Posts Tagged ‘salon



03
Jun
11

“gop response to jobs report: the earth is flat and 2 + 2 = 5”

Andrew Leonard (Salon): ….House Republicans pinned the blame for Friday’s disappointing jobs report squarely on the White House, saying the Obama administration’s “over-taxing, over-regulating and over-spending” has stifled economic growth. “One look at the jobs report should be enough to show the White House it’s time to get serious about cutting spending and dealing with our ailing economy,” Speaker John Boehner said.

How many blatant untruths can a Republican speaker of the House stuff into one sentence? Quite a few!

1) President Obama has cut taxes. His stimulus bill included tax cuts for 95 percent of all American working families. He signed off on the extension of the Bush tax cuts, while throwing in a new payroll tax cut for good measure.

2) Over-regulating? …Let’s just take a look at the two sectors of the economy that we might expect to have been affected by the two biggest signature pieces of legislation signed into law by Obama – the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank bank reform act … the healthcare sector has averaged 24,000 news jobs a month over the past year – and accounted for almost a third of May’s overall 54,000 gain. Meanwhile, Wall Street had its fourth most profitable year ever in 2010. If that’s over-regulation, we need more of it!

3) Private economic forecasters … generally agree that without Obama’s stimulus spending, unemployment would be higher.

We could raise other issues. We could ask: What changed between May and the previous six months in which job growth was relatively strong? But that would require examining actual facts about what is going on the world, like Japan’s recession or high gas prices or declining government spending, particularly at the state level.

More here

02
May
11

reaction

David Remnick (New Yorker): …In September, 2001, Obama was an obscure state senator from Hyde Park … little more than a week after the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade towers, Obama’s local paper, the Hyde Park Herald, published a series of reactions to the events … in his brief article, Obama … talked about “the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness.”

“The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine, or connect with, the humanity and suffering of others,” he wrote. “Such a failure of empathy, such numbness to the pain of a child or the desperation of a parent, is not innate; nor, history tells us, is it unique to a particular culture, religion, or ethnicity….”

“…..we will have to devote far more attention to the monumental task of raising the hopes of embittered children across the globe – children not just in the Middle East, but also in Africa, Asia, Latin American, Eastern Europe, and within our own shores.”

It was precisely that kind of talk that was branded as “soft” in the wake of 9/11 and throughout the Bush years, straight through the 2008 election campaign. It was precisely that sort of attempt to talk not merely in the register of prosecution and military aggression, but also of understanding root causes, whether at an anti-Iraq war rally in Chicago or at a Presidential speech in Cairo, that left so many wondering if Barack Obama would have the strength to “go after” Osama bin Laden.

Now there is an answer.

Read full article here

****

Politicususa – Barack Obama: The Man Who Got Osama Bin Laden

Collective closure of our national 9/11 wound has finally come to America, as President Obama announced that the US military has killed, and is in possession of the body of Osama Bin Laden.

… The death of Osama Bin Laden is a cathartic moment for nation has never forgotten the horrific events of 9/11, but when the CIA took out Bin Laden on Obama’s order it did something else. It shattered the conventions of post 9/11 politics.

Obama has destroyed the GOP’s tough on terror talking point. George W. Bush may have swaggered and told the nation that Bin Laden was wanted dead or alive, but it was the calmer, less flashy Obama who actually got the job done.

…In 2008 John McCain vowed to pursue Bin Laden to the ends of the earth, but it was Barack Obama who made sure that there was no escape for one of history’s most famous mass murders…

…For the rest of human history when the story of 9/11 is told after pictures of that tragic day are shown, the face and words of America’s first African-American president will be forever etched into history as they announce the death of Osama Bin Laden.

Politically, everything has changed.

Barack Obama will now and forever be known as the president who got Osama Bin Laden.

Full article here

***

Steve Benen: The amount of work that went into tracking down and killing Osama bin Laden is pretty extraordinary. It took years, and involved military, law enforcement, and intelligence agency officials, most of whom we’ll never know and won’t be able to thank.

And while many patriots made this happen, it’s President Obama who’ll get much of the credit – and given the circumstances, he’ll deserve it. Slate’s John Dickerson had a good piece overnight (see below) on how Obama’s “focused, hands-on pursuit of Osama Bin Laden paid off.”

…Dickerson’s description of the president’s efforts as “hands-on” seems especially apt given what we know. It was Obama who instructed the CIA to make targeting bin Laden a top priority, breaking with his predecessor. It was Obama who oversaw five national security meetings to oversee plans for this operation. It was Obama who chose this mission, made final preparations, and gave the order.

There’s a difference between talking tough and being tough, just as there’s a difference between chest-thumping rhetoric and getting the job done.

Full article here

John Dickerson (Slate): …..Obama’s critics have said that he is a weak leader in general and in particular does not understand what must be done to combat terrorism. “They are very much giving up that center of attention and focus that’s required,” said former Vice President Dick Cheney in March 2009, in a typical remark. Yet what emerges from the details of Bin Laden’s killing … is that from early in his administration Obama was focused on killing Osama Bin Laden and that he was involved in the process throughout.

In June 2009, Obama directed his CIA director to “provide me within 30 days a detailed operation plan for locating and bringing to justice” Osama Bin Laden…

….The president went to sleep to the sound of cheering outside the White House. At Ground Zero in New York and towns across the country, people gathered to sing the national anthem and chant “USA! USA!” It was a flicker of the post-9/11 unity that the president had referenced in his remarks earlier in the evening.

In his remarks announcing the operation, the president sought to rekindle that feeling … All in all, it was a good night to be president.

Full article here

Marc Ambinder (The Atlantic): Bin Laden’s Death: A Pivotal Victory for Obama, U.S. Intelligence …. The president silences his national-security critics heading into 2012, and the CIA stands tall after the damage of 9/11

The death of Osama Bin-Laden is a transcendent moment for the country and a pivotal one for President Obama…..Now the CIA stands much taller. Its intelligence helped pinpoint Bin Laden, but so did its patience

…Bin Laden’s death is an undeniable success for an intelligence community that missed the connections that might have prevented the attack. It coincides with the unofficial kick-off of the 2012 re-election cycle, where the incumbent, President Obama, has had his credentials as commander in chief repeatedly questioned by opponents and his citizenship mocked. Having scored the victory that remained beyond the grasp of George W. Bush – who graciously congratulated the president tonight – Obama’s military bona fides will be harder to attack.

Whatever flaws the president’s national security policies may have, and however infrequently Obama may have mentioned bin Laden, history will record that, when it came to getting Bin Laden, Obama got the job done and his predecessor, George W, Bush, whose entire presidency was tormented by bin Laden’s actions on 9/11, did not despite Bush’s claim that he would capture him “dead or alive.”

Full article here

David Sirota (Slate): “USA! USA!” is the wrong response

There is ample reason to feel relief that Osama bin Laden is no longer a threat to the world … however, somber relief was not the dominant emotion presented to America when bin Laden’s death was announced. Instead, the Washington press corps – helped by a wild-eyed throng outside the White House – insisted that unbridled euphoria is the appropriate response. And in this we see bin Laden’s more enduring victory – a victory that will unfortunately last far beyond his passing.

For decades, we have held in contempt those who actively celebrate death…. but in the years since 9/11, we have begun vaguely mimicking those we say we despise …this isn’t in any way to equate Americans who cheer on bin Laden’s death with, say, those who cheered after 9/11. Bin Laden was a mass murderer who had punishment coming to him, while the 9/11 victims were innocent civilians whose deaths are an unspeakable tragedy. Likewise, this isn’t to say that we should feel nothing at bin Laden’s neutralization, or that the announcement last night isn’t cause for any positive feeling at all – it most certainly is.

But it is to say that our reaction to the news last night should be the kind often exhibited by victims’ families at a perpetrator’s lethal injection – a reaction typically marked by both muted relief but also by sadness over the fact that the perpetrators’ innocent victims are gone forever, the fact that the perpetrator’s death cannot change the past, and the fact that our world continues to produce such monstrous perpetrators in the first place.

When we lose the sadness part – when all we do is happily scream “USA! USA! USA!” at news of yet more killing in a now unending back-and-forth war – it’s a sign we may be inadvertently letting the monsters win.

Full article here

****

Joan Walsh (Slate): …..After years of Catholic school, I am constitutionally unable to feel joyous about anyone being killed, but I got close tonight with bin Laden. He killed thousands of innocent people – and again, it was that incomparable American tableau: Muslims, Jews, Catholics; waiters, firefighters, investment bankers; gays and straights; mothers and fathers of every race….

….I wish this achievement could mean we get our country back, the one before the Patriot Act, before FISA, before rendition and torture and Guantanamo; before we began giving up the freedom and belief in due process that makes us Americans, out of our fear of totalitarians like bin Laden. It won’t happen overnight, but I’m going to choose to think this could be a first step.

Full article here

****

Frank Schaeffer: …. This morning I got up at 4 AM to walk across the street to congratulate my Marine son (now home safe with his wife and two little children after 5 years service and war) on having been a small link in the chain of service that hunted down and killed bin Laden. I wanted to thank someone who wore the uniform of the US military. I also sent up yet another “up yours!” to the so-called “Real American” conservative critics of our president; those liars like Donald Trump, Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin et al who have nurtured the racist-motivated attacks on our first black president.

Was the SUCCESSFUL hunter of bin Laden a “secret Muslim”? Was he “born in Kenya”? Was he “soft on terrorism” or as far right religious leader/birther Franklin Graham put it giving radical Islam a “pass”?

…While the war-loving “neocons” pontificated on American “exceptionalism” and power and went to parties in Washington DC hosted by the defense industry I stayed up at night worrying while my son was shot at. He came home safe, but no thanks to Fox News and the other perpetual war shills who talk “patriotism” while other people’s children – mine for instance – do all the heavy lifting.

…I know who the people are who aren’t “Real Americans” they are the unpatriotic liars wrapping themselves in the flag my son fought for and that they use to sell books, reality TV shows and their racist ideas with.

Today the American right wing phony patriots look smaller than ever, about as stupid as Trump’s hair.

Full post here

26
Apr
11

questionable ivy league admittance standards?

Salon: Donald Trump added a blatantly race-baiting component to his already racially charged campaign against Barack Obama’s Americanness this week when he claimed – based on things he’s “heard” – that Obama was a “terrible student” who got into Columbia and then Harvard based solely on affirmative action:

“How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard? I’m thinking about it, I’m certainly looking into it. Let him show his records,” he said, without providing backup for his claim. Trump added, “I have friends who have smart sons with great marks, great boards, great everything and they can’t get into Harvard.”

Leaving aside the fact that Obama, who went on to graduate Harvard Law magna cum laude, seems like he was probably a very good student, Mr. Trump might need a refresher course in how unqualified people actually do manage to get into the prestigious Ivy League Universities.

Let us take, as an example, the story of a student so obviously unqualified, so transparently unworthy, that a book was written about what his admittance into Harvard said about the sorry behavior of supposedly elite colleges.

That student was Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Kushner’s father, real estate developer Charles Kushner, bought Jared his Harvard acceptance. It cost him $2.5 million. (Kushner later went to jail for tax evasion and witness tampering, so it was also, technically, dirty money that bought Trump’s daughter’s husband’s entry into the Ivy League.)

More here

20
Apr
11

what’ll the tea people say now? “dump the chump”?

Thank you Bobfr, this is pure gold 😉

Let’s listen to the very pro-life (very pro-choice) guy one more time:

Thank you Me4obama … I’m not an O’Donnell fan, but this was seriously excellent

Yup, The Chump is a business genius!

13
Apr
11

‘obama’s “base” problem doesn’t actually exist’

Steve Kornacki (Salon): Here we go again … President Obama is being confronted with warnings that he’s at risk of losing his left-of-center political base.

…As I write this, Obama has yet to begin his deficit reduction speech, but it’s very possible that the liberal commentators who have been excoriating him for the past week won’t change their minds as a result of it. In other words, expect more of these stories in the coming days.

This ought to feel familiar. Time and again during Obama’s 27 months in office, we’ve witnessed eruptions like this, with one-time Obama supporters claiming that because of [insert Obama action here], the president has lost their support for good….

All of these episode have one thing in common: For all of the threats and dire forecasts, Obama’s base stuck with him. At the same time that he was agreeing to extend the Bush tax cuts, his approval rating among Democrats held steady, in the 80 percent range, where they’d been throughout 2010 – and his highest scores were among self-identified liberals.

And nothing much has changed since then … Gallup’s latest poll has Obama’s approval among Democrats at 80 percent. An NBC/Wall Street Journal survey released last week put it at 83 percent – with a score of 79 percent among liberals. We have heard expressions of outrage from left-of-center commentators about how Obama has sold out his old base – but that base, by all appearance, remains very much intact.

…Just because Democrats instinctively tell pollsters that they want taxes hiked on the rich or that they want Guantanamo closed doesn’t mean they hold those views with the same intensity as commentators who live and breathe these issues for a living. What they do feel strongly about is a more basic and personal question: Do they like President Obama? The answer to this, when it comes to the Democratic base, has and continues to be an overwhelming “yes.”

Full article here

28
Mar
11

libya

BWD has a live discussion thread on the President’s address at The Only Adult in the Room

BWD posted a link earlier to this wonderful post at Salon:

Tonight, when the President speaks to the nation about Libya, let’s do something different.

Let’s listen. Let’s listen, and then turn the television off and think about what he’s said. Mull it over in your mind, but only after having watched the thing and having imagined that the President was really talking to you.

You see, a lot of helpful people in the media think the viewing public is stupid. Well, a lot of them damned well know it. And the ones who don’t, have actually convinced the viewing public that, because they happen to be  celebrity talking head on television, they know far more and far better what the President wants to say to you, and so they give you their interpretation and tell you that’s what he really, really, really meant to say…..

The rest of the post here

08
Mar
11

the family values guy

(If you don’t like fruity language, skip the video!)

Salon: The truth about Newt and his cancer-stricken wife – For almost three decades, Newt Gingrich has been dogged by a single devastating anecdote from his past, one that has been repeated in the national press hundreds of times and that has arguably come to define his political persona. After being elected to Congress in 1978 on a family values platform, the story goes, he visited his wife Jackie, who was in the hospital recovering from an operation for uterine cancer, and demanded that she discuss terms of their divorce.

….Here’s how Mother Jones recounted Newt’s hospital visit with Jackie, who was her husband’s former high school math teacher: Jackie had undergone surgery for cancer of the uterus during the 1978 campaign, a fact Gingrich was not loath to use in conversations or speeches that year. After the separation in 1980, she had to be operated on again, to remove another tumor While she was still in the hospital, according to Howell, “Newt came up there with his yellow legal pad, and he had a list of things on how the divorce was going to be handled. He wanted her to sign it. She was still recovering from surgery, still sort of out of it, and he comes in with a yellow sheet of paper, handwritten, and wants her to sign it.”

Full article here

Last month – Newt Gingrich: “In America, religious belief is being challenged by a cultural elite trying to create a secularized America, in which God is driven out of public life.”

Indeed.

01
Mar
11

‘why republicans are suddenly afraid of obama’

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a Republican member of the Cabinet, feigns being a blocking back for President Barack Obama as he arrives backstage to meet with GOP House leaders Jan. 29, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Steve Kornacki (Salon): At Politico on Monday, Jonathan Martin does a nice job explaining the “reality check” that Republicans are now waking up to: Barack Obama seems to be in decent political shape as the 2012 cycle begins, while “breezy predictions of Obama turning out to be the next Jimmy Carter were premature.”

That it’s come to this shouldn’t be that surprising. As we noted over and over last year as Obama and his fellow Democrats braced for a midterm drubbing, the two-year verdict on a presidency is often extremely misleading – as the examples of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton both attest. With his party running Washington and with the economy reeling, it was pretty much inevitable that the first half of Obama’s first term would play out the way it did.

What is surprising, though, is how quickly it’s come to this…..barely a month after the midterms, prominent conservatives were already admitting that he was looking good to win a second term … lately, Mike Huckabee — who might be the front-runner for the GOP nomination, if only he’d get in the race — has been making headlines by talking up Obama’s strength, as he did to Politico:

“The people that are sitting around saying, ‘He’s definitely going to be a one-term president. It’s going to be easy to take him out,’ they’re obviously political illiterates — political idiots, let me be blunt.”

…for now, the consensus of the political class seems to be that Obama will be reelected in 2012 – and Republicans seem to be buying into it …. Unlike the Democrats of early 2003, who saw a chance to become the next Bill Clinton, the Republicans of early 2011 seem to fear the prospect of becoming the next Bob Dole.

Read the full article here

14
Feb
11

‘reasons to cheer for obama’s budget’

Andrew Leonard (Salon): If enacted, the president’s spending plan would accomplish great things. So why are liberals so upset?

In light of all the complaints that progressives are making about the “spending cuts” in President Obama’s new budget, it might be worth remembering that Obama’s first budget added up to $3.6 trillion dollars, and pretty much everyone on the left, including Paul Krugman, thought it was just peachy, an amazingly ambitious statement of new government priorities.

Obama’s new budget totals $3.73 trillion. That hardly represents a slash-and-burn retreat from the federal spending front lines! It’s an expansion beyond the budget that blew minds two years ago. But whereas Krugman praised the first budget as setting a “fundamentally new course” for the United States, he is dismissing the new budget as “hardly something to cheer about.”….

…it seems to me, if you are looking for reasons to cheer, or rating the budget on pure symbolism, that you can find plenty of exciting line items worth getting hot and bothered about.

The president calls for an end to oil, gas, and coal subsidies and the expiration of tax cuts for the rich. There are some painful cuts, but there is also plenty of new investment in education and infrastructure – including high speed rail and a vast expansion of broadband wireless connectivity….

Maybe we aren’t cheering about any of that because we know none of it is going to happen. Congress writes the budget and passes it; what the White House proposes is just a suggestion. And House Republicans have no intention of ending oil industries subsidies or hiking taxes on anyone.

…Judged against the Obama’s previous budgets, the president isn’t asking for significant cuts. What he and his team are trying to do is to present themselves as just fiscally responsible enough to make Republicans look like the out-of-control party recklessly pushing for a government shutdown. That seems like the smart, sane way to do what you can to protect an economy that is slowly reviving, and slowly beginning to bring down the unemployment rate.

Read full article here

02
Jan
11

‘you know, 2010 wasn’t a bad year for obama’

Steve Kornacki (Salon): It would be wrong to say that 2010 was a resounding success for Barack Obama … but while 2010 provided plenty of reasons for his allies to doubt him, the bigger story of the year was how much Obama was able to accomplish…

…..Nothing better illustrated this than the last two months of the year, after Democrats suffered massive election losses …. the last Democratic president to withstand such a midterm drubbing, Bill Clinton, had no idea how to respond …. but Obama barely skipped a beat. He acknowledged that the election had been a “shellacking,” then enjoyed some of the most productive weeks of his presidency to date.

…..Tax compromise …. it’s not surprising that the initial outrage of elite liberal opinion-shapers didn’t trickle down to rank-and-file liberals. As the details of Obama’s tax compromise spread, in fact, polls showed wide support for it – even among Democrats, and even among self-identified liberal Democrats. Most liberals, it seems, didn’t think that the president had sold them out at all.

There was even more reason for liberals to reach that conclusion as December wore on. By agreeing to terms with the GOP on taxes, Obama ratcheted up the pressure on the Senate’s few moderate Republicans to break with their colleagues on several big ticket items…..

….Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell … here, too, Obama’s long game came in to play: Liberals and gay rights advocates had railed throughout his presidency that he was willing only to pay lip service to the cause of DADT repeal. Actually, though, he was being wisely patient, winning over helpful support from military leaders by refusing to rely on an executive order or the courts and commissioning an exhaustive Pentagon study on the effects of repeal. That report’s release, cleverly timed for the start of the lame duck session, utterly eviscerated every reasonable-seeming concern that opponents of DADT repeal had been touting….

…. the last two months should give those who would cry “betrayal!” pause. Obama demonstrated in 2010 that he is still committed to doing much of what he set out to do – and that he’s still capable of accomplishing a lot of it.

Full article here




@POTUS

@BarackObama

@WhiteHouse

@FLOTUS

@MichelleObama

@PeteSouza

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

@TheObamaDiary

@NerdyWonka

RSS Obama White House.gov

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS WH Tumblr

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Steve Benen

  • Trump's legal team tried to convince Pence on decertifying results, book finds
  • Democrats tie debt ceiling to government funding
  • We have a way out of pandemic but percentage of population is saying no, says doctor
  • Covid has killed more Americans than the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic
  • Music's brightest stars gear up for Global Citizen Live

Categories

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 43,102,472 hits
September 2021
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930