The President Is Just Asking Questions


My column tomorrow is about President Obama's recent attacks on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for 1) collecting money from foreign affiliates (totaling about 0.05 percent of its budget) and 2) sponsoring ads that criticize Democrats. White House Counsel Bob Bauer insists the president did not mean to suggest any connection between those two points, even though he repeatedly put them in the same sentence, since that would amount to accusing the group of violating the federal ban on election-related spending by foreign nationals. Obama admits he has no evidence to support that charge. But neither does he have any evidence to refute it! Which, according to presidential adviser David Axelrod, is the whole point—i.e., the president feels no compunction about making shit up without full disclosure, who can say whether the Chamber of Commerce is violating the law? What is it trying to hide? Yesterday ABC Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper, whose terrier-like tenacity puts his allegedly dogged predecessor Sam Donaldson to shame, pressed Axelrod on this line of innuendo reasoning:

TAPPER: So the Chamber says no foreign money is paying for any of their political activities.

AXELROD: And I guess my answer to the Chamber is just disclose where your money is coming from and that will end all the questions….

TAPPER: Their answer would be why should they disclose. No one's disclosing.

AXELROD: Right, and they have a point there. We tried to pass a law in the Congress—every Democrat in the Senate voted for it, every Republican in the Senate voted against it—that said everyone has to disclose….The Republicans blocked that bill, and the question to them and their allies is: what are they hiding that they don't want the American people to see?

TAPPER: But you're asking the Chamber to prove a negative. "Prove that you're not doing such and such accusation."

AXELROD: It's not proving a negative, Jake, because all you have to do to clear up the questions is reveal who your donors are from….

TAPPER: But there's a difference between the Chamber and some of these other organizations, right? The Chamber—we know what it stands for, we know basically the money is coming from big business  and corporations. These other groups…they have names like "Americans For Prosperity," [and] we don't know what they stand for or who's behind it.  But the Chamber is different, isn't it?

AXELROD: Well, we certainly do know about the Chamber, that they have foreign affiliates and they do raise money for the organization that way….

TAPPER: But what do you say to people who argue you are demonizing an organization for a charge that nobody knows if it's true or not?

AXELROD: Well I'm not demonizing the Chamber of Commerce. I'm simply suggesting to them that they disclose the source of the $75 million that they are spending in campaigns and put to rest…the questions that…have been raised.

TAPPER: Isn't that like the whackjobs that tell the president he needs to show them his full long-form birth certificate so he can put to rest the questions that have been raised?

AXELROD: The president's birth certificate has been available to people.

TAPPER: The long form?

Axelrod conspicuously dodged that last question. What is he trying to hide?

More on the lopsided, blatantly partisan DISCLOSE Act, to which Axelrod refers in his second response, here.

NEXT: Foreclosuregate: Who Will Save Us From Our Salvation?

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  1. Tapper nailed the dude good.

    1. It’s such a shame we was removed from “This Week” and replaced with that dumb, ugly British broad.

    2. He’s one of the rare breed of consistently dissenting journalists.

  2. Just to support my own theory–that we’re all subconsciously or otherwise striving to be the caricatures our opponents make us out to be…? I’d like to pipe in with this…

    I think I might actually prefer political parties taking money from foreign capitalists, rather than see Barack Obama and Company taking money from his UAW overlords–right out in the open, right in front of our faces.

    How’s that?

    1. Because you are full of shit.

      The UAW has gotten nothing from Obama.

      Sure – you will, like most dim-witted right-wingers – claim that the GM bonds were haircut in favor of labor.

      But in a Ch.11 reorg there is a longstanding precedent called the Necessity Clause – which states that UNSECURED creditors must be paid in front of secured creditors – IF the continuation of the enterprise is dependent on such…

      The Airline Pilots used the Clause in the 80’s.

      When you want to know about CAPITAL structure – ask me.

      1. You’re out of your mind.

        When Gettelfinger couldn’t get the deal he wanted in negotiations with GM, he started negotiating with the Obama Administration to take over GM directly. Obama obediently pulled GM into TARP under the rouse that GMAC was a finance company, so it should be bailed out like a bank holding home mortgages…

        End result?

        Hundreds of billions of dollars coming out of everyone’s paycheck–with no end in sight.

        It’s indefensible–and here’s the latest estimate for when we’re getting our money back…

        “The U.S. government needs to sell all its stock in General Motors Co. at an average price of $133.78 a share to fully recoup the $49.5 billion it spent to rescue the auto maker, according to the Obama administration official overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

        Dennis Berman explains why the U.S. government needs to sell all its stock in General Motors at an average price of $133.78 per share to fully recoup the $49.5 billion it spent to rescue the auto maker.

        That price is $39.15 greater than the highest level shares in the old GM ever reached, during the boom in pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles in 2000.”…..32308.html

        That’s shorthand for “Never”. We are NEVER getting our money back.


        And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

        1. Obama obediently pulled GM into TARP

          Bush first applied rescue funds to GM in late 2008 while the economy cratered.

          1. Two wrongs don’t make a right and the current administration is responsible for its own fuck ups…

            After two years of 100% complete and absolute control of EVERYTHING its getting really old hat to keep hearing, “but the guy before me did it too!!!!”

            I thought Obama was about change?

            Unemployment? no change!
            Foreign wars? no change!
            Civil Liberties? no change! (well unless you count getting worse as change)
            Caving to special interests? NO CHANGE!

            Yay for the champion of change. Nothing has changed even though he’s had no substantial road blocks. Hell GW got more passed (albiet horrible things got passed) in congress WITHOUT republican control that Obama has with complete control.

            Instead of results (which we never really expected) we get “blame the last guy guys its not my fault!” (which we totally expected)

            1. Dow up 25% under Obama in 19 months.

              Bush? down 20% in eight years.

              Forgive my profit motive but Bush and the GOP sucked ass.

              1. Obama’s gotta keep those Wall Street bonuses rolling.

                It’s the only chance he has of financing his ’12 re-election campaign.

              2. Who gives a flying fuck what the Dow has done if they lost their job. You do remember, shrike, tha unemployment was at 7.8% when Bush left office, right? And pumping nearly a trillion bucks into the economy has created a bunch of part-time infrastructure jobs and protected over-benefited (if that’s a word) public union employees.

                I’d love to go back to the Bush years when the man in the Oval Office spoke honestly about his motives and desires and didn’t put death warrants out on American citizens.

                Say what you want about Bush, but he never sank to Obama’s level of mudslinging in a midterm. He at least acted in a Presidential manner even if the job was over his head. The man now occupying that office is a petulant, duplicitous, self-absorbed imbecile that refuses to uphold the integrity and class his office demands of him. Our nation was better off under Bush, if for that reason alone.

                1. Let me know when Obama outs an undercover WMD expert for revenge.

                  Keep on sucking off Fat Rush.

              3. Is that like investment advice?

                When you were on Wall Street, did you make investment predictions based on what party was in the White House?

              4. measuring the peformance of some market index from some convenient point to another is the WORST instance of sophistry. How about unemployment? Obama sucks ass? How about net new investment? Obama sucks ass? How about public debt? Obama sucks ass.

                Bush was a horrible president. But compared to Obama he is George Washington times Thomas Jefferson times Abraham Lincoln SQUARED.

              5. if you want to take a purely partisan view, Bush took office just as the tech market was imploding, and cannot be blamed for that

                the market hit a record high of 14k in 2007

                plus, the market really started to tank once it became clear obama would be elected

                now it looks like the democrats will lose the house, and there will be a blocking minority in the senate, so the crazy spending flow will be reduced, the markets have responded

                they’ve priced in the results of the election

              6. You dumb shit — those two percentages are results of the same phenomenon: the epic catastrophe of 2008/2009. It bottomed just as Bush was leaving office. It’s not hard to gain 25% after you’ve hit rock-effing-bottom. Oh, and don’t forget there was a minor disruption on Wall Street back in 2001.

                God, you must be some brainless lawyer or bureaucrat.

          2. Bush promised them some cash–nothing like what Obama did with them in February and June of ’09. …when he forced them into bankruptcy because they wouldn’t accept the UAW’s terms. Forced them into bankruptcy and split all the shares between the US Government, the government of Canada and the UA freakin’ W…

            “Congress declined to act, but in December 2008 the Bush administration provided a “bridge loan” to General Motors with the requirement of a revised business plan.[22] It said it needed $4.6 billion in loans within weeks, from the $18 billion it had already requested, and an additional $12 billion in financial support in order to stave off bankruptcy. On Feb. 26, 2009, General Motors announced that its cash reserves were down to $14 billion at the end of 2008. G.M. lost $30.9 billion, or $53.32 a share, in 2008 and spent $19.2 billion of its cash reserves. Mr. Wagoner met with President Obama’s auto task force, and the company said that it could not survive much longer without additional government loans.

            On March 30, 2009 deadline President Barack Obama declined to provide financial aid to General Motors, and requested that General Motors produce credible plans, saying that the company’s proposals had avoided tough decisions, and that Chapter 11 bankruptcy appeared the most promising way to reduce its debts, by allowing the courts to compel bondholders and trade unions into settlements.[23] GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner was also forced to resign.[24] GM bondholders rejected the government’s first offer, but the unions agreed to the preferential terms.[25] A bondholder debt to equity counteroffer was ignored.[26]”


            This was all documented, day by day, on CNBC, The Wall Street Journal… This isn’t news to any honest person who watched this as it was happening.

            By the way, I’m not, have not and never will defend Bush the Lesser for anything he did relative to TARP, the UAW–or anything else! In fact, I was thought of as quite the Bush basher around here for years–doesn’t change the evil shit Obama did…

            And the point still stands…

            Considering what Barack Obama has done–to the detriment of the taxpaying wage slaves and on behalf of his campaign workers and contributors in the UAW? …right in the open, right in front of everyone?

            What could the Republicans be hiding that could possibly be any worse?!

            How could anyone on the Republicans’ secret contributors list be worse than what Barack Obama has done for his contributors out in the open–in broad freaking daylight?

          3. Under a democrat congress. Damn, shriek, you are a simple bastard.

            1. Utter stupidity.

              Once the Bushpigs passed TARP with Congress in tow it became completely an Executive function to administer it.

              Posters here are ignorant (besides myself).

              1. “Bushpigs” is a fairly strange term for people whose policies you’re strongly defending.

                1. Distance yourself from Bushy-boy as much as possible – I understand it.

                  Worst POTUS ever by 61% of all and by 30% as second (behind Buchanan).

                  Don’t slough your shit off on me.

                  1. shrike|10.12.10 @ 8:58PM|#
                    “Distance yourself from Bushy-boy as much as possible – I understand it.”

                    You haven’t ‘understood’ anything since the 3rd grade, shiteater-boy.

                  2. Shrike, don’t you have papers to grade based on Alan Vanneman’s book Madame Bovary?

              2. shrike|10.12.10 @ 8:28PM|#
                Hey, shit eater, why so intellectual?

            2. When Bush added GM to TARP it was in the nature of a bridge to give Obama time to make a fuller commitment. Or not. He wasn’t ‘all in’, he was just keeping the game going for two months.

              1. They used to call it “crony capitalism”.

                For some reason, when the Obama Administration strips Chrysler bondholders of their assets, or commandeers GM from its stockholders, nationalizes a majority of it, and gives the rest to the UAW?

                We’re not supposed to call it “socialism”. That makes people upset. Actually seeing him do that made me upset–other people don’t like it when you call people that name for some reason, even if it fits.

                But back in the ’90s, people used to call this stuff “crony capitalism”, especially in describing what Bill Clinton supposedly wanted to do…

                Why we don’t use that term to describe the Obama Administration is a mystery to me…it fits so well. From the auto industry to banking…

                I suspect it’s because we don’t want to TAINT the word “capitalism”, it being a special, wonderful, favorite word. …but I think it might be an effective word until November anyway…

                Just say no to Obama and Crony Capitalism!

                I like the sound of it.

      2. Because you are full of shit.

        Coming from a community college English instructor pretending to be an investment banker, that charge somehow rings hallow.

        1. I don’t know about any of that other stuff–but he does talk about stuff he knows little about.

          I guess when you growl and screech, that’s supposed to make people ignore the facts?

          I dunno.

          1. I completely forgot he talked about the English instructor gig some years back on here when he started swinging his e-dick as a Wall Street guy looking down his nose at the naive libertarians with our impractical ideas about how the world works..

            1. ‘completely’ should be ‘almost.’ Another word or two missing, but too far into the evening wine to give a damn.

            2. That’s interesting. …and typical!

              Screaming partisan invective at people because you don’t like the facts? He must have been a real heavy hitter on Wall Street!

              ; )

              And the fact is that the Obama Administration pushed GM into bankruptcy at the urging of Gettelfinger because there was no way GM could survive unless the UAW made big concessions…

              And Gettelfinger didn’t want to make any concessions–and with his man in the White House (in June of 2009), he didn’t have to!

              That’s not the way I feel about it.

              That’s what happened.

              People have called me worse. Doesn’t change the facts. Obama did what he did. I’m not gonna pretend he didn’t just ’cause of some loudmouth.

      3. Then there should have been no problem going through normal Chapter 11, right?

        Even if it results in substantially the same deal, there should be a strong presumption against ignoring the normal rules and procedures.

        And for all your random insults of Bush, you’re the one in love with his policies here. No one here is going to be persuaded by “Bush did it too.” You’re the biggest Bush defender, but if childish insults are necessary for you to deal with your cognitive dissonance, that’s your problem.

        1. GM did go through “normal” ch.11.

          The only difference was that the Debtor-in-Possession financing came from the Feds – the same method that saved Chrysler in the 1980 time frame with a nice profit for it.

          Bankruptcy judges don’t care where DIP capital comes from.

          Fed intervention is now an entrenched way of life (except to 19th c. goldbugs).

          1. shrike|10.12.10 @ 8:52PM|#
            “GM did go through “normal” ch.11.
            The only difference was that the Debtor-in-Possession financing came from the Feds – ”

            So it didn’t, right shiteater?

            1. Exactly. That’s what you get from shitbags like Sh(it)rike: shitty reasoning.

      4. Just because you’re full of shit doesn’t mean you actually know any shit about any shit, Sh(it)rike.

      5. I wish I had the time to respond to you Shrike. Fuckin hell…you’re just fucking stupid. Goddamnit I wish you were here in my office so I could knock your teeth down your throat.

      6. The UAW got nothing from Obama? The UAW is NECESSARY for the continuation of ANYTHING?

        Wow! I’m speechless. And that’s something.

      7. “But in a Ch.11 reorg there is a longstanding precedent called the Necessity Clause – which states that UNSECURED creditors must be paid in front of secured creditors – IF the continuation of the enterprise is dependent on such…”

        Coming from the likes of you, this is highly unlikely to be true.

        But even if it is, there is no way anyone could prove that the “continuation” of GM was any more “dependent” on favoring the UAW over the bondholders.

  3. Tapper is a fucking Birther?

    Did he accuse Bush/Cheney of masterminding 9/11 too?

    1. I think it’s obvious that Bush couldn’t mastermind his escape from a wet paper bag.

    2. I’m going to assume you’re being sarcastic here, because nobody could miss the point that badly.

      1. But Tapper continued with a full court press.

        “The long form?”

        Apparently Axelrod failed in his first reply.

        I don’t think Tapper is a Birther – I think he can’t argue at all.

        1. That’s how you have to argue with slippery pecker heads like Axelrod.

        2. What if the CoC offered a compromise. They release their donor list 24 hours after Obama releases his long form, college records and any past passport information for any interested parties to review.

          That’ll shut the fuckers in the White House right up.

      2. shriek is fully capable of missing the point that badly. Don’t ever underestimate his missing the point skillz.

    3. Holy shit, you are an idiot.

    4. Shrike is batshit insane and retarded!?

      Wait, we already knew that. Never mind.

  4. Axelrod conspicuously dodged that last question [about Obama’s birth certificate]. What is he trying to hide?

    Judging by how dumb Obama’s defenders think the rest of us are, it seems likely that someone will disregard the irony and try to smear Jacob Sullum as a birther kook with that quote.

    1. Look at shriek’s 7:03PM post just above yours.

  5. I’m sure Axelrod and his cronies would be cool if we let the General Accounting Office go through the “record breaking fundraising campaign” that Obama raised, considering out of the $744 million Obama raised for his campaign, only $485 million is accountable.

    You first tough guy.

  6. Do you still not beat your wife? Prove it, what are you hiding?

  7. So, in other words, if your organization has a name that is not easily identifiable, then you must disclose where your money came from, but if your name is commonly known (ahem, DNC) you don’t need to tell anyone anything.

    1. And we, the far-left media, shall decide whose name is “commonly known” and whose is not!

  8. Barack Obama squandered hundreds of billions out of our future paychecks to reward his political cronies in the UAW*–and he’s worried about what favors the Republicans might dole out in secret?!

    If Jean Bart were still here? This is when he’d say something like “His hand-waving is meant to distract us.”

    *Or is it the other way around?

  9. Where do people get last names like Axelrod and Blumenthal- from Arkansas?

    1. Blumental (or Blumenthal) means “Flower Valley” in German.

      Axelrod is also a Germanic name, but I’m not sure the origins other than it’s usually a Jewish name.

      1. Jooz in powerful positions in the Democrat Party? Shocking, I tell ya. Shocking.

  10. Can we cut Axelrod and company a little bit of slack here? They’re not used to getting called to explain their bullshit so vigorously.

    It sure will be nice to get back to Chicago.

    1. Sad, but true.

      If there were 100 Jake Tappers, the media might even be as popular as lawyers.

  11. The Chamber is such a bullshit organization it hurts the head. It should make leftists take a hard look in the mirror that the chamber found Obama to be more “pro-business” than Ron Paul.

    1. Damn libertarians always wanting to take away our privileges, protection, and subsidies. How are we to compete against upstart Americans and foreigners without them?

      We’d have a proper crony capitalist state without those damn small government types!

      1. One side, Big Business! Our bailout comes first!

  12. Can Obama be anymore of a little bitch. This man is the leader of the most powerful country in the world and all he does is whine like a little bitch. Waaaah some political organization called me a name, waaaaaaaah. Ignoring politics, from a leadership perspective alone Obama is an embarassment, I wouldn’t trust Obama to herd geese without making up some excuse why the geese can’t be herded due to Republicans stopping his Master Herding agenda.

    For his many many many problems, at least ChimpyMcHaliburtonHitler could take criticism like a man instead of blaming the fact that no one likes him on some dark, malevolent, outside forces.

    1. dark


    2. If you think he’s a whiny bitch now, wait till the Republicans actually win something. What is the over/under on a “The President is still relevant here”-type statement?

    3. The good news is…at this point his lashing out at everyone who dares criticize him is serving only to make him look incredibly petty; it’s not actually harming their reputation. He’s already passed the Cheney Horizon.

    4. Can Obama be anymore of a little bitch.

      Don’t start giving him ideas! You don’t want to see how much more capacity he’s got for that, believe me.

  13. My column tomorrow is about President Obama’s recent attacks on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for 1) collecting money from foreign affiliates (totaling about 0.05 percent of its budget) and …

    Remember when the Liberals complained about the Israeli lobby and no one spoke out?

    1. Uh, no. Is there a point, or are you just trying to, oh, muddy the waters?

      1. Took me a second to get it too, but he was doing a take on

        first they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up . .
        then they came for the Communist . . .

        1. Exactly. Scoundrels tend to commit an injustice against one small group first to test the waters. If there are no objections from the general public, they feel confident enough to commit that same injustice against more and more people.

  14. If Rove hadn’t started immediately whining about this I might have put it down to election year posturing. Now, I suspect there’s some thing to it.

    When Rove whines, I get suspicious.

  15. How the shit someone like Tapper got to work at a mainstream outfit is beyond me, but I’m glad he’s there.

    1. Affirmative action for the intelligent.

  16. I wonder if Tapper spoke with his accountant and attorney before this little session with Axelrod. I have no doubt his last 7 years worth of tax returns are now being pored over by the Auditor A-Team as I write this.

    Of course, like the Chamber of Commerce, if he has nothing to hide……

  17. The difference is it’s illegal to take money from foreigners. It’s not illegal to be born somewhere else.

    Plus Obama is a person, while the Chamber of Commerce is an organization. They don’t have any privacy. If they want some privacy maybe they shouldn’t be meddling in political affairs.

    1. Wow, are you ever way off base from a legal standpoint.

    2. Shut the hell up Hobie. You’re stupid.

  18. Of course, the most likely scenario is that those donors did so under the condition of anonymity given the Chicago crew is infamous for coming after those who don’t tow their lion.

    1. Do you have any idea how hard it is to tow a big roaring lion anywhere when he’s simultaneously resisting every tug on the line and trying to pull you in close enough to eat you?

  19. “He-who-must-not-be-named fucks sheep”

    “Do you have any evidence of this?”

    “I don’t have any evidence but I have seen no evidence showing otherwise”

    So… we’re in the clear now right?

  20. Props to Tapper for the birth certificate question (and follow-up).

    Nicely played. If only he had also asked how the Obama campaign responded to allegations that they took foreign money in ’08.

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