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Tag: Barack Obama

ENTER_ALT_TEXT
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

Cheney Denied by the CIA

The CIA has denied the lovable Dick Cheney’s request to release memos that, in the ex-veep’s eyes, would prove the effectiveness of torture administered under Bush’s reign. “I’m convinced, absolutely convinced, that we saved thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of lives,” he said last week. The documents in question will not be declassified, as they are the subject of pending litigation.

Posted on May 14, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Reneges on Torture Photo Release

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama went back on his administration’s previous plan to release photos reportedly showing prisoner abuse at American military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. Team Obama may also follow in the Bushies’ footsteps by detaining some prisoners “on U.S. soil” and “indefinitely and without trial,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

Posted on May 13, 2009 READ MORE


Baucus
baucus.senate.gov

Baucus’ Raucous Caucus

Single-payer advocates have been protesting in Senate Finance Committee hearings, chaired by Democratic Montana Sen. Max Baucus. Last week, at a committee hearing with 15 industry speakers, not one represented the single-payer perspective.

Posted on May 13, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

Wanda Sykes Brings Down the (White) House

Wanda Sykes stirred controversy at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner on Saturday, taking a jab at Obama’s nipples, Dick Cheney’s creepiness, and calling for Rush Limbaugh’s kidneys to fail. The White House is now distancing itself from the comedian’s comments. Watch as Wanda brings down the house!

Posted on May 11, 2009 READ MORE


Gates Orders a Change of Command in Afghanistan

The Pentagon will be replacing the current top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David McKiernan, who has served in the position a mere 11 months. The decision comes on the heels of President Obama’s new plan for Afghanistan and Pakistan and marks a clear change in strategy in an increasingly complex war.

Posted on May 11, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
flickr.com / mape_s

Obama Leaves Polar Bears Out in the Cold

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that the Obama administration will leave in place an unpopular Bush rule on the protection of polar bears. The decision comes despite an outcry from Democrats, environmental activists and scientists alike, who promised to push to overturn the rule in court.

Posted on May 9, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
AP photo / Kiichiro Sato

The Good News on Jobs: Less Bad

While the unemployment rate climbed to 8.9% in April, the number of job losses was down to 539,000, a sign that the recession may be slowing and recovery is on its way. Meanwhile, President Obama proposes an ambitious reform on education for the unemployed while Paul Krugman reminds us of the dangers of keeping banks unchecked.

Posted on May 8, 2009 READ MORE


Israel’s Bad-Faith Negotiating Position

Israel has always believed in “creating facts on the ground,” whose existence may later come as an unpleasant surprise to others. Iran now seems to have learned from this Israeli precedent, to Israel’s disadvantage.

Posted on May 7, 2009 READ MORE


Notre Dame basilica
UND / Ben Franske

The Stakes at Notre Dame

You have heard the expression “more Catholic than the pope.” We now know that the reaction of right-wing Catholics to Notre Dame’s invitation to President Obama falls into this category.

Posted on May 7, 2009 READ MORE


When Rationing May Be Rational

I was not surprised by the president’s story. Health care reform is not just a matter of spreadsheets and patient charts. It’s a repository of the personal narratives we carry around in our family hard drives.

Posted on May 7, 2009 READ MORE


American soldiers
army.mil

Democracy at Gunpoint Guarantees U.S. Defeat

An account from the Taliban side of the Afghanistan war, which was published in The New York Times on May 5, provides devastating evidence of the failure that almost certainly will eventually overtake the United States and NATO.

Posted on May 5, 2009 READ MORE


Obama in office
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Taking a Page From the Bush Playbook

The Obama administration is now considering reinstating the Military Commissions Act after a four-month suspension, in contradiction to the president’s promise to end military tribunals for detainees and to close down Gitmo. 

Posted on May 5, 2009 READ MORE


Where’s the Sterno?

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Posted on May 4, 2009 READ MORE    


May Day rally
AP photo / Reed Saxon

Buying Time on Immigration

On many questions, President Obama’s approach is full speed ahead. On immigration reform, he prefers to take one step at a time. There really is no alternative.

Posted on May 4, 2009 READ MORE


Pakistan missile
AP photo / B.K. Bangash

How Safe Are Pakistan’s Nukes?

President Barack Obama and his Pakistani counterpart, Asif Ali Zardari, will have a lot to talk about when Zardari visits the White House on Wednesday, what with al-Qaida and the Taliban stirring up trouble of late and sparking concerns over the security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

Posted on May 4, 2009 READ MORE


Gates

Gates: ‘Everybody Knows We Still Have the Big Stick’

Having moved from the Bush administration to Obama’s camp, Defense Secretary Robert Gates takes stock of the White House’s new occupant on Sunday’s episode of “Fareed Zakaria GPS”  and defends Obama’s recent diplomatic outreach during his international debut: “I have not seen it as an apology tour,” says Gates.

Posted on May 4, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Buying Brand Obama

The Obama brand is about being happy consumers. We are entertained. We feel hopeful. We like our president. We believe he is like us. But like all branded products spun out from the manipulative world of corporate advertising, we are being duped into doing and supporting a lot of things that are not in our interest.

Posted on May 3, 2009 READ MORE


Dudes
forward.com

Justice Dept. Drops AIPAC Spy Case

President Obama’s Justice Department has moved to drop all espionage charges against two former AIPAC lobbyists after they were accused of disseminating sensitive information to journalists and diplomats gleaned from conversations with senior Bush administration officials.

Posted on May 1, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Lou Cannon on Ronald Reagan

The debate over our 40th president’s role in ending the Cold War continues with the publication of James Mann’s “The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan.”

Posted on May 1, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

Obama’s Next Target: Hedge Funds

President Obama gave certain hedge fund manager types who held out for “an unjustified taxpayer bailout,” as he put it, a dressing down in the midst of his comments about Chrysler’s bankruptcy filing on Thursday. Needless to say, that didn’t go over so well with the targeted demographic.

Posted on Apr 30, 2009 READ MORE


Combating Epidemic Ignorance

Some on the right are blaming immigrants for swine flu in the U.S. Actually, the outbreak had nothing to do with immigrants and everything to do with ordinary travel and commerce.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


The End of the Middle Class as We Know It

This is how it ends. Or at least, this is how the latest, sad chapter in a story that has been ending for three decades is written.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


obama
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

Obama’s Hallmark Moment

President Barack Obama addressed a crowd in Missouri on Wednesday, stating he’s “pleased … but not satisfied” with his first 100 days in office and he’s eager to get beyond this “Hallmark holiday” in order to focus on the challenges that lie ahead.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Toes the Liberal Line

President Obama may be sounding a positive note about his first 100 days, but there are others who beg to differ for various reasons. Take this analysis by Andrew J. Bacevich in The Boston Globe, for example, in which Bacevich points to some problematic aspects of American liberalism that Obama seems more than willing to uphold.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


Disclosure of ‘Secrets’ in the ’70s Didn’t Destroy the Nation

Back in the Watergate era, the Senate’s Church Committee exposed government abuses. Of course some people tried to block its work. You may have heard of a couple of them—Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE



Left: Flickr / realjameso16; right: World Economic Forum

Special Frenemies

President Obama and newly elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have their first meeting in a few weeks, a test of the special relationship between two countries that are now led by men with very different ideas about how to pursue peace in the Middle East.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Sebelius at Last

Just in time for swine flu, the Senate has confirmed Barack Obama’s pick to head the massive Health and Human Services Department, Kathleen Sebelius. Democrats were able to use the health scare to shake the upper chamber out of abortion-obsessed confirmation gridlock.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE


Specter Comes Full Circle

When Arlen Specter ran for Philadelphia district attorney in 1965, he proudly proclaimed himself a “Kennedy Democrat,” but said he was running as a Republican to take on what he saw as the corruption of the city’s then-legendary Democratic machine. Forty-four years later, Arlen Specter has come full circle.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Enough With This ‘100 Days’ Nonsense

On what basis have the cable channels decided that President Obama’s first hundred days are the most important thing to happen in the history of the world? As in the case of FDR before him, much has happened in the beginning of the president’s first term—and there is much more to come.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE


Model for an Accounting

History demands an investigation into U.S. torture. We have a contemporary model for how to conduct a politically sensitive inquiry properly, without undue theatrics and with respect for classified information. It is the 9/11 commission.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama Has Missed His Moment

The president had a fleeting moment to challenge the casino capitalism and financial recklessness of our economic and political elite. He could have orchestrated a state socialism that would have provided a safety net for tens of millions of Americans faced with dislocation and misery.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


What to Make of the Ironic Mr. Obama

How many ironies can a single presidency engender? A cool man who has aroused both warm feelings of affection and a fiery opposition, Obama is seen as too moderate by parts of the left, but the right thinks he has a radical statist agenda.

Posted on Apr 26, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / be_khe

U.S. Declares Swine Flu Emergency

The administration is taking the threat of swine flu seriously, as congressional Republicans’ main interest in the health arena seems to be roping the president’s nominee to head Health and Human Services into an abortion fight. The Centers for Disease Control and the Homeland Security Department issued an emergency declaration Sunday, while the World Health Organization and governments around the globe scrambled to confront the potential crisis.

Posted on Apr 26, 2009 READ MORE


Bill Maher on GOP Drama

The “Real Time” host marvels at Republican rage in the era of Obama: “The conservative base these days is absolutely apoplectic because ... well, nobody knows.”

Posted on Apr 26, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Stuck Between a Turk and an Armenian, So to Speak

President Obama over the weekend commemorated the 1915 murder of over a million Armenians without using the word genocide, a term he had used during the presidential campaign in speaking of the slaughter. The word from the lips of the U.S. president would have angered Turkey at a time when relations between Washington and Ankara are going so well. In the end, Obama’s rhetorical gifts were not enough to keep outraged Armenian-Americans from taking to the streets.

Posted on Apr 26, 2009 READ MORE


Clinton
AP photo / Marko Drobnjakovic

Clinton Signals Support for Iraq During Baghdad Visit

Arriving soon after the deadliest suicide bombings in the last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made her first visit to Iraq in her new position, assuring Iraqis in Baghdad that they have the United States’ continued support despite the Obama administration’s focus on Afghanistan and talk of troop withdrawal.

Posted on Apr 25, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Torture, Credit Cards and Chrysler

Even Fox News’ Shep Smith said it: America doesn’t torture ... although the recently released set of torture memos belies that declaration. Meanwhile, President Obama’s none too pleased with credit card companies, and Chrysler has hit the skids. Was there any good news this week? Tony Blankley thinks so.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE


Abu Gharib
smh.com.au

U.S. to Release More Torture Photos

After a series of denials by the Bush administration, the Obama administration has decided it will give in to demands by human rights groups and release up to 2,000 pictures of “prisoner abuse” (torture) to the public by May 28.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE


Torture Is a Crime, and Crimes Demand Prosecution

Obama wants to avoid a long, wrenching legal drama that almost certainly would be partisan and divisive. But I’m not sure it’s possible to skirt the criminal implications of what we already know.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


News Flash: Populism Is Popular

Both parties are suddenly listening to “the people” instead of the Establishment. They know the political class, however offended, can no longer stop a voter backlash.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Europe Needs No Part in Doomed Afghan War

If Obama had wanted to give the NATO allies prudent advice about how to avoid terrorist attacks, he should have told them to have nothing to do with the American war on terror, even if it is now under Obama management.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Eric Holder
theblacksentinel.wordpress.com

Holder Says He Will Pursue Torture Wrongdoing

What to make of the administration’s policy on holding torturers accountable? Attorney General Eric Holder says he “will not permit the criminalization of policy differences,” but will pursue wrongdoing “to the full extent of the law.” The problem here is that when it comes to torture, policy differences just might be criminal.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


‘Reform’ With No Reform

The defenders of the health care status quo have been frantically arguing these past few weeks that any coming reform of the health insurance system cannot include a public insurance plan, even if that’s the whole point.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Stop Thinking About Yesterday’s Health Care Debate

Because of the defeat of health care reform in 1994, there will be a temptation to treat every dispute as the first step toward the collapse of the process, ignoring the fact that times and minds change.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE



White House / National Archives

Reagan and Nixon Greeted Despots, Too

Few aspects of American politics are as ridiculous and dangerous as the right-wing urge to substitute macho posturing for foreign policy.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

John McCain for Anti-Torture Czar?

If the president is so worried that prosecutions of America’s torturers and torture-enablers could feel like a partisan witch hunt, why not turn to a Republican with firsthand experience in being tortured?

Posted on Apr 22, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

There’s Gold in Them Waves

President Obama outlined a plan on Earth Day to lease federal waters on the Outer Continental Shelf for wind and tidal power projects. Speaking at a turbine factory, Obama said wind could generate 20 percent of the nation’s electricity.

Posted on Apr 22, 2009 READ MORE


TARP hearing
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Thievery Under the TARP

We are being robbed big-time, but you can’t say we haven’t been warned. Not after the release Tuesday of a scathing report by the Treasury Department’s special inspector general, who charged that the aptly named Troubled Asset Relief Program is rife with mismanagement and potential for fraud.

Posted on Apr 22, 2009 READ MORE


Torturers Should Be Punished

The door to bringing torturers to justice is open only a crack. Whether it is kicked open or slammed shut is not up to the president. Though he may occupy the most powerful office on Earth, there is a force more powerful: committed people demanding change.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE


When Fascism Came to America

In 1935, Sinclair Lewis, the first American writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize, wrote a novel entitled “It Can’t Happen Here” to influence the 1936 presidential election. He was off by about 66 years.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE


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