Archive for the ‘North Korea’ Category

Lawyerly Obama Good at Bush Bashing, Bad on Morality, Cloaked in Self Righteousness

May 21, 2009

After Obama’s Notre Dame speech on abortion, Time Magazine’s Amy Sullivan likened Obama’s approach to “If you’re not with us, then let’s sit down over cookies and talk about it.”

But on George Bush, Dick Cheney, Gitmo and waterborading, lawyer Obama is mad and dying to get even with his predecessor and set the legal record straight.

Dick Cheney said, “In the fight against terrorism, there is no middle ground.”

But at Notre Dame and elsewhere, the lawyer in Obama, and the teacher in Obama, has always listened to all sides: even the terrorists side (can we still call them that?).

1.2 million abortions were performed in the U.S. in 2005, 25% below the all-time high of 1.6 million abortions in 1990.

There were exactly three terrorists “waterboarded” by the United States.  None suffered permanent harm.  All are alive, well fed and well cared for, by all accounts from both Democrats and Republicans.

But the president who has said he would rather look forward than back, took to the stage today to look back and dig deep.

Obama skated past the Notre Dame graduating class on Sunday, offering middle ground in the face of one million or so deaths every year.

Then today the President adamantly, vehemently defended the rights of a few hundred prisoners that are all probably terrorists.

On Sunday he was happy to discuss the continuing policy of the United States to kill over 1 million babies every year. Today he is outraged that the United States waterboarded three men that, many say, had information of a mass attack to kill Americans.

It just seems to us, that President Obama’s moral outrage at the Bush Administration lacks some reality and consistency of legal thinking….and might just be more political than moral preaching or legal fact finding.

National Security: Obama says he’s undoing ‘mess’ left for him; Cheney disagrees
39% Say U.S. Legal System Too Worried About Individual Rights Over National Security

Hot Air:


President Barack Obama holds his hand outstretched during a ...
Barack Obama apparently blesses and thanks the graduates of Notre Dame….Sunday, May 17, 2009. Center is board of trustees chairman Dick Notebaert.(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

China Denies Japan’s Charge of Cooperation On North Korea Nuke Program

May 7, 2009

China on Thursday rejected Japan’s accusation on China’s nuclear activities.

“We do not know what exact purpose the Japanese leader intended to achieve by referring to China’s nuclear issue under the current circumstances,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told a regular press briefing.

His comments came in response to a question concerning Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso’s recent remarks on China’s nuclear policy.

In a speech during his visit to Germany on Monday, Aso said the recent activities in China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea were threatening security in the Asian region.

“China’s nuclear policy is very transparent. China’s position on the nuclear disarmament is obvious to all,” said Ma.

From China’ State News Agency

North Korea Readies Nuclear Test

May 7, 2009

North Korea has begun preparations for a second nuclear test at a site in the north of the country, South Korean government sources have said, raising the diplomatic stakes over stalled nuclear disarmament talks.
By Peter Foster in Beijing
Telegraph (UK)

The move comes days after Pyongyang threatened to conduct further nuclear tests following its censure at the United Nations for a failed ballistic missile launch early last month.

It also comes as Washington dispatches Stephen Bosworth, its special envoy on North Korea, to Beijing and then to Seoul, Tokyo and Moscow in an effort to bring the isolated Stalinist regime back to the negotiating table.

Analysts say that Pyongyang will attempt to use the threat of a second nuclear test as a lever to gain concessions from negotiators. The last test in October 2006 was only a partial success according to the assessment of US defence officials.

The signs of increased activity at the Phunggye-ri site in the North Hamgyong province were reported in the South Korean Chosun Ilbo newspaper, quoting unnamed government sources.

Read the rest:

It’s All On Obama Now — Forget Blaming Bush

May 3, 2009
Political observers say that with the events of the last week, accountability for the nation and its current problems has clearly shifted from Bush.
By Peter Nicholas
The Los Angeles Times
May 3, 2009
Reporting from Washington — In the span of a single week — from the day Arlen Specter turned Democratic to the moment Congress passed the White House’s budget blueprint and on through the opening of a spot on the Supreme Court — President Obama crossed a fateful line: From now on, it’s his country.

Every president inherits a tangle of problems from his predecessor. War and recession, natural disaster and foreign crises. And for some undefined interval, new presidents argue that they should not be accountable for the troubles that arose on another’s watch.
But inevitably, responsibility shifts. And for Obama, that time came last week, bringing both greater opportunities and greater risks.

Read the rset:

Our Jekyll and Hyde President

April 30, 2009

Will the real Obama stand up?  Is the real president the one joking with Hugo Chavez and sending a video to Iran’s Ahmadinejad?  Or is he really the guy that executed three Somali pirates who had never before hurt any captives?


By Victor David Hanson
National Review

In matters of foreign policy during the president’s first 100 days, we have seen two Barack Obamas.

Consider “Obama I.” After taking office, the president gave his first interview to the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya TV station, and listed various sins of America while praising the Saudi king as courageous.

On trips abroad since then, Obama I has continued to apologize for the U.S. being arrogant and dismissive of Europe. He thinks we have been inconsiderate to Mexico. And, judging by a speech he gave in Prague, we apparently carry a special burden to eliminate nuclear weapons since we ended World War II by using them.
Obama I seems far kinder to our rivals than to the prior Bush administration when he assures various South American thugs and Iranian and Russian strongmen that he represents a sharp break from a recent, unfortunate American past.

Obama I sat quietly for nearly an hour while Nicaragua’s thuggish leader, Daniel Ortega, trashed the U.S. at the recent Summit of the Americas. Instead of defending his country, the president, in his call to move forward, replied that he was only three months old at the time of our alleged misdeeds in Cuba — and therefore not responsible for them.

Most maddening, Obama I released classified memos about past enhanced interrogation techniques — over the objections of former CIA directors from both parties.

But there has been another Obama as well. This more centrist “Obama II” kept Bush appointee Robert Gates as secretary of Defense. He named no-nonsense Gen. James Jones national-security adviser.

Most of the campaign rhetoric about leaving Iraq on a strict timetable has been scrapped. Instead, the Bush-Petraeus plan of withdrawal based on conditions on the ground continues.

Obama sent more combat troops to Afghanistan, while trying in vain to get the Europeans to fulfill their NATO obligations by doing the same. Despite the hostile anti-Bush rhetoric, Obama has kept intact many of his predecessor’s homeland-security measures. There has been little change with the Patriot Act, wiretap and e-mail intercepts of suspected terrorist communications, and renditions of overseas suspects.

Obama II gave the green light to execute suspected Somali pirates who were holding an American hostage. And in the case of our continued Predator drone attacks in Pakistan, such bombings are a little more extreme than waterboarding known terrorists.

There could be several explanations for our split-personality president.

Read the rest:

All Knowing, All Present, Obama (and Global) Government? 

Obama’s Day 100: Reaction From Around the Globe: “achieving only the minimum”
 Obama’s Too Many Dichotomies; Requires a Telepromter to Keep Himself Straight

Obama’s Day 100: Reaction From Around the Globe: “achieving only the minimum”

April 29, 2009

Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported Tuesday that Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammed Najjar met with Venezuelan Vice President Ramon Carrizalez, who is also the acting defense minister.

Najjar was quoted as saying defense ties are being developed as part of “a long-term plan” and that cooperation with Venezuela “has experienced a leap that we’re seeking to accelerate in this visit.”

Of course this is all good as president Obama and Hugo Chavez are pals….

Meanwhile in Tehran, an Iranian judiciary official denied that an American journalist jailed in Iran for allegedly spying for the U.S., RoxanaSaberi,  is on a hunger strike and said Tuesday that she is in “good condition.”

In Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Iran was closing in on obtaining a nuclear weapon using the skill and sophistication of a master chess player.

“The Iranians don’t play backgammon, they play chess and in fact they invented the game,” Barak, himself an avid chess player, said in an interview with Haaretz newspaper, referring to the Islamic republic‘s atomic programme.

“They are proceeding with far greater sophistication and are far more methodical,” the minister said in the interview.

Mexico is blaming the U.S. for the swine flu, Janet Napolitano and others in the administration are urging the media to stop using the word “swine,” and Russia has said it will stop importing American pork.

China says it may start to slow buying of U.S. debt…China is now hoarding gold….

The British government says a 50% income tax isn’t too much…

Raul Castro dismissed Barack Obama’s policy changes toward Cuba as “achieving only the minimum,” and said Wednesday that it is up to the U.S. — not Cuba — to do more to improve relations.

France and Spain are meeting to fight terrorists (a word now passe in the U.S.).  The committee from the two nations will seek to “prevent the Islamist threat,” in particular through “an alert procedure” on the use of the Internet by terrorists and on the “development of the jihadist threat in the regions at risk.”

The deal will allow Paris and Madrid “to make a leap forward on security,” Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero told a joint news conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Sarkozy recently said Obama was “unoriginal, unsubstantial and overrated.”

US President Barack Obama (L) and French President Nicolas Sarkozy ... 
US President Barack Obama (L) and French President Nicolas Sarkozy meet during the NATO summit arrival ceremony at the the Palais Rohan in Strasbourg. Sarkozy said, “They don’t speak Austrian here…”

Al-Qaida and Taliban-led violence continued in Pakistan where a government offical said U.S. worries were unfounded and U.S. aid to pakistan needs to be accelerated.  The government returned to Poland the body of a geologists beheaded by the moderate Taliban….

Fiat said it would like to help out President Obama but refused to buy all the troubled U.S. auto industry as GM told 1,000 dealerships to close….

Germany is bracing for its biggest May Day protests in years amid fears of a rise in social unrest caused by the worst recession since World War II in Europe‘s biggest economy.

An estimated 50,000 jobs are being lost every month in Germany…..In the USA the number is about 600,00 each month….

North Korea says it will conduct another nuclear bomb test….

Russia will test five new models of intercontinental ballistic missiles….

Suspected Muslim rebels killed 10 civilians in a flurry of attacks in insurgency-plagued southern Thailand, the army said Tuesday on the fifth anniversary of a bloody assault by security forces against militants at a mosque.

Feel better now?

North Korea Threatens Nuclear Test

April 29, 2009

North Korea threatened on Wednesday to conduct a second nuclear test and to test-launch ballistic missiles unless the United Nations Security Council apologises for condemning its recent rocket launch.

“Unless the UN Security Council offers an apology immediately, we will be forced to take additional self-defence measures to protect the highest interests of our republic,” a foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

“They will include a nuclear test and ballistic missile tests,” the statement said.

The Security Council had condemned the North’s April 5 launch of a long-range rocket and ordered tougher enforcement of existing sanctions.

The communist state reacted angrily then, insisting that the launch — widely seen as a disguised missile test — was conducted to put a peaceful satellite into orbit.

Read the rest from AFP:

Oliver North On Obama’s First 100 Days: “an enormous propaganda victory” For Global Socialist Left

April 26, 2009

At times during our history, international events have provided starring roles for American presidents. Teddy Roosevelt received the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating an end to the Russo-Japanese War. John Kennedy’s pledge of solidarity, “Ich bin ein Berliner,” offered hope to captive people behind the iron curtain. Richard Nixon’s “secret” trip to Beijing precipitated still ongoing changes in the People’s Republic of China. Ronald Reagan’s tough diplomacy — and his decision to rebuild America’s defenses — turned the tide of the Cold War and hastened the end of an aptly named evil empire.

By Oliver North
The Washington Times

Then there are world events that consumed presidencies and doomed them to failure. Woodrow Wilson’s ill-informed dream of preventing all wars, with the League of Nations, became a nightmare. Lyndon Johnson’s hope of being remembered as a civil rights reformer died with his disastrous decisions on the battlefields of Vietnam. Jimmy Carter’s naked quest for a “peacemaker’s legacy” always will bear the miserable taint of his bungling during the Iranian hostage crisis. Now, with less than 100 days in office, Barack Obama already seems destined for this latter category.

The opening months of the Obama administration’s foreign policy have been marked by stunning naiveté, serious missteps and ideological blindness to hard realities in an increasingly dangerous world. It is now an open question whether he and his “national security team” can recover.

Just days after becoming commander in chief, Mr. Obama acquiesced in Beijing’s demands that U.S. vessels cease surveys within Chinese territorial waters. Russia rebuffed his “hand of friendship” and bribed Tajikistan into closing a U.S. base crucial to operations in Afghanistan. Pakistan replied to his “mutual respect for Islam” by allowing the world’s most notorious nuclear weapons proliferator, A.Q. Khan, to return to business as usual. The Iranians sized up his offer for direct negotiations on nuclear weapons by turning on more centrifuges and locking up an American journalist. His “apologize for America first” tour of Europe brought cheers but no new commitments from NATO for help in Afghanistan. He was applauded for promising to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, but then he learned no one else would take the terrorists housed there.

Mr. Obama’s release of top-secret Bush administration documents on interrogation techniques — and his botched determination on whether to hold show trials for those who authorized such efforts to prevent further terror attacks — shocked allied intelligence services. His performance at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad brought accolades from the mainstream media, but it disheartened those in Cuban, Venezuelan, Nicaraguan and Bolivian prisons who have committed no crimes except to speak out against their governments.

In Trinidad, Mr. Obama sat quietly – and, apparently, attentively – through a mind-numbing anti-American rant by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega during which the Sandinista leader accused the United States of heinous crimes. When asked his opinion afterward, Mr. Obama replied, “It was 50 minutes long.” No rebuttal. No defense of America or his predecessors’ efforts to offer others the hope of freedom.

When Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez gave him a homework assignment – to read the virulently anti-American screed “Open Veins of Latin America” – Mr. Obama accepted it with a smile for the cameras. Perhaps we should be grateful he didn’t bow to Mr. Chavez, as he did to Saudi King Abdullah.

Rep. Mike Pence, Indiana Republican and a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, described the Obama-Chavez photographs as “an enormous propaganda victory for the Socialist dictator.” They also were another stab in the back to former President George W. Bush, whom Mr. Chavez once called “the devil” in the U.N. General Assembly.

The Obama administration’s penitent foreign policy is evident in its approach to the United Nations and the International Criminal Court, which is a U.N. body hostile to American service members – the same ones the Obama administration describes as “disgruntled military veterans.” America’s new willingness to be pilloried publicly was apparent in Geneva last week at the United Nations’ Durban Review Conference on racism.

Read the rest:

One Hundred Days of Obama: 100 Mistakes

April 26, 2009

1. “Obama criticized pork barrel spending in the form of ‘earmarks,’ urging changes in the way that Congress adopts the spending proposals. Then he signed a spending bill that contains nearly 9,000 of them, some that members of his own staff shoved in last year when they were still members of Congress. ‘Let there be no doubt, this piece of legislation must mark an end to the old way of doing business, and the beginning of a new era of responsibility and accountability,’ Obama said.” — McClatchy, 3/11

2. “There is no doubt that we’ve been living beyond our means and we’re going to have to make some adjustments.” — Obama during the campaign.

3. This year’s budget deficit: $1.5 trillion.

4. Asks his Cabinet to cut costs in their departments by $100 million — a whopping .0027%!

5. “The White House says the president is unaware of the tea parties.” — ABC News, 4/15

6. “Mr. Obama is an accomplished orator but is becoming known in America as the ‘teleprompt president’ over his reliance on the machine when he gives a speech.” — Sky News, 3/18

7. In early February, the 2010 census was moved out of the Department of Commerce and into the White House, politicizing how federal aid is distributed and electoral districts are drawn.

8. Obama taps Nancy Killefer for a new administration job, First Chief Performance Officer — to police government spending. But it surfaces that Killefer had performance issues of her own — a tax lien was slapped on her DC home in 2005 for failure to pay unemployment compensation tax on household help. She withdrew.

9. Turkey tried to block the appointment of Anders Fogh Rasmussen as new NATO secretary general because he didn’t properly punish the Danish cartoonist who caricatured Mohammed. France’s Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany’s Angela Merkel were outraged; Obama said he supported Turkey’s induction into the European Union.

10. . . . and he never mentioned the Armenian genocide.

11. The picture of Obama and Hugo Chavez shaking hands.

12. Hugo Chavez gave him the anti-American screed “The Open Veins of Latin America.” Obama didn’t remark upon it. At least it wasn’t DVDs.

13. Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega went on a 50-minute anti-American rant, calling Obama “president of an empire.” Obama didn’t leave the room. “I thought it was 50 minutes long. That’s what I thought,” he said.

14. Executives at AIG get $165 million in bonuses, despite receiving an $173 billion taxpayer bailout.

15. “For months, the Obama administration and members of Congress have known that insurance giant AIG was getting ready to pay huge bonuses while living off government bailouts. It wasn’t until the money was flowing and news was trickling out to the public that official Washington rose up in anger and vowed to yank the money back.” — Associated Press, 3/18

16. “After pushing Congress for weeks to hurry up and pass the massive $787 billion stimulus bill, President Obama promptly took off for a three-day holiday getaway.” — New York Post, 2/15


“Obama soared to victory on the hopeful promise of a new era of bipartisanship. During his inaugural address he even promised an ‘end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.’

“Too bad it took all of three days for the promise to ring hollow.

“Start with Obama’s big meeting with top congressional leaders on his signature legislation — the stimulus — on the Friday after his inauguration. Listening to Republican concerns about overspending was a nice gesture — until he shut down any hopes of real dialogue by crassly telling Republican leaders: ‘I won.’ Even the White House’s leaking of the comment was a slap at the Republican leadership, who’d expected Obama to adhere to the custom of keeping private meetings with congressional leadership, well, private.

“It’s only gone downhill from there. The stimulus included zero Republican recommendations, and failed to get a single House Republican vote.

“It’s not just the tactic of using Republicans for bipartisan photo-ops, and then cutting them loose before partisan decisions, that irks Obama’s opponents. The new president wasted no time rushing forward with policies and legislation guaranteed to drive Republicans nuts. The first bill he signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — a partisan hot-button that drew all of eight Republican supporters in the entire Congress. Then there was the swift reversal of Bush policies on abortion and embryonic-stem-cell research — issues dear to the Republican base.

“And when Obama and the Democrats in Congress took up SCHIP — the children’s health-insurance bill that Republicans say vastly expands government’s role in health care — they had an easy chance for real bipartisanship. After all, the bill had been hashed out in the previous Congress, and a bipartisan accord was reached before President Bush responded with a veto. Did the Obama team push for the compromise version in the 111th Congress? Nope. They went back to the drawing board, ramming through the Democrats’ dream version.

“Of course, the lack of bipartisanship isn’t limited to Capitol Hill. Obama has taken gratuitous swipes at the Republicans who recently decamped Washington, blaming President Bush for everything from the economy and the war to the lack of sufficient puppies and rainbows. And who could forget the Rush Limbaugh flap — in which Obama’s top advisers, including chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, orchestrated a public relations campaign meant to undermine the Republican National Committee chairman, Michael Steele, by framing talk-radio personality Limbaugh as the real head of the Republican Party.

“For now, Obama’s back-pedal on the bipartisanship promise just makes him look insincere. But the real consequences of the mistake will be felt soon enough. As Presidents Bush and Clinton could tell him, congressional majorities do change — and at some point, Obama will need Republicans on his side. He’d be smart to spend his second 100 days making up for the serious snubs of his first.”

— Sarah Palin is the governor of Alaska

18. “The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.” — Department of Homeland Security intelligence report

19. Nixes a “buy American” provision in the stimulus bill.

20. “Yes, Canada is not Mexico, it doesn’t have a drug war going on. Nonetheless, to the extent that terrorists have come into our country or suspected or known terrorists have entered our country across a border, it’s been across the Canadian border. There are real issues there.” — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The 9/11 hijackers did not come across the Canada border

21. “The Obama administration is signaling to Congress that the president could support taxing some employee health benefits, as several influential lawmakers and many economists favor, to help pay for overhauling the health care system. The proposal is politically problematic for President Obama, however, since it is similar to one he denounced in the presidential campaign as ‘the largest middle-class tax increase in history.’ ” — New York Times, 3/14


“During his historic inaugural speech, Barack Obama promised to usher in a transformational age where hope would replace fear, unity would overtake partisanship, and change would sweep aside the status quo. But early in President Obama’s first 100 days it is obvious that the only thing that is changing is the Candidate of Change, himself.

“The same politician who proclaimed during his inauguration that ‘on this day we have chosen hope over fear’ soon warned Americans that the US economy would be forever destroyed if the stimulus bill was voted down.

“Why was it that same man who promised to put Americans’ interests ahead of his own political ambitions chose instead to use the suffering of citizens to advance his agenda?

“Maybe he was following the guidance of Rahm Emanuel, who famously said, ‘You never want to waste a good crisis.’

“They didn’t.

“The White House’s warnings were so over-the-top that Bill Clinton felt compelled to warn the new president against making such grim pronouncements. Americans would quickly warn that the White House would not channel FDR’s eternal optimism but rather embrace the gloomy worldview of Edgar Allen Poe.

“The Candidate of Hope also quickly adopted the Nixonian worldview that Americans voted their fears rather than their hopes. Over Mr. Obama’s first 100 days, that cynical calculation paid off politically for a White House that seemed most interested in appeasing the most liberal members of his Democratic Party.

“I expected more from Barack Obama. For the sake of my country, I hope I get it from the new president over the next 100 days.”

— Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and author of “The Last Best Hope: Restoring Conservatism and America’s Promise” (Crown Forum), due out June 9.

23. Sanjay Gupta was in discussions to become Surgeon General, but the TV personality withdrew after he was criticized for his flimsy political record.

24. Rasmussen finds 58% of Americans believe the Obama administration’s release of CIA memos endangers the national security of the United States.

25. Only 28% think the Obama administration should do any further investigating of how the Bush administration treated terrorism suspects.

26. “Obama thanked CIA employees for their work and said they’re invaluable to national security. He explained his decision to release the memos, then told everyone not to feel bad because he was now acknowledging potential mistakes. Theirs, not his. ‘That’s how we learn,’ Obama said, as though soothing a room full of fourth-graders.” — The Oklahoman, 4/23

27. By releasing the torture memos, Obama opened American citizens up to international tribunals. A UN lawyer said the US is obliged to prosecute lawyers who drafted the memos or else violate the Geneva Conventions.

28. In their first meeting, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave Obama a carved ornamental penholder from the timbers of the anti-slavery ship HMS Gannet. Obama gave him 25 DVDs that don’t work in Europe.


“Richardson’s value in Obama’s Cabinet had everything to do with appearances. First, he was the Hispanic pick. Second, because Richardson had run against Obama for President, tapping him for the Cabinet helped the media write the Obama-Lincoln comparisons by burnishing the ‘Team of Rivals’ image.

“But Richardson withdrew before Obama was even inaugurated when news came out about a criminal investigation involving David Rubin, president of a firm named Chambers, Dunhill, Rubin & Co. (although there was no Chambers or Dunhill), who had donated at least $110,000 to Richardson’s campaign committees and had also profited from $1.5 million in contracts from the state government.

“This was an early warning sign about Obama’s vetting process (various tax problems and the Daschle problem would reveal this as a theme), but picking Richardson to run Commerce also highlighted that Obama and Richardson’s promise of ‘public-private partnerships’ — such as Detroit bailouts, Wall Street bailouts, and green energy–was an open door for corruption and was at odds with Obama’s promise to diminish the influence of lobbyists.

“The Richardson mistake was one of Obama’s first, and it was emblematic. Richardson embodied Obama’s attention to self-image and the problems inherent in his vision of an intimate business-government connection.”

— Tim Carney is a Washington Examiner columnist

30. Timothy Geithner nomination as Secretary of Treasury was almost torpedoed when it was discovered he had failed to pay $34,000 in Social Security and Medicare taxes. He also employed an illegal immigrant as a housekeeper. He was confirmed anyway.

31. . . . Not so lucky, Annette Nazareth, who was nominated for Deputy Treasury Secretary. She withdrew her name for undisclosed “personal reasons” after a monthlong probe into her taxes . . .

32. . . . or Caroline Atkinson, who withdrew as nominee for Undersecretary of International Affairs in Treasury Department, with a source blaming the long vetting process. Geithner still has a skeleton crew at Treasury, with no one qualified — or willing — to take jobs there.

33. “Barack Obama has been embroiled in a cronyism row after reports that he intends to make Louis Susman, one of his biggest fundraisers, the new US ambassador in London. The selection of Mr. Susman, a lawyer and banker from the president’s hometown of Chicago, rather than an experienced diplomat, raises new questions about Mr Obama’s commitment to the special relationship with Britain.” — Telegraph, 2/22

34. Obama’s doom-and-gloom comments and budget bill push the Dow below 7,000, from which it’s only recently recovered.

35. “You’re sitting here. And you’re — you are laughing. You are laughing about some of these problems. Are people going to look at this and say, ‘I mean, he’s sitting there just making jokes about money–‘ How do you deal with — I mean: Explain. Are you punch-drunk?” — Steve Kroft, “60 Minutes,” 3/22

Read the entire article from the New York Post:

First 100 days: Obama’s National Security Challenge Still Lurks Somewhere in the Future

April 24, 2009

In April 2001, George W. Bush was enjoying Texas style poll numbers.

On September 11, 2001, his morning schedule featured a school visit.

George W. Bush stood at 62 percent in a CNN/USA Today Gallup poll in April 2001, Bill Clinton was at 55 percent in a CNN/USA Today Gallup poll in April 1993, George H.W. Bush stood at 58 percent in a Gallup poll from April 1989, and Ronald Reagan was at 67 percent in a Gallup poll taken in April 1981.

Kudos To CNN On Obama Poll Numbers; Comparison Shows They Are Just About Meaningless — AP Gushes!!

For most president’s, first term poll numbers in April and the “first 100 days” is pretty much meaningless.

But not, apparently, for Barack Obama.  He’s being called by some, “the best starting president ever.”

So President Obama has again scheduled a news conference next week.  But as we all know, he has nothing new to say.  In Hollywood, this is called “chewing up scenery.”

The president to best manage and co-opt the media ever naturally wants to bask in their glow: especially in the glow of the adoring but dying newspapers.  Who even knows if they’ll be around when he really needs them, or if they’ll come to his aid in a real crisis.

Incest is Best: GE Largest Supplier of Wind Turbines, Owns Obama TV (NBC), Obama Went To Turbine Plant for Earth Day

So I forgive the gushing over his accomplishments while it lasts.  The Obama White House and much of the media enjoys a Hollywood marriage which could well eveolve into an ugly Hollywood divorce.

Obama deserves to enjoy the moment and the adulation: just as he did in London and Austria and Mexico and Trinidad and in Iowa on Earth Day. 

All that is meaningless prologue, if history is any guide.

In April it is all about possibilities and rebirth and Easter — even for those that haven’t seen the inside of a real church in a long time.  And for every president in the past it is about when will the poll numbers go down, by how much, and what unknows will come to put their teeth into our collective legs.

There are several looming international problems that Obama yet may be  compelled to face: North Korea, Pakistan, Iran, Israel and the greater Middle East to name a few.

Any one of these will be a lot tougher than shooting Somalis in a row boat.

And don’t forget about Russia and China.  Both are re-arming.  Russia is headed by a former KGB Agent who, we are certain, is laughing about the American focus on the issue of waterboarding as torture.  That’s child’s play to Vladimir Putin.  Leaders in China also certainly share this belief.  One can venture a guess that Obama shook hands just last weekend with tyrants that have ordered worse torture than waterboarding…..

But the real fear we all must be prepared for is what George Bush and the nation faced on September 11, 2001: the “unknown unknown.”  The complete surprise.

We can argue now in the comfort of April 2009 about what George W. Bush did, might have done and should not have done.  But Obama’s day is likely ahead, and he, and all of us should not lose sight of that.

Pakistan’s Military Chief: Army “will not allow the militants to dictate terms”
Obama Remains Without Coherent Foreign Policy; Just “Love Me” Mania
Obama and Israel’s Netanyahu Will Cooperate or Face “Mutually Assured Destruction”