Archive for the ‘Daschle’ Category

Obama’s clumsy, smirky staff and unelected appointees are sinking him

March 11, 2009

Something is wrong with Barack Obama and it could be that he just makes terrible appointments….

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Yes, free the president from his flacks, fixers and goons — his posse of smirky smart alecks and provincial rubes, who were shrewd enough to beat the slow, pompous Clintons in the mano-a-mano primaries but who seem like dazed lost lambs in the brave new world of federal legislation and global statesmanship.

Heads should be rolling at the White House for the embarrassing series of flubs that have overshadowed President Obama’s first seven weeks in office and given the scattered, demoralized Republicans a huge boost toward regrouping and resurrection. (Michelle, please use those fabulous toned arms to butt some heads!)

By Camilla Paglia

Read the rest:
http://www.salon.com/opinion/paglia
/2009/03/11/mercury/

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The issue is leadership on the economy and in the world….

Related:
http://spectator.org/archives/2009/03/
10/the-search-for-crisis-leadersh

 China Provoked Obama; Now Works To Smooth Situation: Why?

Losing Terror War? Al Qaeda, Afghanistan, Iran

Obama Policy On Gitmo, Taliban, Afghanistan, Intel: As Stupid as It Gets

Buffett: Obama not at war; has toxic message machine on economy

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior ... 
Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior to the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, in Washington, January 20, 2009.(Jim Young – UNITED STATES/Reuters)

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs pauses while speaking ...

In this May 21, 2008 file photo, U.S. billionaire investor Warren ...
In this May 21, 2008 file photo, U.S. billionaire investor Warren Buffett speaks during a news conference in Madrid. Buffett says the economic turmoil that contributed to a 62 percent profit drop last year at the holding company he controls is certain to continue in 2009, but the revered investor remains optimistic.(AP Photo/Paul White, File)

Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag arrives ...
“Beware of geeks bearing models,” said Warren Buffett; which could be worrisome to people.  Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag arrives to deliver testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 4, 2009.REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES)

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D- Ohio, pauses in the elevator after arriving on Capitol
Geithner

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Obama’s Anti-Israel, Pro-China Intel Pick Freeman Withdraws

March 10, 2009

While still a candidate for preident, then Senator Barack Obama had to go an extra mile or two to convince American Jews he was not anti-Israel.  Then he went to Israel and to the wailing wall.

But after he was elected he nominated Charles Freeman for a top intelligence job, even  though Freeman was a well known anti-Isreal guy.

Freeman is also decidedly pro-China…..

China uses naval showdown with U.S. to flex muscle

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News Today from AFP:

A veteran US diplomat and vocal Israel critic, Charles Freeman, has withdrawn from contention for a top US intelligence post, US intelligence director Dennis Blair announced Tuesday.

Freeman “has requested that his selection to be Chairman of the National Intelligence Council not proceed. Director Blair accepted Ambassador Freeman?s decision with regret,” Blair’s office said in a statement.

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Obama’s nominations to top jobs (Bill Richardson, Tom Daschle, Tim Geithner) have not all panned out.  But many of the losers once nominated to top government jobs are now gone — thanks due to the Congress, the lame vetting process used by Team Obama and the media including people like Michelle Malkin…..

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/10/a
nd-another-one-bites-the-dust-charle
s-freeman-out/

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Politico

The controversial appointee to chair President Barack Obama’s National Intelligence Council walked away from the job Tuesday as criticism on Capitol Hill escalated.

Charles W. Freeman Jr., the former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, had been praised by allies and by the director of national intelligence, Dennis Blair, as a brilliant, iconoclastic analyst. Critics said he was too hard on Israel and too soft on China, and blasted him for taking funding from Saudi royals. 

Freeman “requested that his selection to be Chairman of the National Intelligence Council not proceed,” Blair’s office said in a statement. “Director Blair accepted Ambassador Freeman’s decision with regret.”

The withdrawal came after Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) grilled Blair at a Senate Armed Service Committee hearing Tuesday. Lieberman cited his “concern” about “statements that [Freeman] has made that appear either to be inclined to lean against Israel or too much in favor of China.”

Read the rest:
http://www.politico.com/news/st
ories/0309/19856.html

A veteran US diplomat and vocal Israel critic, Charles Freeman, ...

Obama ‘Business as Usual’ Despite Pledges

February 15, 2009

In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Senator John McCain said the Obama Administration was doing “business as usual” despite pledges of transparency, bipartisanship and avoiding top appointees with blemishes on their otherwise clean records.

He specifically said he was disappointed in the new Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner who had admitted to not fully paying his taxes.

Geithner now runs the IRS.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D- Ohio, pauses in the elevator after arriving on Capitol 
.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

On the stimulus, McCain said, “I hope the next time we will sit down together and conduct truly bipartisan negotiations. This was not a bipartisan bill.”

See the viceo and read the CNN acount:
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/200
9/02/15/stimulus-bill-was-a-bad-beginni
ng-for-obama-says-mccain/

Related:
Obama Team: Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing

Missing from Congress’ stimulus negotiations: transparency

 Stimulus Proves Obama (And The NYT) Have No Idea What “Bipartisanship” Means; Or Could Care Less

Fumble to Stumble; Obama Moves Ahead or Back?

February 14, 2009

Reinforcing the view that the Obama team is losing the discipline it displayed on the campaign trail…

By Edward Luce and Krishna Guha
FT
Seven days ago, the joke in Washington was that Barack Obama had suffered the worst possible week of his presidency – in spite of having just three from which to choose. The loss of Tom Daschle, Mr Obama’s nominee for health secretary, to the usual shenanigans over tax arrears was a big setback. But a week, as the cliché goes, is a long time in politics and this last one has proved even more uncomfortable.

The withdrawal on Thursday night of Judd Gregg, the Republican senator from New Hampshire, who had a change of heart about whether he could fit in with a Democratic administration, is not in the same league as the loss of Mr Daschle. Although an embarrassment, Mr Gregg’s withdrawal as the nominee for commerce secretary is likely to end up as a footnote. The same would probably apply to almost any other banana skin lying in wait for Mr Obama were he to lead America out of recession and help restore confidence in the global capitalist system.

Unfortunately, the difficulty of that task looks even greater today than during the euphoria of his inauguration. The blame for that has been heaped on Tim Geithner, Mr Obama’s Treasury secretary, who is accused of having botched his announcement on Tuesday of a new financial sector rescue plan.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 382 points that day – the largest drop since early December. Economists disagree about the likely impact of – and even the need for – the $787bn (£547bn, €611bn) fiscal stimulus, which last night was heading for approval by Congress. But all agree that it will at best provide temporary relief and a lasting recovery is impossible until there is a restoration of healthy credit flows through the financial system.

Most, thus, see the stimulus as a mere appetiser to the main course of bank recapitalisation. “Japan proved that unless you get the banking system healthy again then no amount of stimulus is going to be enough,” says Bill Gale, director of the economic studies programme at the Brookings Institution. “If we don’t do a proper bank recapitalisation now, then it’s the kind of thing we will look back on in two years and say: ‘My God, we missed an opportunity to recapitalise the banks at a time when it would have been much less expensive’.”

Mr Geithner’s plan was widely panned in the market for lacking detail – particularly on the shape of a proposed public-private partnership to buy toxic assets. But while thin on specifics, the plan was in some respects bolder than anticipated. Mr Geithner set out a process for revealing the true extent of the losses facing US banks and a mechanism for providing additional equity capital to help them survive the recession. If, as most independent experts believe, the process reveals a big capital shortfall, it could open the door for large-scale bank recapitalisation.

Read the rest:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8d5f9ce8-fa04-11dd-9daa-000077b07658.html

Obama Cabinet’s ‘Stumbling Start’ May Be Distraction on Economy

February 13, 2009

No drama Obama is no more.

The surprise withdrawal of Senator Judd Gregg as the nominee for U.S. commerce secretary was the latest setback in a turbulent start for President Barack Obama’s administration after a campaign marked by operational discipline.

By Julianna Goldman
Bloomberg

Gregg, 61, a New Hampshire Republican, yesterday became the third Cabinet appointee to withdraw, along with Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico and former Senator Tom Daschle. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was confirmed only after coming under fire for underpaying federal taxes — one of three nominees to face tax-related questions.

Obama’s “stumbling start” with his appointments has the potential to provide a distraction when the focus should be on issues such as the economic-stimulus plan and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Clyde Wilcox, a government professor at Georgetown University in Washington.

“It’s a real problem that can derail him,” Wilcox said.

Read the rest:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/new
s?pid=20601103&refer=us&sid=aiqjqHJuvO88

Health Care: Totally Fair, Equal and Socialists is Good, Right?

February 13, 2009

If health care modernization was easy, Hillary Clinton would have solved our problems some sixteen years ago.  Now she is at the State Department with only monor issues to deal with: China, Russia, North Korea, the Middle East, Afghanistan and other small fry….. Of course she has help from George Mitchell, Susan Rice and Richard Holbrooke.  Even Henry Kissinger will lend a hand.

But health care remains and now without Tom Daschle.

Here is the latest from health care in Britain:

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Patients suffering from the same illness in the same hospital ward could get different drugs under a new top-up scheme, a senior health official admitted yesterday.

By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor
Telegraph (UK)

Guidance adopted last year means patients can choose to pay for drugs not provided by the NHS without losing their entitlement to have the rest of their care on the NHS.

It led to fears of a two-tier NHS where those who can afford to pay get better treatment, although the Government has always denied that this will occur.

Dr Peter Carter, the chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, has previously said: “We do not want to face a situation where two patients in neighbouring beds can be offered different menus of treatment, based solely on their ability to pay.”

However, Una O’Brien, the director of policy and strategy for the Department of Health, admitted to MPs that there was a theoretical chance this could happen.

It is believed to be the first time an official has made such and admission.

When asked by Kevin Baron, the chairman of the Commons health select committee whether patients on the same ward could receive different drugs based on their ability to pay, Ms O’Brien said: “I think it is a theoretical possibility but I would stress that the thrust of the policy overall is to reduce the circumstances in which that would ever arise.”

Alan Johnson, the Health Secretary, ordered a review of top-ups following a public outcry over the case of Linda O’Boyle, 64, from Essex, who died last year after being told that she was no longer eligible for free NHS care because she had purchased an expensive bowel cancer drug privately.

The Government subsequently announced that patients who choose to buy drugs deemed too expensive for the NHS would no longer lose their right to free health service care.

Prof Mike Richards, who led the Government review, said that when a cancer patient chooses to buy a drug not available on the NHS it should be administered separately from their NHS care.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/46
05605/Two-tier-care-a-reality-health-chief-admits.html

Stimulus Makes Sure Feds Watch Your Doctor’s Medical Solutions For You

February 10, 2009

Republican Senators are questioning whether President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill contains the right mix of tax breaks and cash infusions to jump-start the economy.

Commentary by Betsy McCaughey
Bloomberg

Tragically, no one from either party is objecting to the health provisions slipped in without discussion. These provisions reflect the handiwork of Tom Daschle, until recently the nominee to head the Health and Human Services Department.

Senators should read these provisions and vote against them because they are dangerous to your health. (Page numbers refer to H.R. 1 EH, pdf version).

The bill’s health rules will affect “every individual in the United States” (445, 454, 479). Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system. Having electronic medical records at your fingertips, easily transferred to a hospital, is beneficial. It will help avoid duplicate tests and errors.

But the bill goes further. One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446). These provisions in the stimulus bill are virtually….

Read the rest:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=2060
1039&refer=columnist_mccaughey&sid=aLzfDxfbwhzs

He’s Now Clearly “Drama Obama”

February 9, 2009

Dealing with catastrophe is a drama.  And it gets worse: no Democrat and no advisor and no spokesman has been able to explain why this stimulus is essential. No one but Drama Obama can say why this stimulus is the only sane rescue.

So the drama has been magnified: by White House ineptitude and failure to have a stimulus bill of unquestioned goodness. A stimulus that can be explained to everyman and everyman can embrace.

President Obama, pictured at an East Room event Friday, also met in the White House with families of terror attack victims to assure them that suspects will be meted out justice. (Associated Press)

Above: President Obama, pictured at an East Room event Friday.  Photo: AP

Why do more than 50% of voters reject a government give-away that may help them?  Because it is the wrong bill.

The expected Messiah has fallen to earth — along with several apostles.

Former Senate Leader and health care wonderkind — turned out to be a tax cheat and influence peddler.

The Commerce nominee pulled his own name fearing a grand jury might besmirch it after he was in Washington.

A couple of the president’s top guys violate his own anti-lobbyist rules.

There is a hint of Chinese New Year bad luck here or just really bad decision making.

Or arrogance.  After all, they won.

The oath of office was even botched. And the re-do seemed to break the pledge of total transparency.

Now the president returns to what he is really good at: his community organizer roots and campaigning.

He’s on the road this week to Elkhart, Indiana and Fort Meyer, Florida to resolve the catastrophe he named himself.

Each day of this presidency is becoming an episode of “24.”

A headline today said, “Overseas challenges cascade on Obama.”

But he’ll be in Elkhart.

Related:
Stimulus will lead to ‘disaster,’ Republican warns

 Stimulus: Democrats Exhibit Zero Convicing Arguments, Spokesmen

Stimulus: Its All In His Hands; Spokesmen Fail To Explain

Overseas challenges cascade on Obama

Obama’s Pyrrhic Victory: Hope, Promise, Bipartisanship Lost

February 7, 2009

What do you say to disillusioned people?

“No Drama Obama” was a phoney.  The man with hope, an MLK like dreamy quality, and a kinship for Abraham Lincoln quickly offered us catastrophe.

He created catastrophe.  Manufactured it.  And Thurday night at a Spa, in a room reserved for Democrats only, he blamed it all on Republicans, during an off the telepromter gloat that will haunt him forever.

What do you say to people that gave their trust and hope; who believed the message, just a few weeks ago,  was honest?

What do you tell people who thought their vote might help heal America and bring this Great Nation to a better place, when they are already expressing dismay?

Gail Collins wrote in the New York Times about Daschle’s loss and the stimulus.

“I dropped out of school for a semester to campaign for Barack Obama. And now I’m asking myself whether I spent four months living with my aunt and going door to door in Dayton, Ohio, just so we could have a stimulus plan written by a bunch of moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats in the Senate,” Ms. Collins wrote.

Honesty, credibility, believebility, faith and hope make small presidents great.

Barack Obama was never small.  But he grew to epic, even Messianic proportions fueled by adoring crowds and a fawning media. 

Now maybe he has crashed to earth.

Because he sure squandered a lot of  “political capital.”

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapal, Virginia

Michelle:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/02/0
6/the-compromise-is-a-crock-of-
you-know-what/

 

Tough Times For Obama Faithful

February 7, 2009

I know it’s been a tough week, little Obamaites. You’ve been feeling … unstimulated.
.
But think of it this way — the drama in the Senate drove Tom Daschle completely out of the news. In a week or so, nobody will even remember that he was nominated for anything.

Perk up and feel free to ask questions:

How could so many cabinet nominees get into trouble? The Obama transition team was supposed to be so organized! Did their seven-page questionnaire ask about Facebook pages but not tax liens?

They did ask about tax liens, yet miraculously still wound up with two candidates who had them. It’s possible one or both of them didn’t even know. Maybe this goes to show that there are tax liens lurking everywhere, like cold germs. No one is immune. There could be one in your closet at this very moment, just waiting for you to go to sleep so it can pounce.

Wasn’t Tom Daschle crucial for health care reform? What are they going to do without him?

We have to get past the idea that transformative change requires one great cabinet member to steer it. That’s the kind of thinking that got us Donald Rumsfeld. Tom Daschle always seemed like a lovely man, but the idea that only he could get a big, important, dramatic health care reform through the Senate seems a little flawed, given the fact that he never got any big, important, dramatic reforms through the Senate when he was the actual majority leader.

By Gail Collins
The New York Times

I dropped out of school for a semester to campaign for Barack Obama. And now I’m asking myself whether I spent four months living with my aunt and going door to door in Dayton, Ohio, just so we could have a stimulus plan written by a bunch of moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats in the Senate.

I don’t know how many times we need to go over this, but this is actually a real-life version of what Obama promised during the campaign. Didn’t you jump up and cheer when your guy promised that he’d get Republicans and Democrats to work together?

I wanted them to work together on global warming, not on cutting money for Head Start out of the stimulus.

And Obama feels your pain. He always said the bipartisan path was going to be rocky, but this week the going was so rough that the great trailer-tractor of stimulus blew out several tires on the shoals of post-partisanism. It was embarrassing — the President of the United States held White House negotiations with people who had already announced that they had no intention of voting for his bill. He let minority-party subleaders lecture him about what’s wrong with redistribution of wealth. He had a bipartisan Super Bowl party! But he still wound up cooling his heels, waiting for word from the newly hatched moderate caucus on what would happen next. This is the group that was led by Susan Collins of Maine. In November, we apparently elected Collins and her fellow Maine Republican, Olympia Snowe, to help run the country. And you wasted all that time thinking about Joe Biden.

Why did Obama nominate Senator Judd Gregg to be commerce secretary? He’s not just a Republican; he isn’t even that moderate. And he voted to eliminate the Commerce Department!

It’s not exactly a big gamble. Although the Commerce Department has many important duties, like supervising the patent office, it’s sort of like an old attic where people throw stuff that doesn’t fit anyplace else. And while there have been some sterling commerce secretaries, it has been run for lengthy periods of time by complete morons and the nation didn’t seem to suffer appreciably.

Even when I get irked with Obama, I still want to help him. Isn’t there something people can do?

This weekend the Obama army is going to rise again, creating a nation of stimulus house parties, made up of people who would like nothing more than to spend their days off talking about the administration’s economic plan. There’s a Mommies, Daddies and Wee Ones Gathering in Brighton, Colo. (“We will have kid crafts, videos, juice, snacks and coffee.”) And a gathering called “What Happened to My Retirement Nest Egg?” is scheduled for Watsonville, Calif. (“We’ll break out the wine and cheese.”)

Or, for sterner spirits, there’s the Economic System Redesign Leadership Meeting in Manhattan, which is sponsored by the Corporate Social Responsibility Advocates for Obama, the Social Innovators for Obama and the Sustainability Activists for Obama. (“Please bring your own lunch or eat before coming.”)

I still miss the way it was before the election, when everything seemed clearer.

Face it, you miss George W. Bush. Ever since he slunk off the scene, things have gotten all vague and squishy. You want somebody to rally against and Mitch McConnell is not an adequate substitute, even if he does look a little bit like the groundhog that assaulted the mayor of New York City this week.

Really, everybody’s getting so cranky.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/07/o
pinion/07collins.html?_r=1