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Joined: 4/14/2008
Msg: 7
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Bail out mind phuckPage 1 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)

I see that the Big 3 is also looking for a handout

Why bail out the auto industry when the cause of it's problems are the contract terms with it's United Auto Workers. No business can expect to stay competitive in the market place when they are strong-armed to pay wages/benefits that average $70/hr to employees. (Wages plus overtime premiums, paid vacations coupled with Health care cost)

The average unionized worker made 130,000/year to drill nuts and bolts? No, I'm not kidding. This is one industry where the employees and not it's executives have fleeced their corporation into bankruptcy.

Hopefully Congress will say NO to a bailout. Yet crafty attorneys/lobbyist have already sunk their teeth into expunging yet another subsidy at tax payer expense.

They should allow bankruptcy to clear the slate of union contracts, and incorporate hiring non-union. The average American would love to earn considerably less (say 25-30/hr including benefits) than what this industry has been paying the UAW.

Here's a little sweetener for that Fox Flavored Kool-Ade people seem to be drinking these days;

First and foremost, it's not the union workers who designed big, gas guzzling cars for the American buyers, but made fuel efficient, smaller cars for the over seas markets. When everyone and their mother was trying to get the big three to make electric cars available to the U.S. market, it wasn't the unionized workers that refused to do that. When there was legislation to help alternate energy sources develop and prosper, it wasn't the unionized workers that paid lobbyists to defeat those measures.

Do you know that GM actually had an electric car on the road that was stylish and practical for every day use? They would only allow people to "lease" the car. So, when GM decided to take the cars back, the customers who had the vehicles, offered to buy them flat out. GM refused. Not only did they refuse, but they "repoed" the cars and destroyed them. DESTROYED THEM! Why would they do that? When they stopped building Comaros, they didn't stop allowing people to buy them. These were perfectly good cars, that required no gas and needed little maintenance. This was back in the 90's. Imagine how great the technology would be by now if they had kept building on what they started. I could go on and on. Reasons like this are why the big 3 three are falling.

One more thing I find hilarious, is how all the right wing talkers and pundits are clamoring about how the union employees should make concessions. Or, be fired out right and replaced with non-union workers. But, these same Con-servatives aren't calling for the heads of the executives who make piss poor management decisions.

However, with all that said, the big three must be bailed out. But, it must be done with some sort of oversight. There has to be some direction and a time table to pay it back. It worked for Chrysler and Lee Iacocca back in the day. Plus, the U.S. made money off of the deal. It could work much the same way here.

If we let them go under, we loose yet another product made in America. That's not good for the middle and working classes. And, if we let them erase the union contracts we will financially depress an entire region of the country. Not a good thing to do. Unless, of course, you're one of the top executives who gets paid more, because the workers make less.

When will working class people learn that the Con-servative ideals and principles are not in their best interests. They talk a good game, but as the Bible says, know a tree by it's fruit. Look around. Does this fruit look tasty to you? Con-servative ideals, practiced by both Republicans and Demorcrats, are what got us into this economic situation in the first place.

How's that Kool-Ade tasting now?

Joined: 3/24/2008
Msg: 8
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Bail out mind phuck
Posted: 11/22/2008 9:31:04 PM

I voted for obama not because I liked him but because I believed him to be the lesser of two evils. I always knew in the long run he wouldnt be any different.
Obama was just elected to office a couple weeks ago, and won't actually take office until January 20, 2009. He hasn't actually done anything yet, because he isn't President yet- what we're seeing is the last dying gasps of the Bush Administration; difficult to see any movement because he can't convince anyone to fix this with tax cuts for the rich. That $700 B handout, the lack of oversight and the resulting chaos was Bush's Treasury Secretary's idea, not Obama's,
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 19
Bail out mind phuck
Posted: 12/5/2008 3:50:04 PM
I'd like to know where was all the Congressional angst when creditable news sources reported that the $12B in cash sent to Iraq ended up...gulp...missing! No Congressional inquiry, no followup news reports, no GAO investigations, no Inspectors General knocking on generals' doors over there.

Greed takes us down like few viral epidemics can. Although smallpox is back (to a degree).
Joined: 5/13/2006
Msg: 20
Bail out mind phuck
Posted: 12/5/2008 4:25:07 PM
The problems are multi-layered and complex. There isn't one single domino that knocked down the whole stack.

Going back to 2001, the news of Enron shocked and stunned and caused some laws to be changed. What happened and how and even explaining the terms like "off-balance sheet accounting" would require knowledge beyond what the average investor would be able to understand. What those laws did make happen is that the quarterly and annual reports filed by public corps are more complex, meaning more time (money) spent by the corp on staff and auditors. Costs as we know get passed onto the final consumer. The SEC is obviously not sufficiently staffed to discover irregularities until the company's top brass has already cashed in their options, parachutes and other buyouts and are cruising on their yachts leaving others to meet with the SEC investigators. That happened not only with Enron, but many times since.

IMO this would point to two things - first you can write enough laws or hire enough government investigators or enforcers to prevent high level exes from giving into flat out obscene greed. Never will happen. Secondly, with the advent of the internet and the exponential increase in internet business migrating from brick and mortar (beginning with Amazon in 1995) and the creation and explosion in volume and types of retirement and other types of investments, the bulk of investors are not individual investors (even the wealthy) but what are called institutional investors, buying and selling for mutual funds, etc.

Bottom line is investing and managing a portfolio in the stock market today is beyond the capability of most any individual. The bulk of the buying and selling isn't Grandma and Grandpa cashing in their GM stocks, it's a totally different market. Still at the very basic level, the public corporations are "publicly" owned. Many of the stockholders (owners) do not attend the stockholders' meetings, read the quarterly/annual reports and vote, even by proxy. The decisions about who the executives are going to be and how they are to be paid are made by a very small group of people. The BOD is elected and they appoint the executives. The power over what happens is within a very small, elite group that is only driven by one motive........profit.

There won't be a simplistic or short term solution. There definitely needs to be a shift of power, from the government back to the people who elect the officials, the people need to hold them to a higher standard of accountability and the stockholders need to do the same to the BOD and executives.

History does bear out that all too often, it's a very few people that dictate to the majority and are very reticent to relinquish any shred of power, nor have any concern for the masses they are responsible for serving. It'll be up to all of us to be as informed and involved as we can possibly be. The less the voters and stockholders know, the easier it is to carry on as usual, without having to be held accountable. This isn't anything new.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 24
Bail out mind phuck
Posted: 12/6/2008 8:34:40 AM
Going back to 2001, the news of Enron shocked and stunned and caused some laws to be changed.

True. However, I think a rather large abuse of the "commonwealth" aka US Treasury happened with the Savings & Loan scandal back in the 80's. Although I was just a little guy back then, since then I recall my father saying that this is what one of the forefathers of our country said about building a democratic republic: when the people discover how to legally steal money from their national treasury, then the democracy is finished.

In my [otherwise humble] opinion this is exactly what is happening right now, as if the criminals in Brooks Brothers suits are in panic mode, aiming to raid the remaining value of our money supply before it zeroes out to something of less value than the currency of Chad.
Joined: 5/13/2006
Msg: 26
Bail out mind phuck
Posted: 12/6/2008 8:28:38 PM

True. However, I think a rather large abuse of the "commonwealth" aka US Treasury happened with the Savings & Loan scandal back in the 80's.

Could very well be, I was raising my babies back then and hadn't researched it. I do tend to think you're most likely totally correct.

I'm sure Enron wasn't a new phenomenon, it was at that time the largest bankruptcy motion filed in history. (actually reorganization) Unfortunately, greed, power hunger, nothing new.
Joined: 6/7/2008
Msg: 28
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Bail out mind phuck
Posted: 12/7/2008 7:36:16 PM
Something that I haven't heard talked a lot about is where will the big three use their bailout money? Will it go to the factories and business here or will it go to their overseas factories? People in America no longer have the money to buy the new cars other countries do. So they are building companies and production plants in other countries to utilize the markets there. Bailout money is liable to be spent overseas. It will keep things afloat here for a while until they can get things successfully transferred to over there, but our debt load is too high here to support business.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 33
Bail out mind phuck
Posted: 12/8/2008 4:19:31 PM
Bubble? BUBBLE?

Think "Rapidly Expanding Black Hole." It's incredibly similar: for object to avoid crossing the event horizon, they must ever accelerate closer and closer to the speed of light, which has a terminus...uh oh.
Joined: 3/31/2007
Msg: 35
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Bail out mind phuck
Posted: 12/8/2008 8:13:02 PM

ahhhh , who is to blame for this mess???

The white collar swindlers in Washington, of course.
A fellow sums it up amazingly well .. do read his (Mike Adams) comments:
Joined: 3/31/2007
Msg: 39
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Bail out mind phuck
Posted: 12/9/2008 5:32:42 PM
first of all, the bail out was meant to stabilize the banking industry, and was not meant to be handed out to consumers per se. banks are businesses, and they lend money to other banks, corporations, et al. if there is a lack of liquidity then a business' credit line can dry up, which of course will ahve a trickle down effect.

And we sure do see the banks stabilizing (what the hell they are entitled to their bonuses for destroying this economy, right?) Can't unfreeze the credit yet? Need MORE money??? It's okay right?

And why are these banking thugs so worthy of every penny taxpayers have worked for? Who are they so worthy when they have destroyed a thriving economy through there own greed and manipulation (of our money). Who are they so worthy to take from the futures promised to your children, that they pay these massive debts until they die (and then some)?

It is nothing more than the bankers making a final grab before the economy collapses. Should anyone ask for more proof, would only show how foolish and disinformed they are. When the monetary system collapses as with our empire, can you say you did everything you could to inform people so they might take a stand and circumvent this from happening? Or will you be silent because you said and did nothing at all?

Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:
"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered".

How ironic.
Joined: 6/7/2008
Msg: 40
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Bail out mind phuck
Posted: 12/9/2008 6:05:16 PM

The united states was founded as a democracy. Since when did we need to switch to a republic? And it doesnt work well. Theres room for too much corruption. The people should decide......hence democracy.

The United States was founded as a Republic. A democracy is mob rule - ever faced a mob? That is why a republic has rules to uphold the rights of an individual against a mob.
Joined: 3/31/2007
Msg: 42
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Bail out mind phuck
Posted: 12/11/2008 7:13:56 PM

if we had a direct democracy, which is what you are advocating, we'd have a much less stable government. it would be mob rule.
as it is right now, we have the most transparent government that we have ever had in the history of our country.

Does our government look remotely stable to anyone, I mean really???
Show me the transparency! If we had such a thing, all of the corrupt politicians and banking elite would have been fired, rightly so. Instead what has been proven over the decades is the mob rule has gotten stronger and we the people have gotten weaker. - Not by choice, but by ignorance.
Joined: 3/24/2008
Msg: 45
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Bail out mind phuck
Posted: 12/12/2008 7:46:08 AM

The french invented democracy, not the greeks.

That's simply not true. Democracy (Greek for "power of the people") was "invented" in Athens in the 5th Century BC. It was a "direct" democracy, sometimes described as a "true" or "pure" democracy.

A republic is a state that is not led by a hereditary monarch.

In a democracy the leader is elected.

The United States is both a democratic republic, and a representative democracy.

Talk radio hosts seem to have a tough time understanding that.
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 48
Bail out mind phuck
Posted: 12/13/2008 8:10:02 AM
Since I generally mistrust anything wearing a suit of any kind, I find myself grossing myself out with what I am about to suggest:

In order to ensure the taxpayer's treasury is replenished, I think it's time for the government to establish a special holding company for receivership of the car industry. The states involved--Michigan, Ohio, etc.--can operate/administer the policies and procedures for finance, business and development, and the auto plants themselves remain in service, operated by current UAW and management.

This permits the government to control directly the types of transportation vehicles being produced. The government and states involved split up the profits to put back into their treasuries. Once recovered, i.e. in the black, the government is required to put up the companies for sale to U.S. entities, only.

With this type of control we can ensure that:
- The money stolen from the Treasury is replaced;
- Outsourcing can be controlled or eliminated;
- American workers are put back to work to produce viable eco-compliant cars
- Executives and Boards of Directors keep their greedy paws off of what can be perceived as the financial future of America
- There will be a source of competition and choice for those who prefer to buy American

A memorable and relevant quote from Benjamin Franklin:
"When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."
Joined: 8/27/2008
Msg: 52
Bail out mind phuck
Posted: 12/14/2008 8:16:36 AM
^^^^^ How long did "recovery" last until it was considered "full recovery?" Would the recovery been as complete had it not been for tooling up for a war we were dragged into by Japan?
Joined: 1/5/2008
Msg: 56
Bail out mind phuck
Posted: 2/12/2009 5:29:28 AM
OP, the Federal Reserve is the root of the problem with the economy. I suggest watching the following movies which can be viewed on you tube for free.

--Fiat Empire
--Money as Debt
--America, from freedom to facism

Woodrow Wilson signed into effect the Federal Reserve Act on December 23, 1913. And said the following just six years later.

“I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is now controlled by its system of credit.We are no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.”

- Woodrow Wilson 1919
Joined: 3/24/2008
Msg: 57
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Bail out mind phuck
Posted: 2/12/2009 10:20:48 AM

Woodrow Wilson signed into effect the Federal Reserve Act on December 23, 1913

the Federal Reserve is the root of the problem with the economy

Blaming the current economic crisis on Bill Clinton, or the pre-1994 Democratic Congress, is enough of a stretch. Blaming Richard Nixon or Woodrow Wilson or Calvin Coolidge or Herbert Hoover or FDR for the present mess is pure fantasy. The culprit is the deregulation begun during the Reagan years, furthered under both Bushes, but most notably under GW himself, compounded by lax or nonexistent oversight in virtually every government-regulated industry. Economic crises don't take 96 years to develop.
Joined: 1/5/2008
Msg: 61
Bail out mind phuck
Posted: 2/12/2009 6:31:00 PM
To Message 63

You say "Economic crises don't take 96 years to develop". The Fed was created in 1913. And we had a little known crash of 1920, then the big crash of 1929, and many smaller crashes since then. How many Economic crashes happened before the fed? Why should we live in a bubble society? The boom and crash society.

In order to make this country great the first thing we must do is End the privately owned Federal Reserve Banking system that creates money out of thin air. They (The Federal Reserve) get the authority to print money (From the Federal Reserve Act of 1913) and thus loan this newly printed money to our government at interest!!!!!! Ask yourself, Why would the government allow a Central bank(Federal Reserve) to control the Nations money supply when the Central Government is able to print and coin interest free money for itself? Would you get a loan from a bank that charged you interest or a bank that charged you zero interest? The answer is very very obvious. For the record the Federal Reserve came into power in 1913. Prior to that the Government printed and coined its own money that was backed by Gold and Silver as the Constitution says. There is no longer a gold or silver backing of US dollars only faith that the Federal Reserve will do a good job.

#1 Give me control over a nations money supply, and I care not who makes it's laws"
-Mayer Amschel Rothschild
-founder of the Rothschild family international banking dynasty.

#2 The French philosher Pascal said. " I prefer to believe those writers who get their throats cut for what they write"

#3 "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies." - Thomas Jefferson

#4 "I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our constitution - taking from the federal government their power of borrowing." Thomas Jefferson, 1798

#5 "The refusal of King George the third to allow the colonies to operate an honest money system, which freed the ordinary man from the clutches of the money manipulators was probably the prime cause of the Revolution." Benjamin Frankin

America is becoming the very thing we set out to free ourselves from.....
Joined: 2/5/2007
Msg: 64
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Bail out mind phuck
Posted: 2/14/2009 7:53:06 AM
There's a poll up at for people who want to vote on this issue.

The American government is TOTALY controlled by big business and has been for almost 100 years..
The Bush family is in international banking and OIL.
The DuPont family is in explosives as well as chemicals among other things.
What about the Rockefeller family and the Hearst family?
Congress sold out the American people when they backed the DuPont's, Rockefeller's, and Hearst's as they set about getting rid of the natural competition to their unnatural products.

After ten years of dramatic increases in federal spending, I thought it was a slap in the face when Bush convinced a Democratic Congress (with lots of GOP votes, too) to support more corporate welfare subsidies. Once again, unions, lenders, borrowers, and small investors are getting blame by the Rockefeller owned media. The Rockefeller's have put another of their own, Obama, into office to do more damage. Once again, a Democratic Congress (with no GOP votes in the House) has passed another bonanza for major political donors, and the American people will have to pay the bill.

You can't spend your way out of a recession. I thought we had learned that lesson under Bush Sr. and the Democratic Congresses he worked with. We have to vote these members of Congress out of office, or things will just get worse.
Joined: 1/5/2008
Msg: 69
Bail out mind phuck
Posted: 5/5/2009 6:20:43 PM
We can blame much of the current banking problems on the dismantling of the Glass-Steagall act under President Bill Clinton who on November 12, 1999 signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act(Bill) into law.

(The Glass-Steagall Act, passed on 16 June 1933, and officially named the Banking Act of 1933, introduced the separation of bank types according to their business (commercial and investment banking), and it founded the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for insuring bank deposits. Literature in economics usually refers to this simply as the Glass-Steagall Act, since it had a stronger impact on US banking regulation)


The bill that ultimately repealed the Glass-Steagall Act was introduced in the Senate by Phil Gramm (Republican of Texas) and in the House of Representatives by Jim Leach (R-Iowa) in 1999. The bills were passed by Republican majorities on party lines by a 54-44 vote in the Senate and by a 343-86 vote in the House of Representatives. After passing both the Senate and House the bill was moved to a conference committee to work out the differences between the Senate and House versions. The final bill resolving the differences was passed in the Senate 90-8 (1 not voting) and in the House: 362-57 (15 not voting). ' The legislation was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on November 12, 1999.

The banking industry had been seeking the repeal of Glass-Steagall since at least the 1980s. In 1987 the Congressional Research Service prepared a report which explored the case for preserving Glass-Steagall and the case against preserving the act.

The argument for preserving Glass-Steagall (as written in 1987):

1. Conflicts of interest characterize the granting of credit -- lending -- and the use of credit -- investing -- by the same entity, which led to abuses that originally produced the Act.

2. Depository institutions possess enormous financial power, by virtue of their control of other people’s money; its extent must be limited to ensure soundness and competition in the market for funds, whether loans or investments.

3. Securities activities can be risky, leading to enormous losses. Such losses could threaten the integrity of deposits. In turn, the Government insures deposits and could be required to pay large sums if depository institutions were to collapse as the result of securities losses.

4. Depository institutions are supposed to be managed to limit risk. Their managers thus may not be conditioned to operate prudently in more speculative securities businesses. An example is the crash of real estate investment trusts sponsored by bank holding companies (in the 1970s and 1980s).

The argument against preserving the Act (as written in 1987):

1. Depository institutions will now operate in “deregulated” financial markets in which distinctions between loans, securities, and deposits are not well drawn. They are losing market shares to securities firms that are not so strictly regulated, and to foreign financial institutions operating without much restriction from the Act.

2. Conflicts of interest can be prevented by enforcing legislation against them, and by separating the lending and credit functions through forming distinctly separate subsidiaries of financial firms.

3. The securities activities that depository institutions are seeking are both low-risk by their very nature, and would reduce the total risk of organizations offering them -- by diversification.

4. In much of the rest of the world, depository institutions operate simultaneously and successfully in both banking and securities markets. Lessons learned from their experience can be applied to our national financial structure and regulation.[7]

Financial events following the repeal

The repeal enabled commercial lenders such as Citigroup, which was in 1999 the largest U.S. bank by assets, to underwrite and trade instruments such as mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations and establish so-called structured investment vehicles, or SIVs, that bought those securities. It is believed by some including Elizabeth Warren, one of the five outside experts who constitute the Congressional Oversight Panel of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, that the repeal of this act contributed to the Global financial crisis of 2008–2009, although some maintain that the increased flexibility allowed by the repeal of Glass-Steagall mitigated or prevented the failure of some American banks.

The year before the repeal, sub-prime loans were just 5% of all mortgage lending. By the time the credit crisis peaked in 2008, they were approaching 30%

Its funny that the good old main stream media never mentions the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act! They(the media) just point fingers and never tell the whole story. And we the viewers eat it up! This current banking problem was created by both parties, probably on purpose.......
Joined: 2/6/2008
Msg: 70
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Bail out mind phuck
Posted: 5/8/2009 1:49:36 PM

In February I was among a group of USS Cole and 9/11 victims' families who met with the president at the White House to discuss his policies regarding Guantanamo detainees. Although many of us strongly opposed Barack Obama's decision to close the detention center and suspend all military commissions, the families of the 17 sailors killed in the 2000 attack in Yemen were particularly outraged.

Over the years, the Cole families have seen justice abandoned by the Clinton administration and overshadowed by the need of the Bush administration to gather intelligence after 9/11. They have watched in frustration as the president of Yemen refused extradition for the Cole bombers.

Now, after more than eight years of waiting, Mr. Obama was stopping the trial of Abu Rahim al-Nashiri, the only individual to be held accountable for the bombing in a U.S. court. Patience finally gave out. The families were giving angry interviews, slamming the new president just days after he was sworn in.

The Obama team quickly put together a meeting at the White House to get the situation under control. Individuals representing "a diversity of views" were invited to attend and express their concerns.

On Feb. 6, the president arrived in the Roosevelt Room to a standing though subdued ovation from some 40 family members. With a White House photographer in his wake, Mr. Obama greeted family members one at a time and offered brief remarks that were full of platitudes ("you are the conscience of the country," "my highest duty as president is to protect the American people," "we will seek swift and certain justice"). Glossing over the legal complexities, he gave a vague summary of the detainee cases and why he chose to suspend them, focusing mostly on the need for speed and finality.

Many family members pressed for Guantanamo to remain open and for the military commissions to go forward. Mr. Obama allowed that the detention center had been unfairly confused with Abu Ghraib, but when asked why he wouldn't rehabilitate its image rather than shut it down, he silently shrugged. Next question.

Mr. Obama was urged to consult with prosecutors who have actually tried terrorism cases and warned that bringing unlawful combatants into the federal courts would mean giving our enemies classified intelligence -- as occurred in the cases of the al Qaeda cell that carried out the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and conspired to bomb New York City landmarks with ringleader Omar Abdel Rahman, the "Blind Sheikh." In the Rahman case, a list of 200 unindicted co-conspirators given to the defense -- they were entitled to information material to their defense -- was in Osama bin Laden's hands within hours. It told al Qaeda who among them was known to us, and who wasn't.

Mr. Obama responded flatly, "I'm the one who sees that intelligence. I don't want them to have it, either. We don't have to give it to them."

How could anyone be unhappy with such an answer? Or so churlish as to ask follow-up questions in such a forum? I and others were reassured, if cautiously so.

News reports described the meeting as a touching and powerful coming together of the president and these long-suffering families. Mr. Obama had won over even those who opposed his decision to close Gitmo by assuaging their fears that the review of some 245 current detainees would result in dangerous jihadists being set free. "I did not vote for the man, but the way he talks to you, you can't help but believe in him," said John Clodfelter to the New York Times. His son, Kenneth, was killed in the Cole bombing. "[Mr. Obama] left me with a very positive feeling that he's going to get this done right."

"This isn't goodbye," said the president, signing autographs and posing for pictures before leaving for his next appointment, "this is hello." His national security staff would have an open-door policy.

Believe . . . feel . . . hope.

We'd been had.

Binyam Mohamed -- the al Qaeda operative selected by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) for a catastrophic post-9/11 attack with co-conspirator Jose Padilla -- was released 17 days later. In a follow-up conference call, the White House liaison to 9/11 and Cole families refused to answer questions about the circumstances surrounding the decision to repatriate Mohamed, including whether he would be freed in Great Britain.

The phrase "swift and certain justice" had been used by top presidential adviser David Axelrod in an interview prior to our meeting with the president. "Swift and certain justice" figured prominently in the White House press release issued before we had time to surrender our White House security passes. "At best, he manipulated the families," Kirk Lippold, commanding officer of the USS Cole at the time of the attack and the leader of the Cole families group, told me recently. "At worst, he misrepresented his true intentions."

Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder told German reporters that 30 detainees had been cleared for release. This includes 17 Chinese fundamentalist Muslims, the Uighurs, some of whom admit to having been trained in al Qaeda and Taliban camps and being associated with the East Turkistan Islamic Party. This party is led by Abdul Haq, who threatened attacks on the 2008 Olympics Games in Beijing and was recently added to the Treasury Department's terrorist list. The Obama administration is considering releasing the Uighurs on U.S. soil, and it has suggested that taxpayers may have to provide them with welfare support. In a Senate hearing yesterday, Mr. Holder sidestepped lawmakers' questions about releasing detainees into the U.S. who have received terrorist training.

What about the terrorists who may actually be tried? The Justice Department's recent plea agreement with Ali Saleh al-Marri should be of grave concern to those who believe the Obama administration will vigorously prosecute terrorists in the federal court system.

Al-Marri was sent to the U.S. on Sept. 10, 2001, by KSM to carry out cyanide bomb attacks. He pled guilty to one count of "material support," a charge reserved for facilitators rather than hard-core terrorists. He faces up to a 15-year sentence, but will be allowed to argue that the sentence should be satisfied by the seven years he has been in custody. This is the kind of thin "rule of law" victory that will invigorate rather than deter our enemies.

Given all the developments since our meeting with the president, it is now evident that his words to us bore no relation to his intended actions on national security policy and detainee issues. But the narrative about Mr. Obama's successful meeting with 9/11 and Cole families has been written, and the press has moved on.

The Obama team has established a pattern that should be plain for all to see. When controversy erupts or legitimate policy differences are presented by well-meaning people, send out the celebrity president to flatter and charm.

Most recently, Mr. Obama appeared at the CIA after demoralizing the agency with the declassification and release of memos containing sensitive information on CIA interrogations. He appealed to moral vanity by saying that fighting a war against fanatic barbarians "with one hand tied behind your back" is being on "the better side of history," even though innocent lives are put at risk. He promised the assembled staff and analysts that if they keep applying themselves, they won't be personally marked for career-destroying sanctions or criminal prosecutions, even as disbelieving counterterrorism professionals -- the field operatives and their foreign partners -- shut down critical operations for fear of public disclosure and political retribution in the never-ending Beltway soap opera called Capitol Hill.

It worked: On television, his speech looked like a campaign rally, with people jumping up and down, cheering. Meanwhile, the media have moved on, even as they continue to recklessly and irresponsibly use the word "torture" in their stories.

I asked Cmdr. Kirk Lippold why some of the Cole families declined the invitation to meet with Barack Obama at the White House.

"They saw it for what it was."

Ms. Burlingame, a former attorney and a director of the National September 11 Memorial Foundation, is the sister of Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame III, the pilot of American Airlines flight 77, which was crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001

So yeah, you can put me in the 42-43% disapproval rating category. Same place I've been since this egomaniacal shyster gave his speech at the dems convention in 2003.

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