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Is Barack Learning Foreign Policy?

Can we finally dispense with the nonsense that Barack Obama represents a “new” and “different” type of political candidate? The dust up over the Canadian TV report that an advisor of Barack Obama’s did the old Monty Python, “wink, wink, nudge, nudge” with respect to NAFTA (reportedly signaling to the Canadians that he did not mean what he was saying in public) has raised legitimate questions about the competence of Obama’s foreign policy and economic team. If you can’t manage the Canadians how are you going to handle the North Koreans, Iranians, and Chinese for pete’s sake?

The original report by CTV.CA was substantively correct but had some glaring factual errors. According to the initial report:

Within the last month, a top staff member for Obama’s campaign telephoned Michael Wilson, Canada’s ambassador to the United States, and warned him that Obama would speak out against NAFTA, according to Canadian sources.

The staff member reassured Wilson that the criticisms would only be campaign rhetoric, and should not be taken at face value.

The heart of the issue was whether or not someone in a position of responsibility with the Presidential campaign of Barack Obama was telling the Government of Canada to not worry about Obama’s political rhetoric because he did not really mean to suggest he would dispense with NAFTA. The Obama campaign, after some initial floundering, counter-attacked with the following arguments:

  • No one employed by the campaign called the Canadian Embassy.
  • No one employed by the campaign spoke with the Canadian Ambassador.

And Obama’s campaign was correct. They had not “called” the Canadians and no one on the Obama “payroll” had spoken with the Canadian Ambassador.

But then the actual memo from the meeting emerged from the bowels of the Canadian bureaucracy. WHOOPS! There goes the Obama “new” politics image.

FIRST POINT–Austan Goolsbee has an important role in Obama’s campaign team.

Let’s start with Austan Goolsbee. It is true that he is not a campaign official. Nope, he’s a top member of Obama’s economic team. Why parse words and try to pretend that Goolsbee is some strap hanger, wannabee who has no substantive role with Obama’s quest for the Presidency? By parsing this fact, Obama and his team are playing the same kind of game the Bush Administration did in declaring Valerie Plame was not a “covert” agent or Bill Clinton insisting that oral sex was not sex. Americans on average recognize parsing for what it is–inelegant lying.

Who is Goolsbee?

Goolsbee told the New York Times on 8 November 2007 that:

‘He [Obama] and I saw eye-to-eye on economic stuff.’ Among all the senior economic advisers in both parties, only Mr. Goolsbee, a relative newcomer to politics, spoke on the record and without advance clearance. Ask him how he got his position with Mr. Obama’s campaign, and he cites friends in common who steered the candidate and the economist toward each other at the University of Chicago, where both taught. Mr. Obama was running for the Senate at the time. ‘He and I saw eye-to-eye on economic stuff,” said Mr. Goolsbee, who describes himself as a centrist.” [NYT, 11/8/07]

And Barack’s own website states:

Goolsbee is the Senior Economic Advisor to the Obama campaign. He is a professor of economics at the University of Chicago and a Fulbright Scholar. The Financial Times named him one of the six Gurus of the Future/Best Under 40 in 2005, and the World Economic Forum in Switzerland chose him one as one of the 2005 Young Global Leaders. He received his Master’s Degree in Economics from Yale in 1991 and his Ph.D. in the same subject in 1995 from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Note, Goolsbee is not just “A” economic advisor to Obama. He is “THE SENIOR” economic advisor. Remember, Obama says that words matter. So Goolsbee’s designation as the senior advisor means he has an important role in helping Senator Obama define his proposed economic positions.

Second point–The Government of Canada, through its Chicago Consulate, contacted Goolsbee.

Although the Canadians called Goolsbee (and not the other way around) this does not make Obama’s hypocrisy problem go away. Why would the Canadian Consulate call Goolsbee? Very simple. The Government of Canada wanted to get some insight into the thinking behind Barack Obama’s economic policies. What’s the best way to do this? Ask the SENIOR ECONOMIC ADVISOR. Duh! Even Homer Simpson could figure this one out.

So, why the Chicago consulate? Because Goolsbee lives in Chicago, it fell upon the Canadian Consulate in Chicago to reach out to him. That is what foreign diplomats do. They get out and meet people, especially people who are likely to have some influence or important position in a future government. That is what U.S. diplomats do overseas–they meet with aspiring Presidential candidates and their advisors.

Third point–The Government of Canada, through its consulate, produces a report of the meeting that is sent back to the Foreign Ministry and distributed throughout the Canadian Government.

So Austan Goolsbee shows up at the Canadian consulate and meets with the Consul General, Georges Rioux and a junior Canadian diplomat, Joseph Demora. When a senoir diplomat meets with someone like Goolsbee, he or she almost always has a note taker with them to record who says what. That unpleasant task fell to Joseph Demora. When the meeting is over, Joseph Demora’s work started. He went back to his desk and wrote up who said what. Once he completed his memo (folks at the U.S. State Department would call this a “cable”) he submitted it to Consul General Rioux. Consul General Rioux reviewed the memo/cable. He would not sign off on it unless it accurately reflected what was said and what was heard.

According to the memo/cable, Goolsbee told the Canadians in Chicago:

that the debate over free trade in the Democratic presidential primary campaign was ”political positioning” and that Obama was not really protectionist.

Goolsbee may be a dandy economist but he is a fool when it comes to dealing with foreign officials. His stupid denial that the Canadians are misquoting him ignores the process how such messages are generated. It was not just the opinion of DeMora. It was the consensus view of Demora and Rioux that Goolsbee made such claims.

On a scale of one to ten this is probably a three on the issue but it is an eight in what it tells us about the true nature of the Obama campaign. Remember, Goolsbee was front and center on the eve of the so-called Potomac primaries touting Barack Obama’s economic vision. He was not some kooky academic strap hanger trying to catch some of the glory streaming from the Democrats’ new Messiah. He was and is a policy player for Barack.

It does not matter whether Obama told Goolsbee what to say to the Canadians. The fact of the matter is that Goolsbee had been tabbed as one of the people who will help craft, explain, and implement the economic policy of a President Obama.

But did Obama and his folks come clean? Hell no. So you Obama disciples, go blow your smoke about this new and different candidate up someone else’s pant leg (I hear Chris Matthew’s could still use a tingle). Barack and his team are playing an old game. And Barack and his team of foreign policy amateurs were exposed as inept. They may run a terrific campaign. But governing and managing foreign policy is not the same as campaigning. Hopefully they will learn something about dealing with Canada from this dust up. If not, just imagine the mayhem they can create with Iran or the Chinese.

And to end on an upbeat note, here is the Monty Python skit I referenced.

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  • Sajo

    LOOK WHO IS RAISING THE OBAMA/REZKO CONNECTION

    http://www.peterfpaul.com/

    Media Protects Hillary’s Role in Bill Clinton’s Civil Fraud Case in Los Angeles

    Hillary and Bill Clinton have made a significant issue about how the press is treating Hillary unfairly in their hyper-critical reporting on her and their “softball” reporting on Barak Obama. Hillary maintains she has been fully investigated by the media and Barak hasn’t!

    As the Tony Rezko trial begins in Chicago, Clinton and her surrogates are linking Obama to Rezko and the media is speculating about whether Obama will be called to testify as a witness in the case. Obama admits he received $85,000 in contributions from Rezko which Obama has donated to charity rather than keep
    Yet the civil fraud trial of Bill Clinton, Grammy’s producer Gary Smith and Clinton intimate and fundraiser Jim Levin, for defrauding Hillary’s largest donor in 2000, which has been pending in Los Angeles since 2003, and now preparing for a November, 2008 trial has NEVER been announced by the mainstream media.
    Hillary was able to extricate herself as a co-defendant in the case in January, 2008 after years of appeals relating to her efforts to use of First Amendment protections from tort claims arising out of federal campaign solicitations to be extricated as a defendant after the California Supreme Court refused to dismiss her from the case in 2004.
    Hillary will be called as a witness in both discovery and the trial according to the trial court Judge who so-advised Hillary’s attorney David Kendall when he dismissed Hillary as a co-defendant in 2007. A subpoena is being prepared this month and will be served personally on Hillary, along with Chelsea, Pa Gov. Ed Rendell, Al Gore and other well known political and media figures.

    Yet the media has refused to report about this landmark civil fraud case- brought by Hillary’s biggest 2000 donor to her Senate race, regarding allegations that were corroborated by the Department of Justice in the criminal trial of Hillary’s finance director David Rosen in May, 2005. That indictment and trial was credited as resulting from the civil suit’s allegations by Peter Paul, the Hollywood dot com millionaire Bill Clinton convinced to donate more than $1.2 million (according to the DOJ prosecutors and the FBI) to Hillary’s Senate campaign as part of a post White House business deal with Bill.
    The media – except for World Net Daily- has also suspiciously refused to report on Hillary’s last FEC report regarding her 2000 Senate campaign, filed in January 30, 2006. In a secret settlement of an FEC complaint by the plaintiff in Paul v Clinton, Peter Paul, the FEC fined Hillary’s campaign $35,000 for hiding more than $720,000 in donations from Paul, and it required Hillary’s campaign to file a 4th amended FEC report.
    In that report Hillary and her campaign again hid Paul’s $1.2 million contribution to her campaign and falsely attributed $250,000 as being donated by Paul’s partner, Spider Man creator Stan Lee, who swore in a video taped deposition he never gave Hillary or her campaign any money.

    Lee did testify to trading $100,000 checks with Paul to make it appear he gave $100,000 to Hillary’s campaign (admission of a felony) but none of that has been reported by the “overly critical” media!

    Where is the outrage from Obama that the press is engaging in a double standard relating to his possible role in the Rezko trial and his refunding the $85,000 contributed to his campaign by Rezko- which Obama has always admitted taking. The media makes no mention of Hillary’s role as a witness in Bill’s fraud trial for defrauding Hillary’s largest donor- and Hillary’s refusal to refund the $1.2 million she illegally received from Paul, which she has denied taking from Paul ever since the Washington Post asked her about Paul and his felony convictions from the 1970’s before her first Senate election in 2000?
    Wednesday ~ March 03, 2008 by Intermeddler Posted in “Ed Rendell”, “hillary uncensored”, tony rezko| No Comments

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  • Matt

    OBAMA on foreign policy:

    1. Don’t meet with Hamas
    2. Do meet with North Korea
    3. Do meet with Iran
    4. Do meet with Cuba
    (I hope people don’t find out that I’ve been sympathetic to the Palestinian cause in the past)

    Obama says US should not meet with Hamas
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3514533,00.html

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/04/obama-draws-line-on-negot_n_89766.html

    Report: Activist claims Obama raised funds for Palestinian causes
    http://www.onenewsnow.com/Election2008/Default.aspx?id=68677

    Obama raised funds for Islamic causes
    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?pageId=57341

    • Kathleen

      Glad to hear he raised money for Palestinian causes.

  • grannyhelen

    Larry – question for ya…in recent memory has there ever been another presidential candidate who has managed to get entangled with two foreign govts during the course of a campaign (let alone in the primary season)?

    First Pakistan, now Canada…I mean, that’s sort of unusual.

  • http://www.despair.com/changewinds.html Smilin’ Jim

    So the lad is a bit light in the britches on Foreign Policy.

    That does not mean that those abroad are not accessing him.

    A recent Der Spiegel article posted on this blog described this race as the victory of style over substance. Who knows, if Clinton does not do well in Texas and Ohio, perhaps they will cobber together images of Stalingrad.

    They would know.

    However, for the present time they are writing Clinton off and have just come out with a piece accessing probable Republican strategy. It may appear familiar to those who have read this blog for the past few months.

    Republicans Divided Over How To Run Against Obama

    How Obama Makes Republican Strategists Salivate

    Perhaps they don’t have koolaid in the new Germany.

  • SirScud

    What the memo said:
    “Noting anxiety among many U.S. domestic audiences about the U.S. economic outlook, Goolsbee candidly acknowledged the protectionist sentiment that has emerged, particularly in the Midwest, during the primary campaign,” a consulate staffer wrote, according to AP. “He cautioned that this messaging should not be taken out of context and should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans.”

    Larry…..your panties are on fire!

  • Cee

    It does not matter whether Obama told Goolsbee what to say to the Canadians.

    Larry,

    Of course not. You’ll make it an issue because you have nothing else to run on. Rezko? Pfft. Muslim cousin in Kenya? Heh.
    Muslim brother? Yaawn. Farrakhan? LOL!
    You got nothing.

    Hillary’s high negatives and her baggage is NOT going to win an election. You know it and we know it.

    But did Obama and his folks come clean? Hell no.

    Obama needs to dump Goolsbe’s dumb ass for setting himself up to be misquoted (if he was) and not informing the campaign.
    No matter. Hillary still loses!

    Hopefully they will learn something about dealing with Canada from this dust up. If not, just imagine the mayhem they can create with Iran or the Chinese.

    Seems that Canada is trying to make ammends so they’ll have a good relationship with President Obama.
    It may happen, that is, if the spoiled losers don’t start more conflicts to take us all down with them.

    • TeakWoodKite

      Why so angry Cee?

      • Rob Gard

        CEE’s still angry because he’s trying to convince everyone here that Hillary “voted for the war in Iraq”, rather than a vote for pressuring Iraq to cooperate with arms inspections, and no one is buying his usual bullshit. CEE, turn left at the corner and log on to Daily Cuz; you’re in the wrong place again.

      • Cee

        Teak,

        Obama is winning. Why would I be angry?

        • TeakwoodKite

          You appear to be yelling

          • Cee

            Teak,

            Remember you asked me to differentiate my comments so you could read them easier?

        • TeakwoodKite

          You appear to be yelling. About what I don’t know, except near as I can tell you care less about immoral behavior and more about “winning” the nomination for a immoral unqualify lier.
          It will be an empty hallow feeling for you in the long run.

          • Cee

            Teak,

            *I* care less about immoral behavior? C’mon!

            You don’t even believe what you just typed so we’ll just drop it.

            • TeakwoodKite

              I do believe it. Senator Obama is an immoral human being. I appreciatte the B-quote.
              Thud. :)

              • Kathleen

                Come on. Obama is brilliant, articulate and inspires like no one has in a long time. Just wish he had not sat on the fence so often. I am also sorry that HIllary and Obama ran at the same time.

              • Cee

                Teak,

                We have real problems. Which candidate is more foolish?

                Jordanian newspaper Al-Arab Al-Youm reported today, through sources that an American message leaked by Egypt to Syria shows that the United States is ready to launch a broad military operation against Syria if it insists on its position on the Lebanese crisis and this is the real reason behind the deployment of “USS Cole” in front of the Syrian – Lebanese waters

                The source said that the official announced reason of Condoleezza Rice’s visit to Egypt is to push the Palestinian – Israeli peace process forward but the real reason is to explain the American military actions and the presence of the American ships to the Egyptian leadership.

                Update

                This is reported today “US waived congressional restriction on Egypt aid” … which says it all.

                http://www.roadstoiraq.com/2008/03/04/egypt-leaks-information-about-an-american-military-campaign-against-syria/

  • Cee

    You want to talk about foreign policy expertise?

    I mentioned a while back when Hillary said that she supported Israel bombing Syria.

    She’s as crazed or as stupid as she was when she gave Bush the authorization to attack Iraq.

    We’ve had enough of her BAD EXPERIENCE.

    • norrismorris

      And I have had enough of Barack lying repeatedly about Canada and Rezko. He was caught out today by all the press that found Canadian ambassador’s confirmation. Rezko isn’t over yet either.

      Obama’s foreign policy lack of politesse is so seriously naive and flawed that they weren’t even aware that ALL comments made of any kind to Ambassadors or Aides, must be noted in writing, and reported in several ways as part of the record.
      This Obama bunch are amateurish and bungled this Canadian story completely from the getgo.

      There is written proof that Obama’s clumsy attempts to assure Canadian Ambassador that NAFTA talk was just “talk”. “He would not touch NAFTA, this was just political campaign stuff, etc.”

      If you think your trashing of Hillary Clinton will deflect Obama’s dissembling today, or his involvement and kickbacks from Rezko will not come forth, you are dreaming. He lied badly and it’s been found out. He avoids the press like poison.

      You know, speaking of the truth, someone once said, “The truth will set you free”.

      Strongarming with the race card won’t work after a certain point has been reached.

      PS. The point has been reached.

    • CK

      It’s ok Cee, Hillary endorsed McCain yesterday. Just another Lieberdem. I expect to see Hillary’s and Joe’s endorsement play large during the GE.

      • Cee

        CK,

        Hillary diminishes herself daily. I now believe that she wants to take the party down with her so she can run again later.

        She’s a fool.

  • justsomeone

    Back to the Canadian/NAFTA topic: Goolsbee talked to the Canadians NOT the Mexicans, just how many U.S. manufacturing jobs left for Canada? None that I know of. How many left for Mexico? Mucho. Is Canada encouraging its poor to immigrate to the U.S? Doubtful. You know Mexico is. Obama is a politican. Goolsbee is a professor of economics, don’t confuse the 2.

    • CK

      Ask the Canadians how that softwood deal worked out. Nafta is not doing good things for either the USA or Canada. American firms that have moved a few feet over the border to Mexico have done quite well by it, the rest of us not so much.

  • Patrick Henry

    Thanks Willy..

    I’m gonna go do that..Thanks for the Advice..I have enjoyed all your Personalitys too ..Especislly when you were doing those Farm aid concerts..

    I’m going back to my Roladex..

    Don’t take life so serious Willy..We don’t..

  • mimi

    Bottom line: Obama’s campaign is a lie!

    Nothing’s changed….

    And there is no hope.

    No reason to elect this inexperienced fraud.

    • Simon

      And there is no hope.

      Actually, there is a lot of hope, just not from Obama’s camp.

      Obama adapted an old old strategy, selling exactly the opposite of what he intended, with the intent of usurping Hillary, and Edward’s, position.

      Unfortunately, this only works in Karl Rove’s mind, and not the real world. All it takes is a complacent press and money, no real strategy, or real brains.

      It’s like Pia Zadora’s ex husband buying out the golden globes in the old days, making his wife entertainer of the year, 1975.

      But it was all an illusion, Pia had no talent, and you just can’t run a superpower with Pia Zadora.

      Or Obama. Or George Bush, Jr.

      • rwc

        However I doubt that many of Obama’s supporters really care whether he lies or not. Look at the so-called progressive movement, up until the Obama candidacy they used to rail against any Democrat who allied him/herself with the DLC.

        But here we are with Obama who has a DLC stooge as his chief economist and two other centrists who support policies that are worker hostile as hell.

        And what does the progressive movement do? turn into Obama turd polishers.

        Either they actually believe the bullshit Obama’s peddling – which is scary in itself, because it means most progressives are nothing but a bunch of marks waiting to be conned or led into a cult. The other possibility is that many are so desperate to be players in the Democratic party that they see Obama as their ticket to success.

  • http://n/a midwestwilly

    “At first i wondered who ‘they’ are..”

    Here at no-quarter we don’t discriminate. Even against the low I.Q. so… And I am not accusing you of this. I just don’t get your humor.

    I’m guessing that’s why you are “Larry’s” third personality or an intern. Or maybe a Democratic Party Troll? I dunno but that’s funny stuff for not being funny.

    LOL.

    Regards

    P.S. For the folks with no books. “They” are the people with real wealth. Go watch a Chris Rock show. Go read the play’s of William Shakespeare. Go READ!!!

    • http://www.food4humanity.org HoosierHoops

      P.S. For the folks with no books. “They” are the people with real wealth. Go watch a Chris Rock show. Go read the play’s of William Shakespeare. Go READ!!!

      Books?!? are they still around?
      I get all my nuanced views of the world politic from Chris Rock Shows. In Reality, I’m just playing..I’m not a troll boxcarwilly.
      ( BTW.. Chris has a pretty good agent, he should stop bitching about real wealth )
      :)

      • TeakWoodKite

        HoosierHoops;

        Can imagine the phone call from Obama to Mr. Goolsbee.. Who hires Senior economic advisor named Gool..s…bee anyway?

        • http://www.food4humanity.org HoosierHoops

          Yea Teak..that’s funny..
          Big O in the back of the Limo whispering on his phone..’look baby, i still love you..it was just the boys were around and you know how they get..no,no i love you baby..You want another NAFTA? I’ll get you another NAFTA baby….”

        • Kathleen

          On Olberman’s show they reported that Canada contacted Obama.

  • Kathleen

    Blog Clogs on almost all of the so called “progressive ” blogs about what is taking place in the Gaza. Firedoglake, Crooks and Liars etc. all to chickenshit to write about one of the root causes of anger towards the U.S. in the middle east.

    Blog Clogs

  • http://n/a midwestwilly

    Please, please, please. Listen folks I have a bit of respect for Larry. He (or a secretary) responded to a fellow Missourian (as far as his “cover” goes) e-mail.

    The fact of the matter is this. All of these idiots you vote for, right-left, black-white, man-woman, republican-democrat, well guess what they all have the same “support” staff.

    They have the CFR. They have the Tri-Lateral Commission. They have the Rockefellers. They have the Rothchilds. They have the DOD. They have NATO. They have the E.U. They have Putin. They have Iran. They have China. They have Israel.

    And sad to say, even though it means that Mr. Johnson is not a “friend” of us, they most certainly own the CIA and all those who pass through those hallowed halls.

    Get over the stupid game. Go live your lives with your beautiful families. Eat picnic lunches in the sun and play games.

    These sociopaths own the game. And until they wreck it all and we pick up the pieces and put humpty dumpty back together again. Well until then your wasting precious time.

    • http://noquarterusa.net/ SusanUnPC

      That was deep.

      • http://www.food4humanity.org hoosierhoops

        They have the CFR. They have the Tri-Lateral Commission. They have the Rockefellers. They have the Rothchilds. They have the DOD. They have NATO. They have the E.U. They have Putin. They have Iran. They have China. They have Israel.

        At first i wondered who ‘they’ are..
        But then i remembered..I got thier cell phone numbers in my fave 5…I’d give it out but you know how Putin gets sometimes..And the Rothchild’s haven’t called since Thangsgiving when i reamed them about regifting that Porche boxster. cheapskates!
        I know why ‘they’ have China..’They’ traded it last year for Japan, Australia and a player to be named later.

        • Salo

          Do they have Tralfamdorians? And is the spare part milled yet?

      • http://n/a midwestwilly

        Ah, the secretary. Thanks for your responses. Tell Mr. Johnson, Independence man, hi for us ; )

    • Kathleen

      Go on picnics etc…while your country invades other nations based on horseshit intelligence and created the environment (the neo-cons knew this) for a sectarian violence to take place (sabra and Shatilla)in Iraq. “Go on picnics” while your military has invaded another country and as a direct consequence over a million Iraqi people have died, there are 4 million Iraqi refugees who knows how many are injured.

      “go on picnics” as the Bush administration and the radical neo-cons continue to push for a pre-emptive strike on Iran. The Bush administration has been banking on you “going on picnics”…or “going shopping”

      How are Americans any different than those who stood by as millions of Jews, Poles, Gypsies and others were slaughtered by the Hitler regime. Millions have died in Iraq due to our sanctions and our invasion.

      Go have a picnic

  • Kathleen

    Olberman spent a great deal of time working for the Obama campaign tonight.

    • http://www.skullduggery.com.au Douglasbot

      Did he mention Senate Amendment No. 4882?

      Cause i don’t think the media has picked up on that one yet.
      2 votes for the war in Iraq and 1 vote against banning the use of cluster bombs in civilian areas. Thats not tough on terror thats reprehensible.

    • Simon

      Olberman spent a great deal of time working for the Obama campaign tonight.

      If you step away from it, and you understand what Obama is, and who he deals with, and what they do, in terms of terrorism, you have to look at Olbermann’s denial and wonder.

      And you really get perspective on denial, and personality, when you see how cowardly men willfully ignore an Auchi, out of fear, whether it be an Obama, or an Olbermann.

      Olbermann is aware the press reports about Saddam are true, the torture, the brutality, right? And Auchi is connected to this, and the Baathist party.

      Terrorists are not nice people. I’m always reminded of the Jackson Browne song “Downtown” where he sings “people walking around like they’re safe or something.”

      It’s OK for Saddam’s bagman to be connected to torture, and murder, mass murder, even, (remember when Saddam gassed the Kurds?) but as long as it’s no one Obama, or Olberman, know, it’s OK, right?

      Except they’re playing with a snake, and snakes know no loyalty.

      Aren’t Obamabots grand?

  • fiscalliberal

    Whw is and where is Ambassador Wilson – Part of the Canadian Embassy?

  • fiscalliberal

    Comment by EZSmirkzz | 2008-03-03 20:29:37
    ——————————————

    Really do not know – Canadian Government tried to squelch it, but the official transcript is there for all to see. Egg on a lot of faces

    Really, I think this is s screw up by a lower diplomat that copied the memeo to the wrong person. It got out and the gas on a fire phenomona took hold.

    Real issue is that Obama did not own up to it and cut his losses. Now this piles on Rezko, the nuclear plant etc.

    • Sam

      Fiscal, my understanding is that the person who leaked the memo was the chief of staff to Abassador Wilson….so I don’t think it was a low level person…

    • EZSmirkzz

      Really do not know – Canadian Government tried to squelch it, but the official transcript is there for all to see. Egg on a lot of faces

      Agreed.

      Real issue is that Obama did not own up to it and cut his losses.

      Agreed again.

      But my question remains unanswered.

  • CK

    Nice to know that one candidate has as much military generals backing as Musharev had in Pakistan. Lovely to see the US military now taking an advanced and nuanced position on the internal politics of the USA.
    Today’s economic advice, hold onto your emeralds, they will be appreciating nicely for the next several weeks.
    Expect the price of nose candy to decline mildly.
    Columbia, following the examples of the USA and our bestest ally Israel has invaded a neighbour, the neighbour is not happy nor is the neighbour’s ally.

    Expect car prices to fall. Sales of the US automakers have gone through the floor the last three months. GM -13%, Ford -7%, Toyota -3%, Chrysler -14%. Unfortunately with the decline of the dollar, those 0% finance charges will be harder to obtain. The Japanese carry trade now has a new competitor in the US carry trade. Only the folks borrowing from the FED at negative actual interest rates are not buying American. They are buying that “barbaric relic”. If you have actual gold, keep quiet about it. The government loves to confiscate real wealth almost as much as it loves to disarm victims.
    I noticed today while out shopping, that 5 gallon cans and larger drums have shot up in price.
    And though it flew under the radar, the iron ore producers have agreed to a 65% hike in the price of ore. This after a 71.5% increase last year.
    http://www.resourceinvestor.com/pebble.asp?relid=17782
    On the positive side, Sears Craftsman is now advertizing its computer controlled carving machine for the home shop. PC or Mac
    http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00921754000P?pid=00921754000
    Nafta has done nothing positive for Americans. Shame that none of the candidates are willing to be truthful about that.

    • ChrisXP

      Lovely to see the US military now taking an advanced and nuanced position on the internal politics of the USA.

      They have always been aware. They take an oath to protect our country, from BOTH enemies foreign AND domestic. Sometimes that means they will go after the OBLs and sometimes thugs in the USA.

      The military is no different than any other organization in the country. They’re also humans, which at times the Dems don’t recognize, and try to demonize as the enemy.

      I’m voting for Hillary, but I do draw the line between the Dem rhetoric to the troops. Being a former Marine, even more so — Semper Fi!

  • fiscalliberal

    Comment by EZSmirkzz | 2008-03-03 20:02:26
    Only one leaked?
    —————————————-
    Fair question. I suspect many contacts get leaked and this was the only one inexperienced enough to make the comment that what the candidate was saying was not his policy.

    • EZSmirkzz

      That addresses Goolsbee’s problem but not the point raised.

      • TeakWoodKite

        Who says it was the only one leaked?
        Was it marked classified/eyes only? And a person from the Chicago consulate took exception to the boat called “Monkey Business” Obama was trying to sell, after extending a courtesy?

        eehhh Whats sup Doc?

        After watching an Obama yelling at his audience about “The Audacity of Dope”,
        Homer B-lined it for the fridge… He stuck his all the way in and was heard to say “mmmm Kooooolaid.”

  • EZSmirkzz

    Given

    The Canadian Embassy and our Consulates General regularly contact those involved in all of the Presidential campaigns and, periodically, report on these contacts to interested officials…

    one wonders why only the consultation with the Obama camp was the only cable leaked to CTV.

    • http://NoQuarterUSA.net Larry Johnson

      Apparently because nobody in the McCain or Clinton campaign said something so moronic.

      • EZSmirkzz

        As you know, your answer is non responsive. One does not establish facts with apparents.

        • Andy

          EZSmirkzz : whatever. Especially since you don’t want to hear/ cannot handle the facts.
          Handle the Obama FACT, own up that one first and we can then discuss others…

          • EZSmirkzz

            There isn’t any “whatever” about it. You cannot answer the question. That is also a fact.

            • Andy

              whatever means: whatever nonsense you are trying to spin. you aren’t half as clever as you think you are…. The fact remains that (1) there was a meeting by Goolsbee –Obama lied.
              (2) the content of the NAFTA comments are in direct contradiction with what Obama has been preaching — Obama is a hypocrite.

              • EZSmirkzz

                And you still haven’t answered the question.

            • ritamary

              EZSmirkzz go back to Obamington Post. You will find so many gullible people just like yourself. Join your friends over there attacking Ambassador Joe Wilson. Yes, Joe Wilson dared to criticize the Chosen One on Obamington Post.

              • EZSmirkzz

                Wrong. I have supported Joe and Valerie from the get go. Nor am I a reader of Ivestia unless someone like Larry or Laura links to an article on their site.

        • Simon

          As you know, your answer is non responsive. One does not establish facts with apparents.

          It’s not non responsive, and facts are in evidence.

          He told you the Obama comment was specifically singled out because of the contradictory nature of the remarks, and the lie. It has been confirmed.

          That is significant, a fact, and it will stand.

          In addition, you assume the other candidates spoke with the Canadian consul, that is not specifically in evidence, you assumed it took place, because of a general statement.

          Isn’t this fun?

          Semantics, and it still comes across as amateur spin.

          • EZSmirkzz

            He told you the Obama comment was specifically singled out because of the contradictory nature of the remarks, and the lie. It has been confirmed.

            No, that is not what Larry said. My only assumption is that the Canadian Embassy is telling the truth.

        • mimi

          “As you know, your answer is non responsive. One does not establish facts with apparents”

          But one can establish experience and preparedness with apparents.

      • Sha

        :>)))))

  • fiscalliberal

    Larry –

    I would bet that other forign diplomats are taking notes on the inexperience of this Obama team and will be very cautuous on dealing with him should he get the nomination and win the presidency.

    Some how in this country we do not have a sense of diplomatic protocal and issues. Madaline Albright, in her new book “Memo to the new President” states that some people view diplomacy as a game of chess. She says to view it as a game of biliiards.

    Having Obama learning on the job for two years might be conducive to chess, but not billiards. In the end it was the inexperienced George Bush who was not able to discern the conflicting advice from his chosen team. In terms of experience, Obama is another Bush, only from the left.

    Tomorrow will tell a lot out our country in terms of being able to separate the wheat from the chaff. In a way we can blame Obama for the obfuscation and the press for pandering and taking sides.

    In the end it is for the citizens to figure it out. They elected George twice and we shall see if any lessons were learned.

  • http://noquarterusa.net/ SusanUnPC

    OT: A veteran for Hillary just sent me quite a YouTube that he created of the Flag Officers’ endorsements. Added it below.

  • Andy

    This is so…ridiculous that it is hard to believe
    this is the US Media any longer…. Here have a sample of what CNN has out as if this was ultimate and unquestionable truth. I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry… :

    From CNN.com :

    “Plouffe told reporters Monday that the Clinton campaign was pushing the story as part of their so-called “kitchen sink” strategy.

    “We understand we are in the closing days of a campaign here and the Clinton Campaign is trying to make a lot of this and I think in some part, heel their own problems on their NAFTA positioning,” Plouffe said. “This is part of the kitchen sink campaign the Clinton campaign telegraphed last week. They’re throwing anything and everything out there to try to revive their flailing campaign.”

    UPDATE: Speaking with reporters Monday, Obama said he was unaware Goolsbee had met with a Canadian official.

    “It turned out that the Canadian consulate in Chicago contacted one of my advisers, Austan Goolsbee, on their own initiative, invited him down to meet with him, he went down there as a courtesy,” Obama said. “And at some point they started talking about trade and NAFTA, and the Canadian embassy has confirmed that he said exactly what I’ve been saying on the campaign trail, which is that I believe in trade, but it’s important for us to have labor/environmental standards that are enforceable.” “”

    • http://noquarterusa.net/ SusanUnPC

      Mark Halperin / his blog The Page / Time magazine:

      COURTESY FOX NEWS
      Defends his economic adviser Goolsbee at press avail, saying conversation was taken out of context and is confident he simply parroted Obama’s NAFTA position. Click above to watch.

      When asked about it a second time, he says: “Nobody reached to the Canadians to try and assure them of anything. They reached out to Mr. Goolsbee” who thought he has having “a casual conversation.”

      Also takes a jab at his rival: “This notion that Senator Clinton is peddling that somehow there was contradictions and winks and nods has been disputed by all parties involved. What’s not disputed is that Sen. Clinton and her husband championed NAFTA.”

      Read transcript of presser here, and more from TIME’s Jay Newton-Small here. Permalink
      http://thepage.time.com/2008/03/03/obama-gets-heated-over-nafta-questions-at-san-antonio-presser/
      – all links there — including transript, etc.
      – I’d love LARRY’s REACTION to his statements.

      P.S. Apparently his mother didn’t teach him to speak properly: “… somehow there was contradictions and winks and nods …” (That kind of error drives me nuts. He’s looking and sounding more and more like Bush lite.)

      • http://noquarterusa.net/ SusanUnPC

        Brit Hume has it as the top story. Sweet. Hume reairs at 11pm PST.

        (My favorite guilty pleasure these days is watching how Fox News handles these stories. CNN is such a snore. MSNBC, well … although I hear that Chris Matthews actually was good on Naftagate today.)

        • chris

          yeah, I want to puke when Hannity is out on the NYC streets asking, “what is his accomplishment? Name one.”

          And time after time you hear…he’s a good guy, he got elected and so on.

          Now, I’m arrogant enough to claim I’m a propaganda expert, since I have been in radio for a long time and part of that was making satire. So I know they could simply not publish anyone who could come up with one. But in this case, I have to say that most people who post on behalf of the Great Obama cannot name one.

          Oh…oh…there’s the Lugar Obama Nuclear bill, oh oh…
          as if I can’t look up the one Lugar worked out with Sam Nunn in 1991…this is just an extension.

          Oh, he has great judgement…he didn’t vote for Kyl-Leibermann, even though he voted for identical wording related to Iranian Revolutionary Guard in the Counter Proliferation act of 2007

          S. 970: Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007
          Responding to Kyl Leiberman
          (8) The Secretary of State should designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a Foreign Terrorist Organization under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189) and the Secretary of the Treasury should place the Iranian Revolutionary Guards on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists under Executive Order 13224 (66 Fed. Reg. 186; relating to blocking property and prohibiting transactions with persons who commit, threaten to commit, or support terrorism).

          Oh, oh…he spoke against the Iraq War….
          Yet many of his supporters, the elected officials, voted for it too. I can read a fucking Senate record numbnuts.

          Note: Obama didn’t vote against Kyl-Leibermann…strange bedfellows…
          2 people didn’t vote in the Kyl Leibermann vote…Obama…and McCain.

          He has so many problems that his followers ignore that they are responsible for his fall when it happens.

          Starry Eyed Idealist

  • mimi

    Check this article out. It’s about the sham of Obama’s grassroots donations:

    http://savagepolitics.com/?p=165#comments

  • Mel

    Larry Larry Larry, calm down a bit, you are defying the messiah…sheesh!

    Obama preaches of a new way of politics remember? He never said what the new politics would be though! Credit him!

    Obama camp defamed a former President and his opponent with the memo of how to weeze in race to the issue after his loss in NH and just before SC remember? But that is ok, he is not a black american or a white american, he is a Chicago American Politician!

    So please Larry examine Obama’s record before you speak, here I will present it to you, ok?…….

    …………………………………………

    Ok can’t find one, but geez, he talks well, so he shoulod be President, after all Sen Kerry and Kennedy back him up, isn’t that enough? Oh yea they are from Mass and Clinton won Mass.

    Ok well then look at Obama’s stance on forgeign policy and his resume on it, I will explain it to you ok? Chairman of the Oversight Commitee on NATO for Afganistan! Impressive huh! Ok so he held no meetings and didn’t resign so someone could actually work on the commitee before the Tallaban surge that is coming this spring, but it is on Obama’s resume and is impressive isn’t it?

    But Larry, please please please don’t get me started on Obama and Rezko, the benefactor of which Obama returned all the moeny to charity he got from Rezko, good honorable to do isn’t it? Ok so it came from the pockets of people paying for his Presidential campaign, but it did cleans him of Rezko didn’t it? Sure you will say Obama still holds his seat in government on the tails of dirty money, but come on no one suffered really did they? Ok well aside from the slum tenants who went without heat so Rezko could continue funding Obama’s campaign, but let’s get real, Obama didn’t know those tenants, even though they lived only 1 1/2 miles from his house, he still never knew, Obama doesn’t read papers ok!

    And Larry, don’t forget, Rezko has important friends, so let’s not get started on them, Auchi and the likes, real nice guys, so let’s be fair, just because Auchi was a Baathe Party member and banker to Saddam, means nothing, it is only money!

    See Larry connect the dots and Obama is a great guy, Michelle says so and so does Oprah!

    • Sha

      You had me rolling on the floor. Thanks for the belly laugh.

  • Fleaflicker

    Your Chris Matthews tingle comment has me rolling. LOL! Absolutely too funny. Thanks.

    I do disagree with you about one point. You said that even Homer Simpson could figure out who the Canadians had to talk with. I think that it takes the Homer Simpson mentality to believe the series of excuses and denials coming from the Obama campaign. Because to Homer like so many Obama followers, if Barack said it that’s good enough for them. Who needs the truth when you have Obama.

    • ritamary

      Thom Hartman said today that if the Obama campaign denied it, then that’s the end of it.

  • JoeySky18

    I think we forgot one thing very important. We have been focusing that Obama lies to voters. But Canada must also be wondering if Obama lied to them.

    Canada must be wondering how much they can trust Obama as a president. Would Obama tell them something and later double talk and won’t stand up for the agreement? As a neighbor and a close partner in the international arena, Canada need to know that they can trust US government. If Obama starts doing the double talk already, it’s a legitimate question that Canada will doubt his honesty as a president.

    • Sha

      He lies. He’s the same old same old. Same shit. different day.

      And those who don’t get it are so very sad.

    • chris

      Exactly the point. The emphasis on the specifics has lost the context. Canada has its own self-interests in this matter. When 3 countries enter into a trade deal, and the center country with the most power starts to waffle on that deal, the two others aren’t going to be worried about the middle. They’ll worry about themselves.

      I don’t know how Canada has been affected by NAFTA truly, but most of the reports I’ve read in the past few weeks indicate they are experiencing benefits. So if candidates with a remote chance of becoming president start talking about changing deals before they get into office, of course Canada will be bothered to find out what is up.

      I called Obama’s campaign today and asked about this, pointing out I’m voting tomorrow (later today) and that I need to know what happened. What was I told?

      “Well the visit wasn’t part of the campaign.” (paraphrasing the volunteer)
      “you mean,…the topic economic advisor, a professor from Chicago just happened to talk to the Canadian embassy just because?”

      “uh….”

      Even he couldn’t fathom that one. Good boy.

      But I read portions of the memo to him and pointed out that Obama denied the contact even happened.

      “uh…”

      Uh, indeed.

      • Salo

        It’s a mixed bag. They are shorted on oil and lumber exports.

        I read complaints about it from canadians whirling around this story.

  • ces

    I wonder how you spell ‘bamboozled’ in French?

    • Sha

      Another quatro years of Bush?

      Yup, if the Big BO is elected.

    • Sha

      Same shit. Different day?

    • TeakWoodKite

      English: Bamboozling
      French: Embobiner

      :)

  • http://www.food4humanity.org hoosierhoops

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