Posts Tagged ‘opposed’

US Is in Even Worse Shape Financially Than Greece. And Why Is That In The Age Of Obama???

June 14, 2011

Thanks for “fundamentally transforming” our economy, Barry Hussein!

We’re constantly being told that Obama has done a great deal to make our economy stronger.  Because who wouldn’t rather have 9.1% unemployment than that 7.6% that Obama started out with.

The thing that most killed the US economy in 2008 was the sheer weight of godawful subprime mortgages that Democrats imposed on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and all the other mortgage lenders in order to create more “fairness” and allow everyone (especially racial minorities) to have “the right” to own a home whether they could actually afford to do so or not.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were “Government Sponsored Enterprises,” all the investors knew.  So even as Fannie and Freddie began bundling together thousands of riskier and ever riskier mortgages into giant mortgage backed securities to advance Democrat-enacted policies, large investment houses continued to gobble them up.  After all, this was an arm of the United States Government – and the United States Government ALWAYS pays its debts.

Like all scams, it worked for a while.  But as soon as there was a correction in the dramatically overvalued housing market, the whole boondoggle began to implode.  And since Fannie and Freddie had bundled all kinds of bad mortgages in with the good ones, there was absolutely no way for anyone to know how much risk was contained in any of these giant investment vehicles all these giant private banking houses found themselves holding.

And suddenly the perception that Government Sponsored Enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were “safe investments” turned into a “misperception.”  And the fecal matter began to hit the rotary oscillator bigtime.

Fannie and Freddie were the first to collapse.  The big private players who had played ball with them shortly followed.

President George Bush tried SEVENTEEN TIMES to reform Fannie and Freddie when there was actually a chance to do something.  Go back to what the New York Times stated in 2003:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10—  The Bush  administration today recommended the most significant  regulatory  overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings  and loan  crisis a decade ago.

Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new   agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume   supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored   companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending   industry.

The new agency would have the authority, which now rests with   Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the   companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business.   And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks   of their ballooning portfolios.

Republicans were demonized for “deregulation” by the dishonest Democrat Party machine.  But they TRIED to regulate what needed to be regulated.  Democrats stopped them.

Many Republicans like John McCain literally begged Democrats to do something before it was too late.  But Democrats threatened to filibuster any bill that in any way prevented Fannie and Freddie from continuing the reckless economy-killing policies.  Conservative economists such as Peter Wallison had been predicting the Fannie and Freddie boondoggles would cause an economic collapse since at least 1999.  Wallison had warned back then:

 In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980′s.

From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,” said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ”If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.”

But rigid opposition from Democrats – especially Democrats like Senator Barack Obamawho took more campaign money from Fannie and Freddie and dirty crony capitalism outfits like corrupt Lehman Bros. than ANYONE in his short Senate stint – prevented any “hope and change” of necessary reform from saving the US economy.

The timeline is clear: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were giant behemoths that began to stagger under their own corrupt weight, as even the New York Times pointed out:

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are so big — they own or guarantee roughly half of the nation’s $12 trillion mortgage market — that the thought that they might falter once seemed unimaginable. But now a trickle of worries about the companies, which has been slowly building for years, has suddenly become a torrent.

And it was FANNIE and FREDDIE that collapsed FIRST before ANY of the private investment banks, which collapsed as a result of having purchased the very mortgaged backed securities that the Government Sponsored Enterprises SOLD THEM.  It wasn’t until Fannie and Freddie collapsed that investors began to look with horror at all the junk that these GSE boondoggles had been pimping.

The man who predicted the collapse in 1999 wrote a follow-up article titled, “Blame Fannie Mae and Congress For the Credit Mess.”  It really should have read, “Blame DEMOCRATS.”  Because they were crawling all over these GSEs that they had themselves created like the cockroaches they are.  But Wallison is nonpartisan.

That same New York Times article that said President Bush was trying to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ended with this demonstration of Democrats standing against necessary reform:

These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac —  are not  facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative  Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services  Committee. ”The  more people exaggerate these problems, the more  pressure there is on  these companies, the less we will see in terms of  affordable housing.”

Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.

”I don’t see much other than a shell game going on here, moving   something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the   bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable   housing,” Mr. Watt said.

Why was Barney Frank deceitfully claiming that Fannie and Freddie weren’t facing “any kind of financial crisis”?  BECAUSE REPUBLICANS WERE RIGHTLY WARNING THAT THEY WERE.

Only about a month before the whole Fannie and Freddie boondoggles Democrats had fiercely protected collapsed – taking the entire US economy with it – Democrat Barney Frank was on the record saying THIS:

REP. BARNEY FRANK, D-MASS.: “I think this is a case where Fannie and Freddie are fundamentally sound, that they are not in danger of going under. They’re not the best investments these days from the long-term standpoint going back. I think they are in good shape going forward.”

So we blew up nearly COMPLETELY BECAUSE OF DEMOCRAT POLICIES.  But Democrats along with an ideological mainstream media that is the worse since Joseph Goebbels was the Nazi Minister of Propaganda were ready.  They ran on a platform that it happened while Bush was president, and that therefore Bush was entirely responsible for the thing he tried over and over again to fix while Democrats used their power to block those efforts.

Let me just say “Franklin Raines.”  Raines as Fannie CEO presided over Enron-style accounting policies and got $90 million in his account because of those corrupt policies.  But Raines was the first BLACK CEO of Fannie Mae.  And even though he was a Democrat and a Clinton guy, President Bush lacked the courage to push the “first black Fannie Mae CEO” out.  Which of course is the same reason that the “first black Fannie Mae CEO” didn’t do hard time in prison where he belonged.  “Political correctness” is a demonic device by which liberals protect themselves – usually from going to prison where they ought to go.  He got a sweetheart deal basically so Republicans wouldn’t be accused of being racists by
Democrats who of course call them racists no matter what they do.  My main point is simply that it was Democrats, Democrats, DEMOCRATS who did this to us.

Fannie Mae was well politically-connected Democrats went to make millions as they bounced back and forth between “public” employment where they developed contacts and “private” crony capitalism to get rich.

Here’s the conclusion of New York Times financial markets writer Gretchen Morgenson about DEMOCRAT Jim Johnson:

Morgenson focuses on the managers of Fannie Mae, the government-supported mortgage giant. She writes that CEO James Johnson built Fannie Mae “into the largest and most powerful financial institution in the world.”

But in the process, Morgenson says, the company fudged accounting rules, generated big salaries and bonuses for its executives, used lobby and campaign contributions to bully regulators, and encouraged the risky financial practices that led to the crisis.

And of course DEMOCRAT Jim Johnson who got rich plundering Americans was an OBAMA Democrat.

Morgenson – again a New York Times writer and not someone from Fox News – said of Fannie Mae on Larry Kudlow’s CNBC program on Monday, June 13: “Whatever Fannie Mae did, everybody else followed.”  And of course they all followed right into an economic Armageddon created by Democrats for Democrats.

But who got blamed?  Republicans, of course.  George Bush and Republicans were to Obama and the Democrats what Emmanual Goldstein was to Big Brother in 1984.  George Bush and Republicans were what the Jews were to Adolf Hitler.  Fascists always need a bogeyman.  And so the people who were truly to blame turned the people who tried futilely to stop them into the scapegoats.  All with the mainstream media’s complicity.

The analogy would be holding the police officer who tried but failed to catch the rapist for the rape of the woman rather than holding the actual rapist who raped her responsible.  But it was easier to say “This is the result of President Bush’s failed Republican policies” than it was to actually explain the facts to an enraged Attention Deficit Disorder-ridden ignorant pop culture – particularly when virtually no one in the biased mainstream media had any intention whatsoever of telling the truth.

Barack Obama – the ACORN community organizer who pushed these very America-killing policies – ran a demagoguing campaign promising to fix everything.

But has he?

How about a great big giant “NOT”???

What has Zero Obama done to fix that housing market that he helped collapse?  How about NOTHING???  After nearly three years of Obama, housing isn’t the worst since 2008; it’s gotten WAY WORSE than 2008 and is the worse since the Great Depression!!!  Obama started out with a terrible plan.  And we have terrible results to show for his terrible plan.  And yet this disgraceful fool actually keeps claiming he’s made things better!!!

Before you read this article, check out the “current account balance” compiled by the CIA.  Ours is a negative figure that dwarfs everyone else’s by so much it’s a joke.  Which is to say that Gross’s assessment is 1000% correct.

US Is in Even Worse Shape Financially Than Greece: Gross
Published: Monday, 13 Jun 2011 | 10:33 AM ET
By: Jeff Cox
CNBC.com Staff Writer

When adding in all of the money owed to cover future liabilities in entitlement programs the US is actually in worse financial shape than Greece and other debt-laden European countries, Pimco’s Bill Gross told CNBC Monday.

Much of the public focus is on the nation’s public debt, which is $14.3 trillion. But that doesn’t include money guaranteed for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, which comes to close to $50 trillion, according to government figures.

The government also is on the hook for other debts such as the programs related to the bailout of the financial system following the crisis of 2008 and 2009, government figures show.

Taken together, Gross puts the total at “nearly $100 trillion,” that while perhaps a bit on the high side, places the country in a highly unenviable fiscal position that he said won’t find a solution overnight.

“To think that we can reduce that within the space of a year or two is not a realistic assumption,” Gross said in a live interview. “That’s much more than Greece, that’s much more than almost any other developed country. We’ve got a problem and we have to get after it quickly.”

Gross spoke following a report that US banks were likely to scale back on their use of Treasurys as collateral against derivatives and other transactions. Bank heads say that move is likely to happen in August as Congress dithers over whether to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The move reflects increasing concern from the financial community over whether the US is capable of a political solution to its burgeoning debt and deficit problems.

“We’ve always wondered who will buy Treasurys” after the Federal Reserve purchases the last of its $600 billion to end the second leg of its quantitative easing program later this month, Gross said. “It’s certainly not Pimco and it’s probably not the bond funds of the world.”

Pimco, based in Newport Beach, Calif., manages more than $1.2 trillion in assets and runs the largest bond fund in the world.

Gross confirmed a report Friday that Pimco has marginally increased its Treasurys allotment—from 4 percent to 5 percent—but still has little interest in US debt and its low yields that are in place despite an ugly national balance sheet.

“Why wouldn’t an investor buy Canada with a better balance sheet or Australia with a better balance sheet with interest rates at 1 or 2 or 3 percent higher?” he said. “It simply doesn’t make any sense.”

Should the debt problem in Greece explode into a full-blown crisis—an International Monetary Fund bailout has prevented a full-scale meltdown so far—Gross predicted that German debt, not that of the US, would be the safe-haven of choice for global investors.

America is going down because her stupid citizens wickedly voted for corrupt dishonest Democrat fools – the very fools who imploded our economy – to have complete power.  Nancy Pelosi took over dictatorial control in the House of Representatives, and Harry Reid took over the US Senate, in 2006.

Thanks to Obama, America is now worse off than Greece.  But that didn’t stop Obama from offering to bail out Greece.  Maybe it’s because George Soros is Greek; maybe because the American left has always adored the European-style socialism in spite of Thomas Jefferson’s warning that “the comparison of our governments with those of Europe is like a comparison of heaven and hell.”  Maybe because Obama simply WANTS hell for America.  But there you have it.

Republicans acknowledged they failed to live up to their values and spent too much.  But the last Republican budget (Fiscal Year 2007) passed in 2006 had only a $161 billion deficit.  The very next Democrat budget for FY 2008 had a deficit of $459 billion – nearly three times larger than the one they’d demonized Republicans for.  Then their FY-2009 budget dwarfed that deficit with a black hold of red ink deficit of $1.4 TRILLION.  That was more money than any government in the history of the world had ever contemplated.  But Democrats dwarfed that the very next year with a FY-2010 budget with a $1.6 trillion deficit.  And as for FY-2011, the Democrat Congress simply refused to perform its most basic duty of governance and didn’t even bother to pass a budget.  Republicans are now forced to do the last disgraced Democrat-controlled Congress’ job for them – and Democrats are demonizing them for it.

That’s how this game is played.  Democrats are fascist demagogues who shrilly launch into Republicans as they try to save the American people from unparalleled future suffering.  They are people who ROUTINELY demonize, demonize, demonize until THEY are the ones forced to call for the very things they demonized and tried to prevent from happening.  But by the time they react this time, just as before, it will be too late.

Try this on for size: our actual debt isn’t the $14 trillion we constantly hear about; it’s more like $200 trillion.  And even THAT gargantuan number doesn’t take into account the massive debts that all the liberal labor unions have amassed in state pensions (e.g., California’s public pension system has unfunded liabilities of $500 billion).  We cannot possibly hope to pay this – and yet Democrats demand more and more and more, and demagogue Republicans for even trying to cut millions when we need to cut TENS OF TRILLIONS or collapse.

Democrats run ads showing a look-a-like of Republican Rep. Paul Ryan pushing an old lady off a cliff; but they want every single senior citizen to die terribly as the Medicare system completely collapses while they refuse to do anything to fix it – as even Bill Clinton openly acknowledged.

We are going to end like the PIIGS – Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain- because we elected Democrat swine to ensure we perished like pigs.

Greece just got downgraded to the point where they are the lowest-rated currency in the history of the planet.  And it happened yesterday.

When that happens to us it will be the worst nightmare in history.  300 million Americans are going to go into an insanity of panic – and of course the violence will begin with the left.  If you don’t have an arsenal, someone will kick down your door and murder your whole family just to eat the food in your house.  And that hell on earth will be entirely because you trusted Democrats like Anthony Weiner to run your health care, your pension, your economy, your life.

I hope you vote in 2012 like your very LIFE was at stake in these elections.  Because this time it truly is.

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Democrats Determined To Impose Health Agenda On Nation That Doesn’t Want It

November 24, 2009

Rasmussen – the nation’s most accurate polling organization – says the numbers are crystal clear: America doesn’t want ObamaCare.

Just 38% of voters now favor the health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s the lowest level of support measured for the plan in nearly two dozen tracking polls conducted since June.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% now oppose the plan.

Half the survey was conducted before the Senate voted late Saturday to begin debate on its version of the legislation. Support for the plan was slightly lower in the half of the survey conducted after the Senate vote.

Prior to this, support for the plan had never fallen below 41%. Last week, support for the plan was at 47%. Two weeks ago, the effort was supported by 45% of voters.

Intensity remains stronger among those who oppose the push to change the nation’s health care system: 21% Strongly Favor the plan while 43% are Strongly Opposed.

Rasmussen Reports is continuing to track public opinion on the health care plan on a weekly basis. Next week’s Monday morning update will give an indication of whether these numbers reflect a trend of growing opposition or are merely statistical noise.

Only 16% now believe passage of the plan will lead to lower health care costs. Nearly four times as many (60%) believe the plan will increase health care costs. Most (54%) also believe passage of the plan will hurt the quality of care.

As has been the case for months, Democrats favor the plan while Republicans and voters not affiliated with either major party are opposed. The latest numbers show support from 73% of those in the president’s party. The plan is opposed by 83% of Republicans and 70% of unaffiliated voters.

Other recent polling shows that Democrats consider health care reform to be the top priority for the president. Republicans and unaffiliated voters see deficit reduction as most important.

Among the nation’s senior citizens, 34% favor the health care plan and 60% are opposed. A majority of those under 30 favor the plan, but a majority of all other age groups are opposed (Premium Members can see full demographic crosstabs).

Support for health care has declined along with President Obama’s approval ratings. For the first time in the Obama era, the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Approval Index has been in negative double digits for nine straight days.

Despite the decline in support for the health care plan, 50% still say it is at least somewhat likely to become law this year. That figure includes 17% who say passage is Very Likely.

While Senate Democrats this weekend assembled enough votes to begin debate on the plan, many challenges remain. All Republican Senators and several Democrats, for example, have expressed opposition to the so-called “public option.” Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters nationwide say guaranteeing that no one is forced to change their health insurance coverage is a higher priority than giving consumers the choice of a “public option” government-run health insurance company. Most liberal voters say giving people the choice of a “public option” is more important. But most moderates take the opposite view and say guaranteeing that no one is forced to change their health insurance is the top priority.

Overall, 46% favor the creation of a government-sponsored non-profit health insurance option that people could choose instead of a private health insurance plan. However, if the plan encouraged companies to drop private health insurance coverage for their workers, support for the public option falls to 29%, and opposition rises to 58%.

As Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, wrote in the Wall Street Journal: “The most important fundamental is that 68% of American voters have health insurance coverage they rate good or excellent. … Most of these voters approach the health care reform debate fearing that they have more to lose than to gain.”

Other challenging issues in the Senate debate include abortion and illegal immigration. Ever since the House’s passage of the Stupak Amendment which says the “public option” would not cover elective abortions and that recipients of federal insurance subsidies could not use them to buy abortion coverage, the divide among Democrats has been visible.

Earlier polling showed that 48% nationwide favored the abortion ban, but most supporters of health care reform didn’t want to address the issue. Just 13% of all voters wanted abortion coverage mandated in the legislation.

The Democrats are on the wrong side of health care – and every single element within their health care plan.  And yet here they are, determined to ram it through (especially before the public can get a chance to know how truly bad the plan is) and impose it on a country that doesn’t want it.

Obama’s approval is now at minus 15 – his lowest recorded number yet.  Only 45% of the country approves of him, versus 54% that disapprove.

You’d think that would matter.  But Democrats seem on a suicide mission to destroy America and destroy our way of life.  Your key words for understanding why: the Cloward-Piven strategy.  First ruin the country and cause it to implode, then assume total control over a desperate and hungry population by offering government as their only savior.

Elections have consequences.  A foolish America may literally pay for electing Democrats with their country.

Americans need to begin giving Democrats hell, or else Democrats will most assuredly give hell to Americans.

 

Saddleback Reveals Obama Party Ideologue, Not Courageous Change-Agent

August 19, 2008

Is Barack Obama a politician who has crossed party lines for the good of the country and who has demonstrated real courage? The short answer is absolutely not.

At the Saddlback Debate forum, Rick Warren asked Barack Obama the following question:

CAN YOU GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE OF A TIME YOU KNOW A LOT — I’VE SEEN A LOT OF GOOD LEGISLATIONS GETS KILLED BECAUSE OF PARTY LOYALTY. CAN YOU GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE OF WHERE YOU WIN AGAINST PARTY LOYALTY AND MAYBE EVEN WIN AGAINST YOUR OWN BEST INTEREST FOR THE GOOD OF AMERICA?

Obama’s answer is telling:

WELL, I’LL GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE THAT IN FACT I WORKED WITH JOHN MCCAIN ON AND THAT WAS THE ISSUE OF CAMPAIGN ETHICS REFORM AND FINANCE REFORM. THAT WASN’T PROBABLY IN MY INTEREST OR HIS FOR THAT MATTER BECAUSE THE TRUTH WAS BOTH DEMOCRATS OR REPUBLICAN SOR OF LIKE THE STATUS QUO AND I WAS NEW TO THE SENATE AND IT DIDN’T NECESSARILY ENGENDER A LOT OF POPULARITY WHEN I STARTED SAYING YOU KNOW WE’RE GOING TO ELIMINATE MEALS AND GIFTS
FROM CORPORATE LOBBYISTS. I REMEMBER ONE OF MY COLLEAGUES WHOSE NAME WILL BE UNMENTIONED WHO SAID, WELL, WHERE DO YOU EXPECT US TO EAT MCDONALD’S? AND I THOUGHT WELL,ACTUALLY, A LOT OF OUR CONSTITUENTS PROBALBY DO EAT AT MCDONALD’S SO THAT WOULDN’T BE SUCH A BAD THING. BUT I THINK THAT WE WERE ABLE TO GET A BILL PASSED THAT HASN’T MADE WASHINGTON PERFECT BUT AT LEAST IT MOVING THINGS FORWARD.

I GUESS THE OTHER EXAMPLE FROM — I’M NOT SURE THIS WAS A MORE OF A PARTISAN ISSUE, BUT IT WAS SOMETHING THAT I FELT VERY DEEPLY WAS WHEN I OPPOSED THE INITIAL DECISION TO GO INTO WAR IN IRAQ. THAT WAS A NOT A POPULAR VIEW AT THE TIME AND I WAS JUST STARTING MY CAMPAIGN FOR THE UNITED STATES SENATE AND I THINK THERE WERE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO ADVISED ME, YOU SHOULD BE CAUTIOUS. THIS IS GOING TO BE SUCCESSFUL. THE PRESIDENT HAS A VERY HIGH APPROVAL RATING AND YOU COULD END UP LOSING THE ELECTION AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THIS.

The McDonald’s line was pretty good, I have to admit.

But Barack Obama mentions his work with John McCain to pass campaign ethics reform as the evidence of his bi-partisanship, of his crossing party lines to do what was best for the country even at the risk of his own self-interests.

What he doesn’t tell us is that he started to work with John McCain, then stabbed him in the back before taking the doctrinaire Democrat position on the bill.

John McCain was furious at Obama’s betrayal, as a Time Magazine article would indicate:

“Perhaps the two most popular members of the Senate and their respective party’s’ leaders on ethics and lobbying reform, Barack Obama and John McCain, were engaged earlier this week in a highly personal tiff on the issue. Obama, being pushed by Senate Democratic leaders to use the lobbying reform issue to help attack the GOP as elections loom in November, last week sent a letter to McCain, saying Democrats would pursue their own ethics bill rather than joining a bill created by McCain’s bipartisan task force. In a letter this week, the Arizona Senator blasted Obama. “I’m embarrassed to admit that after all these years in politics,” McCain wrote, “I failed to interpret your previous assurances as typical rhetorical gloss routinely used in politics to make self-interested partisan posturing appear more noble.”

So when Obama claimed this as a moment when he crossed the party divide at the Saddleback event, he was flat-out lying.

But that was all Obama – the most liberal US Senator in the country – had to offer as an example of his bi-partisanship. So he pumped some sunshine and described his decision to oppose the war in Iraq as a courageous example of a liberal going against the tide.

PLLLLLLEEEEEEEAAAAAASSSSSSSE!!!

First of all, Barack Obama was a near-meaningless Illinois State Senator when the Iraq War Resolution was debated and voted upon. His opposition to the war meant nothing and affected nothing. And, given the fact that he was representing one of the most liberal districts in the country, it was about as courageous of a decision as a San Francisco mayor supporting gay marriage.

Barack Obama’s fellow Democratic Illinois Senator – Dick Durbin – had voted against the war.

NPR had this to say:

Obama cites the speech as an example of his political courage, but David Mendell, author of Obama: From Promise to Power, says the address was not necessarily a risky move.

“I still don’t think it was an inordinate risk here in Illinois, where you have a very blue-state crowd,” Mendell said, adding, “I might take issue with just how risky it was.”

The anti-war speech that Barack Obama points to as representing such a risk was so blase that Bill Glauber, who covered the rally for the Chicago Tribune, didn’t even bother to quote it.

It was nothing more than a doctrinaire liberal taking a doctrinaire liberal position in a radically liberal voting district. Yawn.

But I should also point out that Obama has periodically hedged his Iraq position as circumstances warranted.

The LA Times had a piece titled “Obama did hedge his Iraq war position at times,” and cited a November 11, 2007 Obama interview on Meet the Press in which Tim Russert said:

RUSSERT: You were not in the Senate in October of 2002. You did give a speech opposing the war. But Sen. Clinton’s campaign will say since you’ve been a senator there’s been no difference in your record. And other critics will say that you’ve not been a leader against the war, and they point to this: In July of ’04, Barack Obama, “I’m not privy to Senate intelligence reports. What would I have done? I don’t know,” in terms of how you would have voted on the war. And then this: “There’s not much of a difference between my position on Iraq and George Bush’s position at this stage.” That was July of ’04. And this: “I think” there’s “some room for disagreement in that initial decision to vote for authorization of the war.” It doesn’t seem that you are firmly wedded against the war, and that you left some wiggle room that, if you had been in the Senate, you may have voted for it.

OBAMA: Now, Tim, that first quote was made with an interview with a guy named Tim Russert on “Meet the Press” during the (2004 Democratic National) convention when we had a nominee for the presidency and a vice president, both of whom had voted for the war. And so it probably was the wrong time for me to be making a strong case against our party’s nominees’ decisions when it came to Iraq.

The writer of the LA Times article then points out:

But wait. Wasn’t it Obama who’s been criticizing other Democrats, specifically Clinton, for triangulation, calculating quotes and saying different things to different audiences to avoid alienating any potential voters?

In short, let me state that both the historical record, and Barack Obama’s own words, reveal that Barack Obama has neither been a politician who has crossed party lines or who has exhibited political courage.