Archive for the ‘Biden’ Category

Endless Obama deficits threaten dollar’s power

May 24, 2009

The bad news is that President Barack Obama is keeping his campaign promises to raise taxes on upper-income families, borrow and spend, bail out car firms and take control of healthcare.

The good news is that President Obama is not keeping all his campaign promises. There has been no precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, Guantanamo is likely to remain the home of terrorists for some time, the promised “trans- parency” is not so all-encompassing as to include pictures of the treatment accorded the bad guys we captured, and we have not lurched into protectionism.

By Irwin Stelzer
The Times, London

Recall that during his run for the White House, Obama opposed the trade agreements with South Korea and Colombia, accused the Bush administration of failing to deal with China’s “manipulation” of its currency and threatened to use “the hammer of a potential opt-out” to force Mexico and Canada to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).

Campaigning is one thing; governing is another. “Obama is subject to the same geopolitical imperatives as was President Bush,” said Rod Hunter, who served as Bush’s senior director of the National Security Council and is now a colleague of mine at the Hudson Institute, a Washington think tank. It is one thing to throw raw meat to the trade-union lions during a campaign but quite another to antagonise Canada, which has troops in Afghanistan alongside our own; Mexico, an ally in the war on drugs and potential source of oil; South Korea, important to our efforts to contain its northern neighbour; and other countries.

So we have the new Obama. Nafta stays as it is; Treasury secretary Tim Geithner has retreated from his charge that China manipulates its currency; and the president has announced “a plan of action” to obtain congressional approval for pending free-trade agreements with Panama and South Korea, and is in discussions with Colombia’s Alvaro Uribe about getting the agreement with his country through a reluctant Congress. Obama has found he also favours “a strong market-opening agreement for agriculture, industrial goods and services through the Doha round \ and through other negotiations”.

Add to that the repeated statements by the president’s US trade representative Ron Kirk, who has been telling relieved business audiences that trade plays “an important role . . . in creating and sustaining better-paying jobs here at home”. Specifically, Kirk wants to expand trade with the Asia-Pacific region because “there is an extraordinary upside to us” in doing so.

“It is reassuring that Obama’s trade agenda appears to be aligning with those of presidents Bush and Clinton — and to their nine predecessors — rather than to the protectionist positions he took on the campaign trail,” commented Theodore Kassinger, former deputy commerce secretary and now a lawyer with O’Melveny & Myers in Washington.

But before awarding the president the Adam Smith Award For Combating Protectionism, consider this. Obama’s first priority is his domestic agenda: “reform” healthcare, restructure the energy industries, involve the federal government more deeply in education, fight the recession, save the carmakers, control bankers’ bonuses, revise the rules that govern the financial sector, and win what is now his war in Afghanistan. Trade is lower down on the list.

Worse still, there are signs that the president is willing to allow the state politicians in charge of disbursing stimulus funds to adopt “buy American” practices, even though his stimulus bill restricts such practices to those that do not violate our trade agreements or World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. Local politicians know that WTO bureaucrats don’t vote in their states.

There are also subtle indications that the president will not fight to prevent protectionist measures from creeping into unrelated legislation. Banks receiving bailout money are chafing under rules that prevent them from hiring talented foreign workers. Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JP Morgan Chase, used the company’s annual meeting to denounce these restrictions as a “complete and utter disgrace” that will inevitably invite retaliation against Americans hoping to work abroad.

And Toyota and other foreign firms that make cars here — American jobs for American workers — are in effect discriminated against by the government’s decision to keep GM and Chrysler from meeting the fate to which a free market would consign them.

Nothing Obama will do on trade, either to free up the flow of goods and services, or to tip the scales in favour of American firms, will in the end matter as much as his reckless fiscal policy.

His budgets project deficits close to $10 trillion by 2019 — and that assumes his healthcare plan will cost only the $635 billion “down-payment” he has put in his budget, rather than the $1.2 trillion experts predict, and that he will succeed in almost freezing defence spending.

That means the US Treasury will be peddling billions of IOUs to investors such as China that already have trillions of this paper in their vaults. So far, so good: the recession-induced flight from risk has led overseas investors to seek a haven in dollar assets. But as the printing presses keep running, and the recession eases, investors will find the risk of being paid in dollars that have shrivelled in value too much to bear.

Which is why the dollar hit its lowest level of the year last week and why for a while it cost less to buy insurance against a default by hamburger-seller McDonald’s than against a default by the world’s only superpower. More important, it is why China and Brazil are trying to cobble together a trade deal that will allow them to bypass the dollar completely and pay in their own currencies. This might well be the first step in China’s announced intention to develop a currency to compete with the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

So, only two cheers for Obama, less of a protectionist than expected, but nevertheless a serious threat to the dominance of the dollar in world trade.

Obama Wants Supreme Court Nominee to Have “Common Touch” Like Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi….

May 24, 2009

Never mind that a “common touch” could have 300 million differing definitions from our 300 million Americans.

President Barack Obama has decided he wants a “common touch” in his appointee for the Supreme Court.

Talk about non-sense news.

What if the president had said he wanted “a fine legal mind.”  Check.  A ” fair minded litigator.”  Check.  In fact, there is everything about a “common touch” and nothing at all.

Your Granny would say about a “common touch,” “Oh  you know what we mean.”

Which means it is meaningless, really.  A figment of someone’s imagination.

Many would say Joe Biden has a “common touch.”  In fact, that’s exactly what the Washington Examiner says about him this Sunday.

How about “he says stupid stuff but he has a common touch.”  Check.

Or “he has been a United States Senator virtually all his entire adult life except for when he became Vice President but he has a common touch.”  Check.

How “common” is that?

We’ve heard people say that Nancy Pelosi has “a common touch.”  We’ve often thought maybe she’s just a little touched in the head, which has a lot more specific meaning than “common touch.”

“Common touch,” like “empathy,” is kind of a non-descriptive descriptor from the President honored for his eloquence.

As Senator Jon Kyle (R-AZ) said on Fox News Sunday, “I don’t want a Supreme Court judge that makes decisions on emotion or preconceived ideas.  If the law is on the side of the little guy, the little guy wins.  If the law is on the side of the big guy, the big guy wins.”

That we can all understand…


CNN on Obama’s “Common Touch”


By Bob Kemper
The Washington Examiner

For Joe Biden, gab is no gift. America’s garrulous vice president has a long record of verbal gaffes and a knack for saying exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time. Indeed, his flapping tongue has cost him dearly.

Biden sank his own bid for the presidency in 1988 with a series of inflated claims about his academic credentials and a partially plagiarized speech. Twenty years later, on the day he joined the 2008 presidential race, he eclipsed the news of his own candidacy and reinforced the notion that he represented the political past by describing a black challenger named Barack Obama as “clean.”

Read the rest:

Hezbollah Has an Idea for Obama on Gitmo: Offers To Kill Prisoners

May 22, 2009

Here’s why Gitmo is so terrible: other people in other nations are appauled at the U.S. for such terrible places as Gitmo.

But in Lebanon today, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said what he would do to spies from Israel: he’d kill them.

“In the name of the families of martyrs, of the wounded and of those who lost their homes… I demand that the death penalty is handed down to the agents who provided information that lead to all these things,” Nasrallah, said while speaking via video-link to a rally in Lebanon rally.

The speech was meant to commemorate the ninth anniversary of Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon.

See the Jerusalem Post:

They have an idea on the Vice President too:
Hezbollah to Obama: Please Take This Fool Biden Back

Forget Cheney, Obama Has Trouble On Gitmo: From Judith Miller, Michelle Malkin, Joe Biden…..

May 22, 2009

Holy Cow!  Judth Miller, late of the new York Times, completely agrees with Michelle Malkin on the Obama Gitmo Non-Plan.

On Fox News Channel on Friday afternnoon, Miller said putting the likes of Gitmo terrorists in with the U.S. prison population “would cause real problems.”

Like Michelle Malkin, Miller discusses the “graduate education” bad guys can get in U.S. prisons.

“His push to transfer violent Muslim warmongers into our civilian prisons – where they have proselytized and plotted with impunity– will only make the problem worse,” Malkin wrote of Obama’s idea to put Gitmo terrorists into U.S. prisons.

Even Joe Biden balked at the President’s plan.

“But, look, what the president said is that this is going to be hard. It’s like opening Pandora’s Box. We don’t know what’s inside the box,” Biden said.

He also said that “to the best of my knowledge” the number of prisoners “who are a real danger who are not able to returned or tried” has “not been established” by the Obama administration.

So he basically just confirmed his predecessor Dick Cheney’s analysis that the decision was taken “with little deliberation, and no plan”.

Biden on Obama’s Gitmo “Plan”: “It’s Like Opening Pandora’s Box”

Biden on Obama’s Gitmo “Plan”: “It’s Like Opening Pandora’s Box”

May 22, 2009

Speaking to reporters on the final day of his tour of the Balkans, Vice President Joe Biden acknowledged the administration still hasn’t figured out what to do with all the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay but predicted that it will still meet its deadline of closing the prison within a year. “I think so,” Biden said, when asked about the January 2010 deadline. “But, look, what the president said is that this is going to be hard. It’s like opening Pandora’s Box. We don’t know what’s inside the box.”

Read the rest from Newsweek:

Psst: They sent you out there hoping you wouldn’t say any more dumb stuff…..


Hezbollah to Obama: Please Take This Fool Biden Back
Leno: White House Operation “Keep Biden From Microphone” Seems To Be Working
Obama ‘Distracted’ by Biden’s ‘Indiscipline,’ Book Asserts


By Toby Harnden
The Telegraph, London

Thank goodness for Vice President Joe Biden. In one of the few amusing parts of the Wanda Sykes comedy routine at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, she said: “God forbid that Joe Biden falls into the hands of terrorists….We’re done. Oh, they won’t even have to torture him. All they have to do is go, ‘How’s it going, Joe?'”

Indeed. It seems that all a reporter has to do to find out about the pickle Barack Obama’s is really in over his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay prison is to ask the veep, who was talking to the press at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo on the final day of his trip to the Balkans.

So will Obama fulfill his vow – announced amid great fanfare in an executive order on day two of his presidency – to close the facility by January 2010? “I think so,” Biden responded, according to Newsweek’s Holly Bailey.

So perhaps he will. Or perhaps not. We’ll see.

Biden continued: “But, look, what the president said is that this is going to be hard. It’s like opening Pandora’s Box. We don’t know what’s inside the box.”

He also said that “to the best of my knowledge” the number of prisoners “who are a real danger who are not able to returned or tried” has “not been established” by the Obama administration.

So he basically just confirmed his predecessor Dick Cheney’s analysis that the decision was taken “with little deliberation, and no plan”.

Read the rest:

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden gestures as he leaves Beirut international ...
“This is the Holy Land, right?”  Biden takes a page out of The One’s Book.  U.S. Vice President Joe Biden gestures as he leaves Beirut international airport May 22, 2009.REUTERS/ Jamal saidi (LEBANON POLITICS)

Hezbollah to Obama: Please Take This Fool Biden Back

May 22, 2009

The White House plan to silence Joe Biden and put a stop to the stupid stuff he says isn’t necessarily going to work.

Today the Hezbollah complained.

Here’s a tip for President Obama: guys that continue to do and say stupid stuff can only be housed in one place safely: Gitmo.

Leno: White House Operation “Keep Biden From Microphone” Seems To Be Working
Obama ‘Distracted’ by Biden’s ‘Indiscipline,’ Book Asserts


Hezbollah says Biden visit interferes in election

By BASSEM MROUE, Associated Press Writer

BEIRUT – Vice President Joe Biden reaffirmed strong American support for Lebanon’s government Friday as the deeply divided country prepares for crucial elections in two weeks that could see the pro-Western faction ousted by Iranian-backed Hezbollah and its allies.

Hezbollah has accused Washington of trying to influence the June 7 vote in favor of the pro-Western faction that dominates the government. The militant group said the visits by Biden and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton a month ago raised “strong suspicion and amounted to a clear and detailed interference in Lebanon’s affairs.”

Biden is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Lebanon in more than 25 years. Pro-Iranian militants targeted Americans with bombings and kidnappings in the 1980s during the civil war, leading to a 12-year U.S. ban on citizens traveling to the country that was lifted in 1997.

With Biden’s visit following so closely after Clinton’s, the attention from President Barack Obama‘s administration underscores concerns about a possible win by Hezbollah, which the U.S. considers a terrorist group.

“Lebanon has suffered terribly from war and we have a real opportunity now … for peace,” Biden said after talks with President Michel Suleiman. “So I urge those who think about standing with the spoilers of peace not to miss this opportunity to walk away from the spoilers.”

Read the rest:

Leno: White House Operation “Keep Biden From Microphone” Seems To Be Working

May 21, 2009

Jay Leno said Barack Obama’s “Operation Keep Biden from the Microphone” seems to be working: Biden is on a trip to Kosovo, Serbia and other tourist destinations.

After a visit to Serbia and Bosnia a few years ago, Biden said his aircraft had been attacked.

By which side, do you think?

Leno’s joke came on the “Tonight Show” last night….

Obama ‘Distracted’ by Biden’s ‘Indiscipline,’ Book Asserts

FILE - In this May 10, 2009 file photo, comedian Jay Leno performs ...
Jay Leno

Obama: Get Used to The Truth, You Were Wrong On Biden, Gitmo, What Else?

May 21, 2009

Barack Obama’s enchanted first 100 days are history and now we have to deal with stark reality.

In a tragedy, do you have any confidence that Joe Biden could be President?  Probably not.  How about Nancy Pelosi?

And so can you listen to any of these with confidence?

You’ve probably decided in your own mind already if there was torture at Gitmo, if the prison should be closed and if the military tribunals have any merit.

But Dick Cheney and Barack Obama will each make their case in public speeches today as if two lawyers in a courtroom.

National Security: Rove Praises Obama for Listening to CIA, Pentagon and Growing Weary of MoveOn, Code Pink and ACLU
So ask yourself this: Is Obama in a Gitmo cell himself and if so why?  Why do we have dueling speeches today?

It appears that on Gitmo, torture and the tribunals, Team Obama did a lot of yacking but not a lot of research and alternative evaluation.  Then they sent their budget to the Congress with a promise to figure it all out.

AP: Obama in political box over closing Guantanamo
See link below)

Congress hit the abort button: no blanck check with a promise to tell us the details later.

Some in Congress must be asking, why in hell did we issue such a huge blank check on the stimulus without knowing the details?

The same money sans details scenario is approaching with health care and cap and trade.

This is governing by speeches, deficit spending and attention-deficit-disorder.

What we expect Dick Cheney to say today is, because we have neglected the details we are less secure today than we were a few months ago.

That’s a tall charge of malfeasance: the White House doing its homework so badly that national security is in peril.

And that charge from Cheney should cause all of us to ask, what other projects still have “devils in the details” that haven’t been looked for and seen?

Iran?  Israel?

Jihadists from Gitmo Back in Terror War:

Obama ‘Distracted’ by Biden’s ‘Indiscipline,’ Book Asserts

Pelosi’s Congressional Team Worked Details of Stimulus, Health Care: Do You Trust Them?

White House: “It Was a Mistake” To Set Up Gitmo. Really?

Is Iran Ready For Lasting, Peaceful Dialogue?
Obama’s Biggest Gamble?
Has Obama given up on halting Iran?
Iran tests missile that could hit Israel, Europe

AP: Obama in political box over closing Guantanamo

Obama ‘Distracted’ by Biden’s ‘Indiscipline,’ Book Asserts

May 21, 2009

The president is so “distracted by his vice president’s indiscipline” that he has been forced to rebuke privately Vice President Biden, according to a new book by Richard Wolffe.

By Bill Sammon
Fox News

President Obama is so “distracted by his vice president’s indiscipline” that he has been forced to rebuke privately Vice President Joe Biden, according to a new book by Newsweek journalist Richard Wolffe, who interviewed Obama a dozen times.

“He can’t keep his mouth shut,” Wolffe quotes a “senior Obama aide” as saying of the gaffe-prone Biden in “Renegade: The Making of a President,” set for release June 2.

As evidence, Wolffe reports that during the presidential transition period, Biden insulted Valerie Jarrett, one of Obama’s closest friends and confidantes. Jarrett had been considered Obama’s top choice to fill his vacated Senate seat in Illinois, but took herself out of the running just hours after Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich allegedly told a wiretapped conference call he would not heed any Obama recommendation without a payoff.

“Soon after Jarrett pulled out of consideration for the Senate seat, the senior transition team met to discuss cabinet picks,” Wolffe writes. “Biden tried to compliment Jarrett after one contribution. ‘You should be in the Senate,’ he quipped. After the meeting, as everyone returned to their offices, Obama stopped Biden to warn him not to say anything like that again. ‘It’s not funny,’ he told him.”

Read the rest:

Leno: White House Operation “Keep Biden From Microphone” Seems To Be Working

Pelosi got “a blunt and harsh rebuke,” “thrown under bus”

May 18, 2009

“To have the person third in line to be president say that the CIA misleads us all the time is so utterly irresponsible and such an attack on the men and women who are risking their lives … that she disqualifies herself for being speaker of the House,” said Georgia Republican Newt Gingrich during an interview on Joe Scarborough’s radio show.

“This is not like an average member, this is not some back-bencher who’s allowed to, you know, say dumb things,” Gingrich added. “This person, the speaker of the House, has access to the nation’s secrets.”

Pelosi Is Now Obama’s Biggest Anchor, Liability

Of course that leaves Vice President Biden, who is apparently allowed to say dumb things all the time… and is always forgiven….

Should Speaker Pelosi be worried?  Bill Kristol says “I think so.”

“He [Panetta] had White House authorization to put Pelosi in her place,” Kristol said.

Panetta’s memo on Pelosi “was a blunt and harsh rebuke of the Speaker of the House,” Kristol said, “from her own party, and probably with the blessing of the White House Chief of Staff.”

Leon Panetta and Rahm Emanuel are both Democrats and former House members.

“Pelosi was thrown under the bus,” said Senator Kit Bond on Fox News on Monday afternoon.

But at Monday’s press briefing, Robert Gibbs said President Barack Obama retains confidence in Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) amid the uproar over whether she was informed in 2002 about the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques…..

Pelosi, Panetta and Rahm Emanuel

NYT Never Heard of ACORN or Pelosi’s CIA Dispute or Plagiarism….

Michelle Malkin: