Monday, March 9, 2009

More Questions Than Answers; More Problems Than Solutions?

More Questions Than Answers; More Problems Than Solutions? 


“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude
than the animating contest of freedom, — go from us in peace. We ask
not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed
you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget
that ye were our countrymen!”

-Sam Adams-


Leahy Announces List of Witnesses For 'Truth Commission' Hearing
The Public Record - Los Angeles,California,USA
Pelosi, who refused to hold impeachment hearings when George W. Bush was President, signaled that she now prefers a proposal by House Judiciary Committee ...
See all stories on this topic




Join the Call For A Special Prosecutor To  Bring Former High American Officials  To Justice For Acts  Of Torture, Constitutional Violations And War Crimes.


Full Impeach, Indict, And Prosecute Posting:







Barack Obama may subject US troops to International Criminal Court


They are feeling good just now at The Hague, as the judges and pen-pushers of the International Criminal Court (ICC) adjourn to smart restaurants to celebrate the latest gesture-politics flexing of their muscles by issuing an arrest warrant for Omar al Bashir, the President of Sudan. They are feeling less good in Darfur, from which 10 international aid agencies were expelled in retaliation within four hours of the ICC initiative, cutting food supplies and closing clinics. One man's ego trip is another man's starvation.


But the people who should be feeling really nervous about this development are the citizens of the United States and more especially their armed forces. The signs are that the grandstanding Barack Obama is preparing to subject the United States to the jurisdiction of the ICC. In May, 2002 President Bush withdrew the United States from the Rome Statute which established the ICC. With America heading into global conflict, he had no wish to see US troops arraigned for alleged war crimes before a kangaroo court.


That was a wise decision and probably required in terms of the US Constitution. Already, however, the Obama administration is sending out very different messages. America helped defeat a proposal that the warrant for Bashir should be suspended for 12 months - which would have been a welcome respite for the soup kitchens of Darfur. This is a policy change of considerable significance.


Nor is it the only straw in the wind. Last month US Ambassador Susan Rice, in a closed meeting of the Security Council, supported the ICC, saying it "looks to become an important and credible instrument for trying to hold accountable the senior leadership responsible for atrocities committed in the Congo, Uganda and Darfur". A week later Ben Chang, spokesman for National Security Advisor General James Jones, took a similar line, telling the Washington Times: "We support the ICC in its pursuit of those who've perpetrated war crimes."


The next logical step is for the United States to sign up to the ICC. That would flatter Obama's ego as the conscience of the world. It would also put US servicemen at the mercy of any American-hating opportunists who might choose to arraign them on trumped-up charges before an alien court whose judges are likely to be ill-disposed towards America too.


In a joint analysis by David Scheffer (who helped set up the ICC) and John Hutson (former US Navy Judge Advocate General), the authors wrote: "If the United States were to join the ICC, one would have to accept at least the theoretical possibility that American citizens (particularly political and military leaders) could be prosecuted before the ICC on charges of committing atrocity crimes."


So, vengeful Democrats could facilitate the indictment of President George W Bush and all his senior commanders in Iraq. American troops on active service have been shown in polls to have little confidence in Barack Obama. His overtures to the ICC will hardly reverse that tendency.


Political Pundit Place: Yes, Actually, We Do Need To Bring Back ...By BarbieSkySwensson 
So let us keep the heat on local state prosecutors to indict
 Bush and. Cheney for murder as counseled by Vince Bugliosi, and you can use the local prosecutor lookup on the page below to 

instantly lookup the ...Political Pundit Place -">Widgetbox!


Or will you stay this side of the Jack Bauer political firewall? This is important. You see, because the dirty little secret of Bush\'s conduct of the War on Terror is that Jack had the wrong guys all along.OpEdNews - OpEdNews.Com Progressive,... - 

By dandelionsalad 

 The Most Successful American President: George W. Bush, Part 1 By Steven Jonas, MD, MPH

Republicans See Their Party As Leaderless

Who's in charge here?


Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Republican voters say their party has no clear leader, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Another 17% are undecided.


Just five percent (5%) view either John McCain, the GOP's unsuccessful 2008 presidential candidate, or new party chairman Michael Steele as the party's leader.


Two percent (2%) see conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh in that role, and one percent (1%) name McCain's running mate, Alaska Govenror Sarah Palin. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner are each seen as GOP leader by less than one-half of one percent.


Democrats have no question who's in charge. Two-thirds of the party's voters (66%) see President Barack Obama as their leader. Nobody else reaches even the five percent (5%) level.


(Want a free daily e-mail update? Sign up now. If it's in the news, it's in our polls.) Rasmussen Reports updates also available on Twitter.


Only 10% of Democrats say the party has no clear leader. Four percent (4%) say House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is in charge, while two percent (2%) list longtime Massachusetts Senator Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy and one percent name political comedian Jon Stewart. Sixteen percent (16%) of Democratic voters are not sure.


Democrats and unaffiliated voters agree on the leaderless GOP. Eighty-six percent (86%) of Democrats say the Republicans have no clear leader or that they're not sure who's in charge. Eighty-eight percent (88%) of unaffiliated voters agree.


Democrats are more likely to see Rush Limbaugh as the GOP leader: Seven percent (7%) of those in Obama’s party hold that view.


Republicans and unaffiliated voters are not as sure that Obama is the Democratic Party leader. Just 41% of unaffiliated voters see Obama as party chief, along with 35% of Republicans.


Among unaffiliated voters, 24% say there is no clear leader of the Democratic Party, 21% are not sure, and 10% see Pelosi as the real leader of the party.


Among Republicans, a plurality (37%) say there is no clear Democratic Party leader. Sixteen percent (16%) of the GOP faithful are not sure who leads the Democrats, and nine percent (9%) say Pelosi is the boss.


Last week, Rasmussen Reports found that just 11% of Republicans agreed with the statement “Rush Limbaugh is the leader of the Republican Party. He says jump, and they say how high.” This was a comment made by Brad Woodhouse, president of an advocacy group running national television ads linking Limbaugh to the Republican Party. His comment came at the same time that top White House officials were saying Limbaugh is the leader of the GOP.


Some pundits, however, wondered if the harsh nature of the quote might have diminished the apparent support for Limbaugh as party leader. In the current survey, we simply asked if Limbaugh is the leader of the Republican Party. The different wording had virtually no impact on the GOP responses: Only 10% said yes.


However, the different wording had a significant impact on Democrats who were evenly divided over the question when it included the second sentence, “He says jump, and they say how high.” When asked straight out if Limbaugh is the leader of the Republican Party, only 21% said yes and 60% said no. Among unaffiliated voters, just nine percent (9%) see Limbaugh as the GOP leader and 77% do not.


Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it’s free)… let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.


Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.


This telephone survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports March 6-7, 2009. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/-3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence (see methodology).



Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

Predict the Poll Results: What Will Obama's Approval Index Be on April 30, 2009?

What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls

A Mud Fight of Civil Rights By Debra J. Saunders

Unemployment Report Drives Consumer and Investor Confidence to Record Lows

Voters Divided on Obama Budget

Obama Lied; The Economy Died By Tony Blankley

Just 32% Have Favorable Opinion of General Motors

Number Who Say U.S. Is Heading In Right Direction Hits Another High

Approval Of Congress Up, But Voters Downplay Its Accomplishments


State Sen. John Edwards apparently on federal judgeship short list
Roanoke Times - Roanoke,VA,USA
Mark Warner and Jim Webb, who will in turn make recommendations to President Obama. "We are aware of a number of exceptional candidates who have expressed ...



Wasting Away in Hooverville by Jonathan Chait


A generation ago, the total dismissal of the New Deal remained a marginal sentiment in American politics. Ronald Reagan boasted of having voted for Franklin Roosevelt. Neoconservatives long maintained that American liberalism had gone wrong only in the 1960s. Now, decades after Democrats grew tired of accusing Republicans of emulating Herbert Hoover, Republicans have begun sounding ... well, exactly like Herbert Hoover. When President Obama recently met with House Republicans, the eighty-two-year-old Roscoe G. Bartlett told him that "I was there" during the New Deal, and, according to one account, "assert[ed] that government intervention did not work then, either." George F. Will, speaking on the Sunday talk show "This Week," declared not long ago, "Before we go into a new New Deal, can we just acknowledge that the first New Deal didn't work?"


When Republicans announce that the New Deal failed--as they now do, over and over again, without any reproach from their own side--they usually say that the case has been proven by the conservative columnist Amity Shlaes in her book The Forgotten Man. Though Shlaes's revisionist history of the New Deal came out a year and a half ago, to wild acclaim on the right, its popularity seems to be peaking now. Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard recently called Shlaes one of the Republican party's major assets. "Amity Shlaes's book on the failure of the New Deal to revive the economy, The Forgotten Man, was widely read by Republicans in Washington," he reported. "So were her compelling articles on that subject in mainstream newspapers."


This is no exaggeration. The Forgotten Man has been publicly touted by such Republican luminaries as Newt Gingrich, Rudolph Giuliani, Mark Sanford, Jon Kyl, and Mike Pence. Senator John Barrasso was so eager to tout The Forgotten Man that last month he waved around a copy and announced, "in these economic times, a number of members of the Senate are reading a book called The Forgotten Man, about the history of the Great Depression, as we compare and look for solutions, as we look at a stimulus package." Barrasso offered this unsolicited testimonial, apropos of nothing whatsoever, during the confirmation hearing for Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Chu politely ignored the rave, thus giving no sign as to whether he had heard the Good News. Whether or not The Forgotten Man actually persuaded conservatives that the New Deal failed, in the time of their political exile, which is also a time of grave economic crisis, it has become the scripture to which they have flocked….


What's the president's rationale for keeping so many legal skeletons in the closet?

By Dahlia Lithwick


Having inherited an undifferentiated mass of legal "war on terror" doctrine from the Bush administration's constitutional chop shop, President Obama finds himself in the position of being Bush's Secret-Keeper. Picking its way warily through a minefield of secrecy and privacy claims, the Obama administration this week released nine formerly classified legal opinions produced in the Office of Legal Counsel (while holding back others that are being sought) and brokered a deal whereby Karl Rove and Harriet Miers will finally testify about the U.S. attorney firings (but not publicly). Meanwhile, the administration clings to its bizarre decision to hold fast to the Bush administration's all-encompassing view of the "state secrets" privilege, and the Nixonian view of executive power deployed to justify it. The Obama administration has also been quick to embrace the Bush view of secrecy in cases involving the disclosure of Bush era e-mails and has dragged its feet in various other cases seeking Bush-era records. If there is a coherent disclosure principle at work here, I have yet to discern it….


The Slightest Glimmer 


In light of the week's terrible economic news we asked Simon Johnson, a professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management, a Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and co-founder of Baseline Scenario, if there were any reasons, any at all, to feel hopeful. Here's what he wrote. 

The most dangerous thing in any economic crisis is denial. West European countries are still refusing to come to grips with the new (downward-looking) realities in East-Central Europe and what that means for their banks and their fiscal solvency. Most Asian countries have yet to wake up to the implications for their export sectors, their real estate markets, and their social stability. And almost no commodity producers in the Latin America or Africa fully comprehend how this gathering storm will affect either elite pocketbooks or the masses of already desperately poor.

Since President Obama's election, the degree of denial in the United States has fallen dramatically. At his press conference on February 9th the President said:


If you delay acting on an economy of this severity, then you potentially create a negative spiral that becomes much more difficult for us to get out of. We saw this happen in Japan in the 1990s, where they did not act boldly and swiftly enough, and as a consequence they suffered what was called the "lost decade" where essentially for the entire '90s they did not see any significant economic growth.


This was an accurate and remarkable statement of our predicament--remember that U.S. presidents usually choke on a word as mild as "recession."

Since then, of course, we've seen a fiscal stimulus which--while not ideal--is quite an achievement in this political system. We're also seeing the development of an approach to housing that represents a major step forward. But there is one major aspect of denial still remaining: the scale and nature of our banking difficulties.

Until this week, leading officials were downplaying the problems. Chairman Ben Bernanke's and Secretary Tim Geithner's recent appearances on Capitol Hill appeared designed to be reassuring, but few were convinced. The line from the White House was: We can't do more at this time, because there wouldn't be support on the Hill--particularly in the Senate. The market perception of default risks in and around major banks has consequently risen sharply, suggesting that we are heading for a sudden showdown.

Yet, just as the future seems most bleak, some glimmers of hope shine through. Leading figures in the Senate are making it clear that they see the need for urgent action on major financial institutions and would support the deployment of sufficiently massive resources to that end. Senator Kent Conrad, chair of the Budget Committee, has been making this point at least since January; he was joined last week by Senator John Kerry, chair of the Foreign Relations Committee. And, most concretely, Senator Chris Dodd--chair of the Banking Committee--has just introduced legislation (at the behest of Bernanke, Geithner, and Sheila Bair, the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.) that would substantially increase the resources available to the FDIC. This falls easily into the category of "sensible preparations that should have been in place long ago."

There are no magic bullets for this situation. Whatever happens, the financial situation will be difficult, and we cannot expect to turn any corners soon. But we should take some reassurance from the sight of leading senators working closely with an administration that may be coming to its senses. We may finally be done with denial.


--Simon Johnson



No comments:

Post a Comment

Fair Use Notice: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.