by altara, Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 02:44:46 AM EST
Some of the News
That may be True
SALAHIS GUEST CAPER WAS JUST A TEST
Confirming current rumors around Washington, CIA spokeswoman Debra Roberts told reporters that gate crasher incident was,indeed, a CIA operation. In a hastily called press conference, Roberts explained that the Secret Service and CIA had used the Salahis as a test of state dinner security at the White House. She noted that the socialite couple had been recruited 2 years ago and then trained for the operation. Training had included the infiltration of carefully chosen social events such a Black Caucus celebratory dinner.
For the White House state dinner, the Salahis were instructed to get as close as possible to the President and senior officials in order to show the gravity of such a security breach.The CIA deems the exercise a success and regrets the ensuing negative publicity. Not only does it test basic gate security but it also demonstrates how people who would do harm might adopt a disguise that could catch security personnel off guard.
by altara, Thu Nov 05, 2009 at 06:45:27 AM EST
Some of the News
That may be True
CANDIDATES URGED TO BE FAT
In a conference call yesterday, Republican consultant Oliver B.Reese advised party leaders to select candidates who are overweight. "Not obese, mind you" said Reese, despite the success of President Taft. But just enough poundage to tempt opponents to imply that you were too fat to serve.
Obie, to use Reese's nickname, explained further that voters believe that heavy people were more trustworthy, perhaps jolly. Also, voters can relate better to corpulent candidates, since many Americans exceed the weight chart standards.
In addition to last Tuesday's results, history suggests that this is a winning strategy. Skinny Obama's poll numbers are down and we know how famously fit George W. Bush performed in office. So follow President Clinton's lead, get those Big Macs.
by altara, Fri Oct 23, 2009 at 08:37:38 AM EDT
"Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), ...., told reporters Thursday that she would not vote to break a GOP filibuster if the bill put forth by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) contains a public option."
So when "history calls" she'll summon up enough public spirit to help a weak bill out of committee, but when a more robust bill could come before the Senate for a floor vote, history doesn't call at all.
by altara, Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 04:00:18 AM EDT
George H.W. Bush Rips Maddow, Olbermann: They Are
I thought that Bush 41 had more class. Olbermann can be a bit harsh, but Rachel,while incisive, is fair and has a
charming light touch.
by altara, Tue Oct 13, 2009 at 06:01:25 AM EDT
NEWS AND COMMENT
"Progressive bloggers were in an uproar Sunday night after a White House "adviser," speaking on condition of anonymity, urged them to 'take off their pajamas and get serious about politics.'
Hey, how about those bloggers that don't wear pajamas.
On the substance, this quote was in the context of the speech about gay rights. It is a bit shameful that President Obama has not moved more quickly on the foolish don't ask don't tell policy. Every day the armed forces are needlessly losing valuable people and people are being hurt by losing their opportunity to serve.
We progressive, or left-wing, bloggers are serious about politics. This blog has discussed many issues and can summarize some views.
I wholeheartedly support Obama and am proud and grateful that he is our president in these difficult times and am glad that he received that Nobel prize. He may possibly be proved right but I have believed that he has been wrong to defer so much to Congress. He should have had his highly capable staff lay out proposals for the stimulus and for health care reform and then pushed hard for enactment. The effort to emphasize bipartisanship was misguided.
On health care, it is unfortunate that it is mostly limited to insurance reform and not reform of the provision of goods and services. If you believe that health care is the right of every citizen, the approach should be how best to provide it and not how to have insurance to pay for it.
Nevertheless, we are where we are and I have been waiting for Obama to apply strong pressure on Democrats that are not supporting his administration. The least that should happen is that every Democratic Senator should vote for cloture, even though some may vote against the final bill. Those that might not cooperate in the cloture vote should be threatened with loss of chairmanships, committee assignments, etc.
On Afghanistan, I think that President Obama will decide on some type of middle ground, which I support. We cannot build this nation, nor can we withdraw from the region. We have to prevent return ao a terrorist base and we have to help Pakistan. So all of the choices are of mixed appeal and the final one is not likely to be wholly right.
So these are serious issues and serious politics.
by altara, Fri Oct 09, 2009 at 03:23:02 AM EDT
Some of the News
That may be True
CRITICS ASSAIL PEACE PRIZE AWARD TO OBAMA
Soon after the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to President Barack Obama, political opponents and other prominent Americans weighed in with adverse comments.
Financial guru Jim Cramer told his TV audience that he knew the fix was in when some of the TARP money was secretly funneled to the Nobel Committee.
Lou Dobbs said that the Nobel Committee had followed the pattern of awarding Nobel prizes to Africans.
TV comic Roger Standpipe felt that it was passing strange that the award was given to President Obama on the same day that the U.S. was going to shoot the moon.
Representative Michele Bachmann stated indignantly that this award proved the influence of ACORN over the Nobel Committee.
Former Republican leader Bob Dole remarked dryly " I guess that the Nobel Committee knows a messiah when it sees one"
by altara, Thu Oct 08, 2009 at 07:23:57 AM EDT
My guess, for what it's worth, is that President Obama will find a middle ground on the troop increase and provide fewer troops than requested. And the strategy will probably be tweaked toward the Joe Biden position and explicitly or implicitly away from nation building.
I'm fine with that. There may well be words of support for the Afghan government, but we and our allies are unlikely to commit to the numbers of troops and the time and the money required to build a viable, honest national government. In my opinion, we need to keep a sufficient force in the region to keep Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups from re-establishing a base there and to protect and aid Pakistan. What the troop number and operational strategy should be is way beyond my thought process.
While I'm generally against nation building or intervention in foreign lands, I would support one unlikely scenario. If the principal nations of the world would agree and provide moral and material support, I would have us join in action to prevent undue oppression and human suffering imposed by evil regimes such as Idi Amin's or the Taliban.
by altara, Thu Sep 17, 2009 at 06:18:12 AM EDT
THE BAUCUS REPORT
Finally, the blue ribbon panel of six "wise men" from the Senate Finance Committee has issued its health care reform plan. The elephant has labored mightily and brought forth a mouse. In addition to being a gift to insurance and drug companies, its vaunted goal of bipartisanship has failed to be realized. Practically no one supports this plan.
Rumor has it that this plan could have been released in June. Endless hours of meetings, conference calls, and negotiations produced few changes since then. Meanwhile, the resulting legislative standstill gave Republicans time to organize those loud, crazy performances in town hall meetings that have damaged reform prospects.
Way to go!
by altara, Mon Sep 14, 2009 at 06:21:49 AM EDT
To get serious reform, it seems that the Democrats must act without any Republican support. So President Obama must bring the recalcitrant Democrats into line. I suggested earlier that if the threat to run a primary challenge against them doesn't work, Obama should lock each one in a room where Rahm Emanuel can speak to them while Reggie Love hovers. Maybe he should add one more persuader - Serena Williams.
by altara, Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 08:42:44 AM EDT
An excellent speech to Congress on health care reform. I regret lack of a strong demand for the public insurance option and for surtaxes on the rich but his presentation of his plans to the American people was impressive and effective.
However, one element puzzles me. The President called for a competitive insurance exchange, perhaps including a public option, to become available in four years. But would we not be demanding insurance coverage and insuring the uninsured before four years from now? These millions would then be buying coverage, often subsidized by taxpayers, from private insurers before competition results in lower premiums.
Is this interpretation correct? If so, why?