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Tag: Barack Obama

Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Afghan Election, Blackwater’s Role

Was Thursday’s election in Afghanistan a step forward for representative democracy in the South Asian nation? What exactly does President Obama aim to accomplish in Afghanistan anyhow? This week’s lineup of commentators explores the possible connections between the CIA and Blackwater and considers the current status of the health care debate.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN


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Freedom From Fear—and the Second Amendment

The gun nuts showing up at rallies and town hall meetings should check the order of their amendments: The First guarantees people—whatever their politics—a fundamental right to participate in their democracy without concern for physical retribution.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 READ MORE


Missing: Democrats’ Passion

Here’s the least surprising news of the week: Americans are souring on the Democratic Party. The wonder is that it’s taken so long for public opinion to curdle.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 READ MORE


New Credit Card Rules Activate

With the folksy charm of a timeshare salesman, Austan Goolsbee of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers outlines some of the new credit card rules, which began taking effect Thursday.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Chris Hedges on Health Care, War and the New Racism

Chris Hedges talks about the illusion of health care reform, the war in Afghanistan and what he calls the “new racism” in the age of Obama.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE



USMC / Lance Cpl. Phillip Elgie

Reality Is Its Own Caricature for U.S. in Afghanistan and Pakistan

The problem with U.S.-sponsored elections in the non-Western world, as in Afghanistan on Thursday, is that they seek to legitimize America’s presence in the country, where it is typically not wanted.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE


American troops in Afghanistan
army.mil

Lesson of Vietnam Lost in Afghanistan

Vietnam’s primary lesson remains intact: American power is not without limits, both in terms of defeating an enemy and in terms of its domestic support. The primary lesson of Vietnam seems to be that it is a lesson lost. And now we have some of the same intractable problems in Afghanistan.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Chris Hedges on Health Care, War and the New Racism

Chris Hedges talks about the illusion of health care reform, the war in Afghanistan, and what he calls the “new racism” in the age of Obama.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

Barney Frank’s Town Hall Throwdown

Ever wonder whether it gets a touch exasperating for politicians to face angry throngs of American citizens at those unruly gatherings everyone quaintly insists on calling “town hall meetings”? Well, witness Barney Frank, here, on the brink of a town hall snap (or two) in this bit from Wednesday’s “Daily Show.”

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN


Enabling the Gun Nuts

The Secret Service says it is quite capable of protecting the president, but the rest of us don’t have armed guards.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama’s Enforcer: Not Really Tough Enough

Every mistake made by the Obama White House in the pursuit of health care reform can be traced to the political style and ideological prejudices of Rahm Emanuel, who has repeatedly sought to intimidate progressives and empower conservatives.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE


The Politics of the Jackboot

We are re-featuring this E.J. Dionne column from August of 2009 in light of this weekend’s deadly shooting in Arizona.

Posted on Aug 20, 2009 READ MORE


Have a Nice Day









Posted on Aug 19, 2009 ENLARGE    


Obama War









Posted on Aug 19, 2009 ENLARGE    



USAF / Master Sgt. James M. Bowman

The Pentagon Can’t Stop Baghdad Bombs

Coordinated bombings in Baghdad on Wednesday targeted the Foreign and Finance ministries, killing at least 95 and wounding hundreds more. It may feel like a flashback, but the violence never really left, as Patrick Cockburn, Scott Ritter, William Pfaff and Chris Hedges explain after the jump.

Posted on Aug 19, 2009 READ MORE



AP / LM Otero

The Right’s Trouble With Violence

With angry white men bringing their guns too close to the president, Josh Marshall writes: “Let’s be honest with ourselves: the American right has a deep-seated problem with political violence. It’s deep-seated; it’s recurrent and it’s real.”

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Jae C. Hong

You Can’t Blame Obama for American Stubbornness

The president is simply too decent to get the job done. His advisers never learn from their mistakes and the American public is intolerant and hasn’t a clue as to what really is going on in the world.

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 READ MORE


Mike Huckabee
Flickr / candid

What Have Israelis Done to Deserve Mike Huckabee?

The failed presidential candidate who “majored in miracles” is in the Holy Land as the guest of a pro-settlement group. Huckabee likened opposition to Israeli settlements, which have stalled the peace process, to American segregation. That would make America’s first black president a segregationist, in Mike Huckabee’s estimation. And this man wants the launch codes.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE


Phantom of the Health Care Soap Opera

Red-faced people are now hurling the same falsehoods at the nonexistent Obama plan that they hurled at Clinton’s plan—and Harry Truman’s national health insurance proposal, and Lyndon Johnson’s Medicare.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE


Playing Defense Isn’t Working

It’s true that politics is the art of the possible, but it’s also true that great leaders expand the scope of possibility.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Pulling the Plug on the Public Option

Obama, under political pressure, has softened his call for that element of health care reform, and a Congress awash in industry money is likely to be all too happy to bid it adieu.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

Obama Dropping the Public Health Option?

Reports that President Obama may change his position on his proposal to set up a system of government health care insurance for Americans under 65 caused ripples, mostly on the left, and critics continued to clamor Monday for an alternative to private insurance companies.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN


Joe Biden and Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Obama Feels Liberal Backlash on Public Option

We keep hearing that the president can’t get his health care reform without the support of conservative Democrats in the Senate, but he also can’t pass anything without progressives in the House, who are none too happy with the administration’s hints that a public option could be dead.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE


Obama and veteran
AP / Alex Brandon

Obama Takes Aim at Defense Industry, Pork-Loving Politicians

Elements of the U.S. defense industry have yet to join the rest of the country in the post-Cold-War reality, according to President Obama, who also gave legislators who capitalize on the defense budget for self-serving reasons a verbal spanking as he addressed an audience of veterans in Phoenix on Monday.

Posted on Aug 17, 2009 READ MORE


Obama and Rahmbo
White House / Pete Souza

Team Obama Ready to Surrender Public Option?

The president and his lieutenants are on a whistle-stop tour of disappointment. It started Saturday, when Obama called the public insurance option “just one sliver of” health care reform, “whether we have it or we don’t have it. ... ” You don’t have to be clairvoyant to see the cave coming.

Posted on Aug 16, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan candidate poster
AP / Saurabh Das

Taliban Issues Threat Before Afghan Election

With just a few days remaining before the presidential election in Afghanistan, Taliban operatives are trying to thwart voting by threatening to cut off the ink-stained fingers of those who go to the polls, according to Al Jazeera English. In Afghanistan, a finger marked with ink is a sign that one has voted.

Posted on Aug 16, 2009 READ MORE


How Bad Things Might Have Been

The summer has become a bummer, but almost every day there’s some reminder of how far we’ve come since President Obama’s inauguration—and how much worse things could be.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE


Declined









Posted on Aug 13, 2009 ENLARGE    



house.gov

Georgia Republican Worries Dems Will Declare Martial Law

Rep. Paul Broun, who once compared Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler, now thinks the president is part of a radical “socialistic elite” that may try to declare martial law. Broun’s comments came during what an area newspaper described as a “relatively peaceful” town hall.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Mac
300

White House Sending Health Care Counterspin Through Cyberspace

The Obama administration is working to counter the myths about health care reform currently ricocheting around the Web, particularly those recently generated by a certain Alaska ex-governor, by attempting to kick another chain e-mail phenomenon into motion.

Posted on Aug 13, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Chuck Kennedy

What Do Billie Jean King and Bob Dole’s Running Mate Have in Common?

The president on Wednesday honored 16 do-gooders, big shots and champions, including Stephen Hawking (still alive despite Britain’s socialized medicine), Billie Jean King (G.O.A.T.?) and, oddly enough, the late former U.S. Rep. Jack Kemp, who was Bob Dole’s ’96 VP choice. Full list after the jump.

Posted on Aug 12, 2009 READ MORE


Ari Melber

4 Ways Obama Can Boost His Numbers

The Nation’s Ari Melber has some ideas about how the president can turn around his slipping poll numbers. First and foremost: Take charge and fight for the public option.

Posted on Aug 12, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

‘Daily Show’: Stokin’ the Fear at Crazytown Hall Meetings

There’s a whole lot of Baracknophobia going on when it comes to some folks’ worries about health care reform, but how much of it is based on valid concern and how much is, well, stoked by certain media figures hoping to create a flurry of good ol’ American pseudo-events? In other words, turn off the Glenn Beck, people.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN


Obama at health care meeting
AP / Alex Brandon

Obama Jumps Into Health Care Fray

So far, we’ve had the angry protests, the scuffles at suddenly volatile town hall meetings, and no resolution of the health care reform argument from our elected leaders, but President Barack Obama is now embarking on a campaign to try to sway public opinion on the issue using ... a series of town hall meetings across the country. Updated

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE



USMC / Staff Sgt. William Greeson

There’s a Solution in Afghanistan—but Not the Way We’re Headed

It would be a great service to the American nation if Barack Obama would tell us what he himself thinks the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan are about.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE


A Reason for All the Health Care Rage

The nut jobs and carpetbaggers are outnumbered by confused and concerned Americans who seem genuinely convinced they’re not being told the whole truth about health care reform.

Posted on Aug 11, 2009 READ MORE


Paul Krugman: Big Government Prevented a Second Depression

The Nobel Prize-winning economist writes that “around a million more Americans are working now than would have been employed without that [stimulus] plan. ... ” He also argues that “it’s possible to be dissatisfied, even angry, about the way the financial bailouts have worked while acknowledging that without these bailouts things would have been much worse.”

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / hoyasmeg

Axis of Obstinacy: Israel Rebukes Diplomat for Challenging Settlements

A leaked memo from Israel’s consul general in Boston, Nadav Tamir, has Israel’s extremist foreign minister calling for the diplomat’s resignation. Tamir wrote in an internal document that his government’s settlement policy has led to “the feeling in Washington that Obama has to deal with obstinacy from the governments of Iran, North Korea and Israel.”

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


Ralph Nader
AP / Carolyn Kaster

Nader Was Right: Liberals Are Going Nowhere With Obama

“Something is broken,” Ralph Nader said when I reached him at his family home in Connecticut. “We are not at the Bangladesh level in terms of passivity, but we are getting there.”

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


Inside Story on Town Hall Riots: Right-Wing Shock Troops Do Corporate America’s Dirty Work

How the health care industry, the GOP and one media mogul made common cause with the anti-government fringe.

Posted on Aug 10, 2009 READ MORE


Rumors of Kim Jong Il’s Demise May Be Greatly Exaggerated

The North Korean dictator seems to be in control of both his government and his personal faculties, U.S. national security adviser James Jones said Sunday. Reports in South Korean media and elsewhere have suggested Kim’s health is failing, but Jones, referring to Bill Clinton’s recent visit to the Hermit Kingdom, said “obviously we didn’t have any time to make an assessment there. But he [Kim] seemed in control of his faculties.”

Posted on Aug 9, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Big-Dog Diplomacy, Sotomayor and Health Care

Diplomacy by former President Bill Clinton that brought home two journalists from North Korea offers a moment to reflect on the anniversary of the Hiroshima nuclear attack. Sonia Sotomayor’s been confirmed, but not until after there was a dramatic display of partisan ideology. Plus, is the disruption of health care town halls real or orchestrated?

Posted on Aug 7, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN



USAF / Tech. Sgt. Eric T. Sheler

Counterterrorism Chief Says Bullets Alone Won’t Do the Job

John Brennan has known controversy for his defense of torture and rendition, but the president’s top counterterrorism adviser has just condemned the Bush administration’s approach by declaring: “We cannot shoot ourselves out of this challenge.”

Posted on Aug 6, 2009 READ MORE


Sotomayor
AP / Ron Edmonds

Sotomayor Makes the Senate Cut

The U.S. Supreme Court just got a little wiser. On Thursday, the Senate voted 68-31—split largely along party lines—to confirm Sonia Sotomayor as the first Latina Supreme Court justice and only the third woman to serve on America’s top court.

Posted on Aug 6, 2009 READ MORE


In a Wing-Nut World, Granny’s Toast

The screwball industry has ratcheted up from accusing Obama of killing his grandma to accusing him of trying to kill your grandma.

Posted on Aug 5, 2009 READ MORE


What Are the Birthers Really After?

Why this obsession over Obama’s birthplace persists is a question that evokes disturbing answers.

Posted on Aug 5, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / ThreadedThoughts

Hold On to Your Clunkers, the Cash Is Coming

The Senate is finally getting around to approving more money for the wildly successful “cash for clunkers” program, which seems to have saved the auto industry from the forces of recession and bankruptcy. With an additional $2 billion on the way, the administration hopes to transform 500,000 more clunkers into cleaner, smaller, more efficient vehicles.

Posted on Aug 5, 2009 READ MORE


Read My Lips: We Need to Raise Taxes

Does President Obama care about passing health care reform that truly gets costs under control and getting the nation’s fiscal house in order or does he care more about getting re-elected?

Posted on Aug 4, 2009 READ MORE


A Coup for Lobbyists at the White House

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, ousted in the middle of the night just over a month ago, enjoys global support for his return, with the exception of the Obama White House.

Posted on Aug 4, 2009 READ MORE


Kim Jong Il and Clinton
AP / Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service

Bill Clinton Reportedly Wins Freedom for 2 U.S. Journalists in N. Korea

Although his wife is usually the one making headlines about international relations these days, former President Bill Clinton put on his diplomat’s hat Tuesday, visiting North Korea in an attempt to negotiate the release of two American journalists jailed there. Updated

Posted on Aug 4, 2009 READ MORE


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