Saturday links

| September 19, 2009
The Left responds to growing public discontent.

The Left responds to growing public discontent.

ITEM: Lacking actual support for health care reform, Congress and the Obama Administration looks to manufacture it in order to give the mainstream media cover for how poorly they’ve covered the whole issue:

The plan for a series of grass-roots demonstrations Tuesday to promote President Obama’s health care agenda calls for tightly scripted events and an “escalation” of efforts against “enemies” of reform.

Organizers insist there is no comparison to rowdy summer town hall meetings and recent “tea party” protests that have challenged White House policies.

But Health Care for America Now (HCAN), which is backed by a coalition of labor unions and liberal groups including ACORN and, organized the protests to target insurance companies and drafted the plan, which describes the demonstrations as part of its “insurance enemies project.”

“Grass roots”, eh? The same way that SEIU is grass roots? And, of course, we now have the DNC promising a “rain of hellfire”. Can you just imagine if someone at the RNC had made a statement like that?

ITEM: Interesting article in this morning’s Washington Post about SecState Hillary Clinton and her struggles within the Obama Administration:

But after eight months in office, Clinton, 61, sometimes seems torn between her inclination to lead and her need to function effectively within the administration, creating a certain tension between her aspirations and her status. . . .

Clinton arrived at the department with a large and loyal staff collectively known as Hillaryland. At times, it fits uncomfortably within the State Department establishment, which views the influx as a jobs program for her campaign acolytes. Some close aides still privately harbor hopes she will run again for president. . . .

Clinton said her years in the White House, where she watched conflicts among President Bill Clinton’s advisers spill out into the open, have influenced how she operates. “You can disagree with the president, you can argue for different policies, but at the end of the day you have to be part of a team that is there to serve the country and the president who the country elected,” she said. “It may sound very old-fashioned, but that is sort of how I view it.”

She is so lining herself up to leave the State Department so as to be free in 2012 if Obama looks as though his re-election is in trouble.

ITEM: And speaking of Clinton distancing herself from the Obama Administration, Con Coughlin at the Telegraph notes the curious absence of Clinton from the whole missile defense abandonment decision:

Excuse me, but when Washington announces a revolutionary change in the way it conducts its relations with the outside world it is normal for the American Secretary of State to be involved in some way.

So where’s Hillary Clinton? We’ve heard a lot from President Barack Obama and Robert Gates, the Defence Secretary, about their lamentable decision to abandon the missile defence system in Europe, which has been a key pillar of the transatlantic alliance for a decade or more. But we’ve heard not a squeak from Mrs Clinton.

Could this be that, unlike Mr Obama and Mr Gates, she sees this decision for what it is, an abject surrender of American influence in Europe, and a shocking betrayal of all those former vassal states of the Soviet Union that are desperately seeking the support and protection of the West?

Compared with Mr Obama and Mr Gates, whose first instinct when faced with an international crisis is to make concessions, Mrs Clinton is a more hard-headed and hawkish operator. She might want to “reset” Washington’s relations with Moscow, but not at the expense of capitulating to Iran’s attempts to terrorise the world with its nuclear programme.

She, for one, will not be at all surprised that, within 24 hours of Mr Obama’s decision to abandon the missile defence system, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appears on American television declaring that Tehran will never abandon its nuclear programme.

The more I look at the situation, the more certain I am that Clinton is lining up a 2012 run for the Presidency, possibly using a 2010 run for New York Governor as a graceful exit from the State Department.

ITEM: Speaking of abandoning missile defense, we now learn from the Obama Administration that it was all a matter of cost:

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s scrapping of long-range missile interceptors in Europe wasn’t just about security and diplomacy, according to people close to the process: It also came down to money.

“A ground-based interceptor is generally about a $70 million-per-missile asset going after a $10-$15 million [Iranian] missile,” a senior administration official told arms-control analysts Thursday at a briefing explaining the rationale, according to a recording heard by The Wall Street Journal. “The trade is not a good one economically. It’s not a good one from a military strategy position.”

This statement makes absolutely no sense. The tradeoff isn’t between a $70 million interceptor and a $15 million Iranian missile; it’s between a $70 million interceptor and a given European city.

ITEM/Creeping socialism alert: Big surprise — the Obama Administration wants to regulate salaries in the banking industry, though from the tone of the article, the proposed regulation isn’t enough for the mainstream media:

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve and the Treasury are preparing broad new rules that would force banks to rein in practices that made multimillionaires out of many financial executives during the housing bubble, officials said.

The rules depart from the hands-off approach that dominated bank regulation for the last three decades, but are not as strict as proposals from some European leaders and suggestions from some members of Congress angered by the financial troubles of the last year.

Fed officials would give banks wide leeway in how they structure their rewards. They would not prohibit million-dollar pay packages or address issues of fairness. Rather, the rules are intended to restrict pay plans that encourage reckless behavior by rewarding only short-term gains.

And because the rules would be applied through the confidential bank examination process, it would be hard for consumers and investors to judge how strictly the rules were being applied.

The authors of this piece (Edmund L. Andrews and Louise Story) sound downright disappointed that the rules aren’t more intrusive and controlling.

ITEM: Funny, I didn’t see this news item in any of the major US newspaper websites that I browsed this morning:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A fund-raiser for Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other Democrats who was charged last month with defrauding Citigroup Inc is being sued by HSBC for deceiving it into lending him $100 million.

The lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court in early September accused private equity firm head Hassan Nemazee, 59, of engaging in an elaborate scheme to make HSBC Bank USA believe that its loan was secured by collateral in the form of U.S. Treasury Notes when it was not.

Nemazee, who sits on the board of the Iranian American Political Action Committee, typically donates more than $100,000 annually to Democratic political candidates.

He is listed as one of the top “bundlers” of contributions to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, according to OpenSecrets,org, a website run by the Center for Responsive Politics research group.

Now, if Nemazee had been giving “more than $100,000 annually” to Republican political candidates and was a top bundler for the McCain/Palin 2008 presidential campaign, I’m willing to be this would be front page news at the New York Times and the Washington Post. But I could be wrong.


Finally, the DNC’s “rain of hellfire” threat immediately calls this to mind:

“Our three weapons are fear and surprise and ruthless efficiency, and an almost fanatical devotion to Obama! Our four…! No — amongst our weapons . . .” Now the DNC just needs the nice red uniforms.

Have a happy Saturday. Go Cougars! ..bruce w..

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Category: 2010 Election, 2012 Election, Creeping socialism, Geopolitics, Healthcare Reform, Journalism, Leftist organizers, Obama Administration, US Politics, You Say You Want a Revolution?

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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