you wonder if they’ve been co-opted to provide media credentials as cover for an individual serving a higher boss.

Pressing for clarity on the implications of that statement, I got this:

There are various forms these kinds of arrangements can take, but, yes, to oversimplify the matter, I do wonder if this guy is a spy for Israel.

Maybe Feuereisen is a diligent researcher for JWR with no desire to write anything, no interest in having his own byline, no ambition to advance his career for the past ten years.

Or maybe he is a spy.

Oh, What the media fabricated hell, Play us out.

59. marisacat - 6 February 2009

OK! have they checked the “broke the security perimeter” racoons with the Whirled Jewish Federation? Has old Rabbi Foxglove been consulted.. Who sent them!

Have they checked them for circumcision? I am just saying.

60. marisacat - 6 February 2009

Lordy.. as we slide down teh greased rails our masters constructed… let’s def punish Phelps… :

TALKER, from Wall Street Journal: ‘Kellogg Co. is severing its relationship with Michael Phelps after the Olympian was photographed smoking marijuana. In addition, USA Swimming, the sport’s governing body, took the unusual step of suspending Mr. Phelps for three months, not because he violated drug regulations, but because ‘he disappointed so many people,’ the federation said. He will not be able to compete until May.’

61. BooHooHooMan - 6 February 2009

Ah Bebe. Where’s a porous security perimeter when you need one?

62. BooHooHooMan - 6 February 2009

RacoonsOh I know. LOL. I noticed I was getting a little furry typing and I’m afraid to look in the mirror for what my eyes may look like.

63. marisacat - 6 February 2009

Ob may go to Camp David this weekend. OBviously to get away from the invading racoons. And whoever else.

64. BooHooHooMan - 6 February 2009

Camp King David! (Okay so I’m getting carried away.)
But wait until Bebe comes. He’ll have the run run of the place.

65. marisacat - 6 February 2009

The Hill Briefing Room has the Obey interview on NRP (full text):

February 6, 2009
Obey on Stimulus Waste: ‘So What?’

@ 9:44 am by Michael O’Brien

How money is spent should be far from the biggest concern about the stimulus package, its chief author, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wisc.) said Friday.

“So what?” Obey asked in response to a question on NPR’s “Morning Edition” about the perceived lack of direction from Congress as to how money in the stimulus should be spent. “This is an emergency. We’ve got to simply find a way to get this done as fast as possible and as well as possible, and that’s what we’re doing.”

Obey said that Congress is not responsible if money is misspent, but rather, whoever spends the money poorly.

“We simply made a decision, which took about three seconds, not to have earmarks in the bill,” Obey told NPR. “And with all due respect, that’s the least important question facing us on putting together this package.”

As Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Obey had chief oversight in crafting the $825 billion package as passed by the House. The provisions in the bill have been criticized by Republicans and some centrist Democrats for not being as directly related to stimulating the economy as it should be.

“”We have more oversight built into this package than any package in the history of man. If money is spent badly, we want to know about it so we can hold accountable the people who made that choice,” the chairman said. “And guess what? Regardless of what we do, there will be some stupid decisions made.”

Already been some. And then some. And some more. Then more.

LOL Someone already emailed me they heard the same interview, and had the same reaction. Wanted to lead the mob and set up the Guillotine.

66. BooHooHooMan - 6 February 2009

Obey is a racoon. Seriously.
Check the resemblance to the critter. Obey that is.

67. BooHooHooMan - 6 February 2009

I need to apologize to the racoon community. He’s at least half Poodle. A racoonoodle, poodloon more like it. Something.

Such indulgence and high strung. So inconvenient, like its a big deal that the public asks him to perform the simple tasks of Speak! or to not shit on their floor.

I’m out.

68. Intermittent Bystander - 6 February 2009

The unemployment numbers today didn’t seem to faze the investor class, but this might get some Wall Streeters’ attention:
CEOs, Bankers Used Corporate Credit Cards for Sex, Says New York Madam. Wall Street Exposed as Convicted Escort Boss Reveals Client List of 9,800
(ABC 20/20 story airing at 10 pm tonight).

Wall street lawyers, investment bankers, CEOs and media executives often used corporate credit cards to pay for $2,000 an hour prostitutes, according to the madam who ran one of New York’s biggest and most expensive escort services until it was busted last year.

But prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office chose not to pursue any of the corporate titans, says Kristin Davis, who pleaded guilty last year to charges of running a prostitution business that used more than a hundred women.

::snippity doodah::

“Some of these guys, I was invoicing on corporate credit cards,” she said. “I was writing up monthly bills for computer consulting, construction expenses, all of these things, I was invoicing them monthly so they could get it by their accountants,” Davis said.

A spokesperson said district attorney Robert Morgenthau had “no comment” on the handling of Davis’ case or her allegations.

::snippety ay:

Among the names ABC News was able to confirm on the list:

a vice president of NBC Universal

the part owner of a Major League Baseball team who “loves Kelsey”

the CEO of one of the country’s largest private equity firms who met “Cameron” at the Peninsula Hotel

a major New York real estate developer who, according to the list, “will come to the door wearing women’s panties,” and who spent nearly $100,000

a partner at the Wall Street law firm Cravath Swaine Moore “looking for a party girl to come fully equipped” and spent a total of $20,000

an investment banker from Lehman Brothers who saw “Kelsey and Keely together” and later saw “Aria and Skyler at the same time”

an investment banker at JP Morgan Securities who “loves Brooke” and spent $41,600

an investment banker at Goldman Sachs who “only wanted all-American girls” and spent $27,000

a managing director from Merrill Lynch who saw “Lana” using the name “Nataly”

a managing director from Deutsche Bank “who called about seeing Nataly again”

It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that schwing!

69. marisacat - 6 February 2009

I have to be honest, if I were on Wall St, or a CEO with some tentacles, I’d be outing the congress people. Via media friends. They are HIGHLY vulnerable as well. All of this is diverting from their retreat, on our dime.

Now the R go on retreat on the fundraisers dime. Half dozen vs 6 pack.

We are so scrood.

70. catnip - 6 February 2009

Very telling: a WH reporter asked Gibbs if human rights was Obama’s main concern about what was happening at Gitmo and he responded that, no, it was about the fact that Americans aren’t seeing the justice they would like to.

71. marisacat - 6 February 2009

Saying that is because he meets wtih First Families at 3 pm… or whatever they call themselves. Families of 9/11 and the Cole.

72. Intermittent Bystander - 6 February 2009

69 – Well, Spitzer was the first and only one of those johns to take a fall.

Point noted about cushy retreats, all the same.

73. marisacat - 6 February 2009

Well nto jsut cushy retreats… that is just the ongoing, at the moment. All sorts of privilege and license. And assumption.

Hell even Ob complained when he visited the CBC, their own retreat in 2002, as a preamble to the senate run. Ran home to Daddy Wright and complained of a serious retreat (he claimed he thought it was) was open “booty call”. Right in Mandel’s book on Ob. (can’t believe Ob was so shocked or unknowing, coming from the Chicago cess poool)

I’d be outing all the curlicues in the vaunted ‘new ethics’ scams on The HIll.

74. bayprairie - 6 February 2009

I can’t believe I have to make a decision between COBRA benefits v. another (currently cheaper, state-sponsored) health plan within the next 10 days or so

ive been lining up ducks in a row looking to jump and land on what passes for security these days before being shown the door by security. for what little it’s worth. i was told by an HR type-person that one has 60 days from date of termination of insurance to sign up for COBRA before the offer becomes void.

she said what’s often done for a 30 day “float” is to go ahead and sign up yet not pay, one can send the check in if it turns out the insurance is needed.

she also mentioned to keep in mind that its open for enrollment for 60 days. one could not sign up at all with that 60 day window but if needed rush both check and enrollment through on day 53.

this is all hearsay on my part. use at your own risk. read the fine print. i’m unsure if its affected by state law or insurance company (i think not). but she says her concept is often used in a short term game if new insurance is known to be kicking in soonly.

iirc she also said told me that in the event i’m doored that in the enrollment there will be a certificate of group health plan coverage verifying one had past insurance coverage. she stated that this is often required as proof of past insurance with a new insurance company to get coverage for pre-existing conditions.

thats all i know.

75. marisacat - 6 February 2009

All I can add is that there should be a lot on HIPA (think that is the acronym for the post lay off portability and COBRA) online.

When I did it in 2000… mine, with Dental, was 550.00 a month. Which I paid for the 18 months then allowed. And it did get sticky as Baby had a hard to treat infection three times, between 2000 and 2002 No COBRA for Baby!…. And I really did nto have a state option. Nor easy shopping online (which I just saw a segmnet on) for alternatives to COBRA… some people, so the segment said, are finding better offers than the cost of their old coverage, that way.

76. NYCO - 6 February 2009

Regarding this raccoon talk…


This may be a dumb question, but people DO know that “coon” is a racist slur, right?

a little too close for my comfort.

77. NYCO - 6 February 2009

PS… definitely NOT implying anyone here is throwing around racist slurs.

78. marisacat - 6 February 2009

yeah but racoons are little masked furry creatures. regardless of what else is in the world… AND it was they breached the [vaunted] security. i had not even thought of ”coon”. very well aware of the word, but not in my lexicon.

79. marisacat - 6 February 2009

nuuuu post…


…………….. 🙄 …………..

80. catnip - 6 February 2009

DiFi at the Panetta hearing: “Nothing can track climate change quite like the CIA’s assets can.”


81. Intermittent Bystander - 6 February 2009

bay and MCat – Thanks for COBRA thoughts. (And bay, sorry to hear you’re exploring Plans B-Z yourself . . . fingers crossed you’ll have no need for such contingencies!)

Yes, I did research it all initially (and yes, thank goodness this type of stuff is now all online), including the 60-day window and the gap-in-coverage clauses for pre-existing conditions. NYS (whatever its other ills, which are many) does have a decent option (though basic – no dental, no mental – and with an income cap restriction) called Healthy New York, which I’ve used before as an independent contractor.

This time, I extended my old health plan under COBRA for February (and BTW, the payroll company/group that was nominally my employer demanded I send them a check before the end of January, to keep coverage), since the application/enrollment deadline for HNY is the 20th of each month and I didn’t get the COBRA notification letter until the 23rd or so. (Fortunately, HNY doesn’t force you to exhaust COBRA benefits before you’re eligible.) Then I hit up my (actual) former employer for the difference in the two plans, since the timing problem (preventing me from going straight to HNY) was his fault, not mine. I’ve got the app for HNY and had intended to send it in (with $$) by the 20th of Feb for March enrollment.

That’s where I was when I heard about the 65%-sponsored COBRA pony possibly (or not) on the stimulous carousel. If the horsie actually makes it to the final version, I’d be better off with COBRA. If not, I definitely cannot do it. So unless something happens quickly, I’ll probably wind up switching to HNY this month, as planned, and will just hope that if the pony does later make it through the sausage factory unscathed, the grinders will allow the recently unemployed (I think I saw an eligibility date of laid-off-after-Sept 08 somewhere) who couldn’t afford regular COBRA to hop on the carousel again.

It really is beyond nuts that people have to bet the equivalent of a second rent or mortgage every month, just in case they need catastrophic medical care some day, somehow. It’s the equivalent of inducing a medical/financial emergency, every month, month after month, as a given.

82. Intermittent Bystander - 6 February 2009

For the record, I am a lifelong fan, friend, and ally of raccoons.

I fully support their encampment on the White House grounds, and think the executive chefs should provide a buffet of high-quality leftovers every evening after dusk.

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