T.A.R.P, Recovery Plan, Term Limits Action…All Obscured Under the Cover of Media Hoopla

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

What’s been going on under cover of the media’s endless coverage of an airline incident in NY and the Inauguration hoopla?

While the plane floated in the Hudson River,  the Senate passed the remaining $350 billion in T.A.R.P. expenditures.  Since it would have been necessary for both House and Senate to vote down this measure, the funding is now assured and already in process.

Just to be certain their tight vote passed,  Roland Burris was sworn in early that day and Joe Biden withheld his own resignation from the Senate until day’s end, after the vote. You won’t see reports of such maneuvers in the MSM, but we’ve have to expect them to continue as this Administration gets into gear.

Speaker Pelosi, for instance, appears to be planning a re-interpretation of House Rules to serve the purpose of “dead of night” measures to circumvent opposition. Rumors indicates she hopes to start taxing Americans’ retirement funds, while evidence is clear she remains a strong backer of ACORN, according to the Center for Individual Freedom. Founded in 1998, this organization tends to focus on Republican and libertarian values and is part of the Townhall.com consortium.  These days, however, we find ourselves having to at least look at information sources other than the MSM, even if they are in the “other” camp.

From CFIF.org:

On the very first day of Congress, Pelosi pushed through a change to a House rule known as the “motion to recommit,” a rule that was implemented a CENTURY AGO specifically to PROHIBIT the leadership of the majority party from railroading horrendous legislation through Congress under the cover of darkness.

(SNIP)

Nancy Pelosi changed her tune on a great many things once she assumed the position of Speaker of the House.

Two years ago, she said; “Bills should generally come to the floor under a procedure that allows open, full and fair debate consisting of a full amendment process that grants the minority the right to offer its alternatives, including a substitute.”

Even the liberal Washington Post could not help but comment on Pelosi’s blatant hypocrisy and her apparent rush to change the rules when it comes to transparency and openness:

“When they took over in 2007, Democrats set aside their pledge in order to muscle through their agenda during the first 100 hours; their promises continued to prove hollow in the ensuing months…. Democrats brought more measures to the House floor under closed rules – permitting no amendments – than any of the six previous Republican-controlled congresses.”


Check out this post at The Swine Line, the blog  of  Citizens Against Government Waste,  for more detailed discussion.  I’ve extracted the links to the House Appropriations Committee documents from the post:


Spending package/Recovery Bill http://appropriations.house.gov/pdf/RecoveryBill01-15-09.pdf

Report language http://appropriations.house.gov/pdf/RecoveryReport01-15-09.pdf

The question that remains related to T.A.R.P. is what will the House of Representatives do to regulate its distribution and oversight. Barney Frank, Democratic Chair of the Banking Committee has presented a bill which claims to serve that purpose. This bill is subject to a vote as early as this week, following the Inauguration.

H.R.384
Title: To reform the Troubled Assets Relief Program of the Secretary of the Treasury and ensure accountability under such Program.

Additional information on the bill, including cost estimates, text, amendments, etc: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d111:HR00384:@@@

Of even greater concern, however,are the currently nebulous contents of the “Obama Recovery Plan.” Expected to multiply the initial costs of T.A.R.P., this package of ten bills is currently a mere shell for the insertion of who knows just what. Apparently, all the Obama rhetoric has yet to be magically transformed into substance. By contrast, another bill also introduced on January 7, to discourage teen pregnancy is four pages long – offering an amount of detail greater than the 10 sketchy Recovery bills combined! Yet the headers of this package portend sweeping changes in almost every aspect of American life. One, for instance, with a header related to “Fairness” for the middle class (?) includes, on its short list of potential laws, a brief reference to CardCheck (Pelosi and ACORN’s approach to storming small businesses with mandated unions, initiated with the peer pressure of no secret ballot.) Note that this is  just one  item on a longer list on one bill of ten! For a review of the massive scope but lack of content of this “Recovery Plan” see here:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/d?d111:0:./list/bss/d111SN.lst TOM:/bss/111search.html|

There’s every indication the Democratic power-party is preparing for diverse back room deals and dead of night maneuvers to turn our country’s standards and laws upside down as quickly as possible – all with the blessings of a co-operative Mass Media which is committed to informing citizens about as little as possible of what is going on.

Take, for instance, the re-introduction of a Resolution of January 6 by Rep. José Serrano (D-NY) to eliminate term limits on the Presidency. The history of its prior introduction (1995 to 2007) has been weak. To grasp the orientation of Rep. Serrano),  just look to some other bills he introduced that day: to provide federal funding for clean needles to drug addicts (with 31 co-sponsors) and to end our trade embargo on Castro. This time around, the threat of ending term limits has meat on its bones – cosponsored, as it is, by Barney Frank. What, may we ask, is the head of the Banking Committee thinking to sponsor a bill extending Obama’s term in office – with no limits?! (Please note; Rep. Frank’s co-sponsorship is dated November 2008 but buried in the record of an earlier record of the measure. Just an error?)

Here’s the bill: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=hj111-5

***

The Wake Up America movement (W.A.M) is enlisting volunteers to “Watch Washington Now”  track legislation and communicate to both Congress and the mainstream media what is acceptable and what is not. (Quick use sample letters and contact information for key figures will be provided.)

To get involved with W.A.M. please click this link (or the logo on the right sidebar). Preserving our democracy needs your support.

http://www.wam08.org/GetInvolved.html

The Past Week: January 11-17, 2009 (Al Jazeera Hooks up with PBS; House vs. Senate/Obama and Bailout Oversight; “Everyman” Biden; Non-GMO Verification Project; “The Prisoner” is Free; Extra Anatomical Tube Bypass

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Looks like Al Jazeera finally is going to get a wider audience in the U.S.  From what I’ve seen of it on the Internet, I’m thinking it’s credible but I AM wondering about the connection to PBS!  Who set up this deal?  Was this just the Bush Administration’s idea or did the hand of Obama get involved somehow? And that the mere mention of NBC….

Al Jazeera Network TV deal broadens U.S. reach

Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:17pm EST

By Robert MacMillan

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Al Jazeera Network plans to announce on Thursday that it has signed a deal to run its news on Worldfocus, a syndicated nightly news program produced in New York and distributed throughout the United States.

(SNIP)

Worldfocus, hosted by former NBC News correspondent Martin Savidge, is produced by New York City public broadcaster WLIW and syndicated to a number of Public Broadcasting Service affiliates, as well as other stations in 60 U.S. markets, including 27 of the top 30.

Al Jazeera declined to disclose terms of the deal.

The service’s Arabic-language network is available in the United States through the DISH Network Corp. It has been trying to increase the distribution of its English- language network through cable television, but so far is available only in Washington, D.C., Toledo, Ohio and Burlington, Vermont.

(MORE)

The story contains more details on Al Jazeera’s expansion via the Internet, which has grown to include a free broadcast service, YouTube, Twitter…and a marketing campaign being launched in the New York  Times and Washington Post.

***

On Wednesday, Harold Meyerson wrote an op ed piece in the Washington Post on the current financial crisis and had a moment of upset:

The Money-Changers

Wednesday, January 14, 2009; Page A17

…That’s why a bill that Barney Frank is promoting in the House, which would direct banks that choose to take bailout funds to start lending to creditworthy borrowers and designate no less than $40 billion for mortgage relief, is necessary if Congress is to authorize the Treasury to spend another $350 billion on TARP. Over in the Senate, the Democrats seem inclined to think that the need for such legislation is obviated by President-elect Obama‘s promise to administer the TARP in the ways that Frank’s bill would mandate.

If Obama’s appointees inspired sufficient trust that they would be willing to take on the banks, such legislation would be unnecessary. Unfortunately, they don’t.

(MORE)

What? A bit of doubt about Obama’s choices?  But my mind, as simple as it may be, asks this question.  First, what’s going to happen between the House and the Senate?  Seems Rep. Barney is having a sudden bout of  “accountablilty” when it comes to delivering bailout money to borrowers…they should be “creditworthy.”  And  that stipulation has to be within legislation that must be passed to authorize the Treasury to spend more bailout money.  But the Senate is saying “Who needs legislation?  We’ve got OBAMA’S WORD that he’ll do exactly the same thing without the bother of a law.”

So, I then ask myself: if Obama gets his mitts on this money, does it really go to “creditworthy” individuals?  Which individuals?  Will this be “reparation” money? If the recipients are the not “creditworthy” and a lot of them are the same people who couldn’t meet previous mortgages doesn’t this mean that Obama is just repeating the “non-oversight” pattern of the Democrats that helped get us into this MESS we’re in??

***

OK, the guy they tried to tell us hung out at his local Home Depot (he didn’t) and who’s got his son Beau lined up to glide into the Senate is still being sold to us as “Everyman”??  Oh, PLEASE!  From Silicon Valley’s Mercury News, which picks up this AP nonsense:

Senate veteran, Delaware everyman faces new role

By BETH FOUHY Associated Press Writer

As for the story, it’s the same old same old…

***

So, do you have any confidence that Obama will do something to remedy this situation?  Wonder if this is even on Tom Daschle’s radar? From the American Association for Health Freedom:

The Non-GMO Project Product Verification Program is Up and Running

The governments of the US and Canada stand in sharp contrast to sixty other countries around the world, including the European Union, Russia, and China, by not requiring foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be so labeled. They do so despite good evidence that GMOs could have negative health implications for humans and the environment, and despite the fact that 87% of American consumers want products that contain GMO ingredients to be labeled.

***

This week we lost Patrick McGoohan, who was Number 6–“The Prisoner”–in the Village.  I also enjoyed watching him in “Secret Agent” (“Danger Man” in the UK)  when I was  teenager. In fact,  I had a huge crush on him!

And, we can’t forget Ricardo Montalban either, who’s own “village” was on Fantasy Island…

Godpseed…

***

Ever hear of an “extra anatomical tube bypass”?  Well, my 24-year-old nephew had this surgery on Wednesday. He was born with a congenital defect of the aorta and underwent surgery when he was about 3.  His blood pressure has always been high and the meds have made him tired.  It was now time to make the fix since he’s stopped growing.  Instead of messing with the aorta itself and dealing with possible complications from previous scarring, the procedure used was a “bypass” which eliminates the need to arrest the heart and putting the body into hypothermia.  The surgery went well.  I convinced him to go to a medical hypnotist.  He didn’t need any blood transfusions and today, 3 days after the procedure, he’s only on Tylenol for the pain (which even the day of the surgery he described as being only “soreness”) and the swelling is almost gone. And his blood pressure is better now than ever before and equalized throughout his body.

Congratulations, Mark! You did it!!

***

THE PAST WEEK

“The Black President”: A 1926 Novel “Predicts” the Politics of 2008 with Some Eerily Similar Details

The Scanner-Politics 1/15/09 (40 Musical Obama Supporters Slide-Show; Barbie at 50 [French]; Women and the World; “Obama-Cola The Great National Temperance Beverage”; Tina Brown; WLS Chicago–the Governor Sells Furniture)

Hip-Hop Inaugural Events Start TONIGHT (1/14/09)…Ludicras Co-Hosting “Urban Ball”

The Obama/Media Combine Whoring Abraham Lincoln, Non-Stop

Reality Check from Our Chicago Correspondent: University of Chicago & Its Hospital “Terminating” Jobs Like Crazy (Michelle O., Guess Shuffling All Those Indigent Patients Elswhere Didn’t Help the Bottom Line That Much? Your “Plum” Job is Going, Too!)

The Past Week: January 4-January 10, 2009 (Donor Fatigue among Obamacrats; Wes Clark; Ms. Magazine–Total Sellout; Tess; Street Numbers Man; “Grounding” with Harvesting; Betta Fish Drama)

The Past Week: January 4-January 10, 2009 (Donor Fatigue among Obamacrats; Wes Clark; Ms. Magazine–Total Sellout; Tess; Street Numbers Man; “Grounding” with Harvesting; Betta Fish Drama)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

It’s  just over a week before the Obama juggernaut is officially in office. I’m trying to put it out of my mind. Every morning my mother comes into the kitchen fresh from listening to the radio. She’s armed with the latest news.  I usually know about it, but the little report from my “mother-who-doesn’t-like-Bush-anymore-but-still-defends-him” always manages to get me bugged. And no matter how many times I tell her I don’t want to hear it, I wind up hearing it because she thinks it’s a delightful game to taunt me about the demise of the Democratic Party…the REAL Democratic Party.

***

Chicago Correspondent Leslie sent this along…the SHOCKING NEWS that Obama has actually sent out an email message WITHOUT asking for money!

The LA Times “Top of the Ticket” blog snarks:

Breaking: Obama sends national e-mail with NO plea for money!

This is no Friday joke.

Word has just been received at The Ticket that President-elect Barack Obama sent out an actual e-mail today without asking for more money from tired donors. No, really.

The N.Y. Times’ Katharine Seelye recently reported growing donor fatigue among eager and happy Obamaites to whom it has occurred that they’ve already given nearly $1 billion to buy all this change to believe in, even many long weeks after the ex-freshman senator won the White House already.

See the rest of the story on the $$ that Obama has raked in, including post-election,  as well as details on the email that was sent out in praise of “ideal leader” Tim Kaine after he was named part-time DNC head–without any begging for cash.  Bush also appointed a part-time party chair because he had Karl Rove hanging around in the White House.  Obama is following the same pattern, but we’ve got David Axelrod pulling the puppet strings now.  Big change, huh?

Anyway, doesn’t this pair inspire you??

Obama & Kaine, Perfect Together

Obama & Kaine, Perfect Together

As for Kaine, I recall how often he campaigned in Virginia to get Kaine elected governor of Virginia and how I already had misgivings about Kaine  (I was separating myself from Clark by then.)  By the way, what’s Clark up to now?

***

Well, after campaigning for Obama he made appearances on the Stephanie Miller and Ed Schultz shows in late November. More recently, he wrote a column for the Washington Post entitled “Taking Command”  [12/21/2008] discussing how Democrats and the military can get along. His message concludes:

We have a president-elect who has set out a pragmatic, nonpartisan, visionary course. It’s time to lay to rest the old stereotypes about feckless, pacifist Democrats and authoritarian, war-mongering soldiers. If there were ever a time to get the relationship between Democrats and the military right, this is it.

Clark brownies up everyone in sight and now he’s following Obama and embracing “nonpartisanship” and Obama’s VISION.  Clark mentions “authoritarian soldiers”–I guess he doesn’t see that characteristic in his new “leader”?? To think I once actually worked for his campaign for President…

***

Recently, we’ve posted quite a few entries about women and the treatment we receive, so Ms. Magazine’s cover on their “Inaugural Issue” really turned our stomachs.  Heidi Li broke the news on Friday.  Go over to her site read her story, but I’m posting  the cover art here just to give you an idea of why she (and we) are so aghast!  The hits just keep coming…Honest to Goddess, are these people NUTS???

Delusion or Dementia??

Delusion or Dementia??

***

Tonight (1/11) is the concluding segment of the BBC production of  Thomas Hardy’s “Tess of the D’ubervilles” (link takes you to the BBC site).  Part 1 was SO DEPRESSING, especially in light of what women have put up with this year.  I almost can’t bear to watch Part 2.  Let me tell you, we’re heading back to Tess’ world at the rate we’re going…

***

UPDATE on The Man Who Paints Street Numbers…(Final Installment in Our “Season of the Heart” Series) (1/1/09)

I emailed the story and link to the local “Life” reporter on Monday 1/5 as planned…but still, no response!!!  Fingers still crossed …

***

Enough news, it’s onto more important things like gardens and betta fish!  Seriously, without the plants and the dogs and fish, I think I’d go nuts myself.  There’s nothing more “grounding” than harvesting fresh broccoli, feeding the birds, and loving the family fauna.

The pak choi was eaten last week and I’ve got to plant something else one of these days. Today I had delicious collards and harvested a second batch of  broccoli. Tomorrow it will be steamed, then sauteed with garlic and olive oil and served with pasta.  Oh, that’s SUBLIME!   The mustard is still going strong after multiple cuttings…nothing better than steamed mustard drizzled with olive oil, topping a sweet potato pizza crust that’s been baked with olive oil and garlic.  Amazing!

Betta Drama

The betta looked sickly a few days ago and I did tons of research. Bought a Master Kit for testing the water and did a few partial water changes and he’s looking 100% better.  There’s a lot of conflicting info out there on bettas, tanks and how to keep them clean…the stumbling block for me was the issue of cycling the tank (mine is probably too small to do it correctly) versus just changing the water the old-fashioned way. I’ve mastered the vacuum so today the partial change I did took only about 15 minutes.   I’m doing several until the ammonia levels reach “O”  and then will clean the tank the old-fashioned way and forget about cycling.   The cam is back on betta (still haven’t named him!) since he is back to acting like a happy fish, so he’ll be featured during the evenings.  The camera angle catches the doorway and you might catch the dogs wandering in an out, too!

THE PAST WEEK

*By American Lassie

Obama “Media Advisory”: Groups Being Used to Build Public Pressure for “Recovery Plan”

Used Body Parts (Female)

Women in Power: The Example of Prime Ministers in Bangladesh, “A No-Casserole Zone”

Make Your Plans for Inauguration Day NOW!! Important Info on Alternate Events to Help Get Through the Day!!

*KING HARRY SAYS “HE’S NOT WELCOME” (UPDATE 1X) Burris Stopped by “Paperwork”

The Past Week: December 28, 2008-January 3, 2009 (Court Dates; Barnicle on Bloggers; Burris-Delmarie Cobb Connection [Clinton Supporter]; Economic Collapse; The Feeding Machine)

The Past Week: November 23-29, Recaps and Random Thoughts (Dogs; Obamabilia and “Mt. Crapmore”; Jobs; Black Politics; CNN Delivers In-Depth Report on Our Best Hope to Save Us from “First Lady Fashion Fumbles”)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Well, we survived Black Friday and now the full-court press is on for Christmas! For me, this is the time of year when I start avoiding stores and try to ignore all that’s going on.  If the economy depended on me for consumption, it would tank even more…I don’t shop!

Quick update on the stray dog…I think she/he was around a few weeks ago, but after I got my cam set up and experimented with the location of the food/water dishes and saw that everything disappeared except the big cookie treats, it was pretty clear that the birds that were hanging around were the ones eating. So, wherever the little dog is these days, I hope she/he is safe and warm.  I wish I could be sure…On the bright side, the neighbors across the street, whose house is visible on the web cam view, adopted another dog quite by chance. They were visiting some people and the neighbors from across the street was in the process of moving and were desperate because they couldn’t take the dog with them. My neighbor decided to take him home, as a buddy for the white boxe named Sugar they already have. A young dog they had had died a couple of months ago and Sugar was very lonely. The new addition, a huge American bulldog named Big, is as sweet as pie and is friendly toward Slick. Sugar was beginning to warm up a bit since she was so lonely, but wasn’t exactly in love with my little guy.  Big makes sure Sugar stays in line and practically climbs over Sugar to nose Slick!

If you”re lucky, you might see Sugar and Big on the cam greeting Slick as we go out for our “mailbox walk” in the early afternoon…

***

Speaking of Christmas, you might want to shop at the site offering fabulous Obama gifts!!! The ad caption for this graphic reads “Capitalism, Democracy, Support Both!! Buy the T-Shirt”!

***

H/T to Make Them Accountable for passing along this clip found at Raw Story…Lewis Black on how cheesy the “Obamabilia” sellers are these days:

Lewis Black rant mocks tacky ‘Obamabilia’

“Just think about it,” said comedian Lewis Black in a recent installment; “two months before he even takes office, Barack Obama has already earned a permanent place on ‘Mount Crapmore.'”

SNIP

Said Black: “The election of Barack Obama has once again demonstrated America’s greatest gift: Our capacity to embrace hope and idealism… and then turn it into worthless, disposable crap!”

The one response is right on target:

As is the load the Obama marketing team sold the huddling lemming-like progressives who lapped up the rhetoric like thirsty dogs. It’s worthless crap. Never, ever, underestimate the ability of human beings to repeat the same mistakes countless times.
Audacity of hope, indeed.

Reminds me of the cartoon I posted back on 11/22…a previous r version of “Mt. Crapmore”…

***

Monday we awoke to this fabulous WaPo report with a it’s ridiculous headline…’H/T to That’s Me on the Left for the find and snark:

Obama Sets Expansive Goal for Jobs
Plan Aims to Create or Save 2.5 Million Positions by 2011

So, if I’m understanding this correctly, if Obama creates zero jobs by 2011, he has achieved his goal, as he “preserved” the 2.5 million jobs not lost.

Indeed, if he loses 2.5 million jobs, he preserved the additional 2.5 million jobs that would have been lost absent his lightworking economic policies.

Unbelievable.

And the WaPo carries this spin as a headline on page one.

So now, job creation is apparently on an equal footing with “job saving” which means not losing any more…Let’s aim high, folks!

***

As the big financial institutions line up for their much-deserved bailout money, how much is really being reported in the mainstream media?  Well, if you want to see where YOUR money is going, check out this great site, Bailout Sleuth.com, which is keeping up with where all the money is going…

***

Here’s another site which is very informative.  If you want to keep up with what black Americans are thinking these days, check out Your Black Politics. The site also provides an EXTENSIVE list of many other blogs related to black political news and other subjects of interest.

***

From Chicago Correspondent Leslie…finally, an article of substance from CNN!!! Thank God, we will have Michelle Obama’s impeccable taste to look to for inspiration and the chance to “break the mold”!  Are the snide remarks about Clinton and Bush absolutely necessary?? I think not…And why the HELL are we being subjected to this fashion crap, anyway?…”18 million cracks” my ass…(When do we get to hear Sarah Palin trashed again??)

Fashion fumbles by first ladies

NEW YORK (AP) — When Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton arrived at the White House, they brought with them styles that suited their hometowns in Texas and Arkansas, but that wouldn’t have held up in any fashion capital.

Laura Bush's Sunday-best peacock blue coat didn't get high ratings in 2001.

Laura Bush’s Sunday-best peacock blue coat didn’t get high ratings in 2001.

Tastemakers have higher hopes for Michelle Obama, who is expected to fill her closet at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with sophisticated styles that match her modern image but maintain the sensibility inherent to Chicago.The image of Obama walking the inaugural parade route in something like the domed, wide-brimmed hat that has haunted Clinton since 1993 seems unlikely. And she probably won’t show up to the inaugural ball in mother-of-the-bride-style gowns with dyed-to-match pumps like Bush has worn — twice.

Over time, both Clinton and Bush did grow more accustomed to their new surroundings, and their wardrobe reflected that. Learn more about inaugural events and history »

For example, Bush wore a Sunday-best peacock blue coat with sensible shoes to the chilly inaugural ceremony in 2001, but chose a chic winter-white coat ensemble with camel-colored high heels — a top pick of fashion insiders — in 2005.

Clinton also chose a modern, luxe gold lace gown by Oscar de la Renta for her second tour of inaugural balls unlike the fussy purple princess number the first go-around. (Remember the sparkly belt buckle?) Video Watch how extravagant should Obama’s inauguration ball be? »

Still, Bush and Clinton fit into the expectations of what earlier generations thought a president’s wife should look like. Obama has the opportunity to break the mold.

MORE spew….

***

This week in the garden:  I have a huge crop of mustard that I can’t eat fast enough!   The pak choi is beginning to become recognizable at about 3″ tall and the arugula is just about ready for first harvest.  I actually picked a few more small banana peppers from the plants in the pots.  Although we’re having brief spells of freezing temperatures overnight, I still have a few figs that I’m hoping to harvest. I cover the bush with plastic and keep it on during the day.  The tree is a bit off schedule because I transplanted it last fall from a big planter and it’s still getting warmth off the wall it’s next to.  I’m real close to having them ripen, but one really bitterly cold night may spoil them.  Fingers crossed!

***

THIS WEEK’S POSTS

We started the live web cam this week! See the tab at the top of the home page!

*By kenosha Marge

**By American Lassie

***Submitted by Grail Guardian

Bill Richardson at Commerce: Scary

*A True Tale: “The Saga of Tom Turkey” by kenosha Marge

**The $700 Billion Bailout Bait and Switch

REMINDER: Free US Now Radio Tonight (11/24)…with Idella Moore, Head of Drive to Ratify the ERA

***CHANGE! …(your expectations)

The Past Week: November 16-22, Recaps & Random Thoughts (Critical Thinking vs. Elation; Pics from “Elation Central”; Drying the Tears of Progressive Groups; Medicare Part D Surprise from the Democrats; Face Reading; Housewives & Ludacris; Stray Dog Update)(UPDATE 1X–Dog)

The Scanner-Politics 11/20/08 (CHANGE?? Daschle at HHS, His Wife and Lobbying; Organic Consumers Org. So Ticked at the Thought of Vilsack at Agriculture That Their Petition is Already Going Strong; Froma Harrop on “Palin’s Next Career Move” Will Raise Your Blood Pressure) (Updated 1X)

So, Tom Daschle is back as the presumed nominee for Health and Human Services. Oh, boy, I wonder if HIS spouse, Linda Hall Daschle will be publicly vetted a la Bill Clinton? If you read the article up at MSNBC, there’s some scurrying around already…

In fact, Daschle stayed in the capital city after his defeat, becoming a public policy adviser and member of the legislative and public policy group at the law and lobbying firm Alston & Bird. Daschle isn’t registered as a lobbyist. He advises clients on such issues as health care, financial services, taxes and trade, according to the firm’s Web site.

Health care interests, including CVS Caremark, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, Abbott Laboratories and HealthSouth, are among the firm’s lobbying clients.

Wife has lobbying interests
One area of review of his appointment will be the lobbying connections of his wife, Linda Hall Daschle, who has worked mostly on behalf of airline-related companies over the years.

NBC also confirmed Wednesday that she will leave her job in a lobbying firm, where she has specialized in aviation and defense issues. She will reportedly go on to start her own public policy firm, where she will not lobby.

So Tom just advises, and doesn’t lobby.  OK.  And he’ll be overseing health care “reform.”  OK.

As for his wife, amazingly, the Washington Post doesn’t seem to have any articles about her to peruse.  Odd, considering she has had long career at the Federal Aviation Commission and as an aviation lobbyist…But USA Today still has a piece from 2001 titled “Daschle, lobbyist wife vow to keep careers separate“.

From the article:

Tom Daschle’s rise to the helm of the Senate spotlights an awkward fact of life for Washington’s power couples: When professional lives intertwine, ethical conflicts can follow.

The South Dakota Democrat’s wife, Linda, is a lobbyist who mostly represents airlines, aircraft makers and other aviation-related interests — all of which have a steady stream of issues before the Senate. As majority leader, Tom Daschle has the power to set the Senate’s agenda.

snip

One client that attracted attention because it was outside Daschle’s normal area of expertise was Schering-Plough, the pharmaceutical giant that sought unsuccessfully last year to extend the patent life of its allergy drug, Claritin. Several ethics groups said the lucrative lobbying arrangement smacked of buying special access.

Back in 2004 when Daschle was running for the Senate again, a blog named South Dakota Politics, which was keeping an eye on Daschle and his opponent, John Thune, took on Ms. Daschle’s lobbying interests and the connections to Senate actions.

The October 26, 2004 entry is particularly interesting (note–the Roll Call article is no longer available):

Roll Call reports brouhaha surrounding Linda Daschle

Roll Call, the newspaper of Capitol Hill, has a report today headlined “GOP Makes Issue of Daschle’s Wife.” Excerpt:

The Thune campaign took out a full-page ad in Saturday’s Argus Leader, the newspaper of Sioux Falls, that excerpted a report filed with the Senate Office of Public Records showing Linda Daschle’s name on the form for her firm’s lobbying on behalf of Schering-Plough. At the time the company was seeking a patent extension on its anti-allergy drug, Claritin.Noting that the company paid $470,000 to Daschle’s firm, Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz, the Thune ad ends with the line: “Only one candidate has personally profited from big drug companies. That candidate is Tom Daschle.”

The South Dakota Republican Party also sent out a four-page mailer that went after Linda Daschle’s lobbying for airlines that benefited from a post-Sept. 11, 2001, bailout supported by Sen. Daschle and all Congressional leaders as well as by Thune himself.

Thune’s aides stayed on the offensive Monday, suggesting their attacks were based on stories from mainstream or left-leaning publications such as The Washington Monthly, Slate and L.A. Weekly. Dick Wadhams, Thune’s campaign manager, said the “clear conflict of interest Linda Daschle” is involved in was first aired “long before this campaign started.”

“There is literally only one candidate in this race who has personally profited from pharmaceutical companies,” Wadhams reiterated.

It should be noted that Thune’s print ad criticizing Daschle for personally profiting from pharmaceutical companies came AFTER Daschle began running television ads last Wednesday lying about Thune lobbying for “big drug companies.” In reality, Thune only lobbies for South Dakota companies.

It’s interesting to observe that the first candidate to bring up the issues of lobbying and abortion in television ads has been Daschle, not Thune.

Daschle lost in 2004, and this information apparently turned off enough voters to “make it so.”  This and that big house that’s pictured on the blog and his declaration as D.C. as his place of residence (dubbed “Mansiongate”)…and the lie about Thune’s lobbying. That latter point alone qualifies him for a job with the Obama camp….

According to OpenSecrets.org, Ms. Daschle has apparently continued her relationship with Baker, Donelson et al.  If you want to see a boatload of connections, however, check out Muckety‘s extensive relationship maps.  (Play around with these and be sure to pass the mouse over the wheel of connections to get the full information. Click on Baker, Donelson, then at the bottom click on “47 lobby firm”).  And, yes, you’ll see hospitals and health outfits galore, Howard Baker, Lamar Alexander, etc. etc.–it’s so jam-packed you can’t even see all of them…until you click on individual firm names and you see even more! It’s very interesting!

This info isn’t the most up-to-date and I couldn’t find anything about Ms. Daschle’s recent activities.

But the point is, even if nothing happened with the Daschles and Senate business, there should be scrutiny. And, if there is scrutiny, there might be a bit of unpleasantness for the newly-minted “ethical” standards of the Obama crowd. Of course, Ms. Daschle is leaving her current firm to create her own public policy outfit now.  Are you reassured yet? And all those contacts of Tom’s and his new post gives me such a warm and fuzzy feeling!

***

On the subject of health, the Organic Consumers Association has been up in arms about the possible appointment of Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture. Seems Vilsack is no friend of organic foods.  The organic foods industry is growing quickly so you’d think consumers would see some more positive steps taken to enhance a healthy food supply.  OOPS!!!!!

Tell President-Elect Obama: NO Vilsack Secretary of Agriculture

Tell President-Elect Obama: No to Vilsack for Secretary of Agriculture

It has been widely reported that former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack is being considered for the Secretary of Agriculture position in the Obama Administration. Vilsack is no friend of organic food and farming and his appointment would represent a major disappointment for the Organic Consumers Association and its members. But there is still time to make your voice heard.

1) Contact the office of President-Elect Obama and urge him to appoint a Secretary of Agriculture that reflects your organic values

2) Call office of President-Elect Obama at 202-540-3000 and make sure your concerns about Vilsack be heard.

3) Sign the OCA’s petition below to President-Elect Obama and urge him to appoint a Secretary of Agriculture that is supportive of organic food and farming.

(MORE)


I guess I have to ask, how’s all this CHANGE hitting you, Obamacrats?

By the way, I’ve added my name to that petition.  The Obama crowd hasn’t even taken office yet and I’m already sending in petitions….SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE!!

***

Another thing that is STILL not changing is the Sarah Palin bashing. When I saw this screed in Wednesday’s edition of the local rag, I went ballistic.  Have had “agita” ever since.  Where the F*CK does this woman come from?  And since when did Palin express any interest whatsoever in taking the path upward via a Senate seat? More insults abound. Froma Harrop repeats every snide comment about clothes and the “real thoughts” of the Republican talk show guests that she can muster. Never a mention of the the 57 states or location of the Great Lakes according to Obama, by the way.

This really PISSED ME OFF.  Some snippets:

Palin’s Next Career Move

…For many of us, the night terror of Palin being second in line to become president is gone. We can think straight again. And so can Republican leaders.

…The sands of the egg timer seem to be running out on Palin’s moment as a serious national political figure. Even in Alaska, the stars no longer line up in her favor.

Palin returns home at a time when falling oil prices have crimped any petro-state executive’s ability to spread the wealth and take credit for it. She and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez have that in common.

Her divisive remarks during the campaign caused Democrats in Anchorage to doubt the sincerity of her seeming bipartisan approach to governing. They will be less docile. Face it: Palin has a snowball’s chance in Hawaii of recouping her formerly high approval ratings in Alaska.

…Her hope of staying in the big game was to become a U.S. senator.

…While Palin’s political prospects seem increasingly constrained, she has a cloudless future as an incendiary TV talk show host.

…For all her bashing of the East Coast and the media, Palin clearly loves being there and talking to them. Good use for a $5,000 Valentino jacket, alas.

As Captain Potter of M.A.S.H. used to say…..HORSE PUCKEY!!

***

UPDATE via Chicago Correspondent Leslie,  11/20/08 A.M.

Well, it seems our skepticism about Tom Daschle’s “non-lobbying” activities is being picked up in the media.

Daschle pick may test conflict-of-interest pledge

Ex-senator’s health care advising could force recusal on many issues

WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama’s selection of former Senator Tom Daschle for secretary of health and human services posed new questions on Wednesday about how broadly the new administration would apply Mr. Obama’s campaign promises to limit potential conflicts of interest among his appointees.

At issue is Mr. Daschle’s work since leaving the Senate four years ago as a board member of the Mayo Clinic and a highly paid adviser to health care clients at the law and lobbying firm Alston & Bird.

In a detailed list of campaign promises, Mr. Obama pledged that “no political appointees in an Obama administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years.”

MORE


The Past Week: Recaps & Random Thoughts, September 21-27 (Obama Goon Squads; Mortgage Mess; “Girl Power!” on CNN; Lynette Long on the Record; “Presents” in TX; Obama Strikes Gold; Rezko [Updated 1X]; “Racism” Now in O.J. Trial; For Democratic Reform)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Well, where do I start???   This week we welcomed Grail Guardian as a contributor, joining kenosha Marge! Her first posts proved to be very popular…we look forward to more great posts from this awesome team!

Now, onto the roundup…

GOON SQUADS…unreal…I had heard about it earlier on Saturday,and Uppity Woman wrote the story with the video and statement by Missouri Governor Blunt (and it’s also cross-posted at No Quarter ). I’ve been wondering when the dirt on Obama will be showing up in TV ads by 527s. I recall an ad that was blocked from being aired a while back.  I did a bit of research. The very first “swiftboat” ad against John Kerry was aired on August 5, 2004. Aren’t things pretty quiet so far? Well, maybe it’s because of threats…and now we have the Obama goon squads…while I detest “swiftboating,” I’m more alarmed by how far Obama and his minions are going with the use of intimidation. A MUST READ!!

***

The Mortgage Mess…Backgrounders

On the mortgage mess, Truth is Gold has a great post titled “The Emperor’s Clothes…Continued” with a bevy of fantastic links on the subject.  Definitely worth a look!  As is this piece at No Quarter titled “Consumer Rights League, Obama, Acorn, and the SubPrime Mortgage.  Another example of the type of research that the mainstream media can’t…or WON’T do!

***

Women’s Stuff…

I was sitting in a waiting room on Wednesday about 10 am MT and CNN was on.  The anchor (Kyra Phillips?) passed it over to a female correspondent who reported on a big meeting of women business leaders in NYC and which also included shots of Condoleeza Rice and Sarah Palin.  Guess what the title across the bottom of the screen read???

GIRL POWER!!!

I nearly retched…when I have you last seen the video of a group of male leaders referred to as possessing “BOY POWER!!!” ?

Thankfully, some women are getting some respect in the media…namely, Lynette Long of The Reclusive Leftists, who was referred to by none other than Bill Clinton on The View, although he didn’t name her.  And, she also was the subject of a piece by Marc Fisher, a Metro columnist at the Washington Post which was picked up by The Dallas Morning News (and who knows where else?) on Saturday entitled “Why a Hillary Supporter Flipped to McCain.” It’s a pretty straightforward article, but there is the obligatory dig at Sarah Palin’s “knowledge base” which Lynette responds to by referencing her character, instincts and her being “real.”  I, personally, would like to shove Obama’s “knowledge base” into Fisher’s face…but, they haven’t interviewed me!

Now, I have no idea why a “Metro reporter” writes an interview and it lands in the op-ed section, but maybe it’s just the way things are done these days. Sort of like when I read a Washington Post story in my local paper which is about McCain “eating” his plan to stay in D.C. if the bailout agreement couldn’t be finalized before the debate.  It’s full of more snide comments that pass as “reporting”…and, to me, it is pure op-ed on the news page.  But, that’s the state of “churnalism” these days…

***

Texas “Presents”

Over at Hillbuzz earlier in the week, there was a video posted from the Republican Party of Texas.  The “narrator” wasn’t a professional…at first, I thought it was something created by a non-politico.  It grabs your attention simply because it doesn’t come across as a typical, canned politica ad and features a young-sounding person speaking out against Obama.  It’s on the subject of Obama’s voting record in IL…all those “presents” he used…Really interesting.

Hillbuzz (via Will Bowers’ PUMA) is where I also found out about the lovely gold coins that the Obama campaign is issuing with The Chosen One’s mug on them.  I thought the fake U.S. seal was bad…Funny thing is, I have a silver coin with Bill Clinton’s face on it…but, jeez, that one was from 1992 and was celebrating his actual INAUGURATION! For a guy who limped into the nomination and hasn’t closed the deal yet in the general, I’d say there’s a serious problem here   And, is THIS how they spend their money? This is like “Greek Temples Take Two“…

***

Trials

Just in case you’ve lost track of Tony Rezko, the latest news from The Chicago Sun-Times blog (dated September 20) is that he will be sentenced on October 28. His attorneys want the case thrown out because key witness Stuart Levine was “unreliable.”  Recall that final sentencing was postponed 2 months (originally it was supposed to be August 21); now it will be a week before the election on the last couple of counts!  How will this reminder of Rezko effect the race? Anything?  The media will bury it, so it will be up to the GOP to show us pictures of Rezko’s tenements and chat about where the government money that was supposed to fix them went…Of course, if it gets any play, you can be sure that Obama will pose as having been victimized again and the media will make sure he’s portrayed as being clean as a whistle after all…

UPDATE

Uppity Woman points us to a story at The Real Barack Obama (formerly Rezko Watch) which has all the latests details on “the wide-ranging probe”–is Rezko SINGING???  There was much speculation that he might…if he is, what’s his tune?  Speculation:

“I’m told by a close friend of Rezko that he’s cooperating with the feds,” said a Sneed source. “I don’t know whether he’s talking about Gov. Blagojevich or Barack Obama or anyone else,” the source said.

Meanwhile, at the OJ Simpson trial, we’re seeing references to “bias and racism” leveled at the Las Vegas Metro Police.  See below for the link to the relevant post on the trial and how the outcome may affect the Presidential race…

***

On Friday The Confluence announced a new site dedicated to taking back the Democratic Party. It’s called For Democratic Reform (FDR). This site should be a real boost for a strong push to get rid of the machine that has taken over the Democratic Party, as well as efforts to get the party back to its core values.

***

This week in the fall garden…A couple of days ago I ripped out the pepper plants, all except the pimiento–the peppers are finally turning red!  Still plenty of Sweet 100 tomatoes and Golden Boys. I’m way behind in clearing things out so I can get the mustard, lettuce, and kale in…and I still haven’t planted the collard and broccoli seedlings, which are now VERY large seedlings…

***

Finally, a brief remembrance of Paul Newman…a wonderful actor who became a great humanitarian.  Godspeed…

THIS WEEK’S POSTS

Posts by

*kenosha Marge

**Grail Guardian

Obama’s Presidential Portrait Already Chosen??? (See here) (Why Bother With More Debates or Having an Election??)

*Celebrity Endorsements and Other Annoyances

What? ACORN Given 20% of Bailout Money under Original Bailout Proposal??????? UPDATE 1X

Race, O.J., and Politics–The Potential for an October Meltdown

**Why Obama Doesn’t Want Clinton Democrats

The Sisterhood of Shared Indignities (A Double Post by kenosha Marge and InsightAnalytical-GRL)

**Selling America: Why the MSM Can’t Tell the Truth

The Past Week: Recaps & Random Thoughts, September 14-20 (Dog Activism; The Palin Wars; More McCain Offices Open; Joe Biden; We Need 30%; Odinga Revisited; A “Comment” on Congress)

Obama’s Presidential Portrait Already Chosen??? (See here) (Why Bother With More Debates or Having an Election??)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Well, if this isn’t proof that the fix must really be in….

Why even show up for a debate or waste time with an election? Or discuss the money earmarked for ACORN in the mortgage bailout bill? Or resist at all???

From the Washington Post’s “The Sleuth” column, we’ve got the not-so-subtle speculation that we’ve already got a Presidential portrait of Obama to admire! (Why doesn’t The Sleuth (Mary Ann Akers) go “behind the scenes” and do some sleuthing about the Democratic primary fix, Ayers, birth certificates, etc.?)

Artist Paints Portrait of ‘President Obama’

He doesn’t have the White House locked up yet but Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) already is the subject of a portrait titled “President Obama.”

Barack Obama
(Courtesy of Chaz Guest)

“The painting is on hold and ready for when he walks into the Oval Office,” says Chaz Guest, the artist who painted it. Guest tells us the painting will be on loan to Senator/Possibly President Obama from the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago “until it is official.”

Guest decided to paint the portrait of “President Obama” since the Illinois senator was so appreciative of another portrait Guest painted of the late Justice Thurgood Marshall. That portrait, which Guest loaned to Obama, has hung in Obama’s Senate office for three years now.

Obama sent Guest a note thanking him for that painting on Oct. 11, 2005, saying: “A few years ago, Vernon Jordan told a graduating class that, ‘You are where you are today because you stand on somebody’s shoulders…and if you stand on the shoulders of others, you have a reciprocal responsibility to live your life so that others may stand on yours.’ One of the people whose shoulders I stand on is Thurgood Marshall…. Looking at the painting each day provides me great inspiration and comfort.”

Guest, who lives in Los Angeles, says he first met Obama four years ago at a fundraiser held at the home of major Obama bundlers Mattie and Michael Lawson when the rising political star from Illinois was running for Senate.

The artist sure seems confident that his portrait will be hanging in the Oval Office come next year. Perhaps there will be serigraphs (silkscreen prints) created of the painting of Sen. Obama at a later date,” Guest told the Sleuth via email.

The Sleuth seems to think that this really is IT because the artist “sure seems confident” and perhaps she is right, considering that Chaz Guest has known Obama for 4 years and has already been praised by Obama in flowery terms referencing Thurgood Marshall’s shoulders…OH, and the portrait has already been hanging in Obama’s little-used Senate office for 3 years. And why would Guest muse about the possibility of  “silkscreen prints”?  Jeez, are we going to have “silkscreen prints” bedecking every inch of the country???

Frankly, I think the portrait captures Obama almost perfectly…It’s all about looking forward, which these days equates with sideways and not really looking anybody in the eye…and it sure conveys a certain arrogance. The folded arms…ah, I know it looks strong, but folded arms indicate distancing or defensive. See ChangingMinds.org for more info on this posture…

Well, this portrait does have the potential to make it to the White House, I guess, but wouldn’t this one be more appropriate???

You may want to check out the post I did on this back in May…the little “stars” on the body parts sure do have interesting placements…Back then I described it as “hilarious”…but now, I’m no longer thinking it’s hilarious…

I’m thinking everything that has transpired this year has passed into the realm of the downright FRIGHTENING…

***

UPDATE

From PUMA (Will Bowers)

COINS being minted, too!!