Archive for the ‘Rahm Emanuel’ Category

Pelosi, Panetta and Rahm Emanuel

May 18, 2009

Commentators have been struck — though not perhaps as much as they should have been — by the extraordinary character of CIA Director Leon Panetta’s blunt and stark rebuke of Nancy Pelosi. Responding to political debates that “reached a new decibel level [Thursday] when the CIA was accused [by Pelosi] of misleading Congress,” Panetta wrote Friday that “our contemporaneous records from September 2002 indicate that CIA officers briefed truthfully on the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah.”

By William Kristol
The Washington Post

But did Panetta simply decide on his own to send this letter? It’s almost inconceivable. Panetta is a former member of Congress and a former White House chief of staff. President Obama made him CIA director only four months ago. Even if his motivation for the letter was in part driven by an institutional imperative to defend his agency, Panetta would have understood the political implications of humiliating a House speaker of his own party. He surely at least ran the letter by White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to get clearance. It’s also possible that Panetta was encouraged to send the letter by Emanuel.

This raises the question: Does Emanuel (and, presumably, President Obama) want a chastened Pelosi to remain speaker? Or are they following the model of the Bush White House in December 2002. Then, Karl Rove, on behalf of the president, played a behind-the-scenes role in nudging out Majority Leader Trent Lott — a legislator for whom the White House had little respect, but who had his own power base in Congress, so wasn’t easy for the White House to control? Are Emanuel and Obama happy to be deal in the future with a weakened Pelosi? Or do they want a new speaker, presumably Steny Hoyer?

Or did Panetta just send the letter on his own?

It would be interesting to ask Robert Gibbs, at Monday’s White House press briefing, whether, before sending his Friday letter, Panetta discussed it with anyone at the White House. And with whom? What did Rahm Emanuel know about the Panetta letter, and when did he know it?

Obama Names Republican Rival Ambassador to China; The “Hillary Checkmate”?

May 16, 2009

It would be tough running for President of the United States while living in China.  Anybody knows that.

President Obama has selected Republican Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. to be his ambassador to China.

The announcement came on Saturday  at the White House.

David Plouffe, Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, described Huntsman as “the one person in that (Republican) party who might be a potential presidential candidate,” U.S. News and World Report reported earlier in May.untsman, who speaks Mandarin Chinese and has adopted a daughter from China, had been tipped as a potential rival to Obama in the 2012 presidential election.

FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2008 file photo, Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman ...
AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac, File

Huntsman, 49, is a former deputy U.S. trade representative and ambassador to Singapore. A Mormon, he did missionary work in Taiwan, the Salt Lake Tribune reported

Does this cause anyone to ask, what ever happened to Hillary Clinton?  Why, she works for Obama as Secretary of State and is hardly in a position to challenge him in a campaign…


From Jonathan Martin

President Barack Obama’s decision to appoint Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman as ambassador to China Saturday doesn’t merely remove a likely challenger – it strips the Republican party of one of its few voices urging moderation.

Obama’s pick leaves the GOP without an obvious centrist presidential candidate two years before the primary jockeying begins in full. By dispatching Huntsman to Beijing, Obama is effectively trying to determine the sort of Republican he and his top advisers would like to face in 2012.

“Brilliant,” said GOP strategist Mark McKinnon of the appointment. “Keep your friends close and your enemies in China.”

Read the rest:


Above: Rahm Emanuel on inauguration day.

Republicans Find Election Winning Formula in Rahm Emanuel Politics


Republicans Find Election Winning Formula in Rahm Emanuel Politics

May 15, 2009

Republicans are getting inspiration on how to rebuild their party in the U.S. Congress from an unlikely source: White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

California Representative Kevin McCarthy, the chief recruiter for House Republicans, said he wants his party to select candidates based less on ideology and more on their chances of winning. The goal, he said, is to seek out prospects who are ethnically diverse, female, less partisan and even supportive of abortion rights. So far, these efforts are more concept than reality.

Emanuel, a former U.S. representative from Illinois, put the template into practice in 2006 when he was leading the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Candidates he recruited won in Republican districts by holding positions uncommon for Democrats such as opposition to abortion and support for gun rights.

“Have you read ‘The Thumpin’?” McCarthy, 44, asked, citing a book about Emanuel’s brass-knuckles approach to winning control of the House for Democrats in 2006. “This isn’t original thought.”

In the 2006 election, Emanuel, 49, recruited anti- abortion, pro-gun candidates such as Brad Ellsworth, 50, a sheriff in Indiana, and Heath Shuler, 37, a former NFL quarterback, in North Carolina. The premise: identify candidates whose views best mirror those of their districts’ constituents rather than Democratic Party orthodoxy.

Read the rest from Bloomberg:

Above: Rahm Emanuel on inauguration day.  “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Obama Gets It Both Ways: Detainee Abuse Photos Likely To Be Released Anyway

May 14, 2009

The scenario is akin to “I voted for it before I voted against it.”

I can hear Rahm Emanuel now.  “Why take the heat?  Make the ACLU and the court take the heat.”

Having it both ways may sometimes, in politics, be the only way to have it your way.

When President Barack Obama said he’d release the “detainee abuse” photos, he was, reportedly, swamped with objections, especially from current and former military leaders.

“What’s motivated my own change of heart on this and perhaps influenced the president is that our commanders … have expressed very serious reservations about this … and that the release of these photographs will cost American lives,” said Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

So President Obama did what is practical and necessary in politics: he flip flopped, saying his administration would fight in court to keep those photos out of the public domain.

By agreeing with his military leaders, Obama angers, at least temporarily, groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) which has worked tirelessly for Obama’s issues and to release the photos.

But the Obama administration is likely to lose their case to keep the photos under wraps in court anyway.


The argument against release of the photos hinges upon this:

Release of the photos may cause harm or risk to U.S. troops in the field.

Obama himself said, “they [the photos] do represent conduct that didn’t conform with the Army manual.”

Which means America’s enemies already have what they wanted: the president himself is on the record saying the U.S. military and CIA commits war crimes.

American enemies will not be swayed either way on this issue: they hate Americans and are vowed to kill them, the court will likely say.

What else do America’s enemies need to become even more angry with The Great Satan?

Add to that, President Obama has said, “The publication of these photos would not add any additional benefits to our understanding of what was carried out in the past by a small number of individuals.”

The president also said, the photos are “not particularly sensational.”

Lukewarm defense of the argument that national security will be harmed if the documents are released.

The Bush administration already argued against the release on national security grounds — and lost. ACLU lawyer Jameel Jaffer said that argument “has been made by the government multiple times, and has been rejected unequivocally every time.”
“Essentially, by withholding these photographs from public view, the Obama administration is making itself complicit in the Bush administration’s torture policies,” said the ACLU’s Amrit Singh.
Is that what the president who has consistently said he is “not Bush” wants?  Hardly.

“The release of these photos is absolutely essential for ensuring that justice [is] done, for ensuring that the public [can] hold its government accountable, and for ensuring that torture is not conducted in the future in the name of the American people,” Singh said.

Singh said his organization is prepared to “do whatever it takes” to have the photos released.

Add to that the fact that Obama already made a decision to release Bush-era CIA documents showing the United States used techniques like waterboarding, considered torture by the current administration.

Obama is likely to lose “his case” in court.  The court will likely order the release of the photos.

Especially if the court is empathetic.

The ACLU and the court will say keeping the photos secret after the documents were released makes no sense.


A leading scholar on civil litigation rules, Stephen Yeazell of UCLA, said the law is clear that parties to lawsuits, including the government, can’t suddenly raise new arguments not presented to the district court judge who issued the initial ruling.

“It’s a pretty well-established principle that you cannot on appeal raise new arguments that you failed to raise in the court below. You have waived those arguments,” Yeazell said. “If they now want to take a different position and cite a different FOIA exemption it’s too late for that…I just offhand don’t think they have a whole lot of paddles in their canoe at this point.”

Yeazell also said the Justice Department is not entitled to reargue decided court cases just because there was a change of administration. “It doesn’t get a new bite at the apple in any of its cases…. The presumption is the sovereign has a kind of continuous life,” the professor said. “There’s no clause that says because you get a new attorney general you get to go back and start over again.”

Read more:



Above: Rahm Emanuel on inauguration day.  “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Second 100 Days: Obama Troubled By Gitmo, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Isreal, China, His Democrat Left….

May 4, 2009

Well, the glorious first 100 days of Barack Obama’s presidency are over and now he faces a plethora of real problems including a Democrat controlled Congress.

Today, the House passed the president’s wartime spending bill — omitting funds meant to relocated terror war prisoners out of the Gitmo military installation.

House leaders also seemed to scold Obama on what they called his “dubious” military plan for Afghanistan and Pakistan and want, in one year, “a hard-nosed realistic evaluation based on the performance standards we’re talking about” to continue military support to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Meanwhile, President Obama’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff expressed concern for the fighting in Pakistan and Afghanistan and said the Chinese military build-up is clearly meant to counter the U.S.

China also says it is reducing purchases of U.S. debt.

Israel is expressing concern that the Obama Administration is not paving the way toward a more peaceful Middle East.

Obama’s Cinco de Mayo is No Joke: Meltdown in Pakistan, Israel Feels Abused, China Harasses U.S. Ship
The Jerusalem Post reported today that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said thwarting Iran’s nuclear program is conditional on progress in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Jerusalem Post:

Former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich has accused the Obama administration of endangering the Jewish state.

Referring to news reports about the administration’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Gingrich told The Jerusalem Post that the US had been setting itself on a collision course with Israel.

He said: “There’s almost an eagerness to take on the Israeli government to make a point with the Arab world.”

Gingrich, in Israel to present a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual conference, said President Barack Obama’s Middle East policies had become “dangerous for Israel” and “the clearest adoption of weakness since Jimmy Carter.”

He said the US should be sending the message to Israel that “we are for the survival of Israel” and could not tolerate Iran having nuclear weapons.

Second 100 Days: could be interesting……

Joint Chiefs chairman: Afghanistan now top priority, Not Iraq
House Democrats Unveil $94.2 Billion Wartime Spending Bill — Omit Gitmo Prisoner Relocation; Worry Obama’s Long-Range Military Plan

China’s Military Build-Up Meant To Take On U.S., Says Joint Chiefs Chairman

China’s Naval Might: Future Dawning Quickly

What’s China’s Long Term Global Strategy?

Is Our Treasury and Economy Now Overly Corrupted By Politics?

May 3, 2009

Treasury Department staffers now scurry around because “Rahm wants it.”

Say that again?  The man that said “Never let a good crisis go to waste” is using this good crisis for what?  Obama’s gain: I mean, Rahm Emanuel’s only boss in these United States is Barack Obama — and not the people.  Rahm was elected White House Chief of Staff by only one man.

Obama Must Be Lonely At The Top


From The Wall Street Journal

On Jan. 20, Timothy Geithner took control of the Treasury Department, directing the government’s response to the financial crisis.

Within three weeks, the White House tightened its grip, alarmed by the poor reaction to Mr. Geithner’s performance during the rollout of his rescue plan, government officials say. Since then, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has been so involved in the workings of the Treasury that “Rahm wants it” has become an unofficial mantra among some at the Treasury, according to government officials.

Read the rest:


The White House Involved in All Our Lives All the Time?

Change your tires regularly, wear a condom, avoid Puerto Vallarta — this administration is certainly looking out for the American people.

Read it all:
Nanny State?
The Pre-School President