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Rules of Disengagement

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Tag: Barack Obama


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


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Square, Category Page

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


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Obama Still Backs Public Option

Rahm Emanuel may think his boss is open to alternatives, but the president released a statement Tuesday reaffirming his support for government-run health care. A separate e-mail from Obama’s permanent campaign, Organizing for America, urged supporters to write their local newspapers and lobby for health care reform that includes “the choice of a robust public insurance option.”

Posted on Jul 7, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Hadi Mizban

So This Is What Victory Looks Like?

It is wishful thinking to believe that the Iraqi military will be able to hold the ruins of Iraqi society together without major U.S. intervention. The United States has assumed the role of Saddam’s Special Republican Guard, waiting to be called in to crush any sign of rebellion or insurrection. It’s a lose-lose situation with only one way out.

Posted on Jul 7, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Paul Keleher

Public Option in Critical Condition

President Obama and most Democrats see a government-run health plan that competes with private insurers as vital to real health care reform, but a veto- and filibuster-proof majority just ain’t what it used to be. In the face of a massive lobbying effort, the White House has indicated a willingness to shelve the public option.

Posted on Jul 7, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Sharon Farmer

Friends Don’t Let Friends Bomb Iran

Whatever their private discussions, the governing administrations of the United States and Israel are engaged in a public back and forth that ought to give one pause. It all started when Vice President Biden said “Israel can determine for itself” whether to bomb Iran.

Posted on Jul 6, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Long, Hard Summer

As the president and centrist Democrats in Congress haggle over the deficit, they could usefully recall that the party’s inability to deliver on Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign pledges, particularly on health care, led to a stunning defeat two years later.

Posted on Jul 6, 2009 READ MORE


Medvedev and Obama
AP photo / RIA-Novosti, Vladimir Rodionov, Presidential Press Service

Obama and Medvedev Set New Tone for U.S.-Russian Relations

Sure, some of the show of good will between President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, was glad-handing for the cameras, and that whole missile-shield issue was swept under the rug for the time being, but some actual progress was made during their summit in Moscow on Monday.

Posted on Jul 5, 2009 READ MORE


I Am Robama, and I Come in Peace

Number 44 has been spotted in Orlando, in the form of an animatronic addition to Walt Disney World’s Hall of Presidents. And it speaks with the president’s actual voice. It’s as creepy as it is amazing, and easily worth a quick look.

Posted on Jul 3, 2009 WATCH & LISTEN


Legalize LA
flickr.com

New, Softer Approach to Illegal Workers

The immigration raids of the Bush years that have carried over into the Obama administration may be changing. The era of federal agents busting into shops and rounding up undocumented workers for deportation is being replaced by a new effort to use fines and civil sanctions, making employers responsible, rather than the workers themselves.

Posted on Jul 3, 2009 READ MORE


Freemasons
wordpress.com

Racial Row in Freemasonry

Not only are the Freemasons a bit weird, some are also a bit racist. The admittance of Victor Marshall, a 26-year-old African American, to a chapter in Atlanta last year caused many Georgian Freemasons to seek to revoke the charter of Marshall’s chapter, sparking a legal battle over equality in this new “post-racial” world.

Posted on Jul 3, 2009 READ MORE


The Battle Over the Burqa

Since President Barack Obama in his recent Cairo speech made a tut-tutting remark about countries that restricted wearing religious garb in school, the controversy over the Muslim burqa has resumed in Europe.

Posted on Jul 2, 2009 READ MORE


John McCain
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Suddenly, a Trillion Dollars Is Too Expensive?

The senators who now claim we cannot afford to spend a trillion dollars to make long overdue changes in health care know exactly what that amount can buy. They know because they have spent it, year after year, on military misadventures and subsidies to big banks and corporations.

Posted on Jul 1, 2009 READ MORE


Warming Up a New Politics?

That some highly vulnerable Democrats in the House were willing to face tens of thousands of dollars worth of Republican attack ads as the price of supporting a bill to curb global warming is the untold story of what, so far, is the year’s most dramatic legislative showdown.

Posted on Jul 1, 2009 READ MORE


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