Archive for February 1st, 2011

01
Feb
11

style & substance

01
Feb
11

‘Is obama egypt’s great enabler?’

President Obama walks to the podium to speak about the situation in Egypt, Feb. 1

UK Independent (Mary Dejevsky): …Is President Obama succeeding where Bush and Blair so expensively failed? ….he took a very different approach … As presidential candidate, he campaigned against the Iraq war and expressly rejected the imposition of democracy….democracy, he argued, was still eminently good but had to come from within. Under his leadership, he said, the US would not dictate to other nations how they should organise their lives.

…Mr Obama did not just yank US foreign policy back in the realist direction taken by his Democrat predecessor, Bill Clinton. He combined that shift with an unusual degree of cultural awareness, most conspicuously in the early overtures he made towards the Muslim countries …. One of his first foreign-policy moves was … a wide-ranging speech addressed to Muslims everywhere. He delivered it in Cairo.

….More than a year and half later the choice of Cairo University looks prescient … revisiting the speech, it is immediately clear not only how far he has shifted the US agenda, but how far his commitment to home-grown democracy remains the same … Obama’s language shines out as consistent with everything that protesters across the Arab world are demanding now.

…Maybe Obama’s early overtures planted a seed that is starting to bear fruit across the Muslim world. Maybe it is simply that modern communications, plus the similar politics, economics and demographics across the region, are combining to galvanise discontent. What is evident, though, is that Obama’s words have gone with the grain of these societies in a way that the sermons of Bush and Blair did not.

Any social ferment of this order brings huge uncertainty. And it is embarrassing to watch Western leaders struggling to divest themselves of allies from a bygone age. But if you ask which American leader contributed more to the cause of change in the Muslim world, you might not agree – yet – that it was Barack Obama, but you could surely accept that George Bush set it back.

Read the full article here – it’s excellent, really interesting too on relations with Iran

President Barack Obama holds a Cabinet Meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Feb. 1, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

01
Feb
11

‘we hear your voices’

01
Feb
11

‘dow closes above 12,000 for first time since 2008’

Washington Post: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 12,000 Tuesday for the first time since June 2008. The milestone was another mark of recovery from one of the worst financial crises in the nation’s history – and a sign that investors expect the economy to keep growing instead of taking a second dip into recession.

….The news raised hopes on the economic front. “We have issues; we have problems,” said James W. Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management, an arm of Wells Fargo. “But I don’t think they’re as overwhelming as what everyone thought, and that’s why we’re back here as fast as we are.”

The Dow, an index of major corporate share prices, has now risen more than 83 percent in less than two years….Companies such as IBM, Apple, Netflix and Caterpillar have contributed to the momentum with encouraging year-end reports or upbeat financial forecasts…..

The symbolism of a Dow 12,000 could be as much political as economic. In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama noted that the stock market had “come roaring back.”

More here

And…..

AP: The best month for U.S. factories in nearly seven years is brightening the outlook for job growth.

Companies are exporting more construction and mining equipment, and Americans are buying more cars, appliances and computers.

The Institute for Supply Management, a private trade group, said Tuesday that its index of manufacturing activity rose last month to 60.8. It was the highest reading since May 2004 and the 18th straight month the sector has grown. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The strong data on manufacturing activity was a major reason the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 12,000 for the first time since June 2008.

More here

01
Feb
11

let the challenge commence!

1:21 cracked me up 😆

01
Feb
11

see? he just can’t win….

Reuters: If Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak is toppled, Israel will lose one of its very few friends in a hostile neighborhood and President Barack Obama will bear a large share of the blame, Israeli pundits said on Monday….

CNN: A top Senate Republican leader accused the Obama administration Monday of failing to promote democracy around the world …. possibly leaving Egyptian protestors wondering if the U.S. really stands with them…..

Meanwhile: The White House has confirmed that President Obama sent a message to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak telling him not to run for another term, delivered by former ambassador Frank Wisner. The answer from Mubarak was unclear, an administration official said, but Al Arabiya TV reports that Mubarak will announce in a speech shortly that he won’t run.

01
Feb
11

more meetings….

President Barack Obama participates in a cabinet meeting in the West Wing of the White House, February 1

01
Feb
11

a toothy flashback

Wayne County Community College, Taylor, Michigan, June 2008

Hey, look: the dental products worked! Before and after:

😆

01
Feb
11

weather alert

President Barack Obama talks with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano about the preparations for the severe winter weather impacting a large part of the country during a phone call in the Oval Office, Feb. 1. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Read BWD’s beautiful post on this photo here

01
Feb
11

return to charlotte

MSNBC: The Democratic National Committee today announced the selection of Charlotte, NC, as the site of the party’s 2012 convention, a clear sign that Democrats will once again target the Tar Heel State in the upcoming presidential contest. It will be the first presidential-nominating convention to ever take place in North Carolina.

Memories….

Charlotte, North Carolina, November, 2008




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