Posts Tagged ‘agreement


Rise and Shine

…. and then:

ABC News: US-Russia Agreement On Syria Weapons

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reached agreement Saturday on a framework for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons, and said they would seek a U.N. Security Council resolution that could authorize sanctions — short of military action — if President Bashar Assad’s government fails to comply. The deal calls for international inspectors to be on the ground in Syria by November and to complete their initial work by the end of that that month. All of Syria’s chemical weapons stocks, material and equipment would have to be destroyed or removed by mid-2014.

The resolution would allow for punitive measures for non-compliance, but stop short of military action, if the 16-nation Security Council approves them. The U.S. and Russia are two of the five permanent Security Council members with a veto. The others are Britain, China, and France. Another major feature of the agreement is that the U.S. and Russia plan to give Syria one week, until Sept. 21, to submit “a comprehensive listing, including names, types and quantities of its chemical weapons agents, types of munitions, and local and form of storage, production, and research and development facilities.”

In addition, the U.S. and Russia have agreed that international inspectors should be on the ground in Syria by November and complete their initial work by the end of the month. They must be given “immediate and unfettered” access to inspect all sites. Notably, Kerry said they had agreed on grounds under which they might request a Security Council “Chapter 7” resolution at the United Nations, which is a measure that could include military and non-military sanctions.

More here


Oooooh, Teenage Sleuth was so right:


As was Jim Camp – worth reading again:

Jim Camp (Forbes): Obama’s Magnificent Stealth Negotiation with Putin

With nearly 30 years’ experience as a negotiation coach, I have what I call an excellent “negotiation radar.” I can spot a negotiation a mile away, even when it doesn’t call itself one. And these negotiations-in-disguise are what I’ve termed “stealth negotiations.”

….. the stealth ones are, well, pretty hidden from the layperson’s eye. For negotiation professionals, pinning such a negotiation down is often a tremendous source of pleasure. That’s because these arrangements are supposed to be under the radar and appear as something else entirely, such as a discussion.

And if you think that it was only a “discussion” President Barack Obama had with Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 6, you’ve missed one of the greatest “stealth negotiations” ever conducted.

More here




President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden greet athletes during an event honoring the 2012 United States Olympic and Paralympic Teams on the South Lawn of the White House, Sept. 14, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


Steve Benen: Victory Has A Thousand Parents, But Defeat Is An Orphan

It’s obviously too soon to say with any confidence whether the diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria will prevail, but unlike a week ago, it exists. In fact, the current plan offers enough promise – Syria filed the paperwork yesterday on formal membership in the chemical weapons treaty – that there’s been a debate of sorts over the last few days about who can rightly take credit for it.

…. I’ve seen some criticisms of Obama over the last couple of days that seem to come from an overly simplistic perspective – POTUS said he’d use force if Syria used chemical weapons; Syria used chemical weapons; and POTUS went to Congress instead of ordering strikes. Ergo, Obama = weakness and indecision.

And every time I see the argument, it seems a little dumber.

…. The point is, Obama didn’t say, “Screw it; bomb him anyway.” Rather, he adapted to changing circumstance, which is exactly what a responsible leader must do, especially when dealing with a delicate national security crisis.

More here



Paul Krugman: Obamacare Doublethink

I’m sure someone else has pointed this out, but there’s a fundamental contradiction at the heart of the right’s anti-Obamacare strategy — I mean, aside from the fact that it isn’t going to work, and may do immense damage both to America and to the Republican brand.

politically the right is acting as if it fears that Obamacare will, in reality, be highly popular — that once the exchanges and the Medicaid expansion go into effect, people will decide that they like the new system, and strongly oppose efforts to reverse course. (This is almost surely the more realistic view.) So the law must be stopped at any cost before it goes into effect, and people learn first-hand that the anti-Obamacare propaganda was false.

So which is it? Are Republicans sure that disaster looms, or are they terrified because they suspect that things will be OK? My guess is, both: clear thinking is not exactly a hallmark of the modern GOP, and may indeed be a positive disqualification for career success.

More here



Jonathan Chait: Boehner To Obama: Can I Please Take You Hostage?

House Republicans have spent weeks fending off right-wing demands that they shut down the government unless President Obama agrees to destroy his own health-care reform. They’re currently trying to wriggle out of this demand by promising instead to use the debt ceiling to force Obama to destroy his health-care reform, which is an even more dangerous threat. So how do House Republicans plan to wriggle out of that promise? By getting President Obama to help them. John Boehner is pleading with Obama to combine negotiations over the debt ceiling and the budget.

Boehner is desperately trying to combine two separate issues: negotiating over budget policy and negotiating over whether Congress should trigger a default on the national debt. Why negotiate the two together? So we have two arguments here. The first one is that there have been times in the past when Congress has lifted the debt ceiling and also passed changes to fiscal policy. That is true. It can be convenient to wrap up the automatic step of lifting the debt ceiling into bills that change levels of taxes and spending, because a separate vote is unnecessary in the first place……

More here



President Barack Obama stands with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during the transfer of remains ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Sept. 14, 2012, marking the return to the United States of the remains of J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. Ambassador to Libya; Sean Smith, Information Management Officer; and Security Personnel Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, who were killed in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)




Steve Benen: Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Coherent

The Hill published a curious piece this morning with a provocative headline, “Putin gets his revenge on Obama.” I’ll concede I’m not an expert in the nuances of international diplomacy, but the notion that the Russian president has exacted “revenge” on President Obama seems odd to me.

Let’s take stock of what happened this week: (1) the United States threatened Syria, a Russian ally, over its use of chemical weapons; (2) Syria then vowed to give up its chemical weapons; and (3) Russia has committed itself to the diplomatic process the United States wants, which is intended to guarantee the success of the Syrian disarmament plan. So, Obama, at least for now, ended up with what he wanted, which was then followed with more of what he wanted. If this is Putin exacting revenge, I suspect the White House doesn’t mind.

Indeed, the op-ed certainly caused a stir, but let’s not exaggerate its significance. “Putin gets his revenge on Obama” sounds awfully dramatic, but I don’t imagine President Obama was reading the NYT with breakfast yesterday, telling those around him, “Putin wrote a newspaper piece? And it chides the United States? I’ve been foiled by my strategic better! Curses!”

More here



President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden talk in the West Garden Room of the White House, prior to an event with the 2012 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams on the South Lawn, Sept. 14, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


MooooOOOooorning again everyone, welcome to the updated R&S – huuuuge thanks to UT for lots of the good stuff in the post.

Happy Saturday!


catching up

Steve Benen: …. In his remarks in the White House briefing room, the president noted that, as a candidate, he “pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end.”

It’s a commitment he’s been able to keep.

….Perhaps realizing what’s on the minds of American voters, the president added he intends to “enlist our veterans in the greatest challenge that we face as a nation: creating opportunity and jobs in this country. After a decade of war, the nation that we need to build — and the nation that we will build, is our own. An America that sees its economic strength restored, just as we restored our leadership around the world.”

It looks another check mark on the president’s “promises made, promises kept” list.

Full post here


Original video here (Thanks Hopefruit)




President Barack Obama talks with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of Iraq during a secure video teleconference in the Situation Room of the White House, Oct. 21, 2011 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)



National Journal: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee outraised the National Republican Congressional Committee during September by nearly $3 million, and also bested the GOP during the third fundraising quarter, according to spending reports filed Thursday evening with the Federal Election Commission.

The DCCC raised $6.64 million last month, compared to the NRCC’s $3.8 million. Even out of the House majority, the Democratic House campaign arm also raised more during the past three months, bringing in $14.22 million to the NRCC’s $10.68 million.


President Obama signs the Panama Free Trade Agreement, Oct. 21, in the Oval Office. From left are Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Boeing CEO Jim McNerney, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, Demetech CEO Luis Arguello, Rep. Greg Meeks, D-N.Y., and Panamanian Ambassador to the US Mario Jarmillo.


Annie Lowrey (Slate): The economy seems to be recovering …. Everything is getting better. No, no, I know … it certainly doesn’t feel as if things are getting better.

…. Even so, a spate of new data suggest that the trends, at the least, might be looking up for now, and the possibility of a double-dip recession might be fading.

… The good news comes in construction. This month, housing starts smashed expectations, jumping 15 percent … The jump in construction means both an increased willingness to invest on business’ part and a probable uptick in hiring for construction workers.

…. Retail sales climbed strongly from August to September, with an upward revision for the summer months, too. Americans spent 7.9 percent more this September than last September. What are we buying? More of everything. But we are really picking up cars. Auto sales hit an annual sales pace of 13.1 million vehicles last month, up a whopping 10 percent.

Next, jobs … fewer people are applying for initial jobless benefits, implying that the overall unemployment rate might drop soon. Industrial production also seems to be firming up. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, for instance, reported that its business activity index climbed from -17.5 in September (recession!) to 8.7 in October (expansion!).

… The most important numbers show signs of life as well. Gross domestic product, measured monthly, has started picking up after stalling in the spring….

Unfortunately …. If European leaders don’t do something to figure out how to deal with the sovereign-debt euro crisis, this return to recovery could end quickly …. We need years of strong growth to reduce unemployment, cure the cyclical and structural unemployment crises, and reduce households’ crushing levels of debt.

Full article here



a diplomatic dinner

The presidential motorcade is parked as President Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak have dinner at Woo Lae Oak, a Korean restaurant, in Vienna, Va.


President Obama issued a statement Wednesday saluting the passage, by both the House and Senate, of trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama, as well as a measure designed to help American workers who subsequently lose their jobs:

“The landmark trade agreements and assistance for American workers that passed tonight are a major win for American workers and businesses. I’ve fought to make sure that these trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama deliver the best possible deal for our country, and I’ve insisted that we do more to help American workers who have been affected by global competition. Tonight’s vote, with bipartisan support, will significantly boost exports that bear the proud label “Made in America,” support tens of thousands of good-paying American jobs and protect labor rights, the environment and intellectual property. American automakers, farmers, ranchers and manufacturers, including many small businesses, will be able to compete and win in new markets. I look forward to signing these agreements, which will help achieve my goal of doubling American exports and keeping America competitive in the 21st century.”


2009: The President displays his skills in the Korean martial art of taekwondo at the presidential office in Seoul. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak gave him a taekwondo uniform and black belt as a gift during his visit to the office for summit talks.







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