Posts Tagged ‘manning

31
Jul
13

Rise and Shine

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Today (all times Eastern)

10:10: The President meets with the House Democratic Caucus, United States Capitol

11:25: Meets with the Senate Democratic Caucus, United States Capitol

(C-Span have live coverage listed for 11:15, but the meetings are closed so they’ll probably just show statements after)

2:10: President Obama welcomes the NCAA Champion UConn Huskies to honor the team and their 2013 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship

3:0 Congressional leaders join together for a ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (C-Span 3)

4:30: The President and VP Biden meet with Secretary of the Treasury Lew

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Steve Benen: Economic growth exceeds expectations

Going into this morning, expectations for economic growth in the second quarter — April, May, and June of this year — were quite poor, making the actual GDP report a little more encouraging.

The U.S. economy grew at a 1.7% annual rate in the second quarter, buoyed by a solid gain in consumer spending and a sharp increase in business investment, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected growth to total 1.0%.

To be sure, 1.7% GDP growth is not, by any fair measure, good news. It tells us the economy is growing, but the recovery is at best sluggish. But given the news we were expecting, 1.7% is a relatively pleasant surprise, especially since the previous quarter’s growth was revised down to 1.1%.

More here

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Bloomberg: Economy in U.S. Expands More Than Forecast on Inventories

The economy in the U.S. grew more than projected in the second quarter, reflecting an unexpected pickup in inventory building as consumer spending cooled. Growth in the previous three months was revised down.

Gross domestic product, the value of all goods and services produced, rose at a 1.7 percent annualized rate, after a 1.1 percent gain the prior quarter, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 1 percent advance for last quarter. Consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy, climbed 1.8 percent after increasing 2.3 percent.

Job gains and rising home prices are shoring up Americans’ confidence and lifting automobile sales and production, making it likely the U.S. will pick up once government spending cuts and tax increases pose less of a restraint. The report also showed inflation is falling further below the Federal Reserve’s goal….

More here

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Steve Benen: Reality gets in the way of far-right shutdown scheme

As a large group of Republicans push for a government shutdown over the Affordable Care Act, Norm Ornstein offered some compelling context. “You could say it’s a do-nothing Congress but that doesn’t do justice to it,” he said. “These guys are doing something, which is to destroy the economic fabric of the country by holding the functions of government hostage to a non-negotiable demand to eliminate Obamacare.”

That’s plainly true, though Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), arguably the main ringleader of the scheme, apparently believes destroying the economic fabric of the country by holding the functions of government hostage to a non-negotiable demand to eliminate Obamacare is a fine idea. As Sarah Kliff reported, however, there is a flaw in the right-wing premise…..

More here

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Steve Benen: ATF finally poised to move forward with real leadership

Ask conservative opponents of gun reforms what they’d like to see from law enforcement, and you’ll probably get a predictable answer: we should enforce the gun laws we already have, not approve new ones. For the last several years, however, that’s been easier said than done.

Enforcement of existing gun laws generally falls under the purview of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which has lacked a permanent, Senate-confirmed leader for the last seven years, thanks to opposition from Republicans and the National Rifle Association, both of which have reflexively balked at the very idea of an ATF chief.

With this in mind, we may be poised for a breakthrough this week….

More here

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ThinkProgress: Texas Lawmakers Are Too Busy Focusing On Abortion Restrictions To Get Anything Else Done

Just over an hour after Texas legislators concluded their second special session — an extra lawmaking session they used to enact sweeping abortion restrictions — Gov. Rick Perry (R) called them back for a third one. An outstanding highway funding bill is the only item on the agenda. “When it comes to transportation, the stakes facing our state could not be higher,” the governor noted in a statement.

Perry cited that same transportation measure as one of the reasons he believed it was necessary to call the first special legislative session at the beginning of June. But instead of focusing on getting that done, the governor demonstrated a different set of priorities — adding a slew of anti-abortion provisions that were unable to advance during the state’s regular session to the docket.

More here

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Bob Cesca: Bradley Manning Lives in a Nation of Laws, and, Hero or Not, He Broke 16 of Those Laws

While fleeing from the law in Hong Kong, Edward Snowden encouraged a return to “the rule of law rather than men.” In spite of his politically incorrect usage of “men” instead of “men and women,” he’s right. Generally speaking, individual citizens shouldn’t be held above the law — least of all a soldier named Pfc. Bradley Manning who stole 720,000 classified documents and handed them over to be be indiscriminately posted for public consumption by Julian Assange’s Wikileaks.

More here

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Two years ago today:

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden shake hands in the Oval Office following a phone call with House Speaker John Boehner securing a bipartisan deal to reduce the nation’s deficit and avoid default, Sunday, July 31, 2011. (Photo by Pete Souza)

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MoooOOOooorning!

03
Jun
13

This and That

Text of the President’s remarks here

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mentalhealth.gov

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Supporters engulf Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) during a rally at the Xcel Energy Center June 3, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Obama clinched the Democratic presidential nomination following primaries in South Dakota and Montana

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Michael Cohen (The Guardian): What makes the Republican position on Medicaid expansion truly sick – In their ideological vendetta against Obamacare, red states seem more willing to let low-income people die than get healthcare

If you want to get a sense of the enfeebled and wanton state of the modern Republican party, there really is no better place to start than on the issue of Medicaid, the federal program that provides healthcare coverage for the poor.

In a desperate effort to undermine the law they hate, Obamacare, Republican governors and state legislatures in half the states have either rejected or intend to reject a key part of the president’s signature domestic initiative – namely, billions in federal dollars to extend Medicaid coverage to their poorest citizens. While Republicans argue they are acting out of high-minded fiscal rectitude, the reality speaks to something else altogether – petulance and hyper-partisanship.

…. Republicans are searching for ways to rehabilitate their image. It ain’t gonna be easy so long as they operate as though saving money – and keeping their ideological purity intact – is more important than reducing suffering and saving lives.

Full post here

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Jonathan Cohn (New Republic): If you want to know why we can’t have an honest debate about Obamacare, all you have to do is pay attention to some recent news from California – and the way a highly distorted version of it, by one irresponsible writer, has rippled through the conservative press.

More here

Click to see the rest of the post

13
Mar
12

rise and shine

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10:50: PBO meets with the 2012 Intel Science Talent Search finalists.

11:10: PBO will deliver a statement in the Rose Garden about a new effort to enforce U.S. trade rights with China.

1:00: Jay Carney briefs the press.

4:15: Michelle Obama hosts a mini-Olympics competition in celebration of the 2012 London Summer Olympics.

4:20: PBO and Prime Minister Cameron leave the W.H. for Andrews Air Force Base.

4:35: PBO and Cameron depart for Dayton, Ohio.

5:55: PBO and Cameron attend an NCAA Tournament game (live on truTV)

9:00: PBO and Cameron depart Ohio for D.C.

10:35: PBO and Cameron arrive back at the White House.

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Sign up here to get a link to the livestream of the film which will be shown on Thursday

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Bloomberg: The U.S. public’s economic outlook is turning from fear to hope with the presidential election campaign under way. More than twice as many Americans view the economy’s prospects as brightening as see them darkening, a reversal from nine months ago, when more people expected deterioration ahead, according to a Bloomberg National Poll conducted March 8-11.

“It’s starting to get better,” says survey respondent Kelsey Simeon ….. “Strip malls that were empty are starting to fill up. Everyone’s going out to eat more. People are spending more money on non-necessities…. ”

More Americans now say they are personally better off since President Barack Obama took office than worse off, the first favorable reading for the president on that question since Bloomberg began asking in December 2010.

More here

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TPM

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Washington Post: How much does the president have to do with the price of gasoline?

A lot, say American voters. According to oil experts and economists, not so much – at least in the short term.

Today’s oil prices are the product of years and decades of exploration, automobile design and ingrained consumer habits combined with political events in places such as Sudan and Libya, anxiety about possible conflict with Iran, and the energy aftershocks of last year’s earthquake in Japan.

“This notion that a politician can wave a magic wand and impact the 90-million-barrel-a-day global oil market is preposterous,” said Paul Bledsoe, strategic adviser to the Bipartisan Policy Center and a former Clinton administration official.

More here

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See the full infographic here

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Link (Thanks Meta)

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Steve Benen: Mitt Romney called in to a popular sports talk show in Alabama yesterday, a day ahead of the state’s Republican presidential primary. As interviews go, this seemed like a fairly easy one…. it’s not like Romney would go on the show, repeat his mistake from two weeks ago, and talk about being friends with millionaire team owners again, right? Wrong:

At one point, Mr. Finebaum asked Mr. Romney, as a New England Patriots fan, where he thought Peyton Manning should go as a free agent, and the candidate highlighted his friendship with football team owners – echoing comments in which he explained his affinity for Nascar by noting he knew the owners of Nascar teams.

“I’m surprised to hear that Denver’s thinking about him,” Mr. Romney said. “I don’t want him in our neck of the woods, let’s put it that way. I’ve got a lot of good friends, the owner of the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets, both owners are friends of mine,” he added. “But let’s keep him away from New England.”

Romney really is approaching self-parody here….

More here

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Cagle

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Morning everyone 😉

21
Apr
11

ah, the left’s equivalent of birthers (video added)

GOPolitico: President Obama was interrupted at a California fundraiser on Thursday by a group of singing protesters who demanded the release of Bradley Manning, the private charged with giving information to WikiLeaks.

Obama “could not ignore” the singers because the setting was small — about 200 people, according to the pool. The protesters in the back of the room sang: “Each of us brought you $5,000. … I paid my dues, where’s our change? We’ll vote for you in 2012, yes that’s true. Look at the Republicans; what else can we do?”

White House aides tried to get them to stop, then escorted out the woman who had led the group, the pool said.

For his part, Obama tried to make light of it, but he didn’t address Manning’s detention or treatment. “That was a nice song, much better voiced than I,” he said, the pool reported.

“Where was I?” Obama said. “That didn’t break my flow.”

More at the Washington Post

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Source

“He thought it was kind of funny,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney. On Air Force One heading to Nevada, Carney said Obama came out of the fundraiser and remarked, “You don’t get that every day.”

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It’s funny, these people are always happy to quote PJ Crowley on Manning … except they always leave this bit out (from the Guardian): To be clear, Private Manning is rightly facing prosecution and, if convicted, should spend a long, long time in prison. Having been deeply engaged in the WikiLeaks issue for many months, I know that the 251,000 diplomatic cables included properly classified information directly connected to our national interest. The release placed the lives of activists around the world at risk.

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Yep, Manning and WikiLeaks sure are heroes:

The Guardian (January 2011): …with the recent release of sensitive diplomatic cables, WikiLeaks may have committed its own collateral murder, upending the precarious balance of power in a fragile African state and signing the death warrant of its pro-western premier…

…in the wake of the WikiLeaks’ release, one of the men targeted by US and EU travel and asset freezes, Mugabe’s appointed attorney general, has launched a probe to investigate Tsvangirai’s involvement in sustained western sanctions. If found guilty, Tsvangirai will face the death penalty.

And so, where Mugabe’s strong-arming, torture and assassination attempts have failed to eliminate the leading figure of Zimbabwe’s democratic opposition, WikiLeaks may yet succeed. Twenty years of sacrifice and suffering by Tsvangirai all for naught, as WikiLeaks risks “collateral murder” in the name of transparency.

Before more political carnage is wrought and more blood spilled – in Africa and elsewhere, with special concern for those US-sympathising Afghans fingered in its last war document dump – WikiLeaks ought to leave international relations to those who understand it – at least to those who understand the value of a life.

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The Australian (July 2010): The founder of WikiLeaks was forced last night to defend his decision to publish tens of thousands of uncensored intelligence documents.

The Times revealed that the names, villages, relatives’ names and even precise GPS locations of Afghans co-operating with Nato forces could be accessed easily from files released by WikiLeaks.

Human rights groups criticised the internet site and one US politician said that the security breaches amounted to a ready-made Taliban hitlist.

Julian Assange, the founder of the whistleblowing website, told The Times that he would “deeply regret” any harm caused by the disclosures.

But in an extensive interview he defended his actions …. “No one has been harmed, but should anyone come to harm of course that would be a matter of deep regret…..”

More here

15
Mar
11

ah, some balance

Sorry for bringing Dana Milbank here, but it’s so hard to find balanced articles on Bradley Manning – he’s either a martyr or a traitor – it was a relief to find this. I’ve cut out the silly, glib ‘underwear’ stuff by Milbank, but you can read the full article here

Dana Milbank: ….On the left, Bradley Manning is being hailed as a hero and a whistleblower for stealing and then making public thousands of classified government documents. The Pentagon, meanwhile, sees Pfc. Manning as a traitor, and so is holding him in maximum-security confinement. The naked truth is that Manning was neither a hero nor a traitor but a misguided kid flying by the seat of his underpants.

…PJ Crowley … had it exactly right last week …. after his claim that the treatment of Manning was stupid, he added: “Nonetheless, Bradley Manning is in the right place” at Quantico, because “there is sometimes a need for secrets.”

Liberal supporters of WikiLeaks and Manning have a rather elastic interpretation of Crowley’s remarks, embracing the suggestion that Manning had been mistreated but ignoring the contention that he belongs in the brig.

…(they are) trying to lionize Manning as a champion of open and transparent government. The trouble, of course, is that if Manning did what he is accused of doing, he has almost certainly done more harm than good to the cause of government openness.

“I don’t think these qualify as whistleblowing,” said Steven Aftergood, a longtime transparency advocate who runs the Federation of American Scientists’ Government Secrecy Project. Yes, there were important disclosures from WikiLeaks, such as the documentation of civilian casualties in Afghanistan. But the indiscriminate leaks also may have put at risk many lives, including those of hundreds of Afghans who cooperated with the U.S. military.

“The approach of grabbing hundreds of thousands of documents and shoveling them into the public domain,” said Aftergood, “was needlessly provocative.” He added: “It was not exposing misconduct. It was sticking a thumb in the government’s eye.”

The Pentagon, for its part, seems to be acknowledging, implicitly, that it mishandled Manning … Now it’s time for Manning’s fans to accept that he’s not necessarily the champion of freedom they have made him out to be….

14
Mar
11

a little background on that resignation…

NYT: The State Department spokesman, Philip J. Crowley, resigned on Sunday, three days after publicly criticizing the Pentagon as “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid” in its treatment of Pfc. Bradley E. Manning…

Mr. Crowley’s comments … stirred a political tempest in Washington and were rejected by President Obama at a news conference on Friday….

White House officials were infuriated by the episode … which one described as “the last straw” in a series of incautious remarks by Mr. Crowley. …he had a rocky tenure at the State Department, failing to establish close ties to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

…Mr. Crowley had been in a tenuous position for some time … and was discussing another assignment with Mrs. Clinton and her chief of staff even before his Manning remarks. He did not travel on Mrs. Clinton’s plane, which is highly unusual for a spokesman and added to the perception that he did not have access to her inner circle.

Public statements from Mr. Crowley raised hackles in the Pentagon and the White House several times. On Friday, in the wake of the earthquake in Japan, he sent out a message on ’Twitter that said: “We’ve been watching a hopeful tsunami sweep across the Middle East. Now we’re seeing a tsunami of a different kind sweep across Japan.” Other officials said the message was insensitive, and Mr. Crowley pulled it from Twitter.

He also came under fire in a State Department audit while managing the public affairs bureau … Last month, Michael Hammer, a former spokesman for the National Security Council, became Mr. Crowley’s deputy — a move that was widely perceived as setting the stage for Mr. Crowley’s departure.

Full article here




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