Friday, April 29, 2011

Why Obama Must Be Turned Out of Office Despite OBL!

In the hot tub but where are the virgins?

This memo was written before I left for Litchfield and before Navy Seals killed bin Laden. I congratulate our intelligence forces, our elite Seals and even Obama on the assumption he did, in fact, initiate the directive to kill the world's number one terrorist. Two views! (See 1 and 1a below.)

That said, I also am reminded of the fact that GW laid the interrogation and intelligence foundation that allowed Obama to take the action he did. Yet, Obama and and his Left Wing friends vilified GW and Cheney, accusing them of destroying our Constitutional freedoms and making us the scourge of the world.

Now Obama is a hero.

Trump may have smoked out the fact that Obama was apparently born in Hawaii but several facts remain that go to the very essence of the man and why he must be removed from office. They are:

a) The fact that his father was Muslim and Obama was influenced, as all children are, by their parents, suggests he has unrealistic leanings towards Islamism.

b) That Obama belonged to a church whose reverend displayed an antipathy towards Western Culture and Obama remained a member of that church for 20 years resigning only after it began to have questionable and negative campaign consequences.

c) Many of Obama's past and close associations were avowed radicals and some even Communists and even his wife's comment about not being proud of our nation reflect threads of attitudes that run throughout the fabric of the man's character and thinking. (See 2 below.)

d) Obama's formal education was in two of the more extreme liberal and elitist colleges and many of his professors were far leftists in their thinking and teachings.

e) With the above as a background it is quite evident their cumulative influence is constantly revealed in Obama's actions and policies.

This is why he seems to have a lesser view of our nation's uniqueness and sees America as a negative force upon the world stage. This is apparently why he takes comfort in dissing our British and Israeli allies. This is why he seeks to appease our foes and believes they are more benign than radical and one can appeal to their better nature as if terrorists and radical Islamists have a better nature.

Obama has mixed feelings about the use of force in executing policy and seems to believe empty threats are more effective and that Iran will bend to them, Syria's dictator will cease slaughtering Syrians and Qaddafi will leave with his tail between his flowing robes.

Obama is also full of himself and has an inflated view of his abilities and effectiveness and yet, is most aggressive and outright ruthless when it comes to intruding government into our lives and our economy - witness his recent reluctance to defend Boeing's decision to move a plant to South Carolina which his government is thwarting, Obama's going out of his way to strip General Motors' bond holders of their legal and contractual rights and his constant defense of unions policies which both have had a bankrupting effect on state finances as well as a crippling one on their education systems.

I have yet to mention "Obamascare!"

Obama's selection of unelected czars, appointments of administration bureaucrats who also trample on our Capitalistic system and an Attorney General who failed to pursue Black Panther law breakers and continues his investigation of CIA personnel for their intelligence operations is further evidence of a president and his administrative appointments who are outside the mainstream.

Finally we have a president who swore to defend and protect yet recently played favorites when responding to tragedies in Alabama while dragging his feet regarding raging fires in Texas and a president who even brought a law suit against Arizona's for defending their own borders after the federal government, Obama's government, failed to do so.

We also have a president who, in less than a full term, has spent more money and accomplished less economically speaking than any of his predecessors and who has displayed petty racial and partisan pique against those who oppose his thinking and who offer legitimate and debatable alternatives to his questionable and destructive policies.

Just recently Obama has chosen to politicize government bids. (See 3 below.)

Finally, we have a president, whose three year term in office, is witnessing a complete reversal of our influence in the Middle East. A president who refuses to allow development of our nation's known and available energy resources yet remains comfortable allowing Americans to enrich Muslim and Arab nations leaving us strategically vulnerable.

And this is why I consider Obama not only one of the worst presidents but the most dangerous and this is what Republican candidates should be presenting as reasons why Obama must be turned out of office.

As for Donald Trump, if he thinks churlish behaviour and vulgarity is the way to The Oval Office, if Trump believes theatre is the road to follow then he too demeans the very office he seeks and which Obama currently occupies. Obama by his own actions has embarrassed us as a people and made us smaller and less influential as well. Is Trumps's mission to trump Obama?

We are a great nation which bankrupted itself by an unwillingness to pay for unobtainable and irrational progressive domestic goals. We are a nation which has spent itself in foreign matters, many of which were based on indefensible premises where we aligned ourselves with corrupt leaders and we dispensed our treasures only to further enrich those who failed to serve the interests of their people.

Obama came to office attacking everything his predecessor achieved and then embraced and expanded upon that of which he complained. (See 4 below.)

Again, just more reasons why Obama does not deserve an opportunity to further destroy our nation.

Obama is the personification of "The Peter Principle" and because he has the power to pursue his inflated ego and feelings of self-importance we must remove him from office or suffer the continued dire consequences. (See Porter Stansberry's abbreviated comments in 5 below.)
Is this what progressives and political correctness has brought upon us? You decide. (See 6 below.)
Slick idea? You decide. (See 7 below.)
1)Skulking Towards bin Laden: Obama Overridden by Military and Intel Officials in Takeout of OBL?

As Obama continues to politicize and mine the take down of Osama Bin Laden and the outrageous "Islamic burial" that followed, new details emerge of his reluctance and refusal to sign off on the mission. It is the height of hypocrisy and crass opportunism to draw out the release of the death photos so as to prolong the news cycle on the story, and to neglect the tornado-ravaged parts of the country -- instead, Obama campaigns at Ground Zero on Thursday for an "O-victory lap," while it appears Obama may have been dragged kicking and screaming to the OBL operation.

The story that follows is deeply disturbing, but hardly surprising. When news broke that Obama rejected bombing the complex last month, one had to wonder why. It was reported that Obama feared collateral damage, despite being assured that the walls of the complex were high enough so that no civilians would be killed. Instead, he risked losing Americans in a mano-a-mano raid.

A reluctant American president who was ultimately overridden by senior military and intelligence officials to finally take out terrorist Osama Bin Laden… Ulstermann (hat tip CO)

1a)The bin Laden Raid and the 'Virtues of Boldness' Paul Wolfowitz on the death of Osama, the pro-democracy Arab Spring, and the importance of U.S. leadership

One morning when he was deputy defense secretary, Paul Wolfowitz had breakfast at the Pentagon with a group of congressmen. His boss, Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, "was talking about the difficulties of predicting the future and the dangers of surprise," Mr. Wolfowitz recalls. "He said, 'You know, historically every time we think the threat has gone away, something comes along and surprises us.'" Mr. Wolfowitz's next meeting was interrupted by the news that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. Soon after, the Pentagon was evacuated after being hit by another hijacked aircraft.

Recent months have brought new surprises, as a wave of pro-democracy demonstrations has swept across the Arab world. Then, this week, President Obama announced that al Qaeda's leader was dead.

"The most striking thing is that even before Osama bin Laden was killed, he seemed largely irrelevant to the Arab Spring," Mr. Wolfowitz says when I ask about the confluence of the two events. "I don't know of a single instance of these Arab freedom fighters holding up pictures of bin Laden. I know many instances of them displaying American flags in Benghazi or painting 'Facebook' on their foreheads in Cairo. The idea of freedom . . . is absolutely contradictory to what bin Laden stood for, which was . . . taking Muslims back to some medieval theocracy and encouraging people to die not for freedom but to go to paradise and to kill innocent people along the way. The contrast is really striking."

The Arab Spring is a source of satisfaction to Mr. Wolfowitz, whose advocacy of democracy promotion as a "fundamental point of strategy" made him a demon figure for the antiwar left. Typical was a speech delivered by an obscure Midwestern state lawmaker in October 2002, as Congress considered military action in Iraq: "What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by . . . Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne."

The speech was typical, but the speaker turned out not to be. Barack Obama left the Illinois Senate in 2004 and now sits in the Oval Office. When I dropped in on Mr. Wolfowitz this week, we sat in a conference room at the American Enterprise Institute, the think tank he joined after a stint as president of the World Bank. He is now an outside critic of the administration in power—albeit, at 67 and with several decades' experience conducting foreign policy under six presidents, a more seasoned one than the 41-year-old Mr. Obama was.

He says that pro-democracy sentiment in the Mideast caught President Obama by surprise as early as June 2009. That was when Mr. Obama spoke in Cairo in what the administration touted as "a new beginning" in U.S. relations with the Muslim world. The White House transcript shows that the president was interrupted by applause when he said: "The fourth issue that I will address is democracy." Mr. Wolfowitz observes that Mr. Obama "stumbled on the next sentence," which began: "I know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy in recent years . . ."

Mr. Wolfowitz imagines what went through the president's mind: "He realized, 'There's something not quite right here. I'm about to say it's controversial, and . . . they've applauded the mere mention of the topic.' Which says that people do somewhat distinguish between the idea of democracy and freedom and the idea of the United States."

The president then cited the Iraq war and declared: "No system of government can or should be imposed [on] one nation by any other." To Mr. Wolfowitz, that is a straw man: "We did not go to war in Afghanistan or in Iraq to, quote, 'impose democracy.' We went to war in both places because we saw those regimes as a threat to the United States." Once they were overthrown, what else were we going to do? "No one argues that we should have imposed a dictatorship in Afghanistan having liberated the country. Similarly, we weren't about to impose a dictatorship in Iraq having liberated the country."

Mr. Obama also missed the mark in 2002 when he characterized Mr. Wolfowitz as an ideologue. In fact, his views on democracy are the product of practical experience, not visionary theorizing. In his early years in government, in the 1970s, he dealt "with pretty much entirely security issues" at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. "I had a very cautious view of regime change, to put it mildly," he adds, noting that in 1979 pro-American dictatorships in both Iran and Nicaragua fell to hostile and more repressive tyrannies.

World-wide, he says, democracy had been "in constant retreat" since the end of World War II. "If you looked around the world in 1981, you could say free, democratic institutions are a luxury that only the developed world enjoys—that is to say, the Anglo-Saxon world plus Western Europe plus Japan."

That began to change when Ronald Reagan came to Washington. Mr. Wolfowitz joined the State Department and helped bring about democratic transitions in South Korea and the Philippines. The 1980s and '90s saw democratic advances elsewhere in East Asia as well as in Latin America, Eastern Europe and parts of sub-Saharan Africa.

By the end of the 20th century, the Arab Middle East had become an outlier—the least democratic region in the world. If that is changing at last, Mr. Wolfowitz believes it is because Arabs have been inspired by progress elsewhere—by "seeing so many other people enjoying freedom."

But has the Arab Spring occurred because of the Iraqi experience or in spite of it? When I ask Mr. Wolfowitz, he is hesitant: "It's a fascinating question, and one should probably simply . . . say it's in the category of the unknowable."

Pressed to elaborate, he does so judiciously: "I think Iraq took so long and was so bloody and is still so uncertain that it would be hard to say that it has inspired people." But he argues that if Saddam Hussein were still in power, "the last thing he'd want to see is democratic revolutions anywhere." Because Saddam would be "actively supporting" fellow dictators, "we very likely would not be seeing what's happening. . . . The absence of Saddam is a huge weight off the Arab world."

He does see a source of inspiration in Tunisia, where the Arab Spring began. "If there's any country in the Arab world that should be in the position that South Korea was . . . that is to say, a country with a large enough middle class and sufficiently advanced institutions that it should be able to manage a transition to democracy, Tunisia's the one—arguably the most advanced country in the Arab world. . . . Tunisia's way ahead of Iraq in terms of what it could potentially do."

Mr. Wolfowitz sharply criticizes the Obama administration for its response to the Mideast's democratic wave. "On Iran, it was just terrible. To me the analogy is in 1981, when martial law was declared in Poland. . . . Reagan saw it as an opportunity to drive a wedge into this opening, and he and the pope went at it. . . . You had a similar opportunity in Iran in June of 2009," after the stolen election set off massive protests, he says. "What did we do? We sat on our hands. Why?" Because the Obama administration "entertained this hope that we could negotiate with the regime, and therefore we didn't want to antagonize them. . . . Which, by the way, isn't even a smart way to negotiate. It suggests such an eagerness to negotiate that the other guy knows he has you."

"Egypt we just bungled completely," he adds. "I mean, our position was always three days behind whatever was actually going on." As for Syria, "we've failed under both [the Bush and Obama] administrations to recognize how hostile [Bashar] Assad is to everything we want to accomplish in that region," even when Assad backed foreign fighters killing American soldiers in Iraq. "Now he's clearly declared himself as an enemy of his own people. At the very least, symbolism matters, and the symbolism of leaving an American ambassador in Damascus. . . . He should have been out a long time ago."

Then there's Libya, where the Obama administration has intervened militarily with the desire, if not exactly the mission, to topple a dictator. "I think they did the right thing with the military action," Mr. Wolfowitz says. But he faults the manner in which it has been done. Mr. Wolfowitz would give the rebels weapons, training, diplomatic recognition and help with communications, possibly to include jamming Libyan state television.

Instead, "we have let [Moammar Gadhafi] regain the momentum three or four times now in the course of this thing, and it's a war of momentum. If it bogs down, then you have a stalemate, which becomes a playground for the worst elements in the Arab world. It risks repeating what we did in Bosnia, where we had this arms embargo on both sides, but it simply empowered the aggressors. . . . There's just no sense of urgency in this administration on the issue."

All these specifics add up to a forceful critique of "leading from behind," as an unnamed presidential adviser memorably described the Obama foreign-policy approach in an interview with The New Yorker last month. "I think part of what is needed in dealing with everything from Iran to Syria to Libya to even our friends like the Egyptians is to realize that we should be leading a little bit more from the front than from behind," Mr. Wolfowitz says.

"When you have freedom sweeping the Arab world, and you have people willing to risk their lives not as suicide bombers to kill innocent people, but to save lives and to gain freedom, the United States, first of all, should recognize generally speaking which side of that issue we're on. . . . There are all kinds of ways it can end badly, but that would seem to me to be even more reason to be deeply engaged—to find people who want it to end the right way and to support those people, rather than holding back."

Yet Mr. Wolfowitz tempers his criticism with forbearance. "I think there's a learning curve," he says. "I think they're climbing up the learning curve." He takes encouragement in the president's "gutsy call" of sending men to finish off bin Laden in person rather than dispatching him with a missile. "Obama has just made the toughest decision of his presidency, arguably," Mr. Wolfowitz says. "It wasn't a simple decision. . . . He was in a position where he'd have to take responsibility for it if it went badly. It's gone well. I hope he's learned some of the virtues of boldness."

Mr. Taranto, a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board, writes the Best of the Web Today column for
2)Valerie Bowman Jarrett (born November 14, 1956) is a senior advisor and assistant to the president for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Obama administration. She is also a Chicago lawyer, businesswoman, and civic leader. Prior to that she served as a co-chairperson of the Obama-Biden Transition Project.

Personal: Jarrett was born in Shiraz, Iran to American parents James E. Bowman and Barbara Taylor Bowman. Her father, a pathologist and geneticist, ran a hospital for children in Shiraz, as part of a program where American doctors and agricultural experts sought to help jump-start developing countries' health and farming efforts. When she was five, the family moved to London for one year, returning to Chicago in 1963.

In 1966 her mother, Barbara T. Bowman, was one of four child advocates that created the Erikson Institute. The Institute was established to provide advanced knowledge in child development for teachers and other professionals working with young children.

As a child she spoke Persian and French.[3]

Jarrett graduated from Northfield Mount Hermon in 1974. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University in 1978, and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.[citation needed]

In 1983 Jarrett married Dr. William Robert Jarrett, son of famed Chicago Sun-Times reporter Vernon Jarrett. She attributes her switch from a private to a public career to their daughter Laura's birth and her own desire to do something that would make the daughter proud.[4]

To one reporter's e-mailed question about her divorce, she replied, "Married in 1983, separated in 1987, and divorced in 1988. Enough said."[4] In a Vogue profile, she further explained "We grew up together. We were friends since childhood. In a sense, he was the boy next door. I married without really appreciating how hard divorce would be."[4] William Jarrett died of a sudden heart attack in 1993.[4]

Career: Chicago politics. Jarrett got her start in Chicago politics in 1987 working for Mayor Harold Washington[5] as Deputy Corporation Counsel for Finance and Development.[6]

Jarrett continued to work in the mayor's office in the 1990s. She was Deputy Chief of Staff for Mayor Richard Daley, during which time (1991) she hired Michelle Robinson, then engaged to Barack Obama, away from a private law firm. Jarrett served as Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development from 1992 through 1995, and was Chair of the Chicago Transit Board from 1995 to 2005.[6]

Business administration: Until joining the Obama Administration, Jarrett was the CEO of The Habitat Company, a real estate development and management company which she joined in 1995. She has been replaced by Mark Segal, a lawyer who joined the company in 2002, as CEO. Daniel E. Levin is the Chairman of Habitat, which was formed in 1971.[7] Jarrett was a member of the board of Chicago Stock Exchange (2000–2007, as Chairman, 2004–2007).

She is also the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Chicago Medical Center,[6] Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Chicago and a Trustee of Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.[8] Jarrett serves on the board of directors of USG Corporation, a Chicago based building materials corporation.

Jarrett's previous year's income, in a 2009 report, was a $300,000 salary and $550,000 in deferred compensation from The Habitat Executive Services, Inc. The Wall Street Journal also reported she disclosed payments of more than $346,000 for service on boards of directors that reflect her political ties, and work in Chicago real estate and community development. She was paid $76,000 for service as a director of Navigant Consulting, Inc. a Chicago-based global consulting group with governmental clients. She received $146,600 from USG, and $58,000 to serve on the board of Rreef American REIT II, a real estate investment trust based in San Francisco. The Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc., paid her $34,444.[9]

Advisor to Barack Obama: Obama speaks to Jarrett and other aides during a senior staff meeting in August 2009.Jarrett is one of President Obama's longest serving advisors and confidantes and was "widely tipped for a high-profile position in an Obama administration."[10][11]

“ Unlike Bert Lance, who arrived from Georgia with President [Jimmy] Carter and became his budget director, or Karen Hughes, who was President [George W.] Bush's communications manager, Ms. Jarrett isn't a confidante with a particular portfolio. What she does share with these counterparts is a fierce sense of loyalty and a refusal to publicly say anything that may reflect poorly on the candidate — or steal his thunder.[10] ”

On November 14, 2008, President-elect Obama selected Jarrett to serve as White House Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison.[12]

Jarrett is one of three Senior Advisors to President Obama.[13] She holds the retitled position of Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement,[13] managing the White House Office of Public Engagement, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Office of Urban Affairs, and Chairs the White House Commission on Women and Girls, and White House Office of Olympic, Paralympic, and Youth Sport.[14] She said that the 2011 report Women in America which the administration produced for the Council on Women and Girls would be used to guide policy-making.[15]

Relationship with President Obama: In 1991 Miss Jarrett, as Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Richard Daley, interviewed Michelle Robinson for an opening in the mayor’s office, and offered her the job immediately.[16] Ms. Robinson asked for time to think and also asked Jarrett to meet her fiancĂ©, Barack Obama. The three ended up meeting for dinner. After the dinner, Michelle took the job with the mayor's office, and Valerie Jarrett reportedly took the couple under her wing, “introduc[ing] them to a wealthier and better-connected Chicago than their own,” and taking Michelle with her when she left the mayor’s office to head Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development.[16][17]

References^ Terry, Don (July 27, 2008). "Insider has Obama's ear: What's she telling him?". Chicago Tribune.,0,1640738.story. Retrieved 2008-08-23.
^ King, John (November 9, 2008). "Obama wants Valerie Jarrett to replace him in Senate".
^ Kantor, Jodi (November 23, 2008). "An Old Hometown Mentor, Still at Obama’s Side". New York Times. Retrieved November 24, 2008.
^ a b c d Barack's Rock, Jonathan Van Meter, Vogue, October 2008; accessed December 15, 2008.
^ "Campaign 2008: The Family Friend: Valerie Jarrett". Newsweek. May 19, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-23.
^ a b c University of Chicago News Office (June 13, 2006). "Valerie Jarrett to lead expanded Board of University of Chicago Medical Center". Press release.
^ "Habitat promotes veteran to CEO" by Alby Gallun, (Crain's), Feb. 5, 2009. Retrieved 4/5/09.
^ "Valerie Jarrett Profile". 2008. Retrieved August 23, 2008.
^ "Hedge Fund Paid Summers $5.2 Million in Past Year" by John D. McKinnon and F. W. Farnum,, April 4, 2009. Retrieved 4/5/09.
^ a b Belkin, Douglas (May 12, 2008). "For Obama, Advice Straight Up: Valerie Jarrett Is Essential Member of Inner Set". Wall Street Journal.
^ Bai, Matt (August 10, 2008). "Is Obama the End of Black Politics?". New York Times Magazine.
^ Kantor, Jodi (November 14, 2008). "Obama Hires Jarrett for Senior Role". New York Times. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
^ a b "Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett". The Administration: White House Staff. Retrieved January 29, 2009 Valerie B. Jarrett is Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Liaison.
^ Kantor, Jodi (November 14, 2008). "Longstanding Obama Adviser Gets Senior Role at the White House". New York Times.
^ Stolberg, Sheryl (March 1, 2011). "White House Issues Report on Women in America". The New York Times. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
^ a b Van Meter, Jonathan (October 2008). "Barack’s Rock". Vogue.
^ Draper, Robert (July 26, 2009). "The Ultimate Obama Insider". New York Times.
3)Obama's 'Gangster Politics' The president is about to order companies that do business with the federal government to disclose their political donations.

Like this columnist President Obama has officially kicked off his 2012 re-election campaign, and don't Republicans know it. The president is expected any day now to sign an executive order that routs 70 years of efforts to get politics out of official federal business.

Under the order, all companies (and their officers) would be required to list their political donations as a condition to bidding for government contracts. Companies can bid and lose out for the sin of donating to Republicans. Or they can protect their livelihoods by halting donations to the GOP altogether—which is the White House's real aim. Think of it as "not-pay to play."

Whatever you call it, the order amounts to the White House brazenly directing the power of government against its political opponents—and at a time when the president claims to want cooperation on the budget and other issues. Senate Republicans from Mitch McConnell to Susan Collins are fuming, warning this is one political sucker punch too far, an unabashedly partisan move that will damage Senate work.

Minority Leader McConnell in an interview calls the order the "crassest" political move he's ever seen. "This is almost gangster politics, to shut down people who oppose them. . . . I assure you that this going to create problems for them in many ways—seen and unseen—if they go forward."

That might not matter to a White House that's already monomaniacally focused on 2012Democrats are obsessed with the money game, in particular rubbing out any GOP opportunities that came with the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision to restore some corporate free-speech rights. Democrats last year tried to ram through the Disclose Act, designed to muzzle those new corporate rights, while allowing unions to continue spending at will.

When the party failed to get the bill through even an overwhelmingly Democratic Senate, the White House stepped up. The draft order, which came out last month, would require federal bidders to supply a complete list of all political contributions made by the company, its political action committee, and its senior executives—going back two full years. (Richard Nixon would be impressed.) More astounding, the order requires the list to include donations made to third-party political groups—disclosure that is not currently required by law, and that is, as a result, surely unconstitutional.

Ever audacious, the White House is spinning this as "reform," claiming taxpayers deserve to know how federal dollars being paid to contractors are being spent in campaigns. This might hold (a drop of) water if the executive order also required all the (liberal) entities that get billions in taxpayer dollars via federal grants and funding—unions, environmental groups, Planned Parenthood—to disclose also. It doesn't.

The whole reform language is "Orwellian," says Ms. Collins. It's a measure of the order's naked political nature that she's leading the pushback—spearheading a GOP letter to the president and briefing Republican senators at a policy lunch this week. This is the same Susan Collins who has bucked her party in the past on campaign-finance issues, voting for McCain-Feingold.

The administration's argument that this is about disclosure is "a fraud," she declares. The very notion "offends me deeply," she says, since the order undermines decades of work by her and others to ensure federal business is free of corruption of political influence.

The politics of the order have been so ugly that she argues the media has missed the equally profound policy implications. It's the "equivalent of repealing the Hatch Act," she argues, the seminal 1939 law designed to weed out federal pay-to-play.

It has taken decades to create a federal contracting system based on "best prices, best value, best quality," Ms. Collins says, and the effect of the Obama order is to again have "politics play a role in determining who gets contracts." Companies may choose not to bid, which will reduce competition and raise government costs. And the order puts "thousands of civil servants" who oversee contracting "in an impossible situation."

The White House hasn't bothered to respond to Ms. Collins's letter, though Mr. Obama has had plenty of time for campaigning. In recent weeks he's held fund-raisers in Chicago, California (six events in two days) and New York, while next week he heads to Texas. Supporters are bragging the campaign may break the $1 billion threshold, money that will go even further if the White House can simultaneously use its executive order to dry up Republican donations.

The GOP has stayed mum on what it will do if Mr. Obama chooses to inject that level of partisanship into Washington's current debates. His Osama bin Laden victory notwithstanding, Americans remains unhappy with the president's performance on jobs, the economy and debt. If the president wants to shut down the possibility of bipartisan accomplishment on those fronts, a raw, election-motivated attack on Republicans is one sure way to do it.
4)Bush Attorney General Slams Obama Terror Policies

The killing of Osama bin Laden was a great victory for the U.S. intelligence community, but it may well be the last one because of the Obama administration’s refusal to use tough tactics such as waterboarding on terror suspects, former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey warns.

The information that led U.S. agents to bin Laden could not have been obtained without stringent interrogation methods, Mukasey writes in The Wall Street Journal.

Michael Mukasey: Obama administration demoralizes intelligence personnel.
“Consider how the intelligence that led to bin Laden came to hand. It began with a disclosure from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [KSM], who broke like a dam under the pressure of harsh interrogation techniques that included waterboarding. He loosed a torrent of information — including eventually the nickname of a trusted courier of bin Laden,” writes Mukasey, who was the nation’s top law enforcement officer under President George W. Bush from 2007 to 2009.

The Obama administration prevents intelligence officers from doing their work to the best of their ability, he said.

“Policies put in place by the very administration that presided over this splendid success promise fewer such successes in the future. Those policies make it unlikely that we'll be able to get information from those whose identities are disclosed by the material seized from bin Laden. The administration also hounds our intelligence gatherers in ways that can only demoralize them,” he said in the opinion piece published Friday.

Practices such as waterboarding, in which a suspect’s head is held underwater until he believes he is drowning, are used only in extreme cases in which agents know the prisoners have vital information, Mukasey said.

“The harsh techniques themselves were used selectively against only a small number of hard-core prisoners who successfully resisted other forms of interrogation, and then only with the explicit authorization of the director of the CIA. Of the thousands of unlawful combatants captured by the U.S., fewer than 100 were detained and questioned in the CIA program. Of those, fewer than one-third were subjected to any of these techniques,” he said.

Mukasey quoted former CIA Director Michael Hayden as saying that, “as late as 2006, even with the growing success of other intelligence tools, fully half of the government's knowledge about the structure and activities of [al-Qaida] came from those interrogations.”

Far from resorting to illegal methods to obtain information, Muksaey said, the Bush administration “put these techniques in place only after rigorous analysis by the Justice Department, which concluded that they were lawful.”

The Bush administration's decision to call these methods “enhanced interrogation techniques,” which he described as “absurdly antiseptic,” gave rise to unfounded suspicions that the phrase must be a euphemism for something truly beyond the pale.

The former attorney general said that, in April 2009, the Obama administration released previously classified Justice Department documents on the interrogation techniques — “thereby disclosing them to our enemies and assuring that they could never be used again.”

The current administration, in deciding to turn interrogation duties over to the FBI instead of the CIA, had not ensured that its new policies were properly in place, Mukasey said.

Thus, he said, when Omar Faruq Abdulmutallab was caught trying to blow up a plane over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009 with explosives hidden in his underwear, no one was quite sure how to handle him. The Nigerian national was read his Miranda rights, like an ordinary criminal suspect, but “no one had yet gotten around to implementing the new program.”

Although the administration had not yet determined how to handle terror suspects, it had found time to pursue investigations against CIA employees who already had been cleared of any wrongdoing, Mukasey said.

“Yet the Justice Department, revealing its priorities, had gotten around to reopening investigations into the conduct of a half-dozen CIA employees alleged to have used undue force against suspected terrorist,” Mukasey wrote in the WSJ.

Those investigations had been closed formally two years earlier, with no charges filed. Years later, he said, the investigations drag on with no charges in sight, with “prosecutors chasing allegations down rabbit holes, with the CIA along with the rest of the intelligence community left demoralized.”
5)Weekend Edition
Where you want your money when the chaos hits

In today's essay, we again court disaster by returning to a very sore subject – the state of our government's finances and the risks we face as our "End of America" scenario unfortunately unfolds with scary precision…

Just as the massive inflation that began in the spring of 2009 begins to drive up consumer prices, a Justice Department task force is formed to investigate the rapidly rising price of gasoline – a favorite whipping boy of the political class.

Says the Associated Press: "The Justice Department will try to 'root out' cases of fraud or manipulation in oil markets." The timing is perfect. The government, like a lazy hound dog, knows when to show up at the kitchen door. It's feeding time, gents.

But do you think the Justice Department will announce a thorough investigation into the activities of the Federal Reserve? Nope. Do you think they will bother to explain to the American people how the Federal government used all its powers and trillions of dollars in new money to save Wall Street's biggest banks, to bail out highly leveraged insurance companies, and to prop up our country's automakers? No, no, and no.

Do you think anyone will explain how, by creating trillions in new money and credit, the government gave commodity speculators a risk-free one-way bet – practically forcing them to build up massive speculative positions? Absolutely not.

Instead, the boys (and girls) at Justice will round up the usual suspects – small-time oil traders and market makers. It's all their fault, don't you know?

You have far better things to do with your time than parse the comments of our august chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, Ben Bernanke. As such, you might not recall that last summer, on August 27, at a private meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, he announced the Federal Reserve would resume buying U.S. Treasury bonds in large amounts – amounts equal to roughly 70% of all U.S. Treasury issuance. This has allowed the Federal government to fund nearly all its deficit spending and the growing costs of financing its enormous debts, with its own paper currency.

In not so many words, our Federal Reserve chairman was telling our creditors: Go pound sand. We will never pay you back in sound money, you stupid, pitiful fools…

The following table makes the point…

Total return since August 27, 2010

Global Asset:

140.4% Silver

92.5% Blackstone – Wall Street Casino

75.1% Corn

56.9% Las Vegas Sands – Nevada Casino

39.0% Crude Oil

38.2% Russell 2000 Index (Broad Stock Market)

36.3% CRB Commodities Index

35.8% Coal

35.1% Soybeans

31.8% Nasdaq

30.1% Copper

27.2% S&P 500 (Large-Caps)

25.2% Dow Jones Average (Large-Caps)

21.1% Gold

18.3% Financial Sector SPDR Fund (Big Banks)

13.9% Annaly Capital Management

5.6% Producer Price Index

2.3% Consumer Price Index

-2.2% Investment Grade Corporate Bond Fund

-2.6% 10-Year U.S. Treasury Bond Total Return

-10.6% U.S. Dollar Index

Within 10 percentage points of the change in crude oil, you'll find almost all commodities (the CRB index), almost all stocks, almost all U.S. energy (coal), almost all food (soybeans), and the world's most ubiquitous industrial metal: copper.

"Why not order the Justice Department to investigate these markets, too?" we ask (with sarcasm intended). By the way, you may wonder about our inclusion of the world's largest casinos in a table clearly intended to show the impact of our dishonest and decrepit monetary policies. Casinos typically boom during periods of rapid inflation, as money becomes impossible to save and speculating (gambling) becomes widely embraced by the general public. That's a little-understood fact… and it may become very important to investors as this hyperinflation becomes more and more intense.

Hyperinflation…? Yes, that's right. It's underway already, and it's going to get worse and worse.

Look at the table above. What has done the best since the Fed turned on the money spigot? The one form of sound money most sensitive to a monetary crisis – silver. As early as May 2006, I explained to my subscribers why silver would boom – because of the silver ratio – as the dollar collapsed. That's exactly what's happening today.

Meanwhile… look at the bottom of the table. There lies the world's legacy fiat paper reserve currency – the U.S. dollar. As I've explained time and time again in my various reports on the "End of America," the current inflation spells the end of the U.S. dollar standard around the world. That's not a prediction anymore: It is happening right now, as you read this.

This table is clear and scary enough… but then there are the President's comments last week about these matters, which, to me, were simply surreal. In reference to the soaring price of gasoline, OBAMA! told a group of supporters in Reno, Nevada: "We are going to make sure that no one is taking advantage of the American people for their own short-term gain."

I'm assuming this line was delivered with a straight face… and to a cheering crowd.

But… maybe not. Did anyone in the crowd understand the irony of the President's position? OBAMA! just explained the essence of capitalism – the factor that makes it work – but used it to define criminal activity. Even a 10th-grade economics student understands capitalism works because, through the miracle of free exchange, private vices (short-term gains) are converted into public virtues – goods and services people want.

It's surreal to watch the President of the United States say things like this… things that could have been lifted from the speeches of Hugo Chavez.

A confession, dear subscribers. I've worked hard on my newsletters for 15 years. I've taken financial risks to build this business, while giving up dozens of other lucrative opportunities. But… I realize now, after listening to the President, selling newsletters "takes advantage" of the American people (and about 100 other types of nationalities who subscribe from around the world) for my own short-term gain. I feel ashamed.

So, I have a special request for the President… I am willing to give up my post and to renounce my "greed." My entire staff is willing to do the same. But before we leave our work, we need the President to help us find a few dozen folks who have our skills and work ethic, but are happy to work for free. Somewhere out there, we know, Mr. President, there are people noble enough to toil endlessly at jobs – like customer service, research, sales, marketing, general manager, designer, I.T., etc. – for nothing in return and no hope of building any personal wealth… lest they "take advantage of the American people."

We hope you'll help us find them, Mr. President, because our current path of seeking one short-term gain after another has simply left us exhausted.

What will we do next…? The new thing in America: We're going to live at the expense of our neighbors. For the first time in modern history, the government is paying out more money, in cash, to citizens, than it is taking in taxes. We spent $2.3 trillion on direct benefits to taxpayers last year, while the government's total income was only $2.2 trillion. Roughly 60% of all Americans now receive some significant financial benefit from the government. Meanwhile, less than 50% of all people pay any federal income taxes. And roughly 10% of all taxpayers foot virtually all the significant income taxes levied.

Some of you, gentle readers, must think this is the way things ought to be. When polled, 75% of Americans say Medicare shouldn't be cut under any conditions. And roughly 75% say raising taxes on the rich is the best way to solve the budget crisis.

I don't agree with these sentiments. I don't think it's appropriate or Constitutional to charge one citizen a different rate of tax than another. We all ought to be equal under the law, regardless of our income.

Likewise, I don't believe the government ought to be involved in paying for medicine. Why not? When is the last time in history a government did a good job distributing a highly complex, incredibly expensive good or service that had an essentially endless demand? The track record isn't promising.

But you should feel free to completely ignore my opinions on these matters because they're completely irrelevant. The fact is, these policies – the politicians' efforts to narrow the tax base while greatly expanding the role of the government in our society – are bankrupting us. By printing money to pay for these expenses, we will cause the complete collapse of our currency – as the table above ought to make clear to anyone paying attention.

Forget everything else you know about the budget problems and focus on these facts…

It doesn't matter that you've paid into Social Security and Medicare. That's like investors arguing Bernie Madoff owes them money. It may very well be true – but it's totally irrelevant. Likewise, it doesn't matter that "income inequality" is supposedly at a new high. It's not, but why argue? It doesn't matter – taxes won't solve that problem.

What does matter…? Consider this: Even if you collected 100% of the income of all the people who make more than $250,000 a year, the U.S. government would have still run a deficit last year. Even if you doubled the entire amount of income taxes collected, the Federal government would have run a deficit last year. There is no way to balance our budget, no way to prevent the literal bankruptcy of our country and the runaway hyperinflation that would result, unless we dramatically cut the government's budget. We have no choice, as you'll see.

The U.S. government has never succeeded in collecting more than about 20% of GDP in taxes. Yes, that's true. The higher the marginal rates of income taxes (the more you ask the rich to pay), the more inefficient the tax system will become and the greater the burden on GDP growth, which is the main driver of all tax revenue. There is no free lunch. To collect 20% of GDP in taxes isn't easy. It will require a broad-based, flatter income tax or something akin to it. Collecting more than 20% of GDP has, so far, been impossible. I wouldn't plan on it.

Our GDP is roughly $14 trillion today. So no matter how you organize the tax base, you end up with $2.8 trillion to spend. And you can't spend that much, because you've got interest payments and (gasp!) debt repayments to make.

Yes, that's right, America: You borrowed all this money, and our creditors actually expect to be repaid. Interest payments and principal reductions of our debt will have to come first and should total around $500 billion each year. If interest rates go up, we'll have to spend more than this. Sorry. That's the price we have to pay if we expect to maintain control of our economy and not allow our children to end up as house-boys and maids in Shanghai. That leaves us with roughly $2 trillion to spend.

Here are our current expenses: Medicare and Social Security are now spending $1.5 trillion and, if left alone, will quickly grow to far more than the entire tax base. The military spends over $700 billion (that we know of) each year. Domestic social programs (food stamps, Department of Education, etc.) cost $500 billion. Federal pensions cost more than $200 billion a year. So… we've got $2 trillion to spend… but our bills are running to $3 trillion per year, and they're scheduled to increase, substantially.

Thus, we will have to cut at least $1 trillion from the budget – immediately – and be prepared to continue cutting on discretionary spending and the military for at least the next decade. That will mean cutting about one out of every three dollars the government spends today. Unless we balance this budget, there's no longer any doubt our currency will be destroyed, our savings lost, and the assets of our country stripped by foreign creditors.

So… what's more important to you? The lies you've been promised, or trying your best to restore this country to its founding principles? That's what we've got to decide.

These facts, by the way, are common knowledge to all the planning people in Washington. So… what are the politicians doing? They're condemning capitalism by complaining about "short-term gains." They're investigating the free exchange of oil contracts and calling oil traders "criminals." Oh… that's right… they also spent months trying to cut $60 billion from the budget – about six cents on the dollar of the cuts required to balance our budget. Those "cuts," by the way, were actually just smoke and mirrors budget moves that won't reduce the actual amount of spending by a penny, nor even reduce our deficit.

Here's my question… and I mean this sincerely… how bad do things have to get in this country before the average voter wakes up and realizes that he can't actually live at the expense of his neighbor? How long will it take before it dawns on regular people that, like it or not, the rich can't pay for the entire burden of government? And what will happen when the average person who believed the lies he's been told by his government realizes there's no way any of those false promises can be delivered…?

Unfortunately… my bet is that things in this country are going to have to get a lot worse before our leaders in Washington – on both sides of the aisle – do anything that even remotely resembles actual leadership. So the next time you're thinking about selling your silver or cashing in your gold, just go back over these numbers above and ask yourself, how long will it be before Congress decides to gut the budget and begins to actually repay our creditors?

Oh… one more thing to consider. Last week, we saw S&P threaten to downgrade the sovereign credit of the U.S., something completely unthinkable to the world's financial system just three years ago. We saw the University of Texas take possession of nearly $1 billion of gold, a trend I believe could cause a run on the world's bullion banks (like JPMorgan) and a panic unlike anything we've seen since the Great Depression. We've recently witnessed the world's largest bond investor (PIMCO) begin to actively short the U.S. Treasury market – an unprecedented situation in the history of the United States. And we're only a few weeks away now from the end of the Fed's so-called "QE2" debt-monetization binge.

No one knows what will happen to the Treasury market or interest rates when the Fed steps away from the market bidding. And yet… despite all these things… the Volatility Index (the "VIX"), which tracks "fear" in the markets, recently broke down to new lows, showing total complacency in the equity markets.

I have a simple prediction to make: A year from now, we'll be talking about how eerily calm the markets were before the end of QE2… and all the chaos that's happened since.

When the chaos hits, you'll want to be invested in high-quality equities with pricing power and healthy dividends. There are two main reasons this group of stocks will protect you during inflation. First, these companies can raise prices to counter inflation. Second, they can raise their dividends faster than inflation.


Porter Stansberry
6)HIGH SCHOOL -- 1957 vs. 2010

Scenario 1:
Jack goes quail hunting before school and then pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his truck's gun rack.
1957 - Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.
2010 - School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario 2:
Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.
1957 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
2010 - Police called and SWAT team arrives -- they arrest both Johnny and Mark. They are both charged with assault and both expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario 3:
Jeffrey will not be still in class, he disrupts other students.
1957 - Jeffrey sent to the Principal's office and given a good paddling by the Principal. He then returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2010 - Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. He becomes a zombie. He is then tested for ADD. The family gets extra money (SSI) from the government because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario 4:
Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.
1957 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.
2010 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse, Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. The state psychologist is told by Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has an affair with the psychologist.

Scenario 5:
Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.
1957 - Mark shares his aspirin with the Principal out on the smoking dock.
2010 - The police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. His car is then searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario 6:
Pedro fails high school English.
1957 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English and goes to college.
2010 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against the state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English is then banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given his diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Scenario 7:
Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle and blows up a red ant bed.
1957 - Ants die.
2010 - ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates his parents - and all siblings are removed from their home and all computers are confiscated. Johnny's dad is placed on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario 8:
Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.
1957 -“ In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2010 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.

This shows how ignorant we have become!
7) A man doing market research for the Vaseline Company knocked at the
door and was greeted by a young woman with three small children running
around at her feet.

"I'm doing some research for Vaseline. Have you ever used the product?"

She said, "Yes. My husband and I use it all the time."

"If you don't mind my asking," he said, "what do you use it for?"

"We use it for sex," she said.

The researcher was a little taken a back.

"Usually people lie to me and say they use it on a child's bicycle
chain or to help with a gate hinge. But, in fact, I know that most
people do use it for sex. I admire you for your honesty. Since you've been
so frank so far, can you tell me exactly HOW you use
it for sex?" The woman said, "I don't mind telling you at all.

My husband and I put it on the doorknob and it keeps the kids out."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Long Live Kate and Will - Bring Joy To Your People!

George Friedman on Iran, Iran and what comes next. (See 1 below.)
A British editor disses Obama for being Obama - the incompetent and distant leader of the Western World whose attitude towrads allies is unqiue and damaging. (See 2 below.)

Our self -absorbed Messiah has done everything in his power to embarrass our nation with one of our closest and longest allies but today British Royalty shone and outdid itself in pomp and elegance.

Long live Kate and Will and may they bring great joy and comfort to their people.
1)Iraq, Iran and the Next Move
By George Friedman

The United States told the Iraqi government last week that if it wants U.S. troops to remain in Iraq beyond the deadline of Dec. 31, 2011, as stipulated by the current Status of Forces Agreement between Washington and Baghdad, it would have to inform the United States quickly. Unless a new agreement is reached soon, the United States will be unable to remain. The implication in the U.S. position is that a complex planning process must be initiated to leave troops there and delays will not allow that process to take place.

What is actually going on is that the United States is urging the Iraqi government to change its mind on U.S. withdrawal, and it would like Iraq to change its mind right now in order to influence some of the events taking place in the Persian Gulf. The Shiite uprising in Bahrain and the Saudi intervention, along with events in Yemen, have created an extremely unstable situation in the region, and the United States is afraid that completing the withdrawal would increase the instability.

The Iranian Rise
The American concern, of course, has to do with Iran. The United States has been unable to block Iranian influence in Iraq's post-Baathist government. Indeed, the degree to which the Iraqi government is a coherent entity is questionable, and its military and security forces have limited logistical and planning ability and are not capable of territorial defense. The issue is not the intent of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who himself is enigmatic. The problem is that the coalition that governs Iraq is fragmented and still not yet finalized, dominated by Iranian proxies such Muqtada al-Sadr — and it only intermittently controls the operations of the ministries under it, or the military and security forces.

As such, Iraq is vulnerable to the influence of any substantial power, and the most important substantial power following the withdrawal of the United States will be Iran. There has been much discussion of the historic tension between Iraqi Shia and Iranian Shia, all of which is true. But Iran has been systematically building its influence in Iraq among all factions using money, blackmail and ideology delivered by a sophisticated intelligence service. More important, as the United States withdraws, Iraqis, regardless of their feelings toward Iran (those Iraqis who haven't always felt this way), are clearly sensing that resisting Iran is dangerous and accommodation with Iran is the only solution. They see Iran as the rising power in the region, and that perception is neither unreasonable nor something to which the United States or Saudi Arabia has an easy counter.

The Iraqi government's response to the American offer has been predictable. While some quietly want the United States to remain, the general response has ranged from dismissal to threats if the United States did not leave. Given that the United States has reportedly offered to leave as many as 20,000 troops in a country that 170,000 American troops could not impose order on, the Iraqi perception is that this is merely a symbolic presence and that endorsing it would get Iraq into trouble with Iran, which has far more than 20,000 troops and ever-present intelligence services. It is not clear that the Iraqis were ever prepared to allow U.S. troops to remain, but 20,000 is enough to enrage Iran and not enough to deal with the consequences.

The American assumption in deciding to leave Iraq — and this goes back to George W. Bush as well as Barack Obama — was that over the course of four years, the United States would be able to leave because it would have created a coherent government and military. The United States underestimated the degree to which fragmentation in Iraq would prevent that outcome and the degree to which Iranian influence would undermine the effort. The United States made a pledge to the American public and a treaty with the Iraqi government to withdraw forces, but the conditions that were expected to develop simply did not.

Not coincidentally, the withdrawal of American forces has coincided with tremendous instability in the region, particularly on the Arabian Peninsula. All around the periphery of Saudi Arabia an arc of instability has emerged. It is not that the Iranians engineered it, but they have certainly taken advantage of it. As a result, Saudi Arabia is in a position where it has had to commit forces in Bahrain, is standing by in Yemen, and is even concerned about internal instability given the rise of both reform-minded and Shiite elements at a time of unprecedented transition given the geriatric state of the country's top four leaders. Iran has certainly done whatever it could to exacerbate this instability, which fits neatly into the Iraqi situation.

As the United States leaves Iraq, Iran expects to increase its influence there. Iran normally acts cautiously even while engaged in extreme rhetoric. Therefore, it is unlikely to send conventional forces into Iraq. Indeed, it might not be necessary to do so in order to gain a dominant political position. Nor is it inconceivable that the Iranians could decide to act more aggressively. With the United States gone, the risks decline.

Saudi Arabia's Problem
The country that could possibly counter Iran in Iraq is Saudi Arabia, which has been known to funnel money to Sunni groups there. Its military is no match for Iran's in a battle for Iraq, and its influence there has been less than Iran's among most groups. More important, as the Saudis face the crisis on their periphery they are diverted and preoccupied by events to the east and south. The unrest in the region, therefore, increases the sense of isolation of some Iraqis and increases their vulnerability to Iran. Thus, given that Iraq is Iran's primary national security concern, the events in the Persian Gulf work to Iran's advantage.

The United States previously had an Iraq question. That question is being answered, and not to the American advantage. Instead, what is emerging is a Saudi Arabian question. Saudi Arabia currently is clearly able to handle unrest within its borders. It has also been able to suppress the Shia in Bahrain — for now, at least. However, its ability to manage its southern periphery with Yemen is being tested, given that the regime in Sanaa was already weakened by multiple insurgencies and is now being forced from office after more than 30 years in power. If the combined pressure of internal unrest, turmoil throughout the region and Iranian manipulation continues, the stress on the Saudis could become substantial.

The basic problem the Saudis face is that they don't know the limits of their ability (which is not much beyond their financial muscle) to manage the situation. If they miscalculate and overextend, they could find themselves in an untenable position. Therefore, the Saudis must be conservative. They cannot afford miscalculation. From the Saudi point of view, the critical element is a clear sign of long-term American commitment to the regime. American support for the Saudis in Bahrain has been limited, and the United States has not been aggressively trying to manage the situation in Yemen, given its limited ability to shape an outcome there. Coupled with the American position on Iraq, which is that it will remain only if asked — and then only with limited forces — the Saudis are clearly not getting the signals they want from the United States. In fact, what further worsens the Saudi position is that they cannot overtly align with the United States for their security needs. Nevertheless, they also have no other option. Exploiting this Saudi dilemma is a key part of the Iranian strategy.

The smaller countries of the Arabian Peninsula, grouped with Saudi Arabia in the Gulf Cooperation Council, have played the role of mediator in Yemen, but ultimately they lack the force needed by a credible mediator — a potential military option to concentrate the minds of the negotiating parties. For that, they need the United States.

It is in this context that the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, will be visiting Washington on April 26. The UAE is one of the few countries on the Arabian Peninsula that has not experienced significant unrest. As such, it has emerged as one of the politically powerful entities in the region. We obviously cannot know what the UAE is going to ask the United States for, but we would be surprised if it wasn't for a definitive sign that the United States was prepared to challenge the Iranian rise in the region.

The Saudis will be watching the American response very carefully. Their national strategy has been to uncomfortably rely on the United States. If the United States is seen as unreliable, the Saudis have only two options. One is to hold their position and hope for the best. The other is to reach out and see if some accommodation can be made with Iran. The tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia — religious, cultural, economic and political — are profound. But in the end, the Iranians want to be the dominant power in the Persian Gulf, defining economic, political and military patterns.

On April 18, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's adviser for military affairs, Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, warned Saudi Arabia that it, too, could be invaded on the same pretext that the kingdom sent forces into Bahrain to suppress a largely Shiite rising there. Then, on April 23, the commander of Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jaafari, remarked that Iran's military might was stronger than that of Saudi Arabia and reminded the United States that its forces in the region were within range of Tehran's weapons. Again, the Iranians are not about to make any aggressive moves, and such statements are intended to shape perception and force the Saudis to capitulate on the negotiating table.

The Saudis want regime survival above all else. Deciding between facing Iran alone or reaching an unpleasant accommodation, the Saudis have little choice. We would guess that one of the reasons the UAE is reaching out to Obama is to try to convince him of the dire consequences of inaction and to move the United States into a more active role.

A Strategy of Neglect
The Obama administration appears to have adopted an increasingly obvious foreign policy. Rather than simply attempt to control events around the world, the administration appears to have selected a policy of careful neglect. This is not, in itself, a bad strategy. Neglect means that allies and regional powers directly affected by the problem will take responsibility for the problem. Most problems resolve themselves without the need of American intervention. If they don't, the United States can consider its posture later. Given that the world has become accustomed to the United States as first responder, other countries have simply waited for the American response. We have seen this in Libya, where the United States has tried to play a marginal role. Conceptually, this is not unsound.

The problem is that this will work only when regional powers have the weight to deal with the problem and where the outcome is not crucial to American interests. Again, Libya is an almost perfect example of this. However, the Persian Gulf is an area of enormous interest to the United States because of oil. Absent the United States, the regional forces will not be able to contain Iran. Therefore, applying this strategy to the Persian Gulf creates a situation of extreme risk for the United States.

Re-engagement in Iraq on a level that would deter Iran is not a likely option, not only because of the Iraqi position but also because the United States lacks the force needed to create a substantial deterrence that would not be attacked and worn down by guerrillas. Intruding in the Arabian Peninsula itself is dangerous for a number reasons, ranging from the military challenge to the hostility an American presence could generate. A pure naval and air solution lacks the ability to threaten Iran's center of gravity, its large ground force.

Therefore, the United States is in a difficult position. It cannot simply decline engagement nor does it have the ability to engage at this moment — and it is this moment that matters. Nor does it have allies outside the region with the resources and appetite for involvement. That leaves the United States with the Saudi option — negotiate with Iran, a subject I've written on before. This is not an easy course, nor a recommended one, but when all other options are gone, you go with what you have.

The pressure from Iran is becoming palpable. All of the Arab countries feel it, and whatever their feelings about the Persians, the realities of power are what they are. The UAE has been sent to ask the United States for a solution. It is not clear the United States has one. When we ask why the price of oil is surging, the idea of geopolitical risk does come to mind. It is not a foolish speculation.

Reprinting or republication of this report on websites is authorized by prominently displaying the following sentence, including the hyperlink to STRATFOR, at the beginning or end of the report.

"This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR."
2)From The London Daily Telegraph Editor On Foreign Relations


"Let me be clear: I'm not normally in favor of boycotts, and I love the American people. I holiday in their country regularly, and hate the tedious snobby sneers against the United States. But the American people chose to elect an idiot who seems hell bent on insulting their allies, and something must be done to stop Obama's reckless foreign policy, before he does the dirty on his allies on every issue."

One of the most poorly kept secrets in Washington is President Obama's animosity toward Great Britain, presumably because of what he regards as its sins while ruling Kenya (1895-1963).

One of Barack Hussein Obama's first acts as president was to return to Britain a bust of Winston Churchill that had graced the Oval Office since 9/11. He followed this up by denying Prime Minister Gordon Brown, on his first state visit, the usual joint press conference with flags.

The president was "too tired" to grant the leader of America's closest ally a proper welcome, his aides told British journalists.

Mr. Obama followed this up with cheesy gifts for Mr. Brown and the Queen. Columnist Ian Martin described his behavior as "rudeness personified." There was more rudeness in store for Mr. Brown at the opening session of the United Nations in September. "The prime minister was forced to dash through the kitchens of the UN in New York to secure five minutes of face time with President Obama after five requests for a sit down meeting were rejected by the White House", said London Telegraph columnist David Hughes. Mr. Obama's "churlishness is unforgivable", Mr. Hughes said.

The administration went beyond snubs and slights last week when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton endorsed the demand of Argentine President Cristina Kirchner, a Hugo Chavez ally, for mediation of Argentina's specious claim to the Falkland Islands, a British dependency since 1833. The people who live in the Falklands, who speak English, want nothing to do with Argentina. When, in 1982, an earlier Argentine dictatorship tried to seize the Falklands by force, the British -- with strong support from President Ronald Reagan -- expelled them.

"It is truly shocking that Barack Obama has decided to disregard our shared history," wrote Telegraph columnist Toby Young. "Does Britain's friendship really mean so little to him?" One could ask, does the friendship of anyone in the entire world mean anything to him?

"I recently asked several senior administration officials, separately, to name a foreign leader with whom Barack Obama has forged a strong personal relationship during his first year in office," wrote Jackson Diehl, deputy editorial page editor of the Washington Post, on Monday. "A lot of hemming and hawing ensued." One official > named French President Nicolas Sarkozy, but his contempt for Mr. Obama is an open secret. Another named German Chancellor Angela Merkel. But, said Mr. Diehl, "Merkel too has been conspicuously cool toward Obama."

Mr. Obama certainly doesn't care about the Poles and Czechs, whom he has betrayed on missile defense. Honduras and Israel also can attest that he's been an unreliable ally and an unfaithful friend. Ironically, our relations with both Israel and the Palestinian Authority have never been worse. Russia has offered nothing in exchange for Mr. Obama's abandonment of missile defense. Russia and China won't support serious sanctions on Iran. Syria's support for terrorism has not diminished despite efforts to normalize diplomatic relations. The reclusive military dictatorship that runs Burma has responded to our efforts at "engagement" by deepening its ties to North Korea.

And the Chinese make little effort to disguise their contempt for him.

For the first time in a long time, the President of the United States is actually distrusted by its allies and not in the least feared by its adversaries. Nor is Mr. Obama now respected by the majority of Americans. Understandably focused on the dismal economy and Mr. Obama's relentless efforts to nationalize and socialize health care, Americans apparently have yet to notice his dismal performance and lack of respect in the world community. They soon will.

-- London Daily Telegraph editor -- Alex Singleton

So Sayeth Our Messiah and The Debt Ceiling Myth!

Obama's approval ratings are so low that people in Kenya are now accusing him of being born in the United States.
I cannot get elected unless I have an enemy so why not attack those pesky maggot millionaires who are simply living off the land and contributing nothing to society - so sayeth our Messiah! (See 1 below)

Obama - Marxist, indifferent, stupid or all three? You decide. (See 1a below.)
We hear scare tactics about how we must raise the debt ceiling or all hell will descend upon our nation's credit ratings.

As the article points out we have a revenue stream more than adequate to fund our debt interest. What would happen if the limit is not raised is that it would force the government to quit spending and god forbid that should happen. (See 2 below.)
A Conservative Black commentator attacks the president as no white person could do and yet, there is nothing in Massie's comments that do not ring true.

Massie is obviously embarrassed for his own people at the Obama's behaviour which is the equivalent of the hillbilly family that struck oil and became the Clamperts of Hollywood.(See 3 below.)
Commentary on what Bernanke had to say. (See 4 below.)
China is our nation's greatest misunderstood military threat, Egypt, Pakistan and Afghanistan are starting to question their relationship with the U.S. and Hamas and Fatah have agreed to unite. Meanwhile, Iran continues its march toward achieving nuclear status and Libya, Syria remain inflamed.

This is the world Obama's appeasement and apology speeches were going to improve. Obama told us were going to be a more respected and loved nation because of his policies.

I thought it was garbage when he made them and now it has proven pretty much to be just that.

Was our nation's decline part of Obama's hidden agenda? You decide. (See 5 below.)
Meanwhile golfers come up with a pregnant idea! (See 6 below.)
Off to Litchfield Beach for a week and you are relieved of any memos.
1)Obama's Millionaire Obsession The president has no understanding of the unique role wealth plays in American life.

With less than 19 months left before the next presidential election, Barack Obama has kicked off his campaign, doing coast-to-coast "town hall" meetings last week. At the top of President Obama's re-election strategy is what appears to be a personal jihad against America's "millionaires and billionaires," many of whom, he seems to think, are—there's no other word for it—un-American. So naturally the place he picked to pitch an assault on the wealthy was the Silicon Valley headquarters of Facebook, a place filled with millionaires and billionaires.

As has become his habit, Mr. Obama pulled his audience into his narrative by personalizing public policy. And so it was with his Facebook host, Mark Zuckerberg.

The president: "And then what we've said is let's take another trillion [dollars] of that that we raise through a reform in the tax system that allows people like me—and, frankly, you, Mark—for paying a little more in taxes." (Laughter.)

Mr. Zuckerberg: "I'm cool with that."

Well, what's a 26-year-old billionaire supposed to say?

What Mr. Obama said later in the Facebook meet-up wasn't so funny. Here it is, in toto:

"But I think that what he [Rep. Paul Ryan] and the other Republicans in the House of Representatives also want to do is change our social compact in a pretty fundamental way. Their basic view is that no matter how successful I am, no matter how much I've taken from this country—I wasn't born wealthy; I was raised by a single mom and my grandparents; I went to college on scholarships. There was a time when my mom was trying to get her Ph.D, where for a short time she had to take food stamps. My grandparents relied on Medicare and Social Security to help supplement their income when they got old. So their notion is, despite the fact that I've benefited from all these investments—my grandfather benefited from the GI Bill after he fought in World War II—that somehow I now have no obligation to people who are less fortunate than me and I have no real obligation to future generations to make investments so that they have a better [future]."

One may assume there are more than a handful of liberals who would cringe at such a gross caricature. Mr. Obama has gone to this "millionaires" well so many times since the first days of his presidency that one would have to be obtuse not to recognize a visceral animosity beneath these sentiments.

It suggests that Mr. Obama has not much more understanding beyond an undergraduate seminar on "Class in America" of the complex and unique role wealth has played in American life. Since the Pilgrims, no nation has seen more wealth flow back from those who earned it into the welfare of the nation they inhabit.

Andrew Carnegie alone built more than 1,600 libraries in the U.S. Today, according to Internal Revenue Service data, there are some 110,000 grant-making private foundations in the U.S. Beyond the foundations bearing the names of famously undertaxed plutocrats such as Warren Buffet and Bill Gates there are another hundred thousand or so, often run by modestly wealthy families whose foundations support a vast array of needs—scholarships, schools, hospitals, cultural institutions and even causes across the political spectrum, no doubt including windmills.

The Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College reports that giving by individuals hit an astounding $243 billion in 2007. As to the millionaires, the report says, "In that year, households with $1 million or more in net worth gave 52%, or $126.15 billion." During the 2008 recession, their giving dropped 4% "because there were 27% fewer millionaire households at that time." But by the end of 2009, giving by millionaire households returned to 52% of the national total.

It is an eternal question whether the deductibility of such spending means the charitable activity by these people is bogus and driven only by self-regard. One man's answer: Eliminate the charitable deduction, drop—or flatten—the top tax rate and total giving will rise, not fall. Giving is what Americans do, at all income levels.

It becomes clearer by the day that Barack Obama's worldview is that if money isn't spent by the federal government, it's somehow irrelevant. What began with the $800 billion stimulus in 2009 has turned into a personal compulsion to fund his galaxy of public "investments," such as high-speed rail and biofuels research.

His trivial-sounding suggestion that people, like him, should be willing to pay "a little more" is almost surely a downpayment on future requests for tax-like transfers from a much broader swath of incomes to his own foundation, the federal budget.

Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid (and now ObamaCare) are federal entitlement programs that sit at the center of a historic and complex problem of public finance. To speak out about that problem should in no sense expose anyone to moral denunciation by the president of the United States.

1a)Obama's Real Strategy
By James V Capua

Watching the machinations of Barack Obama, it seems as though he is creating what the Marxists call "internal contradictions."

Gas prices ready to breach the $5 mark, but a relentless Administration campaign against increased domestic energy production; midterm elections soundly rejecting the President and his party's command and control initiatives, but vigorous efforts to extend them in contempt not only of electoral, but legislative and judicial checks; foreign and defense policies that have produced nothing beyond betrayal of our interests and few remaining friends, but an eager embrace of fringe notions of a utopian internationalist order and our place in that order: every day brings new movements in this symphony of dissonance.

Unfortunately, we are not simply enjoying a clarifying dialectic; we are in the middle of a high stakes race. The objective in this race is not a place; it is a date: Election Day, November 6, 2012.

As the contending parties converge on the objective, the Administration understands that the conventional electoral calculus seems irreversible -- gas prices, inflation, unemployment, and geopolitical discomfiture will be joined in 2012 by the newfound fear of deficits and the national debt, and maybe even for the fate of constitutional government. Their response to this looming threat of defeat is a version of the old Cold War communist strategy of "talk talk, fight fight."

The talk element is employed to waste time, obscure tactical maneuvers, divert and divide the opposition, and sometimes even to draw fire onto decoy targets. Behind the screen of the talk is the "fight" or action element of the strategy -- executive, and to the extent still possible, fiscal measures calculated to bring the country by November 6, 2012 to a state in which an electoral majority, comprising both Obama partisans and opponents, is in such a high state of anxiety that they are unwilling to change presidents.

How does this work? First, there is the talk element. Obama and his people are drowning us in a talk tsunami. I am convinced that much of it is, for them, meaningless, meant merely to overload our capacity for outrage and give their house media "issues," ostensibly to debate each evening, but really for generating a constant supply of vehicles through which to diminish the opposition and generally desensitize the country to the enormity of what Obama is doing. The outrage fatigue grows and conservatives scramble to confront the dizzying torrent of talk, talk, with a tone increasingly shrill and desperation -- borne intramural wrangling. The release of the birth certificate, "Something special about the Resurrection," and other peculiar Easter omissions and commissions, the rise and disappearance of the political "civility" issue, keeping alive for months the fantasy of New York City trials for 9/11 conspirators, the great Fatwa against down time naps for drowsy air traffic controllers, UN international legal rights for Mother Earth, endless reprises of canards about the evil effects of conservative talk radio, the Ground Zero Mosque contretemps, TSA groping policy, attacking Arizona's immigration enforcement initiative, embracing Al Sharpton and giving the New Black Panthers a pass, Michelle's "You don't want fries with that!" campaign.

This is not to say some of these do not merit real concern, but Obama and his minions are merely playing with them; the best evidence for which is the airiness of their arguments and the insouciance with which they and their media mouthpieces flit from one to the next. The key here for the opposition -- forget about the talk. It is just talk. Republicans shouldn't play the other guy's game. They have neither the language nor the style, as Speaker Boehner most recently demonstrated when he trod on the oil price banana peel; he should concentrate on the fight fight.

When national Republicans respond to Obama talk talk in their accustomed mush mouthed, tentative, and bloodless way, they generally turn off those they need the most to join them -- including the libertarians and the generally politically inert 25-somethings, for whom irony and not outrage is the preferred tone. But show you can fight, win, and deliver and they will give you a chance. In the end, for all their eloquence, Lady Thatcher, John Paul II, and Ronald Reagan did not outtalk the Soviets; they showed they were prepared to outfight them, and that was enough.

As good as Obama is with talk talk, the fight fight component has thus far has been equally well-executed. Again, fight fight for Obama consists of using his executive power and remaining fiscal armory to create and maintain an atmosphere of pervasive anxiety. The calculation is that fear and anxiety will induce his remaining supporters to stick with him, and that enough of the forty-odd percent who claim to oppose him will pull the Democrat lever as well out of fear -- fear of retribution and fear of losing what shreds they have left of their security as one from the gaggle of lame Republican contenders attempts to reverse the damage Obama has done.

The elderly are the most obvious target. ObamaCare frightened them because of its potential negative impact on Medicare, and this presented a problem for the President. So Obama moved recently to postpone one of the more onerous elements of his health reform until after the election. With that flank secure he is free to focus the Medicare fears of the elderly on the Ryan budget blueprint.

On the union front, the Obama gang fostered maximum thuggery and rancor in Madison, as teachers became screaming harpies and schoolchildren pawns. The line was clearly drawn -- standing between fiscal prudence and public employee vested interests is Obama, so stick with him or else. What about the business community? Obama has assiduously used executive and regulatory power to show that crony capitalism works for his friends like GE, GM, and assorted connected green scam artists, but the retributive hand of his federal Myrmidons can be heavy indeed. One frightened hedge fund magnate recently was reduced to whistling past the graveyard: "I am sure, if we are really nice and stay quiet, everything will be alright and the president will become more centrist and that all his tough talk is just words...I mean, he really loves us and when he beats us, he doesn't mean it." (Notwithstanding, he has apparently begun contributing to Republicans. Now that is hedging.)

Some elements of an ever more pervasive sense of fear and anxiety are more directly attributable to Obama policies than others. Regardless, the parlous state of the nation overall, from what appears to be a fraying social fabric at fast food joints from coast to coast and soaring gold prices, to a feckless foreign policy allegedly necessitated by a reported presidential conviction "that the relative power of the U.S. is declining," reinforces the more directly-attributable fear and anxiety effects of fight fight. Some are scared to oppose, some are scared that with a change they will lose even more, some are scared that the price of saving the economy, our institutions, and restoring our international standing will be too high.

Right now the course of the campaign is being controlled by the Administration. The first step in wresting the initiative is to recognize their strategy.
2)The Debt Ceiling: Myths and Facts
Default won't happen, since we're collecting plenty in taxes to pay our interest obligations.

Since 1962, the U.S. has reached its debt ceiling 74 times, about once every eight months. Every time, the ceiling has been raised with little notice outside Washington and little, if any, change in the trajectory of government spending. But when opposing parties have held the White House and Congress, the process has always resembled a Kabuki dance. What should be a debate becomes an exercise in scoring political points.

In one such exercise in 2006, congressional Democrats criticized the Bush deficits and publicly refused to raise the ceiling, yet they had every intention of doing so. Almost daily their leadership called Bush administration officials—including me, since I was the relevant point-person—to ensure they knew when the ceiling would be breached, so they could strike a deal before reaching the limit.

The difference today is that—in the wake of news like Standard & Poor's revising its outlook for the U.S. to "negative" and Pimco shedding U.S. Treasurys—the world is watching. Observers around the globe can expect to hear many old myths:

• The Treasury is certain that there will be wrenching dislocations in the capital markets if the ceiling is not raised. In fact, there is no secret Treasury analysis suggesting the world will collapse. Because we've always raised the ceiling, we simply don't know the consequences of not doing so. Four times the ceiling has been reached, remaining in place for months while Congress found consensus, and there was no disruption to the capital markets.

The real disruption would result from the sudden drop in federal spending and its significant impact on economic activity. But that would be partly offset by a stronger dollar, a healthier balance sheet, and the removal of the uncertainty which clouds our markets today. Near-term economic dislocation might be the painful medicine necessary for long-term health.

The Treasury will raid pension funds to avoid exceeding the debt ceiling.When the ceiling is reached but not exceeded, the Treasury has lawful tools to free up borrowing capacity and prolong the time until the ceiling's technical breaching. The Treasury correctly calls the tools "extraordinary" since they are out of the ordinary course of business, but in reality they are neither extreme nor dangerous.

Still, if Treasury deploys these tools, expect Democrats to claim that Republican intransigence is forcing the administration to take drastic measures. Such demagoguery can yield political fruit because Treasury's tools include postponing transfers of U.S. Treasurys that would otherwise go to pension funds such as the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund.

But Treasury would be required to restore these funds upon any budget agreement: No retiree will lose a penny by virtue of the Treasury's technical use of its time-tested tools.

It is critical that we not default, but we don't have to. Hitting the ceiling means that we can spend only what we collect in taxes. According to the Congressional Budget Office, tax revenues for 2011 will be around $2.2 trillion, with net interest on the debt costing $225 billion. We can afford that interest and therefore not default. Also, Congress could pass legislation requiring the government to honor interest payments before any other expense, thereby avoiding a technical default.

Not raising the current ceiling would please our creditors who, like all lenders, care simply that they be paid timely interest and principal. Leaving the ceiling in place and restricting further debt would, in the long run, make that more likely.

But the reality is that the debt ceiling will be raised once again. By law, Congress must pick a specific number, which will be the subject of intense negotiation behind the scenes. Those negotiations will also determine the timing of the next debt ceiling debate. If past is prologue, that could be during the election year of 2012.

Mr. Henry, the CEO of Henry, Tiger, LLC, was an assistant secretary of the Treasury from 2005 to 2007.
3)When will Obama crack in public?
Posted: April 19, 2011
by Mychal Massie

At a time when many Americans can barely afford Burger King and a movie, Obama boasts of spending a billion dollars on his re-election campaign. Questioned at a recent appearance about the spiraling fuel costs, Obama said, "Get used to it" – and with an insouciant grin and chortle, he told another person at the event, who complained about the effect high fuel prices were having on his family, to "get a more fuel-efficient car."

The Obamas behave as if they were sharecroppers living in a trailer and hit the Powerball, but instead of getting new tires for their trailer and a new pickup truck, they moved to Washington. And instead of making possum pie, with goats and chickens in the front yard, they're spending and living large at taxpayer expense – opulent vacations, gala balls, resplendent dinners and exclusive command performances at the White House, grand date nights, golf, basketball, more golf, exclusive resorts and still more golf.

Expensive, ill-fitting and ill-chosen wigs and fashions hardly befit the first lady of the United States. The Obamas have behaved in every way but presidential – which is why it's so offensive when we hear Obama say, in order "to restore fiscal responsibility, we all need to share in the sacrifice – but we don't have to sacrifice the America we believe in."

The American people have been sacrificing; it is he and his family who are behaving as if they've never had two nickels to rub together – and now, having hit the mother lode, they're going to spend away their feelings of inadequacy at the taxpayers' expense.

Obama continues to exhibit behavior that, at best, can be described as mobocratic and, at worst, reveals a deeply damaged individual. In a February 2010 column, I asked, "Is Obama unraveling?" I wrote that it was beginning to appear the growing mistrust of him and contempt for his policies was beginning to have a destabilizing effect on him.

At that time, I wrote that not having things go one's way can be a bitter pill, but reasonable people don't behave as he was behaving. He had insulted Republicans at their luncheon, where he had been an invited guest. I had speculated that was, in part, what had led him to falsely accuse Supreme Court justices before Congress, the nation and the world, during the 2010 State of the Union address.

It appeared, at that time, as if he were "fraying around the emotional edges." That behavior has not abated – it has become more pronounced. While addressing the nation, after being forced to explain the validity of his unilateral aggression with Libya, America witnessed a petulant individual scowling and scolding the public for daring to insist he explain his actions.

But during an afternoon speech to address the budget/debt, he took his scornful, unstable despotic behavior to depths that should give the nation cause for concern. Displaying a
dark psychopathy more representative of an episode of "The Tudors" television series, he invited Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to sit in the front row during his speech and then proceeded to berate both Ryan and Ryan's budget-cutting plan. Even liberal Democrats were put off by the act. MSNBC's Joe Scarborough questioned the sanity of Obama's actions.

Today, criticism is coming from all sides. A senior Democrat lawmaker said, "I have been very disappointed in [Obama], to the point where I'm embarrassed that I endorsed him. It's
so bad that some of us are thinking, is there some way we can replace him? How do you get rid of this guy?" ("Democrats' Disgust with Obama," The Daily Beast, April 15, 2011)

Steve McCann wrote: Obama's speech "was chock full of lies, deceit and crass fear-mongering. It must be said that [he] is the most dishonest, deceitful and mendacious person in a position of power I have ever witnessed" ("The Mendacity of Barack Obama,", April 15, 2011).

McCann continued: "[His] performance was the culmination of four years of outright lies and narcissism that have been largely ignored by the media, including some in the conservative press and political class who are loath to call [him] what he is in the bluntest of terms: a liar and a fraud. That he relies on his skin color to intimidate, either outright or by insinuation [against] those who oppose his radical agenda only add to his audacity. It is apparent that he has gotten away with his character flaws his entire life, aided and abetted by sycophants around him. …"

With these being among the kinder rebukes being directed at Obama, and with people becoming less intimidated by his willingness to use race as a bludgeon, with falling poll numbers in every meaningful category and an increasingly aggressive tea-party opposition – how much longer before he cracks completely?

The coming months of political life are not going to be pleasant for Obama. Possessed by a self-perceived palatine mindset, that in his mind places him above criticism, how long before he cracks in public? Can America risk a man with a documented track record of lying and misrepresenting truth as a basic way of life, who is becoming increasingly more contumelious?

Mychal Massie is chairman of the National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives-Project 21 – a conservative black think tank located in Washington, D.C. He was recognized as the 2008 Conservative

Man of the Year by the Conservative Party of Suffolk County, N.Y. He is a nationally recognized political activist, pundit and columnist. He has appeared on Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN, NBC,

Comcast Cable and talk radio programming nationwide. A former self-employed business owner of more than 30 years, Massie can be followed at
4)Bernanke to Press: 'We’ve Made a Lot of Progress,' but Not Enough to Change Course
By Andrew Packer

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0diggsdiggIt was a news conference held by a central banker, full of empty words and invented phrases, signifying nothing new. A politician couldn’t have done better.

The Federal Reserve’s news conference today was a first for the notoriously secretive institution. It underscored demand for more scrutiny of the Fed following its asset purchase programs over the past two and a half years.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke used this news conference to affirm the Fed’s outlook on the economy, nothing the need to keep interest rates near zero for “an extended period.”

That’s Fed-speak for “more of the same.”

Rates aren’t going anywhere, and the Fed won’t shrink its balance sheet when its asset-purchase program ends in June.

As for inflation, it’s “transitory,” according to Bernanke — meaning he expects the recent increase to fade over time.

The numbers at the grocery store and the gas pump tell a different story.

Since the start of the year, gold has risen 7 percent. Silver has surged 49 percent. Grains and other agricultural commodities have risen an average of 15 percent. Oil prices have risen 19 percent.

The only thing that’s falling right now? According to the Case-Shiller Index, it's housing.

While the Fed’s stated goal is to create “price stability,” since the Fed came into being the value of the US dollar has been consistently debased. The dollar is currently at an all-time low when measured against the purchasing power of other currencies.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Forex traders are eyeing the dollar as a potential short if it continues to break through to new lows. When the dollar falls, everything from commodities to stocks rise in price.

Markets continued yesterday’s rally, reaching session highs during the conference. That signals an expectation that the Fed will continue to provide liquidity as needed, even if it needs a new name.

The Fed’s other goal, promoting full employment, hasn’t been successful either. Bernanke noted that the unemployment situation is the worst of the post-World War II era, although there’s been a slight decline in unemployment since the beginning of the year.

While Bernanke heralded the lack of deflation and the slight decline in unemployment as progress, he admitted that there’s still a long way to go and economic growth remains weak.

Bernanke also mentioned during the conference that he’s an open advocate of transparency, and that markets would note the Fed’s planned actions and make price adjustments accordingly.

The markets heard Bernanke, loud and clear. It’s still risk-on for markets.
5)How Leon Panetta could change Washington as next Defense secretary
By Anna Mulrine

The dynamics he faces and the internal politics he must confront

Among President Obama's greatest national security challenges has been deciding who will replace Defense Secretary Robert Gates, as the widely popular Pentagon chief prepares to leave his post this summer.

Coming to that decision has involved a delicate confluence of considerations. Who is suitably steeped in defense policy matters? Who will have credibility both with the White House and within the halls of the Pentagon? And equally important, how will a new Defense secretary affect the balance of power within Mr. Obama's cabinet?

The withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, scheduled to begin this summer, has no doubt factored into the deliberations about a defense chief. That official, and the entire national security team, will also have to grapple with the continued US presence in Iraq, the nuclear ambitions of Iran, and something closer to home: the difficult decisions that the Pentagon leader will have to make about the defense budget.

The White House has confirmed that today Obama will name Leon Panetta, currently director of the Central Intelligence Agency, as the next Defense secretary. And Gen. David Petraeus, now the top US commander in Afghanistan, will take Mr. Panetta's place at the CIA.

It remains to be seen whether Panetta, like Secretary Gates himself, will align closely with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in defense policy debates, or with Vice President Joe Biden, who has lobbied hard to step up the pace of the departure of US troops from Afghanistan.

As it stands now, Gates and Secretary Clinton are "an extraordinarily powerful team," says retired Army Lt. Col. John Nagl, who heads the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank that has served as a recruiting ground for the Obama administration. "They're very pragmatic, and they've gained strength from reinforcing each other and from developing what appears to be a very genuine rapport."

This rapport was not necessarily Obama's chief aim when he assembled his cabinet. He subscribed to a philosophy that involved facilitating debate "by bringing people together who weren't likely to agree with each other, and didn't have much of a relationship with him," says Stephen Biddle, an adviser to senior military officials including Petraeus and a defense policy analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. "In the next round, he may want to bring in people he has had more of a relationship with."

This could, in turn, portend policy changes. "The power narrative of this administration on security issues has been an alliance between Clinton and Gates against the vice president and the national security adviser," Dr. Biddle says. "From what I can tell, neither of the camps has ever persuaded the other of its views, and neither one has made much effort at breaking into the other's fortress. What you get is a series of compromised stalemates."

More shifts are in store for Obama's national security team. The current term of Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ends later this year. He is widely expected to be replaced by Gen. James Cartwright, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

Today, Obama will also announce a new ambassador to Afghanistan: veteran diplomat Ryan Crocker.

For now, the role of the next Defense secretary looms largest. Someone more closely aligned with Mr. Biden, analysts point out, could conceivably spur a renewed push for a speedier withdrawal from Afghanistan. Panetta is a longtime friend of Biden, with whom he served in Congress, and they have a history of supporting each other in White House power struggles.

During his time at the CIA, Panetta has intensified drone strikes against insurgents in Pakistan — an approach that Biden, too, has supported.

Still, in Afghanistan, it's another matter whether a stepped-up US troop withdrawal makes political sense. Currently, the US public is relatively quiet on the issue, Biddle points out. Polls that find the pubic generally supports bringing troops home also find that those people "aren't paying that much attention to the war," he says.

Quicken the pace of US troop withdrawals, and the GOP has new ammunition. "It runs the risk of changing the politics of the war," says Biddle. "The controversy level could increase radically — and Republicans could decide it's a chance to attack the president as soft on terrorism." Staying the course in Afghanistan, then, seems a prudent move going into the 2012 election season, he adds.

News of the expected nominations was greeted with skepticism in some circles. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) of California, for example, questioned the choice of Petraeus (who will retire from the military before assuming the CIA post). The general is more a "consumer" of intelligence than a producer, she argued. A White House official disputed this characterization, saying he was deeply steeped in intelligence matters.

In any event, his move is widely seen as a bid to bring further national security credibility to the administration. "Petraeus as CIA director brings complete fluency to the war in Afghanistan," Dr. Nagl says.

Petraeus is likely to support Biden's push for an advisory and counterterrorism-focused mission in Afghanistan — eventually. "Petraeus would argue that conditions on the ground need to be set first — from the insurgency being diminished and the Afghan security forces being strengthened" before the US military can do more advising and less fighting, Nagl says.

Ultimately, however, the new Defense secretary's agenda is likely to be driven less by wars half a world away and more by budget matters — a key concern for voters.

Panetta's experience as former director of the Office of Management and Budget is likely to be "his single most important skill set," Nagl says. "It's hard to imagine someone better for the job on paper."

Momentum has been gathering to make considerable reductions in the defense budget. "If Gates has cut away the fat" from much of military spending, "then increasingly we're cutting away at muscle," says Andrew Krepinevich, president for the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment in Washington.

Yet the pressure for cuts comes at a time when security challenges are increasing, analysts like Dr. Krepinevich argue. The challenge for the White House will be thinking strategically about which priorities can be trimmed — and which cannot.

China, for example, "is engaged in a military buildup trying to shift the military balance" in the Pacific, says Krepinevich. "Are we going to be a counterbalance?"

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, who had been considered a possibility for the Defense secretary job, cited China on Wednesday as one of the most underestimated threats that the US military faces.

Also, the protests throughout the Middle East could mean changes in US relations. "Turkey, some former strong Arab allies like Egypt, and even Saudi Arabia are beginning to question their relationship with the United States," Krepinevich says.

Iraq, too, remains an area of concern for the Pentagon — particularly if the Iraqi government requests that 20,000 US troops stay in the country after December, when all US troops there are slated to return home.

Moreover, Iran continues to pursue its nuclear ambitions.

These myriad pressures will keep building — and stress the Obama administration, Krepinevich says.

"Traditionally, when we've drawn down our military budget, it's been at the end of wars," he says. The current national security challenges are likely to mean that the "world will be a more dangerous place at the end of this decade than it is now."

Obama's team will also have challenges prioritizing national security issues amid economic strains. So the president may decide when he appoints the new Defense secretary, " 'Enough of this cabinet of rivals,' " says Biddle. That would probably lead to "less debate and more decision."
6)The room was full of pregnant women with their partners. The class was in full swing. The instructor was teaching the women how to breathe and was telling the men how to give the necessary assurance to their partners at this stage of the pregnancy.

She said "Ladies, remember that exercise is good for you. Walking is especially beneficial. It strengthens the pelvic muscles and will make delivery that much easier. Just make several stops and stay on a soft surface like grass or a path."

She looked at the men in the room, "Gentlemen, remember, you're in this

together. It wouldn't hurt you to go walking with her."

The room suddenly got very quiet as the men absorbed this information.

Then a man at the back of the room slowly raised his hand.

"Yes?" answered the Instructor.

"I was just wondering if it would be all right if she carries a golf bag

while we walk?"

This kind of sensitivity just can't be taught.