Posts Tagged ‘weapons

27
Sep
13

A Tweet or Two

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Continue reading ‘A Tweet or Two’

14
Sep
13

Statement by the President

14
Sep
13

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

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Oooooh, Teenage Sleuth was so right:

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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

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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)

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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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

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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)

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

Happy Saturday!

29
Feb
12

rise and shine

Bloomberg: The U.S. economy expanded more than forecast in the fourth quarter as companies rebuilt inventories in anticipation of growing demand. Gross domestic product climbed at a revised 3 percent annual rate, the most since the second quarter of 2010 …

Income gains in the second half of 2011 were stronger than previously reported as employment growth accelerated, which may set the stage for a pickup in consumer spending that accounts for about 70 percent of the economy…..

“The U.S. economy looks decent,” Drew Matus, senior U.S. economist at UBS Securities LLC, said before the report. “There are certainly risks out there, but it looks better than what people are giving it credit for. The combination of job growth and credit creation and better spending numbers all seem to be feeding off themselves.”

More here

Business Insider: New data out of the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows the U.S. economy expanded at a much faster pace than originally reported, jumping 20 basis points to 3.0 percent.

Economists polled by Bloomberg forecast no change from the first reading of 2.8 percent, and more than 35 percent predicted a further revision lower.

More here

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Reuters: The United States said on Wednesday that North Korea had agreed to implement a moratorium on nuclear tests, long-range missile launches and nuclear activities including enrichment at its Yongbyon nuclear complex and to allow U.N. nuclear watchdog inspectors in to ensure compliance.

The State Department said that the United States in return had agreed to finalize details of a proposed food aid package and to take other steps to improve bilateral ties.

“The United States still has profound concerns regarding North Korean behavior across a wide range of areas, but today’s announcement reflects important, if limited, progress in addressing some of these,” a State Department statement said.

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iVillage: …. First Lady Michelle Obama will announce today that the American Society of Travel Agents, the largest travel agency association in the world, is committed to hiring 3,000 veterans and military spouses by 2014, iVillage has learned exclusively.

“This commitment means that thousands of our heroes can build meaningful careers and provide for their families,” said Mrs. Obama. “And we’re especially excited that many of these jobs are tailor-made for our military spouses, who can keep their job as they move to new duty stations around the country and the world.”

The companies who have pledged to hire veterans and military spouses include Enterprise Holdings, Avis Budget, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Hertz Corporation, American Express Consumer Travel Network, and Orbitz Worldwide.

More here

Thanks Hopefruit

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Jonathan Cohn: Did Mitt Romney win the Michigan primary? Or did he merely survive it? That really depends on your perspective … Romney succeeded, but the exit polls suggested a familiar class divide. Romney won among voters who attended at least some college and those making more than $100,000 a year. But he lost among voters who attended no college and among those making less than $100,000 a year.

…. In a Republican primary, or at least this Republican primary, you can prevail by losing among all voters making less than $100,000. But it’s tougher in the general election … Romney has to win over at least some middle class votes to win in November. And he’s shown very little ability to do that.

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Steve Benen: …. It’s easy to forget, but as recently as three months ago, Romney led Rick Santorum in Michigan by 32 points…. What’s more, Romney outspent Santorum in Michigan – a state where Romney was born and where his father was governor – by nearly a two-to-one margin.

And Romney still only beat Santorum by three points. The sports cliche “a win is a win” is being bandied about, but so is the phrase “winning ugly.” Only Mitt Romney can win two major contests and reclaim the momentum in the race, and somehow look worse anyway.

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Ezra Klein: … after outspending his opponent by 2-1, Mitt Romney managed to win his home state by four points. That’s a win. But it’s a win that makes Romney look weak, not strong.

…. If Romney won in a way that made him look weak, Santorum lost in a way that made him look strong. It’s not the sort of a result that leads an overperforming longshot to drop out of the race.

…. independent voters will continue to see a side of Romney they don’t much like. You can argue that Michigan produced three kinds of winners last night. Romney, who didn’t lose. Santorum, who almost won. And the Obama campaign, which gets to sit back and watch this primary go on for that much longer.

More here

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Harold Meyerson: The longer the Republican presidential contest drags on, the more uncomfortable Mitt Romney seems around blue-collar Americans, and the more antagonistic Rick Santorum seems toward America’s professionals, current and aspiring, and their ideals. This does not portend Republican success in November. Romney’s victories in Arizona and Michigan on Tuesday do not alter this dynamic.

Romney’s stabs at seeming a regular guy have provided the most painful moments of his campaign. How to come off as a car buff in Michigan? Mention your wife’s Cadillacs. How to be a good ol’ boy at Daytona? Say you’re friends with some of the race car owners. Not since Richard Nixon has a national political leader appeared so excruciatingly ill at ease with the simplest public encounters.

More here

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The Week

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12:00: PBO and VP Biden meet for lunch with Congressional Leadership.

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Morning everyone 😉

02
Feb
11

a great start

President Barack Obama signs the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, February 2. Looking on are Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senator John Kerry and Senator Richard Lugar

Six short years ago ….

During the August recess of 2005, Richard Lugar and freshman Senator Barack Obama visited Russia, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine  to inspect nuclear facilities there. In January 2007, President Bush signed into law the Lugar-Obama Proliferation and Threat Reduction Initiative

Check the microphones, the media didn’t seem too interested in what the freshman senator had to say then 🙂

Baku, Ajerbaijan August, 2005. Photo: Pete Souza

More photos from that 2005 trip, all by Pete Souza:

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Inside a dismantled nuclear missile. Photo: Pete Souza

27
Mar
10

even more change you can believe in

President Obama opens todays press briefing with an announcement of the new START treaty with Russia, the most comprehensive arms control agreement in nearly two decades. Following the President were Secy. of State Hillary Clinton, Secy. of Defense Robert Gates and Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen.




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