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Belmont Club

Lost, But Making Good Time

October 24th, 2013 - 6:55 pm

The possible consequences of president Obama’s feud with the Saudis are now coming into view. The Hill says that Democrats may oppose his request to ease sanctions on Iran. “Key Democratic senators are weighing whether to break with President Obama on Iran after the White House pressed them to delay another round of sanctions on Thursday.”

The Senate Banking Committee had been expected to introduce new sanctions legislation next Tuesday and mark it up next Thursday, a Senate aide told The Hill. That timeframe is now in doubt after administration officials urged top staffers on the banking and foreign relations panels to hold off during a meeting at the White House on Thursday.

Money is said to talk and the Saudis have plenty of it. There’s few in the legislature who are averse to its call. The other way the Kingdom might get back at Obama is via oil prices. Carrie Sheffield in Forbes writes, “Obama’s Failed Saudi Relations Could Spike Oil Prices”.

The Obama administration’s strategic blunders with Syria and Iran have morphed into a diplomatic disaster with Saudi Arabia, a development that threatens the American economy should tensions escalate further and trigger a dramatic spike in oil prices.

In these circumstances Walter Russell Mead thinks approving the Keystone pipeline should be a no-brainer. “Keystone should be an easy choice, so what’s taking Obama so long?”

Well for one thing, Al Gore.

Andrew Restuccia at the Hill reports on the latest pronouncements of that eminent climatolist.

A fiery Al Gore urged President Barack Obama on Thursday to reject the Keystone XL oil pipeline, calling the controversial project an “atrocity.” …

Gore criticized the Canadian oil sands that the pipeline would carry, arguing that approval of the project would be akin to a desperate drug addict looking for fresh veins.

“Junkies find veins in their toes when the ones in their arms and legs give out,” said Gore, a vocal climate advocate who has previously used the drug addiction metaphor to describe Keystone. “We are now at the point where we’re going after these ridiculously dirty and dangerous carbon-based fuels. And we’ve got to stop that.”

Gore’s tirade was a far cry from Mead’s characterization of the advantages of acquiring more oil for America.

Canadian ambassador to the US Gary Doer reiterated his country’s support—and its need—for the Keystone XL pipeline on Tuesday. Doer appealed to North America’s desire for greater energy security, saying “it makes good sense to proceed with energy independence and go with Canada, go with your friend, your neighbor and your ally since the war of 1812…Do you want your oil from Venezuela or do you want it from Canada?”

There’s a clear economic rationale for approving the pipeline, which would transport oil from Alberta’s tar sands down to America’s Gulf Coast refineries. Building the pipeline would create jobs, and would certainly give the Canadian economy a boost by providing a cheap outlet to bring its heavy crude to the international market.

Nearly fell for that didn’t you. But Gore will set you straight. His passion and eloquence, not to mention his media acolytes will have most people convinced that putting gas in your car is like being a junkie, while being a junkie is not being a junkie. You’d be amazed at how many people realize that makes sense. As for the President’s decision, his past record suggests that he will make the worst of all policy choices.

He has a talent for it; the sort of person who will leave behind his rifle and then choose to go to Jurassic Park .

He’s the kind of fellow who will throw away the bag of pitons and rope when he’s climbed some sheer cliff on K2.

He’s the man who will fight tooth and nail against delaying Obamacare and then order its postponement when it turns out that $600 million dollars has bought him nothing but a vaporware insurance exchange.

Who but Obama could pick a fight with the Saudis and simultaneously increase his dependence on them?

He can do these things because he’s always been able to buy his way out of the morass with taxpayer money, something he does with great success by appealing to the credulity of his followers.

You might think no one could believe him. You would be wrong.

The ever dependable Harry Reid is ready to ably assist his every machination. Reid recently told a public radio interviewer that every right thinking person was eager to pay more taxes. “The only people who feel there shouldn’t be more coming in to the federal government from the rich people are the Republicans in the Congress,” Reid told the radio host. “Everybody else, including the rich people, are willing to pay more. They want to pay more.”

You were thinking that already, weren’t you? So run, don’t walk to the nearest post office and donate your month’s rent to the cause. And don’t worry.

With guys like these, how can you lose?


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Top Rated Comments   
I am having a hard time understanding how our so-called leaders can be so disconnected from reality. It makes me doubt my own sanity-- I wonder if I'm actually confined in a mental institution hallucinating all this sometimes. Perhaps we need a Constitutional Amendment requiring all Federal officials above a certain grade in all three branches to undergo weekly psychiatric evaluations as well as drug tests. It certainly couldn't hurt.

But its time for me to go now. I must feed my invisible rabbit.

"There is a time to laugh and a time not to laugh, and this is not one of them." ---Inspector Jaques Clouseau
(show less)
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
A hopefully appropriate musical interlude. Talking Heads, "Road To Nowhere."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWtCittJyr0

Children are different from adults but it is often not a matter of chronology. Still when people demand to be treated like adults and given authority then you have to use your judgment, a rare and mature quality, to determine whether to give them a break or assign them the cost of the responsibility that should come with authority. That was a particularly windy way of saying that there are two rejoinders to when someone demands that others pay to solve the problems that they themselves caused.

For an adolescent, "Who owns this problem?"
For an adult, retort "You first."

Al Gore deserves a punishment out of Hale's "The Man Without a Country."
He should be consigned to live with a carbon footprint less than that of the average human excluding Americans. He should be denied air or motor transport, heating, air conditioning, plastics, and that consumer of electrons the Internet.

Any prosecutor who can't investigate Harry Reid and come up with something should resign and take a job where being blind is expected. The SEC and the IAEA would be suitable. Law schools should have a class where drafting an indictment for Dingy Harry could make a take home final exam.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Merkel is really sticking it to Obama over the surveillance of her phone. And the tone of reproof has a note of personal antipathy. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/merkel-cell-phone-affair-fits-obama-neglect-of-personal-diplomacy-a-929871.html

Spiegel is putting it to Obama personally, explicitly finding fault with his character and by extension, his integrity and honesty.

"Diplomats are not surprised that the security agencies under US President Barack Obama have reportedly been monitoring close allies like German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He has failed to foster close relationships with other heads of state, causing much frustration around the world.

Obama raced through Dresden. After their visit inside the church, Merkel had to shake hands with visitors by herself. The president had already disappeared.

On this day, at the latest, it must have dawned on diplomats that this US president was different from his predecessors. He was someone who did not attach value to diplomatic niceties nor to the sensitivities of his close friends, which he already had proven as a presidential candidate. At that time he put Chancellor Merkel in an awkward position by wanting to make a campaign speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate. This site was traditionally set aside for sitting presidents, which Obama also knew."

On and on it goes. The basic message is this. Obama is a creep. A low-down, two-faced keyhole peeper who treats people who should be his equals like hired help.

The Spiegel account is extraordinary, because it suggests that people inside the chancellor's office have given them the low-down.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (22)
All Comments   (22)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
This just in from Saudi Arabia's official internet news site:

"Saudi officials say the country’s codes against political dissent on the Internet will be applied to anyone offering online support for a planned protest by women challenging the male-only driving rules in the kingdom.
The warning comes ahead of a campaign by Saudi women to get behind the wheel on Saturday in defiance of Saudi traditions. The Internet has been a key tool in organizing the protest and reaching out to media.
Friday’s edition of the pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat quotes Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman Turki Al-Faisal as saying cyber-laws could apply to anyone supporting the women driving campaign. Conviction can bring up to five-year prison sentences."

REALLY? The breakdown in our relationship with such a malignant evil country inspires at least one new story per day on Pajamas Media denouncing Obama?

Yes, we should be very supportive of a country that threatens its citizens with a five year prison sentence if they dare go online and support allowing women the right to drive.

Saudi Arabia is madly circling the drain because of fracking and the technological destruction of OPEC. My predition? This satanic locus and exporter of evil in world will be completely irrelevent in ten years, in anything resembling its current form. There is nothing that the United States, or anyone else can do to stop this from happening.

Good Riddance.
(show less)
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
“Keystone should be an easy choice, so what’s taking Obama so long?”

Well for one thing, Al Gore.
---------------------------------------------

Why would Zero be afraid of The Goracle? That pasty faced woos looks scary with that puffy face all right but like most dogs his bark is worse than his bite. "Sex poodles" don't really scare anyone but hotel maids and massage girls.

51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I would like to take this opportunity to applaud TransCanada for its East Coast Pipeline which would move petroleum from the western provinces through the length of Ontario to Quebec – and perhaps New York and New England.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Indian tribes in Alberta, Montana, and South Dakota have taken the lead in protesting against the XL Pipeline – they won't be getting royalties but they do risk pollution. On economic grounds, their opposition – however much one may disagree with it in terms of grand strategy – is rational. That puts the Obama administration into a bind – if his Indian allies turn on him, he's toast. Tim Giago (a powerful newspaper editor in Rapid City, South Dakota) could rip Obama's reputation among liberals (and especially environmentalists) to shreds if he wants to, and if Obama lets the XL Pipeline go through, I think Tim Giago would turn on Obama.

Alberta petroleum will get to the United States one way or another, probably through New York. British Columbia is unlikely to let the Northern Gateway go through, so that means the United States is the only viable customer for Alberta petroleum. At least for now.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am having a hard time understanding how our so-called leaders can be so disconnected from reality. It makes me doubt my own sanity-- I wonder if I'm actually confined in a mental institution hallucinating all this sometimes. Perhaps we need a Constitutional Amendment requiring all Federal officials above a certain grade in all three branches to undergo weekly psychiatric evaluations as well as drug tests. It certainly couldn't hurt.

But its time for me to go now. I must feed my invisible rabbit.

"There is a time to laugh and a time not to laugh, and this is not one of them." ---Inspector Jaques Clouseau
(show less)
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obambus likes high oil prices, if the Saudis want to hurt him they could give it away. Sometimes Obambus is shrewd in spite of himself.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
A hopefully appropriate musical interlude. Talking Heads, "Road To Nowhere."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWtCittJyr0

Children are different from adults but it is often not a matter of chronology. Still when people demand to be treated like adults and given authority then you have to use your judgment, a rare and mature quality, to determine whether to give them a break or assign them the cost of the responsibility that should come with authority. That was a particularly windy way of saying that there are two rejoinders to when someone demands that others pay to solve the problems that they themselves caused.

For an adolescent, "Who owns this problem?"
For an adult, retort "You first."

Al Gore deserves a punishment out of Hale's "The Man Without a Country."
He should be consigned to live with a carbon footprint less than that of the average human excluding Americans. He should be denied air or motor transport, heating, air conditioning, plastics, and that consumer of electrons the Internet.

Any prosecutor who can't investigate Harry Reid and come up with something should resign and take a job where being blind is expected. The SEC and the IAEA would be suitable. Law schools should have a class where drafting an indictment for Dingy Harry could make a take home final exam.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
"A hopefully appropriate musical interlude. Talking Heads, 'Road To Nowhere.'" - followed by "Burning Down the House" and "Life During Wartime".
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Merkel is really sticking it to Obama over the surveillance of her phone. And the tone of reproof has a note of personal antipathy. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/merkel-cell-phone-affair-fits-obama-neglect-of-personal-diplomacy-a-929871.html

Spiegel is putting it to Obama personally, explicitly finding fault with his character and by extension, his integrity and honesty.

"Diplomats are not surprised that the security agencies under US President Barack Obama have reportedly been monitoring close allies like German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He has failed to foster close relationships with other heads of state, causing much frustration around the world.

Obama raced through Dresden. After their visit inside the church, Merkel had to shake hands with visitors by herself. The president had already disappeared.

On this day, at the latest, it must have dawned on diplomats that this US president was different from his predecessors. He was someone who did not attach value to diplomatic niceties nor to the sensitivities of his close friends, which he already had proven as a presidential candidate. At that time he put Chancellor Merkel in an awkward position by wanting to make a campaign speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate. This site was traditionally set aside for sitting presidents, which Obama also knew."

On and on it goes. The basic message is this. Obama is a creep. A low-down, two-faced keyhole peeper who treats people who should be his equals like hired help.

The Spiegel account is extraordinary, because it suggests that people inside the chancellor's office have given them the low-down.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The Spiegel account is extraordinary, because it suggests that people inside the chancellor's office have given them the low-down."

No one really expects anything of Obama anymore, overseas or at home, other than perhaps some impressionable, indoctrinated young school students. Everyone knows the score, and certainly, those in his own party are aware. A President can't screw up as much as Obama does, and have his party NOT know. The Democrats are trying to figure out how to not lose 15 Senate and another 100 House seats in 2014, with Obama still at the helm.

Honestly, I would be shocked every everyone in his Administration isn't already "looking out for #1". The moment of 2008, his great mission, their great hope invested in THE ONE, is far over at this point in the game.

And, then there's this pesky recession 2.0 on steroids coming over the near horizon. There's the fact that despite the "normal" $2Billion DAILY deficit, the Federal government managed to go over $300BILLION deeper in the whole in a SINGLE DAY after the shutdown ended, even though the shutdown certainly did not 150 days. Federal spending and the deficit is in uncontrolled free fall, as are the Fed's printing presses. The next debt ceiling debate will happen before Feb 2014, based on the current pace. Certainly, there are a few Democrats that realize that there's really no plan, that the steep decent into the abyss that the country now follows, IS the plan. No one will be exempt.

I'd just LOVE to know the investment plans of America's Senators and Congressman. I'll bet there's a heck of lot of gold and commodities in many of their portfolios.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
>>>The Democrats are trying to figure out how to not lose 15 Senate and another 100 House seats in 2014, with Obama still at the helm.<<<

The means will include election fraud on a scale never before seen outside Zimbabwe, and deliberate carnal knowledge of the canine by the Institutional Republicans.

Subotai Bahadur
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sure, part of the problem is Obama being a creep. More importantly, though, the United States comes across as a nation that can't hold its liquor. It can't keep secrets. A nation that can't keep its secrets is rather like a guest at a dinner party who is so drunk that he has become an embarrassment. The United States has people such as Bradley/Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden who think they are acting as patriotic revolutionaries when they do the bidding of a criminal organization called Wikileaks run by a madman named Julian Assange. Uncle Sam's inability to keep such creeps from leaking inside information makes Uncle Sam look like a drunken bum on the world stage.

There has long been a gentleman's agreement that allies spy on one another – but never “out” each other. It is one thing to spy on the President of France – it is entirely another to humiliate him in public by broadcasting to the world that he is getting spied on. I'll put it this way – I regard it as an open secret that foreign intelligence agencies have bugged the White House. President Obama's discussions with cabinet officials are probably well known by half of the intelligence agencies on the planet. However, if Iranian or Saudi (or Russian!) intelligence bugged Obama's bedroom and taped him during the physical act of love with his wife and then broadcast their lovemaking on YouTube, that would be very rude. Such “outing” serves no purpose other than to humiliate the victim – and, of course, tip the victim off where the bug can be found.

American intelligence is not only compromised – it's gotten to the point where few self-respecting spooks would want anything to do with American intelligence lest they get “outed” by some self-righteous maniac who get his jollies from racking up a “high score” tallying all the so-called “bastards” whose lives he can “crush”.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Every country has it's Manning or Snowden. They aren't stupid enough to give them access to everything. Manning had access to all the military and state department conversations from years back. What f**king idiot devised a system that would let that happen?

We are led by blithering idiots. Obama is the one at the top, replaceable. The stupidity, utter foolishness goes down a long long way. Any system that has no natural limit to it's madness will go to it's limit, it's destruction. We are seeing it happen.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
By extension, then, all Democrats 1. Want O'care and 2. Want to pay more taxes.

Easy peasy. Voluntarily drop your current health insurance, regardless of source and sign up at an exchange. Go ahead, take one for the team, do it for the O'gipper. Because you care, really really care.

(side note. Back in the 70's I was taking a course in night grad school. While in the library a 'concerned' student came around encouraging everyone to sign up for food stamps, to get the program going, don't ya know. Now, all the not yet 26ers could do the same for himself...)
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've never met a real Humanist; one who believes that mankind is continually improving and will reach a state of perfection through their own efforts. It is said that WW2 killed off Humanism as a viable philosophy.
If there is such a creature still breathing and believing, I challenge him to reconsile his beliefs with the reality of the American Democratic party.
If he can scrutinise that collection of race baiting, envy mongering, powermad, amoral hypocrits and still hold to his doctrine, he is immune to rational argument.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes. But this mostly matters because the federal government is too damn big and powerful. Central control of an entity as large as the US is never going to be helpful and is always going to bring out the worst in those involved in it. Power to the states.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
" Power to the states."

As with, for example California or New York? Or Huey Long's Louisiana?

The real problem isn't human organization, it's human beings. Original sin, and all that stuff. A proper understanding of the nature of man is the reason men establish checks and balances against man's base nature.

The Democrats, on the other hand, work to eliminate checks and balance to achieve ... well, who knows what they want to achieve this week? All we know for certain, is that they want to blow everything to hell, to degrade every traditional role, rule, and institution. They want to blow America's bank today and for the next 50 years.

I believe states rights and decentralization works better than centralization and federalization, however, it's no sure solution.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I would add to that cities, such as Chicago and Detroit. The problem is the concentration of power in the hands of a single person, whether a mayor (Richard J. Daley or a governor (Huey Long), or in the hands of a tightly-knit group (the "Vanguard of the Proletariat" in the USSR and China). As Lord Acton stated, "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men tend to be bad men." (think Lenin, Stalin, Napoleon and Julius Caesar)
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
“Everybody else, including the rich people, are willing to pay more. They want to pay more.”

C'mon, Harry, set the good example.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
For sure. Take a look at Harry's tax return for the evidence.


Oh, wait. You can't.

But, believe me, he WANTS to give more back...

/connection with reality
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
...that's be one hairy read, that tax return
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
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