First, Barack Obama won't make a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, until House Republicans force his hand and he denies approval. Then Obama claims to want an "all of the above" energy policy and the White House "welcomes" the news that TransCanada would start building the pipeline anyway. Just how "welcome" was that news? According to Politico, Obama has begun to lobby Senate Democrats against an effort that would expedite approval for Keystone:
President Barack Obama is intervening in a Senate fight over the Keystone XL oil pipeline and personally lobbying Democrats to reject an amendment calling for its construction, according to several sources familiar with the talks.
The White House lobbying effort, including phone calls from the president to Democrats, signals that the vote could be close when it heads to the floor Thursday. The president is trying to defeat an amendment that would give election-year fodder to his Republican critics who have accused him of blocking a job-creating energy project at a time of high gas prices.
The pipeline would create 20,000 jobs and provide a much-needed expansion of North American oil resources to American refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. Even the NYT's Joe Nocera recognizes the ability of Keystone and the massive amounts of natural gas in the US to free us of our dependency on overseas oil resources. Obama's own State Department -- on which Obama tried to lay the blame for the permit rejection -- stated in a report that the Keystone pipeline was strategically critical for the US, and that the risk to the environment was overstated:
TransCanada Corp. (TRP)'s proposed $7 billion pipeline to Gulf Coast refiners poses "no significant impacts to most resources" along its route across six states, a U.S. State Department environmental review found. ...
The pipeline is needed to maintain supplies of heavy crude oil to Gulf Coast refineries as imports decline, according to today's State Department report. Imports from Mexico andVenezuela are falling while refining capacity in the Gulf Coast is projected to rise by 500,000 barrels a day by 2020.
Alberta oil is separated from sand and clay with intense heat in a process that releases more greenhouse gases than pumping conventional crude. Representative Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, has said the pipeline will carry "the dirtiest source of transportation fuel" available.
With gas prices spiking upward, voters will wonder why Obama seems so keen on blocking a pipeline that will create jobs, bring more supply on line, improve the US strategic position on energy, and pose little risk to the environment. That doesn't look at all like an "all of the above" solution, or a "welcoming" attitude, does it? He was against it, before he was for it, before he was against it. But only if that is what you want.
He's against and has always been against it. But he also knows it will hurt his re-election campaign, and so has to play this game.
Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sebelius appeared flummoxed by questioning from Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) at a hearing on the new health care law Wednesday.
Nice volley back and forth...
Johnson challenged Sebelius over a number of the Obama administration's claims about the new health care law, namely that it will reduce the deficit and allow individuals to keep their current healthcare plans.
On several occasions, Sebelius professed to have "no idea" what Johnson was talking about.
Transcript at link. Fucking idiot.
Oh no, no idiot at all. She was put in an impossible situation. Of course it adds to the deficit. She knows it full well but she dare not say that because it will kill Champ's re-election campaign right there.
It's like how Panetta yesterday hinted that Champ needs only international approval to start a war, not Congressional approval. Since that's what Champ thinks and has already done with the Libyan War Kinetic Action, you think Panetta will say anything different to the Congress?
No my friend, these folks are a lot of things, but they aren't idiots. This game is played at a very high level.
"Sebelius Has 'No Idea' If Obamacare Adds to the Deficit"
Posted by: Barbara ||
She is getting paid to do exactly this - shrug her shoulders and look the confused grandma.
Look, she knows dead babies saves money, and she knows government activity costs money, by her own words the other day.
In our (Kansas) defense, she is not a Kansan, she is of a professional political family tree from Ohio who found a booster, got her elected to any office available at the time..it just so happened the % showed Comissioner of Insurance in Kansas. Her boosters allowed her a State of the Union dissending opinion long ago, in exchange she didn't take a crap without getting direct marching orders from HQ, hell it took her 3 days to make a statement about Greensburg and when she did it was Global Warming and W's fault (KS Nat Guard troops were in Iraq at the time but not the MASH unit caugh caugh (then didn't go to their homecoming because KU won some ballgame)), so she poured millions into that boondoggle to pump the green movement.
No, she was selected for HHS for this very moment. Instead, grill her about dead babie=great savings, and why she has signed waivers which bypass the legal prosecution of lawful Congressional bills that is unless of course the law is illegal. She is not good on her feet so get her off script.
These people don't have any idea about what anything costs. Furthermore, they don't give a flip. That is why a second term would be disastrous. But then I tend to think that is the plan. What was it Napolitano called terrorism--"man-made disasters?" Hmmmm.
parroting the part/Obama line in the face of factual and constitutional evidence otherwise, is NOT "playing at a very high level". I'd like to see prison sentences for Holder, et al for violating their oths
Posted by: Frank G ||
I listened to the recording. The only real problem is that Panetta has a poor command of the English language.
It helps to understand how US involved coalitions work.
1) The president tries to get other nations to join the coalition. Then the US military coordinates with these other militaries to figure out the mission objectives and logistics, assignments, ROEs and other details. No congressional involvement at this point.
2) While the president is doing this, he informally keeps in touch with the senate so they know what's going on and put in their two cents. However, they do not vote on it until after hostilities have commenced and the War Powers Act requires the president to report to them.
3) At that point, they may choose to vote in favor, vote against (unlikely), or do nothing.
4) However, while this is going on, the militaries are cooperating in all sorts of ways that congress is not involved in at all. The military does not want them involving themselves and trying to micromanage the conflict.
Importantly, while only the congress can declare war, because of the Geneva Conventions, congress will never again declare war, as such. This has been the case since the Korean conflict, a "police action", not a war.
The one exception will be if a major power declares war against the US first, as did the Japanese and the Germans in WWII. Then the US can "declare war back."
3) At that point, they may choose to vote in favor, vote against (unlikely), or do nothing.
Or they can cut all funding for any operation. They hold the purse strings by law. The Founding Fathers prior history as English subjects influenced their writing of the Constitution with the retention of that specific power.
First stone tools, now Mayors. What will they think of next?
Posted by: Eric Jablow ||
Just because you're a conspiracy theorist doesn't mean your stopped watch isn't still right twice a day.
In particular, they noted the extensive connections between Obama's family and the CIA, which of course they assumed was nefarious.
But what if it isn't? That is, the US has had several presidents that were formerly military, and one who had been head of the CIA. There really shouldn't be any reservations about a former agent, or someone from a CIA-associated family, running for president.
However, if one such person has their background intentionally, and expensively, garbled by the CIA, this does become somewhat problematic, because the public does have a "need to know" what the *real* background of its elected officials is.
I suspect that some bad judgment was involved, based on the possibly correct assumption that Americans would not elect someone with a deep, known and functional agency role, as distinguished from an appointed and political role, with the intelligence community.
So in future, if the CIA wants to pull another stunt like this, or allow one to happen, it needs to do so as if it was a separate political party, at first only fielding candidates for public office who are known for their moderation and inoffensiveness *after* they have left behind all association with the agency.
Running a candidate for US senate, and then POTUS, or *allowing* them to run, as if it was a covert operation, is a serious no-no, and the CIA should be chastised for doing it. It presents a major conflict of interest and a corruption of the system.
Whether or not a punishment is inflicted to the agency for doing this is of little concern. They did it and got away with it. Once. That is enough. If they ever try this stunt again it should be regarded as an anti-American act, and they should be severely criminally punished.
Yawn. Sorry, folks, this is indeed a smoking gun. It pisses me off immensely. Affirmative Action pisses me off and this goes way beyond that. But I don't believe it'll make a dime's worth of difference in November. We knew about Bill Ayers, Saul Alinsky, Jeremiah Wright, etc. before November 2008 and it didn't matter. It won't matter this year either. That's because you won't hear a peep about it on ABC, CBS or NBC. There will be no mention of it in the New York Times or any other major newspaper. You talk to most people and they never even heard of Andrew Breitbart. Sorry, but that is the sad truth. We're just not there yet.
Strangely, South Africa's onerous "BEE" (Black Economic Empowerment) programs are designed to assist the MAJORITY, while our, nearly as onerous Affirmative Action programs are designed to assist the MINORITY.
Somewhere, investigate that incessant ringing! It could be a TELEPHONE! (or am I just crazy)
Why is the Los Angeles Times sitting on a videotape of the 2003 farewell bash in Chicago at which Barack Obama lavished praise on the guest of honor, Rashid Khalidi -- former mouthpiece for master terrorist Yasser Arafat?
At the time Khalidi, a PLO adviser turned University of Chicago professor, was headed east to Columbia. There he would take over the University's Middle East-studies program (which he has since maintained as a bubbling cauldron of anti-Semitism) and assume the professorship endowed in honor of Edward Sayyid, another notorious terror apologist.
The party featured encomiums by many of Khalidi's allies, colleagues, and friends, including Barack Obama, then an Illinois state senator, and Bill Ayers, the terrorist turned education professor. It was sponsored by the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), which had been founded by Khalidi and his wife, Mona, formerly a top English translator for Arafat's press agency.
This is not about Obama as much as the media that is simply the official sockpuppet of one party. Like the Chinese torture bit where drop by drop the victim is driven insane, a strategy to release stuff like this over the next number months will hammer away at the state media's smoke and mirrors routine in its attempt to reelect their man. This just reinforces what their opponents pretty much knew. Given his own actions in the last three years, it makes it harder and harder to keep the swings in a 'comfy feely' perspective that he really isn't a hardcore redistributionist.
Drink the cool aide and increase the Republican victory. Good move. I suspect he's hoping if he gets enough inboard it will seem a bit less insane and corrupt to oppose Keystone but more likely will be intraparty fighting anew posture on the issue.