The Complicated Diplomatic Life of Hillary Clinton (UPDATE 1X: Clinton on the Defensive in Congo over Bill’s “Presence”; UPDATE 2X: Bill Off the Leash?; UPDATE 3X: Video of Clinton Congo Outburst, Glenn Beck Comments)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

UPDATE 1: 8/10/09 PM:

Apparently, Hillary Clinton IS getting touched by the recent focus on her husband–in Congo, no less!  This is SO NOT GOOD! And in so many ways…for women, for Clinton herself, for the country…is the final set-up in place for her to leave? A large part of her visit to Congo is going to focus on the mass rapes in the country and human rights issues, but by the time the following report gets to the U.S. that emphasis will probably be lost.

Note: I’ve deleted the original excerpt after seeing that it was from the AP….replaced by the story from the France24/AFP:

Clinton pushes rights issues in Congo, Angola

snip

Clinton faced a flurry of questions from the students, not all to her liking. At one point, she showed a rare flash of public anger as a young man asked for the views of her husband, former president Bill Clinton.

“My husband is not the secretary of state, I am,” Clinton said forcefully.

The AP story also quoted her as saying she wouldn’t be “channeling” Bill Clinton and described her response as being “snapped.”

The Voice of America news omits the exchange and the BBC story only cites the last line/quotation (without the “she snapped” or the “forcefully.”)

UPDATE 2

Albert R. Hunt, Exec. Editor for Washington for Bloomberg News opined 8/10:

Big Dog May Not Return to Leash After Pyongyang

What will this Pandora’s Box yield?

UPDATE 3   8/11/09   AM

From the AP story at FOX News, the video…and, as predicted, this is going viral. Glenn Beck was razzing Clinton about this on his AM radio show just now and will sending it in his newsletter.  He did make one comment that makes a lot of sense: that Clinton must really regret that she took the job.  Whatever it is, she’s cleary frustrated as hell.  Beck also played a tape of her during the campaign in which she shouts about how “Amercans have a right to debate” and how “debate is patriotic” (in reference to the Bush Administration). Beck mocked her “gentle” style and compared it to her outburst in Congo.  He also commented on her absence from the trip to Russia and the N. Korean business.  He was implying that she was being cut out of the loop.   He was caustic, of course, but an awful lot of it was spot on.  Especially when he finished up by saying that the Obama/ACORN machine had taken down the Clinton machine–that’s how scary these people (Obama people)  are.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “untitled“, posted with vodpod

***

ORIGINAL POST BEGINS HERE (Touching on what’s been brewing and finally came out today, as reported above.)”

This is a complicated post that has evolved over several days observation…

To start,  back on Tuesday, 8/4/09,  I posted a little comment over at the TD Blog’s open thread on Bill Clinton’s mission to N. Korea to free Al Gore’s journalists/reporters  from Current TV (or whatever they are).  I commented:

I expect to hear at some point that Bill’s success shows that Hillary sucks at being SOS…

So, lo and behold, I listened to the report on the “rescue” the next  morning on the BBC World Service news bulletin (at 1400 UTC)  and at the very end, the throwaway comment by a reporter on the phone (a British reporter, not an American) was (sic) “What’s interesting is that SOS Hill Clinton is married to Bill Cinton and he accomplished what she couldn’t.”  The AP on Thursday (8/6) in an analysis piece (can’t quote them) and the L.A. Times in a news story that, of course, includes “analysis” used the word “overshadow” in their post-mission coverage.

Meanwhile, over at the BBC’s “Have Your Say” page, the teaser is “Should Africa Listen to Hillary Clinton?”

Should Africa listen to Hillary Clinton?

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has begun a tour of Africa, saying improving democracy is the key to boosting trade and development. But should Africa follow her advice? (more)

Gee, I thought she was representing the Obama Administration/the United States–why the “personalization” of her foreign policy trip?

Well, I guess it’s understandable, since Clinton has personalized some of her rhetoric, notably her comments in late July regarding North Korea. From the detailed coverage of the spat at India’s IBNLive:

“Maybe it’s the mother in me, the experience I’ve had with small children and teenagers and people who are demanding attention, Don’t give it to them,” she said in the interview.

She also said the North Koreans were like “little children” who “had no friends left.”

I have no no problem to the reference to motherhood, in general, but …did Clinton’s acid comments really help the situation?

North Korea’s Foreign Minister issued a scathing response. From the KOREAN CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY of DPRK(Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)

She said during her recent trip to India that “north Korea should not receive the attention it is seeking through behavior like missile launches,” likening Pyongyang’s behavior to that of unruly children. Her words suggest that she is by no means intelligent.

The DPRK has taken necessary measures to protect the nation’s sovereignty and right to existence to cope with the U.S. hostile policy and nuclear threat, not to attract anyone’s attention.

snip

We cannot but regard Mrs. Clinton as a funny lady as she likes to utter such rhetoric, unaware of the elementary etiquette in the international community.

Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping.

Anyone making misstatements has to pay for them.

While some stories in the Western press called N. Korea’s personal attack “bizarre”  (See: the Agence France-Press report at News.com.au titled  North Korea in bizarre Hillary Clinton attack ),  over at IBNLive there’s a vote up on Clinton, up or down which is basically tied, and also a place where, among several choices,  you can give her flowers or throw tomatoes, complete with a “live action” tomato throw at Clinton.  Currently the tomatoes are the most popular choice.

The result of this spat was that the 6-party talks were declared “dead”….but the rhetoric was toned down and backchannel work to reset the playing field  was undertaken and then, enter Bill Clinton and the freeing of the Current TV writers.

Early on,  Asia Times Online, the “private” nature of Bill’s N. Korean rescue mission was nabbed as a “fantasy”: See Dear Leader stars in Bill and Hillary show for a good read.

Clinton was just the high-profile visitor North Korea hoped to entice from Washington in return for handing over the journalists.

Why bother to pretend otherwise, after wife Hillary, as secretary of state, had laid the groundwork by saying that maybe Ling and Lee had made a mistake and strayed across the Tumen River border with China when North Korean soldiers picked them up on March 17? And hadn’t Hillary already expressed an apology for the mishap after having said earlier the two had done nothing wrong?

The Independent Opinion Page seemed to think everything is OK for Hillary:

Yet one perk now stands out. How many other jobs would enable a woman to send her philandering husband to North Korea? Many women have fantasised about it. Mrs Clinton has actually done it. Take note Harriet Harman. Some sisters, at least, are letting their menfolk know who wears the (pantsuit) trousers.

Well, that BBC reporter quoted up top doesn’t seem to echo this shallow assessment. Neither did the AP or the L. A. Times and other media outlets. From the  above L.A. Times story,

It once again led to him overshadowing his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, even as she is on her own diplomatic trip to Africa.

snip

At the same time, the trip left some uncertainty about how Clinton’s new diplomatic career is fitting in with that of his wife, America’s chief diplomat. While Bill Clinton was in a worldwide spotlight, the debut of Hillary Clinton’s 11-day trip to Africa received scant attention. She has been trying to raise her visibility in an administration stocked full of capable diplomats and influential White House foreign policy aides. The Africa trip, including stops in Kenya — Obama’s father’s homeland — and several longtime hot spots, was meant to help her raise her own profile.

In an NBC interview Wednesday, the secretary of State said that though she had originally favored Gore for the North Korea assignment, she was “very much in favor” of sending her husband once the North Koreans requested it.

And, here’s something else, also from the L.A. Times story:

“This is really going to help consolidate his role as an elder statesman,” said Ross Baker, a political analyst at Rutgers University. “It almost gave him a kind of heroic tint.”

So Bill is the hero of the story; Hillary, not so much. Heck, by the end of the week on the McLaughlin Group, Hillary Clinton’s name didn’t even come up in the discussion of Bill’s trip to N. Korea and its potential implications at all!

Back to that BBC news bulletin I mentioned right up at the top…

A short bit later in the same news bulletin, I heard the report on Hillary Clinton’s umbrage at the Kenyan government…their corruption, impunity, and failure to correct the problems that resulted in the post-election violence back in December 2007.

The BBC story below has a video of  Clinton Speaking at the 8th AGOA Conference.

Kenya impunity ‘disappoints US’

snip

Addressing the press following a meeting with the Kenya’s president and prime minister, Mrs Clinton strongly criticised Kenya’s political leadership.

She said the absence of strong and effective institutions had permitted ongoing corruption, impunity and human rights violations.

And she noted that these conditions had helped fuel the violence that engulfed the country in early 2008.

“We’ve been very clear in our disappointment that action has not been taken [over the violence],” she said.

“It is far preferable that it be done in the regular course of business, that prosecutors, judges, law enforcement officials step up to their responsibilities and remove the question of impunity.”

The violence broke out after supporters of Raila Odinga – the main opposition leader at the time – said he had been cheated of victory in the December 2007 polls.

Clinton adds:

“I want you to know President Obama feels a personal connection and commitment to the future of Kenya.”

If you listen to her speak this line, she enunciates every word very carefully, as if she wants to make sure everyone listening gets it.  It’s overkill, of course.  Perhaps over-compensating for Obama’s ties to Odinga and the same old, same old foreign policy that’s chugging along. Or some reflexive sense that she has to make sure any hint of “not being fully on board” is dispelled.  Whatever.  It seems to happen fairly often.

A little bit below this video there’s an audio clip which discusses the main concern of the U.S. regarding  Africa, namely, OIL, since 24% of our imports come from Africa and catching up with China, Russia, and India.

Emira Woods, Liberian-American  journalist and an “expert on U.S. foreign policy in Africa”  comments, that  despite the ” lofty rhetoric” of Obama’s Inaugural Address, U.S. foreign policy is “still focused on a  narrow definition of U.S  interests” with regard to “extractive industries”…oil, gas, and mining.  Then there’s the “land grab” which is going on across the African continent.  According to Woods, large “tracks of lands” are being turned over to the production of biofuels to fuel cars around the world, but there’s really very little concern about feeding starving children.  Woods also relays concerns about the militarization of Africa. (Note: Both the Clinton video and the Woods audio are here on one page:   http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8185626.stm).

Very little “hope and change” over there, just like there’s very little here at home…

And in Angola, Clinton pushed for  “credible elections”…you know, the kind the Democrats gave us last year during the primaries.  Eek!

Of course, the topic turned to oil. From the BBC:

In Luanda, Mrs Clinton is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with American oil giant Chevron and the US Agency for International Development (USAid) to promote investment in Angola’s agricultural sectors like coffee and bananas.

Asked about China’s growing influence in Angola, Mrs Clinton said she was not interested in what other people were doing in Angola because her focus was on what the US was doing.

Last year, Angola overtook Saudi Arabia as China’s leading source of crude oil.

She’s not interested in what China is doing?  Really?  Oh, please.  It sounds sort of glib, doesn’t it? And completely disingenuous…

So, basically, all the trumpeting of a new foreign policy seems to be a lot of hot air and not much different than anything that’s come before. The U.S.’s self-interest is still all wrapped up in oil.

Remember how during the Bush years we got all sorts of big talk?  Remember the infamous “axis of evil” reference in his 2002 State of the Union address (axis = North Korea, Iran & Iraq)?  Well, there are times when Clinton sounds just like George W. with her sometimes very harsh or very glib statements.

Now, I really deplore the snark from that BBC reporter aimed at  Hillary Clinton about Bill coming to the rescue.  She seems to absorb al this without batting an eye. Then again, Hillary got the “street finger” from the Obama crew during the primaries. And she chose to leave the Senate and sign on with the Obama crowd.  It’s nice that she’s adding some comments about women in her speeches, but in real life, she’s being slimed by a reporter for the BBC and undercut in her desired appointments to positions by the Obama team.  It’s been reported that HIS  people are in under her, not her first choices for key jobs.  And now, Bill has re-entered and is the new hero of the N. Korea situation.

But she’s apparently OK with all this. (?)

So, the upshot of how this makes me feel is that 1) She’s getting shafted or undercut too often and 2) Sometimes she speaks in ways that makes me scratch my head. But most of the time, I just wonder what will happen next. What does Bill do next?  Madeline Albright sure didn’t have to deal with this sort of thing. I can’t figure it out, unless Clinton is used to the soft form of “battered wife” syndrome.  Then there’s the dealings with Obama, the guy who cheated and muscled himself into the nomination.  Here she is, right on board the train with the usual U.S. foreign policy, surrounded by Obama loyalists, while he keeps his nose clean. I guess she’s OK with this and how she must defer to his lead, but it I don’t feel OK watching it all happen.

So, while others cling to Hillary Clinton as their personal inspiration, I can only say that I’m left with very mixed feelings at this point. I sort of shake my head and say ” Too bad”  about Clinton’s odd position at State, along with everything else that is “too bad” these days…

The Past Week: April 26-May 2, 2009 (Cap & Trade Speed Bumps; Tiny Houses; Obama’s Unchecked Spending Could Doom Health, Energy Plans)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

At the start of the week, before all the hoopla over the first 100 Days of Obama Hell, it seems that a pesky group of moderate Democrats were a little bit edgy. Via Kenosha Marge:

Cap and trade hits speed bumps

Supporters of legislation to address climate change expected last week’s rollout of a cap-and-trade energy plan — complete with Earth Day events and an Al Gore appearance on Capitol Hill — would boost their efforts.

Instead, what they got was an earful from a group of moderate Democratic lawmakers, many of whom represent competitive seats, who said the policy would set their already-economically hard-hit districts even further back.

MORE

But the upset isn’t limited to those in competitive, targeted seats. Some Democrats in safe seats are also concerned about the possibility of sending more manufacturing jobs overseas as well as huge increases in energy costs in areas which depend on coal for energy.

Energy costs will go up for everyone, of course, so this may not be a bad idea. I saw an article several years ago on “small houses” in one of those Sunday magazine inserts, but this may be the time for this idea!  Checkout the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company:

Philosophy

Dream Big. Build Small.

My name is Jay Shafer and since 1997 I have been living in a house smaller than some people’s closets. I call the first of my little hand built houses Tumbleweed. My decision to inhabit just 89 square feet arose from some concerns I had about the impact a larger house would have on the environment, and because I do not want to maintain a lot of unused or unusable space. My houses have met all of my domestic needs without demanding much in return. The simple, slower lifestyle my homes have afforded is a luxury for which I am continually grateful.

Shafer has plans for houses from 65 to 837 square feet and testimonials, plans, as well as pictures and videos of  houses that have been built are at the site.  They are really very nice! Can you imagine if all the “McMansions” were replaced by these little places?

***

As Obama’s spending plans balloon, here’s a very succinct rundown of the problems that may be down the road.  Again, via Kenosha Marge:

Obama’s Plans May Be Doomed by Unchecked Spending: Albert Hunt

Commentary by Albert R. Hunt

April 27 (Bloomberg) — “A hundred million there, a hundred million here, pretty soon, even in Washington, it adds up to real money,” President Barack Obama declared last week, paraphrasing a line attributed to the late Republican Senate leader, Everett Dirksen.

Hunt provides a list of the political realities of all these dreams. For example:

Social Security: The Obama administration knows that curbing the growth of entitlements is critical and that Social Security is an easier target than Medicare.

Former President George W. Bush’s attempt to institute private accounts was ill-conceived. The stock market crash has killed that approach for the foreseeable future.

Not That Hard

Yet a Social Security “fix,” which should command support from the center of both parties, isn’t very elusive. It could involve progressive indexation of benefits so wealthier retirees get less, small tax increases, and a gradual increase in the retirement-eligibility age as Americans live longer.

Many congressional Democrats, including the leaders, are as rigid in resisting this as Republicans are on taxes. They have told the White House: Don’t even think about setting up a commission to deal with Social Security or other entitlements.

On each of these measures, supporters avoid discussion of the fiscal costs and wrap themselves in buzzwords: family farms, small businesses, the “death tax,” protecting seniors. “Most of it is about labeling,” Reischauer says.

The small stuff, such as Obama’s directive to his agencies to cut a total of $100 million from their budgets, may score political points for the president. He’s talked a good game on some of the bigger-ticket items, while showing no inclination to fight for them. His apologists say he has higher priorities.

If it persists, this will produce one of two train wrecks: decimating his health-care and energy initiatives or imperiling a long term, fiscally sound economy.

This is a sobering read that even Obots could understand…

***

THE PAST WEEK

*By Kenosha Marge

**By Grail Guardian

Saturday Sanity: The Antidote to the Madness (May 2, 2009) ORIOLES!

While Obama Blows Off Women’s Freedom as He Celebrates His First 100 Days, the Saudis He Bows to Clamp Down on Women Even More (UPDATE 1X – Souter Leaving Supreme Court)

*Holding Out for a Hero

**Spring Finally Arrives in New York! Hurray! Photos from Highland Park (Near Rochester)

Money Matters: “Banker to the Poor” In Impoverished Countries Now Lending in U.S.; “Money Goddess” Advises Obama Administration; IMF Bonds Update

The Past Week: April 19-25, 2009 (Pakistani Women Pushing Back; French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde Speaks; Doubts About Toxic Asset Plan; UK Blogs)

The Scanner-Politics: March 25, 2009 (G-20; Glenn Beck’s “The One Thing” Segment on the Dollar [Video]; “The Big Takeover”; Al Gore Releasing New Book on Election Day 11/3/2009; Augie the Dog Sends a Deposit to the U.S. Treasury)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

We looked at the upcoming G-20 meeting in yesterday’s post (See: The Scanner–International Edition, March 24, 2009: Say Goodbye to the Dollar? China, Russia Proposing a New World Currency for “Non-Credit” Based Economies, Echo G-20 Agenda of Expanding IMF; China Will “Consider” Buying IMF Bonds; 10th China Develpment Forum Underway), and lo and behold, a few times during the day, I began picking up some items on the TV discussing the meeting, which will be held in London April 1-2.

I caught a few moments of Shepherd Smith on FOX during the afternoon, interviewing a woman who ticked off all the reasons why the dollar wouldn’t be replaced as the world’s reserve currency at the meeting. The discussion was in the context of how it would affect the U.S. economy and how complicated it was, and that’s why it wouldn’t happen. China’s worries about its investments in U.S. Treasury bonds was mentioned and their desire for the dollar to be dropped as the reserve, but the EU was supporting the U.S. There was absolutely no mention of Russia and its release suggesting what China suggested.

Apparently, Glenn Beck wasn’t so circumspect during his morning radio show or his FOX TV show later in the afternoon.  I didn’t hear either but my mother said he sounded EXACTLY like what we had written in our post yesterday.  Since I had printed it out for her to read, she knew what was in it.

Well, what he opined wasn’t EXACTLY what we wrote about, but he touched a whole bunch of bases in giving a general “history” of how we have gotten to where we are today.  It’s like “From Biggest Lender to Biggest Borrower 101.”  Apparently Glenn Beck and IA are on the same page, at least on this one topic.  That’s a bit weird for us, since I think Beck is pretty insufferable, to say the least, but I think the “The One Thing” segment he did yesterday evening was pretty darned clear. This is a very short segment, so do watch it all! (Note: I had trouble inserting the video from the FOX site, so I found it on YouTube. The “title” comes from FOX, however.)

The One Thing

By Glenn Beck

The incredible shrinking dollar: Where’s the outrage?

***

A big hat tip to Uppity Woman who posted about the story by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone which actually comes out and talks about the “revolution” that is underway courtesy the big insiders.  Go to Uppity Woman to catch some of the excerpts of note.

And here’s the direct link to the piece:

The Big Takeover

The global economic crisis isn’t about money – it’s about power. How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution

***

Well,  just in time for the 2009 election is…Al Gore, who issued a press release yesterday about a follow-up book to An Inconvenient Truth.  I loved the film and got a copy of the book as “payment” for my efforts in the not-so-long-distant past at a certain Chicago-based website that went crazy last May.

From the blog, Al Gore:

Our Choice March 24, 2009 : 1:07 PM

From the Press Release:

Today Vice President Gore announced that his next book, Our Choice, will be published by Rodale in the US and by other publishers internationally on November 3, 2009. Picking up where An Inconvenient Truth left off, Our Choice utilizes Mr. Gore’s forty years of experience as a student, policymaker, author, filmmaker, entrepreneur and activist to comprehensively describe the real solutions to global warming. A co-recipient of the Nobel Peace prize in 2007 for his environmental work, Mr. Gore continues to make sense of the pressing issues we face and Our Choice will unquestionably inspire and rally those ready to fight for solutions that were deemed impossible only a short time ago.

I was really ticked when the guy who delivered those stirring speeches about the press and the Constitution during the Bush years turned around and chose to endorse Obama instead of remaining a statesman for the world by staying neutral–the same Obama who took all that money from Exelon and rewrote a nuclear safety bill to please his donors and the Republicans.

So now, Gore will inject himself into the 2009 elections as all the PR push for his book in the period leading up to its Election Day release.  He’s been pretty quiet since the Inauguration and hasn’t talked about energy policy at all, although he’s supposed to be some sort of adviser to the Obama Administraiton.  Elections for governor will be held in Virginia (where Terry MacAuliffe is currently running for the Democratic nomination) and New Jersey (where Democrat Jon Corzine may be facing re-election troubles).  Frankly, I view this “book business” as manipulative and cheesy. And so damned obvious…

***

Finally, on a lighter note…

Augie the Dog and his owner make a statement of sorts about money.  I think it’s appropriate that the bag displayed near the end of the video will be going to the Treasury…Follow this  link and enjoy!


Environmental Three-Card Monte? Obama *May* Grant Emissions Waivers to States Today? (“Immediately Work on It” vs. “Reconsider”) (But Other Policies Already Having a Negative Effect on Bears–Warning, Pic!) (Updated 1X) (Update 2X–After Announcements, NY Times Still Pushing Obama Kool-Aid) (Update 3X–Gore Surfaces)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Well, as we enter the second week of the Obama Monarchy, we find that we’re perhaps in a developing approach to governing that is reminiscent of “3-card monty(e).” In case you’re not familiar with the term, here’s an explanation from NY.com. The scenario:

Three Card Monte

Whenever a police car passes by, you can observe how quickly these games disperse. Sidewalk card games are both illegal and fraudulent for some very good reasons. The scenario:

Two or more people are standing around a cardboard box on a busy street trying to win money by choosing the correct card out of the three cards shuffled.

You notice that someone seems to be winning; this person is usually working with the dealer to lure people in. People who work these scams know that it will be less suspicious to plant a women or someone in a business suit in the game.

The shuffler will purposely lose the first few rounds to get you to bet more money.

At this point, if you take your wallet out, someone may grab it and run -OR- it will be pick pocketed as you watch the game.

If by some fluke you win, you may be followed and mugged.
How to avoid this : The hand is quicker than the eye and these are pros. Don’t play – YOU CANNOT WIN!

During the campaign, we learned that Obama was in the pocket of Exelon and re-wrote a bill regarding nuclear waste for the company’s benefit at the behest of Republicans.  Seemed to be easily swayed at the expense of his constitutents in Illinois. (See “In Nuclear Bill, An Early Obama Test.”) Now, we’re getting word that today (Monday, January 26) the Obama Administration will announce that they will grant waivers to states like California so that they can raise emissions standards, a move that was stopped by Bushco.  From GristEnvironmental News & Commentary:

Breaking: Obama to grant emissions waiver

Move would allow California and 13 other states to set tougher tailpipe standards

Posted by Kate Sheppard at 4:43 PM on 25 Jan 2009

President Obama on Monday will direct federal regulators to grant a waiver to California and 13 other states that have petitioned to set higher vehicle emissions standards, according to a New York Times report citing two administration sources.

SNIP

The Washington Post also has the story, reporting that White House officials “privately trumpeted [the emissions move] to supporters as ‘the first environment and energy actions taken by the President, helping our country move toward greater energy independence.'” While the Times says Obama’s decision will result in quick approval for California emissions waiver, the Post‘s story has a more conditional tone, saying only that the president has ordered the EPA “to reexamine two policies that could force automakers to produce more fuel-efficient cars which yield fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

So, the New York Times seems to be sure it will happen, while the WaPo is reporting in a more “conditional tone.”  I guess we’ll have to wait to see what “reexamine” means in Obama parlance. (SEE BELOW FOR ACTUAL WORDING IN THE STORIES)

Let’s also see what really happens with a promise Obama made during the lead-up to the Pennsylvania primary. Back then Obama promised he’d “hire” Al Gore. (See Obama Says Climate Change Is Real, Will Hire Gore) I haven’t heard a peep from Gore lately, but I haven’t been looking for him either. Maybe I missed something?  Let me know if I have missed any news about Gore. Perhaps he really is working on various issues for Obama and perhaps he’s under wraps so he doesn’t get into the “baggage game.” But, as it stands now, we will have to wait to see if Obama actually does use Gore in the way he promised.  Some of the proposals for carbon emissions capping, etc. may cost some money and consumer may not be too happy about it. Let’s see what happens.

Treehuggers.com (a site owned by the Discovery Company)  has a list of environmental concerns that the Center for Progressive Reform believes Obama should act on.  You can see the list here:

7 Executive Orders President Obama Should Sign to Protect the Environment: Center for Progressive Reform

Back at Grist there’s a story about how the departing Bush Adminstration slipped in a rule that weakens a Reagan era rule, if you can believe that!

Blazing addle

Bush administration moves to allow guns in national parks and wildlife refuges

Posted by Kate Sheppard at 6:15 PM on 05 Dec 2008

The Department of the Interior on Friday announced a final rule that will allow visitors to carry loaded and concealed firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges. The previous rules, put in place in the early ’80s under President Reagan, allowed firearms in parks as long as they were unloaded and stored somewhere that wasn’t easily accessible.

SNIP

It could take many months (or possibly years) for the next administration to overturn the rule, should it choose to do so, since it would require a whole new rule-making process. Nick Shapiro, a spokesman for Obama’s transition team, told the Associated Press that the president-elect hasn’t made any decisions about the rule: “President-elect Obama will review all eleventh-hour regulations and will address them once he is president.”

Note that Obama hadn’t made any decisions about the rule as president-elect…so, we’ll have to see if he addresses the issue.  It’s sort of like the “Conscience Rule” which could also take years to overturn.  Let’s see if Obama sticks his neck out on either of these two issues. Meanwhile, the poor bears are already showing changes in their behavior to adapt to the new mindset in Washington!  Here’s the story, passed along by  a correspondent from W.A.M.:

Montana wildlife impacted by spreading malaise: The photo below captures a disturbing trend that  is beginning  to affect wildlife in the US.

Bear Waiting for Handout

Bear Waiting for Handout

With a sweeping Democratic Party victory in the November elections, animals  that were formerly self-sufficient are already  modifying their behavior to take advantage of what they expect to be a new set of societal norms in the next four to eight years. This  black bear from Montana has ceased hunting for a living and is sitting outside the US Fish &  Wildlife Service office in Kalispell, apparently  waiting to be fed and to have his winter den dug  by government employees. The residents of Kalispell are calling him “Bearack Obama”.

So, we’ll have to see how Obama handles this development. Does he let the Bush rules on loaded, concealed weapons stand which would then allow park visitors to shoot bears expecting a handout?  That might be the easiest way out of the problem.

And it just goes to show you…when it comes to Obama, choosing the correct card from what’s being shuffled as Obama zigzags along with “conditional statements”  and watered down promises, a la Exelon, is probably a game we won’t be winning.

“3-Card Monte” may turn out to be even more Obama’s game than basketball…

***

UPDATE 1

How the Times and WaPo word the story lower down the page:

The two stories (web editions)–Both start the same then there’s  the NYT’s “begin work immediately” vs the WaPo’s instruction to “reconsider”…

The New York Times, January 26, 2009

“But the centerpiece of Monday’s anticipated announcement is Mr. Obama’s directive to the Environmental Protection Agency to begin work immediately on granting California a waiver, under the Clean Air Act, which allows the state, a longtime leader in air quality matters, to set standards for automobile emissions stricter than the national rules.”

Washington Post, January 26, 2009

“Obama will instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider whether to grant California a waiver to regulate automobile tailpipe emissions linked to global warming,…”

UPDATE 2 (1 pm MT)

Just back from errands, I searched for the reporting on the big event…and found that the NY Times headlines says one thing  but the story is now in line with the original WaPo story (above)!

From the New York Times web edition:

Obama Directs Regulators to Tighten Auto Standards

Published: January 26, 2009

WASHINGTON — President Obama directed federal regulators on Monday to move swiftly on an application by California and 13 other states to set strict limits on greenhouse gases from cars and trucks. He also ordered the Transportation Department to begin drawing up rules imposing higher fuel-economy standards on cars and light trucks.

SNIP

Mr. Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider the Bush administration’s past rejection of the California application. While he stopped short of flatly ordering the reversal of the Bush decision, the agency’s regulators are now widely expected to do so after completing a formal review process.

From the Washington Post web edition:

Obama Announces New Energy, Environmental Policies

Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, January 26, 2009; 2:05 PM

President Obama today promised new U.S. leadership in the fight against global warming as he announced a series of steps aimed at making American cars more fuel efficient and reducing greenhouse gases, including a directive to the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider granting California and other states waivers to set their own strict regulations on auto emissions.

SNIP

In the presidential directives he signed today, Obama instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider whether to grant California and other states waivers to regulate automobile tailpipe emissions linked to global warming…

Quite a difference in the reporting. The Times story injects the word “swiftly” in the first sentence, there by setting it’s “editorial” tone.

Blatantly and deliberately.  Guess which line the evening news and cable will pick up…I’m betting the Times version….

UPDATE 3 (12:14 AM MT, 1/27)

Al Gore to testify Wednesday before Senate Foreign Relations Committee on climate change…if ice doesn’t postpone proceedings…

The Other Side of the Mountain

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

This past Sunday I decided it was time to go to the other side of the mountain.

Frankly, I was just worn out the entire onslaught of political/media games. Like many others, I’ve been feeling like I’ve been living through a time of lot more hurt and insults than we’ve have had to deal with in a long, long time.

Lately, we’ve had to endure the Hillary as Secretary of State epic.  Well, it’s official as of today (Monday as I write this).  Some bloggers are ecstatic, sure this is a VICTORY for women.  Well, we’ve had Albright and Rice already.  Clinton gives up her elected seat for the honor of serving at the pleasure of the most unqualified, media-assisted, creepy Democratic “president” in my lifetime. Whatever deal floats the Clintons’ and the Democratic poohbahs’ boat, it doesn’t do much but sink things for me. The misogyny continues and will continue (the ugly pictures of Clinton were already up tonight on FOX), and may be melded into a massive Clinton circus/misogyny orgy to help pound into our brains that women in general and Clinton in particular are suspect in the highest offices.  Meanwhile, Bill Richardson wields tremendous power over at Commerce. Real power to screw around with many things with nary a thought from the media…

Then there have been the hopes for the Supreme Court Fart to address Obama’s citizenship issues and boot him out of office before he even gets there.  Sigh.  The law, when it applies to members of “the club,” is conveniently circumvented.  It didn’t start with Gore in 2000, either. It started at a lower level of the courts with Dick Cheney. Remember the flap over whether he could actually be named as VP because of domicile questions (Wyoming vs. Texas)?  Well, how did that turn out?  Judah Benjamin’s scholarly examination of the Obama question over at Texas Darlin’ has come up with the same conclusion I did a long time ago and I’m not a lawyer–The Supreme Fart will let this one slide.  Not Your Sweetie’s recent post on “the club” and the intertwined relationships help explain, in part, why.

So, with all this stuff swirling around in my brain, I decided I had reached the point where it had to stop, at least for a short time.  It was time to go to the other side of the mountain. I hadn’t done it in a very long time. I don’t know why I waited this long, but Sunday was the day. I piled the dogs into the car and took off.

First, let me tell you that every day when I go into the backyard to feed the birds and tend to the vegetable garden I see the mountain.  Actually, the Organ Mountains.  This is what they look like from my backyard…the “Rabbit Ears” are just above the golden tree at the left (in the IA masthead, they are just to the left of the full moon):

resized2008_1130backyardafternoon00031

A 10-minute drive got me through the St. Augustin pass (just hidden at the left by a roof) and the exhilarating sight of the entire Tularosa Basin spread out before me. Then, I got off the highway and began the trek up into heaven.

resized2008_1130organaquirreouting00011

resized2008_1130organaquirreouting0006

resized2008_1130organaquirreouting0004

“Rabbit Ears” loomed in the distance.resized2008_1130organaquirreouting0039

An ancient volcanic core came into in view.resized2008_1130organaquirreouting0044

I drove slowly up into the foothills, navigating a series of hairpin turns. As I neared the trailheads, I looked out onto the basin (the thin line of white to the right in the shot below is part of the White Sands gypsum dunes which extends outside the White Sands National Monument area).

resized2008_1130organaquirreouting00581

resized2008_1130organaquirreouting0074

The air was crisp and a light wind blew through the silence…the absolute silence.  It was like being in a different time and a different world. Behind me were the “Rabbit Ears” that I see from my yard, but now I saw their other side, in all their craggy glory, at 8000+ feet.

resized2008_1130organaquirreouting00761

The dogs and I sat for awhile, just being quiet and drinking in the purity of the moment.  Then, I slowly made my way back down to the basin.  Just before we reached the highway I glanced up to see a large hawk, with an amazing wingspan, gliding along with me, perhaps inviting me to return.

Coming back up over the pass, I stopped the car as the plains of the Mesilla Valley opened up below me.  It gave me a sense of freedom as I continued down to where I live, in what was the bed of an ancient sea.

resized2008_1130organaquirreouting0094

What did I find on the other side of the mountain?  A sense of calm and awe.  A departure from ordinary time and a re-discovery of what’s real in the world…A chance to shed the insults of everyday life and feel new again.

I’ll be going back soon…

***

For a virtual panoramic view of the area, click here.

The Queen of 2008’s Sell-Out Pundits…Meet the REAL Peggy Noonan, My High School Classmate (with HS Yearbook Pic)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Back in 2001, Peggy Noonan was in love with Ronald Reagan’s feet. (No kidding.)  This time around, she seems to have boarded the “Hopey-Dope Train” with Barack Obama. This turnaround smells bigtime to me. Nothing like dashing off a little bull to get on board the Obama bandwagon and make a buck!

A few weeks ago Noonan was on Laura Ingraham’s radio show pushing her new book, Patriotic Grace. (The interview is available on Ingraham’s site as a premium stream.)  Peggy’s arrogance and air of superiority seems to have reached full-flower these days; she spoke with her dramatic “sophisticated” phoniness about how the country simply wanted civility and nicey-nice.  To her credit (and I don’t usually give Laura Ingraham much credit), Ingraham, who says she and Noonan are friends, nearly retched while on air.  She wasn’t buying any of it. And, of course, neither do I, because I know Peggy Noonan from “the early years.”

Continue reading

Parts 1 & 2–The Lineup: A Who’s Who of The Associates of Barack Obama

~~By Grail Guardian

Editor’s Note: Part 1 of “The Lineup” has been added to this post to make the information it contains easily available.–See the Part 1 for the comments to the original posting.–GRL

After Part 1 of this article was published, we received several requests/suggestions for more individuals to be included in the hit parade. As with Part 1, please circulate it to friends, family, co-workers, casual acquaintances, or anyone who needs to be educated about the truth the MSM has kept buried. And per a special request from reader Song, I would like to challenge each and every one of you to ask 10 people to vote against Barack Obama on November 4th.

The Lineup: Part 2

clip_image002Alexi Giannoulis: Became Illinois State Treasurer after Barack Obama vouched for him. He has been described as a “man who has long been dogged by charges that the bank his family owns helped finance a Chicago crime figure”. Giannoulis “pledged to raise $100,000 for the senator’s Oval Office bid,” Charles Hurt reported September 5, 2007, in the New York Post. Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times reported, “Before he promised to raise funds for Obama, Giannoulias bankrolled Michael ‘Jaws’ Giorango, a Chicagoan twice convicted of bookmaking and promoting prostitution.

“Giannoulias is so tainted by reputed mob links that several top Illinois Dems, including the state’s speaker of the House and party chairman, refused to endorse him even after he won the Democratic nomination with Obama’s help.” States Congresspedia

clip_image004Jim Johnson: Former Fannie Mae Chair that was hired to vet Vice Presidential candidates for the Obama Campaign. Johnson allegedly received $7 million from Countrywide Mortgage, one of the biggest players in the sub-prime mortgage fiasco. He received below market mortgage rates form the lender that Obama railed against personally:

“This is a company that is as responsible as any firm in the country for the housing crisis we’re facing today. When Countrywide Financial was sold a few months ago, its top two executives got a combined $19 million. These are the folks who are responsible for infecting the economy and helping to create a home foreclosure crisis….They get a $19 million bonus while people are at risk of losing their home. What’s wrong with this picture?”

clip_image006

Emil Jones: President of the Illinois Senate and Obama’s political mentor. When in the State Senate, all of Obama’s accomplishments were in his 7th year. Jones was discovered to have handed Obama all these bills after being worked on by other legislators. Jones is credited with the statement “I’m gonna make me a U.S. Senator.” When asked who that might be, Jones replied “Barack Obama”.

clip_image008

David Axelrod: Chicago political consultant and Chief Strategist and Media Advisor to Obama, Axelrod has worked on the campaigns of John Edwards, Deval Patrick, and Eliot Spitzer. He also owns ASK Public Strategies, a firm credited with mastering the tactic of “Astroturfing” or organizing a political effort and making it look like a grassroots effort. Wikipedia describes it as follows: “Astroturfing may be undertaken by an individual pushing a personal agenda or highly organized professional groups with financial backing from large corporations, non-profits, or activist organizations. Very often the efforts are conducted by political consultants who also specialize in opposition research.”

clip_image010Tom Daschle: Former Democratic Senate Majority and Minority leader who was voted out of office by South Dakotans despite his presitgious position. Daschle is now a nationa Co-Chair for the Obama campaign. According to Wikipedia: “On February 13, 2006, Daschle became one of two Democrats (with Rep. Jane Harman of California) to endorse a warrantless domestic surveillance program conducted under the authority of President George W. Bush by the National Security Agency (NSA).”

clip_image012Percy Sutton: This 87-year-old icon of the Civil Rights Movement recently recounted a story where he claimed he was asked to write a recommendation for Barack Obama to enter Harvard. Sutton’s quote follows:

“I was introduced to him by a friend who was raising money for him and the friend’s name was Dr Khalid al Mansour from Texas. He is the principle adviser to one of the world’s richest men. He told me about Obama. He wrote to me about him and his introduction was ‘there is a young man that has applied to Harvard and I know that you have a few friends left there because you used to go up there to speak, would you please write a letter in support of him?’ That’s before Obama decided to run. And he interjected the advice that Obama had passed the requirements, had taken, and passed, the requirements necessary to get into Harvard and become President of the Law Review. That’s before he ever ran for anything. I wrote a letter in support of him to my friends at Harvard saying to them I thought there was a genius that was going to be available and I surely hoped they would treat him kindly.”

clip_image014Khalid al Mansour/Donald Warden: The mysterious man Percy Sutton referred to in his interview is somewhat difficult to identify (a very common name in several countries). The al Mansour that is also known as Donald Warden has ties to both the radical Black Panthers and has served on the board of a bank in Nigeria that may have connections to money raised for Barack Obama. For more detail, I recommend the following 2 articles, and bear in mind again the caveat “follow the money”: (photo not readily available)

More at Texas Darlin’s blog:

Dr. Khalid Abdullah Tariq al Mansour

Khalid al Mansour/Donald Warden: Obama Money Man in Nigeria?

The ACORN connection:

While not all directly associated with Barack Obama, these people formed the basis of his political philosophy and influenced him heavily, sometimes via theory, often via a strong organizational connection. Understanding who they are leads to a better understanding of the 2008 Presidential election.

clip_image016Saul Alinsky: Writing a brief overview of Alinsky is nearly impossible; so I strongly urge you do look into the varied sides of this man further. That being said, Alinsky was a radical and community organizer (sound familiar?) who started the movement that grew into the SDS and ACORN (among other groups). Perhaps his own words explain his ideas best:

“Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules,” Alinsky wrote in his 1989 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system’s failure to “live up” to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist “rule book” with a socialist one. (Courtesy Discover the Networks.org)

Alinsky served as mentor to many (including Hillary Clinton, who is said to have studied him and then continued on her political career, and Barack Obama, who still uses his techniques on a daily basis in this election), and put the fear of God into just as many (he one traveled to Oakland, CA and the local politicos were so shaken that they actually passed a resolution to ban him from the city). His talent was for organizing the poor into powerful political forces that can combat government and replace it with Socialism. Barack Obama is said to have taken Alinsky training when he began his Community Organizer career in Chicago. To understand Saul Alinsky and his followers is to gain much insight into Obama.

clip_image018Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven: Columbia University radicals and creators of the so-called “Cloward-Piven strategy,” which called for swamping the welfare rolls with new applicants, beyond what the system could bear. The idea was that the resulting economic collapse would lead to political turmoil and ultimately socialism. This concept was used effectively in New York City, and was cited as one of the causes of the city’s financial collapse as welfare rolls jumped from 150,000 to over a million in just 10 years.

(Photo not readily available)

clip_image020Wade Rathke: The founder and chief organizer of ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), a group Obama has worked for and represented in lawsuits, and Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Rathke’s brother Dale was reported to have embezzled over $940,000 from ACORN and it’s affiliates, which Wade did not report to the full board and kept hidden for 8 years. ACORN is under investigation for voter registration fraud in 18 states, and past employees have admitted to simply making up names of supposed voters. Many consider ACORN to be a leftist extremist organization using the principles of Saul Alinsky and Cloward & Piven.

clip_image022George Wiley: Mentor of Wade Rathke, founder and leader of the radical ACORN, best know for his use of the Cloward & Piven strategy. Wiley is known as the Founder of the National Welfare Reform Organization, and as a pioneer of the radical “franchise” concept, now used by ACORN and other groups, which helps local activists quickly build local outlets of national activist organizations by using church groups and other pre-existing community groups.

clip_image024Carl Davidson: Former President of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) with Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn (a precursor to the Weather Underground), Davidson is credited with organizing the 2002 Anti-War rally where Obama gave his infamous speech against the Iraq war. Davidson is a self-styled “progressive for Obama” according to his blog http://carldavidson.blogspot.com/

clip_image026Claire McCaskill: This Missouri Senator has supported Obama since her children shamed her into it in the beginning of 2008. McCaskill has been a vocal supporter, and her name was bandied about as a potential VP pick by Obama. She has been accused by ACORN workers in MO of using the organization to bring out new voters to support her instead of registering new voters or getting them to support a minimum wage bill as they were hired to do. The workers were all fired from ACORN after refusing to campaign for McCaskill.

clip_image028Herbert and Marion Sandler: A New York lawyer and Wall Street analyst that sold Golden West Financial (GDW), one of the largest savings and loans in the nation to Wachovia Bank just before their portfolio dragged the S & L under. Wachovia failed in the recent Wall Street crisis as a result of the high number of sub-prime mortgages it acquired in its $24 billion purchase of GDW. The Sandlers personally made billions (yes, that’s with a B), and went on to fund organizations like ACORN and the International Crisis Group, the staff of which is said to form the basis of the future State Department of an Obama Administration.

clip_image030Peter Lewis: Chairman of Progressive Insurance who along with George Soros gave $23 million to Moveon.org, and formed a group called The Democracy Alliance, both strong ACORN supporters. In 2004 he was one of the top donors to 527 groups promoting a far left agenda. Lewis describes himself as “half screwball, half businessman” and once showed up to a City Council meeting wearing a Lone Ranger outfit.

For a look at ACORN on video, see Uppity Woman’s post from 9/30/2008 “Video:Barack Obama and ‘Let’s Take Over The World” Acorn .'”

***************

Part 1–A Who’s Who of The Associates of Barack Obama

~~By Grail Guardian

For months now, we’ve been reading and hearing from the Obama campaign that it’s not experience that matters for Barack Obama (whose paper-thin resume includes being a Community Organizer, Chair of the failed Chicago Annenberg Challenge, and running for public office), but rather the excellent judgment that he displays. In light of the continued media frenzy favoring Obama and shielding him from public scrutiny, I decided that it would be timely to revisit that judgment in the form of the people Obama associates with professionally and personally (both past and present). I personally have been able to find few people that are close to the Illinois Senator that I would want anywhere near the Oval Office, but I’ll let you be the judge. I intend this article to be part of a much needed grassroots effort to educate those that only get their news from the Main Stream Media or do not follow politics closely, so feel free to link it, print it, e-mail it, or do whatever you need to do to get the word out (giving proper credit and/or links to Insight Analytical and myself is always appreciated). You can consider it an Obama 101 Picture Book Primer and a serious attempt to save this great nation.

Continue reading