Banks Bailout – Accountability

January 11, 2009

It’s been a quarter since the banks bailout. The purpose of the bailout was to stimulate the economy by relieving the financial markets from liquidity crisis.

At least, that was the explanation offered by the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve at the time of request.

They demanded that Congress approve the bailout to a tune of $700 billion as an emergency measure to avert the collapse of the financial market.

There were few stipulations to the approval of the bailout. The general expectation was to revive the housing market with a moratorium on foreclosures and overhauling of the existing loan programs to assist homeowners with affordable payments and ease the decline of the housing prices nationwide.

The other alternative to the housing market crisis was to utilize the bailout drawdown towards restructuring of the mortgage backed securities by allowing default homeowners dealing with foreclosures to refinance at the existing lowest market rate for a fixed period of two years, substituting the amount in the new economic stimulus package by President-elect Obama.

Despite financial bailout by taxpayers, the economic situation is deteriorating with the current unemployment soaring to 7.2 percent exceeding the Depression era. The criticism entirely directed towards government intervention in the revival process.

However, it is worth remembering that lack of oversight and accountability led the financial institutions to a dire state in the free market economy. The corporate executives as the beneficiaries have been responsible for the dysfunctional financial system even though none of them held accountable thus far.

The current administration assured taxpayers that financial bailout targets liquidity in the credit market, housing market decline particularly foreclosures, buy-back mortgage securities held as major liabilities on the banks’ financial reports and ease their burden to facilitate lending to homeowners and small businesses.

If the strategy followed through, it could have reduced the heat on the economy and set the pace for recovery.

In the absence of commitment by the banks, it would be appropriate for taxpayers to demand that the financial institutions release the funds towards lending and contribute to the economic stimulation as agreed to by them.

Failure to adhere to the agreement will result in the blockade of the remaining $350 billion that would be appropriated towards economic stimulus proposal by President-elect Obama.

In addition, the taxpayers’ also reserve the right to demand that the beneficiaries of the bailout return the earlier withdrawal currently hoarded for their undisclosed agenda with interest higher than the market rate.

It is time for checks and balances on the drawdown of $350 billion to various financial institutions.

Checks and Balances:

Have the objectives been achieved?

Is there an oversight committee on the financial bailout as agreed to the taxpayers?

Did the banks provide details of the secured amount to the taxpayers or the oversight committee?

Please be sure to read the articles presented below as they confirm the reality.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant


First and foremost, the beneficiaries of the bailout are:

As per

Street Talk – Thank you.

Who Got Bailout Money So Far?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 9:09 AM

"The Treasury Department’s $700 billion bailout plan, also known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), is one of the main U.S. tools to address the financial crisis.

The Treasury Department on October 14 set aside $250 billion of the program to buy senior preferred shares and warrants in banks, thrifts and other financial institutions.

Half that money was allocated to nine big banks, the Treasury Department has said.

Another $38 billion has since been earmarked for regional or small banks, according to statements from individual banks.

On Monday, the department announced its single-biggest TARP investment — $40 billion in American International Group — which the government said would not come from the $250 billion bank capital program.

The TARP has so far committed the following funding:

AIG $40 billion

JPMorgan $25 billion

Citigroup $25 billion

Wells Fargo $25 billion

Bank of America $15 billion

Merrill Lynch $10 billion

Goldman Sachs $10 billion

Morgan Stanley $10 billion

PNC Financial Services $7.7 billion

Bank of New York Mellon $3 billion

State Street Corp $2 billion

Capital One Financial $3.55 billion

Fifth Third Bancorp $3.45 billion

Regions Financial $3.5 billion

SunTrust Banks $3.5 billion

BB&T Corp $3.1 billion

KeyCorp $2.5 billion

Comerica $2.25 billion

Marshall & Ilsley Corp $1.7 billion

Northern Trust Corp $1.5 billion

Huntington Bancshares $1.4 billion

Zions Bancorp $1.4 billion

First Horizon National $866 million

City National Corp $395 million

Valley National Bancorp $330 million

UCBH Holdings Inc $298 million

Umpqua Holdings Corp $214 million

Washington Federal $200 million

First Niagara Financial $186 million

HF Financial Corp $25 million

Bank of Commerce $17 million

TOTAL: $203.08 billion


In addition to the TARP program’s $40 billion capital injection into AIG, the Federal Reserve is providing the company with up to $112.5 billion in separate loans and funds for asset purchases.
Aid to the huge insurance company came after counterparties and rating downgrades forced AIG to post large amounts of collateral for its credit derivatives positions.
Some other insurers are interested in cash infusions, but must own a thrift or bank in order to qualify under the terms of Treasury’s current capital injection program.


The TARP program set a November 14 deadline for smaller banks to apply for capital injection funds remaining in the pool of $250 billion. The deadline will be extended for non-publicly traded banks.

The government’s preferred shares will pay dividends of 5 percent annually for the first five years and 9 percent after that until the institution repurchases them. Participating banks must comply with Treasury restrictions on executive compensation, which limit tax deductibility of senior executive pay to $500,000.

They require bonuses to be "clawed back" if earnings statements or gains are later proven to be materially inaccurate and prohibit "golden parachute" payments to senior executives.”


The following article has the response for all of the above issues:

December 23, 2008.

Economy in Crisis: By Matt Apuzzo, Associated Press, Washington – Thank you

Banks mum on bailout spending – They Refuse to provide Accounting

Elizabeth Warren, the congressional watchdog, appointed by Democrats—

“It takes a lot of nerve for banks not to give answers, she says.”

Think you could borrow money from a bank without saying what you were going to do with it?

Well, apparently when banks borrow from you they don’t feel the same need to say how the money is spent.

After receiving billions in aid from U.S. taxpayers, the nation’s largest banks say they can’t track exactly how they’re spending it. Some won’t even talk about it.

“We’re choosing not to disclose that,” said Kevin Heine, spokesman for Bank of New York Melon, which received about $3 billion.

Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for JPMORGAN Chase, which received $25 billion in emergency bailout money, said that while some of the money was lent, some was not, and the bank has not given any accounting of exactly how the money is being used.

“We have not disclosed that to the public. We’re declining to,” Kelly said.

The Associated Press contacted 21 banks that received at least $1billion in government money and asked four questions:

How much has been spent?

What was it spent on?

How much is being held in savings? And,

What ‘s the plan for the rest?

None of the banks provided specific answers.

“We ‘re not providing dollar-in, dollar-out tracking,” said Barry Koling, a spokesman for Atlanta, Ga.-based SunTrust Banks, which got $3.5billion in taxpayer dollars.

Some banks said they simply didn’t know where the money was going.

“We manage our capital in its aggregate,” said Regions Financial spokesman Tim Deighton, who said the Birmingham, Ala.- based company is not tracking how it is spending the $3.5billion it received as part of the financial bailout.

The answers highlight the secrecy surrounding the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which earmarked $700 billion – about the size of the Netherlands’ economy – to help rescue the financial industry.

The Treasury Department has been using the money to buy stock in U.S. banks, hoping that the sudden inflow of cash will get banks to start lending money.

There has been no accounting of how banks spend that money.

Lawmakers summoned bank executives to Capitol Hill last month i.e. November 2008, and implored them to lend the money – not to hoard it or spend it on corporate bonuses or junkets or to buy other banks.

But there is no process in place to make sure that’s happening, and there are no consequences for banks that don’t comply.

“It is entirely appropriate for the American people to know how their taxpayer dollars are being spent in private industry,” said Elizabeth Warren, the top congressional watchdog overseeing the financial bailout.

But, at least for now, there’s no way for taxpayers to find that out.

Pressured by the Bush administration to approve the money quickly, Congress attached nearly no strings to the $700 billion bailout in October, 2008.

And the Treasury Department, which doles out the money, never asked banks how it would be spent.

“Those are legitimate questions that should have been asked on Day One,” said Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., a House Financial Services Committee member who opposed the bailout as it was rushed through Congress.

“Where is the money going to go to?

How is it going to be spent?

When are we going to get a record on it?”

Nearly every bank the AP questioned – including Citibank and Bank of America, two of the largest recipients of bailout money —– responded with generic public relations statements explaining that the money was being used to strengthen balance sheets and continue making loans to ease the credit crisis.

A few banks described company-specific programs, such as JPMorgan Chase’s plan to lend $5 billion to nonprofit and health care companies next year.

Richard Becker, senior vice president of Wisconsin-based Marshall & Ilsley, said the $1.75 billion in bailout money allowed the bank to temporarily stop foreclosing on homes.

But no bank provided even the most basic accounting for the federal money.

Some said the money couldn’t be tracked.

Bob Denham, a spokesman for North Carolina-based BB&T, said the bailout money “doesn’t have its own bucket.”

But he said taxpayer money wasn’t used in the bank’s recent purchase of a Florida insurance company.

Asked how he could be sure, since the money wasn’t being tracked, Denham said the bank would have made that deal regardless.

Others, such as Morgan Stanley spokeswoman Carissa Ramirez, offered to discuss the matter with reporters on condition of anonymity.

When the AP refused, Ramirez sent an e-mail saying:

“We are going to decline to comment on your story.”

Most banks wouldn’t say why they were keeping the details secret.

“We’re not sharing any other details. We’re just not at this time,” said Wendy Walker, a spokeswoman for Dallas-based Comerica, which received $2.25 billion from the government.

Lawmakers say they want to tighten restrictions on the remaining, yet-to-be-released $350 billion block of bailout money before more cash is handed out.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said the department is trying to step up its monitoring of bank spending.

Warren, the congressional watchdog, appointed by Democrats, said her oversight panel will try to force the banks to say where they’ve spent the money.

“It would take a lot of nerve not to give answers,” she said.

But Warren said she’s surprised she even has to ask.

“If the appropriate restrictions were put on the money to begin with, if the appropriate transparency was in place, then we wouldn’t be in a position where you’re trying to call every recipient and get the basic information that should already be in public documents,” she said.

Voice of Democracy

December 10, 2008

One Big Happy Family!

Only if family politics could be resolved like Washington Politics, then,

It would be Utopia and,

Thanks giving, Christmas and every other religious celebration will eternally be,

This is the Season to be jolly! SHA LA LA LA LA~ LA LA LA LA


No child will be in a foster home and,

There will be no such thing as a single parent regardless of whether one is,

Straight or gay, well that is another completely different saga — What is good for me is not good for you!

It is all in the context of the recent developments following election that deserve attention and action.

The presidential election is over and what an entertainment that was?

Now the nominations for key cabinet positions are in place.

What are interesting about the entire episode of the election are,

The country and the world were primed and prepared for the process of “Change?”

Change we can all believe in!

Somewhat similar to the release or performance of an exciting movie, opera, musical, favorite rock, jazz, classical concert or a comedy show whatever one might be interested in.

We all even had a preview so to speak.

The campaign slogan was…

Change the way Washington functions i.e. eliminate cronyism yielding to corruption and miserable failure in all fronts witnessed and experienced by the nation and the entire world in the past eight years.

If you have missed the last eight years because you have been away or not awake then please refer to the blogpost titled The Republic’s Verdict – Crime against humanity on this website.

If memory serves, the political slogan against the Republican opponents,

Senator John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin was – If elected they will be more of the same meaning Bush/Cheney Empire.

Soon after Halloween, What did democracy do on November 4, 2008?

They were terrified at the mere thought of the nation ruled by a Vampire again,

Oops, that was supposed to be Bush/Cheney Empire.

So, the Red States and the Blue states of the great United States came together and unanimously rejected the possible nightmare and instead made the right choice by electing the,

“Change we can all believe in” at least on that particular day.

The excited audience i.e. the people of the United States who are also the electorate was all ready to view the gala opening of the new administration’s panel in a manner similar to much anticipated…

The Academy Award/Oscar ceremony and waited for the announcement of the nominees names.

Then I received the following email stating,

The nominees are…

From: "David Plouffe,"

To: Padmini Arhant

Sent: Tuesday, December 2, 2008 4:53:21 AM

Subject: National security announcement from Barack

Padmini —

Yesterday, President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden announced key members of their national security team.

Barack and Joe have asked some of the country’s most experienced leaders on national security, foreign policy, law enforcement, and military matters to come together to renew America’s security and standing in the world.

Watch the video of Barack’s announcement and learn about the national security team.

Hillary Clinton, U.S. Senator from New York and former First Lady, will serve as Secretary of State.

Secretary Robert Gates, the current Secretary of Defense, will continue to serve in that role.

Eric Holder, former Deputy Attorney General and a former United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, will serve as Attorney General.

Janet Napolitano, Governor and former U.S. Attorney for Arizona, will serve as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Dr. Susan E. Rice, a Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Obama for America campaign, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, will serve as Ambassador to the United Nations.

General Jim Jones, USMC (Ret), former Allied Commander, Europe, and Commander of the United States European Command, will serve as National Security Advisor.

Barack’s national security team has been assembled to represent all elements of American power, diplomacy, and leadership that will be vital in overcoming the challenges of the 21st century.

Watch the video of today’s press conference:

These appointees will be tasked with strengthening current alliances and forging new ones, protecting our citizens at home, defending against our enemies, and promoting our values and moral leadership throughout the world.

While the challenges they are sure to face will be great, the opportunities to unify our country and our world will be even greater.

With your support, we’ll meet those challenges and opportunities with the hope and optimism that has brought us to this moment of change.

Thank you,


David Plouffe
Campaign Manager
Obama for America


Furthermore, the following communication from the Vice President-elect Joe Biden,

On the selection of the particular nominee for the most sensitive cabinet position,

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as Secretary of State to represent United States in damage control of the image and reputation that she was equally responsible.

From: Joe Biden

To: Padmini Arhant

Sent: Friday, December 5, 2008 5:39:57 AM

Subject: Our commitment to a friend

Padmini —

President-elect Obama and I have been assembling our team, and we plan to hit the ground running next month.

We want to be ready to go, and that’s why I’m asking you to help us honor an outstanding commitment we made during the election.

Our campaign pledged to help Senator Hillary Clinton — one of the vital members of our team and our future Secretary of State — retire her campaign debt. That’s the money her campaign owes to the vendors across the country that make our political process possible.

Barack and I had the deepest respect for Hillary as an opponent on the campaign trail. Her undeniable intellect, talent, and passion strengthened Barack as a candidate and tested our movement for change.

We welcome Hillary as a partner in our administration, and I hope you will show your support by helping Barack fulfill our campaign promise.

Will you make a contribution of $100 or more now to retire Hillary’s campaign debt?

I saw your generosity and commitment to this team throughout the election, and I know we can do it.

In the general election, Hillary was one of our strongest advocates. She traveled the country and did more than 70 events, raising money and bringing new supporters into our campaign.

As Secretary of State, she will be indispensable in furthering Barack’s agenda for change.

Let’s welcome Hillary to the team and thank her for her efforts in support of our campaign by helping to retire her debt to the hard-working individuals and small businesses that were a part of the election:

Your support and generosity got us this far, and I know I can count on it now.

Thank you,



My response to the Vice President-elect Joe Biden:

From: Padmini Arhant


Subject: Re: Our commitment to a friend

Hon. Vice President-elect Joe Biden,

Thank you for the update.

Please accept my apologies for the delayed response.

As always, I will present my thoughts and views in this matter through my blogpost on the website

Meanwhile, I wish you and the President-elect Barack Obama success in all the tasks ahead of the new administration.

Best Regards

Padmini Arhant

Reaction: Shock and Awe!

There is more excitement in terms of the nominees recruiting their own staff members.

Again, not long ago Professor Samantha Power, the foreign policy advisor to Obama campaign resigned amidst tough Primary battle in March 2008, after the following comment:

“Hillary Clinton is a monster who will stoop to anything to get what she wants.”

It was certainly not a Freudian slip.

Now, none other than Senator Hillary Clinton rehires Professor Power in the transition team.

It is an amazing unification of souls in utter reverence for one another despite past turbulence in the love-hate relationship.

Is it believable? One’s guess is as good as others are.


Comparative Review:

The national security team geared up for the challenges created by the incumbent administration – Bush/Cheney Empire, resonates the dictum of the administrators they are in cohort with.

For instance,

War over Peace – Having conscientiously voted for Iraq war as the member of the Senate Committee for Armed Services and,

Thereby approving the death penalty of brave young men and women in our armed forces and millions of innocent civilians in Iraq including members of the International peacekeeping force.

Blatant threats over diplomacy i.e. Obliterate Iran with Nuclear Weapons.

Default on timeline for troop withdrawal from Iraq on the pretext of national security when,

In fact, the reason is to maintain and mobilize the lucrative arms race and now even the nuclear weapons for the Defense industry.

Ironically, the entire team is from the twentieth century establishment that pursues the personal goal…

Claiming Power to dominate the world with belligerent policy and malevolent philosophy that has exacerbated terror and horror in the present world environment.

The portfolio assigned to the individuals in the national security team is oxymoron to their personal profile and voting record.

What is next?

Gov. Sarah Palin as the environment czar?

The appointments suggest the strategy – “I dare you to defy me” appears to be prevalent in the reverse manner.

Who is in control of who is the impending issue of concern for democracy?

As if, this nation is devoid of eligible candidates for all of the above positions with sincere commitment towards the nation and democracy rather than narcissistic aspirations.

Politics is never without bargains as witnessed in the latest Illinois Gov.Rod Blagojevich scandal.

Negotiations like “What is in it for me?” as opposed to how can I make a difference in the world by doing what is good for the country and the entire world.

That would be music to ears.

Something the great former President John F. Kennedy taught his fellow compatriots and citizens of the world.

“Ask not what the country can do for you; Ask what you can do for the country.”

When a new beginning is promised and then broken upon securing power or political capital, to symbolize “Politics as usual”, then the frustration, anger and disappointment is justified among the electorate delivering their power to the elected officials.



Source: -Thank you.

Carol E. Lee, Nia-Malika Henderson Carol E. Lee, Nia-malika Henderson – Mon Dec 8, 4:22 am ET

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.”


Significance of the Magna Carta to U.S. Constitution:

Let us reflect on the prominent Magna Carta as it has great relevance to the events since the dawn of the twenty first century i.e. Year 2000 – 2008 /up until now.

Courtesy: – Thank you.

Magna Carta (Latin for Great Charter, literally "Great Paper"), also called Magna Carta Libertatum (Great Charter of Freedoms), is an English legal charter, originally issued in the year 1215. It was written in Latin.

Magna Carta required King John of England to proclaim certain rights (mainly of his barons), respect certain legal procedures, and accept that his will could be bound by the law.

It explicitly protected certain rights of the King’s subjects, whether free or fettered — most notably the writ of habeas corpus, allowing appeal against unlawful imprisonment.

Magna Carta was arguably the most significant early influence on the extensive historical process that led to the rule of constitutional law today in the English speaking world.

Magna Carta influenced the development of the common law and many constitutional documents, including the United States Constitution.

Magna Carta was the first document forced onto an English King by a group of his subjects (the barons) in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their privileges.

It was preceded by the 1100 Charter of Liberties in which King Henry I voluntarily stated what his own powers were under the law.

In practice, Magna Carta mostly did not limit the power of the King in the Middle Ages;[citation needed] by the time of the English Civil War,

However, it had become an important symbol for those who wished to show that the King was bound by the law.



After the Norman conquest of England in 1066 and advances in the 12th century, the English King had by 1199 become a powerful and influential monarch in Europe.

But after King John of England was crowned in the early 13th century, a series of failures at home and abroad, combined with perceived abuses of the king’s power, led the English barons to revolt and attempt to restrain what the king could legally do.



Magna Carta is often a symbol for the first time the citizens of England were granted rights against an absolute king.



The document is also honored in America, where it is an antecedent of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The United States has contributed the Runnymede Memorial and Lincoln Cathedral offers a Magna Carta Week.[11]


Food for Thoughts:

As stated earlier, the nation and the world is tired and bogged down from the devious modus operandi of the demagogues for centuries now more relevantly in the past eight years.

These stalwarts launch their figureheads continually and successfully to oppress and suppress the possibility of peace, progress and prosperity for all to protect self-interest and those selective few in agreement with their accord.

Thus, making a mockery of the highest office on land i.e. The Presidency of the United States and democracy defined as the government of the people, by the people and for the people.

So, in a concerted effort the nation decided to move forward by electing a leader of the nation,

As the world’s superpower to bring about the real Change…

A complete transformation of anything and everything resembling the current administration responsible for chaos and catastrophe at home and abroad.

In return, the electorate is handed a dish whipped with the same ingredients at an alarming proportion and guaranteed different results upon tasting.

So, naturally it is delectable to the taste buds of those immune to the familiar taste otherwise the status quo.

Another important factor to focus upon is;

It is apparent from the Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s email that Senator Hillary Clinton successfully negotiated with the Obama-Biden administration to make a commitment with,

A. A key cabinet position such as Secretary of State to gain on-the job training and experience in foreign policy, the primary reason for her to lose the democratic nomination.

Thereby, strengthening her attempts in 2012.

B. Assistance in eliminating her political campaign debt, despite the combined income of the Clintons’ reported as $109 million in their tax return.


Source: Chicago Sun-Times – Thank you.

“Clinton releases income tax returns for 2000-2006 show $109 million gross income.

By Lynn Sweet on April 4, 2008 5:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (18)

Sen. HIllary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) released tax returns for the years 2000-2006 on Friday afternoon. LINK

Disclosure of these returns has been an issue of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

The Clintons had previously released returns for the years President Clinton was in public life, in the White House and Washington.

But the big interest is in the years since he left and reaped millions of dollars once back in private life.”


Commitments from the Obama-Biden administration in return for campaigning rendered as a favor rather than a duty and obligation to,

The political party the Senator represents in the United States Senate and,

The nation all elected officials pledge to serve at all times.


The article by Ellen Goodman, a columnist for The Boston Globe in the Mercury News, Friday, December 5, 2008 – Thank you.

Excerpt from the article "In Clinton’s newest role, women’s rights to go global"

Huge Challenges:

“Still the new secretary of state will be operating in a world in which three-fifths, of the world’s poorest people are women and girls.

Seventy percent of the children not in school are girls.

Half a million women die every year in childbirth.

One in three women will suffer from the pandemic of violence – rape, honor killings, genital mutilation.

But only 16 percent of legislators are women, and less than 3 percent of the people at the table when peace treaties are signed are female.”

The highlighted tragedies are precisely the chilling facts and results of the on-going Iraq and Afghanistan war as well as in most civil wars in Africa.

According to human rights organizations and United nations refugee commission, women and children are the most vulnerable victims besides being major casualties during and aftermath of any war around the world.

What did Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton do as a legislator and a member of the Senate Committee for Arme d Services with privileges and complete access to information to prevent a war?

Senator Hillary Clinton did exactly the opposite.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s record as the former First Lady, Senator and the Presidential candidate in 2008 reverberates rhetoric in complete coherence with the Bush administration for the urgency to declare war over peace and diplomacy at every possible opportunity.

Why did Senator Hillary Clinton willfully squander the privilege to be part of history making as one of the few females at the table to sign the peace treaty rather than amplifying the war message of the Bush administration?

Because Old habits die hard.


Confirmation of Hillary Clinton on Military Policy

Stephen Zunes | December 12, 2007



While much attention has been given to Senator Hillary Clinton’s support for the U.S. invasion of Iraq,

Her foreign policy record regarding other international conflicts and her apparent eagerness to accept the use of force appears to indicate that her fateful vote authorizing the invasion and her subsequent support for the occupation and counter-insurgency war was no aberration.

Indeed, there’s every indication that, as president, her foreign policy agenda would closely parallel that of the Bush administration.

Despite efforts by some conservative Republicans to portray her as being on the left wing of the Democratic Party, in reality her foreign policy positions bear a far closer resemblance to those of Ronald Reagan than they do of George McGovern.

For example, rather than challenge President George W. Bush’s dramatic increases in military spending,

Senator Clinton argues that they are not enough and the United States needs to spend even more in subsequent years.

At the end of the Cold War, many Democrats were claiming that the American public would be able to benefit from a “peace dividend” resulting from dramatically-reduced military spending following the demise of the Soviet Union.

Clinton, however, has called for dramatic increases in the military budget, even though the United States, despite being surrounded by two oceans and weak friendly neighbors, already spends as much on its military as all the rest of the world combined.



After reviewing the above facts, should it be a surprise that,

The Republican representatives from top to bottom of the hierarchy were jubilant at the announcement of the National Security team of the new administration?

Whatever happened to the selection process on meritocracy?

What about the commitment to the people representing democracy?

Why should the commitment to establishment supersede the one with the people?

The Campaign pledge was to eliminate cronyism, nepotism, symbolism and pave way for new kind of politics in Washington representing the true American democracy and not dynasty.

With all due respect, unfortunately the present team of appointees all around have bargained the positions in exchange for rallying during election.

Even though the pledge of support was visible only after confirmation of the Presidential candidate as the absolute winner in November 2008.

Unlike, millions of ordinary citizens across the nation who selflessly contributed their time and money to enable democracy…

"Hope and Change", prevail on November 4, 2008.

In the land of Republic, the power lies with the people.

History is testimony to the fact that whenever the will of the people is denied and the trust violated,

It is the sign of democracy under siege.

Hope and Change was certainly the desire of all those exhausted with,

“The Politics as usual.”

Hope becomes reality


Change is inevitable only,

When one fulfills promises and commitments to the people of the Republic and not the power and establishment standing in way of peace, progress and prosperity for all.

After all, in a democracy one has to return to the electoral process to retain power and

Wisdom confirms the element of truth – Trust and Goodwill are not negotiable assets.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Change we can believe in – The ideal Secretary of State

November 24, 2008

Let us see what the American electorate and some courageous journalists/reporters thoughts are in this respect.

The authors in the capacity as responsible journalists and citizens have raised some relevant questions of the most important aspect of new presidency i.e. recruiting staff members for key positions and administrative tasks.

The author, Mr. Pinsker has highlighted the ironies between the Lincoln Presidency and the scenario with the future Obama Presidency.

Obama shouldn’t copy Lincoln’s Cabinet style – Matthew Pinsker, author of “Lincoln’s Sanctuary: Abraham Lincoln and the Soldiers’ Home,” wrote the article for the Los Angeles Times.

Consider this inconvenient truth: Out of the four leading vote-getters for the 1860 Republican presidential nomination whom Lincoln placed on his original team, three left during his first term – one in disgrace, one in defiance and one in disgust.

Chase was the defiant rival.

As Goodwin acknowledges, the Treasury chief never reconciled himself to Lincoln’s victory, continuously angling to replace him.

Lincoln put up with this aggravation until he secured renomination and then dumped his brilliant but arrogant subordinate because, in his words their “mutual embarrassment” was no longer sustainable.

The significance of Seward’s contributions as Lincoln’s secretary of state have been challenged by many historians, and his repeated fights with other party leaders were always distracting.

Lincoln was a political genius, but his model for Cabinet-building should stand more as a cautionary tale than as a leadership manual.”

One of my favorite and esteemed journalists, Mr. Friedman poses a potent issue…

Cabinet post for Clinton presents special concerns – Thomas L. Friedman is a New York Times columnist.

“So President-elect Barack Obama is considering Hillary Clinton as secretary of state,

How should we feel about that?

My question is whether a President Obama and a Secretary of State Clinton,

Given all that has gone down between them and their staffs, can have that kind of relationship,

Particularly with Clinton always thinking four to eight years ahead, and the possibility that she may run again for the presidency.

I just don’t know.

When it comes to appointing a secretary of state, you do not want a team of rivals.”


Hillary Clinton a better fit for Senate than secretary of state – David S. Broder, Washington Post columnist.

As per the article…

What President-elect Barack Obama wants and needs in the person running the State Department is a diplomat who will carry out his foreign policy.

He does not need someone who will tell him how to approach the world or be his mentor in international relations.

The last thing he needs is a secretary of state carving out an independently based foreign policy.”


Obama staff: friends, others – Administration a mix of loyal advisers, Clinton Veterans – Charles Babington and Liz Sidoti, Associated Press

A particular segment of the article is noteworthy:

“Obama raised eyebrows this month when he tapped some of Clinton’s closest allies for important jobs.

John Podesta, Clinton’s former White House chief of staff, is heading the transition effort. Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel, a former top Clinton adviser, is Obama’s chief of staff.

Former Clinton appointees Eric Holder and Janet Napolitano appear in line for Cabinet posts.

Even more, startling to many, Obama has signaled plans to name former first lady Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.

Some Obama supporters have praised him for reaching out to his toughest primary opponent.

But others question why they worked so hard to defeat Clinton only to see her, and many close to her, grab prizes in the new administration.

They note that Obama repeatedly campaigned against “the politics of the past” and Washington “dramas,” thinly veiled jabs at the Clinton presidency as well as President George W. Bush’s tenure.”

Letter to the editor of mercury news on various dates: Thank you.

Voice of the Electorate…

Business as usual despite change vows –

Barack Obama sucked people into believing he is all about change, which they want more than anything else.

Then once we elect him, he surrounds himself with all the very same people who have absolutely no reason, or desire to change anything. All that has changed here is the name of the guy on top who’s getting his pockets lined.

Good luck, America…it’s business as usual.

David Harbert

After election, all we can do is hope –

“It hasn’t taken very long for the media to turn pessimistic on Barack Obama’s ability to deliver on his sweeping promises for change and reform.

Instead there are predictions of smaller incremental improvements, like “Obama can make quick, modest gains on health care”.

This could be the test Joe Biden predicted would come during the early months of the Obama administration, but rather than some external foreign crisis, this will be a test of his internal mettle – a crisis of conscience.

Will Obama have the courage to stand up to the powerful interests in Washington and do what he thinks is right, or will he back down and give up on his promises?

We’ve already voted, now all we can do is hope.”

Rob Morgan

Don’t see much change so far –

I did not vote for either Barack Obama or John McCain, but as Obama won the election, he is now my president and I am anxious to see how he will move our country forward.

But throughout the campaign, I kept hearing about “change” and now I see that Obama and his selections are not much “change” at all.

Where are the new faces?

Where is the “change”?

Unfortunately, at least now it seems we’ll all have to wait another four years for “change.”

Brian Chang

Where are the fresh faces in Cabinet?

I didn’t vote for Barack Obama, but I’m hoping that he will be a great president because the country needs one.

But I look at some of his nominations for Cabinet and staff positions and wonder where the “change” is going to come from since, as I read online today more than half of the people named to Obama’s transition or staff posts have ties to President Clinton’s administration.

And people like Hillary Clinton as possible secretary of state and Tom Daschle as health and human services secretary seem like “more of the same.”

I was hoping for some fresh faces, but maybe that is still to come.

Randy Breunling


From: "David Plouffe,"

To: Padmini Arhant

Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 1:47:54 PM

Subject: Where we go from here

Padmini –

Please take a few minutes and help shape the future of this movement.

Share your campaign experience and your thoughts on the best way to keep supporting our agenda for change.

The inauguration is just 63 days away, and as President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden prepare to take office, they’ll need your support more than ever.

You’ve built an organization in your community and across the country that will continue to work for change — whether it’s by building grassroots support for legislation, backing state and local candidates, or sharing organizing techniques to effect change in your neighborhood.

Your hard work built this movement. Now it’s up to you to decide how we move forward.

Take this short survey and share your ideas:

Thanks to you, this country has an historic opportunity. Electing Barack was the first big step, but there’s a lot of challenging and important work ahead.

Together, we can keep making history,


David Plouffe
Campaign Manager

Obama for America


Re: Where we go from here

Padmini Arhant

Dear David,

The past week has been hectic for me.

Therefore, could not reply to your request.

However, please view my feedback in the blog post on the relevant topic.

Thanks and Best Regards



It is evident from the above articles and comments that the American electorate as well as the nationally acclaimed journalists and authors have spoken regarding the appointees to various posts and nominees for key positions.

I concur with all of them against leaning back to the Clinton era for most important administrative posts and cabinet positions.

The Obama movement for “change” is unique and it should reflect that message starting with the appointment of staff members all around.

It is fair to admit that the former President Bill Clinton had a successful two terms from the economic standpoint.

However, it is worth remembering that foreign policy matter suffered a great deal in many respects, including a terror attack on the World Trade Center.

We are in a new millennium and a dynamic Presidency ahead of us, there is talent galore to fill in cabinet and other administrative positions.

They do not have to be Clinton associates and advisers.

Further, the movement to transform Washington was a pledge to the American electorate with a commitment to have Obama administration represented by outsiders and not insiders of past power and establishment.

Many aspiring and deserving individuals without any ties to political interests in Washington will enthusiastically serve the Obama-Biden administration in utter loyalty and competence unlike seen before.

It is also important to consider many qualified volunteers and campaign staff across the nation for administrative posts who generously offered their time, resources and support for the success of the Obama-Biden candidacy.

The present recruitment or nomination is suggestive of nepotism and favoritism that is typical of Washington all along.

Naturally, the electorate is frustrated not seeing any identifiable change that is desperately required for national interest.

Secretary of State – The most sensitive cabinet position given the present volatile world environment.

Unfortunately, from the track record of the incumbent administration in international affairs, there is an urgent requirement for mending process with peace and diplomacy.

Senator Hillary Clinton is a hard working public official and aptly qualified as a Senator to represent the people of the Great State of New York.

Nevertheless, the reason Senator Clinton lost the primary election was her gaffes regarding foreign policy experience…

Bosnia sniper attack,

Her vows “To Obliterate Iran with Nuclear Weapons”

Failing to acknowledge until the end of the Primary season that her vote for Iraq War was indeed a mistake.

Notwithstanding other facts detailed during Democratic Primary election about her foreign policy resembling the present administration rather than the future Obama administration.

There will be many awkward moments with great conflict of interest if the voting record and political platform of the Secretary of State is drastically different from the President they are serving.

Not excluding the lack of respect and unnecessary diplomatic tension it would create among the international circle.

In a nutshell, Senator Clinton’s experience and leadership is suitable for fulfilling the commitments towards the people of the great state of New York considering the recent political turmoil experienced by them.

Some might argue that disagreement is healthy and perhaps adds a new dimension to the Obama-Biden administration.

Their argument is valid provided, the disagreement is not to undermine the elected President, the highest authority.

Usually, there are two possibilities for individuals to disagree with one another.

First, when the ulterior motive is to promote personal agenda.

Alternatively, when the individual in disagreement genuinely cares about the issue and offers an objective viewpoint to guide the stray party.

Therefore, the ideal candidate for Secretary of State symbolizing the real change,

The promise by Obama-Biden administration…

Is an entity — with a consistent and proven voting record, personal philosophy and firm commitment towards peace and diplomacy in national and international legislations.

Even though, there are quite a few choices available,

The candidate with the following credentials is best suited for the Secretary of State position –

Legitimate concern for civil rights and ethics

Voting against unjustified wars

Voting against unlawful tapping of private communication among citizens of the United States

Reaching across the aisle to work with opponents in a maverick style – a valuable asset in resolving many international conflicts,

That candidate is none other than the elected official from the Great State of Wisconsin, Senator Russ Feingold.

Senator Feingold will demonstrate leadership, experience, patience, confidence and intellect in resolving many pending international conflicts especially the Middle East between the States of Israel and Palestine and other global matter.

It is evident that Senator Feingold by voting against Iraq war displayed courage and judgment like the President-elect Barack Obama.

The similarity between them is uncanny in terms of many issues and policy matter.

At the same time, Senator Feingold has respectfully disagreed with President-elect Barack Obama on issues like Public Financing and FISA.

Senator Feingold has the right balance — maturity and experience in handling any international crisis with poise and diligence to the satisfaction of the American electorate and international community.

Inconclusively, Senator Feingold’s appointment will create an opportunity to expedite the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the best interests of the people of the two nations entitled to independence, peace, security and sovereignty.

Also, curb global terrorism the premise of unresolved Middle east conflict.

Finally, I’m confident that President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden will deliver the “authentic Change we can believe in” all matter.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

Presidential Communiqué

November 20, 2008

Thus far, the campaign events were about the developments leading to the victory of the Democratic candidate in a historic manner.

It is time to conclude the interesting, dramatic, challenging and the most exciting Presidential race with the honorable acknowledgements.

As stated in the earlier blog posts, my contribution to the Obama candidacy privately acknowledged throughout the campaign by President-elect Barack Obama.

President-elect Barack Obama never failed to express gratitude and deep appreciation of the hard work since my involvement in the campaign.

I received the genuine acknowledgment promptly after every primary race and the general election.

Here are the excerpts of some communication held following important moments of the campaign:

Prior to the acceptance of Democratic Nomination:

Obama for America

Invitation to join the election night:

From: Barack Obama

To: Padmini Arhant

Sent: Friday, October 31, 2008 8:22:21 AM

Subject: Will you join me on Election Night?

Join Barack on Election Night
Padmini –

I want you to be there with me on Election Night when the results come in.

We’re planning a big event that will include tens of thousands of supporters in Grant Park in downtown Chicago.

We’re saving some of the best seats in the house for 5 people who have given to the campaign before — and who decide to make a donation one last time before Sunday at midnight.

You can bring a guest, and we’ll fly you in and put you up in a hotel for the night.

You’ll go backstage at the big event and — no matter what happens — you’ll have a front row seat to history as we celebrate the supporters who got us over the finish line.

Any donation counts — whatever you can afford. Show your support at this crucial time with a donation of $250 or more, and you could join me on Election Night:

This movement for change has been a testament to the power of ordinary Americans coming together to achieve extraordinary things.

I look forward to having you there on Election Night.

Thank you,



My response to the invitation:

Sent: Friday, October 31, 2008 3:40:21 PM PST

Dear Senator Obama,

I am honored and delighted to attend the historic night on November 4, 2008.

I predicted this night in my letter to Amy Goodman of in mid-January 2008.

Some might say audacious while others, probably presumptuous!

I have absolutely no qualms about your victory on November 4, night.

Hope, you remember that I posted the blog "The Winner" on February 2, 2008 and took lot of heat from the critics during the Primary election.

However, this time I do not wish to spoil the surprise for many feeling nervous about the outcome.

Let me be the first one to congratulate you on your victory as the 44th President of the United States.

My heartfelt Congratulations to you ahead of time!

Best Wishes,

Padmini Arhant

Private and Intended for Addressee only please:

I could not attend the election night for reasons explained in the blog post – Transparency – Broken Promise.


On the Historic Night, November 4, 2008 – As the results poured in, I received the following email from our President-elect Barack Obama:

From: Barack Obama

To: Padmini Arhant

Sent: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 8:17:45 PM

Subject: How this happened

Padmini –

I’m about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first.

We just made history.

And I don’t want you to forget how we did it.

You made history every single day during this campaign — every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it’s time for change.

I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign.

We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I’ll be in touch soon about what comes next.

But I want to be very clear about one thing…

All of this happened because of you.

Thank you,



Finally, I am profoundly thankful to President-elect Barack Obama for his kindness, understanding and greatness demonstrated throughout his communication with me.

It is just unfortunate that he could not express his true sentiments in public as stated in earlier blog posts.

It is truly an honor to be part of history.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant

The Irony of Equal Rights

November 12, 2008

The reason for my involvement in a political campaign of this magnitude — the Presidential race 2008, was to convey the message that United States is a nation of immigrants and democracy is truly represented when individual rights of every citizen is honored and valued in true spirit.

While it is a great moment in history to realize the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,

Whose sacrifice is symbolized with the election of the first African American candidate as the 44th President of the United States in 2008,

It is unequivocally demoralizing to note the outcome of the Vote for Proposition 8 banning “Gay Marriage” and,

The failure of “Touch-Screen machines for disabled voters”  in the California ballot and elsewhere —

(Ref. San Jose Mercury News, Thursday, November 6, 2008 Section 2B, by Karen de Sá ).

Like stated earlier, when individuals exercise authority with the voting power in the denial of civil and human rights as demonstrated in the two most tragic results, it is a sad day for democracy.

Nevertheless, my message to all my dear friends and fellow citizens in the gay community and the disabled voters is…

You never quit a half won battle, even if the opposition appears to be strong and forceful in rhetoric but fragile in essence.

It is noteworthy that, this mandate on Gay marriage was bargained in monetary terms by the religious institutions with highly questionable ethics and conduct especially against young children i.e. girls and boys alike.

Such mandate should be challenged again in the court of law for the constitutional and civil rights of all citizens to prevail in the land of justice, that is the United States of America.

Further, much to the dismay of the opposing religious order — this challenge is being remanded with the blessing of the same “Almighty God” inappropriately referenced in the debate as the shield for their orthodox and hypocritical philosophy.

Any democracy is active when disfranchisement of one by another is discarded for common good of all.

Otherwise, it is not a democracy, it is a hypocrisy.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant