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Tag: Barack Obama

Obama’s Military Is Spying on U.S. Peace Groups

Anti-war activists in Olympia, Wash., have exposed Army spying and infiltration of their groups, as well as intelligence gathering by the Air Force, the federal Capitol Police and the Coast Guard.

Posted on Jul 28, 2009 READ MORE


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Square, Category Page

What if the Big Cheese Had Been White?

If race were the only issue, there would be much less hyperventilation about Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.‘s unpleasant run-in with the criminal justice system. The debate is also about power and entitlement.

Posted on Jul 28, 2009 READ MORE


US Interest building
cubaheadlines.com

American News Ticker Goes Dark in Havana

After vexing Cuban officials (and citizens, no doubt) for three years, a U.S. government-sponsored electronic billboard that featured news and information blips tailored for a Cuban audience from an American-friendly angle has been switched off in the interest of changing the diplomatic tone between the two countries.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009 READ MORE


Slow Down









Posted on Jul 27, 2009 ENLARGE



UNICEF Iran / Hevash Ghader

U.S. Treats Refugees Like Terrorists

McClatchy reports on a section of the Patriot Act that bizarrely requires the U.S. to treat certain refugees as terrorists. Sami Alkarim, an Iraqi artist who was tortured by Saddam Hussein’s regime, can’t get his status sorted “because of messenger work he did as a teenager for the same political party that counts the current prime minister of Iraq as a member.”

Posted on Jul 26, 2009 READ MORE


obama
White House / Pete Souza

Obama Invites Prof. Gates, Sgt. Crowley to White House

The strange saga involving an African-American Harvard professor, a white Cambridge, Mass., police officer and a crash course in racial politics may have reached a (somewhat) happy ending—or at least an interesting one—now that President Obama has invited Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sgt. James Crowley to the White House to try to work it all out together.

Posted on Jul 24, 2009 READ MORE



DoD

Psst! We May Never Leave

While affirming the Dec. 31, 2011, date for the pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki did mention in a speech to a Washington think tank the possibility of extending that deadline if Iraqi forces still required “further training and further support.”

Posted on Jul 24, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / jonrawlinson

The Attack of the 1-Percenters

The wealthiest 1 percent’s share of America’s total income is the highest it’s been since 1929, their tax rates are the lowest they’ve faced in two decades and they’ve bought unprecedented protection for themselves on the most pressing issues.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama Boosts America’s Public Image

A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that people in 25 countries view the U.S. more favorably now that President Obama is in office than they did during the Bush II era, but it’s not a worldwide trend—Israel and parts of the Muslim world are among the exceptions.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. Foreign Wars Not Going According to Plan

For all America’s trouble, Iraq has turned out to be a sectarian, authoritarian ally of Iran with no interest in working with the U.S. The “new Vietnam” of Afghanistan, meanwhile, is turning out to be worse than Vietnam.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

Barack Who?

As Barack Obama begins his seventh month in office, mainstream news anchors still can’t seem to figure out the president’s citizenship. ... I mean, was this guy even born here? Jon Stewart examines how this mystery man got to be the American president in the first place. Check out this clip from last night’s “Daily Show.”

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN


The Politics of Tenacity

Wow, what big and unexpected news! Reforming the health care system is really hard, and Republicans want President Obama to fail. Imagine that.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE



DoD / Cherie A. Thurlby

Blue Dogs: The Special Interest Pets

Fiscal conservative is one of those terms used by politicians of all sorts to describe themselves, without any real justification. That phrase is often used to mislead the public about the priorities and policies favored by those who claim to embody budgetary prudence.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE


Health Plan: Ask ‘What,’ Not ‘When’

Now that it’s gripped the imaginations of politicians and the media, the politics of the calendar has overtaken the plain truth that Congress already is moving—barely moving, and not necessarily to a triumphal finish—toward reform.

Posted on Jul 23, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama Met With Health Execs and Lobbyists

From AP: “President Barack Obama’s administration began holding private meetings with health industry executives at the White House a few weeks after he took office, a visitor list released Wednesday night by the White House shows.” The White House released the list in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Posted on Jul 22, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Health Care Press Conference

The president must have had those blue dogs in mind when he attempted to link health care reform to deficit reduction during his press conference Wednesday. At least one pundit called it a defining moment. We embed, you decide.

Posted on Jul 22, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN


Barack Obama
White House / Lawrence Jackson

Obama Pushes Health Care in the Face of Delays

President Obama made an appeal Wednesday night for health care reform, complete with this zinger: “This isn’t about me. I have great health insurance, and so does every Member of Congress.” However, his Senate mentor, Dick Durbin, said not to expect a health care vote before the August recess. Excerpts from the president’s speech and video after the jump.

Posted on Jul 22, 2009 READ MORE


F-22
DoD / Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald, USAF

Deep-Sixing the F-22

I’ll believe it when it finally happens. But the news that Congress might actually stop production of a high-tech, job-generating and, most of all, high-profit weapons system because it fills no legitimate national security function is a considerable victory for President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, as well as for logic.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE


Take Politics Out of Health Care Reform

If you’re interested in how to get health care costs under control, the case of the F-22 offers an instructive example.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Means Business About Two-State Solution

There is new evidence that the Obama government is serious about halting Israel’s colonization of the Palestinian territories—and about imposing, rather than merely inviting, a two-state Middle East solution.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE


Strip Poker









Posted on Jul 21, 2009 ENLARGE    



U.S. Air Force / Master Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo

Senate Votes Down Military Boondoggle

One politician’s jobs program is another’s “inexcusable waste of money.” Luckily for the taxpayer, that’s how Barack Obama feels about the F-22 strike fighter, a plane Congress has been pushing over the military’s objections. After Obama threatened a veto, the Senate voted not to fund the jet, which was designed to fight the Soviets.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

Fighting for the White Man

As a “recent black man,” Stephen Colbert reacts to President Obama’s speech to the NAACP and talks reverse discrimination with Geoffrey Canada, executive director of the Harlem Children’s Zone. He also holds forth on the plight of white men, the least victimized folks ever. Check out these two clips from last night’s “Colbert Report.”

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN


Support Iran Protesters Without Meddling

In reality, the U.S. has very little ability to impact what has become a massive, spontaneous movement for change in Iran. And it shouldn’t.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Chuck Kennedy

Astronauts and Obama Have Different Worlds in Mind

The crew of Apollo 11, the NASA mission that 40 years ago Monday first put a man on the moon, marked the occasion with President Obama at the White House. The president hailed their accomplishments as a boon to the home planet. But astronauts of the Apollo series aren’t satisfied with such earthbound praise—they want a national commitment to send Americans to Mars.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith

War Without Purpose

Al-Qaida could not care less what we do in Afghanistan. We are fighting with the wrong tools. We are fighting the wrong people. We are on the wrong side of history. And we will be defeated in Afghanistan as we will be in Iraq.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Aces in the Hole

It was not the soaring rhetoric that is Barack Obama’s signature, but he recently offered the sound bite that may define his presidency: “Don’t bet against us.”

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


Black America’s New Reality

A century ago, when the NAACP was founded, black America was under siege. Some critics have wondered whether there is still a role for an organization like the NAACP. President Obama says there is.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


Change Machine









Posted on Jul 17, 2009 ENLARGE    


Obama
whitehouse.gov/video/

Obama on Health Care: ‘We Are Going to Get This Done’

Despite rumblings from detractors on both sides of the aisle, President Barack Obama held his ground as he held forth about health care reform in a speech at the White House on Friday afternoon, declaring that he was “absolutely convinced” that substantial changes to the system will be made this year.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / aflcio2008

Democrats Gut Union Bill

Senate Democrats aren’t doing their friends in organized labor any favors. Lawmakers have decided to strip out the basic reform in the proposed Employee Free Choice Act that would make creating unions much easier—the whole point of the bill. But all may not be lost. ...

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE



Warren I. Cohen on Obama’s Foreign Policy Challenges

The daunting problems Bush’s successor has inherited may prove all but insurmountable as he makes his way through a thicket of difficulties—the nuclear ambitions of authoritarian regimes, the quagmire of Mesopotamia and the persistent bloodletting in Pakistan and Afghanistan, to name only the most prominent. A recent book by David E. Sanger, a longtime foreign affairs correspondent for The New York Times, offers a close-up look at the world Obama confronts.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE


The Silent Education Crisis

The problems we face from kindergarten to 12th grade get regular, if still insufficient, attention. But we rarely confront how badly we’re faring when it comes to educating our people after high school.

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 READ MORE


Stains From the Bush Era Won’t Fade

The legacy of that administration’s anti-terrorism tactics cannot be washed away in a tide of feel-good rhetoric about moving on, nor will it fade eventually if we apply Obama’s spiritual wisdom that this should be a time for “reflection, not retribution.”

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Susan Walsh

Pelosi’s Toothless ‘Commission’

Congressional leaders are expected to announce a new commission to investigate the causes of America’s financial disaster. But unless the speaker and her colleagues summon much greater courage than they have displayed to date, it will only highlight the failure of the Democrats to live up to their heritage.

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 READ MORE


Hillary Clinton
Flickr / Center for American Progress Action Fund

Where Does Hillary Clinton Fit In?

Break one lousy elbow and those gossipy Washington types are ready to pronounce you politically dead. Hillary Clinton has been taking it easy for a month while she recovers, opening the door for scrutiny as to her importance in the Obama administration. There are just so many heavies chirping in the president’s ear, they say. (More after the jump)

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 READ MORE


Health Care: Change the Debate

In mid-May, President Obama secured a deal with the health insurance companies to trim 1.5 percent of their costs each year for 10 years, saving a total of $2 trillion. Just two days after the announcement at the White House, the insurance companies reneged on the deal that was designed to protect and increase their revenue at least 35 percent.

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Court Votes May Return to Haunt Him

Republican senators are asking themselves why they should give President Obama more leeway to name justices to his liking than then-Sen. Obama was willing to accord President Bush when he voted against both Bush nominees.

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 READ MORE


Blankfein
AP / Mark Lennihan

‘Government Sachs’ Strikes Gold ... Again

Connect the dots: Goldman Sachs made $3.44 billion in profit this past quarter, while the U.S deficit topped $1 trillion for the first time in the nation’s history and appeared to be headed toward doubling that figure before the budget year is out. Since most of the increase in the federal deficit is due to bailing out the banks and salvaging the greater economy they helped destroy, why is the top investment bank doing so well?

Posted on Jul 14, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama Wants to Send Unemployed Back to School

At 14.1 percent, Michigan’s unemployment rate is the highest of any state. So it was a fitting setting for the president to announce his plan to spend $12 billion retraining the unemployed in community colleges. This plan would be a lot more exciting if its budget didn’t inevitably have to be compared with the trillions we’ve thrown at lousy banks.

Posted on Jul 14, 2009 READ MORE


Sheldon Whitehouse
senate.gov

Confirmation Remarks Worth Revisiting

Supreme Court confirmation hearings are as much about politicians grabbing a little face time as they are about probing a nominee’s legal philosophy. Amid all the posturing and finger-wagging Monday, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse spoke rather eloquently about what the court has become, and what it should be: “ ... A place ... where the comfortable can be afflicted and the afflicted find some comfort. ... ”

Posted on Jul 14, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Win McNamee, pool

White Men Can’t Trump

For the Republicans outraged at “wise Latina” Sonia Sotomayor, being white and male is seen as a neutral condition, the natural order of things. Any “identity”—black, brown, female, gay, whatever—has to be judged against this supposedly “objective” standard.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE


Closet Racism in the Age of Obama

Unless Sotomayor suffers a “complete meltdown,” Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina predicted, she will be confirmed. The price, though, is barely coded race baiting that has been part of the assault on Sotomayor since her nomination was announced.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE


Benjamins
Wikimedia Commons/Revisorweb

U.S. Budget Deficit Climbs to Over $1 Trillion

America’s spend-a-thon has brought some inevitable consequences, not the least being that we now are looking at a federal budget deficit of more than $1 trillion for the first time ever, and that number is projected to nearly double by October.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE



EPA

54 Die in Post-Withdrawal Bombings

Thursday saw the deadliest day since the withdrawal of most U.S. soldiers from Iraq’s urban areas, with 54 people being killed in attacks across the country. Some believe the increase in bombings is an attempt to delegitimize the post-U.S. Iraqi security forces. Others believe it to be just the continuation of six years of bloodshed.

Posted on Jul 10, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Africa
blackplanet.com

Obama to Seek to End Africa’s Conflicts

It seems that President Obama has finally taken Africa seriously—and in a way that doesn’t look like Bush-era health funding that reeks of an infomercial for Christian charity. In a speech on Saturday, Obama is expected to focus on the importance of democratic governance on the continent and will make the ending of conflicts a key diplomatic initiative.

Posted on Jul 10, 2009 READ MORE


Kabul blast
AP photo

Explosives-Laden Truck Detonates, Kills 25 in Afghanistan

An overturned truck filled with timber and, it turned out, explosives blew up early Thursday morning in Logar province, Afghanistan, killing 25 people. Thirteen of the victims were children on their way to school, according to the Associated Press.

Posted on Jul 9, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Philippe Wojazer, pool

Does Obama Have a Friend in the Vatican?

When Obama meets with Benedict XVI on Friday, there will be no right-wing Catholic demonstrators upbraiding the pontiff for conferring the church’s legitimacy upon this liberal politician. In fact, when it comes to economics, this conservative pope is to the left of the president.

Posted on Jul 9, 2009 READ MORE


The Unemployed Will Roar

There’s a lot of argument in Washington about the economy, but if anyone’s looking for some clear voices, there are 650,000 of them just waiting to be heard. That is roughly the number of long-term unemployed who will begin losing their jobless benefits in September.

Posted on Jul 8, 2009 READ MORE


Progressives Flex Health Care Muscle

The progressive Democrats in Congress have had just about enough of all this bipartisanship, especially if it means scrapping a public health care plan. Rahm Emanuel recanted his hint of compromise to a room full of hopping-mad House liberals Tuesday night. Earlier, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made it clear that losing a public option was a deal-breaker for 10 to 15 Senate Democrats.

Posted on Jul 8, 2009 READ MORE


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