Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Momentous Day

Israel's prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with administration officials on May 18th and it's expected that there will be fireworks. According to DEBKAFile President Obama intends to radically restructure our relationship with Israel in ways that the Israelis are almost certain to find objectionable.

There's cause for concern in this. If Israel refuses to accept American terms for accommodating Arab demands President Obama may well set the Israelis off on their own, leaving them vulnerable to an Iranian attack through their Hezbollah and Syrian proxies.

His glowing press notwithstanding, the president has yet to accomplish anything of substance abroad, so a lot rides on the upcoming talks, both for the U.S. and for Israel. Indeed, the paramount concern is that the sixty year friendship we've had with each other is suddenly, with the advent of the new administration, on the rocks.

May 18th could be a momentous day in the history of that relationship.


Barack Soprano

According to this report by John Carney Barack Obama is a smooth-talking version of a crime boss. I don't know if these allegations are true, but they're very serious and they come from several sources, all of whom voted for Obama:

Creditors to Chrysler describe negotiations with the company and the Obama administration as "a farce," saying the administration was bent on forcing their hands using hardball tactics and threats. Conversations with administration officials left them expecting that they would be politically targeted, two participants in the negotiations said.

Although the focus has so far been on allegations that the White House threatened [the firm] Perella Weinberg, sources familiar with the matter say that other firms felt they were threatened as well. None of the sources would agree to speak except on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of political repercussions.

The sources, who represent creditors to Chrysler, say they were taken aback by the hardball tactics that the Obama administration employed to cajole them into acquiescing to plans to restructure Chrysler. One person described the administration as the most shocking "end justifies the means" group they have ever encountered. Another characterized Obama as "the most dangerous smooth talker on the planet- and I knew Kissinger." Both were voters for Obama in the last election.

One participant in negotiations said that the administration's tactic was to present what one described as a "madman theory of the presidency" in which the President is someone to be feared because he was willing to do anything to get his way. The person said this threat was taken very seriously by his firm.

The White House has denied the allegation that it threatened Perella Weinberg.

Last week Obama singled out the firms that continue to oppose his plan for Chrysler, saying he would not stand with them. Perella Weinberg says it was convinced to support the plan by this stark drawing of a line between firms that have the president's backing and those that did not. They didn't want to be on the wrong side of Obama. Privately, administration officials have expressed confidence that other firms will switch sides for this reason.

These allegations add to the picture of an administration willing to use intimidation to win over support for its Chrysler plans--and then categorically deny it.

As I understand this these firms are holding debt that Chrysler owes and the Obama administration is strong-arming them to eat the debt so that Chrysler can survive and its union employees can keep their the pension and health care benefits that are largely responsible for driving Chrysler to the brink of insolvency in the first place. In other words, the lending institutions have to shaft their stockholders so that Obama's supporters in the UAW don't get hurt. If they don't then Obama can't guarantee their safety, so to speak.

Isn't anyone in the major media concerned that a president of the United States would abuse his power to coerce private citizens by threatening them with public embarrassment if they don't go along with his policies? Can you imagine the outcry had Bush done something like this?

I repeat that I don't know whether these allegations are correct, but if they are it should cause us to be deeply concerned about the kind of man we've elected to the Oval Office. Recall during the campaign when candidate Obama called for the creation of a civilian security force that would be, in effect, his own private army. The media almost completely ignored this bizarre suggestion, but in light of the tactics he's allegedly using to gain control of the private sector there certainly seems to be reason to wonder whether this man is what most of those who voted for him thought he was.