Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The TRUTH about why Obama can’t be President

By: Chris Bucholz

I’m sure you’ve heard about this BULLSHIT, where the SUPREME COURT of all people have turned their backs on the TRUTH and decided to let some guy with a name that DOESN’T SOUND VERY AMERICAN TO ME be President.

Well I’d like to see this so called “Supreme Court” stop me and my caps lock key from exposing the truth. Using the pages on the Internet that Google Doesn’t Want You To Know About I’ve uncovered the shocking truth about Obama’s secret life! Read on, but be warned that the revelations are so outrageous, that your head’s ass might just crap its pants!


April 4th, 1960: Barack Hussein Obama is born in a secret Masonic chapel beneath the streets of Paris. With genetic material scraped from the shroud of Turin and eggs stolen from an unconscious Marilyn Monroe, Obama is carried to term in the womb of a mysterious three headed dog, ancient beyond man’s ken. For the first few months of his life he is raised by a shadowy cabal of ancient knights and professional baccart players, who program him with the knowledge he will need to one day destroy America.

Summer 1961: An infant Obama is secretly taken to Hawaii on a submarine powered by free energy.

August 4th, 1961: Barack Obama is “born” in Hawaii.

November 22nd, 1963: Barely three years old, Obama is devastated to hear that his close friend John F Kennedy has been killed. Obama vows to dedicate his life to fighting criminals in their own element, and begins years of audacious martial arts training.

November 9th, 1966: Barack Obama is killed in a car crash while being driven home from day care by his caretaker, Paul McCartney. The tragedy leaves McCartney inconsolable and unable to play music. His bandmates are reluctantly forced to replace him.

November 12th, 1966: Barack Obama is cloned. To make the transition seamless, his fragile new body is accelerated back to the age of six inside of a horrific growth vat powered by children’s belief in Santa Claus.

July 20th, 1969: A young Barack Obama wins a Masonic Science Fair project by faking the first landing on the moon using a simple reaction between baking soda and two mice with buzzcuts.

September 1983: As part of his spiritual training, and to please his cruel lord Crom, Obama buries thousands of Atari ET cartridges in the desert.

October 4th, 1985: His training complete, a costumed Barack Obama apprehends his first criminal, television anchorman Dan Rather, who had been terrorizing the city, committing wanton acts of having a liberal media bias. Obama’s crime fighting catchphrase “Kenneth! Check these frequent punches! -punch-” is misheard by Rather and then later ruined further by R.E.M. Obama is so disheartened by this that he stops fighting crime, and turns towards politics.

September 13th, 1996: There’s one too many Obamas! It turns out the first Obama didn’t die during that car crash, and was secreted away by the original Paul McCartney. Together the two had spent the past thirty years living together in a wooden cabin in Idaho, Paul teaching his ward everything he knew about the art of songcraft. In the early nineties the original Obama left his life of seclusion, and begun a meteoric rise up the popular music charts. Upon finding out of this shocking development on the eve of his election to the Illinois Senate, the replacement Obama orchestrates the murder of the original, who is now going by the name Tupac Shakur.

February 12th, 1998: While Googling himself, Obama accidentally misspells his name, comes across the contact details for Osama Bin Laden, and e-mails him on a lark. Amused by the story, Bin Laden agrees to exchange ICQ #’s with the state senator, and the two begin a life long friendship.

September 11th, 2001: Working with his close friend Osama, Obama orchestrates the 9-11 strikes on New York, in a desperate attempt to finish Dan Rather off.

Late 2003: With a Senate seat and potential presidential bid in his future, Obama is forced to curry favor with powerful oil executives. Over the course of the next several months, he sneaks around Southern California under the cover of night, murdering electric cars.

Original here

Poll: 79% approve of way Obama is handling transition

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- -- With six weeks before taking office, President-elect Barack Obama is having one heck of a honeymoon, a new national poll suggests.

A new CNN poll gives Barack Obama a 79 percent approval rating in the way he's handling the transition.

A new CNN poll gives Barack Obama a 79 percent approval rating in the way he's handling the transition.

Nearly eight in 10 Americans questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey out Tuesday morning are giving the president-elect the thumbs up when it comes to his handling of the transition.

Seventy-nine percent approve of Obama's performance so far during transition, with 18 percent disapproving.

Obama's approval rating is 14 points higher than the approval rating for President-elect George Bush in 2001 and 17 points higher than President-elect Clinton's rating in 1992, CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said.

Obama's current approval rating is also more than 50 points higher than President Bush's current approval rating, which now stands at 28 percent --- with 71 percent disapproving of the way Bush is handling his job as president.

"An Obama job approval rating of 79 percent -- that's the sort of rating you see when the public rallies around a leader after a national disaster," said Bill Schneider, CNN's senior political analyst. "To many Americans, the Bush administration was a national disaster." Dear Mr. President...

The poll indicates that 79 percent of the public thinks Obama will do a good job as president -- up 4 percentage points from last month. Eighteen percent think Obama will do a poor job as president, down 3 points from November.

And 78 percent of those questioned said they believe Obama will be a uniter -- 20 points higher than those who felt the same way about then President-elect Bush in 2000. Twenty percent say Obama will be a divider, 16 points lower than those who said the same about Bush.

"Bush came in promising to be a uniter, not a divider. That's a promise Bush failed to deliver -- as he himself acknowledged last week in an interview with ABC News when he said that one of his big disappointments is that the tone in Washington got worse rather than better," Schneider said.

"Nearly 80 percent describe Obama as a uniter. So far, so good."

Seventy-six percent of those polled have a favorable opinion of Obama. "And the president-elect is not the only one who is popular right now. Sixty-seven percent have a favorable view of Michelle Obama and 56 percent have a positive view of Vice President-elect Joe Biden," added Holland.

The Democratic party continues to be much more popular than the GOP. Six in 10 have a favorable view of the Democratic Party, while a majority have an unfavorable opinion of the Republican party.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted December 1-2, with 1,096 adult Americans interviewed by telephone. The survey's sampling error is 3 percentage points.

Original here

Bush: Bible 'probably not' literally true

US President George W. Bush said in an interview Monday that the Bible is "probably not" literally true and that a belief that God created the world is compatible with the theory of evolution.

"I think you can have both," Bush, who leaves office January 20, told ABC television, adding "You're getting me way out of my lane here. I'm just a simple president."

But "evolution is an interesting subject. I happen to believe that evolution doesn't fully explain the mystery of life," said the president, an outspoken Christian who often invokes God in his speeches.

"I think that God created the Earth, created the world; I think the creation of the world is so mysterious it requires something as large as an almighty and I don't think it's incompatible with the scientific proof that there is evolution," he told ABC television.

Asked whether the Bible was literally true, Bush replied: "Probably not. No, I'm not a literalist, but I think you can learn a lot from it."

"The important lesson is 'God sent a son,'" he said.

Original here

Complaint points to clash over Obama adviser

President-elect Obama and Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich clashed over whether to appoint a senior Obama adviser to replace him in the Senate, according to a criminal complaint filed with a federal district court.

The adviser at the center of the dispute appears to have been Valerie Jarrett, whom Obama has tapped to serve as White House senior adviser and assistant to the president for intergovernmental relations and public liaison.

When contacted Tuesday, Obama’s transition team said they were not prepared to comment on the complaint just yet.

Obama’s advisers declined to give in to Blagojevich’s demands, prompting angry outbursts from the Illinois governor behind the scenes.

Blagojevich in a conversation intercepted by federal agents calls Obama a “motherf----r” and dismisses Obama’s unwillingness to strike a deal: “F—k him.”

The complaint refers several times to Blagojevich’s effort to win concessions from Obama in exchange for appointing “Senate Candidate 1,” who is described as “an adviser to the President-elect” to Obama’s vacant seat

The complaint also reports that federal agents intercepted a conversation on Nov. 12 between Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris in which “Blagojevich noted that CNN is reporting that Senate Candidate 1 does not want the open Senate seat.”

Two days before, CNN broke a story based on two Democratic sources close to Obama that Jarrett would forgo the Senate and take a job at the White House instead.

A Chicago television station, WLS-TV, reported earlier that Jarrett was Obama’s choice to succeed him in the Senate.

The complaint states that by Nov. 3, “media reports indicated that Senate Candidate 1, an adviser to the president-elect … was likely to be supported by the president-elect.”

Blagojevich sought to use Obama’s preference for Jarrett to gain a variety of concessions from the incoming president.

The complaint states that Blagojevich and his top aide discussed trading the Senate seat for a lucrative private sector job arranged by Obama, such as the head of a foundation dependent on the government.

Blagojevich also discussed the possibility of trading the seat for the position of secretary of Health and Human Services in Obama’s Cabinet.

Blagojevich and Harris also discussed the possibility of Obama pulling strings on his behalf to land him a position with the Service Employees International Union’s Change to Win coalition.

“Unless I get something real good for [Senate Candidate 1], shit, I’ll just send myself, you know what I’m saying.” Blagojevich said in an intercepted conversation. “I’m going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain.”

Obama’s unwillingness to trade favors enraged Blagojevich.

“Blagojevich said he knows that the president-elect wants Senate Candidate 1 for the Senate seat but ‘they’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation. F--k them,’” states the report.

Original here

Joe the Plumber: McCain "Appalled Me," Made Me Feel "Dirty"

Politico reports that Joe Wurzelbacher isn't a huge fan of the man who made him famous. He told conservative radio host Glenn Beck that he felt "dirty" after "being on the campaign trail and seeing some of the things that take place."

"I honestly felt even more dirty after I had been on the campaign trail and seen some things that take place. It was scary, man," Wurzelbacher said. He told Beck he asked McCain "some pretty direct questions" about the bailout, and wasn't pleased with the response. "They appalled me, absolutely. You know, I was angry. In fact, I wanted to get off the bus after I talked to him.

Asked why he didn't leave McCain's campaign if he was "appalled" by the candidate, Wurzelbacher said, "Honestly, because the thought of Barack Obama as president scares me even more."

While Wurzelbacher was critical of McCain, he gushed about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. "Sarah Palin is absolutely the real deal," he said.

You know, I only got to spend a short amount of time with her but, you know, it was been asked if I felt any presence when I was with John McCain or Barack Obama. You know, with Sarah Palin, I don't want to say I felt a presence but she definitely had energy and she definitely went to work for American people, and it disgusts me on how often they try to bash her just for her sincerity. It's just, you know, she really wants to work for America and I mean, I wish people would listen to her and let them, and let her work for us. You know, she wants to serve us. She's not looking for power.
Original here

Obama meeting with Gore raises eyebrows

By Alexander Mooney

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former Vice President Al Gore is set to meet with President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden Tuesday, leading to speculation Obama is eyeing Gore for a slot in his administration.

Al Gore delivers a speech at Waseda University November 19, 2008, in Tokyo, Japan.

Al Gore delivers a speech at Waseda University November 19, 2008, in Tokyo, Japan.

According to the Obama transition office, the meeting will focus on issues relating to energy and climate change, and how the new administration's environmental policies can spur job creation.

Democratic officials have said Obama is not looking to tap Gore for a Cabinet-level post or any other position in the administration.

But a Gore appointment would almost certainly be greeted with celebration from members of the party's liberal wing, many of whom are still angry he lost the White House in 2000 despite winning the popular vote.

Gore has also rocketed to stardom in the years since his failed presidential bid, winning a Nobel Peace Prize last year for his work to raise awareness on the dangers of global warming. The former vice president's documentary on climate change, "An Inconvenient Truth," also won two Oscars in 2007.

But Gore, who has made millions in the private sector since his days at the White House, has suggested he has little interest in returning to government.

A spokesman for Gore flatly said last week the former vice president has no interest in serving the Obama administration.

Nonetheless, Gore's high profile visit to Chicago, Illinois, to meet Obama and Biden is raising eyebrows, even among some of Gore's close advisers.

"The Gore trip is for more than just a chat," a close friend of Gore told CNN's John King. "He wouldn't burn that much carbon flying to Chicago just to talk."

But Obama, who eagerly courted Gore's endorsement during the heated presidential race, has long said he would welcome the Democratic elder into his White House, at least as an informal adviser.

"I will make a commitment that Al Gore will be at the table and play a central part in us figuring out how we solve this [climate change] problem," Obama said in April.

While this is the first time Gore is set to sit down with the president-elect since Election Day, the two regularly speak, aides have said. The meeting comes as the Obama transition team turns its focus toward naming its energy secretary and Environmental Protection Agency administrator -- two key posts that remain vacant.

Gore notably sat on the sidelines during the prolonged Democratic primary process, refusing to endorse a candidate until the outcome became clear -- a move viewed by some as a snub to Sen. Hillary Clinton who was engaged in a closely fought race with Obama at the time.

The former vice president made his debut on the campaign trail days after Clinton formally conceded the race, hailing Obama as a leader able to transcend Washington's poisonous partisanship.

"For America to lead the world through the dangers we're facing, to seize the opportunities before us, we've got to have new leadership," he said then. "Not only a new president, but new policies. Not only a new head of state, but a new vision for America's future."

Original here

Blagojevich arrested; Fitzgerald calls it a 'political corruption crime spree'

Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, were arrested Tuesday for what U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald called a "political corruption crime spree" that included attempts to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

Blagojevich and Harris were named in a federal criminal complaint that alleged a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy aimed at providing financial benefits to the governor, his political fund and to his wife, First Lady Patricia Blagojevich.

Blagojevich was taken into federal custody by FBI agents at his North Side home Tuesday morning—one day shy of his 52nd birthday.

The arrests dealt a tumultuous blow to Illinois government, at once raising questions about the leadership of the state and the fate of the open Senate seat—which the governor alone has the power to fill under the state law.

The allegations against Blagojevich provide a sharp contrast to a Democratic governor who campaigned for office promising reforms in the wake of disgraced, scandal-tainted Republican chief executive George Ryan. The complaint against Blagojevich comes little more than two years after Ryan was sentenced to 61/2 years in prison on federal corruption charges.

Robert Grant, special agent in charge of the FBI's Chicago office, characterized Illinois' place in the pantheon of political corruption.

"If it isn't the most corrupt state in the United States, it's certainly one hell of a competitor," Grant said. And Fitzgerald, whose office also prosecuted Blagojevich's predecessor, said Blagojevich's "conduct would make Lincoln roll over in his grave."

Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn called on Blagojevich to step aside, at least temporarily, or resign because the governor is "seriously impeded from carrying out his oath of office."

"I think he knows what he needs to do for the people," said Quinn, a Democrat.

Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan, who had been viewed as a likely 2010 challenger if Blagojevich sought a third term, said the governor should immediately step down. Madigan, the daughter of longtime Blagojevich nemesis House Speaker Michael Madigan, also said she was moving forward on legal issues if the governor did not resign.

Despite facing myriad federal investigations throughout his five-year tenure, Blagojevich has maintained he committed no wrongdoing. On Monday, Blagojevich said any discussions he has had were "always lawful."

The stunning, early morning arrest followed a series of Tribune stories revealing federal investigators had compiled secret recordings of the governor with the cooperation of a longtime confidant. In recent days, the focus of federal investigators expanded beyond a probe of allegations of wrongdoing involving state jobs, contracts and appointments in exchange for campaign dollars to the possibility that the Senate succession process had become tainted by pay-to-play politics.

Blagojevich and Harris were arrested simultaneously at their homes about 6:15 a.m., according to the FBI. They were transported to FBI headquarters in Chicago. Blagojevich appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nan Nolan early in the afternoon and heard the charges read against him before being released on his own recognizance.

Spurring federal investigators to act was Blagojevich's pending appointment of a Senate successor to Obama, whose resignation took effect Nov. 16. Blagojevich had said he expected to name a new senator around the end of the year.

Prosecutors said they had numerous recorded conversations of Blagojevich discussing the merits of potential candidates, including their abilities to benefit the people of Illinois as well as the financial and political benefits he and his wife could receive.

Prosecutors said their recordings revealed Blagojevich expressed feeling "stuck" as a sitting governor and he spent a large amount of time weighing whether he should appoint himself to the vacancy—possibly to avoid impeachment and help remake his image for a potential 2016 run for the presidency. A recent Tribune poll found Blagojevich with a record low 13 percent job approval rating.

Under state law, the governor has the sole unfettered discretion to name Obama's appointment. Despite his arrest, he continues to have the naming authority and some lawmakers discussed looking for ways to wrest it from him.

Prosecutors alleged Blagojevich sought appointment as secretary of Health and Human Services or wanted an ambassadorship in the new Obama administration, or to be placed in a lucrative union-affiliated job in exchange for appointing Valerie Jarrett, a close friend and adviser to the president-elect to the Senate seat. Jarrett eventually took herself out of the running and Fitzgerald said "we make no allegation" that Obama was aware of Blagojevich's attempt to leverage the appointment.

Fitzgerald quoted a Blagojevich conversation in which the governor said the Senate seat is "a bleeping valuable thing. You just don't give it away. ... I've got this thing, and it's bleeping golden."

Obama spoke briefly about the arrest today in Chicago. "Like the rest of the people of Illinois, I am saddened and sobered by the news that came out of the U.S. attorney's office today," Obama said. "But as this is an ongoing investigation involving the governor, I don't think it would be appropriate for me to comment on the issue at this time."

As reporters we being escorted from a brief photo opportunity following a nearly two hour meeting with Gore, reporters shouted questions about the matter at the president-elect. "I had no contact with the governor or his office and so I was not aware of what was happening. And as I said, it's a sad day for Illinois," Obama said.

Blagojevich also was alleged to be using a favors list, made up largely of individuals and firms that have state contracts or received taxpayer benefits, from which to conduct a $2.5 million fundraising drive before year's end when a new tougher law on campaign donations, prompted by the governor's voracious fundraising, would take effect.

Even Blagojevich's recently announced $1.8 billion plan for new interchanges and "green lanes" on the Illinois Tollway was subject to corruption, prosecutors alleged. The criminal complaint alleges Blagojevich expected an unnamed highway concrete contractor to raise a half-million dollars for his campaign fund in exchange for state money for the tollway project. "If they don't perform, [expletive] 'em," Blagojevich said, according to the complaint.

Blagojevich and Harris also allegedly conspired to demand the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members responsible for editorials critical of Blagojevich in exchange for state help with the sale of Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs baseball stadium owned by Tribune Co.

Fitzgerald thanked the Chicago Tribune, which had been reporting on the investigation, for honoring a rare request about eight weeks ago not to report on certain aspects of the investigation that he said could have been jeopardized.

Tribune Editor Gerould Kern said today that the newspaper delayed publishing some stories at the request of the U.S. attorney's office during the course of reporting on the accelerating investigation of Blagojevich.

"On occasion, prosecutors asked us to delay publication of stories, asserting that disclosure would jeopardize the criminal investigation," Kern said. "In isolated instances, we granted the requests, but other requests were refused."

Original here

Obama may be stuck with anti-pot crusading GOP US Attorney

Nick Juliano

Chong prosecutor dares Obama to fire her

If someone were to make a list of all the things a federal prosecutor could spend his or her time on to distract from fighting the war on terror, organized crime and other top Justice Department priorities, that list would mirror Mary Beth Buchanan's most touted accomplishments during her previous seven years as a US Attorney.

Now the Bush-appointee -- who spent $12 million to put that oh-so-notorious kingpin Tommy Chong behind bars for nine months -- has been struck with another bout of headline-grabbing obstinance. Buchanan says she won't step down once President-elect Obama takes office next month.

"It doesn't serve justice for all the U.S. attorneys to submit their resignations all at one time," she told a local paper last week, adding, "I am open to considering further service to the United States."

The defiant posture and break with tradition could complicate Obama's attempt to put his own mark on a Justice Department that has seen its reputation sullied over the last eight years. Some speculate Buchanan is essentially daring the president-elect to fire her.

Buchanan's prosecution of Chong, which was profiled in a 2006 documentary, was by no means her only unorthodox crusade against relatively harmless transgressors. She also pursued the first federal obscenity case in two decades, against a pornography producer, and she's pursued public corruption charges against outspoken Democrats.

After Operation Pipe Dreams -- the sting aimed at Chong and other pot paraphernalia providers -- Buchanan went after the manufacturer of devises like the Whizzinator and other products aimed at helping people beat drug tests. This operation (coincidentally, we're sure) led to federal agents raiding the distributor of documentary a/k/a Tommy Chong and confiscating several thousand DVD copies of the film.

Libertarians and drug war critics note that law enforcement agencies -- whether they be federal, state or local -- can always find a better use of their time and money than cracking down on harmless pot smokers or porn peddlers.

What makes Buchanan's actions particularly egregious, they say, is that she pursued these mixed up priorities in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, which intimately affected her own jurisdiction. Flight 93 crashed in her western Pennsylvania district.

Buchanan's indication that she's not leaving -- as all US Attorneys customarily do following a change in administration -- does not mean her continued employment with the federal government is assured. Obama, like every president, has the authority to hire and fire federal prosecutors for virtually any reason; however, he may face some criticism if he moves quickly to oust Buchanan.

After all, Democrats have spent the last two years criticizing President Bush's politicization of the Justice Department and routinely firing US Attorneys with whom he disagreed. While the two situations -- assuming Obama gets rid of Buchanan -- would not be directly comparable, it's not hard to imagine the cries of "hypocrisy" one would hear from the same right wing pundits whose defense of executive power to this point has been nearly boundless.

Indeed, such a controversy may be just what Buchanan wants, as Reason magazine's Radley Balko hypothesizes.

"Buchanan isn’t delusional. She’s calculating," he writes. "My guess is that this is a stunt to force Obama to fire her, at which point she’ll make a public stink, play the martyr, then attempt to parlay the resulting controversy into a run for the Senate, or perhaps for governor of Pennsylvania."

Original here

Obama Birth Certificate Challenge Turned Down By Supreme Court

In this photograph provided by "Meet the Press," President-elect Barack Obama appears during a taping of "Meet the Press'" Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008, in Chicago. The interview was broadcast Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008. (AP Photo/Meet The Press, Alex Wong)

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has turned down an emergency appeal from a New Jersey man who says President-elect Barack Obama is ineligible to be president because he was a British subject at birth. The court did not comment on its order Monday rejecting the call by Leo Donofrio of East Brunswick, N.J., to intervene in the presidential election.

Donofrio says that since Obama had dual nationality at birth _ his mother was American and his Kenyan father at the time was a British subject _ he cannot possibly be a "natural born citizen," one of the requirements the Constitution lists for eligibility to be president.

Donofrio also contends that two other candidates, Republican John McCain and Socialist Workers candidate Roger Calero, also are not natural-born citizens and thus ineligible to be president.

At least one other appeal over Obama's citizenship remains at the court. Philip J. Berg of Lafayette Hill, Pa., argues that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii as Obama says and Hawaii officials have confirmed.

Berg says Obama also may be a citizen of Indonesia, where he lived as a boy. Federal courts in Pennsylvania have dismissed Berg's lawsuit. Federal courts in Ohio and Washington state have rejected similar lawsuits.

Allegations raised on the Internet say the birth certificate, showing that Obama was born in Hawaii on Aug. 4, 1961, is a fake.

But Hawaii Health Department Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino and the state's registrar of vital statistics, Alvin Onaka, say they checked health department records and have determined there's no doubt Obama was born in Hawaii.

The nonpartisan Web site examined the original document and said it does have a raised seal and the usual evidence of a genuine document.

In addition, reproduced an announcement of Obama's birth, including his parents' address in Honolulu, that was published in the Honolulu Advertiser on Aug. 13, 1961.

(This version CORRECTS that Hawaii officials, not secretary of state, confirmed Obama birth certificate.)

Original here

Liberals voice concerns about Obama

Liberals are growing increasingly nervous – and some just flat-out angry – that President-elect Barack Obama seems to be stiffing them on Cabinet jobs and policy choices.

Obama has reversed pledges to immediately repeal tax cuts for the wealthy and take on Big Oil. He’s hedged his call for a quick drawdown in Iraq. And he’s stocking his White House with anything but stalwarts of the left.

Now some are shedding a reluctance to puncture the liberal euphoria at being rid of President George W. Bush to say, in effect, that the new boss looks like the old boss.

“He has confirmed what our suspicions were by surrounding himself with a centrist to right cabinet. But we do hope that before it's all over we can get at least one authentic progressive appointment,” said Tim Carpenter, national director of the Progressive Democrats of America.

OpenLeft blogger Chris Bowers went so far as to issue this plaintive plea: “Isn't there ever a point when we can get an actual Democratic administration?”

Even supporters make clear they’re on the lookout for backsliding. “There’s a concern that he keep his basic promises and people are going to watch him,” said Roger Hickey, a co-founder of Campaign for America’s Future.

Obama insists he hasn’t abandoned the goals that made him feel to some like a liberal savior. But the left’s bill of particulars against Obama is long, and growing.

Obama drew rousing applause at campaign events when he vowed to tax the windfall profits of oil companies. As president-elect, Obama says he won’t enact the tax.

Obama’s pledge to repeal the Bush tax cuts and redistribute that money to the middle class made him a hero among Democrats who said the cuts favored the wealthy. But now he’s struck a more cautious stance on rolling back tax cuts for people making over $250,000 a year, signaling he’ll merely let them expire as scheduled at the end of 2010.

Obama’s post-election rhetoric on Iraq and choices for national security team have some liberal Democrats even more perplexed. As a candidate, Obama defined and separated himself from his challengers by highlighting his opposition to the war in Iraq from the start. He promised to begin to end the war on his first day in office.

Now Obama’s says that on his first day in office he will begin to “design a plan for a responsible drawdown,” as he told NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday. Obama has also filled his national security positions with supporters of the Iraq war: Sen. Hillary Clinton, who voted to authorize force in Iraq, as his secretary of state; and President George W. Bush’s defense secretary, Robert Gates, continuing in the same role.

The central premise of the left’s criticism is direct – don’t bite the hand that feeds, Mr. President-elect. The Internet that helped him so much during the election is lighting up with irritation and critiques.

“There don't seem to be any liberals in Obama's cabinet,” writes John Aravosis, the editor of “What does all of this mean for Obama's policies, and just as important, Obama Supreme Court announcements?”

“Actually, it reminds me a bit of the campaign, at least the beginning and the middle, when the Obama campaign didn't seem particularly interested in reaching out to progressives,” Aravosis continues. “Once they realized that in order to win they needed to marshal everyone on their side, the reaching out began. I hope we're not seeing a similar ‘we can do it alone’ approach in the transition team.”

This isn’t the first liberal letdown over Obama, who promptly angered the left after winning the Democratic primary by announcing he backed a compromise that would allow warrantless wiretapping on U.S. soil to continue.

Now it’s Obama’s Cabinet moves that are drawing the most fire. It’s not just that he’s picked Clinton and Gates. It’s that liberal Democrats say they’re hard-pressed to find one of their own on Obama’s team so far – particularly on the economic side, where people like Tim Geithner and Lawrence Summers are hardly viewed as pro-labor.

“At his announcement of an economic team there was no secretary of labor. If you don’t think the labor secretary is on the same level as treasury secretary, that gives me pause,” said Jonathan Tasini, who runs the website “The president-elect wouldn't be president-elect without labor."

During the campaign Obama gained labor support by saying he favored legislation that would make it easier for unions to form inside companies. The “card check” bill would get rid of a secret-ballot method of voting to form a union and replace it with a system that would require companies to recognize unions simply if a majority of workers signed cards saying they want one. Obama still supports that legislation, aides say – but union leaders are worried that he no longer talks it up much as president-elect.

“It's complicated,” said Tasini, who challenged Clinton for Senate in 2006. “On the one hand, the guy hasn't even taken office yet so it's a little hasty to be criticizing him. On the other hand, there is legitimate cause for concern. I think people are still waiting but there is some edginess about this.”

That’s a view that seems to have kept some progressive leaders holding their fire. There are signs of a struggle within the left wing of the Democratic Party about whether it’s just too soon to criticize Obama -- and if there’s really anything to complain about just yet.

Case in point: One of the Campaign for America’s Future blogs commented on Obama’s decision not to tax oil companies’ windfall profits saying, “Between this move and the move to wait to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, it seems like the Obama team is buying into the right-wing frame that raising any taxes - even those on the richest citizens and wealthiest corporations - is bad for the economy.”

Yet Campaign for America’s Future will be join about 150 progressive organizations, economists and labor groups to release a statement Tuesday in support of a large economic stimulus package like the one Obama has proposed, said Hickey, a co-founder of the group.

“I’ve heard the most grousing about the windfall profits tax, but on the other hand, Obama has committed himself to a stimulus package that makes a down payment on energy efficiency and green jobs,” Hickey said. “The old argument was, here’s how we afford to make these investments – we tax the oil companies’ windfall profits. … The new argument is, in a bad economy that could get worse, we don’t.”

Obama is asking for patience – saying he’s only shifting his stance on some issues because circumstances are shifting.

Aides say he backed off the windfall profits tax because oil prices have
dropped below $80 a barrel. Obama also defended hedging on the Bush tax cuts.

“My economic team right now is examining, do we repeal that through legislation? Do we let it lapse so that, when the Bush tax cuts expire, they're not renewed when it comes to wealthiest Americans?” Obama said on “Meet the Press.” “We don't yet know what the best approach is going to be.”

On Iraq, he says he’s just trying to make sure any U.S. pullout doesn’t ignite “any resurgence of terrorism in Iraq that could threaten our interests.”

Obama has told his supporters to look beyond his appointments, that the change he promised will come from him and that when his administration comes together they will be happy.

“I think that when you ultimately look at what this advisory board looks like, you'll say this is a cross-section of opinion that in some ways reinforces conventional wisdom, in some ways breaks with orthodoxy in all sorts of way,” Obama recently said in response to questions about his appointments during a news conference on the economy.

The leaders of some liberal groups are willing to wait and see.

“He hasn’t had a first day in office,” said John Isaacs, the executive director for Council for Livable World. “To me it’s not as important as who’s there, than what kind of policies they carry out.”

“These aren’t out-and-out liberals on the national security team, but they may be successful implementers of what the Obama national security policy is,” Isaacs added. “We want to see what policies are carried forward, as opposed to appointments.”

Juan Cole, who runs a prominent anti-war blog called Informed Comment, said he worries Obama will get bad advice from Clinton on the Middle East, calling her too pro-Israel and “belligerent” toward Iran. “But overall, my estimation is that he has chosen competence over ideology, and I'm willing to cut him some slack,” Cole said.

Other voices of the left don’t like what they’re seeing so far and aren’t waiting for more before they speak up.

New York Times columnist Frank Rich warned that Obama’s economic team of Summers and Geithner reminded him of John F. Kennedy’s “best and the brightest” team, who blundered in Vietnam despite their blue-chip pedigrees.

David Corn, Washington bureau chief of the liberal magazine Mother Jones, wrote in Sunday’s Washington Post that he is “not yet reaching for a pitchfork.”

But the headline of his op-ed sums up his point about Obama’s Cabinet appointments so far: “This Wasn’t Quite the Change We Envisioned.”

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The justices will hear the appeal of Ali Saleh Kahlah Marri. The case could decide if the president can order the military to hold a civilian in the U

By David G. Savage

The Supreme Court announced today that it will take up a controversial Bush administration legal policy and decide whether the president has the power to order the military to arrest and hold a civilian in the United States based on his suspected ties to terrorists.

The justices voted to hear the case of Ali Saleh Kahlah Marri, the only person who remains in military custody in this country as an “enemy combatant.” Administration officials say he came to this country on a “martyr mission” for Al Qaeda.

The court will hear arguments in his case in March, two months after the Bush administration has left office. The incoming Barack Obama administration could defend the government’s handling of Marri’s case or it could change course and prosecute him in an ordinary criminal court.

A native of Qatar, Marri entered the United States on Sept. 10, 2001, and said he was seeking a master’s degree at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. He had earned a bachelor’s degree there a decade earlier.

Three months later, the FBI arrested him and found on his laptop computer information about cyanide and other poisonous chemicals. Officials also learned he had received payments from Al Qaeda’s financiers.

At first, the government intended to try Marri for credit card fraud. But in June 2003, President Bush signed an order designating Marri as an “enemy combatant,” and he was whisked away to a military brig in South Carolina. He has been held there in virtual isolation for more than five years.

The Supreme Court will not decide whether Marri is an agent of Al Qaeda. Instead, the justices will decide whether the Bush administration had the legal authority to bypass the nation’s civilian laws and to hold a person in military custody.

The 5th Amendment says “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law,” and that constitutional protection has been interpreted to apply to all persons in this country, not just citizens.

In their appeal on Marri’s behalf, lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union said his case raises “a question of exceptional national importance.” Since the nation’s founding, they said, the Constitution has been understood to give “people arrested in this country … the right to a speedy criminal prosecution.”

Reacting to the court’s announcement, ACLU Legal Director Steven R. Shapiro said he was hopeful the justices “will ensure that people in this country cannot be seized from their homes and imprisoned indefinitely simply because the president says so.”

The Marri case is separate from the litigation over the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Those prisoners were captured abroad and have not officially entered the United States.

Earlier, the Bush administration had held Jose Padilla, a native New Yorker, in military custody as an enemy combatant. He had been arrested at O’Hare Airport in Chicago in 2002 after a return flight from Pakistan. The Supreme Court did not rule on his case, however. One of his appeals was on its way to the court when the administration switched course and brought criminal charges against Padilla in Florida. He was convicted and imprisoned.

Bush administration lawyers had urged the court not to hear Marri’s appeal. They said his “military detention is lawful given (his) close association with Al Qaeda and entry into this country for the purpose of committing hostile and war-like acts.”

They said the president was given the power to hold “enemy combatants” when Congress adopted the Authorization for the Use of Military Force a week after the 9/11 attacks. It says the president may use “all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations and persons he determines planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.”

Some Democrats in Congress have said that resolution gave the president the power to use military force abroad but that it did not change the law within the United States.

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