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February 11, 2010



Other great achievements of the Obama administration:

- A strong national security response to 9/11 with no major terror attacks

- Overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan

- Recovery from the 2001 recession with 4.5 years of economic growth from 2002-2006 (until the Dems took over Congress)

Wait, what's that you say? Oh, never mind.


So do they have a sign up in the White House that says: "Americans have a 5 minute memory. Say whatever you want? Or are they just all delusional?


Lets not forget how he contradicted Blair, Panetta, and Napolitano, on another likely
AQ attack

Teh Sheriff

I tell ya what, a lotta people think it's too soon to look back at the list of our great accomplishments, and we got a lot more stuff comin', believe you me, but we can make a solid case for being one of the all-time great administrations based on just these five accomplishments:
1) Winning the war in Iraq
2) the Federal Marshal plan that saved Western Europe from the One-Armed Man
3) inventing cheese
5) giving patriots of all income brackets a chance to express their patriotism and dig us out of the hole - and I don't like pointing fingers, but this is just the God's honest truth - out of the hole that Bush and Cheney and the Republican Congress got us all in to

Jack is Back!

If you take credit for Iraq then you have to take credit for the economy, unemployment, failure on health care, etc. You now have no excuse for blaming Bush and using your mop. Success has many fathers and most of them were bastards themselves.

Steve C.

Say It Ain't So Joe

"The day is going to come when we are going to make some tough decisions during an international crisis."

And now we know. The critical decision is whether they can claim Iraq is a success of the Obama administration!


Look, Teh Sheriff, don't think we didn't notice you left something off. You can't spell. You can't count. But stand up Joe, we love you man.


...the price righties would have to pay for a stable and democratic Iraq would be sharing the credit with Obama.

Posted by Tom Maguire on February 11, 2010

I would agree with that statement if Obama hadn't clearly stated that even if he had known beforehand the surge was going to work he would have voted against it, because it was more important to beat Bush than to win the war. At that point Obama abrogated any right to claim any credit for success in Iraq.


I would agree with that statement if Obama hadn't clearly stated that even if he had known beforehand the surge was going to work he would have voted against it, because it was more important to beat Bush than to win the war. At that point Obama abrogated any right to claim any credit for success in Iraq.

Please please please let me never forget this.


He wanted Bush to fail.


I need a timeline from the Obama administration that shows when credit changes from one administration to another.



You don't need a timeline. If it worked or works, Obama gets credit. If it fails or failed, Bush gets it.


Biden stepped into it again, the mans a complete fool. Everyone knows winning the Iraq war does not top Obamas invention of the light bulb and his cure for polio!

Biden, what a kidder!


OT - can one of you economic whizzes tell me why we can't let Greece fail?


Mt. Olympus is too big to fail.

Walter Ronten

OK. Give them the credit they have earned. They took over a strategy that was working and had the savvy not to mess with it. This is not the same as comming up with a winning strategy from scratch - especially considering how they trashed anything and everything about it before the election. Actually, I think Obama is so clueless about warfare and foreign policy that he just dithered until the status quo ran its course.

BB Key

Just caught the end of to today's WH press briefing with that paragon of non-petty politics Booby Gibbs.

When asked about Biden's claim of sucess last night

I paraphrase Gibbs:

our sucess in Iraq has been picking up the broken pieces and putting them back again so that elections can be held and our troops will be home in August

follow up: All that was set out in the status of forces agreement

Gibbs: because of the pressure put on the previous administration by then candidate Obama.

saw it at c-span.org WH daily brief last 4 mins of the video maybe somebody can link it.

let me never forget this....


Greece has to fail..It is being run irresponsibly and there is no sign that failure is making a dent in their way of behaving.

Charlie (Colorado)

OT - can one of you economic whizzes tell me why we can't let Greece fail?

because then the Euro would crash and we'd have to go back to paying really cheap prices for European stuff?

Hugh Dudgeon

ditto California

Old Lurker

Charlie got it right, Jane.

The Euro was created as an alternantive to the dollar, but rather than being the currency of a single country comprised of states united by a constitution, the Euro is closer to being the artificial currency of a voluntary association of independent countries, and lacking the ability to use federal constitutional checks and balances, is not supported by an ability of the central government to impose taxes to support the paper. So if one country mismanages its affairs, other countries might or might not be willing to "pay" to support the miscreant.

If Greece were to fail, that would prove the above and put the lie to the Euro as stronger than the dollar.

Then Charlie would get his Euro Crash and cheaper BMW's and French wine.


It's as if the whole world has gone crazy. STOP SPENDING!


Is Joe going to invite all the troops over to his imaginary diner?

the problem with the Greek crisis is that it is a house of cards andwe may see a systemic failure anyway. Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland and the UK are in the lead with Italy right behind. Any way you look at it, the well has run dry and they simply do not have the money to repay their sovereign debt.If one goes, I believe more will and we may end up with something much worse than Kredit Anstalt crisis in '31.

On top of that, Japan is in terrible shape, and there's the China real estate bubble. Threw in the commercial RE walkaways and escalating short sale/foreclosure mess here and Chinese walkback on dollar denominated securities, and I have no clue which way to jump anymore.

In this country we are now experiencing rapid deflation brought on by the RE meltdown, but we have been printing dollars 24/7.

Can we get a couple of Chicago Boys (the economists not the pols) to game this one quick?

Old Lurker

Whose's gone crazy?

It's not as if a major country would find a completely inexperienced person of questionable beliefs and with no credentials or track record and make that person president or something.

I told you a million times not to exaggerate.

Old Lurker

Hey Matt, I was trying to sugarcoat it to keep from scaring people with the truth. As you well know, if the weaker Euro partners cave as you rightly line them up, then stronger countries will jump ship ASAP and start printing Marks again. Just to pick one.


If Kim's around, thought this interesting.

BBC has a story up titled Climategate">http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8510498.stm">Climategate e-mails inquiry under way.

Sub head reads: "A panel of independent experts has officially begun its inquiry into the "Climategate" affair."

That's good news. Independent Experts on the panel to get to the bottom of Climate-Gate.

3 paragraphs in we get:

"But even before the panel could start work, one of its members resigned.
Dr Philip Campbell, editor-in-chief for Nature journal, stood down late on Thursday. The reason was not immediately clear."
Wow, since I started composing this comment 5 minutes ago, the BBC site has been updated. Now the paragraph above reads:

But even before the panel could start work, one of its members resigned.
Dr Philip Campbell, editor-in-chief for Nature journal, stood down late on Thursday because of remarks he had made last year in the Chinese media in which he said the scientists mentioned in the e-mails had "behaved as researchers should".
"I made the remarks in good faith on the basis of media reports of the leaks. As I have made clear subsequently, I support the need to for a full review of the facts behind the leaked e-mails," he said in a statement.
"There must be nothing that calls into question the ability of the independent Review to complete this task, and therefore I have decided to withdraw from the team."

Good. Was going to go full snark, but now don't need to. I'll still post this just for info.

FWIW, Head of the panel is Sir Muir Russell. Don't know anything about the man, but he was appointed to head the Panel by the University of East Anglia.


can one of you economic whizzes tell me why we can't let Greece fail?

We can, of course. But I presume what you're asking is: Why aren't "we" letting it fail? The real reason is that European banks have lots of loans to Greece that will become worthless. Note that Germany took the lead in this, and it's German banks, as I understand it, that are up to their keesters in loans to the Greek government. So the Europeans are following the lead of Geithner and Paulson and bailing out the banks. The bottom line is that this is not so much a bailout of Greece as it is of the banks.

Now some good could come of it if as a condition of the bailout they forced the Greeks to seriously clean up their act. But all they will do is some face-saving non-binding symbolic stuff to make it look like they are getting tough. They have no leverage with Greece, only with the banks, and it seems we can never get tough with banks (except to limit the pay of the employees so all the talented ones leave).



I'm just praying I'm wrong.


The biggest difference between this adminstration and the last.

Biden and Obama will take all the credit...while Bush would have given all the credit to the soldiers.


The Obama adminstration talking about how bad bad bad the economy was they inherited...reminds me of this old skit:


bishop narciso

So do you think it is Creditanstalt bad or something inbetween


Taranto also makes fun of Biden and the NYT' the cold weather is proof of warming..In part:
t is now clear that even if Gelbspan had been describing the media's approach to the subject accurately, they still would have been assigning too much authority to the IPCC. Yesterday London's Guardian, a left-wing paper that has long been squarely in the global-warmist camp, carried a damning report titled "How to Reform the IPCC":
The IPCC says its reports are policy relevant, but not policy prescriptive. Perhaps unknown to many people, the process is started and finished not by scientists but by political officials, who steer the way the information is presented in so-called summary for policymakers [SPM] chapters. Is that right, the Guardian asked?
"The Nobel prize was for peace not science . . . government employees will use it to negotiate changes and a redistribution of resources. It is not a scientific analysis of climate change," said Anton Imeson, a former IPCC lead author from the Netherlands. "For the media, the IPCC assessments have become an icon for something they are not. To make sure that it does not happen again, the IPCC should change its name and become part of something else. The IPCC should have never allowed itself to be branded as a scientific organisation. It provides a review of published scientific papers but none of this is much controlled by independent scientists."
And of course the University of East Anglia emails showed that the so-called independent scientists manipulated data and tried to blacklist colleagues who did not accept the global-warmist hypotheses.
It's true that cold weather, while providing an occasion to mock global warming, does not disprove it. But the mocking would be far less effective had global warmists not spent the past quarter-century making a mockery of the scientific method."


You guys at home hearing any TV news reports on Bill Clinton being taken to hospital?

Cecil Turner

He should've taken credit for Afghanistan. They actually did something there, and it looks like it's stabilizing. Taking credit for the surge in Iraq is a bad joke . . . taking credit for not doing something so stupid it derailed the path to victory when it was all but assured is faint praise, but they're entitled to it.


No, cc. Where did you hear that?


Drudge, ABC News alert at website, Ace, etc.

Mary J

Hillary send leaving WH not looking concerned nor in a rush. But I am not sure that means good or bad things for Bubba.


Speculation is it is heart related - not sure if a planned hospital visit or an emergency visit. I figured folks at home with TV will know before it posts on the internet.

Mary J

Bipartisanship!!!!! (aka "Our way or the Highway")

"Members of the Senate Finance Committee unveiled a long-awaited bipartisan jobs bill Thursday morning — only to have it scrapped within hours by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Reid killed the bill after hearing complaints from members of his own caucus who argued that Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) had gone too far beyond the core goal of job creation in order to win Republican support.

It was a major rebuke for Baucus, who’d spent weeks working with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)"


Mary J

"Former President Bill Clinton was hospitalized in New York on Thursday after experiencing chest pains, two sources have told CNN. "



ABC:Former President Bill Clinton was rushed to a Manhattan hospital late this afternoon, sources tell ABC News. A look back at presidential history from 1960 to 2008. Clinton, 63, was transported to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan for a condition related to his heart. ABC News' chief political correspondent George Stephanopoulos reported that sources said he was taken to the hospital "likely for a stent procedure."

Doesn't look like it was planned.


uh, Clarice - I seem to have your red avatar thingy today and you now have a blue one. What gives?


The success is getting all that foreign aid money demanded or pained and stroked and then getting elected to screw banks and other stuff you just don't like.

Afghainstan was a success for his aid pals, but Iraq wasn't, so it's Blackwater death instead. Why won't O cut foreign aid? We are broke.

The faster the things get out of there the better off everyone is; it's an attack on America every timne these users do anything. They just keep on crapping on us. The world can't sit ther and deny what they are when they do what they do. It's embarassing to know he's their illegally and misleading America along with Biden the foreign loan forgiveness cannon.

We can't impeach cause it's a secret


Thanks for the info C.

Rick Ballard

"So do you think it is Creditanstalt bad or something inbetween"

Oh no. Creditanstalt was a piece of cake - investment bankers didn't wear CDS suicide vests at the time of Creditanstalt. I don't know if I'd say this will be much worse but it will definitely be very different. Jimmyk's summary is right on target, the only addition I would make is to note that Greek debt is wrapped in CDS dynamite, as is the debt of all the other failing economies in Europe.

On a very related subject, Zero Hedge notes that "we just had as close to a failed auction as possible" wrt a $16 billion offering of 30 year Treasury bonds.

There ain't enough fresh money in the whole wide world to cover the "necessary" debt issuance to paper over all the world wide pot holes popping up. Uncle Ben is going to have to crank the printing presses up to Warp 9 just to stay a little bit behind.




Rick, I got as far as "yields" in that article before getting flummoxed over why 4.720% was much different from 4.687%, never mind the rest. Could you define (or point at definitions of) the rest of the terms in that post? Looking for a moment gives me this, which does not inspire confidence that I'll find the rest.

Charlie (Colorado)

Clinton had another pair of stents (not "stints" newspeople) inserted via percutaneous insertion (in other words, like an angioplasty, they don't have to crack the chest.)

It was apparently on an emergency basis, so Clinton probably had an incident of angina but maybe not a full infarct; won't know for sure until they do cardiac enzymes and tell us.


From NRO's The Corner:

From his office: "Today President Bill Clinton was admitted to the Columbia Campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital after feeling discomfort in his chest. Following a visit to his cardiologist, he underwent a procedure to place two stents in one of his coronary arteries. President Clinton is in good spirits, and will continue to focus on the work of his Foundation and Haiti's relief and long-term recovery efforts. In 2004, President Clinton underwent a successful quadruple bypass operation to free four blocked arteries."
Cecil Turner

Somewhat OT:

Did everyone see Gibbs on MSNBC this morning discussing the underwear bomber:

I think what's better, and what would make the American people feel safer, is if people who are trained to interrogate--law enforcement professionals--people with decades of counterterrorism experience are the ones who are doing this, not politicians in Washington. [hand transcribed (2:30 or so in the video)]
The obvious rejoinder is that the decision on how to interrogate him is the issue is currently being decided by Obama and Holder, not interrogators. But the interesting thing is how the Administration is doubling down on what looks to me to be a clear loser.


Did he write that on his hand too, the idea that he is a senior adviser, the only non
Chicagoan, are you scare yet

Dave (in MA)

Looks like it's time for another one of Insty's "they told me if I voted for McCain...and they were right!" posts. LUN

Dave (in MA)

How did I do that?


Kredit Anstalt was the vehicle that drove the global economy into the Great Depression like the Titanic. '29 was bad but KA sealed the deal.

If Greece goes and others totter on the brink, the numbers dwarf KA, but as Rick points out, it is very different. I'm hoping that somewhere, there is some common sense answer.

I frankly don't know how this would play out as we already have a shaky international system that has taken a major shock over the past 2 years.

If governments default, their bondholders will get a percentage of the value of the bonds and their credit ratings will plummet.They will be forced to live within their means or not be able to borrow again from the international investment community.

If Greece goes, then it may knock out the underpinnings in the other weak sisters economies and set off a general depression in Europe.

The flow of international commerce will slow from an already low level. I'm guessing it would be even worse than early '08 and unemployment would explode again, including in China (lost markets). Last time, the Chinese lost millions of jobs and the police in Shenzhen had shoot to kill orders. This would be worse.

It would also cause severe unrest in a number of countries (the Greek public sector employees, a major part of the problem, have already called a general strike, shades of tthe 20's and 30's).

The 3rd world may take it better than we do as they don't have a pot to pee in to start.Governments will start to grab anything they can in the way of resources. Anyone with resources is going to want whatever hard value currency or metal comes out of the mess best.

Since we're pretty much at the edge right now and crawling back, things would not look too good for anyone in the global economy. We would see the greatest reduction in wealth in history.

The 30's gave Fascism the fertile soil to flourish. Take a bunch of statists who seem to have the wheels of power around the world and nary a clue, and what happens next? externalizing threats would also be an issue as leaders seek to rally their people.

I don't see the leadership here or abroad who has the force of will, common sense, empathy, and communication skills that would be required to calm the markets and peoples of these countries, either. Think Daladier.

Like I said, I hope and pray I'm out to lunch on this one.

Dave (in MA)

Are you seeing my posts with a broken icon?


So many countries (and states) have been living beyond their means for so long and getting away with it. The ideal situation would be if a few jurisdictions could go belly up sending a strong messages to the citizens of the remaining ones to clean up their act. Is this scenario even possible anymore?


dave, there's a blue question mark where your avatar should be.


The notion of a common currency where the productive partners have no way to enforce fiscal responsibility on the least productive and least frugal members is nonsensical. I think if Germany bails out Greece, the situation will only get worse.

Bute the damned bullet.

Old Lurker

Look at the bright side, Clarice.

Your airport is now open to normal traffic.

Dave (in MA)

I broke the blog.

Old Lurker

There you go again, Matt.

Between reading yours, Jimmy's and Ricks...

time to open the bar.

Old Lurker


LUN is a link to the Bloomberg financial terms dictionary. You might not find some of those specialized terms in that pretty opaque post of Rick's, but this is a handy decoder ring for many of these stories.


I like it, Dave. The avatars changed today, but maybe your new one has something to do with your email id. Anything unique there? Punctuation characters, maybe?


You guys are being too harsh on Joe, because actually he's correct.

When Biden says "I am very optimistic about -- about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration", he is engaging in a bit of that Ivy League Relativity we have come to love and admire from Physicist Lawrence Tribe and his wonderful Grad Student Issac Einstein Obama.

Sure in this universe we currently inhabit Joe and Barrack did everything they possibly could to lose the war in Iraq, but in some alternate universe which they inhabit along with Al Gore and the MSNBCer's, the Earth is continuing to warm up, and Barrack and Joe Loved the Surge and personally kicked Saddam in the fanny. Plus over there, Barrack has a Birth Certificate, John Edwards ain't the babies father, and the meaning of "is" is "is".

I figured this out on a bar napkin one night at The Eagle Pub in Cambridge with Watson, Crick, and Steven Hawking. Am surprised you guys are so behind the times.

Is Sarah Palin a genius in your universe?

Dave (in MA)

Extraneus, the only thing that comes to mind is that my usual e-mail has an associated Gravatar icon, but I didn't thing Typopad cared about or even knew about those, and nothing's changed at all on my end. Trying another e-mail setting... Hmm. All of a sudden they don't like my hotmail account in all lowercase?

Dave (in MA)

Hey daddy, your icon is broken, too.



And I found a magic email address, too.


Three Word Name


Rick Ballard


Perhaps the easiest way to explain the Zero Hedge hypothesis is to look at auction results from one year ago and compare them to today's results. The definitions for the bidder types can be found in footnotes 6,7 and 8.

Zero Hedge hypothesizes that the increase in the amount awarded to Direct Bidders (from 16.44 % to 24.07% of the total) represents a "secret" intervention by the Fed/Treasury/? to assure "success" of the auction. An adjunct to the hypothesis is that Treasury finds it necessary to play this game because, as the results show, foreign participation (Indirect Bidder) has dropped from 34% to 29%.

The hypothesis is unproven, as is the hypothesis that stock market manipulation is occurring on a daily basis in order to protect balance sheets. In both instances, it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck but lets pretend it's a cute, fuzzy bunny.


Kind of Sliders type existence, huh, daddy, well in this one, this is what passes for wisdom, in the LUN:


"Hey daddy, your icon is broken, too."

Dave I think it's because we've entered Biden's universe for a moment Dave. (in Ma or have you been transported to Arizona?)

Clarice has turned from Red to Blue, CentralCal has gone from Orange to Red, I've gone to a blank box with letters, and you Dave keep popping in and out from purple to nothingness, like the potentiality of an electron to exist in Feynman Diagrams of Quantum Chromodynamics.


Can't wait to see what Jane's looks like and if Captain Hate turns into Captain Love.



If you recall, the German banks also owned huge chunks of American debt, and also hugh chunks of Eastern European debt. I'm not so sure Frau Merkel has a piggy bank big enough.



One of my very favorite ">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Futurama_ep69.jpg"> Futurerama's.


daddy - I am trying to whisper, but can you imagine what sylvia will think about these new avatars? She has already accused "most" of us of being trolls.

This would really send her round the bend.

Rick Ballard


I forgot to mention that there are a few very reasonable explanations for the Direct Bidder percentage to climb. Treasury has made participation much easier for individuals as well as all other types of investment organizations to participate on a direct purchase basis. A direct purchase is not, however, the same thing as placing a direct bid. I don't have (and will never have) a Direct Treasury account so I don't actually know if orders can be placed against a specific auction on an "at close" basis.



I'm too frightened to consider that. I'm more concerned that in this new universe Captain Hate may be a TarHeel Fan and God forbid, I may actually pull for Dook!

Geezus, the possibilities are horrifying!

Mary J

I'm new here and want my name in my post picture. Does that require a JOM Premium Membership?

Kevin B

Daddy, I don't know if someone else has commented on this above, but the story on Dr Philip Cambell is that Bishop Hill commented on the Muir Russell panel on his blog, (LUN), a commenter dug up the interview to the Chinese media, and Cambell resigned.

Channel 4 on it's website at least has the decency to credit the Bishop.


daddy, extraneus, et al - your name in a box looks ok in place of the avatar in Firefox, but you are just a square with a little red x in IE.



Of course, that Seinfeld episode about the dopplegangers of Kramer, Seinfeld, Costanza
et al.


Suddenly O's B+ makes sense to me. Can anyone else see Gibbs and Biden in the West Wing telling Obama what a great job he did in Iraq?

Apparently O's "gift" has nothing to do with sniffing out ridiculous bullshit being blown up his skirt.


Oh yeah, that's not good.


maryj there is no premium membership. Everyone's welcome and no one knows how to work the avatars.


Lets try this

hit and run

I know how to work the avatars

hit and run

All the avatars

hit and run

Avatars R us

hit and run

That shoulda been

Avatars Я Us

hit and run

Gotta run. Poker night.

God love ya.

Danube of Thought

"because of the pressure put on the previous administration by then candidate Obama."

I guess that would be the legislation he introduced which, had it passed, would have required all American troops to be out of Iraq by April, 2008. Faced with the threat of a legislated defeat, Bush proceeded to win the war.

This gang is simply bizarre. Does Gibbs actually think a candidate can put pressure on a president in the final two years of his second term?

Old Lurker

Show off.

Go back to work.


Thanks Kevin B,

Seems in both universes the BBC still only gives half the story.

"daddy, extraneus, et al - your name in a box looks ok in place of the avatar in Firefox, but you are just a square with a little red x in IE."

Weirder and weirder and weirder. C-Cal, in that ie universe is Mary J a troll? If so, I think the TM of this universe is correct to deny her a Premium JOM membership.


Anyhow, in this universe the kids and I are going out now for some afternoon downhill skiing.

Handle the dimension while we're gone. Later.

Melinda Romanoff


I'll lay up one on the auctions, and a simple way to "read" the results, which isn't, anymore. Rick S. and I were having a raucus discussion about this exact subject.

A large fund is pushing the failed auction story today, very pointedly. CNBC took down their story on it earlier at his suggestion. I told him to "hang quote marks and a name on it, and then put it out there." They weenied out.

More later.


DoT: Glenn Reynolds has the best line re:Biden's ridiculous Iraq quote:

"Obama’s about as much the father of this victory as Andrew Young was of Rielle Hunter’s baby."

Amen, and sing it brother!

Malaysia Jane

My sister and Brother-in-law called me from Hawaii today. They are on some kind of extended vacation. They called specifically to tell me that everyone in Hawaii hates Obama now. They all think he is ruining the country. How my relatives got to meet EVERYONE in Hawaii is beyond me.

Among the people they have met is a couple from Alaska who told them that Sarah Palin is the best thing that ever happened to Alaska and they love love love her.

Soylent Red

There's no premium membership?

I want my money back TM...

BTW...let's everyone keep their fingers crossed for ol' Soylent for a few weeks. I'm at the end of my stretch out here in central VA, so I'm in the process of wheeling and dealing for a new assignment. Hopefully one that comes with a command and a ticket to see the elephant, so to speak. I got a hot one aaaaaaaalmost lined up.

Luckily, the Obama Administration has deftly pacified Iraq. So I got that going for me. Which is nice.

Danube of Thought

The IBD offers four reasons why Pelosi's scheme for passing Obamacare ain't happening.


Soylent, i always have my fingers crossed for you. (Also for hit when he's home alone with the kids or working a chain saw.)


Soy, one the one hand good luck. On the other, the elephant is a nasty f-er.

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