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Iraq Confidential

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Tag: Barack Obama

Obama
AP photo / Rina Castelnuovo, pool

Obama Will Back Israel

The president-elect has struggled to stay out of the Gaza fight, but based on everything he said during the campaign, he appears determined to stand up for Israel.

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE


Beware, Mr. Obama, of Tax-Cut Seduction

Much of the business-tax package Obama contemplates fails his own test of cutting business taxes “where it makes sense and is going to work.”

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE


Now Is No Time for Phony Thrift

As the government contemplates spending very large sums of money, it is reassuring to know that somebody still worries about waste. Or it would be reassuring, if only that somebody were not Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader.

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE


Cubama
wsj.com

Cubans Hoping for a Thaw

The 50-year U.S. relationship with revolutionary Cuba may warm up this winter, with some on the island seeing an Obama presidency as an indicator of potential change in the two countries’ diplomatic and trade status. A Havana barber is quoted as holding hope for reconciliation despite the fact that Obama “is a capitalist and likely an imperialist.”

Posted on Jan 7, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Security
economistmom.com

Obama Ponders the Third Rail

With news of a $1.2 trillion federal budget deficit and continually rising unemployment numbers, President-elect Barack Obama is facing an economy that has the constitution of a sickly cat. A remedy for what ails it may be coming in a restructuring of Medicare and Social Security, which Obama said will be central to efforts in how he will curb spending.

Posted on Jan 7, 2009 READ MORE


Burris
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Burris Hangs in the Balance

The Coleman-Franken battle wasn’t the only drama going down Tuesday on Capitol Hill. Roland Burris, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s pick for Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat, was not part of the swearing-in ceremony for new members of Congress, but he just might make it after all.

Posted on Jan 6, 2009 READ MORE


111th Congress
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Welcome Back, Congress

There were just a few action items—emphasis on action—for the 111th Congress to contend with on the broad domestic and global scale as veteran members reconvened and new recruits made it official on Tuesday. Get to work, people.

Posted on Jan 6, 2009 READ MORE


Gaza rubble
AP photo / Khaled Omar

Why Do So Few Speak Up for Gaza?

Why is it that there is such widespread acceptance, beginning with the apologetic arguments of President Bush, that whatever Israel does is always justified as necessary to the survival of the Jewish state? It is not.

Posted on Jan 6, 2009 READ MORE


Israeli Voices for Peace

While the Israeli government, dominated by hawks in the midst of a political campaign, has escalated its assault on Gaza, there are many Israelis who are outraged by what’s happening.

Posted on Jan 6, 2009 READ MORE


Obama

Obama’s Take on Johnnycakes

Long before he would become the 44th POTUS—or make arugula the unlikely culinary signifier of elitism—Barack Obama discussed the virtues of the Southern sampler platter at Chicago’s Dixie Kitchen and Bait Shop restaurant in Chicago on this 2001 episode of local eats show “Check, Please.” He recommends the cobbler.

Posted on Jan 6, 2009 READ MORE


Sorry, We’re Full

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Posted on Jan 6, 2009 READ MORE    


Navel-Gazing in the Grand Old Party

While Republicans are looking inward and focusing on appeals to the party’s activist base, Obama wants Democrats to concentrate their energies on recently acquired political terrain and the new converts who were central to his party’s sweep last year. 

Posted on Jan 6, 2009 READ MORE


Yukking It Up at the Blago Show

I am supposed to be typing out words that articulate a highly audible and terribly alarmed tsk tsk. Instead, I am laughing with unrestrained amusement at the farce that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has engineered. Honestly, I haven’t had this much fun since New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s implosion.

Posted on Jan 6, 2009 READ MORE


Obama
AP photo / Alex Brandon

Gauging Obama’s Silence on Gaza

It’s hard to remember a time when so much was at stake during a presidential transition in America. Barack Obama is still two weeks shy of taking office, but even so, his silence about the current crisis in Gaza in particular has not gone unnoticed.

Posted on Jan 5, 2009 READ MORE



CIA

Obama Picks Top Spies

The president-elect has reportedly chosen Leon Panetta to head the CIA and retired Adm. Dennis Blair as director of national intelligence. Both men bring a mixed bag. Panetta is an experienced bureaucrat, but he’s no James Bond. Blair has been praised for his terrorist-fighting skills, but he was criticized for a supposed conflict of interest that benefited defense contractors.

Posted on Jan 5, 2009 READ MORE


Burris
AP photo / Paul Beaty

Burris: ‘I Am the Junior Senator From Illinois’

Despite clear indications that not everyone on Capitol Hill is ready to acknowledge him as a U.S. senator, Roland W. Burris headed to Washington from Illinois on Monday, announcing that he was, in fact, the rightful new occupant of the seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

Posted on Jan 5, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / M. Spencer Green

Blagojevich vs. the Senate

Some have argued that the Senate does not have the right to reject embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s pick to replace Barack Obama. However, history clearly disagrees.

Posted on Jan 5, 2009 READ MORE


On Thin Ice

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Posted on Jan 4, 2009 READ MORE


Obama address

Obama Pushes Economic Recovery Plan

In this series of weekly addresses posted on Change.gov before news of the Bill Richardson scandal broke, the president-elect makes an appeal for an economic recovery strategy that would ideally prevent further job losses and spark a turnaround in Americans’ prospects as soon as possible.

Posted on Jan 4, 2009 READ MORE


richardson
fairimmigration.wordpress.com

Richardson Withdraws Bid for Commerce Secretary Post

As President-elect Barack Obama transferred to Washington, D.C., from his Chicago HQ this weekend, his first big political problem from within the ranks of his Cabinet choices began: New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, nominated by Obama, withdrew from consideration as commerce secretary because a scandal is brewing in Richardson’s home state.

Posted on Jan 4, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / FaceMePLS

The Jobless Hold Their Breath

President-elect Obama is still working out the nuts and bolts of his recovery (fingers crossed) package, but Obama advisers have disclosed that at least one proposal would expand benefits and compensation to the unemployed. With the economic meltdown vaporizing more and more jobs, here’s hoping Congress gets it done before February.

Posted on Jan 4, 2009 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: Gaza in Crisis, Barack’s Back

The challenges of this new year, or at least its initial chapter, are already quite apparent—what with the dire situation in Gaza, the sputtering global economy and a major transition under way in the United States. Barack Obama, fresh off his Hawaiian holiday, has his work cut out for him, to say the very least.

Posted on Jan 2, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

A Very Special Fox News New Year Celebration

Fox News mixed New Year revelry with the racially questionable salutations of “Jen and John C.,” which scrolled along the bottom of the screen during its telecast early Thursday morning. Good times!

Posted on Jan 2, 2009 READ MORE


Inauguration

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Posted on Jan 2, 2009 READ MORE


Our Cuba Policy: A Failure at 50

President-elect Obama will have more urgent matters to deal with after he takes the oath of office. But somewhere on his long to-do list, he should make a note to finally bring five decades of counterproductive American policy toward Cuba to a definitive end.

Posted on Jan 1, 2009 READ MORE


Democrats Must Not Get Into Blagojevich’s Game

The governor is playing Chicago-style hardball at the highest level. His opponents need to reply in kind. 

Posted on Jan 1, 2009 READ MORE


Believe It or Not, 2008 Was Relatively Nonviolent

Peace is not at hand, at least not as Americans define it. Yet peace has been breaking out all over.

Posted on Jan 1, 2009 READ MORE


Voices of Resistance Sing On

Strong voices for peace have left us this year, people who used their art for social change, often at a high personal price.

Posted on Dec 31, 2008 READ MORE


Swindler of the Year

In a sense, we’re all Bernie Madoff. We’ve been running our economy in accordance with his accounting principles for a generation—and now we face a most unpleasant reckoning.

Posted on Dec 31, 2008 READ MORE


The 21st Century Is Finally Here, a Bit Behind Schedule

Social and political epochs rarely end precisely on schedules provided by calendars. The outcome of this year’s election means that 2009 will, finally, mark the beginning of the 21st century.

Posted on Dec 31, 2008 READ MORE


Blagojevich!
AP photo / M. Spencer Green

Blagojevich Gets Blagoje-Ditched

Rod Blagojevich, the most recent Illinois governor to be mired in scandal, is finding himself at odds with his own party after Democratic leaders announced Tuesday that Blagojevich’s attempt to fill Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat will be blocked, much to the disappointment of Blagojevich and his appointee, Roland Burris.

Posted on Dec 31, 2008 READ MORE


Gaza runner
AP photo / Dan Balilty

Gaza Clouds Obama’s Prospects

So, why didn’t they give peace a chance? Why did the leaders of Hamas and Israel not wait for the incoming U.S. president’s inauguration before mutually escalating hostilities?

Posted on Dec 30, 2008 READ MORE


Kennedy and the media
AP photo / Don Heupel

Caroline Kennedy: I’m the Best for Senate Post

Caroline Kennedy, at the very least, has her own vote when it comes to who she thinks would be the best pick for Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat in the likely event that the New York Democrat is officially approved as Barack Obama’s secretary of state.

Posted on Dec 29, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Craig Ruttle

Why I Am a Socialist

The free market and globalization, promised as the route to worldwide prosperity, have been exposed as a con game. We will either find our way out of this mess by embracing an uncompromising democratic socialism or we will continue to be fleeced and impoverished by our bankrupt elite.

Posted on Dec 29, 2008 READ MORE


Shirtless President-Elect Creates Crisis of Confidence

Global markets swooned this week in reaction to photos showing that President-elect Barack Obama had lost his shirt.

Posted on Dec 28, 2008 READ MORE


Rafah burning
AP photo / Eyad Baba

Who Believes There Is ‘Progress’ in the Middle East?

If reporting is, as I suspect, a record of mankind’s folly, then the end of 2008 is proving my point.

Posted on Dec 28, 2008 READ MORE


Saltsman
AP photo / Jim Cole

Racial Parody Provokes RNC Controversy

The inclusion of a racially charged satirical song about President-elect Barack Obama in a holiday-themed CD compiled by one Chip Saltsman, former Mike Huckabee aide and current candidate for Republican National Committee chair, has drawn sharp criticism from within GOP ranks.

Posted on Dec 27, 2008 READ MORE


Obama with soldiers

The Middle East in 2009

It may seem misguidedly America-centric to link the immediate future of many parts of the Middle East to President-elect Barack Obama, but because the U.S. has inserted itself so strongly into the region, a good deal undoubtedly rides on the choices of the next American administration.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008 READ MORE


Kenyans for Obama
AP photo / Riccardo Gangale

What Will ‘Brother Barack’ Do for Africa?

As the dust settles from the feverish dances that greeted Barack Obama’s victory in the American elections, Africans wonder what “our son and brother” will be able to do for Africa in the face of daunting challenges in the United States and other parts of the world.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008 READ MORE


Obama
Flickr / BohPhoto

Poll Finds Obama Is the Most Admired Man

First he wins the presidency of the U.S., then he wins Time’s Man of the Year. Now a poll shows that Barack Obama holds a sizable lead among Americans as the most admired man in the world. Coming second was George W. Bush and third was John McCain, proving once again the horrible imagination Americans have when finding inspiration outside politics.

Posted on Dec 26, 2008 READ MORE


Don’t Be Fooled by Bush’s Farewell Tour

The 43rd president is going home with less remorse and fewer regrets than my grandchildren express for spilling their cereal.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE



USAF / Michael B. Keller

The Road Out of Iraq Begins in Vietnam

Iraq is not Vietnam, yet there are parallels between the two wars. The American military dominated the battlefield in both conflicts, and yet America the nation emerged the loser in each. A “decent interval” is now needed for American troops to withdraw.

Posted on Dec 24, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / marcn

Team Obama Clears Itself In Blagojevich Affair

An internal review of Barack Obama’s staff by Barack Obama’s staff found “no indication of inappropriate discussions” with embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is accused of trying to auction the president-elect’s Senate seat to the highest bidder.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE


Warren Is Worth the Headache

By inviting Pastor Rick Warren to give the inaugural invocation, President-elect Barack Obama has alienated some of his friends on the left, but the choice also enrages conservatives who fear the breakup of right-wing dominance in the white evangelical community.

Posted on Dec 23, 2008 READ MORE


Jackson

Top 10 Feuds of the Year

You know it’s the end of the year when all those predictable fun lists start coming out. This one is among the more creative: Gawker has put together a memorable pastiche of the year’s top feuds, starting with an unexpected ambush on NYT columnist Thomas Friedman.

Posted on Dec 22, 2008 READ MORE


For Howard Dean, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

The outgoing chairman of the Democratic National Committee fought to expand his party’s reach to the red states that Barack Obama won. His pioneering Internet fundraisers became Obama’s pioneering Internet fundraisers. He refused to budge on Florida and Michigan. So why is Howard Dean out in the cold?

Posted on Dec 22, 2008 READ MORE


Blago

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Posted on Dec 22, 2008 READ MORE    


A Frank Assessment: Rev. Rick Is Offensive

Rep. Barney Frank, the first openly gay member of Congress, isn’t happy about the “high honor” Barack Obama has bestowed on the Rev. Rick Warren, who recently likened gay marriage to incest and pedophilia. This isn’t a speech at a forum, the congressman points out, but a role that is “traditionally given as a mark of great respect.”

Posted on Dec 21, 2008 READ MORE



Wikimedia / Daniel Schwen / Altered

Obama’s Big Promise to Biden

The vice president-elect revealed Sunday that he sought and won a major promise from Barack Obama: For every major decision, “I’ll get to be in the room.” Even if you love the guy, that’s got to be tiresome—not to mention impractical.

Posted on Dec 21, 2008 READ MORE


Bush with football
freewebs.com

Bush Passes Bailout Buck to Obama

Although President Bush has kicked off the auto industry bailout process before leaving office, some would call Bush’s strategy more of a punt to his presidential successor, Barack Obama.

Posted on Dec 20, 2008 READ MORE


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