Archive for March 24th, 2011

24
Mar
11

‘bush was a uniter, obama’s a divider’

IrishCentral: ….Before Barack Obama became President of the United States the people of Ireland were united, beautifully so … but once it was clear that he was going to be President the real fight started. Neighbor turned on neighbor, brother on brother.

I had never even heard of Moneygall before Obama came along. Why would I have? I’m sure I’ve driven through it on my way to Limerick, but 300 people live there. It made no impression….

When it transpired that Barack Obama is descended from a Falmouth Kearney, who left Moneygall for New York in 1850, suddenly the town started making the news….

Now we have two counties practically ready to go to war over Moneygall. Although the media has repeatedly described Moneygall as being in County Offaly, it apparently could be considered to be in County Tipperary too…

….And now the people of County Kilkenny want in on the action … You see, Falmouth’s family left little by way of a permanent mark on Moneygall, but going back a bit further there is a definite relative, Bishop John Kearney, who is entombed in St Canice’s Cathedral in the beautiful city of Kilkenny.

Now it’s really getting ugly … You see how Obama has divided the people? The desire to claim him as a ‘native son’ could easily lead to blood, war, ruin. Offaly? Tipperary? Kilkenny? Bad-tempered hurling matches engender less bad feeling.

It was all so much simpler with President Bush. No county, no town or hamlet claimed him or wanted to be associated with him. From Election Day in 2000 until he left office, the people of Ireland were quite content and of one mind in detesting the man.

….Now the country is choosing sides in a three-way battle to make Obama their own. It won’t end well. As we all know, the Irish have long memories and this division will take generations to heal.

Full article here

🙂

24
Mar
11

as promised

Demonstrators gathered in Dublin to show their solidarity with the people of Libya in their struggle against Muammar Gaddafi and his regime

Politico: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton late Thursday announced that the U.S. and NATO have agreed to transition command and control of the no-fly zone over Libya to NATO, a step toward fulfilling President Obama’s directive that the U.S. military’s involvement be time-limited and discrete in nature.

“As expected we are already seeing a significant reduction in the number of U.S. planes involved in the operation as the number of planes from other countries increase,” Clinton said, 

“today we are taking the next step.”

“All 28 allies have also now authorized military authorities to develop an operations plan for NATO to take on the broader civilian protections mission under resolution 1973.”

Clinton praised the international community for acting swiftly and said their action prevented a massacre in Benghazi. 

“After only five days, we have made significant progress,” Clinton said, noting that the coalition has full control of the skies over Libya and USAID doctors have already begun to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Benghazi.

24
Mar
11

“the guy bankrupted his own casino!”

Thank you UT Austin Liberal!

24
Mar
11

‘enough said’

Robert Shrum: …The commentary on the president’s course in Libya has been instinctively adversarial. Much of the press may be compensating for its cheerleading or supine acquiescence in the fraud of the Iraq War. So reporters chase administration officials around briefing rooms and TV studios pressing questions that can’t be answered at all (about operational details), or can’t be answered candidly — for example, about the targeting of Moammar Gadhafi. On both sides, partisans join in — some Democrats apparently against any conflict anywhere — and Republicans who never questioned Bush, Cheney, or Rumsfeld, but somehow would scorn Obama even if he got Iran to surrender its nuclear weapons.

Having forged a genuine multilateralism on Libya and pulled off the miracle of no Chinese or Russian veto in the Security Council, the administration now has to speak diplomatically while wielding big missiles. But through the white noise of the media and political scrum, some truths ought to be clear even if Obama and company can’t clearly say them.

….didn’t Obama violate the constitution by not going to Congress for a resolution or a declaration of war? I have three words for the critics here: Grenada, Noriega, Balkans. Ronald Reagan, the first Bush, and Bill Clinton didn’t wait on legislative approval before invading two countries and bombing Belgrade when they decided the issues were urgent and the cause was just. …. Imagine if Obama had gone to Congress this time. In the Senate, Rand Paul would have filibustered while Benghazi burned. And perhaps the unserious Dennis Kucinich would have insisted on establishing his Department of Peace as Gadhafi slaughtered thousands. Enough said…….

Full article here – definitely worth reading

24
Mar
11

world view

Steve Benen: Back during the 2008 presidential campaign, there was a fair amount of talk about how the United States had lost much of the respect we once enjoyed on the global stage. Barack Obama made a point of saying he wanted to improve America’ international reputation and get the world to start respecting us again.

It’s worth pausing from time to time to note that he’s been largely successful on this front. Gallup has a new report out today, documenting the results of an international survey, featuring the results from more than 100 countries. Gallup asked whether people around the world approve or disapprove of the job performance of the leadership of the United States and the same question about the leadership of six other major countries.

In 2007 and 2008, the last two years of the previous administration, the U.S. was sixth of seven, trailing Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and China. Yes, in the Bush/Cheney era, a repressive Chinese regime was actually more popular around the world than us.

In 2009 and 2010, the first two years of the Obama administration, the U.S. now once again is out in front.

Of course, it’s not just Gallup. We’ve seen similar trends in America’s popularity in the Obama era in similar international polls, including the Pew Global Attitudes Project, which also found a vast improvement in global views of the United States since the president’s election.

Washington Monthly

24
Mar
11

so, hp only learnt today that breitbart is a bigot. seriously.

Greg Sargent (Washington Post): After standing by Andrew Breitbart yesterday, the Huffington Post has made the decision to yank him from their highly-trafficked front page, in the wake of some vicious comments Breitbart has since made about former White House adviser Van Jones, a HuffPo spokesman confirms to me.

HuffPo had come under increasing criticism for giving Breitbart a major platform from groups like Color of Change, which argued that he has a history of racially-charged and factually-challenged political activism that has no place on a reputable news and opinion site. While Breitbart will still be allowed to post at HuffPo, the decision to yank him from the front page and downgrade his visibility effectively gives the critics what they’d asked for.

Last night, HuffPo was still sticking by Breitbart, arguing that the site was committed to airing a range of voices and maintaining that Breitbart’s posts on HuffPo had remained civil. But this morning, the Daily Caller published an interview with Breitbart in which he railed at Van Jones as a “commie punk” and a “cop killer-supporting, racist, demagogic freak.” This put HuffPo in a particularly awkward spot, and now HuffPo has had enough.

More here

24
Mar
11

the muppet show

Gallup

3% of Republicans have never heard of the Half-Termer from Alaska 😆 Aren’t they lucky?

24
Mar
11

friends in high places

From CNS News

Thank you Blackwaterdog for the link, you legend 😉

President Barack Obama talks with Garth Brooks, who was presented with the “Grammy on the Hill Award” for his leadership in advancing the rights of music makers, in the Oval Office, April 14, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

24
Mar
11

cautious & consultative = weak. seriously.

You gotta love the poll Reuters carried out with Ipsos after the start of operations in Libya. People were given just three choices to describe President Obama, these were the results:

48 percent: Cautious and consultative
36 percent: Indecisive and dithering
17 percent: Strong and decisive

Note how they separate ‘cautious and consultative’ from ‘strong and decisive’, like being cautious and consultative are signs of weakness when you’re contemplating sending American men and women in to combat. If weakness is being cautious about taking military action against another country, before consulting widely to get the best advice, and then acting accordingly – then I love weakness!

Reuters’ headline? ‘Few Americans see Obama as strong military leader’!

So, because 48% chose cautious and consultative, instead of ‘strong and decisive’, Reuters seem to interpret this as meaning those 48% think the President is ‘indecisive and dithering’. Okay – but if that’s the case, then, eh, why didn’t they choose ‘indecisive and dithering’?

Could it possibly be that these people just think being cautious and consultative is a good thing, bearing in mind the catastrophic military madness of the Bush creature (and his VP, Dick Haliburton) and all the lives lost during his ‘reign’?

“The survey suggested Americans may see Obama in a very different light from his predecessor, George W. Bush, who launched the Afghanistan and Iraq wars with some allies but was widely seen as a go-it-alone leader.”

No shit Sherlock!

😆

****

Thanks to Suzanne for linking this terrific Kevin Drum post in the comments:

Kevin Drum (Mother Jones): I’m not likely to blog very much about Libya, but I have to say there’s an air of unreality surrounding a lot of the commentary that’s starting to get on my nerves. Criticizing Obama for not consulting Congress is one thing. It’s not as if this is some kind of unprecedented break with past practice or anything, but still. I get it.

But the “dithering” complaint? Give me a break. When did it suddenly become a personality defect to decline to intervene in a foreign rebellion the instant it broke out? Isn’t there anyone left who appreciates the fact that Obama still retains a few shreds of anti-interventionist instinct and moves in a deliberate fashion?

Then there’s the “why did he change his mind?” nonsense. Answer: because when events on the ground are moving fast, presidents change their minds. How? Usually by first holding a meeting and getting lots of input. Obama changed his mind last Tuesday in exactly the same way that every president since George Washington has changed his mind.

And then the “following, not leading” complaint. Look: if the only thing you actually care about is showing just how manly the United States can be, this makes sense. But that’s a pretty stupid justification. There’s just no reason why America should be required to take the leadership role in every military action around the globe.

Finally, there’s all the handwringing over why we’re intervening in Libya but not Bahrain or the Congo or Yemen. Please…..

Look: I’m not really happy about the intervention in Libya ….. but an awful lot of the criticism is just so unremittingly juvenile that I can hardly stand listening to it anymore. Time to grow up, people.

Full post here

24
Mar
11

rofl

Steve Benen: Bachmann Poised To Form Exploratory Committee?…. I find this  rather hard to believe, but strange people do strange things:

“CNN has exclusively learned that Rep. Michele Bachmann will form a presidential exploratory committee. The Minnesota Republican plans to file papers for the committee in early June, with an announcement likely around that same time…..”

It’s probably fair to say that most reasonable political observers, regardless of party or ideology, would agree that Michele Bachmann is stark raving mad. I don’t mean this in a name-calling sense, I mean it objectively – her record of truly insane rants and conspiracy theories makes Bachmann an embarrassment to herself and the institution she serves. There’s just something deeply wrong with this person.

Bachmann’s odds of becoming leader of the free world next year are about as good as mine. But that doesn’t mean her candidacy, if it exists, won’t matter.

For one thing, Bachmann is so boldly ridiculous, she’s bound to generate quite a bit of attention for herself, which could have a real impact on the race. There’s only so much media oxygen available for a sizable presidential field, and if Bachmann’s clownish antics capture reporters’ attention, lesser-known candidates like Pawlenty and Daniels may find themselves struggling to stay in the spotlight.

….If Bachmann runs, she’ll be a sad, cringe-worthy sideshow, making a circus of the entire nominating process. But much to her competitors’ chagrin, that’s unlikely to stop her.

Full article here




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