Monday, August 31, 2009

White House: Obama sent troops to the battlefield for political reasons: "Because of the country's election in August"

From Yahoo News:
Pentagon worried about Obama's commitment to Afghanistan

The prospect that U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal may ask for as many as 45,000 additional American troops in Afghanistan is fueling growing tension within President Barack Obama's administration over the U.S. commitment to the war there.

On Monday, McChrystal sent his assessment of the situation in Afghanistan to the Pentagon... Although the assessment didn't include any request for more troops, senior military officials said they expect McChrystal later in September to seek between 21,000 and 45,000 more troops...

With tough battles ahead on health care, the budget and other issues, Vice President Joe Biden and other officials are increasingly anxious about how the American public would respond to sending additional troops.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to talk to the media, said Biden has argued that without sustained support from the American people, the U.S. can't make the long-term commitment that would be needed to stabilize Afghanistan and dismantle al Qaida . Biden's office declined to comment.

"I think they (the Obama administration) thought this would be more popular and easier," a senior Pentagon official said. "We are not getting a Bush-like commitment to this war."

Monday's assessment initially was to include troop recommendations, but political concerns prompted White House and Pentagon officials to agree that those recommendations would come later, advisers to McChrystal said...

Some White House officials said the administration feels it was pressured to send the additional 17,500 combat troops and 4,000 trainers earlier this year, before the administration was comfortable with its plan for Afghanistan , because of the country's election in August...
The administration sent additional troops to the battlefield before it "was comfortable with its plan", because of political reasons.

Good grief!

Al Qaeda terrorist says Syria trained him

From Enerpub:
American relations with Syria have been frosty, if not downright icy for decades. Starting with Syrian involvement in the 1976 Lebanese Civil War along with the subsequent occupation of Lebanon and arming of Hezbollah, the diplomatic relationship between the U.S. and Syria has been poor.

The list of problems is long: complicity in the 1983 Hezbollah bombing of the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut as well as the Iranian-sponsored rearming of Hezbollah after the 2006 war with Israel; the 1982 destruction of Hama by then president Hafez Assad, killing an estimated 10-25,000 people; the UN finding of Syrian involvement in the car bomb murder of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others; al Qaeda and related insurgent organizations grouping in eastern Syria and infiltrating Iraq etc.

This list is not complete without the Syrian-North Korean cooperation on missiles and building a nuclear facility (since destroyed by israel), and Syrian-Iranian economic, political and military relations, including public approval by Bashir Assad of the "re-election" of Iranian President Ahmadinejad in June.

Nonetheless, this year, an apparent thaw in relations between the two states appears to be quickening in momentum. In February, the Obama Administration waived Syria Accountability Act provisions to approve the export of aircraft parts and repair services to Syria for civil aviation...

Additionally, the return of a U.S. Ambassador to Damascus was announced on June 24th. In July, according to Agence France Presse, Middle East "peace process" envoy George Mitchell told Assad he would work to speed up the process of obtaining exemptions to anti-Syrian sanctions. At the end of July, the United States announced a decision to ease sanctions on spare aircraft parts, information-technology products and telecommunications equipment.

A second delegation from Central Command arrived in August accompanied by an aide to Sen. Mitchell. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, who said the talks are focused on Syria's "ongoing efforts to help stabilize the situation in Iraq."...

Syria's deputy foreign minister, Faisal Mekdad, expressed pleasure at the changed American posture in a Wall Street Journal interview. "We received assurances that the relations between the two countries should resume on the basis of mutual interests and most importantly on the basis of mutual respect. We really welcome such a new approach.”

But if the US is hoping to wean Syria away from its relationship with Iran and North Korea through political and economic benefit, the Syrians appear to be unpersuaded. Japanese intelligence learned in May that Iran, Syria and North Korea secretly test-launched in southern Syria a new, jointly developed short-range ballistic missile. Sources in Japan confirmed both the test and the failure of the missile....
From Alsumaria:
In a new development that could worsen rows between Iraq and Syria, Iraq aired on Sunday a confession from a Saudi Qaeda militant who accused Syrian intelligence agents of training foreign fighters like himself in a camp before sending them to participate in operations aimed to destabilize Iraq.

Mohammed Hassan Al Shemari said when he arrived in Syria from Saudi Arabia, he was met by a militant who took him to a training camp in Syria. The head of the camp was a Syrian intelligence agent called Abu Al Qaqaa, he noted.

“They taught us lessons in Islamic law and trained us to fight”, he added. Al Shemari affirmed that he crossed into Iraq through Boukamal region after ending training with three other militants, a Saudi, a Libyan and an Algerian.

He moved around Iraq before settling in Diyala Province, Al Shemari counted affirming that he participated in operations aimed at destabilizing Iraq. He explained that he received financial support from Syria and Saudi Arabia to fund combat operations in the country.

The arrested confessed that he slaughtered himself a number of policemen in the presence of militants in order to train them on slaughter.
From Reuters:
The videotaped accusations [of Al Shemari], aired by Baghdad security spokesman Qassim al-Moussawi in a news conference, could worsen a row between Iraq and Syria over accusations that Syria supports Islamist militants responsible for attacks in Iraq.

Iraq and Syria recalled their ambassadors last week after Baghdad demanded Damascus hand over two alleged masterminds of bombings in Baghdad that killed almost 100 people, mainly at two government ministries...
Nevertheless, despite all of this, President Obama will continue his rapprochement policy with Syria, because, as he and his administration have declared time and time again: The US is not at war with terror.....

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Arne Duncan, "hands-on practitioner"?

From CBS5 - December 16, 2008:
President-elect Barack Obama announced Arne Duncan, the head of the Chicago school system, as education secretary Tuesday...

"When it comes to school reform, Arne is the most hands-on of hands-on practitioners," Obama said... "In just seven years, he's boosted elementary test scores here in Chicago from 38 percent of students meeting the standards to 67 percent. The dropout rate has gone down every year he's been in charge."...
From the Chicago Sun Times - August 29, 2009:
Nearly a third of Chicago public high school teachers say they were pressured to change grades this past school year. One in five report they actually raised a grade under such prodding. And dozens of teachers -- elementary and high school alike -- say they believe someone changed their grades last year without their approval...

The findings raise serious questions about whether some of the data used to judge Chicago public schools has been inflated, artificially manipulated -- or in some cases outright altered...
"When it comes to school reform, Arne is the most hands-on of hands-on practitioners."

From the Chicago Tribune - October 5, 2008:
The percentage of Chicago public high school students who met or exceeded state standards on a test tied to the ACT college-entrance exam dropped for the third consecutive year...

But in a letter sent to the district’s high school principals, officials Friday cautioned against comparisons to previous test results, citing changes in how state officials this year scored the Prairie State Achievement Exams (PSAE).

“We believe the new PSAE scores are different from the old ones and that valid comparisons between 2008 data and previous years cannot be made,” said schools chief Arne Duncan.

Officials said that a different weighting system was used for the tests that make up overall scores.

But Matt Vanover, a spokesman for the State Board of Education, said federal officials reviewed the new scoring and found it to be comparable to that of previous years.
Apparently, Mr. Duncan's position as head of the Chicago school system didn't afford him the opportunity to manipulate the state's tests scores as it did with the city's test scores. So, he tried to offer up a lame excuse. Nice try, Arnie!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Air America: Obama is a "Charming Liar"

Please read the following background material before proceeding to the video.

From the LA Times:

As a candidate for president, Barack Obama lambasted drug companies and the influence they wielded in Washington. He even ran a television ad targeting the industry's chief lobbyist, former Louisiana congressman Billy Tauzin, and the role Tauzin played in preventing Medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices.

Since the election, Tauzin has morphed into the president's partner. He has been invited to the White House half a dozen times in recent months. There, he says, he eventually secured an agreement that the administration wouldn't try to overturn the very Medicare drug policy that Obama had criticized on the campaign trail.

"The White House blessed it," Tauzin said.
It should be noted that these meetings were held secretly, behind closed doors, and only came to fore after the LA times and Huffington Post broke the story.

At the same time, Tauzin said the industry he represents was offering political and financial support [$150 MILLION AD CAMPAIGN] for the president's healthcare initiative...

If a package passes Congress, the pharmaceutical industry has pledged $80 billion in cost savings over 10 years to help pay for it. For his part, Tauzin said he had not only received the White House pledge to forswear Medicare drug price bargaining, but also a separate promise not to pursue another proposal Obama supported during the campaign: importing cheaper drugs from Canada or Europe. Both proposals could cost the industry billions, undermine its ability to develop new cures and, in the case of imports, possibly compromise safety, industry officials contend...

Yet everyone agrees that drug companies -- Washington's leading source of lobbyist money -- now have "a seat at the table" at the White House and on Capitol Hill as healthcare legislation works its way through Congress. If nothing else, a popular president who six months ago criticized drug companies for greed now praises their work on behalf of the public good...

The benefits to the White House go beyond budget savings. Tauzin's trade association, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, is helping to underwrite a multimillion-dollar [
$150 MILLION] TV advertising campaign touting comprehensive healthcare legislation...
Air America: Obama is a 'Charming Liar':

A Charming individual, indeed........

The last four and a half minutes of the following video were extracted from the preceding video, but the first half is original - and quite amusing too. My favorite part: Town Hall protesters screaming, "Don't close the door!" Perfect analogy! Heh... Enjoy!:

A commenter on the Huffington Post remarks: "This [these secret meetings with lobbyists] helps explain why Obama hasn’t made the White House visitor log public..."

Eric Holder, an accessory to Murder and torture?

US Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the Bush administration's "enhanced interrogation" program. Ironically, though, it is Mr. Holder himself who should be investigated for the role he played in the Clinton administration's extraordinary rendition program.

Mr. Holder served as Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton years from 1997 until 2001.

Last month, I cited two instances of extraordinary renditions that occurred during the Clinton presidency. One of them took place while Mr. Holder was serving as Deputy Attorney General [undoubtedly, there were many more such instances]:
Talaat Fuad Qassim, a leader of al-Gamaa Islamiya, the Egyptian jihadist group led by al Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahri, in the 1990s, was subjected to extraordinary rendition. In late 1995, he was kidnapped in Croatia, interrogated by US agents on a ship on the Adriatic Sea, then handed over to Egypt. Human rights experts believe he was tortured, then executed - no record of any trial exists.

In July 1998, several members of the Egyptian Jihad organization - which at the time, was merging with Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network - were nabbed in Albania by Albanian security agents. They were then flown on a CIA-chartered plane to Cairo, where they were beaten and tortured. Two of the detainees were subsequently hanged in an Egyptian prison yard.

Some of the detainees reported that Egyptian interrogators had applied electrical shocks to their nipples, genitals and feet while suspending them in mid air by their limbs....
As I noted last month, former CIA agent Robert Baer once said: "If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them to be tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear -- never to see them again -- you send them to Egypt."

I also pointed out the following:
In May of 2009, during his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, then-Attorney General nominee Eric Holder took questions from both Senators Lamar Alexander and Richard Shelby about his role in the CIA's "rendition" program:
Didn't that [extraordinary renditions] happen during the Clinton administration? [they asked Mr. Holder].

Yes, Holder replied.

"How many did you approve?" they asked.

Holder said he'd check the record....

According to MSNBC, the senators were suggesting that if any criminal investigation were to be opened by Mr. Holder, "Republicans would push to get it expanded beyond events during the Bush administration."
In other words, they would open an investigation into both the Clinton Administration's renditions program and the role that Mr. Holder played in the aforementioned program.

It is important to note that during the Bush administration, extraordinary renditions simply meant that terrorist suspects were sent to US prisons abroad, where they were interrogated by CIA officials who operated under strict legal guidelines. During the Clinton years, however, terrorist suspects were rounded up and shipped overseas, not to US prisons, but to foreign prisons where - as I previously noted - they were tortured and at times brutally murdered.

Nevertheless, Senator Shelby, Senator Alexander and their congressional colleagues are remaining conspicuously silent while Eric Holder and Barack Obama - the audacious and brazen hypocrites that they are - pursue their political witch hunt against the Bush administration.

Make no mistake about it, the target of this investigation is not the CIA; rather, Mr. Holder and Mr. Obama are pursuing a political agenda. Their ultimate goal is to score political points [a major slam-dunk, if you will] by impugning the Bush administration. And yes, contrary to the mainstream media's contention, this investigation is the brain child of not only Eric Holder, but the President as well.

Ultimately, Republican lawmakers can not allow these two hypocrites to pursue their politically motivated witch hunt without responding in kind.

It is incumbent upon both Mr. Shelby and Mr. Alexander to fulfill the promise they made to Mr. Holder during his confirmation hearing, namely that if any criminal investigation were to be opened by him, "Republicans would push to get it expanded beyond events during the Bush administration" and that they would probe Mr. Holder's role in the Clinton administration's renditions program and investigate the legal guidance he gave to President Clinton with regard to the program.

Conclusion: During the Clinton presidency, suspected terrorists were shipped off to foreign prisons - as part of the administration's 'extraordinary rendition' program - where they were subsequently tortured and at times, brutally murdered.

Was Mr. Holder an accessory to these heinous crimes? Answer: It could very well be, but without a complete and thorough investigation, there is no way of knowing for sure.

Please contact the following lawmakers and remind them of the promise they made to Mr. Holder. Demand that they open an investigation into this matter, forthwith!

Contact Senator Shelby
Telephone - (202) 224-5744

Contact Senator Alexander
Telephone - (202) 224-4944

Contact your Senator

Contact your Representative

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Egypt's best dates are 'Obama' and 'Nasrallah'

From the AP:
For the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Egyptian fruit sellers have named their best dates of the year after President Barack Obama in a sweet tribute to the American leader...

Dates are a traditional food for Ramadan — which begins Saturday in most of the Islamic world...

"We love Obama and so we named our best dates for him," said Atif Hashim at his busy shop in downtown Cairo.

Huge barrels in his shop were piled with "Obama" dates, selling for just under $2.50 a pound ($5 a kilogram). For an additional dollar, there is an even better date, labeled on a sign as "Super Obama."...

In 2006, many sellers in Egypt named their best dates after the leader of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah......
Last year, an Egyptian blogger noted that dealers in the Mediterranean town of Marsa Martrouh were peddling an 'Obama' brand hashish:
A new brand of (presumably black Moroccan) hashish has appeared in the Egyptian town of Marsa Matrouh, called 'Obama'!

I recall in 2003 , a quite popular brand of hash that appeared in Cairo was named 'Saddam' coz it was 'stronger than chemical weapons.
Another Egyptian blogger made the following observation:
By the hash-o-meter, Barack Obama may be the most popular foreign leader in Egypt since Saddam Hussein......

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Oregon Health Plan, a harbinger of things to come?

Obama: Government-run health care is 'scary', but I happen to be a proponent of it anyway

"We've all heard the charge that reform will somehow bring about a government takeover of health care. I know that sounds scary to many folks, it sounds scary to me too."
Barack Obama, in his weekly radio address - August 22, 2009

“I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program.... That's what I'd like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately..."
Barack Obama, speaking at a AFL-CIO conference - June 30, 2003

Friday, August 21, 2009

White House: $2 trillion higher deficit projected

Last month - in a post entitled "White House hiding bleak news from lawmakers until they depart for summer recess" - I cited the following report from the AP:
July 20, 2009 - The administration's annual midsummer budget update is sure to show higher deficits and unemployment and slower growth than projected in President Barack Obama's budget in February and update in May, and that could complicate his efforts to get his signature health care... proposal[s] through Congress.

[Hence], the release of the update — usually scheduled for mid-July — has been put off until the middle of next month, giving rise to speculation the White House is delaying the bad news at least until Congress leaves town on its August 7 summer recess.

The administration is pressing for votes before then on its $1 trillion health care initiative, which lawmakers are arguing over how to finance...
Well, now that congress has left town for summer recess, Obama has decided to finally let the cat out of the bag.

From the AP - August 21, 2009:
The Obama administration expects the federal deficit over the next decade to be $2 trillion bigger than previously estimated, White House officials said Friday, a setback for a president already facing a Congress and public wary over spending.

The new projection, to be announced on Tuesday, is for a cumulative 2010-2019 deficit of $9 trillion instead of the $7 trillion previously estimated. The new figure reflects slumping revenues from a worse economic picture than was expected earlier this year. The officials spoke only on the condition of anonymity ahead of next week's announcement...

The higher number will likely create political difficulties for President Barack Obama in Congress and could create anxiety with foreign buyers of U.S. debt...

The 10-year projection, represents a huge obstacle for an administration trying to undertake massive policy overhauls in health care and the environment...

Earlier long-term estimates released in February and May relied on now-outdated projections of economic growth. Then, the White House predicted the economy would shrink by 1.2 percent this year, but the economy shrank 6.4 percent in the first quarter, the worst in nearly three decades....

The deficit could easily exceed 4 percent of GDP, even after cost-cutting efforts or new revenues claimed in Obama's budget.

Such deficits have always prompted Congress and the White House to take politically painful steps to curb them, such as former President Bill Clinton's tax-heavy 1993 deficit reduction plan. A companion effort by Obama could force him to break his promise to not raise taxes on individuals making more $200,000 a year or more.
$200,000? I thought Obama wasn't going to raise taxes on individuals making more than $250,000 a year?

Well, anyway, at least we now know that the federal deficit will reach $9 trillion over the next decade, instead of the $7 trillion initially projected by the Obama administration.

Apparently, since lawmakers are on vacation and Obama's health care proposal has been stalled for the time being, the administration felt that now would be as good a time as any to let the cat out of the bag. And, of course, leaking out the news over the weekend - before the report is officially released on Tuesday - was a pretty clever idea too. By the time the new week rolls around, public outrage over the projected $9 trillion deficit will have already dissipated, which will allow the president to once again refocus his energy on pushing through his budget-busting health care proposal.

Hey, another few trillion added to the federal deficit is really no big deal. American tax payers will be more than happy to foot the bill. After all, paying taxes is the "patriotic" thing to do!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Iranian-made rockets targeting US troops in Iraq

"As I said in my inauguration speech, if countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us."
Barack Obama in an interview with the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya network - January 27, 2009

From the New York Times:
Iraqi and American troops seized a rocket launcher loaded with about a dozen Iranian-made rockets aimed at an American base in the southern city of Basra, Iraqi officials said Tuesday...

Three American soldiers were killed in a rocket attack on their base in Basra last month...
In a related development, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while on a visit to Tehran on Wednesday, congratulated Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his re-election as president of Iran and stated: “I’m confident the re-election of the president by the Iranian nation is a confirmation that Iran and Syria must continue their past policies in the region.”

Ahmadinejad echoed that sentiment:
“Iran and Syria are in the same trench,” he said..

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met Assad later and welcomed a proposal by the Syrian president to form an alliance between the two countries as well as neighboring Iraq and Turkey.

“Such an alliance would be in line with the region’s benefit,” Khamenei was quoted as saying.

Khamenei praised Syria for its “resistance” in the face of world powers.

“Syria ’s most important characteristic among Arab countries is its steadfastness and resistance,” he said...

Khamenei said “the resistance front” in the Middle East “should strengthen its co-operation and ties."
Apparently, Iran and Syria have no plans to "unclench" their fists anytime soon. Iranian-made rockets will continue to rain down on our troops in Iraq and President Obama will continue to extend an olive branch to the Mullahs.

Excellent strategy, Mr. President! Shrewd, real shrewd, indeed!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pelosi Told Anti War Protesters in '06: "Your advocacy is very American, I'm a Fan of Disruptors"

In an op-ed column in the USA today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denounced protesters who've shown up at recent town hall meetings as "disruptors" and said "drowning out opposing views is simply un-American.":
An ugly campaign is underway not merely to misrepresent the health insurance reform legislation, but to disrupt public meetings and prevent members of Congress and constituents from conducting a civil dialogue... These disruptions are occurring because opponents are afraid not just of differing views — but of the facts themselves. Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American....
But in 2006, Pelosi told a group of anti -war protesters that she was "a fan of disruptors" and that their actions were "very American and very important."
So I think all of you who have spoken out for your courage, your point of view. All of it. Your advocacy is very American and very important.... So let's not question each others patriotism when we have this very honest debate that out country expects and deserves.
h/t - Doctor Bull-Dog

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Obama's Warped Views on End-of-Life Care

Here's something I posted back in May which gives us some insight into Barack Obama's warped views on health care reform, specifically with regards to end-of-life care. It's a chilling reminder of the president's cold-heartedness and his callous disregard for the chronically ill:
Obama: 'End-of-Life' Care Too Costly

In an interview with the New York Times' Magazine, posted online on Sunday [April 28], Barack Obama expressed concern over the huge costs of "end-of-life" care. The president cited as a case in point his own grandmother - who received hip replacement surgery shortly after learning she had become terminally ill:
OBAMA: Now, I actually think that the tougher issue around medical care... is what you do around things like end-of-life care.

DAVID LEONHARDT - NY TIMES: Yes, where it’s $20,000 for an extra week of life.

OBAMA: Exactly. And I just recently went through this... My grandmother got very ill during the campaign...; it was determined to be terminal. And about two or three weeks after her diagnosis she fell, broke her hip... and she elected to get... hip replacement...

I don’t know how much that hip replacement cost. I would have paid out of pocket for that hip replacement just because she’s my grandmother. Whether, sort of in the aggregate, society making those decisions to give my grandmother, or everybody else’s aging grandparents or parents, a hip replacement when they’re terminally ill is a sustainable model, is a very difficult question. If somebody told me that my grandmother couldn’t have a hip replacement and she had to lie there in misery in the waning days of her life — that would be pretty upsetting.

LEONHARDT: And it’s going to be hard for people who don’t have the option of paying for it.

OBAMA: So that’s where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues. But that’s also a huge driver of cost, right?

I mean, the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here.

LEONHARDT: So how do you — how do we deal with it? [ed. note: Why not euthanize all end-of-life patients?]

OBAMA: Well, I think that there is going to have to be a conversation that is guided by doctors, scientists, ethicists. And then there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place. It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels. And that’s part of why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance. It’s not determinative, but I think has to be able to give you some guidance. And that’s part of what I suspect you’ll see emerging out of the various health care conversations that are taking place on the Hill right now.
Apparently, Barack Obama is more than willing to spend tax-payer dollars to help combat Global Warming and enhance the quality-of-life of his eco-friendly constituents, but when it comes to improving the quality-of-life of the chronically ill, well, that's just a little bit too costly for him.

Typical left-wing perversion.

Earlier in the interview, Obama reassures Mr. Leonhardt that a plan he had proposed to create a council of federal employees to conduct comparative-effectiveness studies of various medical treatments would not affect the "doctor-patient relationship" or reduce the quality of medical health care, but would solely be used to help lower the cost of medical expenses.

However, Obama's apparent willingness to alter 'end-of-life care' as we know it today, makes that claim appear to be disingenuous and dubious at best.

And, I assume that most 'end-of-life patients' [and 'born alive abortees'] would agree with that assessment...

Betsy McCaughey notes that Obama's proposed plan to create a federal council to conduct comparative-effectiveness studies "reflects the handiwork of Tom Daschle", who was once Obama's nominee to head the Health and Human Services Department.

In his book, Daschle proposed an appointed body with vast powers to make the “tough” decisions elected politicians won’t make...

The goal, Daschle’s book explained, is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept “hopeless diagnoses” and “forgo experimental treatments,” and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system...

The Federal Council is modeled after a U.K. board discussed in Daschle’s book. This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Treatments for younger patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly, such as osteoporosis.

In 2006, a U.K. health board decreed that elderly patients with macular degeneration had to wait until they went blind in one eye before they could get a costly new drug to save the other eye. It took almost three years of public protests before the board reversed its decision...
Of course, Obama reassures us that - unlike the aforementioned UK health board- the federal council that he plans to set up will not have legislative powers and will solely make recommendations on how to cut medical costs.

But can we really be sure those recommendations won't be signed into law one day? Moreover, since Obama has expressed a willingness to alter 'end-of-life care' as we know it today", can we really trust him, or his panel, to make recommendations on cutting the costs of our health care? I don't think so....

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Town Hall Protester Was Once a Loyal Democrat, Not any More

And, now a little parody to chase away the Obama-Care blues:

Senior Citizen attacked at an Obama town hall meeting!

I couldn't resist posting this next video from the same You Tube account:

Obama Hot Dog 4th of July Diplomacy with Iran:
[It's a video commentary on an AFP story from June entitled: US says hot dog diplomacy still on with Iran. - "President Barack Obama's administration said earlier this month it would invite Iran to US embassy barbecues for the national holiday..."]:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Astroturfing at its finest

Schultz and Obama, 'Birds of a Feather'

"Angry old white folks are storming into town halls all across America... These folks, I think, they're dumber than Joe the Plumber..."
Ed Schultz - August 11, 2009

"It's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them..."
Barack Obama speaking at a private fundraiser in San Francisco - April 2008:

AARP vs Obama; Town Hall protesters are clearly making a difference

From the AP - August 11, 2009:
A group usually seen as one of Barack Obama's allies in the health care debate — AARP — says the president went too far Tuesday when he said the seniors lobby had endorsed the legislation pending in Congress...

At the town hall in Portsmouth, N.H., [President] Obama said, "We have the AARP onboard because they know this is a good deal for our seniors." He added, "AARP would not be endorsing a bill if it was undermining Medicare."

But Tom Nelson, AARP's chief operating officer, said, "Indications that we have endorsed any of the major health care reform bills currently under consideration in Congress are inaccurate." Nelson said AARP would not endorse a bill that reduces Medicare benefits...
From Fox News - August 10, 2009:
Elected officials aren't the only ones facing frustrated, angry crowds at health care town hall meetings.

The senior advocacy group AARP is now coming under criticism from its own members for appearing to support President Obama's health care reform plans...

Last week, AARP officials speaking at a forum in Dallas walked out after several seniors interrupted the meeting with critical questions and comments.

Some AARP members say they are so outraged that they've taken to tearing up their membership cards and firing off heated letters to the organization's CEO. ..

Recent polling by FOX News shows seniors, many of whom are on Medicare, don't want a major overhaul..

The AARP hosted a discussion with Obama last month on health care. But officials say the group is nonpartisan and has not endorsed any specific legislative measure...

Obama's overtures to Iran, Hezbollah & Hamas, and 'The War against Terror'

Several months ago, in a speech to the Turkish Parliament, Barack Obama proclaimed that "the US is not, and never will be, at war with Islam."

However, beneath the surface of that statement, there was an additional and somewhat subtle message that Obama was trying to convey:

Earlier this year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters that the Obama administration had dropped the words "war on terror" from its lexicon. Similarly, in a speech last week before the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC., Barack Obama's chief adviser on counter-terrorism, John Brennan, stated that the president had ceased using the words "war against terror".

Brennan proposed a seemingly disingenuous and incoherent line of reasoning to explain why the President had decided to drop the aforementioned words. But there was no need for him to posit such duplicitous and abstract explanations. One only need to look at Obama's bizarre foreign policy agenda - specifically, his cozying up to terrorists and rogue regimes - to gain insight into Obama's idiosyncratic mindset.

In truth, Obama's reluctance to use the words "war on terror" is based on his strongly-held belief that Islam and terror are intertwined with one another, and thus - according to Obama's convoluted way of thinking - a war against terror and tyranny amounts to a war against Islam. Therefore, Obama has decided to eliminate the words "war against terror" from his lexicon.

This explains why the Obama administration recently sent a letter to Iran's supreme, tyrannical leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, calling for an improvement in relations, and why Obama, even now, is playing nice with the Iranian government, despite the atrocities committed by the terrorist regime against its own people. It would also explain why Obama has been reaching out to Hezbollah, as has been confirmed by Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General, Sheikh Naim Qassem.

But of course, Obama's overtures to terrorists and tyrants does not end there.

Osama Hamdan, Hamas' top leader in Lebanon, told Time Magazine several months ago that there had been unofficial talks between Hamas and Barack Obama's Middle East special envoy, George Mitchell.

Similarly, in November of 2008, Hamas spokesman Ahmed Yousef confirmed that the Hamas leadership had been in regular contact with the Obama team [over a period of several months].

"We were in contact with a number of Obama's aides through the Internet, and later met with some of them in Gaza," [Ahmed Yousef] was quoted as saying, "but they advised us not to come out with any statements, as that may have had a negative effect on his election campaign and be used by Republican candidate John McCain."

And, yesterday, I cited the Arab weekly, Al-Ahram, which confirmed that a recent meeting in Geneva between two senior Hamas officials and former undersecretary of state Thomas R. Pickering was coordinated and promoted by the US State Department, despite the Obama administration's claims to the contrary.

I also noted in a previous post that John Brennan - Obama's chief adviser on counter-terrorism - after finishing a speech last week at the Center for Strategic and International Studies - offered words of praise to Hezbollah:

"Hezbollah started out as purely a terrorist organization back in the early ’80s," he said, "and has evolved significantly over time. And now it has members of parliament, in the cabinet; there are lawyers, doctors, others who are part of the Hezbollah organization."

Brennan's praise of Hezbollah last week was offered up in response to a question put forward to him by Richard Dreyfus, a contributing editor of The Nation.

In an article posted online on Monday, entitled, "White House Opening to Hezbollah, Hamas?", Dreyfus expounds on Mr. Brennan's response and adds the following tidbit:

As I alluded to in my question [last week], Brennan had told me (before taking a job in the Obama administration, but while serving as Obama's top adviser on intelligence issues) that talking to Hamas and Hezbollah is the right thing to do...
Mr. Dreyfus questions whether the White House is currently reaching out to Hezbollah and Hamas.

The answer to that question - as evidenced by the administration's recent contacts with various terrorist organizations and sponsors, including Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, and its present support of rogue regimes and authoritarian heads of state - is a resounding "YES"!

As I've already explained, the 'war against terror' has been dropped from Obama's lexicon, primarily, because Obama believes Islam and terrorism are intertwined with one another, and thus, a war against terror - in Obama's world - amounts to a war against Islam.

Consequently, as a result of this idiosyncratic philosophy, Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and its ilk are guaranteed to receive the royal treatment from Obama and his administration.

Nevertheless, after all is said and done, I must concede the following: I can think of no one more capable than Obama to put an end to the war against terror. For only a man of sterling integrity and indisputable moral rectitude like Obama can be entrusted with the task of ending American aggression and uprooting the enemies of terror from the face of the Earth!

O' hail the Messiah, Obama, Obama.... Our savior, our savior, Obama, Obama...

Thank you, Mr. President!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Obama officials lied about Pickering/Hamas meeting

A recent meeting between two senior Hamas officials and former undersecretary of state Thomas R. Pickering was coordinated and promoted by the US State Department, according to the Arab weekly, Al-Ahram.

Mr. Pickering met with senior Hamas officials, Mahmoud al-Zahar and Bassem Naim in Geneva in mid-June.

The Washington Post reported that the Hamas officials had said they believed the meeting "represented an opening in relations with the Obama administration."

However, US officials said they had only learned of the meeting afterward:
They said Pickering had not been asked to approach Hamas and had no official standing; U.S. officials learned of the meeting only afterward. Policy toward the Islamist group, they said, remains what it was under President George W. Bush: that Hamas is a terrorist organization with which the United States will not even sanction a meeting.

Before Hamas can participate in peace talks, "we have made it clear, both publicly and privately... that we would expect Hamas to... renounce violence and agree to abide by prior agreements," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said... in Washington....
But according to Al-Ahram, Mr. Pickering's participation at the meeting "was coordinated with and promoted by the US State Department.":
Participating in these meetings were Thomas Pickering... and Robert Malley [who served as Middle East policy adviser to Barack Obama during the presidential campaign]... in addition to researchers and European and US experts in contact with Hamas...

Although the Americans who participated in these meetings do not hold any official positions in the US administration, their participation in these meetings was coordinated with and promoted by the US State Department.
The Arab weekly also goes on to quote senior Hamas officials as saying that "Hamas accepts the establishment of a Palestinian state within the June 1967 borders" and that "Hamas would not stand in the way of a peaceful resolution to the conflict with Israel."

But according to World Net Daily, Hamas has been issuing conciliatory statements when communicating with the West, however, when speaking with Palestinians, "Hamas stresses that its fundamental... strategy remains unchanged."

Case in point:
At a July 27 ceremony held in the Al-Zeitun neighborhood of Gaza City, Mahmoud al-Zahar... "clarified his group adheres to the position that the [Palestinian] state must contain all the territory of Palestine."

Continued al-Zahar: "We are certain that what comes after the liberation of Palestine will not be only a state. After the liberation of Palestine a large revolution will reach everywhere."...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Zelaya Disses Calderon

From My Roatan:
"Sometimes it is better to feel like the president than to be the president. I say this to Lopez Obrador, who is listening."

Manuel Zelaya made this controversial statement at a public event in Mexico City attended by leftist supporters of Manuel Lopez Obrador. Lopez Obrador was narrowly defeated by Felipe Calderon in the last Mexican elections and refused to accept Calderon's victory, calling himself the "legitimate president" of Mexico. Zelaya's statement was intended to recognize Obrador's position.

Amazingly, he made this statement shortly after President Calderon had invited him to Mexico and received him with honors reserved for a head of state. What an idiot!

Apparently, Lopez Obrador was not the only one "listening." Mexican senators and representatives called Zelaya's statement "disrespectful" and referred to him as "an ungrateful traitor." "The chavista bit the hand that was giving him a piece of bread," said one.

President Calderon was so pissed he ordered his people to immediately escort Zelaya to the airport and not allow him any contact with the press...
Read the rest.

Well, even if Zelaya is no longer welcome in Mexico and Honduras, he still has the support of Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega and Barack Obama, so I think he'll be just fine.......

Friday, August 7, 2009

Brennan offers words of praise for Hezbollah

"Hezbollah started out as purely a terrorist organization back in the early ’80s and has evolved significantly over time. And now it has members of parliament, in the cabinet; there are lawyers, doctors, others who are part of the Hezbollah organization... And so, quite frankly, I’m pleased to see that a lot of Hezbollah individuals are in fact renouncing that type of terrorism and violence and are trying to participate in the political process [in Lebanon] in a very legitimate fashion. "
Barack Obama's chief adviser on counter-terrorism, John Brennan, during a press conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington - August 6, 2009.

"In the afternoon Bob, Hrair, and I met with Khaled Mashaal and his fellow Hamas politburo members, all of whom are scientists, medical doctors, or engineers – none trained in religion... Like the Syrians, they are patient, relatively satisfied with the status quo, and putting all their eggs in Obama's basket."
Former President Jimmy Carter reporting on his trip to the Gaza Strip - December 2008

And, from Freedom's Lighthouse:

Here is shocking video of White House Adviser on Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan making a speech where he declared that the United States is not engaged in a "War on Terrorism", and that the USA is not in a "Global War" against "Jihadists." The speech reveals [both] Obama's thinking on Foreign Policy and that he does not grasp the struggle America is engaged in.

That is one of the most disingenuous statements I have ever heard. Al Qaeda and its ilk are waging jihad in countries all across the globe. And, that is precisely why the war against terror is a Global war.

This guy is pathetic. No wonder he's working for Obama...

Hillary Clinton stands up for Town Hall Protesters

"Bipartisan" President tells Republicans: "Get out of the way" and "Don’t do a lot of talking"

With his poll numbers in steady decline and support for his health care initiative dwindling, the president - once hailed as the embodiment of "bipartisanship" and "unity" - lashed out at Republicans at a political rally on Thursday, in an effort to both bolster his failed economic policies and reclaim his former glory:
President Obama again used a campaign rally to lob some partisan firebombs in defense of his handling of the economy, challenging Republicans to quit complaining about a fiscal situation they helped create.

"I expect to be held responsible for these issues because I’m the president," he said. "But I don’t want the folks who created the mess doing a lot of talking. I want them to just get out of the way so we can clean up the mess."

Preaching to the choir at a rally for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds, he repeated: "I don’t mind cleaning up after them, but don’t do a lot of talking...."
And, despite all evidence to the contrary, Obama - the inimitable master of deception - proclaimed that without his economic policies, "we’d have an even higher deficit going forward".
"When I walked in, we had a $1.3 trillion deficit," Obama said within hours of the CBO announcing that the deficit had, in fact, reached $1.3 trillion. He claimed, actually, that "without my policies, we’d have an even higher deficit going forward," though he excepted the stimulus bill which he said "we had to do in order to get this economy moving again."...
Inimitable, indeed. Sigh......
The Deeds campaign estimated the crowd at the Hilton hotel here at 1,800, what might be the smallest crowd Obama has drawn for a political rally in a year.

Polls show not only Deeds trailing, but Obama slipping in the state he carried last fall. A Deeds spokesperson said that while tonight's rally could only help rally the base, Deeds needs to focus more on demonstrating he's a "Virginia Democrat" and not necessarily an "Obama Democrat."

The spokesperson denied that Deeds was distancing himself from the president, however...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tampa Town Hall Protesters Not Let In Event For Rep. Kathy Castor - UPDATED

UPDATE: Scroll down:

Organizers filled the event with their own people, the protesters were not allowed in the room - after waiting for 2-3 hours.

One attendee at the Castor town hall meeting asked why some people were not let in to the room. But the congresswoman had already snuck out the back door before she popped the question:

Some of you may be wondering: If Castor only allowed her own supporters into the room, how did the others manage to get in?

A YouTube poster, who attended the event, answers that question:
We were able to get in because the Union people thought we were with them. It was obvoius that Union people, who were brought in from surrounding areas, had reserved front-row seats. We were also given instructions on how to express our support by one of Kathy Castor's goons.

They handed out pro-Obamacare signs to us initially. Then they realized their opposition had "don't tread on me" and various other signs they didn't want in. So they told everyone they weren't allowed signs at all and took our signs back.

They handed out lolly-pops/suckers. They told us to wave lolly-pop/suckers to the "suckers" when they expressed opposition to the health care bill...
And, that would explain how the woman in the video below managed to get into the room and ask the following question:

And, via Gateway Pundit: Over 1,000 St. Louis Tea Party Taxpayers showed up to attend the Russ Carnahan town hall meeting in South St. Louis. They were locked out. But the Carnahah staff was sneaking in SIEU members in the side door marked "handicapped.":

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A private trip?

From the Korean Central News Agency - August 5, 2009:
A report on Former U.S. President Bill Clinton's visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is as follows:

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and his party visited the Democratic People's Republic of Korea from August 4 to 5.

Kim Jong Il, general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea and chairman of the National Defense Commission of the DPRK, met with Bill Clinton and his party...

Clinton expressed words of sincere apology to Kim Jong Il for the hostile acts committed by the two American journalists against the DPRK after illegally intruding into it. Clinton courteously conveyed to Kim Jong Il an earnest request of the U.S. government to leniently pardon them and send them back home from a humanitarian point of view.

The meetings had candid and in-depth discussions on the pending issues between the DPRK and the U.S. in a sincere atmosphere and reached a consensus of views on seeking a negotiated settlement of them.

Kim Jong Il issued an order of the Chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission on granting a special pardon to the two American journalists...

Clinton courteously conveyed a verbal message of U.S. President Barack Obama expressing profound thanks for this
and reflecting views on ways of improving the relations between the two countries.

The measure taken to release the American journalists is a manifestation of the DPRK's humanitarian and peace-loving policy.

The DPRK visit of Clinton and his party will contribute to deepening the understanding between the DPRK and the U.S. and building the bilateral confidence.
From the Central North Korean News Agency - August 4, 2009:

General Secretary Kim Jong Il today met with former U.S. President Bill Clinton and his party on a visit to the DPRK.

Bill Clinton courteously conveyed a verbal message of U.S. President Barack Obama to Kim Jong Il.

Kim Jong Il expressed thanks for this. He welcomed Clinton's visit to the DPRK and had an exhaustive conversation with him.

There was a wide-ranging exchange of views on the matters of common concern.

However, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs denied that Clinton had conveyed a message from Obama to Kim Jong Il. Gibbs insisted Clinton's trip was a private one - which prompted Thomas Kim, executive director of Korea Policy Institute, to respond, that's "preposterous, there's no other way to say it."

The Washington Post adds the following tidbit:
Although the White House and the State Department steadfastly insisted that the former president... was on a "private humanitarian mission," the trip came about only after weeks of back-channel conversations involving... senior White House and State Department officials, said sources involved in the planning...
"Weeks of back-channel conversations, involving... senior White House and State Department officials."

A "private" trip. Heh.

'Obama Care'?

'Obama Care' - it could be worse...

Gibbs: Ahmadinejad MIGHT be the elected leader of Iran

White House spokesman, Robert Gibbs today addressed a statement he had made on Tuesday asserting that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the 'elected leader' of Iran. At today's daily press briefing Gibbs said, "it's not fair for me to pass judgment on" that:
Let me correct a little bit of what I said yesterday. I denoted that Mr. Ahmadinejad was the elected leader of Iran. I would say it's not for me to pass judgment on [that]. He's been inaugurated, that's a fact. Whether any election was fair, obviously the Iranian people still have questions about that and we'll let them decide that....
Sadly, Mr. Gibbs and the White House are being disingenuous about the situation in Iran. The Iranian people do not have the freedom or the ability to choose their leaders. The only ones with the power and the influence to effect these decisions are the Supreme leader of Iran and the President of the United States. And apparently, they have made up their minds already....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Obama: Socialized Medicine will arrive in due time

Barack Obama and Democrats in congress are seeking to institute a single-payer health care system. However, since most Americans already have employer based health care insurance, the plan - for the time being - is to institute a public option, which will eventually clear the way for a single-payer system:

Here's Rep. Schakowsky's complete statement:

On May 6th, 2009, Rep. Peter Roskam questioned HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius during a Ways and Means Committee hearing about her views on a single-payer health care system in light of Rep. Jan Schakowsky's comments.

Sebelius insisted that the public option plan is not a prelude to a single-player system:

However, Sebelius was being a bit disingenuous, because, in reality, she shares Schakowsky's sentiment, as evidenced from the following video:

Rep. John Conyers believes the President was once a staunch supporter of a single-payer system:

And, CNS News is reporting that Mr. Conyers recently issued a similar statement at a National Press Club luncheon:
Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said that [President] Obama used to support a single-payer health care plan but flip-flopped on the issue because of the “Rahm Emanuel Factor.”..

“I can remember when Obama agreed with me,” said Conyers, referencing Obama’s past support of a single-payer health care system at a recent National Press Club luncheon.

In reference to why Obama changed his mind about single-payer, Conyers said: “I'm just guessing now, because we haven't talked about it, but he wants it because of the Rahm Emanuel factor..."

“And that’s the whole idea, is that he wants a bill," said Conyers. "He wants to win in the off-year elections. He [Emanuel] wants our president reelected the next time he comes up, and so do I. But I don't want anything that's stamped ‘reform’ and let it go at that.”...
Here's a video of Rahm Emanuel being confronted - on June 17 - about the President's flip-flop:

Gibbs: Ahmadinejad is the 'elected leader' of Iran

From the AP:
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is "the elected leader" of the Islamic republic.

Gibbs was asked Tuesday if the White House recognized Ahmadinejad as the country's legitimate president.

"He's the elected leader," Gibbs responded...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Trial Balloons Ad Nauseum

"The Obama administration on Monday quickly shot down a trial balloon it floated over the weekend that opened the possibility of new taxes on the middle class after the idea came under heavy fire from labor unions, liberal leaders and Republicans.

"In a television interview Sunday, senior Obama economic adviser Lawrence Summers declined to rule out raising taxes on the middle class to pay for health care reform, prompting an uproar on Monday.

"In another television appearance that day, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said, 'We’re going to have to do what is necessary' to rein in the deficit, also declining to rule out new taxes.

"White House press secretary Robert Gibbs scrambled to backtrack on the idea during Monday’s briefing."
The Hill - August 3, 2009

"When it comes to finding a way to finance government-run health care, the administration of Barack Obama is floating a VAT trial balloon echoing that of President Bill Clinton in 1993.

"The Obama administration's VAT trial balloon is being floated by Kenneth Baer, spokesman for Obama Budget Director Peter Orszag, who was quoted in the Washington Post on Wednesday as saying a VAT is 'unlikely to be in the mix', but did not rule it out, despite Obama's central campaign promise not to raise taxes on families making less than $250,000:

'While we do not want to rule any credible idea in or out as we discuss the way forward with Congress, the VAT tax, in particular, is popular with academics but highly controversial with policymakers'."
Reuters - May 28, 2009

From a Fox News Interview - July 2009:

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: Is there any likelihood we're going to get a second stimulus?

SEN. MCCONNELL: Well, I think they're clearly floating a trial balloon. They're thinking about it. And you've got people like Larry Summers down at the White House, you know, throwing out the possibility. So they wanted to send up a trial balloon and see if it flew. I think, based on the evidence of the first one so far, I can't imagine they can pull this off.
Real Clear Politics

"A most significant 'trial balloon' was launched a few days ago when it was suggested that the wealthiest Americans be surtaxed to pay for the health care of those less well off. To say that created a firestorm is an understatement."
Las Vegas Sun - July 26, 2009

"The Obama administration appears to be floating trial balloons in news reports that the administration is readying a plan to relocate inmates from the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba terrorist detention facility either to Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas or an about-to-be-closed maximum security prison in Michigan."
Human Events - August 3, 2009

"Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) said that Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel might have been floating a 'trial balloon' when he told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week that a 'trigger option' could be a compromise approach to health care reform.

" 'The president wasn't talking about a trigger,' said Woolsey. And when Emanuel floated the idea, she said, 'the balloon blew up'.
Gabbr - July 9, 2009


White House authorizes U.S. Census to Count Gay Marriages

Task Force staffers met with officials from the White House, Census Bureau and Commerce Department to successfully press for this policy reversal.

From the Miami Herald - h/t Debbie Schlussel:
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force was on hand for today’s official announcement by the U.S. Commerce Department that the U.S. Census Bureau would report married same-sex couples in the 2010 census...

Task Force staffers.. pressed for a policy change in meetings that started in late 2008 with the Obama transition team, continuing later with officials from the White House, Census Bureau and Commerce Department...

An old song for the President?

From ET Online:
Sir Paul McCartney took to a Maryland stage to dedicate the '60s song "Michelle" to President Barack Obama's wife...

McCartney performed in front of 60,000 fans at FedEx Field on Saturday and sang for First Lady Michelle Obama, "I love you, I love you, I love you. That's all I want to say," NBC Washington reports.
In a related development, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Sunday that he wouldn't rule out raising taxes for the middle class.

From Stephanopoulos' Bottom Line:
To get the economy back on track, will President Barack Obama have to break his pledge not to raise taxes on 95 percent of Americans? In a “This Week” exclusive, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told me, "We’re going to have to do what’s necessary.”

Geithner was clear that he believes a key component of economic recovery is deficit reduction. When I gave him several opportunities to rule out a middle class tax hike, he wouldn’t do it.

“We have to bring these deficits down very dramatically,” Geithner told me. “And that’s going to require some very hard choices.”
Which begs the question: Will Geithner's remarks spur on Sir Paul to dedicate another one of his popular songs to President Obama?: