Rahm: Just hanging on?

There was finally a shake up over at the White House this weekend. No, Rahm neither resigned nor was axed. Instead, Social Secretary Desiree Rogers became "the first high-level departure from Obama’s senior staff."

WaPo spends more than enough ink presenting reasons for the departure of the outside-the-Beltway African-American black businesswoman and Obama friend. We will not repeat them here. However, it is worth mentioning that her replacement, Julianna Smoot, is a Democratic political insider whose expertise is "donor maintenance". She and the wealthy Penny Pritzker raised more than half a billion for Obama’s Presidential campaign. While Rogers "threw open the gates to the ‘people’s house’," you can be rather certain a different class of invitees will be attending future White House social events. There is no reason to believe Chief-of-Staff Emanuel will have any problems working with Smoot, or that the Israeli lobby will not have the social access to the White House to which they have grown accustomed.

Meanwhile, instead of being shown the door for the scathing Dana Milbank critique of his fellow White Housers and the President, last week Rahm was sent up to the Congress to give Nancy Pelosi her marching orders on the health care bill.

To answer an earlier question we posed, it was beginning to appear that Rahm was "invincible" rather than on the way out. But reading the tea leaves from a front page WaPo article this morning by Jason Horowitz, "Hotheaded Emanuel may be White House voice of reason," the issue of Rahm’s status may not be settled after all.

As Joe Sudbay over at AMERICAblog wrote,

"Rahm Emanuel is continuing his p.r. offensive in the Washington Post today with a front-page article proclaiming him to be the smartest person in the White House. If only Obama had the sense to listen to Rahm, all would be good in the world."

Sudbay concludes that "Rahm must think he’s in trouble if his people are pushing out these kinds of stories."

For lobby watchers, note the quote from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL),

"Listening to Emanuel would serve all our overall goals. I think that Rahm’s considerable legislative experience translates into advice that the president should heed."

Wasserman Schultz represents Florida’s 20th congressional district, which includes a heavily Jewish portion of Broward county plus parts of Miami-Dade. She is a member of the National Jewish Democratic Council and Hadassah, two extremely pro-Israel organizations. Like Rahm she moved up the House Democratic hierarchy very quickly. Her ability to raise funds for her fellow Democrats certainly had something to do with that. Wasserman Schultz was quite willing to go on the record in support of Emanuel this morning in an article that hardly reflects well on the President.

The actual examples in the article where Obama didn’t listen to Emanuel are rather lame. Emanuel, along with his buddy Sen. Lindsey Graham, considered a civilian trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to be a political mistake, while Obama decided that Attorney General Eric Holder should make the decision based on legal principle. Evidently, Rahm supporters favor the rule of the mob over the rule of law.

It is stated that Emanuel favored a less ambitious health-care program than Obama decided upon, and then the article feigns that Emanuel thought jobs were the more important issue. Yet, Emanuel’s cave-in to Sen. Snowe on the inadequate stimulus package is not connected to the current political woes Obama now faces over the high unemployment rate.

The disastrous Obama Mideast policy is not even mentioned. Hard to believe Rahm didn’t have advice on that.

The public row over Rahm reflects the existing cracks in the Democratic Party. Whether Rahm stays or goes, it is hard to see the Administration changing its Mideast course, either on Iran or Israel-Palestine. The United States is closely on the path that Dennis Ross charted before the election, and we don’t hear any complaints from either Ross or Friends of Ross about the Administration’s policies. The silence is an indication Dennis is firmly in control.

About Bruce Wolman

Bruce Wolman is a citizen journalist who has lived in Norway and the Washington area.
Posted in American Jewish Community, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine

{ 18 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Citizen says:

    God forbid there be a civilian trial where the defendants get to talk about their Israel-related motivations for 9/11. I suspect that’s the fear behind Rahm & Wasserman-Schultz on that issue–would be hard to keep it out of even the MSM newsprint or TV.

    I agree with Rahm that jobs should have been priortized before health insurance reform.
    Obama put the cart before the horse.

  2. Dan Kelly says:

    The Washington Times is a newspaper that looks with favor upon the Bush/Cheney/Obama/neocon wars of aggression in the Middle East and favors making terrorists pay for 9/11. Therefore, I was surprised to learn on February 24 that the most popular story on the paper’s website for the past three days was the “Inside the Beltway” report, “Explosive News,” about the 31 press conferences in cities in the US and abroad on February 19 held by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, an organization of professionals which now has 1,000 members.

    I was even more surprised that the news report treated the press conference seriously. How did three World Trade Center skyscrapers suddenly disintegrate into fine dust? How did massive steel beams in three skyscrapers suddenly fail as a result of short-lived, isolated, and low temperature fires? “A thousand architects and engineers want to know, and are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7,” reports the Washington Times.

    The paper reports that the architects and engineers have concluded that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provided “insufficient, contradictory and fraudulent accounts of the circumstances of the towers’ destruction” and are “calling for a grand jury investigation of NIST officials.”

    The newspaper reports that Richard Gage, the spokesperson for the architects and engineers said: “Government officials will be notified that ‘Misprision of Treason,’ U.S. Code 18 (Sec. 2382) is a serious federal offense, which requires those with evidence of treason to act. The implications are enormous and may have profound impact on the forthcoming Khalid Sheik Mohammed trial.”

    link to foreignpolicyjournal.com

    • syvanen says:

      How did three World Trade Center skyscrapers suddenly disintegrate into fine dust?

      That has a very simple answer. The potential gravitational energy contained in the mass of the building was released as kinetic energy. That energy was released as shock waves throughout the building.

      How did massive steel beams in three skyscrapers suddenly fail as a result of short-lived, isolated, and low temperature fires?

      Hydrocarbon fires are quite hot enough to destroy the temper of steel. I suggest you do a little experiment. Go out a buy one of those German made carving knives that sell for about $100 and place the blade in the flame on gas kitchen stove for about 2 min. Now test the temper of the steel. You will have converted a high quality steel knife into a piece of useless iron. That is what happened to the structural steel in the WTC.

      Dan sometimes you have sensible things to say but here you are revealing yourself as quite the fool. Have a little pride — drop this garbage.

      • MRW says:


        “Go out a buy one of those German made carving knives that sell for about $100 and place the blade in the flame on gas kitchen stove for about 2 min. Now test the temper of the steel. You will have converted a high quality steel knife into a piece of useless iron. That is what happened to the structural steel in the WTC.

        That’s utter nonsense. I saw 3 ft wide woks in two Hong Kong restaurants that were 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick with red-hot bowl-bottoms — used for creating Wok he, pronounced hay — from being on 1800 F fires for eight hours. (Cooled after four hours, however.)

        The woks didn’t melt. They did not become useless iron. The restaurants did not burn down. Neither did the iron stove part that held the fire.

        NIST initially said that the fires were 1110 F — some large outdoor barbecues are hotter than that — but amended that number after guffaws to 1800 F in 2006. As experts pointed out, NIST made these declarations based on models because they did not have actual column material upon which to do tests. Even though some pieces were saved for posterity, all column detritus was shipped to China immediately.

        A plain gas kitchen stove cannot turn a “high quality steel knife into a piece of useless iron.” Period. I just did it for three minutes — not two, as you suggested — with my $300 Miyabi 7000D High Carbon Stainless Steel knife made by Zwilling S.A. Henckels Japan.

      • Dan Kelly says:

        Facts that don’t fit with your pre-conceived notions cause you to label me a “fool,” yet I’m the one who should “have a little pride.” Fascinating.

        I’ll stick with the architects, engineers, firefighters, pilots, current and former military and intelligence officers, etc. who are willing to put their careers on the line for something they believe in. That is enough “pride” for me.

        Your “answers,” incidentally, are incorrect. Please check your facts.

        “Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth is proud to be working for and on behalf of the 9/11 victims’ family members, in particular The Jersey Girls. We recommend “9/11 Press for Truth”, which is the story of the Jersey Girls and their struggle for the truth.

        We are pleased that Patty, Lorie and Monica have signed our petition. We have also received signatures from Josef Princiotta, Manny Badillo, Bob McIlvaine, Ellen Mariani. Let us know if there are any of them we are not listing here!

        We have taken a lot of criticism from so called debunkers & unconscious government officials that our work is “upsetting the family members”. Let it be clear that only the truth about the deaths of these innocent people will bring healing to their loved ones. AE911Truth has ever increasing support from them to reveal the truth to the American people.”

        link to ae911truth.org

        • Chu says:

          The red herring lies in the story of Building 7. The story goes that a 50 story building [the size of any building in Mid-Town] collapses from an internal fire, due to the failure of the fire protection system.
          The 9-11 commission could not explain this, so it was left out of the report. The collapse of a mid-rise building from a fire is near impossible, as the owner said they had to ‘pull’ it. A fire would not cause the building to collapse upon itself in less than ten seconds. It looks as if the building were swallowed up into the ground.
          Perhaps nyc or other government agency has a emergency demolition team [delta force] that can set up a quick demolition and the media needed to tow the line.
          Similar to the Shanksville airplane crash, there was an F-16 trailing the plane, but somehow the passengers pulled the plan down. Look at the site of the crash and there is no crash site.
          If there are 1000 architects and engineers (people with reputations on the line that could be laughed out of the industry) believe something is fishy here, you might want to consider their point of view.

  3. AnaSanchez says:

    “Hydrocarbon fires are quite hot enough to destroy the temper of steel.”
    I don’t think so, Syvanen. The melting point of steel is 2750 degrees F and hydrocarbon fires don’t burn above 1500 degrees F. I looked into this in 2005 when there was a skyscraper in Madrid that was 55 stories high and burned for 18 hours straight until nothing was left but the steel frame. I kept wondering why it hadn’t come down like the World Trade Center Towers. And then I found out that the WTC events were the exception, not the rule. There are many inconsitencies with the original story such as: the fact that a third building also fell, one which was not even hit by a plane and had only a small fire in it, the fact that the buildings fell at free-fall speed, that they fell onto their own footprint, and that all their contents were pulverized into fine dust. Whatever brought the buildings down, my eyes and my brain tell me that the government’s explanation is pure B.S.

    • syvanen says:

      Anna Look up tempering of steel. It is not the same as melting. You can easily do the experiment I suggested. Or heat a steel spring in a gas flame. It will not be a spring anymore.

      • Chaos4700 says:

        Underwriters Laboratories did a test akin to what you’re describing. For a building like the WTC towers to collapse, roughly half of the core steel frames have to fail.

        In the simulated tests at UL, none of the frames collapsed.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      There was also a sky scraper in Venezuela that was virtually gutted by fire, I think. It also didn’t collapse (it was removed by controlled demolition, but I would assume that doesn’t count?)

      The only three skyscrapers in the world to collapse supposedly due to fire were the three buildings of the World Trade Center. And only two of them were even struck by fuel-laden jetliners.

      I don’t know what brought down those buildings… but I do know what couldn’t bring down those buildings.

  4. Dan Kelly says:

    For the record, I didn’t want to turn this into a 9/11 debate. It was mentioned in the story, and then Citizen mentioned it, and I had just read the Paul Craig Roberts’ piece, so I thought I’d post it (I think Roberts’ articles on this and other subjects, particularly the economy, are indispensable).

    I understand that the subject of 9/11 can be a distraction to the work being done here, which is why I don’t mention it much, and then only in relevant columns such as this, where it has already been brought up. I’m not one to go plastering 9/11 stuff all over the place.

    That said, it’s an important issue, it’s something I feel strongly about, and I’m going to speak out whenever the opportunity presents itself.

    The “9/11 Truth” movement (a term I don’t particularly care for, but it is what it is) is growing larger and stronger by the day. It is not a bunch of crackpot conspiracy theorists sitting in their parents’ basements, as typically portrayed by the mainstream media. Rather, it is made up of thousands of professionals in all walks of life, including hundreds of current and former military and intelligence officials, who know that the official narrative is untrue.

    They deserve to be heard wherever they can, without being ridiculed or having their character assassinated.

    One would think that someone who is involved with the I/P issue and is familiar with these tactics (ridicule and character assassination without listening and trying to understand) would not resort to such tactics his or herself.

    But then, it’s fascinating how the mind works.

  5. Chaos4700 says:

    You know, not to be dismissive? But why are we talking about Rahm might maybe possibly be in trouble and desperately clinging with his fingernails, in theory, even though there’s no definitive evidence to indicate that, when the real story to me seems to be that Desiree Rogers quit, or got the pink slip?

    Anyone else sensing another “Wright under the bus” job on someone who thought Obama was sincere?

    • Chu says:

      Chaos, Rahm just needs to whisper the code word into his ear when he gets unruly, whereas Bush actually believed he was doing the lord’s work- and assisting dad with the Saddam vendetta!
      Obama can’t appease everyone, so he should start with the liberals who he played the fiddle for so eloquently. But he can’t get his agenda accomplished without the Washington corrupters (Babylon!), and Rahm is one of those agents. He’s got his eye on Obama, and I think that he isn’t going anywhere in the near future.

      I remember a recent quote by a Democrat saying, Rahm may be a bastard, but he’s out bastard. I thought that was the start of things to come in Obamanation. Picking Rahm as a first cabinet member was the reality that nothing is really gonna change, and you can hope till your blue in the face, stomping your feet for change. Obama’s perceived as an appeaser. Though very smart, he wants to correct the system, but he’s at a disadvantage-
      He has a hard time showing anger and intensity in his speeches against the corrupters. (I hope he is honing his craft, as somewhat shown in the State of the Union speech.) I get the feeling he really believed, but now he’s stuck with a party that is corrupt as the previous one in power.
      All that would make me want to smoke again, too.

  6. Bruce says:

    Maybe I should have made the point stronger, but yes Desiree Rogers leaving is another example of Obama replacing one of his early non-Village supporters with an intermediary acceptable to the party bankrollers.

    My enchantment with Obama ended during the primaries when he threw Robert Malley “under the bus” after pressure from the ADL’s Abe Foxman and other Jewish organizations. Later Dennis Ross, who had been advising Hillary, was given the nod to keep AIPAC on board. And eventually, Ross was allowed to reclaim the key role of directing Mideast policy. I guess because he failed so miserably during the Clinton years, they decided he deserved yet another chance. Obama’s modus operandi.

    Check out Froomkin from yesterday, “Rahm Emanuel: Obama’s Chief of Sabotage.”

  7. Bruce says:

    As Dan Kelly writes, “the subject of 9/11 can be a distraction to the work being done here [at Mondoweiss].” But he considers it an important issue and obviously several of the other commenters who contributed also feel that way.

    For the historical record, I would hate to see the comments for my posting end this way. Hence, for those of you not up to speed on the contentious debate I will only mention two Wikipedia entries on the subject, the relatively neutral, “Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth”, and the more critical, “World Trade Center controlled demolition conspiracy theories.”

    These two entries can quickly put you up to speed on the disputed issues, and if you think the argument warrants more of your time the “Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth” have their own site.

  8. Donald says:

    The 9/11 “truth” movement makes me despair of politics. Leave behind the crazies of , say, the Zionists, and then replace them with crazies of your own choice. Wonderful.