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Tag: Barack Obama


White House / Pete Souza

Obama: Justice Could Prosecute Torture Lawyers

Responding to reporters Tuesday, the president walked back from his “torture is a thing of the past” policy. While the administration still doesn’t want to hassle the good Germans who carried out torture, or even the superiors who ordered it, Obama said the Justice Department may go after the Bush lawyers who tried to legalize such abuses.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE


Decisions Decisions

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Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE    


Bybee Must Go

It is astonishing that someone who has proved in his memos to be so lacking in judgment and so ideologically twisted in his reasoning that he laid a blanket of legal immunity over those who wanted to torture now holds one of the most powerful and prestigious seats a lawyer can attain.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

When Slapped, Slap Back

(Editor’s note: Eugene Robinson is the 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary.) It’s hard to argue with the results thus far from President Obama’s “no drama” approach to governing, but I think he should learn to chew a little scenery when the occasion demands.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE


handshake
thinkprogress.org

On Handshakes Past and Present

Certain right-wingers are really upset (!) at President Obama for shaking Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s hand at the Summit of the Americas last weekend, because shaking hands with enemies indicates weakness and is just not done, you see ... with a few notable exceptions.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Stands Nuremberg on Its Head

President Obama’s decision to spare CIA torturers from prosecution stands the Nuremberg principles on their head. “Good Germans who were only following orders” are not exempt from the bar of justice. Individuals must be held responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Nam Y. Huh

Where’s Rev. Wright When You Need Him?

Israel and the United States will together boycott the United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Geneva. Racism, an endemic feature of Israeli and American society, is not, we have decided, open for international inspection. It’s times like this President Obama would do well to heed the sermons of his former pastor.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE



NASA / U.S. Treasury

Treasury Covers for Stingy Banks

President Obama has said he doesn’t want public money going into a “black hole,” but his administration’s bank bailout looks more and more like an abyss of cosmic proportions. Not only are the bailed-out banks lending less than before, the Treasury Department appears to be engaging in creative math to obscure the gravity of the situation.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE


Doing Nothing

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Posted on Apr 19, 2009 READ MORE    



Wikimedia Commons

The 183rd Time’s the Charm

Was it for information or revenge that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man who claimed to be the mastermind behind 9/11, was waterboarded 183 times by the CIA? That figure, sussed out of a Justice Department memo by some enterprising bloggers and repeated in the pages of The New York Times, makes the president’s determination not to prosecute such torture all the more curious.

Posted on Apr 19, 2009 READ MORE


Who Will Face Down the Gun Lobby?

Ten years after the Columbine massacre, our president stood in Mexico, where assault rifles from the U.S. are used to murder police officers, and said the American gun lobby is just too strong for him push a rational gun regulation through Congress. How sad.

Posted on Apr 19, 2009 READ MORE


netanyahu

Mosaic: What’s Netanyahu’s Deal?

It hasn’t taken Benjamin Netanyahu long to show his true colors by creating new hoops for the Palestinians to jump through in order to resume peace negotiations with Israel. This week’s “Mosaic Intelligence Report” has the story.

Posted on Apr 18, 2009 READ MORE


Saberi
a.abcnews.com

American Journalist Gets 8-Year Jail Sentence in Iran

In a move that strains the already delicate ties between Tehran and Washington, Iran has sentenced Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi to eight years in jail for allegedly spying for the U.S. government.

Posted on Apr 18, 2009 READ MORE


Obama and Chavez
AP photo / Marianna Kambon, Summit of the Americas pool

Obama Seeks ‘New Beginning’ With Cuba

Could it be that diplomacy works better than a my-way-or-the-highway approach when dealing with adversarial nations? Judging by President Obama’s apparent progress with the Cuban government, the answer would seem to be yes.

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE


Gitmo Stretcher
guardian.co.uk

A Decision Not to Prosecute

After key Bush era CIA torture documents were released by the Obama administration, human rights officials are dismayed at the news that CIA agents who ordered and conducted torture will not be prosecuted.

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Ahn Young-joon

Up, Up and Away: The West’s Hysterical Reaction to North Korea

North Korea has come under strong international criticism and sanctions for its missile launch, but as a signatory to the 1966 Outer Space Treaty, it is legally permitted to pursue space launch activity. Besides, where is the pandemonium when Japan, Pakistan, Israel, India, Russia and the U.S. refine, test and launch their own ballistic missiles?

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE


Don’t Underestimate the Tea-Baggers

The cool, cerebral White House might logically conclude that Wednesday’s decidedly uncool, uncerebral “tea bag” protests were intellectually and politically incoherent, and therefore not worth a second thought. That would be a dangerous mistake.

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE



There’s No Place Like Home, Unless You’re Chris Dodd

Congressional fundraising numbers are in, and the Political Wire has teased out some interesting performances. Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut managed to raise just 0.7 percent of his funds from contributors in his own state—all five of them. Roland Burris, the man appointed by Rod Blagojevich to replace Barack Obama in the Senate, pulled in a whopping $845. He’s $111,032 in debt.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


Delusions of Omnipotence

American foreign policy is based not on what we can do, but what Washington wants to do, hence the blunders of Korea, Vietnam and even the Cold War, which the Soviets were kind enough to lose. Even now, the new president is extending the “Long War” on a still more ambitious scale.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


Olbermann

Olbermann’s Tea-Hee Party

Yes, Keith Olbermann and other pundits (paging Anderson Cooper) had a field day with the right wing’s adoption of “tea bagging” as the driving metaphor behind their Tax Day protests. But no, the double entendres didn’t start “on the blogs,” as Bill O’Reilly’s “nice lady” guest Amanda Carpenter suggested on his show.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


Armey’s Tea Party Army

At the apex of the tea party movement is FreedomWorks, headed by former Rep. Dick Armey. His past career should be instructive to any starry-eyed citizens who believe that they have at last found the true right-wing revolutionary path.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


Tea and Ignorance

There is little anyone can do about the tax-protest rants except worry they will be believed by a wider public. So, on the theory that the truth will set us free, it is worth examining exactly what we’re all paying, and what for.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


The Obama Doctrine

The president insists that the U.S. can’t achieve great objectives on its own. This may break with George W. Bush’s style, but it is in keeping with the traditions of Roosevelt, Truman and George H.W. Bush.
 

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Sgt. Kani Ronningen

They Don’t Build Democracies Like They Used To

America promised to bring democracy to Iraq, but more than two months after provisional elections, things have gone from photo-op to fiasco. The New York Times reports on the “threats, intrigue, back-room deal-making, protests, political paralysis and, increasingly, popular discontent” that have come to characterize the Iraqi political process.

Posted on Apr 15, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Tax Speech
Associated Press

Obama Talks Taxes

As “tea parties” tepidly brew in cities across the country to protest government spending and budget deficits, President Obama is on the offensive, maintaining that the tax relief of his administration’s nascent months is helping resurrect our fallen economy.

Posted on Apr 15, 2009 READ MORE


Press Corps Scrambles to Keep Up With First Dog

The first family showed off new puppy Bo on Tuesday. He’s a Portuguese water dog, which appears to be a kind of mutant poodle with webbed feet. President Obama claims they are used to herd fish, though we’ll believe that when we see it.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Megan E. Sindelar

The Pirates Might Prefer Fish to Guns

Obama’s promise that the U.S. and its allies will put an end to Indian Ocean piracy had the forceful ring to it that good American citizens like to hear, but half the NATO navies aren’t going to change the desperate circumstances that turned Somalia’s fisherman into pirates.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE



Library of Congress

Castro Hails Obama Actions, Wants More

Barack Obama is so good at making friends. First Iran, of axis-of-evil fame, embraced the president’s flirtations, and now Cuba’s revolutionary in chief has warmed to El Diablo del Norte. Fidel Castro on Tuesday praised Obama’s recent overtures, but said many other U.S. policy changes are needed. His brother and president, Raul, is open to negotiations.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE


Blagojevich
vowelmovers.files.wordpress.com

Blagojevich Pleads Not Guilty

Riffing on a Teddy Roosevelt quotation, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich maintained his defiant (or delusional?) stance to reporters outside Chicago’s U.S. District Courthouse after pleading not guilty to 16 federal criminal charges on Tuesday.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE


Wrong Road to Recovery

Once again we may be fooling ourselves into thinking that the buying and selling of paper assets is the same as the buying and selling of tangible goods made by real workers.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE


Castro’s Racial-Paradise Myth

In 10 trips to Cuba, I have met Afro-Cubans who told me with conviction of their opportunities under the Castro regime. But I’ve also heard bitter complaints about deep-seated racism that many black Cubans believe is getting worse.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE


Obama

Obama Resolves to ‘Halt the Rise of Privacy’ [sic]

Well, he actually meant piracy, but we get the picture: President Obama followed up on this weekend’s Somali pirate showdown with a salute to the crew of the Maersk Alabama and a pledge to crack down on the problem in the future. Looks like the pirate contingent is planning to take a similar tack toward American sailors.

Posted on Apr 13, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
.everythingcuba.com

U.S. Opening More Commerce Channels With Cuba

The Obama administration is relaxing some of the restrictions on travel to and business with Cuba, launching a new initiative that will allow American telecom companies to set up cell phone and other services on the island nation.

Posted on Apr 13, 2009 READ MORE


American Pi

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Posted on Apr 13, 2009 READ MORE    



Flickr / dogonthesidewalk

Uncle Sam Forces GM to Stop and Ask for Directions to Bankruptcy

GM has until June 1 to cut a deal with its workers and bondholders, but the Treasury Department is requiring the automaker to prepare for bankruptcy just in case, according to The New York Times. Newly installed GM chief Fritz Henderson is more receptive to the possibility than his predecessor, but warns, “If we need to resort to bankruptcy, we have to do it quickly.”

Posted on Apr 13, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Role in the Pirate Affair

Jimmy Carter was ultimately undone by a hostage crisis and the word Somalia still haunts Bill Clinton’s legacy. While the weekend rescue of a hostage held by Somali pirates was of a much smaller scale and under totally different circumstances than those events, President Obama must be relieved that it is behind him, a success. And now that it’s over, it seems the president was more involved than he initially let on.

Posted on Apr 13, 2009 READ MORE


Running on Fumes

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Posted on Apr 12, 2009 READ MORE


Obama

ObamaTube: Passover/Easter Edition

President Barack Obama draws upon the traditions and meanings behind “two very different holidays”—Passover and Easter—as his jumping-off point for his weekly address about the state of the country and the world ... and about his time rubbing elbows with other world leaders during the past week.

Posted on Apr 11, 2009 READ MORE


Getting to Zero Starts With One Man

If Obama is successful in reducing our nuclear stockpile, it could make a monumental difference to the world’s security. Nuclear arms proliferation will never be stopped so long as the U.S. insists on maintaining a privileged position of global nuclear domination.

Posted on Apr 10, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: A Glimmer of Hope for the Economy?

The economy’s not the only thing that “Left, Right & Center” co-conspirators Matt Miller, Tony Blankley and Robert Scheer are thinking about this week, but it’s a biggie again, as are the Obama administration’s announcement about defense spending and the changes under way in American foreign policy. Also: Somali pirates!

Posted on Apr 10, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Morry Gash

Obama Flick Coming to a Theater Near You

Quick—someone buy Rush Limbaugh advance tickets: Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (otherwise known as SPWAG) has bought limited rights to the documentary “By the People: The Election of Barack Obama,” produced by Edward Norton’s Class 5 Films. HBO Documentary Films will be releasing the movie in U.S. theaters.

Posted on Apr 9, 2009 READ MORE


Protesters Confront Summers

Two protesters storm the stage during a talk by Lawrence Summers, who tries to laugh off the incident. If only there were something funny about President Obama’s top economic adviser making $8 million last year from some of the financial firms that have benefited from his economic policies.

Posted on Apr 9, 2009 READ MORE



global-warming.accuweather.com

Obama Considering Radical Solutions to Climate Crisis

The president’s new science adviser tells ABC News, “We don’t have the luxury ... of ruling any approach off the table” in the fight against global climate change. Geoengineering, once the province of science fiction and climate eccentrics, may now be necessary. One approach involves blasting sulfur into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays.

Posted on Apr 9, 2009 READ MORE


Taliban, the Sequel

Ever since the Afghan war began, we assured ourselves that whatever else, we had one moral victory. We’d freed the women from Taliban rule. Now we know something very different to be true.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE


Obama: The Extremists’ Nightmare

In the struggle against the extremists and terrorists, the new president understands how to divide the enemy and neutralize their base—and is uniquely suited to accomplish the mission. He got elected in the United States of America, after all.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

The Father of Guantanamo

Indefinite and secret detention at the U.S. air base in Bagram, Afghanistan, was a fundamental breach of justice and morality when the Bush administration did it. It is made worse by the stench of hypocrisy when the Obama administration does it.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE


Pelosi’s Balancing Act

By comparison with her recent predecessors, she’s a strong speaker of the House. She has far more control than the previous Democratic speaker had, despite having to contend with a more conservative GOP and an ideologically diverse pack of Democrats.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Daniella Zalcman

Iran Warms to Obama Overtures

“The Iranian people would welcome a hand extended to it if the hand is truly based on honesty,” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday. The “hand” has so far come in the form of a New Year’s message from President Obama, a surprise direct diplomatic contact and a commitment from the U.S. to re-engage in multilateral talks.

Posted on Apr 8, 2009 READ MORE


Shovel Ready [A Cartoon From Mexico]

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Posted on Apr 7, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. Muslims Still Under Siege

It turns out that people can still be arrested and deported based on the same charges they’ve been acquitted of in court. The U.S. Constitution protects people from “double jeopardy,” being charged twice with the same offense. But in the murky world of immigrant detention, double jeopardy is perfectly legal.

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 READ MORE


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