The London Times
says that Europe's leaders were "dazzled" by Barack Obama, but his trip was a
failure. There is no inconsistency between these observations:
Barack Obama made an impassioned plea to
America's allies to send more troops to Afghanistan, warning that failure to
do so would leave Europe vulnerable to more terrorist atrocities. But though
he continued to dazzle Europeans on his debut international tour, the
Continent's leaders turned their backs on the US President.
Gordon Brown was the only one to offer
substantial help. He offered to send several hundred extra British soldiers to
provide security during the August election, but even that fell short of the
thousands of combat troops that the US was hoping to prise from the Prime
Just two other allies made firm offers
of troops. Belgium offered to send 35 military trainers and Spain offered 12.
Mr Obama's host, Nicolas Sarkozy, refused his request. ...
The presidential charm offensive failed to move
fellow Nato countries. President Sarkozy told Mr Obama that France would not
be sending reinforcements to bolster its existing force northeast of
Europe's leaders are happy to humor us
Americans and our reporters. It costs nothing to tell us how charming they think
Barack is. But what they actually do will depend on their assessment of where
their country's interests lie. We can only hope that Obama will also
follow what seems like a self-evident rule.
To some extent, President Obama's encounter with
European leaders reminds me of the old Soviet Union era joke: "they pretend to
pay us; we pretend to work." In this instance, Europe's key leaders will pretend
to provide meaningful new support to our efforts in Afghanistan and the U.S.
will pretend to back the new, more highly regulated economic regime that key
European leaders were insisting upon.
The first half of the equation certainly
holds. Obama went to Europe asking for additional troops, beyond the meagre
numbers countries like France and Germany now supply. What he got was a
commitment to supply economic aid and "police." In other words, no additional
The second half of the equation is less certain.
Clearly, most of what Obama agreed to consisted of vague directives or broad
principles. It is largely left up to individual countries to implement them or
not. No penalties are associated with non-compliance and no "global regulator"
can overrule decisions made by individual countries, as French President Sarkozy
would have liked.
But Sarkozy and other Europeans can
reasonably believe that Obama will abide by, and act consistently with, their
pro-regulation principles. After all, what reason exists to suppose that Obama
is any more committed to robust capitalism than centrist European leaders like
Sarkozy? With Obama in power in the U.S., and thinking like a European,
there may be little need for a "global regulator."
Thus, although Obama received only a fig leaf on
Afghanistan, and the Europeans did not agree to stimulus packages for their
economies, he may have come up trumps when it comes to regulation. For he was
able to give the green light to a significant increase in global regulation
without giving those of us who wish to resist France's slow growth model very
much to shoot at.
As for Europe's leaders, they may well have come
up trumps all around.
That, folks, is
failure -- unless, of course, you equate President Obama's success to media
adoration. But even that is not a success, it is
just break-even. Mr. Obama came to London with it and left the
THE SUMMERS PROBLEM
Doesn't it seem that every person selected by President Obama for his
administration has financial skeletons in his/her closet?
Here is the latest example, excerpted from an article in (believe it
or not) the New York Times:
Financial industry paid millions to Obama aide
Summers earned cash last year from firms over
which he now has influence
The New York
4:35 a.m. ET,Sat., April. 4,
WASHINGTON - Lawrence H. Summers, the top economic adviser to President
Obama, earned more than $5 million last year from the hedge fund D. E. Shaw and
collected $2.7 million in speaking fees from Wall Street companies that received
government bailout money, the White House disclosed Friday in releasing
financial information about top officials.
Summers, the director of the National Economic Council, wields important
influence over Mr. Obamas policy decisions for the troubled financial industry,
including firms from which he recently received payments.
year, he reported making 40 paid appearances, including a $135,000 speech to the
investment firm Goldman Sachs, in addition to his earnings from the hedge fund,
a sector the administration is trying to regulate.
The White House
released hundreds of pages of financial disclosure forms, which are required of
all West Wing officials. A White House spokesman, Ben LaBolt, said the
compensation was not a conflict for Mr. Summers, adding it was not surprising
because he was widely recognized as one of the countrys most distinguished
Summerss role at the White House includes advising Mr. Obama on whether and
how to tighten regulation of hedge funds, which engage in highly sophisticated
financial trading that many analysts have said contributed to the economic
Summers, a former president of Harvard University, was Treasury secretary in the
Clinton administration. He appeared before large Wall Street companies like
Citigroup ($45,000), J. P. Morgan ($67,500) and the now defunct Lehman Brothers
($67,500), according to his disclosure report. He reported being paid $10,000
for a speaking date at Yale and $90,000 to address an organization of Mexican
Credit to the New York Times for publishing this story and for MSNBC for
making it the lead on its web page.
What we have here is a man who has been given millions of
dollars from the exact same companies whose fates he has a direct infuence
I have three questions:
-Are you at all comfortable with Mr. Summers being in this position?
-Do you want him making decisions that affect the companies he directly
-Do you agree that the time for Lawrence Summers to leave this
administration is now?
I sure do.
THE (LATEST) ERIC HOLDER DISGRACE
Eric Holder is a disgrace. Until now, his single most notable accomplishment
was conspiring with Bill Clinton to pardon FALN terrorists and an international
thief who happily dealt with the enemies of our country.
Michael Whelan of the Washington Post lays it all out for us below:
Look Who's Politicizing Justice
Now By Edward Whelan Sunday,
April 5, 2009; B03
Intense controversy has flared in recent years
over a previously obscure but high-powered office in the Department of Justice
-- the Office of Legal Counsel. OLC has traditionally provided the final word to
executive branch officials on the meaning of the Constitution and federal
statutes. Disputes over whether it faithfully carried out its assigned role in
national security matters during the Bush administration have erupted on
newspaper front pages. Whatever the merits of those disputes, virtually everyone
has agreed that it is imperative that OLC provide high-quality legal advice that
is not slanted to advance a president's policy agenda -- and that the president
and his top advisers respect that advice.
But now it appears that we have an attorney
general who is himself running roughshod over OLC.
During Eric Holder's confirmation process, his
tenure as deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration sparked serious
concerns among senators. In scandals involving Clinton's pardons of Puerto Rican
nationalists and fugitive Marc Rich, Holder had violated departmental protocols,
ignored the views of victims and law enforcement professionals, colluded with
Rich's attorneys, undermined prosecutors and circumvented DOJ's pardon attorney.
A congressional investigation in 2002 called his conduct "unconscionable."
At his recent confirmation hearing, a chastened
Holder assured senators that he had learned from the past and was committed to
upholding the department's high standards. He specifically promised not to
politicize DOJ's legal positions: "We don't change OLC opinions simply because a
new administration takes over," he said. Any review "will not be a political
process, it will be one based solely on our interpretation of the law."
Alas, less than two months into his tenure as
attorney general, according to accounts in The Post last week, Holder has abused
OLC for partisan political purposes. The facts, admittedly, are somewhat sketchy
-- largely because Holder isn't complying with President Obama's promise of
transparency. But here's what they show.
In the course of its usual task of reviewing
pending legislation to identify constitutional problems, OLC determined that the
D.C. voting rights bill, which would give the District of Columbia a voting
member in the House of Representatives, is unconstitutional. The acting head of
OLC, David Barron -- a liberal Harvard law professor appointed by Holder --
signed an opinion setting forth OLC's conclusion. That conclusion is no
surprise, as it has been the Department of Justice's consistent position, under
presidents of both parties, at least as far back as Attorney General Robert F.
Kennedy in 1963 and as recently as two years ago.
When Holder, a longtime supporter of the voting
rights bill, learned of the OLC determination, he acted to override it. He
contacted another of his appointees, deputy solicitor general Neal K. Katyal, to
ask whether Katyal's office could, under its usual standards, defend the bill in
court. Katyal said it could, and Holder then overruled OLC.
Now, it's legitimate, if exceedingly rare, for an
attorney general to contest OLC's advice. The office is, after all, exercising
the advisory function the attorney general has delegated to it. But there's a
right way to overrule OLC, and then there's Holder's way. The right way would
have been for Holder to conduct a full and careful formal review of the legal
question. If that review yielded the conclusion that Holder's position was in
fact the best reading of the law -- an extremely unlikely conclusion, in my
judgment -- then Holder would sign a written opinion to that effect.
Holder instead adopted a sham review that abused
OLC's institutional role. In particular, the answer he solicited and received
from Katyal was virtually meaningless. Holder didn't ask for Katyal's best
judgment as to whether the D.C. bill was constitutional. He instead asked merely
whether his own position that the bill is constitutional was so beyond the pale,
so beneath the low level of plausible lawyers' arguments, so legally frivolous,
that the Solicitor General's office, under its traditional commitment to defend
any federal law for which any reasonable defense can be offered, wouldn't be
able to defend it in court.
Holder hasn't signed an opinion setting forth his
grounds for reversing OLC, and he also refuses to make the OLC opinion
To test whether your own politics color your
perception of Holder's action, consider this hypothetical: It's 2001, and
pro-life Republicans in Congress introduce a bill that would purport to overturn
Roe v. Wade by declaring that the unborn are "persons" under the 14th
Amendment. The Bush administration official heading OLC issues an opinion,
consistent with the longstanding position of the Justice Department, that the
bill is unconstitutional. Attorney General John D. Ashcroft consults with a
lawyer in the Solicitor General's office, who tells him that the office could
defend the bill in court. Ashcroft informs OLC that he is overriding its
opinion. Wouldn't there be ample reason to be alarmed that Ashcroft was
politicizing DOJ's legal positions? Can you imagine the ensuing scandal?
Of course, Ashcroft never did anything like what
Holder has done.
Eleanor Holmes Norton, the nonvoting D.C. delegate
to the House who aspires to be its voting representative, has made clear that
she regards questions of constitutionality as irrelevant and that she thinks
members of the House and Senate do, too. "I don't think members are in the least
bit affected in their votes on the question of its constitutionality," she said
just last week. "People vote their politics in the House and in the Senate."
If true, that's a very sad commentary on Congress.
It's even sadder that it appears to apply to our attorney general as
As should be evident, this "man" has no business being anywhere near
a position of influence in government. And yet there he is, the Attorney General
of the United States, now parlaying his deference to terrorists and thieves into
utter disregard for the constitution.
Eric Holder is an embarrassment.
He should summarily be fired. But, then again, he should never have been hired
in the first place.
Remember: this is the same administration that gave
us Timothy Geithner, a tax cheat who lied about when he knew of the AIG bonuses
-- and kept him after it became public knowledge.
Why would we expect Eric Holder to be anything other than a welcome
This is a definite finalist for most idiotic marketing idea of the
From Fox News:
Chia Obama' booted from local
Last Edited: Friday, 03 Apr
2009, 5:30 PM EDT Created On: Friday, 03 Apr 2009, 5:26 PM EDT
TAMPA - Some local
Walgreen's stores are pulling a supposed likeness of President Barack Obama off
their shelves. The 'Chia Obama' will no longer be sold
Walgreen's spokesman Michael Polzin explained to
FOX 13 that local store managers have the ability to purchase and market
products -- like the Chia Obama -- on their own.
But now, the corporate office has asked stores to
pull the product from their stores because, he said, it is not appropriate for
the company's corporate image.
The Chia Obama is a version of the Chia Pet line,
which features a ceramic figure upon which fresh greens are planted and allowed
to grow, filling out the likeness of the subject.
Assuming Walgreen's is telling the truth and this dumbkopf idea was hatched
by some of its managers instead of the chain itself (frankly I'm
skeptical), maybe they should be hauled in, one by one, and asked what they
could possibly have been thinking?
What next? A chia Howie Mandel, that starts with hair and loses
DETROIT ANOMIE UPDATE
a state or condition
of individuals or society characterized by a breakdown or absence of social
norms and values
I've written about the condition of Detroit from time to time. I've
written about the incredible corruption of its now-resigned mayor kwame
kilpatrick. I've written about the overt racism of its city council.
And, believe me, I could have written a lot more.
If I cared to, I could write about Detroit every day --
because every day seems to bring new examples of the city's complete
breakdown of governance, order and norms of behavior.
Here is Detroit's latest outrage, brought to us by Steve Gilbert of www.sweetness-light.com. It is
guaranteed to appall you:
Building official says councilwoman recommended
him; she denies it
David Josar / The Detroit News
April 3, 2009
Detroit A top city official says City Council
President Monica Conyers pulled strings to get her brother, an ex-con with a
violent record, a job in the building department that was to last only 120
days but was extended for two years.
"She came up to me, handed me his resume and
said You should hire him. Hes a good guy, " said Amru Meah, director of
Building & Safety Engineering.
Reggie Esters, 38, was fired from
the $30,500 job last summer on claims of chronic absenteeism. About the same
time, he was charged with 10 felonies stemming from allegations he brandished
a shotgun at two people, according to court records. He pleaded guilty to one
count and faces sentencing April 17.
Records obtained this week by The Detroit News
show Esters submitted a resume showing he worked continuously for two
construction firms from 1999 to 2006. State records show he was incarcerated
for assault and weapons charges for much of that time.
Meah said Conyers wanted her
brother hired as a $50,000 inspector, but he wasnt qualified and wouldnt
pass a license exam. Instead, he was hired as an investigator who checked if
businesses are properly licensed.
Conyers, whose maiden name is Esters, said
Meah is wrong. She denied that Esters is her brother, despite papers
filed in Wayne County Probate Court in 1976 that identify them as siblings
with the same parents, Robert H. and Alice Esters.
"I have no idea what Mr. Meah is
talking about," Conyers said.
Calls to Marlon Evans, Esters attorney, were
The city has no rules against hiring felons and
Meah said he didnt know of Esters record until a reporter told him about it
"Human Resources is supposed to check that," he
Daniel Cherrin, spokesman for Mayor Kenneth
Cockrel Jr., said Esters position did not require a background check although
Human Resources "looks for inconsistencies and other red flags."
Esters resume "was reviewed and he met the
minimum requirement for the position," Cherrin said, but added that the person
who headed Human Resources a the time, James Tyler, an appointee of
former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, was fired shortly after Cockrel took
Cherrin did not know if any references were
checked. None was listed on Esters application.
According to records obtained through the
Freedom of Information Act, Human Resources fast-tracked Esters hire as a
commercial and residential investigator after Meah wrote that there was an
"immediate need" to fill the position.
"Mr. Esters has the experience
that we require for this position. Please see attached resume for your
review," Meah wrote in an Oct. 27, 2006, letter to Tyler. Conyers was elected
to the panel 11 months before.
Meah said he fired Esters last summer after he
was repeatedly missing from work.
"I said, Hes not around. Fire him, " he said.
A provisional employee does not get benefits and
can be terminated at any time.
Esters, who records indicate is
one of Conyers three brothers, has been arrested at least 14 times since
1988, when he pleaded guilty to shoplifting in Redford Township and was put on
probation for one year. In 1990, he was charged with first-degree murder but
was acquitted after a jury trial. In 1998, he pleaded guilty to carrying a
concealed weapon, according to Wayne Circuit Court records.
On his one-page resume, Esters stated that he
had graduated from MacKenzie High School in 1988 and had worked as a "FORMAN"
[sic] for Jenkins Construction in Detroit from 2000 to 2006 with
responsibilities that included "Plan, organize and manage the overall
But on Sept. 20, 2001, Esters was
incarcerated by the Michigan Department of Corrections after he pleaded guilty
to assault with intent to cause great bodily harm and being a felon in
possession of a weapon. He began his sentence in prison but was then
transferred to a boot camp until he was released on May 30, 2006.
That was about the time Meah said Conyers
approached him about finding a job for her brother.
Esters was reappointed five times to the post
even though he had signed a statement saying he knew the job would last 120
The practice is not uncommon in Detroit.
Detroit City Council President Monica Esters
Alas, none of these practices is uncommon in any
city or district run by the Democrat Party.
In fact, corruption seems to be the rule rather
than the exception. Just as it is a rule that most of the media will never call
him to task for this.
And of course he will never be asked to step down
or ever be unelected.
Our favorite passage:
Conyers, whose maiden name is Esters, said Meah
is wrong. She denied that Esters is her brother, despite papers filed in Wayne
County Probate Court in 1976 that identify them as siblings with the same
parents, Robert H. and Alice Esters.
Yes, some people get the government they deserve.
But we all dont deserve it.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. John
Conyers, D-Mich., right, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., center, receive a
petition on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 11, 2009, from Casa
Maryland Executive Director Gustavo Torres, left, asking the Justice
Department to investigate Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe
And yes, this is the notorious wife of the
notorious John Conyers, who is currently demanding that the Justice Department
investigate (the great) Phoenix sheriff Joe Arpaio for
Detroit has become a sick joke, with a group of pathetic punch lines running the show. And because
Detroit's governance is dominated by Blacks, I believe that national media
avoid talking about the city's state of anomie for fear of being called
racist (as I'm sure I will be for daring to blog these words).
Let me tell you something: I'm no racist. And calling Detroit
what it is does not constitute racism. It constitutes the reality
that Detroit's citizens live with every day, the reality that has utterly
destroyed their city.
Detroit is a desperately, maybe terminally, sick city, run by a group of corrupt clowns.
monica conyers is high on that list. And her equally repulsive husband john
is just as bad in congress.
It is long, long past time for our wonderful "neutral" media to start acting
professionally and telling its readers/viewers/listeners what's going on
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At “Hopelessly Partisan” we discuss all issues, big and small.
In here, nothing is sacred and nothing is out of bounds.
So settle back, preferably after laughing your way through a copy of “The Hopelessly Partisan Guide To American Politics”, and let the battle begin. In this blog, your opinion counts every bit as much as anyone else's, maybe even more.
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