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White House Cheat Sheet: To Trade or Not To Trade?

President Obama heads to Canada today, his first trip outside the country since being sworn in to office. AP Photo by Charles Dharapak

President Obama's trip to Ottawa, Canada -- his first time outside the country since being sworn in on Jan. 20 -- is certain to be dominated by talk of trade and questions surrounding the president's attitude toward the North American Free Trade Agreement.

In an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation earlier this week, Obama sought to calm concerns in Canada that his criticisms of NAFTA during the Democratic presidential primaries meant either that the United States would opt out of the agreement or seek a fundamental re-negotiation in the near future.

"NAFTA, the basic framework of the agreement has environmental and labor protections as side agreements -- my argument has always been that we might as well incorporate them into the full agreement so that they're fully enforceable," said Obama. He went on to add that "Canada is one of our most important trading partners" with $1.5 billion in trade between the two countries and noted that "it is not in anybody's interest to see that trade diminish."

Obama's "on the one hand, on the other" approach on NAFTA is something of a departure from the rhetoric he adopted during his primary clash with Hillary Rodham Clinton whose husband, former president Bill Clinton, shepherded NAFTA to passage in the early 1990s.

In the runup to the Ohio primary on March 5, 2008, Obama was asked at a debate in Cleveland about his position on NAFTA. "We should use the hammer of a potential opt-out as leverage to ensure that we actually get labor and environmental standards that are enforced," he said at the time. He also noted that his position on the issue had been consistent for his entire political career and that the Chicago Tribune had endorsed him despite his "strong opposition" to NAFTA.

Obama hammered Clinton on the issue -- sending out a controversial mailer alleging that she had said NAFTA was a "boon" to the economy, a charge that proved false.

Obama's current position is not fundamentally different in content (labor and environmental standards should be added to the main body of the agreement) but tonally the president is placing far more emphasis on working together to preserve NAFTA rather than using the United States' leverage to bring about needed changes.

Context explains the difference in tone. Back in 2008, Obama was embroiled in a tough fight for lower middle class workers' votes in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania and knew full well that those sorts of voters view NAFTA -- and trade agreements generally -- as job killers.

Fast forward to today where Obama the president, is faced with an economic crisis of historic proportions and needs friends in the world to help usher the global economy through its current dire straits.

And, Obama's change in tone reflects -- in many ways -- the ambivalence that many Americans feel toward the trade issue.

In a new Gallup poll, 47 percent of those surveyed said they saw foreign trade as "a threat to the economy from foreign imports" while 44 percent described it as "an opportunity for economic growth through increased U.S. exports."

Compare those numbers to the decade (or so) following the U.S. entering into NAFTA and you see a marked contrast. From 1993 to 2004 "the public was much more likely to perceive trade as an opportunity for economic growth" wrote Gallup's Jeffrey Jones in a report on the numbers. Since that time, public opinion has yo-yoed with as many as 52 percent of voters offering a negative view on trade as recently as February 2008.

In short: Obama must carefully navigate between the need for global cooperation on major issues of the day like the economy and the clear indecision among many Americans about the benefits of trade. That balancing act begins in earnest later today.

Sked Stuff: In keeping with the foreign policy focus of the day, Vice President Biden will host a foreign policy-themed dinner at his home tonight. Among those on the guest list: Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, Steve Coll of the New America Foundation (and a former managing editor at the Post), and David Kilcullen, an adviser to General David Petraeus.

An Illinois Senate Special (Again)?: As appointed Sen. Roland Burris continues to spin his wheels in a -- so far -- unsuccessful attempt to distance himself from impeached governor Rod Blagojevich, the political machinations of those who would like to replace him grow more complicated. Witness Rep. Jan Schakowsky's (D) statement on Wednesday calling for Gov. Pat Quinn (D) to end Burris's temporary term and call for a special election to replace the embattled senator. "Whether or not Senator Burris resigns, the best way to put credibility back into the process is through a special election," said Schakowsky. Schakowsky has made no secret of the fact that she would like to be in the Senate and probably knows that she would not likely be Quinn's pick to replace Burris if he resigns. (The frontrunner, if Quinn goes in that direction, would be state Attorney General Lisa Madigan since by appointing her to the Senate Quinn would eliminate a potential gubernatorial primary challenger.) It's an interesting tactic but one that isn't likely to succeed because Quinn is not inclined to hand off the chance to eliminate a potential rival simply because Schakowsky says he should.

ICYMI...2012 Like It's Today: Regular Fix readers know that we are keeping an eye on Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) -- perhaps the most popular politician in the country at the moment and someone with clear ambitions for national office. So, when Huntsman declared recently that he supports civil unions for same-sex couples our ears perked up. The move puts Huntsman on the progressive end of the Republican party, which, in recent years, has emphasized its opposition to gay marriage and civil unions for same-sex couples. Polling done by Dan Jones & Associates shows mixed results on how Huntsman's support for civil unions has affected how voters view him in this quite conservative state. Roughly one in three Utah voters (32 percent) said Huntsman's support for civil unions made them see him in a less favorable light while 26 percent said his position made them more favorable toward him and 41 percent said it made no difference. Overall, Huntsman continues to ride incredibly high in the eyes of voters with 80 percent approving of the job he is doing. When it comes to 2012 positioning, it's clear that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is painting himself as the voice of the pragmatic (detractors would say "moderate") wing of the party and Huntsman will have to fight for that space. But, there appears to be more running room available there than on the ideological right where Gov. Sarah Palin (Alaska) and former Govs. Mike Huckabee (Ark.) and Mitt Romney (Mass.) appear to be headed.

Be Blunt: Rep. Roy Blunt will announce his candidacy for the open Missouri Senate seat today at 9:30 a.m. central time in St. Louis before taking off for a statewide fly-around, according to sources familiar with the decision. Blunt, who stepped aside as House Minority Whip following the 2008 election, is the first Republican candidate into the contest following Sen. Kit Bond's (R) retirement last month. While the party establishment -- both in Missouri and in D.C. -- are likely to line up behind Blunt, former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman who ran and lost a gubernatorial primary in 2008 is expected to announce her own candidacy shortly. Democrats, on the other hand, have quickly lined up behind Secretary of State Robin Carnahan.

Minnesota Senate...Still: The rhetoric coming out of former senator Norm Coleman's (R) campaign ramped up significantly yesterday following the three judge panel's refusal to reconsider a decision issued last week to not count a number of previously invalidated ballots. "The net effect of the court's February 13th ruling, and their decision today not to reconsider this ruling, is a legal quagmire that makes ascertaining a final, legitimate result to this election even more difficult," said Coleman legal counsel Ben Ginsberg. The pace of the election contest, which is now in its fourth week, is picking up, according to those following the proceedings closely. But, given the unhappiness in Coleman's camp toward the most recent decision, an appeal to the state Supreme Court could be in the offing. All of which means neither Coleman nor entertainer Al Franken (D) is going to be sworn into the 111th Congress any time soon. Still, as Politico notes, it's looking like a longer and longer shot for Coleman to win.

A Primary in Ohio: After several election cycles in which Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) effectively eliminated contested primaries in targeted Senate races, a hot race appears to be developing in Ohio between two statewide elected officials. The first candidate in the water was Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, who announced her candidacy -- a la Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton -- via You Tube. Unwilling to cede even a single news cycle to Brunner, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher held a news conference late Tuesday to announce his own Senate candidacy. Fisher was joined at the announcement by popular Gov. Ted Strickland as well as the speaker of the state House and the mayor of Youngstown. He also won the backing of Rep. Tim Ryan, himself a once-potential candidate, soon after formally announcing. Fisher, who is being unofficially advised by well known pollster Mark Mellman, seems certain to be the establishment choice in the race but whether Brunner can run an effective outsider campaign remains to be seen.

Canada's Best: In honor of the president's trip to our neighbor to the north, we offer the Fix list of the best things about Canada: Steve Nash, John Candy, all of the "Kids in the Hall," Rachel McAdams, Wayne Gretzky, the Canadian national anthem, Mike Myers, Bret "The Hitman" Hart, Arcade Fire, Joshua Jackson (he'll always be Pacey Witter to me and Mrs. Fix), "Dead or Canadian?" and Alex Trebek. The worst thing about Canada? That's easy: the Bare Naked Ladies.

Say What?: "Bailouts to prop up bloated, inefficient big companies are what other countries do. It's what caused socialist systems to fail. We must do better." -- Freshman Idaho Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick on the idea of bailing out the auto industry. (His quote reminded us of this -- one of the greatest moments in perhaps one of the greatest movies of all time.)

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 19, 2009; 6:26 AM ET
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we as canadians wellcomed pres.obama because he put a new face on american policy which has taken a s#$@ kicking around the world with the bush admin. stroke that,bush regime the comments here are in most cases insightful and intelligent, we cannot understand the animosity between pol. party,s do the best for your country, and please visit us and lay back,we are nice and we like americans

Posted by: foxrossbyfoxey | February 21, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Both parties in Ohio have moderate and less-moderate wings. The interesting thing about the 2010 Ohio Senate election for Voinovich's open seat is that it will pit a conservative Republican (Portman) vs. a liberal Democrat as both Fisher and Brunner are clearly liberal/progressive. If Brunner is trying to run as the progressive/liberal candidate, it'll be quite difficult for her to run to Fisher's left without alienating the center.

Fisher has a long distinguished progressive record whereas Brunner is a relative newcomer so it will be an interesting primary. The entry of EMILY's list as the prime financier of Brunner's campaign will only serve to alienate many liberal/progressive Ohio Obama supporters. Do not forget that EMILY's list was a prime base of support for Clinton in the 2008 primaries and was active in Ohio in helping fund anti-Obama commercials during the primary.

This is Fisher's race to lose.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | February 21, 2009 2:28 AM | Report abuse

TheBabeNemo -

When he was lucid he agreed with me.

Posted by: leapin | February 20, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Aprogressiveindependent - My guess is that you either are a ignorant free trade zealot or some sort of paid pest. Five point 6 percent of our exports are manufactured goods. The rest are raw materials - coal, raw timber, oil, corn and soybeans, minerals. Those raw materials are made into products that are imported back into this country and sold to consumers. Now, I'd be safe if I bet that you are as ignorant of history as you are of economics, but no county in all of recorded history has survived by exporting their raw materials with tat small a percentage of manufactured exports. You see, raw material exports create more wealth for a very few owners of those materials. Virtually none of it "trickles down". Manufacturing, on he other hand, creates jobs for ordinary people, supports or creates a middle class, and grows a robust economy by those middle class workers spending money, even having enough money to create small businesses of their own. Your trade model, the very one that *IS* the trade model of the Unites States today, is unsustainable. No President in all of our history, and darn few ruling classes of other nations, have been so stupid, so ignorant, to try the sort of "trade policy" you are advocating. Not Grant, not Lincoln, not Roosevelt, not Hoover. Clinton came close. So did Bush and he pushed it quite a bit further. And Obama, with the house burning down around him, seems dead set on finishing Bush's disaster. Free trade, at lest the way we are practicing it, is a foolish and very dangerous policy for a nation that expects to be around in 20 years. It amounts to national suicide.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | February 20, 2009 2:24 AM | Report abuse

Just about every president in our history has rightly considered increasing exports and foreign trade, to be important to economic growth in this country. Even those presidents, usually Republicans from Grant to Hoover, who supported high tariffs also wanted to increase exports and trade.

During economic crises, many people become fearful of foreign imports and immigrants. Protectionism and nativism have often become more popular.

One of President Clinton's few important achievements were in the area of promoting free trade. One of President George W Bushs' very few positive policies was to generally continue to support free trade policies.

People who are fearful of foreign imports need to ask how other countrys can buy United States exports if they do not sell anything in this country. There are millions of jobs in this country dependent upon continued United States exports.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | February 19, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

"Since that time, public opinion has yo-yoed with as many as 52 percent of voters offering a negative view on trade as recently as February 2008.

In short: Obama must carefully navigate between the need for global cooperation on major issues of the day like the economy and the clear indecision among many Americans about the benefits of trade."

Ok, these are the same idio-er, "Independents" that couldn't tell the difference between Obama and McCain. Obama should ignore these indeciscive @$$heads because this 52% didn't pay attention to the part in high school history where Hoover exacerbated the Great Depression with protectionist trade policies. Protectionism is for the fearful. So once again the progressives must drag them along kicking and screaming, and in the end they will still be ignorant and fearful, but their children, at least, will appreciate it.

Posted by: Terrorfied | February 19, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm all in favor of abolishing NAFTA because it screws over Mexico royally and I have a conscience and all that gay stuff. But honestly, objectively speaking, where are the farmers, foremen, et. al. going to get their cheap, non-taxable, immigrant labor if Mexico starts keeping and subsidizing it's resources and then develops a middle class again? Canadians sure as #ell aren't going to start digging ditches and picking strawberries for $35/day, and slavery is soo passe.

The fun thing about the internets is that anyone can say whatever they want. ;-)

Posted by: Terrorfied | February 19, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I think you better ask Dr. John Nash if economics change.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 19, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

hey king baby:

before I leave for the night, I just wanted to tell you that


Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 19, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Do you know about the TRADE act? I got my understanding of it from a book I read recently - Thinking Big. I'll try to sum it up: it would provide congressional space to review trade deals that aren't working (what an idea!) - it would list components that should be included and excluded from U.S. trade agreements so as to protect the environment, workers, and communities. It would strengthen the role of Congress - allowing members to review and renegotiate existing trade agreements to ensure that they comply with sustainable development goals, and also empower Congress to require that all future trade agreements comply with its provision. Thoughts?

Posted by: Horse1 | February 19, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

TheBabellnemo -

“did I forget some ?’

Just a couple. The most open, ethical, honest administration in “history” has proved to be anything but that. And the first 100 days are not even over yet.
Also the progressive economic plans and “funding” leave something to be desired. Why do we even need to have taxes at all? Why don’t we just print money for ALL of our wants? Maybe because the laws of economics are immutable - they function whether we want them to or not, and are independent of the pretension of legislators. They will not be mocked, nor will they, even when confronted by all the HOPE in the world, be CHANGED. The Obamulus = The Great Obama Depression.

Posted by: leapin | February 19, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

in his interview, President Obama has put forth to Canada that there is the "possibility" of pulling out of NAFTA if we cannot build on it for the benefit of all.
We must grant creedance and take heed, let the cards play out a bit more on the negotiations and fact finding that our President is doing.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 19, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

thanks drindl... %-)

aaah king, what would I do without you, uh?

yes, i guess we are good at smashing things, -----
as in repulsives':
1) pre-conceived notions of the way life should be
2) best practices in policies, procedures, laws, and codes that went unchecked for over a decade while they broke them all,
3) wicked and "I am not a crook" ways,
4) the covering up of such "crooked ways"
5) let the Supreme Court and Fla. Secr. of State(s) decide the elections
6) mission accomplished, whoops....
7) they tried to assassinate my Dad
as in the repuslives'
8) you will live your life this way or ELSE
9) greed and $87,000 area rugs, or was that the $6000 gold leaf shower curtain
10) failure to get Osama bin Lade and Dr. Zawahiri...

did I forget some ?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 19, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

The difference, zouk, is that I have something intelligent to say. YOU just post unintelligible drivel.

Posted by: drindl | February 19, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Obama bashed Hillary during the primaries relentlessly about her supposed support of NAFTA and told workers in the Midwest that if elected President that he'd withdraw from NAFTA. Just another Obama campaign promise thrown out the window without any anknowledgment by acolytes in the MSM. I think Obama's set a record for shortest time to throw out the most campaign promises. Change you can believe in.

Posted by: RobT1 | February 19, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

posting frantic loony rants every 2 minutes because he has absolutely no other life.

Posted by: drindl | February 19, 2009 4:32 PM

Posted by: drindl | February 19, 2009 4:35 PM

Posted by: drindl | February 19, 2009 4:45 PM

the resident kook speaks. and suffers from complete cognitive dissonance and confusion, It is a Lib thing.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | February 19, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Now that the end is approaching, and we are all going to be broke, unemployed, homeless and powerless overseas, the next step in the process will be for all of us to become mental cases, like drivl, and require state support.

Messiah, save us from your crisis. you and the big government are the only hope left. by that I mean ultra-left.

New records abound - record spending, record foreclosures, record unemployment, record misery, record deficit, record corruption, record incompetence, record retreat, record low in the DOW. You Libs are certainly effective at smashing things.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | February 19, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Funny -- here's Fox's response to AG Holder's speech -- 'fear'

"Apparently, the notion that the DOJ might “lead the nation” in protecting and upholding justice greatly alarmed Fox Newsblonde Megyn Kelly. Interviewing Juan Williams this morning, she declared that “addressing racial ills…strikes fear down the spines” of conservatives:

KELLY: He said they [the department] has a special responsibility in addressing racial ills. That — that strikes fear down the spines of many conservatives in this country, because they don’t want the Justice Department taking us back to the day when they get heavily involved in things like affirmative action, and things like voter registration rights. […]"

These poor conservatives just spend 24 hours a day with their knickers in a knot, terrified of everything -- so many boogeymen.

And God forbid the justice department get involved in making sure black people are allowed to vote.

Posted by: drindl | February 19, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

"To trade, or not to trade; that is the question:
Whether ‘tis nobler in the pocketbook to suffer
The tariffs and sanctions of outrageous law,
Or to take arms against a sea of NAFTA and CAFTA,"

very nice, the babenemo. very nice indeed.

Posted by: drindl | February 19, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

and king of zouk posting frantic loony rants every 2 minutes because he has absolutely no other life.

Posted by: drindl | February 19, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Russia on the move, Afghanistan weakening and in a quagmire, N Korea acting dangerous, Israel getting militant, Kyrgyz now a foe, Mexico on the brink of civil war, Iran getting the bomb, palestein in a loving pen pal relationship with Kerry playing postman. Jimmy carter looks like a foreign policy genius compared to this clown.

but at least Canada is willing to talk to us now about global warming. I feel better. I hope we survive long enough to see the planet dry up.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | February 19, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Aprogressiveindependent - "protectionism and restrictions on free trade...made the Great Depression worse..." And where did you come up with that chestnut? From reading the incompetent blithering idiots that spout every other minute? Do you read about economics? Do you even understand economics? Look, the law you are writing about is called the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. It was passed in late 1930, *after* GDP had shrunk by 45%. Subsequent to it's passage, GDP in the U.S. grew at a rate of 3.3% or higher. From 1935, when the laws took full effect, until 1940, GDP grew from $73.1 billion to $105 billion annually. It had the overall effect of reducing unemployment from a high of 22% to 12% in that time period. For all of that, Smoot-Hawley was relatively toothless and WAS NOT protectionist in any absolute sense. Trade, from 1930 to 1940, accounted for only 6.5% of GDP. Today, more than 75% of our economic decline can be traced directly to free trade, even though free trade "officially" accounts for less than 10% of U.S. GDP. In fact, however, nearly 60% of GDP is due to outsourced goods and services that are produced offshore by American corporations and merely imported without any restrictions or taxes into this country. We what have here today more closely resembled Weimar Republic Germany. When Hitler came to power he enacted a series of Germany First laws that flat out ended the German Depression in two years, four to eight years before the rest of the world. Now, I don't know about you, but I am very concerned about another Hitler arising right here. The people of his country understand that free trade is damaging to them and to this country and one way or another, it WILL END. If they have to, they WILL empower a Hitler to end it. Most would prefer to keep our democratic institutions intact, but faced with starvation, watching their child die from an entirely treatable disease, seeing 5,000 people in line for 20 minimum wage jobs night after night on the news, watching the crime rate surge, taking in friends and relatives who are homeless, watching the stimulus not just fail, but watching billions of dollars going down some black hole, devoured by public employees and Wall Street banks, both of whom, in turn, make life a living hell for them, is going to cause more social disruption you can possibly imagine. Now, I model these things and I am quite certain, baring a miracle, that this you are going to see this society, this country, come apart beginning this next Fall. Your free trade chant and ignorance of history are THE PRIMARY reason for this.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | February 19, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Uncle Sam Speaking of his unofficial Northern Dominion....

...She is mine own
and I as rich in having
such a jewel as twenty
seas, if all their sands
were pearl, the water nectar
and the rocks pure gold...

Posted by: newbeeboy | February 19, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

There's never been a problem from our perspective about trading with Canada. If anything, it was the Canadians who lost out on the initial NAFTA before Mexico joined when some industries had left to seek lower costs in the US in the early 1990s. The threat to labor and environmental standards always has been from Mexico, for both Canada and the US.

Posted by: ripvanwinkleincollege | February 19, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

"kinder, gentler country".


In retrospect, I preferred kindler and gentler to poorer and weaker.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | February 19, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I didn't fact check this but I've heard that 80 percent of Canadians live within 200 miles of the US border and that 80 percent of them work for US headquartered companies....I think Avril Lavigne was the best export ever...I love beautiful women who play their own guitars!!

My point -- these guys are Americans...well some do speak a form of French VivaLaDifference, but they should just join up..they are our greatest ally and have natural resources out the yingyang.

Posted by: newbeeboy | February 19, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

yeah i know king...
just hate it when that happens, no?

i think it was some repulsive that said we need a "kinder, gentler country".
Did I read his lips wrong?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 19, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

king -

It gets worse. Jimmy "I'm not JC" Carter stated today that he has every confidence in Obamulus. We are in deep .... and without Billy beer.

Posted by: leapin | February 19, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Change we can suffer for: Dow hits new low. Thanks Libs. now we are all poor and unemployed.

Cause: Libs
Effect: Crisis

Posted by: king_of_zouk | February 19, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

To trade, or not to trade; that is the question:
Whether ‘tis nobler in the pocketbook to suffer
The tariffs and sanctions of outrageous law,
Or to take arms against a sea of NAFTA and CAFTA,
And by opposing free trade, end it?
To trade: to tax; to smuggle;
No more; and by a tariff to say we pay
The heart-ache and the thousand of dollars
That free trade is heir to, ‘tis a tax
Devoutly to be wish’d. To trade, to tax;
To tax: perchance to buy; ay, there’s the rub.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 19, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Protectionism and restrictions on trade during the early 1930's resulted in the global depression being a lot worse. The GOP from 1860 to at least the 1930's was the party of high tariffs and protectionism.

Recently, except during the Clinton administration, the Democratic party has championed protectionist trade policies. The question "to trade or not to trade" is as antiquated as asking whether we should return to a barter economy.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | February 19, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Clarification on post below concerning Canadian sovereignty and U.S.-based "fusion center"...

The U.S.-based fusion center in Newtown, PA represents Canadian interests in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario.

Several other U.S.-based fusion centers represent other areas of Canada.

The point remains the same: Government security organizations based in the U.S. represent interests in Canada, a fact that raises sovereignty issues.

Are the Canadian people aware of this? What is the impact of these little-known globalist organizations on the sovereignty of the represented nations?

Have any D.C. think tanks addressed this question?

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 19, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

yes, i saw that cartoon. it is controversial.

I am disappointed in the media so far.
Was listening to CNN this morning on the "press" regarding the new Homeowner's Stability Act, and all they could report was "why are people left out" (as you know, you must be freddie or fannie).
Here's the part I don't like....reporting already on "why isn't something in the act/bill"--the leaning towards the negativity. Let me repeat that, leaning towards negativity.

Not once did I hear, or even see the infamous MAGIC WALL---pointing out
OKAY AMERICA, this is what you CAN DO
step 1----for i.e., see if you are in freddie mac or fannie mae
step 2----call your bank and ask for this
step 3---get all your papers together and do this first.
and so forth.
To give Americans ideas on what they can do to help themselves.
Not the negativity of "what's left out".

And then waste the whole morning program on the storyline of what's left out and NOT WHAT IT IS IN.

The press does not help in these instances at all.


1-economic stabilization act of 2008
2- complete HR1
3- Homeowners Stability Act.

these are complicated documents folks with all sorts of cross references, repeals and enactments. read them yourself. do not listen to this press --
to get your facts or
to form your opinion

go to the source...thomas.gov and read folks. we are all impacted.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 19, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

zouk needs to ask obama for forgiveness, as he has sinned against The One.

Posted by: drindl | February 19, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

those coward republicans.

-they took their toys and went home and not gonna play in your yard anymore!!
so there...neener neener neener

And don't trust Judd Gregg as far as you can throw him President.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 19, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"Has anyone seen today's Gallup numbers? Astounding! Obama is in the 90's! Sizzlin'! GOP approval is below 15%, which means they've even lost part of their dead-ender core. Stimulus approval is in the 60's... not everyone gets it yet, but a marked improvement over the last few weeks. Probably correlates to the lost 5% of GOPoop supporters coming to their senses. ROTFLMAO!

Posted by: hiberniantears | February 19, 2009 1:15 PM"

This just shows just how out of touch the MSM and BroderWorld is. The corporate media hates the change O represents and, as he predicted correctly, is pushing back hard against his agenda. A new low in the media was reached yesterday with the NY Post cartoon comparing our 44th President to a rabid chimp.

Once you get outside BroderWorld, the enormous affection felt for O here and around the world (Canada, France, Kenya, etc.) is quite unprecedented.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | February 19, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Canadian Sovereignty Violated by US-Based "Fusion Center'?






The Bush-Cheney "multi-agency action" extrajudicial vigilante network and its related unconstitutional array of "programs of personal destruction" remain in place.

President Obama may not even be aware of some of the deeply entrenched "ops" that threaten his presidency...

... The "multi-agency action" nationwide army of "community stalking" citizen vigilantes hiding behind federally-funded volunteer organizations, terrorizing "targets" of federal agencies and their families;

... the deployment of silent, injury- and illness-inducing radiation weaponry to police departments nationwide;

... and the multi-agency unconstitutional programs -- ranging from pervasive spying to a parallel system of transaction processing that amounts to fascistic theft by deception -- must be taken down.

Immediately. Before more damage is done.

Before another "generated crisis" claims the renewed American spirit and again plunges the nation into despair and submission to "the dark side."

The agencies of government that are covertly commandeering this devolution of American democracy -- via their draconian "multi-agency action" programs -- must be reined in and reformed, top to bottom, never again to subvert the rule of law.



OR http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 19, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

yes king...matter of fact he is.

now be a good boy...get down on your knees and pray!

are you worthy?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 19, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

oh wait....that's us !!!
(falling off chair laughing)))

but the Trade Act of 1974 is tweaked a bit.

page 259 of the conference report
Subtitle 1: trade Adjustment Assistance
Part 1-Trade Assistance for Workers
Subpart A-Trade Adjustment Assistance for Service Sector Workers.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 19, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I see messiah is giving another long billowy speech again today. Talk talk talk. Everything else, not so much. He can't even vette the first much less find an honest democrat. Carter must be happy he is being replaced at the bottom.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | February 19, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

good things from Canada:
they took us in their embassy and kept us safe during the hostage crisis of the carter years.
um, yucky thing from Canada....sorry fairlington, but Sara McLaughlin.
Especially when she is singing about animals. I do like Adia though.

i mean, really.......we have to save our houses and she sings for a 4 minutes commercial about how a dog needs you!!!!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 19, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

"out of work slugs with nothing better to do than populate a blog all day long"

king of zouk is good at self-description

Posted by: drindl | February 19, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

It seems barry is adored by all the out of work slugs with nothing better to do than populate a parade route all day long. I noticed the line for government handouts was short today.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | February 19, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

perhaps king - you should run for office somewhere.
councilman, etc.
start at the grass roots....
instead of gripin' about the country so.

you know the old saying....leave it you don't like it.

kinda sorta like marriage......do you marry the one you hate?
if you do live in the USA, why?
if you hate so

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 19, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

The justifications for "free trade" sound a lot like the Bush Administration's justification for invading Iraq - it keeps changing in the face of disaster after disaster. If anyone cares to remember, free trade was supposed to result in outsourcing low wage jobs while we used our technological superiority to invent new high paying jobs for American workers. Well.. we outsourced most of our high paying jobs, replaced our engineers and scientists, even xray technician's and nurses, with cheap foreign workers on guest worker visas or we outsourced the whole works. We discouraged an entire generation of American college students from majoring in engineering or the hard science when 90% of those jobs ended up going to H1-B workers from India and those students witnessed 4.5 million U.S. workers in those areas loose their jobs. Oh, then the excuse turned to the new "service based" economy. Well, it's here It's those low paying fast food workers making minimum wage, Wall Mart clerks with no health insurance and "flexible" working hours (meaning they are called up at the last minute to work 8 hours or 2 or 4 maybe 3 days a week). Free trade is a disaster. It is the underlying cause of our economic collapse. Like all Ponzi Schemes, the mortgage fraud didn't become apparent until we lost so many jobs that people couldn't afford their mortgages.

The talking heads here and in Washington have it exactly wrong. Instead of tax cuts, we need tax increases, punitive tax increases, tariffs, duties, fees on every good or service imported into this country by any company or multinational based in this country. Make economic treason unprofitable. Hit Dell and Microsoft with a $10 charge for every U.S. service call and those call centers would return from India PDQ! End the H1-B visa, do it NOW, give the swine using that program 90 days to ship their guest workers home. That step, all by itself, would immediately create 3 MILLION jobs for U.S. citizens. And, if any company relocates to avoid this, strip them of trademarks, patents, ay and all U.S. protections. These steps CAN be done by Congress and WILL be done eventually. It all boils down to whether it is done by this government or one we replace it with after a revolt.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | February 19, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

For the"king_of_zouk" it's "Canuck", not "conook". And if it had a banking system that acted more like Canada's America would not be in the fiscal mess it's in today. You can fact-check that one. Canada is very unlikely to be dragged down by the status of its own financial institutions, but everyone is keeping a very wary eye on America.

Posted by: mikita21 | February 19, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I'd add the Frantics (Google Boot to the Head), Sarah McLaughlin, great maple syrup, and ice wine to good things from Canada.

And as much as I love 'ya Chris, you're full of it with regards to the Ladies.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 19, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

What bush was showered with was shoes.

Posted by: drindl | February 19, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the Canadian visit has been quite a departure from the last 8 years. People knew they would only see "the Beast"; that the trip from the airport to Parliament hill would be swift, but they turned out anyway. The crowds allowed on the front lawn of Parliament Hill (try getting onto another certain lawn) were filled not so much with angry protesters (yes, there were some) but more people with various agendas finding a platform to push forward a sign, a slogan, etc. This is very different from what Americans have come to expect from visits by their President to Canada or anywhere else. It was Mr. Bush's policies that helped ramp up the police-state manner in which demonstrators are kept sometimes blocks away from the President as he motorcades by. This morning, people stood on the sidewalk and waved.....and President Obama waved back.

Those of you who hold your inviolate conservative or liberal viewpoints may not get as much out of all this as you should. But like him or not, Obama for the moment represents the only real chance America has to renew its status in the world as a benevolent, not a feared superpower. Yeah, he may not make it; his early naievite has been showing. But in the short term, the alternative is just NOT a pretty thing to think about it.

Final note. As Obama entered the Parliament Building this morning, the Dominion Carillon (all those bells up in the tower) played "America the Beautiful". Seriously, they did. I just do not think that would have happened last year, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

Posted by: mikita21 | February 19, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

For you, CC, from Thomas Frank -- a little perspective:

"it is always a disappointment to turn from forthright consideration of some subject—whether from the left or the right, a poet or a plumber—to the Beltway version, in which the only aspects of the issue that matter are the effects it will have on the fortunes of the two parties and the various men in power. Today, though, with the nation facing the deepest economic crisis in decades, there is something particularly perverse about the Washington way.

We are watching industries crumble, Wall Street firms disappear, unemployment spike, and unprecedented government intervention. And our designated opinion leaders want to know: Is Obama up this week? Is he down? And is his leadership style more like Bill Clinton’s, or Abraham Lincoln’s?

Above all else stands the burning question of bipartisanship. Whatever else the politicians might say they’re about, our news analysts know that this is the true object of the nation’s desire, the topic to which those slippery presidential spokesmen need always to be dragged back.

When last week’s passage of the gigantic stimulus package is judged in this light, only one verdict is possible: Obama failed to deliver. He talked big about reaching out to Republicans, and yet he received only three votes from them in the Senate, and none in the House. Yes, the bill passed, but what a disaster!"

Posted by: drindl | February 19, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Remember how Bush was showered with victory and prosperity. Not so the new guy - bankruptcy, surrender and defeat. but hey, the conooks like us again. Perhaps because they wallow in bankruptcy, surrender and defeat as well.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | February 19, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

“Small groups of people gathered in the pre-dawn gloom on Parliament Hill in hopes of catching a glimpse of [Obama]. Not even a snowfall could deter diehard fans of the popular U.S. leader.”

Of course... one should also hope that a true Canadian is never deterred by a snowfall. That said, it is a fantastic feeling to once again have a loyal American as our President.

Posted by: hiberniantears | February 19, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

How great is this? Remember how Bush was greeted everywhere he went in the world with booing and demonstrations? Not Obama. It feels good to see the world welcoming an American president once again....

“Early Crowds Await Obama,” the Toronto Star reads today. “American flags are being hung up around Ottawa in preparation” for Obama’s visit, reports the Ottawa Citizen. Some of the stories today:

– “Small groups of people gathered in the pre-dawn gloom on Parliament Hill in hopes of catching a glimpse of [Obama]. Not even a snowfall could deter diehard fans of the popular U.S. leader.”

– “With stars and stripes flapping in the wind, enamoured Canadians will line the streets of the capital today trying to catch a fleeting glimpse of U.S. President Barack Obama.”

– “Bus trips have been organized in Montreal, Kitchener and Toronto. Hotel rooms are booked, Facebook groups are buzzing and websites have sprung up to give visitors all the latest information. … All of this for U.S. President Barack Obama.”

Posted by: drindl | February 19, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Sure Obama and Pelosi, start a trade war with our NAFTA partners, you know, maybe Canada and Mexico can then ship all of thiir oil over to China instead of the US. $10 a gallon gas - but, BUY AMERICAN!

Posted by: vmrg1974 | February 19, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Would now be a good time to:

- normalize relations with Cuba, and open up another market?

- legalize, regulate and TAX online gambling, so that all those companies that ran offshore because of the religious right's 2006 Prohibition II bill would come back to the US?

- look at legalizing pot, regulating and TAXING it?

Our country has three gift horses that we are refusing to look in the face right now (to mix metaphors a bit). How about it.

Posted by: B2O2 | February 19, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I do. Definitely me. I am not a partisan in any way. ;-)

Posted by: hiberniantears | February 19, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

king_of_zouk writes:
"Poor messiah has poll numbers sinking like a stone."

But hiberniantears writes:
"Has anyone seen today's Gallup numbers? Astounding! Obama is in the 90's!"

I wonder who has their facts straight?

Posted by: bsimon1 | February 19, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

You don't like The Barenaked Ladies? Oh, my!!! Are you the same Washingtonians who cannot handle a skiff of snow? *G* As for the worst things out of Canada, try the artery-clogging Poutine (french fries, cheese curds and gravy....and maybe salt and vinegar, just because)!
I don't think Obama's view on NAFTA for Canadian consumption is the change of voice; I think the real change of voice was his railing against it in blue-collar Ohio during the primary season. THAT's when you say what you need to say to achieve a goal. Once your elected, you can return to your core beliefs. And by the way, NAFTA (at least the Canadian portion) has been superb for the US. Not so sure about the Mexican aspect of it all....

Very nice shot on Canadiana TV today of NBC political reporter Chuck Todd looking up in awe at the architecture and ornamentation inside Canada's parliament building. Just a cute moment that may not make it onto the Nightly News tonight.....

Posted by: mikita21 | February 19, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Incompetent buffoon - the class of Karl Rove GOPoop operatives who pretend to govern but actually exhibit continued campaigning and false promises in perpetuity. See moonbat.

Posted by: hiberniantears | February 19, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Incompetent buffoon - the class of liberal democrat operatives who pretend to govern but actually exhibit continued campaigning and false promises in perpetuity. See moonbat.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | February 19, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Free trade: noun----interchange of commodities across political boundaries without restrictions such as tariffs, quotas, or foreign exchange controls.

Unrestricted trade: international trade that is not subject to protective regulations or tariffs intended to restrict foreign imports.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 19, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

President Obama makes an excellent point that applies not only Canada, but to China, Japan, and the rest of the world.

We don't want less trade, we want more... of the money, coming in than going out.

Every Nation on Earth practices "Industrial Policy"

In our case, unfortunately, its been to shower money on oil companies and defense contractors, and not on curing cancer and heart disease.

Robin Willians said that Canada was "like a loft apartment over a really good party"

Our friends to the north are a vital ally, and like all our allies, we'd like to do the most we can to help them and the best way we can do that for them is to get them to buy more of our stuff from us.

Save the world. Buy American.

Support your local businesses.

What goes around, comes around. It just takes a while some times.

The rear-end you save will most often be your own.

Posted by: svreader | February 19, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Pamela Anderson!!!

Posted by: tropicalfolk | February 19, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone seen today's Gallup numbers? Astounding! Obama is in the 90's! Sizzlin'! GOP approval is below 15%, which means they've even lost part of their dead-ender core. Stimulus approval is in the 60's... not everyone gets it yet, but a marked improvement over the last few weeks. Probably correlates to the lost 5% of GOPoop supporters coming to their senses. ROTFLMAO!

Posted by: hiberniantears | February 19, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

section 1605
conference report pages 190-191
Buy American......iron & steel mfg.
***the section can be waived by federal dept. heads if they publish in the Fed Reg--the reason for waiving.

**also, last line--
"this section shall be applied in the manner consistent with United States obligations under international agreements".

Does that mean NAFTA?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 19, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: hiberniantears | February 19, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Poor messiah has poll numbers sinking like a stone. you can't fool the people all the time. the fool is exposed.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | February 19, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the Bare Naked Ladies being the worst thing out of Canada, but why is Neil Young not on the list of Canada's best?

I just hope that we can get some trade laws that reduce emmigration and promote environmental sustainability, regardless of the inconsistencies in Obama's rhetoric before and after the election.

Posted by: jameshauser | February 19, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Elisha Cuthbert... Come on, man! Her omission puts your list of all-good-things Canadian "right in the lumber yard."

Posted by: Goombay | February 19, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

There's actually no such thing as "free trade"

Its impossible to achieve because there are far too many hidden variables, indirect effects, and people, involved.

The easier you make it for jobs to flow out of a country, the easier you make it for that country to shrivel up and die, usually quite quickly after their people do, from lack of jobs, food, and shelter.

"Look for the union label" remember that slogan from years and years ago?

People died like flies in the sweatshops of New York City.

Working condtions were horrible, workers were paid next to nothing, and lots of adorable little kids were getting their fingers, arms, legs, hope, and lives cut off by dangerous equipment and even more dangerous plutocrats, robber barrons, and general all around power-mad amoral arrogant jerks.

Like the cells in you body, or the engine and break system in your car, everything needs a control system.

When cells run wild with no regulation you get cancer.

When Republicans run wild and gut regulation you get cancer of the country.

When you slam on the gas and cut the brake lines you get the disaster we've just seen on Wall Street.

Republicans are a danger to themselves and others.

For their own sakes, as well as America's, they should never be let near hand tools, let alone the levers of power.

Posted by: svreader | February 19, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I remember when people were proud to 'buy American' because it was patriotic. I guess patriotism has been killed by WalMart.

Posted by: drindl | February 19, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

i posted the section of HR1 regarding Buy American.....the other day
i'll find it.

it may be steel like bsimon says.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 19, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama hasn't a clue about NAFTA or his dopey and childish idea of "Buy American" jingoism, that he used to convince his uneducated idiot supporters to vote for him, as we all now can plainly see. His "Buy American" idea, that he was promoting as a political payback to the unions that spent $450 million bucks of their members union dues money, backfired when he learned that that idea will only cause retaliation by the countries we trade with. This would cause a trade war, and cause even more problems down the road when his Marxist stimulus package kicks in in about two years or so when our economy will tank because his stimulus package will have to be paid for by all the working Americans. What he obviously also doesn't know, when he spouts his "Buy American" bullsh**, is that a lot of supposedly American made products are not that at all. The Japanese-owned Honda Automobile Co. for instance (that's made in Maryland I believe) has more American-made parts in it than most GM cars. You can't expect a political hack like Barack Obama, who hasn't run so much as a Hot Dog stand, to understand how to run the economy of the greatest industrialized country on the planet. Consitering his total lack of experience running anything, our economy is sure to fail in a couple of years, but what the heck, he can always blame Bush for everything.

Posted by: armpeg | February 19, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

A large part of the reason that America's in the mess its in is because of MBA's and the fact that they were taught that money was the only measure of a person's worth as a human being, and that short term profits were the only measure of a company's worth as an investment and that employees and customers were rubes to be screwed and shafted whenever possible.

I've started a bunch of companies, and been both a CEO and a board member who's seen a lot of ways that companies can self-destruct, as well as a lot of success stories.

When a company hires employees from the local community, the company gets a much higher quality result than when it outsources the job.

If there's one group of people to single out for screwing things up the most in companies its MBA's with undergraduate degrees "under water basket weaving"

God help any company that they "infect"

The companies that are eating our lunch, around the world, are run by engineers, because they're the ones who know how to design and manufacture the stuff the company makes.

If you went to most companies and fired every single MBA they have, their customers, employees and shareholders would all be a lot better off.

Posted by: svreader | February 19, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Obama isn't saying or doing anything different then what he said on the campaign trail that we need to change NAFTA to include labor and environmental standards. Most of the folks in Canada agree with this sentament because they have the same problems we have with free trade with places like Mexico, China, and India etc. The Canadians have environmental and labor standards in place we both just want the rest of the world to have similar protections in place.

I think what you will see is NAFTA changed to include caveats allowing for Unions to become established and some environmental protection measures (which if not followed would trigger tariffs). The same goes with CAFTA and our trade agreements with China and southeast Asia. We don't have to put them in deals we make with Europe since they also already have these things in place.

Posted by: AndyR3 | February 19, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

nevadaandy writes
"It's hard for the majority of Americans to buy made in American products "

My understanding is that the 'buy American' provision in the stimulus package was designed primarily to prop up the steel industry. I also understand they've toned it down a bit, in an attempt to avoid triggering protectionist impulses from our trading partners and/or WTO sanctions.

Posted by: bsimon1 | February 19, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

today's bad boy/good boy...it's up to you.
Eric Holder

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 19, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

It's hard for the majority of Americans to buy made in American products because 1. American made products i.e. clothes, shoes, electronics, furniture are hard to find and 2. When and if you do find an American made product they cost more and in this economy who can afford them?

When I shop, I do look at where the clothes are made and it's rare to find anything made in America. I was surprised when I found a pair of pants on sale at Macy's that were made in America and I immediately bought them. I wish I could find more clothes that were made here and not in China, Viet Nam, Malaysia, the Phillipines, Thailand, or Mexico.

I've bought several household items from WalMart that were made in China and when I brought them home and unpackaged them they did not work and I had to return them for a refund. I'm tired of buying defective products made in China. The cost in terms of time and gas spent going to the store to return the product doesn't result in a cost saving.

Many years ago there were so many things made in America. I used to balk at my mother, a second generation American of Chinese ancestry, when she told me to buy the products from China instead because it was cheaper and as Chinese we should support China. Well now that the stores are inundated with products from China and there is no choice, she is singing a different song because she has difficulty finding clothes that fit well. She regrets what she told me years ago. Hindsight is foresight.

I wonder how many things in Nancy Pelosi's homes were actually made in America?

Posted by: Nevadaandy | February 19, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of trade; did you see those Chicago stock traders get all excited by Santelli on CNBC this morning? They are calling him a revolutionary...

Rick Santelli challenges Obama to cheers:

Posted by: davidmwe | February 19, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Pelosi disturbs the the whole world with her anti-trade rhetoric and "Buy American" jingoism, so our frentic new president has to travel to Canada and Mexico and reassure our NAFTA neighbors that all is okay, because it was only a ploy to get elected.

Wow, he is a busy man. It is a good thing he enjoys traveling on Air Force One. Now if only Reid and Pelosi would shut up and behave responsibly, or the Lord will smoot them down.

Posted by: alance | February 19, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

One thing is clear-anything the dems touch turns to crisis.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | February 19, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

PERSONAL TO STEVE COLL (former WaPo managing editor):

Ask VP Biden why President Obama has not issued executive orders banning the deployment of injury- and illness-inducing radiation weapons to police departments nationwide...

... and why Team Obama has not reversed the Bush Justice Department approval and funding of covert radiation weapons attacks on "innocent but targeted" U.S. citizens in communities nationwide.

Has Team Obama been thoroughly briefed on this and related "programs of personal destruction" that have decimated the finances and damaged the health of "innocent but targeted" Americans and their families?

When will Team Obama move to dismantle this "American Gestapo"?


TIP FOR BOB WOODWARD: The same "methods and tactics" being employed in Iraq vis-a-via "Directed Energy (radiation) Weapons" are being employed in cities, towns and counties throughout the U.S. under the aegis of federally-funded volunteer community policing, town watch and citizen/business "anti-terrorism" programs; and local law enforcement directed by federal agents. Those with personal knowledge can tell you this is not merely "electronic harassment," but a means to "neutralize" these "targeted individuals," who include those deemed "undesirables," "mental defectives" or "dissidents."


EYES ONLY. TO: President Obama; VP Biden; R. Emanuel; D. Axelrod; D. Blair; J. Brennan; J. Jones; E. Holder; J. Napolitano; R. Gates; L. Panetta; H. Clinton; T. Geithner; R. Mueller; H. Reid; N. Pelosi; D. Feinstein; S. Reyes



... coordinated multi-agency "action programs of personal destruction" manned by security/intel agents, local police nationwide, and citizen vigilantes fronted by government-funded community policing and anti-terrorism programs.


WHAT IS THE U.S. TREASURY DEPARTMENT ROLE in these programs -- and has the IRS been used to decimate family finances of wrongly "targeted" American citizens? Could this be a root cause of the mortgage meltdown that led to the global economic crisis? Are you investigating?


What Sen. Leahy knows, Team Obama must IMMEDIATELY confront -- because the victims continue to suffer.








Posted by: scrivener50 | February 19, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Maybe President Obama has a different idea for NAFTA (do we haveta).
I do know that it fell short of what was expected. The infrastructure is primarily good--to build on. I look towards President Obama to build on it while changing it. And that's the approach that makes me really really like him more as time ticks by.
Plus the fact that Rahm is Chief of Staff.
((((yeah baby!!!!))

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | February 19, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Governor Huntsman is now on the progressive end of the Republican party, which, in recent years, has emphasized its opposition to gay marriage and civil unions for same-sex couples, good for him, let's hope that more Republicans will become progressives in the manner of the Governor and support Lgbt's who want to civilly wed.
Visit: www.civillywedd.com

Posted by: ringbearer | February 19, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse


Color me disappointed. No Neil Young on the best of Canada list? The Neil Young that your favorite band Wilco toured with? If the baby was here and you were sleep deprived we could let it slide but come on man...it's OK we still love you.

Also, the Tragically Hip who wrote a Katrina song 10 years before it happened.

Posted by: Halfaworldaway | February 19, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

This is where his campaign rhetoric on NAFTA and free trade in general goes pout the window. He can't go all populist on the Canadians home turf - and on his first visit no less.


Posted by: parkerfl1 | February 19, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Talk about sour loser. Talk about a real loser. This guy should show the class of Al Gore who got a half million more votes and still lost the election.

Posted by: bradcpa | February 19, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

"Do you do drugs Danny?"
"Then what's the problem."

One of the best quotes of all time.

Posted by: AndyR3 | February 19, 2009 7:27 AM | Report abuse

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