Barack Obama, our next President

"The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep," Obama cautioned. Young and charismatic but with little experience on the national level, Obama smashed through racial barriers and easily defeated ... Read more
sonicfilter

Indianapolis, IN

#901883 May 13, 2013
One of the reasons why Americans aren't outraged about Benghazi is that the event is a series of tragedies in search of a unifying explanation, and one that "Obama is evil" doesn't cover. Because really, to suggest that the Pentagon or the White House would deliberately — and yes, this is EXACTLY what Republicans are suggesting — prevent special operations forces from rescuing American diplomats BECAUSE they worried about the potential political blowback because they KNEW exactly who was behind it (al Qaeda) is —well, it is to suggest that Barack Obama is simply and utterly evil.

The umbrage that State Department officials who were in Libya take at the response of the bureaucracy is well-grounded. But I wonder what it feels like to have their understandable ire, their mourning and grief and anger, be harnessed to a partisan political gladiator fight that's aimed at a person who isn't even running for president yet.

So here's another absurdity. There is no way on God's warming earth that the White House could have possibly "covered up" the fact of al Qaeda involvement had it been established early on and presented as a fact by the intelligence community. Republicans got briefings, classified briefings, attesting to the evidence that al Qeada-linked militants were ready to strike. The sources for that intelligence were sensitive at the time. But no matter: The briefings were accurate. Republicans knew. And indeed, they began to speak out almost immediately. And the White House, whatever it did and didn't do, was forced to clarify very quickly what it was able to say about the incident. Where is the means and opportunity for a cover-up?

Has anyone in the intelligence community blown the whistle on anyone in the administration for pushing back against the possible al Qaeda nexus because they were worried that people would think Obama was lying about having defeated and dismantled core al Qaeda?(By the way: He did do that, and Benghazi, and Boston, aren't evidence that he didn't. He never claimed that every single person ever influenced by or given money by core al Qaeda was dead and would forever be dead. In fact, he always made sure to say the opposite. But, again, facts. I mean, they just get in the way.)

There are plenty of intelligent criticisms of Obama's foreign policy. Today's Benghazi debate is the classic example of an unintelligent, fairly easy way out of actually engaging.

http://theweek.com/article/index/243922/yes-t...

Level 4

Since: Apr 13

Orlando, FL

#901884 May 13, 2013
RealDave wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree. That evil Katie trapped Palin by asking what she read. We all knew right whiners are too stupid to read. Katie should not have embarrassed Palin by asking a question that we ll knew she couldn't answer.
That was the most deliberate condescending question ever asked in any interview I'd ever seen.

Did Curic think Alaska was on another planet?

Palin should have, without missing a beat, turned the question back on Curic and said, "Oh, I don't know, the list is too long. Which ones do you read to stay current?"

Palin later said she bristled at the implication of the question and dodged it on purpose but that she should have just answered the question at the time.

I bristled and I wasn't even asked the question.
sonicfilter

Indianapolis, IN

#901885 May 13, 2013
The Coming Attempt to Impeach Obama

The idea of impeaching Obama is industrial-strength insane.

Republicans do their base’s bidding, not America’s. How many times do you need to see them do this before you accept that it is the reality?

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05...
Jimmy

Newington, CT

#901886 May 13, 2013
Scatterbrain propaganda/spam alert!
sonicfilter wrote:
Consider me as confused as Terrence Jeffries. The voluble conservative gadfly let it slip on Sean Hannity's radio program today that he really doesn't know what possible motivation the Obama administration would have for altering talking points about the Benghazi terrorist attack, or in forcing Hillary Clinton to go along with a conspiracy to somehow cover up something having to do with the death of four American diplomats and intelligence officers.
A few seconds earlier, Jeffries had described a statement that went out from the U.S. embassy in Egypt attempting to calm passions amid the firefight.(He directly attributed the statement to Hillary Clinton, but hey, why let facts get in the way?) Said Jeffries: "They need to explain that Sean. They haven't done it yet. The root of it is Hillary Clinton."
Hannity isn't quite ready to move on. "I think Hillary was running interference for Obama but I'm convinced that the talking points had to go through the re-election campaign that was located in the White House."
But Jeffries must make sure that the blame lies with Hillary Clinton; the buck must stop with her, because she's going to run for president in 2016, and Jeffries needs to raise money off of her, and he needs to begin to draw a caricature of her as uncaring, unfeeling, and willing to let four Americans die rather than face up to the fact of an al Qaeda renaissance.
"I don't know the motive for why they covered up," he admitted, after Hannity tried to shift the focus back to Obama's National Security Council.
http://theweek.com/article/index/243922/yes-t...
Jimmy

Newington, CT

#901887 May 13, 2013
Scatterbrain propaganda/spam alert!
sonicfilter wrote:
One of the reasons why Americans aren't outraged about Benghazi is that the event is a series of tragedies in search of a unifying explanation, and one that "Obama is evil" doesn't cover. Because really, to suggest that the Pentagon or the White House would deliberately — and yes, this is EXACTLY what Republicans are suggesting — prevent special operations forces from rescuing American diplomats BECAUSE they worried about the potential political blowback because they KNEW exactly who was behind it (al Qaeda) is —well, it is to suggest that Barack Obama is simply and utterly evil.
The umbrage that State Department officials who were in Libya take at the response of the bureaucracy is well-grounded. But I wonder what it feels like to have their understandable ire, their mourning and grief and anger, be harnessed to a partisan political gladiator fight that's aimed at a person who isn't even running for president yet.
So here's another absurdity. There is no way on God's warming earth that the White House could have possibly "covered up" the fact of al Qaeda involvement had it been established early on and presented as a fact by the intelligence community. Republicans got briefings, classified briefings, attesting to the evidence that al Qeada-linked militants were ready to strike. The sources for that intelligence were sensitive at the time. But no matter: The briefings were accurate. Republicans knew. And indeed, they began to speak out almost immediately. And the White House, whatever it did and didn't do, was forced to clarify very quickly what it was able to say about the incident. Where is the means and opportunity for a cover-up?
Has anyone in the intelligence community blown the whistle on anyone in the administration for pushing back against the possible al Qaeda nexus because they were worried that people would think Obama was lying about having defeated and dismantled core al Qaeda?(By the way: He did do that, and Benghazi, and Boston, aren't evidence that he didn't. He never claimed that every single person ever influenced by or given money by core al Qaeda was dead and would forever be dead. In fact, he always made sure to say the opposite. But, again, facts. I mean, they just get in the way.)
There are plenty of intelligent criticisms of Obama's foreign policy. Today's Benghazi debate is the classic example of an unintelligent, fairly easy way out of actually engaging.
http://theweek.com/article/index/243922/yes-t...
sonicfilter

Indianapolis, IN

#901888 May 13, 2013
What’s interesting, though, is that Americans aren’t, so far, eating up the #BENGHAZI scandal. There is some proof that months of conspiratorial coverage have made people aware that #BENGHAZI is a thing. There was a Fox poll with some very leading questions that found that 46 percent of registered voters think the Obama administration is “covering up” what happened in Benghazi. In December, a less leadingly worded CNN poll found that 56 percent of Americans think the administration didn’t deliberately mislead the public after the attacks. But on the whole, the majority of the public that doesn’t consume right-wing media hasn’t been hugely concerned. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are both still broadly popular. In the Clinton era, I can’t help but feel, this would’ve been much huger, with the help of the non-partisan press.

The high-profile hearing might’ve changed things. More people probably believe in some form of the #BENGHAZI conspiracy today than did on Tuesday. But the mainstream press is basically aware of what the right is trying to do. Mike Huckabee gave the game away when he predicted that #BENGHAZI would lead to Obama’s impeachment. When Clinton was president, the right screamed and threw tantrums until he was impeached. They are not quite certain why that has not yet happened with Obama, but they are working on it.

http://www.salon.com/2013/05/09/gop_successfu...
Jimmy

Newington, CT

#901889 May 13, 2013
Oh Lookie here! The senile old sockpuppet is back.
Grey Ghost wrote:
<quoted text>
Just listening to the daily misery from the un-American twisted righties warms my heart. What a pathetic band of twisted misfits.
Jimmy

Newington, CT

#901890 May 13, 2013
Scatterbrain propaganda/spam alert!
sonicfilter wrote:
The Coming Attempt to Impeach Obama
The idea of impeaching Obama is industrial-strength insane.
Republicans do their base’s bidding, not America’s. How many times do you need to see them do this before you accept that it is the reality?
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05...
sonicfilter

Indianapolis, IN

#901891 May 13, 2013
Jimmy wrote:
Scatterbrain propaganda/spam alert!
<quoted text>
thanks for reinforcing that point.
sonicfilter

Indianapolis, IN

#901892 May 13, 2013
What The Handling Of Jason Richwine Says About Conservatism

Richwine's resignation allows him to become a scapegoat for an ideology that is still perfectly acceptable inside the conservative movement and the right-wing media. If Richwine's focus on the IQs of Hispanic populations is unacceptable, then so is Charles Murray's focus on the African American community. So are those of the godfather of the entire anti-immigrant movement John Tanton, who "wrote a paper titled The Case for Passive Eugenics."

Rush Limbaugh defended Richwine's racial tests on his program, proclaiming: "So, now it's trash the messenger time." He went on to say "You're not suppose to bring that kind of stuff up. You're not suppose to talk about it. It's not politically correct, even if it's true. You're not suppose to bring it up."

Michelle Malkin attacked those who dare point to the fundamentally racist nature of Richwine's dissertation. writing at Townhall.com : "The smug dismissal of Richwine's credentials and scholarship is to be expected by liberal hacks and clown operatives."

Richwine resigned after doing the job he was hired to do and for views his employer must have known him to hold. He was the most junior member of the group of conservative researchers who have spent their careers producing questionable studies about race. And because he was the lowest in the hierarchy he was the easiest to cast aside.

Charles Murray is right. This move lacked integrity, for that would require a widespread condemnation of the flawed racial theories peddled in the conservative movement and the "respected" think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute that allow them to flourish. I doubt that is forthcoming, making Heritage's decision to accept Jason Richwine's resignation an act of craven political cowardice.

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/05/13/what-...
WOW

Bronx, NY

#901893 May 13, 2013
OBAMA DID HIS BEST; Mass Poverty, Social Inequality and the Thirdworldization of America Center for Economic and Policy Research co-director Dean Baker calls poverty America’s “new growth industry.” The state of today’s America is deplorable.

In his latest May 3 analysis, economist John Williams said “April “employment and unemployment data were nonsense: the economy remains in serious trouble.”

About 23% of Americans wanting work can’t find it. Most jobs are temp or part-time low pay/poor or no benefit service ones with no futures. Conditions are getting worse, not better.

Federal, state and local government jobs were lost. Construction shed 6,000 jobs. Zero manufacturing jobs were created. Most good ones are overseas. They’ve been offshored to low-wage countries.

Economist David Rosenberg called April a “potemkin payroll report. Where’s the income hiding,” he asked? Average wage-based income declined 0.4%. It was the biggest drop since last October.

Market analyst Graham Summers discussed “a truly horrible economic reality” beneath April’s headline job numbers. The average workweek declined by 0.2 hours. The average manufacturing workweek was down 0.3%.

Fewer overall hours worked subtracts 15 minutes per week. Applied to private sector employment, it’s “the equivalent of over 21 million work hours lost in one month.”

It’s the biggest decline since April 2009. At that time, the economy was “absolutely imploding. It’s numerical equivalent of firing 718,000+ people.”

It’s how companies begin dealing with downturns.“They don’t start laying people off en masse….they start cutting work hours bit by bit.”

Mass layoffs arrive during “full-blown recessions. The first stage “is already happening.” Clear signs show it.

Markets are euphoric. They’re hitting new highs. Economic contraction is ignored. It happened in 2000 and 2008. Warning signs look ominously like earlier.

Peter B. Edelman co-directs Georgetown University’s Center on Poverty, Inequality, and Public Policy. He calls “low-wage work” in America “pandemic.”

America “descended into poverty,” said Paul Craig Roberts. Growing millions struggle to get by. Many are “one medical problem or lost job away from homelessness.”

Some colleges and universities offer adjunct professorships. They pay “$10,000 per year or less.” Education was once “touted as the way out of poverty.” Increasingly it reflects it. So do military enlistments. They’re a desperate way to find work.
WOW

Bronx, NY

#901894 May 13, 2013
OBAMA WALL STREET BAILOUT was nothing but REAGANOMICS TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMIC IN THE END THATS ALL SAVE BIG BUSINESS AND EVERYTHING TRICLES DOWN JUST WITH A BLACK FACE AND BLACK SUPPORT NO PROTEST America’s wealth disparity is deplorable. The top 1% owns over half the nation’s wealth. The bottom 90% has a decreasing share. Social inequality defines today’s America. It’s unprecedented or close to it.

It matches or exceeds 19th century harshness. Protracted Depression conditions affect growing millions. Poverty, unemployment, homelessness and hunger approach record levels.

Socially destructive government policies bear full responsibility. Wealth and privilege alone matter. Ordinary households are sacrificed. Popular needs go begging.

Inequality is institutionalized. Around 100 million working age Americans are jobless. Most others are underemployed. Millions struggle to pay rent, service mortgages, cover medical bills, heat homes, and manage other daily expenses.

America’s 1% has more wealth than the bottom 95%. Income inequality is greater than in all other developed countries. Over three-fourths of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck.

Neoliberal harshness is policy. Bipartisan complicity force-feeds it. It’s institutionalized when vital aid is needed. Doing so wages financial war on millions.

Obama exceeds the worst of George Bush. He’s wrecking growing millions of households. He’s doing so to serve monied interests. They own him. Whatever they want they get.

Obama’s thirdworldizing America. He’s ideologically over-the-top. He’s waging war living standards. He’s targeting the nation’s social contract.

He’s dismissive of growing needs. He’s heading America for tyranny and ruin. He’s banana republicanizing it.

It’s already a kleptocracy. It’s run by corporate crooks. Bipartisan complicity lets them have things their way. Profits are privatized. Losses are socialized. Bankers are at the top of the pecking order.

Ordinary people are exploited. A democratic facade masks New World Order harshness. Its holy trinity is eliminating public services, predatory capitalism writ large, and cracking down hard on non-believers.
Realtime

Deltona, FL

#901895 May 13, 2013
sonicfilter wrote:
<quoted text>
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Sunday defended the Obama administration over its handling of the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya against a growing chorus of critics.
Gates, a Republican who was originally nominated to head the Pentagon by former President George W. Bush before being retained by President Barack Obama, backed the administration's response to the attack that left four Americans dead.
"Frankly, had I been in the job at the time, I think my decisions would have been just as theirs were," Gates said during an appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation." "We don't have a ready force standing by in the Middle East, and so getting somebody there in a timely way would have been very difficult, if not impossible."
Gates also dismissed the notion that the U.S. could have deployed a fighter jet to Libya in an effort to thwart the attackers, saying he would not have "approved sending an aircraft, a single aircraft, over Benghazi under those circumstances."
"It's sort of a cartoonish impression of military capabilities and military forces," Gates said. "The one thing that our forces are noted for is planning and preparation before we send people in harm's way, and there just wasn't time to do that."
http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/r...
he did.
He also mentioned that many of Gaddafi's shoulder fired surface to air missiles remain unaccounted for and could present extreme danger for low flying aircraft.

That was an outstanding interview which extended into the second segment of FTN which btw is not available everywhere.
WOW

Bronx, NY

#901896 May 13, 2013
IT WOULD BE CRAZY IF OBAMAS IMAGE BECOMES THE IMAGE OF ENSLAVING AMERICANS THEY GONE PUT YOU BACK IN CHAINS Freedom’s fast disappearing. Inside the bubble, it’s paradise. Outside it’s dystopian hell. America never was beautiful. It’s worse than ever now in modern times.

Monied interests run things. Electoral politics doesn’t work. Washington is too pernicious, corrupt and dysfunctional to fix. Privilege is institutionalized. Beneficial social change isn’t tolerated. Police state harshness prevents it.

Force-feeding inequality defines immorality. It’s also destructive economics. America’s been declining for years. Private wealth is pitted against popular interests. It’s been winning for decades.

Younger generations are worse off than older ones financially. Wages haven’t kept up in real terms. High-paying jobs disappeared. Low-paying ones replaced them.

Deplorable social inequality exists. A race to the bottom continues. Future prospects look grim. America appears headed for what most of humanity faces.

At least 80% live on less than $10 a day. Over three billion people live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 80% live in countries where income disparity is increasing.

The poorest 40% of world population has 5% of global income. The bottom fifth has $1.5%. The top 20% has 75%.

According to UNICEF, 22,000 impoverished children die daily. They “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.”

An estimated 28% of children in developing countries are underweight, malnourished and/or stunted.

Tens of millions of impoverished children aren’t in school. At the start of the new millennium, nearly a billion people were illiterate.

Less than 1% of what’s spent on weapons globally can provide universal primary education.

Preventable infectious diseases claim millions of lives annually. Unsanitary water and lack of basic sanitation affect half the world’s population.

Diarrhea and other water-related illnesses claim at least 1.8 million child deaths annually.

Nearly half the population in developing countries, at any given time, experience water and/or sanitation related health problems.

Around one-third of children in developing countries have inadequate shelter. One in seven have no access to health care. Most with it get too little.

In 2003, 10.6 million children died before age five.

Rural areas account for 75% of people living on less than $1 dollar a day. About half the world’s population live in urban communities. In 2005, about one-third lived in slum conditions.

Around 1.6 billion people have no electricity. Billions lack basic necessities overall. It’s reflected in lower than average life expectancy, as well as high infant and child mortality rates.

America’s future may resemble what most of the world now faces. Its race to the bottom assures it for growing millions.

Force-fed austerity increases their numbers annually. Things keep getting worse, not better.

“fairtax.org”

Level 8

Since: Dec 08

gauley bridge wv

#901897 May 13, 2013
An autonomous flying cat? Really?

KURZWEILAI.net

Google's self-driving car gathers nearly 1GN/second
Lincoln

United States

#901898 May 13, 2013
sonicfilter wrote:
What’s interesting, though, is that Americans aren’t, so far, eating up the #BENGHAZI scandal. There is some proof that months of conspiratorial coverage have made people aware that #BENGHAZI is a thing. There was a Fox poll with some very leading questions that found that 46 percent of registered voters think the Obama administration is “covering up” what happened in Benghazi. In December, a less leadingly worded CNN poll found that 56 percent of Americans think the administration didn’t deliberately mislead the public after the attacks. But on the whole, the majority of the public that doesn’t consume right-wing media hasn’t been hugely concerned. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are both still broadly popular. In the Clinton era, I can’t help but feel, this would’ve been much huger, with the help of the non-partisan press.
The high-profile hearing might’ve changed things. More people probably believe in some form of the #BENGHAZI conspiracy today than did on Tuesday. But the mainstream press is basically aware of what the right is trying to do. Mike Huckabee gave the game away when he predicted that #BENGHAZI would lead to Obama’s impeachment. When Clinton was president, the right screamed and threw tantrums until he was impeached. They are not quite certain why that has not yet happened with Obama, but they are working on it.
http://www.salon.com/2013/05/09/gop_successfu...
BENGHAZI seems limited to fox and topix trolls
WOW

Bronx, NY

#901900 May 13, 2013
Since President Barack Obama has been willing to give the go ahead to operations that President George W. Bush would not have approved, operations have been much more aggressive and, presumably, JSOC has been able to fan out and work in way more countries than ever expected.

Global assassinations have been embraced by the current administration, opening the door to night raids, drone strikes, missile attacks where cluster bombs are used, etc. Each of these operations, as witnessed or experienced by the civilian populations of countries, potentially inflame and increase the number of areas in the world where there are conflict zones.

***

The world is literally a battlefield with conflicts being waged by the US (or with the “help” of the US). And, no country is off-limits to US military forces.

Of course, JSOC is not accountable to Congress … let alone the public:

JSOC operates outside the confines of the traditional military and even beyond what the CIA is able to do.

***

But it goes well beyond the war zones. In concert with the Executive’s new claims on extra-judicial assassinations via drone strikes, even if the target is an American citizen, JSOC goes around the world murdering suspects without the oversight of a judge or, god forbid, granting those unfortunate souls the right to defend themselves in court against secret, evidence-less government decrees about their guilt. As Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh said at a speaking event in 2009:

Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on.

***

There are legal restrictions on what the CIA can do in terms of covert operations. There has to be a finding, the president has to notify at least the “Gang of Eight”[leaders of the intelligence oversight committees] in Congress. JSOC doesn’t have to do any of that. There is very little accountability for their actions. What’s weird is that many in congress who’d be very sensitive to CIA operations almost treat JSOC as an entity that doesn’t have to submit to oversight. It’s almost like this is the president’s private army, we’ll let the president do what he needs to do.
THE BLACK TIMES ARE COMING TO AMERICA
WOW

Bronx, NY

#901901 May 13, 2013
Bush Versus Obama: Who’s Worse?Obama Names Top Fundraisers to Major Political Posts
Last week, the Obama administration announced its choice to lead the Federal Communications Commission: Tom Wheeler, who is not only a former telecom lobbyist but also a huge bundler for the Obama campaign. The New York Times Editorial Page today explains that this choice is “raising serious questions about [Obama's] 2007 pledge that corporate lobbyists would not finance his campaign or run his administration.” It also notes that “given his background, it is almost certain that [Wheeler] raised money [for Obama] from people whose companies he would regulate, creating potential conflicts of interest.”

Last week, President Obama named another big bundler of his, the billionaire heiress Penny Pritzker, to be his Commerce Secretary; at the Nation, Rick Perlstein details just some of the interesting questions about that choice that need to be explored. At this point, the only surprising thing is that there are any more bundlers left for Obama to appoint to important administration positions.

While despicable, this is nothing new.

The Center for Public Integrity reported in 2011 that Obama had rewarded as many big money bundlers in 2 years as Bush had appointed in 8:

WOW

Bronx, NY

#901902 May 13, 2013
OBJECTIVE FACTS ON OBAMA's HYPOCRACY As a candidate, Obama spoke passionately about diminishing the clout of moneyed interests and making the White House more accessible to everyday Americans. In kicking off his presidential run on Feb. 10, 2007, he blasted “the cynics, the lobbyists, the special interests,” who he said had “turned our government into a game only they can afford to play.”

***

[But:]

• Overall, 184 of 556, or about one-third, of Obama bundlers or their spouses joined the administration in some role. But the percentages are much higher for the big-dollar bundlers. Nearly 80 percent of those who collected more than $500,000 for Obama took “key administration posts,” as defined by the White House. More than half the ambassador nominees who were bundlers raised more than half a million.

• The big bundlers had broad access to the White House for meetings with top administration officials and glitzy social events. In all, campaign bundlers and their family members account for more than 3,000 White House meetings and visits. Half of them raised $200,000 or more.

• Some Obama bundlers have ties to companies that stand to gain financially from the president’s policy agenda, particularly in clean energy and telecommunications, and some already have done so. Level 3 Communications, for instance, snared $13.8 million in stimulus money. At least 18 other bundlers have ties to businesses poised to profit from government spending to promote clean energy, telecommunications and other key administration priorities.

***

Bundling is controversial because it permits campaigns to skirt individual contribution limits of $2,500 in federal elections. Bundlers pool donations from fundraising networks and as a result “play an enormous role in determining the success of political campaigns,” according to Public Citizen. The group has tracked bundlers on a website www.whitehouseforsale.org in the belief that they are “apt to receive preferential treatment if their candidate wins.”

***

Ambassadorships have been the classic payoff for big bundlers. But it’s not just the posts in foreign capitals that are attractive. Light, the NYU expert on presidential transitions, said that in recent years many have sought jobs with deep reach into the federal bureaucracy — and found a receptive ear in the White House.

“When they get a resume from a bundler, that is a real signal of seriousness,” Light said.“It’s also a thinly veiled quid pro quo,” and it “goes without saying they will get considered.”
WOW

Bronx, NY

#901904 May 13, 2013
THE OBAMA MONEY TRAIN HE GETS RICH Bringing in a lot of cash to the campaign, Light added,“seems to be well established as a signaling device for getting into key jobs running the government. It’s become more significant and nobody seems to have much outrage about it.”

***

Passing over career diplomats in favor of mega-donors amounts to “selling ambassadorships,” said Susan Johnson, president of the American Foreign Service Association. She said it runs contrary to the law and is unethical, yet,“That hasn’t stopped anybody.”

Thomas Pickering, who served as ambassador to Russia and several other countries during a diplomatic career spanning four decades, said turning to bundlers adds a “new dimension” to what he termed “buying offices” through aggressive fundraising.

***

Hyatt hotels heiress Penny Pritzker, Wall Street titan Robert Wolf and financier Mark Gallogly, for instance, all served on the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Commission.

***

In late February, in creating a new commission to take on the task of creating jobs, Obama again appointed the three businesspeople. Transcripts of the recovery board meetings show that commission members are free to press for an agenda that could significantly benefit their business interests.

The Center pointed out in 2012:

At least 68 of 350 Obama bundlers for the 2012 election or their spouses have served in the administration, ranging from seats on advisory boards that tackle critical national issues such as economic growth, to ceremonial posts such as serving on the board of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
At least 250 of the bundlers have been cleared to attend a White House event since January 2009. Most have come twice while others are frequent visitors. The events range from policy briefings to coveted invitations to state dinners and music and entertainment nights featuring top-draw performers at the executive mansion.
At least 30 of the 2012 bundlers have ties to companies that conduct business with federal agencies or hope to do so. They range from Wall Street investors to green energy, technology and defense firms with multimillion-dollar government contracts.
***

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