No figure in Barack Obama’s Washington, including Obama, has had more success in advancing his will than the speaker of the House, despite public approval ratings that hover in the range of Dick Cheney’s. With a mix of tough party discipline and shrewd vote-counting, she passed a version of the stimulus bill largely written by congressional Democrats, passed climate legislation, and passed her chamber’s version of health care reform. She and anti-war liberals in her caucus are clearly affecting the White House’s Afghanistan calculations.
The great hazard for Obama is if Republicans or journalists conclude — as some already have — that Pelosi’s achievements are more impressive than Obama’s or come at his expense.
This conclusion seems premature, especially with the final chapter of the health care drama yet to be written.
But it is clear that Obama has allowed the speaker to become more nearly an equal — and far from a subordinate — than many of his predecessors of both parties would have thought wise.
“…the bill that Pelosi smiled about…”
Recently, the House of Representatives, under the guidance of Nancy Pelosi, The Speaker of the House, passed a health care bill. One provision of this bill requires that Americans meeting certain conditions must purchase health insurance for themselves. The penalty for failure is jail or a fine, or both. It goes without stating so directly in the bill that anyone found guilty of this so-called crime and who resists, will be killed if necessary. The sequence could unfold like this: Person X meets the conditions requiring him or her to purchase health insurance as stated in the law (if the bill becomes law); person X refuses to buy insurance; person X is charged with a crime; person X is found guilty in a courtroom; person X tries to flee by using his physical might and directs violence at AND ONLY AT his would-be captors.
Swiss apple is key to Michelle Obama’s youthful looks
Telegraph (UK) ^ | 30 Nov 2009 | Alexandra Williams
Posted on Monday, November 30, 2009 7:32:02 AM by Mount Athos
According to the US edition of Vogue, the First Lady buys a £215 serum which uses an extract from the stem cells of the Uttwiler Spätlauber apple.
The variety stays fresh for up to four months after being harvested, long after other varieties have become wrinkled.
Used in creams and serums, stem cells from the fruit are said to stimulate human skin stem cells, thereby protecting skin cell regeneration and delaying the onset of wrinkles.
COUP d’ETAT OR…?
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RANTS-n-RAVES: OUR LATE GREAT REPUBLIC!
Posted on Monday, November 30, 2009 4:08:41 AM by JohnHuang2
Is it just me, or is anyone else in America getting the sense there is no leader of our country at the moment? Seriously, I’m having a difficult time believing Mr. Obama is actually the president given he doesn’t seem to be doing anything other than giving speeches and throwing parties.
The American people once again have it right. Polls show the No. 1 focus of the administration should be jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs.
(Excerpt) Read more at wnd.com …
A TIMES INVESTIGATION
Data point to Toyota’s throttles, not floor mats
Amid widening concern over acceleration events, Toyota has cited ‘floor mat entrapment.’ But reports point to another potential cause: the electronic throttles that have replaced mechanical systems.
By Ken Bensinger and Ralph Vartabedian
November 29, 2009
Eric Weiss was stopped at a busy Long Beach intersection last month when he said his 2008 Toyota Tacoma pickup unexpectedly started accelerating, forcing him to stand on the brakes to keep the bucking truck from plowing into oncoming cars.
7 stories Obama doesn’t want told
By: John F. Harris
November 30, 2009 05:45 AM EST
Presidential politics is about storytelling. Presented with a vivid storyline, voters naturally tend to fit every new event or piece of information into a picture that is already neatly framed in their minds.
No one understands this better than Barack Obama and his team, who won the 2008 election in part because they were better storytellers than the opposition. The pro-Obama narrative featured an almost mystically talented young idealist who stood for change in a disciplined and thoughtful way. This easily outpowered the anti-Obama narrative, featuring an opportunistic Chicago pol with dubious relationships who was more liberal than he was letting on.
A year into his presidency, however, Obama’s gift for controlling his image shows signs of faltering. As Washington returns to work from the Thanksgiving holiday, there are several anti-Obama storylines gaining momentum.
The Obama White House argues that all of these storylines are inaccurate or unfair. In some cases these anti-Obama narratives are fanned by Republicans, in some cases by reporters and commentators.
But they all are serious threats to Obama, if they gain enough currency to become the dominant frame through which people interpret the president’s actions and motives.
Here are seven storylines Obama needs to worry about: