Archive for March 18th, 2011

18
Mar
11

brazil bound

President Barack Obama with first lady Michelle Obama waves before their departure from Andrews Air Force Base, March 18. The President is traveling to Latin America and will be visiting Brazil, Chile and El Salvador.

18
Mar
11

champion of the working class! (except when they work for her)

AFP: The Huffington Post rebuffed a union boycott call over its practice of using unpaid bloggers, saying most of them are “thrilled to contribute” despite not being paid.

The Newspaper Guild, a union of US media workers with 26,000 members, urged contributors to The Huffington Post earlier this week to stop providing free content to the news and opinion website.

“Just as we would ask writers to stand fast and not cross a physical picket line, we ask that they honor this electronic picket line,” the guild said in a statement. “We feel it is unethical to expect trained and qualified professionals to contribute quality content for nothing”…

The guild urged founder, Arianna Huffington, who sold The Huffington Post to Web company AOL this month for $315 million, “to demonstrate her commitment to the working class she so ardently champions” by paying bloggers.

Mario Ruiz, a Huffington Post spokesman: “…..we make a distinction between our newsroom staffers and our group bloggers – most of whom are not professional writers but come from all walks of life. The vast majority of our bloggers are thrilled to contribute and we’re thrilled to have them.”

Full article here

18
Mar
11

wsvn

WSVN, March 18

And WSOCTV:

18
Mar
11

‘caution is obama’s only option. but it’s working’

UK Independent: The United States appears to have been taking a back seat in coping with the Libyan crisis, leaving its European allies and the Arab world to make the running. And that is exactly how Washington wants it.

After Iraq and Afghanistan, there is little appetite on Capitol Hill and absolutely none in the White House for another US-led attack on a Muslim country, at least without the declared blessing – and better still, the participation – of other Arab states.

In the end, the Obama administration had little choice. However much it abhors the slightest risk of another Middle Eastern military entanglement, there was no way the US could be caught, as the well-worn American phrase goes, on the wrong side of history, watching from the sidelines as a dictator unleashed brutal violence against his own people.

With its authorisation of “all necessary force… short of foreign occupation” to protect the Libyan civilian population from Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s onslaught, Thursday evening’s Security Council resolution at the United Nations essentially makes the best of a bad job. The mission has been couched in humanitarian terms. The resolution’s wording explicitly rules out an Iraq-style ground war. It follows approval by the Arab League of a no-fly zone over Libya, while White House officials made clear yesterday they expected logistical support from “Arab partners”.

…Like everyone else, the US is scrambling to keep up. And Washington must display an especially delicate touch, given its vast geo-strategic interests in the region, the need to preserve alliances and the importance of making sure the turbulence does not play out to the longer-term advantage of Iran.

Thus far, this cautious approach – one that reflects the instincts of Barack Obama – seems to be working. In Tunisia and Egypt, friendly governments were toppled but their replacements, at least for now, have not sought to break ties with Washington. Nor does radical Islam appear to be moving to fill the vacuum.

The Gaddafi regime’s declaration of a ceasefire after the Security Council resolution is also probably exactly what Washington wants. Whether it is sincere, or merely a ploy to buy time, the next few days will tell. But at least it raises the chance of a peaceful outcome.

Full article here

President Barack Obama talks with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton following a meeting in the Oval Office, March 18, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

18
Mar
11

‘shrewd caution on libya’

Chicago Tribune: For the Obama administration, the crisis in Libya represents more of a risk than an opportunity. Moammar Gadhafi has always been a tyrant, but in recent years he has given up his nuclear program and stopped sponsoring terrorism, defusing threats to our security. Already fighting two major wars, the U.S. can ill afford to join a new one.

But when armed rebels rose up to fight the regime, provoking a brutal response from Gadhafi, President Barack Obama nonetheless found himself under pressure to take military action. Calls to intervene came not only from Republicans like Sen. John McCain but from Democrat John Kerry. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said the president looked “weak and uncertain.”

In fact, he was neither. What he exhibited was shrewdness. Obama was not about to be pushed into a commitment fraught with uncertainty in a country that presented no clear danger to the U.S.

He didn’t affect cynical indifference. He accused Gadhafi of “appalling violence against the Libyan people” and called on him to step down. Obama left open all options. But he let the world know that if military action were going to be taken, other nations were not going to get to cheer on the sidelines while the U.S. did the work.

And what do you know? Someone stepped up. French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for air strikes against Gadhafi’s forces. The Arab League, which is historically loath to turn on one of its own, endorsed a no-fly zone.

Britain announced it would deploy warplanes to the region to “take the necessary action.” On Thursday, the United Nations Security Council voted to authorize military steps, including enforcement of a no-fly zone. All this without Washington promising to play anything more than a supporting role.

We’re still skeptical about this mission. In effect, the world has declared war on Gadhafi, ordered him to give up power, but telegraphed that it won’t send ground troops to complete the task.

Hours after the UN vote, Libya announced a cease-fire in an evident attempt to head off an attack, but it pretty quickly became apparent that Gadhafi wasn’t abiding by his own truce.

Best case, the cease-fire becomes real, the bloodshed stops, the rebels get in a position to negotiate. If not, Gadhafi will encounter outside force that could doom his rule. Either way, the U.S. will not be terribly exposed at a time when it is already stretched thin.

All in all, Obama played his cards well. Prudence is an underrated virtue in a national leader. A president like this one who finds a way to advance worthy foreign policy goals without taking big risks is not showing weakness. He’s conserving strength.

****

Peter Fenn (Democratic media consultant: Cool, calm, collected and deliberate wins over impetuous and knee-jerk, every time. Presidnet Obama was right not to act precipitously and to get the U.N. and nations around the world to join together.

****

Arthur ‘Jerry’ Kremer (Chairman, Empire Government Strategies; former member, New York State Assembly): The president’s far-right critics were itching for there to be another incursion into a foreign country at a time when the country doesn’t need another war. Their desire for another war has more to do with the president being embarrassed in the next election than anything else. It is obvious that the U.S. government wanted the Arab League to get on board and approve a no-fly zone, which it did. That precipitated a U.N. resolution that also turned up the heat on Qadhafi. It is clear the president’s strategy was totally correct and today’s events prove it.

Sens. McCain and Lieberman were “trigger-happy” for the country to get into another war. Luckily no one was listening to either one. You can score this as a big victory for the president.

18
Mar
11

letter perfect

Letter to The Leaf Chronicle: President Barack Obama has fulfilled several campaign promises in just his short time in office even though he inherited two wars, a bad economy, trillion dollar deficits, and a broken health care system.

Political critics, pundits and so-called experts, paid by lobbyist or corporations all have something to gain by knocking or putting down these accomplishments. Of course the Republican Party is trying to win back something they lost in 2008 so they are just plain mad.

Ultimately the president’s biggest victory has been Health Care Reform and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. They provide every American opportunity for affordable health insurance. This is federal law so do not be intimidated by state lawmakers and their rhetoric. Federal law will always overrule state law so go purchase your affordable health care insurance today.

As a veteran and married to a retired veteran, I am extremely proud of our president for keeping his promise in ending combat operations in Iraq and right now our troops have begun returning home.

Discrimination has no place in any society so the president’s signing of legislation that brought an end to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in our military as well as Fair Pay legislation for women, helps to protect against civil rights and work place discrimination.

President Obama also signed into law student loan reform that makes college more affordable for students and he adequately funded programs like Race to the Top and Educate to Innovate, which give our local schools the tools and resources they need to be successful. The new and improved GI Bill will make college affordable for returning service members.

Change does not happen overnight. The media and the other side would have you think otherwise. I stand by my president and the promises he has kept.

TERRY MCMOORE

****

The legend that is Blackwaterdog posted this letter over on The Only Adult In The Room today, it made my heart sing 🙂

18
Mar
11

‘not the fake scandals i expected’

Paul Krugman: OK, Republicans have surprised me, at least so far. Based on the experience of the Clinton years — not to mention all that stuff about how the Obama administration is the “most corrupt in modern times” — I expected a proliferation of fake scandals over mowing the White House lawn, or Sharia law presidential hit squads led by the reanimated corpse of Vince Foster, or something. Maybe that’s still in the pipeline.

But what we have so far are complaints that the president plays too much golf and is too into basketball.

If that’s the best they can come up with …

***

So true! Seriously, if this is all the GOP have …. they’re in very deep poo poo.

18
Mar
11

libya

18
Mar
11

get organized

18
Mar
11

another update on those collapsing approval ratings

Gallup, March 18

Thank you Carole 😉




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