Posts Tagged ‘crisis


‘The Punditry vs. the Presidency’


Michael Cohen: The Punditry vs. the Presidency

How the constant chorus of ‘do something’ Obama foreign policy critics gets it wrong

There is a fun foreign policy game making all the rounds in Washington D.C. this summer: Pin the tail on Barack Obama.

Its appeal is not hard to understand; it’s so easy to play.

Step 1: Pick a foreign crisis that touches even slightly on U.S. national security interests. This shouldn’t be hard, because the United States defines practically everything in the world as being an American interest.

Step 2: Make clear that this is no garden-variety problem but rather “the defining crisis of [OBAMA’S] presidency”……

….. Step 6: Publish your condemnation in a major newspaper or news outlet. Wait for a phone call from a booker with a Sunday morning talk show.

There are no points for understanding how international relations work, how U.S. power is actually utilized or how other countries interpret their own interests. There’s no space on the board for tracking the real-life impact of your recommendations.

Foreign policy stewardship would be easy if it were as simple as playing this game. If, as President Obama joked recently, America “control(led) everything around the world,” there wouldn’t be much to decide at all.

More here


Ukraine crisis in tweets

Today in Ukraine news on Twitter.


Continue reading ‘Ukraine crisis in tweets’


Rise and Shine

Four Years Ago Today: President Obama uses a light saber during a demonstration of fencing with Tim Morehouse who won a silver medal in Men’s Saber Fencing at the Beijing Olympics, part of the U.S. Olympians youth sporting event on the South Lawn of the White House


Today (all times Eastern):

11:40: President Obama delivers remarks to mark the five-year anniversary of the financial crisis

12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press

7:0: President Obama delivers remarks at Música Latina: In Performance at the White House; First Lady Michelle Obama also attends. The performance will be held in the East Room and will be live streamed at White House Live. More here

See ‘The Week Ahead’ here



USA Today: Obama to speak on 5th anniversary of financial crisis

President Obama will deliver a speech Monday on the fifth anniversary of the event that helped elect him back in 2008: The financial crisis. Obama “will be joined on-stage and in the audience by people that have benefited from his economic recovery proposals over the last five years,” the White House said in a statement, “including small business owners, construction workers, homeowners, consumers and tax cut recipients.”

Obama will use the speech to kick off a week of events devoted to the economy and budget issues.

…. A Tuesday interview on the Spanish language television network Telemundo gives Obama a chance to talk about another major domestic issue, immigration. Budget issues are likely to dominate a Wednesday speech to the Business Roundtable. And Obama is likely to emphasize the auto bailout when he travels Friday to a Ford plant in the Kansas City area.

Full post here



Your Morning Must-Read:

The People’s View: Ezra Klein’s Concern Trolling on Obama and the Federal Reserve

As soon as news hit the wires that Larry Summers has withdrawn his name from consideration for chair of the Federal Reserve, the media went on a full-spin mode, likely embarrassed that just Friday, they were pimping a Japanese newspaper report trumpeting Summers as the chosen one. Ezra Klein, who’d been part of the media build-up toward that ‘inevitability,’ if along with his opposition to it.

This is where a little Obama Derangement Syndrome seeped in. Ezra, along with his peers in the beltway media – dude, get out a little from you Post office and the MSNBC studios; it’ll do you some good – wasn’t just convinced that Summers would be a bad choice, but that Obama would pick him just to take pleasure in some hippie-punching, i.e. just to piss off establishment media liberals like Klein.

More here


She’s an Arsenal fan, so she has a dark side, but @DCPlod cracks me up:

…. and so does this fella:


Had a good chuckle at these two headlines at Business Insider – here we go again: damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. Yawn:


TPM: Biden: ‘The Tail Is Wagging The Dog’ In Today’s GOP

Vice President Joe Biden warned donors and activists of a fundamental shift in the Republican party at an Iowa fundraiser Sunday, calling today’s GOP a “different breed of cat” and taking a shot at the leadership of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

“This is not your father’s Republican Party,” he told a crowd just before Sen. Tom Harkin’s (D) annual steak fry, according to a pool report. “We’re dealing with a different breed of cat as my uncle used to say. These guys aren’t bad. I’m not making moral judgments, but they have a fundamentally different view of America than we do – a fundamentally different view.”

More here



Bob Cesca: The Goalpost for Success Was the Disarmament of Syria’s WMD, So the U.S. Won an Historic Victory

Saturday marked an historic event future generations will read about in books. Over the weekend, Russia and the United States reached an accord over the question of the Syrian government’s stockpiles of chemical weapons, most recently used against civilians late last month.

Whether the United States “won” depends entirely upon your definition of victory. Personally, I define victory in terms of the stated goal of the administration’s actions of the past three weeks: to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons to prevent another attack on Syrian civilians.

More here



Michael Tomasky: The Right’s Sickening Syria Spin

If Obama persuaded Assad to step down and move to Siberia, the critics would still find something to whine about. Michael Tomasky deflates the arguments against the new arms deal.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not very interested in being lectured that Bashar al-Assad has no real intention of giving up his chemical weapons by the very same people who a decade ago were pushing this country into war — and having the deranged gall to call the rest of us unpatriotic — on the argument that there was no possible way a monster like Saddam Hussein had given up his chemical weapons. Barack Obama has been forced to spend about 70 percent of his presidential energies trying to repair crises foreign and domestic that these people created, and forced to do so against their iron opposition on all fronts; and now that he’s achieved a diplomatic breakthrough, they have the audacity to argue that he sold America out to Vladimir Putin? It’s staggering and sickening.

More here



Steve Benen: The right struggles to hide its disappointment with diplomatic progress

A couple of years ago, after the United States and its allies used military force to help remove the Gadhafi’s government from Libya, Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham issued one of my favorite Republican press releases ever. The two senators, who had eagerly spent months touting U.S. military action in Libya, issued a joint statement commending the “British, French, and other allies, as well as our Arab partners, especially Qatar and the UAE.”

McCain and Graham eventually said Americans can be “proud of the role our country” played, but they nevertheless condemned the Obama administration’s “failure” to act in Libya the way the GOP senators preferred.

It was striking at the time for its bitterness – the United States had achieved its strategic goals, but instead of celebrating or applauding Obama’s success, Republicans pouted and whined.

It’s funny how history sometimes repeats itself….

More here



Science Insider: U.S. Science Laureate Bill Hits Roadblock

Climate science skeptics have derailed a congressional proposal to create the honorary position of U.S. science laureate. But proponents haven’t abandoned the idea of giving someone a national platform to foster public understanding of science and serve as a role model.

….. the U.S. House of Representatives was expected to give swift approval to a bill introduced this spring by a bipartisan coalition of legislators in both the House and the Senate….

The bill was never discussed in any committee, however, and Larry Hart of the American Conservative Union hit the roof when he saw it on the House calendar for the next day. In a letter to other conservative organizations and every House member, Hart said the bill would give President Barack Obama the opportunity to appoint someone “who will share his view that science should serve political ends, on such issues as climate change and regulation of greenhouse gases.”….

More here


Thanks again to UT for letting us know about this blog yesterday (and this great post):

Now added to the blogroll here, if you ever need the link – you can follow Jim here on Twitter.

If you can think of any other smart liberal blogs to add to the blogroll, let me know!


Smartypants: A Both/And Leader in an Either/Or World

For the record, I don’t think President Obama has any magical powers, or that he plays 11th dimensional chess, or that he bluffs, or that he’s merely lucky. What I do think is that he develops his North Star, takes the long view, and enters negotiations from the standpoint of finding both/and solutions (partnerships) rather than engage in the power games of either/or (dominance).

Several people are pointing to a fascinating blog post by Jim Stuart where he talks about President Obama being an integral leader. If you haven’t already read it, please do so!

More here


Still can’t get over this tweet from the account of the President of Iran, amazing:


On This Day:

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama watch Olympian Ryan Reser, in white, and Paralympian Myles Porter during a judo demonstration, part of the U.S. Olympians youth sporting event on the South Lawn of the White House, Sept. 16, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

….. watching a balance beam demonstration hosted by gymnast Dominique Dawes, far left, on the South Lawn of the White House, Sept. 16, 2009. Also pictured are Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett (second from left) and former Olympic athlete Jackie Joyner Kersee (in white shirt) (Pete Souza)


President Obama fist-bumps VP Biden, as Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett looks on, before a meeting in the Oval Office, Sept. 16, 2010 (Pete Souza)


President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi arrive for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 32nd Annual Awards Gala dinner in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 16, 2009 (Pete Souza)


President Obama waits in his limousine after the motorcade arrived at Westchester County Airport, N.Y., on a rainy night, Sept. 16, 2010 (Pete Souza)


MooooOOOOoooorning, Happy Monday!

A gentle reminder: when you’re quoting posts from other blogs/sites in the comments, please only include a short extract followed by the link. Thank yoooOOOooou!



Political Wire

More at CBS


problem solver!

Vice President Biden on Friday gave this dramatic (and funny) account of President Obama’s mood in the aftermath of the Osama bin Laden killing, describing a Cabinet meeting after the terrorist was taken out:

“It was his decision, by the way, to nail Osama bin Laden,” Biden said at a Teamsters convention in Las Vegas, pounding the lectern a half-dozen times.

At the Cabinet meeting, Biden said, Obama thanked his national security team, Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta at a Cabinet meeting.

Then: ” ‘And I want to thank Joe Biden’ – and he said something that wasn’t true – ‘who knows more foreign policy than me.’


There’s more: “Then, he said, ‘By the way, Joe, I want you to settle the budget crisis.’ So I said, ‘OK, no problem.’ ”


Thank you Anonymous – I hate quoting GOPolitico, but this one’s a keeper!







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